police secure the entrance to a divided road and put a new barrier in the
section to be used by Palestinian drivers near the West Bank town of al-Zayyem
on January 10, 2019. (Photo by AFP)
Muslim Fined £178 for Saying ‘Allahu Akbar’
Friday Sermon: The Importance Of Brotherhood
Wants to Reform Madrasas, Experts Advise Fixing Public Education First
Probe into ‘IS Module’ Looks into Kashmir Link
Does China Want To Achieve By 'Modifying' Islam?
At Site of Obama's Address to Muslim World, Rebukes His Legacy: 'Age Of
Self-Inflicted American Shame Is Over'
Apartheid Wall, Israel Unveils ‘Apartheid Road’ In West Bank
Congressman Seeks Halt to Federal Funds for Nation of Islam
connection: German state puts Turkish organization under scrutiny
the Muslims on the Queen’s New Year Honours list
troops to stay in Syria until political solution
The Importance Of Brotherhood In Islam
politicians demand probe into reported visits to Israeli-occupied territories
deal sees jihadists take over Syria's Idlib: Reports
Turkish Soldiers, Ankara-Backed Militants Killed in Kurds' Operations in Aleppo
Russian Military Convoys Sent to Hama, Idlib after Heightened Tensions
British Soldiers Killed in Eastern Deir Ezzur
combat drone used in airstrike against Saudi mercenaries: Yemeni Army
wants Taliban to negotiate with Afghan govt
Final Adieu, Justice (R) Muslim Compiles a To-Do List for Sindh Govt
Anti-Terrorism Court Sentences Cyber stalker to 24 Years in Jail
test fires newly-inducted air defence weapon system
criticised for Pakistan being called ‘US-China battleground’
terrorists killed during Op Raddul Fasaad
Govt Officer Claims Being Hounded Because He Is Muslim
Talaq Ordinance to Be Re-Promulgated
not equate Taliban talks with dialogue in J&K: Army chief
takes India envoy on trip to Uighur camps
to Put Muslim Issues Forward at UN Security Council
pastor turns ex-child soldiers to peace
sense in modelling IIUM after Oxford, says don
maintains stance on Israeli Paralympic athletes ban
hopes to establish coalition consisting of GCC states, Egypt and Jordan
county GOP rejects move to oust Muslim vice-chair
ambassador slams reaction to Khashoggi murder
Pompeo: Barack Obama is to blame for Iran's expansion
To Confiscate Palestinian Land For Settlement Project In Central West Bank
Saudi-backed militants killed in Yemen’s retaliatory drone raid
soldiers killed, 20 injured in Houthi drone attack on Yemen’s army parade
say Egypt to fully reopen Gaza border despite PA pullout
deal: Qatar can’t prosecute any Turkish soldier on its territory
information minister calls for firm stance against Houthis
boat catches fire as Israeli navy fires at fishermen off Gaza
Kill 32 Afghan Security Men, Militias
Taliban, ISIS-K Militants Killed In Afghan, Coalition Forces Operations
man jailed for posting altered pictures of PM on Facebook
Hindu refugees in Bangladesh want to return to Myanmar: US daily
Ibrahim gives a portion of his narco-money to Jihadist-Islamist groups
killed as Taliban attack troops in four provinces
30,000 flee Boko Haram violence in northern Nigeria: UN
African Republic open to Russian military base
protesters die in Sudan demonstration
by New Age Islam News Bureau
police have defended handing a Muslim man a £178 fine for saying “Allahu Akbar”
in public because passersby could have mistaken him for a terrorist.
man, identified in Swiss media as Orhan E., says he used the phrase after
spotting a friend while walking through Schaffhausen, northern Switzerland, in
May last year.
phrase literally means “God is greatest” but is commonly used by Arabic
speakers as an all-purpose response to a range of emotions, including joy,
distress or surprise - similar to “oh my God” in English.
it has also gained a degree of notoriety in the western world through its use
as a battle cry during Islamist terror attacks.
who went public with his account this week, told local daily Schaffhauser
Nachrichten he thought nothing of the phrase, which he said is used by Muslims
“almost every second sentence”.
as he conversed with his friend “he was approached by an off-duty police
officer” who said his “loud and clear” use of the expression could have caused
people to fear an imminent terror attack, The Local reports.
didn’t want any problems and I spent two minutes trying to explain why I had
said what I did,” Orhan said.
policewoman nevertheless called for armed back-up. Orhan says he was
“manhandled” by officers before being issued with a 150 Swiss francs (£120)
fine for causing a public nuisance, plus a 60 franc (£58) processing free.
said that he had decided to come forward with his story following a recent
incident in which a Muslim man was allegedly punched by a Swiss border guard
after using the phrase.
was born here and have never experienced anything like this,” he said. “Just
because terrorists misuse these two words doesn’t mean I have bad intentions
when I say them.”
media spokesperson for the force maintained that officer had acted
“appropriately” out of concern for public order.
the town’s security chief, Romeo Bettini, said that it was “completely wrong”
to suggest that saying “Allahu Akbar” was banned in Schffhausen and insisted
Orhan had been targeted because he shouted the phrase - a claim the young man
The Importance Of Brotherhood In Islam
has endowed upon the human being the blessing of having siblings, being a
priceless gift from Him, worshippers will hear on Friday.
was illustrated in the Holy Book in the story of Prophet Musa (Moses), for He
says, “and We gave him out of Our mercy his brother Aaron as a prophet.”
gift was awarded by Allah in response to the supplication of Prophet Musa to
his Lord to make his brother Haroon (Aaron) a helping hand for him in his life
he invoked Him saying, “increase through him my strength. And let him share my
task.” (Taha: 31-32).
sermon will tell worshippers that a brother to a brother is a protection
shield, aid and a source of strength.
stand by one another and help each other with all that which they can afford.
As such, a brother becomes the refuge to which his brothers can seek while
facing the burdens of life, embodying in this the perfect and most beautiful
and honourable bonds.
their firm ties, brothers impart happiness and tranquillity to the hearts of
their parents, consolidation and harmony to their families as well as
solidarity and peace to their society.
Mohammed has advocated us that one’s brother, whether a biological one or a
milk kinship, are the most people worthy of one’s kindness and honouring after
parents and sisters.
said, “Do acts of goodness towards your mother, your father, your sister, your
brother, then the next closest, and then the next closest.”
for the aspects of goodness towards brother, they involve asking about him,
about his children and family members, as well as checking about his
conditions, showing love to him, visiting him and sharing with him every happy
and sad moment in life.
one other aspect of the splendid relationship between brothers is that each one
of them is a mirror for the other.
one of them sees a flaw in the other, he hastens to correct it; when he finds
in him a shortcoming, he strives to perfect it; and when he gives him a piece
of advice, he will be honest and sincere in doing so.
this account, the Prophet said, “If one of you was asked for advice by his brother,
he should do so.”
Wants To Reform Madrasas, Experts Advise Fixing Public Education First
sporting peach fuzz sway as they chant parts of the Quran. They sit in the
courtyard of a sprawling Islamic seminary, or Madrasa, on the outskirts of the
village of Meer Muhammad, in Pakistan's rural heartland in Punjab.
graduation, these students should have memorized Islam's holiest book and finer
points of Islamic law. They will have mastered little else.
need little else, argues Muhammad Saleem Asif, a religious scholar and the
principal of the Madrasa, the Roza Tul Quran Al Kareem School. These students,
repeating the words of God, raise the spirits and morals of their community, he
seminaries deal with man's spiritual issues," Asif says. "They bless
the communities around them."
in the village, just around the corner from the Madrasa, the principal of a
government-funded girls' high school worries about the seminary's influence,
and its lack of basic education.
is a matter of concern for our entire society," says Abida Akram. "I
try [to] keep my students and my kids away from the Madrasas. They contaminate
the students' minds, and if they remain unchecked, it will lead to
gestures toward a muddy lane, where the Madrasa keeps another compound for its
female students. It is dank and dirty, in contrast with the well-lit compound reserved
for older boys, which features new computer equipment.
of the Madrasa's female students and teachers wear long robes and face veils, a
style of dress imported from Saudi Arabia, which follows a harsh interpretation
of Islam. Akram says her school takes in the Madrasa's female dropouts, whom
she describes as poorly educated.
don't think they have learned anything in the seminaries," she says.
scenes and tensions play out across Pakistan, where madrasas flourish. From an
estimated 150 at Pakistan's independence in 1947, there are now some 32,000
Madrasas attended by some 2.5 million students, according to Azmat Abbas,
author of Madrasah Mirage: A Contemporary History of Islamic Schools in
Pakistan. (Other estimates range as high as more than 60,000 madrasas).
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he wants the Madrasas to produce
better-qualified students. "Seminary students should also become engineers
and doctors," Khan said last August, in his first public address. He
called on Madrasas to introduce a core curriculum including subjects like math,
English and science.
call — not the first from a Pakistani leader — reflected decades of anxiety
surrounding Pakistan's madrasas. Most are privately funded and fall outside
government control, and there has long been concern that they produce unskilled
graduates steeped in intolerant versions of Islam.
Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, chief of Pakistan's army, the country's most powerful
institution, has pondered the fate of seminary students: "Will they become
maulvis [clerics]," he asked in 2017, "or they will become
boomed under the decade-long rule of Gen. Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, which ended in
1988. Many catered to Afghans who had sought refuge in Pakistan, fleeing the
Soviet war in their own country. The Taliban movement later emerged among
Afghan students who were trained in some of those seminaries. And some of the
most prominent leaders of Pakistani sectarian and militant groups have come
from Madrasa backgrounds.
research over the years into Madrasas' links with militancy has so far
presented a complex and incomplete picture. Some research has found that
although Madrasa students show high levels of support for violence, there is
also notable support for violence among public school students — and they far
outnumber Madrasa students, who account for less than 10 percent of all
children who attend school in Pakistan.
to researchers who have studied Madrasas, now the majority of seminaries do not
advocate militancy. Instead, they follow a deeply conservative interpretation
of Islam similar to that preached in Saudi Arabia. Other Madrasas are aligned
with Barelvis, adhering to a South Asian stream of Sunni Islam which encourages
visits to saints' shrines and embraces chanting and dance. A smaller number of
Madrasas are operated for Shiite Muslims.
Madrasa students attracted attention last fall, when they formed the bulk of
angry, sometimes violent, demonstrations across Pakistan. They were lashing out
against the Supreme Court's decision to acquit a Christian woman accused of
insulting Islam. They did not recognize the legitimacy of the court, and led
calls for the woman, Asia Bibi, to be hanged and decapitated.
urging Madrasa reforms, Khan is trying where decades' worth of other Pakistani
government attempts have failed. The most recent attempt to reform Madrasas was
made by the former government of Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province,
before it was voted out of office last year.
Muhammad Ahmad Khan, a legislator who served as spokesman for the former
provincial government, says the province shuttered some two dozen Madrasas,
seen as irredeemably militant. He says many other Madrasas were teaching
students that Muslims who followed different sects were infidels — worthy of
being killed. The provincial government destroyed the incendiary material,
though it did not close down these Madrasas.
it was not able to introduce basic school subjects or moderate the Madrasa
syllabus. There was a lack of political will to push against powerful Madrasas
whose backers continue to form a minority voting bloc in Pakistan's parliament.
government should have done it. The government before me should have done
it," says Khan, the former provincial government spokesman.
"Political will is required, all governments lack that."
the prime minister's speech in August, National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser
vowed the government would leave Madrasas alone. "We are neither
introducing a new syllabus for Madrasas nor are we drafting any policy,"
Qaiser told a group of clerics in October.
the government plans to introduce a uniform curriculum for public schools,
private schools and Madrasas.
minister Shafqat Mahmood tells NPR that reforms would introduce "five or
six main core curriculum" subjects.
might be surprised to know there is no resistance," Mahmood says,
referring to Madrasas. "On the contrary, they want to carry out these
really, Madrasa leaders say.
seminaries oppose reforms — they think the government is trying to roll back or
ruin this system," says Shaikh Tanveer Alavi, a senior teacher at Jamia
Muhammadia, a Madrasa in Islamabad. He says they worried the government was
trying to undo Madrasas' curriculum and erode their independence.
says many Madrasas, including his, were already adding core curriculum
subjects, to offer more employment opportunities to graduates. He showed NPR
reporters a math class, where a teacher scribbled algebra equations on a white
board. Students tried to solve the problems in groups on a carpeted floor.
Mirage author Azmat Abbas says seminaries will resist reform. Right now,
"they can do whatever they want," Abbas says. "With state
regulation comes responsibility, and then penalties."
experts on Pakistan say the government's focus on Madrasa reform misses the
the math," says Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at the
Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. "You got plenty of people who go to
non-religious schools and prestigious colleges, and they are radicalized."
says there is a need to "look at the whole education system."
at least reform the public school system, says Mosharraf Zaidi, an analyst who
ran a Pakistani education campaign. "The public education system vastly,
vastly under-serves Pakistani kids," Zaidi says.
a better school system, he says, parents will have less incentive to send their
children to Madrasas. More than 22 million Pakistani children are not in school,
largely because they have no decent institutions to attend. That overshadows
the estimated 2.5 million children enrolled in Madrasas, he says.
in Meer Muhammad, Akram, the girls' school principal, is weary of reform
promises. Perhaps, she says, if the government forced the Madrasas to appoint
"a professional instead of a mullah [cleric]" to teach and oversee
education, "I think it will be much better."
then, Akram says, the government should focus on providing needed funding to
high schools like hers. On a recent day, 40 girls were crammed into a math
class. Akram says the school is short of teachers — they have 12, but need 15
at least here, she says, students get an education — not indoctrination.
probe into ‘IS module’ looks into Kashmir link
NIA’s investigations into the suspected Amroha-Delhi module of the Islamic
State have now found a Kashmir link to the alleged conspiracy. Interrogation of
Saqib Iftekhar — a Hapur-based muezzin under arrest for allegedly helping the
group acquire weapons — is learnt to have revealed that he had travelled to
Jammu and Kashmir twice in search of weapons and to meet militants.
sources claimed that Iftekhar travelled to Kashmir first in May last year. “He
visited Bandipora in North Kashmir and then went Rajouri in Jammu,” an NIA
second visit to the Valley was in August when he visited Tral, the officer
said. “He had gone to Tral to meet a Maulvi. He and the Maulvi are known to
each other as they studied theology in an Amroha seminary together. He asked
the Maulvi to arrange for weapons and to help him meet Mujahideen. The Maulvi
expressed the inability to arrange for weapons but promised to help him meet
Mujahideen,” the officer said.
NIA team is now in Kashmir to identify and question the Maulvi and to ascertain
if the group ever came in contact with Kashmiri militants.
has so far arrested 11 people in connection with the case, with Mufti Suhail —
an Islamic Preacher from Jaffarabad in Delhi — being accused of being the
leader of the group.
core group allegedly had four members — Suhail; Mohammed Anas, a civil
engineering student from Amity University ; Zubair and Zaid, all of them
residents of Jaffarabad in Delhi. On instructions from their handler they had
decided to form the group to carry out IS activities, NIA sources said.
maintain secrecy, they would create a Telegram group every morning to chat and
delete it the same evening, NIA sources said.
December 26, NIA arrested 10 people from Delhi’s Jaffarabad and UP’s Amroha for
allegedly being part of a group called Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam. The agency
alleged that the group owed allegiance to the Islamic State and was being
handled by an online entity by the name of Abu Malik Peshawari.
its raids, the NIA had claimed to have seized a huge cache of arms and
the NIA has maintained that the group had plans to target “vital installations
and important personalities which included politicians”.
does China want to achieve by 'modifying' Islam?
Sunday, Chinese authorities announced their plan to Sinicize Islam through a
five-year plan. According to a report published in the state-run Global Times
newspaper, on January 4, representatives of Islamic associations from eight
Chinese provinces participated in a Beijing seminar and discussed the outline
for how to align Islam with Chinese norms. A government official said it was
important for China's Muslim community to "improve their political stance and
follow the [Communist] Party's lead."
announcement came just days after police reportedly raided three unregistered
mosques in the southwestern Yunnan province, injuring dozens of worshippers and
arresting more than 40 people.
Stroup, a China expert at the University of Oklahoma, told DW that the Chinese
government wants to tighten control over Islamic groups and take measures to
remove overly foreign features from public places.
could mean continued efforts to remove public signs in Arabic or make changes
to Arab-style mosques," Stroup said. "At the same time, the
government may try to assert more direct control over the practice of faith,
especially over the clerics' weekly sermons," he added.
Ma, a history professor at the US-based Frostburg State University, says that
the Chinese government's Sinicization drive borders on xenophobic. Ma believes
that by emphasizing the need to remove foreign influences, the Communist Party
wants to create a Chinese version of Islam that is guided by atheism.
considers the Arab influence as dangerous and believes it should be totally
eliminated from the lives of Chinese Muslims," Ma underlined.
it wants to cut off Chinese Muslims from other Muslim countries. In other
words, China is trying to isolate its Muslim community while claiming it is
embracing globalization," Ma added.
analysts see the increased efforts to Sinicize Islam as part of a large-scale
crackdown on Muslims, especially in the Xinjiang region. The authorities have
reportedly put at least one million Xinjiang Muslims in internment camps. These
measures have raised concerns among Muslims in other parts of China that
Beijing wants to implement the Sinicization model across the country.
November last year, Global Times reported that officials in regions with
sizable Muslim populations are "learning" from the Xinjiang
experience, which, according to the government, is aimed at curbing terrorism.
Stroup says the international community needs to increase pressure on Beijing
to force it to alter its treatment of the Muslim community.
far, the international community has not taken up the issue in a serious
manner," said Stroup.
is of the view that it won't be easy for Beijing to Sinicize Islam as its
multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is inviting influences from
a number of Muslim-majority countries like Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and
the expert believes the US could use its influence to pressure China.
is possible that the US and other Western countries can work with the Muslim
nations to tackle this issue," suggested Ma. "In other words, the US
can win the hearts and minds of key Islamic countries."
precursor to a major conflict?
believes that local authorities are likely to play a major role in the
Sinicization drive, but warns that it comes with some risks.
conflicts between local authorities and Muslim communities have erupted in
Ningxia and Yunnan in the past few years. Cui Haoxin, a Hui Muslim poet, told
DW that the Sinicization measures will not be easily accepted by the Muslim
says that such acts could have a snowball effect and are likely to transform
into a major conflict in the future.
is hard to rationalize these measures," Cui said, adding that the
situation for Muslims in China is getting worse.
at site of Obama's address to Muslim world, rebukes his legacy: 'Age of
self-inflicted American shame is over'
of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday launched an astonishing rebuke of former
President Barack Obama’s foreign policy at the site of Obama’s famous speech to
the Muslim world -- declaring that “the age of self-inflicted American shame is
delivered his remarks in Cairo, where Obama famously spoke in 2009 and promised
a new beginning with Muslim and Arab countries. He was criticized by
conservatives for placing too much blame on the U.S. for strife in the region.
while not mentioning Obama by name, said that “it was here, in this city,
another American stood before you” and “told you that radical Islamist
terrorism does not stem from ideology.”
told you that 9/11 led my country to abandon its ideals, particularly in the
Middle East,” he said at the American University in Cairo. “He told you that
the United States and the Muslim world needed ‘a new beginning.’ The results of
these misjudgments have been dire.”
said that under Obama, the U.S. abandoned its allies and was “timid” about
asserting itself, that the U.S. “grossly underestimated the tenacity and
viciousness of radical Islamism,” and kept silent as Iranians tried to rise up
against the regime in Tehran.
also criticized Obama-era policy for “wishful thinking [that] led us to look
the other way” as Hezbollah built up its weaponry in Lebanon, and for doing
nothing as Syrian President Bashar Assad gassed his own people.
then took another swipe at the 2015 Iran nuclear deal -- from which the U.S.
withdrew last year. The U.S. has since re-imposed economic sanctions on the
country, including on oil exports.
eagerness to address only Muslims, not nations, ignored the rich diversity of
the Middle East, and frayed old bonds. It undermined the concept of the
nation-state, the building block of international stability,” he said. “And our
desire for peace at any cost led us to strike a deal with Iran, our common
he promised his audience that the Trump administration was ushering in a new
era of U.S. foreign policy.
good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are
the policies that produced so much needless suffering. Now comes the real ‘new
beginning,’” he said.
speech emphasized America as a force for good in the region. He cited
accomplishments under Trump’s leadership -- including the pushback of Islamic
State, the withdrawal of more troops and personnel from Iraq and Saudi Arabia,
and building a coalition to push back against Iranian influence.
have rediscovered our voice. We have rebuilt our relationships. We have
rejected false overtures from enemies. And look at what we have accomplished
together,” he said.
speech comes as part of a tour of the region, including Jordan and other Gulf
nations, as he seeks to coordinate an anti-Iran strategy. It comes after a
sudden decision from President Trump last month to withdraw U.S. troops from
Syria, leading to concern from some allies in the region about U.S.
Thursday, Pompeo appeared to attempt to assuage those fears by pledging U.S.
aim is to partner with our friends and vigorously oppose our enemies, because a
strong, secure, and economically viable Middle East is in our national interest
– and yours,” he said. “Let me be clear: America will not retreat until the
terror fight is over.”
apartheid wall, Israel unveils ‘apartheid road’ in West Bank
constructing the controversial "apartheid wall" to separate Jerusalem
al-Quds from the rest of the West Bank, Israel has now opened the “apartheid
road” in the area, separating Palestinian and Israeli drivers with a wall.
roughly 3.5km stretch, which was inaugurated on Wednesday, features an
eight-meter high wall that puts Palestinian drivers, who are banned from
entering the city, on the western side and Israeli settlers on the eastern
road was constructed over a decade ago but remained closed amid a dispute
between the Israeli military and police over a checkpoint.
segregated Israeli roads are common, none had featured a wall before.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the highway would ease heavy traffic
for settlers in the area while helping Israel overcome “security
road’s opening prompted condemnation from the Palestine Liberation Organization
is an Israeli example of apartheid and racist separation that once existed in
South Africa,” PLO Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalani told Israeli
media. “Any Israeli who believes in democracy should feel ashamed about this
Palestinian Authority said in a statement that the road posed a challenge to
“the credibility of the international community."
a shame on the international community to see an apartheid regime being
established and deepened without doing anything to stop it," the PA
have long feared that the road and other similar construction projects in the
area would eventually split the West Bank in half, further hindering
Palestinian plans for a future state.
Amim, an Israeli NGO opposing Israel's settlement expansion activities, warned
that the road facilitates settlers’ commute at the expense of Palestinian
to Aviv Tatarsky, who works with the NGO, the new road further isolates some
Palestinian villages from Jerusalem al-Quds while forcing Palestinians
traveling between the north and south of the West Bank to change course.
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built illegally since the 1967
occupation of the Palestinian territories.
al-Quds is already separated from the West Bank by the so-called Israeli
began building the 712-kilometer barrier of towering concrete walls,
barbed-wire fences, trenches and closed military roads inside the occupied West
Bank back in 2002.
International Court of Justice said in 2004 that the apartheid wall violated
international law and urged Israel to remove it.
Vern Buchanan was incensed when he read a news report that Louis Farrakhan’s
Nation of Islam receives federal funds for “services” to U.S. Bureau of Prisons
Florida Republican fired off a Jan. 7 letter to Acting Attorney General Matt
Whittaker demanding the Department of Justice (DOJ) “immediately cease all
contracts with the Nation of Islam and prohibit it from receiving any contracts
in the future.”
noted in his letter that Nation of Islam was contracted by BOP “to conduct
so-called ‘spiritual guide services’ and ‘study services’ to inmates, and he
said, “the fact that hard-earned American tax dollars are being funneled to
this extremist group is not only unacceptable, it’s downright immoral.”
also asked Whittaker to begin an immediate “full review of all ongoing and
future contracts to ensure that the U.S. government is not financing domestic
or foreign hate groups.”
has yet to get a response from DOJ or BOP, his spokesman Anthony Cruz, told The
Epoch Times on Jan. 10.
demands are prompting questions about why federal prison officials would pay
Farrakhan’s group more than $354,000, according to the Washington Examiner’s
Alana Goodman, for services that are available at no cost from faith-based
groups such as Prison Fellowship.
is infamous for saying that Adolf Hitler was “a great man” and that Jews and
Caucasians are “evil,” among his teachings, which have led to the Black Muslim
organization being condemned across the political spectrum as a hate group.
review of federal spending data by The Epoch Times confirmed that federal funds
are going to the Nation of Islam, as was first reported by Goodman. The review
also found that Prison Fellowship International has received more than $3.5
million in awards from the Department of State’s Agency for International
Development (AID) for human rights work overseas, mainly in Zambia and
data revealed a different story for Prison Fellowship U.S., which has been
deeply involved in inmate counseling and rehabilitation activities across the
country since its founding in 1976 by former Nixon White House aide Charles
the Nation of Islam, Prison Fellowship U.S. has received no federal funding.
That’s because, according to spokesman Jim Forbes, “Prison Fellowship is
faith-based. We don’t take any, zero, government dollars.”
if his group would respond if approached by DOJ or BOP to conduct programs in
the federal prison system, Forbes said, “That has actually happened with the
passage of the First Step Act, by them basically acknowledging that faith-based
programs do work within the prison system.”
was referring to legislation signed by President Donald Trump on Dec. 21, 2018,
after a rare bipartisan effort to reform federal prison sentencing and
The Epoch Times previously reported, the bill “gives judges more discretion
when sentencing drug and lower-level offenders, while also reducing the
recidivism risks of prisoners by expanding on programs such as job training.”
bill, for which Trump and his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, lobbied
intensely, passed in the House of Representatives, 358-36, while the Senate
also overwhelmingly approved the measure, 87–12.
First Step Act was needed, according to a Prison Fellowship analysis, because
“until now, federal prisons unnecessarily limited the ability of nonprofit
organizations and volunteers to mentor prisoners and provide programming.”
new law “prevents discrimination against faith-based programs and instructs the
Bureau of Prisons that faith-based programs proven to reduce recidivism are
permitted to function as education and reentry programs,” the analysis said.
specific details of Prison Fellowship’s new work in the U.S. prison system are
still being developed, according to Forbes.
Cruz said the congressman would “take this into consideration when deciding on
a further course of action” regarding the Nation of Islam funding.
spokesman for BOP was unavailable to answer any questions about funding for the
Nation of Islam or related issues, due to the partial shutdown of the federal
U.S. prison system released 34,530 inmates in 2018 and a third of them are
likely to be re-arrested within three years, according to BOP data. There are
more than 180,000 inmates in the system, which is 14 to 25 percent more than
the system’s facilities are designed to hold.
estimated 16,000 inmates, according to BOP, are currently on waiting lists for
basic literacy training, which illustrates that “demand for rehabilitative
programming in the federal prison system far exceeds capacity,” Prison
Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said in a statement published on Wednesday
(January 9, 2019) that the Turkish Islamic Union might be subject to a control
by the Constitution Protection Authority Homeland intelligence Agency.
is especially alarming is the invitation sent to representatives of the Muslim
Brotherhood to attend a seminar recently held in Cologne,” he said.
group adopts positions that cannot be reconciled with the requirements of the
German constitution. Therefore, the state must be vigilant in this regard,” he
is quoted by DW to have said.
a prominent member of the European Parliament for the Christian Social Party of
Bavarian, criticized the efforts of Turkish President Recep Erdogan to put all
people with Turkish roots throughout Europe under his influence.
member of the Green Party, Jim Ozdemir, also criticized the Cologne seminar,
saying it “shows that President Erdogan is continuing to extend his arm in
government commissioner for religious freedom, Marcos Grobel, also rejected the
“Foreign political influence on Muslims who are living in Germany.”
Union, based in Cologne, is under the supervision of the Turkish Religious
Affairs Office in Ankara. German outlets reported that imams of some Turkish
mosques in Germany responded to the request of the Turkish Consulate General to
inform them about the followers of the preacher Fathullah Gulen.
the past years, the Union received funds from various German state funds,
within projects that work to prevent radicalization among Muslim youth.
A record number of Muslims have been named in the Queen’s New Year Honors list
for achievements ranging across technology, the arts, business and community
the 1,148 recipients recognized in the list are Aamer Naeem, CEO of the charity
Penny Appeal; Nasar Mahmood, chairman of the British Muslim Heritage Center;
and Supt. Umer Khan of Greater Manchester Police, who all received an Officer
of Order of the British Empire (OBE) for community work.
Malik Ramadhan, head of the accident and emergency unit at the Royal London
Hospital, who operated through the night on 12 victims of the London Bridge
terror attack in June 2017, also received an OBE.
Kalam Azad Choudhury, who founded the Azad Choudhury Academy and Welfare Trust,
received a Master of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to
education in Bangladesh, and immigration officer Jahaid Ahmad received the same
award for services to law and order.
Vaid, 34, executive director of the Muslim Women’s Network, who four years ago
helped to set up the charity’s helpline to assist women fleeing forced
marriages or at risk of so-called “honor” violence, was also appointed an MBE.
call myself a Muslim feminist,” said Vaid. “My faith tells me I need to stand
for equality and justice.”
people in their early 20s are still trying to decide what to do with their
lives. Not Saeed Atcha.
age 22, he is already CEO of his own magazine publishing venture, a trustee of
several charities, a trainer, mentor and motivational speaker. The British
government has also spotted his talent and, in November, he was appointed
social mobility commissioner.
Atcha has become the youngest person named in the Queen’s New Year Honours
list, receiving an MBE for services to young people in the Manchester region,
where he has lived all
is the custom, he was told about the award several weeks ago but was sworn to
secrecy until the official announcement. “I am the worst person at keeping a
secret, so I told my closest family and a couple of close friends — four people
in all — and then put it to the back of my mind,” Atcha told Arab News.
I got the letter asking me if I would accept it, I thought it might be a joke.
I didn’t realize you could refuse it. So I checked and realized this was real.
You really don’t expect an honor like this, especially at my age. I was quite
emotional about it.”
said that his faith had helped him through difficult times. The grandson of
Indians who emigrated from India in the 1950s and settled near Manchester in
northwest England, Atcha spent much of his childhood in foster care. His mother
has a neurological condition that meant she was not always able to look after
was only 2 when he first went into care. He was reunited with his mother when
he was 5, but six years later went back into foster care with relatives.
his own admission he was “a tearaway” as a teenager. “I didn’t have a criminal
record, but I was not the easiest child,” he said.
His rebellious streak led him to start Xplode,
a magazine for young people, after a teacher reprimanded him for focusing too
much on the school magazine instead of studying for his GCSE exams.
of a school magazine, I decided I would produce a borough-wide magazine.”
the assistant director of the local council to ask for office space and within
a week was installed in an office in Bolton town center with support to source
funding. He was 15.
never been afraid to go to the top,” he said. Next he acquired funding and a
business mentor from O2, the mobile network company.
is produced entirely by teenagers and young people for their own peer group.
More than 7,500 copies are distributed to schools, colleges, supermarkets and
has since set up Employ, which has helped more than 5,000 young people improve
their chances of finding employment.
is also a trustee for three charitable organizations and is on the board of
governors for his old school. Somehow he fits it all around studying for a
master’s degree in public relations at Manchester Metropolitan University.
believes he carries a triple responsibility. “I’m young, I’m a Muslim and I
come from a disadvantaged background. Muslims sometimes marginalize themselves.
The idea that in one of the most advanced countries in the world, a young
person can’t escape the path of disadvantage because of their postcode or their
parents’ income or because they’ve been in care, offends me.”
Atcha attended the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh. “I’ve never been to a
conference attended by 6,000 young people. If only I could return to Saudi
Arabia more often. The government is really investing in young people there,
which is essential for our future, as my personal journey shows.”
those GCSE exams that his teacher was so worried about? Atcha passed them all.
With flying colors.
was 21 when he fell in love with dance, which is on the late side if you want
to make a career out of it. But he soon
made up for lost time. At 58, he can look back on a career as a performer and
manager that has taken him all over the world and culminated in an OBE for
services to dance and dance production.
are not generally seen to have a strong tradition of dance, unlike poetry and
literature. But Chaudhry said that his OBE is recognition of the wealth of
talent in the Muslim world.
wonderful. It is a testament to how, despite all the paranoia and the
negativity about the Muslim world and what it brings, it is such an important
source of talent and it is making a difference to how we live our lives. It’s a
big message because it shows that all the work on integration and celebrating
diversity is bearing fruit.”
was born in Lahore, Pakistan, and was 3 when he came to Britain with his
parents. His father had been a professor of mathematics in Pakistan, but had to
take a job as a security guard, while his mother, who was from a wealthy
family, worked on the assembly line at a bakery.
was 17 when he was first captivated by a contemporary dance performance at the
famous Sadler’s Wells theater in London. He had embarked on an English degree
at the University of Sussex, but abandoned his studies in favor of a career in
enrolled at the London Contemporary Dance School, graduating in 1986, “which
was quite late.” But he has worked consistently in opera and theater in Germany
and Belgium as well as the UK.
retiring from dancing in 1999, he completed a master’s degree in arts
management. Eighteen years ago, he sold his apartment to raise cash to found
the Akram Khan Company with dancer Akram Khan, a specialist in kathak, a north Indian dance style.
running the company, Chaudhry was also a creative producer for Chinese dancer
Yang Liping and for the English National Ballet for four years.
is delighted that so many Muslims have been honored. “It thrills me, actually.
Every single person I’ve seen on that list has earned it. There hasn’t been any
political correctness about wanting to ensure they get enough black and brown
and Muslim faces. It’s a testament to the breadth and scope of the awards, and
how they see value in a society.”
is one of a rare, but growing, breed — a Muslim woman who is also a qualified
51-year-old was the first, certainly in her locality if not the whole UK, when
she qualified in 1995. Since then she has inspired other Muslim women to
improve their health and reduce social isolation through exercise.
also fundraises for a children’s hospice in her home city, Leeds, and four
years ago established a charity, Give a Gift, to get British Asians involved in
charitable work. Her efforts have been recognized with an MBE.
who was born to Pakistani immigrants, had an inkling that something was afoot when
a letter arrived marked “Cabinet Office.” Her husband, Hanif, had received a
similar one in 2016, telling him that he had been nominated for an OBE.
Nevertheless, it still left her “shocked and overjoyed.”
honoring of so many British Muslims was gratifying, she said. “When something
appears in the media, it’s always related to extremism and we get linked with
that. It’s fantastic for Muslims to be recognized for the good work they are
faith is my first and foremost reason for what we’re doing. We do what we do to
help anybody and everybody.”
soon as she qualified as a fitness
instructor in October 1995, Malik was approached to start fitness classes for
Pakistani and Bangladeshi women in Leeds. Research showed they were at risk of
developing chronic health problems, but social isolation, poor language skills
and cultural tradition prevented them from taking exercise.
was given my first class within a week,” said Malik, who speaks Urdu and
Punjabi. The classes took off and she has now helped more than 40 women from
ethnic minorities go on to qualify as instructors.
charity work includes the Ramadan Toys Appeal. She has also raised more
£100,000 for Martin House Children’s Hospice, which is used by more than a
third of Muslims living in the West Yorkshire region of England.
2003, tragedy struck Malik’s own family when she was shot by a masked man who
had broken into the family home. At the time, she was five months’ pregnant
with her daughter, Hibah, having given birth to a stillborn son previously. Her
attacker was never caught.
will withdraw from Syria only after a political solution, said the foreign
minister on Thursday.
will for sure withdraw [from Syria] when a political solution is found,”
Jean-Yves Le Drian told CNews television.
that they have soldiers in Iraq and briefly in Syria to support the U.S., Le
Drian added that the fight against Daesh terror group was not over yet.
noted that France’s main target was the fight against Daesh.
on the YPG/PKK terror group, which uses the name SDF in Syria, Le Drian said it
was his country’s biggest ally in Syria.
fight against Daesh on the ground. The U.S. decision to pullout from Syria is a
serious decision because SDF is being put in a hard situation,” adding that
they had to provide their security with their allies at the international level.
added that Russia had responsibility to find political solution in the war-torn
country as Moscow has been supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime.
December, U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw U.S. troops
from Syria, claiming that American forces had defeated Daesh there.
reported visit to the Israeli-occupied territories by several Iraqi lawmakers
has sparked a wave of condemnations from the Arab country’s political leaders,
with some of them demanding a probe to identify those who crossed a “red line.”
Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday that three Iraqi delegations had secretly
visited the occupied territories in 2018.
The ministry said the 15 Iraqi dignitaries had
visited “Israeli officials and universities,” as well as the Holocaust memorial
in Jerusalem al-Quds.
report did not identify any members of the Iraqi delegations, nor did it
specify with which Israeli officials they had held talks. It said the most
recent of the visits was in December.
to Baghdad al-Youm website, Nasr al-Shammari, deputy secretary-general of
Iraq’s Islamic Resistance Movement (al-Nojaba) said in case the report is
proved to be true, those who visited the occupied territories should be
Foreign Relations Committee of Iraq’s parliament also said the Israeli report
was aimed at “creating sedition in the country.”
al-Tamimi, a member of the committee, said the issue will be discussed in the
upcoming meeting between the parliamentary committee and the foreign ministry,
according to Iraq’s Arabic-language al-Sumeriyah news channel.
the trip has taken place, al-Tamimi said, the responsibility for this issue
lies with the security departments, particularly the national security.
prominent politician and leader of Iraq’s al-Qarar Coalition Athil al-Nujaifi
denied reports that he had been among those who visited the occupied
report first drew strong reaction from First Deputy Speaker of Iraqi Parliament
Hassan Karim al-Kaabi, who said in a statement on Monday that “To go to the
occupied territory is a red line, and an extremely sensitive issue for all
also called for “an investigation… to identify those who went to the occupied
territory, particularly if they are lawmakers.”
does not formally recognize Israel, and Baghdad and Tel Aviv are technically
still at war.
The main jihadist alliance in Syria's Idlib region reached a deal on Thursday
ending days of deadly fighting with rival rebels and extending its influence
over the whole rebel enclave.
agreement brings an immediate end to the fighting between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham
(HTS), led by Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate, and the rival Turkish-backed
National Liberation Front (NLF), according to the jihadists' propaganda website
morning, HTS and the NLF signed an agreement to put an end to ongoing
fighting... and establish the control of the salvation government in all
areas," Ebaa said.
so-called "salvation government" is the administrative arm of HTS,
which has been gaining ground inside Syria's last major rebel bastion in recent
September, Idlib has been shielded from a threatened government offensive by a
precarious truce agreed between government ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said Thursday's
deal saw the whole rebel enclave come under HTS administrative control.
jihadist factions — such as the Al-Qaeda-linked Hurras al-Deen group and the
Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) — are present in other areas of Idlib but are
allied with HTS, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
Wednesday, a deal between HTS and rival rebel commanders saw the jihadist-led
alliance take control of two parts of Idlib, Sahl al-Ghab and Jabal Shahshabo.
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported on Thursday that the Kurdish forces
destroyed an armored vehicle of the Turkish army in operations against them in
Afrin, killing a Turkish soldier and wounding two others.
added that during the operations near the town of Kaljabrin in A'azaz region in
Western Aleppo, a military vehicle of the Ankara-backed militants was smashed
and 5 of them were killed and wounded.
at least 7 Ankara-affiliated militants were killed and wounded and their
military vehicle was destroyed during the Kurdish forces' operations against
the Turkish army in Afrin and Mar'e region in Western Aleppo earlier this week.
Turkish army and its allied militants continue to occupy parts of Northwestern
Aleppo, as local sources say Ankara has turned several villages in Afrin region
to military bases.
Turkish army and its allies have expelled the residents of Jia border village
in Raju area of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo and turned their village to a
military base, Hawar news reported on Sunday.
Kurdish media pointed to the cutting of over 3,000 trees and destruction of 20
hectares of agricultural lands in the surrounding areas of the village, and
said that the Turkish army had deployed tanks, armored vehicles and heavy
weapons at its military base.
Turkish-backed militants have also been looting assets of the civilians in
sources in Northern Syria reported on Thursday that a Russian military convoy,
consisting of several armored, military, engineering and personnel carrier
vehicles, have been sent to the strategic village of Salba in the Southern
parts of the town of Hayalin in Western Hama.
added that the Syrian army also sent several military convoys to Northern Hama
and Southern Idlib, noting that over 250 forces of the Syrian army's fifth
Division along with extensive military equipment, including 15 military
vehicles and tens of trucks carrying weapons and equipment, were dispatched to
the strategic town of al-Moshirfeh in Southeastern parts of the town of Abu
Dali in Southeastern Idlib.
the Syrian army units in Northern Hama targeted the terrorists in the town of
al-Latamineh and its surrounding areas with artillery fire, leaving heavy tolls
the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that
Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front)
has gained control of 80% of regions occupied by other terrorist groups in
Idlib, Hama, Aleppo and Lattakia during infightings among militants in Northern
Syria in the past 9 days.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian army continued warding off
renewed attacks by Tahrir al-Sham from the demilitarized zone in Northern Hama
and Southern Idlib.
Syrian Army's missile and artillery units pounded the terrorists' movements
from Wadi al-Dorat in Eastern al-Latamanieh in Northern Hama towards the Syrian
Army's military point in the region, killing and wounding a large number of
terrorists, while forcing others to retreat.
Syrian army's artillery units also targeted and pounded a terrorist group who
intended to penetrate into the army's military positions from the town of
Mourek, killing and wounding a number of them as well as destroying their
weapons and military equipment.
Southeastern Idlib, the army's artillery units also targeted and pounded Tahrir
al-Sham's movements from al-Khowin and al-Zarzour regions towards the army's
military positions before they could penetrate into their positions.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted local sources in Eastern Syria as
saying on Thursday that the ISIL missile attacks on the town of al-Sha'afah
killed 5 British forces fighting under the command of the US-led coalition and
wounded a number of others.
added that the wounded soldiers were transferred to al-Shadadi hospital in
to the report, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has withdrawn from some of
their positions after the ISIL attacks against al-Sha'afah which was earlier
under the control of the Kurdish forces.
missile strikes were the second ISIL attack on British troops in Syria in days.
spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces says army troopers and allied fighters from
Popular Committees made use of a new domestically-developed combat drone in
their air raid against Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to former president Abd
Rabbuh Mansur Hadi at an air base in the country’s southwestern province of
during a press conference in the capital Sana’a on Thursday, Brigadier General
Yahya Saree said Yemeni soldiers and their allies had attacked Saudi
mercenaries at al-Anad Air Base with a Qasef K2 (Striker K2) drone.
added that the new drone could strike its designated targets from 20 meters
away, and that it could carry a large payload of explosive materials.
further noted that dozens of high-ranking Saudi-paid militiamen were killed or
injured in the aerial attack, noting that the injured mercenaries were
transported by helicopter to Aden German International Hospital in the port
city of Aden.
pointed out that Saudi mercenaries were now in a state of panic and terror as a
result of the high-precision military operation, stressing that their
commanders would no longer be able to escape unscathed if they continued to
serve the aggressors.
snipers shoot dead nine Saudi mercenaries
at least nine Saudi-backed militiamen have been killed when Yemeni army
soldiers and fighters from Popular Committees launched separate attacks in
Saudi Arabia’s southern border region of Jizan as well as the northern Yemeni
province of al-Jawf.
media bureau of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement said Yemeni forces and their
allies fatally shot five Saudi mercenaries in the Wadi Jarrah area of the
region, located 966 kilometers south of the Saudi capital Riyadh on Thursday
other Saudi-sponsored militiamen were killed when Yemeni forces targeted them
east of the mountainous Jabal al-Doud district.
in the Khabb and Sha'af district of Jawf province, Yemeni sharpshooters killed
two Saudi-backed militiamen.
on Thursday, Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from Popular Committees carried
out offensives against the positions of Saudi mercenaries in the Tabishia’a
area of Yemen’s southern coastal province of Ta’izz, killing and injuring
scores of the Saudi-paid militiamen in the process.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing Hadi’s
government back to power and crushing the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million
threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering
from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
Pakistan wants the Taliban to give up their refusal to talk to the Afghan
government so that a political settlement of the 17-year-old conflict could be
want them to sit together. It is for Afghans to sort out their problems and as
long as they do not sit down and talk to each other, outsiders can do little to
help them,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a conversation with
Dawn on Thursday.
last month facilitated a meeting between the United States and the Taliban in
Abu Dhabi, which was also attended by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates. The talks were described as “positive” and “productive” by the UAE
and the US, but Taliban have remained stuck to their position that they would
not talk to the government in Kabul, which they call a “puppet regime”. The
insurgent group instead wants to first reach a settlement with the US on the
withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
Taliban’s refusal to talk to Afghan government, Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah
Abdullah on Wednesday said that as long as that did not happen the hopes of
ending the conflict would remain a pipe dream.
round of talks to build on Abu Dhabi meeting is expected later this month.
Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal in a tweet emphasised Pakistan’s
commitment to an intra-Afghan dialogue. “Pakistan is facilitating efforts for a
peaceful solution in Afghanistan. We believe that an intra-Afghan dialogue is
the only way to a successful negotiated settlement,” he wrote in a post on the
about the prospects for this impasse on initiation of an intra-Afghan process
being overcome, Foreign Minister Qureshi appeared hopeful and recalled that
till lately “no one could have thought of US and Taliban representatives
sitting under one roof and talking to each other, but that happened”.
Qureshi late last month undertook a whirlwind regional tour visiting
Afghanistan, Iran, China and Russia to take their leaderships on board about
the latest Pakistani effort to revive talks that have been stalled since July
2015, when they broke down over a leak that insurgency’s leader Mullah Omar had
been long dead. Later, he travelled to Doha for the same purpose.
this week, Mr Qureshi during a meeting with Afghan president’s special envoy
for regional consensus for Afghan peace Umer Daudzai in Islamabad assured him
that Pakistan would do all to help the people of Afghanistan see the earliest
possible end to bloodshed. US special envoy for Afghan peace and reconciliation
Zalmay Khalilzad is due in Islamabad next week.
about his regional contacts, the foreign minister said a regional convergence
about ending the war in Afghanistan through a political settlement had emerged.
Pakistan, Afghanistan, US and Taliban, he maintained, were “on the same page”
that there had to be a political solution. Russia, China, and Iran also agree
with this position, he added.
Final Adieu, Justice (R) Muslim Compiles A To-Do List For Sindh Govt
The Supreme Court-mandated Commission on Water and Sanitation, whose stint is
expiring on January 15, appears to have set ambitious goals for the provincial
government in its recommendations submitted in its final report to the apex
report highlights the achievements and sets short, mid and long-term goals for
the government whose track record on the water supply, drainage and environment
fronts remains far from satisfactory.
the report highlights, all the mega projects of water supply, sewage treatment,
solid waste management, stopping pollution of waterways and protecting the
environment are either at the nascent stage or the planning one. Over the
course of Justice (Retd) Amir Hani Muslim’s stint as its chairman, since
January, 2018, the commission received 750 applications or complaints, of which
450 were completely or ‘substantively’ sorted out.
commission has directed the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) to prepare
a master plan to meet the existing and future requirement for the water supply
and drainage. It also ordered the Sindh government to submit a phase-wise
rehabilitation plan for the existing water distribution network within three
months. Justice (R) Muslim recommended that the Pakistan Council of Research in
Water Resources (PCRWR) should be assigned the task of monitoring water quality
of the filtration plants as well as of the distribution network.
commission has given June 30, 2019, as the deadline to the KWSB for the
installation of flow meters at all water supply stations and a year for the
installation across the board’s network. The board will also have to upload
real-time water flow data for public information on its website from July 31,
2019. “Water losses consume a quarter of Karachi’s total water,” the commission
underlined, emphasising the need to plug the losses and ensuring effective
commission set March 2019 as the deadline for completion of the 100 MGD Dhabeji
pumping station, while giving three weeks to the board to make 18 reverse
osmosis plants in Karachi operational. “The federal and provincial governments
should resolve the issues pertaining to K-IV water supply project on priority.”
project will provide an additional 250 million gallons per day water to the
city from Kotri barrage through the K B Feeder canal. The board has been
directed to adhere to deadlines for the completion of Treatment Plants (TP) I,
III and IV while the Defence Housing Authority will have to operationalise the
2 MGD TP at Sea View beach. “The people of Karachi suffer unhealthy and
unhygienic conditions at the beach due to disposal of sewerage from several
phases of DHA.” The TP at the DHA has been given a deadline for April 2019 for
completion. A 100-MGD TP V has been planned on Mai Kolachi Road and Karachi
Port Trust will have to complete it in two years.
Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) will have to establish six garbage
transfer stations (GTS) equipped with up-to-date machines, equipment and tools.
The scheme has been included in ADP 2018-19 and will be implemented by the
development and upgrade of landfill sites at Jam Chakro and Gond Pass as per
international standards will also have to be carried out. These projects have
also been included in the next year’s provincial ADP. The SSWMB has been asked
to develop waste to energy projects for which funds will be earmarked in next
commission has suggested adding a tertiary sewage treatment system to enable
the treated sewerage to be used by industrial consumers. It noted that the SITE
industries at present are using up to 40 MGD of KWSB’s filtered water. “The
potable water of the board can be saved for domestic uses.”
the construction of trunk sewers about 29 kilometers in Lyari river and about
23 kms in Malir river, the flow of sewage in the rivers will stop as the S III
sewage treatment project becomes functional.
prevent the rivers from encroachment and solid waste dumping, the commission
proposed that trees should be planted and theme parks developed which will also
help protect the environment. “Every storm drain has been converted into a
sewer,” Justice (R) Muslim observed.
commission observed that the Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) needs a
complete overhaul of its physical, technical and academic capacity.
recommended that a climate change cell, research and development wing and law
enforcement cell should be established in SEPA, as also proposed by its
director-general. The commission also asked the government to set up
environmental laboratories which will conduct research as well. It tasked the
agency to finalise the survey of all industrial units in the province by June
2019 and ensure that the industries which have submitted undertakings for
construction of in-house effluent treatment systems abide by their commitment.
commission suggested the inclusion of environment as a subject in the
educational curriculum and conducting regular studies on urban air quality. It
stressed that EPA’s offices should be established in all districts.
the orders, directives and instructions passed or communicated by the water
commission from January 14, 2018, to January 15, 2019, may be made a rule of
the Supreme Court of Pakistan.” The government or private parties which
submitted undertakings to the commission will face legal consequences if they
failed to ensure compliance.
the materials, records and proceedings of the commission will remain in the
custody of the commission’s registrar at the Sindh High Court until the apex
court decides the proper custodian. The provincial secretary, Tameezuddin
Khero, is the only government official who finds a critical mention in the
report, with the commission suggesting that this former secretary of PHED
should not be posted in any department that deals with fundamental rights.
commission credited itself for getting rehabilitated 1,465 out of 2,207 RO
plants in the province. It directed the government to restore
remaining by June 2019.
the rehabilitation of all the water supply and drainage schemes might not
resolve the problem for the reasons that there are several areas which still
don’t have these facilities.”
commission ordered the provincial government to undertake a survey to identify
such areas. The PHED was supposed to install 237 new RO plants in Tharparkar
through the Pak Oasis Company. But during the commission’s stint, only 34 could
be set up.
provincial government should ensure that all the remaining RO plants are
installed by the end of March this year,” the commission ordered, pointing out
that its intervention sorted out the differences between the government and the
Pak Oasis Company. The commission observed that untreated municipal, industrial
and other sewage is being dumped directly into the Indus River, its canals and
distributaries. Initially, 180 such points in 15 districts have been taken up
where the provincial government will set up treatment systems by the end of
the subject of aquifers, Justice (R) Muslim stated that he could not find the
reliable data and advised the provincial government to conduct a survey
followed by regulation of consumption of sub-surface water.
government has also been asked to install incinerators in all government
hospitals in the province, provide filtered water in 4,000 government schools
by June 2019, and the remaining schools by June 2020.
sugar mills and distilleries which massively contribute to polluting the
environment and waterways will have to be brought under stringent regulation.
The commission proposed the government to explore the option of constructing
small dams in Nangarparkar taluka of Tharparkar district. The SSWMB has been
directed to make its offices functional in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah,
Larkana and Sukkur divisions and to establish landfill sites in all districts
in the province. The combined effluent treatment plants (CEPT) will be built in
Nooriabad SITE by June 2019 and for Hyderabad and Sukkur by December 2019.
commission pointed out that all the water filtration plants in Hyderabad, which
requires 75 MGD water per day, were nonfunctional before it ordered their
the rehab, 56 MGD water is being supplied to the city while construction of
more filtration plants is required. During the commission’s stint, none of the
four sewage treatment plants in Hyderabad could be made operational.
An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has sentenced a cyberstalker to 24 years in
jail for blackmailing 200 lady doctors and nurses through their social media
accounts - the maximum punishment awarded to a convict in the offence related
to social media crimes in the country's history.
Court Lahore Judge Sajjad Ahmad on Wednesday sentenced Abdul Wahab to a total
of 24 years in prison along with a fine of Rs 7 lakh.
judge sentenced Wahab to 14-year imprisonment along with Rs 500,000 fine. In
addition to this, he was sentenced to seven-year in jail along with Rs 100,000
fine. He was awarded a further three-year jail term and fined Rs 100,000.
the sentences will run concurrently and benefit of section 382-B of CrPC shall
be given to convict," the court ruled.
section 382-B says that the length of any sentence of imprisonment imposed upon
an accused shall be treated as reduced by any period during which he/she was
detained in custody for such an offence.
a resident of Punjab's Layyah district, was arrested in 2015 from Naran after
the scam surfaced that nearly 200 women, including lady doctors and nurses of
some government teaching hospitals of Lahore, had been harassed or blackmailed
Lahore Police registered a case against him on the complaint of the Young
Doctors Association (YDA).
of the victims were house officers and postgraduate trainees from King Edward
Medical University, Fatima Jinnah Medical University and Children Hospital,
convict introduced himself as an official of the "military intelligence
(MI)" and extorted money from them by threatening them that he would
upload their objectionable pictures on their Facebook accounts.
Salman Kazmi, of YDA, said the convict also hacked the Whatsapp accounts of
lady doctors and nurses, blackmailing them with objectionable video clips and
photos and then extorting money from them.
said the victims were reluctant to testify against the convict because of
family reasons but the YDA persuaded them.
the trial, 31 witnesses (lady doctors and nurses) recorded their statements as
state counsel Abdul Rauf Wattoo presented arguments from the prosecution side.
defendant's lawyer claimed that "a false case” had been registered against
his client and pleaded before the court to issue orders for his acquittal.
Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday said induction of long-range air
defence weapon system LY80 has greatly enhanced the capability of the
military’s air defence arm, Radio Pakistan reported.
Bajwa said this while witnessing the firepower capability display along with
Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan at the air defence firing range near
LY80 weapon system will strengthen the national defence,” Gen Bajwa was quoted
interacting with the officers and troops, the army chief congratulated the army
air defence for the successful conduct of firepower capability display.
by the air defence weapon systems was the culminating event of the
two-week-long exercise Al-Bayza 2019, read a statement issued by the military’s
of the event was the first-ever fire by the recently inducted long-range air
defence weapon system LY80.
of LY-80 has realised the concept of a comprehensive, layered and integrated
air defence capability with enhanced lethality,” read the Inter-Services Public
Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan congratulated the Pakistan Army over induction
of LY 80, saying the system has reinforced the country’s overall air defence
Chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Maulana Fazlur Rehman on
Thursday said Pakistan was being called a ‘battleground’ between China and
America due to the wrong policies of the government.
our country is being called a battlefield between China and US,” Mr Fazl told a
condolence reference held for the party’s provincial chief and parliamentarian,
Maulana Amanullah Khan, here.
National Party central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz provincial president Amir Muqam, Jamaat-i-Islami provincial chief
and Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, Pakistan People’s Party provincial president
Humayun Khan, Qaumi Watan Party general secretary Hashim Babar, JUI-F general
secretary Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and leaders of other parties also spoke
on the occasion.
speakers paid rich tribute to the deceased and eulogised his struggle for
democracy and religion.
down heavily on the ruling PTI over its policies, the JUI-F chief said the
government had wasted over $35 billion Chinese investment to get the US
said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project was a game changer for the
country but the government made it controversial and that the government was
safeguarding the interests of the US and Jewish lobby.
Fazl said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was declared a friend of his
Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, while the sitting prime minister was talking
about peace and friendship with the country’s archrival.
said despite the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, the government received a
cold response from New Delhi, who had rejected the offer of talks and
JUI-F chief said the National Accountability Bureau was being used as a tool to
victimise political opponents of the government.
said the PTI had abolished its own Ehtesab Commission in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Fazl said his party had demanded the abolition of the NAB during discussion on
18th Constitutional Amendment in 2010 but the PPP and PML-N did not support the
let these two parties bear the consequences,” he said in a lighter vein.
JUI-F chief said parliament could do away with the NAB if the KP government
amended the law to abolish the Ehtesab Commission.
said military ruler Pervez Musharraf had created NAB to blackmail politicians
and that he had opposed the move at that time, too.
Fazl said a group of corrupt elements could not hold fair accountability of
said his party was fighting to liberate the country from foreign powers and
will take our fight to its logical end to get real freedom,” he said adding
that the successive governments did not make decisions independently and were
dictated by foreign powers.
said the supremacy of the Constitution would bring social, political and economic
stability in the country.
JUI-F chief said foreign agents were trying to distort the image of Pakistan.
alleged that Britain continued to treat Pakistan as its colony and that the
acquittal of Christian woman Asia Bibi in a blasphemy case proved his
apprehension in that respect.
the reference, ANP leader Main Iftikhar Hussain alleged that the establishment
was patronising Prime Minister Imran Khan.
said the PTI government would collapse in the centre if the establishment
withdrew its support.
ANP leader called for unity among opposition parties, especially PPP and PML-N.
said all corrupt men had joined the PTI to protect their ill-gotten wealth and
Hussain said Premier Imran Khan had been installed to bring changes to the 18th
demanded more autonomy for provinces to strengthen federation instead of the
rollback if the 18th Amendment.
ANP leader urged Pakistan, big powers and other neighbours to play their role
for the political settlement of the Afghan issue.
said neighbours and big powers should not waste the ‘golden opportunity’ to end
war in Afghanistan as the US had given clear indication of withdrawing its
forces from the war-torn country.
Two terrorists were killed during Operation Raddul Fasaad, the Inter-Services Public
Relations said in a press statement on Friday.
frontier corps of Balochistan conducted intelligence-based operations (IBOs) on
suspected terrorist hideouts in Kalat, Kharan, Maiwand areas of Balochistan.
and ammunition including sub-machine guns, an improvised explosive device
(IEDs), grenades, mines, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG-7) and communication
equipment were recovered.
Govt officer claims being hounded because he is Muslim
being rebuked by a senior bureaucrat for reportedly not coming prepared to an
official meeting, a deputy secretary level officer has alleged that in his
17-year service he has been made to feel untouchable and that his Khan surname
“has hounded me like a ghost”.
in the public health engineering department, Niyaz Khan was asked to get out of
the official meeting on Wednesday by principal secretary Vivek Agrawal after a
heated exchange. Khan left the meeting and complained to the chief secretary
about his alleged insult. Seeking a transfer to other department, the deputy
secretary said he does not want to work with Agrawal.
the incident was reported in local media, in a series of tweets on Thursday
Khan gave a vent to his frustration. “There was a time when I was on the verge
of depression but literature saved me from fall. I have transformed all
discrimination against me into creation and now I am an English novelist with five
novels,” he said tweeted.
years in government service, transfer in 10 districts and 19 shiftings. I was
always made to feel uncomfortable like a German Jew. Khan surname hounded me
like a ghost,” read his another tweet. In another tweet, he said he was writing
his sixth novel to show how Muslim officers are regarded as Second Class
citizens. In another tweet he said he had exposed biggest ODF scam in Guna and
brutalities against Saharia tribe.
talaq ordinance to be re-promulgated
Union Cabinet Thursday approved a proposal to re-promulgate the ordinance
making the practice of instant triple talaq a criminal offence, sources said.
earlier ordinance was to expire on January 22. The Bill to convert the first
ordinance into a law is pending in Rajya Sabha. A fresh Bill to make the
practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in the
Lok Sabha on December 17 last year to replace an ordinance issued in September.
Cabinet has also approved re-issuance of an ordinance to allow a committee to
run the Medical Council of India. A Bill to convert an earlier ordinance into a
law is pending approval in Parliament.
the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017, that seeks to overhaul the
medical education system in India and replace the MCI is yet to be passed, the
term of the MCI’s elected members ends shortly. To overcome the situation, the
government had recently issued an ordinance to supersede MCI and give its
powers to a board of governors.
nod to 2 AIIMS in J&K, 1 in Gujarat
Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the setting up of three new AIIMS, even as
the existing six struggle to get faculty members. They will be set up in
Jammu’s Vijaynagar at a cost of Rs 1,661 crore, in Pulwama at Rs 1,828 crore
and in Rajkot at Rs 1,195 crore.
AIIMS will be set up in J&K as there were protests in Jammu when an
institute was announced in Kashmir.
institute will add 100 MBBS seats and 60 B.Sc (Nursing) seats, and the new
AIIMS will have 15-20 super-specialty departments. “Each new AIIMS will add
around 750 hospital beds. As per data of the current functional AIIMS, it is
expected that each new AIIMS would cater to around 1,500 OPD patients per day
and around 1,000 IPD patients per month,” Health Minister J P Nadda said.
DELHI: General Bipin Rawat on Thursday rejected any dialogue with either
Pakistan or separatists and militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir till they
shunned violence, a day after he backed talks with the Taliban if they were
ready for lasting peace in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
cannot afford to be “left out of the bandwagon” if some countries like the US,
Russia, Pakistan and Iran are talking to Taliban because New Delhi too had
“interests” in Afghanistan, he said.
DELHI: Indian envoy in Beijing was among a select group of diplomats to be
taken, in a first, by China to the Xinjiang province where many ethnic Uighurs
and other Muslim minorities have been interned in re-education camps apparently
meant to de-radicalise them. Chinese officials here said the visit was meant to
familiarise senior diplomats, including the Pakistan envoy, with social and
economic progress in the province.
all, 12 envoys, mostly from Muslim majority nations, travelled to Xinjiang’s
capital Urumqi and the cities of Kashgar and Hotan late last month. Xinjiang’s
regional government invited diplomatic envoys as well as representatives of
envoys from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, India,
Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Thailand, and Kuwait, state-run Xinhua
news agency reported. The envoys visited markets, mosques, factories, as well
as vocational education and training centres.
says it will use its new position on the U.N. Security Council to focus
attention on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. But observers say Jakarta should
use its seat to put forward a broader range of issues affecting Muslims and the
agenda of developing countries.
officially became a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council Jan. 1,
along with four other countries: South Africa, Belgium, Dominican Republic and
areas and Palestine
their candidacy, Indonesia pledged to focus on four issues. The Indonesian
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi reiterated that they will focus on strengthening
the peace ecosystem and global stability, enhancing synergy between regional
organizations with the Security Council in keeping the peace, facing the
international challenge of terrorism, and establishing a global partnership.
than that, the issue in Palestine will also become Indonesia’s focus as
non-permanent member in the U.N. Security Council,” the minister said.
is very concerned with the countries that changed their stance and it is against
some of the U.N. resolutions that should be the basis of solving the
Israel-Palestine conflict,” she added.
Bintang Timur, a researcher at the Center for Strategic and International
Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta said it is an opportunity to put forward issues that
are important not only for Indonesia, but for countries with similar political
example middle-power countries and Islamic countries. Indonesia can encourage
interventions that are important. Issues such as Palestine, Syria or Myanmar
can be handled through an agreement,” she told VOA.
can play a part, not only with the Palestine-Israel conflict, in solving the
Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, said Hikmahanto Juwana, a professor of
International Law at the University of Indonesia.
that also depends on the U.N.’s intensity in their involvement in the Rohingya
issue. We hoped that we could’ve solved it within a regional organization. But
ASEAN has already tried and failed, so I think it’s necessary to discuss it in
an international forum,” he said.
mentioned that discussion on the Rohingya has started in the U.N. and it has
sent a special rapporteur to Myanmar.
he said that bringing up the issue involving a fellow ASEAN member state will
also be difficult.
problem in ASEAN is because the member states must have a consensus in an issue
and that they have non-interference principle,” Juwana told VOA.
Marsudi said in a press statement Wednesday that Indonesia will continue to
contribute so that the Rohingya issue in Rakhine State will make progress.
of CSIS, said that in this case Indonesia could serve as a buffer for Myanmar
when the U.N. decides to intervene in the Rohingya crisis.
that case, Indonesia can say that intervention must be done through a regional
organization within ASEAN. Then Indonesia can create a regional approach
through lobbying, to solve the humanitarian conflict the ASEAN way,” she said.
that will put Indonesia in a leadership position in ASEAN. Timur explained that
without any Southeast Asian representative in the Security Council, it would be
easier for them to make an agreement that might undermine ASEAN.
now Indonesia is a non-permanent member, they can lobby the UNSC,” she added.
voice of the Muslim world
further explained that as a Muslim majority country, Indonesia could portray
and voice a more moderate view of Islam. And its position would play out well
in the lobbying on conflicts in other Muslim countries.
as the situation in the Middle East or conflict in Yemen,” Timur said.
Indonesia’s role as a non-permanent member largely depends on the capacity of
the diplomats posted at the U.N.
said the current foreign policy under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s
leadership focuses more on bilateral relations rather than multilateral.
foreign policy must be increased in capacity and deploy skillful diplomats,” he
Marsudi said the Indonesian team at the U.N. has been strengthened since October
Indonesia will hold the presidency of security council on May 2019 and in the
middle of 2020,” she added.
than contributions in discussions and lobbying, Indonesia will also send 4,000
peacekeepers by 2019. Indonesia currently has 3,500 peacekeepers on different
missions with the U.N.
also said Jakarta will send more women peacekeepers from Indonesia, especially
in conflict areas where many of the victims are women and children.
of now only 3 percent of the total number U.N. peacekeepers from Indonesia are
women,” she said.
of leadership in Indonesia
foreign minister said she had to lobby all members of the U.N. for three years
before Indonesia finally won the post against Maldives with 144 votes out of
198. She added the landslide victory showed that Indonesia has gained
credibility in international diplomacy.
Timur warned the current presidential election campaign should not undermine
the work of Indonesia in the U.N. Security Council.
afraid that things can change depending on the next presidency. We may have a
different president, or if not a different minister who might not be as active
in the international forum so we’ll see,” she said.
January 1999, a fight between a Christian public transport driver and a Muslim
in the capital of Indonesia's Maluku province, Ambon, kicked off a bloody
months later, Reverend Jacklevyn Frits Manuputty travelled to New York in the
United States following an invitation from the Presbyterian Church Synod there.
pastor, popularly known as Reverend Jacky, was serving as director of the
Research and Development Agency of the Protestant Church in Maluku at that
he used the chance to share accounts of Christians who had become victims of
the sectarian conflict back in Ambon.
members of his audience asked why he focused only on Christian victims when
Muslims were also victimized. The tough questioning hit him hard and he began
to think more about humanity and implicit underlying issues.
returning to the conflict-torn mixed Christian and Muslim city of Ambon in
October that year, he also visited refugees of conflicts with a religious
dimension in Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
he sharpened his thinking on the role played by children in sectarian conflicts
and the impacts on them.
Maluku province, large numbers of children became participants in the sectarian
strife which ended in February 2002 when a peace agreement was signed by
members of the two warring groups.
four-year conflict resulted in the destruction of hundreds of churches and
mosques and the razing of thousands of homes.
least 5,000 people were killed and half a million others were displaced,
according to some reports.
Jacky, who is co-founder and director of the Interfaith Organization in Maluku,
has since sought to promote community-based dialogue across the religious
2011, in cooperation with some local Muslim leaders, he officially formed a
movement called Peace Provocateurs, aimed at building collective pride among
young people, particularly those who effectively became child soldiers in the
young people were, in the wake of the peace agreement, left living in
communities deeply divided along religious lines and traumatized by the past.
Worse, former child soldiers were stigmatized as combatants.
no matter how bad a person is, he or she still has the seed of peacefulness
within himself or herself," said Reverend Jacky, who in 2012 received an
award from the New York-based Tanembaum Center for Inter-religious Understanding.
Peace Provocateurs use arts and social media to promote peace and friendship
while countering attempts by others to foment strife.
40 former child soldiers, including Ronald Regang, have joined the movement so
far. "I met Reverend Jacky in 2004," Regang said.
the sectarian conflict, he first joined a children's troop and was then
appointed as a troop leader and learned to use assault rifles including AK-47s
and M16s to deadly effect.
was only 10 years old when it broke out in 1999," said the Protestant
layman, now 29. "All I knew about was fighting against those who
desecrated my religion. If I had to kill people, it was because I had no
long after his meeting with Reverend Jacky, Regang was asked by the pastor to
join a peace-building program held by the United Nations International
Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) at the state-run Gadjah Mada University in
was lucky," said Regang, who now runs a community called Red Home where
young people learn to employ arts to
deliver a message of peace.
Jacky helped me out of the so-called satanic circle. Now my life is so
meaningful, and I can promote peace," he said.
Reverend Jacky, providing as many spaces as possible for young people to
maintain friendships is crucial in his efforts to promote peace in still tense
JAYA: A sociology professor has urged the next president of the International
Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) to reassess the idea of making the
institution an Oxford for Muslim countries.
Farid Alatas, a Malaysian attached to the National University of Singapore,
said he believed local institutions should “get over this business” of wanting
to emulate internationally recognised institutions, particularly Western ones,
for the mere sake of it.
said he was all for pushing IIUM towards high standards.
it shouldn’t mean we should model ourselves after Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard or
any of these universities for the sake of it because many aspects of their
education models are not appropriate for us,” he told FMT.
idea of turning IIUM into an Oxford has been articulated a number of times by
its former president, Education Minister Maszlee Malik.
recently announced that he had relinquished the presidency. Yesterday, the
varsity said it had submitted the names of candidates to Prime Minister Dr
Mahathir Mohamad, who in turn submitted them to IIUM’s constitutional head, the
Sultan of Pahang. Farid said some universities abroad tended to marginalise
non-Western voices and would teach Asian-related subjects, such as Eastern
religions, from Eurocentric perspectives.
is understandably so because they are Europeans studying another society or
civilisation,” he said.
we can’t adopt the same kind of approach in Malaysia because we are not merely
studying Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists, but understanding them through our own
gave the example of European studies of Hinduism, saying the typical way would
be to see the religion from a Christian point of view. This was opposed to the
method of, for instance, the 12th century Muslim scholar Al-Biruni, who
attempted to understand Hinduism, he added.
noted that Europeans would typically assume that Hinduism, like Christianity,
comes in different dominations, whereas it is in reality several different
religions and the Hindus are variegated according to the deities they worship.
also criticised what he called the “capitalistic approach” of Western
universities, saying this had brought about an obsession with maintaining
performance indicators and keeping or cancelling programmes according to their
a programme or department is not popular, it gets shut down, even though you
can argue why it should be there. That’s why you see philosophy departments
shutting down, for example.”
also spoke of the “disease of wanting to go higher” in rankings and said it had
infected many universities that follow Western models.
alleged that this had resulted in dishonesty in academic practices, citing
cases in which postgraduate students are required to put the names of their
supervisors on their publications as co-authors although they haven’t done any
of the work.
is done so the number of publications of the academic staff increases, and
thus, their ranking in the system,” he said.
market-oriented attitude is damaging and a university cannot become great like
this. The university should be about intellectual culture. It should be about
passion and a profound interest in studying and it should be guided ethically
so that this passion can grow.”
also said local universities must work on ridding the Malay world of racial
stereotyping, which he described as a legacy of European colonisation.
that sense, we cannot say we want any of our universities to be seen as the
Oxford of the East or something like that since our universities still need to
be decolonised,” he added.
welcomed Maszlee’s decision to give up his university post, saying it would be
better for non-politicians to helm educational institutions.
LUMPUR: Malaysia has reiterated that it will not permit Israeli athletes hoping
to compete in the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in Kuching, Borneo, to
enter the country. The event runs from July 29 to Aug. 4, and is one of the
qualifying events for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
will not allow them (to enter). If they come, then it is an offense,” Malaysian
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told reporters on Thursday. He explained that
since Malaysia, a staunch supporter of Palestinian independence, has no
diplomatic relations with Israel and does not recognize it as a state, it would
be against the law to issue visas to the Israeli squad.
93-year old prime minister’s statement is in keeping with the country’s
long-held policy toward Israel. In the past, Israeli squads have been refused
entry to compete in international sailing competitions and tennis tournaments
mounting pressure from the International Paralympic Committee and the Israeli
Olympic Committee, Malaysia is holding firm in its stance. “If they want to
withdraw the championship hosting rights from Malaysia, then they can try to do
so,” Mahathir said.
Imran, president of the Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia and a Kuala
Lumpur-based Palestinian, said he sees the ban as a reaction to allegations
that Israel undermined Malaysia’s national security through Mossad’s rumored
involvement in the murder of Fadi Mohammad Al-Batsh, a Palestinian academic and
member of Hamas who was killed in the Malaysian capital last year. Imran also
pointed out that Malaysia’s decision was consistent with its long-standing
opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
is serious about its political support for the Palestinian struggle. More
pressure has to be piled on Israel to end its apartheid policies,” he told Arab
has been one of the most vocal critics of the decades-long occupation.
voiced his country’s support for the Palestinian state at last year’s UN
General Assembly, condemning Israel for ignoring the criticism of the
international community and human rights groups for the occupation of
Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said on Thursday that the Trump administration
hopes to establish a coalition consisting of the GCC states, Egypt, and Jordan,
naming it the “Middle East Strategic Alliance”.
Trump Administration is also working to establish the Middle East Strategic
Alliance – or ‘MESA’ to confront the region’s most serious threats, and bolster
energy and economic cooperation. This effort is bringing together members of
the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as Egypt and Jordan. Today we ask those
countries to take the next step in solidifying MESA,” Pompeo said in a speech
in Cairo during a Middle East tour.
Middle East rivalries
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Thursday for an end to Middle East
rivalries to roll back Tehran’s influence and vowed to “expel every last
Iranian boot” from Syria.
time for old rivalries to end, for the sake of the greater good of the region,”
Pompeo said in a speech in Cairo during a Middle East tour to reassure allies
about US plans to withdraw troops from Syria.
US “will use diplomacy and work with our partners to expel every last Iranian
boot” from Syria and will bolster efforts “to bring peace and stability to the
long-suffering Syrian people,” he said.
works with its allies
once had tens of thousands of US military personnel in Saudi Arabia. Now that
number is a tiny fraction. When we do set up major bases, as we have done in
Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, and the UAE, it is at the invitation of the
allies and partners have helped greatly in the counter-ISIS effort.
and Britain joined our strikes on Syria and have supported our anti-terror
effort. Jordan and Turkey have hosted millions of Syrians fleeing violence.”
Arabia and the Gulf countries have given generously toward stabilization
efforts. We thank all of them for their help, and we urge them to continue.
United States has also helped liberated areas – an important means of
preventing the ISIS from re-emerging. We have provided nearly $2.5 billion in
humanitarian assistance to Iraq since 2014.”
also building partnerships for future shared prosperity. It’s time for old
rivalries to end, for the sake of the greater good of the region.
Trump Administration is also working to establish the Middle East Strategic
Alliance to confront the region’s most serious threats, and bolster energy and
economic cooperation. This effort is bringing together members of the Gulf
Cooperation Council, as well as Egypt and Jordan. Today we ask those countries
to take the next step in solidifying MESA.”
bonds taking root
bonds are taking root that were unimaginable until very recently.
could’ve believed a few years ago that an Israeli Prime Minister would visit
that new ties would emerge between Saudi Arabia and Iraq?
that a Roman Catholic Pope would visit this city to meet with Muslim imams and
the head of the Coptic faith?”
US sanctions against Iran
nations of the Middle East will never enjoy security, achieve economic
stability, or advance the dreams of its peoples if Iran’s revolutionary regime
persists on its current course.
11th will mark 40 years since that oppressive regime came to power.
economic sanctions against the regime are the strongest in history, and will
keep getting tougher until Iran starts behaving like a normal country.” The 12
demands we stated in May remain in force, because the regime’s threat to the
speech came on the third leg of a nine-nation Mideast tour aimed at reassuring
the US’ Arab partners that the Trump administration is not walking away from
the region amid confusion and concern over plans to withdraw US forces from
in Cairo, he met with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Foreign
Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss security and economic cooperation.
Texas county Republican committee voted Thursday to block a push from a small
group of party members to oust a Muslim vice chairman from his post within the
Shafi defied many odds by being appointed to serve as vice chairman of the
Republican Party in Tarrant County, the third most populated county in Texas.
He initially won a city council seat, serving as a delegate to Texas Republican
trauma surgeon accomplished all this while maintaining his Muslim identity,
which prompted a small faction within the party to put forth a motion calling
for his dismissal.
believe in freedom of speech. I believe in freedom of expression, and I think
diversity of opinion within any group is good for the group, is good for the
party. But what we cannot do, and we don't do, is discriminate against a
specific person based on their religion, caste, creed, color or country of origin,"
Shafi said in an interview with CNN.
doing a disservice to our party. That's not what our party is about."
movement to oust Shafi was headed by Dorrie O’Brien, the chair of a local
precinct, who sees a contradiction with him maintaining his religion while
keeping a high-ranking position in the Texas Republican Party.
don’t think he’s suitable as a practicing Muslim to be vice chair because he’d
be the representative for ALL Republicans in Tarrant County, and not ALL
Republicans in Tarrant County think Islam is safe or acceptable," O’Brien
said in a Facebook post. "There are big questions surrounding exactly
where Dr. Shafi’s loyalties lie, vis a vis Democrat and Republican
Thursday, the Tarrant County Republican Party overwhelmingly voted in favor of
Shafi with a vote of 139-49.
Republican leaders came to the defense of the vice chairman, emphasizing the
country's foundation of freedom of religion.
against Dr. Shafi b/c he’s Muslim is wrong. The Constitution prohibits any
religious test for public office & the First Amendment protects religious
liberty for every faith. The Party of Lincoln should welcome everybody &
celebrate Liberty," Texas Senator Ted Cruz said on Twitter.
Governor Greg Abbott pointed out that "the promise of freedom of religion
is guaranteed" under the First Amendment of the Constitution, in a
statement obtained by local outlets.
former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Thursday that the response to the
killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a farce in terms of sanctions
Washington should be imposing.
Jordan, who served under former President George W. Bush, spoke to CNN and
critiqued the actions taken by the U.S. in the 100 days since Khashoggi's
a U.S. resident and contributor to The Washington Post, was killed and
dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the
country's consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
offered various, conflicting narratives to explain his disappearance before
acknowledging he was murdered in the diplomatic building, seeking to blame his
death on a botched rendition operation being carried out by rogue agents.
have seen nothing from this administration other than canceling the visas of
some of the henchman which means they can't come here and go to Disneyland.
That is a farce in terms the kinds of sanctions we should be imposing,"
Jordan said in an interview with CNN.
former ambassador went further to say the U.S. should not repeat their
attendance at the Davos in the Desert conference, which has been held for the
past two years in Riyadh, and the Saudi Consul General in Istanbul should not
be given travel privileges on American soil.
talked about limiting the war in Yemen, limiting our assistance, but we haven’t
really seen much action in that regard," Jordan added.
month, the Senate passed a resolution to end the U.S. support for the Saudi-led
war efforts in Yemen, in a rebuke to the longtime American ally.
bill, however, was unable to reach the House of Representatives due to a
provision passed in the chamber.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a caustic critique of Middle East
policies under former president Barack Obama casting blame on the previous
American administration for the expansion of Iranian power in the region and
rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
the address delivered at the American University in Cairo, Mr Pompeo said
former US policy had been misguided and wishful, weakening America's role in
the region. However, he went on, President Donald Trump had “reasserted its
traditional role as a force for good in this region, because we've learned from
grossly underestimated the tenacity and viciousness of radical Islamism, a
debauched strain of the faith that seeks to upend every other form of worship
or governance. ISIS drove to the outskirts of Baghdad as America hesitated,”
lamented Pompeo. "In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the
Middle East, we were timid about asserting ourselves when the times — and our
partners — demanded it."
Trump has reversed our willful blindness to the danger of the [Iranian] regime
and withdrew from the failed nuclear deal, with its false promises," Mr
Pompeo said. "The nations of the Middle East will never enjoy security,
achieve economic stability, or advance the dreams of its peoples if Iran's
revolutionary regime persists on its current course."
Syria, the US will use diplomacy and work with our partners to expel every last
Iranian boot, and work through the UN-led process to bring peace and stability
to the long-suffering Syrian people," he said.
Mr Obama’s June 2009 speech to a diverse audience of Cairo University students
and faculty, Egyptian government officials and religious and civil society
leaders – the Pompeo address was delivered to a hand-picked group of leaders
close to the administration of President Abel Fatah El Sisi and influential
alumni, including stalwarts of the business community.
most still on their winter break, only a sprinkling of students attended the
speech in the Moaz Al Alfi Hall, with a capacity of 250 people.
Mr Pompeo’s speech drew the attention of young educated Egyptians. Many of whom
watched the televised address through the lens of a past generation, addressed
first by Mr Obama in the lead-up to the Arab Spring.
think that the fundamental misunderstanding comes from Trump and not Obama,”
said Omar El Gammal a 24-year-old graduate politics graduate researcher at
Cairo University. “America being the liberating force that comes to rescue us
somehow reminds me of the colonial idea of the ‘white man's burden’.”
seems to ignore that the US dismantlement of Iraqi state under George W Bush is
the main reason behind the terrorism we are witnessing in the region,” Mr El
his speech Mr Pompeo underscored United States’ commitment to the areas
liberated from ISIS.
have provided nearly $2.5 billion in humanitarian assistance to Iraq since
2014, and our churches and non-profits do good work too,” Mr Pompeo said. “We
and our allies generated nearly $30 billion in grants and financing support to
aid Iraq’s reconstruction during the Kuwait Reconstruction Conference last
Ahmed, a 29-year-old graduate student in Social Work at AUC agreed with Mr
Pompeo’s assertion that former president Obama had failed to see the danger
posed by the region’s extremist aspirations.
did underestimate the danger of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Mr Ahmed said.
it seems we are now forced into a box where the only choice is between
Islamists or authoritarian military systems and that leaves young Arabs with so
little hope,” he explained. “It’s frightening Pompeo that the only way for
prosperity and more freedom in the Arab world is to have a regime change in
Iran, it makes it seem like this region is facing yet another war.”
Pompeo’s emphasis on Iran and the security issues facing Israel were discordant
notes for the Egyptians watching the speech.
secretary lauded UAE sports officials for allowing the Israeli national anthem
to be played as the Israeli judo champion was crowned the winner of a
tournament in Abu Dhabi. “These steps toward rapprochement are necessary for
greater security in the face of shared threats,” said Mr Pompeo.
feel it would have been better to focus on the Egypt-USA relationship, because,
simply, he is currently in Egypt,” mused Michael Mamdouh, a 21-year-old
business major at Ain Shams University. “Actually, Egyptians don’t care much
about Iran as we care about fighting terrorism here.”
are not exactly delighted to hear him supporting Israel and praising Trump’s
decision to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Of course, he knows as
diplomat that we do not support this action,” said Mr Mamdouh.
I appreciated Mr Pompeo mentioning positive things about President Sisi and
saying that our leader should be a role model for others in accepting and
supporting religious pluralism,” explained Mr Mamdouh, a Coptic Christian.
Osama, a 22-year-old Cairo University politics major noted that despite clear
policy differences with president Obama, the current US administration is
painting a vision of America as a positive force in a troubled region.
is trying also to steer Middle East countries into the American orbit by saying
the United States is a force for good,” said Ms Osama. “With their historic
commitments to humanitarian and security aid, and pledging to continue to help
the Arab countries to fight terrorism.”
to confiscate Palestinian land for settlement project in central West Bank
authorities plan to confiscate thousands of square meters of private
Palestinian land in the central part of the West Bank to construct a settlement
in violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions
condemning the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement expansion policies in the occupied
Palestinian National Bureau for the Defense of Land and Settlement Resistance
said in a statement on Thursday that the Israeli Ministry of Finance had issued
building permits for a settlement project, which would expropriate 139 dunams
(139,000 square meters) of Palestinian land from Dayr Dibwan city.
statement added that Israeli officials aimed to connect Ma'ale Mikhmas and
Mitzpe Dan settlements through the confiscation.
further noted that the Israeli regime had advanced plans for the construction
of 2,500 settler units near Efrat settlement, located 12 kilometers south of
the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement,
condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s latest plan to confiscate more Palestinian
decision affirms that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu [‘s]
administration is pressing ahead with its land theft and settlement expansion
policies, ignoring international outcry over such practices, and hell-bent to
exterminate the [so-called] two-state solution,” the statement pointed out.
ministry then called on regional and international institutions in addition to
the international community to not just release statements in condemnation of
Israeli settlements or express concerns over the fate of the so-called
two-state solution, but to oblige Israel as an occupying regime to adhere to
international peace, comply with United Nations Security Council Resolution
2334 and end its occupation of Palestinian territories.
than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security
Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and
completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian
territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major
sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement
expansion on Palestinian territories.
backtracked on Washington’s support for a “two-state solution” in 2017, saying
he would support any solution favored by both sides.
at two-state or one-state, I like the one that both parties like. I’m very
happy with the one both parties like. I can live with either one,” the US
president said during a joint press conference with Netanyahu in Washington on
February 15, 2017.
armed forces, led by the Houthi Ansarullah movement, have launched a
retaliatory drone attack against a gathering of Saudi-backed militants loyal to
the ex-regime in the country’s southern province of Lahej, killing several of
Arabic-language al-Masirah television network said the attack targeted “the
leadership of the invaders” on Thursday. It said several militants were killed
in the raid, without specifying the number.
broadcaster Al-Arabiya said five were killed and several others injured when
the combat drone struck a military base in al-Anad district, where a military
parade was taking place.
12 more Saudi-backed forces were also wounded in the retaliatory attack,
according to the report.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the former
Riyadh-backed government back to power.
their continuous attempts to abort the Sweden peace agreement brokered by the
United Nations – the pro-Iranian Houthi militias launched on Thursday, a drone
attack targeting a military parade by the Yemeni National Army in al-Anad
military base in Lahaj province.
Arabiya news channel correspondent reported that six soldiers of the Yemeni
Army were killed and 20 others injured, among them journalists as well as the
governor of Lahaj, the deputy chief of army staff, the head of the intelligence unit, the
commander of the military police and the army commander of the fourth region.
his part, the correspondent of Al Hadath news channel reported that an
Iranian-made bomb-laden drone exploded on a podium, attended by officials from
the ministry of defense, watching the parade.
correspondent pointed out that ambulances were seen carrying the wounded to
Yemen’s Information Minister Muammar al-Iryani said that: “Once again this
proves that the Houthi criminal militias are not ready for peace and that they
are exploiting truces in order for deployment and reinforcements,” adding that
two senior military officials were wounded in the attack.
is time for the international community to stand by the legitimate government
and force the militias to give up their weapons and pull out of the cities,” he
is worth mentioning that the Yemeni army used to launch attacks against
al-Qaeda terrorist organization from al-Anad military base in Lahaj.
the other hand, as many as 15 members of the coup militias were killed on
Wednesday during a failed attempt to fire a ballistic missile in al-Tayyar district
in Saada governorate north of Yemen, targeting Saudi Arabia.
Arabiya sources said the Houthis, among them missiles’ experts, were trying to
launch the ballistic missiles targeting the kingdom when it exploded.
Arab coalition backing the legitimate Yemeni army released a video documenting
the Houthis’ violations, especially in regards to violations related to their
use of populated areas and civilians for military purposes.
rulers Hamas said Thursday that Egypt plans to fully reopen its border crossing
with the enclave, days after partially closing it amid infighting between
loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas withdrew on Sunday from the Rafah
border crossing, accusing rivals Hamas of interference. The crossing is the
only way for Palestinians to leave Gaza that bypasses Israel.
has prevented Gazans from leaving the enclave since Abbas’s Palestinian
Authority withdrew its staff. An Egyptian security delegation visited Gaza on
Thursday, meeting with senior Hamas officials including its head Ismail Haniya.
al-Hayya, deputy head of Hamas, told journalists the Egyptians “assured us that
there will be no changes at the Rafah border and it will stay open”. It was not
immediately clear when the crossing would fully reopen.
secret military agreement with Qatar is full of loopholes and vague terms that
appear to have been deliberately inserted, revealed the Nordic Monitor, a
Sweden-based monitoring site.
per the agreement, Turkey deployed thousands of troops to Qatar, while a clause
in the agreement states that Qatar cannot prosecute any Turkish soldier on its
land in case of any legal violations.
clause constitutes a clear violation of Qatar’s sovereignty. It also recalls
the period of foreign colonization of the Arab region when foreign soldiers
were protected by their countries on the lands of the colonies they occupy and
cannot be prosecuted by local authorities for crimes and offenses committed by
Information Minister Muammar al-Iryani, called upon the international community
to take a firm stance against the Houthi miltias for not abiding by the Sweden
minister said the delegation of the Houthis in the ceasefire monitoring
committee headed by the UN in Hodeidah port city, refuses to move outside the
city under vague pretexts.
stressed that the Yemeni people and the legitimate government backed by the
Arab coalition, are able to expel the pro-Iranian militias, if the United
Nations is unable to force them to implement the agreement reached in Sweden
Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths briefed the UN Security Council on Wednesday,
declaring that both parties to the conflict renewed their commitments to the
Sweden agreement, pointing out that progress has been made, despite
Palestinian fishing boat has caught fire after Israeli naval forces repeatedly
opened fire on a group of vessels off the northern coast of the blockaded Gaza
media on Thursday reported that the Israeli navy fired on Gaza fishing boats
off the shores of the besieged Palestinian enclave, causing one of them to
of the Fishermen Committees in the Union of Agricultural Work Committees,
Zakaria Bakr, told Palestinian Ma'an news agency that the Israeli raid took
place as Palestinian boats were located three nautical miles off the northern
coast of Gaza.
said at least two fishermen aboard the boat, which was set on fire, were
detained by the Tel Aviv regime's forces. The Israeli naval vessels then towed
some Palestinian boats to the Port of Ashdod in southern Israel.
imposed a limit of three nautical miles on fishing in the waters off the Gaza
until August 2014, when Palestinian fishermen were allowed to go out six miles
under a ceasefire agreement reached between Israel and Palestinians following a
deadly 50-day Israeli war.
fishing zone were supposed to extend to 20 nautical miles under the Oslo
Accords, which were signed between the Israeli regime and the Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO) during the early-mid 1990s to resolve the
May 2017, Israeli authorities increased the fishing area for Gazan fishermen to
nine nautical miles.
the past few years, Israeli forces have carried out more than a hundred attacks
on Palestinian boats, arresting dozens of fishermen and confiscating several
Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since June 2007. The blockade has
caused a decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of
unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
have been running high near the Gaza border fence separating the enclave from
the occupied territories ever since anti-occupation protest rallies began in
the Gaza Strip on March 30. More than 240 Palestinians have been killed by
Israeli forces and over 23,000 have sustained injuries.
kill 32 Afghan security men, militias
The Taliban launched a series of attacks on security checkpoints in four Afghan
provinces early on Thursday, killing 32 members of the security forces and
pro-government militias, provincial officials said. The latest Taliban attacks
came in the northern provinces of Kunduz, Baghlan, Takhar and Badghis in the
Fahim Qarluq, the chief of the Qala-e-Zal district in Kunduz, said a large
number of Taliban attacked security checkpoints in the early hours, killing 10
soldiers and police and wounding 11. Qarluq said 25 Taliban fighters were
Baghlan and Takhar provinces, the Taliban killed 16 members of pro-government
militias in attacks on outposts, officials said. They also said the Taliban
suffered heavy casualties. To the west, in Badghis province, Jamshid Shahabi,
spokesman for the governor, said six members of the security forces were killed
and 10 wounded in clashes.
Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attacks, and said
in statement that the militants had killed dozens of members of the security
forces and captured a large number of weapon and ammunition.
Taliban, ISIS-K militants killed in Afghan, coalition forces operations
least 14 Taliban and ISIS Khurasan (ISIS-K) militants were killed during
separate operations and airstrikes conducted by the Afghan and coalition forces
based in Afghanistan.
to the informed military sources, the Afghan Special Operations Forces
conducted a raid in Sarobi district of Paktika province, killing 1 ISIS-K
fighter and seizing weapons and ammunition.
sources further added that a coalition air strike killed 10 ISIS-K fighters in
eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
coalition air strike killed 3 Taliban fighters in Tarin Kot district, the
anti-government armed militant and terrorist groups including ISIS-K
sympathizers have not commented regarding the killing of the group’s militants
Bangladeshi man who distorted and posted photos of the prime minister has been
sentenced to seven years in jail under tough internet laws that critics say are
used to muzzle dissent.
Minister Sheikh Hasina, re-elected in December in polls tainted by violence,
mass arrests and claims of rigging, has been accused of increasing
Monir, 35, was found guilty late Wednesday by a Dhaka cyber tribunal for
doctoring and publishing on social media images of Hasina and ex-president
posted those distorted images in his Facebook status and made derogatory
remarks in the photo captions,” prosecutor Nazrul Islam Shamim told AFP.
was convicted under section 57 of the South Asian country’s Information and
Communication Technology (ICT) laws.
said that since the cyber court began functioning in 2013, at least seven
people have been sentenced to jail for similar offences involving Hasina and
least 200 more such cases are pending and in various stage of trial, he said.
groups have documented how the ICT laws have been used to silence criticism in
the country of 165 million people.
Hindus who sought refuge in Bangladesh want to return to Myanmar but were not
being allowed by Bangladesh officials, according to the Los Angeles Times.
a report from the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh, the newspaper said on
Wednesday that 105 Hindu families were ready to leave when a deal was made by
the UN last May for refugees to return home to Rakhine state in Myanmar.
they are stranded in Bangladesh because their return home was canceled when the
UN decided it was not safe for refugees to go back to Myanmar, Hindu refugees
were quoted as telling the newspaper.
400 Hindu refugees in Bangladesh are segregated and housed in a separate facility
called Hindu Camp, which is under round-the-clock securit.
and Muslim refugees in Bangladesh live in a state mutual animosity.
Los Angeles Times said that Hindu families have appealed to the Indian
government for help, but have so far received only humanitarian aid.
is a land for all Hindus. Mr. (Narendra) Modi (Prime Minister) is a Hindu. Why
is he not helping us?" the newspaper quoted Shishu Sheel, a 32-year-old
leader in the refugee camp for Hindus, as saying.
Hindus were victims of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a Muslim
organisation led by the Pakistan-born Ataullah abu Ammar Jununi, and fled to
Bangladesh as it was the only escape available to them, the newspaper said.
the more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees, the Hindus have Myanmar
citizenship, the newspaper said.
newspaper said that the Bangladesh's Refugee, Relief and Repatriation
Commission has ruled out repatriating only the Hindus, and not the Muslims,
whose return the UN has determined was unsafe.
treat all refugees the same way and will not be prioritising repatriation of
the Hindu refugees over Rohingya Muslims," Shamimul Huq Pavel, the
commission official who oversees a separate camp for Hindu, told the Los
exodus of the Rohingya to Bangladesh began in August 2017 when the ARSA
attacked security posts in Myanmar and the security forces and vigilantes
retaliated killing hundreds of Muslims and destroying their villages.
UN has condemned the security forces' response to the ARSA attacks as
disproportionate and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called it
the Hindus were attacked by ARSA unlike the Muslim refugees who were victims of
security forces and Myanmarese vigilantes, the newspaper said.
International, that verified the the ARSA attacks, said in a report last May
that 99 Hindu children, women and men had been killed.
rights organisation said that in one incident in August 2017, 53 Hindus from Ah
Nauk Kha Maung Seik village were rounded up and killed execution-style by the
ARSA and later the remains of 45 victims were found in mass graves.
neighbouring Ye Bauk Kyar village, 46 Hindus disappeared and the community
believe that they were killed by ARSA, Amnesty said.
Hassan, Crisis Response Director at Amnesty International, said: "It's
hard to ignore the sheer brutality of ARSA's actions, which have left an
indelible impression on the survivors we've spoken to. Accountability for these
atrocities is every bit as crucial as it is for the crimes against humanity
carried out by Myanmar's security forces in Rakhine."
to a Sri Lankan newspaper Ceylon Today, startling new information has been
released about a huge narcotics seizure. There are indications the war on drugs
has intensified in Sri Lanka over 2018, ending the year with this massive
narcotics seizure. On December 31, 2018, the Sri Lankan Police Narcotics Bureau
(PNB) conducted a raid on a large, upscale house in Dehiwala, south of Colombo,
where the house was being occupied by two men from Bangladesh, ages 35 and 38.
During the raid, police seized over 272kg of heroin and 5kg of cocaine, with a
combined street value of US$20 million. A police spokesman states this
narcotics seizure from Islamic gangs is the largest haul of heroin ever
recorded in Sri Lanka. In December 2018, over 500kg of heroin was seized in Sri
Lanka, while police say 736kg of heroin was seized over the year of 2018.
to the report, A 23-year-old Bangladeshi woman was arrested along with 32 kg of
heroin, with a street value of Rs. 384 million, at a safe house in Ratmalana on
December 16, 2018 evening, a senior Policeman said. The suspect woman was
initially picked up from a location in neighboring Dehiwala by undercover
sleuths from the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) who had operated on a tip-off.
the time of her arrest in Dehiwala, the suspect was in a possession of one
kilogram of heroin and subsequently led sleuths to the larger haul of the
narcotic at Ratmalana, he added. Investigators are certain that the woman was
not a ‘lone wolf’ operator and are searching for other contacts both in the
country and elsewhere.
to sleuths close to the investigation the suspect is believed to have been
involved in the narcotic trade for a considerable period of time. At the time
of her arrest the suspect was living in a rented house.
December 31, 2018 Sri Lanka’s largest English newspaper The Island in a report
said, the arrested drug dealer had brought the drugs into the country from
Afghanistan via sea and air and then had used luxury vehicles to transport
heroin to the house in Dehiwala. The two men had also procured valuable
properties in Colombo using the money made from the drug racket, according to
The drug distribution hub:
region of Dehiwala, south Colombo, has a large population of Muslims;
considerable Islamic gang activity is concentrated there for the illegal drug
trade. Most of the drugs seized by Sri Lankan authorities in December 2018 have
identified the Dehiwala area as being the central distribution hub for the
country’s drug trade. The two Bangladeshi men arrested for the latest historic
drug seizure were living a lavish lifestyle in a large luxurious home, and the
drugs were being transported using their expensive, high-end vehicles. Dehiwala
is known for its high-income neighborhoods where these Islamic gang members led
affluent lifestyles, owning many valuable properties in the area and laundering
money into area businesses owned by Muslims.
money goes into terrorism:
the polished exterior of these Bangladeshi drug traffickers, there is a
sinister connection to merciless Islamic gangs and terror. Locals say these
Islamic gangs are waging “chemical warfare” on non-Muslim families by creating
a hard drug epidemic to destroy their communities, especially since the Islamic
gang members typically do not use the drugs they are distributing into the
local Sinhalese communities. The heroin seized in Sri Lanka comes from Afghanistan,
by air and sea. The proceeds are used to finance terror networks across the
world, so these recent historic drug seizures have likely had a direct impact
on the global war on terror, possibly saving the lives of many innocent people.
the last few years, the drug problem in Sri Lanka has become so severe that in
mid-2018, the government announced an end to the almost 50-year moratorium on
the death penalty for convicted drug dealers. Usually, a convicted drug dealer
has his or her death sentence, by hanging, commuted to life in prison, but this
may no longer be the situation, as President Sirisena stated that he “was ready
to sign the death warrants.” Despite criticism from human rights lobbyists in
Sri Lanka, who tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the death penalty in 2018, the
success of Filipino President Duterte’s war on drugs is being cited as a good
starting point, because Sri Lanka has become an important destination for
international drug smuggling. People believe these Islamic gangs have become so
powerful in Sri Lanka that they are creating an underground army to become a
serious threat to the government.
fears reached critical levels in Sri Lanka when a conspiracy to assassinate
President Sirisena, along with two top political leaders, was revealed in late
October 2018. An investigation discovered the assassination plot was connected
to a network of Islamic gangs in the criminal underworld, which resulted in
some political upheaval within the coalition government. The war on drugs in
Sri Lanka has become an issue of national security, so Duterte-style counter
measures are seen as necessary for the government to maintain control against
the growing influence of the criminal underworld led by dangerous Islamic gangs
that have eliminated all other rivals in the illegal drug trade. After the
complete eradication of the LTTE terror network in 2009, merciless Islamic
gangs have emerged as the leaders of the criminal underworld in Sri Lanka.
is an important connection to Bangladesh with these massive drug seizures.
International networks of Islamic gangs from Bangladesh are notorious for human
trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, weapons, fraud and drugs. These gangs
are based inside Bangladesh, a country that has a major problem with organized
crime, corruption and Islamic jihad activity. In 2018, over 650 Bangladeshi
illegal migrants were apprehended trying to enter the US over the Southwest
border. In one case from 2018, a major human trafficker from Bangladesh was
arrested while living in a Mexican hotel close to the US border. Much more work
must be done in order to stop ruthless Islamic gangs from infiltrating other
countries, as they have direct links to international Islamic terror networks
through the drug trade in Afghanistan.
hands behind narco-trade:
overall world production of heroin is centered in the narcostate of
Afghanistan, which has the world’s largest opium poppy plantations, tightly
controlled by the Taliban. Reliable statistics on world opium production do not
include Pakistan as a major source of opium, plus opium grown in Pakistan is
more expensive. Occupational military forces by the US have done very little to
deter the opium farmers in Afghanistan, which experienced peak levels in 2017.
The highest growth of opium poppies comes from the southern provinces of
Afghanistan adjacent to the Pakistan border. For the manufacture of heroin,
Afghanistan has the world monopoly of export grade heroin with over 500
estimated manufacturing facilities. Although the heroin from the historic
seizure is said to originate from Pakistan, it was likely grown and
manufactured in Afghanistan in the southern border provinces for cheap shipment
into Pakistan for further distribution through a criminal network of Islamic gangs
there. The area of Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan is known as the Golden Crescent in
the illegal opium drug trade.
Lanka as a distribution hub in the world drug trade is a relatively new
phenomenon, so there is not much supporting data aside from some recent massive
drug seizures. However, the expected shipping route is by water from the coast
of Pakistan through the Arabian Sea to the busy port of Colombo. Major
shipments of heroin are often transported through shipping containers and the
heroin may change ships in the ocean after leaving the port in Pakistan, as one
seizure from a Sri Lankan fishing boat revealed.
spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) has been dealing in drugs and
counterfeit Indian currency notes for many years, which is one of the main
sources of ISI’s fund which goes to various jihadist and militancy groups.
International known infamous drug cartel Dawood Ibrahim is one of the key
operatives of ISI in running this nefarious trade throughout the world.
buys heroin from the Afghanistan-based Talibans at a fixed rate, which is
several folds lower than the international market price. Talibans prefer
selling drugs to ISI instead of individual buyers as they get the payment in
advance. After buying the consignment from Afghanistan, heroin in packs of 500
grams each are transported to Pakistan in military vehicles as well as vehicles
of the Pakistani spy agency. In Pakistan, the consignments are handed over to
Dawood Ibrahim’s men with specific instructions of how and where the sales
proceeds should be distributed. Accordingly, Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company men
send the consignment to different nations and once the drugs are sold, cash
received from the sale are distributed amongst various jihadist and militancy
groups as per ISI’s directives.
about Dawood Ibrahim:
Ibrahim is the notorious godfather of illegal drug dealings and is Number 3 on
the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List since 2011 as the mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai
bombings which killed 257 people and injured 1400. He has links with Al Qaeda,
AQIS, Lashkar e Toiba, Jamaat e Islami as well as other jihadist and Islamist
outfits in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Dawood also
maintains links with Philippine’s Abu Saiyyaf militancy group.
many years, Dawood Ibrahim has been living in Karachi, Pakistan under the
direct assistance of ISI. In Karachi, he has properties and investments worth
hundreds of millions of dollars. Sitting in Pakistan, Dawood Ibrahim, as per
directives of ISI, operates global drug trade as well as distributes fund to
several jihadist and militancy outfits. He also has investments in Indian film
to newspaper reports, Dawood Ibrahim had provided the fund to the 2008-Mumbai
terror attackers while has financed Islamic terror in the Gujarat region
through L-e-T, being a large terror group centered in Pakistan. In 2003, Dawood
Ibrahim was declared a global terrorist by the US and Indian governments. From
2017, as per directives from ISI, Dawood Ibrahim has started providing fund to
Jamaat e Islami’s chapters in India and Bangladesh.
nexus of ISI-Dawood:
Ibrahim has established a small group of individuals from Bangladesh (mostly
females) who are responsible in overseeing the trafficking of narcotics from
Pakistan to Sri Lanka and the coordinate sending the consignments to several
Western destinations. Dhaka’s largest vernacular daily Prothom Alo has already
revealed the name of one of the key aides of ISI-Dawood nexus in Bangladesh. A
Bangladeshi female named Shahina Akhter is one of the key figures of the nexus
in Bangladesh. She coordinates with another Bangladeshi living in Australia for
ensuring smooth transportation of narcotics to various countries in the West.
militants have killed at least 32 members of security forces and pro-government
militias during a series of coordinated attacks on checkpoints in four Afghan
said the attacks took place in the northern provinces of Kunduz, Baghlan, and
Takhar, and in the western province of Badghis early Thursday.
Kunduz, at least 10 soldiers and police were killed and 11 others wounded in
the clashes which also left 25 Taliban fighters dead, a local official said.
neighboring Baghlan and Takhar provinces, local Afghan officials said the
Taliban killed 16 members of pro-government militias, but also suffered heavy
Badghis, six members of security forces were killed and 10 others wounded,
spokesman for the provincial governor Jamshid Shahabi said.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attacks in a
statement, saying dozens of Afghan troops had been killed and a large amount of
ammunition and weapons seized.
Monday, more than 20 Afghan security forces were killed as Taliban militants
stormed security checkpoints in Badghis.
attacks come even as the Kabul government has stepped up efforts to convince
the Taliban to end the 17-year militancy amid Washington’s failures on the
State Department's special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has said he had held
"productive" meetings in Abu Dhabi with Afghan and international
partners "to promote intra-Afghan dialogue towards ending the
said the Taliban seek an agreement on the withdrawal of foreign forces, while
the US wants assurances from the militant group that its forces would not be
talks are the latest in a flurry of diplomatic efforts aimed at putting an end
to the war in Afghanistan which began with the US invasion 17 years ago.
United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 after the September 11
attacks. US forces have remained bogged down there through the presidencies of
George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Donald Trump.
United Nations (UN) has warned about growing violence by Boko Haram militants
in northeastern Nigeria, saying tens of thousands of people — mostly women and
children —have fled their homes in the conflict-ridden area over the past
international body raised the alarm on Wednesday following heavy clashes
between Nigerian government forces and armed militants from the Takfiri
terrorist group in Baga Town, on the shores of Lake Chad, about 200 kilometers
north of the Borno State capital, Maiduguri.
than 30,000 internally displaced people have arrived in Maiduguri, mainly from
Baga, in recent weeks. The majority of these people have arrived since December
20, 2018, often after arduous journeys with young children,” said the UN’s
humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon.
said a clash on December 26 triggered a “massive displacement” of civilians,
causing men, women, and children to flock to already-overcrowded camps in
Maiduguri and struggle with a lack of “humanitarian assistance, notably
shelter, food, water and sanitation.”
UN report said a second attack on Monguno, a garrison town southwest of Baga,
on December 28 had also led to the arrival of some 20,000 people at one camp in
Maiduguri, stretching its capacity beyond the limit.
impact of the recent fighting on innocent civilians is devastating and has
created a humanitarian tragedy. It is heart-wrenching to see so many of these
people living in congested camps, or sleeping outside with no shelter.
Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict and the United Nations is
extremely concerned about the impact that violence in northeast Nigeria,
especially in Borno State, is having on civilians,” Kallon said.
UN official further said “some 260 aid workers” had to withdraw from three
local government areas in northern Borno State near Lake Chad since November,
citing possible attacks by Boko Haram militants.
said the withdrawal — the largest since the international response to the
violence increased in 2016 — had affected the delivery of humanitarian
assistance to “hundreds of thousands of people.”
Haram’s nine-year militancy is estimated to have killed more than 27,000 people
and forced 1.8 million others to flee their homes, also triggering a
humanitarian crisis in Nigeria.
2015, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s security record has become a campaign issue ahead
of a February election in which he is seeking a second term.
a former general, came to power in 2015 on a platform of stamping out Boko
Haram; but despite retaking swathes of territory from the group, Boko Haram
continues to stage attacks targeting both civilians and military personnel.
government maintains that the militancy is close to defeat.
is considering the establishment of a military base in the Central African
Republic (CAR), where Russian forces are already training local troops as part
of a deal with Bangui.
African Republic Defense Minister Marie-Noelle Koyara told Russia's RIA Novosti
news agency that the establishment of a Russian military base is possible under
an agreement signed in August between Moscow and Bangui.
have not yet spoken about the concrete development of the base, but such a
possibility is not excluded in the framework agreement,” Koyara said.
the presidents, as supreme commanders and leaders of the nation, decide to
deploy the base, then our countries will carry it out,” she added.
further explained that authorities and armed groups of the Central African
Republic are ready for a meeting to discuss the move under the auspices of the
groups are ready for a meeting, we are ready for a meeting, all interested
parties are ready for a meeting, and now we are waiting for the response from
the African Union as a coordinator, when and where it should take place."
population perceives Russia very well. When the talk is about Russia, people
understand that this is a full-fledged partner that may change the country’s
future. And it is this human support, so to speak from the masses, that
suggests that the word ‘partner’ is fully applicable to Russia,” Koyara added.
said an army training center had already been established in the country with
Russia, which could not be considered a military base.
has already deployed light arms and troops to CAR —a member of the United
Nations — after obtaining approval from the UN Security Council.
Central African Republic, a former French colony, has for decades been mired in
poverty, hunger and violence due to ethnic and religious conflict between rival
United States, which has a significant military presence in Africa, has
recently launched a new strategy to counter what it calls the ‘predatory’
practices of Russia and China in the continent.
National Security Adviser John Bolton accused Moscow and Beijing of using
“corrupt” and “predatory” practices to gain an economic advantage over
Washington in Africa.
[China and Russia] are deliberately and aggressively targeting their
investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the United
States,” he added.
has already provided many countries in Asia and Africa with billions of dollars
in aid and loans for roads, railways, ports and other major infrastructure
projects. It has also set up its first overseas military base in Djibouti in
2017, where the US also has its main base of operations in Africa.
protesters died after police broke up an anti-government demonstration in
Sudan, police said Thursday, as thousands chanted support for President Omar
al-Bashir at a rival rally in Khartoum.
competing rallies in the Sudanese capital followed a month of angry street
protests over a government decision to triple the price of bread at a time when
the country faces an acute shortage of foreign currency and soaring inflation.
chanting "Freedom, Peace, Justice" and "Revolution is the
people's choice" blocked a key road in Omdurman, the twin city to
Khartoum, but were quickly confronted with tear gas by riot police, witnesses
posted on social media showed some demonstrators pelting police officers with
rocks. The footage could not be verified independently.
Thursday, police confirmed that three protesters had died in the Omdurman
anti-government protest but did not specify how they had died.
illegal gathering was held in Omdurman and police dispersed it with tear
gas," police spokesman Hashim Abdelrahim said in a statement.
later received reports that three protesters had died and several injured. We
are now investigating."
on Wednesday, a doctor said six protesters were being treated at Omdurman's
main hospital for gunshot wounds.
myself gave medicine to six people wounded by bullets," he said without
of government supporters gathered at the rival rally on Wednesday at a
sprawling ground in the capital to cheer for Bashir, who analysts say is facing
the most series challenge to his regime since he swept to power in a coup in
opposition National Umma Party urged doctors to help those injured, also saying
some at the anti-Bashir rally had been hit by bullets.
group of doctors at Omdurman's main hospital said that police fired tear gas at
fired tear gas inside the hospital and there was also shooting inside the
hospital," the group said in a statement, without specifying who had
authorities did not comment on the clashes, but Bashir and others have blamed
violence at the month-long protests on "thugs" and
"conspirators," without naming them.
have so far confirmed at least 22 deaths, including two security personnel,
since demonstrations erupted on December 19, but Human Rights Watch has put the
death toll at 40, including children.
the initial protests, which started in December in towns and villages before
spreading to Khartoum, several buildings of Bashir's ruling National Congress
Party were torched.
anti-government protest came soon after thousands of people danced and cheered
Bashir at the rally held in the capital's Green Yard as police officers,
soldiers, and security agents secured the premise.
women, and children carrying pro-Bashir banners arrived in buses from early in
the morning, almost filling the site.
gathering sends a message to those who think that Sudan will become like other
countries that have been destroyed," Bashir told a cheering crowd.
"We will stop anyone who destroys our properties."
chanted "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest) and "Yes, yes, Bashir,
we will follow you" at the rally, where the president was accompanied by
his wife and a group of ministers.
who tried to destroy Sudan... put conditions on us to solve our problems, I
tell them that our dignity is more than the price of dollars," Bashir said
in an apparent dig at Washington, which had imposed a trade embargo on Khartoum
embargo was lifted in October 2017, but Sudanese officials, including Bashir,
have continued to blame Washington for the country's economic woes.
slams foreign critics
in a khaki shirt and trousers and waving his trademark cane, a smiling Bashir
greeted the crowd as men and women whistled and waved flags.
are with our leader because our brothers want to destroy our country, but we
will save it," a woman supporter told AFP.
than 800 protesters, opposition leaders, activists, and journalists have been
arrested since the unrest began, officials say.
Wednesday, Sudan slammed Britain, Canada, Norway, and the United States for a
joint statement expressing concern at the situation in the country.
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