Yemeni protesters raise signs depicting the victims of an August Saudi
airstrike on a school bus, in Sa'ada on September 5, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
rape is un-Islamic, says SIS
death toll five times higher than UN estimates: Report
requested release of Taliban founder to help peace talks
‘Roots of Extremism and Militancy Lie in Intolerance and not listening to
Others’ Point of View’
court acquits Christian facing death for blasphemy
role in eradication of terrorism, extremism sought
asked to encourage dialogue to foster social harmony
Mashaikh council announce setting up of provincial offices
Fazlur Rehman eyeing at Islamabad instead of Islam: Rashid
arrested for trespassing on Azam Swati’s farmhouse freed
assures protesting journalists of his party’s support
FM arrives ‘unannounced’ in Pakistan for ‘key talks’
principal in Peshawar sentenced to 105 years in prison for child abuse
Silence is not an option for Malaysia
term suspended, ex-President Nasheed set to return home to Maldives tomorrow
groups insist ICERD ratification harms special position of their community
vows to crush U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters east of Euphrates in Syria
army opens probe into killing of Gaza medic
military says kills seven Kurdish militants in northern Iraq
Joint patrols with US forces in Syria’s Manbij to begin imminently
is sovereign, won’t accept American diktats: Foreign minister
to launch larger operations in northern Syria: Erdogan
prosecutor refuses to answer Turkey’s questions on Khashoggi: Columnist
do white Muslims experience Islamophobia?
sentiment drives Muslims into US politics
schools rethinking Saudi funding: Associated Press
calls for Yemen ceasefire, peace talks within ‘next 30 days’
State Department urges all parties to end hostilities in Yemen, focus on peace
extremist sentenced to 15 years in US jail
kills three Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims in Iraq - police
Attacks Deir Ezzur with Banned Weapons Again
Security Forces Kill Suicide Bomber before Reaching Arbaeen Pilgrims
coalition sends 10,000 of troops to Hudaydah ahead of new offensive’
Ankara-Backed Terrorist Commander Killed in Al-Bab
Pass Chemical Cargos to Each Other in Hama
letter to UN Security Council announces new Syria envoy
of Kurdish fighters arrive in eastern Syria to help fight ISIS
Samaj founder Swami Dayanand Saraswati's idea of a modern India
chief Masood Azhar’s nephew among two militants killed in Tral encounter
gag hits Indian Kashmir students
EC scraps fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami's registration
Votel reaffirms support to Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism
the past: Myanmar erasing evidence on Rohingya
Front won’t bring Jamaat-e-Islami to dialogue, Obaidul Quader hopes
bomber detonates outside Kabul prison, killing 7
senior Afghan Taliban leaders join Qatar’s political office: spokesman
Taliban militants killed in AAF airstrikes in Nangarhar province
feared dead, wounded in a suicide attack near a prison in Kabul
group says troops shot, killed 27 Shiite Muslims
PM says govt takes full responsibility for Dead Sea flood casualties
killings ‘blight’ on reputation: Nigerian leader
Al-Shabab says blast killed 30 Ethiopian soldiers
recalls ambassador to Iran over foiled attack
generosity on show as £80k raised for Syrian child's spinal surgery
Foreign Secretary to MPs: I had no prior knowledge of Khashoggi plot
underlines importance of civil society in Egypt
Khashoggi deserves a dignified burial'
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Speakers at the Paigham-e-Pakistan conference here on Tuesday stressed that
reasoning and debate is the right way to convince others as enforcement of
beliefs through force or coercion has serious consequences for peace and
tranquility in a society.
of extremism and militancy lie in intolerance and not listening to others’
point of view, which wipe out moderation and foster extremism in a society,”
said Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Vice President (VP) Allama Raghib Naeemi while
addressing the seminar.
said that an emphasis must be laid on inclusive citizenship as all citizens,
whether Muslims or non-Muslims, should enjoy equal rights in Pakistan. “An
individual declaring another person as an infidel is against the teachings of
Islam. It is a very dangerous approach and the Muslim Ummah should play its role
to counter such trends,” he said, adding that punishing anyone for any
wrongdoings is the purview of the state and the judiciary.
must not take law into hand for punishing the sinners or wrongdoers,” he
reminded that Islam preaches peace and harmony, giving a very clear message of
the respect for humanity. “Saints and Sufis have always propagated love and
brotherhood. There is no place for terrorism, extremism, intolerance and narrow
mindedness in Islam,” he said while adding that ulema, mashaikh, scholars and
intellectuals need to play their role to save society from destruction.
speakers said that Paigham-e-Pakistan was a unanimous declaration of scholars
from all schools of thought against the menace of terrorism and was in fact, a
message of prosperity and peace in Pakistan. They said the unanimous narrative
was a step in the right direction, reiterating that Pakistan was an Islamic
state believing in peace, tolerance, justice and love.
a separate event organised by the Islamic Research Institute (IRI) Faisal
Mosque Campus, speakers stressed the need to raise awareness among students on
how to play their role in eradicating the menaces of terrorism and extremism
the attendees of the occasion, Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Dr
Qibla Ayaz highlighted the importance of education for achieving durable peace
and prosperity in Pakistan. He said that the younger generation had a key role
in national development as the youth wants peace in tranquility in society as a
whole. He underlined the need for eliminating extremism and terrorism as well
as achieving lasting peace through education and creating awareness among
public, especially youth.
IRI Director General (DG) Dr Ziaul Haq took to the stage to say that the
country’s bright future is linked with the youth. He said that only education
can bring peace in society, and urged teachers to focus on character-building
of students so that they may effectively deal with the tendencies of extremism
large part of the community is suffering from mutual hatred, ethnocentric
mindsets, intolerance, extremism and terrorism. The Paigham-e-Pakistan
initiative will help eradicate terrorism and prove instrumental in reforming
the youth who have lost their path due to negative propaganda by some aberrant
elements,” he said.
Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) President Dr Ahmed Yousuf Al Darwish also
called for promoting a culture of accommodation, tolerance and harmony across
all kinds of divides.
need to build bridges of cooperation, positive interaction, dialogue and mutual
sharing rather than barriers and walls that divide us and cause mutual distrust
and conflict. Religious and cultural extremism and terrorism adversely affects
the society and it loses the societal feature of cultural and religious
tolerance and political accommodation,” he said while adding that academicians
and intellectuals have a leading role in inculcating the values of pluralism,
brotherhood and tolerance in society, especially the youth.
basic objective of the activities was to sensitise students and the youth about
the horrific dangers and risks associated with the wave of terrorism and
extremism and train them on how to safeguard the community from such threats.
report says the number of casualties in Yemen remains unreported due to the
media blackout imposed on the war-torn country by Saudi and Emirati invaders,
putting the death toll among Yemenis at around 56,000 since early 2016 -- over
five times higher than the figure reported by the UN.
Cockburn, an award-winning columnist for The Independent, said in a recent
article that understating the number of people killed in the war on Yemen has
enabled Saudi Arabia and its allies to avoid a public outcry over their
cited a toll of 56,000 by a nonprofit conflict-research organization that is
five times higher than the regularly reported figure of 10,000.
estimate the number killed to be 56,000 civilians and combatants between
January 2016 and October 2018,” said Andrea Carboni, who researches Yemen for
the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).
said Carboni had told him that he expects a total toll of 70,000-80,000, when
he completes research into the casualties by taking into account the number of
victims between March 2015 -- when the Saudi regime and its allies began a war
on the country -- and the end of that year.
was further quoted as saying that the number of the Yemenis being killed is
increasing by more than 2,000 per month as fighting intensifies around the port
city of Hudaydah.
oft-cited figure of 10,000 dead comes from a UN official speaking only of
civilians in early 2017, and has remained static since. This out of date
statistic, drawn from Yemen’s patchy and war-damaged health system, has enabled
Saudi Arabia and the UAE – who lead a coalition of states strongly backed by
the US, UK and France – to ignore or downplay the loss of life,” Cockburn said.
also complained of the media blackout on the developments on the ground in
Yemen, stressing that the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
at Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, has turned the spotlight on the
death of so many Yemenis.
absence of credible figures for the death toll in Yemen has made it easier for
foreign powers to shrug off accusations they are complicit in a human disaster.
That is despite frantic appeals from senior UN officials to the organization's
Security Council to avert a man-made famine which now threatens 14 million
Yemenis – half the population,” he added.
also noted that the Western countries still continue their assistance to the
Riyadh regime in its deadly war on Yemen regardless of the rising number of
Khashoggi affair has led to greater international focus on the calamitous war
in Yemen, and the role of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in
the conflict. But there is no sign of the US, Britain or France curtailing
military assistance to the kingdom and the UAE, despite the likelihood the
coalition will fail to win a decisive victory,” he said.
true “butcher’s bill” in the Yemen war has taken too long to emerge, but it may
help to increase pressure on outside powers to stop the killing,” he added.
Arabia and its allies launched a brutal war against Yemen in March 2015 in an
attempt to reinstall its former Riyadh-friendly president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur
Hadi, who had earlier resigned amid a political conflict and fled to the Saudi
Houthi Ansarullah movement -- which is now running state affairs in the absence
of an effective government -- has been defending the country against the
Saudi-led aggression with the help of allied armed forces.
in June, the coalition launched the Hudaydah offensive despite international
warnings that it would compound the war-torn nation’s humanitarian crisis.
war on Yemen, coupled with a naval blockade, has destroyed the country’s
infrastructure and led to famine as well as a cholera outbreak.
week, a UK-based charity warned that Yemenis face the triple threat of war,
disease and hunger and that a civilian is killed every three hours in the
civilian has been killed every three hours in fighting in Yemen since the
beginning of August, with many more people succumbing to disease and hunger,”
Oxfam said in a statement, calling on the US, Britain and other European states
to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
LUMPUR, Oct 30 — Having sex with one’s wife against her consent violates
Islamic teachings, Sisters in Islam (SIS) said today in calling for marital
rape to be criminalised.
Muslim women’s rights group cited several verses in the Quran that demanded
that husbands treat their wives with kindness, affection, and mercy.
marital rape is clearly not permissible in Islam, current practices are purely
cultural in nature and cannot be attributed to ‘religious factors’.
and any allowance for rape (in and out of marriage) are in direct opposition to
the Holy Quran’s intention to maintain equality in the relationship between
husband and wife based on the spirit of love and compassion,” SIS said in a
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin told
Parliament earlier today that the government would not criminalise marital rape
because it was hard to secure convictions, citing also a parliamentary select
committee’s decision in 2006 to reject on religious grounds criminalising
Deputy Minister’s excuse that marital rape will be ‘difficult to prove in
court’ is disgraceful and irresponsible as it implies that when an issue is
deemed as ‘difficult’, it is okay for the government to just turn a blind eye
to it,” SIS said in response.
375 of the Penal Code, which criminalises rape, contains an exception that says
sexual intercourse between a man and his wife is not rape.
375A only imposes a punishment of up to five years’ imprisonment if a man hurts
his wife or causes fear of death or hurt to her in order to have sex, compared
to sentences of up to 30 years that can be imposed in other rape cases.
notorious Taliban leader and co-founder of the Taliban insurgent group Mullah
Abdul Ghani Baradar, was released on the special request of US representative
Zalmay Khalilzad, a top Pakistani official said.
Khalilzad, who held several meetings this month with all the stakeholders to
resolve the long Afghan conflict. A major breakthrough of his visit came when
the Taliban agreed to hold further talks with America.
release of Mullah Baradar was made on the request of Zalmay Khalilzad, who is
more serious [about] resolving the Afghan conflict at [the] earliest, he needs
concrete results as Washington desperately seeking result oriented
negotiations”, a senior Pakistani intelligence official told The National on
the condition of anonymity.
improving realisation between Islamabad and Washington is to keep all the
options open for achieving peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan wants peace no matter
what possible channels are subscribed and ultimately it’s in the interest of
Pakistan”, the official added.
are not going to get into the details of private diplomatic communications.
Special Representative Khalilzad continues to have ongoing conversations with
all interested parties”, a State Department official told The National on
condition of anonymity. After Khalilzad met with Taliban at their political
office on October 12, both decided to make a request to Pakistan for the
release of Mullah Baradar. A week later on October 19, Pakistan Prime Minister
Imran Khan held meeting with Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul
Rahman Al Thani and both decided to release the Taliban co-founder.
Sunday, the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul formally said Baradar has been released.
Khan, who has been a vocal supporter of peace talks with the Taliban, sees the
negotiations as the only viable solution for ending the war in Afghanistan. Mr
Khan had stated in the past several times that war is not the solution in
Taliban official in Doha said, “Baradar’s release would help enhance the
American peace process in and it’s a positive sign”.
Baradar remained one of the most contactable among the senior Taliban
leadership and had good knowledge of Afghanistan with a great understanding of
the US affairs in the country. He also remained open to negotiations with the
government in Kabul.
the time of arrest in 2010 Baradar was seeking peace talks with Washington
without Islamabad’s consent, a former Pakistani intelligence official claimed.
“He was arrested because he neglected Islamabad in the deal during that time”,
a former senior Pakistani intelligence official, who was in a key position at
the time of his arrest told The National on condition of anonymity.
US, along with other Western countries, say that Islamabad has major clout over
Taliban leadership and its splinter groups like Haqqani Network. In January,
President Trump in a new year Tweet attacked Islamabad’s “lies and deceit” over
covert support for the Taliban.
release was clearly intended to kick-start efforts to launch a peace process
with the Taliban”, Michael Kugelman, a senior associate for South and
South-East Asia at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars,
told The National. “[He’s] a prominent Taliban figure that can make things
happen and convince the organisation to stop fighting, but the importance of
this move shouldn't be overstated. It’s unclear how much influence Baradar
still has within the Taliban organisation given that he’s been in prison for
nearly a decade and the Taliban has undergone numerous leadership changes since
Mr Kugelman said the release was a “notable gesture, but not necessarily a move
that will drive the insurgents to the peace table”.
Pakistan's top court has acquitted a Christian woman who has been on death row
since 2010 for insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
Wednesday's verdict, the court ordered authorities to free Asia Bibi.
was being held at an undisclosed jail for security reasons.
landmark ruling is expected to anger Islamists who had threatened to launch
nationwide protests if the court freed her.
was arrested in 2009 after a quarrel with Muslim women.
have demanded her execution. A governor and a minister of minorities were
assassinated in 2011 for supporting her.
Islam is punishable by death in Pakistan, and the mere rumor of blasphemy can
at a seminar here on Tuesday stressed that reasoning and debate is the right
way to convince others as enforcement of beliefs through force or coercion has
very serious consequences for peace and tranquility in a society. ‘Roots of
extremism and militancy lie in intolerance and not listening to others’ point
of view, which wipe out moderation and foster extremism in a society,’ said
Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Vice President Allama Raghib Naeemi while addressing a
Paigham-e-Pakistan conference here at Data Darbar.
said emphasis must be laid on inclusive citizenship as all citizens, whether
Muslims or non-Muslims, enjoy equal rights in Pakistan. ‘Declaring anyone
infidel by an individual is against the teachings of Islam. It is very
dangerous approach and the Muslim Ummah should play its role to counter such
trends,’ he said, adding that punishing anyone for any wrongdoings is the
purview of the state and the judiciary. ‘Individuals must not take law into
hand for punishing the sinners or wrongdoers,’ he added.
Naeemi said Islam preaches peace and harmony and gives very clear message of
the respect of humanity. ‘Saints and Sufis have always propagated love and
brotherhood … there is no place for terrorism, extremism, intolerance and
narrow mindedness in Islam,’ he said, adding that Ulema, Mashaikh, scholars and
intellectuals need to play there role to save the society from devastation. At
a separate event organized by the Islamic Research Institute (IRI) at the
Faisal Mosque Campus Islamabad, speakers stressed the need to raise awareness
among students and youth as to how they can play their role in eradicating the
menaces of terrorism and extremism from the society.
on the occasion Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz highlighted
the importance of education for achieving durable peace and prosperity in the
country. He said the younger generation had the key role in national
development as the youth wanted peace in tranquility in the society. He
underlined the need for eliminating extremism and terrorism and achieving
lasting peace through education and creating awareness among public, especially
youth, for progress and prosperity. IRI Director General Dr Zia ul Haq said
bright future of the country was linked with the youth.
said only education can bring peace in society, and urged the teachers to lay
focus on character-building of students to effectively deal with the tendencies
of extremism and violence. ‘A large part of the community is suffering from
mutual hatred, ethnocentric mindset, intolerance, extremism and terrorism.
Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative will help eradicate terrorism and prove
instrumental in reforming the youth who have lost their path due to negative
propaganda by some aberrant elements,’ he said.
at a dialogue on ‘Role of Teachers in Social Harmony’ on Tuesday urged teachers
to help foster social harmony in the country by promoting a culture of
should equip themselves with the dialogue-enhancing skills and knowledge before
they pass on to others, they said at the two-day dialogue, which was organised
by the Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based think tank.
40 teachers from different parts of northern Punjab attended the dialogue, with
sessions led by leading scholars, educationists and opinion makers.
Council of Islamic Ideology chairman Dr Khalid Masud said that despite several
attempts to bring about positive behavioural changes, much was yet to be
culture of dialogue is needed for developing more nuanced understanding of
issues, no matter how contested. Dialogues are two-way interactions. They are
much better in learning from each other than the prevailing monologues, where
the intent is to win over the rival. Teachers can help overcome this
for-against style of speaking by learning relevant skills and knowledge that
enhance multiplicity of worldviews, and imparting them afterwards.”
for Social Justice Executive Director Peter Jacob said, “A range of problems
are being faced by non-Muslims, some of them having structural roots and
others, emanating from society. A great difficulty in even talking about the
plight of minorities is that the majority itself suffers from minority complex,
due to which they get defensive when such issues are brought to light.”
some teachers said their inability to talk about peace, social harmony or other
messages was largely because of the incentives embedded in education structure.
It is true that many teachers do not intentionally focus on talking about
social messages, they said, but it is in part because they are expected to
finish the curriculum within the stipulated time; students are asked questions from
the curriculum, after all; similarly, while parents do not impart civic sense
among teachers, they expect their children to get good grades.
Nadeem, a renowned columnist, said: “A fundamental problem of ours is whether
to have a nation state or a religious state. It is our response to this
question that our bilateral relations, especially conflicts and even our
internal relations are shaped.” Sharing history of Pakistan, he said, the state
largely relayed religious ideals to justify its goals. This is how our
narrative evolved. With time, such narrative saw its own backlash. Thus today,
he said, the fundamental clash is between the narrative built on transnational
ideals and the realities of nation-state confined within boundaries. “It was
precisely to bridge this divide that the Paigham-e-Pakistan document was
drafted, a government-endorsed public document that counter extremism, using
the narrative of religion.” He called for training teachers on this document.
Harris Khalique said that the media in Pakistan is diverse, with a single event
being angled differently, depending on language, platform, region, among
others. “The written word, in the form of columns and features, is often
cautious, and resultantly, produce less substance that can incite hatred.”
Ammar Nasir, religious scholar, said not only common people but teachers quote
popular opinion-making platforms. It should be other way around: teachers
should be knowledge producer.
AH Nayyar commended teachers for critically looking at one’s society, but added
that one of the ways to raise awareness was to learn about the evolutions of
other societies in different ages and places. Dr Raghib Naeemi, a religious
scholar, said the statement that “teachers can serve as role models for
students” can only come to fruition if teachers consciously strive to be so.
their efforts to eradicate sectarianism and promote harmony, the National Ulema
and Mashaikh Council has announced setting up offices at the provincial level,
local media reports have informed.
council in its meeting, presided by Federal Minister for Religious Affairs
Noorul Haq Qadri, on Monday was also briefed by the National Counter Terrorism
Authority (Nacta) on crackdown against elements spreading religious hatred and
in his address, said the aims of the council reflected ‘our religious and
national goals’. He said that the sectarian chaos had affected the entire
Muslim community and that the biggest aim of the council is to “remove the
strife among different schools of thought.”
the meeting, Nacta officials also presented statistics on operations against
elements spreading religious hatred.
Nacta officials also shared that a board for unity of ulema has been set up in
Punjab and added that Nacta is ready to support establishment of similar boards
in other provinces. They called for all the boards to be governed under the
Federal Ministry for Religious Affairs.
meeting concluded with the federal secretary for religious affairs presenting a
joint declaration according to which ulema boards would be established at the
provincial level. It is also decided that delegates from the National Ulema and
Mashaikh Council would regularly visit religious seminaries.
the word ‘minorities’ would be replaced by the term ‘non-Muslims’ while efforts
would be made to give legal status to the council.
for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Tuesday said that the leadership of two
main opposition political parties was apparently busy in finding ways to have
some sort of NRO. The minister while taking a taunt at JUI-F Chief, Maulana
Fazlur Rehman said’ he is eyeing at Islamabad in lieu of Islam,’ adding that
Co-Chairman PPP, Asif Ali Zardari is also willing to get NRO deal. Earlier
today, Sheikh Rashid said that federal government is ready to provide all the required
sources for the revival of Karachi Circular Railway project.
a news conference in Karachi, Railways minister said that five more trains will
be launched in Sindh in first hundred days of the present government. ‘Railways
can bring revolution in country, adding that Dhabeji express will be
inaugurated on October 31. In order to provide relief to labourers, Rashid said
the railways will issue ticket for them having duration of a month, so that
they can travel without any hindrance in Pakistan Railways (PR).
Minister for Railways said the President Arif Alvi will inaugurate the new
addition in the railway fleet, contented Rashid said. This is the launch of
sixth train within merely 60 days of the new government; ‘we will fulfill our promise
of bringing 10 new trains in 100 days of the government,’ the Minister
boastfully mentioned. In the next phase, the Federal Minister vowed to
introduce a shuttle train service between Karachi and Hyderabad. On October 16,
Sheikh Rashid inaugurated two new passenger trains – the Mohenjo-Daro and Rohri
Mohenjo Daro passenger train runs between Sukkur and Kotri via Larkana route
while Rohri Express chugs from Rohri to Khanpur. Talking to media on the
occasion, Sheikh Rashid said more than 31 railway stations are being upgraded
across the country, adding that the PTI government will have to deliver within
The family that was arrested for trespassing on Minister for Science and
Technology Azam Khan Swati’s farmhouse was released on Tuesday after a day’s
detention in Adiala jail.
sources confirmed the release of Niaz Mohammad, his wife, two sons and a
further added that the release came about after a settlement was reached
between the minister and the detained family.
parties submitted their statements on the settlement in the court of the
concerned magistrate. Following the agreement, the family was set free.
in the day, notables of the Bajaur Agency had given the government three days
to sack Minister for Science and Technology Mohammad Azam Khan Swati for
beating, registering a case against and arresting five of a family for
trespassing into his land.
a news conference, former MNA Sahibzada Haroon Rasheed demanded that Prime
Minister Imran Khan take action against the federal minister.
have [the support of] hundreds of thousands of people, including residents of
Rawalpindi and Islamabad, who we will ask to conduct a sit-in outside the
minister’s house,” he said.
said the sit-in will be staged outside the minister’s farmhouse and that
notable and elders of the Bajaur Agency will hold a jirga on Wednesday to
devise a strategy.
Rasheed said that a slum dweller, Niaz Mohammad, his wife, 18-year-old daughter
and two sons were arrested and put behind bars when their buffalo entered the
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Tuesday
that his party would stand by journalists and continue to struggle against the
injustices being committed by the government.
your economic policy, it is the responsibility of the government to provide
financial security to the public by ensuring jobs for them,” he said while
talking to the media during his visit to a protest camp set up by the Pakistan
Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)-Afzal Butt group outside Parliament House.
Bhutto-Zardari said that as an opposition party the PPP would continue to raise
its voice against “non-serious and unjust” policies of the government.
request you to support us,” he urged media personnel. “Your issues are our
issues — all your issues are our issues. Whenever there has been injustice with
media persons, the PPP has stood with them,” he said, recalling his mother
Benazir Bhutto’s frequent visits to press clubs and interaction with
they faced censorship, Benazir Bhutto extended support to the media, he said.
Now the media was facing censorship as well as financial woes, he added.
government must provide relief to the people because they [the leadership of
the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf] have made tall promises of generating 10
million jobs. Not only media persons, but people belonging to other professions
have also started suffering due to flawed policies of the government,” the PPP
chairman said. “Wherever we go, we meet people protesting against the
said that even government employees were protesting against the policies of the
government does not have to take any major step [to raise funds to provide
relief to the people] as they are taking foreign loans. They have even
presented a budget but they fail whenever it is a matter of relief for the
are various options and several ways [to provide relief to people] but… the
government has no intention of taking care of the working and middle classes
and protect their interests,” Mr Bilawal-Bhutto said.
added: “The finance minister only issues statements that he wants to seek input
from the opposition [on different issues] but he does not even meet us. They
are doing only what they want to do.”
lambasted the PTI government policies, saying the “flag-bearers of change” had
already dropped an ‘inflation bomb’ on the people in the form of a
“mini-budget” and were now involved in “economic murder of journalists and
said that the PPP had long-standing relations with the journalist fraternity.
“Whenever there has been any injustice in this country, the PPP and the
journalists have launched a joint struggle against it whether it was the
martial law of General Zia or the military regime of Gen Pervaiz Musharraf,” he
delegation of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), including MNA
Iqbal Muhammad Khan, also visited the protest camp and expressed solidarity
with the journalists.
on the occasion, Afzal Butt, the president of his own faction of the PFUJ, said
the objective of the protest was to voice the grievances of the journalist
fraternity and not to launch any movement against the government.
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrived “unannounced” in Islamabad on late
credible diplomatic source told Daily Times that the Iranian foreign minister
would hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi to share
some credible information regarding the kidnapping of Iranian border guards.
said that the visiting dignitary would also discuss “growing Israeli presence
in the region and its contacts with certain regional elements”.
sources said “Iran could convey Pakistan that any possible contact with Israel
through some interlocutors would be detrimental for the country and the
is also expected to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan to convey important messages
of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on certain issues.
sessions court in Peshawar sentenced a private school’s principal to 105 years
in prison on charges of child abuse, pornography, rape, blackmail and illicit
sentence was awarded on Tuesday by Sessions Judge Younis Khan. The convicted
principal Attaullah Marwat was also fined Rs 1.4 million (m).
a private school’s owner was apprehended after the Hayatabad police station
registered a case against him on July 14, 2017 on the complaint of a male
student who had accused him of sexually exploiting school children and filming
them with cameras installed in school.
trial court had framed charges against him on eight counts under the Pakistan
Penal Code, including Section 354-A (stripping a woman of her clothes), 376
(punishment for rape), 377-B (sexual abuse of child), 489-C (counterfeit
currency), 497 (adultery) and 509 (sexual harassment), and Sections 48 (child
pornography), 50 (seducing a child) and 53 (sexual abuse) of the Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act, 2010.
was found guilty of all charges and handed various jail sentences under each
section. During the proceedings, 25 direct and indirect victims of Marwat
recorded their statements before the police. However, it is believed that a
majority of the convict’s victims had not come forward.
one of the charges levied against Marwat was that he had forced, coerced,
persuaded and enticed female students under the age of 18 to engage in sexual
was also charged with forcing, coercing and persuading female students of his
school to engage in sexual activities and capturing those acts on his mobile
phones and secret cameras installed in different parts of the school and
storing them in USBs.
convict had allegedly ‘on multiple occasions and habitually’ enticed and
compelled multiple women of different ages to have illicit relations with him
inside the school. He was also charged with sexually assaulting multiple women
after issuing them death threats.
his arrest last year, Marwat had recorded his confessional statement before a
judicial magistrate on July 19, 2017, wherein he had admitted only that he used
to bring women to school for the purpose of adultery. He had argued that it was
his ‘hobby’ to make videos of his sexual activities. Furthermore, he had
admitted that 26 such videos were stored in his computer.
issue had surfaced after a student of the said school had informed the police
that the accused was involved in sexual exploitation of students and teachers.
The student had claimed that Marwat had sexually exploited students, teachers
and some women from outside the school but nobody had the courage to expose
student had claimed that the school owner had also showed him a number of
objectionable videos which he had recorded secretly through cameras. The
complainant had said that the principal had also invited him to get involved in
is now as close to hell on earth as one can imagine. A monstrous calamity –
“the worst humanitarian disaster in the world”, according to the EU – is
unfolding before our very eyes. It is nothing short of a crime against
humanity. The pictures of sick, starving and stressed-out children that we
increasingly see on television say it all. How much more must they endure
before we demand an end to the slaughter of the innocents?
war and big power rivalry
ongoing civil war in Yemen, a country with a long and bloody history of
political instability and conflict, is now in its third year. It is a mess of
shifting alliances, warring factions and foreign interference.
Arabia, accusing Iran of arming anti-government Houthi (Zaydi Shiites) rebels,
intervened on the side of pro-government forces. With the support of the US and
the UK, and backed by a loose coalition of Sunni Muslim states, the Saudis have
unleashed a deadly and indiscriminate air war against the Houthi. It has also
imposed a crippling land, sea and air blockade of Yemen.
Iran denies supporting the Houthi, it is not a disinterested observer given
that it is locked in a deadly power struggle with Saudi Arabia (and the US and
Israel) all across the Middle East.
complicate matters, Yemen is also home to al-Qaeda and IS forces who have been
fighting everybody else and, in turn, are regularly bombed by US forces.
the causes of the civil war, the consequences have been devastating. More than
10,000 Yemenis have been killed thus far while tens of thousands more have been
wounded, the majority as a result of the Saudi-led air campaign. Yemen’s cities
are also being reduced to rubble; 3.5 million Yemenis have fled their homes and
are barely surviving in makeshift shelters and camps.
Saudi blockade, in place since 2015, has now pushed Yemen – which imports 80%
of its food – to the brink of famine. The UN estimates that 130 children die
every day in Yemen as a result of the war, famine and disease. To make matters
worse, cholera and diphtheria are now ravaging the land as well.
course, Middle East politics is both a minefield and a quagmire with many
different forces and many different political, religious and regional
cross-currents at play. But silence is no longer an option, not when so many
are being slaughtered, not when so many are starving and suffering.
must act because to keep silent is to betray our own moral values, our own
national conscience. We must act even if there’s a price to pay, even if it upsets
our friends because to do nothing is to acquiesce to crimes against humanity.
course, we are but a small nation with limited resources. We have no great army
at our disposal and neither do we sit in the great councils of the world. But
we have a voice, and we must make it count for something.
fact, Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s return to high office couldn’t have occurred at a
more opportune time vis-à-vis the situation in Yemen. He is, after all, one of
the few leaders left in the Muslim world with the stature and integrity to
command respect. More importantly, he is trusted and respected by both sides of
the Sunni-Shia divide.
is well placed, therefore, to help broker at least an immediate end to the
bombing of civilian areas, the creation of safe zones and the provision of
urgent humanitarian assistance. And beyond that, to perhaps discuss building
new bridges across the Sunni-Shia divide.
recent invitation by the Saudi monarch to Mahathir (hand-delivered by a special
envoy no less) to visit Saudi Arabia is a significant development, particularly
as it comes a few days after the visit of the Saudi foreign minister. It could
provide an opportunity for Malaysia to begin the process of engagement and the
search for solutions.
UN will, no doubt, also welcome Mahathir’s assistance if it can help end the
slaughter of civilians in Yemen. Iran, too, might be open to Mahathir’s
possible role as a mediator.
the same time, Malaysia must itself do more to help the people of Yemen. We
can, for example, immediately increase our financial support for international
aid agencies providing humanitarian assistance to Yemen. We can also discuss
with Saudi Arabia and international agencies the possibility of dispatching
hospital ships to Yemen to help provide urgent medical assistance to the sick
and wounded. And there is no reason why we should not consider evacuating to
Malaysia children in need of longer term medical care.
foreign policy priority
is now the most pressing international issue of our time; it must become our
number one foreign policy priority. Make no mistake – all the great speeches
we’ve made in international fora about a principled foreign policy will mean
nothing if we don’t act now. We’ve rightly criticised other nations when they failed
to live up to their responsibilities in similar situations; we must not be
found wanting ourselves.
his exile from the Maldives, the country’s Supreme Court Tuesday suspended a
13-year jail sentence handed to former President Mohamed Nasheed who now plans
to return to Male as early as Thursday. Maldives President-elect Ibrahim
Mohamed Solih, who defeated President Abdulla Yameen in the recent elections,
is expected to accompany Nasheed from Colombo to Male.
to The Indian Express from Colombo, Nasheed said it was “very satisfying” to
hear the news of the suspension of his jail term. “I am going back to my
country after three years to see a democracy that is showing signs of strength.
Of course, this is a transition stage, it is a long process. But I would say
that Maldives democracy is getting strengthened now,” he said.
said Solih is expected to reach Colombo Wednesday. “Yes… I might travel with
him. It is so happy to meet everyone after a long time, our leaders, party men.
Moreover, mine is a typical South Asian family, a large extended family with a
lot of relatives, so many uncles, cousins. I am happy I will meet all of them
after a long time,” he said.
Explained | Churn in the Neighbourhood: In Maldives, storm subsides, ocean
the absence of Nasheed and top Opposition leaders, who were either jailed or
forced to flee the island nation after President Yameen came to power, it was
Solih who coordinated and led the Opposition. In the Presidential poll held
last month, Yameen conceded defeat to Solih after attempts to remain in power.
Tuesday, the Supreme Court ordered the government, police and prison
authorities to implement the suspension of Nasheed’s 13-year jail term.
LUMPUR, Oct 31 ― A coalition of Malay-Muslim groups marched to Parliament today
to protest the government's plan to ratify the United Nation’s International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
100 people marched from the National Monument around 10.30am before they were
stopped by the police at a barricade on the bridge leading into Parliament.
group consisting of conservative Malays groups such as Isma and Pertubuhan
Kebajikan Darul Islah Malaysia (PERKID) then claimed that the ICERD challenges
Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and its guarantees of the special
position of the Malays. Ummah secretariat head Aminuddin Yahya ,who led the
group, thensubmitted a memorandum to Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's
Department (National Unity and Social Well-being) Dr Md Farid Md Farik.
present were PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and the party’s
Bachok MP, Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz
president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang arrived around 11.15am and led 10
representatives from the protest group to the Parliament’s gates.
submitting the memorandum, Aminuddin said the group would send a delegation to
the Conference of Rulers in the future to voice their concern on the
153 is not racist in nature but an agreement between all ethnic races in
long as they have the intention to challenge this, we will not stop fighting
them,” he said.
said they will wait for the federal government to respond to their demand for
discussions on the terms of termination to the ratification.
Monday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof
Rawa reiterated the government’s assurance that the special position of Malays
in the country will not immediately end once Putrajaya ratifies the ICERD.
the minister in charge of Islamic Affairs, stressed that the ratification will
not affect the laws enshrined in the Federal Constitution unless approved by
(Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Tuesday to crush Kurdish
fighters east of the Euphrates river in Syria, announcing a major military
operation against U.S. allies in an area where Washington supports them with
troops on the ground.
YPG Kurdish militia are the core of a force that has fought against Islamic
State with the support of U.S. air power, arms, funds, training and an
estimated 2,000 American special forces troops on the ground.
Washington’s main Muslim ally within NATO, considers the YPG an enemy and has
already intervened to sweep the fighters from territory west of the Euphrates
in military campaigns over the past two years.
campaigns halted at the banks of the river, in part to avoid direct
confrontation with Washington. But Erdogan said Turkey was now prepared to
will destroy the terror structure east of the Euphrates River. We have
completed preparations and plans regarding this issue,” Erdogan said in a
speech to lawmakers from his AK Party.
have started active intervention operations against the terror organization in
the last couple of days. We will soon come down hard on the terror organization
with more extensive and effective operations.”
Anadolu news agency said on Sunday Turkish forces had already bombarded
positions east of the river held by the YPG.
has been infuriated by U.S. support for the YPG, which it considers a terrorist
organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)
which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey for more than three decades.
issued what he said was a “final warning” last week to those who would endanger
Turkey’s borders. He said then that Turkey would focus its attention on the
east of the Euphrates, rather than the Manbij area just west of the river,
where U.S. and Turkish forces agreed in June to carry out joint patrols.
army said Tuesday it has opened a military police investigation into the
killing of a Palestinian medical volunteer along the Gaza border in June.
al-Najjar, 21, was fatally shot on June 1 near the southern Gaza town of Khan
Yunis during protests and clashes along the border.
Palestinian Medical Relief Society said at the time she was hit “as she was
attempting to provide first aid to an injured protester”, adding that three
other first responders were also hit by live fire on the same day.
army said in the days after her death that its troops did not deliberately
shoot her, but the incident was further reviewed by the military advocate
military police investigation has been opened regarding the death of the
volunteer medic Razan al-Najjar,” the army said in Tuesday’s statement, noting
the probe was ordered following the advocate general’s review.
least 218 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the months of
demonstrations and clashes.
Israeli soldier has been killed along the border since the protests began on
says its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop infiltrations and
attacks, which it accuses Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza
Strip, of seeking to orchestrate.
Turkish military killed seven Kurdish militants in air strikes in neighboring
northern Iraq on Tuesday as they were preparing to launch an attack on regions
were Turkish bases are located, it said in a statement on Twitter.
shelters and ammunition stocks were also destroyed in the air strikes, it said.
has in recent months carried out strikes on bases of the outlawed Kurdistan
Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, especially its stronghold in the Qandil
mountains, where Ankara has also threatened to carry out a ground offensive.
than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK launched its insurgency in
Turkey in 1984. It is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United
States and the European Union.
for joint patrols between Turkish and US forces in Syria’s Manbij has been
completed, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying by state-owned
Anadolu news agency on Tuesday, adding that patrols would begin imminently.
training process has been completed and joint patrols will begin today or
tomorrow,” he said, adding that after Manbij, Turkey would focus on the area
east of the Euphrates River.
Foreign Minister Hisham Sharaf has censured the latest remarks by US Defense
Secretary Jim Mattis about the need for the establishment of a semi-autonomous
region in the conflict-stricken Arab country, stating that the Yemeni nation
welcomes any initiative that does not undermine national principles.
is a sovereign country. We do not take orders from anyone, and do not accept
the loss of our national sovereignty,” Sharaf told Arabic-language al-Masirah
televisions network on Tuesday evening.
added that Yemenis are defending their motherland and will not allow their
sovereignty to be undermined in any way.
missiles are meant to safeguard Yemen’s security. We had not attacked anyone
prior to the onset of the Saudi-led military aggression,” Sharaf pointed out.
stressed that the Pentagon chief’s comments about a political case confirms
that Washington views Yemen through a military perspective.
would have been no aggression against Yemen in case the United States of
America and Britain had not supported the Saudi regime,” Sharaf said.
a member of the Revolutionary Committee of the Houthi Ansarullah movement said
the latest comments by the US defense secretary clearly show that Washington
and its regional allies are seeking to divest the Yemeni people of their
is what the Yemenis have been refusing for several years. We have been making
sacrifices in rejection of American diktats or any external tutelage on us,”
Tawfiq al-Humiri told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency.
are developing and manufacturing our own missiles and weapons in order protect
ourselves against the ongoing aggression by the US and its vassals, which has
claimed the lives of thousands of Yemeni women and children,” Humiri said.
added that there is an obvious solution to the Yemen conflict.
United States of America and its pawns must stop their aggression and criminal
acts, put an end to their siege on the Yemeni people and help establishment of
peace in our country,” the Ansarullah official underlined.
on Tuesday, Mattis called for a ceasefire in Yemen and for parties to come to
the negotiating table within the next 30 days.
have got to move toward a peace effort here, and we can't say we are going to
do it sometime in the future,” he said during a discussion at the U.S.
Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington.
need to be doing this in the next 30 days,” Mattis added.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the
country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Legal Center for Rights and Developments in Yemen, in a statement released on
October 15, announced that the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against the
impoverished and conflict-plagued Arab country has resulted in the death of
15,185 civilians, including 3,527 children and 2,277 women.
total of 23,822 civilians, among them 3,526 children and 2,587 women, have also
sustained injuries, and are currently suffering from the lack of medicine,
medical supplies and poor treatment due to the crippling Saudi siege.
center highlighted that aerial assaults being conducted by the Saudi-led
alliance had resulted in the destruction of 15 airports and 14 ports, and
damaged 2,559 roads and bridges in addition to 781 water storage facilities,
191 power stations and 426 telecommunications towers.
statement went on to say that the incessant Saudi-led bombardment campaign had
destroyed more than 421,911 houses, 930 mosques, 888 schools, 327 hospitals and
health facilities plus 38 media organizations, halted the operation of 4,500
schools and left more than four million people internally displaced.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara will soon launch larger operations
east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, where it has been confronting
US-backed Kurdish militants.
preparations and plans [for an operation] are done, we will soon bring down the
terror formation east of the Euphrates,” Erdogan said in a speech to members of
his Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Tuesday.
said the Turkish military had already started an intervention against the
"terrorists" in the area.
remarks came two days after state-owned Anadolu news agency said Turkish forces
had bombarded the positions of Syrian Kurdish militants, known as the YPG, on
the eastern banks of the Euphrates.
considers the US-backed YPG to be a terrorist group and an extension of the
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting for independence in
Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast since 1984.
first deployed forces to northern Syria in 2016 to repel the YPG under the
banner of the so-called “Operation Euphrates Shield.”
Turkish incursion in Syria’s northwestern region of Afrin started after the
United States said it sought to set up a thousand-strong force in Syria near
the Turkish border comprising the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),
which is led by the YPG.
views the Turkish military intervention as a violation of its sovereignty, and
has repeatedly called on Ankara to pull its forces out.
however, has vowed to press ahead with attacks on the positions of the YPG.
Turkey spar over Idlib deal
another development, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem accused Turkey of
failing to meet the obligations set out in an agreement with Russia to create a
demilitarized buffer zone to separate Syrian government troops from Takfiri
militant groups in the northwestern province of Idlib.
terrorists still exist with their heavy arms in this region and this is an
indicator of Turkey's unwillingness to fulfill its obligations,” Muallem said
in Damascus, according to Syria’s official news agency SANA.
agreement, which was reached between the Turkish president and his Russian
counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in September,
staved off a major government offensive into the militant-held region.
the deal, a demilitarized zone of 15-20 kilometers will have to be created in
Idlib along the contact line between the militants and government troops by
deal also involves the withdrawal of “radically-minded” militants, including
the al-Qaeda-linked ones, from the region.
has vowed to recover “every inch” of Syria, including the Idlib region.
foreign minister, however, said on Tuesday that the implementation of the deal
was continuing according to plan.
Cavusoglu, who was speaking at a joint news conference with his Azeri and
Iranian counterparts in Istanbul, also said that if terrorists or radical
groups in Idlib displayed a “different approach” to that of the agreement,
Turkey would intervene.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Turkey was doing its best to fulfill
its difficult obligations in Idlib, but that “not everything was going as it
Russia did not see a threat that the agreement
would fail, he added.
Saturday, the leaders of Germany, Russia, France and Turkey at a quadrilateral
summit on Syria in the Turkish city of Istanbul stressed the importance of a
lasting ceasefire in Syria, and said a committee to create a new constitution
should meet by the end of the year.
said Moscow would inform Syrian officials about the outcome of the top-level
also said on Tuesday that Turkey would ensure a more active international role
in Idlib after the four-way summit.
Iran and Russia are the guarantors of a countrywide ceasefire in Syria. The
three have been mediating a peace process since January 2016 among Syria’s
warring sides in Astana, Kazakhstan.
has set up a series of observation posts in Idlib as part of the deal to reduce
fighting between militants and the Syrian government in de-escalation zones.
strategic Syrian province of Idlib hosts several militant groups backed by
Turkey and other foreign parties – especially Western states, Israel and their
Arabia’s public prosecutor Saud Al Mojeb has refused to answer key questions
asked by his Turkish counterparts as part of an investigation into the killing
of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to daily Hürriyet columnist
arrived in Istanbul on Oct. 28 night and held talks on Oct. 29 with Istanbul’s
chief prosecutor, days after he contradicted weeks of Saudi statements by
saying that Khashoggi’s killing was premeditated.
held a second round of talks with the Turkish prosecutor, İrfan Fidan, at the
court house on Oct. 30 before inspecting the Saudi consulate in the Levent
News Agency reported that Mojeb also visited the Istanbul office of Turkey's
National Intelligence Agency (MİT) early Oct. 31.
unidentified government sources, Selvi wrote on Oct. 31 Turkish authorities
shared with Mojeb some visual evidence in the case, but felt “uncomfortable”
when the Saudi prosecutor insisted to get a virtual copy of Khashoggi’s phone.
to Selvi, Turkish officials were in “a deep distrust” toward Mojeb as he
repeatedly refused to answer questions about the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s
body and the identity of the killers’ “local collaborator” that he had publicly
pointed without elaborating.
did the Saudi prosecutor hide the knowledge about the body’s location from his
Turkish counterparts? Because he may have visited Turkey not to solve the
murder case but to save the crown prince,” Selvi concluded.
a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown
Prince Mohammad bin Salman, was killed inside the consulate after he went there
to get documents for his forthcoming marriage on Oct. 2.
a weeks-long denial, Saudi Arabia admitted on Oct. 25 that the journalist fell
victim to a premeditated killing in the building while arresting 18 people,
although the whereabouts of his body remained unclear.
Post awaits answers
Washington Post said Oct. 30 it was still waiting for answers on the killing of
its contributor and urged the U.S. Congress to impose sanctions on those
responsible for the murder.
an opinion piece, the Post’s editorial board said what happened to Khashoggi’s body
board accused the Saudi government and its “de facto accomplices” in the
administration of U.S. President Donald Trump of remaining silent instead of
clarifying the questions about the murder.
said those behind the killing were hoping that “demands for accountability will
fade away now that the story has been pushed from the front pages. That should
not be allowed to happen”.
the Turks still don’t know has been publicly voiced by President Recep Tayyip
Erdoğan: Where is Mr. Khashoggi’s body? And who ordered and oversaw this grisly
operation?” it said.
Saudis know the answers to both those questions, and Mr. Trump might, too.
Experts on Saudi Arabia are virtually unanimous in saying that such an
audacious mission must have been known about, and most likely was ordered, by
the kingdom’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” it said.
board said that Congress should summon CIA Director Gina Haspel, who was in
Turkey last week and briefed Trump, and other senior U.S. officials and
determine what they know about the killing.
it should take decisive action to impose sanctions on those responsible
--including, if the available evidence points to him, Mohammed bin Salman-- and
reshape U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia,” said the board.
white and English. I've never faced racism in my life. I became a Muslim, then
people would hurl abuse as I was no longer white," tweeted Christopher
John George. "I never knew how bad it felt until I was on the other side…
it is DISGUSTING."
tweet illuminates not only how Islamophobia is a virulent form of racism, but
also narrates an untold story of the Muslim experience in western societies
today - the story of how white converts to Islam are now considered by some
racists as traitors to their race.
people of all races convert to Islam, the experiences of white converts in
particular help reveal some remarkable insights about race, racialisation,
racism and whiteness" in contemporary western societies, observes Leon
it reveals is the way in which converts to Islam not only lose their whiteness
but also the privilege afforded to them by white dominant societies, thus
demonstrating the fluidity of race and whiteness, and also how Islamophobia is,
unquestionably, a form of racial prejudice.
studies have shown how white people can access areas without objection whereas
non-whites are not welcomed into the same spaces," notes Moosavi.
example, the 'English seaside' is racialised as a 'white space' that non-whites
do not belong in. This is related to the white privilege of being inconspicuous
as racialised individuals because of being regarded as 'normal', a privilege
that has been referred to as 'the invisibility of whiteness.'"
the post-9/11 era, race has proven to be as strong a factor as faith in shaping
the experiences of Muslims in western societies, and with an ever increasing
number of western governments falling prey to the xenophobic toxicity of
far-right political movements - to be perceived as Arab, Asian, African, or
Indian is to be vulnerable to anti-Muslim discrimination.
worth remembering the first victim of an anti-Muslim hate crime in the days
that followed the September 11 attacks was an Indian Sikh who had been mistaken
for a Muslim, and it's also worth noting that violence is not the only form of
discrimination against those who are perceived of being Muslim. Economic
inequality, and difficulties accessing education, employment and housing are
all part of the Muslim experience today; facets of life in which whites enjoy a
distinct socioeconomic advantage.
story of how Islamophobia affects non-whites is one that has been well told,
despite the stubbornness of those who refuse to listen to it.
what has been the experience of whites who convert to Islam in these deeply
worrying Islamophobic times?
and as Leon Moosavi observes, "White converts to Islam cause confusion to
both non-Muslims and even lifelong Muslims because whiteness and Islam are seen
Booth, a British journalist and sister-in-law of former UK Prime Minister Tony
Blair, articulated this sense of "confusion" to me. "The
attitude of my friends when I told them I had found Islam was 'but you should
know better than this, you're a grown up!'"
also explained how colleagues in the media portrayed her as either a
"villain, victim, or someone who just had a nervous breakdown." Her
conversion making no sense to those in Britain who had long conflated Muslim
with South East Asian culture and identity.
white converts to Islam explain how they're re-racialised by white society into
other ethnic identities, or foreign others, often smeared as "Pakis"
or "dirty Arabs," according to Moosavi.
first time I got shouted at was September 12th 2001," said a white convert
named Elizabeth in a BBC documentary.
said: 'It was you that bombed America! Go back to your own country!', and I
thought: If I had somewhere else to go, I might consider it. This is the only
place I've got! Pre-September 11th people treated me like I was stupid. They'd
slow down their speech, assume I don't speak English and that I'm pretty
uneducated... Since then I've been called 'Paki' a number of times, I can't
even count how many times, "white Paki", which is quite a funny version,
I spoke with Amina Deady, a white 27-year-old single mother and recent convert
to Islam. Last month she stood up to a man who vilified her Islamic dress at a
café in Riverside, California.
video of the encounter went viral on social media, capturing the man's racist
taunt in which he ridiculed her niqab as a Halloween costume before asserting,
"I don't like it. I don't like that because I don't like your religion. It
says to kill me and I don't want to be killed by you."
I spoke with cartoonist Katie Miranda, who grew up in an agnostic Jewish
family, but who found Islam during years spent in the occupied Palestinian
territories, she explained that while she had never personally been accused of
being a "race traitor," at least in those words, she said,
term I heard that may be a better fit is committing apostasy against your own
culture because converting to Islam isn't about race, what it's about for your
friends, your family, your community (regardless of race) is 'are you still
going to be like us?' And in some ways I am not and in some ways I still
further explained how the biggest problem for her has been the manner in which
negative stereotypes of Muslims are "stubborn" and "do not go
away, despite the fact she, nor any of her Muslim friends do not exhibit any of
those stereotypes," adding that her existence and positive interactions
with people in her daily life do little to counter the messages the public gets
from what she described as the "Islamophobia media," including those
who profit from disseminating anti-Muslim discourse.
the level and degree of discrimination white converts to Islam experience is
less frequent, and less severe than that experienced by non-white Muslims in
western societies, it is a form of racism that is underreported and should not
directed towards Islam has motivated many Muslims in the United States to enter
politics, said a Muslim lawyer and contributing opinion writer for The New York
an op-ed published Tuesday, Wajahat Ali said Muslims' presence in American
politics "probably inspires fear" among those who support a ban on
travelers from several Muslim-majority countries, a wall along the Mexican
border and increased restrictions on refugees.
cited a report by The Associated Press in July which revealed that it "is
precisely the bigotry and hate that has been directed toward Islam — including
in remarks and tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump — that has motivated so
many Muslims to enter the political arena".
to Emgage, a Muslim civil rights group, up to 100 Muslims filed to run for
statewide or national office this year.
early August, Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American and former Michigan state
legislator, won a narrow victory in the state’s Democratic primaries, edging
out Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, and is on track to become the
first Muslim woman in Congress.
Omar, a Somali-American who came to the U.S. over two decades ago as a refugee
from Kenya, is expected to win in midterm elections next month, replacing
Representative Keith Ellison in Minnesota.
majority of Muslim candidates are not running with their religion on their
sleeves but instead as Democrats promoting unabashedly progressive
platforms," said Ali.
Muslim political veterans and upstarts are not the first to show that
"deeply held religious beliefs" can inspire a commitment to social
justice, he said.
at a time when the hypocrisy of many who claim to represent the Christian
religious right is especially glaring, they provide the latest reminder that
being devout doesn’t have to — and shouldn’t — go hand in hand with attacks on
women, minorities and poor people," he wrote.
universities and colleges in the U.S. are rethinking funding they receive from
Saudi Arabia in light of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, The
Associated Press (AP) reported Tuesday.
the decade, the Saudi government has funneled $354 million into 37 different
schools across the U.S.
top two recipients, George Washington University and George Mason University,
received a large portion through a Saudi scholarship program which sends
students to study in the U.S. every year.
AP found at least $62 million came from grants and gifts given to schools by
Saudi nationally-owned enterprises.
Institute of Technology (MIT) and Texas A&M University both received
millions of dollars from the state oil company, Saudi Aramco.
some of the contracts halted before last year, questions surrounding Saudi
writer Jamal Khashoggi’s death at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul have spurred
some schools to reconsider current or future deals," the AP wrote.
announced it would reassess its partnership with the kingdom because of the
"grave concern" about Khashoggi, and told faculty work with the
Saudis to “make their own determinations as to the best path forward.”
this year, the oil company pledged $25 million to MIT for research on renewable
energy and artificial intelligence, according to the AP.
a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after
entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
weeks of denying any knowledge of his whereabouts, Saudi officials admitted
that Khashoggi was killed in a fist fight inside the consulate building.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 18 people arrested in Saudi Arabia for the
killing should be extradited to Turkey to face trial, while Saudi Foreign
Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the kingdom would try the suspects after an
investigation is complete.
after this, many schools are not considering a reassessment of Saudi funds,
including George Mason University, University of California-Berkely,
Northwestern University, and Tufts University.
payment would result in us denying an educational opportunity to otherwise
qualified students. This would run counter to our mission of serving students,”
George Mason spokesman Michael Sandler said in a statement.
Saudi scholarship fund was initially created in 2005 to create warmer relations
with the U.S. after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis called Tuesday for a ceasefire in Yemen and for
parties to come to the negotiating table within the next 30 days.
Pentagon chief said the US had been watching the conflict “for long enough” and
said he believes Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who are in a
US-backed coalition fighting Shiite Houthi rebels, are ready for talks.
have got to move toward a peace effort here, and we can’t say we are going to
do it some time in the future,” Mattis said at the US Institute of Peace in
need to be doing this in the next 30 days.”
said the US is calling for all warring parties to meet with United Nations
special envoy Martin Griffiths in Sweden in November and “come to a solution.”
Arabia and its allies intervened in the conflict between embattled Yemeni
President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, whose government is recognized by the United
Nations, and the Houthis in 2015.
10,000 people have since been killed and the country now stands at the brink of
famine. Read more
longer term solution, and by longer term I mean 30 days from now, we want to
see everybody around a peace table based on a ceasefire, based on a pull back
(of Houthis) from the border and then based on a ceasing dropping of bombs that
will permit the special envoy Martin Griffiths... to get them together in
Sweden and end this war. That is the only way we are going to really solve
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for a cessation of hostilities in
Yemen and the resumption of vigorous efforts for a political solution to the
United States calls on all parties to support UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths
in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen based on agreed
references,” Pompeo said in a statement.
time is now for the cessation of hostilities, including missile and UAV strikes
from Houthi-controlled areas into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates. Subsequently, Coalition air strikes must cease in all populated
areas in Yemen.”
also called on parties to start consultations next month, under the UN Special
Envoy in a third country, for a possible adoption and implementation of
“confidence-building measures to address the underlying issues of the conflict,
the demilitarization of borders, and the concentration of all large weapons
under international observations.
cessation of hostilities and vigorous resumption of a political track will help
ease the humanitarian crisis as well,” the US state secretary added.
conflict in Yemen has sparked the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with the
UN estimating three-quarters of the population — or 22 million people — in need
of immediate humanitarian support. Nearly 10,000 people have died since the
conflict erupted in March 2015.
YORK: Algerian-Irish extremist Ali Charaf Damache, who pleaded guilty to
terrorism charges in July, was sentenced to 15 years in jail on Tuesday,
prosecutors in Philadelphia said.
53, known by the pseudonym "The black flag," was arrested in Spain in
2015, where he was suspected of plotting the murder of a Swedish cartoonist who
had depicted the Prophet Mohammed.
was extradited to the United States in 2017, accused of being the ringleader of
an extremist cell that was plotting attacks in Europe and southern Asia.
sentencing marks the end of a long and arduous prosecution that has spanned
more than nine years, involved four defendants and five unnamed
co-conspirators, and required multiple coordinated international arrests and
two extradition applications," said US Attorney William McSwain.
and his co-conspirators were motivated by hate and prejudice, and their
criminal activities presented a very real danger to our country and the
world," he said.
negotiations over his agreement to plead guilty, Damache had accepted a 15-year
prison sentence and renounced any appeals.
also agreed to extradition to either Ireland or Algeria once his US sentence
has been served.
officials said that when he was arrested in Barcelona in December 2015, Damache
was plotting the murder of Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonish who had drawn caricatures
of the Prophet Mohammed.
Iraq: Three Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims were killed by a roadside bomb as they
walked to a holy site near the northeastern Iraqi city of Khanaqin on Tuesday,
State claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's news agency Amaq
claim could not immediately be verified. The Sunni Muslim militants are active
in the area and have targeted Shi'ite pilgrims in the past.
of thousands of Shi'ite Muslims gather every year in Iraq for the annual
pilgrimage of Arbaeen, which marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for the
grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, Imam Hussein.
State has waged a campaign of kidnappings and killings since its
self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and neighbouring Syria collapsed in 2017.
Arabic-language website of SANA news agency quoted several local sources in
Deir Ezzur as saying on Monday that the US warplanes targeted several districts
in the town of Hajin in Eastern Deir Ezzur with white phosphorous bombs which
are forbidden internationally.
was the second time in a month that the US-led coalition's fighter jets attack
Deir Ezzur with banned weapons under the pretext of fighting the ISIL.
a relevant development late last month, the US-Led coalition warplanes targeted
an ISIL-held town in the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur using white phosphorus
munitions, killing several people, the Syrian state-run TV reported.
Syrian state-run TV reported that at least three civilians were killed and five
more injured in an airstrike in the Southeastern part of the town of al-Suwar.
Baghdad Operations Command Headquarter announced in a statement on Monday that
its forces managed to identify a suicide bomber in Northern Baghdad and killed
him before he could conduct his planned terror attack.
terrorist had worn a explosive belt and intended to target the pilgrims on the
way from Baghdad to Samarra, it said.
Operations Command Headquarter had undertaken a security scheme since a week
ago to ensure security of the pilgrims marching for Arbaeen ceremony in
Iraqi government and security forces have so far managed to ensure safety of
the pilgrims heading for Karbala and no incident has so far been reported.
of Muslims in Iraq who rallied from the city of Najaf to the city of Karbala
arrived in Karbala city on Tuesday to mark the Arbaeen.
from across the world, including Iran, attended the 100-km rally, while
hundreds of thousands more joined them on the way to Karbala and to the holy
shrine of Imam Hossein (PBUH).
numbers of different student and popular groups are still joining the rally.
Saudi-led military coalition has sent 10,000 of troops to Yemen’s Hudaydah
ahead of a fresh offensive against the blockaded port city, a report says.
a coalition of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates and Sudan, Saudi
Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former
president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who resigned amid popular discontent and fled
to the Arab kingdom.
the onset of the imposed war, the Yemeni army, backed by fighters of the
country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, has been defending the
impoverished nation against the brutal aggression. The coalition is also
resolute to crush the movement as another goal in its war on Yemen, which is
teetering on the edge of famine.
than three and a half years into the war, Saudi Arabia has achieved neither of
its objectives. Riyadh had declared at the start of the invasion that the war
would take no more than a couple of weeks.
in June, coalition forces, backed by armed militia loyal to Hadi, launched a
full-scale offensive against the Houthi-held Hudaydah, which is currently under
a tight siege imposed by the invaders. The so-called liberation operation,
however, failed to achieve its objective, which is overrunning the vital port
and defeating Houthi fighters, backed by those from the Popular
an unnamed military official from Hadi’s so-called government, AFP reported on
Tuesday that the pro-Hadi coalition would deploy reinforcements to the Red Sea
coast ahead of a new offensive on Hudaydah “within days.”
official further claimed that they would “secure areas liberated” from Houthi
fighters, adding that Sudanese forces had moved in to “secure” areas around the
city, through whose docks over 70 percent of Yemen's imports used to pass.
the past several month, humanitarian organizations have warned that military
operations against Hudaydah threaten to cut off essential supplies to millions
of Yemeni people. More than 70 percent of Yemen's imports pass through
coalition claims Houthis are using Hudaydah for weapons delivery, an allegation
rejected by Ansarullah fighters.
target Saudi base in Asir
Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network, citing a
military source, reported that Yemeni forces had targeted a new military base
in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern province of Asir with a short-range Badr-1
missile, adding that the projectile had struck the designated target with
official also said that the retaliatory missile strike had inflicted heavy
human and material damage.
aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled
with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen.
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.
close to the terrorist groups in Northern Syria reported on Tuesday that the
blast occurred in the town of al-Bab in Northeastern Aleppo, killing Abu
Abdolrahman Ma'askarat along with a number of his aides and wounding several
the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported 10
casualties after a bomb planted in a military vehicle of the terrorists went
off in al-Azraq region of al-Bab.
and insecurity in regions occupied by the Ankara-backed terrorists in Northern
Aleppo have recently increased.
a relevant development on Sunday, a number of militants were killed and wounded
in fresh clashes between two Ankara-backed groups in Northeastern Aleppo.
of Tajamo Ahrar al-Sharqiyah clashed with Sultan Murad rival militants, both
backed up by the Turkish troops, in the village of Tal al-Hawa in al-Bab region
in Northeastern Aleppo that left 3 terrorists dead and more than 10 others
clashes broke out after Sultan Murad gunmen killed a member of Ahrar
al-Sharqiyah near the small town of al-Qatourah in Eastern Aleppo that led
Ahrar al-Sham to storm and capture several positions of Sultan Murad militants.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted informed sources in Northern Syria as
saying on Monday that Jeish al-Izza terrorists, affiliated to Tahrir al-Sham,
delivered two capsules of chloride and Sarin gas to Ansar al-Tawhid terrorists,
affiliated to the ISIL, in Qalat al-Maziq region in Northwestern Hama under
strong security measures.
on reports in the past few days, Tahrir al-Sham has transferred a large number
of Ansar al-Tawhid militants from different parts of Idlib to Northern Hama.
the terrorist groups' refusal to withdraw from the demilitarized zone in Syria,
the army is likely to start cleansing operations in the region.
reports said earlier this month that terrorists and the pro-militant White
Helmets organization had transported poisonous materials to a new region in
Idlib to later use them in a false-flag attack and accuse the Damascus
government, a media outlet reported.
Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV Channel reported that the terrorists, in
cooperation with the White Helmets, transferred poisonous materials from the
town of Jisr al-Shughour to the settlement of Khirbet al-Amoud, both located in
the rebel-held province of Idlib.
the meantime, the Arabic-language website of Sputnik reported that the White
Helmets have completed training a sum of 60 people, including more than 16
women, for using them in two fake videos of chemical attacks filmed by Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at and al-Turkistani Islamic Party terrorists in al-Ghaab plain and
Nations chief Antonio Guterres has informed the Security Council that he wishes
to appoint Norwegian diplomat Geir Pedersen as the next special envoy to Syria,
diplomatic sources told AFP Tuesday.
is currently Norway's ambassador to China and has previously served as its
envoy to the UN.
am pleased to inform you of my intention to announce the appointment of Mr Geir
O Pedersen as my Special Envoy for Syria. In taking this decision, I have
consulted broadly, including with the government of the Syrian Arab
Republic," Guterres wrote in a letter seen by AFP.
Pedersen will support the Syrian parties by facilitating an inclusive and
credible political solution that meets the democratic aspirations of the Syrian
people," the letter read.
also thanked Staffan de Mistura, the outgoing envoy, "for his more than
four years of concerted efforts and contributions to search for peace in
leaders of Turkey, Russia, France and Germany met in Istanbul at the weekend
and called for a political solution to the war and a permanent truce in the
last major rebel-held bastion of Idlib.
joint statement called for a committee to be established to draft Syria's
post-war constitution before the end of the year, "paving the way for free
and fair elections" in the war-torn country.
of Kurdish fighters have arrived in eastern Syria to help a US-backed alliance
fight ISIS after a major setback last week, a monitor said Tuesday.
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Arab alliance backed by the US-led
coalition, launched an offensive on September 10 to expel ISIS from their
holdout of Hajin on the Iraqi border.
advanced slowly with support from coalition air strikes, but faced sand storms
and a vicious fightback including suicide bombers, which forced them to retreat
to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, at least
72 SDF fighters were killed in last week’s ISIS counter-attack, one of the
extremist group’s deadliest operations this year.
monitoring group said hundreds of Kurdish fighters, men and women, had arrived
on the outskirts of the Hajin pocket since then.
Sunday, over two days, 500 fighters from the Kurdish special forces, the
People’s Protection Units and the Women’s Protection Units have been sent,” Observatory
chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
on Tuesday, he said “at least 100 SDF fighters” had arrived from the northern
city of Manbij, bringing the total number of reinforcements to arrive over the
past two days to 600.
thousand SDF fighters were already present in the area, he said.
SDF spokesman said Kurdish fighters “experienced in fighting ISIS” had been
sent as reinforcements to the Hajin front, but said he could not confirm
units will take part in fighting ISIS on the Hajin front,” Mustefa Bali said.
Sunday, an SDF commander told AFP that military reinforcements and heavy
weapons had been sent to the front.
said the alliance would launch a new assault as soon as the reinforcements had
strikes on the area Tuesday killed at least nine extremists, the Observatory
than 300 SDF fighters and around 500 ISIS extremists have been killed in the
past seven weeks of fighting, according to the monitor.
coalition estimates that 2,000 ISIS militants remain in the Hajin area.
overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a
“caliphate” across territory it controlled.
the extremist group has since lost most of that territory to various offensives
in both countries.
Syria, its presence has been reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and the
Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883), was more than just a religious leader.
founder of the Hindu reform organisation Arya Samaj, he left a deep impact on
the Indian society and the concept of religion.
teachings are equally relevant in today's times.
the Arya Samaj
Dayanand established the Arya Samaj on April 7, 1875 in Bombay, with 10
principles that are beautifully based purely on God, soul and nature.
organisation brought about immense changes in the religious perceptions of
establishing this community, he enshrined the idea that "all actions
should be performed with the prime objective of benefiting mankind", as opposed
to following dogmatic rituals of revering idols and symbols.
Saraswati's main message was for the Hindus to go back to the roots of their
religion, which are the Vedas.
doing this, he felt that Hindus would be able to improve the depressive
religious, social, political, and economic conditions prevailing in the country
at the time.
Dayanand's role in politics
he was never really involved in politics directly, his political observations
were the source of inspiration for a number of political leaders during India's
struggle for independence.
instance, he was the first to give the call for 'Swarajya' as 'India for
Indians' in 1876, later taken up by Lokmanya Tilak.
of his most influential works is the book Satyarth Prakash, which contributed
to the Indian independence movement.
followers include Sri Aurobindo, S Radhakrishnan and Baba Ramdev.
reforms by Dayanand Saraswati
Dayanand Saraswati brought about a complete overhaul of the education system of
India by introducing Anglo-Vedic schools to offer students an updated
curriculum -- imparting both the knowledge of the Vedas and contemporary
questioned religion ahead of time
logical, scientific and critical analysis of faiths like Christianity and Islam
as well as Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism, opened the eyes of many.
voiced his opinions against idolatry and the pointless emphasis on empty
ritualism, and stood against manmade dictates such as caste by birth and
women-exclusion from reading Vedas.
Dayanand Saraswati's assassination
to the likes of him -- due to his strong preachings against fanatic Hinduism --
Swami had many enemies
September 29, 1883 -- Maharaja of Jodhpur Jaswant Singh II, invited Maharishi
to his palace to seek his blessings
offended the court dancer when he advised the King to forsake her and suggested
her to pursue a life of Dharma
conspired with the cook who mixed pieces of glass in the Guru's milk
suffered excruciating pain, but forgave the cook involved in the deed
ailing for a month, Maharishi gave in to bad health on the morning October 30,
day coincided with Hindu festival of Diwali
militants, including the nephew of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, were killed by
security forces following a day-long encounter at Tral in south Kashmir’s
Pulwama district. Usman Haidar, the nephew of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar,
was a wanted sniper and is believed to have been behind the spate of attacks on
M-4 carbine rifle, which was possibly used for carrying out sniper attacks, was
recovered from the encounter spot in Chaanketaar village of Tral, PTI quoted
officials as saying.
nephew of Azhar, Talha Rashid, was among three militants killed in a security
operation in Pulwama in November last year. In April, the ‘operational
commander’ of the terror outfit Mufti Yasir was eliminated, becoming the fifth
top JeM commander to be killed since June last year.
defence personnel have been killed in sniper attacks by Jaish-e-Mohammed
terrorists since mid-September, prompting the law enforcement agencies to
re-calibrate their strategy to thwart such strikes by the Pakistan-based group.
Last week, an Army jawan and a Seema Shashtra Bal personnel were killed in
sniper attacks in Tral area.
Taha, a 10th-grader in India's northern Jammu and Kashmir state, is one of many
exam preparations have been hampered by an abrupt shutdown of the internet in
India's only Muslim-majority state.
of students, who like Taha stored study notes on the internet for easy access,
were unable to retrieve them in time for exams scheduled for mid-October.
the exams have now been postponed until the first week of November," Taha
administration postponed exams because of the volatile situation in the state,
where Islamic insurgents continue to fight against Indian rule.
government cut the internet on Oct. 17 after two Islamic militants were killed
in a gun battle with the army.
Muslim activists began protests across the state soon after the funeral of the
on past occasions, cutting access to the internet has been seen as a bid to
block the instigation of demonstrations through the sharing of related videos
16, was supposed to sit his exam on Oct. 19. However, with no internet access,
he was unable to even download the special ticket required for entry to the
Akhtar, a 12th-grader, said she had notes in emails and planned to share study
material with friends using internet platforms.
have nothing to do with the protests that are going on," she said.
"Why is the government punishing students for no fault of ours?"
year alone, the government has shut down the net more than 18 times for
security reasons, according to the Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC), a
non-profit organization based in capital New Delhi.
SFLC's latest report stated that in the past five years the internet has been
been blocked 89 times in Kashmir, the highest total among India's 29 states.
and phone services remained suspended in Kashmir for more than six months after
violent protests erupted when militant leader Burhan Wani was shot dead in
July, 2016, with at least 90 people killed and some 10,000 injured.
Hussain, a civil society activist in Kashmir, told ucanews.com that by cutting
the internet the government was limiting opportunities for students attempting
to prosper despite the regional strife.
government should evolve a system to insulate students from its anti-insurgency
activities," Hussain said.
called for reconciliation and dialogue and questioned how long internet bans
could contain protests.
shutdowns, besides affecting students academically, also had a negative
psychological impact, said Kashmir-based psychologist Yasir Ahmad.
of access to the World Wide Web virtually put teenagers in a "cage"
within the modern world. "If such a trend continues, it will have a
disastrous impact on the minds of members of the younger generation,"
a police official, who asked not to be named, told ucanews.com that the
internet shutdown has had the desired effect. "If the internet functions,
even a small protest can instigate larger protests," he said.
usually took video clips and photos of protests that went viral on the
internet, luring young people in other places to join demonstrations, he said.
The security measure had prevented havoc and the loss of many more lives, he
local media report said there was a significant financial cost to business and
other internet users, including tens of thousands of dollars lost each day in
relation to weekly or monthly data download packages.
and Kashmir state has suffered violence for the past 30 years. An estimated
100,000 people have died, including civilians, militants and army personnel,
since various groups took up arms against Indian rule.
conflict in Kashmir dates to 1947 when India and Pakistan become separate
states after British rule ended. Both countries claim Kashmir in full and have
fought at least three wars and numerous skirmishes over it. Each nation
currently administers part of the Kashmir region.
Election Commission (EC) Monday formally scrapped the registration of
Jamaat-e-Islami, a crucial ally of jailed former prime minister Khaleda Zia's
Opposition BNP, five years after the Supreme Court disqualified the
fundamentalist party from polls.
commission today scrapped the registration of the party on receipt of the full
copy of the verdict of the Supreme Court's Appellate Division," an
election commission spokesman said.
said the EC has issued a notification cancelling the Jamaat's registration as a
high court bench in 2013 declared Jamaat's registration with the EC illegal on
a writ petition filed by several Islamic groups, saying the party's ideology
was contrary to Bangladesh's Constitution.
Supreme Court upheld the high court judgment when Jamaat challenged the verdict
in the apex court.
hardline Islamist party, however, is now in a dilapidated state with most of its
senior leaders executed in the past five years after being convicted by special
tribunals on 1971 war crimes charges.
was opposed to Bangladesh's 1971 independence from West Pakistan and its
leaders and workers sided with Pakistani troops in carrying out atrocities and
genocide in then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
post-independence government banned Jamaat but the subsequent regimes withdrew
the ban allowing the party to re-emerge in politics.
party became a crucial partner of Zia's BNP-led four-party alliance government
in 2001 and its chief Moti-ur-Rahman Nizami and secretary general Ali Ahsan
Mohammad Mujaheed became ministers.
incumbent Awami League government assuming power after its victory in the 2008
elections and initiated a process to bring to justice the Bengali perpetrators
of the 1971 war crimes.
Nizami and Mujaheed were sentenced to death along with several other party
stalwarts by special courts.
Commander of the U.S. Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel reaffirmed support to
Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism.
Office of the National Security Council (ONSC) in a statement said Gen. Votel
on Monday met with the National Security Adviser Dr. Hamdullah Mohib where the
two sides held talks regarding the ongoing situation in Afghanistan and the
region, Afghan-led peace efforts, joint fight against terrorism, reforms in
security sector, and successful conduct of elections.
regards to the ongoing fight against terrorism, Gen. Votel said the regional
countries, specifically Pakistan should take practical steps in fighting the
terror groups, according to Office of the National Security Council.
also added that the United States support an Afghan-led peace process as he
hailed the Afghan government for the implementation of programs in bringing
reforms in security and defense sectors, fight against terrorism, and
strengthening the armed forces capabilities.
his turn, Dr. Mohib thanked the United States for the support in various
sectors, specifically in bolstering the capabilities of the Afghan armed
said Afghanistan is committed in bringing reforms in security and defense
sectors, emphasizing that the police forces would soon assume their original
duty of law enforcement.
government has been destroying villages in Rakhine State and the physical evidence
of state-sponsored violence committed against the Rohingya Muslims there, a
Guardian reported on Monday that Myanmarese authorities were destroying areas
where thousands of Rohingya Muslims lived before either being killed or fleeing
to Bangladesh amid deadly government-sponsored violence in Rakhine.
and backhoes are parked beside new, blue-roofed homes, built by a government
agency chaired by state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi,” the report said,
referring to Myanmar’s de facto leader.
to the newspaper, the authorities plan to settle non-Rohingya individuals in
the new homes.
Din village administrator Kyaw Soe Moe said during a government-organized media
tour of northern Rakhine late last month that the new homes would soon be
occupied by “Rakhine, Chin, Bamar, and Hindu people from other parts of the
United Nations (UN) Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar,
whose report last month called for the country’s military leaders to stand
trial for “genocide” against minority Rohingya Muslims, said the purpose of the
bulldozing and construction was “the removal of the Rohingya and all traces of
them and their replacement with non-Rohingya.”
Guardian further said that the construction boom also aimed to destroy the
physical evidence that could be used in a potential tribunal.
of thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or
raped by Myanmarese soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and
August 2017, when many of the surviving members of the community started
fleeing to Bangladesh en masse.
without Borders, known by the French acronym MSF, has estimated that at least
6,700 Rohingya were killed between August 25 and 24 September 2017, but less
than 100 bodies have been recovered.
a big question I ask myself: where are all the dead bodies?” said Chris Lewa,
head of the Arakan Project, a human rights organization documenting the
atrocities against the Rohingya community. “A year later, how will we find out?
If we find bones, how will we know how or when they were killed, or whether
they were killed at all?”
the past is bulldozed, the future chances of a Rohingya return look bleak. On
the ground, efforts to erase their historical presence appear to be
succeeding,” The Guardian wrote.
UN says nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s
Rakhine State since August 2017.
and Bangladesh agreed in January to complete a voluntary repatriation of the
refugees in two years. The repatriation, however, was delayed due to a lack of
preparation as well as protests staged by Rohingya refugees against the plan to
send them back to Myanmar while conditions were not safe for their return.
Soe Moe, the administrator of Inn Din, said, “I don’t think the Muslims will
can’t avoid accountability’
a member of the UN fact-finding mission said Myanmar’s destruction of evidence
won’t help it avoid accountability as there is other evidence that crimes
occurred and were systemic.
[land] clearance is certainly destroying evidence, including of probable graves
and sites of burning bodies, but it does not prevent accountability because of
the great mass of other evidence,” Christopher Sidoti said.
added that he and his colleagues had managed to collect sufficient witness and
victim evidence to compile pre-prosecution briefs, which could one day be used
League General Secretary Obaidul Quader hopes that the Jatiya Oikya Front will
not allow the Jamaat-e-Islami to join the dialogue with Prime Minister Sheikh
think there is no scope here (dialogue) for any party that has no
registration," he said in a news conference at the Secretariat on Tuesday.
Monday, five years after the High Court ruled that the Jamaat-e-Islami’s status
as a political party be revoked, the Election Commission has executed the
orders in a gazette.
the prime minister invited the Jatiya Oikya Front led by Dr Kamal Hossain to
talks in an effort to break an impasse over the next general election. The
dialogue will be held at Ganabhaban at 7pm Thursday.
to comment on any possibility of a Jamaat leader taking part in the dialogue
with the prime minister, Quader said: “It seems to me that there’s no
confusion. Dr Kamal Hossain said that he would not be with Jamaat. Didn’t he?
Let’s see what he does. "
he was reminded that Oikya Front leader Mahmudur Rahman Manna’s party is not
registered either, he said, “It is up to him [Kamal Hossain] to choose
representatives for the dialogue.”
will be discussions in an open atmosphere. Otherwise, we would not have
arranged a dinner. We will talk in total openness.”
An Interior Ministry official says a suicide bomber has struck outside the
country's largest prison on the eastern edge of the capital Kabul, killing
seven people, including prison workers and security personnel.
Ministry spokesman Najib Danish says the attacker early Wednesday targeted a
bus carrying prison workers. The sprawling Pul-eCharkhi prison houses hundreds
of inmates, including scores of Taliban.
to Abadullah Karimi, a prison official, the attack occurred near the prison
gate where a number of visitors were waiting to pass a rigorous security check
one has taken immediate responsibility for the attack.
Afghan Taliban announced on Tuesday that five senior Taliban leaders had joined
the political office in Qatar.
is seen as a significant step to move talks with the United States (US). Five
Taliban leaders had been in Qatar since their release from the U.S. military
prison at Guantanamo Bay in May 2014 in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl,
who was held hostage by the Taliban for nearly five years.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed to Daily Times that the former
Guantanamo inmates were now a part of the political team. According to Taliban
officials, Taliban political representatives held two meetings with the
American officials in Qatar over the past three months and both sides agreed to
talks have not started yet. However, the inclusion of the influential Taliban
leaders in the negotiation team is a major step toward the beginning of formal
talks. The move could also raise the credibility of the peace process for the
Taliban military commanders and foot soldiers as the former Guantanamo inmates
were among the close confidants of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
freed Taliban leaders are former interior minister Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa,
Taliban’s former army chief Muhammad Fazil, former governor of Balkh and
Laghman Noorullah Noori, deputy intelligence chief of the Taliban regime Abdul
Haq Wasiq and Taliban’s communication chief Nabi Omari.
sources had earlier confided to Daily Times that the leadership was likely to
appoint a new head for the political office. Now sources indicated that one of
the freed Taliban could lead the office.
sources said that the Americans had agreed to their call for the reopening of
political office in Qatar that was closed days it was opened back in 2013. “The
Americans are of the view that the office is a requirement. We now understand
that the U.S. is considering our proposal. This is an absolute necessity. We
have told them that reopening of the office will enable them to interact with
the media to share with them true picture of the development,” a Taliban source
office was closed after former president Hamid Karzai objected to the use of
Islamic Emirate and the display of Taliban’s white flag, both of which had been
used during their 1996-2001 rule in Afghanistan. “We have raised the office
issue in meetings in Qatar and want a decision before the start of the formal
talks. We also called for lifting of sanctions on our leaders and the release
of prisoners in custody of the US and Afghan government. But one thing I should
add here that these are not conditions. These are only suggestions before the
beginning of the formal talks,” the Taliban source said.
said that the Taliban were currently in initial phase of the talks and both
sides were ‘satisfied with the outcome so far.’
asked if the release of Taliban’s former deputy chief Mullah Baradar by
Pakistan was discussed in the Qatar meetings, the source said “We had raised
the issue of Baradar and other leaders in all previous meetings. The Islamic
Emirate freed many prisoners on the eve of Eid but the Kabul administration did
not honor its promise to release our prisoners despite giving them lists.”
least nine anti-government armed militants were killed during the airstrikes
conducted by the Afghan Air Force in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East in a statement said
Tuesday that the airstrikes were carried out in the vicinity of Khogyani
statement further added the militants belonged to the Taliban group and a
number of weapons and munitions were also destroyed during the same airstrikes.
to 201st Silab Corps, two PKM machine guns, two rocket launchers, five Ak-47s,
and some munitions were among the weapons destroyed in the airstrikes.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
people were killed or wounded in a suicide attack near Pul Charkhi prison in
capital Kabul earlier today.
security officials confirm that a vehicle carrying the employees of the prison
was targeted by a suicide bomber.
to the officials, at least four people were killed and five others sustained
injuries in the attack.
anther security source says at least seven people have been killed and more
than 10 others have sustained injuries.
Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's main Shiite Muslim movement says Nigerian troops shot
and killed at least 27 of its members during a procession to the capital of
Movement of Nigeria spokesman Ibrahim Musa said six people were killed on
Saturday and another 21 on Monday.
military said it killed six people and that the Shiite protesters fired first
said Tuesday that many members were taking part in a religious procession,
which coincided with a protest calling for the release of their movement's
pro-Iran leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky.
has been jailed since December 2015, when the military killed hundreds in a
major attack on Shiites in the northern Nigerian city of Zaria.
Muslims are predominantly Sunnis. The Shiite Muslim minorities say they are
suffer religious persecution.
Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz said the government takes full moral and
managerial responsibility for the Dead Sea flood, which caused 21 casualties
and dozens of injuries last Thursday.
a House of Representatives session on Tuesday, Razzaz said that the government
must verify the details of the incident and find out what the shortcomings and
institutional mistakes were so as to avoid such tragedies in the future.
added that those involved in the rescue mission who failed to follow
instructions and broke the law should stand trial, including those who did not
live up to their responsibilities who should step down from their positions.
said that these faults must be paid attention to in order to avoid these types
of incidents, adding that the government still takes full responsibility.
other parliament members called for the removal of Jordanian ministers in light
of the incident while others threatened to put forth a motion of no confidence
from Razzaz’s government.
to the police, torrential rains swept away a bus carrying 44 children and
teachers who were on a school trip picnicking in the popular destination.
death toll from the floods in the Dead Sea rose to 21 and 42 injured.
bridge on one of the cliffs of the Dead Sea had collapsed with the intensity of
the rains, the first such heavy rains after the end of the summer season.
unabated loss of multiple human lives represents a “blight” on Nigeria and its
people, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday.
will take strongest measures possible to punish perpetrators of these crimes.
If, in the past, they got away scot-free, we shall now hold everyone to account
for these latest killings,” Buhari said during a visit to northwest Kaduna
state, where a recent ethno-religious violence claimed at least 55 lives,
including a tribal chief.
and anarchy tend to worsen and exacerbate whatever issues are agitating a
shatters and divides people and stifles the prospect of any community that
succumbs to its tragic logic,” he added.
said killings are becoming too rampant in the country to the extent that the
global community no longer expresses outrage at the loss of human lives.
least 25 suspects have been arrested in connection with the violence at Kasuwan
Magani, with government slapping weeks long curfew on the affected communities
to avoid reprisals.
Al-Shabab says blast killed 30 Ethiopian soldiers
Somalia - The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamist group Al-Shabab said Monday it has
killed at least 30 Ethiopian soldiers in an explosion in central Somalia,
Garowe Online reports.
a statement posted on its affiliated websites, the extremists announced that
they used a remote-controlled landmine to attack a military convoy carrying
Ethiopian troops outside Beledweyne.
remote-controlled roadside bomb struck the convoy as it left Beleweyne and en
route to Kalabeyr, located near Somalia's border with Ethiopia, according to
the local residents.
heard a huge explosion at El-Gal area, situated approximately 20 Kilometers
east of Beledweyne, and followed by a heavy exchange of gunfire shortly before
noon," said a villager, speaking to Garowe Online by phone on condition of
IED attack took place in the town of El-Gal, which lies in the Hiraan region of
central Somalia, about 300km north of the country's capital Mogadishu.
were independent sources confirming Al-Shabab's claim of the death toll.
month, Ethiopia’s air force said it killed about 70 al-Shabab extremists in an
airstrike in an undisclosed location in neighboring Somalia.
troops who are serving with the UN-mandated AU Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] have
been battling Al-Shabaab since their invasion of the country in 2006.
AU mission has not yet commented on the incident.
on Tuesday recalled its ambassador to Iran after it accused Tehran of plotting
a foiled attack against three Iranians living in the Scandinavian country.
have decided to recall Denmark’s ambassador in Tehran for consultations...
Denmark can in no way accept that people with ties to Iran’s intelligence
service plot attacks against people in Denmark,” Danish Foreign Minister Anders
Samuelsen told reporters.
head of Denmark's security service said on Tuesday he suspected an Iranian
intelligence service had attempted to carry out an attack on an individual in
attack had meant to target the leader of the Danish branch of the Arab Struggle
Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), Finn Borch Andersen told a press
had arrested a Norwegian citizen with Iranian background on Oct. 21, he added.
head of the Police Intelligence Service (PET) Finn Borch Andersen told a press
conference that a Norwegian citizen with Iranian roots on October 21 had been
arrested for having “Iranian intelligence service able to work in Denmark”.
short, it is a case of an Iranian intelligence company that, in our view,
planned an attack in Denmark,” he said.
Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen called the suspected planned attacks
in Denmark “perfectly unacceptable”.
government will react to Iran,” he said.
dead after a missile struck his Syrian home, the body of Najib Ali was being
prepared for burial when his mother touched his ankle in a final gesture of
farewell and detected a faint pulse.
surgery in Syria saved the life of the ten-year-old boy, but the shrapnel
embedded in his spine from the attack near Homs left him in agony, unable to
walk and suffering from kidney failure.
years on from the attack and after an epic journey for treatment, the teenager
is set for treatment in the UK that could save his damaged organs and lead the
way to a tiny chance that he could walk again.
parent's extraordinary dedication saw them push Najib, now aged 14, in a
wheelchair from Syria, through Turkey and into Greece for medical help.
Greece, where Najib, his parents and two brothers were given refugee status,
the family were told 18 months ago that he needed spinal reconstruction
couldn't be helped in Greece because the rehabilitation services there only had
one consultant on the ward and they didn't have a space for him," Hanan
Ashegh, founder of Goodwill Caravan, the charity helping Najib, told The
been an uphill battle, like climbing a mountain,” said Ms Asegh, citing the
bureaucratic obstacles faced by refugees in securing treatment.
a crowd-funding appeal, Britons donated between £5 and £500 per month for his
care and journey to London's specialist children’s Great Ormond Street Hospital
(GOSH) for six hours of reconstructive surgery.
appeal has raised £78,000 for Najib’s care since 2017 and his surgeon Dr Ramesh
Nadarajah has waived his fee for the operation this Thursday.
I intend to do is straighten out his spine as much as I can and level his
pelvis,” Dr Nadarajah said at a consultation with Najib witnessed by Sky News.
will put screws into the bony part of his spine and interconnect it with two
long rods and that straightens out the spine quite a lot.”
the surgery, Najib will remain at GOSH for 15 days then move to a specialist
spinal cord injury unit for another eight weeks for rehabilitation.
will then be flown back to Greece and await approval for an experimental
surgery in Poland which his family hope will give him the ability to walk
surgery has a one per cent success rate, but the family are willing to try
anything to help him recover.
raising enough funds for Najib's initial surgery, the charity is now looking
for further funding for his post-operative care. The charity needs £30,000 for
two months of private rehabilitation.
Caravan mainly works with some of the 2,500 orphaned or unaccompanied refugee
children in Greece, many of whom are detained in prisons and detention centres,
supposedly for their safety.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Tuesday he had no previous knowledge of
the Saudi murder plot against journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Oct. 2.
who had been an outspoken critic of the Saudi crown prince, was killed in Saudi
Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul.
Arabia initially denied all knowledge of the journalist’s fate but the Saudi
public prosecutor has since described it as premeditated murder organized by
on Sunday suggested that MI6 had discovered the plot and had warned Saudi
Arabia to cancel the mission.
Foreign Secretary, speaking in the House of Commons, denied he had any
knowledge — but refused to speculate on what was known by British intelligence.
was forced to clarify that he had “no prior knowledge” of the plot after media
reports suggested the British intelligence services had been made aware three
weeks before the incident.
media report said that the details British intelligence knew “included primary
orders to capture Khashoggi and bring him back to Saudi Arabia for
said: “It is not possible for a foreign secretary or indeed any minister to
comment on intelligence matters, for very obvious reasons.”
I did not know about this attack,” he added.
comments came after a question from Labour MP Gill Furniss (Sheffield,
Brightside and Hillsborough), who said: “Media reports have surfaced this
weekend suggesting UK intelligence services were aware of the Saudi plan to
abduct the journalist Jamal Khashoggi and take him back to Riyadh, and of the
deployment of the hit squad to Istanbul for that purpose.
I give the Foreign Secretary the opportunity to tell the House today that those
reports are categorically untrue?”
are as shocked as anyone else is about what happened,” Hunt repeated.
the allegations in this weekend’s report are true, they are extremely serious,”
Labour’s shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said, following up the
question about Khashoggi.
was reported in early September that our intelligence services became aware of
the Saudi plan to abduct Jamal Khashoggi and on October 1 they knew that a
Saudi team had been dispatched to Istanbul for that purpose,” she said.
said the allegations are “very serious,” adding that “it won’t do to hide
behind a blanket refusal to discuss intelligence matters.”
questioned whether the foreign secretary would accept an invitation to a
closed-door emergency session to discuss the matter with the Intelligence
said he would accept such an invitation but added that the desire for him to
reveal very important intelligence is “inappropriate.”
Arabia is a human rights country of concern for the Foreign Office. We have our
regular discussions with them about our concerns,” Hunt also said during the
session at parliament.
by Conservative MO Sir Desmond Swayne whether there are regrets over seeking
the election of Saudi Arabia to the UN Human Rights Council, Hunt said: “There
are all sorts of issues with respect to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record that
are in sharp relief at the moment."
added: “But … I have spoken more clearly than any Western foreign minister that
if the Khashoggi stories turn out to be true, that would be inconsistent with
the weekend, sources close to Khashoggi revealed that he was about to disclose
details of Saudi Arabia’s use of chemical weapons in Yemen.
chancellor on Tuesday underlined the crucial role of civil society in Egypt
after meeting in Berlin with the visiting Egyptian president.
[Fattah] al-Sisi repeatedly says he wants to be the president of all Egyptians,
and he is currently enjoying his second term in office,” Angela Merkel told a
joint press conference at the Chancellory.
are encouraging him to develop civil society and see that as an opportunity,”
she said, but stopped short of criticizing the country's human rights situation.
also thanked Egypt for its efforts to stop the flow of illegal immigration into
is controlling its maritime border in an excellent way. There is no immigration
into Europe, despite the fact that there are many refugees living in the
country,” she stressed.
said during their meeting, they also discussed regional issues, including the
situation in Libya and in Syria, and the Middle East conflict.
also briefly discussed the situation in Gaza. Both of us are advocates of a
two-state solution, which however has become rather complex, because of the
current situation,” she said.
is in Berlin to attend the G20 Compact with Africa conference, hosted by the
German government to support private investment and infrastructure projects in
former army chief, al-Sisi ousted Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected
president, in a military coup in 2013.
year later, he was elected president for a four-year term.
Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
journalist Jamal Khashoggi deserves a “dignified burial,” so “please hand over
his body,” Daud Abdullah, the director of Middle East Monitor, is pleading
spoke to Anadolu Agency before a memorial event in London to remember
Khashoggi, organized by not-for-profit press monitoring organization Middle
East Monitor and the Al Sharq Forum, an independent pro-democracy,
non-partisan, non-profit think-tank focusing on the greater Mideast.
said the gathering Monday was organized to recognize Khashoggi’s achievements
as a journalist and internationalist.
the latter years of his life he was based in Washington at the Washington
Post,” Abdullah said, adding that this gave him a platform to cast his message
far and wide.
said Khashoggi spread his message of “equality for justice and freedom.”
how Saudi authority admitted that Khashoggi was killed in their Istanbul
Consulate after weeks of denial, he urged them to hand over the journalist’s
have just one message [for the Saudis]: We plead in the name of the God, for
God’s sake, hand over the body!”
is entitled to have a dignified burial,” he added.
he added, the case will not be closed until those responsible for the murder
are held accountable.
Dalay, research director of the Al Sharq Forum, thinks Khashoggi was no victim
of an ordinary crime.
speaking to Anadolu Agency, Dalay said the last two events the Saudi journalist
attended were organized late last month by the Al Sharq Forum in Istanbul and
Middle East Monitor in London -- the latter just four days before his death --
and this is why the two organizations are hosting the memorial event.
was not killed in a petty criminal activity,” he said.
was killed in a “premeditated” action ordered by top-level authorities in Saudi
Arabia, Dalay said.
the findings... are pointing to [Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman; in one way
or another, [they] link the case to Mohammed bin Salman.”
said merely prosecuting those who killed Khashoggi will not satisfy justice.
said: “Who gave the order? What was the network? Who was involved in this case
from the political level?
should also be brought to justice,” he said, adding that this should pave the
way to a “universal jurisdiction” regarding the killing.
journalist friends, human rights activists, politicians, and academics joined
the memorial service held in central London.
meeting saw an emotional speech from Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz, who got
an ovation lasting minutes.
event, titled “Remembering Jamal,” also featured speeches by Abdullah,
Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, and some prominent journalists.
weeks of denying any knowledge of his whereabouts, on Oct. 19 Saudi officials
admitted that Khashoggi had died inside the consulate building.
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