Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of Muslim, Christian and Hindu
refugees on Thursday and declared them all children of the same God
Killed In US Raid in Syria: Reports
Rejects Singling Out Muslims in Fight against Islamic State
Bombers Turn Areas near Palmyra into Hell for ISIL
Personal Law outside SC Jurisdiction, Asserts All India Muslim Personal Law
Muslims Fear Growing Anti-Islam Backlash In Wake Of Terror Attacks
Islamic bank opens in Russia
U.S. Cities Face Anti-Muslim Backlash
talk on U.S. Muslims latest salvo in campaign war
Clinton wasn’t always against profiling Muslims
Begins Military Operations to Liberate Nineveh
Hill near Palmyra Castle Falls into Hands of Syrian Soldiers
Russia Stress Intra-Syrian Dialogue
under pressure as troops advance on Palmyra, Mosul
Muslim Yogi Spread Out Goodness of Ayurveda and Yoga in Pakistan
Indian Priest 'Kidnapped By IS' May Be Crucified On Good Friday
‘IS-Inspired Militant’ Held For Safoora Carnage, Sabeen Murder
in London, Geneva Hatching Conspiracies against Pakistan: GOC Southern Command
Tried To Woo Former ISI Chief Zaheerul Islam: Kamal
President arrives in Islamabad on two-day visit to Pakistan
claims arrest of Indian intelligence officer
Yousaf Raza Gilani visited my house in Pak: David Headley
Istanbul, and Brussels Attacks Have Similar Motives, Different Methods: Turkey
to Stop ISIL Attack Rocks Belgium
PM ‘hopes to normalize ties’ with Turkey in upcoming meet
citizen detained in Turkish capital for being ISIL member
ISIL suspects released by Istanbul court
Forces Shoot Dead Two Palestinians in West Bank
Vote on Database of All Businesses in Israeli Settlements
Being Made To Create Ethnic Tensions among Afghan People: Former NDS Chief
Hindus, Muslims Celebrate Holi
In Latest Taliban Infighting in Herat Province
attack claims lives of 7 policemen in Kandahar province
killed, 5 wounded as Dostum and Noor supporters clash in Faryab
Afghan army general killed in militants attack in Kandahar
rescue child in Khost as kidnappers demanded $200,000 ransom
Muslim Lawyers in Malaysian Sharia Courts
Leadership Un-Islamic, Says Zairil
Arrests 15 for Suspected Links To Islamic State
Muslims Condemn Christian Hostility to Islamic Banking
African Satirist Raises Alarm over Kenyan Journalist Sackings
Resources to Restore Hope in the Middle East and North Africa Region
Coast to expand rapid response forces after attack
arrests 9 suspected Islamist militants with Libya ties
Ranks Most Travel-friendly Country in Africa for Muslims
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Washes Feet of Muslim Migrants, Says 'We Are Brothers'
Francis washed and kissed the feet of Muslim, Orthodox, Hindu and Catholic
refugees today, declaring them children of the same God, in a gesture of
welcome and brotherhood at a time when anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment
has spiked following the Brussels attacks.
denounced the carnage as a "gesture of war" carried out by
blood-thirsty people beholden to the weapons industry during an Easter Week
Mass with asylum-seekers at the shelter in Castelnuovo di Porto, outside Rome.
Thursday rite re-enacts the foot-washing ritual Jesus performed on his apostles
before being crucified, and is meant as a gesture of service.
contrasted that gesture with the "gesture of destruction" carried out
by the Brussels attackers, saying they wanted to destroy the brotherhood of
humanity represented by the migrants.
have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live
in peace," Francis said in his homily, delivered off-the-cuff in the windy
courtyard of the centre.
of the migrants then wept as Francis knelt before them, poured holy water from
a brass pitcher over their feet, wiped them clean and kissed them.
was greeted with a banner reading "Welcome" in a variety of languages
as he walked down a makeshift aisle to celebrate the outdoor Mass.
a fraction of the 892 asylum-seekers living at the shelter attended, and many
of the seats were left empty. Those who came out, though, received a personal
greeting: At the end of the Mass, Francis greeted each refugee, one by one,
posing for selfies and accepting notes as he moved down the rows.
rules had long called for only men to participate in the ritual, and past popes
and many priests traditionally performed it on 12 Catholic men, recalling
Jesus' 12 apostles and further cementing the doctrine of an all-male
shocked many Catholics within weeks of his 2013 election by performing the
ritual on women and Muslims at a juvenile detention centre. After years of
violating the rules outright, Francis in January changed the regulations to
explicitly allow women and girls to participate.
Vatican said today that four women and eight men took part. The women included
an Italian Catholic who works at the centre and three Eritrean Coptic Christian
migrants. The men included four Catholics from Nigeria, three Muslims from
Mali, Syria and Pakistan and a Hindu man from India.
Washington: Mar 25, 2016
Islamic State group’s second-in-command has been killed in a US raid in Syria,
news reports said on Friday.
ar-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli was killed this month, The Daily Beast and NBC News
quoted unnamed defence officials as saying.
chief Ashton Carter was expected to confirm the killing at an upcoming news
conference, they said.
(FNA)- The Russian fighter jets carried out tens of combat sorties over ISIL's
defense lines in regions around the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in Homs
Russian Defense Ministry announced that the country's warplanes hit 146
terrorist targets around Palmyra in Homs province from March 20 to March 23,
stressing that more than 300 terrorists were also killed during the operations.
March 20 to March 23 Russian Air and Space Forces conducted 41 sorties around
Palmyra, Homs province, hitting 146 military terrorist targets. Six command
centers, 320 terrorists, five tanks, six artillery systems, two ammunition depots
and 15 vehicles were destroyed," defence ministry said.
Syrian soldiers, backed by the National Defence Forces (NDF), Hezbollah
fighters and Syrian-Russian Air backup, are marching on ISIL concentration
centers in Homs province to take back control over Palmyra, leaving hundreds of
Takfiri terrorists dead or injured.
September 30, Moscow has been conducting pinpoint airstrikes on Takfiri
terrorist targets in Syria at President Bashar al-Assad's request.
Russian Aerospace Forces coordinate their actions with the Syrian army which is
operating on the ground.
23, 2016. REUTERS/David
AIRES (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday the United
States can and will defeat Islamic State and rejected the notion put forth by
some Republican presidential candidates that Muslims in the United States
should be singled out for surveillance.
most extensive remarks about Tuesday's attacks in Brussels in which Islamic
State suicide bombers killed at least 31 people and wounded 260 others, Obama
said the United States was offering Belgium all assistance to help bring the
attackers to justice.
will also continue to go after ISIL aggressively until it is removed from Syria
and removed from Iraq and is finally destroyed," added Obama, using an
acronym for the group. He was speaking at a news conference with Argentina's
president, Mauricio Macri, while on a visit to Buenos Aires.
attacks by the Islamist militants, however, is difficult because "it's
challenging to find, identify very small groups of people who are willing to
die themselves and can walk into a crowd and detonate a bomb," he said.
to the Brussels attacks, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said
he would bring back torture and "do a lot more than water boarding."
Republican candidate Ted Cruz called for heightened police scrutiny of
neighbourhoods with large Muslim populations, and Trump said it was a good
said one reason there have not been more attacks in the United States is the
Muslim American community is successful, patriotic and integrated.
do not feel ghettoized," Obama said. "So any approach that would
single them out or target them for discrimination is not only wrong and
un-American, but it also would be counterproductive because it would reduce the
strength, the antibodies that we have to resist the terrorism."
who visited Cuba before travelling to Argentina, noted that Cruz's father had
immigrated to the United States from Cuba, "a country that engages in that
kind of neighbourhood surveillance.
Personal Law outside SC Jurisdiction, Asserts All India Muslim Personal Law
DELHI: Resisting the Supreme Court's suo motu decision to test the legal
validity of triple talaq in Muslim personal law, the All India Muslim Personal
Law Board (AIMPLB) has said that the country's top court has no jurisdiction to
undertake the exercise as the community's personal law was based on the Quran
and not on a law enacted by Parliament.
board also challenged the utility of a uniform civil code which, it said, was
no guarantee of national integrity and solidarity, arguing that a shared faith
did not prevent Christian nations engaging in two World Wars.
similar vein, the AIMPLB said the Hindu Code Bill had failed to eradicate caste
a line between a law enacted by the legislature and social norms dictated by
religion, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board through advocate Ejaz Maqbool
told the Supreme Court, "Mohammedan law is founded on the Holy Quran and
Ahadith of the Prophet of Islam and this cannot fall within the purview of the
expression 'laws in force', as mentioned in Article 13 of the
Constitution." "The personal law of Muslims has not been passed or
made by a legislation," it said.
personal law is a cultural issue, it is inextricably interwoven with the
religion of Islam. Thus, it is the issue of freedom of conscience guaranteed
under Articles 25 and 26 read with Article 29 of the Constitution," it
said in an affidavit filed in court, quoting a series of SC judgments which
apparently ruled that provisions of personal law could not be challenged for
violation of fundamental rights.
had decided on its own to examine the rights of Muslim women, finding that
there was no safeguard against arbitrary divorce by Muslim men. The 43-year-old
organisation said there were periodic noises by a section of society demanding
an uniform civil code. "If the SC lays down special rules for Muslim women
it will amount to judicial legislation," it said.
uniform civil code imperative to national unity, integrity and
solidarity?" it asked and said if that been so, there would not have been
two world wars between armies belonging to the same Christian religion.
the idea of uniform civil code, AIMPLB said the Hindu Code Bill, which was
passed in 1956 to bring uniformity in personal law among different sects of
Hindus, has failed to achieve integration among different sects of Hindus.
"Are there not caste divisions which still exist and has caste become
extinct? Is untouchability non-existent? Are there no grievances of Dalits
about discriminatory treatment?," the board said.
Muslims Fear Growing Anti-Islam Backlash in Wake of Terror Attacks
— It's already been a rough few months for Belgian Muslims in the wake of
November's terrorist attacks in Paris and the search for suspects in Belgium:
Lockdowns, increased security and raids on homes.
the wake of the country's deadliest terrorist attacks Tuesday, Muslims who live
in Belgium fret more fear, suspicion and harassment is on the way.
anti-Muslim rallies in Flemish cities such as Antwerp and Ghent have been
relatively small but they may grow in size and become violent, said Nabil
Riffi, an attorney of Moroccan descent who lives in Antwerp. “My fear is that
they will draw more people to them because the danger is now among us,” he
the possibility of the Pegida rallies in Flanders getting violent is real,” he
added, referring to an anti-migrant, anti-Muslim movement that started in
Germany and has spread to other countries in Europe.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombings at Brussels Zaventem airport and a central metro
station that killed 31 and injured 250. Two suicide bombers died in the attack
and a massive manhunt is underway for a third suspect caught on video cameras
fleeing the airport. An arrest was made Wednesday but apparently not the man on
state TV names Brussels attack suspects
search is focusing on the Schaerbeek neighborhood of Brussels, which has a
significant Muslim population.
raid Tuesday, investigators found an explosive device containing nails that was
similar to the type of bomb used in at least one of the two blasts at the
airport. They also found a black Islamic State flag, according to Belgian
media, which cited prosecutors.
could have been us': How countries see Brussels terror attacks
those suspected of involvement in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, which killed 130
people, reside in Belgium. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, a Belgian national named by
French authorities as the likely mastermind of the attacks, was captured last
Friday in a raid in Brussels.
has one of the largest Muslim communities in Europe as a percentage of its
population: about 6% of 11 million Belgians. It also is the largest contributor
of fighters to Islamic State. More than 500 Belgian nationals have traveled to
join the extremist group in Syria and Iraq, according to Belgian intelligence
of Belgium's Muslim community, which condemned Tuesday's attacks, say the
perpetrators' intention is to create social divisions and a backlash against
Muslims that can aid in the recruitment of newly radicalized fighters.
hashtag #stopIslam was a top trending topic on Twitter on Tuesday.
dramatic events in the heart of Europe undermine the efforts of society … and
the full Muslim community in Belgium to harmoniously live together," the
Executive of Muslims in Belgium, the main Muslim community organization in the
country, said in a statement. "That is why, in the name of all Muslim
citizens, the EMB calls for unity and unanimity to together establish a
coalition against violence and terrorism."
Muslims also say the perpetrators and supporters of terrorist attacks represent
a tiny portion of the millions of Muslims across Europe who condemn such
that people will realize this has nothing to do with the real Islam and that
99% of Muslims very much are distancing themselves from what happened (Tuesday)
and they also really are reeling,” attorney Riffi said.
are also Belgians," he said. "They are also really shocked and incredibly
sad. I hope that people will realize that and that there won’t be a backlash
against people who really have nothing to do with this, and don’t all encourage
this or stand behind it.”
time: 24 Mar, 2016
first Islamic banking centre, operating under the principles of Southeast Asia
and Middle East partnership funding, opened in Kazan on Thursday. At a time
when Western funding is closed to Russia, it could now get more investment from
Gref, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Sberbank (RIA
Novosti/Iliya Pitalev)Islamic banking in Russia may ease effect of
sanctions – head of Sberbank
are living through difficult times. Difficult economic circumstances force us
to look for new ways. Affiliate banking is new to us. We have to form customer
service, which would, above all, be in accordance with Russian banking
legislation and not contradict Islamic banking," said the president of
Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov.
about 800 kilometers east of Moscow, Russia’s Tatarstan has a significant
Muslim Tartar population.
am sure this will also be a step that will attract new financial markets to our
country,” he added.
center will focus on banking services for individuals, firms and foreign
to Tatarstan Finance Minister Artem Zdunov, the lack of foreign borrowing has
made Russia look for other sources of financing, including Muslim countries. He
added that the Islamic finance industry is one of the fastest growing in the
world with 15-20 percent annual growth in assets.
state religion in several countries of Southeast Asia and the Middle East has
left its mark on their credit institutions. Islamic banks do not pay interest,
and receive an income from investments in business projects.
present, Russian legislation does not allow Islamic banks to use all their
tools. However, amending the law is already being discussed.
James and Linda Dono
— Cities across the USA are preparing for the next phase that inevitably
follows a terror attack: anti-Muslim backlash.
social media, in public forums on college campuses, and even in mainstream
political rhetoric from presidential candidates, anger over the deadly terror
attacks in Brussels has spawned discontent and suspicion directed at Muslim
groups. After the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, leaders
in California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio
and spoke out quickly to dissuade anti-Muslim sentiment.
aftermath of an attack “is always a difficult time for Muslims in the United
States,” said Nabil Shaikh, a leader of the Muslim Students Association at
Princeton’s campus, students took to anonymous forums like Yik Yak to comment
that there are Muslims at Princeton who are radical and would therefore condone
yesterday’s attacks," Shaikh said. "These comments not only are
appalling and inaccurate but also threaten the well-being of Muslim students.”
in Belgium and Paris following the November terror attacks, the backlash in the
U.S. is not as confrontational.
has seen occasional anti-Muslim rallies in Flemish cities such as Antwerp and
Ghent. Some Muslim leaders have accused police in Europe of overtly targeting
Muslim communities in lockdowns and raids of homes.
average Muslim still feels intimidated, still feels scared, still feels insecure.”
Elley, Chappaqua, N.Y.
communities in the U.S. face opposition more in the form of rhetoric — but in
an election year, such rhetoric can lead to sweeping change.
of the Brussels attack, Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz said that the
U.S. needs to "empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim
neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” His comments struck an already
raw nerve in Muslim communities throughout the U.S. although Donald Trump
praised Cruz's idea.
Obama called the approach "wrong and un-American."
just left a country that engages in that kind of surveillance, which by the way
the father of Senator Cruz escaped, to America, the land of the free," he
said, referring to Cuba.
plays a role in fostering anti-Islamic sentiment, said Khusro Elley of
Chappaqua, N.Y., a trustee at Upper Westchester Muslim Society in Thornwood,
average Muslim still feels intimidated, still feels scared, still feels
insecure," especially in a political climate where it's become common to
depict Muslims as terrorists, he said.
brutal attacks on Muslims in the United States haven't been reported to the
Council on American-Islamic Relations since the Brussels attack, bullying and
hate speech are growing, said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the
Washington-based civil-liberties group.
girls, it's pulling on the hijab and calling them terrorists, and for boys it's
saying that they have a bomb in their backpack and calling them
terrorists," Hooper said. Some politicians make the problems worse.
"They really have mainstreamed Islamophobia."
hear the hate speech on TV and hear their parents agreeing with it, he said.
Increasingly, they're taking the language to school.
Louisville,more than two dozen Islamic leaders gathered Wednesday to condemn
the attacks and urge the public not to link all Muslims with terrorism,
describing a growing level of Islamophobia.
feel that with the attacks in Brussels and especially after Paris, people feel
like they are entitled to speak hatefully. It’s actually a lot worse than what
happened after 9/11.”
Salim, Muslim Student Association at Wichita State University
Mayor Greg Fischer, a Democrat, called some Republican political candidates’
responses in wake of the Brussels attack "naive and unrealistic."
them to play to people's basest fears" to gain political support is
"contrary to American values," Fischer said at an interfaith prayer
vigil, contending that such candidates are "masquerading as presidential
in Louisville haven’t felt fearful, especially since non-Muslim volunteers came
out in force to paint over anti-Islam graffiti two days after the Louisville
Islamic Center was vandalized Sept. 16, said Mohammed Wasif Iqbal, head of the
center. But Iqbal said some have criticized Islamic leaders for not condemning
attacks strongly enough.
will stand here every single time and condemn it," he said, arguing that
extremists should not define the Islamic religion.
Babar, a Louisville Islamic leader with Muslim Americans for Compassion, called
the Brussels attack heartbreaking.
see us through the actions of ISIL,” he said. “We are as American as you
Council on American-Islamic Relations' Florida chapter has seen a fivefold
increase in reports of hate incidents during 2015 compared with 2014, 26 vs.
five, said Hassan Shibly, the chapter’s chief executive director. A grand
majority occurred in the final two months of the year, after the Paris
what happens after the mass shootings committed by white supremacists that
happen almost daily in America, whenever an act of terrorism involves those who
identify themselves as Muslims, politicians respond by calling for the
curtailment or the rights of American Muslims,” he said. “Our enemies can never
destroy us. We can only destroy ourselves if we allow fear and hate to turn us
against each other.”
national Council on American-Islamic Relations, founded in 1994, called for
Cruz to retract his demand for law enforcement to secure Muslim neighborhoods.
Cruz’s call for law enforcement to ‘patrol and secure’ neighborhoods in which
American Muslim families live is not only unconstitutional, it is unbefitting
anyone seeking our nation’s highest office and indicates that he lacks the
temperament necessary for any president,” the national council’s executive
director, Nihad Awad, said in a statement.
State trains 400 fighters to attack Europe in wave of bloodshed
called Cruz’s plan fascist-like.
feel that with the attacks in Brussels and especially after Paris, people feel
like they are entitled to speak hatefully,” said Maira Salim, president of the
Muslim Student Association at Wichita State University. “It’s actually a lot
worse than what happened after 9/11. … I'm all for free speech, but hate speech
is not OK.”
Cruz’s proposal this week that police should “patrol and secure” Muslims
neighborhoods in the U.S. in the wake of the Brussels bombings touched off a
firestorm of backlash from prominent civil rights groups, as well as
the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Donald Trump and Cruz have been
trying to outdo each other by proposing tougher scrutiny on U.S. Muslims and
incoming refugees, Rice University political scientist Mark Jones said.
ignited the rhetoric race by suggesting in December that the U.S. should
temporarily bar all Muslims from entering the U.S. Shortly after, Cruz unveiled
a bill that would allow governors to bar placement of Syrian refugees in their
states. It’s also the latest salvo in the battle between Cruz and Trump for
capturing more primary voters through strong talk on terrorism.
Brussels attacks on Tuesday in a metro station and airport, which killed at
least 31 and injured more than 300, provides further fodder to this duel, Jones
said. “We’re now in a two-horse race for the Republican nomination,” he said.
“Cruz is very much not trying to let Trump outflank him to the right. The last
thing Cruz wants is for there to be daylight between him and Donald Trump on
statement released Tuesday morning, Cruz restated his call to “immediately halt
the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al Qaida or ISIS presence,”
such as Iraq or Syria. He also called for the “need to empower law enforcement
to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
comments were immediately rebuked by groups such as the American Civil
Liberties Union and the Council of American-Islamic Relations.
proposal "is not only unconstitutional, it is unbefitting anyone seeking
our nation’s highest office and indicates that he lacks the temperament
necessary for any president,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said
in a statement.
Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat and former U.S. Army helicopter pilot who
lost her legs in 2004 when her helicopter was shot down in Iraq, said Cruz's
claims sends the wrong message to Muslims. "When we say this kind of thing
we promote the divisive rhetoric, the propaganda that ISIS is selling, which
will create the next insurgent that’s going to shoot down an American
helicopter like the guy that shot me down," Duckworth told Mashable.
campaign later reiterated the candidate’s stance, claiming President Obama's
administration has failed to recognize a growing radical Islamic threat in
America due to fear of being labeled “politically incorrect.” Radical Islamic
terrorism should be targeted by local law enforcement agencies the way they
target drugs, gangs and human trafficking, it said.
what is happening with these isolated Muslim neighborhoods in Europe,” Cruz
spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said in a statement. “If we want to prevent it
from happening here, it is going to require an empowered, visible law
enforcement presence that will both identify problem spots and partner with
non-radical Americans who want to protect their homes.”
singling out neighborhoods by the religion of its residents for increased
surveillance is unconstitutional and would lead to lawsuits, said Hina Shamsi,
director of the ACLU's National Security Project. A similar initiative to allow
police to monitor Muslim communities in New York under former New York City mayor
Michael Bloomberg was attacked in federal court and was largely curtailed
following a court settlement earlier this year, she said.
profiling is unconstitutional," Shamsi said. "Religious freedom and
equal protection of the law are two of the fundamental rights the founders
enshrined in our constitutional. Any kind of program that singled out Muslims
or any faith or minority community for warrantless surveillance would violate
constitutional questions, rhetoric like Cruz's and Trump's are striking a
strong chord among many GOP primary voters. A February University of
Texas/Texas Tribune poll found that 62% of Texas Republicans supported banning
non-U.S. Muslims from entering the USA.
an audience for what they’re saying,” said James Henson, the poll’s co-author
and director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at
Austin. “And they know that.”
Cruz’s hometown of Houston, home to one of the largest Muslim communities in
the country, the candidates' calls to monitor Muslims have brought a mix of
anger and trepidation. Since the San Bernardino shooting, the Syrians, Iraqis,
Egyptians and other Muslim groups in Houston have sensed an increased hostility
toward them, said Shireen Jasser, president of the Syrian American Council of
latest remarks will only worsen those tensions and further alienate U.S.
Muslims, she said.
something so discriminatory, something so un-American,” Jasser said. “It’s
quite frankly shocking.”
were two things which could be counted on following the horrible Islamic terror
attacks in Belgium this week. One was that the world would come together in
expressions of sympathy and grief for those who were lost and otherwise
affected. The second was that it would be turned into a political football in
the American elections before the smoke had cleared out of the Brussels metro
stations. True to forum, the media dashed out to ask Ted Cruz and Donald Trump
what we should do about the situation and both of them suggested keeping a
closer eye on Muslim communities for signs of radicalization and impending
that makes as much sense as that is obviously verboten in the mainstream media,
so the hunt was on for anyone and everyone who would be willing to vilify the
GOP contenders. They didn’t have to wait long for Hillary Clinton’s input, as
she was quick to attack both of them following her victory rally in Arizona.
Clinton slammed Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz for his proposal to
patrol U.S. Muslim neighbourhoods as a plan to combat terrorism, in the wake of
Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels.
Cruz, who said we need to be policing everywhere Muslims live. I don’t know
about you; that is not only offensive that too is dangerous,” Clinton told the
crowd at a rally in Seattle Tuesday shortly after declaring victory in the
Arizona Democratic primary. “Because we want everybody to feel together on our
common defence against terrorism.
funny how people will respond to a tragedy such as this. You never know what a
candidate or elected official will say in the heat of the moment. That includes
Clinton herself. In fact, she was asked a very similar question after the 9/11
attacks by ABC news anchor Sam Donaldson and her response back then was a bit
less… nuanced. Let’s go to the video.
weekly standard had the transcript.
talk about American life now, though,” said ABC host Sam Donaldson. “What
happens in the future from the standpoint of the question of security versus
relaxation or giving up some of the freedoms that we’ve enjoyed in this
country? How far do we go, for instance, on airline security?”
think everyone recognizes we have to tighten security. We have to do whatever
it takes to keep our people safe,” Hillary Clinton replied.
said, “Including profiling, senator?”
we have to do whatever it takes, Sam. And I believe that, you know, Tuesday
changed everything. Tuesday was a day that America has never, ever had to
experience. And I hope to heaven that we never have to again. But we are in a
war situation, and we’re going to have to do things people do in times of war.
I just heard your interview with the mayor, and I think he’s right to look at
examples in history like the Battle of Britain. Many of us have been studying
what others did to carry on. And we know that we have to make tradeoffs in
convenience, in our freedom of movement, without undercutting or losing our way
of life and our values, which I really want to make America special and great.
And we can’t ever let anyone undermine that.”
understand that most of you who have been following this race might be rolling
your eyes about now and treating this as a dog bites man story. Hillary Clinton
has been on both sides of pretty much every issue under the sun between her
time as First Lady and her first run for Senate until now. But that’s a pretty
dramatic shift, isn’t it? At one time, a terror attack prompted a do what we
have to do response from Clinton, but that’s no longer in vogue. Admitting that
we have a problem with a particular segment of the Muslim population is
unpalatable to the Left, even on a day when they’re still dragging scorched
corpses out of the Brussels airport. So She Who Would Be Queen changes her tune
again to suit the political winds of the day.
Clinton will do or say anything it takes to dredge up one more point in the
polls as she has demonstrated over and over again. The sad part is, the way
things are going today it looks as if it just might work.
(FNA)- Iraqi Army and popular forces have begun military operations to retake
the Northern province of Nineveh from ISIL, Al-Mayadeen reported on Thursday.
repost said the Iraqi forces have already liberated several villages in the
district of al-Makhmour and Mosul, which has been under ISIL’s contorl for two
Northern and Western parts of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since the
ISIL terrorists began an offensive through the Iraqi territory in June 2014.
army soldiers and popular forces are now seeking to win back these occupied
regions in joint operations.
Tuesday, Nineveh Province Operations Commander Brigadier General Najm
al-Jabouri announced that the ISIL positions in Mosul were under the army's
heavy fire, underlining that his forces were waiting for an order to launch the
Central and Southern parts of Mosul which host the ISIL commanders' strongholds
are under artillery fire and airstrikes," Jabouri told FNA on Tuesday.
that the Iraqi army and popular forces were all prepared for their commanders'
order to launch a decisive battle against the ISIL in Mosul.
in Iraq's Ministry of Interior announced last Friday that the Iraqi Air Force's
planes dropped thousands of leaflets on the city of Mosul (405 km North of
Baghdad), calling on the residents to be prepared for the liberation operation
of the city by the Iraqi army.
source said in a statement that “today the Iraqi Air Force planes dropped
thousands of leaflets on Tahrir neighborhood, as well as different parts in the
left side of Mosul".
source, who asked anonymity, added, “The leaflets called the citizens to be
prepared for the expulsion of ISIL terrorist members.”
(FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces, in the course of their special
operation to liberate Palmyra city, won control over a key hill in the Eastern
countryside of Homs province.
Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) continued pounding the ISIL
positions near the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in Homs province, and
stablished full control over Syriatel hill near Palmyra Castle," an army
reports from Homs province said terrorists have sustained heavy casualties in
the Syrian army and popular forces' continued and large-scale operations
against the ISIL's concentration centers on Friday.
Syrian army soldiers and their allies have kept on marching on militant-held
regions in Eastern Homs province in recent days to capture the strategic city
of Palmyra which has been under the control of the ISIL since May 2015.
pro-government forces imposed full control over the Western slopes of Jabal
(Mount) Al-Tar after a violent battle with the ISIL terrorists near Palmyra on
to a military source in Homs province, the Syrian Army forces and Hezbollah
fighters broke ISIL’s defense lines on the Western slopes of Jabal al-Tar,
forcing them to retreat to the Eastern parts of the strategic mountain-top,
West of Palmyra. In addition to the liberation of the Western slopes of Jabal
Al-Tar, the Syrian Army and Hezbollah also captured a fuel station in the
Southwestern suburbs of Palmyra.
Syrian army troops launched a night raid on the Western outskirts of Palmyra,
targeting an ISIL strategic position in the area, a battlefield source said.
Syrian Army and Hezbollah started operation to capture Semiramis Hotel in
Palmyra Suburb which is now an ISIL base," a source said.
to the well-known Qatari Royal Villa, the Semiramis Hotel has been turned into
a fortified military installation by ISIL, it is also used as the Takfiri
terrorist group’s barracks.
Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah succeed in liberating the Semiramis Hotel
from the ISIL terrorists, they will be in a position to enter Palmyra for the
first time since their large-scale retreat from this ancient city on May last
the Syrian Armed Forces focus on the Semiramis Hotel, the Russian Air Force is
pounding ISIL’s supply route between the city and the nearby town of
Russian Air Force carried out more than two dozen airstrikes and the number is
likely to skyrocket in the coming hours as the battle to liberate Palmyra
Takfiri terrorists of ISIL have blown up several ancient columns, temples and
tower tombs in Palmyra in Syria.
of the UN cultural watchdog has branded the destruction by ISIL terrorists of
ancient temple in Palmyra ruins as a "war crime".
destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and
for humanity," UNESCO Chief Irina Bokova said in a statement, adding that
the "perpetrators must be accountable for their actions".
art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several
civilizations, is a symbol of the complexity and wealth of the Syrian identity
and history," she said.
(ISIL) is killing people and destroying sites, but cannot silence history and
will ultimately fail to erase this great culture from the memory of the
world," she added.
of Al-Assad remains a sticking point in talks between Russia and US
Syrian troops on Thursday entered the ancient city of Palmyra and Iraqi forces
launched an offensive against Mosul as pressure mounted on key strongholds of
the Daesh, the so-called Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant (Isil), group.
Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, held talks with Russia's President
Vladimir Putin and agreed to push for a political settlement in the war-torn
country, but the future of its Moscow-allied leader Bashar al-Assad remains a
Assad agrees to step down, there are concerns that the Syrian opposition could
drop out of peace talks in Geneva, which UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said he
was aiming to restart on April 9.
by Russian warplanes and allied militia on the ground, the Syrian army advanced
into Palmyra after launching a desert offensive early this month, said the
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
defence ministry in Moscow said Russian aircraft carried out 146 strikes on
"terrorist targets" in the Palmyra area between Sunday and Wednesday,
killing 320 "terrorists" and destroying six command posts and two
overran Palmyra - known as the "Pearl of the Desert" - last May and
it has since blown up UNESCO-listed temples and looted relics that dated back
thousands of years.
forces have entered the Hayy al-Gharf neighbourhood in the southwest of
Palmyra. They are advancing very slowly because of mines planted by
Daesh," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said, adding troops were
also advancing from the north.
is nearly over'
recapture would be a major strategic and symbolic victory for Assad, since
whoever holds it also controls the vast desert extending from central Syria to
the Iraqi border.
military source said the army had entered Palmyra from the northwest after
seizing control of part of the historic Valley of the Tombs.
earlier urged civilians to flee the city, where about 15,000 of its 70,000
original residents remained after the jihadist takeover.
antiquities chief Maamoun Abdelkarim hailed the "imminent" recapture
of Palmyra, vowing to rebuild monuments the jihadists destroyed.
am so happy that the liberation is imminent... before the total destruction of
the ancient city," he said.
chief Irinia Bokova welcomed the push to recapture Palmyra.
one year, Palmyra has been a symbol of the cultural cleansing plaguing the
Middle East," Bokova said.
the border, Iraqi forces announced the start of an offensive to retake the
second city of Mosul, Daesh's main hub in Iraq.
and the Popular Mobilisation paramilitary force "have begun the first
phase of conquest operations" in the northern province of Nineveh, of
which Mosul is the capital, Iraq's joint operations command said.
four villages had been taken between the town of Qayyarah, which is held by IS,
and Makhmur, where US-backed Iraqi forces have been massing.
have warned any battle to retake Mosul would be difficult, given the
significant number of jihadists and civilians in the city and the time IS has
had to prepare defences.
talks with Putin
US-Russia talks in Moscow, some consensus appeared to be achieved over a
framework and timeline for a political transition.
agreed on a target schedule for establishing a framework for a political
transition and also a draft constitution, and the target is August," Kerry
said at a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after the
told journalists that Moscow and Washington would now step up efforts to get
the Syrian regime and opposition to hold "direct talks" in Geneva,
where a round of negotiations that saw a United Nations mediator shuttle
between the delegations concluded on Thursday.
Kerry appeared to back away from comments made before the meeting that
suggested he would sound out the Russian leader about pressuring his ally Assad
to step aside.
will have to speak for itself as what it's going to choose to do in order to
help Mr Assad make the right decisions," he said.
main opposition said the Geneva talks "laid the basis" for
substantive negotiations next month, but warned any real progress depended on
Russia pressuring the Assad government.
is a unique moment, a precious moment and we hope Russia will seize this moment
and use its leverage," High Negotiations Committee spokeswoman Bassma
future has been a key obstacle in the latest talks, with the government
insisting any discussion of him leaving is "excluded" and the
opposition saying any talk of allowing him to stay is "absolutely
(FNA)- Iran and Russia underlined the need for sustainable ceasefire in Syria
as well as the significance of intra-Syrian dialogue to end the foreign-backed
war on the Arab country.
telephone conversation on Thursday, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and
African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Russian President Vladimir Putin's
Special Envoy for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov discussed the
latest developments in the region, including the ongoing wars on Syria and
officials highlighted unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and
called for serious campaign against terrorism and extremism throughout the region
diplomats also highlighted the role of the Syrian people in determining their
own future and condemned any foreign interference in Syria’s internal affairs.
also praised efforts by United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de
Mistura to help end the war in the country.
their telephone conversation, the Iranian and Russian deputy foreign ministers
also expressed hope for ceasefire in Yemen as well as delivery of humanitarian
aid to the people in the besieged country.
warned against the growing threat of terrorism in Yemen and underlined the
significance of intra-Yemeni talks too.
Saudi-led coalition has been striking Yemen for one year now, leaving thousands
of innocent people dead, injured and displaced.
International has urged Washington and London to halt arms deliveries to Saudi
Arabia, which is leading a brutal war on Yemen.
Arabia's international partners have added fuel to the fire, flooding the
region with arms despite the mounting evidence that such weaponry has
facilitated appalling crimes and the clear risk that new supplies could be used
for serious violations," said James Lynch, Amnesty International's
regional deputy director.
said that Washington and London, the largest arms suppliers to Saudi Arabia,
"have continued to allow transfers of the type of arms that have been used
to commit and facilitate serious abuses, generating a humanitarian crisis on an
group said it has documented since the beginning of the conflict at least 32
air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition "that appear to have violated
international humanitarian law".
strikes had killed "almost 361 civilians, including at least 127
children", it said.
also accused the coalition of having "repeatedly used cluster munitions,
inherently indiscriminate weapons whose use is prohibited, in attacks that have
killed and maimed civilians."
Security Council Resolution 2216, adopted in April last year, imposed an arms
embargo only on the Yemeni army and Popular Committees that are resisting the
February 25, the European Parliament called for an EU-wide arms embargo against
Saudi Arabia, Amnesty said.
the absence of a Security Council embargo, Amnesty International is calling on
all states to ensure that no party to the conflict in Yemen is supplied -
either directly or indirectly - with weapons, munitions, military equipment or
technology that would be used in the conflict."
World Health Organization says Saudi war on Yemen has killed almost 6,300
people since March 2015, and the United Nations has warned of an unfolding
Muslim Yogi spread out goodness of Ayurveda and Yoga in Pakistan
Rana Mar 25, 2016
Fifty five years old Muhammad Wajahat Ali Khan Afridi has broken the self
raised barriers that discriminate people on the basis of their religion to
spread healthy way of living in a society where preaching on Ayurveda and Yoga
is predominantly considered a way of practicing Hinduism.
overcoming all hurdles, he has been successful and eventually famed himself as
Yogi Wajahat who treats ailments using Himalaya's jari booti's, teach Yoga and
draws inspiration on visiting and paying obeisance at Hindu temples.
Mechanical Engineer by profession Wajahat was so much inspired by Ayurveda and
Yoga that he chose to become a certified Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic
practitioner- usually considered an aberration and religiously sin in a
fundamental Islamic society.
whose father Basharat Ali Khan and mother Shakira Bashrat were born in Toondla,
near Agra and Firozabad in India respectively told TOI that religion had
nothing to do with practising Yoga and Ayurveda as both were incomplete without
religious edicts or fundamental dogma's had no bearing on them since Yoga and
Ayurveda were more of spirituality and health and having proven scientific
of three, Wajahat often visits temples with his wife Samreen who, he says, is
comfortable with his work and other similar activities.
have studied various religious books including Geeta, Ramayana, Veda, Bible and
Quran" he said adding that Pakistan was his mother land where he lived but
he belonged to Asian subcontinent. "I belong to Asian subcontinent by
birth so I love my values costumes and history which is common in the
subcontinent" he said.
he was attracted to Yoga in childhood and even while studying in seventh
standard he used to read books on Yoga and also columns in newspapers. "I
gathered knowledge on Yoga as well as on different herbs from here and there
before undergoing a certified course and now I not only take Yoga classes but
also owns a Yogi Wajahat Ayurvedic Company "he said.
a society which is not receptive about yoga it's not easy to present shows on
TV or take classes but with the support of my family and friends I am able to
do" said he adding that he had been receiving threats from some
fundamental religious groups.
after nearly fourteen years of relentless work and braving odds, I have many
Muslim leaders and religious preachers as my disciples including?
famous Islamic preacher and public speaker Maulana Tariq Jameel? And it is an
honor for me to have Maulana Sahib as my student" he said.
his company manufactures and other Ayurvedic medicines which have substantial
market in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan. "People are now opening up,
they are more concerned about the health benefits of Ayurveda and have no
inhibition to them" he said.
thousands of people were coming for and learn Yoga for their immense .
Wazahat aspires to visit India and share stage with prominent Yogi's, Swami's
and Ayurvedic practitioners.
Indian priest 'kidnapped by IS' may be crucified on Good Friday
are growing for an Indian priest believed to have been kidnapped by Isis after
rumours circulated online suggesting he may be crucified on Good Friday.
Uzhunnalil is believed to have been taken from a retirement home in Yemen
during an attack by Islamic extremists on 4 March.
group shot 16 people - including four nuns - during the incident at the home in
Aden, which is run by missionaries, the International Business Times India
has not been heard from since, but the Franciscan Sisters of Siessen posted a
message on their Facebook page on Sunday claiming they had been informed of his
torture, and said they believed he will be crucified on Good Friday. "This
calls for serious concerted prayers from all of us," the Sisters said.
video: 'New Jihadi John' suspect Siddhartha Dhar is a 'former bouncy castle
salesman from east London'
a member of Bangalore's Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, Bangalore, of which
Father Uzhunnalil was previously a part, told the International Business Times
India: "There is no information about the whereabouts of Father Tom. We
are only praying for him."
has claimed responsibility for the attack, and officials in Yemen are said to
have blamed Isis, although al-Qaeda are also present in the area.
launches smartphone app that broadcasts beheadings
handwritten account of the incident from a nun who was at the home at the time,
published on Christian website Aleteian, claims five young Ethiopian Christian
men ran to the sisters to tell them Isis were coming to kill them.
describes the brutal killing of many people at the home, and also appears to
confirm Father Uzhannalil's kidnap.
neighbour saw them put Father Tom in their car. They did not find a trace of
Father anywhere," it said.
ALI,Mar 25, 2016
A suspected militant, who was educated enough to get a job in a multinational
company, has been taken into custody for his alleged involvement in the Safoora
Goth bus carnage and rights activist Sabeen Mahmud murder cases, sources said
said that an intelligence agency arrested Ali Rehman alias Toona, an engineer
by profession and an accomplice of Saad Aziz, the prime suspect in the two
cases, in a raid in Punjab, where he had been hiding after the May 2015 Safoora
declared him an absconder in the charge-sheet in both the Safoora carnage and
Sabeen Mahmud murder cases and an antiterrorism court had also issued his
non-bailable arrest warrants.
name first emerged after the Sindh police’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD)
detected the group responsible for the Safoora carnage and arrested several
suspects in Karachi. CTD official Raja Umer Khattab had told a press conference
that the group was ‘inspired’ by the ideology of the militant Islamic State
to the sources, suspect Rehman came in contact with Saad Aziz, a business
graduate from the prestigious Institute of Business Administration, when the
latter started working in the same multinational firm, Unilever Pakistan, where
he was working as an engineer. Soon they became close friends.
Unilever Pakistan spokesperson could not be reached despite several attempts.
along with suspect Aziz did a recee to target rights activist Mahmud. They
attended one of the programmes organised at Sabeen Mahmud’s The Second Floor
(T2F) cafe and could be seen in a photograph taken on the occasion.
Rehman was directly involved in the killing of Sabeen Mahmud,” said a security
official, who wished not to be named.
Mahmud was shot dead near the Defence Library when she along with her mother
was returning home in her car after organising a seminar about the Balochistan
issue in April 2015.
her driver, an eyewitness to the killing, was also gunned down in the
his involvement in the Safoora carnage, the sources said that although he did
not take part in the massacre he was among the group of militants that planned
and carry out the attack.
among several suspects who reached the spot on their motorbikes. Rehman did not
enter the bus to carry out the shooting, a source said, adding that after accomplishing
their mission he along with the killers escaped on their motorbikes.
45 Shia Ismaili community members, including 18 women, were killed and eight
others sustained wounds in an armed attack on their bus near Safoora Goth on
May 13, 2015.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah announced the arrest of four suspected
militants — Saad Aziz, Hafiz Nasir, Mohammad Azhar and Tahir Minhas — and
claimed that Saad Aziz masterminded the Safoora attack as well as the killing
of Sabeen Mahmud.
cases have been transferred from antiterrorism courts to a military court and
the suspects are also in the custody of army authorities.
in London, Geneva hatching conspiracies against Pakistan: GOC Southern Command
A day after security forces claimed the arrest of a suspected Research and
Analysis Wing (RAW) agent in Balochistan, Commander Southern Command Lt Gen
Aamer Riaz accused elements sitting in London and Geneva of 'hatching
conspiracies against the stability of Pakistan'.
at a Youm-i-Shuhada event on Friday, Commander Southern Command said the RAW
agent had contact with separatist elements in Balochistan and was involved in a
number of terrorist and subversive activities in the province.
enemies do not want development and prosperity in Balochistan," said Lt
Gen Aamer Riaz.
further said that the people of the country need to understand the dangers
faced by Pakistan.
geographical and ideological borders of Pakistan are being threatened,"
believed to be a serving officer in the Indian Navy and a member of the Indian
intelligence agency RAW was arrested during a raid in Balochistan on Thursday.
was linked to separatist elements in Balochistan, and was involved in acts of
sectarian terrorism and terror attacks in Karachi, a security official had
said, adding that the RAW officer had been shifted to Islamabad for
today, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry lodged a strong protest with Indian
High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale over 'India's spying activities' in
Balochistan and Karachi, making it clear that this was unacceptable, Foreign Office
Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti on Thursday confirmed the arrest of the
suspected Indian spy from the southern part of the province.
arrest has proved Indian involvement in Balochistan", he said, adding that
the spy was sponsoring terrorist and subversive activities in Balochistan.
had last year claimed RAW and Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security
(NDS) are funding and training Baloch Republican Army (BRA) militants.
this month, Indian newspaper reported that Assistant to the Prime Minister on
Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, after a meeting with India's Minister of External
Affairs Sushma Swaraj, had said an investigation team from Pakistan would visit
India to probe the Pathankot air base attack on March 27.
arrest of the suspected RAW officer comes just days before a possible meeting
between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the
Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.
Hindu quoted sources saying foreign secretaries of both countries, whose
meeting to restart the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) in January was
derailed by the Pathankot attack, are also due to meet in Washington.
beginning of March, Aziz had said that foreign-secretary levels talks would
resume after the probe team's visit.
and India had agreed to resume peace talks under the newly-coined phrase of CBD
during Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia Conference last year.
dialogue was to take on matters related to peace and security, Jammu and
Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage, Tulbul Navigation Project,
economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control and
humanitarian issues, people to people exchanges and religious tourism.
Qaumi Movement’s leadership tried to hire services of a go-between to arrange
negotiations with the former chief of Inter-Services Intelligence Gen (R)
Zaheerul Islam in 2013. A huge sum of
money was also allegedly paid to the intermediary for the task.
MQM’s dissident and leader of the fledgling Pak Sar Zameen party, Mustafa
Kamal, came up with this disclosure at a rally in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Hussain plays politics on grievances of masses: Mustafa Kamal
I speak the truth?” he asked the cheering few thousand supporters who turned up
at the inaugural event of a PSP’s office in Latifabad Unit 6. “But we don’t
have to give a full dose; instead, we will go for a slower one so that they may
hung on, the crowd shouted the name of the religious scholar and former MQM
leader Aamir Liaquat Hussain. Kamal, however, chose to avoid naming anyone.
are doing propaganda on TV talk shows that we are brought here [in Pakistan] by
the establishment,” he said, adding that he wanted to expose the accusers by
exposing their own links.
leader also announced holding of a public meeting in Bagh-i-Jinnah in Karachi
on April 25 and urged Hyderabad’s supporters to flood the venue with their
Kamal names new political movement ‘Pak Sarzameen Party’
[Kamal and Anees Qaimkhani] came back to Pakistan with the intention of
atonement. But God perhaps wants to put some more responsibilities on our
shoulders and through you God wants to change the future for your generations,”
said Kamal. He asserted that the PSP will achieve the objectives in 25 weeks.
“We don’t have 25 years or even two and a half years to clear the mess.”
accompanied by Anees Qaimkhani, Raza Haroon, Waseem Aftab and Anees advocate.
hours before his arrival, a small group of women, reportedly belonging to the
MQM, shouted slogans against Kamal near the PSP’s office. But they left the
area soon as the PSP supporters shouted back with their ‘Pakistan zindabad’
to Kamal’s visit
Hyderabad chapter organised rallies, which gathered outside the press club, to
express solidarity with the party chief on Thursday.
Mustafa Kamal turn his back on MQM?
people whom Quaid gave respect have forgotten their position,” said Rabita
Committee member Iqbal Muqadam. “The flood of MQM’s supporters is with the
MQM leader, Abdul Haseeb, alleged that Kamal and other dissidents have sold out
Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani on Friday arrived in Islamabad on a two-day
official visit to Pakistan.
arrival he was accorded a warm welcome by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Iranian President will hold talks with both President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday.
Mamnoon Hussain will host a luncheon in his honour at President House.
President is also scheduled to speak at a gathering of Pakistan's prominent
scholars and intellectuals on Saturday.
Hassan Rouhani will also address a press conference before conclusion of his
Iranian leader is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif. The visit is particularly significant in the wake of the lifting of
sanctions on Iran that has opened new avenues for enhancing trade and commerce
cooperation between the two countries.
will be Dr Rouhani’s first visit to Pakistan as the president of Iran. He will
be accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising ministers, senior
officials and businessmen.
Mar 25, 2016
Pakistan today summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to lodge its
protest over "subversive activities" of an alleged RAW officer, a day
after Pakistani security forces claimed to have arrested him.
Indian High Commissioner was summoned by the Foreign Secretary today and
through a demarche conveyed our protest and deep concern on the illegal entry
into Pakistan by a RAW officer and his involvement in subversive activities in
Balochistan and Karachi," the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.
Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti yesterday identified the "official"
as Kul Yadav Bhushan who he alleged was a commander-ranking officer in the
Indian Navy and was working for Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
claimed that Bhushan was in contact with Baloch separatists and terrorists
fuelling sectarian violence in Balochistan.
Minister, however, did not disclose the exact location of where he was
sources said that Bhushan was arrested from Chaman area of Balochistan, which
is close to the Afghanistan border.
had accused India of stoking violence in Balochistan and Karachi in the past but
it is for the first time that it has claimed arresting a RAW officer.
has dismissed all such allegations.
DELHI: Pakistani-American terrorist-turned-approver David Headley said on
Friday that a few weeks after his father died in Pakistan in December 2008, the
then Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani visited his house.
former member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror outfit was deposing before a
Mumbai court on Friday from an undisclosed location in the US. This is his
second set of depositions.
who was involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, added that his father had retired
as director general of Radio Pakistan and
to his association with LeT, the Pakistan-based terrorist outfit.
said that he's hated India since he was a child because Indian planes bombed
his school in December 1971. He was referring to the war between India and
Pakistan in 1971.
this week, Headley also said that LeT had planned to kill Shiv Sena chief Bal
Thackeray in Mumbai, but the plan failed.
Friday, Headley said he was trying to organise a fundraiser for the Shiv Sena
in the US, although there wasn't a plan to attack Thackeray on American soil.
addition, Headley said he didn't mention that Ishrat Jahan was a Lashkar member
during associate Tahawwur Rena's US trial, because he was "not giving any
speech that he should have mentioned Ishrat's name" then.
had said last month in an earlier deposition that Ishrat was a suicide bomber
for the LeT. In June 2004, Mumbai resident Ishrat and three other men were shot
dead on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, allegedly in an encounter with the police.
didn't ask me about Ishrat so I didn't tell them about it," he said,
adding that "he was just "replying to their questions in that
there being a women's cell of the LeT, like he said last month, Headley said
today that during Rana's trial he didn't know about such a cell.
top security board has concluded that the motives of recent terrorist attacks
in Ankara, Istanbul and Brussels were all similar, though carried out with
different methods. The National Security Council (MGK), made u the country’s
top civilian leaders and military brass, also urged the international community
not to regard terrorism as a legitimate “fight for freedom and rights.”
of vital importance that the international community agrees that terrorism is
not a struggle for freedom and rights in order to jointly cooperate against it.
The attacks in Ankara, Istanbul and Brussels had different aims but similar
methodologies and show that terrorism is a threat to all – regardless of
religion, language and state,” the MGK stated in its bi-monthly meeting late
scores of people were killed and wounded in these terror attacks carried out by
the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the outlawed Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK), the MGK said Turkey called on European countries to
jointly address the terror problem “without distinguishing between terrorist
vowed Turkey’s commitment to continue its struggle against terrorism until all
terror groups are defeated, adding that additional security measures to be
taken were discussed at the meeting.
indirect reference to the Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is linked
to the PKK in Turkey, the statement said Turkey will not accept any move that
takes such terrorist organizations into consideration as part of ongoing Syria
also discussed the recent deal between Ankara and Brussels aiming to stem the
flow of refugees from Turkish territories to Greek islands, welcoming NATO’s
support for efforts to stop human smuggling in the Aegean Sea.
zone still needed
council also discussed developments inside Syria, again stressing Turkey’s
demand for a safe zone across the border and saying “the U.N. and the
international community should take more responsibility for the stabilization
of the region.”
insistent proposals for the implementation of safe zone and no-fly zone have
been proven right and important, as a result of recent developments,” it
also reportedly evaluated the Iraqi army’s planned operation to liberate Mosul
from ISIL, as well as ISIL’s use of chemical weapons against Turkmens inside
to stop ISIL attack rocks Belgium
from Turkey that it had informed Belgium that at least one of the bombers in
the March 22 Brussels attack was a jihadist fighter have rocked the Western
European country after authorities failed to prevent the deadly assault.
Interior Minister Jan Jambon and Justice Minister Koen Geens offered their resignations
over the Brussels attacks, but they were rejected by Prime Minister Charles
Michel, Belgian media reported March 24.
authorities are facing embarrassment after Turkey said on March 23 that last
year Ankara deported back to Europe Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the suicide
bombers who carried out the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacks
on March 22, and warned Belgium he was a militant.
informed the Brussels embassy of the deportation process of the attacker with a
note on July 14, 2015. However, the Belgians released the attacker despite his
deportation,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said March 23, adding that
one of the perpetrators of the Brussels attack had been detained by Turkish
authorities in June 2015 in the southeastern province of Gaziantep and
after Erdoğan’s remarks, Geens said he was aware one of the Brussels attackers
had been sent to the Netherlands from Turkey, but denied that he had been
flagged as a possible terrorist.
attacks at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport and Maalbeek Metro Station in Brussels on
March 22 killed at least 31 people and wounded 270 others.
El Bakraoui is one of two brothers, along with Khalid El Bakraoui, named by
Belgium as responsible for the attacks in Brussels. Both brothers are believed
to have died in the attacks.
two Turkish officials speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters that one
of the attackers in the suicide bombings was deported from Turkey not only once
but twice last year and that authorities warned their European counterparts
that they suspected him of being a militant fighter.
first official said Ibrahim El Bakraoui’s initial deportation in July 2015 had
been based on police suspicions that he was a militant fighter, but no crime
was committed in Turkey, describing his expulsion as an “administrative
police were looking at him and came to the conclusion that he may be a foreign
fighter. He was picked up in [the southeastern city of] Gaziantep,” said the
official, declining to be named because of the sensitivities of the case.
second Turkish government official told Reuters that El Bakraoui had entered
Turkey for a second time on Aug. 11, 2015, through the Antalya airport on the
Mediterranean coast and was again deported two weeks later, on Aug. 25, 2015.
official did not specify where he was deported to on the second occasion.
prosecutors have said at least four people were involved in the attacks,
including the El Bakraoui brothers. European security officials identified
another suicide bomber as Najim Laachraoui, a suspected bombmaker for the Paris
have said another suspected participant in the airport attack is at large, a
man in a hat seen in surveillance images who has not been publicly identified.
state broadcaster RTBF and France’s Le Monde and BFM television reported March
24 that a fifth attacker may also be at large: a man filmed by surveillance
cameras in the Brussels metro on March 22 carrying a large bag alongside Khalid
El Bakraoui. RTBF said it is not clear whether that man was killed in the
chief suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was summoned to court in
Brussels in the morning of March 24 after his arrest last week in the Belgian
capital. His lawyer, who had initially vowed to fight extradition, said
Abdeslam now wants to be sent to France as soon as possible.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on March 23 that he was hopeful that
upcoming negotiations between Israel and Turkey “will produce positive results”
and enable the renewal of relations between the two countries.
always wanted correct relations with Turkey and it wasn’t us who changed the
direction of the relations,” Israeli daily Haaretz quoted Netanyahu as telling
a press conference. “If possible, we would like to normalize the ties.”
spoke several hours after President Reuven Rivlin held a telephone conversation
with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, during which the former thanked
the latter for the repatriation of the three Israeli citizens who died in an
attack on Istanbul’s busy İstiklal Avenue.
relationship between Turkey and Israel was severely strained after the
Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara vessel was raided by Israeli commandos in 2010, killing
nine Turkish and one Turkish-American citizen on board.
countries have stepped up efforts in recent months to restore the relationship
between the two countries, for which efforts at the undersecretary-level have
from the two countries are due to resume negotiations in early April.
Israeli citizens, identified as 60-year-old Simha Simon Demri, 40-year-old
Yonathan Suher and 70-year-old Avaham Godman, along with an Iranian,
31-year-old Ali Rıza Khalman, were killed in a suicide bomb attack on March 19.
Turkish police identified the perpetrator as 24-year-old Mehmet Öztürk, who had
links with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, came to Turkey on
March 20 to hold talks with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu
and Istanbul Gov. Vasip Şahin about the terrorist attack.
his visit, Gold thanked the Turkish government for its efforts in the aftermath
of the Istanbul attack and underlined the need for an alliance in the fight
the press conference, Netanyahu drew a comparison between the ISIL terror
attacks in Istanbul and Brussels and Palestinian attacks in Israel.
stated that he had told Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and European
Union Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini that terror must be denounced and
fought wherever it occurs, and that terrorists must be deprived of hope.
citizen detained in Turkish capital for being ISIL member
police has detained a U.K. citizen for being a member of the Islamic State of
Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has recently attacked a major thoroughfare of
suspect, identified as M.A. by police sources, was captured at a hotel in the
Altındağ district of the Turkish capital on March 25.
suspect was later taken to the migration directorate for deportation.
tourists were killed and more than 30 locals and tourists were injured in a
suicide bomb attack on March 19 on the busy İstiklal Avenue in Istanbul’s
17, 29 people died in another suicide bombing in central Ankara, carried out by
a splinter group of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
suicide attack killed 11 people – all German tourists – in the Sultanahmet
Square, the heart of touristic part of Istanbul, on Jan. 12.
October 2015, ISIL killed more than 100 people in a suicide bombing during a
peace rally in Ankara.
militant killed 33 young civilian activists on July 20, 2015, at the cultural
center in the southeastern district of Suruç
suspects arrested in the case against the Turkish branch of the Islamic State
of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were released on March 24, meaning that all 94
suspects in the case are now on trial without arrest.
Istanbul 13th Court of Serious Crimes released Halis Bayancuk, Cemil Aslan,
Enes Yelgün, Erdal Yaşar, Mehmet Karlı, and Syrian nationals Muhammed Mustafa
Halli and Asaad Khelifalkhadr, who had been arrested for being ISIL members.
and Khelifalkhadr gave their testimonies with the help of an interpreter and
denied the charges that they escorted two French-national women from Istanbul
to the southeastern province of Gaziantep and then over to Syria to join ISIL.
“As I am
in the tourism business, we sometimes escort foreigners upon their demand. But
I have not sent anyone to ISIL. I do not support ISIL, or its ideas,” said
Khelifalkhadr, who admitted entering Turkey illegally.
said he entered Turkey illegally to flee the conflict in Syria, first arriving
in Gaziantep before continuing on to Istanbul, where he runs a teahouse. He
also denied charges that he sent anyone to Syria to join ISIL.
the previously released suspects of the case, Gökhan Bulut, took part in the
trial through the voice and video informatics system (SEGBİS). He said in his
testimony that he had found the bombs for which he was arrested in a car he had
rented, and denied that they belonged to him.
(FNA)- Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians over an alleged stabbing
attack in the occupied West Bank.
military claimed that the youths stabbed an Israeli soldier in al-Khalil
(Hebron) on Thursday, presstv reported.
soldier was transferred to a hospital in al-Quds (Jerusalem) with stab wounds
in the shoulder and hand.
soldiers, however, prevented medics and ambulances from taking care of the
wounded Palestinian youths before they passed away, a Palestinian television
soldiers killed another Palestinian youth last week near the Abu al-Arish
checkpoint in al-Khalil.
was identified as 17-year-old Abdullah Muhammad al-Ajlouni. Witnesses said the
young man was “showered” with bullets at the checkpoint near the illegal
Israeli Kiryat Arba settlement.
the largest West Bank city, has witnessed escalated tensions between some
200,000 Palestinians and several hundred Israelis living in illegal settlements
under heavy military guard.
have heightened in the occupied territories since August 2015, when Israel
imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa
Mosque compound in East al-Quds.
Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and
Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.
208 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the
hands of Israeli forces since the beginning of last October.
(FNA)- The United Nations Human Rights Council will vote Thursday on adopting a
resolution that would establish a database for businesses and enterprises with
financial dealings and involvement in illegal Israeli settlements in the
Palestinian occupied West Bank and the Syrian occupied Golan territories.
to the published agenda, UN body will vote on four resolutions concerning the
Israeli settlements, Telesur reported.
concerning the businesses database has angered several European Union countries
which, according to the outlet, will either vote against it or abstain.
resolution notes that “the settlement enterprise and the impunity associated
with its persistence, expansion and related violence continue to be a root
cause of many violations of the Palestinians’ human rights, and constitute the
main factors perpetuating Israel’s belligerent occupation of the Palestinian
Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 1967,” the Middle East Monitor said
in a report.
Israeli businesses are labelling products from the illegal settlements as made
in Israel and therefore have “directly and indirectly, enabled, facilitated and
profited from the construction and growth of the Israeli settlements in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the resolution warned.
individuals, associations and charities in third States” are “involved in
providing funding to Israeli settlements and settlement-based entities,
contributing to the maintenance and expansion of settlements," the
database would serve as a way for foreign states to “provide guidance to
individuals and businesses on the financial, reputational and legal risks,
including the possibility of liability for corporate involvement in gross human
rights abuses as well as the abuses of the rights of individuals, of becoming
involved in settlement-related activities."
Middle East Monitor said the resolution comes as a follow up to an earlier
fact-finding mission, which investigated “the implications of the Israeli
settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of
the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including
by the database, the United Kingdom, the EU and other Western countries have
been applying pressure on Palestinian officials to remove the paragraph
establishing the database of businesses involved in settlement activities.
500,000 Israelis have settled in the West Bank and East Jerusalem among 2.4
million Palestinians, according to recent estimates. The International
community, including the EU and the United States, consider Israeli settlements
illegal and in violation of international law.
former Afghan Intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief
Rahmatullah Nabil has warned regarding ongoing attempts to create ethnic
divisions among the Afghan people.Nabil issued an online statement amid
intensifying tensions among the supporters of top political figures, General
Abdul Rashid Dostum and Ata Mohammad Noor.
Abdul Rashid Dostum is the First Vice President and head of Junbish-e-Milli
party while Noor is the acting provincial governor and chief of Jamiat-e-Islami
supporters of the two political figures staged protests which turned violent
yesterday in northern Faryab province, leaving one dead and five others
protests were staged following the removal of Gen. Dostum’s pictures from
Mazar-e-Sharif city, an act that sparked anger among his supporters.
Nabil warned that attempts are being made to further destabilize the country by
creating ethnic divisions among the Afghan people.
former NDS chief said the Afghan intelligence operatives obtained a classified
report which was prepared for Pakistan’s military intelligence – Inter Services
Intelligence (ISI) shortly after the presidential elections in 2014.
further added that the report was prepared in English which stated that the
project to create ethnic divisions among the Afghan people is successfully
being implemented and reports regarding the developments will be provided on
not the first time the Afghan officials have slammed Pakistan’s ISI for
interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and supporting the
anti-government armed militants.
Afghan officials have long criticized Pakistan for harboring the anti-government
armed militants who are staging attacks against the Afghan government and
March 24 (IANS) As elsewhere in the world, Bangladesh Hindu community also
celebrated Holi, the festival of colors, fun and frolic, on Wednesday with
festival has brought more Hindus to the temples in old parts of the capital Dhaka
than on any other normal day of the year, Xinhua reported.
Hindus observe Holi though Durga Puja, the ceremonial worship of the mother
goddess, is one of their main important festivals.
at Dhaka University on Tuesday morning were seen getting drenched in colour,
singing and dancing together.
it is mainly a Hindu festival, some Muslims were also seen joining their Hindu
friends celebrating Holi. Hindus believe that Holi brings a message of unity
and friendship and bridges the communal divide.
in latest Taliban infighting in Herat province
five militants were killed in the latest infighting among the Taliban militants
in western Herat province of Afghanistan.
to the local government officials, the clash between Mullah Mohammad Rasool and
Mullah Akhtar Mansoor took place Ghorian district.
officials further added that the militants killed during the infighting have
been taken to Shindand district of Herat province.
supporters of Mullah Rasool and Mullah Mansoor engaged in a week long
infighting in Shindand district earlier this month.
to the local officials, at least 200 militants were killed during the clashes
and scores of others were wounded.
officials also added that the Taliban militants belonging to the two sides also
committed war crimes, including summary executions, beheadings and attacks on
Rasool is an arch rival to the self-declared Taliban supreme leader Mullah
Mansoor who oppose with the leadership of Mansoor as successor of Mullah Omar.
a prominent Taliban commander, Mullah Ghafoor Tufan, has declared jihad against
the militants loyal to Mullah Mansoor in the northwestern Badghis province of
Taliban leader accused Mansoor of working for Pakistan’s Inter Service
Intelligence (ISI) and murdering several Taliban leaders.
local policeAt least 7 policemen serving with the Afghan Local Police (ALP)
forces were shot dead by their comrades in southern Kandahar province of
to the local government officials, the incident took place in the early hours
of Thursday morning, involving three ALP forces who were apparently having
links with the militants.
governor spokesman Samim Khpolwak confirmed the incident and said a
investigation team has been sent to the area to probe the killing the
not disclose further information regarding the incident which took place in
Arghandab district but a security official said 7 ALP men were killed in the
official further added that an ex-commander of the ALP forces were also among
the assailants who managed to flee the area following the attack.
Taliban militants group claimed responsibility behind the incident which takes
place nearly a month after 4 policemen were martyred in a similar attack.
attack involving members of the policemen took place earlier this month on a
highway between southern Uruzgan and Kandahar provinces.
province has been witnessing relative peace during the recent months, however
the anti-government armed militants have recently stepped up insurgency
activities in parts of this province.
Dostum supporters clashThe supporters of General Abdul Rashid Dostum and Ata
Mohammad Noor engaged in a clash today in northern Faryab province of
to the local officials, one person was killed and five others were wounded in
the incident, involving exchange of fire among the supporters of the two
prominent political figures.
police chief Syed Agha Andarabi confirmed that the victims of the incident were
rally participants who were marching in Maimana city.
comes as hundreds of supporters of Gen. Dostum staged protests in northern
Sar-e-Pul, Samangan, Faryab and Jawzjan provinces against the removal of the
Vice President’s pictures.
mass demonstrations followed a day after hundreds of supporters of Gen. Dostum
protested against the act in Mazar city where the pictures were removed and
torn by unidentified individuals.
the supporters of the acting provincial governor of Balkh province Ata Mohammad
Noor also took to the streets on Tuesday to protests in his support.
fears that the protests would trigger chaos and riots in the north, Noor issued
a statement on Monday immediately after the removal of Gen. Dostum’s pictures
spark furor among is supporters.
who is leading Jamiat-e-Islami party, warned regarding any provocative acts in
reaction to the removal of the picture and urged the people to refrain from
chaos and moves that lead to disorders in the city.
army officersA senior Afghan army general was killed in militants attack in
southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan late on Thursday evening, local
officials further added that the deceased general, General Khan Agha, was
serving as deputy commander of the 205th Atal Corps of the Afghan National
governor spokesman Samim Khpolwal confirmed the report and said Gen. Agha was
killed in an attack by two militants in Dand district.
another security official said the army general was killed after a group of
three militants attacked him as he arrived in his guesthouse.
official further added that Gen. Agha was initially injured in the attack and
succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital.
Agha is the second top army general killed in militants attack in southern
Afghanistan within the past two months.
senior commander of the Afghan National Army (ANA) Gen. Atamir Agah was
martyred in an explosion in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan earlier in
the month of February.
Atamir Agah was serving with the 3rd Brigade of 215 Maiwand Corps of the Afghan
National Army in the south.
intelligence operativesThe Afghan intelligence operatives rescued a child in
eastern Khost province of Afghanistan as the kidnappers were demanding a ransom
of $200,000 for his release.
National Directorate of Security (NDS) said a group of five kidnappers were
arrested in connection to the kidnapping of the child from the center of Khost
statement by NDS said the group was led by an individual who has been identified
as Sher Mohammad and were keeping the child in the captivity while demanding a
ransom of $200,000 for his release.
further added in its statement that the child was released during an operation
conducted in Lakan village and was handed over to his family.
for ransom cases still continue in parts of the country despite the Afghan
intelligence nabbed two MAFIA bosses involved in major kidnappings who were
later executed by the government.
top MAFIA leaders, Habib Istalif and Raees Khudaidad, were executed late in
2014 and early in 2015 after they were arrested by intelligence operatives.
operatives released a hostage during a similar operation conducted in central
Wardak province of Afghanistan late in the month of February.
operation was conducted as the kidnappers were demanding a huge ransom of $1
million from the family of the hostage, forcing the intelligence operatives to
intervene and secure his release.
Lumpur: Mar 24, 2016: In a landmark decision, a Malaysian court on Thursday
ruled that only Muslims can practise as lawyers in Sharia courts in the
multi-ethnic Muslim-majority country.
court decided on two questions of law in an appeal by the Federal Territories
Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) and Attorney-General’s Chamber against the
Court of Appeal’s decision to allow non-Muslim lawyers to practise Islamic
Appeal held that the rules for Sharia lawyers mandating that only Muslims can
be admitted as Sharia lawyers did not contravene the Federal Constitution
governing equality, liberty and right to form associations.
17, 2011, Victoria Jayaseele Martin, who has a Masters degree in Comparative
Law from the International Islamic University, lost her bid in the High Court
to challenge the assertion that a Sharia lawyer in Kuala Lumpur must be a
leadership un-Islamic, says Zairil
JAYA: PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang is practising “narrow sectarianism” in
calling for Muslims to unite against DAP, says Zairil Khir Johari of DAP.
who is MP for Bukit Bendera said Hadi’s increasingly narrow-minded world view
was “disconcerting”, and that the latter’s call for others to unite against DAP
showed his priorities as a Muslim leader were all wrong.
Muslims first unite against injustice, oppression, corruption and sectarianism
(assabiyah)? Is that not what is demanded by Islam?
practising narrow sectarianism in declaring DAP as enemies even though DAP has
nothing against Islam. In fact DAP supports Islamic principles such as justice,
freedom, equality and respect for human rights.
believe Islam is a force for good, and should not be abused by certain people
for political purposes,” he told FMT.
this week, Hadi urged Malaysian Muslims to unite against DAP and ensure the
party did not get a chance to govern the nation.
leader said DAP had no right to form the government as the Chinese only made up
30 per cent of the population compared to Muslims, who made up 60 per cent.
has bigger plans, more than just controlling companies, and a united Muslim
community can ensure the country is governed by the Malays,” Hadi had warned.
Muslims Condemn Christian Hostility To Islamic Banking
(AA): Uganda’s Muslim leaders have condemned the “ignorance” of church leaders
trying to block Islamic banking legislation in the majority-Christian nation.
this year, parliament amended a finance bill to introduce Islamic insurance.
However, church leaders led by Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, head of the
country’s Anglican church, has urged President Yoweri Museveni to reject the
parliament passed the Financial Amendments Bill 2015 on January 6, which among
other things provides the introduction of Islamic banking services in the
petition, written on January 16,made public late Thursday – they claimed the
introduction of Islamic banking “opens the door to the ultimate
operationalization of full-fledged sharia law” and raised the specter of
Islamic finance being used to fund terrorism.
should be remembered that the ultimate goal of jihad is to bring the whole
world under sharia law and one religion in a global government known as the
caliphate, which is what ISIS is trying to accomplish,” the church leaders’
petition claims, using an alternative acronym for Daesh.
petition was jointly signed by Archbishop of Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali,
Joshua Lwere, the Overseer General of National Fellowship of Born Again
Pentecostal Churches, Bishop Simon Peter Emiu, the chairman Evangelical
Churches of Uganda and Pastor Martson Daniel Maate, the Archbishop of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church in Uganda.
banking avoids paying interest, which is forbidden under Islam, and instead
offers returns to the lender.
criteria shows it’s a way for funding terrorism, this is a misconception of the
Holy Quran,” Huda Oleru, a Muslim lawmaker for the National Resistance
Movement, told Anadolu Agency.
added: “Muslims in Uganda have been using secular banks because they had no
option and this bill is a welcome move for those who do not want to pay
interest levied by secular banks.”
make up 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with Roman Catholic and Protestant
Christians accounting for around 84 percent.
to the church petition, Oleru said the Quran “urges Muslims to help orphans,
widows and the marginalized members of the society, that is the role of a
responsible Muslim, they need to be educated more.”
Mutumba, spokesman for the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, said the church
leaders were “just ignorant of the Quran, it has nothing to do with ISIS, Boko
Haram or any other group claiming to kill non-Muslims. Even countries in the
Western world are embracing Islamic banking.”
of Uganda is currently establishing a sharia advisory board to regulate and
supervise Islamic banking.
doesn’t mean having an automatic Muslim president,” Mutumba said. “We are the
minority. Islam was the first religion to be introduced in Uganda [and] we have
never forced anyone to convert to Islam.”
on the church leaders’ request for the president to send the bill back to
parliament so passages relating to Islamic banking can be removed, Oleru said:
“I will not support this amendment if it is returned to parliament.”
African satirist raises alarm over Kenyan journalist sackings
| BY DRAZEN JORGIC
Africa's best known satirists blames government pressure for journalist
sackings at Kenya's biggest newspaper group which threaten to reverse decades
of hard-won press freedoms.
continent where journalists are often jailed, the Daily Nation's decision to
end the contract of cartoonist Godfrey Mwampembwa after 23 years has made
Kenya's journalists wary that their prized media freedom is at risk.
black and white sketches, published under the pen name Gado, have won a
following around Africa for depicting politicians as greedy and corrupt hyenas,
vultures and pigs.
are a barometer of press freedom in any country," said Mwampembwa, a
Tanzanian cartoonist who has lived in Kenya for years.
that is under attack, you know you are in trouble," Mwampembwa, who is 46,
told Reuters in his office in downtown Nairobi this week.
of pressure on the press before the 2017 elections will cause unease in Kenya,
where politicians have been blamed for stoking ethnic tensions in the past.
Deadly ethnic violence erupted after the 2007 polls, prompting a new
constitution that protects media freedoms and outlaws hate speech.
said his removal, and the sacking of several other journalists, showed the
Daily Nation and its parent company Nation Media Group had "crumbled"
under pressure from President Uhuru Kenyatta's government after his relentless
needling of officials.
is a situation where an organization is capitulating to political and corporate
pressure," he said. "The gains that were made are being rolled back,
especially now that we are going into elections."
Media Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi denied this, saying Gado's contract had
reached a "natural end" and the government had never asked for a
journalist to be fired.
will never bow or succumb to pressure from government or any other
quarter," Mshindi said in a statement.
spokesman Manoah Esipisu called the allegations "absolute rubbish".
He said: "Even when we feel criticism is severely unjustified, we don't
think it is in our place to gag anyone."
he became president in 2013, Kenyatta sued the Nation Media Group over one of
group sacked senior editor Denis Galava in January after he wrote an editorial
criticising Kenyatta for poor performance. Since then, it has also fired the
Sunday Nation's investigations editor and the Sunday Nation news editor. Galava
has launched a lawsuit challenging his sacking. Others say they plan to.
said the government used its big advertising budget, spent via a centralized
body that purchases space, to influence Kenyan papers battling falling
one body is used to arm-twist newspapers," said the cartoonist, who is
suing NMG for wrongful contract termination.
has faced criticism beyond Kenya's borders. Last year he took a sabbatical from
work after Tanzania's government banned one of the group's titles that had
published a cartoon by Mwampembwa that lampooned then President Jakaya Kikwete.
weekly East African apologized for the drawing depicting Kikwete being fed
grapes by one of seven scantily-clad women, each representing what Mwampembwa
saw as weaknesses in the Tanzania's government, such as corruption and
the group agreed to his sabbatical, Mwampembwa said he was told his contract
was at an end when he tried to return.
travels to countries such as Zimbabwe and Ethiopia, where journalists face
regular censure, Mwampembwa said he found that aspiring reporters and satirists
look up to Kenya's media. He has been feted for co-founding XYZ, a popular
satirical TV puppet show.
admire that in Kenya you have this kind of leeway to lampoon presidents,"
he said. Losing that would resonate across Africa. "That’s the
refugees, Danham Al Bilas plays with his six moth old son, Mohammed in their
tent in Zouq Bhanin Village, Lebanon on March 22, 2016. Danham and his family
have been refugees living in this tent for the last 4 years.
World Bank Group is partnering with the United Nations and the Islamic
Development Bank Group to develop the New Financing Initiative to Support the
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region, which aims to provide urgent
development support to MENA countries impacted by the Syrian refugee crisis,
conflict, and economic instability.
heads of the World Bank Group, the United Nations and the Islamic Development
Bank Group are travelling together to the region to rally international support
for the New Financing Initiative to Support the MENA Region, in advance of a
high-level pledging conference that will be held in April 2016.
World Bank Group has developed a bold new strategy to tackle both the
devastating consequences of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa
(MENA) and their underlying causes. Rather than waiting for the fighting to
stop, the aim of this approach is to complement the massive humanitarian effort
by strengthening the resilience of people and communities to cope with the
shocks of conflicts and unrest, and to lay the foundations for peace and
stability. This will require building broad coalitions, as the goals of the new
strategy and the resources needed to achieve them far outstrip the capacity of
any single organization.
World Bank Group has therefore partnered with the United Nations and the
Islamic Development Bank Group to build the global coalition required to
support the MENA region at this critical moment. Together they have developed
the New Financing Initiative to Support the MENA Region, an innovative
initiative that aims to convene the international community to provide the
urgent development support needed for countries across the MENA region impacted
by the Syrian refugee crisis, conflict, and economic instability.
the New Financing Initiative to Support the MENA Region aims to:
Jordan and Lebanon with concessional financing to support refugees and host
communities by combining grants from donor countries with loans from
Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs); and
the large volumes of financing needed for post-conflict reconstruction and
economic recovery for countries across the MENA region by leveraging guarantees
from donor countries, thereby providing additional financing on top of the current
lending portfolios of MDBs.
sign of their joint commitment to the region, World Bank Group President Jim
Yong Kim, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and President of the
Islamic Development Bank Group Dr. Mohammed Ali Al-Madani are travelling
together to Lebanon. World Bank Group President Kim and UN Secretary-General
Ban will also travel together to Jordan and Tunisia. The visit will provide the
three leaders an opportunity to meet with government officials, refugees and
host communities, as well as youth, representatives of civil society and the
private sector. It will be an opportunity to hear a diverse set of perspectives
on the challenges the region faces, while communicating the resolve of the
international community to take the bold steps needed to help meet those
challenges and build a brighter future.
the visit is intended to rally support for the New Financing Initiative to
Support the MENA Region as a vehicle for convening the international community
to raise the resources needed to support the region at this critical juncture.
The initiative ultimately represents a unique platform that brings together
donor countries, benefitting countries in the MENA region, MDBs, and the United
Nations to strengthen coordination between humanitarian and development
assistance, and to provide a holistic response to the extraordinary challenges
faced by the region.
the most paramount manifestations of the challenges faced in the region is the
Syrian refugee crisis, which has had an enormous impact across the Middle East
and North Africa, as well as globally. Although millions of Syrian refugees
have left for Europe, the Syrian refugee crisis is felt most acutely by the
countries bordering Syria. Lebanon and Jordan alone host 2–3 million Syrian
refugees: both middle-income countries, they do not have access to the
concessional financing reserved for the poorest countries. Yet, the refugee
crisis is estimated to be costing Jordan U$2.7 billion a year and Lebanon
US$1.6 billion. Their debt levels have shot up too: Jordan’s debt to GDP ratio
is now 91%, and Lebanon’s 138%.
recent Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London, President Kim
noted the international community’s collective responsibility to support Jordan
and Lebanon: “These two nations have done the world a huge service in their
generous help to Syrians, despite causing great sacrifice for their people and
conference, President Kim announced the goal of raising US$1 billion worth of
grants over five years from donor countries, which would be leveraged to
generate US$3 to 4 billion in concessional financing. This financing will
support a variety of projects, but most notably it will be directed toward the
communities on the frontline of the refugee crisis in Jordan and Lebanon. To
this end, the New Financing Initiative to Support the MENA Region will seek to
support the transformational and innovative projects that can expand public
services to both refugees and hosting communities alike, crowd-in the private
sector, create jobs, and ultimately provide the critical medium- and long-term
support needed to boost the resilience of Jordan and Lebanon.
countries such as Tunisia, impacted by slow growth, the initiative aims to
provide additional financing to support critical economic recovery programs.
Jumpstarting growth and creating opportunities for the large number of
unemployed youth will be crucial for stability in Tunisia and other countries
across the region. The initiative also intends to raise the necessary funds for
post-conflict reconstruction in order to help countries across the region
recover from the devastation of conflict, and foster long-term peace and
month, the President of the World Bank Group, the United Nations
Secretary-General and the President of the Islamic Development Bank will
convene ministers from the G7, Gulf Cooperation Council and broader European
countries, as well as the heads of various international and regional
organizations, at the World Bank Group headquarters for the International
Conference for the New Financing Initiative to Support the MENA Region. This
will be an opportunity for countries to pledge the initial financial support to
launch the initiative and take the concerted and decisive action needed to
restore hope for millions of people across the MENA region.
Ivory Coast (AP) — Ivory Coast plans to establish new centers for rapid
response forces to protect soft targets throughout the country following an
attack by Islamic extremists on a popular beach town earlier this month that
killed 19, the country's prime minister said Thursday.
March 13 attack on Grand-Bassam claimed by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb was
the first of its kind in Ivory Coast. The UNESCO World Heritage site attracts
hundreds of holidaymakers each weekend and is linked by highway to Abidjan,
Ivory Coast's commercial hub, allowing for a swift response from special forces
that officials credit with mitigating the death toll.
interview with The Associated Press Thursday, Prime Minister Daniel Kablan
Duncan said new centres for a special security unit would likely be set up in
the northern city of Korhogo and in San Pedro, another beach destination in the
southwest that is also home to Ivory Coast's second-largest port.
highly-trained unit, the Coordination Center of Operational Decisions, was
created in 2013 and is composed of police, gendarmes and soldiers. It is based
in Abidjan but has some presence in Yamoussoukro, the capital, and Bouake,
Ivory Coast's second-largest city.
said that without such a deployment locations far removed from Abidjan, the
largest city, would remain vulnerable to extremist violence.
the attack had taken place in another region of Ivory Coast, in the west where
there are beaches as well, how are you going to intervene rapidly?" he
said. "Ivory Coast is a country that needs to be able to fight for
this week, officials said 15 arrests had been made as part of an investigation
of the Grand-Bassam attack. Prosecutor Richard Adou identified the suspected
mastermind of the attack as Kounta Dallah, who remains at large. The government
has distributed a photo of Dallah but has not publicized his nationality,
saying it wants to avoid reprisal violence.
assault in Grand-Bassam was the third high-profile strike by al-Qaida in the
Islamic Maghreb in West Africa in recent months, following a November attack on
a hotel in Mali and a January attack on a popular cafe and hotel in Burkina
Faso. Top security officials from those three countries and Senegal met in
Abidjan this week to discuss cooperation to defend the region against further
(REUTERS) - Morocco said on Thursday (March 24) it had dismantled a suspected
militant cell linked to Islamic State's affiliate in Libya and that some of the
nine men arrested were planning attacks in the North African kingdom.
the latest in a series of radical Islamist groups Morocco says it has broken
up. An interior ministry statement said the cell was operating in the city of
Marrakesh, the coastal town of Sidi Bennour and in Smara, which is in the
neighbouring territory of Western Sahara.
the nine group members were inspired by another militant from Sidi Bennour who
was killed in the Libyan capital Tripoli when militants attacked a prison in
September 2015 in a attempt to free inmates there.
Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), the judicial part of the
Moroccan domestic intelligence service, has actively tracked alleged militants
since Islamic State seized large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014-15.
of fighters from Morocco and other Maghreb states like Tunisia and Algeria have
joined Islamist militant forces in Syria's civil war. Some are threatening to
return and create new militant wings in their home countries, security experts
Libya has become a major draw for militants from North Africa and sub-Saharan
Africa as Islamic State has taken advantage of the security chaos there to
build a base, operate training camps and take over the city of Sirte.
Moroccan government believes 1,500 Moroccan nationals are fighting with
militant factions in Syria and Iraq. About 220 have returned home and been
jailed, and 286 have been killed in battle.
an ally of the West against Islamist militancy, has suffered militant attacks
in the past, most recently in 2011 in Marrakesh when an explosion tore through
a cafe and killed 15 people, mostly foreigners.
Ranks Most Travel-friendly Country in Africa for Muslims Join our daily free Newsletter
- Morocco World News) A new report ranks Morocco as the 'most travel-friendly'
country in Africa for Muslims based on the facilities the country provides to
make Halal living possible for Muslim travelers.
kingdom ranked ninth worldwide on the report released on Wednesday at a
ceremony in Jakarta Indonesia.
year's Global Muslim Travel Index – a joint effort by MasterCard and
CrescentRating – ranked 130 destinations based on several criteria including
the availability of Halal foods prayer facilities and Ramadan services.
to the report there will be a projected 168 million Muslim travelers – spending
more than USD 200 billion worldwide – by 2020 up from 117 million in 2015.
130 destinations analyzed were member states of the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC). According to the OIC's official website the organization –
founded in Rabat in 1969in response to the arson of the Al-Aqsa mosque in East
Jerusalem – seeks to be the 'collective voice of the Muslim world.'
year analysts added two new measurements – airport connectivity and visa
restrictions – to the rankings' rubric.
topped the rankings for the second year running. The United Arab Emirates
Turkey Indonesia Qatar Saudi Arabia Oman Singapore Morocco and Jordan made up
the rest of the top 10 countries.
Latin American countries – Bolivia Costa Rica and El Salvador – trailed at the
not covered by the OIC ranked lower on the rankings largely due to the reduced
availability of Halal eating options and a lack of prayer services for Muslims.
in 2008 CrescentRating provides information to Muslim-travelers and members of
the global tourism industry on enjoying and creating an environment for