Sikh Donates 900
Square Feet Plot to Build a Mosque, In UP
Government to Turn Ayodhya into a Hindu Pilgrim Hub On The Lines Of Vatican And
Six Muslim Men
Sentenced To Jail, Fine For Going to Waterfall Instead Of Friday Prayers by Shariah
Court in Malaysia
Orders Inquiry Over 'Half-Naked' Tattoo Show
‘All Eyes on
the Kingdom’ As Saudi Arabia Takes Helm of G20
Terrorist Walked Round School with Osama Bin Laden Picture In Notebook
Targets Uighur Mosques to Eradicate Minority's Faith
Religion, Fear to Stay Politically Afloat
Compiled By New
Age Islam News Bureau
Jamiat to File Review Plea on Dec 6
Pray At Mosque in Pratapgarh Police Lines: SP Leaders
Naqvi Slams Muslim Board On Ayodhya, Says Matter Closed
Muslims rally peacefully in Indonesia amid tight security
Bank Islam Group Third-Quarter Profit Rises 7.24%
orders inquiry over 'half-naked' tattoo show
Indonesian Muslims attend Jakarta 212 rally
Aussie list for border alerts
Don’t drag out
succession issue, Ramasamy warns PH
Counter-Extremist Centre Reaches 54m People on Social Media
Grand Imam of
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Minister Resigns in Deepening Political Crisis
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offers SR691 million government fee refunds to Saudi SMEs
jailed for attack against Sunni mosques in Birmingham
Leader Would Stop Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia For Use In Yemen
Pope Francis Condemns
Iraq’s ‘Harsh’ Crackdown on Protesters
London Bridge Jihad Murderer Was “Deradicalized"
Conservatives should not give up on Muslim voters
amongst us: rehabilitation or indefinite detention?
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Why Islam Is the
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‘school students’ sexual abuse investigations must immediately begin: Human
Donates 900 Square Feet Plot To Build A Mosque, In UP
800 km from the site of the long-pending mandir-masjid dispute in Ayodhya, a
Sikh cloth merchant from Purquazi town, Muzzafarnagar district in Uttar
Pradesh, has donated a 900 square feet plot to build a mosque.
has a population of about 30,000 of which two-thirds are Muslims. Sikh families
number less than 200.
border town between Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Purquazi is well known for
its Suli Wala Bagh where 500 freedom fighters were hanged by the British in the
First War of Independence in 1857. The event is commemorated by residents every
is the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak. Sukh Pal Singh Bedi
wanted to do something special to celebrate Guru Nanak's birthday and so he
donated the land to build a mosque," Town Panchayat Chairman Zaheer
Farooqui tells A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com.
are many masjids in our town, but this one will be special as the land has been
donated by a Sikh to celebrate his religion," Farooqui adds.
is total communal harmony in this town. We celebrate each other's religious
festivals," he says.
Pal Singh is not very rich where money is concerned, but his heart is rich. He
is a cloth merchant, an ordinary man like you and me."
Guru told us that all people are equal and we must respect all religions and
that is what I am doing," says Sukh Pal Singh Bedi. "It is our Guru's
550th birth anniversary and Sikhs are celebrating the world over. I wanted to
do something special to commemorate the event and I am sure my deed must have
made my Guru happy."
left, was born in Delhi three years after Independence. His family moved to
this town when he was three years old and he has lived here ever since.
started a cloth shop in 1967 as a young lad and is still running it after more
than five decades. He gets his cloth from the wholesale market at the district
headquarters in Muzaffarnagar. He has travelled to Mumbai once in the eighties,
he recollects fondly on the phone.
has two sons and a daughter. "When I decided to donate the land I
consulted my family. They all agreed that it was for a good cause and I must do
it. They all supported me," he says happily.
Sunday, at an event organised by the panchayat, he handed over the land
documents to the town.
gives us everything, we must use it for the good of the maximum people
possible," Bedi Tells Rediff.com. "We must always share whatever we
have because everything is given by God. Nothing belongs to us."
20 years ago, when the town needed land for a road, Bedi had given up land
wholeheartedly for the purpose. Clearly, he believes in what he advocates.
Pradesh Government to Turn Ayodhya into A Hindu Pilgrim Hub On The Lines Of
Vatican And Mecca
Ram temple in Ayodhya may take some time to come up, but the Uttar Pradesh
government is already moving ahead on a massive project to prepare and promote
Ayodhya as a major tourist attraction with
schemes on several levels.
to well-placed sources in the government, a plan to set up a town by the name
of Ikshvakupuri – drawn from the name of the legendary dynasty of Hindu kings
in the Indian heartland – on the banks of the Saryu river in Ayodhya has been
prepared. The project has been in making over the last one more than year, and
is said to be in the nal stages before it is unveiled. It includes the creation
of a greeneld city
will showcase all aspects of Hindu religion and culture. Spread over 1,900
acres, the proposed city will extend from the outskirts of the existing Ayodhya
town towards the Saryu river. At present this land is largely uninhabited with
some ponds, forests and streams, and is said to be under the ownership of
various Government departments such as agriculture, forest and horticulture.
inspiration behind the proposed city is drawn from the famed temples in Angkor
Vat, the world’s largest monument near the town of Siem Reap in Cambodia. It
will have a riverfront comprising hotels, inns and parks along the Saryu river,
and the main complex will have separate sections dedicated to the
Upanishads, Puranas, other Hindu religious texts, besides cottages and huts
designed on the pattern of traditional ashrams. All states of India will be
given land in this city where they could set up guest houses and depictions of
their tourist attractions. Setting up of a Vedic research centre, meditation
multimedia presentation etc are also planned.
entire city will be totally eco-friendly, with permanent built-up space not
exceeding 5 per cent of the total land. Vehicles running on petrol, diesel and
CNG will not be permitted within the city, and only electric vehicles such as
carts, buses and tram will ply. The entire project is proposed to be executed
manner, with the state government setting the plan, standards and design, basic
infrastructure and prepare detailed plan of other features and elements. The
elements would be owned and operated by other parties either on a model of
public-private partnership (PPP) or retail
inviting funds from individuals and organisations.
idea is to create a unique spiritual and tourist attraction which provides an
immersive experience of Indian culture, spiritualism and religious glory. There
will be a unique blend of traditional and modern, with latest technology being
used to recreate an ambience of serenity and faith,” according to a source
close to the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. In fact the chief minister has
been taking keen interest in developing Ayodhya ever since he took over in
March 2017. Since then, he has visited Ayodhya more than a dozen times in this
regard. The celebration of Dussehra and Diwali on a grand scale in Ayodhya in
two years, including the Deepotsav (lighting of earthen lamps on the bank of
the Saryu river) have been part of the plan to project Ayodhya as the biggest
tourist attraction in the state.
fact, the tourist footfalls in Ayodhya have registered a rise in the last one
year, and there has been a considerable increase in the number of visitors
after the court verdict on the Ram temple issue.
Agra, Sarnath and Varanasi continue to be the main tourist attractions in the
state, in that order, and these three places draw a large number of foreign
tourists that come to India. Ayodhya,
to one estimate, gets about 1.50 crore tourists every year, mostly domestic and
largely pilgrims. “With the proposed project, it is planned to position Ayodhya
as the most important religious centre for
Hindu community, on the lines of the Vatican and Mecca,” the source said.
Ikshvakupuri project, incidentally, is separate from the proposed Smart City
plan in which Ayodhya has been included, and work on that front is already on.
Smart city includes setting up of an integrated,
city, an airport, hotels, heritage park and other institutions.
lies about 130 km northeast of Lucknow, on way to Gorakhpur, the home town of
the chief minister. It is a pilgrimage centre for Hindus and Muslims as also
for Jains and Buddhists, and ancient
of all these faiths are scattered all over the city. The district was earlier
known as Faizabad and was renamed as Ayodhya on 6 November 2018. The
administrative headquarters of the district were
shifted to Ayodhya city.
Supreme Court had on November 9 announced its verdict on the disputed ownership
of the land where the Babri Masjid once stood. The Court ruled that the land be
handed over for the construction of a
temple through a trust under the central government, and ordered allotment of 5
acres of land for the construction of a mosque to the Muslim groups that were
party to the case. The ling of a review
against the Court ruling is being actively considered by most of the
petitioners on the other side
Muslim Men Sentenced To Jail, Fine For Going to Waterfall Instead Of Friday Prayers
by Shariah Court in Malaysia
01 Dec 2019
LUMPUR, Dec 1 — In what is possibly the first case in the country, six male
Muslims, including three teenagers, were sentenced to a month in jail and fined
over RM2,000 for skipping out on Friday prayers last August 23.
Azle Abdul Rasid, 35; Abdul Malek Mohd, 25; Muhamad Hafizi Abdul Razak, 22;
Muhammad Aliff Fikri A Mazzani, 19; and two unnamed 17-year-old boys were given
the sentence by Syarie judge Nik Mohd Shahril Irwan Mat Yusof at the Hulu
Terengganu Lower Shariah Court earlier today after pleading guilty to a charge
of deliberately missing the compulsory Friday prayers, Harian Metro reported on
six were unrepresented while Syarie Nurul Taqwa Hasbul prosecuted.
to the Malay daily, the six were accused of violating Section 16 of the
Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment (Takzir) amendment 2016, which provides
for a maximum jail sentence of two years, or a fine up to RM3,000 on those
all six were ordered to be locked up one month, father of two Khairul Azle got
the heftiest fine of RM2, 500. The others who were all bachelors were each
the charge sheet, Harian Metro reported the six to have committed the Islamic
offence at the Sekayu Waterfall between 1pm and 1.50pm on August 23, 2019.
six were reportedly busted during a raid by the Terengganu Islamic Religious
female officers had entered the recreation area first for surveillance and
found the six accused to be among several people picnicking with their families
at the waterfall area instead of being at the mosque for their obligatory
prayers that Friday.
male officers went in and made the arrests after Friday prayers ended,
according to the daily.
orders inquiry over 'half-naked' tattoo show
December 2, 2019
ordered an investigation on Monday (Dec 2) into what the government called a
half-naked tattoo show held in the capital Kuala Lumpur, after pictures of
heavily inked men and women circulated on social media in the Muslim-majority
three-day Tattoo Malaysia Expo, which started last Friday and drew participants
from 35 countries, was supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts &
Culture, the show's organizer said on its website.
the ministry said this year's event violated its standards for the first time
since it was first held in 2015, and vowed "firm action" against the
in Malaysian media blurred the private parts of men and women in the show.
impossible for the ministry to approve any application for events that have
obscene elements such as this, because it is not Malaysian culture, what more
when the majority of Malaysians are Muslim," Mr Mohamaddin Ketapi, the
minister of tourism, arts and culture, said in a statement.
will wait for the full investigation report... and will not hesitate to take
legal action if they are found to have been in violation of set
of the event's organizers, Mr Carlos Benny Majakil, told Reuters he had no
comment on the issue.
authorities in Malaysia, where ethnic Malay Muslims make up 60 percent of a
population of 32 million, tend to lean towards religious and cultural
Malaysian religious court last month sentenced five men to jail, caning and
fines for attempting gay sex. In September 2018, two women were caned for
"attempting lesbian sex" in the east coast state of Terengganu.
eyes on the Kingdom’ as Saudi Arabia takes helm of G20
Saudi Arabia on Sunday assumed the presidency of the G20, the world’s most
economically powerful group of nations.
Kingdom takes over the role from Japan, and will direct the G20’s work for the
next year. As chairman, King Salman will host the group’s 2020 summit in Riyadh
over two days next November.
Saudi presidency will focus on three aims: Empowering people, by creating the
conditions in which everyone — especially women and young people— can live,
work and thrive; safeguarding the planet, by fostering collective efforts on
food and water security, climate, energy, and the environment; and long-term
strategies to share the benefits of innovation and technological advancement.
Saudi G20 presidency is committed to continuing the work from Osaka and
promoting multilateral consensus,” said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
with our G20 partners, we will strive to deliver concrete actions and realize
opportunities to enable us to face the challenges of the future.
hosting the G20, the Kingdom will have an important role to play by sharing the
perspective of the Middle East and North Africa region. We believe this will be
a unique opportunity to shape consensus on international issues as we welcome
the world to the Kingdom.”
the next year, “all eyes will be on Saudi Arabia,” political analyst Dr. Hamdan
Al-Shehri told Arab News.
know Saudi Arabia’s strength is both economic and diplomatic, and this will be
the time to showcase it to the world,” he said.
countries realized that Saudi Arabia’s strength lay in oil, but it was charting
a different course through Vision 2030 with a future focused on the non-oil
economy, Al-Shehri said.
pointed out the strategic significance of Saudi Arabia’s location, connecting
three continents and linked to crucial maritime straits at Bab Al-Mandab,
Hormuz and the Suez Canal. These shipping lanes were vital for international
trade, Al-Shehri said, and Saudi Arabia protected them not just for itself and
the region, but the whole world.
G20 presidency was “a chance for the world to see the significance of our
country and what it has to offer. It is a lively nation,” he said.
Bridge Terrorist Walked Round School With Osama Bin Laden Picture In Notebook
London Bridge attacker would parade around high school with a picture of
al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden stuck on his notebook.
Khan would meet his pals in a local cafe and watch videos of the Twin Towers
schoolmates yesterday spoke about his “weird” behaviour which they claim should
have been a “red flag” to the authorities.
searched his flat in Stafford and officers also went to his parents’ home in
and decorator Rhys Miller, 29, who was in the year above Khan at Haywood High
School in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, posted on Facebook : “Surprise surprise,
look who it is, the guy who walked around school with a picture of Osama bin
Laden on the front of his planner and used to sit in the corner of the cafe
with about 20 of his mates watching videos of the planes going in to the twin
towers! But when anyone spoke up you were told to shut up and not be
‘racist’...blatant red flag.”
was a planner you used to have to put on your desk at the beginning of the
lesson so you could write notes down. And he’d have a picture of bin Laden and
the Twin Towers, a photograph, a printout.”
a TV interview in 2008, after his home was raided by terror cops, Khan said: “I
ain’t no terrorist.”
2010, he was arrested along with eight others in a counter-terrorism sting over
a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange.
Vajahat Sharif, who represented Khan as a teenager, said: “I was very shocked,
very upset for the victims and their families and also very upset about what
happened to Usman. How did something like this happen?”
China Targets Uighur Mosques to Eradicate Minority's Faith
- A U.S. State Department official accused China of attempting to erase the
Muslim identity of Uighurs by seeking to demolish or close places of worship in
Xinjiang in northwest China.
official, who spoke to VOA on the condition of anonymity, said the Chinese
Communist Party in its campaign against the Uighur minority has removed
religious symbols from places of worship, imposing strict surveillance on them.
part of its ongoing attempts to eradicate the Islamic faith and “re-educate”
Muslims, Beijing has closed or destroyed mosques, shrines, burial grounds, and
other Islamic structures, perhaps more,” the official told VOA.
permitted to remain open have been stripped of certain features like minarets
and domes and are heavily monitored by surveillance cameras and security
personnel,” the official said, adding that Beijing’s acts have denied Muslims
the ability to practice their faith in public.
estimated 13 million ethnic Uighurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities are
believed to live in the Xinjiang region.
Chinese government since early 2017 has been accused of a harsh crackdown in
the region through detention and forceful “re-education” of the people who are
accused of being disloyal to the government’s ideology.
officials, however, have called the alleged detention program a “vocational”
training and said their efforts in Xinjiang are aimed at curbing the threat of
U.S. government and rights organizations say at least one million Uighurs are
being held in the camps where they are exposed to torture and forced labor.
Outside the camps, the minority population is put under stringent control where
simple religious practices are prohibited.
to an investigation by Uyghur (Uighur) Human Rights Project (UHRP), a
D.C.-based organization funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, between
10,000-15,000 of mosques and other sites, amounting to about 40%, were
demolished in each city, county and township all over Xinjiang since late 2016.
Sintash, who led the investigation, told VOA that in addition to local
testimonies, satellite imagery of the sites confirm a “systematic destruction”
of at least 140 Uighur religious places.
have been able to compile a list of over 140 mosques, shrines and cemeteries
which have been confirmed or are suspected to have been fully demolished or
desecrated since 2016,” Sintash told VOA in an interview.
UHRP report found that among the demolished sites was Keriya Mosque in Hotan
prefecture, a major historic building dating back to the 13th century and
enlisted as a protected cultural site.
China demolished many mosques in Xinjiang, it left some mosques untouched in
big cities including the Korla Jama Mosque. In my findings, the mosque is one
of the “selected” tourist destinations for Korla city. Therefore, the
government kept the Korla Jama Mosque not for the sake of local Uighur
communities and their prayer needs, but as pre-selected tour location to
pretend its “protection” of Islam in that city and to lie to the international
community and reporters,” said Sintash.
could not independently verify UHRP’s report.
Nations and human rights watchdogs in the past have continuously blamed Chinese
officials for preventing independent bodies to have access to the region to
investigate the alleged abuses. They say local population in the region are
prevented from contacting the outside world, including their relatives who live
in the diaspora.
United Kingdom earlier this week urged China to give U.N. observers “immediate
and unfettered access” to the region following a recent leak of classified
Chinese government documents that rights groups say offer clear evidence of
Beijing using detention camps as brainwashing centers.
Ablimit, a New York-based Uighur from Artush city in southern Xinjiang, said
Uighurs living in the diaspora struggle to know the whereabouts of their loved
ones stranded in Xinjiang due to communication restrictions. He said many of them turn to aerial imagery
from airplanes to track changes made to their neighborhoods.
I was searching for my neighborhood mosque and other mosques around my hometown
this year through google imagery, I was startled to find out that they were
gone except for a few mosques.” Ablimit told VOA.
said he had lost contact with his parents and brother in 2017, and one year
later he found out that they were taken to “the concentration camps”.
uses religion, fear to stay politically afloat
every possible obstacle, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan keeps moving
ahead on the path he set, cementing his rule in Turkey, as he takes every
opportunity, big or small, to consolidate his legitimacy on the basis of
“stability in Turkey.”
survived political defeat in the local elections some seven months ago, Erdogan
is back in the game, using the same fundamental tools that have kept him in
power: use of religion in a rhetoric similar to the one applied by the Muslim
Brotherhood; conducting divisive policies at home, fiercely exercised to keep the
opposition as polarised as ever before; constantly driving a wedge between
bodies such as NATO and the European Union and, as the Syrian incursion
exemplified, raising the stakes for Turkish nationalism; and irredentism, which
causes growing concern in the Eastern Mediterranean basin.
all these efforts Erdogan seems unstoppable. Regarding religion as a political
tool, he knows he has the powerful backing of the overwhelming Muslim majority
at home, which he hopes will see him as the unchallenged leader of the country.
the sixth Religious Council meeting of the Presidency of Religious Affairs
November 28 in Ankara, his gambling became obvious once more: “Even if it may
burden ourselves, we shall place the decretals, and not the rules of the present,
at the centre of our lives,” Erdogan said. “Islam is an acquis of rules and
prohibitions which encircle all the sections of our lives. We believe in a
religion that encompasses its every phase. We are ordered to live as Muslims
until the very end.”
if Erdogan took his time to underline the traps of “fault lines among Muslims
in the world,” it was these words that echoed in Turkey’s increasingly
oppressed secular circles, more than his unanswered ambitions to emerge as the
leader of the Islamic world.
also knows that such statements are without a doubt breaches of the
constitution, which emphasises that the president remains an impartial and
unifying figure. But his challenging in-your-face gestures have always remained
his game. He knows that dropping the rhetoric of religion altogether may spell
a lethal weakening of his power. Nevertheless, the result of such statements is
a continuous Islamisation of the education system, undermining Turkey as a
use of nationalism has pushed the centrist opposition into a corner but, for
Erdogan, it is not sufficient, unless coupled with bold divisions within it.
chain of events placing the secular main opposition party, the Republican
People’s Party (CHP), have recently presented a taste of what is bound to come
in the near future. It all began with an obvious piece of disinformation spread
by a couple of murky reporters in the press. The “rumour,” these reports said,
was that a prominent figure of the main opposition had secretly met Erdogan at
his palace to hear from him that “it would be a fine idea if he had replaced
the current leader of the CHP, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.”
media jumped on the bandwagon, dragged by the unconfirmed piece aimed at
manipulation. It took several days to deny it, as the opposition party was
delivered blow after blow, and internal rifts surfaced. The damage was done,
proving, as it were, the oppressed Kurdish politicians who had warned the CHP
figures that “you remain silent before the cruelties to us, but you will be
next in line.” Erdogan was visibly content and in waves of joyful attacks, as
was expected of him. He felt assured that he has his opponents in control.
foreign policy, Erdogan is benefiting enormously from the overall turbulence
and international folly developing day by day. Volatile conjuncture in the
Middle East and Europe leaves his daredevil policies room to develop and
enlarge, so far so that Ankara feels a growing appetite for irredentism for
redrawing the map of the eastern Mediterranean, testing the reaction capacities
of the EU.
more the EU appeases, the more it encourages an escalation of the crisis with
Turkey at one side and Greece, Cyprus and Egypt on the other. Amnesia reigns:
It was the reactions to the Treaty of Versailles that shaped the Nazi regime in
Germany and, in some sense perhaps, the discontent with the Lausanne Treaty
will have a similar effect in Turkey’s path to totalitarian rule.
while challenging the European Union, places his bet on the EU trauma. The
violent fall of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya is the main source of the refugee
crisis that has been reshaping the European political landscape to far-right
populism and overall disorder. Erdogan knows very well that the EU at the end
of the day would prefer to have him as the leader of Turkey, who will maintain
its stability, as opposed to any alternative that would amount to deeper chaos.
same fear — a prospective instability bigger than in Libya — applies among
NATO’s European allies. Thus, Erdogan and his team feel free to block NATO’s
plans for its Baltic members, as the bloc turns into a witness as Ankara
develops into a Trojan horse.
these factors explain the success of Erdogan’s survival. He reads the new
global reality better than all the others — except perhaps Russian President
verdict: Jamiat to file review plea on Dec 6
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JuH) will file a review petition in the Supreme Court
seeking review of the Ayodhya verdict on December 6, the anniversary of Babri
Masjid demolition. The petition will be filed through Jamiat’s UP general
secretary Maulana Ashhad Rasheedi, who is also one of the 10 litigants from the
Muslim side in the Ayodhya case.
documentation is in final stages. Our legal cell is drafting the review plea
and needs a few days to finalise details,” Rasheedi told TOI. Rasheedi had
replaced Jamiat’s former UP general secretary SM Siddiq as a litigant after the
latter died a few years ago.
UP general secretary Maulana Ashhad Rasheedi said the first part of the SC
judgment on Ayodhya “contradicts” the latter part. “And it’s our humble plea
that the SC explains the contradiction. The court admitted the mosque was not
built by razing a temple and the demolition of the mosque in December 1992 was
illegal. Yet, the court hands over the land to the other party."
‘outsiders’ pray at mosque in Pratapgarh police lines: SP leaders
Party(SP) leaders of Pratapgarh handed over a memorandum to the deputy
inspector general (Prayagraj range) KP Singh here on Sunday in connection with
‘restrictions’ imposed on ‘outsiders’ wishing to offer ‘namaz’ at the mosque in
Pratapgarh Police Lines.
SP leaders requested the senior officer to intervene and issue orders allowing
lawyers and other persons to offer ‘namaz’ at the mosque on Fridays.
Friday, policemen stopped ‘namazis’ from offering prayers at the mosque located
inside the Pratapgarh police lines premises. The police had claimed that
according to the new orders, only policemen and their relatives who reside
inside the police lines premises could offer prayers in the mosque.
Khan, district general secretary of the Samajwadi Party’s Pratapgarh unit, said
not only Muslim police personnel and their family members who resided at police
lines but also lawyers and residents of the area used to offer ‘namaz’ at the
mosque since many years without any restriction.
now resentment prevailed among Muslims in Pratapgarh over what he described as
the ‘unnecessary restriction’ imposed by the Pratapgarh SP.
requested the DIG range to issue instructions to the SP, Pratapgarh, to remove
the restrictions and allow all Muslims to offer ‘namaz’ at the mosque at
Pratapgarh police lines.
DIG assured the SP leaders that necessary steps would be taken after discussing
the issue with senior administrative and police officials in Pratapgarh.
he also cautioned against creating trouble and entering the police lines
premises for offering prayers at the mosque without permission.
FIR was lodged on Saturday against AIMIM district president Israr Ahmad and
some others for forcing their way to the mosque to offer prayers and inciting
communal passions. Samajwadi Party’s Pratapgarh district president Gulfam Khan,
Chhatra Sabha district president Saddam Husain, Irshad Siddiqui and others were
among the delegation.
Caption: Samajwadi Party leaders of Pratapgarh handing over a memorandum to DIG
(Prayagraj range) KP Singh in Prayagraj on Sunday (HT)
Abbas Naqvi Slams Muslim Board On Ayodhya, Says Matter Closed
Delhi: Hitting out at the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and the
Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind for their decision to seek a review of the Ayodhya verdict,
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday said they are trying to
create an "atmosphere of division and confrontation" after the matter
was laid to rest by the Supreme Court.
also said that for the Muslims the important issue is not just "Babri
(mosque) but barabri (equality)" in the areas of education and economic
and social upliftment.
an interview to news agency PTI, Mr Naqvi said that in a democracy everyone has
a right to have an opinion and liberty to approach courts.
he asserted that in an ideal scenario attempts should not be made to entangle
the decades-old complex issue which has been solved by a unanimous verdict of
the Supreme Court.
sections of the society have welcomed and respected the Supreme Court verdict.
But if some people are unable to digest the fact that the unity has been
strengthened after this verdict, it is sad," he said.
in the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind said last week that the draft of the review petition
against Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict is ready and the plea will be filed by
them on December 3 or 4.
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has also said the review petition
will be filed before December 9.
the AIMPLB and the Jamiat, Naqvi said, "They are trying to create an
atmosphere of division and confrontation which will not be accepted by any
isolated voices cannot be that of the whole society. The feeling of all
sections of the society is that this matter has been settled by the court and
we should now accept it and move forward," he said.
they (AIMPLB and Jamiat) were so serious why did they not agree to a compromise
when the court earlier had asked them to solve the matter through
dialogue," the senior BJP leader said.
Minority Affairs Minister said both the Muslim side and the Hindu side had said
prior to the Supreme Court verdict that it would be acceptable to them.
at the meeting that was held at my house where representatives from various
sections of the society were present, it was said in one voice that whatever be
the verdict it will be accepted and honoured," he said.
part of the RSS and the BJP's efforts to reach out to Muslims ahead of the
Ayodhya verdict, a meeting with the community's clerics, academics and
prominent persons was organised at Mr Naqvi's residence ahead of the verdict,
with participants stressing on maintaining social harmony and unity.
they (AIMPLB and Jamiat) accepted and honoured the verdict but I don't know
what is the reason and what divine enlightenment they got, that they are taking
an opposite stand to what they had taken," he said.
whether this could open a fresh chapter in the dispute, he said those who want
to "open a chapter will be able to do it only in their homes" as the
society and the country will not accept it and for them the matter is closed.
Supreme Court, in its verdict, said the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land
should be handed over to the deity Ram Lalla, who was one of the three
five-judge Constitution bench also directed the Centre to allot a five-acre
plot to the Sunni Waqf Board in Ayodhya to build a mosque.
if the Muslim side should accept the 5-acre land, Mr Naqvi said he cannot
comment on it as it was a court issue.
is upto the parties (in the case who have been given the land) whether to
accept it or not. It depends on them. As far as Ayodhya is concerned there are
a number of mosques there," he said.
some sections of the Muslim community expressing disappointment with the
Supreme Court decision, Mr Naqvi said this was a civil suit in which a decision
has been made and it is binding on the concerned parties.
issue should not be seen as Hindu vs Muslim," he asserted.
Naqvi also hit out at the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief
Asaduddin Owaisi for his remarks that Supreme Court is not
"infallible", saying this country runs on Constitution and not on
anybody's whims and fancies.
country runs on Constitution, on law. Nobody can apply his own law and do a
postmortem of the verdict," he said, hitting out at Mr Owaisi.
AIMPLB and Jamiat are expected to file a review petition this week even as the
Sunni Central Waqf Board decided on Tuesday that it would not do so. The Waqf
board also said it was yet to take a call on whether to accept a five-acre
alternative plot for a mosque.
Muslims rally peacefully in Indonesia amid tight security
02 Dec 2019
Dec 2 —Thousands of Indonesian Muslims from conservative groups held a peaceful
rally in central Jakarta today, with a spokesman for one of the organisers
calling for unity after a spike in religious tension followed elections last
the protest organisers was the Alumni 212 movement, which was behind big
rallies held from 2016 to demand action against Jakarta’s former governor, a
Christian eventually jailed for blasphemy in a case that drew international
crowd, many wearing white and carrying Islamic flags, began gathering for
prayers at Jakarta’s National Monument from about 3 a.m., as more than 6,000
security forces, including police and military, stood on guard.
main message of this reunion is that Indonesia needs unity that can forget
differences and friction that happened some time ago,” said Haikal Hassan, a
spokesman for Alumni 212, which takes its name from an earlier Dec. 2 protest.
authorities were unfairly targeting some clerics, he said by telephone.
want Indonesia to progress with justice. And we feel that there’s injustice,”
bloc of conservative Muslims also overwhelmingly backed an opposition challenge
to President Joko Widodo in April’s vote, fuelling concerns over a deepening
religious divide in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country.
Rizieq, the leader of the hardline Islamic Defenders’ Front (FPI), urged
vigilance against future blasphemy cases in a speech by live video link from
Saudi Arabia, where he has lived since 2017, after being named a suspect in
several legal cases.
than 12,000 people participated in the rally, said Jakarta police spokesman
Yusri Yunus, although organisers put the figure much higher.
analyst Stanislaus Riyanta said a decision by former opposition leader Prabowo
Subianto, whom Widodo defeated in April’s poll, to join the cabinet as defence
minister appeared to have undermined the 212 movement.
212 reunion this time is weaker than the previous ones because it has lost some
political momentum,” added the Jakarta-based Riyanta.
a former general, who had addressed a similar rally a year ago, did not attend
movement’s spokesman, Hassan, did not say how it would line up in future
can’t give directions yet, because we don’t know where our politics is going,”
he said. — Reuters
Bank Islam Group third-quarter profit rises 7.24%
Bank Islam Group posted 7.24% increase in profit before tax for the
third-quarter compared to the same three months last year.
bank reported in a bourse filing on Friday (Nov 29) 317.8 million ringgit
($76.16 million) in profit before zakat and tax for July-September versus
296.35 million ringgit for the corresponding quarter in 2018.
Group is the parent company of Bank Islam, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga
and BIMB Securities.
Group’s biggest growth earners were from income earned from investment account
funds that grew by 66.7% to 97.88 million ringgit and net income from takaful
reached 283.09 million ringgit, an increase of 24.63%.
assets at the end of September was 75.27 billion ringgit, up by 3.97% from the
end of December.
financing and advances accounted for 64.05%, reaching 48.21 billion ringgit
from 45.68 billion ringgit at December 31.
of gross financing, equivalent to 41.93 billion ringgit, were based on
customer deposits dropped by 3.83% to 47.54 billion ringgit.
Islam, Malaysia’s oldest standalone Shariah-compliant bank, held 65.5 billion
ringgit in assets, equivalent to 87% of the Group’s assets.
bank’s profit before zakat and tax (PBZT) dropped by 7.2% to 208.8 million
ringgit compared to 225 million ringgit for the third-quarter of last year.
decrease in PBZT was mainly due to higher finance cost and net allowance for
impairment on financing and advances, net of recoveries by8.5 million ringgit
and 8.0 million ringgit respectively,” the Group said.
Group’s takaful susbsidiary posted PBZT of 121.8 million ringgit for
July-September, an increase of 38.7% as compared to 87.8 million ringgit for
the same period last year.
increase in profit was mainly attributable to increase in net wakalah fee
income,” said the Group.
takaful, its biggest business line, earned gross contributions of 543.7 million
ringgit compared to 436.7 million in 2018’s third quarter.
increase was mainly due to higher sales from credit-related products, said the
Group believes it will be able to maintain “a stable outlook on profitability”
for Bank Islam.
expects its takaful subsidiary to further expand its market share by the end of
support business growth and customer centricity, the company will continue its
digital strategy to build the full digital ecosystem and to expand the business
focus beyond credit-related business to reach out to the wide retail customer
base of major partner banks,” wrote the Group.
orders inquiry over 'half-naked' tattoo show
main message of this reunion is that Indonesia needs unity that can forget differences
and friction that happened some time ago,” said Haikal Hassan, a spokesman for
Alumni 212, which takes its name from an earlier Dec. 2 protest.
of Indonesian Muslims attend Jakarta 212 rally
News Agency (ABNA): Hundreds of Indonesian Muslims rallied at National Monument
Park for the "212" reunion on Monday.
carried banners and later stood in prayers in areas surrounding the park.
Mustaqim, a self-proclaimed International Youth Mentor and Islam convert, was
among the notable figures who attended this year’s rally.
event has nothing to do with radicalism. We are good Muslims… Islam is about
peace and Islam is about worshiping our God, Allah. This is the only thing we
want to do. We want to go to paradise," he said.
212 reunion has been held annually since 2017 when it was called on to condemn
former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, for
blasphemy against Islam.
tops Aussie list for border alerts
JAYA: Malaysians are the most common nationality of people on Australia’s list
of border alerts, accounting for 11.8% of all red flags in the past year, an
Australian daily reports.
68,417 nationals subject to red flags, Malaysia tops even China which, with
58,724 citizens on the Person Alert List, saw a 23.6% increase this year.
to The Australian, Malaysia, which recorded a 37.2% spike in the number of
nationals flagged at borders, also tops New Zealand (43,470 listings), India
(36,168) and Britain (28,770).
database is maintained by Australia’s Department of Home Affairs.
report said 35,760 Malaysians were on the list due to “suspect genuineness” of
their plans to travel to Australia, while 12,934 were listed due to a “debt to
9,867 were listed as “overstayers” while 1,350 were listed for “breach of visa
border security expert from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute who spoke
to the daily attributed the increase in number of citizens listed from both
Malaysia and China to Canberra’s scrutiny of would-be visitors from the two
not surprised that that’s the case,” John Coyne was quoted as saying.
probably very good reasons for those increases and it maps against the
intelligence publicly released in regards to onshore applications for temporary
visas and protection visas – and, secondly, for violations of terms of
employment. The two highest countries for both of those are China and
drag out succession issue, Ramasamy warns PH
JAYA: DAP’s P Ramasamy has called for a speedy resolution to the handover of
power from Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Anwar Ibrahim, warning that Pakatan Harapan
(PH) will otherwise continue to suffer following the latest in its string of
by-election defeats in Tanjung Piai last month.
a statement, he said PH’s inability to resolve the transition issue had given
the impression of “powerful vested interests” who want Mahathir to complete the
full term as prime minister.
inconsistency on the power transition seems to have deleterious effects on PH
as a whole,” he added.
and PPBM have lost their Malay support. PKR is terribly divided. The
non-Malays, particularly the Chinese, are deserting DAP.
PH can survive to win the next general election seems to depend on the
was soundly defeated in the Tanjung Piai by-election on Nov 16, losing to
Barisan Nasional by over 15,000 votes.
coalition has lost four of the nine by-elections held since it swept to power
in the May 9 polls last year.
who is Penang deputy chief minister II, said the “collateral damage” to the
coalition could not be averted by holding post-mortems on PH’s defeat in
Tanjung Piai or improving the performance of ministers and leaders.
longer the succession matter is dragged out without any resolution in sight,
the longer PH is going to suffer.
leaders of PH component parties should not be in a state of delusion, as if it
is only a matter of time before they win back the hearts and minds of the
counter-extremist center reaches 54m people on social media
The Sawt Al-Hikma Center (Voice of Wisdom) at the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC) has reached 54 million people around the world through social
media, distributing messages in three different languages: Arabic, English and
center is considered the intellectual branch of the OIC in its fight against
extremist speech. It was established in 2016 at the OIC’s headquarters to work
on using media platforms to dismantle extremism, reveal its religious and
intellectual concepts, call for tolerance and co-existence and reflect the true
spirit of Islam.
its establishment, the center has focused its efforts on cyberspace, as the
internet has become fertile ground for violent ideas and an environment that
helps extremists spread their poison.
center has launched 11 pages on social media, in three languages, publishing
content prepared by specialists to deal with calls for extremism and violence
in the name of religion and to challenge Islamophobia and those trying to
center added that it has also worked on combatting extremist ideologies on the
ground through conferences in Saudi Arabia, Somalia and the UAE. The symposiums
have focused on examining and fighting terrorism, promoting intellectual
security and spreading the values of tolerance and acceptance.
it has launched a new initiative: The “Samahet Din” (tolerance of religion)
contest of short videos, to encourage young men and women to express themselves
Imam of Al-Azhar accuses Egyptian regime
Grand Imam of Al- Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb said the country’s largest
religious establishment is subjected to an unprecedented campaign of
persecution and media blockade by the country’s state-run newspapers and media
explained during a pre-recorded interview broadcasted on Channel One, on
Saturday that it is only with great difficulty that the al- Azhar is allowed to
publish an article in response to an article that insults it.
is very difficult for us to get only one second to speak in the media. There is
a campaign against al-Azhar and this campaign would only serve the philosophy
of the Islamic State and Daesh” he warned.
Tayeb had previously criticised the rule of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah
al-Sisi, indirectly, when he warned of the severe repercussions of injustice.
the past few years, the number of civilians appearing before military courts
have significantly increased, as well as the number of death sentences handed
down by military courts.
the rule of President, Abdul Fattah al- Sisi, the Egyptian authorities have
executed at least 179 people from 2014 to May 2019.
Prime Minister resigns in deepening political crisis
J Rubin and Falih Hassan
Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi of Iraq formally submitted his resignation to
Parliament on Saturday and asked lawmakers in a televised national address to
quickly agree on a successor.
Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation may not spell the end of the turmoil that has racked
the nation over the past two months. Parliament is scheduled to meet Sunday and
will vote on accepting his resignation, but it has yet to agree on an
resignation of the government is a method of peaceful handover of power in democratic
systems,” Abdul-Mahdi said in his brief speech, adding that the government had
tried to meet the demands of the country’s widening protest movement.
driven by anger over political corruption and Iran’s influence over Iraqi
politics — coupled with the government’s violent response — had put Abdul-Mahdi
under intense pressure to step down. At least 400 people have been killed in
the unrest, according to the United Nations and hospital sources.
Parliament accepts Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation, the formation of a new government
could go quickly, but it will more likely take weeks, if not months. That
realisation quickly dissolved protesters’ initial jubilation over Abdul-Mahdi’s
announcement Friday that he would step down.
Abdul-Mahdi resigns, iraq prime minister resigns, iraq protests, iraq political
unrest, iraq news, indian express news
protesters fly the Iraqi flag in Baghdad, October 28, 2019. (Ivor Prickett/The
New York Times)
and his ministers would still serve in a caretaker government until President
Barham Salih requests that the largest bloc in Parliament name a new prime
minister and that person’s ministers are then approved by a majority. History
shows that agreeing on a prime minister can be a long, arduous process of
balancing competing political factions.
became so protracted in 2018 that Iranian officials helped set up the current
government, brokering an agreement that brought in Abdul-Mahdi and Salih as
well as the Parliament speaker, Mohammed al-Halbousi.
significant question is whether Iran will play the same role this time around.
Since Iraqis are now openly expressing resentment toward Tehran, its direct
involvement might be a liability.
the Shiite-dominated south of Iraq, as well as in the capital Baghdad, the
chant “Out, Out Iran, Baghdad Remains Free” is part of the daily protests. If
one thing is clear, the fact that Iraq is majority Shiite and so is Iran does
not mean that Iraqi and Iranian Shiites have shared views.
Najaf, a city that hosts several million Iranian pilgrims annually at its
shrines and where Iranian clerical students train in its religious
universities, the resentment of Tehran’s insertion into Iraqi affairs is
running so high that protesters burned the Iranian Consulate there on Wednesday
days later, the walls of one office in the complex were still faintly warm from
the flames. A wall of file cabinets had been burned to a shell and the papers
that had been inside were little more than a pile of ashes. The door had been
ripped off a safe.
protesters set fire while security forces close Rasheed Street during clashes
in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, November 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
the courtyard, the smell of burned wires and rubber drifted in the air as
half-blackened documents blew in the autumn breeze and a single, charred sandal
lay on its side. A carton of lemons, most of them covered with ash, rolled
about on the tiles.
complex’s metal-frame buildings were so warped by the heat and looked so ruined
that while they had not burned to the ground, their reconstruction would be a
one was inside when the complex was set afire because the only two Iranian
employees left through the back door when security guards realised they would
not be able to hold off the protesters, said Abu Rusol, one of the guards.
a few hundred feet away, the shrine of Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, a
cleric assassinated in 2003, was a scene of tension on Saturday with protesters
facing off against Shiite militiamen protecting the site.
although an Iraqi, spent years in exile in Iran and was part of the opposition
to Saddam Hussein. Now his links to Iran have made his shrine a target of
continued at the shrine late Saturday afternoon. Protesters, who were largely
unarmed, were coming into emergency treatment tents with gunshot wounds, said
Muahin Yasseen, a fifth-year medical school student who had volunteered to
United States — though it has sought political reforms in Iraq, especially on
corruption — had wanted Abdul-Mahdi to remain in office, worried that his
departure could lead to even more extensive bloodshed.
however, has been unable to control the violence, and the pressure on him to
step down has built for some time. He resisted until the latest spate of
killings and a looming threat of a no-confidence vote in Parliament.
Friday, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, the senior Shiite cleric in
Iraq, urged Parliament to stop procrastinating or “the country will pay a high
price, and everyone will regret it.”
was in the hours after al-Sistani’s message that Abdul-Mahdi announced his
intention to resign.
protests, Iranian consulate in southern Iraq set on fire again
Demonstrators on Sunday set the Iranian consulate building in Iraq's southern
city of Najaf on fire for the second time in a week as violent anti-government
protests continue to rock the country's southern regions.
Iranian consulate building in Najaf was set on fire on Wednesday as part of the
protests in the city, which left more than 100 people injured.
lodged a diplomatic protest to Baghdad and Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamad
Alhakim offered apologies to his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
to the Iraqi Shafaq news agency, the building was set ablaze today again.
protests in Iraq began in early October, with people demanding the government's
resignation, as well as economic reforms, better living conditions, social
welfare and an end to corruption.
unrest left reportedly over 400 people killed and thousands more injured.
weeks of deadly anti-government protests in the country, Iraqi Parliament on
Sunday approved Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's resignation during a
parliament session held in Baghdad.
Christians Warn Sweden of 'Islamist Rule'
Swedish researchers have brushed aside the idea of an Islamic takeover despite
a dramatic demographic change, they admitted the rise of Islamist
indoctrination and increasing tensions.
Iraqi Christians there is a widespread belief that many European countries,
such as Sweden and France, have “naively” received too many Muslims from the
Middle East and now risk an increased Islamic influence to the point of
Islamist rule, the Christian magazine Världen Idag reported.
lose control”, church worker Layla (a pseudonym for security reasons) from
Iraqi Kurdistan told the magazine. Among Christian Iraqis like herself, she
said, there is a belief that Sweden will turn Islamist in the future, because
of the large immigration from Muslim countries.
Basil (also a pseudonym), who has met thousands of Yazidis and Christians
fleeing from Daesh*, recalled the Muslim concept of taqiya, a precautionary
dissimulation or denial of religious belief. According to him, it is frequently
utilised by radical Muslims as well to hide their true intent.
to Islamologist Rickard Lagervall of Lund University and Jönköping University,
it is unlikely that Islamists would take over in Sweden any time soon, since
they are a minority. Another reason is that Islamists are a divided group that
includes not only Daesh sympathisers and jihadists, but also “puritan”
Salafists who, he suggested, avoid politics. In addition, “ordinary” Muslims
are a fragmented group as well, he stressed.
the Muslim background group, many are not necessarily Muslim practitioners”, he
the same time, Lagervall admitted that radical Muslims try to influence
moderate Muslims to become more devoted.
number of Muslims in Sweden has spiked dramatically in a matter of decades. In
1950, there were merely 500 Muslims in the Scandinavian country. Today, their
share is estimated to have exceeded 800,000, amounting to 8.1 percent of the
population, according to the Pew Research Centre.
2018 survey by the very same institution expected the number of Muslims in
Sweden to reach 4.5 million, by way of demographics and immigration, prompting
the Christian newspaper Dagen to ask whether the Swedish cross will be replaced
by a crescent.
Carlbom, associate professor of social anthropology at Malmö University,
ventured it was an exaggeration that Islam will take over Europe. He stressed
that many Muslims become secularised and thus have fewer children. At the same
time, he envisioned clear tensions between Swedes and Muslim communities,
especially radical ones.
Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Islamic State) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia
and other countries
Arabia recovers 52,000 illegally taken priceless artifacts
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has recovered
thousands of illegally taken antiquities.
is encouraging citizens and residents inside and outside of Saudi Arabia to
hand over national antiquities. This is so the items can be displayed in
museums and exhibitions to highlight their historical value, since they
represent essential evidence for the study of civilizations that once prevailed
in the Kingdom.
has formed a special committee to work on the inventory of lost artifacts and
recover them in coordination with the authorities at the Saudi ministries of
interior and foreign affairs.
efforts resulted in the return of about 32,000 national artifacts from outside
the Kingdom, and about 20,000 national artifacts from within it, according to
the SCTH website.
Nayef Al-Qanoor, director general of the Registration and Protection of Antiquities
department in SCTH, said that the archaeological survey is considered the
pillar of archaeological works in the Kingdom. The search began with a small
group of Saudi researchers.
has initiated since the 1980s the establishment of an organization responsible
for the antiquities of the Kingdom and the enactment of laws and regulations to
protect national cultural property,” Al-Qanoor told Arab News. “Since that
time, that organization began to inventory and document national antiquities
from within the Kingdom and abroad that have been taken illegally.”
said that SCTH has missing antiquities that are documented and registered on
is a red list on the commission’s website of stolen national and cultural
property with a picture and a description of each item and when it was stolen.
said that SCTH is working in cooperation with its partners to track down the
antiquities. “Most of the national heritage artifacts that have been returned
came from the US,” he said.
said that there is a joint cooperation agreement between the commission and
Saudi Aramco “in returning national antiquities that were taken out of the
antiquities were voluntarily returned from American citizens who worked in the
Kingdom in the 1960s or from their relatives in coordination with the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs.
have also voluntarily returned national antiquities from France, Britain and
said that SCTH honors those who returned the antiquities.
Clark, assistant editor at AramcoWorld and editor of the twice-yearly magazine
Al-Ayyam Al-Jamilah, became involved with the Antiquities Homecoming Project
through Saudi Aramco’s King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in
Dhahran in late 2011.
center launched the Antiquities Homecoming Project in cooperation with the
Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to encourage Aramco retirees
and family members to repatriate archaeological antiquities that they had
collected during their years in the Kingdom,” Clark told Arab News.
Houston-based subsidiary publishes Saudi Aramco’s magazine for retirees,
Al-Ayyam Al-Jamilah, of which Clark is editor. “Through the magazine, we
reached out to annuitants around the globe for help in locating objects of
national historical interest,” he said.
has worked with Ithra in its cooperative agreement with SCTH arranging for
antiquities to be returned to Saudi Arabia.
said that he had helped to return hundreds of antique pieces. “They range from
hundreds of arrowheads and other stone tools from the Empty Quarter desert to a
1,000-year-old clay pot from Al-Ahsa in the Eastern Province, basalt grinding
stones from Mada’in Saleh, and a neo-Babylonian seal stamp and Roman-era glass
bracelets, also from the Eastern Province,” he said.
said that he is not an antique collector but likes to view antiquities on-site
in the Kingdom or in its museums. “My work in contacting retirees and family
members has turned up many ‘unexpected antiques’,” he said.
to Clark, “each piece is fascinating.”
of the most intriguing (antiquities), because of its age (and the journey it
made), was a clay bowl found near Jubail by Marian Ferguson, who lived in
Dhahran with her husband Kenneth and their son Ken from 1953-1970,” he said.
Potts, a highly regarded scholar of Arabian archaeology, said that it was
almost certainly a Mesopotamian bevel-rim bowl dating to 3400-3000 BCE “and, if
so, the first one to turn up in the Eastern Province.”
notable ‘find’ was what looks to be a bead-drilling tool — perhaps the first of
its kind— found in the Eastern Province and donated with other artifacts by
retiree Mark Goldsmith,” Clark said.
said that the removal of antiquities from the Kingdom took place before the
establishment of an official body concerned with national heritage. “These
events were at a time when there was not full knowledge of the importance of
national heritage, which led to some of them exiting the country illegally,” he
said that all shops with heritage antiquities in the Kingdom are subject to
regulations. There was continuous monitoring of these markets, and the
commission worked with their owners from the perspective of sustainable
said that all returned antiquities pieces come back via official channels and
underwent a series of procedures before they are restored — checking the
authenticity of the piece and if it belongs to the civilizations of Saudi
is followed by the initiation of formal restoration procedures in coordination
with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other partners,” Al-Qanoor said.
said that most of the items returned are in their original and intact
condition. Some have suffered minor fractures and have been treated by the
Department of Restoration of the Heritage and Museums Sector.
Al-Maghthawi, a Saudi expert in early Islamic inscriptions, has discovered more
than 3,000 early Islamic inscriptions and has read, studied and linked many of
them to historical sources.
contributed to the discovery and registration of three archaeological sites on
the old caravan route called the path of the prophets and was registered on the
National Archaeological Register.
handed in three pieces of early Islamic inscriptions from the 7th and 8th
century AD and received an award from Prince Sultan bin Salman, former
president of SCTH, for his discoveries.
Kingdom has many archaeological and historical sites, inscriptions and drawings
that are not found in any other country. We are working with SCTH under the
regulations and instructions to preserve this valuable national heritage,” he
Al-Harbi, an expert in the historical antiquities found in the villages
crossing prophets pathway and migration (Hijrah) and caravans between Makkah
and Madinah, found tombstones from a village underground, and was the first to
see many of these historical tombstones when a flood swept through part of the
village in 1992.
conference to outline new vision for Arab world
The annual FIKR 17 conference begins today at the King Abdul Aziz Center for
World Culture (Ithra).
Arab Thought Foundation has organized the four-day event in collaboration with
Ithra in Dhahran. The theme of this year’s conference is “Outlining a New Arab
Vision.” Around 60 leading literary
figures and decision-makers are scheduled to attend the event.
Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who is also the chairman of the Arab Thought
Foundation, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Prof. Henry
Uwait, the foundation’s director, will also attend the conference.
foundation aims to invite leading thinkers to come up with innovative solutions
to social issues and to enrich Arab thought in light of the modern global
Director Fatmah Al-Rashid explained that Ithra’s participation in the
conference is in line with its vision to develop innovation in the fields of
literature and culture. Al-Rashid also emphasized that Ithra promotes the
importance of meaningful dialogue and an exchange of ideas. AN Dhahran
offers SR691 million government fee refunds to Saudi SMEs
The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) General Authority (Monshaat) has paid
SR691 million ($185 million) to 7,500 small- and medium-sized companies as part
of the government fee refunding initiative.
Gov. Saleh Al-Rasheed revealed the details during a meeting organized by the
Riyadh Chamber in the presence of its chairman, Ajlan Al-Ajlan, and several
businesspeople, professionals and business stakeholders.
highlighted the importance of raising the contribution of this group of
enterprises to the gross domestic product.
said that the most prominent initiatives of “ease of doing business” in
cooperation with the Labor Ministry were to issue nine visas to full-time
employees of enterprises, provide a grace period of one year for registration
and to enroll newly appointed Saudi employees in the Nitaqat program as soon as
being registered in the social security fund. Other initiatives include the
Saudization of leadership positions and supporting the employment of those
enrolled in the “Incentive” program and other initiatives.
said that Monshaat had established business support centers that formed an
integrated environment to provide the training programs, consultancy and
guidance services needed by entrepreneurs. SPA Riyadh
Muslim jailed for attack against Sunni mosques in Birmingham
Shia Muslim has been jailed for three years and nine months for vandalism
attacks on five mosques in Birmingham.
Rezazadeh used a sledgehammer to smash windows and doors in Perry Barr, Aston
and Erdington on March 21.
34-year-old, who is of Iranian descent, admitted religiously aggravated
Michael Chambers QC said Rezazadeh had been “motivated by religious hatred” and
all the mosques he attacked were used by Sunni Muslims. Passing sentence, Judge
Chambers said the offending was “planned and premeditated.”
has a long history of religious toleration and harmony, not only between the
faiths but within the faiths as well. You quite deliberately and seriously
offended against that,” he said.
harm in this case has been extremely substantial – the impact on the local and
wider Muslim community has been huge.”
caused damage put at more than £11,000 in the attacks at Witton Islamic Centre,
Al-Habib Trust and Jamia Masjid Ghausia, all in Aston, Masjid Madrassa Faizul
Islam in Perry Barr and Jam-E-Masjid Qiblah Hadhrat Sahib Gulhar Shareef in
March 21 at 1.25am he first struck at the Witton Islamic Centre in Aston. CCTV
showed him smashing through a window with a sledgehammer, which then fell into
the building as he lost grip.
returned 30 minutes later and continued the attack, leaving all outside windows
broken and causing £3,100 of damage.
minutes later, he struck at the Masjid Madrassa Faziul Islam Centre in Perry
Barr smashing three more windows, causing £300 of damage.
2.15am he then went onto attack the Al-Habib Trust in Aston. Once again, he was
caught on CCTV as he smashed nine windows, causing £1,000 of damage.
2.30am he struck at the Jamia Masjid Ghausia, smashing five windows and causing
£5,000 of damage.
at 3am Rezazadeh smashed the front windows of the Jam-E-Masjid Qiblah Hadhrat
Sahib Gulhar Shareef in Erdington, smashing windows at the side of the mosque.
next day he handed himself in at Birmingham Central police station after a major
hate crime investigation was launched.
interview, Rezazadeh behaved erratically and initially denied responsibility.
He later said he disagreed with the teachings of an imam at another mosque, and
said he only handed himself in so he could have an audience with a judge to
tell him about the imam.
was detained under the Mental Health Act, before being deemed fit to stand
trial. On October 31, he pleaded guilty to five charges of religiously
aggravated damage and was bailed to return for sentencing.
Tom Walkling said the defendant had been drinking alcohol to celebrate the
Iranian new year on the eve of the attacks and that he had a history of mental
issues linked to cannabis use.
Iqbal, of the Witton Islamic Centre, said the attack had upset the congregation
and it was fortunate no-one was seriously hurt.
Labour leader would stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen
News Agency (ABNA): Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Sunday
he would stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen if he wins an
election this month.
will stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen and work to end the war
there, not actively support it as the Conservative government has done,” Corbyn
said in a speech setting out Labour’s foreign policy objectives.
new internationalism means we will create a peace and conflict-prevention fund
and invest an extra 400 million pounds ($513 million) to expand our diplomatic
capacity and increase oversight of arms exports to ensure we’re not fuelling
conflicts, as in Yemen and in Israel and the Palestinian territories,” he said
in the speech in the northern English city of York.
Francis condemns Iraq’s ‘harsh’ crackdown on protesters
am following the situation in Iraq with concern. It is with pain that I have
learned of the protest demonstrations of the past days that were met with a
harsh response, causing tens of victims,” Pope Francis said.
Francis on Sunday criticised Iraq’s crackdown on anti-government protests,
which have led to the deaths of more than 400 people since they erupted in
Baghdad and other cities in October.
am following the situation in Iraq with concern. It is with pain that I have
learned of the protest demonstrations of the past days that were met with a
harsh response, causing tens of victims,” Francis said at his weekly Sunday
blessing and message.
security forces have used live ammunition, tear gas and stun grenades against
protesters and last week saw some of the bloodiest incidents since the
demonstrations began, with scores of people killed particularly in the southern
cities of Nassiriya and Najaf.
who has said he wants to visit Iraq next year, told tens of thousands of people
in St. Peter’s Square that he was praying for the dead and wounded and invoking
God for peace in the country.
unrest, which has killed mostly demonstrators, amounts to the biggest challenge
for Iraq since Islamic State insurgents seized vast swathes of Iraqi and Syrian
territory in 2014.
pits mostly young, disaffected Shi’ite protesters against a Shi’ite-dominated
government backed by Iran and accused of squandering Iraq’s oil wealth while
infrastructure and living standards deteriorate.
The London Bridge Jihad Murderer Was “Deradicalized"
Dec 2, 2019
News reported Saturday that Usman Khan, the devout Muslim who murdered two
people and injured three others in a stabbing rampage on London Bridge Friday
“penned a letter from his jail cell asking to take part in a deradicalisation
course to become ‘a good British citizen.’” And predictably, British
authorities, ever anxious to avoid charges of “Islamophobia,” fell for it hook,
line, and sinker. He was even at a deradicalization event when his jihad attack
plaintive cry for help came in October 2012, “after his conviction for plotting
to blow up the London Stock Exchange as a member of an al Qaida-inspired group.”
While he was in prison, he wrote to British authorities, saying he wanted to
“learn Islam and its teachings” through a “deradicalidation [sic] course.” Khan
added: “I would like to do such a course so I can prove to the authorities, my
family and soicity (sic) in general that I don’t carry the views I had before
my arrest and also I can prove that at the time I was immature, and now I am
much more mature and want to live my life as a good Muslim and also a good
citizen of Britain.”
request was granted. In fact, Khan was in Cambridge University at a
deradicalization event, about to share his own story of how he discarded the
twisted, hijacked Islam of jihad groups worldwide and embraced the true,
peaceful version, when he left to go on his stabbing spree on the London
Bridge. Deradicalization in action!
is Khan by any means the first “deradicalized” Muslim to return to the jihad.
Deradicalization programs have been implemented elsewhere, notably in Indonesia
and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s deradicalization program is worse than a
failure: terror analyst Paul Sperry wrote in the New York Post several years
ago that “counterterrorism experts have long suspected Saudi Arabia’s
‘rehabilitation’ center for terrorists does a poor job of de-radicalizing
jihadists. But a Saudi detainee at Guantanamo Bay now reveals it’s actually a
recruiting and training factory for jihad.”
asked about the Saudi deradicalization program by his parole board at
Guantanamo, al-Sharbi responded: “True. You are 100 percent right, there is a
strong — externally, a strong — de-radicalization program. But make no mistake,
underneath there is a hidden radicalization program. There is a very hidden
strong — way stronger in magnitude — broader in financing, in all that.”
record shows that al-Sharbi was right. UPI reported in February 2009 that
“eleven Saudis released from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are on a list of 85 wanted
terrorism suspects made public by the Saudi Interior Ministry, officials said.
Saudi officials said the 11 former Guantanamo Bay detainees underwent a Saudi
rehabilitation program for former jihadists and are thought to have fled the
country, joining terrorist groups elsewhere.” In June 2010 a Saudi official
revealed that twenty-five graduates of the Saudi deradicalization program had
returned to jihad.
same month, Indonesia’s Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Patrialis Akbar,
admitted that his country’s deradicalization program was a failure: “We have to
say that generally the program has failed. There are convicts who have
successfully been re-integrated back into society, leaving behind their old
ways. But successes are few compared to those who remain unreformed. It is
extremely difficult to reform terrorists because we are trying to destroy years
of indoctrination and misinterpretation of Islam.”
wonders why it is so difficult. If their misinterpretation of Islam is so
clear, one would think it wouldn’t be all that hard to explain that to
jihadists, who are generally very devout and anxious to the right Islamic
of course, the “misinterpretation of Islam” that the jihadists use to justify
their actions and make recruits is based on a broad, mainstream tradition in
Islam — a tradition that is yet to be successfully challenged on Islamic
grounds by self-proclaimed moderates.
in the West? The Washington Post reported in February 2017 that the French
government’s deradicalization program was, according to a French Senate report,
a “total fiasco.”
universal failure is no surprise. Deradicalization programs are based on a
false premise: that jihadis are misunderstanding Islam and misinterpreting the
Qur’an, and can simply be shown the error of their ways. If the true teachings
of Islam are peaceful, then all that needs to be done is show the jihadis how
they’re overlooking all the peace, and all will be well. But since the Qur’an
and Sunnah are full of commands to make war against and subjugate unbelievers,
the idea that jihadis can be “deradicalized” by reference to them is just a
myth told to Infidel authorities to lull them into complacency.
Usman Khan demonstrated Friday on the London Bridge, we’re likely to be paying
for this myth for a long, long time.
Conservatives should not give up on Muslim voters
many leaflets posted and campaigns found around this general election, we can
see groups setting out to ‘mobilise the Muslim vote’. I find the term
stomach-churning. I’m a director of Faith Matters, which seeks to foster good
relationships between all faith communities. I don’t believe in seeing people’s
political choices as some form of block activity or vote: religious, racial, or
anything else. But identity politics is, unfortunately, on the rise – and we
can see plenty of it in this election campaign.
seen a mailshot from one group that declares: “we kicked out 8 Islamophobic MPs
in 3 general elections. Help us kick out 14 more in this one!” I was all agog
to find out who these ‘Islamophobic MP’s’ were, what evidence had been found to
unmask them. Then I saw the list: it includes Amber Rudd, the former Home
Secretary and Iain Duncan Smith. Now, you can call these former Cabinet members
many things, but ‘Islamophobic’ is not a charge that has any relevancy.
the Conservatives certainly do have a problem with support in Muslim
communities. The British Election Study suggests that 85pc of Muslims voted
Labour in the last general election and the Tories have done very little to
engage with such voters this time around. The focus has been only on ‘getting
Brexit done”. Perhaps it’s assumed such messages will resonate within Black and
Minority Ethnic groups as much as anyone else ) (remember that many had deep
concerns about EU membership expressed before the Brexit vote).
are plenty Muslim votes to be won, if the Tories were to try a bit harder. A
great many of them espouse core conservative values: the importance of hard
work and decent education. Law and order forms an essential backbone to how
they live their lives and they carry with them a respect for their country –
our country – the United Kingdom. Tackling rising levels of anti-Muslim hatred,
better life chances and opportunities, feeling safe and secure and supporting
entrepreneurism are all ‘pull points’ that Conservatives can use to draw in
fact, the Tories have done substantial amounts to confront anti-Muslim hatred,
but almost no attempts seem to be made to communicate this. The national
anti-Muslim hate monitoring project that I helped set up, Tell MAMA, was
supported under David Cameron and his successor. Much was done to tackle
anti-Muslim hatred at a street level, raise awareness of anti-Muslim hate with
press agencies and ensure that good practice in challenging and countering
anti-Muslim hate was disseminated. As faith minister, Lord Bourne was
passionate about countering anti-Muslim hatred. But he has hardly been utilised
in this campaign, meaning that he has few chances to talk about what was
achieved. Such missed opportunities will make it harder for Conservatives to
tap into the young social activism that is so becoming embedded in large
sections of Muslim communities today.
makes no sense for the Conservatives to allow themselves to be on the back foot
with Muslim communities. It makes sense to reach out, engage, recruit, mobilse
and energise young British Muslims with hope, a sense of dignity and with
equality and transparency embedded into the heart of the Party. The Tories
might argue that they have done a lot – but it is also public perception that
matters. They need to talk a lot more about what they do.
my part, I’ve made it clear that I can never support a Jeremy Corbyn-led government. His choice of
political ‘friends’ make clear that our values as a country will be at stake
should he win, especially if he ushers in groups whose ideologies are
autocratic, divisive and polarising. I have challenged Muslim
Brotherhood-affiliated groups, Islamists and far-right extremists for decades,
because they are ideologically and physically a threat to our nation’s soul.
But as the recent rise in support for the Labour Party demonstrates, not
everyone sees it this way.
shocking to read that just 7pc of Jewish voters intend to back Labour at this
election. But it’s also alarming to see studies suggesting that just 10pc of
Muslims backed the Tories in the last election. Surely a one-nation
Conservative Party should be shocked at such low support in any section of the
population? And surely it’s worth the effort to win back any such voters? It
will need drive, determination and energy. But if Brexit can be done, winning
over large sections of Muslim communities can also be done.
Mughal is the Director of Faith Matters and Founder of Muslims Against
Islamists amongst us: rehabilitation or indefinite detention?
is enough,” said Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the Islamist
slaughter of seven innocent people on London Bridge in June 2017. “We must not
and cannot pretend that things can continue as they are,” she explained, and
she went on to talk of the “evil ideology of Islamist extremism, that preaches
hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism”. There had been far too much
tolerance of extremism, she said, and an antidote was more urgent than ever:
“It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence,
and make them understand that our values, pluralistic British values, are
superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate.”
Khan, disciple of Anjem Choudary and convicted terrorist, has killed two more people
on London Bridge. He was out of prison on licence, wearing a tag so he could be
monitored. He had served just half of his time, and the law (as it stood at the
time of his sentence) afforded him the luxury of mandatory parole, as it did
with Choudary, who was released last year. There is no parole board to persuade
or dupe into believing that they have repented of their evil ways: liberty was
their statutory right. Despite Theresa May’s overtures of urgency and
intolerance of the “evil ideology of Islamist extremism”, Usman Khan was free
to attend a Cambridge University conference at London Bridge, where he killed
two more innocent people.
many as 70 convicted terrorists released from prison could now be plotting
London Bridge III in their quest to establish the British Caliphate.
do you “turn people’s minds” away from their evil Wahhabi ideology, when they
are persuaded it is the path to righteousness and glory? How do you “make them
understand” that our heretical values and blasphemous beliefs are superior to
their sacred revelation? How do you teach devout Islamists that “pluralistic
British values” are a better way of life and a surer path to salvation than the
example of their prophet Mohammed?
do you open their minds to the possibility that Mohammed was wrong?
do you teach a Roman Catholic that theirs is not the ‘One True Church’ founded
by Jesus Christ, and that the Magisterium errs in matters of faith? How do you
teach a Protestant that there is no such thing as a personal relationship with
God through Christ, and that the Reformation was a profound mistake? How do you
teach Jews that there is not only one God, and that the Law of Moses has been
supplanted by a dispensation of grace? How do you teach Hindus, Sikhs and
Buddhists that enlightenment does not liberate the soul to any kind of nirvana,
and that reincarnation is a deceitful bondage?
a few years in prison with a mandatory course in “pluralistic British values”
really change the theological mind or the spiritual discernment of the devout,
pious and zealous soul who is utterly convinced of the justice and
righteousness of his sacred mission?
not, why are politicians, lawyers and the media all currently arguing about
what went wrong in the sentencing and ‘rehabilitation’ of Usman Khan, when the
root of the Islamist problem is theological, historical and spiritual as well
as social and political?
don’t change hearts and minds with a few years in prison, do you? Doesn’t
persecution tend to reinforce religious conviction and inspire a greater sense
of unity in divine righteousness? What kuffar programme of Islamist
‘de-radicalisation’ is going to be assuredly effectual against those who
believe themselves to be true and faithful Muslims, prepared to die for their
devotion to the cause of Mohammed in accordance with the will of Allah to usher
in the Caliphate?
Theresa May, you may believe Islamism to be “a perversion of Islam and a
perversion of the truth”, so how do you educate, indoctrinate or inculcate the
Islamist mind into ‘pure’ Islam and unadulterated Islamic truth? In order to
encourage ‘moderate’ (/’pure’) Islam, its theology must be clearly defined and
its creed codified. Is someone (a government ‘Faith Czar’?) going to nail a
liberal-democratic 95 theses to the door of every mosque? Who is going to teach
this ‘reformed’ and ‘moderate’ Islam that embraces abortion, homosexuality and
same-sex marriage if, as one presumes, this ‘moderate’ Islam must espouse
equality, tolerance and mutual respect?
concept of the Caliphate is as intrinsic to Islamic theology as the New
Jerusalem is to Christian eschatology. Certainly, the political foundations and
moral precepts of the Caliph are disputed across and within the divergent
strains of sharia, but you cannot challenge the variably apprehended values of
the Caliphate by enforcing ‘British values’ any more than you can abolish
divergent understandings of holiness, justice and mercy from the New Jerusalem.
If there is no certain or sure way to rehabilitate the Islamist mind or reform
their evil ideology, why are they allowed out of prison on licence, wearing a
tag? If a path to restorative justice is not easy to discern, doesn’t that just
leave retribution? Shouldn’t the foreign-born Islamists amongst be swiftly
repatriated, and those that are home-grown be subject to indefinite detention?
Or is enough not really enough?
does not need US’ permission for relations with Iran: Envoy
News Agency (ABNA): The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Islamic
Republic of Iran Levan Dzhagaryan said on Sunday that cooperation between
Tehran and Moscow does not need the US’ permission.
his country independent, in an interview with the Press TV, the envoy
underlined that Russia does not need permission of the US or any other country
for continuing ties with Iran.
evaluated Iran-Russia future relations positive saying that “the Presidents of
the two countries will regularly meet each other on various occasions and
discuss different issues.”
we are witnessing various mutual agreements signed on economy, politics, and
culture,” he added.
the probable measure of the US and its allies for referring Iran’s file to the
UN Security Council, Dzhagaryan said “Russia, China, and other European
countries will try to prevent this negative scenario. The whole world knows
that this treaty is in jeopardy, and the only country responsible for the disaster
is the US. We condemn the US’ withdrawal from this international agreement. The
Americans violated international law in this respect, and Iran was forced to
take required action because it had no other choice. The JCPOA provided no
interests for Iran.”
Russian ambassador reiterated that his country will continue its cooperation
with Iran on the construction of nuclear sites in Bushehr as well as other
projects including electrification of Garmsar-Incheboroun railway,
establishment of a thermal power plant in Hormozgan province and etc.
the US statements claiming that Iran-China-Russia cooperation will ignite
another war in the region, he said “they are baseless accusations since it was
the US who led Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan into wars.”
suggest Americans to have a look back to their measures in the past years to
find out which country puts regional security at risk,” he added.
11 shot on edge of French Quarter in New Orleans, say police
Orleans police say 11 people were hit in an early morning shooting on the edge
of the city’s famed French Quarter.
police release says two people are in critical condition and no arrests have
been made. Police Supt. Shaun Ferguson tells The New Orleans Advocate/The
Times-Picayune that a person of interest has been detained.
say 10 people were taken to two hospitals and an 11th was a walk-in. Further
details haven’t been released.
shooting took place on a busy commercial block of Canal Street that has
streetcar tracks and is near many hotels. Ferguson says police quickly
responded to the scene as patrols were heightened for this weekend’s Bayou
Classic, the annual Thanksgiving weekend rivalry football game between
Grambling State and Southern University that’s played at the Mercedes-Benz
tried to rescue us 6 times: Taliban prisoner
Australian teacher held captive with an American colleague by the Taliban for
more than three years believes US special forces tried and failed six times to
Weeks was released last month in a prisoner swap along with Kevin King, ending
an ordeal that began with their abduction in 2016 outside the American
University in Kabul, where they worked. Weeks, 50, told a news conference on
Sunday he believed that US navy SEAL teams tried repeatedly to rescue them,
sometimes missing them only by “hours” after the two hostages were moved to
other locations by their captors.
believe... that they came in six times to try to get us,” he said. One attempt
came in April this year. Weeks said he was woken at 2am (local time) by his
guards, who told him they were under attack from Islamic State group fighters,
and moved him into a tunnel.
believe now that it was the navy SEALs,” Weeks said. Weeks said he and King
were shifted through various remote locations in Afghanistan and Pakistan
throughout their captivity. He also said some Taliban guards he had encountered
were “lovely people”. “I don’t hate them at all,” he said. “And some of them, I
have great respect for, and great love for, almost.” He added: “I know alot of
people don’t admit this, but for me, they were soldiers. And soldiers obey the
commands of their commanders. (They) don’t get a choice.”
Islam Is The World's Fastest-Growing Religion
the global population is expected to grow 32 percent by 2060, the number of
Muslims is expected to grow 70 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.
In the second half of this century, the number of Muslims is projected to
surpass the number of Christians around the world.
Hackett (@conradhackett), associate director of research and senior demographer
at Pew Research Center, joins Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson with more on
what's behind the growth.
why the global Muslim population is growing so rapidly
are the youngest major religious group in the world. They have a median age of
24. And Muslims have more children than people in any other group. About three
children per woman who's Muslim, compared to about 2.2 children per woman who's
not Muslim in the world."
of course do change religious faiths, and we've measured religious switching,
but for Muslims the story as far as we can tell is really about natural
increase: a lot more Muslims being born than are dying in any given year."
people changing their religious identity
studied a couple dozen Muslim-majority countries, and we don't see much change
in religious identity in those countries. In Egypt, for example, most people
who grew up Christian retain that identity as adults, and the same for those
who grew up Muslim. There are some restrictions on switching faith in
Muslim-majority countries. You might be stigmatized or face legal consequences
for apostasy for changing faith. So that's a factor that they limit what we can
capture. But the big change in terms of religious switching in the world is
from people who grew up Christian to those who now identify with no religion.
And that population of people who claim no religion is growing a lot through
religious switching, not through fertility. Those folks tend to have fewer
children than people who have a religious affiliation."
are the youngest major religious group in the world. They have a median age of
24. And Muslims have more children than people in any other group." Conrad
what Islam's growth means for the world
way of thinking about it is we have this rapidly secularizing West, places like
the United States and Europe, more people are becoming unaffiliated. And then
we have this population of the rapidly growing rest of the world, places like
Africa — where almost everyone continues to identify with a religion — and the
number of people there is multiplying greatly. By 2060, four out of 10 of the
world's Christians will live in sub-Saharan Africa, according to our
projections, for example. There's a big geographic shift underway in terms of
where the world's Christians live, and the population of people who are
religious increasingly are living outside of Europe, North America."
the growth of the Muslim population in the U.S.
Muslim population is growing in the United States. We project that by the year
2050, there will be more Muslims than [Jews] or Hindus or Buddhists in the U.S.
Currently, about 1 percent of the U.S. population is Muslim, and that's gonna
increase by a couple of percentage points in the decades to come. And that's
growing because Muslims in the U.S. — like Muslims worldwide — are younger than
other major religious groups and having more children, and also have been
growing through immigration and, we expect, are likely to continue to do
must not forget Iran’s detained protesters
demonstrations against the Islamic Republic generally grab international
attention, less focus is placed on the situation after the protests end and the
policies the Iranian regime pursues following its successful suppression of
wave of protests has further questioned the legitimacy of the regime and
challenged its hold on power. Nevertheless, from the perspective of the Iranian
leaders, protests are a good opportunity to unleash a sweeping crackdown on
their opponents. For example, during the 2018 protests, about 7,000 people were
arrested but, soon after the regime silenced the protesters with brute force,
the international community appeared to have forgotten about the plight of
those captured by the authorities.
Iranian leaders have declined to report how many people were arrested and
killed during last month’s protests. This is a classic strategy employed by the
authorities in order to hide the scope of the ongoing crackdown and to impose
fear in society. Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights
Watch, accurately pointed out that: “Keeping families in the dark about the
fate of their loved ones while ratcheting up an atmosphere of fear and
retribution is a deliberate government strategy to stifle dissent.”
rights groups believe that at least 140 people were killed and thousands were
arrested during the recent public display of discontent in more than 100
locations across Iran. Iranian officials have announced that at least 97 people
identified as “leaders” or “influential actors” have been arrested. Those
arrested are most likely to be among the younger members of the population,
women and university students.
international community must pay close attention to the domestic situation in
Iran after protests are violently crushed. It is also critical to continue
shedding light on the fate of the detainees. The regime generally labels
protesters as rioters, foreign conspirators or political dissidents. This gives
the authorities the power to send them to the Revolutionary Courts and keep
them in notorious political jails such as Evin Prison.
Revolutionary Courts are known for their lack of due process and for denying
detainees access to lawyers. Detainees generally face ambiguous charges such as
endangering the national security of the government, attempting to overthrow
the government or conspiring with “enemies” and foreigners.
courts are also known for passing harsh sentences, which range from long-term
solitary confinement to execution. Several Iranian officials have already
recommended the government sentence protesters to death. The representative of
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s office in Khuzestan Province, Mohammed Ali
Mousavi Jazayeri, told the official Persian language IRNA news agency that
“rioters who used the increase in fuel prices to come to the street and damage
public property were trained by foreigners and… should be executed.” The
Persian language newspaper Kayhan, whose editor-in-chief is appointed by
Khamenei, wrote: “There are reports that suggest judicial authorities consider
execution by hanging as the destiny for the rioters.” It is worth noting that
the act of insulting Khamenei or chanting “Death to Khamenei” is punishable by
Iranian regime is most likely also resorting to various methods of torture. For
example, following the extensive protests in 2009, reports emerged from a
specific detention center, Kahrizak, where detained protesters were tortured
and raped. Several detainees died there, according to human rights groups. Two
major institutions will be playing crucial roles in this regard: The Ministry
of Intelligence and the judiciary, which are both dominated by hard-liners.
addition, the regime is attempting to extract forced confessions by threatening
detainees and their families. In such situations, detainees are normally
required to state that they were cooperating with foreign governments, spying,
and inciting anti-government protests. These “confessions” are videotaped and
broadcast to the rest of the world in order to justify the harsh sentences and
buttress the Iranian regime’s argument that the demonstrations were acts of
foreign “sedition,” while proving that the regime continues to enjoy a high
level of domestic popularity. Iran’s state television channels have already broadcast
several such coerced confessions.
people also die in detention centers because of the torture, and the regime
attempts to brush off these deaths as “suicides” without providing any details.
detainees will most likely be lashed in public in order to send a strong
message to their peers that demonstrations against the regime will not be
tolerated. Family members will also be threatened and warned against speaking
to the media or writing posts about their situation on social media.
the Iranian regime is unleashing its sweeping crackdown, the international
community must put pressure on the authorities to stop their campaign of
oppression and release innocent detainees.
Majid Rafizadeh is a Harvard-educated Iranian-American political scientist. He
is a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy, a businessman and president
of the International American Council. Twitter: @Dr_Rafizadeh
protesters demand Netanyahu resign amid corruption charges
large crowd gathered in Tel Aviv late Saturday, waving Israeli flags and
demanding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation.
70-year-old last week became the first sitting head of government in Israel’s
history to be indicted with fraud, bribery and breach of trust.
at the rally, organized by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, held
banners describing Netanyahu as a “corrupt” leader and calling for a “strong
Israel, strong democracy”.
has denied wrongdoing and dismissed the charges against him as part of “an
attempted coup.” He is not required to step down unless he is convicted, but
the charges against him have thrown Israeli politics into turmoil and opened up
divisions in the country.
Tuesday, about 5,000 people held a demonstration in Tel Aviv in support of
Netanyahu, who, after a decade in office, is Israel’s longest-serving prime
is in the midst of a crisis after two parliamentary elections this year ended
in political deadlock. Voters will have to head to the polls for a third time
if no government is formed before a December 11 deadline.
is also facing a leadership challenge from a fellow member of his own
conservative right-wing Likud party, former Education Minister Gideon Saar. A
recent survey of 1,513 registered Likud members conducted by Direct Polls
indicated that 53% plan to support Netanyahu in the party primary election due
in six weeks, while 40% back Saar.
Netanyahu is replaced, the new Likud leader would be the party’s candidate in
the likely third parliamentary election.
stops migrant boat carrying 34 Syrian refugees
Lebanon's army has said that it stopped a boat carrying 34 Syrian refugees who
were trying to leave the protest-hit country.
stopped the boat near the coast of the northern city of Tripoli on Saturday, it
said in a statement on Sunday.
army said it arrested a Lebanese citizen who was trying to smuggle them out of
the country, adding that there were five Lebanese on board the vessel.
boat's final destination was not immediately clear.
a small Mediterranean country of some 4.5 million people, says it hosts around
1.5 million Syrian refugees.
escaping Lebanon by boat have often tried to cross into Europe through Turkey
or Cyprus, some 100 km away.
October, Lebanon said it agreed to work with Cyprus to prevent migrants from
reaching its shores.
has been rocked by unprecedented anti-government protests since October 17.
government resigned two weeks after demonstrations started, bowing to popular
country's deeply divided political parties have yet to form a new one.
Europeans Clash Over How to Handle Islamic State Detainees
Michael R. Gordon and Benoit Faucon
and its European allies are at odds over the way to prosecute and detain about
2,000 overseas Islamic State fighters being held in Syria, eight months after
U.S.-backed forces seized the final sliver of the group’s self-described
issue grew to become pressing in October when Turkish forces intervened in
northern Syria, spurring fears that the fighters may escape detention within
the confusion. Fewer than 200 prisoners have fled, based on the U.S. navy, and
the fears abated after a U.S.-arranged cease-fire…
heard in Macedonia mosque after more than century
News Agency (ABNA): The Adhan (call to prayer) was recited in an old mosque in
North Macedonia for the first time in 107 years.
minaret of Ali Pasha Mosque in the city of Ohrid had been destroyed in the
Balkan Wars (1912-1913).
has been recently renovated by Turkey’s religious affairs directorate,
according to Al-Jazeera.
project to repair the mosque and its minaret cost some $2.5 million.
for the first time since the Balkan Wars, Adhan is recited and heard in the
Pasha Mosque was built in 1573 at the order of the Ottoman rulers.
sarcophagus lid used in mosque
have discovered that a mosque in Turkey's southeastern province of Gaziantep
has been unwittingly using the lid of an ancient Roman sarcophagus as a
"musalla" stone, a slab usually made from marble upon which the
coffin rests during funeral prayers.
to locals, the 850-kilogram lid was brought to the Örtülü mosque in 1984 as the
mosque was in need a new slab after the old one was broken. The locals found
the lid in a rural area and carried it to the mosque with their tractors.
to Demirören News Agency, Mehmet Kaçar said a group of visitors warned the
community two years ago that the slab looked like a historical artifact and
urged them to contact authorities. An archeologist working for the local
municipality later confirmed that the slab was indeed historic, and belonged to
a Roman empire era.
said after they heard it was an artifact they mulled whether to bring it back
where they found it but ultimately decided to keep it.
feared we might damage it if we tried to move it. It's not like it's being
damaged here. We are taking great care of it," he said.
Islamic Jihad doesn't absolve Hamas' responsibility for Gaza
is responsible for attacks on Israel emanating from the Gaza Strip because it
is responsible for that territory, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on
Sunday at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
words follow IDF strikes inside Gaza over the weekend – in response to rocket
fire from there – that included targeting a Hamas military compound in the
northern part of the coastal enclave.
of the fundamental concepts of what was once called ‘international law’ – a concept
that once had meaning before it was distorted by very warped decisions of the
International Court of Justice – was that a government was responsible for its
territory, in the sense that it was responsible for any offensive action
emanating from its territory against another country,” he said. “We act
according to this principle.”
made clear that while Israel has recently acted against Palestinian Islamic
Jihad, Israel still views Hamas as responsible for aggressive actions coming
out of Gaza.
he said, “the IDF acted in response to terrorist actions against it that came
from Gaza. That is the way it has been, and that is how it will continue to be:
Hamas is responsible.”
said he met last week with Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman, who briefed him on
actions taken to protect Israelis in Judea and Samaria. He called these actions
“very impressive,” and that the cooperation between the Shin Bet and the IDF
has yielded “tremendous results.”
with this daily war on terrorism in the West Bank, Netanyahu introduced a
proposal that passed the cabinet to allocate NIS 40 million to “strengthen the
security” components in the territories.
will fight terror,” he said. “They will not uproot us from here. This is our
Peace Now responded that while residents of the North and communities near the
Gaza Strip do not have budgets for their security, “in the settlements there is
a small and extreme minority for which there is always a budget from the
Now said this “distorted decision” shows how there is suspicion that a prime
minister involved in “criminal proceedings” will make decisions based on his
personal interests and political survival, rather than the national interest.
Iran Not Concerned about Recent Developments in Iraq
Dec 01, 2019
(FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani underlined that presence of wise
politicians and religious leaders, including Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani,
leaves no place for concern over the recent incidents in Iraq.
consider Iraq as our natural ally and we are not concerned about the recent
incidents in Iraq because Iraq enjoys experienced political and religious
leaders and they can handle the issues and Ayatollah Sistani is well aware of
these issues," Larijani told reporters in a press conference in Tehran on
also stressed Iran's preparedness to help Iraq if demanded, and said, "Of
course, that period of time that the ISIL was provoked by the US to attack
Iraq, we were concerned and helped them."
are demanding jobs, an end to corruption and better public services.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said he would present his resignation to
parliament so lawmakers could select a new government.
came after Grand Ayatollah Sistani called for a new government.
response to this call, and in order to facilitate it as quickly as possible, I
will present to parliament a demand (to accept) my resignation from the
leadership of the current government," the statement signed by Mr Abdul
statement did not say when his resignation would take place. On Sunday
parliament will hold an emergency session to discuss the crisis.
Rioters Detained, 3 Firearms Seized by Police in Western Iran
(FNA)- Commander of the Law Enforcement Police in Kurdistan province Brigadier
General Ali Azadi announced that his forces have arrested 25 ringleaders of the
recent riots, and seized 3 rifles from them.
ringleaders and main culprits behind the riots in the two cities of Marivan and
Sanandaj have been detained in coordination with the judicial officials and 3
firearms and some cold weapons have been discovered and seized from them,"
General Azadi said on Sunday.
added that the arrested individuals had misused the recent protest rallies
against the gasoline rationing in Iran and set fire at public properties and
Azadi said that the captured rioters have been handed over to the judicial
November 15, the government raised Iran’s extremely cheap gas price in order to
moderate the national consumption rate, which stands at 110 million liters per
day, 40 million liters above the maximum domestic requirement.
government also announced a number of aid and subsidiary programs to protect
vulnerable households from the adverse effects of the measure.
price reform, required by Iranian legislature and essential as US-imposed
sanctions seek to deplete Iran's budgetary resources, had been long delayed due
to concerns regarding the move's probable backlash.
measure's adoption prompted initially peaceful protests, but riotous elements,
abusing the situation, quickly entered the scene, destroying public property,
setting ablaze banks and gas stations among other facilities, and opening fire
on people and security forces.
month, IRGC Lieutenant Commander Brigadier General Ali Fadavi said that the US
was disappointed that its perpetrated violent riots in Iran did not last more
than 48 hours, adding that reports from all four corners of the country
indicate that peace and calm has been restored much to Washington’s chagrin.
on information we have received, the Americans have gone mad that the riots
were over within 48 hours and are disappointed that there is no more disorder
in Iran," Fadavi added.
Fadavi said that in numerous calls with other IRGC officials in the country no
further riot attempts had been reported.
homes, shops, hospitals, banks and gas stations is a malicious act which is not
an act of protest nor rioting, but an act of thievery," Fadavi said.
is the difference between protest and disorder," he said.
IRGC deputy commander added that peaceful protests were "natural"
given the recent price hike and that the government has to adopt additional
measures to reduce pressure on the general population.
added, however, "The fact that the malicious actors of the world are
targeting Iran in issues that are by no means related to them is a matter to
Head of Iran's Basij volunteer forces Brigadier General Salar Abnoosh said in
November "a full-fledged war" had been meant to be waged against the
country, only to be quelled early on.
added that interrogations of arrested rioters had revealed that a
"coalition of evil" made up of "Zionists, America and Saudi
Arabia" had joined forces to organize destructive riots from abroad.
worshipers during a weekly Friday prayers in Tehran last month, senior Iranian
cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said certain foreign countries had spent
"three years" preparing for an opportunity to wreak havoc in Iran,
training specific elements to that end.
their schemes were neutralized," he said, adding that the riots ceased to
continue despite the fact that countries such as Saudi Arabia had spent many
resources and had provided much media coverage in order to instigate disorder.
the Friday prayers, numerous rallies were also held across Iran to condemn the
protesters condemned the US, Israel and seditionist elements for fueling the
unrest and chanted slogans in support of the Islamic establishment.
recent riots during a speech, Iran's Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Rayeesi said those
"who have abused the concerns and troubles of the people in order to
create disorder and insecurity" will face severe consequences.
Islamic Republic of Iran is known as the safest country in the region due to
the sacrifices of our martyrs and our wounded," he said.
will never allow the smallest breach in the security of our people," he
by a small number who had taken advantage of legitimate public protests against
the government's gas price hike plan in Iran were directed at sowing chaos
through targeted attacks on public and private properties, forcing law
enforcement to step in to stop saboteurs.
estimates of an intelligence body showed that a sum of nearly 87,000 protesters
and rioters had taken part in protest rallies and gatherings since Friday
night, mostly (over 93%) men. A large number of protesters had only been
present in the gathering centers and avoided joining the rioters in sabotage
attacks on public and private properties.
identical methods of the main core of violent rioters discloses that they are
fully trained individuals who have been prepared and looking forward for the
situation to rise, unlike most people who have been taken off guard by the
sudden hike in gas price," the report said.
report showed that gatherings have been comprised of 50 to 1,500 people held in
100 regions of the country out of a number of 1,080 major towns and cities. The
report says violent raids and damage inflicted on properties has been larger
than what happened in February 2018 unrests.
cases of damage to properties had happened in Khuzestan, Tehran, Fars and
Kerman provinces. The report says most casualties have resulted from armed
outlaws' attacks on oil storage and military centers, adding that a number of
police and popular forces have been martyred in these attacks.
1,000 people were arrested across the country while over 100 banks and 57 big stores
were set on fire or plundered in just one province.
Iranian intelligence ministry announced in a statement on November 17 that it
had identified several rioters who misused the recent protest rallies against
the gasoline price hikes to destroy public and private properties.
main culprits behind the riots in the past two days have been identified and
proper measures are being adopted and the honorable nation will be informed
about its result later," the statement said.
of thousands of people in the capital city of Tehran poured to the streets
early this week to show allegiance to Supreme Leader and the Islamic Republic
and support for the country's security and might.
rallies started at 14:30 local time (1100 GMT) with demonstrators moving
towards Enqelab (Revolution) Square in Central Tehran.
demonstrators shouted 'death to the US', 'death to Israel', 'death to Britain',
'death to the plotters' and 'death to the rioters' slogans.
also carried the Iranian flags and placards with Supreme Leader of the Islamic
Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei's images and remarks.
ralliers also voiced their opposition to the hike in gasoline prices and other
goods in Iran, but meantime, voiced hatred for the rioters who misused the recent
protests to set ablaze the public and private properties and loot the big
similar rallies last week, tens of thousands of people in Northern, Western and
Southern Iran demonstrated to show allegiance to the Islamic Republic and
Supreme Leader after the recent riots.
in the towns of Pardis and Baharesten in Tehran province, Nour, Savadkouh,
Behshahr, Neka, Qa'em Shahr and Sari in Mazandaran province, Ahrom in Bushehr,
Imam Khomeini port city in Khuzestan province and Sahneh, Sarpol Zahab, Gilan
Qarb, Qasr-e Shirin, Kermanshah and Javanroud in Kermanshah province held
massive rallies to condemn the rioters who misused the popular protests to
destroy and set fire at public properties last week.
shouted slogans, including 'death to the US' and 'death to Israel' to deplore
their officials' interfering remarks against Iran as well as 'death to the
rioters' and 'death to plotters' to condemn their acts of sabotage during the
protestors also carried placards which called on the government to show more
attention to people's welfare and living conditions and urged the judiciary to
sue and seriously punish those who distorted security and tranquility of people
in the recent riots.
demonstrations have been underway throughout the country in the past few days.
Speaker: US Should Return to N. Deal
(FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani underlined that Washington
should give up its tough language and adopt the language of logic to break the
deadlock between the two countries.
US should return to the nuclear deal," Larijani told reporters in a press
conference in Tehran on Sunday.
Islamic Republic has not closed the doors but the main issue is that the
Americans should understand that these methods (pressures) have existed in the
past too and they did not yield results," he added, noting that the US
should use the past experiences to resolve the issue.
way is not closed," Larijani said.
policy of maximum pressure is wrong and it should be corrected," he
withdrew from the internationally-endorsed 2015 nuclear deal with Iran on May
2018, reimposed the toughest-ever sanctions against the country and started a
plan to zero down Tehran's oil sales.
the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers in July 2015,
Tehran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the
removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
in August, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reminded the White
House that harsh policies against Iran, China and Russia will not serve
Washington’s intention to reverse the shift in global power, advising American
officials to stop worsening the situation around their country with isolating
two successive tweets on August 02, Zarif said the US cannot change the fact
that global power is shifting in favor of Iran, Russia and China by resorting
to sanctions and killing deals, advising Washington to, instead, adapt to the
new realities on the world stage and “stop isolating itself”.
in July, Zarif said that Washington is no longer capable of paying the price to
keep its status as the most powerful country in international relations, adding
that the US economy is not as unrivaled as it was before and consequently
incompetent to pay the price for American superiority.
on the sidelines of the National Day of Industry and Mining, Zarif told
reporters that Europe is now after independence from the US in its economy
because the US economy is no longer the unchallenged super economy of the
in May, Larijani quoted Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei as
saying that US utilitarianism is in decline as it creates 'international
added the creation of the ISIL terrorist group had roots in the US
utilitarianism with the aim of destroying the Islamic nations.
in March, Zarif also censured Washington’s foreign policy and interventionist
role in the Middle East, asserting, “Its recklessness just displays panic of an
empire in decline.”
in November, Top Military Aide to the Iranian Supreme Leader Major General
Yahya Rahim Safavi asserted that the US' power is fading away and Washington is
unable to win control over Iranians’ economy and fate.
Nuclear Chief: Evidence Proves IAEA Inspector Carried Suspicious Materials
(FNA)- Head of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi said that AEOI
has documented evidence that an inspector of the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) had carried suspicious materials while visiting Natanz nuclear
site in Central Iran.
noted that the inspector failed to give a convincing explanation for carrying
the substances, and said, “Generally, inspectors enjoy diplomatic immunity as
ambassadors do while on a mission, and such issues have been stipulated in
international laws and regulations.”
example, if an Iranian AEOI inspector faces an issue in another country, he or
she will enjoy diplomatic immunity,” Salehi added.
meantime, reiterated that the IAEA inspectors must be checked when they enter
Iranian sites and it is naturally done while inspecting nuclear facilities all
around the world, and this law is not only related to Iran.
the check that was run by machines, one of the inspectors found to be carrying
suspicious materials. When she was asked about it, she failed to give
convincing and acceptable answers,” Salehi added.
went on to say that at the end, all the events were documented and filmed, but
the AEOI could not keep the inspector as she had diplomatic immunity.
said Iran has sent a written objection to the IAEA in that regard and announced
the country will follow up on the issue.
said the inspectors carrying suspicious materials is seen by Iran as a move in
connection with the malware Stuxnet.
have a site in Iran where we keep faulty machinery. And we buy many of the
devices (spare parts) from abroad. But they sabotage these devices, so that we
would face problems when operating our machinery,” Salehi noted.
said that the enemies used the malware Stuxnet against Iran.
committed industrial sabotage against us and sold faulty equipment to us, but
we were vigilant in that regard,” Salehi added.
early November, the AEOI announced that it had not allowed an inspector of the
IAEA to enter a nuclear site for carrying "suspicious" materials.
AEOI said in a statement that the female inspector left her mission unfinished
and flew out of Iran after security staff at the Natanz uranium enrichment
facility didn't let her in.
it is protocol, all of the IAEA inspectors' belongings are closely inspected
and scanned before they enter any of the country's nuclear facilities," it
this lady inspector's entry, the security control machines sounded the alarm
and denied her entry," the statement said, adding then that Iran had
reported the issue to the IAEA.
also told the IAEA in a report that the inspector's previous admissions at
various sites were all scrapped and as a result, she decided to abort her
mission and go back to the Austrian capital of Vienna.
report also asked the agency to help with investigations into the matter and it
investigations are ongoing," the AEOI said, noting that the Iranian
mission at the IAEA would present it with a comprehensive report on the matter.
IAEA monitors have been traveling in and out of Iran over the past months amid
Tehran's decision to cut back on its commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal,
dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in response to
violations by the US and a lack of action to salvage the accord on part of the
European signatories -- the UK, France and Germany.
early November, Iran took the fourth step to scale down its nuclear deal
undertakings by injecting gas into 1,044 centrifuges at Fordo nuclear site.
said enrichment work is underway at Fordow facility due to a breach of
commitments by the European parties to the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
long as they fail to live up to their obligations, we will continue enrichment
at Fordow,” he said.
said Iran’s objective is to maintain the JCPOA.
a statement on November 6, AEOI described why it prevented an IAEA inspector
from entering Natanz nuclear facilities few days before. "The alarm at the
entrance gate was activated when the IAEA inspector, a lady, was passing
through,” the statement said, “Therefore, after having her checked, she was
prevented from entering the site.”
statement added that the case was reported to IAEA at the time, calling for the
international body to cooperate on conducting the required investigations in
inspector left Tehran for Vienna, the statement added.
Ministry arrests coordinator between ISIS and Ansar Al-Sharia in Libya
Libyan Interior Ministry said Saturday in a statement that its Tajoura-based
Central Support Force had arrested the coordinator between ISIS and Ansar
Al-Sharia in Libya, Emad Al-Shagabi.
arrest came after a letter by the Interior Ministry last week that called for
Al-Shagabi’s arrest for his role in terrorism and instability in Libya.
will be sent to the office of the Public Prosecutor for further legal action
and more investigations into his crimes and charges.
Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) has denied that Emad Al-Shagabi s working as
an adviser at LIA.
rebuttal comes after social media pages circulated news that LIA board member
Mustafa Al-Manea had issued a Special Passport for Al-Shagabi in an illicit
to Ean Libya on the phone, LIA board member refuted the incident, saying it is
just fake news and the photo for the passport that is circulated on social
media is photoshopped as it has no signature.
Islamist rebels kill 14 in eastern Congo - local authorities
Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – Suspected Islamist fighters killed 14
people in eastern Congo on Friday, local authorities said, as a month-long
spike in violence complicates efforts to contain a deadly Ebola outbreak.
attack in the village of Kukutama, 10 km (6 miles) southwest of Oicha in North
Kivu, comes on top of a death toll of more than 100 since Oct. 30 when the army
started an operation to root out the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a jihadist
group operating in the dense forests bordering Uganda.
attack was just a few miles from another attack days earlier in which at least
19 people were killed.
the army is doing its best to neutralize the ADF rebellion, the rebels are
preying on defenceless civilians by way of revenge,” said Donat Kibwana,
administrator of the territory of Beni.
of the victims have been hacked to death or beheaded, according to local rights
and civil society groups.
in the region is hampering efforts to halt the spread of the Ebola virus, which
has killed 2,200 people since August 2018.
organisations warned on Friday of a potential resurgence of the virus after
deadly militia attacks on health centres forced aid groups to suspend
operations and withdraw staff from the epidemic’s last strongholds.
by Hereward Holland; Editing by Edward McAllister and David Clarke)
least 10 killed in Burkina Faso church attack: Security sources
At least 10 people were killed in an attack on a church in eastern Burkina Faso
where places of worship have already suffered several Islamist assaults,
security sources said.
attack took place on Sunday.
victims were attending a service at a Protestant church in the town of
Hantoukoura, one of the sources said, putting the death toll at "more than
10", while another source said 14 worshippers were killed, all of them
Allah, Yoruba, others dialogue for peace
leaders of ethnic and socio-political groups in Lagos yesterday resolved to
continue to work together to ensure peaceful coexistence in the country. The
participants said a major conflict in Nigeria has the potential of engulfing
the entire West Africa sub-region.
of the groups included the Miyetti Allah, Oodua People’s Congress, (OPC), Ijaw
Youth Congress, (IYC), Igbo Youth Congress, (IYC), Arewa Youth Consultative
Forum, (AYCF), Oodua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC), Agbekoya, Middle Belt
Indigenous Peoples Congress, (MBIPC), among many others.
groups said in a joint statement issued at the end of a one-day training with
the theme: ‘Engaging the Media, Community Based Groups for Peace building and
Conflict Prevention’ organised by the Journalists for Democratic Rights,
(JODER) with the support of the Institute for International Education, (IIE)
and the Ford Foundation, West African Regional Office, urged the federal
government to intensify the mopping up of illegal weapons across the country
and initiate the process for continuous dialogue driven by the people
of the African Conflict Prevention and Peace Network, Mr. Sina Odugbemi, who
spent six months travelling from Nigeria to Libya by road where he spent about
15 years in the desert area, said his experiences have shown that extremism and
violence in Nigeria cannot be fought without a keen understanding of the
Vice President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, (AYCF) Mr. Tijani Suleiman,
said, “As a people, we have the responsibility to work towards peaceful
co-existence. Violence is an ill wind that blows no one any good. We can make
the choice on the part of honour by preventing conflict in Nigeria.”
President, Agbekoya, Chief Adekunle Oshodi, said his group was excited to
participate in a forum initiated for stakeholders on conflict in which the
people are the drivers of the process.
in his presentation, Zannah Yusuf Mehid, representing the Kanuri Traditional
Council, said networking among the various ethnic groups was essential for
peace and prevention of outbreak of hostilities.
Tony Nyiam (rtd), whose training was on ‘Strategies for Peace Building and
Conflict Prevention,’ said one of the most crucial ways of preventing conflict
was for the people to engage themselves out of their own freewill.
representative of the Ford Foundation, Mrs. Onyinye Onyemobi, said she was
impressed by the mention of the relationship between poverty and conflict
adding that the involvement of young people in the conflict prevention training
was a good initiative.
Executive Director, Journalists for Democratic Rights, (JODER), Mr. Adewale
Adeoye, said “peace building should not be left for the government alone.
Conflict prevention is not the property of the government. It is the property
of the people. They own it. They have the right to come together to make a great
impact through constructive engagement.”
wants Makkah Route initiative coverage for all Pakistani Hajj pilgrims next
Pakistan will ask Saudi Arabia to expand the Makkah Route initiative for all
Pakistani Hajj pilgrims next year, Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, federal minister for
religious affairs, said in an exclusive interview with Arab News in Islamabad
initiative by Saudi Arabia was finalized during Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman’s maiden visit to Pakistan in February. Some 22,000 Pakistani pilgrims
were cleared for immigration and customs prior to their Hajj departure during
this year’s pilot project in Islamabad.
will reach Jeddah on a five-day official visit on Tuesday to talk with Saudi
authorities and sign an agreement for Hajj 2020,” Qadri said, adding that there
are “many things on our agenda,” such as the expansion of the Makkah Route
initiative, Hajj quota and e-visa facilities.
of Pakistani pilgrims have already benefited from the pilot program in
year, we are going to request the Saudi government to expand it to the whole
country, otherwise at least Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta should be
included,” the minister said.
added it would ultimately be the Kingdom’s decision based on costs related to
the expansive project.
Qadri was hopeful that the project would at least be extended to all provincial
capitals by next year and said that the Saudis had delivered on almost all of
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s requests.
have given us the Makkah Route
initiative, an e-visa facility and an increase in the Hajj quota to 200,000,”
is the fifth country to get an e-visa facility with Saudi Arabia, in addition
to Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria and France, the minister said.
said that he would ask the Saudi government to relax rules that required all
Hajj tour operators to be registered with the International Air Transport
said the Vision 2030 reform plans under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had
revolutionized Hajj and Umrah operations in a short amount of time, especially
through technological innovation.
pilgrims have been provided with maximum facilities. He is making Hajj very
easy,” he said.
FC personnel martyred, 2 injured in exchange of fire with terrorists in North
Frontier Corps (FC) soldier was martyred and two others were injured on Sunday
in an exchange of fire with terrorists after they raided an FC checkpost in
North Waziristan, a statement by the military's media wing said.
to a statement by Director General Inter Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asif
Ghafoor, "terrorists raided an FC post in North Waziristan district near
the Pak-Afghan border".
the exchange of fire, two terrorists were killed," said Maj Gen Ghafoor.
martyred soldier was identified as Lance Naik Muhammad Imran. The identities of
the injured FC soldiers have not yet been disclosed.
paramilitary force has been attacked multiple times this year as it maintains
law and order in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkwa and the border regions of
Afghanistan and Iran.
January, four of the security force's personnel were martyred during an
exchange of fire with terrorists trying to storm the residential and
administration compound inside a Frontier Corps (FC) training centre in
Balochistan's Loralai district.
following month two FC personnel were martyred while a civilian passerby was
injured in a firing incident in Loralai. A day later, four personnel were
martyred in an attack during a change of shifts at two check posts in the
province's Panjgur district of Makran division.
May, three FC soldiers were injured in a bomb blast near the Shella Bagh area
of Balochistan's Qila Abdullah district. The blast occurred when an explosive
device planted in a motorcycle parked on the Quetta-Chaman National Highway was
detonated by remote control.
a June incident which took place in the province's Harnai district, two FC
soldiers were martyred while on Eid patrol duty.
the past month, a number of attacks on FC soldiers were witnessed. Two FC
officers were martyred on November 5 when unknown militants opened fire on an
FC convoy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Dera Ismail Khan district.
November 15, at least two FC personnel were martyred and five others injured
after the personnel's vehicle was targeted with an improvised explosive device
(IED) blast in Quetta’s Kuchlak area.
two army officers were injured in an exchange of fire with the Indian army
across the Line of Control (LoC).
to a statement by Maj Gen Ghafoor, the Indian army, in an
"unprovoked" act, "fired mortar rounds" on a Pakistan Army
post in the "Rakhchikri, Rawalkot sector along the LoC".
Indian fire was "effectively responded" to, added the statement.
informs new Sri Lankan govt of critical situation in Kashmir
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday briefed his Sri Lankan counterpart
Dinesh Gunawardena on the dire situation and human rights crisis in Indian
occupied Kashmir (IoK), said Foreign office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal.
FO spokesperson said Qureshi told the Sri Lankan foreign minister that the 100-day
plus lockdown remains a "cause of serious concern" for the
the meeting the two ministers discussed trade, investment, tourism and people
to people contacts.
spokesperson said, "Both countries [are] very keen to further deepen and
strengthen the entire gamut of bilateral relations."
to the media after the meeting, Qureshi termed his meeting with the Sri Lankan
Foreign minister as "excellent" and extended an invitation to
Gunawardena to visit Islamabad.
video shared by APP, the foreign minister could be seen saying, "I'm
fortunate to be the first foreign minister to have visited Colombo since the
new government had been elected."
said that during the meeting the two ministers discussed the ways in which they
can take the relations forward, saying, "There is a lot we can do to
promote our mutual interest."
Minister Qureshi is on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka and became the
first foreign minister to visit the country after its elections.
foreign minister is expected to meet the recently elected Sri Lankan President
Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
seeks allies' help to amend Army Act
A high-level delegation of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led by Foreign Minister
Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday met central leaders of Muttahida Qaumi Movement
Pakistan (MQM-P), its coalition partner, at their secretariat to discuss the
current political situation, the upcoming local government election, Karachi
and Hyderabad development package announced by the federal government, and,
most importantly, the latter's scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan
on December 5.
sources from both parties told The News that Sunday's meeting with the MQM-P
leadership was part of the federal government's efforts to secure its allies'
support in amending the Army Act to seek three-year extension for Chief of the
Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
is also likely to meet leaders of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), a
Sindh-level opposition alliance and an ally of the federal government from the
Sindh province today (Monday).
Qureshi-led PTI delegation comprised Governor Sindh Imran Ismail and the
opposition leader in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi while prominent among
MQM-P delegation were party convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Federal Law
Minister Dr Farough Naseem, Aamir Khan, Nasreen Jalil, Karachi Mayor Waseem
Akhtar and Aminul Haque.
the meeting, federal ministers Qureshi and Siddiqui addressed a press
conference, where leaders of both parties termed the meeting very fruitful and
vowed to support each other.
said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had invited the MQM-P and other allied
parties (such as GDA) on December 05, for a session. "Today's meeting can
be called a preparatory sitting for our next meeting of December 05, so as to make
the next session result-oriented," said the foreign minister.
input that I received was quite informative and I am better informed on the
situation in Karachi and Sindh," he said. Qureshi said that the voters of
Karachi are sensible and they understand the challenges that are being
confronted by the federal government.
leader Siddiqui thanked the foreign minister and the PTI delegation for coming
to Karachi and meeting with the party leaders and said that the MQM-P's policy
on national issues was very clear. "We have always extended our
unconditional support and will continue to do so." He was hopeful that the
party's next meeting with PM Khan in Islamabad will yield results.
the MQM leader said that Sindh, especially its urban centers, had been
suffering from economic terrorism for the past 11 years. "The government
is working on those, but the pace is so slow that on many fronts it does not
seem any work is being done," he complained. "Sindh's cities,
especially Karachi and Hyderabad, are in urgent need of intensive care, of
immediate help, morally, politically, and legally," he said.
said that Sindh's only request has been that due attention be given to the
province and its cities immediately. He said that having witnessed the problems
faced by Sindh's cities over the past 30-35 years, certain demands had been
made by the party.
to join hands with Muslim Aid Pakistan
senior level delegation of Muslim Aid Pakistan called on the President of
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries here in Islamabad to finalize the
areas of common interest to help the people in need and also address the
challenges resulting from climate hazards.
talking to the delegation members of the Muslim Aid Pakistan, the President of
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries Mr. Muhammad Ahmed Waheed shared
the ICC&I’s strategic and annual objects. Mr. Waheed unfolded ICC&I’s
plans on Clean and Green Islamabad in partnership with ICT administration,
augmenting the government’s initiative “Panahgah Shelter Homes”, and Women and
Destitute’ empowerment through its Skill Development Centers.
Country Director Muslim Aid Pakistan, Mr. Syed Shahnawaz Ali, updated the
President of ICC&I on Muslim Aid Pakistan’s most recent initiatives in
Healthcare, Women Empowerment and Livelihood, Education, Climate Action,
Disaster preparedness and response, WASH and other relief activities bridging
these actions to Muslim Aid Pakistan’s fifteen years’ journey.
Advisor Partnerships Muslim Aid Pakistan Mr. Amjad Pervaiz highlighted the
significance of potential transformational partnership between Muslim Aid
Pakistan and ICC&I in the area of Clean Green Pakistan, Women Economic
Empowerment, and immediate relief efforts for the marginalized, unreached and
poverty stricken people in the capital city.
this occasion the Head of Programs Ms. Jannat Durrani, apprised the President
on implementation methodology and possible impact of this upcoming partnership
between the parties.
Charity builds mosque in Pakistan’s Punjab
Charity (QC), in collaboration with the government departments concerned and
local communities, has successfully built a mosque in Allah Ditta Machi, a
locality in Rajanpur district of Pakistan’s Punjab, with 150 households
including more than 600 individuals.
2,695sqft mosque, which was a long-standing need of the community in Allah
Ditta Machi, can accommodate up to 150 worshippers at a time.
to the need for a place of worship, the construction of the mosque came in
Allah Ditta Machi locality where people are mostly labourers and hardly fulfil
their daily life needs, due to their limited economic resources," QC said
in a statement.
to the Imam Aman Ullah, who leads worshippers at the mosque, people of the
locality consider it as a "gift from the heavens" for them, because
it was tough for them to construct a place of worship for themselves due to
their challenging economic conditions.
it is very easy and convenient for us to make ablution in a proper place, and
offer our prayers in a clean place with peace. Along with offering our prayers,
we can now teach our children with ease. We are grateful to the people of Qatar
for this immense gift,” said a thankful Amanullah, the
of the mosque.
Pakistan, Qatar Charity started its first humanitarian operation in 1992. Since
then, it has been implementing various charitable, humanitarian and
developmental projects across the country.
Ansar al Islam operatives arrested: Rab
yesterday claimed to have arrested four members of the banned militant group
Ansar al Islam from the city’s Khilkhet area.
are -- Masum Mia (30), Abu Bakar Siddique (19), Rakibul Islam Siam (18), and
Abdullah Al Roman (22).
Rab team arrested them along with some “extremism provoking” books and leaflets
when they gathered in Nikunja area around 9:40pm on Saturday, Mizanur Rahman
Bhuiyan, an assistant director of Rab’s legal and media wing, said.
to Rab, the arrestees during preliminary interrogation admitted that they were
active members of the banned group and did not support the democratic system.
accused wanted to establish Islamic law in the country and for this, they
justified killing people whom they considered their enemies,” a Rab press
group usually hacks their targets to death, but they also carry firearms for
successful escape, Rab said.
an electrician from Cumilla district, got involved in militancy through social
media three years ago. He used to collect funds for the group, the law
enforcement agency said.
student Abu Bakar also got involved with the outfit through the internet two
years ago. He used to communicate with others through different encrypted apps.
joined the group via online through a Satkhira-based leader while Roman was
once a member of Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islam Bangladesh and joined Ansar al Islam
three years ago, it added.
freed by Taliban recounts rescue attempts by US forces
Australian man who spent three years in Taliban captivity has said he believes
the United States's special forces tried to rescue him and an American
colleague and failed at least six times.
in Sydney on Sunday for the first time since he was freed in a prisoner swap
deal, 50-year-old Timothy Weeks said he never lost hope but the captivity
"had a profound and unimaginable effect" on him.
a "hellish life" spent moving between windowless cells in Afghanistan
and Pakistan, Weeks said: "After almost 1,200 days, our ordeal ended as
abruptly as it had begun."
and American colleague Kevin King were freed on November 20 as part of a deal
between the Taliban, the US, Australian and Afghan governments.
pair - both professors at the American University in Kabul - were kidnapped by
gunmen wearing military uniforms as they returned home from classes in August
struggle to find words to express just how completely this has changed me. At
times, I felt as if my death was imminent, and that I would never return to see
those that I loved again," he said. "But, by the will of God, I am
here, I am alive and I am safe."
attempt came in April this year. Weeks said he was woken at 2am by his guards
who told him they were under attack from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(ISIL or ISIS) fighters and moved him into a tunnel beneath where they were
believe now that it was the Navy SEALs coming in to get us. And the moment that
we got into the tunnels, we were just one or two metres underground. There was
a huge bang at the front door.
guards went up and there was a lot of machine-gun fire," he said. "I
believe it was the Navy SEALs right outside our door. I think they came in six
times to try to get us. And that a number of times they missed us only by
expressing thanks to President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott
Morrison for the work that led to their release, Weeks said some Taliban guards
he encountered were "lovely people".
don't hate them at all," he said. "And some of them, I have great
respect for and great love for, almost. Some of them were so compassionate and
such lovely, lovely people. And it really led me to think about ... how did
they end up like this?"
added: "I know a lot of people don't admit this but for me they were
soldiers. And soldiers obey the commands of their commanders. [They] don't get
said he hugged some of his Taliban guards when they parted company on the day
of his and King's release.
the sight of the two US Black Hawk helicopters arriving to take them away had
been an enormous relief.
the moment I sighted both Black Hawk helicopters and was placed in the hands of
special forces, I knew my long and tortuous ordeal had come to an end," he
of a big dust cloud came six special forces and they walked towards us and one
of them stepped towards me and he just put his arm around me and he held me and
he said, 'are you OK?' And then he walked me back to the Black Hawk."
surprise trip to Afghanistan, Trump says Taliban talks resumed
Donald Trump has said the United States has resumed peace talks with the Taliban
as he made an unannounced Thanksgiving visit to US troops in Afghanistan.
visit on Thursday was his first to the South Asian country since becoming
president. It came a week after a prisoner swap, partially brokered by the US,
in which two Western hostages were traded for three Taliban commanders, that
had raised hopes for the revival of peace talks.
Taliban wants to make a deal and we are meeting with them and we are saying it
has to be a ceasefire and they didn't want to do a ceasefire and now they do
want to do a ceasefire, I believe. It will probably work out that way," he
this year, the US reached a deal in principle with the Taliban group to pull
out troops from the country and wind down the 18-year war in return for
Trump made a shock move in September, describing the year-long talks as
"dead", and withdrawing an invitation to the group to meet near
Washington due to the killing of a US soldier.
US president had more recently suggested that the negotiations could get under
Taliban have refused to negotiate formally with the Afghan government, but
diplomatic efforts continue to foster dialogue.
Air Force One presidential plane touched down at Bagram airfield after an
overnight flight from Washington with White House National Security Adviser
Robert O'Brien, a small group of aides and secret service agents, and a pool of
a visit due to last about two-and-half hours, he served turkey to troops in a cafeteria,
posed for photographs and delivered his remarks in a hangar.
also met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, though the details of what transpired
in their meeting has not been made public yet.
13,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan, 18 years after the US invaded the
country in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington DC, said the visit was
"significant", although she added that it was not clear if he has
secured significant concessions from the Taliban, including the laying down of
also said that by visiting Afghanistan, Trump could also be trying to deflect
political problems at home as he faces possible impeachment.
Shah, a Republican political strategist, said that Trump wants to boost his
approval rating by showing that he embraces that military.
wants to make sure that as he goes into the new year, which is very much around
the corner, that he is secured, that he is going to look good in the face of
the American public," she said.
man arrested in India airport with 1kg gold in his shoes
Afghan man arrested by the Indian custom police at the Indira Ghandi
International Airport in New Delhi while he was smuggling 1kg gold by hiding it
in his shoes, Indian media reported on Sunday.
passenger was intercepted after his arrival from Mazar-e-Sharif, on Friday, The
Times of India reported.
detailed body and baggage search of passenger resulted in the recovery of 997
grams gold worthing around 50,000.00 US Dollars which was concealed inside his
shoes, the custom department has said in a statement.
accused passenger has admitted after an investigation that he had smuggled 400
grams gold in his last visit to India.
passenger has been arrested and the gold is seized by the police, but the
identity of him has not be revealed.
‘school students’ sexual abuse investigations must immediately begin: Human
number of human rights activist and the defenders of children’s rights in
Afghanistan asks the government to immediately start investigation of the
Logar’s ‘school students’ sexual abuse case.
joint press release published by the CMST, Najiba Foundation, Gahwara,
Charmaghz and Book Cottage institutions says that the government must
immediately start the investigation of the students sexual abuse case in Logar
province and the result must be shared with the public according to the
statement further adds that another extensive research should be launched in
the education sector across the country in order to identify and unveil the
extent of such crimes.
government must take necessary security measurements for the children’s rights
activist who disclose abuses, the statement urged.
comers as that Mohammad Mosa Mahmoodi and Ehsanullah Hamidi, the two defenders
of human rights in Logar were detained by Afghanistan’s National Directorate of
Security on the 21st of November while they were in their way to visit the
European Union Ambassador.
whistle blowed after ‘Guardian’, a U.K based news wire service published a
tragic story about the sexual abuse of school students in the public schools of
Logar, located in the East of Kabul city.
illegal detention of the two rights defenders by the Afghanistan NDS sparked
anger and tensions at national and international levels where HRW, US and
German Embassies in Kabul asked for the immediate release of Mr. Mahmoodi and
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