The American, French and Washington-backed forces have been excavating
historical sites in Manbij region in Northeastern Aleppo to discover and steal
the country's artifacts and precious metals, a Syrian media outlet reported on
Body Organises ‘Protect Sharia’ Conference Against Triple Talaq Ordinance,
Women's Entry in Mosques
Buddhists rally to support military in crimes against Rohingya
Of Pakistani Politician Killed In Taliban Attack Wins His Seat
French Forces Plundering Northern Syria's Historical Artifacts, Wealth
of ISIS exploit security gaps, adopt new military tactics in Iraq
Reported Again among Ankara-Backed Terrorists in Afrin
Syria: Turkey Asks for More Time to Expel Terrorists from Demilitarized Zone
Senior Terrorist Commander Killed by Unknown Raiders in Northwestern Syria
Militants Blackmailing Syrians by Asking for Ransom
court upholds three-year prison sentence for ex-president
says security forces kill 9 ‘terrorists’ in Nile raid
regime renews threat to attack Idlib after militants refuse to pull out
and the Hobson-Jobson: Amazing India
Minister Modi ensured triple talaq has no place in country: Amit Shah
terrorist Wani was 'victim of relentless violence' in Valley: Mehbooba Mufti
probes hawala funding of mosque in Haryana allegedly by Lashkar-e-Taiba
CRPF jawans injured in militant attack on security camp in J&K’s Pulwama
& Kashmir: Militants take police rifles, ammo from retired SSP’s house
militants killed in foreign forces airstrikes in Ghazni province
of democracy’: Afghans risking their lives to vote
family makes rare return to Myanmar from Bangladesh
Security chief, several soldiers killed in Taliban attack
killed, APCs recaptured in Afghan Special Forces operation in Kunduz
Islamic State group's failure in Myanmar and Thailand
official: Taliban kill 7 policemen in country’s north
for forging harmony to weed out terror
U-turn, Mr Prime Minister!' Afghan immigrants demand PM Khan to fulfil
Hayat in Washington to attend military chiefs meeting
witness testifies in Perween Rahman murder case
Rehman escapes road mishap near Karak
Pakistan Housing Programme to include 10 cities in Punjab
of Afghan peace dynamics
welcomes joint Saudi arabia-Turkey probe
results show PTI’s failure to fulfil ‘hollow’ promises: JI
Turkey can lead Muslim world, says Erdoğan
says US unilateral sanctions to violate basic human rights
Sectarianism source of disunity in Muslim world
forces wound dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza Strip
Warns of US Attempts to Reinvigorate Terrorist Groups to Syria
shot dead trying to stab Israeli soldier - military
President Hadi sacks PM over ‘negligence of government’
injured in Houthi mortar attack on civilian neighborhood in Hodeidah
militias recruit 23,000 children, deprive over 4 mln from education
lobby in far-right German party denounced for anti-Muslim views
Blocks Study into Radical Islam and Conversion in UK Jails
Grand Mufti attacks gay teachers saying they 'suffer from a mental illness' and
man pleads guilty to sending ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ letters
open to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving embassy
compassionate face of Islam
terror suspect from Salafi Jihadi bust killed in accident en route to KL
leader visits region with Muslim population, draws the line for religion
a Nobel Prize winner ever come from Malaysia?
to decide child conversion case, first after Indira ruling
a stand on Johor’s Oktoberfest ban, MCA tells DAP
returns to Parliament, vows to give Mahathir space
urged to ratify UN declaration on religious freedom
leader delivers speech in Kazakhstan
Charged with ‘Inciting a Muslim to Change Religion’ in Algeria
house of representatives announces support of Saudi Arabia
Haram kills another aid worker in northeast Nigeria
take State to task after Mandera Al-Shabaab attack
needs to address humanitarian crisis in Yemen: Congressman
preparing to announce Khashoggi died in interrogation: Sources
attempt to whitewash Saudis, Trump says ‘rogue killers’ involved in journo case
Justice Department designates Hezbollah ‘transnational crime organisation’
midterms ads accuse Democrats of 'terror' ties
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Arabic-language al-Watan daily quoted local sources in Northeastern Aleppo as
disclosing that the French and US forces and the Washington-backed militias
have excavated a number of historical sites in Manbij, adding that they have
sped up their excavation operation after unearthing gold and artifacts.
daily further said that the US and French forces have found a large volume of
gold in Tal Um al-Saraj and Tal al-Sayad in Manbij, adding that they have also
discovered an ancient tablet in another excavation operation in an industrial
zone in Manbij.
paper went on to say that the foreign occupiers along with the local militias
have stared excavation operation to unearth the precious metal that is made of
added that Manbij has also been turned into a hub for smuggling historical
artifacts looted by the occupiers and militants from Palmyra (Tadmur), Hasaka
and Raqqa to Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon and later to other world states.
sources reported earlier this month hat the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces
(SDF) militias stole power masts near the small town of Tal Hamis in
Northeastern Hasaka and transferred them to an unknown location.
sources further said that people in Tal Hamis took to the streets and opposed
the SDF move that caused the SDF to keep gunmen on alert and arrested a number
SDF later arrested manager of Tal Hamis power company, accusing him of
encouraging people to demonstrate.
the meantime, the SDF released a sum of 17 ISIL inmates from a SDF-run jail in
In a major show of strength, the largest Muslim organisation of Kerala,
Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, held a 'protect Sharia' conference to
protest against the Union cabinet’s recent ordinance on triple talaq.
conference, which was held at Kozhikode on Saturday, also passed a resolution
against the cabinet ordinance with a million signatories. The resolution will
be submitted to President Ramnath Kovind.
out at the Centre’s triple talaq ordinance, the organisation’s president Sayyid
Muhammad Jifri Muthukkoya Thangal said the Modi government’s intentions behind
the move were not right.
decision to pass triple talaq ordinance is motivated and hurried. The
government is trying to target a particular community. It’s unfortunate if the
right to believe and practice a particular religion is denied,” Jifri said,
adding that the government and the court are duty bound to protect the freedom
SC ruling which says triple talaq is un-islamic is against what is mentioned in
Islamic theological texts. Triple talaq is completely Islamic,” Jifri added.
September, the organisation had submitted a review petition to the Supreme
Court challenging its decision to criminalise triple talaq.
Thangal claimed that Muslim scholars were not consulted on the triple talaq
about women not being allowed to enter Sunni mosques, Jifri said the rule
existed during the Prophet’s time too.
body has control on over 9,500 of the total 12,500 madrasas in Kerala. Around 12
lakh students are enrolled in these religious schools.
extremist Buddhists rally in Yangon to voice support for the military’s
state-sponsored crackdown campaign against Rohingya Muslims, vowing to “fight
back” any international attempt to bring their top generals to justice for the
crimes they perpetrate against the country’s unwanted minority community.
thousand anti-Muslim and pro-military Buddhists marched through Yangon on
Sunday, holding portraits of Myanmar’s military chief, General Min Aung Hlaing,
who has been referred by the UN to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for
prosecution over actions that could amount to genocide and crimes against
humanity during the crackdown he has been leading against Rohingya Muslims.
year, extremist Buddhist monks rushed to help Myanmar’s military, when it
intensified its crackdown campaign against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.
campaign – which the UN described as the textbook example of ethnic cleansing
campaign – has seen mass killings, torture, and gang rape of Rohingya Muslim as
well as arson attacks against their homes and farms in Rakhine.
trace their presence in Rakhine back centuries, but most people Buddhist-
majority Myanmar see them as unwanted immigrants from Bangladesh, with the
state denying the Muslims citizenship.
August 2017, around 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled their villages and
crossed the border into Bangladesh, where they live in overcrowded camps with
limited access to food, medicine and education.
rally was staged weeks after the UN’s fact-finding mission singled out
Myanmar’s military chief and five fellow senior generals in a report on the
Rohingya crackdown case, and said they should be prosecuted at the ICC for
committing the gravest crimes under international law against the Rohingya
“with genocidal intent.”
month later, the ICC’s chief prosecutor announced in September the launch of an
inquiry into the Myanmar military’s actions, which led to the deportations of
hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.
Hague-based intergovernmental ICC serves as a court of last resort, which
intervenes whenever national authorities are unable or unwilling to prosecute
participants in Sunday’s demonstration appeared to be echoing the military
chief’s angry remarks last month that the UN had no “right to interfere in”
what he described as Myanmar’s domestic affairs.
the rally, one of the speakers, reading from a prepared statement, said that
“the people of Myanmar strongly denounce and condemn any intervention or
intrusion by the foreign countries, international communities and various
organizations which unrightfully manipulate our nation and our Myanmar armed
Buddhist monk, Wirathu, who was also addressing demonstrators, urged the
international community to stay out of what he called Myanmar’s national
day the International Criminal Court (ICC) comes to our country, that’s the day
R2P (responsibility to protect) comes to our country. That’ll be the day that
Wirathu picks up a gun,” he said.
Southeast Asian country is not a member of the ICC, but the membership of
neighboring Bangladesh – which is bearing the brunt of Myanmar’s crackdown --
is enough basis for the court’s jurisdiction over the case, the tribunal says.
Myanmarese government has blocked access to the ground zero of the violence,
but massive evident have so far been collected by international observers,
medics, and journalists have blown the lid of the crimes.
results have brought Myanmar’s de facto leader and onetime “democracy icon”
Aung San Suu Kyi under fire for inaction, with critics saying she is
effectively giving the green light to the army to keep up its criminal deeds by
remaining tight lipped.
harsh criticisms prompted Canada to officially strip Suu Kyi of her honorary
UN report released in August, many even expected that it would lead up to the
Nobel committee withdrawing the Peace Prize awarded to her back in 1991.
Norwegian committee, however, argued that the prize had been awarded for
achievements of the past and could not be therefore withdrawn.
The wife of a Pakistani politician killed in a Taliban suicide attack during
campaigning won her husband's provincial seat in by-elections as the ruling
party of new Prime Minister Imran Khan retained its slim majority in
Bilour on Sunday won the provincial assembly seat in northwestern Khyber
Pakthunkhwa province that her husband Haroon Bilour, a member of the
anti-Taliban Awani National Party, had been scheduled to contest in July.
Bilour was killed along with 19 others in a suicide attack in Peshawar, the
provincial capital, claimed by the Pakistani Taliban weeks before the July 25
polls. The attack prompted a delay in voting for that seat.
father, senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour, was killed in a suicide bombing in the
run-up to Pakistan's last election in 2013.
by-elections were for 24 seats across the four provincial assemblies and 11 in
the National Assembly. Most of the national parliamentary seats were open
because Pakistan allows a candidate to run in multiple constituencies but only
keep one seat. The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won four out of 11
parliamentary seats contested, retaining its slim majority in the National
Sunday's vote, the PTI and its coalition partners held a slim three-seat
majority of 174 seats in the 342-seat parliament. Khan's ruling coalition in
parliament elected him prime minister by 176 votes in August.
the PTI lost two of the four constituencies originally won by Khan, while
former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N) made marginal gains by adding four seats.
PML-N's Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who served as prime minister after Sharif was
removed from office by the Supreme Court last year, was among those elected to
parliament after missing out in the July elections.
who was sentenced to 10 years in prison by an accountability court weeks before
the July polls, said the run-up to the elections had been influenced by the
military influencing the courts to bar a number of PML-N legislators.
army and judiciary vehemently deny any interference in civilian politics.
the first anniversary of the Iraqi forces victory against ISIS nears, the
terrorist organization’s remnants are trying to exploit security gaps in some
areas that are not very far from the capital Baghdad.
Hashem al-Hashemi, an expert in armed groups’ affairs, said ISIS has adopted a
new military tactic ever since its defeat in October last year and the
declaration of victory against it later in December.
ISIS commanders (dispatched) their fighters to the desert and mountains in
scattered areas in Iraq and Syria, the organization resorted to the so-called
gang hybrid warfare and (adopted) the tactics of the ghost fighter,” Hashemi
said, adding that the aim is sowing chaos in areas with sectarian or ethnic
diversity or finding areas that are fragile in terms of security.
added that ISIS’s new tactic also includes deploying fighters in areas of
via abduction, theft
on the group’s economic activity, Hashemi said the organization has begun
relying on self-funding via theft, abduction and blackmail, adding that this
means ISIS has lost its ability to receive foreign funding and to make money
from the investments it had done by selling oil in Iraq and Syria.
to some observers, ISIS smuggled around $400 million abroad from Iraq and Syria
and it seeks to increase its resources via money laundering operations.
noted that ISIS, which once controlled 48 percent of the Syrian territory and
32 percent of the Iraqi territory, now only controls 2 percent of Syria and its
organizational capacity decreased from 32 states to just six.
also said that ISIS’s self-appointed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi eliminated
more than nine diwans and kept just three, which are Diwan al-Jund (soldiery)
that manages military affairs, a diwan for security and intelligence and a financial
and administrative diwan.
added that legitimate committees are no longer binding and only act as an
advisory body, administrative and financial departments are decentralized and
the organization’s targets are selected by the security commander, and not the
a security source in Diyala said the number of ISIS remnants in Diyala is no
more than 70 armed men, adding that most of them are present in Hamrin Basin
which is 55 kilometers northeast of Baqubah. He added that ISIS’s activity
decreased by 70 percent compared to this time last year.
sources said on Monday that Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh and Foj al-Mostafa militants
engaged in heavy clashes in Afrin.
added that a number of militants of both sides were killed and wounded, noting
that the clashes erupted after differences over their share of the plundered
report also said that Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh has detained a number of members of
Foj al-Mostafa terrorists, adding that the militants in the region are on
has been the scene of daily infighting, murder and plundering of civilians'
properties by militants after the Turkish army and its affiliated militia
occupied the region.
Kurdish media outlet reported on Sunday that Ankara-backed militants continue
looting the infrastructural facilities and plants in occupied Afrin region and
are engaged in daily infighting over their share of war booties.
Arabic-language al-Watan daily reported that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant
Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists and their allies have never
retreated from demilitarized zone in Northern and Northwestern Syria mentioned
in Sochi Agreement.
daily further said that Tahrir al-Sham, Horas al-Deen and Turkistani Islamic
Party have reinvigorated their positions and hidden their heavy weapons, adding
that the terrorist groups have decided to remain in their strongholds in the
demilitarized zone in Northeastern Lattakia, Northwestern Hama, Southeastern,
Northern and Southern Idlib.
paper said that Turkish Intelligence Service has thus far been unsuccessful in
persuading Tahrir al-Sham to leave its positions in the demilitarized zone,
adding that Ankara has called on Damascus via Moscow to delay any military
operation and give more time to Turkey to do its undertakings with regard to
the expulsion of the terrorists form the zone.
daily said Turkey has not declared any specific date, but it can be estimated
that the terrorists' withdrawal will last till the end of the current month.
al-Sham said in a statement earlier today that it will never lay down weapons
and will continue countering the Syrian Army several weeks after conclusion of
the Sochi Agreement by Russia and Turkey to create a demilitarized zone in
Southern Idlib, Northeastern Lattakia and Western Aleppo.
the meantime, the Arabic-language al-Watan daily reported that there have not
been any sign of withdrawal by the terrorists, "instead, they have been
targeting army positions".
Abdul Rahman Qoraba, a key field commander of Tahrir al-Sham, was killed after
unknown assailants opened fire at him near the town of Sarmada near the border
the meantime, Tahrir al-Sham stormed a base of rival ISIL terrorists near the
town of Ma'arat Mesrin in Northern Idlib and seized their military equipment.
sources in Southern Idlib, meantime, reported that Tahrir al-Sham raided the
village of Larouz in Jabal al-Zaviah and opened fire at people.
al-Sahm killed a villager and arrested 11 more, including several teachers and
transferred them to an unknown destination without any reason.
sources reported on Sunday that tensions were rising among various groups of
militants in Northern and Northwestern Syria over the Sochi Agreement as the
deadline for its implementation was looming.
sources said that violent feuds erupted among terrorists over Tahrir al-Sham
Hay'at retreat from the demilitarized zone in Northern and Northwestern Syria
and start of a so-called Salvation Government in the region.
the meantime, a commander of Free Syrian Army (FSA) said that one of the most
difficult phases of implementing the Sochi Agreement is withdrawal of militants
that are enlisted as terrorists from the demilitarized zone and then relocation
of the terrorist groups in other regions in Idlib without their dissolution.
FSA commander further said that another serious difference over the Sochi
Agreement pertains to the administration of those territories remaining under
terrorists' occupation in Northern and Northwestern Syria in the presence of a
salvation government and the interim government in the region.
Arabic-language al-Manar reported that the SDF has arrested a number of
children in the village of Um Zar near the town of al-Shadadi in Southern
Hasaka, accusing them of cooperating with ISIL.
further said that the SDF has forced the families of arrested children to pay a
hefty amount of money for their release.
the meantime, other units of the SDF broke into the residential units in the
villages near the town of Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka and arrested tens
of villagers, the TV Channel went on to say, adding that the SDF's move came
after a number of forcefully-recruited people cut relations with the SDF.
two SDF militants were killed after a bomb blast near their base in Ra'as
reported on Saturday that tens of Hasaka residents poured into the streets in
al-Nashvah neighborhood in Hasaka city, demonstrating against SDF-affiliated
Asayesh security forces that prevented the school goers from going to centers
that are still teaching the Damascus government's educational system.
went on to say that the protestors opposed the Asayesh's measures in preventing
public vehicles, including taxis and school transportation vehicles, from
transferring the school goers to government-affiliated educational centers in
different neighborhoods in Hasaka city.
further said that the Asayesh was planning to cancel the Damascus government's
educational system and imposed their own curriculum on the school goers, but
faced strong popular resistance.
main appeals court has upheld a three-year prison sentence for former president
Mohammed Morsi, who is already jailed in other cases, over a conviction for
insulting the judiciary.
Court of Cassation upheld the same sentence for Morsi and 19 others on Monday,
also fining the former president 1 million Egyptian pounds ($60,000) in the
case. Morsi was accused of insulting a sitting judge during a speech he gave as
Egypt’s first democratically elected president, had a tumultuous year in office
that ended with the army overthrowing him in 2013. Multiple cases against him
says its security forces have killed nine “terrorists” in a raid on a cave
hideout along the Nile River.
Interior Ministry says Monday’s dawn raid in central Egypt targeted men who
were planning attacks on vital installations, resulting in a shootout that led
to their deaths.
statement did not mention if there were any survivors or if any wounded were
taken prisoner, or if security forces suffered any casualties. It said assault
rifles, improvised explosive devices, ammunition and supplies were seized.
has been battling an insurgency based in the Sinai Peninsula that intensified
after the military overthrew an elected but divisive president in 2013. It
launched a nationwide operation against the militants in February, but raids
outside the Sinai have been rare.
The Assad regime renewed its threat on Monday to launch an offensive in Idlib
province in northwest Syria after militants defied a Russia-Turkey deal for
them to pull out.
fighters failed to meet the Oct. 15 deadline for them to withdraw from a
planned buffer zone around Syria’s last opposition stronghold.
armed forces are ready around Idlib to eradicate terrorism if the Idlib
agreement is not implemented,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem said at
a press conference in Damascus with the Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim
as any other province, has to return to Syrian sovereignty. We prefer to have
it through peaceful means, through reconciliation, but if not there are other
said it was now up to Russia to judge whether the agreement, which averted a
regime offensive last month, was being fulfilled. “We have to wait for the
Russian reaction. Russia is monitoring and following the situation,” he said.
Idlib was recaptured from the opposition, the regime would turn its attention
to territory held by the Kurdish-led and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces,
the minister said. “After Idlib, our target is east of the Euphrates,” which
must also return to Syrian sovereignty, he said.
in Idlib said they were concerned about an increase in violence if the
Russian-Turkish accord collapsed. “We fear the deal’s sponsors will fail to
implement all its points, and that the bombardment and battles will return,”
deal provides for a 15-20 km horseshoe-shaped buffer zone around
opposition-held areas in Idlib and the neighboring provinces of Latakia, Hama
dominant militant force in the region is Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), an alliance
led by Al-Qaeda’s former Syrian branch. The group has signaled that it would
abide by the terms of the deal, although it has not explicitly said so.
value the efforts of all those striving — at home and abroad — to protect the
liberated area and prevent its invasion and the perpetration of massacres in
it,” HTS said.
in Syria, the Assad regime on Monday reopened a vital border post with Jordan
and a crossing into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
white jeeps crossed into Israeli-occupied territory during a low-key ceremony
to mark the reopening of the Quneitra crossing in the Golan, four years after
it was closed when Syrian opposition forces seized nearby territory.
the south, and three years after it too was closed, a black metal border gate
opened at the Nassib crossing into Jordan as police and customs officials stood
Jordan crossing was previously a major trading route, while the remote Quneitra
post is used primarily by a UN force that monitors a cease-fire line separating
Israeli-occupied parts of the Golan Heights from Syria.
businessman Hisham Falyoun, who lives in Jordan with his wife and children, was
the first person to cross the border in his black Mercedes SUV.
strange things happen to religion and its practice in India. The 10th of Muharram has just passed on September 21 and
we are still in the 40-day period during which the Indian Shia community
organise majlis or gatherings where the tragedy of the Battle of Karbala is
told, through some grand poetic narration, lament set to a tempo, mixed with
religious sermon and culminating in “maatam” or beating of the chest in
those who do not know Muharram has its origins in the struggle for the Khilafat
in the Muslim world that took place right after the Prophet’s death. Shias
reject many of the Khalifas as they consider the succession to the Prophet to
be the special right of his family. The gulf between Shias and Sunnis was
cemented after the battle of Karbala in AD 680, where the Kaliph’s army fought
and killed the Prophet’s grandson Hazrat Hussain and seventy-two of his
companions and family members, including many women and children. This tragedy
is the central theme of the Shia faith and Muharram is this period of mourning.
the seventh to the tenth day of Muharram, numerous processions are taken out.
Most readers also would not know that according to historical records these are
among the oldest religious processions in the country. The main Bibi ka Alawa
procession taken out by the Shias of Hyderabad on the tenth day of Muharram is,
for instance, about four hundred years old and one of India’s oldest religious
processions. In contrast, processions on festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and
Durga Puja began only just over a 100 years ago although they are now very
embedded in the contemporary religio-cultural lives of our country.
in India also has a curious link to the Hobson-Jobson, that wonderful book that
lists all the words such as bungalow, verandah et all that entered the English
language in the course of the British experience while ruling the Indian
empire. The first Hobson-Jobson was written By Col Henry Yule and AC Burnell
and published by John Murray, London, in 1903. The cover of the book describes
it as “a glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and of kindred terms,
Etymological Historical, Geographical and Discursive”. It’s an amazing work
that everyone interested in reading and writing should keep in their homes if
only to pluck out English word invented in India.
guess where the title Hobson-Jobson comes from? The book describes it as ‘an
Anglo- Saxon version of the wailings of the Mohammedans as they beat their
breasts in the processions of the Muharram and utter cries of “Ya Hussain!” ‘Ya
Hussain, Ya Hussain’.
another process happens to Muharram in India. The Indian love of revelry has
transformed Muharram, a time of mourning for Shia Muslims, into a celebration
in many parts of the country. For those who are not religious purists, such as
me, the process is quite fantastic and colourful.
is particularly seen in Andhra Pradesh, large parts of which were ruled by the
Shia Qutb Shahi dynasty and later by the Asif Jahi Nizams who continued to
patronize Shia institutions and placed many Shia Muslims in powerful positions.
The result was that some Shia customs got absorbed into the indigenous culture
and, in the process, Muharram was transformed into a sort of local folk
celebration. This discovery, made many years ago, was particularly fascinating
for me given my exposure to the Shia Muslim culture of Awadh that I witnessed
in the rambling but decaying haveli in the family village that now falls in Rae
Bareli district, Uttar Pradesh.
parts that now fall between Telangana, Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra Pradesh I
had seen Muharram being ‘celebrated’ in several villages and towns. Some tribal
communities such as the Lambadies, Gonds and Pardhies considered Muharram as
important as Dussehra and Diwali, so much so that an entire body of Muharram
folk songs in Telugu had evolved over the centuries. Moharram has therefore in
that part of India fused into popular religion and local cultures.
was told of this verse by Balaiah a Telugu folk poet:
in the name of Allah, Then the Devata will bless you.
the wonderful fusions that I was witnessing, Hindu devotionalism focused on
Islamic motifs to create the uniquely Indian Muharram of the Deccan.
was once sent this translation of a folk song that reveals how Muharram is also
at the popular level considered a time of celebration when wishes are fulfilled
and boons granted.
brings joy and pleasure, All sorts of people happily meet at leisure, And make
offerings in their devotion. The eager folks coming in groups, Enjoy themselves
in the moonlit night, Those with stomach aches, Those with eyesores. Each and
everyone prays with devotion, And is relieved of the affliction;
and Hussain and the happy Imam, Qasim dulah’s palanquin has started, Twelve
Imams. The vows taken have been fulfilled, And the boon of pregnancy granted to
Hobson-Jobson to wish fulfillment and folk poetry, the uniquely Indian journey
of identity and religion keeps moving on.
(MP): BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has
ensured that triple talaq has no place in the country despite facing opposition
from the Congress which "never cared" for the honour of Muslim women.
Shah was addressing an event, where a sizeable number of Muslim women were in
attendance, ahead of the November 28 assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.
Congress never cared for the honour of Muslim mothers and sisters.
has no courage to deal with issues like triple talaq. Despite stiff opposition
from the Congress, (Prime Minister) Modi has ensured that it (triple talaq) has
no place in the country," Shah said.
Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance was promulgated on
September 19 under which instant triple talaq has been declared illegal and
punishable with a jail term of three years for the husband.
Shah said the BJP has encouraged women not just by words but by giving them
important responsibilities, including as defence and external affairs ministers
ministers, governors and chief ministers.
said that the BJP had created a "record" in honouring women while the
Congress had done nothing for them despite being in power for a long time.
just by words, but Modi government has given them (women) space in the Union
Cabinet by inducting nine women ministers including Nirmala Sitharaman as
defence minister and Sushma Swaraj as external affairs minister," Shah
said at the"kamal shakti samvad" function.
has been given prime responsibility of establishing good relations with
countries and enhancing trade with them, the BJP chief said.
added that during the BJP rule, six women were appointed as governors of
states, including that of Madhya Pradesh who earlier was Gujarat's first woman
hit out at the opposition party for "disrespecting" senior BJP
leader, late Vijaya Raje Scindia, affectionately known as Rajmata, claiming
that she had been "oppressed" and jailed.
added that Scindia never gave up despite the Congress troubling her for long,
and this had led to the "lotus (BJP symbol) blooming in the entire
Scindia, the BJP chief said that the 'Rajmata' was like a mother to all party
workers whom she constantly encouraged.
life is a lesson and an inspiration, Shah told the gathering.
was born on October 11, 1919 at Sagar in Madhya Pradesh and passed away on 25
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday described
Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Manan Bashir Wani, who was killed in a gun-battle
with security forces, as a "victim of relentless violence in
PDP president said this while demanding withdrawal of cases against three
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students from the Valley who were booked after
they allegedly tried to hold a prayer meeting for Wani on Friday.
will be a travesty to punish them (students) for remembering their former
colleague (Wani) who was a victim of relentless violence in Kashmir,"
Mehbooba said in a tweet.
will be a travesty to punish them for remembering their former colleague who
was a victim of relentless violence in Kashmir. 2/2
Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) 1539602678000
Wani, who was pursing a Ph.D course in allied geology at the AMU, had quit the
university and joined militant ranks in January.
three Kashmiri students were booked for sedition for allegedly raising
"anti-India" slogans and trying to hold a prayer meeting for the
Hizbul 'commander', a day after he was killed in a gun battle with security
forces in north Kashmir's Handwara area.
also asked the Centre to intervene in the matter.
youth to the wall will be counter productive. Centre must intervene in
withdrawing cases against students and AMU authorities must revoke their
suspension," she said in another post on Twitter.
youth to the wall will be counter productive.Centre must intervene in
withdrawing cases against students…
Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) 1539602671000
Wani, who was pursing a Ph.D course in allied geology at the AMU, had quit the
university and joined militant ranks in January this year.
the wake of the suspension of the three Kashmiri students, more than 1,200
students from Jammu and Kashmir studying at the varsity have threatened to
leave for their homes on October 17, if the sedition charges against the three
were not dropped.
a letter to Proctor, AMU, students of Jammu and Kashmir, studying at the
university said "no prayers or any relevant activity was observed and the
directions of the AMU Proctor were duly followed".
tense situation as reported in the media caused a serious concern among the
students at Aligarh Muslim University. The students at the University in panic
were discussing the situation emerging in the valley at the Kennedy Hall Lawn,
and were peacefully talking among each other. No prayers or any relevant
activity was observed, and the directions of the AMU – Proctor were duly
followed," the students said in the letter.
said some non-Kashmiri people armed with lathis attacked the sitting students
and caused massive disturbance and noisy scenes.
the Kashmiri students dispersed immediately and no protest or law and order
violation took place. Later, a vilification campaign against the students from
Jammu and Kashmir was started by media that Kashmiri students violated the law
and disturbed the peace in the campus. Though nothing of that sort had happened
and the same was later confirmed by PRO AMU to the media," the letter
students said they strongly condemn the "fabricated allegations and a
systematic vilification campaign" against the students and the university.
take strong objection to fabricating cases against Kashmiri students and
thereby attempting to jeopardize our career. We, the students from Kashmir are
law abiding and did not breach the guaranteed freedom of speech, or act,"
they s adding peace at AMU campus has always been the first priority of all
to the suspension of students by the university and subsequent sedition
charges, the Jammu and Kashmir students refuted the allegations of violation of
law and order and demanded an end to "defamation of highly educated
demand an immediate revocation of suspension orders/show cause notices and an
urgent withdrawal of the sedition charges and relevant legal sections against
AMU scholars. Imposing such sections is to threaten the Kashmiri students at
the university and is a cause of serious concern. We cannot stay at the campus
with the burden of these politically motivated and fabricated charges,"
students threatened to surrender their degrees and leave for their homes if the
suspension is not revoked and case withdrawn by Wednesday.
case, the suspension/show cause notices are not revoked immediately and
sedition charges and relevant charges are not withdrawn, we the students from
the state of Jammu and Kashmir at AMU will be forced to leave the campus
en-masse on Sir Syed Day (17 October).
DELHI: National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing a terrorfunding module
of Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) that allegedly financed the construction
of a mosque at Uttawar village in Palwal, Haryana, is also looking at the
possibility of a larger network of similar persons/modules spread across the
country through which FIF may be channeling terror funds into India.
TOI has learnt, is examining if other Indians visiting or working in Dubai or
UAE were in touch with Pakistani nationals there who may be acting as conduits
for FIF terror funds being pumped into India for allegedly carrying out
terrorist activities. Mohammad Salman, a key accused arrested by NIA in the
case and originally from Uttawar, had come in contact with one Kamran, a
Pakistani businessman, during his two visits to Dubai. Kamran in turn was in touch
with the deputy chief of FIF, a proscribed affiliate of Lashker-e-Taiba run by
26/11 mastermind Hafiz Mohammmad Saeed, and was acting as a conduit for sending
terror funds via hawala route to India.
from Salman, NIA arrested two hawala couriers in Delhi on September 25 — Mohd
Salim, resident of Daryaganj and Sajjad Abdul Wani, resident of Srinagar. While
Wani’s premises in Srinagar were raided, he disclosed during his interrogation that
he was only carrying funds for one Hilal Ahmed Rather. NIA later raided Hilal’s
office and residence at Lajpat Nagar and recovered Rs 18 lakh cash, six mobile
phones, SIMs and some incriminating documents.
on his part, told his interrogators that he had used FIF funds received through
hawala for construction of a mosque in Uttawar. NIA later conducted searches at
the local mosque and recovered documents confirming that nearly Rs 70 lakh of
the Rs 2-21/2 crore used to construct the mosque were FIF funds received
through hawala route. The remaining, said a source, may have come by way of
donations received from local members of the community.
modus operandi was clear. Salman was cultivated by Kamran, by no means a big
businessman in Dubai, to channel FIF funds into India. “The FIF angle is
further confirmed by the fact that Kamran chose to send the funds not through
the legitimate route but hawala,” said an investigator. It is now being probed
if there were similar persons located elsewhere in India who are in touch with
FIF conduits in Dubai and UAE and were “cultivated” to channel FIF terror funds
fired upon a security force camp in Pulwama’s Newa in South Kasmir late on
Monday night. Two CRPF personnel were injured in the attack. A J&K police
statement said the attack was “repulsed” by forces.
injured jawans have been identified as Amit Kumar and Santosh Bharti of 183 BN
CRPF. “Both have been hospitalised for medical treatment,” the police statement
to the police, a case has been registered and an investigation has been
initiated in the matter.
militants fled with two weapons belonging to security personnel posted at a
retired police officer’s residence in Chadoora area of Budgam district in
central Kashmir late Sunday night, the police said.
Monday, a picture of weapons emerged on social media, with some claiming that
they are the ones that were taken away. Police officials said they are probing
veracity of the claims.
senior police official said that militants entered the home of former J&K
Police SSP Sheikh Ghulam Mohammed and took away two carbine rifles and a few
Director General of Police Munir Khan told The Indian Express that the former
police officer had allowed his security to go home and weapons were kept at the
residence against the “advisory”.
Budgam, Tejinder Singh said two security personnel were present in the house
when the militants entered and that they are investigating the circumstances
under which the militants took away the weapons. There has been no arrest in
the case yet.
least thirteen militants were killed in the airstrikes of the foreign forces in
southeastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan, the Afghan Military said Sunday.
to 203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast, the coalition forces
carried out airstrikes against the militants in Andar district, leaving 13
source further added that the airstrikes targeted a mini truck and an armored
personnel carrier of the militants.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in southeastern parts of the country
where the Taliban militants and other militant and terrorist groups including
ISIS loyalists are active in some of its districts and often carry out
terrorist related activities.
From a university student to a middle-aged housewife, Afghans planning to vote
in the October 20 parliamentary election say they are willing to risk their
lives for democracy.
nine million people have registered to vote, but far fewer are expected to turn
out on polling day due to threats of violence and expectations for massive
people across the war-torn country explain why their vote matters.
with the old and in with the new is Omaid Sharifi’s hope for the legislative
32-year-old artist, who is voting for the first time, wants to see a new
generation of politicians take their seats in the next parliament.
co-founder of Kabul-based street art collective ArtLords, was inspired to vote
by the large cohort of young, educated candidates among the more than 2,500
contesting the ballot.
am concerned (about security) but I think this is the price of democracy we
have to pay,” he said.
voter Fatima Sadeqi wants to stop criminals, thieves and corrupt people from
entering the next parliament.
55-year-old housewife and her eight family members plan to support the same
candidate in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
are tired of poverty and insecurity,” she said.
hope the new parliament is a better place, full of good people.”
Agha wants his 10 children to grow up in a peaceful Afghanistan — and he is
willing to die to help make that happen.
45-year-old potter in the eastern city of Jalalabad is a first-time voter and plans
to back “a good Muslim and an honest person.”
want the new parliament to bring fundamental changes to the economy, education
and security so that our children can live in peace,” Agha said.
my vote can bring these changes I will take any risk. I will either die or
sense of “duty and responsibility” is pushing English literature student Zahra
Faramarz to vote — but she admits being “anxious” about security.
polling station is located in a heavily Shiite neighborhood of Kabul where the
Daesh group has carried out devastating attacks in recent months.
the 21-year-old said it was important to vote to ensure her community has a
voice in the lower house.
we don’t, someone else will select the candidates ... that is not good for us,”
disappointing results in the previous two elections, Ghulam Farooq Adil hopes
it will be third time lucky on October 20.
29-year-old public servant from the western city of Herat plans to vote for an
“honest” candidate who can help bring peace to Afghanistan.
want the new parliament to come up with a solid plan to end the war,” Adil
need to see changes, at least for the future of my son.”
Karim believes voting is a religious obligation for Muslim men and women.
must vote,” said the 85-year-old retiree in Kabul, who is voting for only the
second time in his life.
in return, the next parliament should “serve our nation, serve our land and
provide” job opportunities for the poor, he said.
— A Rohingya family of five has returned to Myanmar from Bangladesh, sources
said on Thursday, a rare development while a large-scale repatriation deal
than 720,000 of Myanmar’s stateless Muslim minority fled a brutal military
crackdown in August last year, taking shelter in crowded camps in Bangladesh.
they recounted tales of rape, murder and arson as villages in Rakhine state
were burned to the ground.
Nations investigators have said senior Myanmar military officials should be
prosecuted for genocide, but the country has rejected these calls, insisting it
was defending itself against militants.
and Bangladesh signed a deal to bring back the Rohingya but many fear returning
without guaranteed rights such as citizenship, access to healthcare and freedom
in Myanmar say more than 100 displaced Rohingya have returned in recent months
though rights groups have questioned whether the returnees did so voluntarily.
family of five “displaced people” came back to Rakhine state on Wednesday
morning, state mouthpiece Global New Light of Myanmar reported Thursday.
government has trumpeted each return but Bangladesh insists that the official
process has not commenced.
Bangladesh government’s Rohingya camp commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said he
had only heard about the family leaving, but has not received official
confirmation of their return to Myanmar.
can go back if he/she wants,” he said.
formal repatriation has not begun.”
Rahim, a Rohingya camp leader in Bangladesh, said the family had been staying
in the Balukhali camp in Cox Bazar district.
returned to their home...near Maungdaw township in Rakhine yesterday,” he said.
agencies, which signed a deal with the Myanmar government to assess conditions
on the ground in northern Rakhine, said they had carried out an initial survey
in September of about two dozen villages.
Security Chief of Samangan province Haji Khawani has been killed along with
several police soldiers in an attack by the Taliban militants, the local
governor Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi confirmed the Security Chief of Samangan and his
comrades were killed in an attack in Dara Suf district late on Monday night.
further added that the Security Chief and his comrades had visited the district
to help improve the security situation of the district when they came under
to Ibrahimi, the Haji Khawani and his comrades lost their lives after resisting
the Taliban attack for several hours.
did not disclose further information regarding the exact number of security
personnel killed in the attack.
certain security sources are saying that Haji Khawani and at least 40 police
soldiers have lost their lives.
least 12 militants were killed and two Armored Personnel Carriers were
recaptured along with several other military equipment during the operation of
the Afghan Special Forces in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the
operation was conducted in Aliabad district of Kunduz province.
statement further added that two militants were also wounded while two others
arrested during the same operation.
Afghan forces also recaptured two Armored Personnel Carries, a soft skin
vehicle, an Ak-47 rifle, a PKM machine gun, 3 radio sets, and a large quantity
of munitions during the operation, the statement added.
rise of the Islamic State group [IS] shocked the world four years ago. The
militants overtook the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Syrian city of Raqqa, then
established franchises from Afghanistan to Libya. Prominent radicals as far as
Nigeria and the Philippines pledged allegiance to the extremist group.
never bothered to establish itself in Myanmar and Thailand, where Muslims have
long faced persecution and waged insurgencies. In both countries, Muslim rebels
are fighting non-Muslim militaries that ignore human rights. Because IS
intervened in similar conflicts in Kashmir and Mindanao, its absence in Myanmar
and Thailand seems striking. Experts on Southeast Asia have offered a few
factors explain why IS's presence in Southeast Asia has been more limited,
including the matters of time and effort," Dr Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior
fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of Militants, Criminals, and
Warlords: The Challenge of Local Governance in an Age of Disorder, told The New
original proselytising effort focused on the Middle East. When it was rising,
it put less effort into and focus on Southeast Asia."
Zachary Abuza, a professor at the National War College and author of Militant
Islam in Southeast Asia: A Crucible of Terror, believes the "most simple
answer is racism."
cited the Islamic fundamentalist screed Management of Savagery: The Most
Critical Stage through Which the Ummah Will Pass, a how-to guide on insurgency
popular with some commanders in al-Qaeda and IS as an example, describing the
text as "very condescending toward Southeast Asians."
their part, Muslim rebels in Myanmar and Thailand may have little interest in
associating with a Western-labelled terrorist organisation led by Middle
Eastern, Arab militants.
Rohingya, Myanmar's largest Muslim minority, have tended to look for support
from the international community. Rohingya insurgents show no signs of
sympathising with IS.
Malay insurgents portray themselves as engaging in a war of independence for
the historical region of Patani. In the report Jihadism in Southern Thailand: A
Phantom Menace, the International Crisis Group expressed doubt that IS could
make inroads in Southern Thailand.
insurgents' campaigns centre on local grievances and objectives, not the
millenarian goal of establishing a worldwide caliphate.
reality limits IS's capacity to build a following in Myanmar or Thailand. The
Southeast Asians who did go so far as to appeal to IS in the early days of its
caliphate rarely found a receptive audience in the militants' Raqqa-based
also: The Islamic State group is not finished – yet
2014, when Southeast Asian groups started to pledge allegiance to the group, IS
didn't need them," Abuza told The New Arab.
was growing so quickly, and Southeast Asia was so peripheral. It took two years
before IS even began to acknowledge the Southeast Asian groups' pledges of
loyalty, and it showed no interest in declaring the establishment of an Asian
province of the caliphate."
IS's losses in Iraq and Syria began to mount, the militants started to rely
more on their affiliates in Africa and Asia to continue dominating Western
Asia is becoming more important to IS as it loses territory," suggested
Abuza. He noted that the Battle of Marawi, during which IS overtook a
Philippine city for five months, began after an American-led coalition retook
most IS strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
have noticed other signs that IS is re-prioritising Southeast Asia. In May
2017, the Royal Malaysia Police caught part of an IS cell that had been
smuggling weapons from Southern Thailand to conduct attacks in Malaysia. The
next month, then Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces General
Gatot Nurmantyo admitted that IS had cells across Indonesia.
Afghanistan and places like Nigeria, the direction of working out the
association came from local groups who had split off from their original
organisations, such as the Taliban or Boko Haram, or were expelled by their
mother organisation," Felbab-Brown told The New Arab.
was not so much that IS was successful in sending its emissaries into those
locations – rather that local actors were reaching out. But with the outflow of
former IS fighters from the Middle East, including to Southeast Asia, IS may
intensify its proselytising there, whether under the IS label or local
IS will likely face challenges in Myanmar and Thailand, anecdotal evidence
suggests that it may target both countries in the future.
April, an unnamed Malaysian official told Channel NewsAsia that a Malay Thai
rebel wanted to establish an IS cell in Southern Thailand. The Straits Times
has also reported that IS is recruiting Malaysians to fight in Myanmar.
is desperate to show its followers that it remains a global movement, capable
of fighting the infidels," said Abuza.
Afghanistan: An Afghan official says a Taliban attack on a security outpost in
northern Samangan province has killed seven policemen, including a deputy
provincial police chief.
provincial governor, Abdul Latif Ibrahimi, says the attack occurred late on
Monday in Dari Suf district.
told The Associated Press on Tuesday that another five policemen were wounded
in the attack. He says the attackers made away with two armored personnel
carriers, a police vehicle and an ambulance.
was no immediate claim of responsibility but in recent months, the Taliban have
staged near-daily attacks on Afghan forces across the country.
speakers stressed the need for promotion of national harmony for weeding out
terrorism, militancy and extremism in the country, linking peace with political
and economic stability.
underlined individual and collective role in establishing durable peace in
society. The speakers made the remarks while addressing the participants of a
National Peace Conference held here at the auditorium of University of Sialkot
(USKT) here on Monday.
veteran journalist Mujeebur Rehman Shami presided over the conference.
Representatives of the Muslims, Sikh, Hindu and Christian communities also
attended the conference. University of Sialkot (USKT) Vice Chancellor Dr Ejaz
Qureshi, CEO Rehan Younas, Chairman BoG Faisal Manzoor and local senior
journalists were also present on the occasion.
addressing the participants, Sikh Community’s Leader former MPA Sardar Ramaish
Singh Arora said that every religion of the world gives the lessons of peace,
love, affection, brotherhood, tolerance and respect for humanity. Mr Ramaish
Singh Arora said that the minorities are playing active role in peace and
national economic and political stability. Buner-Swat based Hindu Community’s
leader Dr Araish Kumar said that peace is vital national integrity and
his speech, Mujeebur Rehman Shami said that the entire Pakistani nation stands
is united against terrorism and is ready to sacrifice their lives to defend the
motherland against militancy, insurgency and extremism.
the participants, USKT CEO Rehan Younas paid glowing tribute armed forces of
Pakistan for being at frontline in the battle for weeding out terrorism from
BoG USKT Faisal Manzoor said that the students and their teacher could also
play their pivotal role in promoting national harmony for peace and national
solidarity. Vice Chancellor Dr Ejaz Qureshi said that Pakistani nation is
peace-loving and striving hard durable peace across the world.
On a recent Sunday Afghans living in the city held a big demonstration at the
Karachi Press Club to echo their demand for the issuance of Pakistani national
identity cards. Holding Pakistani flags and banners bearing pictures of Prime
Minister Imran Khan, who had earlier revived their hopes of getting recognition
of their nationality, they chanted slogans in favour of the Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf government and demanded that immediate measures be taken to get
them out of the desperate situation of neither being here nor there.
announcement made by the prime minister that Afghans and Bengali-speaking
people living in Pakistan would be granted Pakistan’s citizenship has kindled a
ray of hope in members of the two communities. Since then their activists have
been holding demos to draw the attention of the government towards their
unexpected announcement made at a fundraising dinner in Karachi has also
provoked various political parties to issue statements, callously decrying the
idea. Although the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has also shown its opposition
to the move, Pakistan Peoples Party leaders have been more vocal on the issue,
airing their views at every available forum. Lawyers in Larkana have also held
a demonstration against permanent settlement of ‘aliens’ on Sindh’s soil. The
smaller, ‘nationalist’, groups have also found an opportunity to get their
share of the limelight by taking to the streets or issuing statements.
Sarzameen Party leader Syed Mustafa Kamal favours the grant of citizenship but
apparently only to the Bengalis, most of who have settled in this part of the
country even before the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. Neither they have any
intention to go to Bangladesh, nor is that country keen to accept them as its
citizens. Naturally, Bengalis and Burmese, fused together, consider this
country their homeland.
Afghans, accepted by Sindh as refugees after the invasion of their country by
the Soviet Union in 1979, have taken firm roots here. Many of them have
established their own businesses and built plazas in parts of Pakistan over the
decades and do not fancy going back to the country of their origin, where the
security situation is also unfavourable for such a consideration. Various
international agencies have been helping repatriate them. The Japanese
government has also announced $2.7 million aid for their repatriation. In fact,
thousands have already been sent back to their country whether they liked it or
not. Some of them are compelled by circumstances there to return to Pakistan
and live here as illegal aliens.
Jamaat-i-Islami, led by its chief Senator Sirajul Haq, has welcomed the prime
minister’s statement. The JI has consistently demanded grant of citizenship to
both Afghans and Bengalis living in Pakistan.
Awami National Party, whose supreme leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, reverently
called Bacha (King) Khan, is buried in Afghanistan’s city of Jalalabad,
supports the idea of recognising the aliens as Pakistani. Backing the prime
minister’s statement, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali said at a press conference: “It
is a normal practice all over the world that a child born in a country is given
its citizenship. Pakistan should also grant citizenship to Afghans born here.
This is a humanitarian issue and not a political one.”
Khan was reported having said: “The first thing I will do going back [to
Islamabad], God willing, is that we will get those people from Bangladesh, who
are perhaps living here for more than 40 years and their children have grown
older, issued passports and national identity cards.
those Afghans whose children have grown older here, who were born in Pakistan,
they would also be issued passports and ID cards,” he continued. “When you are
born in America, you get the American passport. It is the practice in every
country in the world, so why not here? How cruel it is for them.”
for the hapless communities, under obvious pressure from both allies and
opponents, Mr Khan later said on the floor of the National Assembly that the
final decision to grant citizenship to Afghans and Bengalis would be made only
after taking all parties and “stakeholders” into confidence — a phenomenon
unlikely to happen. Their dream seems be shattered on the cusp of realisation.
prime minister’s statement on granting citizenship to the people of Bengali and
Afghan origin in Pakistan sparked a debate in an assembly session.
issue was raised jointly by the PPP and the Balochistan National Party-Mengal
(BNP-M), one of the government allies, through a calling attention notice.
Nafisa Shah described the PM’s statement as “insensitive” and said that he had
“failed to take the feelings of the locals” of Karachi into consideration.
said that the prime minister made the statement without realising the
“sensitivities” of the metropolis, which she said had fought “civil wars” over
resources. She also demanded that the government prepare data on refugees and
immigrants living in the country before taking any major decision.
foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar also lashed out at the premier over the
statement, calling it “irresponsible”.
Minister Khan must realise that after becoming premier, he does not represent
only his party, but the entire country,” she said. “He can take U-turns as his
party’s head, but not as the prime minister — on such important issues.”
chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal also opposed the proposal and called for a thorough
debate on the issue. He lamented that the government was considering granting
citizenship to Bengali and Afghan refugees on humanitarian grounds but the
Baloch people were not even treated as humans in their own country.
sarcastically remarked that illegal immigrants could continue to live in the
country “simply by paying a Rs500 fine” and go on to accumulate property worth
millions. In a previous session, Mr Mengal had walked out of the assembly
during a debate on the same issue in the presence of the PM.
to the arguments made by the PPP and BNP-M, Human Rights Minister Shireen
Mazari said the government was ready to debate the issue before taking any
decision. She said the PM had met Mr Mengal and assured him that the ruling PTI
would consult all parties before arriving at a decision.
Mazari also criticised the PPP, saying that the party had never bothered to
collect data about the people living in Karachi despite being in power for more
than a decade.
further said that the Citizenship Act of 1951 granted citizenship status to
people born in Pakistan.
you like it or not, it is the law that those born in Pakistan are Pakistani
nationals,” she said.
issue was also debated in the Senate, where state minister for interior
Sheheryar Khan Afridi stated that no decision would be “imposed without
national consensus and the matter regarding granting nationality will be
debated in parliament”.
minister for parliamentary affairs Ali Mohammad Khan’s statement was more
sugar-coated. He said: “This is our responsibility to help Muslim brothers in
trouble.” He recalled the sacrifices of the Bengalis in Karachi when they
refused to migrate to Bangladesh after the fall of Dhaka in 1971 and opted to
stay on in what was then West Pakistan. However, he also insisted that there
should be a national consensus on the issue.
a national consensus possible on any disputed issue?
Khan Sahib, you are most people’s last hope. They fear that if you fail, it
will be gloom all around. Don’t disappoint all of them, including those
desperately trying to seek an identity. You have rightly said that it is “cruel”
to deny them what is their right under our own Constitution. Condemned to live
in slums with little amenities, these people face problems at every step.
Without an identity card they cannot get a regular job. They cannot buy a train
or plane ticket. They cannot have their children admitted to proper schools. I
don’t know how they solemnise their marriages without proper documents as the
nikahnama needs ID card numbers.
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat
arrived in Washington on Monday to attend an international conference on
countering violent extremist organisations.
of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, hosts this annual
event, known as the Chiefs of Defence conference.
two-day event would be the third Joint Staff-sponsored conference on
counter-terrorism and is expected to be the largest to date. The first meeting
was held on Oct 16, 2016, at Joint Base Andrews, Md, while the second was held
at Fort Belvoir, VA. Both bases are close to the US capital.
40 chiefs of defence attended the first conference while more than 70
participated in the second.
conference was a success in that we were able to gather more than 70 chiefs of
defence from around the world for open, frank discussion on a range of topics
related to violent extremism and the transregional threat it poses,” said Gen
Dunford while addressing the second meeting. “Their participation was a clear
indication of the international community’s commitment to countering the
influence and impact violent extremism can have on the world.”
main purpose of this event is to promote “unity of effort as well as for
improved cooperation and collaboration to counter violent extremism”, Gen
a multilateral event, the conference also provides opportunities to the
delegations to hold separates meetings on the sidelines.
participation in the conference dispels the impression that the country is
facing a growing isolation in the international community because of its
differences with the United States over Afghanistan.
An antiterrorism court on Monday recorded the statement of a prosecution
witness in a case pertaining to the murder of renowned social activist Perween
detained accused — Raheem Swati, his son Mohammad Imran Swati along with three
co-accused Ayaz Shamzai alias Swati, Amjad Hussain Khan and Ahmed Khan alias
Ahmed Ali alias Pappu Kashmiri — have been charged with her murder.
Rahman, head of the Orangi Pilot Project, who devoted her life to the
development of impoverished neighbourhoods across the country, was gunned down
near her office in Orangi Town on March 13, 2013.
Monday, the matter was fixed before the ATC-XIII judge to record testimonies of
the prosecution witnesses, including a private citizen. The West range DSP
Khalid produced two witnesses; a private citizen and a policeman.
private witness had his statement recorded. However, the prosecution gave up
the second witness, who had already had his testimony recorded earlier that one
of the accused, Imran Swati, was arrested in his presence.
recording the statement of the witness, the judge directed DSP Khalid and the
investigating officer to produce the remaining prosecution witnesses on the
next date and fixed the hearing for Oct 22. The prosecution has listed 29
witnesses in the investigation report, but hardly nine of them had testified
before the court, as others were reportedly not turning up due to security
threats. The remaining witnesses included nine private citizens.
court had recently dismissed bail applications of Raheem Swati, the main
accused charged with planning and executing the murder, and his son Imran
Swati, who has been charged with concealing information about the accused
case was registered under sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common
intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Pirabad police station.
Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 was incorporated in the case on the
directive of the Supreme Court that had also ordered a judicial inquiry into
the case by the then district and sessions judge (West), Ghulam Mustafa Memon.
warrants for policemen
another antiterrorism court has issued non-bailable warrants for arrest of the
police officials who were not turning up to record their testimonies in a case
pertaining to the alleged sectarian killing of four clerics.
detained accused Syed Farhat Abbas Zaidi has been charged with killing the
clerics Dilshakur, Mohammad Umer, Ansar and Imran near Siddiq-i-Akbar Masjid in
Scout Colony, Mobina Town in 2012.
ATC-VI judge, who is conducting trial in the judicial complex inside the
central prison, issued arrest warrants in sum of Rs25,000 each for former
inspector Changez Khan, inspector Abbas Ali Kolachi, sub-inspector Ghulam
Mustafa Shah and constables Badaruddin and Imtiaz.
judge directed the IG police Sindh to ensure presence of inspector Changez
Khan, who had been dismissed from service, as he was not appearing despite
issuance of summons in the case, which is pending since 2012.
also directed the investigating officer to arrest and produce inspector Kolachi
and the two constables on the next date. The hearing was adjourned till Oct 22.
many as seven persons were reported injured in a road mishap that took place
near Karak where a police vehicle in the convoy of Maulana Fazlur Rehman
collided with a passenger bus.
to reports, the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief’s convoy was returning
to Islamabad from Bannu on Monday after congratulating MMA’s winning candidate
Zahid Akram Durrani in NA-35 Bannu by-election.
police vehicle, which was part of the convoy, crashed into a bus which was
going to Karachi from Peshawar.
individuals, comprising cops and passengers, were injured in the road accident.
The injured were admitted to DHQ Hospital in Karak.
Federal government on Monday added ten cities from Punjab to the residential
project Naya Pakistan Housing Programme.
cities which are being included in the housing project are Lahore, Kasur,
Sialkot, Jhelum, Bahawalpur, Layyah, Multan, Vehari, Rahim Yar Khan and
week, announcing the launch of the housing scheme, the premier had said that
five million houses will be constructed over the next five years under the
‘Naya Pakistan Housing Project’.
want to build houses for those who ordinarily do not even dream of owning a
house, as they fall in low-income group and barely manage to find a shelter,”
PM Imran had said.
premier, vowing that he will supervise the project himself, had expressed
confidence that the programme would not only provide affordable housing to the
poor but also create employment opportunities in the country.
is known for its ethnic divide which affects almost all of its affairs. From
fight against the Taliban to share in the government, from armed forces to
local police, economy to education, Afghanistan is plagued by ethnicity from
head to toe.
population is made up of nearly 50 distinct ethnic groups. Mysteriously,
accurate numbers are not available even after the presence of data conscious
US-led NATO in the country for over 17 years. Four of these ethnic groups
account for a large majority: the Pashtuns (38-48%), Tajiks (20-25%), Hazaras
(16-20%) and Uzbeks (4-8%). Of these only the Pashtuns are sub-divided on
tribal lines. Pashtuns are known for Pashto language, Tajiks and Hazaras speak
Darri or Afghan Persian whereas Uzbeks are mostly Turkic speaking.
ethnic divide is traced to the word Afghan itself, commonly used as synonym of
Pashtun, thus translating Afghanistan to the land of Pashtuns. Pashtuns
controlled political power for most of Afghanistan’s history as a state, with
the result that their traditions and cultural precepts tended to be equated
with the national identity of Afghanistan. Pashtuns have ruled the country for
most of the time less two Tajiks tenures of Habibullah Kalakani (Bacha Saqqa)
in 1929 and Burhan ud Din Rabbani from 1992-1996.
parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held on October 20, 2018. These elections
have previously been delayed for more than three years. There are issues of
security, mismanagement and corruption which are likely to haunt the elections,
but above all is the ethnic rift. An important thing about the elections is
that these are based on nonparty system wherein the individuals are directly
elected by the people and political parties do not have a role in the process.
This is the aspect which further aggravates Afghan polarization based on
ethnicity. One of the important and interesting aspects regarding ethnicity in
Afghanistan is that it is divided between north and south of Afghanistan. North
is linked with Central Asia but southwestern characteristics are similar to
political leaders often use ethnic and group identity in their pursuit of power
and resources by reinterpreting history around symbols of ethnic or religious
differences, especially during the civil wars. The differences of the Taliban
and Ahmad Shah Massoud’s forces, as well as the historically rooted
anti-Pashtun sentiments among Hazaras, Uzbeks, and Tajiks, are all used by
political factions at appropriate occasion. Likewise, Pashtun aversion to
acceptance of a Tajik dominated central government proved convenient to the
Taliban’s quest for power.
November 2017, a leaked letter from a police commander requested officer
recruits for a new antiriot force in the capital Kabul only from Hazara, Uzbek
and Pashtuns, leaving out country’s second-largest ethnicity: the Tajiks. The
letter was leaked, published in the Afghan press and circulated on social
media, sparking uproar and provoking new accusations of systemic ethnic
favoritism in the administration of President Ashraf Ghani.
province of Ghazni which was recently attacked and captured by Taliban for
short time tells us another story. The province is the only place in
Afghanistan which has been subdivided into three constituencies based on ethnic
lines. According to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) decision, one
constituency is Hazara-dominated with small pockets of Pashtun minorities,
while the other two are Pashtun-dominated with pockets of Hazara and Tajik
minorities. This leaves Hazaras with a weak chance of getting even four seats
out of the 11 reserved for the province, while they arguably make up half of
the internal dynamics at one side, it is also quite depressing for the rest of
the world that the US/NATO forces having the best brains and state-of-the-art
technologies for tackling the adverse and severe conflicts like this have
failed to stop Taliban from conquering more than 40% of Afghan territory. The
US is obviously a major player in Afghanistan and thus onus to understand
Afghan sentiment lies on its shoulders.
of Afghanistan are also war-weary like those of the US. The conflict has
rightly been termed as an open wound of human suffering and a strategic
headache for the foreign troops deployed in Afghanistan, but there is a dire
need to carve out more humanistic approach towards the common Afghans to
achieve domestic and regional peace and stability.
the role of the international community should primarily be to facilitate an
environment and circumstances conducive for afghan public to enhance their
social stature, besides the economic growth of Afghanistan. Afghan’s security
strategy requires adequacy and the Afghan government should be the authority of
what resources it needs.
welcomes joint saudi arabia-Turkey probe
- Pakistan Monday welcomed efforts of Saudi Arabia and Turkey to jointly
investigate the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and expressed
the hope that the two brotherly countries will be able to address the matter.
Foreign Office spokesman responding to a query about Pakistan’s stance on the
issue said “we understand that the investigation was ongoing and it would
therefore be appropriate to await the outcome.” He said Pakistan has close and
fraternal relationship with both Turkey and Saudi Arabia .
Turkish police Monday searched the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for the first
time since journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing, as US President Donald
Trump floated the idea that "rogue killers" could be to blame for his
a Saudi national and US resident who became increasingly critical of powerful
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has not been seen since he walked into the
Istanbul consulate to sort out marriage paperwork on October 2. Turkish
officials have said they believe he was killed - a claim Saudi Arabia has
denied - with the controversy dealing a huge blow to the kingdom's image and
efforts by its youthful crown prince to showcase a reform drive.
despatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the kingdom for what the State
Department described as "face to face meetings with the Saudi
leadership" to find out what happened. Until now, Riyadh has not allowed
Turkish investigators to search the consulate - officially Saudi territory -
with reports both sides were at odds over the conditions.
late Monday evening - after Turkish authorities placed high iron barriers in
front of the consulate - a motorcade of six cars drew up and Turkish police and
prosecutors entered the premises. Some police were in uniform while other
officials were in suits carrying printers and files, an AFP correspondent said.
of media organisations - some of whom had set up tents - have kept a constant
vigil outside the consulate in the expectation that the search would finally
begin. A Saudi delegation had entered the consulate one hour before the Turkish
police arrived and appeared still to be inside as the search was conducted.
comments came after a telephone conversation with King Salman, father of the
crown prince, the first such talks since the crisis erupted. "Just spoke
to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have
happened 'to our Saudi Arabian citizen'," Trump tweeted.
most recent comments have focused on having no knowledge of any killing or
denying any such order had been given. "The denial was very, very
strong," Trump later told reporters at the White House. "It sounded
to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?"
search came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman also
had their first telephone talks since the controversy erupted, in what appeared
to be a conciliatory conversation according to official readouts. While lurid
claims have appeared in Turkish media - including that Khashoggi was tortured
and dismembered - Turkey's leadership has so far refrained from pointing the
finger directly at Riyadh in public comments.
Salman emphasised the importance of the Turkey-Saudi relationship and said
no-one should be able to "undermine the strength of this
relationship," Saudi's official media reported.
IN DESERT' UNRAVELS
controversy has troubled Saudi's traditional Western allies - who are key arms
suppliers to the kingdom - and also undermined efforts by Mohammed bin Salman
to present himself as a modernising ruler. An investment conference seen as a
platform for the crown prince and dubbed the "Davos in the Desert"
which was scheduled to take place in Riyadh next week, has been hit by a string
of prominent cancellations.
barons including British billionaire Richard Branson and Uber CEO Dara
Khosrowshahi, as well as media powerhouses Bloomberg and CNN, have pulled out
of the Future Investment Initiative (FII). And in a major new blow for the
event, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Ford chairman Bill Ford also
cancelled plans to attend as well as Larry Fink, the head of investment giant
BlackRock, and Steve Schwarzman of Blackstone.
section on the glitzy event website with pictures of the speakers has now been
taken down. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he still plans to attend
but would "take (it)... into account" if more information came out
stocks have also been hit, suffering days of heavy losses, but made a strong
comeback on Monday with the Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) rising over four
percent. Trump has threatened the kingdom with "severe punishment" if
it is shown that Khashoggi was killed inside its Istanbul mission.
(JI) Secretary General Liaqat Baloch has said that by-elections results all
over the country are a great setback for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
a statement, the JI secretary general said that the ruling party had lost the
seats vacated by the Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan although the opposition
party candidates had to contest on an uneven electoral field. He further said
that the government should review its policies.
said that the government should consider the results of the by-election as a
warning as the price hike, unemployment, the fiery statements of the ministers
and the wrong decisions of the government were adding to the wrath of the
the participants of the JI central workshop at Mansoora, Liaqat Baloch said
that the state of Madina could not be built in the presence of the
interest-based economic system.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has talked up his country’s credentials as a
leader for the world’s estimated 1.8 billion Muslims, calling Turkey “the only
country that can lead the Muslim world,” Islamist pro-Erdoğan newspaper Yeni
Şafak reported on Tuesday.
with its cultural wealth, accretion of history and geographical location, has
hosted diverse faiths in peace for centuries, and is the only country that can
lead the Muslim world,” Yeni Şafak quoted Erdoğan as saying during a meeting
with Turkish provincial religious officials.
Ottoman Empire once ruled large swathes of the world’s predominantly Muslim
regions from its capital in Constantinople, the city now called Istanbul, and
was known during certain periods as a safe haven for diverse religious groups.
Ottoman sultans laid claim to the title of Caliph of Muslims, though the
Caliphate was abolished by the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal
Atatürk, in March 1924.
recent years, Erdoğan’s administration has taken a more active role in engaging
with Muslim countries, and the Turkish president led the 59 member states of
the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation in protest against Israel’s killing of
Palestinian activists this year as the OIC’s rotating term president.
Turkey’s relations with important OIC members including Egypt and Saudi Arabia
have been soured in recent years by disputes over Turkey’s support for the
political Islamist group the Muslim Brothers, and for its support of Qatar,
another state Saudi Arabia and its allies have accused of supporting the group.
most recent spat with Saudi Arabia has come after Saudi journalist Jamal
Khashoggi disappeared after entering his country's consulate in Istanbul this
month. Turkey says it has uncovered evidence the journalist was killed by a hit
team sent by Riyadh.
envoy to the United Nations has slammed Washington’s ‘morally wrong’ measures
against other countries, saying that unilateral sanctions amount to collective
punishment and violate basic human rights.
Khoshroo on Monday regretted that the US “is addicted to sanctions” and sees it
“as a tool in its toolbox in pursuance of its own national interests.”
morally wrong and ethically unjustified unilateral measures not only defy the
rule of law at the international level but also infringe upon the right to
development and lead to the violation of basic human rights,” Khoshroo said.
made the remarks in an address to the Sixth Committee of the 73rd Session of
the United Nations General Assembly on 'Report of the Special Committee on the
Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the
Iranian envoy further noted that Tehran welcomes a report by the Special
Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the
enjoyment of human rights, particularly where it says unilateral sanctions,
aggravated by secondary sanctions seeking the “economic isolation” of the
target country, amount to discrimination against the innocent population of the
measures often lead to collective punishment of innocent civilians and
violation of human rights,” he noted, blasting the US’ measures against the
Islamic Republic, which have hit innocent civilians on the contrary to what
American officials claim.
President Donald Trump announced in May that Washington was pulling out of the
nuclear agreement which lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in
exchange for restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program.
US administration reintroduced the previous sanctions while imposing new ones
on the Islamic Republic. It also introduced punitive measures — known as
secondary sanctions — against third countries doing business with Iran.
first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's
access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto
sector. A second round, forthcoming on November 4, will be targeting Iran’s oil
sales and its Central Bank.
policies weakening UN
also took a swipe at Washington’s use of threats against other countries as a
tool of foreign policy, saying that the manifestation of the ‘surprising’ trend
can even be traced in the UN.
to cut financial aid to those countries who voted in favor of a UN resolution
or warning them against the possible consequences of their vote in the General
Assembly by saying ‘the US taking the names’ is just one example of visible
offense to the UN principles,” he said.
thing is clear. This trend is weakening the organization, not strengthening it,
and runs counter to the very objective of the Charter Committee establishment,”
is the main source of disunity and conflict among Muslim society, particularly
in the Middle East, experts said yesterday.
at a conference organized by Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University's Center for
Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) Dr. Nader Hashemi from the University of Denver
said that in order to have a better Muslim world, Muslims should think about
how to "de-sectarianize" the Middle East.
theme of the conference was "Fault Lines and Perils Facing Muslim
Societies: The Challenges of Sectarianism, Secularism, Nationalism, and
to Hashemi, the political context of the Middle East necessitates the political
mobilization and manipulation of sectarian identities in order to survive.
is the [political] context that allows sectarianism to flourish," Hashemi
explained, adding that in order to combat sectarianism, the opposite of this
political context is needed, which is, in Hashemi's opinion, democracy."We
need to name and shame whoever perpetuates sectarianism," he said.
the conference, religious pluralism, interreligious dialogue, democracy and a
good functioning secular state are seen as the main tools to overcome the
sectarianism within the Muslim community.
on the historical background of sectarianism in the Muslim world, it was
further argued that the last two decades have witnessed the rise of Shiite
powers all over the Middle East.
rulers have viewed with much anxiety the new ‘Shiite crescent' that extends
from Iran to Lebanon," said Dr. Ahmad Mousalli from the American
University of Beirut, indicating that this is the main reason why the Syrian
crisis became more of a regional problem rather than a local one, as it was
seen as an opportunity to weaken the Shiites and replace them with a Sunni
Arabia and Iran have been the two main actors of sectarian conflicts in the
Middle East for some time. Saudi Arabia overwhelmingly represents the ideology
of Salafism, which is a branch of Sunni Islam that aims to imitate the actions
of the early followers of the Prophet Muhammed as closely as possible. The
country historically sees itself as the leader of the Muslim world since its
territory includes the birth place of the Islam. Iran, on the other hand, is directed
by Shiite policies, especially since 1979 when the Islamic Revolution of Iran
took place, forming a theocracy that aims to spread its ideology to the outside
world. Representing opposing sides of Islam, the two countries have been
engrossed in a rivalry that has surfaced in almost every regional crisis,
including the Syrian civil war, in which they support opposing sides.
Mehmet Ali Büyükkara from Istanbul Şehir University, on the other hand, focused
on the theoretical aspect of sectarianism and said that in order to overcome
sectarianism-related problems, two main theories exist: modernist and
to Büyükkara, modernists, who are also supported by the nationalists, argue
that Muslims should turn to the main religious sources while leaving the sects
used this approach while establishing nation-states to get rid of religious thoughts
that might be rivalries [to the nationalist ideas]," he said.
combined it with the secularism," Büyükkara added.
he argued that, although this idea suggests that if sects are diminished
sectarian conflicts would also disappear, there is no such a thing, since this
approach only makes the sects angry against the states.
that sectarian thoughts are both power and weakness for the Muslims, Büyükkara
said that both the inner and outer political powers use sectarian differences
to fuel conflicts within the Middle East.
international conference was held by the Center for Islam and Global Affairs
(CIGA) at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University - in cooperation with the
Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in
Washington D.C., and the College of Islamic Studies at Hamad Bin Khalifa
University in Doha, Qatar.
soldiers have wounded dozens of Palestinians who had held a protesting rally
along the northern coast of the besieged Gaza Strip in a bid to break the
decade-long blockade on the impoverished sliver.
of peaceful protesters had gathered in the area on Monday afternoon while
dozens of others participated in a boat protest setting off from the Gaza
seaport against the siege, but Israeli navy fired rounds and tear gas canisters
at both groups.
to a brief statement by Gaza Health Ministry, at least 60 people were wounded
in the raid near the maritime border with the occupied territories, 24 of whom
by live bullets.
Israeli military boats opened fire on ambulances and medics, who had rushed to
help the wounded, other reports said.
demonstration on Monday was the 12th naval march, with the participation of 25
fishing boats, against the crippling blockade of the enclave.
August, the Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) announced
in a report that Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza
Strip prevent “fishermen from practicing their fishing work and accessing their
imposed a limit of three nautical miles on fishing in the waters off the Gaza
shore until August 2014, when Palestinian fishermen were allowed to go out six
in July, however, Israel reduced the fishing area to only three nautical miles
as part of punitive measures against Gazans over the launch of incendiary
balloons from the Palestinian coastal sliver into the occupied territories as
part of ongoing protests against the decades-long Israeli occupation.
the past few years, Israeli troops have carried out over a hundred assaults on
Palestinian boats, arresting dozens of fishermen and confiscating several
has imposed movement restrictions on the Gaza Strip since the early 1990s.
Restrictions intensified in June 2007 when Israel imposed a land, sea and air
blockade on Gaza, citing security concerns.
two million Palestinians in Gaza remain locked in and are prevented from having
free access to the remainder of Palestine and the outside world. The blockade
has also undermined the living conditions in the coastal enclave and fragmented
its economic and social fabric.
have been running high near the fence, separating Gaza from the occupied
territories, since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests
dubbed “The Great March of Return.” Palestinian protesters demand the right to
return for those driven out of their homeland.
deadly clashes in Gaza reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th
anniversary of Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year
with Washington's relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied
presence in Syria is an issue between the two countries' governments and the US
is not entitled to comment on that. The US will fail in this case too,"
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi told reporters in a press conference
US is opposed to anyone who fights against terrorism and likes Syria to return
to a situation in which the terrorists are present and grow. The US is not
interested in stability and peace in Syria and improvement of the Syrian
people's living," he added.
said that the US interference and presence in Syria without the permission of
the country's government is illegal and against all international laws, adding
that Washington has shown that it moves in line with increasing instability and
insecurity and assistance to the terrorist groups in Syria.
has been offering military advisory support to Syria and Iraq at the request of
their government, enabling their army to speed up gains on various fronts
against terror outfits.
soldiers shot dead a Palestinian who tried to stab one of them in the occupied
on Monday, the military said.
incident occurred at a bus stop along a main highway near the large Jewish
settlement of Ariel.
Palestinian attempted to stab a soldier at the site. Our troops fired at him
and he was killed. There were no casualties among our forces,” the military
said in a statement.
was no immediate Palestinian comment. Israel’s Shin Bet internal security
service said the assailant, whom it did not name, was a resident of the West
Bank village of Biddya and had no record of anti-Israeli activity.
was the home village of a 47-year-old Palestinian woman who died of a head
injury on Friday caused by what her husband said were rocks thrown at their car
by Israeli settlers.
Shin Bet statement, in its reference to Biddya, made no mention of Friday’s
incident, which Israeli police are investigating.
began a wave of knife and car-ramming attacks in the West Bank and in Israel in
2015, after peace talks with Israel collapsed. Such incidents have become more
president sacked Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher, blaming him for the economic
crisis rocking the war-torn country, a statement carried by SABA state news
agency said on Monday.
Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi appointed Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed as the new premier, it
said, adding bin Dagher would face investigation over the “negligence of his
including children, were seriously injured following a Houthi mortar attack on
their neighborhood in Hodeidah, Yemen on Monday, according to Saba News Agency.
witnesses said that the Houthi attack caused the destruction of several houses
and the injury of dozens of the neighborhood’s residents, including children.
reported serious injuries were in the victims’ heads and other different parts
of their bodies.
Houthi militias’ military recruitment of children has increased after many of
their members have been killed and many others refuse to fight on their
frontlines and on behalf of Iran.
Houthis have so far recruited more than 23,000 children in a stark violation of
international agreements and laws that protect children’s rights. Of those,
2,500 children have been recruited since the beginning of 2018.
children are trained to use light, medium and heavy weapons and then deployed
on battlefronts. The Houthis thus deprive them of an education after pressuring
their parents and guardians to send the children to battlefields.
Houthi militias have also pushed more than two million children to work as a
result of the war. More than 4.5 million children have been deprived of an
education, and in the past two years alone, 1.6 million children could not
enroll in schools.
Houthis have also shelled and partially or completely destroyed 2,372 schools
and used more than 1,500 other schools as prisons and military barracks.
Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has rehabilitated several Yemeni
children who were recruited by the Houthis and involved in the fighting.
(RNS) — A small group of German Jews has launched a lobby group within the
far-right Alternative for Germany party, prompting a swift rejection from the
country’s established Jewish organizations and accusations that the move was an
founding of the 24-member “Jews in the AfD” group on Oct. 7 seems like a
contradiction given the party’s staunch nationalist views that include playing
down Germany’s Nazi past, including the Holocaust, and the close ties some
members have to anti-Semitic movements.
it highlights one of the party’s main policies — opposition to accepting mostly
Muslim immigrants in Germany — through its accusation that the newcomers are
deeply anti-Jewish. A wave of about a million new immigrants in 2015, many of
them from Islamic countries, has been decisive in boosting support for the AfD.
AfD, founded in 2013 as an anti-European Union protest party, won 12.6 percent
of the national election a year ago. It is now the largest opposition party in
the Bundestag (parliament). The party has used this platform to challenge many
of the country’s postwar taboos.
not getting a kosher certification from us!” said Dalia Grinfeld, head of the
Jewish Students Union in Germany (JSUD), which rallied about 250 demonstrators
in Frankfurt to protest against the new group.
Lagodinsky, a Russian-born Jewish lawyer living in Berlin, called the group
“the worst Jewish joke in a long time.”
JSUD was one of 17 Jewish organizations, including the influential Central
Committee of Jews in Germany and the country’s General Rabbinical Conference,
that issued a joint statement denouncing the new AfD lobby.
Jewish groups, including the World Jewish Congress, have added their support to
the statement, bringing the total of signatories to 42.
AfD openly agitates against Muslims and other minorities in Germany … trying to
present Muslims as enemies of the West and of the Jews,” said the statement,
titled “No Alternative for Jews.”
are not the enemies of the Jews!” the statement says. The enemies of all
democrats in this country are extremists, regardless of whether they have
extreme right, radical left or radical Muslim views.”
Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders to the waves of migrants
marching across Europe in 2015 changed the country’s political landscape and
sapped support for her Christian Democratic party and its Social Democratic
AfD and the Bavarian-based Christian Social Union, a Merkel ally that has moved
strongly to the right to counter the AfD’s challenge to its voter base, have
used fear of Islam, a few sex crimes committed by migrants and concern about
the cost of caring for the newcomers to stoke mistrust of Muslims.
AfD denies it is anti-Semitic. But prominent members openly play down the
Holocaust and appeal to German pride. One has minimized Nazi crimes as only
“bird droppings in 1,000 years of successful German history” and another called
Berlin’s Holocaust memorial “a shameful monument.”
the launch of the Jewish group in Wiesbaden, the deputy head of the new lobby,
Wolfgang Fuhl, called the AfD “an extraordinarily pro-Israel party, probably
the most pro-Israel party in the Bundestag.”
national party supported Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (link in German) and its
Berlin chapter wants to outlaw the annual pro-Palestinian “al-Quds Day” march
in the German capital, said Fuhl, a former member of the board of directors of
the Central Committee of Jews in Germany.
applause from the audience, Fuhl added: “I’d like to have my Germany of 2012
group’s manifesto unveiled at the meeting added another reason it thinks Jews
should see the AfD — best known for its opposition to Muslim immigration — as
said mass migration threatened Jews because Muslims were brought up with
anti-Semitic views and the AfD was “the only party in Germany that tackles the
issue of Muslim hatred of Jews and doesn’t make excuses for it.”
Bystron, an AfD deputy in the Bundestag who is not Jewish, enthusiastically
congratulated the new group at its launch.
simple existence of your association is a slap in the face to all the liars and
hypocrites who constantly try to link us in the AfD to anti-Semitism,” he said.
Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in several
media interviews that Jews who supported the AfD “simply have not recognized”
the party’s ulterior motives.
AfD is a party that agitates first of all against refugees, migrants and
Muslims, but saying ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ does not work,” he
party could actually end up limiting religious freedom, he warned.
you look at the party platform of the Bavarian AfD,” he said, “they not only
want to ban circumcision and kosher butchering, they also attack the Christian
has gained a reputation in recent decades as an attractive country and an
estimated 200,000 Jews now live there. Anti-Semitic crimes have been rising,
but police say most incidents are the work of far-right extremists, not Muslim
leaders know that Jews don’t even make up two-tenths of 1 percent of all
eligible voters,” Munich’s liberal Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper commented.
“But the AfD is appealing to a group of potential non-Jewish voters 100 times
bigger than that. They are the many undecided conservative voters who don’t see
themselves as right-wingers.”
few token Jews could make the party more acceptable to voters who resent Muslim
migrants but are put off by the AfD’s open flirting with anti-Semitism, it
deputy national leader Beatrix von Storch, who once caused an uproar by
tweeting about what she called “barbaric Muslim rapist hordes” in Germany, has
even said Muslims would be welcome to form their own lobby in the party if they
Kaddor, a German-born Muslim writer, dismissed such lobbies in the AfD as “a
tragedy at the voters’ expense.” They made as much sense as “Satanists in the
Protestant Church” or “Tops Chefs at McDonald’s,” she wrote.
Jewish lobby in the AfD is not the party’s first bid to attract religious
already has a “Christians in the AfD” group, whose 125 or so members have
little influence in policymaking. Its first chairperson quit the AfD last year,
saying she did not want to be a “fig leaf” for the radical right-wing faction
in the party.
public debates with Catholic and Protestant clerics, group members have failed
to convince the audience that the biblical command “love thy neighbor” did not
apply to people who came from far away.
a packed church in Berlin last year, the start of a debate between an AfD
Christian and the city’s Protestant Bishop Markus Dröge was held up by
protesters who sang the American civil rights hymn “We Shall Overcome.”
Ministry of Justice has blocked a study examining why so many convicts and
prisoners in the UK are converting to Islam and turning to extremism.
so-called “corporate culture” in the government department was blamed for the
move, with officials allegedly worried about what the academic study might
unearth or reveal.
of the UK’s homegrown extremists have converted to Islam in jail, including the
Westminster terrorist attacker Khalid Masood, with some prisons allegedly
controlled by Islamic gangs and prisoners forced to covert for their own
proposed three-year study was supported by Max Hill, the independent reviewer
of terrorism laws, but the prison service did not want outsiders studying such
a sensitive area, The Times reports.
scale of radicalisation should not be overestimated but in certain prisons it
is certainly growing,” a source told the newspaper.
“The corporate culture of the service is defensive and they will have been
concerned about what this proposed project will discover.”
sources claimed that the study could have revealed that inmates are converting
because of cultural pressure and to get better food and avoid gang violence.
Wilkinson, the principal investigator, said: “Prison governors want our
independent research to discover what is actually happening on their prison
wings; not what is feared or suspected to happen.”
number of Muslim in jails in England and Wales has increased from 5,500 in June
2002 to 12,894 at the end of June this year.
this year, it was revealed that 228 inmates in Britain had been locked up for
terrorist offences – with 82 percent of those being classed as holding Muslim
late 2015, the Prison Officers Association (POA) found that a growing number of
non-Muslims are being forced to pay a “protection” tax, or “jizya” unless they
convert to Islam.
former chief inspector of prisons Nick Hardwick later warned that Islamic
extremists are increasingly using British jails to recruit inmates as potential
POA has admitted that there is a “real problem” with inmates being radicalised
with prison sources adding that imams with extremist views were being allowed
to preach in British prisons because of a “shambolic” vetting system.
think tank Quilliam said at the time: “We are aware of several individuals
employed by the prison service who have links to extremist groups.
most senior Muslim cleric has claimed gay teachers 'contradict nature' and
suffer from 'mental illness'.
Taj El-Din Hilaly made the claims as he weighed into the debate about whether
religious schools should have the right to exclude homosexual teachers because
they did not reflect school values.
Hilaly backed moves to support such religious freedom and said
same-sex-attracted teachers should 'not impose their lifestyle on the rest of
controversial Sunni Muslim leader, who in 2006 described immodestly dressed
women as 'uncovered meat', told The Australian through a translator schools
should not be 'a club for those seeking to satisfy their desires'.
are a free democratic society that believes in diversity and human rights and
we reject constrictions on the rights of others even if they are afflicted with
abnormal practices that contradict nature,' he said.
such cases, we must respect their humanity and deal with the issue as a mental
illness that requires care and treatment.'
Hilaly's made his remarks in Arabic after Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a
Pentecostal Christian, and Labor leader Bill Shorten, a Jesuit Catholic, both
said they would like to remove anti-discrimination exemptions for religious
Morrison has indicated he wants to remove loopholes that allow faith-based
schools to expel openly-gay students while Mr Shorten has gone further and
announced he wanted to also ban such discrimination against gay teachers.
government has yet to release in full the religious freedom review by former
federal attorney-general Philip Ruddock which reportedly recommended removing
the right of faith-based schools to expel gay students.
Hilaly ascension to his former role as Grand Mufti was last month challenged by
the Australian National Imams Council and the United Muslims of New South
issued a media release in September questioning how Muslims at Logan, south of
Brisbane, had bestowed the title on him.
the 17 electorates across Australia, that last year voted no to same-sex
marriage in a postal vote survey, nine were Labor electorates in western
— A British man arrested this summer on suspicion of sending racist letters
across England urging a “Punish a Muslim Day” and offering points for acts of
violence has pleaded guilty to soliciting murder and 13 other offenses.
man, David Parnham, 35, of Lincoln, England, entered his plea Friday (Oct 12)
at the Central Criminal Court in London. Parnham, who local reports said worked
for the Lincoln City Council, had waged a two-year campaign of terror since
2016, police said, sending “malicious” letters and “highly offensive” packages
to scores of people and organisations.
letters and packages, some with suspicious white substances, were sent to
mosques, Muslim members of Parliament and Queen Elizabeth, among others. The
letters urged people to commit violence against Muslims to earn an escalating
number of points.
letter said that people would be awarded for harming Muslims on April 3 for a
series of offenses — 25 points for pulling off a woman’s headscarf, 500 points
for murdering a Muslim, 1,000 for bombing a mosque and 2,500 for a nuclear
attack on Mecca.
to the BBC, Parnham was caught because his DNA and fingerprints were recovered
from some of the letters, including one sent to Dylann Roof, the white
supremacist on death row for massacring nine black churchgoers in Charleston,
South Carolina, in 2015.
Sajid Javid, now the British home secretary, was among those who received a
letter in March. At the time, Mr Javid was the housing secretary in Prime
Minister Theresa May’s government.
officials in the Palace of Whitehall, where Parliament meets, received packages
— some containing a sticky irritant — and some offices were evacuated and
sealed off. The substance was later found not to be harmful. But the mailings
shook up communities, and the Metropolitan Police of London warned Britons to
officials, assisted by the Lincolnshire Police, arrested Parnham in June,
police said in an emailed statement. He was detained after a raid at his home
and at offices in Lincoln, The Lincolnite news site reported.
Friday, Parnham pleaded guilty to a raft of charges, including five counts of
staging hoaxes involving noxious substances, a charge tied to an anti-terrorism
act; seven counts of “sending letters with intent to cause distress or
anxiety”; one count of staging a bomb hoax; and one count of “soliciting to
2017 post at the University of Sheffield by Parnham urged attacks on ethnic
minorities and allegedly claimed that he would donate 100 pounds, about S$180,
to charity for each killing, the BBC reported. Prosecutors said the letters
amounted to soliciting murder, and, after his plea, he faces a life sentence,
the BBC said.
abusive, racist and threatening language used in the letters has caused major
distress,” Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, the head of
counterterrorism in the northeast of England, said in a statement.
Muslim communities strongly believed there was a real threat to their safety
which understandably caused fear, offense and worry,” he added.
will be held in jail until next month, when he will be sentenced.
of the letters included a picture of a person being decapitated with a sword
bearing a swastika insignia, according to local news reports. In a letter sent
to former Prime Minister David Cameron, Parnham wrote, “Allah is Great.”
communities in Britain began campaigns to counter the letters, with initiatives
such as Protect a Muslim Day.
the letters spread to the United States via social media. They spurred police
and local officials to announce increased security measure or to urge
message must be just as loud,” Mr Eric Adams, the borough president of
Brooklyn, New York, was quoted as saying by Newsweek in April. “Not punish a
Muslim, let’s embrace a Muslim, let’s embrace a Christian, let’s embrace a
person of Jewish faith, let’s embrace the diversity that this city has to
latest British government statistics showed that more than 80,000 hate crime
offenses were reported in 2016-17, and that hate crimes based on religion had
risen 35 per cent compared with the previous year.
February, Darren Osborne, 48, was found guilty of murder for driving a van into
Muslim worshippers outside the Finsbury Park Mosque, in North London, in June
2017, killing one person and wounding nine others.
trial raised questions about the radicalising influence of far-right groups in
Britain, especially after Osborne admitted that he had also hoped to kill Mr
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, as well as the mayor of
London, Mr Sadiq Khan, at a different location.
will reconsider its support for Iran’s nuclear deal and is open to recognizing
Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and shifting its embassy there, Australia’s Prime
Minister said on Tuesday.
status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to a peace deal between
Israel and the Palestinians.
regards all of the city, including the eastern sector that it annexed after the
1967 Middle East war, as its capital while the Palestinians, with broad
international backing, want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state
that they hope to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
should welcome the announcement by Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, the Minister in
the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs, that it will be
the government’s policy to promote compassionate Islam.
I believe there is only an “Islam” whose teachings are primarily compassionate,
a blessing and merciful. Anyone who reads the Quran will know that it describes
itself as a “healing and a mercy to those who believe” (Al Isra (17) verse 82).
fact, the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself is described in the Quran as rahmatan
lil Alamiin for the whole world and the creations (Al Anbiya (21): verse 107).
rahmah means love or affection and is often understood to mean the love of God
for mankind and His creations where He has provided everything they need to
develop and live on this earth. In other words, the Quran guides mankind to
understand and appreciate this rahmah through its guidance.
Mujahid also pointed out the use of state resources to confront “public sins”
and “private sins” to show, I believe, that any use of religious enforcement
powers must be tampered with common sense and compassion.
believe real scholars of Islam know that there is an abundance of literature
that discourages the deliberate attempt to expose private sins.
reasons which I cannot understand, Dr Mujahid has been exposed to irrelevant
criticisms by some Muslim religious experts implicit within which is the
assumption that he is ignorant of the discourse in these matters.
would have thought that this would have been an opportunity for religious
experts to exercise husnuzan (benefit of the doubt) and to embrace the idea of
promoting the compassionate face of Islam.
this was not so, and sadly, this exposed their mentality for the judgement of
the public, especially by the thinking Muslims.
the past many decades, Islam has come across as a repressive, non-tolerant,
exclusive and even violent religion.
are familiar with the Islamophobia, Islam bashing and even Muslims oppressing
other Muslims in the name of the faith in some societies.
has even been a perception for the past decades that some Muslim religious
experts will not speak up against universal injustice (irrespective of the
religion of the victims) unless it fits into their interpretation of the
“religion” of Islam.
the loud religious experts are being seen as becoming irrelevant in this
challenging new millennium where thoughts and technology are no longer the same
even compared to just 30 years ago.
Muslims are beginning to realise that some of the so-called religious experts
are nothing more than those schooled in some fiqh or in simple language Islamic
law as if life is made up of only law.
contributions in the larger scheme of life appear to be minimal at best.
are also perceived as being dictatorial with their views rather than persuasive
with sound arguments. Hence, the general fear about religious experts being
given political power.
perceptions, admittedly, are unfair to the more rational, sincere and dedicated
Muslim scholars who have contributed much to the growth of Islamic literature.
is also unfair to the image of Islam and to Muslims in general.
the need to reverse the negative narratives about Islam by some of these Muslim
religious experts themselves.
face of Islam is the Muslims projecting is an important question that needs to
fiqh is nonetheless important in the life of Muslims but one must also know
that the teachings of Islam are beyond that.
greater part of the 6,236 verses of the Quran is devoted to religious and moral
themes while there are only about 350 “legal” verses in the Quran.
is common knowledge among Muslims who read the Quran that for every punishment
mentioned in the Quran, God provides for the forgiving of the wrongdoer.
forgiveness part, however, has not been sufficiently highlighted such that
Islam is wrongly presented as a rigid and punitive religion.
cannot continue to pretend that all is well within the Muslim world. It is not
– legally, economically, socially, politically and so on.
it is a tough challenge to identify a model Muslim country where there is truly
justice, good governance and a place where anyone, whether Muslim or non-Muslim
would like to go to and live.
are major issues and ongoing debates among the Muslims but one that needs to be
honestly addressed. I would probably touch on some of these issues in another
now, I would like to state my support for the policy of projecting the
compassionate face of Islam.
Muslims must reclaim Islam by determining which “face of Islam” they want so
long as it is consistent with the teachings of the Quran and most authentic
more than twenty years now, a small group of us have started a movement to
encourage the birth of compassionate citizens in our country because we believe
that educated citizens alone cannot guarantee collective happiness.
this world, all of us undergo various kinds and degrees of sufferings and
challenges just to live whether in our personal, professional or public lives.
All of us need to learn and acquire the skills of being compassionate so that
we can be collectively happy.
is the experiencing of another person’s suffering accompanied by our action to
remove that suffering.
example, we know a person who is poor, we not only sympathise but we take
actions to alleviate that person’s poverty in some way, not by merely giving
him a token charity.
the enforcement of laws, we use our power of enforcement in the most
compassionate way possible, and not harshly.
should never be the state’s role to merely punish the offender (and often their
innocent families) when the state itself is in some way responsible for the
a dogmatic or aggressive approach to religion bereft of compassion will also
push some people away from God.
would anyone want to follow a religious expert who is always condemning others
and appear to play God by insisting that only his interpretation and understanding
of whatever he has read is the ultimate understanding?
others not have a right to evaluate his understanding and even to evaluate his
level of cognitive abilities?
let Muslims take heed of the principle of husnuzan and the teaching of the
Quran that we hear all views and take the best there from.
LUMPUR: A French terror suspect, who was among the students detained from the
Salafi Jihadi learning centre in Perlis, died in a road mishap en route to
Alain Louvier suffered injuries to his head and chest in the accident at
KM428.3 of the North-South Expressway near Bukit Beruntung at about 3.27pm last
Friday (Oct 12).
is learnt that the accident occurred when one of the tyres of a van transporting
Lourvier and other terror suspects burst, causing the driver to lose control of
said Louvier was being transported from Perlis along with three other French
terror suspects from the same learning centre.
of them were rushed to the Sungai Buloh Hospital, Kuala Kubu Baru Hospital and
Selayang Hospital for treatment,” a source told The Star.
police personnel, who suffered serious injuries, are still being treated at
Sungai Buloh Hospital and Selayang Hospital.
rest of the policemen suffered multiple but not life-threatening injuries,
while three other terror suspects also suffered light injuries,” the source
remains of Louvier were transported to Bukit Ketri in Perlis, where a funeral
was held at the Masjid Mahmudiah Muslim Cemetery on Sunday (Oct 14), another
and the other three French terror suspects were among eight men detained for
terrorist links with groups in Yemen.
had allegedly had been planning to spread Salafi Jihadi extremist teachings in
the region by making Malaysia its central hub.
the guise of an Islamic Learning Centre in Perlis, the cult aims to recruit new
members and promote their teachings, which permit the killing of non-Muslims
and even Muslims who do not follow their ways.
of religion must be upheld to promote ethnic solidarity, a top Communist Party
of China (CPC) leader said during a visit to the country’s remote northwestern
region of Xinjiang, home to millions of Muslim Uyghurs.
could be broadly defined as increasing the influence of Chinese, or the culture
of the majority Han community, on non-Chinese ideas and entities within China.
Xi Jinping has talked about sinicising religions in China since taking over the
CPC leadership in 2012.
focus has largely been on Islam and fast-spreading Christianity within China.
leader You Quan said “…sinicisation on religion must be upheld to promote
ethnic solidarity and religious harmony” during a visit to the Xinjiang Uyghur
Autonomous Region (XUAR).
is a member of the CPC central committee secretariat, one of the top
decision-making bodies of the party, and he is head of the party’s powerful
United Front Work Department.
Party’s leadership over religious work must be upheld,” You was quoted by
official news agency, Xinhua, as saying, and adding that “the infiltration of
religious extremism must be guarded against”.
visited mosques and scripture schools and talked with government officials,
party cadres and people from religious circles
also expressed his hope that people in religious circles can inherit and carry
forward the fine traditions to love the motherland and their faith, lead
religious believers to follow the right faith and abide the law and contribute
to the healthy development of Islam,” the report said.
statement comes within days China legalising the controversial re-education
camps in Xinjiang as “vocational training institutes”, where inmates influenced
by religious extremism will be reeducated and transformed, amid mounting
last month, Beijing had denied the existence of the camps in the face of
mounting criticism that said that the hundreds of thousands of Uyghur men and
women had been interned without any legal recourse.
has repeatedly blamed Islamic separatists for the sporadic unrest between the
Uyghurs and the ethnic Han majority, which has led to the deaths of many in the
past several years.
is a sign at the Stockholm Nobel Museum which says “Nobel calling you”. It is a
message to humankind that there are those with “Nobel potential” out there
waiting to be discovered.
Nobel Prize shows that ideas can change the world. Visiting the museum during
my recent trip to Europe was very inspiring. The museum charts the struggles of
prize winners in their fields and pursuit to make the world a better place.
countries that have won the most Nobel Prizes are the US, UK and Germany. The
only Asian country in the top 10 ranking is Japan, with 26 wins. Going by
religion, only 0.8% of the winners between 1901 and 2000 were Muslims.
Atheists, agnostics and freethinkers all fared better. As of 2015, only 12
Nobel Prize laureates were Muslims. Seven of them were awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize, while only three were awarded prizes for the sciences. Perhaps this
indicates that the Muslim world has not been at peace and has not devoted
enough time and space for the sciences to develop. Islamic literature, too, is
stifled if it strays from the “true religion” as interpreted by the men of
current exhibition focuses on the life and struggle of 1964 Nobel Peace Prize
winner Martin Luther King. As I looked at the exhibit, two things went through
my mind: the Malay preoccupation with religion and our own struggle to
overthrow a callous and corrupt regime led by Muslim leaders.
is certainly important in our spiritual life, but the abuse of religion creates
a disenchanted society which pushes people, especially the youth, towards
atheism and free thinking. We can look to Christianity in Europe for a lesson.
Tourism in Europe revolves around old town heritage sites – churches, castles
and palaces. Many great churches are now museums, with some even converted into
casinos, private homes or bed and breakfasts. Devoid of spirituality and
worshippers, they display statues made of gold, beautiful stained glass,
valuable paintings and paraphernalia of papal power.
can only ponder how the churches became so rich, built gravity-defying
architecture through great engineering skills, but lost their congregations
over the years. These ancient churches now compete with each other to get the
highest rating, not from God, but from TripAdvisor. The St Nicholas church I
visited in Prague, for example, has a 4.5-star rating.
Islam in Malaysia heading in the same direction? Glancing through the issues
which took place while I was away, Muslims appear preoccupied with the topics
of underage marriage, LGBT, moral policing and punishments for personal
transgressions. These are divisive issues, and any statements contrary to a
conservative Muslim mind are labelled as liberal.
the social ills of bored Muslim youth, manifested in Mat Rempits, terrorist
cells and drug abuse, show that religious conservatism is not the answer to
society’s growing problems. You can allocate big budgets through Jakim for
Islamic and moral education, but the results indicate the opposite. Our
solution is always to use the big hammer rather than to reason through dialogue
and with empathy, thus driving believers further away from God.
Sabah mufti’s recent suggestion to lower the minimum age of marriage to 14 for
girls runs contrary to the universal belief that everyone has the right to
education, and that advancement in education is the key to a developed society.
Muslim women are still treated as objects, and how they dress or cover up is
the main criteria for judging their religiosity.
is a key factor in the development of sciences. Martin Luther King knew the
importance of education and fought for equal opportunities for the blacks in a
segregated community. The sciences can contribute to the advancement of
medicine, for example, but marrying girls off at a tender age does not
contribute to anything but the satisfaction of men. And banning Islamic
literature published by the likes of moderate group G25 puts the Muslim
intellect in a straitjacket.
Akyol reasoned that Muslims were quite successful a millennium ago because they
formed a cosmopolitan civilisation that did not shy away from being open to
different cultures. Muslim intellectuals were confident about their faith and
hence did not see a problem in learning from non-Muslim sources of knowledge
and synthesising these with Islam. However, today’s common Muslim mind, including
the intellectual Muslim mind, is quite insular and focused on protecting the
Islamic mental sphere from the influences of the outside world. The result is a
defensive culture that refuses to engage with new ideas. That is why Martin
Kramer, an American historian, argues, “Had there been Nobel Prizes in 1000,
they would have gone almost exclusively to Muslims.”
LUMPUR, Oct 16 — The High Court here is expected to decide today whether a
Buddhist man can nullify the conversion of his two children into Islam, which
was done without his consent under allegedly dubious circumstances.
verdict will be the first for a judicial review against the unilateral
conversion of children, following the Federal Court’s landmark ruling in
January that overturned the conversion of Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi’s three
children into Islam.
month, the Court of Appeal decided that Shah Alam-based ethnic Chinese
businessman Tan (not his real name) had sole custody of his converted children.
His lawyer Honey Tan (no relation) is hopeful this will positively affect the
speaking, the High Court is bound by Indira Gandhi’s decision. If it doesn’t
apply the principles in Indira’s case, it will have to state the particular
facts of this case that distinguishes it from Indira’s case.
it does depart from the principles laid down in the Indira case, the whole
issue of unilateral conversion will once again be open and bring great
uncertainty to our society,” Honey told Malay Mail in a brief interview
also pointed out that the senior federal counsel has not objected to the
judicial review, and the Attorney General’s Chambers is bound by the decision.
that, husband Tan’s legal hurdles may yet be over, as the ex-wife filed an
appeal to the Federal Court last week over the appellate court’s decision on
Court of Appeal had ruled Tan will have sole guardianship, custody, care and
control of their daughter and son, reversing an earlier decision by the High
Court in Shah Alam. The ex-wife must also return the RM30,000 costs paid by the
appellant under the previous order by the High Court.
on court documents sighted by Malay Mail, the ex-wife will argue whether
several definitions of “the best interest of child” are “necessarily rebutted
or displaced” in favour of the other parent, by the mere act of the other
parent converting the child.
ex-wife also wishes to argue whether the landmark Indira ruling took into
account “appropriate interpretation” of the Federal Constitution, and that the
Guardianship of Infants Act 1961 states that parents have “equal” rights and
authority, and not “joint”.
date has been set yet for this appeal in the Federal Court.
has previously claimed purported “hidden hands” behind his ex-wife’s decisions,
saying she has not had to pay a sen to her numerous lawyers over the years ―
and a party may have been bankrolling her.
today’s case, Tan seeks to invalidate the 2016 unilateral conversion to Islam
and certificates of conversion of his two children, who were born in a civil
marriage when his now ex-wife was still a Buddhist.
names of the family, including the father and mother aged 46 and 42
respectively, cannot be disclosed due to a court order.
lawsuit filed on June 14, 2016 is against five respondents, namely the Federal
Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) director-general, the Federal
Territories Registrar of Muslim Converts, the education ministry
director-general, the government of Malaysia, and the Muslim convert mother.
LUMPUR, Oct 15 — Johor DAP executive councillors should make their views known
on Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian’s decision to ban Oktoberfest from being
held in the state.
chairman Ling Tian Soon said in a statement today that such a move will
determine whether the Johor state government will respect non-Muslim rights,
and if it is heading down a path of moderation or extremism.
that Pakatan (PH) helms the federal government administration, the Johor mentri
besar has openly said that Oktoberfest will be banned. What is the stand of
Johor DAP executive councillors then?” he asked.
reiterated that DAP secretary-general and former Penang chief minister Lim Guan
Eng had previously lambasted the former BN government for not allowing
Oktoberfest to be held in Kuala Lumpur, claiming that such a move was a
violation of non-Muslim rights.
they defend their party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s stand, or compromise
with Johor mentri besar’s decision to not allow Oktoberfest be held?” he said.
Osman announced that the Johor government will not issue any permit for
Oktoberfest to be celebrated in the state.
Ibrahim made a triumphant return to the Malaysian Parliament on Monday as a
lawmaker, then said he was in no rush to return to the Cabinet and would give
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad space to run the country.
stand by my earlier decision that I don’t intend to serve any positions. I’m
happy with this position [as an MP],” he said at a press conference in
Parliament in Kuala Lumpur.
said plans to eventually make him the eighth prime minister were not a priority
at the moment, as the PM – his former mentor then fierce rival – needed to be
given some freedom to lead the government.
is very important because some key fundamental decisions have to be made by Dr
Mahathir and the Cabinet,” he said. These related to government policies and to
reverse flawed decisions of the previous Barisan Nasional administration,
adding that they were issues he needed to support.
applauded as Anwar took the oath of office following his victory in a
byelection for the seat of Port Dickson. It was a staggering comeback, given he
was an opposition leader languishing behind bars not long ago.
former deputy premier’s remarkable political resurrection was triggered by his
alliance’s shock election victory in May, which toppled the government of Najib
the triumph, Anwar was pardoned and released from jail, where had been
imprisoned since 2015 on widely criticized sodomy charges, and is now the
presumptive successor to the country’s leadership, AFP reported.
93, has pledged to hand power to Anwar within two years. The deal was struck
when the pair, whose up-and-down relationship has long loomed over Malaysian
politics, formed an unlikely alliance to take on the government of Najib Razak.
needed to be elected as an MP again to succeed Mahathir, and he cruised to a
thumping victory in Saturday’s poll in Port Dickson, where his opponents
included a former aide whose sodomy accusations landed him in jail.
is the first time that Mahathir – who, during a first stint as premier, sacked
Anwar and had him thrown in jail – and his former foe have been in the same
government since the 1990s.
71, wearing a traditional black Muslim cap, brushed aside questions about when
he will become premier.
their fallout, Anwar became a prominent opposition leader at the head of a
reformist alliance. But Mahathir himself turned on the party he once headed as
corruption allegations mounted against Najib, and later teamed up with Anwar.
his defeat, Najib has been charged over the alleged plundering of state fund
1MDB. He denies any wrongdoing.
‘did nothing wrong’
meanwhile, said on Monday that 11 ethnic Uighur Muslims who fled to Malaysia
after breaking out of a Thai jail last year were freed because they did nothing
Uighers were sent them to Turkey after Malaysia disregarded a request by China
for them to be handed over to Beijing.
have done nothing wrong in this country, so they are released,” Mahathir told
reporters. It was the government’s first comments since the men were released.
leaders in Malaysia, as well as representatives of other nations, are thought
to have urged the new Mahathir government not to send the Uighurs back to
China, because of concerns they would face severe persecution or even death if
LUMPUR: A DAP parliamentarian today urged Malaysia to sign and ratify the
United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and
of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, which will allow for religious
freedom in the country.
Kasthuriraani (PH-Batu Kawan) said Malaysia needed to uphold the principles of
human rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in which
Article 18 states that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience
includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or
in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or
belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Malaysia is on Tier Two of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom
report. A few recommendations have been made to ensure the freedom to practise
one’s religions and beliefs will continue to grow, respected and follows the
rule of law.
the issue of freedom of religion and beliefs, I wish to raise two issues which
are yet unresolved, which are the usage of the Kalimah Allah and the ownership
of religious materials.
though these are sensitive issues, they need to be addressed. As the minister
said, we need to start from home. If reforms to these cannot be done at home,
how do we promote, or be defenders or promoters of human rights in other
countries?” she questioned in her debate on the motion tabled by Foreign
Minister Saifuddin Abdullah in the Dewan Rakyat today.
said USCIRF had also made recommendations for the abolition of the Sedition
Act, which has been used as a weapon to intimidate Malaysians who wish to ask
on issues deemed sensitive, such as the freedom of religion and beliefs.
recommendation is the need to stop the arrests of individuals who practise
Shia, Ahmadiyah and Baha’i (beliefs), in accordance with Article 11 of the
Federal Constitution which states that Islam is the religion of the federation,
and that other religions can be practised in peace and harmony anywhere in the
Pakatan Harapan government must give support to public institutions such as the
judiciary, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, enforcement, shariah courts, so
that all those who live in Malaysia, even if they are not Malaysians, can
experience this freedom,” she added.
usage of Kalimah Allah and the ownership of religious materials remain a
contentious and unresolved issue. It was reported that the High Court had
deferred its ruling three times on whether Christians can use the word “Allah”
in publications for the purpose of religious education within their own
decision is, however, expected to be delivered at the end of this month, on Oct
years ago, customs officials seized eight CDs, titled “Cara Hidup Dalam
Kerajaan Allah”, “Hidup Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah” and “Ibadah Yang Benar
Dalam Kerajaan Allah”, upon Sarawakian Jill Ireland’s arrival at the then
Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang.
Melanau Christian subsequently filed for a judicial review to reclaim the CDs
and seek several declaratory reliefs.
2014, the High Court ordered the home ministry to return the CDs to Ireland,
but declined to issue the declarations as it was bound by a Federal Court
following year, the Court of Appeal upheld the ruling but ordered the High
Court to hear Ireland’s application for the relief sought.
is now seeking a declaration that her constitutional right to practise her
religion was violated by the imposition of a restriction or ban on the import
of educational materials.
another case, the Federal Court ruled in 2014 that the Catholic Church’s Herald
newsletter could not use “Allah”, the Arabic word for God, in its Bahasa
Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria chairing a seven-member panel delivered a 4-3
majority decision against the church.
chairman Haedar Nashir called on Muslims around the world to prevent the
negative impacts of globalization in a speech at an international congress of
religious leaders held in Kazakhstan from Oct. 10 to 11.
said Islam was not against globalization, acknowledging many of its benefits.
Muslim leader, however, argued that globalization had brought negative impacts
to the world and Islam could play a role in easing them.
should be a source of inspiration for globalization that brings common good,
and at the same time, it must also serve as a reminder for humanity to not
engage in destructive actions,” he said as quoted in a press release.
he said, had been taking part in the peace process in southern Philippines,
where conflict was brewing between government forces and Muslim armed
groups. The organization, he added, had
also been working to help quake survivors in Nepal and Rohingya refugees in
Myanmar and Bangladesh.
urges its members in particular and Muslims around the world to present a
progressive Islam that caters to the present needs of modernity and to help
prevent the negative impacts of globalization from occurring.”
from 82 countries attended the fourth Congress of the Leaders of World and
Traditional Religions in Kazakhstan. They comprise leaders of Muslim,
Christian, and Hindu organizations as well as representatives of international
organization such as the United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC) and
authorities have set a court date to try five Christians accused of “inciting a
Muslim to change his religion,” a criminal offence, and “performing religious
worship in an unauthorized place.”
five Christians have been ordered to appear in court in the province of Bouira,
in Algeria’s Kabylie region, on Tuesday, November 6, to answer the charges
accusations against the Christians concern Algeria’s Law 03/2006, commonly
known as Law 03/06, which governs non-Muslim worship.
Christians will argue that the 03/06 law is itself unconstitutional, since it
contravenes Article 42 of the Algerian constitution, which guarantees freedom
of belief, opinion and worship.
were brought against the Christians after a 40-year-old Muslim woman, whose
husband had converted to Christianity, accused them of proselytism in July,
with other members of her family, the woman filed a complaint against her
Christian husband and against a Christian family that had tried to mediate a
conflict between her and her husband, accusing them of wanting to pressure her
“to become a Christian.”
woman alleges that the family took her to church tried to persuade her to leave
Islam for the Christian faith.
suggest that the trial of the five Christians forms part of a broader crackdown
on the minority Christian community. Muslim authorities have closed six
churches in the Maghreb country since November, 2017 – three of which were
later reopened – as well as a Christian bookshop and day-care center. Dozens of
other churches have received notifications ordering them to close.
Algerian Christian community is requesting prayer for the four believers, that
God will intervene to strengthen and support them.
defendants were slated to appear at court on October 9, but the hearing was
postponed to November 6.
a separate case, authorities have charged a Christian from the eastern city of
Tizi Ouzou, 29-year-old Idir Hamdad, with “illegal importation of Christian
materials.” Hamdad, who works with the Église Protestante du Plein Évangile
(the Full Gospel Protestant Church) had previously been tried and acquitted,
but the prosecutor appealed the decision.
who was first arrested in April, 2016, when returning home after attending a
workshop abroad, was accused of carrying items with Christian inscriptions –
crucifixes, key rings and scarves — in his bag.
of the greatest Christian saints, the fourth-century bishop of Hippo, Saint
Augustine, was from north Africa and his diocese was located in present-day
is now 99.75 percent Muslim, and 0.25 percent “other religions,” including the
nation’s 100,000 Christians.
statement issued by the Libyan house of representatives on Monday assured the
country’s support of Saudi Arabia in the face of the recent campaign against
statement called on not promoting rumors around the disappearance of Saudi
national Jamal Khashoggi.
number of Arab states including Egypt, UAE, Kuwait, Sudan, and others, in
addition to the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, have
announced their support to the kingdom.
Daesh-allied Boko Haram militants have killed another kidnapped female aid
worker in northeast Nigeria, the government said, a month after one of her
colleagues was murdered.
female health workers were kidnapped during a Boko Haram raid on the remote
town of Rann, in Borno state, on March 1 that killed three other aid workers
and eight Nigerian soldiers.
of the kidnapped women, Hauwa Liman and Saifura Khorsa, worked for the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), while the third, Alice Loksha,
worked for the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.
had been no news of the trio until last month when the ICRC said it had
received footage of Khorsa’s killing from the Daesh-backed Boko Haram faction
Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
then threatened to kill Liman and Loksha, as well as a 15-year-old Christian
schoolgirl Leah Sharibu who was kidnapped from the town of Dapchi, in Yobe
state, in February.
ICRC last weekend appealed for the captives’ release and for the militants to
show mercy, as they were “doing nothing but helping communities” in the
Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed announced the latest death as a
deadline expired and said the government was “shocked and saddened” at the
unjustified killing, calling it “dastardly, inhuman and ungodly.”
did not initially identify the victim but later added in a tweet that he
“commiserated with the family of Hauwa Liman.”
ICRC said it did not have official confirmation, adding: “We desperately hope
not. We will provide an update when we have accurate information.
situation is heartbreaking, and our thoughts remain with her family,” it added.
said: “It is very unfortunate that it has come to this. Before and after the
deadline issued by her abductors, the federal government did everything any
responsible government should do to save the aid worker.
we have been doing since these young women were abducted, we kept the line of
negotiations open all through. In all the negotiations, we acted in the best
interest of the women and the country as a whole.
are deeply pained by this killing, just like we were by the recent killing of
the first aid worker.
we will keep the negotiations open and continue to work to free the innocent
women who remain in the custody of their abductors.”
than 27,000 people have been killed in northeast Nigeria since the Boko Haram
insurgency began in 2009, while nearly two million others remain homeless.
military and government maintain the Islamist rebels are weakened to the point
of defeat but fighters from the Daesh-backed faction have conducted repeated
raids on military bases in recent months.
split from the faction led by long-time Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in
August 2016 in protest at the latter’s indiscriminate targeting of civilians in
raids and suicide bombings.
tracing the conflict believe the switch from attacking “hard” government and
military targets to killing hostages is the result of a hard-line takeover of
the IS-backed faction.
Haram has used kidnapping as a weapon of war during the conflict, abducting
thousands of women and girls, and forcing young men and boys to fight in their
than a week after two teachers were killed in an Al-Shabaab raid at Arabia Boys
Secondary School, the local leadership is now blaming the national government
for the runaway insecurity in the area.
Omar Maalim, Mandera East MP and a former deputy governor, has attributed the
many attacks in the area to the government’s failure to provide the needed
personnel to Arabia.
is a gazetted sub-county in Mandera, but since its elevation last year we are
yet to have functional offices that come with the new status,” he said, adding
that the Interior ministry has ignored Arabia.
and Kotulo, in a gazette notice dated June 21, 2017, were announced new
sub-counties in Mandera, but only Kotulo has a deputy county commissioner.
sub-county has a deputy county commissioner with all the needed security
offices,” he said.
Abdiaziz Dakat, Arabia MCA, blamed the delayed posting of government officials
into the area for the rising insecurity.
a deputy county commissioner is posted here, it will mean all other offices
will be available and Arabia will be able to tackle her own issues without
relying on Mandera East,” he said.
only police post at the Kenya Somalia border town has been attacked twice by
the militants who easily cross in from Somalia.
shall have an OCPD and fully functioning security teams that shall oversee our
security,” said Mr Dakat.
NGCDF, offices have been built in the town ready for occupation. "Those
who need government services like birth certificates and other documents cannot
get them in Mandera East because it is known that Arabia is a sub-county,” he
national government closed the Mandera-Omar Jillow-Arabia road to public use in
2015 after a bus plying the route was attacked by Al-Shabaab leaving 28 people
dead. “The government cannot close the roads forever when it has the power
Congressman Ted Yoho has said that the United States should address the
humanitarian crisis in Yemen amid rising tensions with Saudi Arabia, which has
launched a war of aggression against the country.
you look at the refugees around the world, we're at an all-time world high of
worldwide refugees displaced from their countries. It's over 70 million people.
We haven't seen these numbers ever before in our history. This is more than
World War Two," Yoho, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee,
told Hill.TV on Monday.
going on in Yemen is adding to that immensely, and then the famine, and then
these people don't have any food," the Representative for Florida's 3rd
congressional district added.
is something that I think we as a world population need to look at this and see
what each country can do to alleviate this kind of conflict, and then, more importantly, bring
it to a solution, so these people aren't displaced, and start getting these
people back in their countries with functional governments," he continued
comments come after the United Nations said on Sunday that Yemen could be
facing the worst famine in 100 years, amid reports that Saudi jets are
deliberately targeting the war-torn country’s food supply.
Arabia and some of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and
Sudan, launched the brutal war in an attempt to reinstall former president Abd
Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement,
which has played a significant role, alongside the Yemeni army, in defending
United States is supporting this Saudi war of aggression.
15,000 Yemenis have so far been killed and thousands more injured as a result
of the bloody campaign which has also left a record 22.2 million Yemenis in a dire
need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger, according to
Health authorities announced last week that 1 in 3 Yemeni children suffer from
severe malnutrition and that 8,000 dialysis patients may face death if the
Saudi blockade persists in the war-torn country.
United Nations has warned that 13 million people in the war-torn country are
Saudi Arabian government is working on a report that would include admitting to
the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during an
interrogation that went wrong in the monarchy’s consulate in the Turkish city
of Istanbul, sources say.
report could implicate those involved in the possible murder operation to
portray it as done without clearance and transparency, one source told CNN on
news could itself affect the content of such a report before its release and
might even be a part of the Saudi crisis management through its sources.
source, meanwhile, cautioned that the report is being prepared and subject to
to Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, it "sounds like they've concocted a
prosecutors have also asserted that they have the “evidence of killing” at the
have found evidence that supports their suspicions that Jamal Khashoggi was
killed inside the Saudi consulate," a source at the Attorney General's
office, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Al Jazeera.
is a significant step forward after several days of an impasse," he added.
to The New York Times, Saudis are trying to develop a scenario that would
shield Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman from involvement in the
media has previously released the identities of Saudi operatives, who had
apparently travelled from Riyadh to Istanbul on two private jets and entered
the Saudi mission on October 2, when Khashoggi was last seen while entering the
a time that international pressure is being piled up on the Saudi government
over the disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US President
Donald Trump has made new remarks seen by analysts as an effort to whitewash
Saudi rulers in the case so that Washington would not lose its hefty arms deal
with the kingdom.
to reporters following a phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Monday,
Trump suggested that “rogue killers” may be responsible for whatever happened
to the missing Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi.
that he did not “want to get” into King Salman’s mind, Trump said, “it sounded
to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers.”
going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial,”
further noted that during the phone call, the Saudi King had “firmly denied any
knowledge” of the disappearance of the dissident journalist.
remarks come after he initially issued stern warning to Saudi rulers on Friday,
threatening them with “severe consequences” if it turned out that Riyadh was
behind Khashoggi’s disappearance, but noted that he had no decision to revoke
Washington’s huge arms deal with Riyadh over the case as Washington would be
“punishing itself” if it halted weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.
remarks have prompted analysts to conclude that the incumbent US administration
puts trade with Saudi Arabia, especially maintaining its arms deal with the
kingdom, way above the value of human life, as a result of which the US leader
is trying to curry favor with the Saudi rulers by washing their hands of the
possible killing of the dissident journalist.
on Monday, Salman ordered an internal probe into Khashoggi's disappearance
while a joint Turkish-Saudi team was set to search the consulate.
said in a tweet he had spoken with the Saudi king regarding the missing
journalist and that he was sending American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to
meet with the king immediately.
threatened at the weekend "severe punishment" for Riyadh if it turned
out the prominent critic of Saudi authorities and a legal resident of the
United States had been killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Arabia, in turn, threatened to retaliate.
Arabia said it would react by manipulating oil prices, doing away with major US
weapons deals and reconsidering its intelligence ties with Washington.
will not be strange that Riyadh would stop buying weapons from the US. Riyadh
is the most important customer of US companies, as Saudi Arabia buys 10 percent
of the total weapons that these US companies produce, and buys 85 percent from
the US army, which means what’s left for the rest of the world is only five
percent; in addition to the end of Riyadh’s investments in the US government,
which reaches $800 billion,” Saudi Arabia’s al-Arabiya news network reported on
US sanctions are imposed on Saudi Arabia, we will be facing an economic
disaster that would rock the entire world. Riyadh is the capital of its oil,
and touching this would affect oil production before any other vital commodity.
It would lead to Saudi Arabia's failure to commit to producing 7.5 million
barrels. If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one
should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that
figure,” it added.
case highlights how much is at stake in US-Saudi relations, and in the
president's own ties to the Saudis.
US military contractors, including Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co, are
among the beneficiaries of Washington’s cozy ties with Riyadh and would suffer
huge losses if contracts with Saudi Arabia are suspended.
recent days, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have demanded severe
consequences if Saudi Arabia is proven to be behind the disappearance of
the latest US escalation against Hezbollah, the Justice Department designated
the Lebanese armed group a “transnational crime organisation” on Monday, a move
which will enable broader scrutiny into its role outside Lebanon.
was one of five groups designated by the Department of Justice in an
announcement made by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The other groups
included Latin American gangs and cartels.
new task force directed by Mr Session’s deputy Rod Rosenstein will be appointed
to tackle these “transnational crime organisations” (TCO). The task force will
“develop a plan to take these groups off our streets for good,” Mr Sessions
subcommittee on Hezbollah will be led by assistant US attorney Ilan Graff. Mr
Graff is already overseeing the prosecution of two alleged members of
Hezbollah’s external security organisation, Mr Sessions said, “the first such
operatives to be charged with terrorism offenses in the United States.”
subcommittee will staffed by members of the Hezbollah Financing and
Narcoterrorism Team created by the Justice Department last January. Within 90
days the subcommittee will provide recommendations to Mr Sessions on how to
TCO designation aims to give the Department of Justice tools to pursue
Hezbollah’s overseas network, especially in Latin America, and aims to pressure
governments in countries where Hezbollah operates to cooperate with the United
to US website Politico, US investigators believed Hezbollah was collecting $1
billion a year "from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and
other criminal activities.”
Justice Department announcement came the week after the Senate unanimously
passed the “Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of
2017” (HIFPAA) and the “STOP Using Human Shields Act” (known as STOP), both of
which enabled increased sanctions on the group.
HIFPAA’s passage in its amended form targets foreign individuals and companies
that voluntarily provide financial, material or technological support to
Hezbollah and its affiliates and targets Hezbollah’s transnational activities.
It asks the US President, who is expected to sign it in the coming days, to
report to Congress every 120 days on these activities. That report would cover
money laundering and narcotics activities across Latin America, the African
continent or Asia and Europe.
number of midterm campaign ads have attempted to link Democratic candidates in
tight Congressional races to "terrorism".
for November 6, the midterm elections are largely viewed as a referendum on
President Donald Trump. Voters will decide all 435 seats in the House of
Representatives, 35 seats in the Senate and 39 governorships in US states and
campaign ads attacking opponents' records are common from candidates on all
sides of the political spectrum, a number of ads - many funded by a leading Republican
Super PAC - have drawn backlash from watchdogs, factcheckers and rights groups.
recently, California Republican Duncan Hunter, who has been indicted on charges
of violating campaign finance laws, has drawn criticism over ads his campaign ran
attacking his opponent's Palestinian background.
who has held California's 50th district's House seat for the last decade, was
indicted in August on charges of using upwards of $250,000 of campaign funds
for personal purposes.
late September, Hunter was leading Ammar Campa-Najjar, the Democratic
challenger and former Obama White House aide, by eight points. But a more
recent poll, conducted by University of California, Berkeley for the Los
Angeles Times, shows Hunter's lead thinning, putting the Republican at 49
percent and Campa-Najjar at 47 percent.
the race tightening, the increasingly embattled Hunter's campaign released
controversial ads attacking Campa-Najjar, a 29-year-old
one ad last month, Hunter inaccurately implied that Campa-Najjar was a
"radical Muslim" who sought to "infiltrate" Congress.
Republican incumbent also called Campa-Najjar a "security threat",
attempting to link the Democratic challenger to his deceased grandfather, who
was involved in planning the deadly 1972 Munich Olympics attack on Israeli
Washington Post article fact-checking Hunter's claims deemed them false.
who was born 16 years after his grandfather, Muhammed Yussef al-Najjar, was killed
by Israeli agents, says he was raised by his Mexican mother and identifies as a
spokesperson had not replied to Al Jazeera's request for comment at the time of publication.
are two candidates in this race: One of us was indicted by the FBI, the other
one was cleared by the FBI to work at the White House," Campa-Najjar
recently told voters, as reported by Vox.
campaigned on promises to crack down on Muslims, pledging to stop Muslims from
entering the US and at one point proposing a database to monitor Muslim
Americans. After entering office, Trump introduced a controversial travel ban
that blocked entry to the US for citizens of several Muslim-majority countries.
of 'terrorism' links
attacks on Campa-Najjar are part of a broader wave of Republican ads alleging
their challengers are linked to "terrorism".
Ohio, Representative Steve Chabot, an outspoken supporter of Trump's travel
ban, has attempted to link his opponent, Aftab Pureval, to
"terrorism" owing to the 36-year-old Democratic challenger's former
employment at a law firm that settled terrorism-related lawsuits against Libya.
was not involved in the settlements, which were approved by Congress, the New
York Times reported.
other ads, which have been produced by Republican Super PAC, the Congressional
Leadership Fund, have also been criticised by fact-checking watchdogs and civil
New Jersey, the Congressional Leadership Fund targeted Tom Malinowski for
arguing that Guantanamo Bay detainees should receive due process while he was
Washington director of Human Rights Watch.
one ad, the Super PAC claimed Malinowski "criticised America for waging
war against al-Qaeda".
September, Monmouth University released a poll putting Malinowski eight points
ahead of his Republican opponent, incumbent Leonard Lance in the state's 7th
in Virginia, Abigail Spanberger, a former undercover CIA operative, was targeted
over her former part-time teaching job at the Islamic Saudi Academy in
doesn't want us to know that she taught at an Islamic school nicknamed 'Terror
High,' a terrorist breeding ground," the ad claims.
currently leads her incumbent Republican opponent, Dave Brat, 47 percent to 42
percent in Virginia's 7th district House race.
spokesman for Spanberger's campaign dismissed the ads in a statement to local
media, saying they were "laughable considering Abigail's record of service
in law enforcement, at the CIA and in our community".
PACs are barred from directly coordinating with campaigns.
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