Homavandi (IRAN)A woman dances with men during the Chaharshanbeh Soori festival
in Tehran, March 18, 2008.
Zealand Parliament Session Starts with Recitation of Holy Quran after
Christchurch Mosques Massacre
to Be Broadcast Nationally In Solidarity with Muslims: NZ PM
Islamic Authorities Slowly Embrace Ancient Festival of Fire
Says Nobody Reported New Zealand NZ Massacre Livestream As It Happened
against Ram Janmabhoomi Film; Clerics Asks Actor Nazneen Patni to 'Revive' Her
Faith in Islam
Chief Calls Ahmadiyyas Infidels, Urges Followers to Boycott Them
Support Pak’s Territorial Integrity, No Matter What: China
Khan Wishes Hindu Community A 'Very Happy, Peaceful' Holi
Islamophobia’ Fuels Terror Attacks, Say Muslim Leaders
copycat threatens to kill Muslim worshipers at Australian mosque
New Zealand shooting victims spanned generations and nationalities
points to terror motive in Dutch tram attack
PM slams Erdogan’s 'reckless' comments on Christchurch carnage
rally in Melbourne against racism after Christchurch mosque attacks
Finsbury Park imam suffers Islamophobic attacks
Muslim leaders warn of 'systemic' Islamophobia
to spend £1.6m to improve security in places of worship after New Zealand
Conservative Party suspends members for anti-Muslim comments
Zealand Envoy Headed To Turkey To ‘Confront’ Erdogan’s Mosque Shooting Comments
Assad: Iran-Iraq-Syria Ties Strengthened by Campaign against Terrorism
Erdogan urges New Zealand to restore death penalty over mass shooting
war machine kills 3 Yemeni civilians every day: Report
Palestinians killed by Israeli army in West Bank clashes: health ministry
protests erupt against Hamas’ 12-year rule over Gaza
tells Afghan president it won’t deal with his NSA
Muslim group calls for Fox News boycott
forces capture Syria suspects tied to American deaths
Dismayed At Muted Response to NZ Terror Attack
attaches 13 Hizbul Mujahideen properties bought with Rs 11 crore terror funds
corridor: India, Pakistan technical teams hold talks, discuss coordinates
not forgotten, govt fully capable to act against terror: NSA Doval
Am Your Mother Now”: New Zealand Mosque Shootings Hit Tight-Knit Bangladesh
issues travel alert for visiting Australia
killed in Afghan operation against Taliban high-profile attack facilitators in
envoy for Afghan peace met with Afghan Ambassador in Washington
Taliban commander killed in Afghan Special Forces operation in Nangarhar
Zealand PM Has 'Won Hearts of Pakistanis' With Her Leadership after Mosque
Attacks: FO Spokesman
court mulls options for recording Musharraf's statement in treason case
churches on high alert after New Zealand attacks
chapter for minority religions in Pakistan
to be celebrated with traditional zeal today in Pakistan
brands Bilawal as ‘anti-state’ for calling out ministers over ‘militant links’
keep going to mosques: wife of Pakistani martyr Naeem Rashid
of More Victims of US, ISIL Attacks Discovered in Raqqa
Assad Censures Some Countries’ Double Standards In Terror Fight
Army Gives Crushing Response to Terrorists in Hama, Idlib
SDF says it captured 157 militants, mostly foreigners
calls for revenge against Syria Kurds, brushes off near-defeat in Baghouz
and son who fled Syria conflict are buried in New Zealand
spending millions on White Helmets while preventing aid to Syria’s Rukban camp:
military, aid group at odds over Somalia civilian deaths
killed in US airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab
Boko Haram blamed as roadside bomb kills 8 near Gwoza
CM attends prayer for NZ mosque shooting victims
Weak laws behind religious discrimination in Malaysia
by New Age Islam News Bureau
— The first Parliament session in New Zealand, after the deadly attack in
Christchurch on the Muslim community during Friday prayers by a far-right
terrorist, commenced with the recitation from the Holy Quran, according to
Minister Jacinda Ardern, addressing the Parliament, also greeted the gathering
with “Assalamo alaikum” and expressed unity with the families of the victims
and also vowed on Tuesday never to utter the name of the twin-mosque gunman.
families of the fallen will have justice,” said Ardern during her address,
adding she would never mention the gunman’s name.
may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing. Not
even his name.”
victim of the indiscriminate shooting at two mosques in Christchurch were
largely Muslim migrants, refugees, and residents from countries including
Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Turkey, Kuwait, Somalia, UAE, and others.
the wake of the mass shooting, Prime Minister Ardern has promised to reform New
Zealand gun laws that allowed the gunman to legally purchase the weapons he
used in the attack on two Christchurch mosques, including semi-automatic
Zealanders have already begun answering government appeals to hand in their
weapons, including John Hart, a farmer in the North Island district of
way New Zealand Prime Minister reacted to the deadly incident which caused 50
deaths of Muslim worshipper is commendable and unparalleled. She was moved and
shocked by the sudden and unexpected terror attack by a terrorist from
not only offered words of sympathy to the affected people but personally met
the bereaved families and consoled them while wearing hijab, a Muslim woman
dress to cover the head, to stand in solidarity with Muslim women. The display
of amazing leadership by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is what the traits of a
good leader should be.
to be broadcast nationally in solidarity with Muslims: NZ PM
Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
has said that the nation will observe two minutes of silence on Friday
to mark one week since the deadly attack.
said that they were planning for
the memorial service which would be held in Christchurch, adding that the government wants to involve the rest of New Zealand.
to media on her second visit to Christchurch since the terror attack, She said:
"There is a desire to show support to the Muslim community as they return
to Mosques, particularly on Friday, adding: "To acknowledge this there
will be a two minutes' silence on the same day. We will also broadcast
nationally, via TVNZ and RNZ, Azaan (the
call to prayer)."
least 50 worshippers were killed and dozens injured when a n Australian
terrorist opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayers.
Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday.
Soori] not only lacks a religious basis, it also brings about harm and misdeed.
It is advised that [the rituals] be refrained from." That's the text of a
fatwa published by the official website of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei in response to a religious query about Chaharshanbeh Soori, the
ancient Iranian Festival of Fire held on the eve of the last Wednesday before
Nowruz, the start of the Iranian New Year. The festival is largely marked with
bonfires set up in alleyways and streets nationwide with people gathering
around to jump over the flames and celebrate the arrival of spring.
Iranian supreme leader's statement is not the sole opinion expressed by clerics
and political figures within the Islamic Republic in rejection of Chaharshanbeh
Soori. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, a number of religious figures have
repeatedly dismissed the ceremony on the grounds that it runs counter to
Islamic principles. They consider the celebrations to be a series of
"superstitions" characterized by "religiously forbidden" customs.
For instance, Morteza Motahari — a key ideologue of the Islamic Revolution —
considered the popular epigram shouted when jumping over fires on the annual
occasion as a manifestation of blasphemy and polytheism. "Jumping over the
fire … bears signs of blasphemy. … Such slogans are descriptive of fire
worshippers. Islam was introduced to battle these very rituals," Motahari
wrote in one of his religious essays.
foreign-based opposition groups such as Mujahedeen-e Khalq have issued calls
ahead of the same festival to turn the event into political rallies against the
recent years, however, the conservative clerical community's rejection has not
managed to throw the festival into oblivion. Moreover, calls from the
opposition for protests have not given the event a political color either. Days
ahead of this year's Chaharshanbeh Soori, which falls on March 19, opposition
groups have been launching campaigns across social media for organized rallies
against the Islamic Republic. But the state is seemingly easing restrictions
and exhibiting far less strictness about the ancient festival this year. To
many pundits, this is partly explained by a gradual reemergence of patriotism
and a strong emphasis on "Iran's glory" in remarks by the country's
one such speech addressing a gathering of members of the hard-line volunteer
Basij militia, Ayatollah Khamenei made a rare reference to nationalism as a top
value. "The gist of my speech today is about putting Iran's glory first.
Then comes the Islamic Republic's power, followed by [protecting] the
insurmountable nature of the Iranian nation." For the first time ever, the
Iranian leader seemed to be elevating the concept of the homeland in a highly
patriotic sense, placing it above the Islamic Republic. A historical and social
study of Chahrshanbeh Soori leads to few clues as to where the origins of the
festival were laid. Researchers are divided on whether the tradition came into
being before or after the advent of Islam in Iran. There are even etymological
differences over the roots of the word "Soor" in Persian, as it could
signify both "celebration" and "ruddiness." But what has
remained indisputably unchanged in the original ritual is the practice.
Iranians have jumped over the flames for centuries, as they deem fire to be a
sacred phenomenon that is capable of cleansing them of illnesses and evil. They
repeat "Bestow upon me your ruddiness," the epigram to highlight the
symbolic power of fire, as they jump over bonfires.
Abdi, a Tehran-based political activist and sociologist, contends that negative
sensitivities toward the festival in the post-revolution era were rooted in the
attitude that Chaharshanbeh Soori violated the ideals of the revolution and the
principles of Islam. "The revolutionary and Islamic atmosphere back then
had pushed Chaharshanbeh Soori to the corner. Anyone trying to celebrate the
event would have to face hostile reactions from the public," Abdi told
Al-Monitor. But he added that over time such a stance has been moderated with
the society turning less "revolutionary and religious," offering more
room for the restoration of ancient Iranian culture and traditions.
recent shift in the Iranian leadership's stance toward Chaharshanbeh Soori, according
to Abdi, is an outcome of the vehement denial of nationalistic sentiments in
the aftermath of the revolution. "The shah’s regime sought to reinstate
ancient and patriotic values by suppressing tendencies toward Islam, but the
effort backfired," Abdi noted. On the very opposite side of the extreme,
he said, the Islamic Revolution took a similar unsuccessful approach of
rejection. He added, "In spite of the two approaches, ordinary Iranians
still support a compromise between both nationalistic and Islamic values and
even find bonds that link these two."
Evolution of Children's Names in Tehran from 1996 to 2015" is the title of
sociological research conducted by Abdi and released in 2017. In it, he detects
a growing inclination toward both Islamic and patriotic principles. "These
days, parents tend to choose names that represent a mixture of nationalistic
and religious elements, meaning that the two do not contradict one
another," Abdi said. He argued that a denial of either nationalism or
religiosity has proven to be met with public backlash. "People demonstrate
more eagerness toward anything that the government propagates against," he
also believes that employing Chaharshanbeh Soori for political purposes by
opposition groups is in contrast with what the public generally pursues in the
festival. He said, "People hold the celebrations and keep their own way,
inattentive to the opposition’s calls for protests." Such moves, he
maintains, are mainly aimed at highlighting certain developments that happen
very rarely. Abdi added, "But let’s also not underestimate the fact that
rituals like Chaharshanbeh Soori do always suffer a susceptibility to
alterations and are subject to redefinition by political groups."
post-revolution Iran, the ritual's content and form have both undergone
changes. Passionate teenagers are no longer satisfied with bonfires alone. They
have introduced a variety of firecrackers and tiny dynamites, modifying the
ancient festival into a loud one. The nonstop, battle-zone-like sound of the
small explosives has come to characterize the eve of the last Wednesday in
recent years. The substantial deaths and injuries from the accidents caused by
the fireworks have now fueled concerns about citizen safety.
the harm inflicted upon citizens, what happens during Chaharshanbeh Soori is
forbidden from a religious point of view," said ultraconservative cleric
Mohammad Khatami in sermons addressing Friday prayer worshippers in March 2014.
days after the speech, however, the social affairs department chief at the
Islamic Republic Police expressed support for the ritual, promising that the
force will "vigilantly stand by the people as always during the event and
the entire New Year holidays."
year's festival resulted in at least four deaths and 2,082 injuries — 23 were
left permanently maimed. Some 160 building blazes were also reported
nationwide. Still, the casualty figures marked an overall 50% decline in the
capital city of Tehran compared to the previous year.
a March 9 statement, days ahead of this year's festival, the Iranian Police
asserted that it has no intention of standing in the way of the public’s joy
and celebration, but it urged the nation not to turn the Festival of Fire into
a "festival of damage and burns." "People have every right to
observe traditions, but the red line needs to be observed as well," the
statement read. It also warned that "police will not tolerate any move
that disrupts public order and irritates fellow citizens," promising to
"severely deal" with those who cause injuries to individuals and
inflict damage upon public property.
has stated that nobody reported the
videos of the shooter who livestreamed his terrorist attacks on two
Christchurch, New Zealand mosques until minutes after the attack had ended.
a blog post on Monday, Facebook vice president and deputy general counsel Chris
Sonderby said that the 17-minute video of the attacks was first reported 29
minutes after it started streaming, or 12 minutes after it had ended.
added that the video was viewed less than 200 times during the live broadcast,
during which no users reported it.
views during the live broadcast, the video was viewed about 4,000 times before
it was removed from Facebook.
removed the video almost immediately after the New Zealand police contacted
them about it, roughly 29 minutes after the video started streaming and 12
minutes after it ended.
and other platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Reddit have worked around the
clock to remove the video.
to the company, around 1.5 million uploads of the video were blocked on
Facebook, and 1.2 million of those were blocked on upload and therefore not
seen by anyone.
continue to work around the clock to prevent this content from appearing on our
site, using a combination of technology and people," Sonderby said in the
designated both shootings in the city of Christchurch as terror attacks and the
site's standards prohibit any representation of the events as well as any
praise or support.
also said that the company hashed the original Facebook Live video to help
detect and remove other visually similar videos from Facebook and Instagram.
has also shared more than 800 visually-distinct video related to the attack
through a database it shares with members of the Global Internet Forum to
Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). “This incident highlights the importance of industry
cooperation regarding the range of terrorists and violent extremists operating
online,” he wrote.
online platforms, however, have also struggled to stop the video’s spread. For
example, uploaders were able to use minor modifications, like watermarks or
altering the size of clips, to stymie YouTube’s content moderation tools.
Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday that she had reached out
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and expressed concerns people
could still see the footage.
can't have something so graphic and it not [have an impact] ... and that's why
it's so important it's removed," she said, according to the Australian
against Ram Janmabhoomi Film; Clerics Asks Actor Nazneen Patni to 'Revive' Her
Faith In Islam
A body of clerics in Madhya Pradesh has issued two 'fatwas' asking Muslims to
avoid watching the film "Ram Janmabhoomi" and its woman actor to
"revive" her faith in Islam. The All India Ulama Board (AIUB)
demanded the central and MP governments to prevent the film's release, alleging
it was "an instrument to create hatred between two communities of
said the movie was being released to "vitiate" the atmosphere at a
time when efforts were being made to resolve the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid
land dispute in Ayodhya through mediation. Uttar Pradesh's Shia Waqf Board
president Syed Waseem Rizvi has written and produced the film, which portrays
the events related to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. It is set for release on
film's release should be stopped till the completion of Lok Sabha polls as it
is a conspiracy by the film's producer to create hatred between the two
communities in society and polarise votes in elections," AIUB MP unit vice
president Noor Ullah Yousuf Zayi told reporters here.
demanded that a four-member panel be formed to review the movie. He also shared
two fatwas, signed by AIUB MP chapter president Qzai Syed Anas Ali Nadwi, with
reporters. One of the fatwas appealed to Muslims to avoid watching the TV shows
and movies which spread obscenity, communalism and portray Islam in poor light,
and also films like "Ram Janmabhoomi".
fatwa was issued against the film's actor Nazneen Patni, advising her to
"revive her belief in the light of Shariat". It said the film was
made with a conspiracy to harm the communal accord of the country and incite
the Muslim community's sentiments.
that AIUB would not accept any mockery of the Shariat, Yousuf Zayi alleged that
the film portrayed 'nikah halala' and talaq in a wrong way, as seen in its
promos released so far. He said the AIUB would take legal recourse on this.
Chief Calls Ahmadiyyas Infidels, Urges Followers To Boycott Them
Hefazat leader demands once again that the government declare the community as
of the fundamentalist group Hefazat-e-Islam Shah Ahmed Shafi has urged his
followers to socially boycott the Ahmadiyya religious community, calling them
kafir – infidels.
who has long been clamouring for the government to declare the community as
non-Muslims, was speaking at an Islamic rally in Madaripur on Tuesday.
are infidels because they do not accept Hazrat Muhammad (SM) as the last
prophet,” he said.
not associate with them or form kinships with them.”
Read- 50 Ahmadiyyas injured in co-ordinated attack on the community in
urged the audience to observe religious rituals and carry out pious acts.
reiterated a six-point demand, including arrest and punishment of Rashed Khan
Menon MP for his ‘statements against Islam,’ governing the nation on the basis
of Qur’an and sunnah, and death penalty for the New Zealand mosque attacker.
Awami League minister Shajahan Khan and Madaripur municipal Mayor Khalid
Hossain Yad were present, alongside religious leaders and scholars, at the event.
support Pak’s territorial integrity, no matter what: China
by Sowmiya Ashok
its support to Pakistan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Tuesday pledged to
uphold Pakistan’s sovereign independence and territorial integrity saying its
commitment will remain despite changes in the international landscape.
in Beijing at the first-ever China-Pakistan Foreign Minister-level strategic
dialogue, Wang said: “No matter how things change in the world and in the
region, China will firmly support Pakistan in upholding its sovereign
independence and territorial integrity and dignity.”
was with his Pakistan counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who acknowledged
China’s support to his country in “difficult times” and thanked Beijing for its
support to Pakistan.
remarks come weeks after India carried out airstrikes in Pakistan’s Balakot
following a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide attack on a convoy in Pulwama on February
14, which killed 40 CRPF personnel. The attack and the subsequent airstrikes
have heightened tensions along the Line of Control. The Foreign Ministers’
meeting was held less than a week after China put a technical hold on the
proposal to list Jaish chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist in the UN
Security Council 1267 committee for the fourth time.
Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday raised the recent Pulwama suicide
attack in her crucial bilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi
here, a day after India destroyed a major Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) terror
also said that the two countries discussed the situation after the Pulwama incident.
“I also briefed the Foreign Minister (Wang) on the rapidly deteriorating
situation on the Indian side of Kashmir, intensification of human rights
violations, especially after Pulwama,” he said. “Pakistan appreciates the role
that China has played, once again, in standing by Pakistan in these difficult
remarks underscoring firm support to Pakistan come in the backdrop of
heightened tension between India-Pak since the February 14 Pulwama terror
attack and the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in Beijing next month. This is the
second Forum and India chose to skip the first BRF in 2017 in protest against
the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship Belt and Road Initiative
project. India has said the CPEC runs through the disputed PoK. How Delhi
engages with Beijing in April remains to be seen.
to Kashmir, Qureshi said: “This is a concern because that leads to a reaction,
and that reaction at times creates tensions in the region that must be avoided.
I think there is a need for a new assessment on how the situation on the Indian
side of Kashmir should be handled by the Indians.”
China set to host the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing next month, Qureshi
said: “The Chinese government was very generous in supporting Pakistan. We had
good discussions…We are committed to the expeditious implementation of CPEC,”
Khan wishes Hindu community a 'very happy, peaceful' Holi
Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday wished the Hindu community "a very happy
and peaceful Holi, the festival of colours".
Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also took to Twitter to wish "happy
Holi" to the community.
Holi to all my Hindu brothers & sisters. On the happy occasion of Holi, let
us spread the wonderful message of peace and happiness," he wrote.
is a Hindu festival that takes place on the last full moon day of the Hindu
lunisolar calendar month and marks the start of spring. This year, the Hindu
community across the globe is celebrating the national holiday on Wednesday
Islamophobia’ fuels terror attacks, say Muslim leaders
leaders from around the world have accused the mainstream media, politicians
and academics of contributing to the conditions fuelling terrorist violence
against their community such as Friday’s attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand,
which claimed 50 lives.
than 350 leading Islamic figures from countries including the UK, US and South
Africa have signed a letter to the Guardian, which links the actions of the
suspected shooter, the 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, to an atmosphere
of “systemic and institutionalised Islamophobia”.
letter says: “This bigotry has been fuelled by certain callous academics,
reckless politicians as well as media outlets who regularly feature those who
demonise Islam and Muslims with impunity, disguising their vile mantra behind a
veneer of objectivity.
massacre of Muslims did not just begin with bullets fired from the barrel of
Tarrant’s gun. Rather it was decades in the making: inspired by Islamophobic
media reports, hundreds and thousands of column inches of hatred printed in the
press, many Muslim-hating politicians and unchecked social media bigotry.
have been constantly cast as suspect communities, foreigners with barbaric
views who are a threat to our society. We are now reaping the awful outcome of
systemic and institutionalised Islamophobia woven into many sections of our
letter came as the Conservative peer Sayeeda Warsi called on ministers to heed
demands from Muslim leaders for an increase in funding for mosque security
after the New Zealand terrorist attack. She said Islamophobia was the party’s
“bigotry blind spot”.
former Tory party chair said there was overwhelming evidence to support an increase
in funding for mosque protection following the Christchurch attacks.
Muslim Council of Britain has called for increased funding for Muslim places of
worship amid a rise in the number of suspected far-right incidents across
England, some of which are alleged to have been inspired by the atrocities in
Warsi made the comments as a row continued over the Conservatives’ record on
tackling Islamophobia. Earlier this month, Warsi repeated calls for an internal
inquiry and suggested the most senior figures in the party – including Theresa
May – needed to take the problem more seriously.
to claims that mosques were inadequately funded, Warsi said: “That’s not an
opinion, that’s a fact. There are two different pots of funds: there’s a fund
specifically for the protection of synagogues and then a fund of about £2.4m
for the protection of all other religious institutions.
government has to go back and recognise that there is a need right now – and
there’s overwhelming evidence that there’s clearly a need – and therefore how
quickly is it going to respond to that.”
she added: “I’m really cautious about making comparisons. Each form of hate is
unique and specific and has its own challenges. It was quite right for
thegovernment to respond when they identified a form of hate with antisemitism
and made sure places of worship were protected.”
said a change the government should make – to show it has learned from the
attacks in New Zealand – is to adopt a formal definition of Islamophobia. A
definition put forward by the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims
had been adopted by the Lib Dems, was being considered by the Labour party and
was backed by councils, academics, 850 Muslim organisations and about 70
parliamentarians, she said.
it’s in relation to the protection of mosques, whether it’s in relation to
engagement with British Muslim communities, whether it’s in relation to
acknowledging the level of hate either within the party or within government
policymaking, whether it’s the way we use the language of British Muslim
communities, it is our bigotry blind spot.
comes back down to the fact that we fail to see it and recognise it as a
specific form of racism that it is, directed at British Muslim communities, and
we therefore fail to make adequate policy and respond.”
Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, will be writing
to May raising the “palpable sense of fear” felt by Muslim communities after
the attack in Christchurch, and warning of the risk of copycat attacks in the
government increased security funding for Jewish institutions after the rise in
antisemitic attacks, pledging £14m to support the security at about 400
synagogues and 150 Jewish schools, equivalent to more than £25,000 per
called on the government to demonstrate equivalent support to Muslim
former integration tsar Dame Louise Casey warned that a New Zealand-style
atrocity could occur in the UK. Casey said Britain needed to “wake up” as
extremism had not been tackled sufficiently.
also strongly criticised the “appalling behaviour of far too many politicians”
and the “mood music” they were creating.
security minister, Ben Wallace, said: “The funding for protective security
tacks with the threat. As the threat changes that funding will change with it.
response to increased threat, we will increase and seek to change the funding
around that, and that is why we do have the places of worship scheme. We will
absolutely be looking at seeing whether that needs to be increased over the
short and longer term.”
person inspired by the brutal terrorist attack carried out by a white
nationalist at two mosques in New Zealand last Friday pledged to kill
worshipers at a mosque in Australia, reports said.
terrorist copycat posted a threat on social media Sunday, pledging to carry out
an attack on the Islamic Society of Geelong Mosque, located southwest of
Police reportedly confirmed the threat, noting that they are currently carrying
out an investigation regarding the matter.
I am a copy cat I will be visiting the mosque and kill as many invaders as I
can in the time I get I will then shoot myself in front of police," the
reportedly contacted the mosque officials regarding the threat and increased
presence near the building.
mosque's imam Shaykh Mohammad Ramzan told the Geelong Advertiser that the
Muslim community will not give in to such threats.
main message to the community is that everything is normal," he said.
was a dairy farmer. Another aspired to be a pilot. One was an elder known for
helping newcomers. Another was a teenager who called his mother when the
shooting started. The 50 people slaughtered by a gunman at two Christchurch
mosques last week spanned a range of backgrounds. Here is what we know about
many of them.
Elayyan, 33, was a technology entrepreneur, a goalkeeper and a new father. He
played for New Zealand’s national futsal team, according to the New Zealand
Football association, which confirmed his death. Futsal is a version of
five-a-side soccer played indoors.
at a secondary school in Christchurch performed a haka — a ceremonial dance or
challenge in Māori culture — in tribute to the victims of the New Zealand
are no words to sum up how we are all feeling,” one of his teammates, Josh
Margetts, said in a statement. “There is a huge hole in our hearts as we come
to terms with the loss of a great person and a good mate. He will be sorely
was born in Kuwait and studied computer science at the University of
Canterbury. He was the chief executive and a co-founder of LWA Solutions, a
mobile app startup. He was well known in the futsal world and in Christchurch’s
and his wife, Farah, have a young daughter, Aya, whose photos appear in
abundance on his Facebook page. In one, she is wearing a bib that says: “My dad
Mucad Ibrahim was the youngest person confirmed to have been killed in the
attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Source: Abdi Ibrahim via
The New York Times)
Mucad Ibrahim is the youngest person confirmed to have been killed in the
attacks. He was at Al Noor mosque and became separated from his brother and
father when the shooting began.
support Pakistan’s territorial integrity, no matter what: China
male workforce shrinking, says labour report that Govt buried
to BJP: You question our 70 years, what have you done in your 5?
was a Muslim-born Kiwi who was full of energy, love and happiness,” his family
said in a statement. “He is remembered in our community as a young boy who
emanated nothing but the representation of God’s love, peace and mercy.”
miss you dearly brother,” Mucad’s brother Abdi Ibrahim wrote on Facebook.
was wearing a white thobe and his favorite white hat Friday, “and so returned
to His Lord in a state of pure innocence and spiritual beauty,” the family’s
family said they had taken solace from a global outpouring of support. “Knowing
that New Zealand and the whole world stands behind our boy reassures us that
violence and racism are unwelcome in our world,” they said.
lost my little boy; he’s just turned 14,” Sayyad Milne’s father, John Milne,
told The New Zealand Herald through tears.
was one of two Cashmere High School students killed in the attack, according to
the school’s principal, Mark Wilson. The boy was an avid soccer player.
proved himself to be not only a truly outstanding goalkeeper, but a great
friend and colleague, a real team player with a fabulous attitude and a warm
and friendly personality,” St. Albans Shirley Football Club said in a statement
was one of our own, and we will always remember him.”
Abdul Hamid, originally from Indonesia, had been an aircraft maintenance
engineer with Air New Zealand for 16 years, the company’s chief executive,
Christopher Luxon, said in a statement.
first got to know the team even earlier when he worked with our aircraft
engineers in a previous role overseas,” Luxon said. “The friendships he made at
that time led him to apply for a role in Air New Zealand and make the move to
is survived by his wife and two children, Luxon said. On Facebook, one of
Hamid’s friends called him “a man with a gold heart who always opened his heart
and home to everyone.”
Ahmed, 27, was an employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers, a statement released by
the company said. Pakistan’s foreign ministry said he was originally from that
country’s largest city, Karachi.
was a loved and respected member of our PwC family,” the company wrote on
Facebook. “His smile, warmth, dedication, respect and humor will be deeply
Omar, a soccer player with Christchurch United Football Club, was one of the 50
people killed in the attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
(Source: Adam Dean/The New York Times)
Zealand Football confirmed the death of Tariq Omar, 24, a soccer player who
coached for several of Christchurch United Football Club’s junior teams. Colin
Williamson, the club’s academy director, called him “a beautiful human being
with a tremendous heart and love for coaching.”
coaches and his players are struggling to understand what has happened, and we
are trying to support our club members as best as we can,” Williamson said in a
statement released by the club. “But of course our main thoughts and concerns
go out to Tariq’s family who are in our hearts and prayers.”
Suhail, 35, from Pakistan, was an engineer who worked for a resin manufacturer
in Christchurch, according to Stuff, a news website. He had a wife and two
young daughters. “His daughters were his life,” said his wife, Asma.
Jahandad Ali, 34, originally from Lahore, Pakistan, worked at Intergen, a
software company, and had a wife and three children, according to a fundraising
page created by the company. In a statement, the company called him “a kind and
Jahandad Ali has deeply touched the lives of his friends, colleagues and wider
technology community through his knowledge and skills. We are devastated to have
lost a very loved Intergenite” the statement read.
Mahmood, 40, had worked in banking in Pakistan before moving to New Zealand,
Stuff reported. He taught at a private school for international students and
had been a tutor at Lincoln University in Christchurch, according to Radio New
Zealand. He had a wife and two children.
Ahsan, originally from Hyderabad, India, had lived for 10 years in New Zealand,
where he worked as an electrical engineer. He left behind a wife and two
children, according to his brother, Kashif Ahsan, who spoke to the BBC.
Khokhar, a 65-year-old Indian engineer, was on his first trip to New Zealand,
visiting his son, who had moved there from India eight years ago.
wife, Akhtar Khokhar, said they had been in the country for two months. He was
at Al Noor mosque the day before they had planned to leave.
Vora was among five Indian nationals whose deaths were confirmed by the Indian
High Commission in New Zealand. Radio New Zealand said that he was 58 and that
he and his son had been killed at Al Noor mosque.
Vora’s son, Ramiz Vora, 28, had become a father just days before his death,
according to Radio New Zealand.
women read the messages left at a makeshift memorial to Ansi Alibava, one of
the people killed in last week’s attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Source:
Adam Dean/The New York Times)
Alibava, 25, another of the Indian nationals among the victims, had moved to
New Zealand with her husband, Abdul Nazer, in 2018, a year after they had
married, he told CNN. She had just completed a master’s degree in agribusiness
was near an emergency door at Al Noor mosque when the shooting began and
managed to escape. Outside, he saw Alibava lying facedown and ran to her, but
was stopped by a police officer.
had so many dreams,” he told CNN.
Kadir, 25, dreamed of being a commercial pilot like his older brother.
Originally from Hyderabad, India, he had moved to New Zealand in recent years
and was set to make that a reality.
of grief and support for Kadir’s family poured in on the Facebook page of the
International Aviation Academy of New Zealand, where he was in pilot training.
Fellow students gathered Monday to lay flowers at a makeshift memorial.
presence will be sadly missed by all staff and students at the Academy,” the
institute said in a statement. “Our love, thoughts and prayers are with his
family who are now in New Zealand preparing to take Ozair home.”
Daoud al-Nabi, 71, arrived in New Zealand from Afghanistan about 30 years ago
and was a central figure in Christchurch’s small Afghan community. He was a
leader who welcomed everyone, his son Yama al-Nabi said.
son was running 10 minutes late for Friday Prayers, along with his 8-year-old
daughter, when they came upon a police cordon. The younger al-Nabi’s hands
trembled as he held up his mobile phone to show a picture of his father with
his daughter in the mosque on a different day.
thought I’d make it to the prayers. When I got there, the police were there. I
was running, and a guy said there was shooting in the mosque,” Yama al-Nabi
said. He knew his father was inside, but news of his death only came hours
young man is comforted as he grieves for a friend at a makeshift memorial near
the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)
Mirwan Mohamad was named in a court document charging the alleged gunman with
murder. Further details on her identity are still unclear.
Elmadani, 65, immigrated to New Zealand from the United Arab Emirates with his
family in 1998, his family confirmed to the Stuff news site. His daughter, Maha
Elmadani, said her father had always told the family to be strong, so that was
what she was trying to do.
considered New Zealand home and never thought something like this would happen
here,” she told Stuff.
Ahmad, 47, led a number of women and children to safety after the shooting at
Al Noor mosque began, said Farid Ahmad, her husband. Farid Ahmad, who is in a
wheelchair, said she was killed when she returned to the mosque to check on
was busy with saving lives, forgetting about herself,” said Ahmad, 59.
said he had forgiven the gunman and believed good would eventually come from
the killing. “This is what Islam taught me,” he said.
out for the nation: ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ is inspiring people, rallying them for
a greater purpose
data: Fact vs fiction
Surjit S Bhalla
he did was a wrong thing, but I would tell him that inside him, he has great
potential to be a generous person, to be a kind person, to be a person who
would save people, save humanity rather than destroying them,” Ahmad said. “I
hope and I pray for him that he would be a great savior one day. I don’t have
woman who said she frequented the Al Noor Mosque, but was away when a mass
shooting occurred there days ago, prays at a makeshift memorial in front of the
building. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)
the gunman’s self-made video of the killings he had posted to Facebook, a man
can be seen trying to tackle him as he began firing in Al Noor mosque. That man
was Naeem Rashid, according to witnesses.
family described him as an intelligent, ambitious and devout father of three.
His eldest son, Talha Naeem, was also killed.
was in his 40s, according to Stuff and Radio New Zealand. His brothers,
interviewed in Pakistan, said he had left a senior position at Citibank in the
city of Lahore in 2010 to pursue a doctorate in Christchurch and raise his
children in a peaceful country. Starting over proved more difficult than he had
everybody who leaves this country, he left Pakistan because of lack of
opportunities here,” said Dr. Khurshid Alam, one of Rashid’s brothers. “He went
there to do his Ph.D. Because of the financial situation, he couldn’t complete
it, so he was teaching part time.”
became much more devout during his time in New Zealand, according to his
brothers. They said he talked about wanting to die a martyr, which he felt was
the most honorable way for a Muslim to die.
woman lights a candle at a makeshift memorial near the Al Noor Mosque in
Christchurch, New Zealand. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)
Naeem, 21, had just graduated from college and entered the workforce. He was
the eldest of Naeem Rashid’s three children — the second is 18, the youngest is
5 — and his father was especially proud of him, according to his family.
family had planned to return to Pakistan in May to help Naeem find a wife.
Hamid was a cardiologist who had spent the last few years working with rural
communities in the mountainous area of Taranaki, on New Zealand’s North Island,
though he continued to live in Christchurch with his wife and family. At Hawera
Hospital in Taranaki, he often brought colleagues fresh baklava from a
was well liked for his kindness, compassion and sense of humor,” the Taranaki
District Health Board said in a statement. “He was a hardworking doctor, deeply
committed to caring for his patients, and a thoughtful team member who was
supportive of all staff.”
wife, Hanan al-Adem, told Radio New Zealand she still could not believe he was
was the perfect man; it’s a big loss,” she said.
Darwish, 38, arrived early at his brother’s home in Christchurch on the eve of
the attack. He had traveled from the countryside, where he worked at a dairy
farm, because “he didn’t want to miss Friday prayers,” said his brother, Zuhair
Zealand had been his home for just six months. He had moved from Jordan because
his brother had convinced him there was no safer, better place to raise a
family. His wife and children were set to arrive in a month.
was caring; he was honest; he was a loving person,” his brother said.
Armstrong, 64, was a third-generation New Zealander who grew up in Auckland and
converted to Islam in her 50s, her nephew Kyron Gosse said.
had a huge heart, and what little she had, she was more than happy to share
with her family and Muslim community,” Gosse wrote in a tribute to his aunt on
Facebook. “She would tell me stories about Ramadan when all the families would
come together at the mosque sharing homemade meals and having a feast, laughing
Alabi, a leader at the Linwood mosque, told The New York Times that Armstrong
had been among the victims there.
younger brother, Tony Gosse, remembered her as a peaceful woman with a
“stubborn ideology of this world.”
didn’t always see eye to eye, but she lived a very humble lifestyle and was
always unselfishly helping others. She volunteered at refugee centers and was
an advocate for women’s rights,” he said. “She always had an open ear and a shoulder
to lean on.” Mohammed Imran Khan
Imran Khan, 47, also known as Imran Bhai, was originally from India and was
killed at the Linwood mosque, Stuff reported. He owned a restaurant, the Indian
Grill, and two other Christchurch businesses. A post on the restaurant’s
Facebook page the day after the attacks said it would be closed indefinitely.
Mustafa, 16, called his mother when the shooting began at Al Noor mosque, she
said, ‘Mum, there’s someone come into the mosque, and he’s shooting us,’ ”
Salwa Mustafa said. “I called, ‘Hamza, Hamza,’ and I can hear his little voice,
and after that it was quiet.”
Mustafa attended Cashmere High School, as did Sayyad Milne, another teenager
killed in the attack.
Mustafa, Hamza Mustafa’s father, was also killed at Al Noor mosque.
New Zealand said that the Mustafas were originally from war-ravaged Syria and
that they had moved to New Zealand from Jordan last year. Hamza’s 13-year-old
brother Zaed was wounded.
lives have completely changed,” Salwa Mustafa told Stuff.
Ismail, 36, was a Christchurch native who worked at the family business, a
dairy, according to Radio New Zealand. He had a wife and three children. His
twin brother, Zahid, survived the shooting.
Qasem, a 60-year-old Palestinian, worked in Kuwait for much of his life, Stuff
reported. He moved to New Zealand with his family in the early 1990s, after the
first Gulf War. A relative told Stuff that Qasem was “like an elder for the
community,” known for helping newcomers to Christchurch. He had three daughters
and was about to become a grandfather.
from Fiji, Ashraf Ali, 61, had lived in Christchurch for 17 years, Stuff
Ali Razat, 58, was visiting New Zealand from Fiji when he was killed, according
to Radio New Zealand.
makeshift memorial near the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand for
victims of last Friday’s mass shooting at two mosques in the city. (Adam
Dean/The New York Times)
Safi, 55, killed at Al Noor mosque, came to New Zealand from Afghanistan
through India about nine years ago, Stuff reported. He was married with seven
Al-Umari, 35, killed at Al Noor mosque, worked in the travel industry but had
recently lost his job, his parents told Stuff. The family moved to New Zealand
from the United Arab Emirates 22 years ago, according to the news site.
Vali Suleman Patel
Vali Suleman Patel, 60, an imam in Fiji for about 25 years, had traveled to
Australia and then New Zealand to spend time with children and friends, the
Fiji Muslim League said in a statement. He “served selflessly as an imam,
teacher, mentor, and was much sought after as a powerful orator and speaker,”
the organization said in a statement. He is survived by his wife and five
al-Masri had two young children and worked in a shop, according to Stuff. His
age was not reported.
Moustafa, 70, was originally from Egypt, according to Stuff. “He loved the
mosque, he loved tidying it, he loved nourishing it, and he was always a
welcoming face there,” his daughter-in-law, Nada Tawfeek, told the news site.
Soliman, 68, had been a design engineer and quality manager at Scotts
Engineering in Christchurch since 1997, according to Stuff. He was a “lovely man,”
said a spokeswoman for the company, Glenda Hillstead. He was married and had no
in Christchurch perform a haka, a traditional dance and chant, at a student-led
memorial on Monday, for victims of last Friday’s mass shooting at two mosques
in the city. (Source: Adam Dean/The New York Times)
Raza, 38, a mechanical engineer, moved to New Zealand last year from Karachi,
Pakistan, Stuff reported. He and his parents were killed at the Linwood mosque.
father, Ghulam Hussain, was in his 60s, Stuff reported. He and his wife, Karam
Bibi, came to New Zealand last month to visit their son.
was also in her 60s, according to Stuff. She and Hussain are survived by a
Elmi, 78, came to New Zealand with his family about 10 years ago, Stuff
reported. In a Facebook post, his son, Said Abdukadir, said he was “a giant
among his community,” generally known as Sheikh Abdukadir. “Kids would run to
grab his chair when they hear the noise of his cane hitting against ground upon
his entrance,” he wrote. He is survived by five sons, four daughters and his
wife of nearly 50 years, according to Stuff.
Al Harbi had lived for 25 years in New Zealand, where he worked in water
desalination. After the shooting, his wife, Manal, was hospitalized with a
heart attack while searching for him, Stuff reported.
Adnan Youssef Kwaik
Adnan Youssef Kwaik, 37, was born in Gaza and raised in Egypt, according to
Stuff. A civil engineer, he moved to Christchurch in 2017 and was in the
process of applying for New Zealand citizenship. He had a wife and three
children, one of whom was born in Christchurch.
Hoq, 30, moved to New Zealand from Bangladesh a few years ago and was studying
in Christchurch, according to Radio New Zealand.
Omar Faruk, 36, was a welder who came to New Zealand from Bangladesh about two
years ago, a friend told Stuff. His pregnant wife remained in Bangladesh, the
Abdusi Samad, 66, from Bangladesh, was a lecturer at Lincoln University who
often led prayers at Al Noor mosque, Stuff reported.
man prays at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Christchurch shooting.
(Source: Adam Dean/The New York Times)
Nur Awale, 77, had been living in Christchurch for about 30 years, Stuff
reported. He was married and had no children.
Gamaluddin Abdel-Ghany, 68, emigrated from Egypt with his wife and son in 1996,
Stuff reported. His son, Omar, called him “a great man with the purest of
hearts” in an Instagram post.
Dutch authorities said on Tuesday they were “seriously” investigating a
terrorist motive for the Utrecht tram attack because of evidence including a
letter found in the suspected gunman’s getaway car.
were questioning Turkish-born main suspect Gokmen Tanis, 37, and two other men
over Monday’s rampage in which three people were killed and seven injured,
three of them seriously.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte had earlier said they “cannot exclude” other motives
including a family dispute, but police and prosecutors on Tuesday said the
probe was leaning towards terrorism.
far, a terrorist motive is seriously being taken into account. This is based on
a letter found in the getaway car among other things and the nature of the
facts,” they said in a joint statement.
investigation has established no link between the main suspect and the
victims.” The three people who died in the shooting were a 19-year-old woman
from Vianen, south of Utrecht, and two men aged 28 and 49 from Utrecht itself,
the statement said.
police captured Tanis after an eight-hour manhunt that virtually shut down the
Netherlands’ fourth largest city and saw security stepped up at airports and
key sites across the country. Police said they found a red Renault Clio that
the suspect had used as a getaway car after the attack. They had also found a
firearm after his arrest.
and two other men aged 23 and 27 are still being interrogated, police said.
Reports said the two other suspects were brothers but unrelated to Tanis.
stream of mourners laid flowers on Tuesday at the site of the attack near the
24 Oktoberplein square.
of the victims was my friend’s girlfriend. So coming here today was the least I
could do,” Marco van Rooijen, 43, said.
am here to pay homage to the victims and to support their families,” said local
resident Yvette Koetjeloozekoot, 29.
and justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus were to visit Utrecht later on Tuesday to
privately meet those caught up in the attack, officials said. “A day later, I
am still filled with horror,” Rutte told parliament.
are still many questions about the motive, and the police and prosecutors still
have to do a lot of work. But there is no doubt that the impact was huge.” The
attack raised security fears ahead of Wednesday’s provincial elections in which
Rutte’s centrist coalition is set to lose seats in the upper house of
were flying half-mast on many buildings around the Netherlands and on foreign
transport was running again after forensic police finished their investigations
at the scene and removed the tram on which the shooting erupted. But there was
also growing anger after it emerged that the suspect had only been freed from
jail in a rape case two weeks ago.
was originally arrested in 2017 then released from pre-trial detention, before
being taken back into custody when he breached his bail conditions, the central
Netherlands district court said. He was freed again at the start of March.
he was also convicted of “illegal possession of weapons” and attempted theft
but acquitted of attempted manslaughter. He was also convicted in recent months
for shoplifting and burglary.
NOS meanwhile said some of his relatives had links to Islamic groups, but also
that he was known for unstable behaviour after divorcing his wife two years
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has censured latest "reckless" and
"highly offensive" remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
in the wake of a mass shooting which killed 50 people at two New Zealand
mosques, warning that he consider "all options" considering bilateral
relations with Ankara.
have been made by the Turkish President Erdogan that I consider highly
offensive to Australians, and highly reckless in this very sensitive
environment,” Morrison said on Wednesday after summoning Turkish Ambassador
Korhan Karakoc and dismissing the “excuses” offered.
Monday, Erdogan described the Christchurch massacre as part of a wider attack
on Turkey, and threatened to send back “in caskets” anyone who tried to take
the battle to Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul.
are testing us from 16,500 km away, from New Zealand, with the messages they
are giving from there. This isn’t an individual act, this is organized,” he
said as he attended a ceremony marking the 104th anniversary of Battle of
Canakkale, also known as the Gallipoli Campaign, in the northwestern Turkish
city of Canakkale.
also displayed extracts from a “manifesto” posted online by the attacker and
later taken down.
said the gunman, identified as 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, issued
threats against Turkey and the president himself, and wanted to drive Turks
from Turkey’s northwestern, European region. “We have been here for 1,000 years
and will be here until the apocalypse, God willing,” Erdogan noted.
will not turn Istanbul into Constantinople,” he highlighted, referring to the
city’s name under its Christian Byzantine rulers before it was conquered by
Muslim Ottomans in 1453. “Your grandparents came here... and they returned in
caskets. Have no doubt we will send you back like your grandfathers."
laid to rest
on Wednesday, 44-year-old Khalid Mustafa and his 15-year-old son Hamza Mustafa
became the first of the Christchurch shooting victims to be laid to rest.
Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said it was hoped most victims would be
formally identified by the end of the day.
said repatriation of victims was a priority for family, compassionate and
want to assure people about how much we're doing in this area. We have over 120 people involved in this
process … whose absolute focus is reuniting these victims with their loved
ones,” he said.
of Australians rally against racism and Islamophobia in Melbourne, days after
the terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.
chanted anti-racist slogans as they filled the streets of Melbourne's CBD on
Tuesday and accused the government of fear-mongering against Muslims in
our politicians dog-whistle, whenever they attack Muslims, or whenever they
lock up refugees, they're helping to fuel attacks such as this," one
statement from Australian Senator Fraser Anning in the wake of the shootings
sparked international outrage on Friday, after he blamed Muslim immigration to
New Zealand for the attack. More than 1 million Australians have since signed a
petition demanding the Senator's removal from Parliament for his comments.
Mahmoud, the hero imam who calmed down Muslim worshippers immediately after the
terror attack that killed 1 person and injured more than 10 in Finsbury Park in
2017, has been targeted in an Islamophobic attack.
Finsbury Park mosque imam has become one of the latest victims of Islamophobic
hatred, which spiked following the terror attack in New Zealand that killed 50
who attended an interfaith meeting with Home Secretary Sajid Javid, religious
leaders and London Mayor Sadiq Khan at Regent’s Park mosque on Monday, was
called “despicable” and sworn at by a man on a bus and later he was spat at by
a cyclist, according to the Evening Standard.
said his experiences while he was returning home has illustrated the continuing
threat posed by Islamophobia in the U.K. as he described how he had been
“subject to Islamophobic abuse in two separate incidents on my way home from
first was on public transport on my route home,” he said.
said: “A middle aged white male on the bus told me I was “despicable” and a
“s***hole” and that the whole country was “f***”. When I asked why - he said it
was because I was wearing a dress.”
imam said that a “white lady on the bus” had “clearly showed her disapproval of
the Islamophobe and support for me - which was nice to see” but that, after
getting off, he was abused for a second time “on Whitechapel Road where a
cyclist spat at me.”
chased after him but he got away. It was so sad to see such reckless hate and
Islamophobia after the event and after all we have been through this week,” he
was in the meeting promoting inclusion and tolerance and to hear Javid, who
today announced a boost in security funding for mosques and pledged to do all
in his power to protect Muslims in this country from aggression and
intolerance, according to the British daily.
prevented the terrorist Darren Osborn from being harmed following the 2017
terror attack at the Muslim Welfare Centre after he killed one Muslim man and
injured others when he plowed into people leaving the mosque after Ramadan
attending the same meeting with Mahmoud, the Archbishop of Canterbury said
people who twist Christian language and history to incite hatred against
Muslims commit "blasphemy".
British Muslims who are feeling under threat, we are with you,” the Archbishop
horrific terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand was "inspired by
Islamophobic media reports" and "unchecked social media
bigotry", more than 350 Muslim leaders from countries including the U.K.,
U.S. and South Africa said in a letter.
letter published by The Guardian said Islamophobia has been fueled by many
individuals and it is "systemic".
bigotry has been fueled by certain callous academics, reckless politicians as
well as media outlets who regularly feature those who demonize Islam and Muslims
with impunity, disguising their vile mantra behind a veneer of
objectivity," the letter said.
said: "The massacre of Muslims did not just begin with bullets fired from
the barrel of Tarrant’s gun. Rather it was decades in the making: inspired by
Islamophobic media reports, hundreds and thousands of column inches of hatred
printed in the press, many Muslim-hating politicians and unchecked social media
letter was referring to the suspect identified as an Australian-born Brenton
Harrison Tarrant, 28, who fired on Muslim worshippers at Al Noor mosque where
at least 50 victims were killed in Friday's twin terror attacks in
Christchurch, New Zealand.
have been constantly cast as suspect communities, foreigners with barbaric
views who are a threat to our society."
are now reaping the awful outcome of systemic and institutionalised
Islamophobia woven into many sections of our societies," it added.
security at mosques
Warsi, a senior Conservative peer called on ministers to pay attention to
demands from Muslim leaders for an increase in funding for mosque security
after the New Zealand terrorist attack.
said Islamophobia was the Conservative party’s "bigotry blind spot".
Security Minister Ben Wallace said the government is seeking ways to increase
security funding for British mosques and Muslim communities across the country
to prevent such an attack which "absolutely could happen" in the U.K.
response to increased threat, we will increase and seek to change the funding
around that [mosques] and that is why we do have the Places of Worship
Scheme," Wallace said.
will absolutely be looking at seeing whether that needs to be increased over
the short and longer term," he added.
minister’s announcement was made following the stabbing of a young victim on
Saturday by a 50-year-old suspect, who shouted “kill all Muslims”.
incident is being treated by the police as an act of terrorism inspired by the
also said the government was increasingly concerned over the growth of
far-right extremism in the U.K. and the rising number of people who are
identifying with such an extreme ideology and mindset.
Khan, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, said a "palpable sense of
fear" had surfaced among British Muslims following the New Zealand terror
attack in a letter sent to Prime Minister Theresa May.
seven days a week, especially on Fridays, mosques across the U.K. are places
servicing well attended congregations,” Khan said.
makes the risk of copy-cat attacks here in the UK a real possibility,
especially in a climate where we are now fully appreciating the growth in the
far-right,” he added.
is form here when, in 2017, we saw a terrorist attack against Muslim worshippers
during the holy month of Ramadan at Finsbury Park.”
Osborne, 48, killed Makram Ali, 51, and injured 11 others in June 2017 when he
plowed a van into a group of Muslim worshippers after they left Ramadan prayers
at the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has increased funding for security in places of
worship to £1.6 million for next year.
funding, announced in a written ministerial statement, comes after the terror
attacks in Christchurch claimed the lives of 50 people and wounded 40.
the massacre, police presence was stepped up at mosques across the UK to
reassure communities fearing similar attacks.
places of worship fund, established in 2016 as part of the government’s hate
crime action plan, provides financial support for protective security such as
fencing, lighting and CCTV.
government previously committed funding of £2.4m over three years.
far, more than a third of grants under the scheme have been awarded to mosques.
government will open a £5m fund to provide security training at mosques and
other places of worship.
horrific events in New Zealand are a direct attack on the values of tolerance
and freedom of worship that unite us all,” Mr Javid said.
should ever fear persecution of their faith and it’s vital that we stand
together to reject those who seek to spread hatred and divide us.”
Sunday, just hours after the New Zealand mosque attack, two men in their 20s
were caught on camera in London brandishing a hammer or another blunt object
before attacking a worshipper near a mosque in East London.
also emerged on Twitter that a group of men had been caught with flaming rags
soaked in petrol outside a Muslim prayer centre in Southall, West London.
many Muslim communities in the UK are feeling anxious after recent attacks, Mr
Javid said they “should seek comfort from knowing we are doing everything to
tackle hate and extremism”.
governing Conservative Party has been forced to suspend up to 25 activists
found to have posted racist comments on Facebook. This is in addition to the 40
members already suspended from previous investigations into Islamphobia.
inquiry into the growing anti-Muslim problem in the Tory Party by organisers of
the @MatesJacob Twitter account showed comments on killing Muslims, by people
claiming to be Conservative party members.
was going through a few magazines the other day down at the local Mosque. I was
really enjoying myself. Then the rifle jammed,” said one activist on the
Jacob-Rees Mogg Supporters Group Facebook page, named after but not affiliated
with the backbencher member of parliament.
activist wrote “No Muslim will get my vote”, while another referenced British
Prime Minister Theresa May’s use of the word "simples" in a recent
parliamentary speech: “tow them back out to sea, sink the boat. Simples”.
members were found to have made racist comments on the Facebook group page, but
the Tory Party have not specified how many of them have been suspended. The
number could well be below the 25 outed.
self-identifying party members in total have been banned on the back of
screenshots posted by the @MatesJacob Twitter account investigating
institutional racism in the Conservative Party.
Tory party chair Sayeeda Warsi, Britain’s first Muslim woman cabinet minister,
criticised her party for failing to handle complaints in an open and
system of complaints is opaque and mired in bureaucracy. There is no clarity on
which complaint has been considered, what action was taken and no transparency
of eventual outcome,” Ms Warsi told news and entertainment website Buzzfeed.
is what makes this issue of Islamophobia institutional – the party as an
organisation is failing those that raise concerns.”
of raising Islamaphobia w/n my Party had left me weary but #NZMosqueShooting
tragically reminded me that this fight is essential &must go on
@Conservatives u can duck &dive but I will keep bringing this fight to u -
the longer we deny it the more we confirm we hav a prob
PM - Mar 18, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
Warsi is a vocal critic of her successor Brandon Lewis and has been extensively
campaigning for senior politicians in the Conservative Party to take
image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
week , another bunch of bigots to exclude from @Conservatives
Annette Susan Martin a member as she claims?
attached her vile islamophobic views @BrandonLewis
PM - Mar 18, 2019
people are talking about this
members who have been found to have made inappropriate comments have been
suspended pending further investigation.”
report by anti-fascist organisation Hope Not Hate found Conservative voters are
more likely to have anti-Muslim views compared to voters from other British
Zealand envoy headed to Turkey to ‘confront’ Erdogan’s mosque shooting comments
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday Foreign Minister
Winston Peters will travel to Turkey to “confront” comments made by Turkish President
Tayyip Erdogan on the killing of at least 50 people at mosques in Christchurch.
Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on
Saturday after a lone gunman opened fire at the two mosques during Friday prayers.
— who is seeking to drum up support for his Islamist-rooted AK Party in March
31 local elections — said Turkey would make the suspected attacker pay if New
Zealand did not.
comments came at a campaign rally that included video footage of the shootings
which the alleged gunman had broadcast on Facebook.
said Peters would seek urgent clarification.
deputy prime minister will be confronting those comments in Turkey,” Ardern
told reporters in Christchurch. “He is going there to set the record straight,
had earlier condemned the airing of footage of the shooting, which he said
could endanger New Zealanders abroad.
Peters’ intervention, an extract from Tarrant’s alleged manifesto was flashed
up on a screen at Erdogan’s rally again on Tuesday, along with footage of the
gunman entering one of the mosques and shooting as he approached the door.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he summoned Turkey’s ambassador
for a meeting, during which he demanded Erdogan’s comments be removed from
Turkey’s state broadcaster.
will wait to see what the response is from the Turkish government before taking
further action, but I can tell you that all options are on the table,” Morrison
told reporters in Canberra.
said Australia’s ambassador to Turkey will on Wednesday meet with the members
of Erdogan’s government.
said Canberra is also reconsidering its travel advice for Australians planning
trips to Turkey.
between Turkey, New Zealand and Australia have generally been good. Thousands
of Australians and New Zealanders travel each year to Turkey for war memorial
over a century ago, thousands of soldiers from the Australian and New Zealand
Army Corps (ANZAC) struggled ashore on a narrow beach at Gallipoli during an
ill-fated campaign that would claim more than 130,000 lives.
area has become a site of pilgrimage for visitors who honor their nations’
fallen in graveyards halfway around the world on ANZAC Day every April 25.
made the remarks in a meeting with a high-ranking Iranian military delegation
headed by Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein
Baqeri in Damascus on Monday night.
added that blood of the Syrians, Iranians and Iraqis shed in the fight against
terrorism and their supporters further strengthened the three countries' relations.
Baqeri arrived in Damascus on Sunday to take part in a tripartite meeting on
combating terrorism with Iraqi and Syrian military officials.
arrival in Damascus, he reiterated Tehran’s call that the foreign military
forces in Syria without Damascus’s permit must leave the Arab country.
foreign) forces who are present in Syria without any authorization from the
country's government must leave the Syrian soil as soon as possible,"
General Baqeri said on Sunday.
Iran military chief of staff said that the foreign troop’s withdrawal would be
underlined in the tripartite meeting.
added that Iran was in Syria at the official request of the Syrian government,
stressing that the troops of the other countries need to secure the permission
of the Arab country government.
pointed to the illegal presence of foreign troops in Idlib province and the
eastern Euphrates region and underscored that these forces should leave those
areas as soon as possible.
purpose of the trip to Syria is to participate in the tripartite summit between
Iran, Syria and Iraq with the participation of their senior commanders to
coordinate efforts on the fight against terrorist groups in the region,” Baqeri
the last few years, excellent coordination has been achieved between Iran,
Syria, Russia and Iraq, and there has been solidarity with the Resistance Axis
that led to significant victories in countering terrorism, and today, on the
basis of these victories, the consolidation of sovereignty and progress towards
the liberation of the rest of Syria would is taking place.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged grief-stricken New Zealand to restore
capital punishment for the mass murderer who shot dead scores of people in the
Pacific Ocean country last week, vowing that Ankara would make the assailant
“pay” for his “heinous” crime if Wellington did not.
Friday, a 28-year-old Australian national, identified as Brenton Tarrant,
killed 50 people and wounded 50 others at two mosques in Christchurch, a city
located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The mass shooting is
regarded as the deadliest ever attack in New Zealand.
attacker, who broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in
Christchurch, was detained shortly afterwards and on Saturday stood handcuffed
before a New Zealand district court judge and was charged with murder. He was
remanded without plea until his next appearance in the High Court on April 5.
heinously killed 50 of our siblings. You will pay for this. If New Zealand
doesn’t make you, we know how to make you pay one way or another,” the Turkish
president told an election rally of thousands in northern Turkey on Tuesday.
attacker, a suspected white supremacist, wrote a lengthy manifesto, titled “The
Great Replacement,” in which he described the Turkish leader as a “warlord” who
is leading a country that is among “the oldest enemies of our people.”
further issued threats against Turkey and Erdogan himself, calling for the
drive of Turks from Turkey’s northwestern European region, where Istanbul is
located, a Muslim-majority city and Turkey’s largest urban center.
on Tuesday also said his country was wrong to have abolished the death penalty
15 years ago, adding that Wellington should make legal arrangements so that
Tarrant could face capital punishment.
the New Zealand parliament doesn’t make this decision I will continue to argue
this with them constantly. The necessary action needs to be taken,” he said.
weekend election rallies Erdogan showed appalling video footage of the
shooting, as well as excerpts from the attacker's so-called manifesto. The
move, however, drew a rebuke from New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters,
who said he had told Turkey’s foreign minister and vice president that showing
the video could endanger New Zealanders abroad.
an extract from Tarrant’s manifesto was again shown on a screen at Erdogan’s
rally on Tuesday, as well as short part of the footage.
Monday, Erdogan addressed a rally in the northwestern province of Canakkale
commemorating the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, when Ottoman soldiers defeated
British-led forces including Australian and New Zealand troops trying to seize
the peninsula, a gateway to Istanbul.
said the mass shooting of Muslims in New Zealand is part of a wider attack on
Turkey, calling on Wellington to launch a serious investigation into the
massacre and threatening to send back “in caskets” all those who try to take
the battle to Istanbul.
Turkey’s intelligence, Erdogan also said on Monday that the mass murderer had
visited Turkey twice in 2016.
in the day, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed “the terrorist”
would face “the full force of the law.”
day, three civilians are killed in Yemen amid the deadly campaign led by the
regime in Riyadh against the impoverished country, says a report co-sponsored
by aid group Oxfam.
mid-December 2018, persisting violence and war have killed one person every
eight hours, according to the report, which was published on Tuesday.
date is when a UN-sponsored ceasefire was agreed between Yemen’s Houthi
Ansarullah movement and Saudi-backed forces during talks in Sweden. The
Stockholm negotiations were supposed to come up with a mechanism to end the war
on Yemen that began in March 2015.
report further said the number of fatalities had doubled in the provinces of
Hajjah and Ta'izz.
a truce had reduced hostilities in Hudaydah, the report said, a third of over
230 civilians killed nationwide, including 56 children, were reported in that
death toll, which the UN reported was as high as 100 a week in 2018, has
dropped but it remains unacceptably high following the ceasefire, the report
Siddiquey, Oxfam’s Yemen Country Director, said more Yemenis were also dying
due to lack of food and basic necessities.
day that passes without concrete progress towards peace, more Yemenis lose
their lives and the suffering deepens for those struggling to find food and
shelter amid the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.”
backers of the warring parties are complicit in this man-made crisis; we call
on them to stop arming the belligerents. They and the rest of the international
community need to do all they can to help bring about a lasting peace in
number of Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular,
supply the Saudi-led forces with advanced weapons and military equipment as
well as logistical and intelligence assistance.
February, media reports said the Australian government had provided $36 million
to a Canberra weapons manufacturer to support the development of a system that
has been sold to Saudi Arabia.
Tuesday, Conor Costello, Oxfam Australia Yemen campaigns lead, spoke against
exports of Australian arms to Saudi Arabia.
Australia is demanding a halt to Australian arms exports to Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates and other parties to the Yemen conflict."
Palestinian Territories: Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in
clashes near a flashpoint religious site in the occupied West Bank overnight
Wednesday, the Palestinian health ministry said.
health ministry said Raid Hamdan, 21, and Zaid Nouri, 20, died after being shot
late Tuesday by Israeli troops near the Joseph Tomb’s religious site close to
the Palestinian city of Nablus.
Israeli army said explosives were hurled as Jewish worshipers visited the site
late, with troops opening fire on the assailants.
CITY: Hamas is facing the biggest demonstrations yet against its 12-year rule
of the Gaza Strip, with hundreds of Palestinians taking to the streets in
recent days to protest the dire living conditions in the blockaded territory.
little tolerance for dissent, the militant group has responded with heavy-handed
tactics. It has arrested dozens of protesters, beaten activists and violently
suppressed attempts by local media to cover the unrest.
has accused the rival West Bank-based Palestinian Authority of orchestrating
the protests — a charge that organizers vehemently reject.
is no political agenda at all,” said Amin Abed, 30, an organizer who has been
forced into hiding. “We simply want to live in dignity,” he said by telephone.
“We just ask Hamas to ease the economic hardships and tax burdens.”
seized control of Gaza in 2007 from the forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas. Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade, a step meant to prevent Hamas from
blockade, and three wars with Israel, have ravaged Gaza’s economy but done
nothing to loosen Hamas’ grip on power.
is over 50 percent and much higher for young university graduates like Abed.
Tap water is undrinkable, electricity is limited and travel abroad severely
restricted. Hamas’ cash-strapped government recently raised taxes on basic
goods like bread, beans and cigarettes.
accuse Hamas of corruption and imposing the hefty taxes to enrich itself. They
used social media to organize protests last week with the slogan “We want to
protests come just as Hamas marks the one-year anniversary of its weekly
demonstrations along the frontier with Israel. The demonstrations, aimed
largely at easing the blockade, have accomplished little, even as some 190
Palestinians have been killed and thousands wounded by Israeli fire.
is not the first time people have taken to the streets against Hamas. Two years
ago, protesters demonstrated against the chronic power cuts on a cold January
day before Hamas violently dispersed them. This time around, the sporadic rallies
have continued for five days, despite a similarly violent response.
protests were the largest, the longest and the most violent in terms of Hamas’
suppression,” said Mkhaimar Abusada, political science professor at Gaza’s
was a message of anger to Hamas that the situation is unbearable and that it
must reconsider all its policies,” he added.
Monday, Amnesty International reported that hundreds of protesters have been
beaten, arbitrarily arrested, tortured and subjected to ill-treatment.
Journalists and human rights workers, including a researcher for the
London-based organization, were also roughed up, Amnesty said.
crackdown on freedom of expression and the use of torture in Gaza has reached
alarming new levels,” said Amnesty’s Middle East deputy director Saleh Higazi.
Al-Kahlout, a journalist with the local news site Donia Al-Wattan, last week
published a photo of a protester on crutches raising a sign that said “I want
to live in dignity.” The next day, he was detained as he went live on Facebook
during another protest.
said police smashed furniture, seized his belongings and beat him on the way to
the police station. “I’m a journalist,” he said. “I don’t regret covering it.”
said he was released after a meeting with the police chief in which officials
“advised” journalists not to cover the protests.
el-Buhissi, 31, who filmed the raids at her family home, said a policeman fired
a warning shot in the air as others cursed and yelled at her after she started
filming. Her videos show a group of Hamas police beating her cousin with wooden
amateur videos have shown protesters burning tires and hurling stones toward
Hamas forces. Hamas gunmen can be seen jumping out of vehicles and beating
people with clubs. Other videos show Hamas going door to door and carrying out
filmed the incident last Thursday when she saw Hamas dispersing some of her
neighbors who had hoisted banners against tax hikes. Her family opened the home
to allow youths to escape the police.
is what drove the police crazy, and that’s why they stormed our houses,” she
said. “I felt I have to film to prove what was going on.”
Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists reported Monday that 42
Palestinian journalists “were targeted” by Hamas forces in the past five days.
The abuses included physical assaults, summons, threats, home arrests and
seizure of equipment.
official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported Monday that the
spokesman of Abbas’ Fatah movement in Gaza, Atef Abu Saif, was badly beaten by
showed pictures of Abu Said with a bandaged leg, bruises and blood-stained
clothes lying on a hospital bed.
Dwaik, director of the Independent Commission for Human Rights in Gaza, said
Hamas forces have dispersed 25 protests with excessive force and arrested about
1,000 people. He said some 300 people remain in custody.
is worst crackdown in Gaza since the Hamas takeover in 2007 in terms of its
scope and cruelty,” Dwaik said.
Tuesday, Hamas issued a brief statement “rejecting the use of violence and
repression against any Palestinian for practicing his legitimate right of
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas official, used tougher language in a Twitter post,
accusing Israel and the Palestinian Authority of conspiring to organize
protests. “The attempts of the Palestinian Authority and the occupation to
drive a wedge between the people and the resistance have failed,” he said.
demonstrations appeared to subside on Monday, but organizers say the protests
will continue until Hamas cancels taxes on dozens of goods, creates a national
employment program and releases everyone who has been arrested in the
The United States has told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that Washington will
no longer deal with his national security adviser Hamdullah Mohib, the US and
Afghan media reported on Tuesday.
Monday afternoon, US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad met
Pakistan’s ambassador Asad Majeed Khan and told him that everyone will benefit
from peace in Afghanistan.
with Pakistani and British Ambassadors to Washington. Whether your perspective
is regional or international, everyone benefits from the security and economic
dividends an end to war in Afghanistan will bring,” he wrote in a tweet.
on Tuesday, the Reuters news agency reported that on March 15, US Under
Secretary of state for political affairs David Hale told President Ghani by
phone that Mohib would no longer be received in Washington and that US civilian
and military officials would not do business with him.
Hale called President Ghani and told him that Mr Mohib is no longer welcome in
DC. The US will not deal with him in Kabul or in DC anymore,” the report added.
Other media reports claimed that the move was part of a US effort to pressure
Ghani to fire Mr Mohib.
Khalilzad, also a senior US diplomat, leads the US team in the talks with
Taliban in Doha. So far, the two sides have held five rounds of talks with the
Taliban in Doha and Mr Khalilzad returned to Kabul late last week after the
fifth round to brief US officials and representatives of other governments on
the talks. But during the weekend, the Afghan NSA Mohib triggered a major
controversy when he claimed that Mr Khalilzad had intentionally kept the Afghan
government out of the talks because he wanted to be the next “viceroy” of
statement annoyed the US State Department, which summoned Mr Mohib to protest.
Because of the dispute, US National Security Adviser John Bolton also cancelled
a meeting with Mr Mohib and he was told that he may not be issued a US visa for
future visits, although he has an American wife.
also denies Mr Mohib’s claim that the US has created an information vacuum
regarding the peace talks with the Taliban to delegitimise the Afghan
government. The United States says that it has been trying hard to persuade the
Taliban to talk to the Afghan government but they are refusing to do so. The
Afghan government suggests that the United States should also opt out of the
talks if the Taliban continue refusing to talk to Kabul, a condition apparently
unacceptable to Washington. Mr Mohib did not comment on the report but he
tweeted on Tuesday that he was back in Kabul after his visits to the US and Abu
Dhabi to” join President Ghani on his state visit to the UAE.”
earlier tweets, he said that in Washington he met “many friends of Afghanistan,
including in the US government, Congress, think tanks, and the media. “I voiced
our people’s legitimate concerns and made Afghanistan’s principled position
clear,” he wrote.
also said that the Afghan people and government valued their partnership with
the United States and were especially grateful for America’s generous support
to Afghan armed forces. But he also cautioned Afghan politicians, particularly
the Afghan presidential hopefuls, to “exercise restraint” and not end up on
the wrong side of history. “The country will judge you on how you treat your
own, not what you do for others. Patriotism above all,” he wrote.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) advocacy group is calling on
advertisers to pull their support for Fox News unless a pair of hosts who are
facing criticism for Islamophobic rhetoric are fired.
News must clearly state that Jeanine Pirro will not be allowed back on the air
after her long history of Islamophobic hate rhetoric and the network must also
take similar action against other Islamophobic hosts like Tucker Carlson,” CAIR
Director Nihad Awad said in a statement issued Monday.
existing advertisers should drop their ads on Fox News to ensure that they are
not associated with the promotion of hate," Awad added.
called for Pirro's firing after she criticized U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar
for her choice to wear the Muslim headscarf, or hijab. Pirro called Omar's
decision "antithetical to the Constitution".
News has "strongly" condemned Pirro's remarks but has yet to take
known punitive actions against the Saturday night television show host.
is unclear if the television network is weighing additional actions against
Pirro. Her show did not air over the weekend.
least four advertisers have pulled out of Pirro's show, including Botox-maker
Allergan, online marketplace Letgo, personal finance firm NerdWallet and
pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
is further calling for Fox News to remove Carlson, another host who has been
embroiled in controversy in recent weeks after tapes were unearthed of him
making chauvinist, racist and Islamophobic comments.
advertisers have already pulled their support after the Media Matters website
released the recordings.
forces have captured ISIS fighters tied to a January suicide bombing in Syria
that killed four Americans, U.S. officials say, generating concrete leads for
Washington about the deadliest attack to date there against US personnel.
bombing killed Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Farmer, Navy Chief
Cryptologic Technician Shannon Kent and Scott Wirtz from the Defense
Intelligence Agency. It also killed Ghadir Taher, a naturalised US citizen
working as a civilian interpreter for a US contractor.
of the officials told Reuters the number of people detained was in the
"single digits." A second official said there were several
"initial detentions" made in February, without offering a specific
number. The detentions have not been previously reported.
initial detentions have provided some leads and opportunities that we are
continuing to exploit," the second official said, speaking on condition of
anonymity and declining to offer additional details.
investigation is ongoing as are efforts to bring all of those terrorists
responsible to justice."
attack was the worst single incident involving US personnel in Syria since they
deployed on the ground there in 2015 and took place at a cafe in the town of
Manbij, which was controlled by a militia allied to US-backed Kurdish forces.
bombing occurred nearly a month after President Donald Trump confounded his own
national security team and allies with a surprise decision on December 19 to
withdraw all 2,000 US troops from Syria, declaring ISIS had been defeated
seized on the killings as clear evidence that ISIS still posed a threat.
backtracked in February, agreeing to leave a small US presence to help keep
pressure on ISIS during what the US military believes will be a critical
stabilisation phase in Syria. The United States is seeking contributions from
allies including Britain and France to remain in Syria.
US military has warned that ISIS may still count tens of thousands of fighters,
dispersed throughout Iraq and Syria, with enough leaders and resources to
present a menacing insurgency in the months ahead.
Pentagon's own internal watchdog released a report last month saying Islamic
State remained an active insurgent group and was regenerating functions and
capabilities more quickly in Iraq than in Syria.
sustained [counterterrorism] pressure, ISIS could likely resurge in Syria
within six to 12 months and regain limited territory," the report from the
Pentagon's inspector general said. The report, citing information from US
Central Command, said ISIS would portray the withdrawal as a
"victory" and conduct attacks on American personnel during the
dismayed at muted response to NZ terror attack
cleric and Imam of Aishbagh Eidgah, Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali,
expressed dismay at the muted response of secular parties to massacre of 50
Muslims who were praying in Al Noor mosque in Christchurch (New Zealand).
Maulana also accused the media of adopting double standards in this case.
am at my wits end to comprehend the response of secular parties to the New
Zealand tragedy. The same parties condemned the incident when two Muslim gunmen
in Paris attacked the office of French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo,
killing 12 people and injuring 11 on January, 2015. The secular parties vied
with each other in condemning the incident in strongest possible terms but they
have maintained studied silence over the Christchurch incident,” Farangi Mahali
said on Monday.
Maulana, also a member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, said, “We
should have a uniform approach in condemning acts of terror. If a Muslim is
involved in the act of terror, he is immediately dubbed as terrorist while
non-Muslims indulging in such acts are described as ‘gunmen’ and `shooter’.”
Mahali added, “Anybody killing innocent person is a terrorist and those having
soft corner for terrorists are mentally sick. I feel that the root cause of
terrorism is Islamophobia.”
DELHI: India-Pakistan barter trade through PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) has
received a setback with the Enforcement Directorate attaching 13 properties of
Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants in the Valley, allegedly purchased using Rs 11
crore terror funds sent by PoK-based HM founder Syed Salahuddin through the
barter trade channel.
to ED, Salahuddin had sourced the funds from Pakistan government funded J&K
Affectees Relief Trust (JKART) and another trust meant for providing relief to
Kashmiri Muslims in Pakistan. Militants on both sides, in PoK and in the
Valley, were engaged in barter trade and channeled the terror funds, the probe
ED money trail showed that Rs 10.5 crore of the Rs 11.26 crore sent through
barter trade was withdrawn in cash in the Valley and distributed to terrorists.
About half a dozen associates of Salahuddin and HM militants in the Valley have
been named by the agency in its attachment order having received these funds
and investing part of it in properties.
on date, 13 properties of Md Shafi Shah and six other terrorists of Hizbul
Mujahideen worth Rs 1.22 crore located in J&K have been attached under PMLA
(Prevention of Money Laundering Act),” ED said.
Shah, alias Doctor, has been identified by the agency as the mastermind in the
Valley who received the funds and further distributed them to HM militants from
Bandipora, Budgam and Anantnag. Some of these terrorists have already been arrested
and lodged in Tihar jail, the agency said.
ED has also identified 25 properties of militants in the Valley which received
investments from Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed. Last week, it had attached
a Gurugram property worth over Rs 1 crore allegedly funded by Hafiz Saeed. So
far, the agency has identified properties worth over Rs 7 crore, the funds for
which had come from Pakistan and Dubai through hawala channels.
its money laundering case registered against Hafiz Saeed, the agency has accused
several Hurriyat leaders and militant sympathisers — including Kashmiri
businessman Zahoor Shah Watali and Altaf Ahmad Shah, alias Fantoosh, son-in-law
of Syed Ali Shah Geelani — of having received terror funds.
probe has identified proceeds of crime (terror funds) of more than Rs 7 crore
out of which Rs 5.62 crore was received in India from Dubai and Rs 1.62 crore
received from Hafiz Saeed and ISI through the Pakistan High Commission,” the
discuss the technical issues regarding the proposed corridor to Gurdwara Darbar
Sahib in Kartarpur, teams of officials from Pakistan and India on Tuesday held
a meeting in no man’s land on Indo-Pak border in Dera Baba Nanak. The team of
experts from both the countries discussed alignment, coordinates, and other
engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points.
meeting, held in makeshift tents, comes days after the two countries held talks
to finalise the modalities for the corridor. The technical meeting at the level
of experts, including engineers and surveyors, was held in the follow up to the
decision reached in the March 14 meeting, said sources.
Pakistani team that included 20 delegates was received by the Dera Baba Nanak
sub-divisional magistrate Gursimran Singh Dhillon. The 14-member Indian team
had officials from the Land Ports Authority of India, National Highways
Authority of India (NHAI), BSF and the Punjab government.
discussions, the teams demarcated points with green and orange flags on the
passage. The outcomes of the site visit and survey would be discussed at a
meeting on April 2, said sources.
teams discussed about the exact location of the zero point where both the
roads, one leading from Pakistan and the other from Indian side will meet. This
road will form an integral part of the corridor. The construction of the
integrated check post (ICP) on the Indian side, too, was discussed. The
construction and alignment of two gates, one on each side, was also discussed,
media and officials of the Gurdaspur administration were not allowed to be part
of the meeting. Even devotees who had come to view the shrine associated with
Guru Nanak were asked to deposit their mobile phones and other gadgets with
construction of the ICP, to be built on 50 acres, started on Monday. “The
construction of the ICP is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. The actual
road (corridor), which will be 4.5km, will be completed within 60 days. That’s
why we are interesting in building the ICP first. Later, we will focus on the
road,” said an official of the Land Ports Authority of India.
November, India and Pakistan agreed to set up the border crossing linking
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, the final resting place of Guru Nanak, to
Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district.
has neither forgotten nor will forget the Pulwama terror attack and the
country’s leadership is “capable and courageous” to mete out effective
responses to such acts, NSA Ajit Doval said Tuesday.
for the first time about the attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed on
February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir, the national security advisor (NSA) asked the
paramilitary force to “constantly” enhance their professionalism, training,
physical capabilities and quick response skills.
should we do? What should be our way, our aim and our response and time to
respond? The country’s leadership is both capable and courageous to (do) that,”
Doval said.”The country will tackle all such challenges and we have the courage
to do this,” he said while addressing Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
personnel on the paramilitary force’s 80th raising day celebrations at its
group centre here.
began his 16-minute speech by paying tributes to the 40 personnel who were
killed when a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist blew up his explosives-laden
vehicle alongside their bus, which was part of a convoy going from Jammu to
Srinagar.The country has not forgotten and will not forget the terror attack,
Doval said, referring to the Pulwama incident.
NSA reiterated that the leadership of the country is fully capable to deal with
any act of terror and also against those who abet it.
a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is believed to be the person behind
the planning of the air strike on a JeM camp in Balakot in Pakistan.
strike was carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in retaliation to the
Pulwama terror incident, which was one of the worst attack on security
personnel in Kashmir in three decades.
Pulwama attack was a “very sad incident”, Doval said, adding that the country
will always be indebted to these personnel and their families. He asked CRPF
personnel to “not look back” as they have a golden future ahead.
your morale is high, then the country’s future is safe,” the retired Indian
Police Service (IPS) officer and chief of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), said.
history is replete with examples when weak internal security mechanisms led to
loss of independence, constitutional crises and collapse of governments, he
said after World War II, out of the 37 nations that faced such crisis, 28
suffered it because of internal security problems.Therefore, the CRPF, as the
lead internal security force of the country has an important role and onerous
responsibility in ensuring peace, and law and order, he said.
praised the force for its quick response in moving from one conflict or combat
theatre to the another in a short time and for being a very “credible” force
for the Indian government when it comes to ensuring law and order anywhere in
said anywhere in the country if there is a internal security challenge, “you
will find CRPF’s tackling it”The CRPF, with about 3 lakh personnel, has 246
operational battalions, and was raised in 1939 as the Crown Representatives
Police during British rule. It was re-named as the CRPF in 1949.
was granted the President’s colour this day in 1950 by the first home minister
of the country, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.It is the highest honour bestowed on a
force in recognition of exceptional service rendered by it to the nation, both
during war and peace.This is the second time that Doval attended as chief guest
a martial event conducted by any of the Central Armed Police Forces since he
was appointed the NSA by the Modi government in 2014.
had reviewed an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) parade in 2015 when the force
guarding the China border marked its 54th years of raising.
am your mother now”: New Zealand mosque shootings hit tight-knit Bangladesh
Ahmed was 19 when she arrived in New Zealand from Bangladesh on her wedding
day. Waiting to meet her was Farid, the man she would marry in a few hours, as
their families had agreed. A quarter of a century later, the life they had
built together was torn apart at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch when a
gunman walked into the building, firing on worshippers at Friday prayers.
encountered the gunman on his way out of the mosque. He shot her on the
footpath. She fell and he fired two more shots, killing her instantly. Farid,
who uses a wheelchair after an earlier accident, was talking to a friend and
was delayed from joining worshippers at his usual spot at the front of the
mosque, instead praying in a small side room.
managed to escape when he heard the shooting begin, returning when the gunman
left, to find many of his friends and community members dead, and comfort those
who were dying.
found out about his wife’s death when a detective he knew called his niece as
they waited outside the mosque.
passed the phone: “I don’t want you to wait the whole night, Farid. Go home,
she will not come,” Farid said the detective told him. “At the moment I hear
that, my response was I felt numb,” Farid told Reuters. “I had tears but I
didn’t break down.” His niece crumbled.
total of 50 people were killed in the rampage, with as many wounded, as the
gunman went from Al Noor to another mosque in the South Island city. Most
victims were migrants or refugees from countries including Pakistan, India,
Malaysia, Syria, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan.
Bangladesh cricket team manager Khaled Mashud recounts the chilling details of
the shooting incident in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday. The Bangladesh
cricket team were on their way to one of the mosques for Friday prayers when
was one of five members of a growing but tight-knit Bangladeshi community
killed, according to the Bangladesh consul in New Zealand, Shafiqur Rahman
Bhuiyan. Four others were wounded, one critically, he added.
country is viewed as a slice of paradise,” he told Reuters. “Everyone is in
shock. It will certainly take time for the residents to come out of the
of the Bangladesh cricket team, in town for a test match against New Zealand,
narrowly avoided the carnage, turning up at the Al Noor mosque soon after the
attack took place. Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white
supremacist, has been charged with murder. He entered no plea and police said
he is likely to face more charges.
slaughter has rocked Christchurch, and New Zealand, to its core, blanketing the
city in grief and driving Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to promise swift gun
law reform. Based on what eyewitnesses told him, Farid said instead of hiding,
Husna helped women and children inside the mosque and ran to the front of the
building to look for him.
such a person who always put other people first and she was even not afraid to
give her life saving other people,” Farid said.
was born on 12 October in 1974 in Sylhet, a city on the banks of the Surma
River, in northeastern Bangladesh. She was so fast that Shahzalal Junior High
School would only let her run three races, to give her rivals a chance, Farid
said he had forgiven his wife’s killer. “I want to give the message to the
person who did this, or if he has any friends who also think like this: I still
love you,” Farid said. “I want to hug you and I want to tell him in face that I
am talking from my heart. I have no grudge against you, I never hated you, I
will never hate you.”
few hours after the massacre as evening fell, the front room of Farid’s home in
a sleepy Christchurch suburb where he runs a homeopathy business was full with
survivors and friends, grieving for a woman many described as like a mother to
was born on 12 October in 1974 in Sylhet, a city on the banks of the Surma
River, in northeastern Bangladesh. She was so fast that Shahzalal Junior High
School would only let her run three races, to give her rivals a chance, Farid
said. She moved to New Zealand in 1994.
nervous and overwhelmed by leaving everyone she knew for a new life in an alien
country, she burst into tears when her husband-to-be picked her up from
Auckland airport. He comforted her on the long drive back to Nelson, where he
was living, and where she quickly found her feet.
almost no other Bangladeshis in the small city, Husna made English-speaking
friends and learned the language within six months. Farid said she spoke it
with more of a Kiwi accent than he did. When Farid’s workmates at a meatpacking
plant agreed to work half an hour longer on Fridays so he could take a break to
pray, she cooked them a feast every week in thanks. And when Farid was
partially paralysed after being run over by a car outside his house, after four
years of marriage, she moved with him to Christchurch and became his nurse.
Christchurch was razed by a deadly earthquake in 2011, Husna helped settle an
influx of Bangladeshi migrants – qualified engineers, metalworkers and builders
– who came to assist the rebuilding of the shattered city. Mohammad Omar Faruk,
36, was one of the new arrivals. Faruk was working as a welder in Singapore but
leapt at the opportunity to come to New Zealand where working conditions were
better and permanent residency was possible.
was also killed at Al Noor mosque. His employer, Rob van Peer, said he had
allowed his team to leave early last Friday after they finished a job by
lunchtime, meaning Faruk could attend Friday prayers. Van Peer said Faruk was
loved by his colleagues for his loyal and friendly personality and fast,
precise welds. Faruk’s wife in Bangladesh is three months pregnant.
husband had so many dreams for our baby,” said Sanjida Zaman, 19. “He dreamed
of us being moved to New Zealand in a few years and my baby will get education
there. What will happen to baby? Who will take care of my baby? I just can’t
Bhuiyan, a welder at another engineering firm, also died. He was waiting for a
visitor visa so his wife could travel from Bangladesh.
Haque worked as a dentist in Bangladesh and was studying in New Zealand for an
advanced medical qualification when he was killed. All three men knew Husna,
said their friend Mojibur Rahman, a welder and former flatmate of Faruk. “It’s
really hard because we are a little community but everyone’s living here in
unity, we know each other, we share everything with each together,” he said.
“Now I don’t know what’s going to happen, how we become normal.”
fifth Bangladeshi victim was Abus Samad, 66, a former faculty member of
Bangladesh Agriculture University who had been teaching at Christchurch’s
new workers to Christchurch brought young families, or were starting them and
Husna took it upon herself to care for women through their pregnancies, often
waking Farid at all hours so he could drive her to the births.
think she’s like a mother…if there’s something we needed, we go to Husna,” said
Mohammed Jahangir Alan, another welder.
guided his wife, then 19, to a midwife and a doctor and joined her in the
delivery room as she gave birth to a baby girl, Alan said. A few days later
Husna shaved the infant’s head, an Islamic ritual which she did for dozens of
children in the community. She was so gentle the baby fell asleep while she
pulled the razor over the soft skin.
would also lead the customary washing and prayer ritual for women who died. She
was due to lead a workshop the day after her death to teach other women the
Husna’s devastated female family members will wash her for her funeral,
expected later this week. “We know she would just want us to be a part of it,
to wash her,” said her sister-in-law Ayesha Corner. After the burial, Farid
says he wants to continue the work he and his wife used to do and to care for
their 15-year-old daughter.
the lockdown at her school lifted on Friday, their daughter returned home,
knowing only her mother was missing and asking where she was. “I didn’t miss a
second, I said: ‘She is with God,'” Farid said.
said: ‘You are lying’. She said: ‘Are you telling me I don’t have a mother?'”
said: ‘Yes, but I am your mother now and I am your father…we have to change the
today issued a travel advisory warning for citizens travelling to Australia
following terror attacks in two mosques of New Zealand on March 15 that left
five Bangladeshi killed and three injured.
nationals living in Australia and Bangladesh nationals travelling to Australia
are advised to be vigilant at all times, particularly in public places, stay
informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and
other local information sources,” the travel advice issued by Bangladesh
Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads.
Australian named Brenton Tarrant who is allegedly a "White
Supremacist" has been charged for attacking with gun Muslims while praying
that left 50 people dead and 48 injured, says the travel alert.
people of Bangladeshi origin died and three others were injured by the gun
perpetrating the attack on worshippers, he declared himself a “racist” in his
74-page manifesto containing slogans, poems and diatribes against immigrants
after the shocking attack on two mosques in New Zealand, an Australian Senator
issued a statement blaming mosque massacre on Muslims and expressed growing
fear within Australian community of the increasing Muslim presence in Australia
and New Zealand.
extremist stands from an Australian Lawmaker triggers fears of hatreds of racisms
in Australia, the foreign ministry said.
more: Australian senator egged after racist comments
this backdrop, Bangladesh nationals living in Australia and Bangladesh
nationals travelling to Australia are advised to be vigilant at all times, particularly
in public places, stay informed of potential risks to safety and security by
monitoring the media and other local information sources.
High Commission of Bangladesh in Canberra remains at service and can be
contacted at the following numbers for information: Phone: +61 424472544, +61
424472544, +61 450173035.
Monday, Bangladesh Foreign Minister at a press briefing informed that they had issued a travel
advisory for New Zealand immediately after twin mosque attacks in Christchurch
aiming to alert the Bangladesh nationals aware of the situation as well as to
take precautionary measures for safety.
attacks in public places on foreigners are possible. Muslims and Migrants from
Bangladesh are advised to be vigilant at all times, particularly in public
places, and stay informed of potential risks to safety and security by
monitoring the media and other local sources. We recommend exercising caution
around potential attack targets such as mosques, restaurants, markets shopping
malls, conference centres, public transport hubs, etc,” reads the travel
advisory issued by the Foreign Ministry.
said Bangladeshi nationals travelling New Zealand should have a comprehensive
travel insurance policy that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.
least four Taliban militants were killed during an operation of the Afghan
armed forces against the high-profile attack facilitators of the group in
military sources said Wednesday “In an operation targeting Taliban high-profile
attack facilitators in Kabul, Afghan forces killed 4 Taliban fighters and
destroyed one vehicle.”
sources did not provide further information in this regard and it is yet not
clear where and when the operation was conducted.
comes as the U.S. Embassy in Kabul had earlier warned of possible attacks by
militants during the Afghan New Year which will be observed on 21st of March.
of mid-March 2019, the U.S. Embassy has received increased reports regarding
possible attacks coinciding with the Afghan New Year holiday that will be observed
on March 21,” the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in a statement.
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay
Khalilzad on Tuesday met with Roya Rahmani, the Afghan Ambassador to United
my first meeting w/ #Afghanistan’s Ambassador to US @RoyaRahmani. We had a
substantive discussion & talked next steps in the #AfghanPeaceProcess,”
Ambassador Khalilzad said in a Twitter post following his meeting with
also added “It is neither an easy nor straight path we are walking. To stay on
track it’s of utmost importance we continue to walk it together.”
meeting between Ambassador Khalilzad and Ambassador Rahmani took place days
after the remarks of Afghan National Security Adviser regarding peace process
sparked furor among U.S. officials.
Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib had earlier accused the U.S. Special
Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad of
‘delegitimizing’ the Kabul government by excluding it from peace negotiations with
to a news conference in Washington on 14th of March, Mohib said Khalilzad is
acting like a ‘viceroy’ and has “his own personal history — he has ambitions in
Afghanistan. He was wanting to run for president twice.”
reaction to Mohib’s remarks, the State Department officials had said that the
attack on Ambassador Khalilzad is considered as an attack on State Secretary
and the Department of State.
senior commander of Taliban group was killed during an operation of the Special
Forces of Afghan Military in eastern Nangarhar province.
military sources said Tuesday “A Taliban commander and seven other combatants
were killed during an Afghan Special Security Forces raid in Khugyani district,
Nangarhar province, March 17, 2019.”
sources further added that the Senior Taliban commander, who went by the name
Zirak Gul, was in charge of commanding and recruiting Taliban fighters to carry
out attacks against innocent Afghan civilians.
was directly responsible for numerous attacks and abductions that have plagued
innocent Afghan civilians,” the sources said.
Zealand PM has 'won hearts of Pakistanis' with her leadership after mosque
attacks: FO spokesman
Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal on Tuesday said that New Zealand Prime
Minister Jacinda Ardern had "won the hearts of Pakistanis" with the
compassion and leadership she demonstrated after a right-wing white supremacist
murdered 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayers.
clear [and] decisive manner in which NZ PM has dealt with Christchurch
terrorist attack has won her many admirers in Pakistan," Dr Faisal said in
also thanked her for recognising the bravery of Dr Naeem Rashid, a Pakistani
victim of the massacre who was reported to have saved lives by trying to tackle
has been praised globally for reaching out to the local Muslim community
following the horrific attack, which she has termed terrorism.
a black scarf over her head, she was photographed hugging members of the Muslim
community at a Christchurch refugee centre. She also vowed to change the
country's gun laws, saying a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be considered.
Tuesday, the 38-year-old leader opened her remarks in parliament with a
symbolic gesture, repeating the greeting uttered every day across the Islamic
world: “As-salaam alaikum”. She has also announced an inquiry into the
intelligence and security services' failures to detect the risk from the
attacker or his plans.
a tweet, President Arif Alvi thanked Ardern "for the strong compassion she
has shown in the face of [the] terrorist killing of 50 Muslims".
also lauded the people of New Zealand for their "unanimous outpouring of
love" towards the Muslim community and rejecting of Islamophobia.
A special court hearing the treason case against Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday
ordered the preparation of a questionnaire for the former military ruler and
sought assistance to determine whether or not he can record his statement via
previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason
case against the ex-army chief general (retd) Musharraf in 2013 over the
imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007.
trial has not seen much progress since Musharraf, 75, went to Dubai in March
2016 after his name was removed from the exit control list.
has not returned since, and is said to be suffering from Amyloidosis, a rare
condition for which he has been receiving medical care.
Saturday night, he was shifted to a hospital in Dubai after suffering a
reaction from the condition.
three-judge bench headed by Justice Tahira Safdar accepted an affidavit
submitted by Musharraf'slawyer Tuesday and ordered the preparation of a
questionnaire for the former president to respond to, Dawn newspaper reported.
Musharraf's lawyer maintained that the former president's presence in court was
essential and that his statement could not be recorded via video link, the
prosecution lawyer said that Musharraf's not recording his statement in the
case should not hinder it, and that the trial should move forward.
bench asked that assistance be provided to ascertain whether the former
president could record his statement via video link within the parameters of
2018, the special court resumed proceedings in the treason case and ordered the
blocking of Musharraf's identity card and passport.
ex-chief justice Saqib Nisar while hearing a case regarding Musharraf's
disqualification in the run-up to the 2018 elections had allowed him to return
and restored his travel documents. The former dictator, however, did not
delivering his arguments, Musharraf's lawyer said his client is ill and that
the statements of eight witnesses had been recorded in his absence. The court,
however, commented that the statements had been recorded in his presence, the
hearing was adjourned till March 28.
(AsiaNews) – Pakistan's Catholic Church is on high alert after the attacks
against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 50 Muslims were
killed at Friday prayers.
sectarian nature of the attack by a white supremacist has enraged Pakistan’s
most radical Islamic groups and newspapers who blame New Zealand Christians.
man who killed Muslims, "Branton Tarrant, is not a Christian, he is an
atheist,” said Fr Inayat Bernard, rector of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
of Lahore. “We want to reiterate this to our Muslim brothers. We pray that the
minds behind such tragedies will respect humanity and fear God.”
Pakistani Christians have held interfaith prayer vigils across the country for
the victims who died, their families and the wounded (at least 50 people are
still in serious conditions).
National Commission for Justice and Peace, led by Mgr Joseph Arshad, strongly
condemned "the increase in the wave of extremism and radicalisation
throughout the world that shows that terrorism has no religion or national
must condemn in the strongest possible way the senseless and inhuman act that
led to the murder of people gathered to pray,” said Mgr Joseph Coutts,
archbishop of Karachi and Pakistan’s only cardinal.
is the duty of all Christians to condemn such a terrible act fuelled by hatred.
I urge all Christians to pray during this season of Lent, a time for fasting
and penance, and pray for all the victims of violence,” he added.
interfaith vigil was held in Faisalabad on Sunday, organised by the National Justice
and Peace Commission, in cooperation with the local diocese. Other rallies took
place in Lahore, at the cathedral and during press conferences with bishops and
to Fr Bernard, "the victims must be considered martyrs".
Nasir, a Christian, a former Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
affiliated with the Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam (JUI-F) party, the largest religious
party in the country, issued a statement calling for religious unity.
have no religion,” she says. “Terrorism is not permissible in any faith but
sadly there has been an increase in attacks on worshipers. We should discourage
elements that are spilling innocent blood and defaming their own religion.”
Presbyterian Interfaith Ecumenical Commission Chairman Rev Amjad Niamat,
churches must remain vigilant for Easter gatherings.
educators are lauding Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad for recognizing
the human rights of people following minority religions in Pakistan.
chapter titled “Human rights in Islam and other religions” adds the teachings
of Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism to a human rights
textbook for students in grades 11 and 12. The latest edition dedicates seven
pages to Biblical teachings.
Islam, no other religion or its concepts were part of education policy. For the
first time in the history of our country, students will be able to study
references of different sacred books. This will dispel the general impression
in our society that only the majority religion guarantees fundamental rights,”
Catholic professor Anjum James Paul, chairman of Pakistan Minorities Teachers'
Association, told ucanews.com.
made sure that there is no comparison between religions mentioned in the book.
The new additions will promote the culture of human dignity, social harmony,
respect for religious diversity, peaceful coexistence and acceptance of diverse
religious and ethnic communities.”
year Punjab Assembly passed a bill making the teaching of the Quran compulsory
in schools across the province. Catholic educators had long been requesting the
education board to introduce human rights in all educational institutes as a
non-Muslim students can opt for ethics instead of compulsory Islamic studies in
pre-high school examinations, Catholic institutes prefer to teach Islam for
better scores and access to competent teachers.
to the latest research by the National Commission for Justice and Peace, the
Catholic Church's human rights body in Pakistan, there is an overemphasis on
religion in Pakistan's education system, often with a bias against non-Muslims.
Hindu community is all set to celebrate the colourful festival of Holi in
different parts of the country and across the globe with traditional
enthusiasm. The Holi celebrations – which formally mark the beginning of spring
season – will span over two days, commencing today.
Minister Imran Khan wished “a very happy and peaceful Holi, the festival of
colours” to the minority community.
our Hindu community a very happy and peaceful Holi, the festival of colours.
- 20 Mar 2019
Ads information and privacy
people are talking about this
People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also extended his
greetings on Twitter.
Holi to all my Hindu brothers & sisters. On the happy occasion of Holi, let
us spread the wonderful message of peace and happiness,” he wrote.
image on Twitter
Happy Holi to all my Hindu brothers &
sisters. On the happy occasion of Holi, let us spread the wonderful massage of
peace and happiness.
- 20 Mar 2019
people are talking about this
on March 10, the Pakistan Hindu Council had passed a unanimous resolution
against Indian aggression and lauded Pak Army for defending motherland. It also
decided to celebrate the anticipated festival on March 23 – the eve of Pakistan
Day – to show solidarity with the army.
formal program was also issued stating that the central ceremony will be held
at Krishna Mandir, Ravi Road, under the auspices of the Evacuee Trust Property
ETPB has completed arrangements, including security, on the directions of ETPB
Chairman Siddiqul Farooq.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers reacted strongly to Pakistan People’s
Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s demand of removal of three
ministers from the federal cabinet for their alleged affiliation with banned
outfits, accusing the young PPP chief of toeing India’s line.
were responding to late night tweets of Bilawal, containing links of articles
and videos of the ministers meeting the leaders of proscribed organisations in
the run-up to the general elections.
said that instead of taking action against some ministers who had sought the
support of banned militant outfits, the ruling PTI was accusing him of being
anti-state and involving him in corruption cases as a pressure tactic.
a series of tweets, he demanded that the government must remove the ministers
“having ties with [any] proscribed organisation”.
government has responded to my demand to sack ministers associated with banned
outfits by declaring me anti-state, issueing death threats & NAB notices.
None of this deters us from our principle stand; form joint NSC parliamentary
committee & act against banned outfits.
- 19 Mar 2019
people are talking about this
a swipe at the ruling PTI, Bilawal said: “The government has responded to my
demand to sack ministers associated with banned outfits by declaring me
anti-state, issuing death threats & NAB notices.” “None of this deters us
from our principle stand; form joint NSC parliamentary committee & act
against banned outfits.”
long as compromised individuals remain in the cabinet no one will take GOP
claims seriously. Those who have supported such groups and their training camps
must be removed from the federal cabinet,” he added.
who have been part of mainstreaming and got the support of such outfits during
the elections must be removed from the federal cabinet,” he demanded.
said that the ministers who promised mutiny to such groups under the PTI must
go if the government wants the opposition to believe “they are serious about
taking on extremism, banned organizations and distancing themselves from past
support to such groups.”
SENATOR LABELS BILAWAL ANTI-STATE:
Senator Faisal Javed Khan accused the chairman of Pakistan’s third largest
political party of making statements to appease the ‘anti-Pakistan and
wants to erase whatever sacrifices our brave soldiers made for global peace.
Pakistan has risen as a messenger of peace across the world. We laid 70,000
lives in the war against terror,” the PTI senator said in the statement.
war wasn’t ours … for the sake of global peace we gave a financial sacrifice of
$123 billion,” Khan continued.
said the PPP won’t able to pressurise the PTI government as it was ‘naya
Pakistan’. He also took a jibe at PPP’s Sindh government, claiming that 70 per
cent of the province’s population was living below the poverty line.
Asad Umar, who was mentioned in a tweet of Bilawal’s, also responded to the PPP
chairman in a press conference.
I had [relations] with only those who had announced support for us in the
elections and I have just received a message from one of them … these are the
organisations and sects that had been a victim of terrorism themselves,” the
these allegations were hurled, they messaged me the next day and said that they
are still standing with you [Umar] and if you want we can issue a statement,”
the minister said responding to PPP chief’s accusations.
MINISTERS CONTRADICT STATE’S AGENDA’:
spokesperson Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar on Tuesday asked that if the federal
ministers continue to support banned outfits then how will the government
implement the National Action Plan (NAP).
kind of government is this where the federal ministers contradict the state’s
agenda?” he asked.
a reference to Finance Minister Asad Umar’s statement, he said that one federal
minister says that the banned outfits still support him.
Amber Naeem, 22-year-old Talha Naeem’s mother and Naeem Rashid’s wife who lost
their life in Christchurch attack saving others in New Zealand last Friday, has
said that Islam is the religion of peace which teaches to save other peoples
giving an interview to The Project NZ, a television news show in New Zealand on
Tuesday, Ambreen said that she feels 'sorry for the terrorist who attacked the
mosque and she pities him cause he had hate in his heart and that he can’t feel
the peace which we can'.
extremely courageous woman said, "Naeem Rashid tried to save the people
because he was a loving man, and love made him do that courageous attempt of
saving others life on Friday."
the interview she also mentioned that her faith has made her stronger at this
time of grief and she will definitely go to Masjid for praying and nothing can
stop her from that.
interviewer Kanoa Lloyd said that it takes a lot to hold up after that kind of
an incident but the way Ambreen is recovering from it is because of her strong
went on to mention that one of Ambreen's goals now is to learn driving because
her son and her husband used to drive her younger son to the school in New
Zealand, however she would want to learn how to do that now.
immigrant Naeem Rashid received bullets while he tried to tackle the terrorist
in Christchurch attack on Friday, March that 15 left 50 dead. The terrorist was
identified as Brenton Terrant, white supremacist, who was charged with murder
dead bodies of at least 21 civilians, including children and women, massacred
by the ISIL were retrieved from Fakhikheh mass grave South of Raqqa City,"
media activists said.
also said that the Syrian Army troops also discovered the corpses of seven
Syrian citizens, including children, who had been killed in the US airstrikes
on Raqqa from the districts of al-Adkhar and al-Haramiyeh of the city.
a relevant development last month, the corpses of over several people who have
been killed by the ISIL terrorists or in airstrikes by the US-led coalition
were found from mass-graves and rubble of buildings in Raqqa.
activists in Raqqa reported that the civil workers have discovered the bodies
of 28 people, including women and children, from a mass-grave near Fakhikheh.
added that corpses of 4 other civilians, including one child, killed in the US
airstrikes, have been found from under the debris of a building in al-Haramiyeh
and al-Badou districts in Raqqa.
one year of occupation of Raqqa by the US and the Syrian Democratic Forces
(SDF), the corpses of ISIL and US victims are everyday pulled out of the
mass-graves and ruins.
a relevant development late last month, tens of dead bodies of the victims of
the US-led airstrikes and the ISIL's crimes were discovered from the debris of
ruined buildings and mass graves in Raqqa, media sources said.
activists said the corpses of four civilians were retrieved from the debris of
buildings ruined in US airstrikes last year in al-Sokna district of Raqqa city.
four dead bodies of civilians were recovered from the buildings destroyed in US
air assaults in al-Bayatareh in Raqqa city, the activists added.
also said that the corpses of about 50 people, including women and children,
were discovered from a mass grave in al-Fakhikheh South of Raqqa city.
is while the ISIL had taken control over several villages and al-Tabaqa
military airport in Southwestern Raqqa in 2014.
Assad censures some countries’ double standards in terror fight
President Bashar al-Assad has lambasted the policy of double standards certain
countries have adopted in the fight against terrorism.
Syrian leader made the comments in a meeting with Russian Defense Minister
Sergei Shoigu in the capital Damascus on Tuesday.
said some countries have confined the fight against terrorism to issuing
official statements while "in reality" they "support terrorism
and work with it" and further offer "protection" to terrorists
in a number of areas.
to a report by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), Assad said by
pursuing double-standard policies, these countries put themselves behind the
huge civilian casualties and, moreover, help spread the persistent terrorism as
we witness today.
who handed a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Syrian
president, said for his part that Russia fully supports the Arab country in its
eight-year-old battle against terrorism.
will continue offering all forms of possible support to the Syrian people to
complete liberation of all Syrian territories and preserve the territorial
integrity, sovereignty and independence of Syria,” the Russian minister said.
United States has been leading a coalition consisting of some of its allies,
most notably France and the UK, in what it has termed as fighting terror in
Syria since 2014. Damascus has invariably called for the coalition’s
withdrawal, asserting that it rather serves to boost the terrorism that has
been targeting the Arab nation.
military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of
destroying the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
which once held large swaths of land in Syria, has been completely defeated in
the Arab country and has lost almost all of its occupied territories. Despite
the terror group's collapse, the US-led coalition has refused to end their
aerial operations in defiance of the Damascus government.
contrast, Russia started an aerial bombardment campaign against foreign-backed
militants in Syria on a formal request from the Syrian government in September
Syrian Army's missile and artillery units pounded the movements of Tahrir
al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and their
allies in Tal Osman, Mourek and al-Janabareh in Northern Hama as well as
al-Sahrieh, al-Hawija, al-Sharia'a and al-Sarmanieh in Western Hama, inflicting
heavy losses on the terrorists.
Southern Idlib, the Syrian Army troops also engaged in heavy clashes with the
terrorists who were intending to penetrate into the government forces'
positions from the surrounding areas of Ma'arat al-Numan, Talmanes and
al-Katibeh al-Mahjoureh, killing a large number of them.
Syrian Army troops, meantime, destroyed several military vehicles and hideouts
of the terrorists in Wadi Huweir, Khan Sheikhoun and Talmanes in Southern
Arabic-language service of the Russian Sputnik News Agency reported that six
Syrian soldiers were wounded in TOW missile attacks by Turkistani and Ansar
al-Tawhid terrorist groups on Northern Hama from Sahl al-Ghab region.
terrorists also pounded the two towns of al-Rasif and al-Azizieh in Sahal
al-Ghab in Northwestern Hama with rockets and artillery canons.
a relevant development on Sunday, the Syrian Army warded off attacks by
terrorists of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hayat in Northern Hama, Southern Idlib and
Western Aleppo, destroying their key military positions.
Syrian Army units engaged in heavy clashes with the terrorists in al-Sharia,
al-Tavineh and al-Karim towns in Northern Hama, inflicting major losses on the
terrorists and forcing a large number of them to retreat from the battle scene.
Syrian Army's artillery and missile units also heavily pounded the terrorists'
gatherings near the town of al-Jamaseh and West of Kafar Naboudeh in Northern
Hama, destroying the terrorists' military positions and killing a large number
comes as Tahrir al-Sham terrorists launched a large number of rocket attacks on
the town of al-Saqilbiyeh West of Hama, killing and injuring a number of
Southeastern Idlib, the Syrian Army troops pounded the movements of Tahrir
al-Sham and its allied militants from Badama and al-Najieh towns, inflicting
heavy losses on them.
a relevant development last Wednesday, the Syrian army pounded and destroyed a
command headquarters of Tahrir al-Sham amid fierce attacks by terrorists on
their military positions.
Damascus army attacked the terrorists' military positions and movements in
al-Habit and around Babilon town, destroying a meeting of militant commanders
and killing all those present at the venue.
military source also confirmed that the Syrian Army troops have destroyed a
command center of Tahrir al-Sham together with several military vehicles in
Harash Abedin town in Southeastern Idlib, inflicting heavy casualties on the
Northern Hama, the Syrian Army troops engaged in heavy clashes with terrorist
groups who had concurrently attacked the Syrian Army's military positions near
the town of Mahradeh and the al-Jadideh town in Northern Hama, inflicting heavy
losses on the assailant terrorists after warding off their attack.
the Syrian Army troops attacked the terrorists' military positions in Tal-e
Shaviheneh, Kafar Hamreh and Haritan in response to their attacks on the
civilian population in al-Zahra, al-Mokambo, al-Shahba al-Jadideh regions in
fighters besieging the last shred of ISIS territory in eastern Syria said on
Tuesday they had captured 157 mostly foreign fighters as they tracked efforts
by extremists to escape the enclave.
units monitored a group of terrorists, trailed them and captured 157 fully
militarily equipped terrorists,” a statement by the Syrian Democratic Forces
Baghouz pocket is tiny, wedged between the Euphrates river and a row of hills
at the Iraqi border. It is crammed with vehicles and makeshift shelters and
pummeled at night by artillery and air strikes.
is the last populated area remaining to ISIS from the third of Syria and Iraq
it suddenly seized in 2014 before its cruelties and attacks brought together
local and foreign countries to push it back.
captured extremists were “mostly foreign nationals” said Mustafa Bali, head of
the SDF’s media office, on Twitter. Neither he nor the SDF statement said when
the capture took place.
the SDF and the US-led coalition that backs it have said the remaining ISIS
militants inside the Baghouz pocket are among its most hardened foreign
the past two months, more than 60,000 people have poured out of the group’s
dwindling enclave, nearly half of whom were surrendering supporters of ISIS,
including some 5,000 fighters.
while the capture of Baghouz will mark a milestone in the battle against ISIS,
regional and Western officials say the group will remain a threat.
of its fighters hold out in the central Syrian desert and others have gone
underground in Iraq to stage a series of shootings and kidnappings.
knows how many remain inside the last scrap of ground. Reuters footage of the
encampment on Monday showed large explosions there and smoke billowing overhead
with the sound of gunshots.
Monday night ISIS released an audio recording of its spokesman, Abi al-Hassan
al-Muhajer, saying the group would stay strong.
ISIS defended its last scrap of territory against Kurdish-led forces in eastern
Syria, a spokesman Monday urged followers to attack them elsewhere in the
ISIS spokesman, in an audio recording posted on Telegram, called for action
from the group’s supporters in areas held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic
the blood of your brothers and sisters... Set up the (explosive) devices,
deploy the snipers,” said the spokesman, named as Abi Hassan al-Mujahir.
also said that the displacement of “the weak and poor” from Syria’s Baghouz
would not weaken the group.
you think the displacement of the weak and poor out of Baghouz will weaken the
Islamic State? No,” Abi al-Hassan al-Muhajer said in a recording distributed by
Al Furqan, a media organization linked to ISIS.
father and son who fled the civil war in Syria for “the safest country in the
world” were buried before hundreds of mourners Wednesday, the first two
funerals for victims of shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that horrified
a nation known for being welcoming and diverse.
funerals of Khalid Mustafa, 44, and Hamza Mustafa, 15, came five days after a
white supremacist methodically gunned down 50 worshippers at two mosques in
Christchurch – a massacre that he broadcast live on Facebook.
high school principal described the student as compassionate and hard-working,
and said he was an excellent horse rider who aspired to be a veterinarian.
present included Hamza’s younger brother, 13-year-old Zaed, who was wounded in
an arm and a leg. The boy tried to stand during the ceremony but had to sit
back into his wheelchair, one mourner said.
tried to not shake his hand and not touch his hand or his foot but he refused,
he wanted to shake everybody’s hand, he wanted to show everyone that he
appreciated them. And that’s amazing,” said Jamil el-Biza, who traveled from
Australia to attend the funeral.
Mustafas had moved to New Zealand last year, after spending six years as
refugees in Jordan.
wife, Salwa, told Radio New Zealand that when the family asked about New
Zealand they were told “it’s the safest country in the world, the most
wonderful country you can go ... you will start a very wonderful life there.”
added: “But it wasn’t.”
of those killed had been anxiously awaiting word on when they could bury their
loved ones. New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police have now
formally identified and released the remains of 21 of those killed.
burials got under way shortly after the country’s prime minister renewed her
call to remember the victims rather than the Australian gunman accused of
Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s plea not to give any notoriety to the
accused 28-years-old Australian white supremacist first came in a speech to
Parliament prompted by the accused gunman’s decision to dismiss his lawyer and
move had raised concerns he would use the trial as a platform for his racist
views. During a visit to Hamza’s high school on Wednesday, Ardern revisited
that thought and asked students not to say the attacker’s name or dwell on him.
after one another but also let New Zealand be a place where there is no
tolerance for racism,” she told students at Cashmere High School. “That’s
something we can all do.” Another Cashmere student, 14-year-old Sayyad Milne,
also died in the attack.
shooter’s desire for attention was made clear in a manifesto sent to Ardern’s
office and others minutes before Friday’s massacre and by his livestreamed
footage of his attack on the al-Noor mosque.
video prompted widespread revulsion and condemnation. Facebook said it removed
1.5 million versions of the video during the first 24 hours, but Ardern
expressed frustration that the footage remained online, four days later.
have been in contact with Facebook; they have given us updates on their efforts
to have it removed, but as I say, it’s our view that it cannot - should not -
be distributed, available, able to be viewed,” she said. “It is horrendous and
while they’ve given us those assurances, ultimately the responsibility does sit
said she had received “some communication” from Facebook’s Chief Operating
Officer Sheryl Sandberg on the issue. The prime minister has also spoken with
British Prime Minister Theresa May about the importance of a global effort to
clamp down on the distribution of such material.
Richard Peters, who was assigned to represent Brenton Harrison Tarrant at his
initial court appearance on Saturday, told the New Zealand Herald that Tarrant
dismissed him that day.
judge ordered Tarrant to return to New Zealand’s High Court on April 5 for his
next hearing on one count of murder, though he is expected to face additional
charges. The 28-year-old Australian is being held in isolation in a
seemed quite clear and lucid, whereas this may seem like very irrational
behavior,” Peters told the newspaper. “He didn’t appear to me to be facing any
challenges or mental impairment, other than holding fairly extreme views.”
Peters did not return a call from The Associated Press.
told the paper that Tarrant didn’t tell him why he wanted to represent himself.
He said a judge could order a lawyer to assist Tarrant at a trial, but that
Tarrant would likely be unsuccessful in trying to use it as a platform to put
forward any extremist views.
New Zealand law, a trial is “to determine innocence or guilt,” Peters said.
“The court is not going to be very sympathetic to him if he wants to use the
trial to express his own views.”
previously has said her Cabinet had agreed in principle to tighten gun
restrictions in New Zealand and those reforms would be announced next week. She
also had announced an inquiry into the intelligence and security services’
failures to detect the risk from the attacker or his plans.
have been concerns intelligence agencies were overly focused on the Muslim
community in detecting and preventing security risks. New Zealand’s
international spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau,
confirmed it had not received any relevant information or intelligence before
of Tuesday evening, 30 people were still being treated at the hospital, nine of
them in critical condition, medical officials said. A 4-year-old girl was
transferred to a hospital in Auckland and is in critical condition. Her father
is at the same hospital in stable condition.
Taj el-Din Hilaly, of Sydney, traveled to Christchurch to attend or lead some
of the funerals. Through a translator, he said he felt compelled to support the
nationwide lockdown on mosques was imposed until Monday, which Hilaly said had
upset Muslims whom he had visited in Auckland. Police continue to guard mosques
across the country. Residents of this close-knit city have created makeshift
memorials near the two targeted mosques and at the botanical gardens, where a
mountain of flowers has grown by the day.
Ezat, whose son, Hussein al-Umari, was killed in the al-Noor mosque, visited
the memorial at the gardens and became overwhelmed by the outpouring of love.
She knelt amid the flowers and wept, grabbing at daisies and lilies as though
she might find her boy in them.
Russian and Syrian coordination centers on returning refugees have censured the
US over its latest decision to provide millions of dollars to the
Western-backed White Helmets “aid” group, while preventing aid from reaching a
refugee camp in southern Syria.
centers said in a joint statement released on Tuesday that the United States
had pledged $5 million in donation to the Western-backed group, which has been
repeatedly accused of cooperating with Takfiri terrorists and staging
false-flag gas attacks, at the third Conference on “Supporting the Future of
Syria and the Region” in Brussels, Belgium, earlier this month.
the conference, the EU also pledged €8 billion and the US $400 million in
so-called aid to Syrian refugees.
aid will not reach Syrian people; but will rather end up in the hands of White
Helmets terrorists to fund their acts of fabricating incidents involving toxic
chemicals,” the statement read.
further noted that the participants in the Brussels conference, who claim to be
supporting Syrians, are actually those who have imposed severe economic
sanctions on them.
money raised [during the event] will go only to displaced people in Jordan,
Lebanon, and Turkey, which seek to encourage them to remain there and hinder
their return to Syria,” the statement pointed out.
centers also renewed their calls for the US to provide access to Rukban camp
and ensure the safe exit of civilians stranded there. They also asked for the
withdrawal of American troops from al-Tanf area.
United Nations says about 45,000 people, mostly women and children, are trapped
inside Rukban, where conditions are desperate. This is while Geneva-based
international aid agency Doctors Without Borders has put the number there at
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on March 6 that the United States needs the
Rukban refugee camp in order to justify its illegitimate military presence in
fact that people are not allowed to leave [the camp] and are held hostage makes
one suggest that the US needs this camp to continue justifying its illegitimate
presence there,” Lavrov said at a joint press conference with Kuwaiti Deputy
Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Hamad Al Sabah in
There is credible evidence that US military airstrikes in Somalia have killed
or wounded nearly two dozen civilians, an international human rights group said
Tuesday, charging that the Pentagon is not adequately investigating potential
Africa Command officials immediately disputed the allegations laid out in a
report by Amnesty International, and insisted that the military has investigated
18 cases of possible civilian casualties since 2017 and found that none were
seemingly contradictory information underscores the complexities of military
operations against the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab group in Somalia, involving
airstrikes by several allied nations in hostile, remote locations that are
difficult to access safely.
report came the same day that a Somali intelligence official and two local
residents said a US drone strike on Monday killed civilians.
Somali official said the drone targeted a vehicle carrying suspected militants
and apparently hit another vehicle that may have been carrying civilians. The
official was not authorized to talk with the media and did so on condition of
concurred with the official’s assessment.
Siyad, an elder in Lanta Buro, a village near the farming town of Afgoye,
Somalia, told The Associated Press that four civilians including employees of a
telecom company were killed.
were known to us — they had nothing to do with Al-Shabab,” he said by phone.
resident, Abdiaziz Hajji, said that the drone destroyed the vehicle. “Bodies
were burnt beyond recognition,” he said. “They were innocent civilians killed
by Americans for no reason. They always get away with such horrible mistakes.”
a rare move, US Africa Command on Tuesday mentioned those possible casualties
in a press release about the strike and said officials will look into the
incident. But, more broadly, US defense officials said casualty allegations in
Somalia are questionable because Al-Shabab militants make false claims or force
local citizens to do the same.
International, however, said it analyzed satellite imagery and other data, and
interviewed 65 witnesses and survivors of five specific airstrikes detailed in
the report. The report concludes that there is “credible evidence” that the US
was responsible for four of the airstrikes, and that it’s plausible the US
conducted the fifth strike. It said 14 civilians were killed and eight injured
in the strikes.
International’s research points to a failure by the US and Somali governments
to adequately investigate allegations of civilian casualties resulting from US
operations in Somalia,” the report said, adding that the US doesn’t have a good
process for survivors or victims’ families to self-report losses.
Africa Command said it looked at the five strikes and concluded there were no
civilian casualties. In the fifth case the command said there were no US
strikes in that area on that day.
group’s report and Defense Department officials also agreed that the strikes
usually take place in hostile areas controlled by Al-Shabab militants. And
those conditions, the report said, “prevented Amnesty International
organization from conducting on-site investigations and severely limited the
organization’s ability to freely gather testimonial and physical evidence.”
defense officials told reporters that American troops were on the ground at
strike locations in a very limited number of cases. Even in those instances,
they said, US troops ordered strikes to protect local Somali forces they were
accompanying, and there was little opportunity to investigate possible civilian
casualties at that moment.
the rights group concluded that the US military’s insistence that there have
been zero civilian deaths is wrong.
civilian death toll we’ve uncovered in just a handful of strikes suggests the
shroud of secrecy surrounding the US role in Somalia’s war is actually a smoke
screen for impunity,” said Brian Castner, a senior adviser at Amnesty
officials countered that they have access to information not readily available
to nonmilitary organizations, including observations from people on the ground
at the site and post-strike intelligence gathering from various electronic
systems. Those systems can include overhead surveillance and data collected
through cyber operations and other intercepted communications and electronic
defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t
authorized to discuss the issue publicly.
said the US rigorously assesses targets in advance to make sure no civilians
will be hurt or killed.
officials noted that Kenya and Ethiopia also conduct airstrikes in the region,
but provided no details. There are 500 to 600 US troops in Somalia at any time.
pace of US airstrikes in Somalia has escalated during the Trump administration,
from 47 in all of 2018 to 28 already this year. So far more than 230 militants
have been killed in 2019, compared to 338 killed in all of 2018.
March 2017, President Donald Trump approved greater authorities for military
operations against Al-Shabab, allowing increased strikes in support of the
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali forces.
Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, who heads Africa Command, told reporters in a recent
interview that Al-Shabab controls about 25 percent of the country and the key
effort is to help the government regain control of its land.
intention is to keep the pressure on that network,” he said.
said there are three categories of strikes: ones to target senior Al-Shabab
leaders, ones to take out training camps or involve Daesh militants in the
north, and ones aimed at helping the government increase security and regain
control of the country. He said the last group involves the most strikes.
U.S. is killing Somali civilians in airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab militants,
Amnesty International said in a report on Wednesday noting it has evidence to
regional Amnesty International office in Nairobi, Kenya called the civilian
deaths war crimes, adding that forensic investigation has yielded credible
evidence that 14 civilians were killed in just five out of the more than 100
airstrikes that the U.S. has carried out in Somalia.
report “the Hidden U.S. War in Somalia" noted that the civilians were
killed by "reaper drones and manned aircraft in Lower Shabelle, a region
largely under Al-Shabaab control outside the Somali capital Mogadishu".
attacks appear to have violated international humanitarian law, and some may
amount to war crimes,” it added.
international rights group said that it approached the U.S. Africa Command
(AFRICOM) many times with evidence but they denied killing any civilians in
their Somali operations.
Castner, the group's senior crisis advisor on arms and military operations,
noted that the number of civilians killed by the U.S. airstrikes probably are
higher than detailed in the report.
civilian death toll we’ve uncovered in just a handful of strikes suggests the
shroud of secrecy surrounding the U.S. role in Somalia’s war is actually a
smokescreen for impunity.”
findings directly contradict the U.S. military’s mantra of zero civilian
casualties in Somalia,” he added.
U.S. President Donald Trump for proliferating the strikes after weakening
safeguards, the report said: "The number of U.S. strikes in Somalia surged
after 30 March 2017, when President Trump signed an Executive Order declaring
southern Somalia an 'area of active hostilities'."
one case, a U.S. military airstrike in farmland near the village of Darusalaam
killed three local farmers in the early morning hours of 12 November 2017. They
were resting in the open after working well into the night digging irrigation
canals. At around 3 a.m. an airstrike targeted them without warning.”
to the Amnesty report in a statement, AFRICOM denied the allegations saying:
"We believe the report does not accurately reflect AFRICOM’s record in
mitigating civilian casualties. In fact, AFRICOM goes to extraordinary lengths
to reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, exercising restraint as a
matter of policy.”
added: "Our assessments found that no AFRICOM airstrike resulted in any
civilian casualty or injury. Our assessments are based on post-strike analysis
using intelligence methods not available to non-military organizations.”
people were killed and seven other injured near Gwoza in northeast Nigeria’s
Borno state when a vehicle hit a roadside bomb on Monday, March 18, security
sources told AFP.
and civilian militia sources blamed Boko Haram for planting the mine,
underlining the persistent threat to civilians in the remote region.
vehicle, part of a civilian convoy under military escort, veered off the road
in an attempt to overtake another vehicle when it hit the device.
vehicle exploded and all the eight people inside were killed,” said a military
officer. “Seven more people from the other vehicle we’re injured from the
convoy had left Gwoza and was heading to Pulka around 18 km (11 miles) away
when the incident occurred at about 10 a.m. at Warabe village, around 5 km (3
miles) south of Pulka, civilian militia leader Umar Ari said.
is near the border with Cameroon, around 100 km southeast of Borno state
capital Maiduguri, and the Boko Haram faction led by Abubakar Shekau is known
to be active in the area.
were also reports of Boko Haram attacks on Monday in Michika Local Government
Area of neighbouring Adamawa state, around 70 km southwest of Gwoza.
March 20 Residents told AFP that militants overpowered soldiers who withdrew.
The insurgents attacked a bus killing three people, and robbed and burned a
bank. They left the town and drove towards Lassa after military reinforcements
arrived from Gulak.
pursued them while vigilantes in Lassa laid in wait for them. They suffered a
lot of casualties from the two fronts,” Daniel Bature said.
Nigerian Army said troops in Lassa received a distress call from vigilantes in
Maikadiri village at about 7:20 p.m. and deployed along the road, intercepting
the militants and exchanging fire. Reinforcements from Gulak then engaged on a
second front, and the insurgents were routed by the troops.
Haram split into two factions in mid-2016. One is led by Shekau and is
notorious for suicide bombings and indiscriminate killings of civilians.
pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in March 2015, but ISIS
central only gives formal backing to the other faction, which is known as
Islamic State West Africa province.
ISWA faction, which largely focuses on attacking military and government
targets, was led by Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi, but earlier this month, audio
recordings revealed that ISIS appointed Abu Abdullah Idris bin Umar also known
as Ibn Umar al-Barnawi as leader. ISIS has not yet made a public statement
confirming the change.
August 2014 Boko Haram captured Gwoza, which it renamed Darul Hikma (House of
Wisdom). In a video released later that month that celebrated Gwoza’s capture,
Shekau declared the establishment of a “caliphate” in Nigeria, and the town
became Boko Haram’s headquarters.
Nigerian troops recaptured Gwoza in March 2015, Shekau’s faction has been
blamed for attacks in the wider Gwoza area, targeting troops and displaced
people in recent months.
January, two soldiers were killed and seven civilians injured in an ambush on a
convoy of traders under military escort in Chachile village.
in Pulka fought off an attack by fighters believed to be from Abubakar Shekau’s
Boko Haram faction on January 24.
days later, Nigerian troops “neutralized” five Boko Haram insurgents and
captured a suspected militant in the Gwoza area.
February 17, two soldiers were killed and six others injured fighters believed
to be from the Shekau faction attacked a military location around 15 km from
Banki, which is about 40 km east of Gowza..
days later on election day, three people were injured and a mosque was damaged
when rocket-propelled grenades were fired into Gwoza from a hilltop outside the
town, security sources said.
TOWN, March 20 — About 200 Muslims in Penang held a special prayer following
the attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand which resulted in the
deaths of 50 people on Friday.
ceremony, organised by the Penang India Muslim Community, was held at the
Kapitan Keling Mosque here which was also attended by Penang Chief Minister Chow
chairman Datuk Meera Mydin Mustar said the event was also held to seek god’s
grace to help the victims, who were injured in the attack during the Friday
prayers, to recover.
aim to organise this event tonight is in remembrance of the shooting victims in
the incident in Christchurch and at the same time pray for the safety and
well-being of Muslims worldwide.
addition, we also pray that another Malaysian, Mohd Haziq Mohd Tarmizi,
17, a son of a Malaysian who was also
injured in the incident, can be found safe and sound,’’ he told reporters here
Chow said the Penang government lauded and praised the noble effort by the
mosque in holding the prayer.
said the state government also prayed that all the victims especially the three
Malaysians who were injured in the incident would recover quickly. — Bernama
LUMPUR, March 20 — Religious minorities like the Shiah and Ahmadiyyah Muslim
communities risk persecution and discrimination because of weak legislation, a
report by international judges and lawyers revealed.
report by the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) pointed
out that even though the right to equality and freedom from discrimination was
recognised under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution, there were no laws that
specifically protected religious minorities from unequal treatment.
international law, the principle of non-discrimination applies and is integral
to the enjoyment of all human rights. Thus it applies to the right to freedom
of thought, conscience, religion or belief.
Constitution however provides no specific protections for the freedom of
‘thought and conscience’, which includes the freedom to have a theistic,
non-theistic or atheistic beliefs and the freedom from coercion to adopt a
religion or belief of one’s own choice,” said ICJ in its report titled
“Challenges to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Malaysia” released last night.
report produced with support from the International Panel of Parliamentarians
for Freedom of Religion and Belief said the State was obligated to take
necessary measures to prevent discrimination as such principles were part of
customary international laws.
effectively criminalised both communities while discriminatory rhetoric
exacerbates religious hatred,” said ICJ, referring to edicts issued by Muslim
treatment of the Shiah and Ahmadiyah minorities is directly contrary to its
obligations to guarantee the rights to freedom of religion or belief and to
equality under the law and non-discrimination of religious minorities,” it
report noted that while both communities were not the only minorities facing
persecution, their situation were seen as emblematic of the situation faced by
those in minority sects in Malaysia.
part of its recommendation, the ICJ said harassment, detention and forced
rehabilitation of religious minorities must be stopped to allow these
individuals to exercise their right to freedom of belief without the state
Shiahs and Ahmadis are barred from practising their faiths here and are also
pursued for Shariah offences, even though the latter are not recognised as
such as Selangor and Sabah have lumped Shiahs and Ahmadis together with
“liberalism” and “pluralism” as deviant teachings and extremists.
under dual legal system
report also highlighted jurisdictional disputes concerning cases of religious
freedom due to Malaysia’s dual legal system comprising common and Shariah law.
disputes affecting the adjudication of matters relating to religion and belief
— between civil courts which apply federal and state laws and Shariah courts
which apply Islamic laws — have become a main arena of contestation,” it said.
report further suggested that the dual jurisdiction has also resulted in
negative implications on the protection of the rights of children and
exacerbated child marriages in Malaysia.
the marriage between a 41-year-old man and an 11-year-old girl widely reported
in the media last year, it said that the man was instead tried under Islamic
jurisprudence for solemnising the polygamous marriage without the permission of
the Shariah Court.
the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, a marriage is void if either
party to the marriage is below 18 years of age.
marriages, however, are governed by state Shariah laws that often allow for
girls under the age of 16 to be married with the approval of a Shariah court
no clear guidelines exist for Shariah judges who have full discretion to
determine whether a child is ‘suitable’ for marriage,” the report said.
Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has yet to ban child marriage, although Deputy
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh reportedly said
stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) would be put in place.
also noted that jurisdictional disputes arose in religious conversion cases, as
such cases are often ceded to the Shariah court when they are brought before a
courts have the power to deny applications submitted by Muslims to convert out
of Islam and have often ordered applicants into ‘rehabilitation’, counselling
sessions and other interventions.
criminalisation of apostasy also violates the principles of non-discrimination
and equality before the law in indiscriminately targeting those who wish to
leave the religion of Islam,” it said.
out the widening of Shariah courts’ jurisdiction in matters of renouncing
religion, ICJ said such circumstances have resulted in encouraging and
prolonging discriminatory practices by authorities, social stigmatisation, and
threats to the safety of individuals wishing to change their religion.
ICJ therefore recommends Malaysia to amend or repeal all laws that criminalise
the propagation of religious beliefs among people of all faiths.
right to freedom of religion or belief is guaranteed in international human
rights law, including in a number of core human rights instruments,” it said.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women
in Islam, Islamic
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism