Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association issued a
statement calling for Section 377A of the Penal Code to be retained.
Skull Caps and Long Beards, Keep Hindu Names Haryana Village Tells Its Muslims
Scholars, Religious Leaders Say Repeal of Section 377A Has ‘Worrying Implications’,
a Threat to Family Values
Source: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Died of Cancer
India, Terrorism A Bigger Threat, Say Young Pakistani Army Officers
Will Prefer Destabilised Afghanistan to a Strong State: Report
Prescribes Punishments in Bid to Stamp out Instant Muslim Divorce
Local Muslims Disallow Burial of Pak Militants in Their Cemeteries
Khan Writes to PM Modi, Calls For Resumption Of Peace Dialogue
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
residents of Titoli village in Haryana’s Rohtak district have adopted an oral
resolution at a meeting asking the Muslim population to keep Hindu names and to
not offer namaz in the open or display visible identity markers such as skull
caps and long beards, among others. Half-a-dozen police personnel from the
Titoli police post were present at the time of the meeting on Tuesday.
mob had attacked the house of a Muslim family in the village on August 22
accusing them of killing a calf. Two persons were arrested in this connection
under the Indian Penal Code and The Punjab Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act,
Magistrate, Rohtak, Rakesh Kumar told The Hindu over phone that the matter came
to his knowledge on Wednesday evening and a probe would be conducted into it.
“It is unconstitutional. I will speak to the village sarpanch in this
connection,” said Mr. Kumar.
Tehsil Nambardars’ Association president Suresh Nambardar, who was present at
the meeting, said it was held on Tuesday evening and the members of all castes
and religious communities from the village were present. He said apart from the
strictures, it was also decided that the Waqf Board land measuring over an acre
in the middle of the village would be taken over by the panchayat and a plot
given to the Muslims outside the village for burial.
Suresh said Hindus and Muslims had been living in harmony in the village for
several decades, but some new settlers from Uttar Pradesh have disturbed the
peace of the village.
was also decided in the meeting that Yameen, who faces cow slaughter charges
and whose house was attacked in August, would not be allowed to enter the
a local Muslim leader, said the community accepted the decisions to maintain
harmony. “Anyway, we have been keeping Hindu names since the Partition and do
not wear skull caps or keep beards. Since there is no mosque in the village, we
travel around 8-10 km to Rohtak city to offer namaz on Fridays and other
occasions,” said Mr. Rajbir.
said he also donated ₹11,000 to the village gaushala on behalf of his community
at the meeting.
Ekta Manch president Shahzad Khan condemned the decisions as “unconstitutional”
and said the locals were forced to accept it as they had no choice.
Scholars, Religious Leaders Say Repeal Of Section 377A Has ‘Worrying
Implications’, A Threat To Family Values
— A day after the Catholic Archbishop of Singapore spelt out his position on
Section 377A of the Penal Code, Muslim scholars and religious leaders here have
also expressed publicly their support for the law.
a media statement on Wednesday (Sept 19), the Singapore Islamic Scholars and
Religious Teachers Association (Pergas) said that a repeal of Section 377A
could cause “several worrying implications” and “threaten the importance of the
traditional family unit as the foundation of a society”.
statement said that Pergas does not support the attempt to repeal the law.
stand is based not only on religious grounds, but also due to our concern
towards moral and social values, that can affect the family institution as well
as the fabric of society,” the association said.
added that the purpose of a family unit is “to give birth to the new
generation, as well as to protect the existence of mankind”. “To achieve these
objectives, Islam emphasises on the formation of a family through legal
marriage between a man and a woman.”
also said that another negative implication should Section 377A be repealed is
that it would “affirm and normalise the LGBTQ lifestyle”, LGBTQ referring to
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and queer.
“conflicts” with “the Government’s policy of building strong family units to
strengthen the fabric of society”, it said, and “it may also cause confusion
among the younger generation regarding morality and moral values.”
population growth — what the association understands as “a major concern of the
Government” — will be affected as well, should the law be repealed and same-sex
relationships are promoted.
its call for the law to stay, Pergas asked Muslims to be kind when interacting
with others, including those from the LGBTQ community.
relationship with those from the LGBTQ community, just as how we interact with
others, should be filled with mercy (rahmah) as we extend kindness to all,” it
said, adding that people should not isolate, exclude or insult those who they
feel are LGBTQ.
sincerely hopes that members of society, especially the Muslim community,
maintain good manners and act wisely in discussing this issue. Avoid insulting
others, nor belittling others, as well as their opinions.”
Source: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Died Of Cancer
Arabic-language Baghdad News quoted a high-ranking security source as saying on
Wednesday that Baghdadi was suffering from lung cancer and couldn't make a move
in the past few months.
noted that the ISIL will possibly declare the name of its new chief soon in a
bid to boost the morale of the terrorists and then will confirm his death.
source said that the ISIL commanders are now in rivalry to take al-Baghdadi's
recent months, contradictory reports have surfaced the media on the fate of the
intelligence sources had claimed in August that al-Baghdadi had lost his brain
functioning, adding that rifts are widening more than ever over his successor.
Arabic-language Sumeriyeh news quoted the Iraqi sources as reporting that
al-Baghdadi has lost his brain functioning due to the injuries he sustained in
an Iraqi air raid on ISIL commanders' meeting in Syria in June, adding that
Baghdadi cannot move.
further said that Baghdadi's health condition which means his actual death has
intensified unprecedented differences and rows among ISIL commanders over
appointing his successor.
news website further said that some of the non-Iraqi commanders of ISIL have
picked up Abu Othman Tunisi as Baghdadi's successor, while Iraqi commanders of
the terrorist group have voiced strong opposition to his election.
report said in May that al-Baghdadi - still the world's most wanted man, with a
$25 million bounty on his head - was believed to be very much at large, quite
possibly in a desert area of Syria.
officials said Baghdadi was likely sheltering in a remaining ISIL bastion in
the Euphrates River Valley on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq, Fox News
last information we have is he is in Al-Hajin in Syria, 18 miles from the
border in Deir Ezzur province,” Abu Ali al-Basri, director-general of the
intelligence and counter-terrorism office at the Iraqi Ministry of Interior,
told Fox News.
added that fresh information about Baghdadi's whereabouts came as recently as
the last couple of days, and was being used conduct a “multi-force raid” with
Russian, Syrian and Iranian troops.
Defense Ministry Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool confirmed to Fox that
al-Baghdadi was thought to be alive, and that he might be located in the border
area East of the Euphrates River, possibly in the town of al-Shadaddah in
al-Hasaka province in Northeastern Syria.
not difficult for him to hide in the Syrian desert," the officer added.
also stressed that Baghdadi might not have any contact with other ISIL members,
and never remains in areas when the fighting or strikes become too intense.
Iraqi air force stepped up its attacks against ISIL targets in Syria.
India, terrorism a bigger threat, say young Pakistani Army officers
Army is witnessing a generational shift in the anti-India stance that has long
been ingrained in the minds of the military in Pakistan. For the young
Pakistani Army officers, the growing internal security threats from a plethora
of extremist groups in Pakistan are a bigger worry for the country instead of
any military threat posed by India.
finding is part of The Quetta Experience, written by retired US Army colonel
David O Smith, who was an alumnus of the Command and Staff College in Quetta.
and mid-grade Army officers, particularly those who had served in the Federally
Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), tended to view terrorism as a much more
immediate threat to Pakistan than India. These officers had spent the bulk of
their military careers fighting this new threat, had seen their brother
officers and soldiers killed and wounded by the groups, and watched their
friends and their families’ lives shattered forever," the report states.
study examines the experiences of US Army Foreign Area Officers who have attended
the Pakistan Army Command and Staff College in Quetta, the capital of
Baluchistan province. These are the only US personnel ever to have had
sustained interactions over an extended period of time with three distinct
groups of Pakistan Army officers: senior officers (brigadier and major
general), senior mid-level (lieutenant colonel and colonel), and junior
midlevel (captain and major).
study was aimed at examining the attitudes and values of the Pakistan Army
officer corps over a 37-year period from 1977 to 2014 to determine if it had
changed over time.
report also states that the fear of 'Islamisation' within the officer corps or
its susceptibility to radical religious influence is exaggerated. "Many
students joked among themselves about the need to be seen going to the mosque
on Fridays, but no one seemed to think the country needed or wanted more Islam
than more democracy."
all the Pakistani students, including those with more conservative religious
views, expressed the attitude that religion is a personal matter that does not
influence the performance of military duties. They also see little value in
Islamic governance, preferring democracy and civilian governance in
overwhelming numbers. There also was no evidence of any friction between Sunni
and Shia officers," the report states.
report also states that the implications of strategic or tactical uses of
nuclear weapons are not well understood, and no doctrine for nuclear
warfighting is taught at the Staff College.
aspects of nuclear usage might have been discussed in a Pakistani students-only
exercise that has been conducted annually for several years to rehearse plans
to deal with an Indian Cold Start (now called proactive operations) attack, but
even this is apparently limited to a short briefing by the Strategic Plans
Division with no questions or discussion by students being allowed," the
doubt because of the absence of any opportunity to discuss nuclear issues, the
Students noted a complete lack of awareness about the connection between the
tactical use of nuclear weapons, the potential strategic impact of their use
given the relatively short distances involved in the India-Pakistan case, and
the likely Indian reaction to Pakistani “first use” of any nuclear weapon in a
future war," the study adds.
report also finds that the young Pakistani officers perceived that for the
first time in history, the United States had become a serious military threat
reasoning was highly emotional: the United States uses Pakistan and then
discards her; the United States doesn’t respect Pakistani values; the United
States is fighting people that Pakistani people support, such as the
Palestinians; the United States is leading a “crusade” against Islam; the
United States “screwed up Iraq” and “blundered into Afghanistan and made things
worse (for Pakistan)," the report adds.
will prefer destabilised Afghanistan to a strong state: Report
Pakistan may view a weak and destabilised Afghanistan as preferable to a strong
and unified Afghan state, a latest US Congressional report has said.
asserted that Islamabad may also anticipate that improved relations with Kabul
could limit India's influence in the region.
sees Afghanistan as potentially providing strategic depth against India.
Pakistan may also view a weak and destabilised Afghanistan as preferable to a
strong, unified Afghan state (particularly one led by a Pashtun-dominated
government in Kabul)," the bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS)
said in its latest report on Afghanistan has said.
to the report 'Afghanistan: Background and US Policy In Brief', some Pakistani
leaders have stated that instability in Afghanistan could rebound to Pakistan's
detriment. Pakistan has struggled with indigenous Islamist militants of its
own, it said.
may also anticipate that improved relations with Afghan leadership could limit
India's influence in Afghanistan," said the report by CRS, an independent
research wing of the US Congress.
reports are not an official view of the Congress but are prepared periodically
by independent experts on hot topics so that lawmakers can make informed
military officials profess greater optimism about the course of the war in
2018, other policy makers and analysts have described the war against the
insurgency (which controls or contests nearly half of the country's territory,
by Pentagon estimates) as a stalemate," the report said.
by Clayton Thomas, an analyst in Middle Eastern Affairs, the CRS report, dated
September 17, said President Donald Trump in his Afghanistan policy last year
has sought a greater role for India in Afghanistan.
his speech, President Trump also encouraged India to play a greater role in
Afghan economic development; this, along with other administration messaging,
has compounded Pakistani concerns over Indian activity in Afghanistan," it
has been the largest regional contributor to Afghan reconstruction, but New
Delhi has not shown an inclination to pursue a deeper defence relationship with
Kabul. Afghans themselves may be divided on the wisdom of cultivating stronger
ties with India," the CRS report said.
prescribes punishments in bid to stamp out instant Muslim divorce
DELHI: India on Wednesday (Sep 19) prescribed arrests and jail terms for
offenders in a campaign to stamp out instant Muslim divorce, or "triple
talaq", as Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks to woo women voters of the
South Asian nation's minority community.
Supreme Court in August last year outlawed the practice that had allowed Muslim
men to divorce their wives by simply saying the word "talaq", or
"divorce" in Arabic, three times.
move comes months ahead of general elections next year at which Modi's
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) needs to broaden its support beyond its core Hindu
cabinet approved a decree making the procedure a punishable offense, as the
government had struggled to pass the law in the face of opposition in
parliament, even though the practice persists, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
instance of triple talaq has continued unabated," Prasad told a news
briefing, adding that the government had recorded 201 such divorces after the
Supreme Court struck down the law.
a secular country like India ... gender justice was given the complete
ordinance allows for the couple to reach a settlement if the wife wishes, Prasad
said, but how much jail time it prescribed was not immediately clear.
legislation stymied in parliament sought to make the practice a non-bailable
offense, with up to three years in jail.
said there were instances of men divorcing their wives over the WhatsApp
messaging app or for reasons such as their poor cooking.
constitute just 14 per cent of India's population of 1.3 billion, which is 80
per cent Hindu, the latest census data shows, but critics say the BJP's Hindu
nationalist agenda has polarized the groups.
BJP has struggled to change a perception that it is against minority Muslims
and lower-caste people, which could cost it votes in next year's polls, Modi's
food minister, Ram Vilas Paswan, told Reuters in March.
'triple talaq' ordinance basically is to try and win over a segment in the
Muslim community, to win the women's vote among the minorities," said
Sandeep Shastri, a political analyst at Jain University in the southern city of
government's executive order would allow Muslim women or immediate relatives to
complain to the police, who could then arrest the husband if required, Prasad
said, calling the issue one of gender justice and equality.
Local Muslims Disallow Burial Of Pak Militants In Their Cemeteries
local Muslims refused to give space to three slain terrorists, believed to be
Pakistan nationals, in their graveyards, their bodies were buried in an
undisclosed location by the authorities to avoid confrontation.
administrators of all cemeteries (in Kakryal area) refused to give space to the
slain terrorists. Due to opposition of people, we buried all of them in an
undisclosed location,” said Superintendent of Police, Katra, Naresh Singh.
terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit were eliminated during a
daylong gun battle on September 13 at Dirthi village in the Kakryal area of
the last five days the bodies of the terrorists were laying in the mortuary of
a hospital. The civil and police administration earlier tried to bury these
terrorists in the nearby graveyards but this move was strongly opposed by the
local Muslims,” a source said, adding that the local Muslims declared that they
would not allow their burial in the surrounding areas as well.
a backlash, the authorities on September 17 night buried the militants in an
of Reasi district had declared that their cemeteries had no space for
terrorists, who have no religion,” Tariq Bhat, ex-administrator of Auqaf,
Reasi, told The Tribune. “The ideology of terrorists is against the tenets of
Islam. They are not only enemies of Islam but of the whole humanity,” added
recalled that former Imam of Reasi had refused to perform “namaz-e-janaza” of
two Pakistan terrorists killed six years ago.
Imran Khan writes to PM Modi, calls for resumption of peace dialogue
DELHI: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has written to PM Narendra Modi
seeking resumption of dialogue between the two countries. More specifically,
and significantly, Khan has sought a meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Shah
Mehmood Qureshi, the Indian and Pakistan foreign minister respectively, on the
sidelines of UNGA in New York + later this month. seeking a "meaningful
and constructive" engagement between the 2 countries. This was after Khan
said in his victory speech that Pakistan would respond with two steps to any
step taken by India for normalisation of ties.
has been intense speculation in the past few weeks on whether or not Swaraj and
Qureshi were going to meet at UNGA.
letter is also the first formal proposal by either side for a substantive
engagement between India and Pakistan since government formation in Pakistan
last month. In his letter, diplomatic sources said, Khan has called for
resumption of the comprehensive bilateral dialogue process which was launched
in December 2015 but which couldn't take off because of the Pathankot airbase
attack. In that context, Khan said India and Pakistan should look at resolving
all major outstanding issues, including terrorism and Kashmir, through
was in December 2015, when Swaraj travelled to Islamabad for a Heart of Asia
conference, that India had its last substantive engagement with Pakistan.
joint statement issued then said that foreign secretaries should work out the
modalities and schedule of the meetings under the comprehensive dialogue on
issues including "Peace and Security, CBMs, Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen,
Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project, Economic and Commercial
Cooperation, Counter-Terrorism, Narcotics Control, Humanitarian Issues, People
to People exchanges and religious tourism".
Modi government though wants Islamabad to make the atmosphere conducive for any
meaningful engagement by acting against terror groups looking to target India
from Pakistan soil. In his letter to Khan, Modi had recalled his earlier phone conversation
with him in which they had spoken of "their shared vision to bring peace,
security and prosperity in the Indian subcontinent, in order to make it free of
terror and violence, and to focus on development.
letter also comes in the middle of disillusionment which had started to set in
India in the past few weeks with the Pakistan government. Several ministers
have gone on record saying that they didn't expect things to change under Khan,
not least because of his links with the Pakistan army.
was made manifest most in the controversy over the announcement by Pakistan
that it will allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara.
Islamabad though never communicated the same officially to Indian authorities
leading to the perception here that the new government's outreach to India was
limited to speeches and media statements.
he received Modi's letter last month, Khan had tweeted that "To move
forward Pakistan and India must dialogue and resolve their conflicts incl
talaq: All-India Muslim Personal Law Board likely to go to court against
criminality clause in ordinance
DELHI: The legal committee of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board will deliberate
on the proposed ordinance banning instant triple talaq.
working committee will meet in a few days to discuss the issue, a AIMPLB
working committee member told ET. Some board members are also considering legal
recourse to contest the ‘criminality clause’ in the ordinance.
way it has been criminalised makes it necessary to approach the court. We will
soon decide on how to do it,” said AIMPLB working committee member Qasim Rasool
Ilyas, adding that the issue will be taken up by the committee soon. The board
general secretary and president are expected to call a meeting soon.
ordinance was expected as we felt the government did not want to wait for the
Rajya Sabha to pass the legislation. This is only to divert the issue,” Ilyas
added. AIMPLB general secretary Wali Rahmani told ET the board members will
read the ordinance and examine it in detail before calling a meeting. “We will
decide the future course of action after that.” Though AIMPLB has opposed
treating instant triple talaq as a crime, the board is divided on the issue.
This became apparent in the working committee meeting of the AIMPLB held in
Lucknow, when only 19 of 51 members turned up. Further divisions could emerge
depending on how the board will react to the issue, a member said.
board member Mehmood Pracha, an advocate, said the proposed ordinance did not
give women the right to property and imprisonment for three years was a ‘mild
is no threat of arrest. It is a soft act. An ordinance has a life of six
months. It is not that the BJP does not have numbers (to pass the bill the RS).
We saw in the election of the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman. This is being done
only for political benefit, not to give women anything,” he alleged.
however added that the the AIMPLB never filed a revision petition when the
court order came although "he gave it in writing that the judgement is
anti Islamic and would disturb the system of Islam that is holistic."
"Penalising is fine because even under Islamic law, Triple Talaq, if given
under unfair conditions becomes a criminal offence. There is nothing anti
Islamic in the bill. Mullahs should reject the attack on Islam but instead they
are putting Islam on a lesser footing than rights of men. Challenging the bills
shows the male chauvistinic attitude of the Mullahs," he told ET.
India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi, also a member of the
board who has been urging the board to come out with better drafts to oppose
the centre's moves, said the brunt of the ordinance will be on "poor
Muslim daughters in law who will not find support with their families."
"It violates the right to equality promised by the Constitution. In Islam
marriage is a contract. You cannot add penal provisions.
the marriage has been dissolved, why is the arrest happening then. How many
households will stand with such as daughter in law?
to the ordinance the marriage would still be subsisting, why should the woman
go through that."
The Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, has awarded German
Jesuit theologian Fr. Christian W. Troll the “Sir Syed Excellence Award”, a
prestigious award given for his excellent work in the field of Islamic studies
and Muslim-Christian relations.
Abdul Kidwai, Head of the Department of Koranic Studies at Aligarh Muslim
University, announced that the award will be given on October 17, 2018 during a
special celebration organized at Aligarh Muslim University.
Troll wrote: “I am really very honored to receive this prestigious award”. Fr.
Troll in his research on the different traditions of Muslims in South Asia,
tried to understand “the burning issues that so many religious leaders have
faced in the last 200 years”, he said.
the figure of Sir Syed, a 19th century Muslim Indian philosopher, he affirms:
“His figure inspired me, he was a great leader of his people and he did so much
to promote human respect, deep understanding and solidarity beyond the strict
limits of the confessional lines”.
currently a professor emeritus at the Jesuit School of Theology in Frankfurt,
studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where he received his
doctorate. From 1976 to 1988 he was professor of Islamic studies at the
Vidyajyoti Institute of Religious Studies in Delhi. From 1993 to 1999 he was
also a lecturer at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome and professor at
the Theology Faculty of the University of Ankara. In 1999 he was director of
the Forum of Christian-Muslim Relations at the “Katholische Akademie” in
2001 onwards he taught Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations at the St. Georgen
Faculty of Theology in Frankfurt. From 1990 to 2005 he was a member of the Commission
for Religious Relations with Muslims, in the Pontifical Council for
Interreligious Dialogue of the Vatican.
of a grand temple at Ayodhya, considered the birthplace of Hindu god Ram, will
eliminate a big reason for disagreements between Hindus and Muslims, Mohan
Bhagwat, the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said on Wednesday.
RSS is the ideological parent of the ruling BJP.
is Bhagwan (god) for many, but there are some who consider him as an icon of
maryada (moral standard), for some he is imam-e-hind (spiritual leader). This
is an issue of faith for all sections of society that where his birthplace is,
there should be a temple,” Bhagwat said. He was speaking on the last day of his
outreach programme in the national capital.
said it has been proven that there was a temple at the site (where the Babri
Masjid stood till it was demolished in 1992) and that the reconstruction would
render redundant a contentious issue between Hindus and Muslims.
building of Ram mandir will end a major issue of friction between Hindus and
Muslims. And if it is done amicably, it will automatically silence those who
point fingers at the Muslim community,” he said.
if the RSS supports the idea of an ordinance to pave the way for the
construction of the temple, Bhagwat said the issue rests with the government.
decision to bring the ordinance is of the government’s; and the proposal to
start a movement on the issue rests with the Ram Janam Bhoomi Mukti Yajan
Samiti, I am not part of both. They will have take a call on whether the
ordinance can be brought in legally, whether it will be challenged and they
will be asked question on whether the decision (to bring the ordinance) was
taken with the elections in mind... But as a swayamsevak and the RSS chief, I
feel the temple should be constructed soon,” he said. The case pertaining to
the construction of a temple at the disputed spot is currently being heard in
the Supreme Court and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an RSS affiliate and one of
the main campaigners for the temple has been demanding that the government
should consider bringing an ordinance if a solution is not found through the
a first, Afghanistan has deported an “ISIS sympathiser” from Kerala who had
gone there to join the terror outfit, said the National Investigation Agency
NIA arrested Nashidul Hamzafar after he was deported to New Delhi from Kabul,
Afghanistan. Nashidul was detained by Afghan Security Agencies last year for
illegally entering the country to join his associates in proscribed terrorist
organisation ISIS/Daish,” said the NIA in a statement.
(26) is a native of Kalpetta in Wayanad district of Kerala, the agency added.
He had left India on October 2017.
per reports, as many as 14 people from Kerala’s Kasaragod district had left
India, or their work places in the Middle East, between May and July, 2016, and
ISIS has presence in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
mufti: Shariah punishment only to teach, not harm
LUMPUR, Sept 20 — The punishments meted out under Shariah laws are meant to be
educational rather than punitive for both the offender and the society around
them, a forum was told today.
Deputy Mufti Zamri Hashim said this is because Islam emphasises on the
repentance of the individual and their forgiveness for past transgressions, as
well as to inform and raise society’s awareness.
penalty handed out must not be too destructive, yet it must not be so weak as
to leave no impact,” he said during the Gerakan Pembela Ummah’s (UMMAH) forum
on whether Shariah punishments are fair or cruel.
referred to the recent caning of two women for same-sex relations in
Terengganu, adding that punishments in Islam are geared towards building a
who dirty society’s cleanliness ought to be punished accordingly.
public should know that Shariah punishments are not as cruel as it is claimed
or depicted,” he said.
chairman Aminuddin Yahya said the recent caning highlighted the importance of
punishment as a means of prevention as well.
idea is ‘amar mahruf nahi mungkar’ (Islamic principle of enjoining good,
forbidding evil) so that both the accused and witnesses see the error of their
ways or the error of others’ ways.
should be a focus on strengthening the Shariah system instead of attempting to
belittle or trivialise it as some others are doing,” he said.
added that views on how to strengthen the Shariah system are welcome from all,
but reducing its efficacy ought to be opposed.
Lawyers’ Association deputy president Abd Rahim Sinwan said state Islamic laws
should be upheld, explaining that many of these laws were in place in some form
or another when the Federation was formed.
state can proceed in exercising the (Islamic) law which they have validly
promulgated via its legislature.
the federal government or even an individual feels the law is ultra vires
(Latin for beyond the powers) then they have the right to challenge its
constitutionality all the way to the Federal Court,” he said.
Stricter rules for Muslim child marriages not adopted by all states yet
LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Malaysia now has tighter guidelines for Muslims seeking
Shariah courts’ approval for child marriages, but such procedures have not been
adopted nationwide, Fuziah Salleh said today.
who is the deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of
religious affairs, said the procedure for Muslim men seeking to marry those
under the age of 16 was “not so strict” in the past.
we have introduced an SOP (standard operating procedure), a guideline, very
strict procedure that puts the welfare of the child as the central issue. So that
procedure is supposed to protect the wellbeing of the child,” she said in an
interview with radio station BFM this morning.
said both an underage girl and her parents would be required under the
guideline to seek permission for the Muslim child marriage, with such requests
to go through multiple interviews and tests.
example, if an underage girl asks for permission to marry, there will be many
interviews, many tests, amongst it, reproductive health tests, psychological
tests, we even interview the parents.
should not be a reason for marriage, pregnancy should also not be an excuse to
marry off your daughter, for example if the daughter is raped,” she said.
to the procedures that have already been presented to all chief Shariah judges
of the Shariah courts in the respective states, these SOPs should be
implemented, but not every state has adopted it,” she later said.
Malaysia, the administration of Islam in each state falls under the respective
states’ jurisdiction. It is not known which state in Malaysia has not
implemented the tighter child marriage rules.
said the responsibility for the welfare of a Muslim child in underage marriages
would fall under both the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and
the Prime Minister’s Department, which oversee civil laws at the federal level
and Shariah courts at the state level respectively.
we are committed to support the move by the Minister of Women to raise the
minimum (marriage) age of girls to 18. However that does not solve the problem
of child marriage, because people who want to marry will still want to marry,”
she said earlier before speaking on the new stricter rules for Muslims.
had recently been rocked by the news of two child marriage cases in Kelantan —
a June case involving a 41-year-old Malaysian rubber tapper who was fined
RM1,800 for marrying an 11-year-old Thai Muslim girl without the Shariah
court’s approval; and a 44-year-old father of two marrying in July a
15-year-old girl with the Shariah court’s approval.
local laws, both Muslim and non-Muslim children are allowed to marry.
non-Muslims, the minimum marriage age for boys and girls is 18, but a
non-Muslim girl aged 16 can get married with approval from the state’s head of
government — the mentri besar or chief minister.
Child bride in second case ‘consented’ to marriage
Sept 19 — Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the marriage
between the 15-year-old bride and a man who is 30 years her senior in the most
recent Kelantan case was “consensual”.
women, family and community development minister said based on the findings
made by Social Welfare Department officers who met the family, the marriage was
allegedly based on a “mutual liking” between the minor and the 44-year-old man.
officers had gone there and investigated, and found that they mutually liked
one another and that the girl had consented to the marriage,” said Dr Wan
Azizah after launching the 2018 National Women’s Day celebration.
legal age of consent for sex in Malaysia is 16.
Wan Azizah said the matter was briefly discussed in a Cabinet meeting this
morning on the latest development of the case.
said the Cabinet was informed that the man had divorced his wife four years
ago, which makes the child the first wife to the man.
is the wife of a divorcee and not the second wife. He had divorced the first
wife four years earlier,” she said.
Wan Azizah reiterated that the ministry is working on increasing the minimum
age of marriage to 18-years-old.
the Pandan MP said the federal government does not have the jurisdiction to
intervene in the latest case of the child bride in Kelantan.
said the federal government must abide the decision of the state Shariah court
that allowed the minor’s marriage.
was said that the Muslim solemnisation of vows — between the man, who is a
member of the People’s Volunteer Corp (Rela), and the 15-year-old who is a
secondary school dropout — was done in July at the Masjid Kampung Laut in
Shariah court had approved the marriage between the girl, who is the youngest
daughter of a poor couple with 13 children, and the 44-year-old man who already
has two children.
father, Che Rahim Che Deraman, 60, and his wife, Mariam Hassan, reportedly said
they consented to the marriage due to their poverty and desire for a better
life for her.
movement needed to develop sharia economics: BI
Indonesia (BI) deputy governor Dody Budi Waluyo has said a national movement
was needed to develop sharia economics to help develop and stabilize the
said in Jakarta on Tuesday that national movements had been successful in
developing sharia economics in other countries.
other aspects in developing sharia economics included government support, the
existence of a special body to coordinate with relevant institutions, improving
the country’s competitiveness and the availability of a national strategy to
develop sharia economics, including sharia finance.
economics and sharia finance would not only support economic growth but also
address economic problems like the current account deficit,” Dody said, as
quoted by kompas.com, adding that sharia economics could make the country’s
economy more resistance to global market instability.
current account deficit was recorded at US$8 billion, or 3 percent of gross
domestic product (GDP), in the second quarter, compared to $5.7 billion or 2.2
percent of GDP in the first quarter.
explained that many countries where the population was not predominantly Muslim
had successfully developed sharia economics.
Indonesia, the population of which is predominantly Muslim, was struggling to
develop sharia economics and sharia finance. “In halal tourism, Indonesia still
acts more like a customer rather than a producer,” he said in giving an
LUMPUR (Sept 19): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said that it is
the politics of PAS and not Islam which has caused the Malays to split.
said this action by PAS could not be forgiven because before the emergence of
the party, the Malays were not divided because of religion.
is only after PAS was established that the Malays were divided and they became
bitter enemies. This disunity has weakened the Malays. The Malays grew so weak
that PAS was forced to seek the help of the 'infidels'," he said in his
latest post on his blog Chedet.
he said, PAS had claimed that the party was not 'infidel' despite working with
the 'infidel' party because this was considered ‘tahaluf siyasi’.
is tahaluf siyasi if translated to the Malay language? It means ‘political
co-operation’ and this is the same as what UMNO is doing in working with the
MCA and MIC," he said.
Pakatan Harapan chairman said the Arabic language was clearly used to Islamise
the cooperation between PAS and the 'infidels'.
said the acceptance of the leaders and party's teachings were more important
than the teachings of Islam among PAS members and as such they were willing to
be enemies with other Muslims even though the Quran mentioned that Muslims were
of this attitude the Muslims (Malays) in Malaysia have been divided until
today," he added.
said many others in the party were still obsessed with PAS and its teachings
although some members have left PAS.
the deep disunity among the Malays is ongoing. This will continue for as long
as PAS misinterprets and misuses the teachings of Islam.
is the reason why I am against PAS," said the Prime Minister.
Mahathir said it was clear that PAS had split the Malay Muslims deeply and to
this day there were still separate congregational prayers at the same mosque.
Indonesian Muslim groups have declared support for President Joko Widodo's
archrival Prabowo Subianto in next year's presidential election.
groups, many of whom were behind rallies that ousted jailed former Jakarta
governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama last year, also pledged to mobilize all their
networks to defeat Widodo, who they claim is hostile to Islam.
included the Forum of Indonesia Muslims, 212 Alumni and the Islamic Defenders
Front, all of which operate under an umbrella organization called the National
Movement to Guard the Ulema Fatwa (GNPF).
declared their backing for Subianto after he signed an "integrity
pact" with the GNPF during a meeting on Sept. 16.
pact contains 17 promises including one to uphold religious values, and another
guaranteeing the safe return of one of the country's most controversial
religious figures, Muhammad Rizieq Shihab.
who heads the Islamic Defenders Front, is in Saudi Arabia after fleeing
blasphemy charges brought by Christian groups.
Muhammad Martak, the GNPF's chairman, said they would form a working group to
garner support for Subianto.
a video message Shihab urged his supporters to do all they can to ensure
Subianto wins the presidency.
encourage the ulemas and da'i [preacher]) to make use of our Islamic schools
and pulpits to garner enough support to win," he said.
continue our jihad in the social media, tirelessly and without fear. God will
give us victory," he added.
thanked the groups and the firebrand cleric for their support.
promise that I will do what is best for the country," he said.
supporters shrugged off the move, saying support among mainstream Muslims for
the president's running mate, Ma'ruf Amin, remains strong.
is a respected cleric and former chairman of the Indonesia Ulema Council.
has a good relationship with ulemas," Raja Juli Antoni, a member of
Widodo's campaign team told ucanews.com.
said the GNPF is not backed by moderate Muslim groups, such Nahdatul Ulama and
Muhammadiyah, which have millions of members.
Hadir, a Catholic political analyst from pollster Indopolling Network, doubted
the new alliance would alter the election outcome. Widodo is heavily tipped to
win the poll.
repeat of last year's Jakarta poll in which religious sentiment saw the defeat
of Purnama, a Christian, was highly unlikely.
The Saudi film “Joud,” produced by the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture
(Ithra), which is now screening in local and international cinemas in the
Kingdom, will also be shown at Ithra’s own cinema from September 20 to 23,
2018, as part of the center’s National Day events.
film, which dispenses with dialogue to make it more accessible to a global
audience, features visuals inspired by classical Arabic poems that reflect the
natural heritage and diversity of Saudi Arabia, the discovery of oil and the
resultant social change. Scenes filmed in various parts of the Kingdom are accompanied
by a lively musical soundtrack, taking viewers on a journey of discovery of the
film’s producer, and program director of the center, Abdullah Al-Ayaf, said
that “Joud” sets a cinematic precedent for the Kingdom, “and we believe that
its uniqueness opens the door to discovering more stories preserved in the
hearts of our people and our land.”
added that Ithra was keen for Saudi filmmakers to work alongside an
international crew during production of the film. For example, assistant
director Osama Al-Kharji directed scenes set in Makkah, with director of
photography Abdullah Al-Shuraidah and cameraman Fahad al-Dajani, while Hussam
Al-Hilweh helped to write the script. Composer Diaa Azouni contributed to the
soundtrack, and co-director Osamah Saleh was responsible for behind-the-scenes
photography for almost a year.
Lancaster, the film’s director, said that “Joud” “shows how music and natural
landscape play a big role in communicating the soul of the movie.” He added
that it "talks about a deep experience through culture, music and natural
landscape. It was a great adventure for me to transfer this to the screen.”
in Dhahran, aims to set new standards for excellence in the Saudi film
industry, and create innovative projects through its relationships with
partners and visitors by stimulating the sustainability of creative and
cultural communities. Through its diverse programs, the center helps to develop
new ways to foster creativity, supporting and promoting national talent by
providing an environment for the production and exchange of knowledge, in a
manner that respects diversity and promotes different concepts in science and
sources in Raqqa reported on Wednesday that 9 more bodies of civilians killed
in the US-led coalition attacks were found in al-Jamili district in Raqqa city
the Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted an official source in Raqqa civil
council team as saying that the corpses of over 2,600 people, mostly women and
children, have been unearthed in al-Rashid stadium, the city zoo, al-Qadim
great mosque and al-Badou district since the liberation of Raqqa last October
who were mostly buried by the ISIL in mass-graves.
bodies of civilians killed in the US airstrikes and the ISIL assaults are every
day discovered in mass-graves and under the ruins of buildings in different
parts of Raqqa.
Sunday, a sum of 13 bodies of civilians killed in the US-led coalition's
airstrikes on Raqqa city were found.
Civil Council Team discovered bodies of four civilians killed in the air raid
in al-Tamovin Garden in al-Kahroba neighborhood in Raqqa city.
secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement has accused the US
of prolonging the life of Daesh terrorists in Syria in order to beef up US
military presence in the Middle East.
a televised speech on Wednesday night, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stressed that
the US has created the Takfiri terrorist group and provided it with every
support it needs.
US support has prolonged Daesh’s presence in some areas in northeastern Syria,”
the Hezbollah leader stated.
Hezbollah leader condemned the US' decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as
the capital of Israel, adding that the US has proved it is not a friend of the
Palestinian people by preventing them from having a state.
May, the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, in a largely
solitary but consequential move that further complicated Palestinian
aspirations for statehood.
week, the Trump White House also announced the closure of the Palestine
Liberation Organization in Washington. Palestinian officials said on Sunday
that Washington had also revoked the visas of Palestinian envoy Husam Zomlot
and his family.
his speech, Nasrallah also said Washington is helping the Saudi-led coalition
in its war on Yemen, and warned all regional actors about the consequences of
cooperating with the US in its plots against the region.
to stay in Syria ‘until further notice’
in his remarks, Nasrallah said the Lebanese resistance movement will stay in
Syria for the fight against terrorism as long as Damascus needs it.
one can force us out of Syria... We will stay until further notice," he
stressed, adding, "Our presence there is tied to necessity and to the
consent of the Syrian leadership."
will remain there even after the Idlib accord," Nasrallah added, referring
to a Russia-Turkey deal to create a buffer zone in Syria’s Idlib province, the
last major terrorist bastion in the Arab country.
Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep
Tayyib Erdogan announced after their talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi
that they had agreed to create a demilitarized zone of a depth of 15-20 kilometers
in Idlib along the contact line between the armed opposition and government
troops by October 15.
the calm of the front lines and the decline in threats will have an impact on
the numbers present," he said.
the Idlib accord, if everything is done correctly, we can suppose that Syria
will head towards a great calm, and in concrete terms there will no longer be
front lines," said Nasrallah.
also commended the outcome of a summit on Idlib hosted by Iranian President
Hassan Rouhani and attended by his Turkish and Russian counterparts earlier
this month in Tehran.
The Sultanate of Oman’s commitment to peace among the world’s different
religions and beliefs was profiled to a global audience at UNESCO headquarters
in Paris, France.
groundbreaking exhibition, “Tolerance, Understanding and Coexistence – Oman’s
Message of Islam” was on display at UNESCO for the third time as part of the
International Peace Conference sponsored by several member states.
highlight of the conference was a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Samira
Moosa Mohammed Al Moosa, Permanent Delegate of the Sultanate of Oman to the
UNESCO, Mohammed Al Ma’amari, Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Awqaf and
Religious Affairs, Georg Popp, General Secretary of the German-Omani
Association and Managing Director of Arabia Felix, Germany and Riaz Ravat,
Deputy Director of St Philip’s Centre in the United Kingdom (UK).
International Peace Conference was initiated by the respected Venerable Master
Chin Kung of the Pure Land Buddhist tradition. Master Kung has a global
following and commented that, “The exhibition is very important to humanity and
I invite you to continue it”.
Samira Al Moosa added, that “Human values are sacred in the teachings of Islam”
and Mohammed Al Ma’amari said, “Partnerships for the exhibition are expanding
and our responsibility for its renewal and development is growing”. The
exhibition was organised by the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, in
cooperation with the Permanent Delegation of the Sultanate of Oman to the
UNESCO and continues until 21 September 2018.
opening ceremony was held in the presence of a number of eminent personalities
at the UNESCO. Those attending included a number of ambassadors, heads of
religious centres, academics and religious and belief communities from France.
Samira Al Moosa, welcomed the efforts of the Sultanate under the wise
leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and his responsibility to
promote a culture of tolerance and to firmly distance away from violence.
Al Ma’amari gave a speech in which he thanked the UNESCO for hosting the
exhibition and the Permanent Delegation of the Sultanate to the UNESCO. He also
thanked the Association of the Friends of Master Chin Kung at the UNESCO and
the staff in the Sultanate and in Paris for their fruitful and effective
affirmed that the partnerships with various organisations and centres in the
world are continuing to expand hundreds of applications are received to host
the exhibition in different countries.
his visit to the exhibition, Master Chin Kung who is 92 years old, expressed
his thanks and admiration for the cooperation in organising the exhibition,
which he said is in the interest of mankind.
highlighted the need to continue to add new educational publications on the
topic of tolerance and dialogue.
exhibition included paintings, descriptions of Islam in public life, creative
sculptures and calligraphy, as well as Omani antiques and historical artefacts.
addition, the exhibition had electronic displays, which included all the
contents of the exhibition in 18 languages, which were browsed and viewed
through electronic touchscreens.
panel discussion on the experience of coexistence, tolerance and understanding
in Oman began with an introduction by Dr. Samira Moosa al-Moosa. She was
followed by Riaz Ravat who presented a case study about the project’s impact in
talk also included an interactive quiz, which set out to challenge the audience
by encouraging them to think deeper.
Popp spoke about the story of the exhibition since its inception in 2010. He
pointed to 117 exhibitions in 35 countries. A remarkable achievement.
then spoke about the values of dignified living and the modern renaissance led
by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
highlighted the foundations of justice, equality and common human values by
referring to the Omani cultural heritage, trade, cultural openness and
communication based on the exchange of interests.
exhibition included details about previous campaigns such as ‘Global Messages’
- a worldwide initiative aimed at spreading a culture of coexistence and peace,
tolerance and harmony through the publication of cards expressing these values
for social media and websites in different languages. These messages were
published via hand-printed cards and were widely disseminated.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted informed Kurdish sources as saying on
Wednesday that the US has provided the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with new
and state-of-the-art weapons, including air defense systems.
added that the US forces have told them that they will remain in Syria for an
unlimited time and are, hence, reinforcing their military bases and positions
on occupied lands in Northeastern Syria.
US-led coalition has recently reinvigorated its bases in regions occupied by
the SDF in Syria.
Arab media outlet reported last Wednesday that the US forces had started
setting up two more military bases in Qamishli region in Hasaka province amid
tensions between civilians and the Kurds.
Arabic-language al-Manar news website reported that the US-led coalition has
resumed building two more military bases in the village of Jam'aya East of the
town of Qamishli as well as areas West of the town.
Arabic-language service of RT reported on Wednesday that the Syrian police
forces entered the town of al-Bariqeh in Quneitra and took control of a hospital
with modern equipment and medication.
added that the hospital is equipped with different types of x-ray systems, an
advanced central heating system, well-equipped beds and a surgery section and a
vast storage drugs, including new and advanced medications needed for surgical
medical source said that a large number of Israeli, US and French equipment and
drugs have been found in the hospital, saying that some of the medicines and
equipment are not at all available to Syrian citizens.
province in Southwestern Syria came under government control around two months
ago, when terrorists, mostly from the al-Nusra Front, were forced to withdraw
to Idlib. Others agreed to the government peace offer, ended the war of
insurgency and received government amnesty.
hospital is one of the last placed that had remained unknown to the government
forces ever since they came in control of the province that neighbors the
occupied Golan Heights, but it is not the only instance of the US and Israeli support
for the terrorists.
another instance on Tuesday, the Damascus army launched two separate ambush
operations against ISIL in Palmyra (Tadmur) region in Eastern Syria, and
discovered a large volume of arms, including American weapons.
army soldiers ambushed a group of ISIL that tried to move from al-Tanf in
Southern Homs towards al-Bayarat al-Qarbi in Palmyra to further move towards
Raqqa via al-Taweinan and Wadi Abyaz Dam region.
army men killed two terrorists and capturd two more, forcing the remaining
pockets of the terrorist to flee the battlefield.
army soldiers also seized a large volume of military equipment and six
the meantime, other units of the army ambushed another group of ISIL terrorists
in al-Forou'a region 70 km Southeast of Palmyra, and captured five terrorists.
regime forces have stepped up their crackdown on Muharram mourning ceremonies,
disrupting Shia Muslim gatherings and making arrests among clerics.
Tuesday, three Shia clerics were arrested for what the kingdom’s Public
Prosecutor’s Office called promoting hatred of the ruling regime and encouraging
“acts of terrorism,” Bahrain Mirror news website reported.
detainees were identified as Sheikh Yassin al-Harami, Sheikh Hani al-Bana’, and
Sheikh Mohammad al-Sahlawi.
forces also attacked residential areas and houses in more than 10 areas in the
capital, Manama, destroying the banners and signs inviting the public to
mourning rituals on Thursday.
Muslims worldwide are set to commemorate Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram,
which coincides with the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the
third Shia Imam.
videos, meanwhile, emerged online showing Bahrainis attending mourning
processions on Tuesday, while holding up pictures of those killed during the
regime’s crackdown campaign on opposition and political activists.
al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Bahrain’s banned Shia opposition bloc,
condemned the clampdown on religious rituals. It called the arrest campaign an
outright violation of religious freedom.
society said the regime’s desecration of Ashura’s symbols was taking place in
complete ignorance of the sentiments of the island’s Shia Muslims, who are
mourning Imam Hussein’s martyrdom.
regime has been targeting the Ashura rituals every year since 2011, when the
public rose in peaceful protests, demanding an end to Manama’s suppressive
forces have destroyed 38 mosques linked to the majority Shia Muslim population
throughout the country since the onset of the demonstrations.
An Iraqi court on Wednesday sentenced a prominent militant described as a
deputy of Daesh group leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi to death on terrorism
Karkh criminal court in Baghdad sentenced to death by hanging one of the most
prominent leaders of Daesh, who served as a deputy of Baghdadi,” judicial
spokesman Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar said.
Alwan Salman Al-Ithawi was extradited from Turkey earlier this year having fled
Syria as the group’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” crumbled.
was tracked and detained through cooperation between Turkish, Iraqi and US
intelligence agencies, a senior Iraqi official told AFP in February.
native of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, Ithawi was accused of holding several
positions including Daesh “minister” in charge of religious edicts.
declared “victory” over Daesh In December after a three-year war against the
extremists who once controlled nearly one third of the country as well as
swathes of neighboring Syria.
has been pronounced dead on several occasions, but an Iraqi intelligence
official said in May that he remained alive in Syrian territory by the Iraqi
affairs minister discusses treatment of Xinjiang Muslims with Chinese envoy
Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Noorul Haq Qadri met
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Xing on Wednesday to discuss bilateral
relations and matters of mutual interest, chief among them the treatment of the
Xinjiang Muslim community.
friendship with China is above and beyond any political agenda, the roots of
which lie deep within the people," said Qadri.
federal minister remarked that the CPEC was a matter of national priority and
expressed full confidence in it.
onto more urgent matters, Qadri spoke about the Muslims facing numerous
restrictions in China's Xinjiang province and demanded that they be given
placement of restrictions increases the chances of an extremist viewpoint
growing in reaction," the minister told the Chinese ambassador, asserting
that concrete steps need to be taken to weed out such a mindset and promulgate
two also discussed talks between religious scholars belonging to Xinjiang and
Chinese government is the bearer of Sufi and moderate thought and resolves to
sort the differences between various religious groups," said the Chinese
invited Qadri for a visit to China which the federal minister accepted.
Chinese ambassador also provided assurances to facilitate the visit of a
Pakistani religious delegation to the Xinjiang province.
of viewpoints between religious scholars of both countries is vital for better
interfaith relations," Xing remarked.
said that there were 20 million Muslims living in China who enjoyed complete
freedom to practice their faith.
is an important representative of the Muslim world and we want to further
strengthen Pak-China relations on an Islamic level," Xing said adding that
they will take the Muslim community living in China into confidence for
achieving the same.
expressed China's interest in working with Pakistan to develop an educational
curriculum for the Muslim community.
Pakistan's cooperation, China desires to work for the social development of the
former Fata region and Afghan migrants," he added.
The disagreements between Muslims nations were weakening the Islamic
fraternity, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wednesday during an interview with
an Arab media outlet.
to Arabiya TV, Khan commented on how Pakistan wishes to play a role in helping eliminate
the tensions in the Muslim world and focus on building understanding between
premier said Pakistan desires to play the role of a mediator in the Middle East
and was willing to play a positive part in ending the Yemen conflict. No one
can provide a better expert opinion on terrorism-related matters than
Islamabad, Khan said.
stressed that countries of the Islamic world should not have any differences,
noting that Pakistan had already been deeply affected by the tensions between Afghanistan
and various other countries.
also vowed to stand strong with Saudi Arabia, mentioning that the Kingdom has
always helped Pakistan out of tight spots in the past. Islamabad, therefore,
will always continue to stay by the side of and support Riyadh.
“always stands by Saudi Arabia,” especially against the attacks from Houthi
rebels, the PM told Arabiya TV during his maiden visit to the Kingdom. “Saudi
Arabia helped Pakistan when Pakistan needed help,” he added, according to
tweets from the Saudi-based network.
Pakistani head-of-state also talked about the strong people-to-people relations
between the two nations, saying people of his motherland held Saudi Arabia in
also praised the young Saudi Arabian leadership, saying the Kingdom's
anti-corruption campaign was admirable. Pakistan needs to do exactly what
Riyadh had implemented to rid itself of corruption.
since he assumed power back in August 2018, the PM continued, he has not taken
a day off because he was dealing with existing problems. Due to that, coupled
with various other local crises, Khan said he was not supposed to travel abroad
for three months but only managed to make an exception for Saudi Arabia since
the King Salman bin Abdulaziz had extended an invitation and also, as a Muslim,
one should visit Mecca and Medina.
premier also explained that once he was able to fix the governance issues in
Pakistan, it would be easier to spend time with his family.
regard to the countries that Pakistan shares borders with, Khan commented that
Iran was "our neighbour" and that "we should surely have good
relations with all neighbours".
PM underscored his belief that conflicts have political solutions and that he
was not in favour of military resolutions. He added that he wished for Pakistan
to have good relations with Afghanistan and India based on mutual trust.
noted that he would strengthen state institutions of Pakistan and that no
individual was above the institutions.
Saeed to approach court to retrieve frozen assets of JuD, FIF
Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed plans to launch next phase of legal battle
to retrieve the assets of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its subsidiary
Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) after Pakistan's Supreme Court allowed the
two outfits to continue their activities in the country, the JuD's spokesman said
government took over around 184 buildings – schools, hospitals and dispensaries
– belonging to the JuD and FIF after the promulgation of the presidential
ordinance last year and subsequently administrators were appointed there.
government had also frozen all bank accounts of both organisations and stopped
them from collecting funds.
week, a two-member bench of the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the
government against an interim order of the Lahore High Court on April 5 which
had allowed the two groups to continue their "welfare work".
high court had restrained the government from interfering with the social work
of the two groups and also allowed their legal activities.
JuD and FIF have only got the permission for work but its entire infrastructure
is still under the government administrative control. The bank accounts are
frozen and funds collection dried up. We will move the Lahore High Court to get
the control of JuD and FIF properties back and also seek de-freezing their bank
accounts,” JuD spokesman Ahmad Nadeem told PTI on Wednesday.
said the Supreme Court's decision has given the JuD hope to get back its
properties to resume its "social and charitable" works.
JuD spokesman said: “Getting all our buildings back, accounts restored and
starting collection of funds are major legal challenges for us. We will take
legal route, which may be longer – as getting court's permission for charity
work almost took seven months – but that is the preferred path for us."
Pakistani government had taken action against JuD and FIF as they were placed
on the United Nations Security Council's (UNSC) sanction list.
was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008. He was
released from house arrest in Pakistan in November.
JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible
for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people. It has been declared
as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.
Pakistan on Wednesday said it is "engaged" with India to facilitate a
bilateral meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian
counterpart Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New
York this month.
Office (FO) spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said that no decision has been taken
on the issue so far.
are engaged in the matter," he said when asked about reports that Qureshi
and Swaraj may hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA and
whether both sides have formally approached each other.
will lead the Indian delegation to the UNGA while Qureshi is expected to head
the Pakistani side.
India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking
place. The ties between the two countries had strained after Pakistan-based
terror groups launched attacks in India in 2016.
to a question on the issue of opening the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara corridor,
Faisal said "so far no formal communication between the two countries has
cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu had claimed that Pakistan Army
chief Qamar Javed Bajwa told him that the Pakistani government was working for
opening of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims from Indian state of
a minister in the Punjab government, on Monday met Swaraj and urged her to help
initiate dialogue with Pakistan on the opening up of the Kartarpur Sahib
Kartarpur Sahib is situated in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province.
The gurdwara is nearly four kilometres from the international border and is
visible on a clear day from Dera Baba Nanak in India.
Reaffirming their intention to stand by each other at all times, Pakistan and
Saudi Arabia have pledged to continue their decades-old partnership to defeat
the scourge of extremism and terrorism.
two countries reiterated the pledge during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meetings
with Saudi leadership in Jeddah on Wednesday.
PM called on Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammad bin
Salman and extended an invitation to the Saudi leadership to visit Pakistan at
an early date. “The offer was graciously accepted, in principle, by the Saudi
leadership,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
each other’s efforts and sacrifices, the two sides agreed on the need to
promote peace and security to ensure progress, development and prosperity.
the PM briefed the Saudi leadership about Pakistan’s successes and sacrifices
in its fight against terrorism and highlighted the role of “actors trying to
destabilise Pakistan”, the latter apprised the former of the steps taken by the
Kingdom to curb extremism and terrorism and shared views “on the forces
spreading extremist ideologies in the region”.
Khan strongly condemned the efforts to promote religious extremism,
sectarianism and terrorism.
the countries expressed complete solidarity with each other in their “efforts
at preserving their sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
two sides agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation as well as their
collaboration at the regional and multilateral forums to promote peace and
was the prime minister’s first foreign visit after assuming office. He was
accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad
Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razzak
was received by King Salman at his palace in Jeddah, where Mr Khan was
presented with a guard of honour and a state banquet was hosted for him and his
the meeting, the two leaders discussed bilateral relationship, the regional and
global political situation and the issues confronting Muslim Ummah, according
to a statement issued from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
expressed their desire to further enhance and diversify bilateral cooperation
and to continue close coordination on issues of mutual interest.
Prince hosts dinner for Imran
the visit, the PM also held a meeting with the Saudi crown prince, who hosted a
dinner in his honour.
two leaders accompanied by their ministers and senior officials, held detailed
discussions on ways to strengthen bilateral relationship and on the regional
political and security situation.
exchanged ideas on enhancing cooperation in political, defence, economic,
commercial and cultural sectors, developing joint ventures in line with their respective
developmental needs, strengthening collaboration in human resource sector and
addressing the issues faced by Pakistani expatriates in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi leadership congratulated Pakistan on its successful democratic
transition, in a peaceful and fair manner and felicitated Mr Khan on his
election as the PM.
the PM’s idea of transforming his country into a welfare state based on Islamic
socio-economic principles, the Saudi leadership assured Pakistan of its maximum
thanked Saudi Arabia for its steadfast and continued support.
of Kashmiris discussed
PM informed the Saudi leadership about the plight of the Muslims of India-held
Kashmir, suffering grievous human rights violations.
the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on
the human rights violations in held Jammu and Kashmir, he stressed the need for
Islamic solidarity and unity in raising the issue forcefully at the UN Human
two countries reaffirmed their commitment to the just struggle of the
Palestinian people to restore their rights and achieve the independence of the
state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
also stressed that the international community must respect the just struggle
of the people living under foreign occupation and the legitimate right to
self-determination, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
a view to developing tangible and meaningful bilateral cooperation in key
areas, the two countries agreed to intensify consultations and coordination in
order to strengthen their strategic partnership.
and Saudi Arabia reaffirmed their historical and brotherly ties, rooted in
bonds of common religion, shared culture and values and quest for regional and
global peace and security.
sides expressed satisfaction at the convergence of views on a host of regional
and global issues, as well as the issues faced by Muslim Ummah.
reaffirmed their intention to stand by each other at all times.
praised the Saudi leadership on a smooth and successful organisation of Haj
this year and acknowledged the eminent position of respect and reverence among
the Muslim Ummah enjoyed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman
also commended the visionary leadership of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
Maryam and Safdar released from Adiala jail after IHC suspends Avenfield
Asad | Mohammad Imran | Tahir Naseer
prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Mohammad
Safdar, were released from Adiala jail on Wednesday after the Islamabad High
Court suspended their respective prison sentences in the Avenfield corruption
reference earlier in the day.
President Shahbaz Sharif along with senior party leaders reached Adiala jail in
the evening to receive Nawaz after the IHC issued their release orders.
large number of PML-N supporters also gathered outside the prison to receive
their supreme leader. Television footage showed a security vehicle driving the
Sharifs through a massive crowd of supporters, some showering rose petals on
the vehicle while others waved party flags and chanted slogans.
Sharifs were escorted to Nur Khan Airbase, Chaklala, amid tight security from
where they were flown to Lahore in a private aircraft. The convoy moved at a
slow pace as the route was crowded with supporters and workers of PML-N, who
took to the streets to celebrate the release of their leader.
Sharifs reached Lahore later in the night where a large number of party
supporters had gathered outside the Haj Terminal to welcome them. Subsequently,
the Sharif family was escorted to their Jati Umra residence located in the
outskirts of Lahore.
in the day, an IHC division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice
Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the petitions by the Sharifs and Capt Safdar
against the verdict announced by the accountability court on July 6.
judges accepted the convicts' petitions against the Avenfield verdict, ruling
that the sentences would remain suspended until the final judgement on their
the reasons to be recorded later on, the petitions of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam
Nawaz and Mohammad Safdar are allowed," said Justice Minallah.
date will now be fixed for the hearing of the appeals.
court granted bail to Nawaz, Maryam and Capt Safdar and ordered them to pay
Rs0.5 million as surety bonds.
workers present in the courtroom started cheering as the IHC's verdict was
announced. Dozens of jubilant supporters chanted “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif!”
outside the court.
of the Opposition and Nawaz's younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, following the
verdict took to Twitter to share a verse from Surah Al-Isra [17:81]:
"Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by
nature], ever bound to depart."
Hashmi, a former PML-N member who quit the party for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf,
also reached Adiala jail after Nawaz's release orders but was reportedly not
allowed to enter.
development is the latest twist in a series of court cases involving the former
prime minister, beginning with his ouster from office last year in the Panama
Papers verdict to facing multiple corruption references in the accountability
accountability court on July 6 had announced the verdict in the Avenfield
properties corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau,
handing the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif 10 years as jail time for owning
assets beyond known income and 1 year for not cooperating with NAB.
daughter was given 7 years for abetment after she was found "instrumental
in concealment of the properties of her father" and 1 year for
non-cooperation with the bureau.
to the verdict, she "aided, assisted, abetted, attempted and acted in
conspiracy with her father". "The trust deeds produced by the accused
Maryam Nawaz were also found bogus," the judgement had noted.
son-in-law was given 1 year jail time — for not cooperating with NAB, and
aiding and abeting Nawaz and Maryam.
NAB's special prosecutor Mohammad Akram Qureshi concluded his final arguments
today, following which the high court reserved the verdict in the case.
argued today that after the fixation of appeals against the conviction of the
Sharif family in the Avenfield reference, the IHC could not have entertained
petitions seeking suspension of sentence.
further said that since Maryam had prepared a forged declaration of trust in
order to rescue her father, "she was equally responsible as she connived
to dodge the legal course".
the court asked him if the forged documents had led to her conviction for
owning assets beyond means, the prosecutor replied: "Maryam hatched the
further argued that Maryam was living with her father as a dependent and so
"the properties in her name presumably belonged to her father".
Athar Minallah remarked that "the NAB, after conducting thorough
investigation, couldn't bring any evidence of Nawaz Sharif's ownership of the
Avenfield apartments, but you want us to admit his ownership on mere presumption".
responded that the "law of evidence empowers the court to presume facts in
prosecutor was reminded that there is room for giving the benefit of the doubt
to the accused, and that the precedents of the apex court bound the bureau to
follow certain procedures in order to shift the burden of proof on the accused
this, Qureshi said that "since the properties belong to a foreign
jurisdiction, therefore, it is a distinguished case and these were not
applicable to this case".
militants killed, wounded in separate operations of the Afghan, U.S. forces
least 47 militants were killed or wounded during the separate operations
conducted by the Afghan and U.S. forces in Khost and Maidan Wardak provinces.
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast in a statement said
at least 30 militants were killed and 8 others were wounded during the
operations and airstrikes in Kohna Dara, Khumar, and Salman Fars areas of
statement further added that a Dshk heavy machine gun and two Humvee armored
personnel carriers seized by the militants were also destroyed during the
the meantime, the U.S. forces carried out airstrikes in Sparakai area of Nader
Shah Kot district in southeastern Khost province, leaving at least four
to 203rd Thunder Corps, a vehicle was also destroyed during the airstrike while
the Afghan forces killed a militant and wounded another one in Sabaro district
of the province.
Afghan forces also repulsed an attack by the militants in Surobi district of
Paktika province, leaving at least 3 militants dead while a rocket launcher and
a motorcycle were confiscated by the security forces, the 203rd Thunder Corps
other operations, the Afghan forces confiscated three improvised explosive
devices in Syedabad district of Maidan Wardak province, the Thunder Corps said.
is no scope for the Rohingyas to stay long-term in Bangladesh, the premier said
will place its proposals on future action plans regarding the Rohingya crisis,
including the review of progress, in different multilateral meetings during the
73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told
parliament on Wednesday.
will also have talks with different important world leaders on the issue on the
side-line at the UN General Assembly,” the prime minister said replying to a
question from Jatiya Party lawmaker Nurul Islam Milon from the Comilla 8
prime minister mentioned that she had placed a five-point proposal aimed at
resolving the Rohingya crisis at the 72nd UNGA, which was held shortly after
the latest episode of atrocities against the Rohingyas began on August 25,
international community accepted my proposals cordially then,” she added.
said Bangladesh opened its borders and allowed the influx of the forcibly displaced
Rohingyas into its territory as a response to the unprecedented humanitarian
there is no scope for the Rohingyas to stay in Bangladesh for very long. We
want to repatriate them at the earliest,” the prime minister said.
further said that safe, respectful and sustainable repatriation of the
Rohingyas to their homeland would be possible through the Awami League
government's diplomatic efforts.
that Bangladesh provided shelter to 1.1 million Rohingyas, she said: “Their
stay in Bangladesh has created a risk of human trafficking, drug smuggling and
other orchestrated crimes.”
displaced Rohingyas have created a huge negative impact on the local
communities and ecology in Cox's Bazar, where the camps are located, and the
risk of environmental disaster has emerged due to deforestation in the reserved
land and hill-cutting on a massive scale, the prime minister said.
to that is the possibility of the breakout of diphtheria, polio, AIDS and other
communicable diseases, she added.
premier said the Rohingya crisis first started in 1978-79, when the influx of
Rohingyas to Bangladesh began. But the crisis continued due to the failure of
the then military ruler in handling the problem.
reply to a supplementary question from treasury bench member Dhirendra Debnath
Shambhu, lawmaker of the Barguna 1 constituency, the prime minister said
Bangladesh experienced another episode of Rohingya influx in the 1980s.
in 1991-92, several hundred thousands of Rohingyas entered Bangladesh during
the BNP regime. Though Bangladesh was able to repatriate some of the Rohingyas
through talks with Myanmar, some of them remained in Bangladesh, she said.
our diplomatic success is that we were able to create international opinion
that Rohingyas are the victims of injustice, and it is Myanmar’s duty to allow
them back into their own country," the prime minister said.
said the International Criminal Court also had taken measures to try those who
were involved in the persecution against the Rohingyas, and Bangladesh
continues to provide all the information it has regarding the issue to the
court as per its request.
said during her talks at the recent Bimstec summit, Myanmar President Win Myint
said they would take the Rohingyas back.
hope Myanmar will be forced to take them back in the face of international
pressure," she added.
of the recommendations included in Bangladesh's education policy — which was
formulated in 2010 but has not yet been legally enforced — pose daunting
challenges for church-run institutes and could end up seeing some shuttered,
Catholic educators say. The decision to extend children's primary education
from grade 5 to grade 8, and make secondary education cover grade 9 to grade
12, threatens to squeeze them financially while creating massive
infrastructural headaches, they say.
schools requires money, infrastructure and extra teachers, which is why the
order to implement the rules has been followed at quite a slow pace so
far," said Holy Cross Father Hemanto Pius Rozario, the principal of
Catholic-run Notre Dame College in Dhaka.
priest said some of the nation's Catholic schools have added classes for
children in grades 6-8, but no colleges that teach grade 11 and grade 12 have
added classes for the two preceding academic years.
is no real education law, so for some time now we haven't suffered any pressure
due to not having implemented the policy. But this could become a serious
headache for us in the future," Father Rozario noted.
represent a tiny minority in Bangladesh, where they account for less than half
a percent or roughly 600,000 people in this Muslim-majority nation of 160
million. Most are Catholics.
they have received high praise from Muslims in various sectors of society for
their vital contributions in the fields of education, health care and
socio-economic development in past decades.
number of church-run schools and colleges regularly rank among the top
educational institutes nationwide in terms of academic excellence, extra-curricular
activities, and discipline.
church runs one university, 12 colleges, 579 secondary and primary schools, and
13 vocational training institutes in the country, according to the Bangladesh
Catholic Education Board (BCEB), which falls under the auspices of the Catholic
Bishops in Bangladesh.
they are responsible for teaching nearly 100,000 pupils a year, mostly Muslims.
the Catholic charity Caritas runs about 1,000 pre-primary schools for the
poorest and most disadvantaged families. It receives funding from the European
state-sponsored commission formulated the national education policy eight years
ago after significant research, discussions and feedback from stakeholders.
came two years after the 2008 national election, which saw a 14-party Grand
Alliance led by the Awami League (AL) win a landslide victory. Prior to being
elected, the AL, one of the nation's two major parties, had made reforming the
education sector a cornerstone of its electoral manifesto.
policy embodies, at least on paper, a series of progressively minded pledges
and reformations that align with the country's secular constitution, which
promotes liberalism, harmony and inclusiveness, analysts say.
policy, the sixth of its kind to be introduced since 1974, is still considered
one of the best, most practical and most progressive policies the country has
seen, and the AL stuck with it when it was reelected in 2014.
recommendations included the aforementioned overhaul of the sector from
pre-primary to higher education levels, and greater regulation of the education
system observed at Islamic schools, known as madrasas.
called for primary education to be made compulsory from grade 5 to grade 8 and
requested that a common curriculum be drawn up for students of those ages,
while making core subjects like English and Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) mandatory.
guidelines state that more creative and nationalistic subjects should be
introduced to dilute the dominance of rote learning, instill a greater sense of
patriotism at an earlier age, and promote knowledge of the country's history.
also suggested radical changes to the way students are evaluated and tested to
focus more on their creative capabilities than their power of memory while also
highlighting the importance of better teacher training. Church educators have
decried the recent boom in private tutoring, which they say disadvantages
students from poorer families who deserve a better basic education.
bone of contention for church-run schools is whether to adopt a state-funded
scheme to pay teacher's wages that has been used in government-run and private
schools since 1985.
to the policy, the government would appoint teachers and award them certain
benefits under a system known as the Monthly Pay Order (MPO). But church elders
have balked at this.
the MPO system, teachers could effectively double their salary," said
Jyoti F. Gomes, secretary of the BCEB. "But it also means the government
would interfere in the management of the institute, including the formation of
its governing body and the appointment of teachers.
the dilemma we face is, do we accept it to keep our teachers happy and
sacrifice our independence, or just flat out refuse it," he told
church institutes say they are already struggling to attract well-qualified
teachers, especially those in rural areas.
said some have raised their salaries above what a government school would offer
and added more long-term benefits like a provident fund. Others are forging
links with Catholic Cooperatives to ease their financial burden.
problem with raising teachers' salaries is we can't charge students over a
certain amount for their tuition fees," Gomes said.
policy also mandates that a head teacher must have at least 12 years' teaching
experience and possess a bachelor's degree in education.
we have a shortage of priests and other religious figures who would qualify for
that, even though there is no question about their ability or
performance," Gomes added.
church and various religious orders have always given high priority to ensuring
those members who run such academic institutes are highly skilled, academically,
so they are run properly."
Ronjit Mondol, the head teacher of St. Joseph's High School in Khulna City,
which has about 1,800 students and 37 teachers, said two teachers recently left
for better salaries elsewhere due to funding shortages.
government introduced an online enrolment system for institutes of higher
secondary education in 2012 based on the grade point average (GPA) students
obtain after grade 10.
effectively did away with entrance exams and meant that, provided the student's
grades were good enough in previous years, all they had to do be enrolled was
pay the entry fees.
government said the old entry system paved the way for widespread corruption.
Wealthy or well-connected parents were allegedly able to book placements for
their children by paying bribes amid rampant competition for the best schools.
three church-run colleges in Dhaka — Notre Dame, Holy Cross, and St. Joseph's
Higher Secondary — that are among the most coveted schools in the country
refused to accept the system, billing it unfair.
claimed the new enrolment process deprives students of the right to prove their
"true merit" through a proper assessment and admission test.
the three colleges filed a petition with the High Court seeking permission to
ignore the system and the verdict allowed them to continue following their own
Rozario told ucanews.com this remains a source of tension with the government
but as of now the colleges are still protected by the court's ruling.
said there is still a lack of understanding about the mission of Catholic
schools insofar as what they aim to achieve.
education is based on values and ideals, to help students to become good human
beings," he said. "We aim to enlighten both their minds and their
outsiders, including government officials, find it hard to believe that we
provide this service benevolently and devoid of profiteering," he added.
officials say they have been lobbying the government and contacting the Vatican
for years in a bid to reach a compromise on these issues.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the Vatican earlier this year she was
asked to intervene and help find a resolution," Gomes said.
church has since sent a 10-point proposal to the Education Ministry for
consideration, he said, adding Hasina was instrumental in relaying this.
government recognizes the great contributions church institutes have made, so
we expect a positive response," Gomes said.
intelligence forces detain 8 key members of the Taliban and ISIS Khurasan
Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS) forces have
arrested 8 key members of the Taliban and ISIS Khurasan group in eastern
Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani quoted in a statement of the provincial
government said the NDS forces have also confiscated some weapons, munitions,
and explosives from the detained individuals.
further added that the militants were killed during the separate operations
over the course of past one week.
to Khogyani, the ISIS Khurasan and Taliban group members have been arrested
from Jalalabad city, Bati Kot, Behsud, Khogyani, and Rod districts.
detained militants hail from Kunar and Nangarhar provinces and have confessed
to their crimes, Khogyani said, adding that the suspects have been referred to
the judiciary institutions for the trial.
also added that the Afghan forces have stepped up efforts to improve the
security of the province and emphasized that the national defense and security
forces are fully capable of responding to the attacks and threats of the
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New
Delhi to hold talks on key issues of bilateral interest.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said the leaders of the two
countries held talks on further expansion of the bilateral ties between Kabuul
and New Delhi, joint fight against terrorism, expansion of bilateral economic
and transit relations, regional connectivity, development of Afghanistan-India
air corridor, online higher and technical education, and joint investment in
various sectors in Afghanistan.
Minister Modi said India is prepared to start work on Shahtoot Dam, solar power
and water pumps project, 160 projects for clean drinking water and rural
development, transportation system, repair of 350 buses, and provision of one
thousand more buses.
also added that an agreement was reached regarding the deployment of the
working teams for the immediate start of works on the mentioned projects.
Palace further added in its statement that President Ghani and Prime Minister
Modi also agreed to increase flights as part of the air corridor and establish
new routes between Herat and Amritsar and some other key cities.
also agreed that the working teams of the countries start work on the projects
for the process of marbles, export of marbles, and production of medicines.
Minister Modi said the government of India has extended the scholarships
program for Afghanistan for another five years and the country would also train
the government staff.
said the Foreign Minister of India would visit Afghanistan in the near future
to discuss the strategic cooperation between the two countries.
Russian Foreign Ministry says the Taliban militant group is prepared to attend
multiparty talks on Afghanistan in Moscow.
Wednesday, Russian media quoted Afghanistan's embassy as saying that the
country’s deputy foreign minister was expected to visit Moscow on Thursday to
discuss the dates of a new round of Moscow peace talks on Afghanistan.
had been preparing to host the peace talks on September 4 and had invited 12
countries, including the United States, and Taliban representatives to
talks, however, were postponed following a request by Afghan President Ashraf
Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 following a US-led invasion. That war,
which continues to this day, has failed to bring stability to the country
despite the presence of thousands of foreign forces.
militants have recently stepped up their attacks in Afghanistan.
United Nations said in a recent statement that blasts, attacks and clashes
between militants and Afghan forces killed over 1,600 civilians in the first
six months of the year, the highest number in the past decade.
the Taliban militant group has rejected an offer of talks from the Afghan
government, it has been holding negotiations with the United States.
hate crime injures Muslim worshipers at north London mosque
worshippers leaving a mosque in London have been hit by a car in a possible
hate crime that saw the driver hurling Islamophobic slurs at the people taking
part in a religious ceremony for the grandson of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
police and officials at the Hussaini Association located in the Cricklewood
area of northwest London said the attack began in the early hours of Wednesday.
alleged assailants were reported in local media to be three men and a woman,
all in their mid-20s, taunted and shouted Islamophobic insults, police and
Mosque officials said.
reportedly saw a red Nissan Juke speeding down Oxgate Lane, mounting the
pavement, hitting community members who were making their way home after the
said a man in his 50s had been hospitalized to receive treatments for a serious
leg injury while two men, in their 20s, also sustained injuries in the attack.
to 1,500 worshipers were at the center to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussein
(PBUH), a grandson of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad and Shia Islam’s third Imam.
lectures and mourning ceremonies, organized by the Hussaini Association, is the
largest of such religious programs in London.
organizers said the program had just finished and those in attendance were
leaving the venue when the suspected vehicle veered onto Oxgate Lane from a
side road and sped down towards the Edgware Road junction.
witness reportedly said the driver “was trying to kill people”.
was someone who was trying to take out as many people as possible. He swerved
left right trying to hit people,” said another bystander.
Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are treating the incident as a
suspected ‘hate crime’ with Police Chief Superintendent Simon Rose describing
the attack as a “racist Islamophobic attack”.
Al Balaghi, the spokesperson for the mosque said in a statement that Muslims
living in the area would “not let hatred sow division within the community”. He
emphasized the peaceful message of Imam Hussein, who is honored by Muslims
around the world at this time of the year.
attack comes as anti-Muslim hate crimes and incidents have been steadily rising
across the United Kingdom in recent years.
year, a man identified as Darren Osborne ploughed into worshipers outside
Finsbury Park Mosque in London, leading to the death of 51-year-old Makram Ali.
thanks Turkey for its 'longstanding role' in Syria
Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
UK officially thanked Turkey on Wednesday for responding to the Syrian refugee
crisis and maintaining regional security.
gesture came during a visit to Turkey by British Minister for the Middle East
is an important and longstanding friend of the UK, and I was pleased that I was
able to offer the UK’s thanks to our partners in the Turkish government for
their frontline role in tackling the Syrian refugee crisis,” Burt said in a
statement on the British government’s website.
who visited Gaziantep, Istanbul and Ankara, met with representatives of the
Turkish government to discuss efforts to prevent a humanitarian disaster in
Syria’s Idlib province.
are encouraged by this week’s agreement between Turkey and Russia to avoid a
military offensive by the Syrian regime and its allies,” Burt said.
agreement, if implemented in accordance with international humanitarian law,
will help to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe,” he added.
met with Ibrahim Kalin, chief advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and
Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Çatakli, the statement said.
thanked the Turkish government for its important role in supporting over 3.5
million Syrians displaced by the conflict and discussed ways that the UK and
Turkey can continue to work closely together,” it added.
also met members of the White Helmets, a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated civilian
defense group that works tirelessly to protect the lives of civilians caught in
the conflict, according to the statement.
my visit, I had the privilege of meeting members of the White Helmets, and we
thank them for their service, courage and sacrifice which has saved over 115,000
Syrian lives,” he said.
must be able to continue their vital work without being targeted by the Assad
said he was also deeply impressed by the innovative work of Hala Systems, “a UK
aid funded initiative that can offer Syrian civilians valuable minutes to get
to safety ahead of airstrikes and which has seen a 27 percent reduction in the
number of casualties in areas under heavy bombardment”, he added.
police have launched an investigation after three people were injured in a
collision near a Muslim community center in northwest London, a statement said
statement said police are treating the incident outside the Al-Majlis
Al-Hussaini Centre at the junction of Oxgate Lane and Edgware Road as a hate
people were taken to hospital for treatment; two of those injured are males in
their twenties,” Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the London Metropolitan
of the men, in his fifties, remains in hospital and is being treated for a
serious leg injury.
have established that at approximately 00:20 hrs security at the community
centre were informed of occupants in a car behaving anti-socially, drinking and
allegedly using drugs,” according to the police.
car drove near the center and “comments of an Islamophobic nature were
allegedly made by the group in the car.”
car then reportedly sustained minor damage by some of those outside the centre.
It proceeded to make off at speed, colliding with three individuals as it
for information from the public, the police also said the “incident is not
being treated as terror related but a hate crime.”
are treating this incident very seriously and a number of enquiries are
underway to trace the car and those involved,” Kelly Schonhage from Brent
into the full circumstances of the collision are ongoing,” she added.
driver was a male and three passengers -- two males and a female -- were of
Caucasian origin, according to eyewitnesses.
were heard shouting anti-Islamic taunts at the crowd before they started their
attack,” the Hussaini Association said.
year a similar attack killed Makram Ali, 51, and injured a dozen others when
far-right extremist Darren Osborne plowed into a crowd of Muslim worshippers
outside the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park, London.
Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday the Taliban was prepared
to attend multilateral peace talks on Afghanistan in Moscow, RIA news agency
deputy foreign minister is expected to visit Moscow on Thursday to discuss the
dates of the talks, the Afghan embassy was cited as saying earlier.
man behind London's Westminster Bridge terror attack in 2017 had a grudge
against President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May, a
British inquest into the victims' deaths heard Wednesday.
Masood, who was ultimately gunned down by authorities after he killed five
people by driving an SUV into pedestrians on the bridge and stabbing an unarmed
constable on the grounds of Parliament, complained about the "racism and
rudeness" of Trump and called May a "liar" and "sick,"
his children told authorities.
planning for the March 22 attack began when he researched off-road SUVs and
reserved a Hyundai Tucson rental for the days leading up to the violence, the
jury conducting the inquiry was told. On March 9 he purchased two Sabatier
kitchen knives at a store near his U.K. home.
looked into using gasoline as part of a car-bomb attack, researched improvised
explosive devices, and searched online for the prime minister's activities that
day, the jury heard. He also researched speed and crash tests for vehicles.
visited his mother in Wales days before the attack, telling her, "They'll
say I'm a terrorist. I'm not." He had tried to convert former colleagues
to Islam, applying heavy pressure, authorities said.
the time the 52-year-old English teacher made the decision in March to plow
into pedestrians before heading on foot to the Houses of Parliament, he was at
the bottom of a downwared spiral that included debt, unemployment and
estrangement from his wife, the panel was told.
the days before the violence, he stayed at hotels, overstayed the rental period
on the SUV and had everything he owned with him. Masood told family—he had four
children, his wife, and two ex-wives—he was going to Morocco for a business
opportunity, the jury learned.
the day of the bloodshed, he sent a religious text message with an attached
document titled, "Jihad in the Quran and Sunnah," to a random group
of contacts, alarming some, authorities said.
need to speak with you urgently I called u earlier today," one recipient
inquiry, called an inquest in Great Britain, was expected to last for weeks
after beginning Sept. 10. The inquest, heard before a jury, learned about
Masood's alleged criminal and violent past.
Adrian Elms in Kent, England, he was arrested for shoplifting at 14 and for
carrying a weapon at 22. He spent a year in jail after a pub brawl at the age
of 35. He converted to Islam in jail, the panel learned.
mother, Janet Ajao, described Masood as angry and said he would go looking for
fights in bars and clubs.
said she was worried he would kill someone," said Jonathan Hough, an
attorney for the coroner.
ex-girlfriend said Masood was a fraudster who carried a knife, used steroids
and introduced her to cocaine. He once grabbed her neck and tried to strangle
her, the jury was told.
threatened to rape her mother if she stood by her statements to authorities,
the jury was told.
was vile," the unnamed woman said in a statement read in court. "He
was controlling, violent, obsessive, intelligent and narcissistic. I am amazed
he was religious. I honestly believe this was a front, an excuse to hurt
people. He will have loved the attention and fear that he caused."
Masood's despair, the attacker found a glimmer of hope in his life, attributing
an acquittal in a knife assault and his daughter's survival after being struck
by a vehicle to acts of God, the inquest was told.
stabbing took place in May 2003 when Masood allegedly plunged a knife through
his victim's nose, the palate of his mouth, his tongue and into his jaw bone
with such force the last inch broke off, the panel heard.
told a colleague he had been dealing drugs when he pulled a knife on a man, the
jury was told. He said he had prayed before his court appearance and was found
not guilty of attempted murder.
believe that a trigger for Masood was his failed attempt in 2016 to return to
Saudi Arabia with his family. He described the country as a "utopia"
with "no discrimination," the jury heard.
an undergraduate degree in economics and experience teaching English, the
Saudis requested his criminal history and subsequently rejected his application
to return. What's more, a March 11 Skype interview for a job in the kingdom did
not result in an offer.
made him desperate, the inquest was told.
is a potentially significant event," Hough, the coroner's attorney, told
the jury. "It was clear he was struggling with money and was in debt at
the time of his death."
tags Iran anew as top terror sponsor, global attacks fall
United States has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of
terrorism, accusing it of intensifying numerous conflicts and trying to
undermine governments throughout the Middle East.
State Department's annual survey of global terrorism released on Wednesday said
Iran and its proxies are responsible for fomenting violence in Afghanistan,
Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. The report said Iranian fighters and
Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened from the
war in Syria and with valuable battlefield experience they seek to leverage
addition, the survey reported a 24 percent decrease in attacks around the world
between 2016 and 2017. That was due mainly to a sharp decline in the number of
attacks in Iraq, where the ISIS group has been largely displaced.
million Yemeni kids on brink of famine amid Saudi war: Charity
UK-based charity has expressed concerns about the humanitarian repercussions of
renewed Saudi attacks on Yemen’s port city of Hudaydah, saying a total of 5.2
million children are at risk of famine amid the ongoing war in the country.
a report released on Tuesday, Save the Children warned that any disruption to
supplies coming through Hudaydah, which is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis,
could “cause starvation on an unprecedented scale.”
also estimated that an extra one million Yemeni children risk falling into
famine as prices of food and fuel soar, bringing the total to 5.2 million.
closure at Hudaydah “would put the lives of hundreds of thousands of children
in immediate danger while pushing millions more into famine,” the charity
the past few months, Hudaydah, through which flows almost 80 percent of Yemen’s
imports, has witnessed deadly ground and aerial attacks by the Riyadh regime
and its allies.
by Saudi airstrikes, Emirati forces and elements loyal to former Yemeni
President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi launched the Hudaydah offensive on June 13
despite international warnings that it would compound the impoverished nation’s
Arabia claims that the Houthis are using Hudaydah for weapons delivery, an
allegation rejected by the fighters.
the smallest disruption to food, fuel and aid supplies through its vital port
could mean death for hundreds of thousands of malnourished children unable to
get the food they need to stay alive,” said Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children’s
representative in Yemen.
could drive up the price of fuel -- and as a result transport -- to such an
extent that families can’t even afford to take their sick children to
hospital,” Kirolos added.
this month, violent clashes resumed between Houthi fighters and Saudi-backed
pro-Hadi militants in Hudaydah after the latest round of peace talks between
Yemen’s warring sides collapsed in the Swiss city Geneva.
Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International, warned that the war
endangers the lives of an entire generation of Yemeni children.
of children don’t know when or if their next meal will come,” she said. “This
war risks killing an entire generation of Yemen’s children who face multiple
threats, from bombs to hunger to preventable diseases like cholera,” she added.
week, The Associated Press reported that many Yemeni families have nothing to
eat but leaves.
Arabia and its allies launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive
Storm, against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Hadi, a staunch
ally of Riyadh, and crush the Houthis.
Western-backed offensive initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was
later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into
blockade on Yemen has smothered humanitarian deliveries of food and medicine to
the import-dependent state.
Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli fire in clashes near the border
in southern Gaza late on Wednesday, the health ministry in the enclave said.
ministry said Mumin Abu Ayeda, 15, was shot along the heavily-guarded border
east of Rafah in southern Gaza.
border between Gaza and Israel has been the scene of weekly Palestinian
demonstrations since March 30 and recently, protests have taken place late at
night, as was the case on Wednesday.
Israeli military said earlier that during the day there had been several
incidents along the Gaza-Israel border. It said there were no Israeli
has welcomed a recent agreement reached between Turkey and Russia to create a
buffer zone in Syria’s Idlib Province, the last major terrorist bastion in the
a post on his official Twitter account, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad
Zarif hailed the deal as the fruit of “intensive responsible diplomacy” meant
to avert a war in Idlib.
President Recep Tayyib Erdogan held talks with his Russian counterpart,
Vladimir Putin, in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday.
the meeting, Putin told a joint news conference with Erdogan that they had
agreed to create a demilitarized zone of a depth of 15-20 kilometers in Idlib
along the contact line between the armed opposition and government troops by
on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi described the
Sochi meeting and its outcome as “an important and major step towards cleansing
Syria of the remaining terrorists.”
further stressed that the Idlib agreement could help politically resolve the
any violence and bloodshed while ridding the region of terrorism is among the
most basic and fundamental pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign
policy,” Qassemi added.
Iranian spokesman also expressed hope that the results of the Sochi summit,
which was held within the framework of the Astana peace process, could play an
“effective role” in ending the Syrian people’s suffering and speeding up the
expulsion of “violence-seeking forces” from the country.
Russia-Turkey deal follows a summit in Tehran, where Iranian President Hassan
Rouhani hosted his Russian counterparts.
a joint statement issued at the end of the Tehran talks, the three sides said
the Syria crisis could only be resolved through a negotiated political process,
and has no military solution.
Moscow and Ankara have recently stepped up their diplomatic efforts to resolve
the Syria crisis. The three states serve as guarantors of the Astana process, a
track of negotiations which have resulted in the return of a succession of
militant bastions to the government fold and movement of civilians to safe zones.
strategic Syrian province of Idlib hosts several militant groups backed by
Turkey and other foreign parties – especially Western states, Israel and their
recent weeks, the Syrian army has been preparing for the liberation of Idlib,
drawing support from Iran and Russia, but concerns from Turkey. Ankara fears a
fresh influx of Syrian refugees in the wake of the Idlib battle.
deal ‘respects Syrian sovereignty’
also welcomed the Idlib agreement, saying it was “the result of intense
discussions between Syria and Russia.”
official SANA news agency quoted an official source at the Foreign Ministry as
saying that the fresh deal has a specific timeframe and is based on the
“sovereignty and unity” of Syrian land.
is part of previous agreements ... which were based on the commitment to ...
liberating all Syrian land, whether from terrorists or from any illegitimate
foreign military presence,” he added.
groups stand up to challenges facing refugees, immigrants in Ohio
United States - Wedgewood Village housing complex in Columbus, Ohio, has been
dubbed a “hotbed” for crime, but faith congregations and community activists
are working to change that.
Project USA is a group that has devoted recent years to offering services to
its residents, many of them Somali immigrants. Last month, the group secured a
grant from the Columbus City Council to create a soccer league for the
neighbourhood's youth by opening football fields, hiring coaches and putting
together an advisory board.
is one of several steps Zerqa Abid, founder and executive director of My
Project USA, is taking to aid Columbus Muslim, refugee and immigrant
communities, many of which are targeted by human traffickers, gangs and drug
is home to about 500,000 documented immigrants, comprising 4.3 percent of the
state's population. In June, Ohio Governor John Kasich announced the creation
of an office aimed at helping immigrants integrate.
the 1980s, Columbus has resettled more than 17,000 refugees from around the
world, including Iraq, Mauritania, Syria, Somalia, Bhutan, Afghanistan and
Muslim children and youth in Columbus are at risk of drugs, gangs, violence,”
Abid said. “[We have] an immigrant and refugee population that is traumatised
and who have cultural and language barriers.
issues we see in our community on a daily basis are domestic violence, trauma,
parental abuse and children who are trying to run away. FGM [Female Genital
Mutilation] is also a serious problem.”
with Islamophobia on the rise, people of minority faiths are hesitant to seek
help from authorities, said Imran Malik, outreach and interfaith director at
Noor Islamic Cultural Center outside of Columbus.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a leading Muslim civil rights and
advocacy group, said that anti-Muslim discrimination incidents and hate crimes
are up 83 and 21 percent respectively, compared with the first quarter of this
that time, CAIR documented more than 1,000 reports of potential bias incidents.
The numbers include situations involving various government agencies.
is part of an "overall spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and
other minority communities since the election of Donald Trump as president,”
said Zainab Arain, a coordinator in CAIR's Research and Advocacy Department.
most prevalent trigger of anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2018 remains the
victim's ethnicity or national origin, accounting for 33 percent of the total,”
according to CAIR.
communities in and around Columbus are traditionally patriarchal societies,
which can also make it challenging for women to come forward to confront abuse
or discuss other problems.
families of victims are coming from a cultural background that is patriarchal.
People say: 'This is a new place that I call home, I don't know what the
outcome will be [if I call the police], [what will become of my] family shame
and honour, I don't want to become the poster child for this type of
situation,'” Malik said.
challenge is that we have people coming from different places where law
enforcement is not very ideal, so for them to get engaged with city officials
and community service organisation... there's a mindset of apprehension,” he
are also eluctant to discuss internal problems because they don't want to exacerbate
negative stereotypes about their communities.
of that, they don't want to talk about domestic violence, underage marriages,
teenage marriages and all the issues that we need to address,” Abid said,
adding that it's uncomfortable to air dirty laundry when they face external
threats that include Islamophobia and xenophobia.
Islamic organisations are grappling with helping immigrants. Amid limited
resources, they are also looking to partner with other groups to help deal with
issues like drug abuse, bullying in schools, and domestic violence.
are also trying to encourage communities to maintain their identity and
cultural heritage while pursuing the American dream and using diversity as a
point of strength.
an old saying that America is a melting pot,” said Malik. “It should be a fruit
salad bowl, where people can keep their culture but also be part of the
part of solution in Afghanistan: US
Pakistan has to be a part of a solution in Afghanistan, says a Pentagon report,
summarising the US military chief’s recent visits to friendly nations,
report, released this week, says that the main purpose of Gen Joseph Dunford’s
visit to these nations was to “maintaining and building alliances”.
Dunford, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, also reached out to
“prospective partners to encourage cooperation and interoperability.”
report says that the chairman visited Islamabad early this month because
“Pakistan is key to the ‘South Asia Strategy’ that President Donald Trump
espoused in August 2017. Pakistan has to be a part of a solution in
report notes that Gen Dunford joined US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet
Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
report also includes a quote from Gen Dunford about the US team’s meeting with
Gen Bajwa. “When we talked to Gen Bajwa on a military-to-military level, we
listened to the prime minister very carefully [and] we listened to the
secretary very carefully,” the US general said. “The objectives were very
consistent between the secretary and prime minister. Gen Bajwa and I agreed
that we will leverage the military-to-military relationship for the secretary
and prime minister and, more importantly, for President Trump’s South Asia
report, however, also highlights the need to implement the decisions taken at
the US-Pakistan meetings. “Actions speak louder than words and the Pakistani
leaders agreed to ‘reset’ their relationship with the United States,” it adds,
backing it up with another quote from Gen Dunford.
we want to see: the Taliban at the peace table dealing with Afghans,” Gen
Dunford said. “And we believe the Pakistanis play a unique role in bringing the
Taliban to the peace process.”
to journalists here earlier this week, Pakistan Navy Chief Admiral Zafar
Mahmood Abbasi also said that Islamabad’s relations with Pakistan were
gradually improving and it was no longer an aid-based relationship.
relationship with the US has turned the corner and is, now moving in the right
direction,” he said. “It is not on the lowest ebb.”
said that seeking US aid was not Pakistan’s primary consideration.
want good relations with or without security assistance. We can work without US
Pentagon report points out that from Islamabad, Gen Dunford flew to New Delhi
to join US Defence Secretary James N. Mattis, and Secretary Pompeo for the 2+2
Talks with Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of External
Affairs Sushma Swaraj.
India, the US team discussed regional and global concerns, such as Afghanistan,
North Korea and terrorism, with Indian leaders.
also refers to a statement by Ms Sitharaman, saying that the
military-to-military cooperation had been a “key driver” of the US-India
report includes Secretary Pompeo’s quote, saying: “We have a responsibility to
advance those shared values: rule of law; national sovereignty; good
governance; the protection of fundamental freedoms, rights and liberties; free,
fair and reciprocal trade relationships and peaceful resolutions of territorial
and maritime disputes.”
U.S. State Department omitted the PYD/YPG terrorist group from its 2017 Country
Reports on Terrorism, which was released Wednesday.
previous edition of the report noted that Turkey views the Syria-based PYD/YPG
as an extension of the PKK militant group.
report also said that Turkey refers to Fetullah Gulen as the leader of the
Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), but the State Department described him
as an “Islamic cleric”.
counterterrorism efforts were impacted in the aftermath of the July 2016 coup
attempt due to the government’s investigation of FETO," it said.
to the report, Turkey continued its intensive efforts to defeat terrorist
organizations both inside and outside its borders, including the PKK terrorist
organization and Daesh terrorist group.
The US has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of
terrorism, accusing it of intensifying numerous conflicts and trying to
undermine governments throughout the Middle East.
remains the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for
intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in Syria, Yemen,
Iraq, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and Lebanon," he said.
three -- Daesh, Al-Qaeda and Iran -- "have both the capability and intent
to strike the United States and our allies," State Department Coordinator
for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales said.
report indicated a general increase in global cooperation to fight terrorism,
including tracking and blocking financial flows to the groups.
this remains a challenge, Sales noted.
have got to stop the flow of money to these organizations."
have got to stop terrorist travel" as well, he added, pointing to the
spread of airport detection systems like biometric face identification as a
The US State Department has praised Saudi Arabia for its efforts to combat
terrorism, describing the Kingdom as an active and key member in the global
coalition to defeat Daesh.
Arabia has continued to maintain a strong anti-terrorism relationship with the
United States and has supported the strengthening of bilateral cooperation
between the two countries,” the State Department noted in its annual report on
the global state of terrorism. It also highlighted the joint strategic vision
between the two countries and a number of new initiatives to counter terrorist
messages and disrupt the financing of terrorism launched last year during US
president Donald-Trump’s visit to the Kingdom.
report said Saudi Arabia has implemented systems to follow UN Security Council
sanctions on groups and individuals linked to Daesh and Al Qaeda, and has
expanded existing counterterrorism programs and projects to rehabilitate terrorist
fighters who leave extremist groups. It has also adopted laws to counter the
financing of terrorist groups.
State Department pointed out that the Kingdom has achieved a high level of
accuracy in its counterterrorism operations, and has carried out a number of
arrests and disrupted active terrorist cells throughout the country.
report referred to terrorist plans that were thwarted in the Kingdom, noting
the efforts being made in legislation, law enforcement and border security, as
well as the country’s positive contribution as a member of the Financial Action
Task Force for the Middle East and North Africa, a regional body that imposes
financial sanctions on individuals and groups that help to fund terrorism.
Kingdom has maintained strict control over the banking sector and tightened
sanctions on the financing of terrorism," the report said.
HQ flays foreign media report imputing Nigeria losing war against Boko Haram
Defence Headquarters on Wednesday night stated that the Nigerian Armed Forces
is concerned about mischievous reports in certain media aimed at discrediting
the efforts of the troops in the North East.
condemned in strong terms, a report being spearheaded by a particular foreign
news agency that the Nigerian Armed Forces is losing the battle against
insurgency is not true. A statement by Brigadier General John Agim, Director of
Defence Information said, “The report was calculated to dampen the spirit of
the troops at the theatres of operation and to demean the successes recorded so
far in the war against terrorism.
is more worrisome when such an ill-informed report is coming from a supposed
credible news agency expected to be a partner in progress. “It agitates the
mind whether the reporter is working in isolation or speaking the mind of its
sponsors. “Itis a well known fact that terrorism thrives on publicity and
propaganda. It is also known that some journalists work for Boko Haram and
fraternize with terrorist commanders against the standing forces to whip up
sentiments. “At the heat of Boko Haram insurgency in 2013 to 2014 the Nigerian
Armed Forces with limited weapon chased Boko Haram out of Abuja and other
cities into Sambisa Forest. “How much more now that the military is well
equipped with determined troops to take on any terrorist group, be it Boko
Haram or Islamic State In West Africa. “If this is still seen as “Struggling”
by the purveyors of the false report, then the word may have assumed a new
meaning. “The truth remains that the military strategy of drawing out the enemy
has been a great success as hundreds of terrorists have met their waterloo in
their desperate attempts to recapture some cities in the North East. “This, the
Military will continue to do until terrorists and terrorism are completely
annihilated. It is however insensible to attempt to rewrite the script and make
the military look like the losing side. “Nigerians should be wary of uncomplimentary
remarks about our nation and its Armed Forces by sympathisers of terrorist
organisations. “Such malicious articles should be disregarded while the
military will continue to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of
the nation. “To this end, the military is assuring Nigerians that the Armed
Forces is winning the battle and will not rest on its oars until terrorism is
completely wiped out.”
August, a report came out that appeared aligned with the official Nigerian
narrative that says Boko Haram militants have been "technically
defeated" in most parts of Nigeria's northeast region.
a survey encompassing sites in the Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, 85 percent
of respondents reported witnessing a reduction in the level of violence in
their communities,” the prominent West African civic group Center for Democracy
and Development (CDD) said in the report.
90 percent said they believe the insurgency is subsiding or effectively
developments in the region in the past few weeks now appear to suggest
otherwise as reports emerged of militants ambushing government troops. Some
have alleged a few of those reports have been promoted by the opposition for
are the attacks last week in the towns of Gudumbali and Damasak, the bombing of
Alau Dam which supplies water to the Borno capital Maiduguri, as well as
repeated attacks in the neighboring Yobe State, or raids on different
communities on the fringe of Lake Chad.
21 civilians were also recently abducted in the Borno state, but were since
freed by Nigerian troops.
a daily basis, we get reports of Boko Haram killing one or two farmers
cultivating land less than 10 kilometers [a little over 6 miles] from Maiduguri
without any corresponding measures,” Baba Gana Imam, a community leader, told
attacks [...] show that they are very much resilient and bent on proving that
their forces have not been routed,” added Fred Onuoha, a security analyst and
professor at the political science department at the University of Nigeria in
from the seasonal rains that make the roads inaccessible to troops while
militants hit remote communities, Onuoha said there are other factors to
consider for the surge.
ransom the militants receive in exchange for releasing abductees enables them
to restock key supplies like drugs, food, weapons and recruits, according to
and as a corollary to the above, is access to sophisticated weapons likely
purchased from ransom money and routinely acquired from raiding of security
armory,” he added.
fatigue has also been fingered for the recent surge in Boko Haram attacks.
of the Special Operation forces (SOF), an elite unit of the military credited
with curtailing the militants between 2014 and 2015, have recently protested
the long deployment in the region, underscoring the low morale within their
is not unlikely that the insurgents may be taking advantage of this morale
deficit to launch attacks on mostly military targets,” Onuoha said.
the preeminent defense website in West Africa, agreed.
are continuing issues with provisioning and low morale, the latter stemming
from inordinately extended tours of duty. Also, the number of troops in the
region is clearly inadequate to hold territory and to go on the offensive in
tandem,” the website administrator, who asked not to be named, told Anadolu
may also be targeting military installations to access weapons and this could mean
that Daesh is planning a major attack and possible territorial raid on one or
two towns in rural Borno, Ryan Cummings, a pan-African security analyst based
in Johannesburg, told Anadolu Agency.
said the redeployment of Nigerian and regional military assets to other flash
points may also explain the surge.
Nigerian army has dismissed claims of a resurgence. Instead, its spokesman
Texas Chukwu said in a statement last week that troops have continued to clear
militants from their camps, resulting in massive casualties among
of Boko Haram overrunning communities persist nonetheless -- a possible
throwback to the events of 2013 and 2014 when militants effectively established
a caliphate covering a large area of land.
a number of major roads still not safe and the inkling that the two factions of
the insurgency may be papering over their differences to face a "common
enemy", analysts said nobody should rule out a surge.
this should involve identifying potential new strengths of the Boko Haram
factions in the area of funding streams, weapons upgrade and acquisition,
membership strength and recruitment drive, and operational and attack patterns.
called for heavy investments on air assets as veritable force multiplier for
sustained intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations, rapid
close air support for ground troops in situation of surprised attacks, and for
precision pursuit and neutralizing of Boko Haram camps and highly mobile fighters.
must be comprehensive revaluation of the psychological state of troops,
especially the SOFs, to ascertain readiness posture and addressing trauma or
fatigue. This would inform the kind of treatment needed and nature of measured
redeployment,” said security analyst Onuoha.
Extremists militants have killed hundreds of soldiers in attacks in
northeastern Nigeria in recent weeks, security and military sources say,
forcing a turnaround in the course of an insurgency which the government has
frequently claimed to have vanquished.
fatigued, ill-equipped government troops have reached breaking point, they
setback in the war against Daesh in West Africa (ISWA) and the Boko Haram
insurgency from which it split in 2016 comes as President Muhammadu Buhari
seeks a second term in elections next February.
came to power in 2015 on a promise to defeat Boko Haram, and security has once
again emerged as a main campaign issue.
the past three weeks, according to military and security sources, ISWA killed
48 soldiers at a military base and, in a separate attack, left 32 dead in
Gudumbali — a town to which thousands of refugees were ordered to return in
situation in the northeast is deteriorating,” said one security source,
speaking on condition of anonymity. “They are running out of weapons, ammo and
basic equipment. They are exhausted.”
ISWA is winning almost all its battles with the military, security sources
marks a contrast with the situation in early 2015 when the Nigerian army,
backed by troops from neighboring countries, pushed Boko Haram off a swathe of
land that the insurgents controlled.
the insurgency, Nigeria’s northeast, sitting in the arid Sahel that skirts the
Sahara’s southern border, had for centuries been a hub of cross-continental
trade through the desert and one of the country’s agricultural breadbaskets.
influence extends from the Lake Chad region, including in Niger and Chad
itself, and stretches about 100 miles into the Nigerian states of Borno and
Yobe, where government has in many areas all but vanished after a decade of
conflict. It was not immediately clear how control of that territory has
changed in recent months.
military spokesman denied the army was losing most of its clashes with ISWA.
not true,” said Brig. Gen. John Agim, adding that no soldiers had died at
declined to show battle reports or comment on the rest of the situation, other
than saying the military did not have enough equipment.
one of the army’s biggest defeats since Buhari came to power, an ISWA attack on
a base in July killed at least 100 soldiers, according to people familiar with
the matter. Many of the dead were interred in a mass burial, two sources said.
gruelling battles have been fought — at least 45 soldiers killed in Gajiram in
June, scores dead and missing after a convoy ambush in Boboshe in July, and 17
killed in Garunda in August. These are just some of the recent attacks,
according to military and security personnel, that are taking a heavy toll on
each victory, ISWA gets stronger, collecting weapons, ammunition and vehicles
abandoned by fleeing troops. Its tactics have also improved, using trucks
mounted with heavy guns to pin down ill-equipped troops, as well as
military are a bit like sitting ducks, waiting for a very mobile and versatile
enemy to strike at a weak point or another,” said Vincent Foucher, who studies
Boko Haram at the French National Center for Science Research.
military has kept details of its most recent challenges and defeats close,
rarely acknowledging them or any loss of life, say security sources who have
administration and the military continue to issue statements about victories
against an insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic caliphate that dates back to
2009. Normality is returning to the northeast, it says.
country has been stable for the past three years,” Defense Minister Mansur Dan
Ali told Reuters last month.
the minister, discussing the Jilli attack, acknowledged that a strong and
well-equipped insurgent force was capable of wiping out as many as 200
have become terrified of the insurgents, afraid to leave their bases, said a
security source and a diplomat. While hundreds have died recently, hundreds
more have deserted.
retired general, speaking on condition of anonymity, described “a crisis of
morale,” linking the frequent allegations of human rights abuses — rape,
torture, shake-downs and extra-judicial killing — to broken spirits.
Nigerian military denies such accusations, though it set up a panel last year
to probe allegations. Its findings have not been made public.
month, Nigerian special forces mutinied at an airport, refusing to be deployed
after learning that after years in the northeast they were being rotated to
another, more dangerous part of the region.
of our troops have been in the theater for over two years,” said one captain.
“They don’t know how their families, their wives and children, are.”
soldiers said though they do get a few days of leave, it is often barely enough
time to go from the field to their families before they must return.
said their wages and rations are often embezzled by their commanders, there is
too little equipment, and many vehicles are broken and gathering rust. One said
his men had to buy blankets from refugees for 300 naira ($1) each to keep warm.
United States, Britain and France support the military, mostly through training
and information-sharing, but it has struggled to secure arms supplies due to
human rights concerns.
A rights group on Wednesday accused the government of South Sudan and its
allied militias of carrying out “war crimes” of “staggering brutality” during
an offensive earlier this year.
International’s report, based on research following a government offensive on
Leer and Mayendit counties in the northern Unity State between April and June,
catalogued the testimonies of around 100 civilians who escaped the attacks.
offensive was characterised by staggering brutality, with civilians deliberately
shot dead, burnt alive, hanged in trees and run over with armored vehicles,”
group also documented “systematic sexual violence,” rape and gang-rape as well
as abductions of women and girls, and the deliberate killing of young boys and
killings echo the type of brutality meted out to civilians that has
characterised South Sudan’s war since the start.
said the latest offensive began in April and continued until early July, “a
week after the latest cease-fire was brokered on 27 June.”
cease-fire paved the way for the signing last week of another peace agreement
between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar aimed at ending the
vicious five-year-old civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people,
pushed millions to the brink of starvation and scattered refugees across East
battle for power between Kiir, a member of the Dinka tribe, and Machar, a Nuer,
meant the conflict quickly took on an ethnic character with civilians targeted
by both sides for massacre and widespread rape.
rights experts have warned of “ethnic cleansing” and the threat of genocide.
blamed a failure to prosecute perpetrators for the continuing violence.
only way to break this vicious cycle of violence is to end the impunity enjoyed
by South Sudanese fighters on all sides,” said Joanne Mariner, Amnesty’s senior
a rare example of justice, 10 soldiers were found guilty earlier this month of
an attack on a hotel in the capital Juba in which five foreign aid workers were
gang-raped and a South Sudanese journalist killed.
commanders and their political masters are not held to account.
so-called “hybrid court” to try war crimes and crimes against humanity, proposed
by the African Union as part of a failed 2015 peace agreement, has not been set
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of the routine?
"nothing to do with religion" chorus of one?
You need to pep