Afghan security forces
keep watch in front of a mosque where an explosion happened in Kabul,
Afghanistan November 21, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
NIA Starts Removing Online Contents of Zakir Naik’s
Islamic Research Foundation
ISIS Claims Attack That Kills Dozens at Shi'ite Mosque in
Fears Grow For Aleppo Civilians as Syria Regime Advances
In Islamabad, a Mosque for Transgender Community
China Willing To Consider Turkish Membership of Security
Indian Immigrant Arrested 'For Insult to Kaaba' In Saudi Arabia
AIMPLB Launched Mobile APP for Signature Campaign against
Tinkering with Muslim personal laws would be like
desecrating Indian Constitution: AIMPLB
Indian-American Felicitated With Interfaith Leadership
J-K: Security forces kill 2 militants in Bandipora,
combing operations underway
Unprovoked ceasefire violation continues in J-K’s
Prominent Taliban leader ‘Zarqawi’ killed in East of
Sri Lanka Constitutional Panel Recommends Postponing
Muslim Personal Law Amendment
US reaffirm strong support to Afghanistan after deadly
Kabul Attack: Modi says ‘India stands with Afghanistan in
its fight against terrorism’
Sar-e-Pul governor, intelligence chief escape suicide
Hundreds more Myanmar Rohingya flee to Bangladesh
3 militants arrested in Laghman disguised as refugees
returning from Peshawar
Syrian UN Envoy: Saudis Exported Terror to Syria
Nusra Terrorists Preparing To Hand Over Key Town
Southwest Of Damascus
Egypt confiscates assets of 46 Muslim Brotherhood members
Syria: Terrorists Fail to Capture Gov't-Held Key Heights
East of Aleppo
ISIL's Centers in Eastern Aleppo Receive Sever Blow in
Syrian Army Attacks
Civilians Massacred in Air Raids of US-Led Coalition,
Turkish Warplanes in Northern Syria
One-third of Mosul liberated from Daesh: Iraqi FM
Egypt court quashes one of Mursi life sentences
Lebanon builds wall near Palestinian refugee camp
Iraq lauds progress on Mosul, expects Trump to continue
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince in ISIS combat talks
Syrian Army Starts Fresh Round of Offensives against
Terrorists South of Aleppo City
Official Slams Western Media for Spreading Terrorists'
Lies about Syrian Army
Syrian Army on Threshold of Striking Victory in Eastern
Syrian Army's Artillery Fire Inflicts Major Losses on
Terrorists near Kuweires Airbase
Syrian Army Extending Chain of Security in Damascus
Fazl ‘Waxes Humorous’ About Imran’s wedding
Three FC men killed in blast at funeral in Peshawar
Imprisoned MQM worker dies in Karachi's Central Jail
Man killed, three hurt in Chaman blast
Passer-by killed in Quetta blast
SC approached to make Gen Raheel a field marshal
Bilawal launches campaign to mobilise party workers
Seen as a face-saving move, MQM boycotts NA-258
China reiterates support for Pakistan’s sovereignty
100 young men victim of human traffickers from Turkey,
two members held
Yemeni Army Forces, Allied Fighters Seize Two Saudi Bases
Terrorism Will Backfire On Sponsors Sooner Or Later:
Iranian Foreign Ministry
Controversy on campus as Erdogan handpicks Turkey rectors
Iran’s Guards using Trump victory to claw back power
Rivals blame each other as Yemen ceasefire ends
Yemeni charged in US with trying to support ISIS
Ex-consultant to Iran’s UN mission pleads guilty to US
Yemeni army resumes military operations
Slovenia president arrives in Iran for talks to enhance
Malaysia Accused of ‘Abuse of Law’ In Rally Crackdown
DPM to Brief All Muslim MPs on Hadi’s Shariah Bill Today
Politics complicate blasphemy investigations in Indonesia
and around the world
Banyuwangi pledges to uphold Islamic values amid tourism
Bill aims to end unilateral conversion of kids in
Barring unilateral conversions good for Islam, says Nazri
Indira, lawyers hail proposed law against unilateral
Malaysians seeking asylum in Australia ‘more than
doubled’ this year – report
Christians, Muslims meet to talk about shariah
Indonesia's police chief warns protesters against treason
ahead of planned rallies
Libya Unity Forces Closing On Sirte Militants
Militant Attacks Kill Five Soldiers, Civilian In Mali
Three children killed in blast in east Libya's Benghazi
Magal in Touba: Senegalese trek to Muslim festival
Nigeria denies Sheikh Zakzaky proper medical treatment:
Trump's Top Adviser Says No Plans For American Muslim
Have You Heard? Canadian Lawmakers Pass Anti-Islamophobia
US man abuses Muslim driver, calls him terrorist
A Tiny Minority of a Million Muslims in America
US Man Abuses Muslim Driver, Calls Him 'Terrorist'
Anti-Muslim sentiment growing in Halifax due to Trump,
say Dal students
France to Help ICC Prosecute ISIS Militants In Syria
Mosques, Muslim Brotherhood Call for Juppé Vote in French
Nearly one million Syrians living under siege: UN aid
German court acquits ‘sharia police’ members
France says it has foiled another attack, arresting seven
Prevent strategy failing to rein in rise of UK's far
right, says Diane Abbott
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
NIA starts removing online contents of Zakir Naik’s
Islamic Research Foundation
November 21, 2016
The National Investigation Agency on Monday began the
process of removing the online contents of banned Islamic Research Foundation,
including alleged hate speeches by its founder Zakir Naik, even as it continued
searches at the IRF’s premises, an official said. “As part of investigation,
all actions that need to be taken against a proscribed organisation, including
banning of its online activities, are being undertaken,” an NIA spokesperson
After the Centre recently banned IRF for five years, its
website was blocked by authorities. “We have started our process to remove
online content which is available on internet, social media sites related to
IRF which includes hate speeches of its founder and Islamic preacher Dr Zakir
Naik,” the official said.
Search operation is still going on at the IRF offices and
premises as well as that of Harmony Media Pvt Ltd, from where the programmes
were being aired on Naik’s Peace TV, the official said.
However, he declined to divulge further details. The NIA
had on Saturday (November 19) carried out searches on 10 premises of the IRF in
Mumbai after registering a case against Zakir Naik and others under an
The agency had seized Rs 12 lakh cash and incriminating
documents, files as well as electronic storage devices, during searches on
various premises, including IRF’s head office.
The NIA had earlier registered an offence against IRF
founder-president and controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and his
associates for “promoting” enmity and hatred between religious groups through
his public speeches and lectures on various platforms.
As per a statement released earlier, Naik and his
associates were responsible for inciting Muslim youths and terrorists in India
and abroad to commit unlawful activities and terrorist acts.
Nov 21, 2016
By Mirwais Harooni | KABUL
Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide attack
on a crowded Shi'ite mosque in Kabul on Monday that killed more than 30 people
and wounded dozens in its third major attack on minority Shi'ites in the Afghan
capital since July.
Officials said the attacker entered the Baqir-ul-Olum
mosque shortly after midday as worshippers gathered for Arbaeen, a Shi'ite
ritual marking the end of a 40-day mourning period for the 7th century death of
Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.
A statement in Arabic from Islamic State's Amaq news
agency said one of its fighters had targeted the mosque.
Bloody sectarian rivalry between Sunni and Shi'ite
Muslims has been relatively rare in Afghanistan, a majority Sunni country, but
the attack underlines the deadly new dimension that growing ethnic tension
could bring to its decades-long conflict.
Fraidoon Obaidi, chief of the Kabul police Criminal
Investigation Department, said at least 27 people were killed and 35 wounded,
while the United Nations said at least 32 had been killed and more than 50
wounded, including many children. It described the attack as "an
"I saw people screaming and covered in blood,"
one survivor told Afghanistan's Ariana Television, adding that around 40 dead
and 80 wounded had been taken from the building before rescue services arrived
at the scene.
Another witness said he had helped carry 30-35 bodies
from the mosque.
Islamic State, based mainly in the eastern state of
Nangarhar on the border with Pakistan, has gradually expanded its reach since
emerging in Afghanistan last year with a reputation for hardline fundamentalism
Prior to Monday's attack, it had claimed responsibility
for two major attacks on Shi'ite targets in Kabul, including a suicide bombing
which killed more than 80 people at a demonstration by the mainly Shi'ite
Hazara community, the worst single attack on civilians since 2001.
Last month, it also claimed an attack in which 18 people
were killed when a gunman in police uniform opened fire on worshippers gathered
at a shrine in Kabul for Ashura, one of the holiest occasions in the Shi'ite
In addition, at least 14 people were killed in an attack
on a Shi'ite mosque in northern Balkh province, for which no group has so far
The Taliban, itself fiercely opposed to Islamic State,
had already denied any involvement.
"We have never attacked mosques as it's not our
agenda," said the movement's main spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.
Officials said the attack was a deliberate attempt to
stoke sectarian tensions.
Any resurgence of sectarian or ethnic violence could
threaten the fragile stability of the government headed by President Ashraf
Ghani, who described the mosque blast as an attempt "to sow seeds of
Government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said
Afghanistan should not fall victim to "enemy plots that divide us by
"This attack targeted innocent civilians - including
children - in a holy place. It is a war crime & an act against Islam &
humanity," he said in a message on his Twitter account.
Thousands of civilians have been killed in Afghanistan in
the 15 years since the Taliban government was brought down in the U.S.-led
campaign of 2001.
In July, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
reported that 1,601 civilians had been killed in the first half of the year
alone, a record since it began collating figures in 2009.
(Additional reporting by Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar and
Ahmed Aboulenein in Cairo; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Nick Macfie
and Mike Collett-White/Richard Balmforth)
Fears grow for Aleppo civilians as Syria regime advances
November 22, 2016
ALEPPO - Syrian
regime forces advanced quickly in rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Monday,
pressing a new offensive in defiance of international concern over the fate of
the city and its residents.
Both US President Barack Obama and the UN’s Syria envoy
expressed pessimism about the future of the city, where more than 250,000
people are besieged in the rebel-held east.
More than 100 civilians have been killed in the east
since the regime’s latest offensive began on Tuesday, according to the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights monitor.
The group said government forces backed by Iranian and
Russian troops and fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah had captured the eastern
part of the Masakan Hanano neighbourhood.
“It is the most important advance inside the eastern
neighbourhoods that the regime has made so far,” said Observatory director Rami
“If they take control of Masakan Hanano, the regime will
have line of fire control over several rebel-held neighbourhoods and will be
able to cut off the northern parts of rebel-held Aleppo from the rest of the
Abdel Rahman said the advance had both strategic and
symbolic significance, because Masakan Hanano was the first neighbourhood to
fall to rebels in 2012.
Syria’s Al-Watan daily, which is close to the government,
described the neighbourhood as the “biggest and most important stronghold of
the gunmen” in Aleppo.
Once Syria’s economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been ravaged
by the conflict that began with anti-government protests in March 2011 before
spiralling into a brutal war that has killed more than 300,000 people.
The city has been divided between government control in
the west and rebel control in the east since mid-2012.
In mid-July, the regime surrounded the east, subsequently
announcing an operation to recapture it completely.
Despite international outrage, including over the bombing
of hospitals and rescue worker facilities, there has been little sign that
foreign powers or the UN can stop the fighting in Aleppo.
Obama said Sunday he was “not optimistic about the
short-term prospects in Syria”.
“Once Russia and Iran made a decision to back (Bashar
al-) Assad in a brutal air campaign... it was very hard to see a way in which
even a trained and committed moderate opposition could hold its ground for long
periods of time,” he added.
Washington has long backed the uprising against Assad,
but has not committed military resources like Iran, and particularly Russia,
which last year began a aerial campaign in support of Damascus.
Moscow says it is not carrying out strikes on Aleppo,
though last week it announced a “major operation” in neighbouring Idlib and
central Homs provinces.
On Sunday, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem
rebuffed a proposal from UN envoy Staffan de Mistura to halt fighting in Aleppo
and allow the opposition to administer the east of the city.
Under the proposal, jihadist forces would have left east
Aleppo, and both sides would cease fire.
But Muallem said the proposal would “reward terrorists”.
“We told him that we reject that completely,” Muallem said after meeting De
Mistura in Damascus. “The institutions of state must return to east Aleppo,” he
The top UN diplomat warned that time was “running out”
for eastern Aleppo, adding that there was concern “instead of a humanitarian or
a political initiative” there would be “an acceleration of military activities”
in the city and elsewhere.
“By Christmas... due to military intensification, you
will have the virtual collapse of what is left in eastern Aleppo; you may have
200,000 people moving towards Turkey - that would be a humanitarian
catastrophe,” he warned.
The UN has also proposed a humanitarian plan for east
Aleppo, involving the delivery of aid, evacuation of sick and wounded civilians
and the entry of doctors to help treat residents.
De Mistura said Sunday the government had not agreed to
that plan either, while rebel groups in Aleppo said they were in favour of the
The World Health Organization says there are no more
functioning hospitals in east Aleppo, although it was impossible to confirm
The agency said some health services were available
through small clinics, but there was no longer access to trauma care or major
The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet later Monday
in New York to discuss humanitarian efforts in Syria.
In Islamabad, a mosque for transgender community
By Sehrish Wasif
ISLAMABAD: If you are a transgender person in Pakistan,
everything is a fight. They must even fight for the right to be represented on
their national identity cards, and be recognised in census forms, and, due
largely to cultural rather than religious reasons, they are told that they are
not allowed in mosques.
But that may soon change, as a group of transgender
activists are trying to build a mosque on the outskirts of the capital, where
they would be able to pray without falling prey to social stigmas.
Transgender candidate throws up rare challenge in Jhang
“We are Muslims, but we are not allowed to enter a
mosque,” said a transgender woman who is currently raising funds for the
Rehmatul Alameen mosque in the Bari Imam area.
“In our society, people only think of transgender women
to be sex objects, so they don’t want to allow us to enter mosques to offer
prayers,” she lamented.
Once complete, transgender people would be free to join
the congregation at the mosque, especially for Friday prayers. Furthermore, the
mosque would also serve as a seminary.
Nadeem Kashish, the founder of the Shemale Association
for Fundamental Rights (Safar), explained that they were building the mosque as
a safe place for transgender people to offer prayers.
“The main reason for building this mosque is to convey a
message to our society that people who are transgender are also Muslim, they
too have a right to offer prayers in a mosque, to recite or teach the Holy
Quran, and to preach Islam,” said Kashish.
Shafqat Shah, a transgender employee of Lucky Irani
Circus, is excited about the mosque being built and is helping the community
raise money for it.
“I do not feel ashamed if I have to beg for money for
this project,” Shah says, referring to the stigma of beggary.
Attempt to set transgender person’s house ablaze failed
“But when I do tell people that the money is for the
construction of a mosque, they make fun of me and pass offensive comments such
as ‘how can you people build a mosque,” said Shah.
Explaining the root of the problem, Shah said that
whenever they enter a mosque to offer prayers – especially for Taraveeh’s
during Ramazan or for Eid prayers — “people make fun of us, pass insulting
comments and question us about our religion.”
Shah said they are often asked to recite the Shahada or
describe the procedure for performing ablution to ‘prove’ that they are
Aslam, a transgender person who is part of the
fundraising team, recounted an incident that occurred at a mosque before Friday
Decked out in a brand new shalwar kameez, Aslam went to a
mosque in Rawalpindi to offer prayers in congregation, only to be mocked by
“Most people would stare at me and I was told that
‘people like me’ are not allowed inside the mosque,” Aslam recalled.
“It was a sin, they told me, and then asked me to leave
the mosque, stand in a corner, or go into the women’s prayer section.”
Kashish, however, shares an even harsher experience,
saying that people often do not even allow transgender people to stand outside
a mosque and would call the police on them.
“Such kind of discrimination makes us ashamed of
ourselves, and we curse the moment we were born.”
Kashish felt that this attitude was more prevalent among
Muslims, explaining that Christian and Hindu transgender people do not face the
same discrimination at churches and temples.
“We know our religion is against of all kinds of
discrimination and hatred and teaches us lessons of unity, love and peace,”
Ameer Khusro, a transgender man who has joined the
Tablighi Jamaat, is working to teach and spread Islam.
“I knew it was not easy for a transgender person to be a
part of Tablighi Jamaat, but I took it on as a challenge. When I go house to house to preach Islam,
people taunt and mock me, and some even grab my beard to check if it is real,”
“It is sad that in our country we have to face such
religious discrimination,” he said.
China willing to consider Turkish membership of security
BEIJING - China said Monday it was willing to consider
any application from Nato-member Turkey to join a Russian and Chinese-led
security bloc, after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his country could
China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2001 to fight
threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighbouring
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said
Turkey was already a "dialogue partner" of the regional bloc and had
for a long time closely cooperated with it. China attached great importance to
Turkey's wish to strengthen that cooperation, he told a news briefing.
"We are willing, together with other members of the
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and in accordance with the rules of its legal
documents, to seriously study it on the basis of consensus consultation,"
Geng added, without elaborating. Erdogan was quoted on Sunday as saying that
Turkey did not need to join the European Union "at all costs" and
could instead become part of the SCO.
Turkish government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus said Monday that closer
ties with the SCO would not mean Turkey turning its back on other allies.
"Turkey, with its history, culture, geopolitics and potential, is one of
the few countries in the world that can cooperate with every corner of the
world simultaneously," he told a news conference in the capital Ankara.
"A step taken (with the SCO) does not mean it will
end Turkey's relations with another country."
Turkish membership of the bloc would nonetheless be
likely to alarm Western allies and fellow Nato members.
Having long been critical of Turkey's record on
democratic freedoms, European leaders have been alarmed by Erdogan's crackdown
on opponents since a failed coup attempt in July, and Turkey's prospects of
joining the EU look more remote than ever after 11 years of negotiations.
The EU is treading a fine line as it needs Turkey's help
in curbing a huge flow of migrants, especially from Syria, while Ankara has grown
increasingly exasperated by what it sees as Western condescension.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan speak Turkic
languages, and Ankara signed up in 2013 as a "dialogue partner"
saying it shared "the same destiny" as members of the bloc.
Mongolia, India, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are
observers, while Belarus, like Turkey, is a dialogue partner.
Indian immigrant arrested 'for insult to Kaaba' in Saudi
November 22, 2016
Riyadh: Saudi police arrested an Indian immigrant who
allegedly disrespected Islams holy Kaaba site on Facebook, covering it with an
image of Buddha, a local report said Monday.
"The region's investigative department were able to
capture and arrest a suspect, in his forties and who works in agriculture, who
insulted our holy site," said a Riyadh police spokesman cited by the
Al-Arabiya TV network.
"He superimposed a picture of the Buddha on the
Kaaba and posted on social media," Al-Arabiya quoted the spokesman as
Police were able to identify and arrest the unnamed
Indian at a farm in Al Majmaah city in the province of Riyadh, he said.
The Kaaba, an ancient monument at the centre of the
Al-Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca, is Islam's most sacred place.
AIMPLB launched Mobile APP for signature campaign against
New Delhi: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board
(AIMPLB) has launched a mobile application to facilitate the signature campaign
against the Central Government’s move to introduce the Uniform Civil Code in
the country.In a media statement, AIMPLB General Secretary Hazrath Moulana
Mohammed Wali Rahmani said that there has been overwhelming response to the
call for signature campaign against the UCC from across the country. He said so
far, one crore signatures against the UCC have reached AIMPLB Delhi office.
Those who have not signed the form yet he asked to do it as early as possible.
Signature forms are scanned and emails are being sent to
the President of India, Prime Minister, Law Minister and Law Commission.The
signature campaign is still on and crores of Muslims are filling the forms
whose proforma was sent by the AIMPLB.Those forms are being collected at the
AIMBPL offices in Baroni, Samastipur, Patna, Malegaon, Bhopal, Hyderabad and
Full report at:
Kolkata: The Union Government’s intent to subtly foist
Uniform Civil Code (UCC), and tinker with the Shariah (Muslim personal laws) in
matters of triple Talaaq (divorce), polygamy etc. remained the main point of
focus amongst a host of other issues during the 3-day 25th All India Muslim
Personal Board, (AIMPLB), conference which concluded here in Kolkata on Sunday
evening marked by a massive public meeting.
The AIMPLB members, special invitees to the conference
along with executive committee members all in unison passed a resolution saying
Triple Talaaq is sacrosanct as per the Shariah laws which have their origin in
the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. These Shariah laws are divine laws and cannot be
modified, changed or altered by any person or authority under any
A six-point “Kolkata Declaration” was released at the
conclusion of the 25th AIMPLB conference which was read out by the secretary
Maulana Mohammad Fazlurrahim Mujaddadi. The proceedings of the AIMPLB
conference were held at Myrah Banquet, Prasad Square 164, AJC Bose Road,
The resolution on Sharia laws said that it is binding as
per the Shariat Application Act 1937; Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act,
1939; Cutchi Memons Act 1938 and Waqf Act 2013 are applicable on Muslims and
Muslim Waqfs. Along with this according to the Articles 25, 26 and 29 of the
Constitution of India every citizen of the country belonging to any religion or
cultural group has the right to maintain his religious and cultural identity.
Thereby, Muslims have the fundamental right to follow their Shariah laws
without any inhibition which the court of law of the country also accede. Thus,
Muslims cannot agree to any changes in their personal laws as it would be like
desecrating the Constitution.
Another resolution said that the Uniform Civil Code
cannot be implemented in a country like India inhabited by people of
multi-religion, faith and multi-culture. The Muslims and other minorities along
with tribals and Adivasis cannot accept UCC at any cost. The country’s hallmark
is Unity in Diversity. The resolution pointed out that Govt. of India while
trying to bring back many rebellious groups, who had taken up arms against the
nation, in the mainstream signed accords with them on the laid down condition
that their traditional laws will not be meddled with and will be even above
India Parliament’s purview.
Thus, UCC under Article 44 is highly inflammable issue,
which divides the nation, creates discomfort among citizens, creates a sense of
insecurity among law abiding Muslim citizens and also alienates them from
National mainstream. What have been totally forgotten conveniently is,
nationally more important Art. 45 (free and compulsory education for all
children until 14 years of their age) and Art.47 (total Prohibition in the
country). Both these articles are totally disregarded by both the rulers and
Two resolutions on women’s rights
Two other resolutions were about women rights. In one the
AIMPLB demanded the government to seriously work for women rights which does
not affect the identity of any group. The long winding process of dissolution
of marriage through courts which also entails much cost should be time bound
and affordable. Similarly, women are not given their share in agriculture
properties in some states while Islamic Shariah laws grants them their piece.
For this laws of such states should be amended according to Shariah laws to get
them relief. Widows and divorced women should be encouraged for re-marriage by
providing them incentives as it will solve not only their monetary problems but
also grant them family security.
The other resolution said that Waqf boards from their
income should be directed to pay maintenance allowance to the divorced and
needy Muslim women. If Waqf income is not sufficient then government agencies
occupying prime and valuable Waqf properties and Minority Welfare Ministry
should back up the deficit.
Meanwhile, during the conference it was also explained
that Deen-o-Dastur Bachao movement has yielded good results across the
countries and the Adivasis, Dalits, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Ambedkarites
and other oppressed classes have appreciated the moves by the Board and have
extended their cooperation for the protection of the Constitution of India. The
Board strongly feels that any interference in the fundamental rights enshrined
in the constitution to the Minorities, Adivasis, Scheduled Castes, Buddhists,
Jains and other religious units will harm the integrity of the country and we
as Muslims have the duty to protect the values of our country.
AIMPLB announces formation of Women’s Wing
Taking a historic decision the AIMPLB has decided to form
a Women’s Wing under the convenor ship of Dr. Asma Zehra to look into issues
such as women issues such as talaaq, family issues, education and other issues.
The social reform activities among women will be expanded across India through
this wing. It has also been decided to launch an ALL India Muslim Women
Helpline, a toll free call centre in Urdu, English and 8 regional languages to
counsel and guide Muslim women having family disputes to go to the Darul-Qaza.
The women’s participation in the affairs of the Personal Law Board Meeting was
extraordinary this time. More than 75 women delegates and 50 women members
participated in the meeting and gave their valuable suggestions and proposals.
Later a joint Press conference was held wherein it was
informed that during the general session the detailed agenda was discussed at
length. The Board explained in detail its position on Shariah Laws relating to
marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, etc. The Press conference was
addressed by Member of Parliament Sultan Ahmed, chairman, Reception Committee;
Zafaryab Jeelini, Secretary, AIMPLB; Kamal Farooqui, Member Executive
Committee, AIMPLB and Dr. Asma Zahra, Convener Women’s Wing, AIMPLB.
Zafaryab Jeelini, Secretary, AIMPLB, told newspersons
that the point of view of AIMPLB has been explained in detail through the
affidavit filed before the Supreme Court in the Triple Talaaq and polygamy
case. The moment Board came to know that the central government is going to
file the affidavit in the Supreme Court, it approached the PM and five Cabinet
Ministers through the registered post to have the point of view of the board
which represents all Masaliks (school of thoughts) in the country.
Unfortunately, the authorities with their predetermined mind did not think it
fit to know the AIMPLB point of view.
He said the Board explained that it is competent to take
up issues with the Supreme Court and is hopeful that the constitutional
guarantees to all the religious units in the country would not be disturbed.
Indian-American felicitated with interfaith leadership
Nov 22, 2016
WASHINGTON: Azamgarh-born Indian-American entrepreneur
and philanthropist Frank Islam has been felicitated with the Interfaith
Leadership Award for his contributions towards the arts and higher education
and support of interfaith dialogue.
"Americans of all faiths and background need to come
together and redouble our efforts to reject hate and bigotry in all
forms," Islam said in his address to the gathering after receiving the
award at the Interfaith Leadership Award Concert here over the weekend.
"We must continue to fight for a fairer and stronger
America. We are stronger together. And, together, we can help shape a better
future," he said.
Security forces early Tuesday neutralised two militants
in an encounter in Bandipora, Jammu and Kashmir.
The army and the police in a joint operation had cordoned
off the area to smoke out the two militants who were holed up and had opened
fire, thus engaging in a heavy gunbattle early in the morning.
A combing operation is underway to ensure no untoward
elements are still present in the area.
Another suspicious Pakistani national was gunned down by
the Border Security Force (BSF) troops in RS Pura sector in Jammu and Kashmir,
after he crossed the International Border early on Tuesday morning.
Rajouri/Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir): Unprovoked ceasefire
violation by Pakistani troops continues in Naushera sector of Rajouri district,
though it has stopped in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district at 4.30 p.m.
Pakistani forces again resorted to heavy shelling and
firing along the Line of Control in Poonch district today.
As per report, Pakistani troops started unprovoked firing
in Krishna Ghati sector targeting border posts and civilian areas around 8:30
am this morning.
districts that left a BSF jawan martyred and seven
security personnel injured. (ANI)
Nov 22 2016
A prominent Taliban leader identified as Majid Zarqawi
was killed during an operation by the Afghan security forces in eastern Laghman
province of Afghanistan.
According to the local security officials, Zarqawi was
killed along with his two companions during a clash in Alisheng district.
Provincial governor’s spokesman Sarhadi Zwak confirmed
that Zarqawi was killed during an operation that led to clash between the
Taliban insurgents and Afghan security forces.
Zwak further added that Zarqawi was one of the key
Taliban leaders in Laghman province whose fighters were occasionally setting up
check points on the main highways to abduct the passengers besides his group
was involved in other terrorist activities.
The anti-government armed militant groups have not
commented regarding the report so far.
This comes as the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Monday
that 15 Taliban insurgents were killed during separate airstrikes in this
According to MoD, the airstrikes were conducted in
Alishen and Alingar districts of Laghman province to target the militants of
the Taliban group.
MoD further added that 5 militants were also wounded
during the same airstrikes.
Sri Lanka constitutional panel recommends postponing
Muslim personal law amendment
21st November 2016
COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Constitutional Assembly’s
sub-committee on Fundamental Rights has recommended that within three months of
the enactment of the new constitution, the President should appoint a five
member commission to go into the constitutional validity of the existing
written and unwritten laws (including personal laws) and submit a report to him
within a year.
The President shall table the report in the parliament at
the earliest thereafter, the panel said.
The sub-committee recommended that the proposed
commission should have representatives from various communities and people who
have distinguished themselves in the field of human rights.
Until a decision is taken to amend any of the existing
written or unwritten laws or personal laws, the existing laws will remain.
This recommendation helps postpone the task of amending
the controversial Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) of 1951.
While many Muslim women’s groups have been seeking an
amendment of the MMDA to ensure Muslim women’s rights as guaranteed by the
country’s constitution, Muslim men, Muslim political parties and the Ulemas
have been opposing any amendments under external pressure or duress.
They maintain that some of the amendments sought could go
against the Madhabs (religious orders) practiced by Sri Lankan Muslims and
would therefore have to have the explicit sanction of the Ulemas.
Issues on which Muslim women’s groups are agitating are:
the age of marriage of girls; the girls’ consent to marriage; and the
gender-bias in the Quazi court system.
The United States reaffirmed strong support to
Afghanistan following a deadly attack in Kabul which left at least 32 people
The State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters
“ The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack this
morning on a Shia mosque in Kabul – an attack that killed more than 30 innocent
worshippers and wounded what looks to be more than 50 people.”
Kirby further added “We extend our deepest condolences to
the families and the friends, obviously, of all those killed, injured and
affected by this attack. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with
the people of Afghanistan, and we remain firmly committed to helping build a
secure, peaceful, and prosperous future in Afghanistan which is free of
The loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
(ISIS) terrorist group claimed responsibility behind the deadly attack on
Baqir-ul-Olum mosque in Kabul city yesterday.
According to the Afghan officials, at least 32 people
were killed and over 80 others were wounded in the attack.
The latest attacks by ISIS loyalist in capital Kabul
comes despite the terror group received major setbacks during the
counter-terrorism operations of the Afghan security forces and the US forces
based in Afghanistan.
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the
deadly attack on a mosque in Kabul that left at least 32 people dead.
Reaffirming India’s support to Afghanistan in fight
against terrorism, Modi said “We strongly condemn the heinous terrorist attack
today on a Shia shrine in Kabul & condole loss of innocent lives.”
Modi further added “For regional peace and security, all
sanctuaries, safe havens and support to such terrorists must end.”
The Indian Prime Minister joined the international
community to condemn the attack which the loyalists of the Islamic State of
Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group claimed responsibility for.
Nov 21 2016
A suicide bomber was shot dead before he manage to target
the top government officials in northern Sar-e-Pul province of Afghanistan.
According to the local security officials, the suicide
bomber was looking to target the provincial governor and intelligence chief
during an official visit to the city.
Provincial governor’s spokesman Zabiullah Amani said the
suicide bomber was shot dead seconds before he detonate his explosives.
Amani further added that the suicide bomber was
identified as he was attempting to get close to provincial governor and
Nov 21, 2016
By Mohammad Nurul Islam and Wa Lone
COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh/YANGON Hundreds of Rohingya
Muslims from Myanmar crossed the border to Bangladesh over the weekend and on
Monday, aid workers said, seeking shelter from escalating violence in the
northwest that has killed at least 86 people and displaced some 30,000. An
official from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United
Nations' migration agency, who did not want to be identified, said he had
witnessed more than 500 people enter its camps in the hills near the border on
Monday.Aid workers from other United Nations agencies and Reuters reporters in
the IOM camps also reported seeing Rohingyas who said they had recently fled
the fighting in Myanmar. The UN workers did not give specific numbers, but
expressed concern about a sudden influx of people.The bloodshed is the most
serious since hundreds were killed in communal clashes in the western Myanmar
state of Rakhine in 2012, and is posing the biggest test yet for the
eight-month-old administration of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu
Kyi.Soldiers have poured into the area along Myanmar's frontier with
Bangladesh, responding to coordinated attacks on three border posts on Oct. 9
that killed nine police officers.Moulavi Aziz Khan, 60, from a village in
northern Rakhine, said he left Myanmar last week, after the military surrounded
his home and set fire to it. "At that time, I fled with my four daughters
and three grandsons to a nearby hill ... later, we managed to cross the
border," he said.Myanmar's military and the government have rejected
allegations by residents and rights groups that soldiers have raped Rohingya
women, burnt houses and killed civilians during the military operation in
New York-based Human Rights Watch said at the weekend
satellite images taken on Nov. 10, 17 and 18 showed 820 destroyed buildings in
five villages in northern Rakhine, bringing the total number it says it has
documented to 1,250.CHECKING REPORTS
Myanmar's government has also rejected previous reports
of Rohingya civilians trying to escape to Bangladesh.
Zaw Htay, presidential spokesman and member of the
newly-formed information taskforce on Rakhine, said the government continued to
investigate such reports, but had not so far been able to substantiate any of
them."We checked with the military and police about people fleeing to
Bangladesh since Oct. 9. Some people fled from their villages, but we put them
back to their villages," he said. "If something like that happened,
we are concerned and we will continue to investigate. We are not rejecting all
allegations...our government always checks all the allegations, and some were
found to be untrue."Myanmar's army has declared an "operations
zone" in mainly Muslim northern Rakhine, where it says it is battling
Islamist-inspired Rohingya insurgents, and it is not possible for international
reporters to enter the area to verify claims.
A group of three militants disguised among the refugees returning
from Peshawar were arrested in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the militants
belonged to Taliban group were on their way to Laghman for coordinating
MoI further added that a Laptop computer, a thumb drive,
a CD, and over 100 documents were confiscated from the detained militants.
The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding
the report so far.
This comes as the Afghan officials have long been
criticizing Pakistan for allowing the anti-government armed militant groups to
use its soil for planning and coordinating attacks in Afghanistan.
Syrian UN envoy: Saudis exported terror to Syria
Syria’s envoy to the UN says that Saudi Arabia has
gathered terrorists from all over the world and exported them to his country.
“They have exported their terror to us. They brought
terrorists to us from all over the world,” said Bashar al-Ja'afari (seen below)
while addressing the United Nations Security Council on Monday.
Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, particularly Turkey
and Qatar, are widely reported to be supporting the militants fighting the
government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since March 2011.
“The terrorists are the Takfiris, the Takfiri terrorists
that are influenced by the Saudi Wahabi thinking. What Daesh and al-Nusra do
corresponds exactly to the very same ideas prevailing in Saudi Arabia,” he
Ja'afari also condemned allegations made by the US’s UN
envoy Samantha Power that Syrian jets had heavily bombed eastern Aleppo and
dropped leaflets over the city, warning civilians to leave or die.
Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, remains divided
between government forces in the west and foreign-backed terrorists in the
east, making it a frontline battleground.
On September 22, Syria announced the start of a new
military operation in Aleppo aimed at driving out the terrorists occupying the
eastern part of the strategic city.
Stressing that such allegations are purely fictional,
Ja'afari condemned the US’s hypocrisy while noting that on Monday alone US
airstrikes had claimed the lives of a number of civilians in Raqqah.
“More than ten civilians lost their lives in raid by said
airplanes of the United States against the village of Salehia in northern rural
Raqqah. The war planes of the coalition
targeted a cotton mill in the same area which led to the death of three workers
and an entire family that was displaced from another area whom were living in
the village,” he said.
One million living under siege in Syria: UN
Also on Monday, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen
O'Brien said that the number of people living under siege in Syria has reached
around one million.
While addressing the UNSC, O'Brien stressed that most of
these people are in need of humanitarian aid and medical attention.
He noted that over 350 mortars and missiles have been
launched indiscriminately into western Aleppo since the beginning of the month
and that reportedly 60 people had been killed and 350 injured.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and
United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura have put the death
toll from the conflict at more than 300,000 and 400,000, respectively. This is
while the UN has stopped its official casualty count in the Arab country,
citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.
Nusra Terrorists Preparing to Hand Over Key Town
Southwest of Damascus
"Nearly 1300 militants along with their families
have registered to leave Khan al-Sheih in Western Ghouta; meantime, cases of
those militants willing to give up fight to remain in the town is under
investigation in accordance with President Bashar Al-Assad's general amnesty
decree," the Arabic-language Hadath news reported.
The terrorists of mainly al-Nusra Front (that recently
renamed to Fatah Al-Sham Front) were forced to accept the terms of a truce
after they lost over 100 fighters in the Syrian army's recent anti-terrorism
operations in Khan al-Sheih that ended up in the army's tightening siege of the
Hadath news quoted some sources as saying that relevant
officials are studying the cases of the militants to allow them to start
evacuating the town to start defusing bombs and landmines planted by the
terrorists in the region.
The Syrian Army's devastating attacks and advances in
Western Ghouta have forced the terrorist groups in Khan al-Sheih region to ask
the government forces for a revival of the negotiations after they pushed the
last round of peace talks into failure.
As ceasefire talks was in final stages to give the
terrorist groups an opportunity to surrender in return for amnesty or relocate
to Idlib province similar to other militant groups in Damascus province, the
militants, mainly from the Al-Nusra Front, launched attacks to lift the army
siege of Khan al-Sheih town irrespective of the truce and pushed the talks into
failure. The army soldiers in response intensified attacks on terrorists and
advanced against them in and outside Khan al-Sheih town.
A committee affiliated with Egypt’s Justice Ministry has
ordered the confiscation of assets belonging to 46 members and supporters of
the Muslim Brotherhood, the latest in a widening government crackdown on the
The committee issued the order on Monday, seizing
companies involved in trade, construction, and pharmaceuticals.
Reports said notable individuals were among the owners of
the companies and businesses confiscated, including Mohammed Abdel-Gawad, who
served as the head of Egypt's pharmacists’ union during the rule of Mohamed
Morsi, a senior Brotherhood leader and former Egyptian president who was ousted
in a coup in 2013.
The Muslim Brotherhood was once Egypt's largest
opposition group and still enjoys a huge public support. However, the
government of current president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi outlawed the movement when
the former army chief took power more than two years ago. Thousands of
Brotherhood members and supporters have been jailed while key figures have been
sentenced to death or life in prison.
Nov 22, 2016
Tens of fighters from the Free Syrian Army and
Nouralddeen al-Zinki attacked government forces' positions in the district of
Jabal Badrou to recapture al-Zohour heights, but their attack was repelled by
The terrorist groups suffered a large number of
casualties in a pursuing army counterattack.
Al-Zohour Heights overlook Hananou and other quarters in
the Eastern part of Aleppo city and its capture by the Syrian army has brought
a number of strategic positions of the terrorists under the direct fire of the
Jabal Badrou is adjacent to Sheikh Najjar industrial zone
and Aleppo airport and the battle in this warfront would play a decisive role
in the fate of war in Eastern Aleppo.
Army soldiers and popular forces also scored limited
victories against militants in the flank of Old Sheikh Najjar factories and
The army's artillery units targeted ISIL's gatherings in
the 'Reclamation of Lands' region near the town of Deir Hafer, while fighter
jets bombed ISIL's movements in the region several times, destroying ten
military vehicles and killing a number of terrorists.
The warplanes also struck ISIL's movements in Tal (hill)
al-Sous region East of the Air Defense Academy near Kuweires airbase,
destroying at least seven military vehicles and killing a number of militants.
Similar attacks were carried out on ISIL centers on
Military sources had disclosed last week that a large
number of fresh army soldiers were dispatch to Eastern Aleppo to take part in
an imminent military operation against ISIL's positons in the towns of al-Bab
and Deir Hafer to establish large security zone around Kuweires airbase.
After liberation of the town of Manbij in Raqqa province,
Deir Hafer and al-Bab have been turned into the largest bases of the ISIL in
Experts believe that the Syrian army's operations in Deir
Hafer and al-Bab, which are two entrance gates towards Raqqa province, are the
sign of army's fresh offensives to liberate the self-proclaimed capital of ISIL
via using a new flank, while the Kurdish-Led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
started Euphrates Rage Operation to free Raqqa from ISIL around three week ago.
The US-led coalition's fighter jets bombed a spinning
workshop in the village of al-Salehiyeh in Raqqa, killing three workers and
seven residents of the village.
Several villagers were also wounded and their houses
sustained major damage in the air raid.
Elsewhere, Turkish warplanes in cooperation with the US
drones attacked the town of al-Sheikh Naser Northeast of the town of al-Bab in
Syria's Aleppo province, leaving seven civilians dead and ten more wounded.
Earlier this month, over 20 civilians were killed and
many more were wounded in the US-led coalition airstrikes in two villages North
The US-led coalition's fighter jets bombed the
ISIL-villages of al-Hisheh and Khaniz, while backing the Kurdish-led Syrian
Democratic Forces' (SDF) offensive there.
At least 20 civilians were killed and more villagers were
injured in the air raids.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari says around
one-third of Mosul has been liberated since operations began to retake the city
from the Daeshi occupiers.
Jaafari made the announcement after a meeting with German
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on Monday.
Adding that over 1,000 Daesh terrorists had also been
killed and that some 650 had been captured, he stressed that operations were
making progress. "Those are very good signs for the positive results of
the operations. It's going better than we expected.” After months of
preparation, Iraqi army soldiers, backed by pro-government fighters from
Popular Mobilization Units and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, launched an operation
to retake the strategic city of Mosul from the Daesh terrorists on October 17.
22 November 2016
An Egyptian appeals court on Tuesday quashed one of two
life sentences handed down against ousted president Mohamed Morsi since his
2013 overthrow, his lawyer and a judicial source said.
The sentences against several officials of his now
outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, who stood trial alongside him on charges of spying
for Iran and Palestinian militant group Hamas, were also overturned by the
Court of Cassation, lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud told AFP.
On November 27, the same court is to start reviewing a
second life sentence handed down against Morsi in a separate trial on charges
of stealing documents relating to national security and handing them over to
Qatar, a longstanding supporter of the Brotherhood.
Lebanon is building wall near the country’s largest
Palestinian refugee camp to prevent extremists from infiltrating, a military
source said Monday.
The overcrowded and impoverished Ain al-Hilweh camp near
the southern coastal city of Sidon has gained notoriety in recent years as a
refuge for Muslim extremists and fugitives.
It also saw deadly fighting last year between the Jund
al-Sham Islamist group and members of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s
And in September the army said security forces had
arrested a Palestinian refugee suspected of links to the Islamic State group
who was in the camp.
“The construction of the wall began some time ago and the
aim is to stop the infiltration of terrorists inside Ain al-Hilweh from nearby
orchards,” the military source told AFP.
“It’s a security measure” that was taken after the arrest
of “fugitive terrorists” who had taken shelter in the camp, he said.
Pictures were posted online showing cranes lifting huge
concrete blocks on the western side of Ain al-Hilweh then setting them side by
side, as well as watchtower.
Social media users compared the wall to a controversial
separation barrier which Israel has been building in the occupied West Bank
“Soon, the children of Ain al-Hilweh will draw pictures
depicting Palestine and freedom on the wall of shame,” one person said online.
A camp official, Fuad Othman, called the wall a
Major General Mounir al-Maqdah, the head of the
Palestinian security forces in Lebanon, criticised the construction of the
Iraq’s foreign minister said on Monday that the fight to
wrest back control of Mosul from ISIS was making progress, citing what he
called better-than-expected cohesion within Iraqi security forces and the
Ibrahim Al-Jaafari said it was difficult to predict how
long the battle would take, but more than 1,000 ISIS fighters had been killed,
650 had been taken prisoner, and about one-third of the area had been freed.
“Those are very good signs for the positive results of
the operations. It’s going better than we expected,” al-Jaafari told reporters
after a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
“Of course the fight must continue. But it’s clear that
the cohesion of the forces and the coalition played a significant role up to
now,” he said.
Al-Jaafari told reporters that he expected US
President-elect Donald Trump to continue to support Iraq in its battle against
ISIS, as well as urgently needed reconstruction efforts once Mosul was
He said Iraq would need a program much like the Marshall
Plan under which the United States helped Germany rebuild its infrastructure
and economy after World War Two.
“We don’t have agreements with individual
administrations. We have agreements with countries,” he said. Strategic support
for Iraq had continued despite the transition in power from former President
George W. Bush to Barack Obama, and he expected the same during the coming
change at the White House.
“These strategies don’t change with the presidents.
Agreements are signed and then they are binding for all involved,” he said.
Al-Jaafari said Iraq would not accept any intervention by
Turkey in the border region.
Turkey is worried that Shi’ite militias who are
supporting Iraqi forces could seek revenge against Sunni Turkmen in the city of
Tal Afar, which sits on the main road between Mosul and Full report at:
The army soldiers engaged in heavy fighting with the
terrorists in several flanks in Sheikh Saeed.
In the meantime, army's missile and artillery units
opened heavy fire at terrorists' concentration centers in Sheikh Saeed this
After the missile and artillery attacks, ground troops
stormed Jeish al-Fatah's positions from the Western flank.
Tough battle is now underway between the army men and
terrorists in this flank, according to several army reports.
Army's missile units also shelled heavily terrorists'
centers in Aqarib neighborhood in Southern Aleppo.
Pro-government forces also clashed with terrorists in
Sawq al-Jebes, taking control of a main part of the neighborhood after hours of
Army's artillery units also kept shelling terrorists'
bases in the neighborhoods of al-Rashedeen 4 and 5.
After capturing the Air Defense Battalion and its nearby
hills, Housing Project 1070 and al-Hikmah School, the Syrian army now plans to
open its way further into Southern Aleppo in order to win back key town of Khan
The army, the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi al-Nujaba have
now deployed hundreds of their fighters in the Southern part of Aleppo to start
jointly a fresh round of offensives to liberate Khan Touman right after
capturing al-Rashedeen 4 and 5 and Sheikh Saeed and its surrounding reigns.
On Saturday, Syrian Army troops and Quds Devotees popular
fighters stormed the positions of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists from three
different flanks to take back militant-held districts in Eastern Aleppo.
Syrian government forces used the Southern side of Tal
(hill) Seifan in the first flank to attack the positions of Nouralddeen
Army forces also stormed militants' defense lines via the
second flank in Ba'abadin neighborhood towards Ba'eidin square.
"The targeting of the country's government buildings
and infrastructure, specially hospitals and schools, by the Syrian army is
impossible," al-Ahmad said on Monday.
Al-Ahmad underlined that whatever the western media
propagate about the destruction of Aleppo hospitals by the Syrian army is sheer
lie by the West in a bid to help the terrorist groups.
In relevant remarks in early October, Syrian President
Bashar Assad said allegations that his government is targeting hospitals and
civilian infrastructure in Syria are "untrue".
Assad said, in an interview with Denmark's TV 2 channel,
that the Syrian government does not issue orders to target hospitals, schools
and other civilian infrastructure or to kill civilians, and insisted that
allegations about such attacks are untrue as such actions are not in the
interest of the government more than others.
The army's missile and artillery units opened heavy fire
at terrorists' centers in Bostan al-Pasha, while other pro-government troops
engaged in fierce clashes with the militants and pushed them back from more
The army soldiers have the Central part as well as a
large part of Western Bostan al-Pasha under their control, while terrorists
have maintained control over a small area of land in the Northern part of the
Syrian army and popular forces are advancing towards the
Old Sheikh Najjar district from the direction of al-Zohour heights, taking back
Pro-government forces also are advancing against
militants in Jabal Badrou strategic district from the al-Zohour heights flank.
The operations in these regions is of paramount
importance since al-Zohour Heights overlook Hananou and other quarters in the
Eastern part of Aleppo city.
The army's artillery units shelled terrorists'
concentration centers and movements in a region between Air Force Academies
(South of Kuweires) and the town of Deir Hafer (East of Kuweires), claiming the
lives of at least 17 militants and destroying their vehicles.
Military sources disclosed on Thursday that a large
number of Syrian soldiers are deployed at Kuweires airbase to start military operations
against the terrorists in al-Bab Northeast of Aleppo province.
"Hundreds of Syrian soldiers are now in Kuweires
airbase 40 kilometers to the east of Aleppo city to start al-Bab military
operations against the ISIL terrorist group," the Arabic-language media
quoted an unnamed military source as saying.
The source said that the Syrian army has sent around
1,000 reinforcement troops to the Eastern countryside of Aleppo to start the
operation that aims to create a safe zone in areas in the vicinity of Kuweires
airbase, including al-Bab.
The army soldiers attacked Faylaq al-Rahman terrorists'
positions in Jobar East of Damascus province, killing and wounding the entire
militants who had gathered in the positions.
Army soldiers also targeted militants' centers and
gatherings in the towns of Harasta, Douma, Hamouriyeh, Kafr Batna and Saqba.
The army men also engaged in fierce clashes with Jeish
al-Islam terrorists in the town of Arbin, killing a number of them.
The Syrian fighter jets also launched heavy airstrikes on
terrorists' gatherings in Arbin, inflicting a heavy death toll on the
After capturing the towns of al-Reihan and
al-Shifouniyeh, the army men are now approaching Douma, the main stronghold of
the terrorists in the region.
With the capture of Hawsh Nasri, Hawsh Farah, Tal (hill)
Kurdi and Tal Sawan by the army in Eastern Ghouta, the terrorist groups lost
more fighters as are about to hand over more regions in Western Ghouta to the
Fazl ‘waxes humorous’ about Imran’s wedding
LAHORE: Chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam
Maulana Fazlur Rehman says the media is more anxious about the marriage of
Imran Khan than his.
At the residence of PPP leader Jahangir Badar, where he
had gone to condole with the bereaved family on Monday, the JUI-F leader told a
questioner that he would not advise the PTI chairman about his third wedding
“Wherever I go the question of Khan Sahib’s wedding is
asked but none bothers to ask about mine,” he chuckled.
About the appointment of new army chief, he said the
prime minister wielded discretionary powers to make the appointment and he (PM)
knew better whom to assign the post.
Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2016
PESHAWAR: At least three officers of the Frontier
Constabulary were killed and three others injured when an improvised explosive
device (IED) exploded during a funeral in Bashirabad area, Peshawar on Tuesday.
“Three officials were killed and three others were
injured in the blast,” SSP Operations Sajjad Khan told The Express Tribune. The
IED was planted on the road, he said.
Three FC men killed in Peshawar gun attack
An imprisoned worker of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan
died in Central Jail Karachi, said the party and police officials on Monday.
"MQM worker Naeem Faqir died during treatment in the
prison on Sunday," said New Town SHO Ejaz Khan.
The officer quoting the jail administration claimed that
Naeem Faqir died due to heart attack on Sunday.
QUETTA: A person was killed and three others, including
two security personnel, were injured in a remote-controlled bomb attack on
Monday in the Boghara Road area of Chaman, a town near the Pak-Afghan border.
Official sources said the intended target had been an
army vehicle that was passing through the area when the bomb exploded. The
improvised explosive device had been planted under a causeway near Boghara
It went off as an army truck carrying security personnel
was crossing the causeway.
A 25-year-old man died on the spot and three others were
injured. “The man killed in the blast was passing through the area on a
motorcycle,” a senior police officer said, adding that the injured include two
security personnel and a passerby. The security personnel travelling in the
army vehicle received minor injuries.
CHAMAN: A passerby was killed and two security men
injured in bomb attacks here on Monday. A bomb was planted under a bridge in
Killi Haji Habib in Boghra area when security force vehicles were moving
towards the Pak-Afghan border. As a result of explosion one passerby died and
two security forces personnel were injured.
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has been asked to order
conferring the title of field marshal on Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif for
rendering services to protect national security and safeguarding the frontiers
of Pakistan by successfully launching Operation Zarb-i-Azb against militants.
The petition is an appeal moved by Sardar Adnan Saleem
Khan Mazari — an executive member of the District Bar Association Rawalpindi —
against the Oct 18 judgement of the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench which
had rejected the same plea.
According to the appeal, the high court’s judgement was
“unlawful and unconstitutional as it was rendered without taking into
consideration the merit of the post which was globally recognised and Pakistan
was no exception among the comity of nations”.
In the appeal, Sardar Mazari traced the history of field
marshals and stated that the late President Muhammad Ayub Khan had also served
at the same post, which showed that such posts existed in Pakistan.
The federal government through the cabinet division,
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the defence ministry were named as respondents
in the petition.
Sardar Mazari pleaded that Gen Raheel had “demonstrated
visionary leadership to the people of Pakistan as well as the security forces
by setting an example as a trailblazer and role model for others by giving new
direction and hope for the nation in consonance with the constitutional frontiers
He contended that Operation Zarb-i-Azb had countered
extremist designs of terrorist organisations with a proactive and prudent
approach but was still going on and had yet to be completed.
Moreover, “the initiation and formulation of the National
Action Plan (NAP) to safeguard the frontiers of Pakistan and geographical
boundaries of Pakistan and the China-Pakistan corridor project was also in
progress and negatives forces were creating hurdles for such projects — an
instant threat to our beloved country”.
He contended that Gen Raheel’s exemplary, outstanding and
professional performance during “peace and war with dedication and devotion by
attaining the highest standards and mastery in battlefield suggested the army
chief should be appreciated nationally by awarding and recognising his
“It is a universal and divine law that whosoever rendered
his services for the nation and humanity at a larger scale in an extraordinary,
exemplary and selfless manner should be elevated to the highest level of
military hierarchy,” the appeal said.
Thus, the high court’s order was arbitrary, misconceived
against the law and principle of good governance, Sardar Mazari argued.
LAHORE: The Pakistan People’s Party has decided to show
its political power in the Punjab capital as party Chairman Bilawal
Bhutto-Zardari has kicked off a campaign to mobilise workers here.
The young PPP leader on Monday morning chaired a meeting
of the organising committee he had set up a day ago for holding the party’s
foundation day, falling on Nov 30, in Lahore in a befitting manner.
The committee comprises leaders from all the four
provinces. They included Qamar Zaman Kaira, Aitzaz Ahsan, Makhdoom Ahmed
Mahmood, Nitasha Daultana, Chaudhry Manzoor, Sameena Ghurki, Humayun Khan,
Najmuddin Khan and Sardar Fateh Muhammad Husni.
The participants were reportedly asked to set targets for
their respective areas for bringing maximum number of activists to the Nov 30
event for making it a major political show.
In the afternoon, Bilawal began his drive to motivate and
mobilise workers demoralised by the part defeat in the last elections amid long
absence of the leadership from the political scene.
He went to the outhouse of party ticket-holder Ashraf
Bhatti close to the Defence Housing Authority after attending a Chehlum
gathering in a nearby Imam Bargah. Dozens of workers took selfies with their
leader at the Bhatti’s house amid slogans of “jiaye Bhutto”.
Talking to reporters, the PPP chairman said the decision
on homecoming of co-chairperson and his father Asif Ali Zardari had been taken.
“[Former] president Zardari would definitely return. But the day and city for
the purpose is yet to be decided.”
He hinted that Lahore and Rawalpindi, other than Karachi,
could also be chosen as the venue for the co-chairperson’s landing.
KARACHI: Faced with a serious internal crisis after it
dissociated itself from the London-based supremo, the Dr Farooq Sattar-led
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan announced on Monday boycott of the Nov 24
by-election on a National Assembly seat (NA-258) in Karachi’s Malir district.
The NA-258 seat fell vacant after the resignation of
Abdul Hakeem Baloch, who quit the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and joined the
Pakistan Peoples Party. He is now contesting the by-election from the same
constituency on a PPP ticket.
While the MQM-P put the blame of their boycott on the
Sindh government for its ‘misuse of government resources’, sources said the
party took the decision in view of some recent incidents in which they faced
stiff resistance from loyalists of MQM founder Altaf Hussain.
First, Mr Hussain’s loyalists outnumbered MQM-P leaders
and workers in Azizabad a few days ago when Mayor Waseem Akhtar reached there
in a procession to pay his respect to the Yadgar-i-Shuhada.
Then there was thin attendance at a party’s public
meeting in Mehmoodabad and a video was circulating on social media showing empty
chairs while Dr Sattar was making a speech. Mr Hussain’s loyalists also
routinely challenge the MQM-Pakistan’s leadership by raising pro-Altaf slogans
in their public meetings.
The sources said the party knew it could not win the
by-election as a majority of voters in the constituency were not Urdu-speaking
and it had never won the seat since the 2002 general election.
However, they said that in this situation the MQM-P
leadership feared that if contested, the number of votes it would get in the
by-election might expose its claim that its support base was still intact and
the people actually supported their actions, including dissociation from Mr
ISLAMABAD: Assistant Foreign Minister of the Peoples
Republic of China, Kong Xuanyou, reiterated his government's continued support
towards the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Pakistan.
Acknowledging the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in
fighting terrorism and extremism, he assured China's full support against these
menaces. During talks with the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign
Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, both sides expressed satisfaction at the continued
expansion and deepening of bilateral relations.
The adviser emphasised the importance that Pakistan
attaches to its relations with China and the need to hold regular high-level
exchanges. Xuanyou thanked Pakistan for its consistent and strong support on
issues of vital interest to China.
In a bilateral meeting between Foreign Secretary, Aizaz
Ahmad Chaudhry, and the visiting Chinese dignitary, the entire spectrum of
bilateral relations, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) came
The two sides agreed to remain engaged and strengthen
cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries. The foreign secretary
briefed the assistant minister on the latest situation in Afghanistan. He
highlighted the imperatives of reaching sustainable and lasting peace in
Afghanistan through reconciliation and dialogue.
LAHORE: At first it was not clear to me as to whose
picture it was on what’s app message. I was trying to figure it out when the
cell phone bell rang. It all became clear to me because the man at the other
end was demanding Rs. 360,000 otherwise he would amputate the hand and feet of
my nephew Shahid Ali and his friend Noubahar. It was torture photo of my
nephew. Both had gone to Turkey for employment.
Muhammad Ali Azad, resident of Hanjarwal, Lahore, told
the FIA officials about how the human traffickers were robbing him. “You have
so far deposited only Rs. 175,000 and if you do not arrange Rs. 350,000 more we
will amputate their hands and feet. Then they made me hear the screams of my
nephew who was being tortured,” leader of the human traffickers gang Haider
Shah’s voice boomed on the phone. He was calling from Turkey.
Ali moved an application to Director FIA against the
human smugglers who had taken his nephew and his friend to Turkey and now were
demanding ransom money. The victims had been trapped by one Yasin (operating
with Haider from Turkey) and his wife Taj Bibi, a resident of Sheikhupura. They
convinced Shahid and Noubahar to go to Turkey promising lucrative jobs there.
After passage of six weeks the call for ransom came. Haider Shah, who is
operating a human smuggling ring from Turkey, his brother Saqlain Shah from
Sheikhupura, Muhammad Nawaz and Nazir from Lahore and one Rana have been
identified as the accused.
“Due to fear of torture I handed over Rs. 175,000 and a
newly purchased motorcycle to Taj Bibi. After two days accused Yasin called
from Turkey. “You have deposited amount for safety of one person. Now deposit
Rs. 350,000 if you want to keep the other person safe as well and to ensure
safety of my nephew. I implored him to have some mercy on us as we could not
arrange such a huge amount. Then he told me to arrange RS 200,000 instead,” Ali
said in his application. Saqlain Shah put pressure on applicant and his family
members through phone calls and demanded agreed amount of Rs. 200,000. Haider
Shah called from Turkey and demanded that Ali should deposit the said amount in
bank account, 0330233105668 of his real brother Saqlain Shah.
Yemeni army forces, allied fighters seize two Saudi bases
Yemeni army forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees
have taken control of two military bases in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border
region of Najran in retaliation for Riyadh’s military campaign against their
The Yemeni forces took control of the bases in the
mountainous northern part of the region, located 844 kilometers south of the
capital, Riyadh, on Monday afternoon, Arabic-language al-Masirah television
Shortly afterwards, Yemeni soldiers and Popular
Committees fighters fired a number of Katyusha rockets at a gathering of Saudi
forces at Najran Regional Airport. There was no immediate report on the extent
of damage inflicted and the number of casualties among Saudi forces.
Abu Hamdan and al-Sadis military bases in the same Saudi
region also came under missile attacks by Yemeni forces.
The developments came on the same day that Yemeni
artillery units pounded a position of Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to resigned
president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the Khabb wa ash Sha'af district of the
country's northern province of al-Jawf.
Meanwhile, Saudi fighter jets struck an area in the Kitaf
wa Al Boqe'e district of Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada, but no
casualties were reported.
Saudi warplanes also carried out two separate airstrikes
against Baqim district in Sa’ada Province, though no immediate reports of
casualties were available.
Earlier on Monday, Saudi military aircraft bombarded a
power station in the As Salif district of Yemen's western coastal province of
Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a deadly campaign
against Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to bring back the former Yemeni
government to power and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The impoverished Arab country is grappling with the
scarcity of food supplies and outbreak of diseases amid Saudi Arabia’s
The United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF)
says 7.4 million Yemeni children are in dire need of medical help, and 370,000
run the risk of severe acute malnutrition.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned a
terrorist attack on a crowded Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul,
stressing that sponsors of terrorism will be engulfed by the backlash of their
actions “sooner or later.”
“The spread and growth of terrorism in the region has
taken on a concerning trend,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi
said on Monday.
He added that terrorism would be uprooted in the region
only through international resolve and consensus.
The Iranian spokesperson also extended his sympathy to
the Afghan government and nation over the bloody terrorist attack.
Qassemi said the covert and overt support by certain
countries for Takfiri-terrorist groups and their deployment as a means to
achieve short-term goals have escalated acts of terror.
About 30 people were killed and dozens wounded after a
bomber detonated his explosives at the Baqir ul Olum mosque in Kabul on Monday
as mourners gathered to hold religious rituals commemorating Arba’een, the 40th
day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia
The Chief of the Kabul police Criminal Investigation
Department, Fraidoon Obaidi, said at least 27 people were killed and 35 wounded
but the United Nations said at least 32 had been killed and more than 50
wounded, including many children.
It described the attack as "an atrocity."
Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the
The direct appointment of university rectors by President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan since July’s failed coup has stirred up tensions on campus
and prompted claims of political interference in the education sector.
The state-run Bosphorus University in Istanbul is one of
the most prestigious in the country. With its green lawns reminiscent of the
Ivy League or Oxbridge, it is the traditional starting point for the Turkish
But beneath the gilded surface, tensions are simmering
after Erdogan this month appointed Professor Mehmed Ozkan in place of the
popular Gulay Barbarosoglu as the university rector.
He made the appointment under a measure allowed by the
state of emergency which was imposed by the government following the failed bid
by a rogue army faction to oust him.
Elections for rectors in Turkey’s 181 universities - 111
of them state-run - were suspended after the July 15 coup, with Erdogan picking
winners from a pool of candidates selected by the education authority YOK.
If Erdogan doesn’t pick one of the candidates proposed by
YOK within a month, he can choose the rector directly.
‘Shocked and frustrated’
Outgoing rector Barbarosoglu won 86 percent of the vote
among Bosphorus University academics in the July 12 election, held just three
days before the coup. Ozkan, an academic at the university’s biomedical
engineering department and brother of a ruling party MP, did not run in the
After Ozkan’s appointment, Barbarosoglu said she was
stepping down from her academic career.
“I bid farewell to our university where I have
contributed for over 40 years at various levels, as student, academic and
administrator, and finalise my academic career.”
The government has defended the new system, with Deputy
Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus saying that such elections had polarised
universities. “We know how much that harmed universities,” he said, expressing
hope that the new rules would not lead to hostility among academic staff.
Academics and students, however, slammed the appointment
as a blow to the university’s autonomy. “Am I worried? Very much. Students are
also shocked and frustrated,” an associate professor at the university told AFP
on condition of anonymity.
Crackdown on liberal academia
The academic hailed Barbarosoglu as a dean who always
advocated the university’s democratic tradition and suggested that she was
replaced because she defended staff who signed a January petition criticising
the military campaign in the south-east.
An Istanbul court in March arrested three academics,
including Esra Mungan of Bosphorus University, on charges of “terror
propaganda” after the three read out the joint petition signed by over 1,000
academics urging an end to Ankara’s crackdown on Kurdish rebels.
Barbarosoglu “went to the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s
office and demanded that Esra Mungan be set free,” the academic told AFP.
Some opponents compared the president’s direct
appointment of rectors to the move to install government-appointed trustees in
municipalities in the south-east after several mayors were removed over alleged
links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
#KayyumRektorIstemiyoruz (We do not want a trustee
rector) has become a popular hashtag on Twitter.
Donald Trump’s victory and the war on Islamic State have
given Iran’s hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps what it sees as a
unique opportunity to claw back economic and political power it had lost.
Sidelined after a nuclear deal was reached with Iranian
reformist leaders and the administration of President Barack Obama and major
nations, the IRGC is determined to regain its position in Iran’s complex
Republican Trump said in the campaign that he would
abandon the 2015 deal that curbed Iran’s nuclear ambitions in return for the
lifting of economic sanctions. His tough stance, in contrast to Obama’s olive
branch, is expected to empower hard-liners who would benefit from an economy
that excludes foreign competition.
In addition, the Quds force, that conducts IRGC policies
overseas, has played a successful and key role on the battlefields of Iraq
increasing the Guards’ kudos at home.
“Trump and the Islamic State militants were gifts from
God to the IRGC,” said a senior official within the Iranian government,
speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity like other figures contacted
“If Trump adopts a hostile policy towards Iran or scraps
the deal, hard-liners and particularly the IRGC will benefit from it,” a former
reformist official said.
Elected in a landslide in 2013 on a promise to end Iran’s
diplomatic and economic isolation, reformist President Hassan Rouhani has
struggled to reconnect Iran’s economy to world markets and to attract foreign
Uncertainty over the nuclear deal, unilateral US
sanctions, political infighting in Iran alongside complex regulations, labour
issues and corruption have hampered a post-sanctions economic revival causing
concern to Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who blames the government.
SANCTIONS BENEFITTED IRGC
Deeply loyal to Khamenei, the IRGC was created by Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution. The IRGC first
secured a foothold in the economy after the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War when the
clerical establishment allowed them to invest in leading Iranian industries.
Involved in a wide range of businesses, from energy and
tourism to car production, telecoms and construction, the IRGC’s empire grew by
taking billions of dollars in projects vacated by Western oil companies because
of sanctions imposed to curb the nation’s nuclear ambitions.
Trying to limit IRGC influence, Rouhani’s government
stalled or cancelled some major projects with the IRGC, including a $1.3
billion deal with National Iranian Gas Co. in March 2014.
Under the nuclear deal, international sanctions were
lifted in January opening up the Iranian economy, thereby threatening the IRGC
power base. Now the Guards see an opportunity to lever back their position in
the Iranian hierarchy.
“The IRGC will use Trump’s win to convince the clerical
rulers to give them more political and economic backing. This is what they have
been hoping for since the deal was reached,” said the senior government
official, who declined to be identified.
“If Trump’s presidency scares away foreign investors from
Iran, then it is the IRGC that will regain its economic power,” said a former
reformist official close to Rouhani.
“More economic involvement of the IRGC means a riskier
market for foreign investors. It will hinder Rouhani’s planned economic growth
and will give more political power to the IRGC and their hard-line backers,”
the reformist official added.
GUARD AGAINST UNCERTAINTY
Senior members of the IRGC and its front companies remain
under unilateral US sanctions for what Washington said was supporting “acts of
SANAA - A fragile
48-hour ceasefire in Yemen ended on Monday after failing to stem violence
across the country, with each side blaming the other for violating the
The ceasefire, aimed at ending the chaos and bloodshed
that has gripped the Arabian Peninsula country since March 2015, came into
effect on Saturday following the intervention of US Secretary of State John
Despite a lull in air strikes on the rebel-held capital
during the ceasefire, residents said Saudi-led coalition warplanes hit a
district in eastern Sanaa on Monday. Both parties had traded accusations about
hundreds of violations throughout the short-lived ceasefire.
The coalition said it ended at midday (0900 GMT) Monday,
and accused Iran-backed insurgents of repeatedly breaking it. “There is no
respect (for the ceasefire), only violations,” coalition spokesman Major
General Ahmed Assiri told AFP.
“There have been more people killed in (the southwestern
city of) Taez and more attacks with surface-to-surface missiles, so
automatically the conditions are not there” for prolonging the ceasefire, he
said. “At the military level, for the moment, we have no orders to extend the
ceasefire. It’s over.”
The coalition had said the truce could be renewed if the
rebels abided by the it and allowed aid deliveries into besieged cities. But
violence flared as its expiration loomed. Fifteen rebels and nine loyalist
troops were killed in clashes overnight in and around Taez, military and
medical sources said. Four civilians were also killed and 11 wounded in rebel
bombing of loyalist-held neighbourhoods, the sources said.
Early Monday, loyalist forces attacked Huthi rebels and
their allies on the western outskirts of Taez, military officials said. The
offensive targeted an air defence base, they said, and witnesses reported loud
explosions. Four Huthis were killed in an air strike by the Saudi-led
coalition. Coalition warplanes hit rebel positions in Nahm, north of rebel-held
capital Sanaa, and in the Huthi heartland of Saada province, witnesses said.
“Battles have resumed across various fronts,” a spokesman
for pro-government forces, Brigadier Abdo Majli, said in remarks published on
the loyalist sabanew.net.
Military operations will continue “until legitimacy is
restored”, he said, adding that the coalition-backed army has “achieved new
victories in Taez province and succeeded in liberating the air defence base
north of the city”. The ceasefire was the latest international attempt to end
Yemen’s 20-month conflict, which the United Nations says has killed more than
7,000 people and wounded nearly 37,000.
The Huthis overran Sanaa and other parts of the
impoverished country in September 2014, prompting the coalition to intervene
six months later in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi. Pro-Hadi
forces said on Monday they repelled a rebel attack on their positions in Sarwah
in Marib province, east of the capital The ceasefire had appeared shaky from
the outset, and Assiri accused the rebels of 563 violations in Yemen and
another 163 across the border in Saudi Arabia.
A Yemeni man living in New York City was arrested on
Monday and charged by US prosecutors with attempting to provide support to ISIS,
including by expressing support for an attack in Times Square.
Mohammed Rafik Naji, who authorities say last year
travelled to Turkey and Yemen in an effort to join the militant group, was
charged in a criminal complaint filed in Brooklyn, where he lives.
He was arrested earlier Monday, according to a
spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He is expected to appear
in court later in the afternoon.
A lawyer could not be immediately identified.
Naji, 37, is one of more than 100 people to face US
charges since 2014 in cases related to ISIS, which has seized control of parts
of Iraq and Syria.
According to the complaint, in March 2015, Naji flew to
Turkey to join ISIS in Yemen, where it operated in certain parts. He returned
to New York in September 2015, flying from Djibouti, the complaint said.
While abroad, he frequently emailed with his girlfriend,
who he later called his wife, asking her for money and sending her a “selfie”
of himself in black clothing in which a tactical vest and large knife could be
seen, the complaint said.
Beginning in August 2015, a paid law enforcement
informant made contact via Facebook with Naji, who the complaint said described
ISIS as “spreading like a virus” that non-believers “can’t stop it no matter
what they do.”
21 November 2016
A former consultant to Iran’s mission to the United
Nations pleaded guilty on Monday to charges that he filed a false tax return
substantially understating how much he was paid and conspired to violating a US
Ahmad Sheikhzadeh, 60, entered his plea in federal court
in Brooklyn to charges that he conspired to violate the International Emergency
Economic Powers Act and aided in the preparation of false individual income tax
As part of a plea deal, Sheikhzadeh agreed to not appeal
any sentence of 5-1/4 years in prison or less, said Steve Zissou, his attorney.
Sheikhzadeh, who has also agreed to pay over $147,000, is scheduled to be
sentenced on March 30.
Sheikhzadeh was arrested in March, two months after when
world powers led by the United States and the European Union lifted crippling
sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
21 November 2016
The Yemeni army on Monday announced the resumption of
military operations against the Iran-backed Houthi militias in the country, Al
Arabiya News Channel reported.
The army and resistance forces also said they had evicted
the Houthi militias from an air base in northern Taiz.
Meanwhile, the Arab coalition supporting Yemen’s
government against the Houthis said a 48-hour ceasefire ended at midday (0900
GMT) Monday due to repeated violations by Houthi militias and their allies.
Slovenia's President Borut Pahor has arrived in Tehran to
hold talks with senior Iranian officials on avenues to develop political and
Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation,
Pahor arrived in Tehran on Monday and was welcomed by Iran's Energy Minister
Hamid Chitchian upon his arrival at the Imam Khomeini International Airport.
Slovenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Erjavec has
said his country plans to reopen its embassy in Tehran in November.
In a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad
Zarif in Tehran earlier this month, state secretary at Slovenia’s Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, Darja Bavdaž Kuret, had announced the Slovenian president's
visit to Tehran.
During Pahor’s stay in Tehran, Slovenia’s embassy would
be reopened, she added.
Slovenia’s Foreign Ministry announced in March 2013 that
the country decided to shrink its diplomatic network as part of general
austerity and close its embassy in Tehran in response to the difficult
financial and economic situation in Slovenia.
Malaysia accused of ‘abuse of law’ in rally crackdown
KUALA LUMPUR - Rights groups condemned Malaysia’s
government on Monday for a crackdown on organisers of a weekend anti-government
rally, including the arrest of the protest leader under a tough law aimed at
Tens of thousands of people flooded Kuala Lumpur with the
yellow colours of the reformist movement Saturday to demand Prime Minister
Najib Razak resign and face justice over a massive corruption scandal.
Authorities arrested more than a dozen people before,
during and after the demonstration including Maria Chin Abdullah, the leader of
the “Bersih” civil society alliance that staged the rally.
Most detainees have since been released but Chin remains
in solitary confinement under a national security law that allows detention
without charge for 28 days and can bring a lengthy prison sentence.
Six Asian human rights organisations in a joint statement
called the crackdown a grave breach of basic rights.
“These arrests violate international human rights
standards,” it said, calling for all those arrested to be freed and all charges
The statement was released by the Asian Forum for Human
Rights and Development, the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development,
Fortify Rights, Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists and
the Southeast Asian Press Alliance.
The groups said they were especially “alarmed” at Chin’s
detention under a national security law introduced in 2012 by Najib’s
government with a promise it would not be used against political opponents.
“However, the authorities are instead using it to prevent
the exercise of fundamental human rights, constituting an abuse of law,” the
The protest was the second in 15 months by Bersih to
highlight allegations that billions of dollars were plundered from sovereign
fund 1MDB, Najib’s pet investment project.
Najib, 63, and 1MDB deny wrongdoing. But the US Justice
Department earlier this year detailed an audacious campaign of fraud and
money-laundering by his family, associates and an unnamed “Malaysian Official
1” - an apparent thinly-veiled reference to Najib.
Najib last year abruptly fired the attorney general and
shut down domestic investigations. His government has increasingly throttled
the media and whistle-blowers to contain the scandal.
Bersih, in a statement Monday, said Chin was being held
in a tiny windowless cell with no mattress.
Bersih is “shocked and outraged that the authorities have
gone to such extreme lengths to silence their critics”, it said.
It called for international pressure on authorities and
said nightly vigils would be held on her behalf at central Kuala Lumpur’s
Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi has threatened still
more people could be detained.
Critics accuse Najib’s government of trampling rights
following a 2013 election in which his ruling coalition lost the popular vote.
Since the 1MDB scandal exploded last year, opponents
accuse him of an outright lurch toward autocracy to suppress it.
Last week a leading opposition politician was convicted
of releasing confidential documents on the scandal, and the chief editor of the
country’s leading independent news website was charged over a 1MDB-related news
DPM to brief all Muslim MPs on Hadi’s Shariah Bill today
BY RAM ANAND
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 ― Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will be conducting a briefing to Muslim lawmakers from both
sides of the political divide this evening on PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul
Hadi Awang's private member's Bill to empower the Shariah courts.
The briefing, which will also involve Minister in the
Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, will take place at
“Yes, I received the invite, but I will not be attending
because I have prior commitments,” PKR's Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli told Malay Mail
The Indonesian police recently named the
Chinese-Indonesian and Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaya Purnama,
also known as Ahok, a suspect in a blasphemy case. This came after Muslim
groups, which accuse Purnama of “insulting Islam”, staged an enormous street
protest (and warned that they plan another).
President Joko Widodo stepped in and ordered the police
to quickly investigate the allegation against Purnama, who is running for
re-election in next year’s Jakarta gubernatorial election.
Muslim groups had reported Purnama for alleged blasphemy
after a video went viral showing Purnama criticising his political opponents
who tried to dissuade people for voting for him by referencing a verse in the
Around one-quarter of the world’s countries, both in
developing and developed economies, have anti-blasphemy laws. But these laws
punishing speech or actions seen to be contemptuous of religion are highly
The implementation and application of these laws is
politicised and prone to be influenced by public pressure. Purnama’s blasphemy
investigation is a clear example.
Indonesia’s anti-blasphemy laws
Rights activists argue public pressure to punish those
accused of blasphemy reveals a weakness in law enforcement, which comes as
religious intolerance grows in Indonesia.
Such arguments cannot be dismissed. But it is important
to take into account the broader context, including how blasphemy laws came to
exist in Indonesia and in other countries.
The history of Indonesia’s blasphemy law is very
political. The 1965 blasphemy law was introduced during a tense period in
Indonesian history, where the Communist Party, the army and Islamist groups
were all vying for political power.
Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno, released the law as
a presidential decree “on the prevention of religious abuse and/or defamation”.
It was intended to protect the major religions recognised by the state – Islam,
Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestanism and Confucianism – from
unorthodox interpretations and blasphemy. Sukarno was succeeded in the late
1960s by Suharto, who ruled until 1998.
After a bloody purge in 1965-66, Suharto banned communism
but retained the blasphemy law. In 1969, he got the parliament to promote the
decree into a law. An anti-blasphemy clause was also inserted into Indonesia’s
But during his rule, only ten people were prosecuted
under the 1965 blasphemy law. In contrast, in the last 15 years, at least 106
people have been prosecuted and convicted of blasphemy.
The recent spike in blasphemy cases in Indonesia occurred
as political Islam found space in an increasingly democratised system following
the end of Suharto’s authoritarian rule in 1998.
Since Suharto stepped down, blasphemy provisions have
been added in various laws, such as the Electronic Information and Transaction
Law and the Child Protection Law.
The strengthening of blasphemy laws have resulted in
religious minorities being criminalised and discriminated against. Groups such
as Ahmadiyya and Shiites have been subject to these laws for publicly
practising their faiths.
As in Purnama’s investigation, the cases against the two
groups were also influenced by pressure from the Sunni Muslim majority in
Activists have requested the country’s Constitutional
Court review the 1965 blasphemy law. But the court decided in 2010 and again in
2013 that the law should remain.
Other countries are facing similar issues where religious
majority groups exploit the state to control religious practice and expressions
in their societies.
Extrajudicial killings in Pakistan
In Pakistan, vigilante groups have pressured law
enforcers to investigate blasphemy cases and the judiciary to convict.
Thousands of people have been accused under Pakistan’s blasphemy law.
Pakistan inherited its blasphemy law from India’s British
colonial rule. In the 1980s, Pakistan’s president at the time, General Muhammad
Zia-ul Haq, added clauses introducing the death penalty for blasphemy against
the Prophet Muhammad.
In the face of a booming tourism industry in its area,
the Banyuwangi regional administration in East Java has pledged to ensure that
management of the sector would stay in line with Islamic values to respect the
majority Muslim population in the region.
Regent Abdullah Azwar Anas said that strong Islamic
culture in East Java made him decide not to allow the establishment of bars and
discotheques like those on the neighboring resort island of Bali in an effort
to minimize alcohol consumption in the region.
Anwar also said his administration had prohibited the
establishment of hotels rated with fewer than three stars. The 'cheap hotels',
he added, would potentially become venues for sex transactions.
"For cheaper accommodations, we encourage tourists
to stay in homestay facilities. It will be much easier to supervise such
venues,” Azwar said Monday during a meeting of the Indonesian Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (Kadin) in Jakarta.
Islamic teachings prohibit the consumption of alcohol and
sexual relations out of wedlock.
To attract more tourists to Banyuwangi, Anwar said, the
administration was intensifying efforts to promote an eco-tourism concept, by
which visitors can explore the region’s natural beauty, food and festivals.
KUALA LUMPUR • When Malaysian K. Pathmanathan converted
to Islam in 2009 and left his wife Indira Gandhi, he also had their children
converted without her knowledge. He then won sole custody of the children by
going to the syariah court and claiming that they could not be raised by a
Ms Indira, a Hindu, could not get help from Malaysia's
civil courts because they cannot intervene in Islamic court decisions.
To stop a repeat of this case, which raised deep concern
among Malaysia's non-Muslim minorities, the government yesterday tabled a Bill
in Parliament to prevent the unilateral religious conversions of minors by one
Once approved, the amendments to an existing family law
would also give power to the civil courts to help non-Muslim parents resolve
such matters, the Malaysiakini.com news site reported.
The Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) 2016
was tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Azalina Othman for
its first reading in the House, with the inclusion of a new Section 88A that
explicitly states that "both parties" in a civil marriage must agree
before the conversion of a minor to Islam can occur.
According to The Malay Mail Online news website, the new
law, if passed, will provide for the child to remain in the religion of the
parents at the time of marriage until the child is 18 years old, when he may
choose his own religion.
Where the parties to the marriage are of different religions
before one spouse converted to Islam, "a child of the marriage shall be at
liberty to remain in the religion of either one of the prior religions of the
parties before the conversion to Islam".
Another important inclusion is that the proposed amendments
shall be applied retrospectively in cases pending in courts.
The conversion of minors to Islam by estranged non-Muslim
couples has been a source of tension in Muslim-majority Malaysia.
The country is governed by a dual legal system: a civil
court system with jurisdiction over general laws, and a syariah court system
that governs Muslims and Islamic matters, such as marriage and inheritance,
based on enactments passed by the state legislative assemblies.
Where there is conflict, the civil courts almost always
defer to the syariah court in cases regarding Islamic matters.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — The proposed amendments to the Law
Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act that bars unilateral conversion of a minor to
Islam, is good for the religion, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri
Abdul Aziz said today.
According to Nazri, who had served as de facto law
minister between 2004 and 2013, the proposal will prevent those who convert
into Islam only to renege on their spousal responsibilities.
“As a Muslim I am very happy, this is good for Islam,”
Nazri told reporters at Parliament today.
“I don’t want Islam to be used as a tool for people to
get out of their responsibility towards their spouses. They can’t convert
thinking they no longer have to fulfil their responsibilities.”
Putrajaya earlier today tabled amendments to the Act that
states that both parents’ consent is needed to convert a minor to Islam even if
one of the parents have converted to Islam.
Nazri reiterated that he has always believed that both
parents should decide on a child’s religion and such conversions cannot just be
done by one party.
BY MELATI A. JALIL
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — A Hindu mother, whose interfaith
custody battle became the personification of the problem, today lauded
Putrajaya’s proposal to legally ban unilateral child conversions that would
prevent ordeals such as her own.
De facto law minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said
today submitted the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill that
proposes to prevent single spouse conversions to Islam from unilaterally
affecting either civil marriages or the children born from these.
“I’m so happy that finally the much awaited Bill has been
amended,” M. Indira Gandhi, who has been locked in such a tussle for nearly
seven years, told Malay Mail Online.
“It’s a relief and citizens of Malaysia will applaud the
move by our government,” she said via text message.
Indira, who has been battling to get custody of her
children since 2009, said the government is moving in the right direction with
the proposed amendments.
“Hopefully it can be the answer in many prayers,” she
The new Bill, which also specifically addressed the
“Religion of a Child” in civil marriages where one spouse has converted to
Islam, said that the child will remain in the religion of the parents at the
time of marriage until the child is 18 years old, when he many choose his own
Indira’s lawyer, M. Kulasegaran, also welcomed the
tabling of the Bill, and dubbed it as the “Indira Gandhi” amendments.
“From my reading I feel relevant controversial issues
have been included,” Kulasegaran, who is also a federal lawmaker, told Malay
Mail Online when contacted today.
He expressed concern, however, that the Bill will only be
debated in the next Dewan Rakyat’s meeting next year.
Kulasegaran then proposed that Azalina “fast track” the
Bill, in order to provide relief to other families who may be experiencing what
Indira went through.
“Many Malaysians are suffering in silence especially
those whose children have been converted to Islam by a single parent,” he said later at a press conference in
He added that he meet other lawyers involved in similar
cases to dissect the Bill.
The proposed amendment also said that if the parties to
the marriage professed to different religions prior to one spouses conversion
to Islam, “a child of the marriage shall be at liberty to remain in the
religion of either one of the prior religions of the parties before the
conversion to Islam.”
The issue of unilateral conversions became controversial
in recent years after several cases, including Indira and S Deepa’s cases, who
both faced lengthy court battles to gain custody and also reverse the
unilateral conversion of their children by their Muslim convert ex-husbands.
Deepa’s lawyer, Joanne Leong, said reforms to family law
were a necessity due to the growing changes of the society.
While she said she welcomed the current proposal, Leong
said the changes may not provide sufficient clarity to prevent interfaith
custody battles in all situations.
She cited an example of where a parent converts the child
to Islam before his own embrace of the religion as one that may confound the
proposal in its current form.
“It’s a first of hopefully many further amendments to the
law reform act to protect the children especially on unilateral conversion,”
Family law practitioner Honey Tan said the proposal would
have far-reaching ramifications beyond the obvious, including fundamentally
changing the futures of children who would otherwise be affected by unilateral
Such children will not be made to choose religions before
they can understand the significance, Tan added when saying the amendment would
heal an old schism in Malaysian society.
22nd November 2016
CITING rising political instability, racial tensions and
Islamic fundamentalism, more Malaysians are fleeing their homeland to seek
asylum in Australia, a government report has revealed.
According to public broadcaster SBS, Malaysians now form
staggering 43 percent of all claims for asylum in Australia. It said of the
total 4,622 applications for protection visas lodged between 2015 and 2016 with
the Migration Review Tribunal, 2,006 came from Malaysian nationals.
Drawing comparisons with the applications made in the
2014-2015 period, the report noted that this year’s numbers were more than
double that of the previous year’s.
The bulk of the applications were made by Malaysia’s
ethnic Chinese community, with many claiming they have been facing increased
restrictions and persecution by their country’s predominantly Malay government
and society, despite their community’s control of the commercial sector.
A Chinese Malaysian woman was quoted as telling the
tribunal that the Chinese community was often neglected and not protected by
“The welfare for Malays is out of reach for the Chinese,
the Malaysian political field only trusts Malays, (they do) not completely
trust Chinese, the government does not care about us.”
“Our family business was always disturbed by local
government, our shop was searched and questioned all the time, we could not be
convinced, we did not pay of the so called “fines”,” she said.
The applicant claimed that her family was frequently
threatened and blackmailed, forcing her family to close her business and into
poverty. The woman also alleged she had been fired from her job merely because
she was Chinese.
“We are living like a dog, in the past, the Malaysian
government kept watch on all the Chinese, if the Chinese children want to enter
public school, it would be a very difficult thing almost impossible.”
Malaysia’s Malay-Muslim majority make up nearly 70
percent of the country’s 30 million-strong population while the ethnic Chinese
form 25 percent and the ethnic Indians about 13 percent.
Under the country’s Constitution and the government’s
affirmative action policies, the Malays enjoy special privileges and more
rights compared to the other races. This has been the source of major racial
tensions in the country.
Last year, a racially-driven riot broke out in the the
central business district of the capital after rumours spread that a Chinese trader
had conned a Malay customer in the purchase of a mobile phone. It was later
determined that the Malay customer had attempted to steal the phone.
The Bersih 5 protest to call for the prime minister’s
resignation on Saturday, though carried out peacefully, was marred by
incidences of racial taunts and chants by Malay-controlled and pro-government
counter protesters with links to the ruling United Malays National Organisation
According to SBS, the tribunal had also received but
rejected an application for asylum of a Chinese man and wife who claimed their
business was ransacked and threatened by Malays who were “protected” by police.
The couple said they received the threats for refusing to sell of their
“The applicant claimed that he and his family had
rejected the offer and that as a result his shop was broken into and ransacked
and he claimed that when he reported the incident to the police, the police did
nothing,” a tribunal member said in the judgement.
“He claimed that his family had also received threatening
letters and that he had reported that to the police and he claimed the police
again did not investigate the matter. He claimed that the Malaysian authorities
would not protect Chinese against Muslim people.”
Dr Jean Jonathon Bogais, according to Foreign Affairs and
Human Rights expert from the University of Sydney, was quoted as saying that
the rise in asylum seekers among Malaysians was due to ongoing tensions between
the Malay population and other minorities, particularly the Chinese minority.
KUALA LUMPUR: A Christian think-tank has engaged Muslim
scholars in a series of dialogue sessions to gain a deeper understanding of the
shariah, in the wake of the increased debate on plans to introduce Islamic
In one such programme, the Kairos Dialogue Network
recently organised a dialogue session with Muslim scholar Wan Ji Wan Hussin.
Kairos director Eugene Yap said the discussion centred on
different interpretations within Islam on hudud, the Islamic capital punishment
which PAS said it wants to introduce in Kelantan.
“For example, the punishment for theft. The majority of
the ulama argue that the punishment for a thief is the cutting of the hand when
several conditions are met. But Wan Ji explains different views of the ulama
saying this is not the case,” Yap told FMT.
“It is very enlightening to learn and understand various
interpretations of the shariah, not just one. These interpretations come from
various sources and from ulama through hundreds of years of Islamic history.”
Last May, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang tabled a private
member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965,
allowing shariah courts to impose heavier punishments except the death
The move is largely seen as a first step to the party’s
goal of introducing hudud in Kelantan.
Yap said they found that PAS’s interpretation of Islamic
law was only one of many interpretations in Islam.
Yap said his group would also have a similar meeting with
PAS to get its perspective on Shariah.
PAS leaders had previously held dialogues with non-Muslim
communities. One such event last September ended with the Federation of Hokkien
Associations saying it was not convinced with the explanation by PAS leaders.
Kairos’ meeting on Nov 16 with Wan Ji was also attended
by Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Julian Leow.
Wan Ji said dialogues could help overcome prejudice
between Muslims and non-Muslims in Malaysia.
Indonesia's military and police chiefs are warning
hardline Muslim groups against treason ahead of planned rallies this week and
The groups led a violent protest in the capital earlier
this month, and have vowed to rally against Jakarta's Christian governor,
Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, again.
The protesters, who were led by hardline groups including
the Islamic Defenders Front, want Mr Purnama jailed for blasphemy for comments
he made about the Koran, allegedly insulting it while campaigning in elections.
The military chief said his soldiers would be fighting
unarmed in the protests, but the situation could not continue.
Now Indonesia's police chief, Tito Karnavian, has said he
has information that the protesters could try to occupy the Parliament
"This kind of action, if it is meant to occupy the
parliament, then it is against the law and if it's meant to topple or overthrow
the government, that's treason," he said.
It was a clear strengthening in language and together
with comments from the Indonesian military chief, General Gatot Nurmantyo, it
was also a clear show of force against the instigators.
Libya unity forces closing on Sirte militants
22 November 2016
Forces loyal to Libya’s Government of National Accord
said on Monday that they are closing in on the last ISIS group fighters in the
coastal city of Sirte.
The pro-GNA forces said they managed to dislodge ISIS
fighters from a fortified school in the al-Giza al-Bahriya district that the
militants had fiercely defended.
Artillery pounded ISIS positions as pro-GNA fighters
mainly from the western town of Misrata advanced house by house, said an AFP
correspondent who reported seeing wounded.
A medical source said the fighting killed two pro-GNA
fighters and wounded 17 others.
Sirte, 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of the capital
Tripoli, had a population of 120,000 before ISIS seized it in June 2015 and
residents began to flee.
The pro-government forces announced the launch of the
battle for Sirte on May 12 and, within weeks, they recaptured large chunks of
the coastal city.
But the pro-GNA forces slowed down the offensive in an
effort to avoid losses among their own ranks and to protect civilians trapped
in the city.
The fighting has left nearly 700 GNA fighters dead and
3,000 wounded. The death toll for the militants is not known.
Militant attacks kill five soldiers, civilian in Mali
Twin attacks blamed on militants during weekend municipal
elections in Mali have claimed the lives of at least five soldiers and one
civilian, security sources say.
In the first incident, security sources said on Monday
that five Malian troops were killed after being ambushed while transporting
ballot boxes in the restive north.
"After the voting on Sunday, an army convoy taking
the ballot boxes for counting was attacked in the north by jihadists. Five
Malian soldiers were killed," AFP quoted a source as saying
Separately, a group of militants nabbed several vehicles
and killed a civilian in the town of Dilli in southwestern Mali overnight
Sunday to Monday.
"They arrived early Monday in Dilli. They attacked a
council building. The jihadists then took off with two ambulances and a
vehicle, after which they killed a civilian and made off for the Mauritanian
border," a local official said.
This comes as Malians have voted in long-overdue local
elections, which were tainted by a spate of violent attacks and opposition
On Sunday, people in Mali cast their ballots in the first
elections since 2013 to elect 12,000 municipal councilors across the troubled
West African country.
At least three children were killed and 20 people wounded
by a car bomb in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Monday, witnesses and a medical
A Reuters reporter saw billowing smoke and flames at the
site of the explosion near the city's Jala hospital, which witnesses said had
been caused by a car bomb. A hospital official said the bodies of three
children had been received.
Benghazi has been the scene of fighting between the
Libyan National Army (LNA) and Islamist-led opponents for more than two years.
The LNA has made major advances in this year, but faces pockets of resistance
in parts of the city.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Several
car bombings in recent weeks targeting the LNA and its supporters have been
claimed by the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), the main group
fighting the LNA, and by Islamic State.
21 November 2016
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims descended on Senegal's
holy city of Touba for the annual Magal festival over the weekend.
A brother of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the jailed leader of
the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), has accused officials in the African
country of medical negligence.
Madamasi Yaqub, Zakzaky’s half-brother, told Press TV in
an interview aired on Monday, that the cleric’s health was currently better
than the time he was brutally attacked by Nigerian army last year, but added
that Nigerian officials still denied the Sheikh proper medical treatment.
He said there were still problems with Sheikh Zakzaky’s
eyes, adding that his left eye was not working but his right eye could be
treated if the Nigerian army allowed the transfer of the cleric to a proper
“They have many reasons to deny him medical care. Their
mission was to kill him and it was God’s miracle that he survived,” Yaqub said,
adding that the Nigerian army knew that killing the cleric could have huge
He said Sheikh Zakzaky was actively performing his
leadership roles for the Islamic Movement in Nigeria despite his poor health
conditions behind the bars.
Yaqub also blamed the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia for the
increasing persecution and harassment of Shias in Nigeria.
“They will continue to do everything possible to exert
their hegemony over Nigeria’s economy and political affairs,” he said through a
Yaqub said a recent attack on the followers of the IMN in
Kano, which came during the Arba’een mourning rituals in the city, was a plot
to annihilate the Islamic movement.
Yaqub said some elements in the army have been irked by
the growing popularity of Shia movement in the country and in Africa in
Trump's top adviser says no plans for American Muslim
The newly appointe White House Chief-of-Staff to US
President-elect Donald Trump said Sunday morning that there are no plans to set
up a domestic registry list for American Muslims.
Yet, Reince Priebus, the former chairman of the
Republican National Committee, noted that the administration was “not going to
rule out anything” when it comes to immigration.
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“Where systematic terrorism is taking place, where
countries are harboring or in places where countries are harboring and training
terrorists, we’re going to temporarily suspend immigration from that country,
or region, until a better vetting system is put in place,” he told CNN during
The question arose after a Trump policy adviser, Kansas
Secretary of State Kris Kobach, said last week that the new administration may
consider instituting a registry for incoming immigrants from Muslim countries.
NOVEMBER 21, 2016
On October 26th, the Canadian government passed
legislation that condemns acts of Islamophobia. The motion was passed as a
result of an online petition sponsored by Liberal MP Frank Baylis that has
gained over 70,000 signatures.
This petition was a result of the increase of
police-reported hate crimes in recent years. Statistics Canada revealed that
there was a total of 99 police-reported hate crimes that were religiously
motivated in the year 2014, which is approximately double the number of these
crimes reported in 2012. So far in 2016, there have been 55 Islamophobic
reported hate crimes according to the National Council of Canadian Muslims. The
most religious hate crimes took place in October, with the majority being in
the week after the law was passed. These hate crimes included the burning of a
Qur’an, protesting Islam, and smashing windows at a Canadian mosque. Samia,
member of the Multicultural Centre at Lakehead University tells The Argus about
her experience with Islamophobia. She defines the word as “a means to have
prejudice against Islam and Muslims, including the people who participate in
Islam, and as Muslims we know that it is our duty to protect our religion. When
we see hate crimes going on all around Canada, we understand that each Muslim
is affected by it. Even non-Muslims who are friends with Muslims are affected.
If a hate crime happens in, say, Winnipeg, we in Thunder Bay will be affected.
This is because in Islam, we are all brothers and sisters, so that’s my sister
getting hated on for wearing the hijab. Here I know that another Muslim who
also wears the hijab will also be affected and it hurts me.”
This was not the first time this motion has entered the
House of Commons. On October 6, when Tom Mulcair initially introduced the
motion to the House, it was denied as a result of Conservative members voting
against it. “I can’t see how anybody can speak out against a motion that seeks
to condemn a form of hatred,” said Mulcair shortly after. The second time the
motion was brought to the House by Mulcair, it was unanimously voted in favour
The media has a huge impact on how people interpret a
story. A lot of the news coverage regarding Muslims has been about acts of
terrorism, war-torn countries, or stories of hate crimes. This can influence
people to act unfavourably towards the Muslim community as people only see this
negative representation of Muslims. Samia said, “When I used to volunteer at
the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, I would walk from Lakehead to
the hospital. When I would walk through the hospital parking lot, I would
receive a lot of hateful glares. One time, I heard someone say the words
‘terrorist’ and ‘country’ as I was walking by them. Though I did not hear the
whole sentence, I understood what they meant. I didn’t have the courage to turn
around and say something that day, so I just kept walking. It’s something that
affected me at that time, but when I feel this way, I keep in mind that I am
not the only one feeling these things. It also makes me much stronger and
pushed me to educate people that not all Muslims are like that and our religion
isn’t like that. It’s what the media shows that gives people a different
With that being said, many rely on the media they consume
when it comes to their world perceptions, which is why the way the media
presents current issues is so important. There has been a lot of coverage by
mainstream media of the motion that failed to pass on October 6, but hardly any
coverage on the same motion being passed just weeks later. Without media
coverage, many Canadians may not know that this law has passed and therefore,
this law may have little effect. The other question that this issue brings
forth is that of mainstream media: is it displaying Islamophobia by not
reporting on a new law condemning acts of Islamophobia? Many Muslim Canadians
feel disappointed that there was not a significant amount of attention placed
on the motion being passed, and that it gives a misrepresentation of Canada’s
acceptance of the Muslim community.
New York, Nov 22 (PTI) A man in the US allegedly hurled
verbal abuses at a Muslim cab driver calling him a "terrorist" and
telling him that he will "get deported" now as Donald Trump is going
to be the President.
The man was recorded on video lashing out at the
Arab-American Uber driver in a neighbourhood in New York.
The man, who was not identified, was driving a white
sport-utility vehicle and can be heard calling another driver in a video an
"Arab", a "terrorist" and a "loser", the
Washington Post reported.
"Trump is president! So you can kiss your f***ing
visa goodbye, scumbag. Theyll deport you soon. Dont worry, you f***ing
terrorist," he said.
The recipient of the verbal attacks was Chris Codys
The incident on Crescent Street in the Astoria
neighbourhood in New York happened last week, just before the driver picked up
Cody in Manhattan.
Cody, a St Johns University adjunct professor who speaks
Arabic, said he found out about the incident after striking up a conversation
with his Uber driver, whom he knows only by his first name, Mohammed.
He said his driver was surprised to meet an American who
said "hello" to him in his language and does not have anything
"Right before I picked you up, I had a horrible
incident," Cody recalled his driver saying.
Based on Mohammeds account to Cody, he and the other
driver ended up next to each other at a stop light. The man can be heard
abusing after seeing Mohammed, who recorded the incident with his phone.
"Youre a loser. Youre not even from here! You and
your family you terrorist!," the man said.
Cody said Mohammed told him the attack was unprovoked.
By Daniel Greenfield
The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) is
boasting that its voter registration campaign “One Million Voters” across
mosques and schools has doubled the number of registered Muslim voters to over
The media is cheering this development even though USCMO
has a history that makes the KKK look downright sunny. USCMO was in the news
last year for its statement denying the Muslim genocide of Armenians and
arguing that any recognition of the massacre must also recognize “Muslim
USCMO’s Secretary General Oussama Jammal had engaged in
9/11 Trutherism at a rally backing a Hamas supporter. He was president of the
Bridgeview Mosque which raised money for the head of Islamic Jihad. The Chicago
Tribune described this as the result of a “hard line” takeover of the mosque.
The Bridgeview mosque had been interlinked with the
Islamic Association for Palestine which had been set up by the Muslim
Brotherhood and featured Hamas operatives such as Mousa Abu Marzook. Jammal had
received a “Mosque of the Year” award from KindHearts, a terror charity that
was shut down for its ties to Hamas.
Jammal had blamed the Jews for the government’s actions,
claiming that there was a “Zionist agenda” at work.
The US Council of Muslim Organizations includes American
Muslims for Palestine; an anti-Israel hate group headed by the notorious campus
bigot Hatem Bazian. AMP is openly supportive of Hamas terror. Its national
campus coordinator has said that, “Hamas’ rockets are an oppressed people’s
audible cry for help.” At one of its conferences, there was a lecture on how to
“navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for
terrorism.” Its Vice President defended Islamic terrorism.
Along with AMP, USCMO’s founding members include CAIR, an
unindicted terror co-conspirator in terror finance. It also includes ICNA,
whose former secretary general was convicted of Islamic war crimes by
Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal. Some of the victims of Islamic
terror had their eyes gouged out, hearts removed and their breasts cut off by
of the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.
The monster had written in ICNA’s convention program that
Muslims “have a culture and civilization which once ruled the world and still
has the viability to rule the world again.”
The ICNA Member’s Hand Book insists that Islam has to be
made “a way of life for all.” Under “Goal,” its charter declares, “The goal of
ICNA shall be to seek the pleasure of Allah through the struggle for
Iqamat-ud-Deen (establishment of the Islamic system of life) as spelled out in
the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad.” The hand book calls for the
establishment of an Islamic State.
NEW YORK: A man in
the US allegedly hurled verbal abuses at a Muslim cab driver calling him a
"terrorist" and telling him that he will "get deported" now
as Donald Trump is going to be the President.
"Trump is president! So you can kiss your f***ing
visa goodbye, scumbag. They'll deport you soon. Don't worry, you f***ing
terrorist," he said.
The recipient of the verbal attacks was Chris Cody's
Based on Mohammed's account to Cody, he and the other
driver ended up next to each other at a stop light. The man can be heard
abusing after seeing Mohammed, who recorded the incident with his phone.
"You're a loser. You're not even from here! You and
your family you terrorist!," the man said.
Cody said Mohammed told him the attack was unprovoked.
"I could tell he was upset. He didn't tell me exactly why he decided to
take a video. I think he was just so shocked by what happened," he said.
"There's definitely some Islamophobic and
anti-Muslim sentiment out there right now," Cody said.
"I don't blame him for being intimidated, especially
with the stuff coming out of that guy's mouth."
This fall, while strolling down Spring Garden Road in
Halifax, Amina Abawajy and Masuma Khan say they were approached by a man who
pleaded with them not to bomb people.
That was before Donald Trump was elected president of the
United States. Since the Nov. 8 election, they say, anti-Muslim sentiment has
Abawajy and Khan, who are both Muslim and wear hijabs,
were born and raised in Halifax and are students at Dalhousie University.
"Trump now being president has validated people's
ideas of racism," Khan told CBC's Information Morning. "Because they
have a man now who thinks all these things and expresses it everywhere."
They say the kind of Islamaphobia fostered by Trump in
the United States has leapt the border into Canada.
During the election campaign, Trump called for a total
ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and also suggested starting a database that
would track Muslims.
'Feeling unsafe in our neighbourhood'
Shortly after Trump was elected, Abawajy and Khan say
they ran into their first incident they could trace directly back to Trump's
Abawajy was getting out of Khan's car when two men rode
by on bikes and yelled, "Freedom for America, support Trump."
"I was right outside my door," said Abawajy.
"So to know that there are people who … hold these types of feelings so
close to where I live was pretty shocking … just now feeling unsafe in our
Donald Trump's election leaves Muslim activist Farrah
Khan fearing violence
Numerous times Abawajy and Khan say they have even been
told to go home and go back to their own country.
France to help ICC prosecute ISIS militants in Syria
France is “ready to cooperate” with the International
Criminal Court to probe ISIS militants in Syria for war crimes, Foreign Minister
Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Monday.
The ICC, founded in 2002, is the world’s only permanent
war crimes court. But moves so far to refer Syria to The Hague-based body have
been unsuccessful as Russia has blocked them with its veto in the UN Security Council.
The UN go-ahead is needed as Syria is not a member state.
Ayrault told AFP that action “can be launched it they
concern (French) nationals who are engaged in the war in Syria alongside
Daesh,” using another name for ISIS.
“We are ready to cooperate and give our backing if there
is a track to follow,” he said. “Even if the margin for manoeuvre is limited,
it’s a chance to recall that we do not accept impunity.”
Russia dealt the International Criminal Court a blow
Wednesday saying it was formally withdrawing its signature to the tribunal’s
founding Rome Statute.
“The court did not live up to the hopes associated with
it and did not become truly independent,” Russia’s foreign ministry said,
describing its work as “one-sided and inefficient”.
Ayrault said the “action is symbolic and political which
I regret because it would have been preferable that Russia does the opposite”
and ratifies the founding Rome Statute.
He was in The Hague for the annual meeting of the court’s
member states who ware discussing among other things how to bring those guilty
of crimes in Syria to justice.
In May 2014, France presented a draft resolution calling
for war crimes to be investigated in Syria, but the measure was defeated when
Russia and China vetoed the request.
A country that has signed up to the Rome treaty or whose
citizens have been the victims of crimes may refer cases to the ICC’s chief
prosecutor for investigation.
Cases may also be referred by the UN Security Council,
and the prosecutor can initiate her own investigations with permission from the
judges providing member states are involved, or a non-member state can agree to
accept the court’s jurisdiction.
21 Nov 2016
Islamic organisations and mosques in France are urging
Muslims to vote Alain Juppé in the primary to decide the conservative candidate
in next year’s presidential election, according to a number of sources.
President of the Collective of Muslims in France (CMF)
Nabil Ennasri, has called for Muslims to vote for Juppé, an anti-populist, in
the centre-right primaries. Other Islamic organisations, and mosques, have been
doing the same according to researcher and consultant on Islamic issues Romain
Caillet, who writes for French newspaper Libération.
Caillet yesterday wrote on Twitter: “Apart from the call
to vote Juppé [from Nabil Ennasri], several sources suggest there have been
more discreet calls from Muslim organisations.”
Feïza Ben Mohamed, spokesman and secretary general of the
Federation of Muslims in the South [of France], agreed, writing: “Of course.
There were.” Caillet went on to disclose that Muslim Brotherhood-linked mosques
used their Friday sermons to tell attendees they must vote for Juppé in the
Mohamed told the historian, who specialises in the global
jihadist movement, that this is happening “even in the [non-Muslim Brotherhood
mosques].” She added that in Nice, imams “will call for people to vote for
[centre-right] Les Republicains” against Le Pen “as they have since time
Both former prime ministers of France, Juppé along with
François Fillon, yesterday qualified through to the next round in the race to
decide who will likely face off against Front National leader Marine Le Pen in
the country’s presidential elections next year.
CMF head Ennasri, an associate of controversial Islamic
preachers Tariq Ramadan and Yusuf al-Qaradawi, recently wrote a piece asserting
that the centre-right primary is “critical.” In the article, he said Muslims
need to “massively participate,” and calls for a “tactical vote” for Juppé as
“the lesser of evils” to stand against Le Pen.
November 21, 2016,
NEW YORK: Nearly one million people are living under
siege in Syria, the UN aid chief said Monday, announcing revised figures.
The new figure of 974,080 people marks a dramatic
increase from 486,700 Syrians living in besieged areas just six months ago,
Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council.
"Nearly one million Syrians are living tonight under
siege," O'Brien said.
"Civilians are being isolated, starved, bombed,
denied medical attention and humanitarian assistance in order to force them to
submit or flee."
Some of the areas added to the UN's siege list are
located in the Eastern Ghouta region of rural Damascus.
Condemning this "deliberate tactic of cruelty,"
O'Brien said the sieges were mostly perpetrated by Syrian government forces
O'Brien, the under-secretary-general for humanitarian
affairs, renewed his call for an end to besiegement.
WUPPERTAL - A German court on Monday ruled that a group
of Islamists did not break the law in forming “sharia police” street patrols
and telling people to stop drinking, gambling and listening to music.
The Muslim group around German Salafist convert Sven Lau
sparked public outrage with their vigilante patrols in the western city of
Wuppertal in 2014, but prosecutors have struggled to build a case against them.
The city’s district court ruled that the seven accused
members of the group did not breach a ban on political uniforms when they
approached people while wearing orange vests bearing the words “Sharia Police”.
Judges said there could only be a violation of the law - originally aimed
against street movements such as the early Nazi party - if the uniforms were
“suggestively militant or intimidating”, a court spokesman said.
In this case, they found that the vests were not
threatening and noted that one witness said he thought the men were part of a
The same court had already thrown out the case last year,
but was overruled on appeal by a higher court which agreed with prosecutors
that the ban on uniforms could be applied in this case.
France said on Monday it had foiled a terrorist plot and
arrested seven people, a year after a state of emergency was imposed to counter
a wave of Islamist attacks.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the seven people
of French, Moroccan and Afghan origin, aged 29 to 37, were detained on Sunday.
One of the detentions followed a tip-off from a foreign government, he said.
Two were arrested in the Mediterranean port city of
Marseille and four in Strasbourg in the northeast. Cazeneuve did not say where
the seventh was arrested.
"Yesterday, a terrorist act on our soil that was
being prepared for a long time was foiled thanks to the work of the DGSI,"
Cazeneuve said in a statement, referring to the internal intelligence service.
"The scale of the terrorist threat is enormous and
it is not possible to ensure zero risk despite everything we are doing."
The minister gave no information on the target of the
planned attack. The mayor of Strasbourg said it appeared the plot had not
concerned his city but rather "the Paris region".
A source close to the inquiry told Reuters that some of
those detained had spent time in the Syria-Iraq region.
The government’s controversial counter-radicalisation
strategy, Prevent, has failed to change the attitudes of those on the far right,
the shadow home secretary has said in response to figures showing the number of
referrals linked to neo-nazism is overtaking Islamic extremism cases in some
parts of the UK.
Diane Abbott said the figures reflected “the alarming
rise of far-right activity across the country”. “It also reflects the
increasing confidence of far-right groups to air their views publicly,” she
said on Monday.
“These figures are useful in proving what we already
know, but the Prevent programme has failed to change the attitudes of those on
the far right.”
Ben Wallace, the security minister and MP for Wyre and
Preston North, has highlighted the increase in far-right radicalisation in
England and Wales. Figures show that almost 300 under-18s were referred to
officials under the Prevent strategy last year. Of these, at least 16 involved
children under the age of 10.
“The Prevent strategy is seeing a growth in far-right
referrals,” Wallace told the House of Commons recently. “In some areas of the
country, these Prevent referrals outnumber those about the other parts we are
Data released by the National Police Chiefs Council
(NPCC) under a freedom of information request from the Sunday Times shows that
the number of far-right referrals in England and Wales has increased by 74%,
from 323 cases in 2014-15 to 561 in 2015-16. About 292 cases, or 52%, involved
“The Prevent strategy is misconceived because it limits
legitimate safe spaces for discourse, places like classrooms and lecture
theatres,” Abbott said. “We urgently need an anti-extremism strategy that
addresses the subversive and veiled far-right activity that is allowed to
fester in private.”
The NPCC figures come as Merseyside police investigate
the appearance of stickers around Liverpool declaring that people were entering
The stickers, posted by a neo-Nazi youth movement called
National Action, were timed to coincide with Armistice Day and Remembrance
“It’s the politics of hate. We’re seeing the rise of this
sort of thing across the country, across the western world and it’s of huge
importance that we all stand united against it and make sure there is no place
for this sort of thing in Liverpool or anywhere,” Patrick Hurley, a Mossley
Hill councillor said.
Britain’s Muslim communities have criticised the Prevent
strategy as a toxic brand and a “big brother” security operation, but it was
recently revealed that the programme is to be toughened up rather than scaled
back as part of the government’s wider reworking of its counter-terrorism
The chief constable of Leicestershire police, Simon Cole,
who is in charge of Prevent, said earlier this year that far-right extremists
made up half of all cases in Yorkshire and 30% of the caseload in the east
Nationwide, however, Islamic extremism is still the most
common referral, with 2,810 cases making up 70% of those flagged up under
The NPCC said it was worth noting that the Prevent duty,
which sets out the obligations of public-facing bodies under the strategy, was
introduced in July 2015 and has resulted in a significant increase in referrals
of all types.
Ibrahim Mohamoud, a spokesman for Cage, an independent
advocacy organisation, said on Monday: “What these figures suggest is that
Muslims are still far more likely to be referred to Prevent in England and
“There still seems to be a great deal of dissonance
between the way the authorities understand the role of ‘extremist ideology’ or
‘radical fundamentalist thought’ in the case of Muslims, and the subscription
to far-right ideology.”
Yvette Cooper, the chair of the home affairs select
committee, has said the fallout from the 23 June vote to leave the EU and
Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election should serve as a
warning about the dangers of whipping up hatred and prejudice in political
campaigns, as MPs prepare to examine a spike in hate crime in the UK.
Police recorded 41% more hate crimes in July 2016 than in
the same month the previous year, with a peak on 1 July, records show. Several
high-profile attacks occurred in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, including
the vandalising of the Polish community centre in Hammersmith, west London, and
the death of Arkadiusz Jóźwik, a Pole who was attacked in Harlow, Essex.
Rashad Ali, a senior fellow specialising in extremism at
the Institute for Strategic Dialogue thinktank, told the Times that in some
areas of Wales, the proportion of Prevent referrals from the far right were
“well over” 50%.
Ali said the rise in far-right extremism could be linked
to the “loss of the centre ground” in today’s politics. “Whether it’s on the
left or the right, the fringes are now leading the debate and the discussion,”
Ali argued that Trump’s election, with the endorsement of
the KKK, and the rhetoric of Marine Le Pen, the Front National presidential candidate
in France, were helping to “legitimise the world view” of fascists.
National Action is believed to have fewer than 100
members, but the group has a strong presence on social media, where it has
celebrated Trump’s election with images of him captioned “white power”.
Matthew Feldman, the co-director of the centre for
fascist, anti-fascist and post-fascist studies at Teesside University, said the
radical right was “starting to mainstream its narrative following the decline
of the BNP as the main party-political vehicle for radical right ideas”.
“This led to a proliferation of other groups like the
Defence Leagues and Britain First – both of which are much more anti-Muslim
than the more developed neo-fascist policies advocated by the BNP, including
antisemitism and biological racism,” Feldman said.
“So it is a time of change for the far and radical right
in the UK, although like the US, 2016 has been a very different year than most.
The Brexit vote, like that of Trump’s election, seems to have sparked, at least
for some, a kind of ‘celebratory racism’ whereby some hate incidents are
apparently legitimated by the ‘trigger’ event of an enormous and unexpected
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