fired tear-gas canisters to disperse supporters of Islamic political party
Tehrik Labaik Ya RasoolAllah (TLP) during a protest over the Khadim Hussain
Rizvi arrest in Karachi, Pakistan 23 November 2018. EPA
Million Chinese People 'Move Into Muslim Homes to Report on Islamic Or
Detains Tehreek-e-Labbaik Chief, Supporters Ahead of More Blasphemy Protests
Jama Masjid, Demands Sakshi Maharaj; Claims Mughals Built 3000 Mosques by
Imam Calls for Sunni-Shia Unity against Enemies of Islam
Activists Call for Protest during Bin Salman’s Visit over Khashoggi Killing
Brave in Defending Pancasila, Jokowi Tells Nahdlatul Ulama Youths
lawyers thank Putrajaya over ICERD refusal, calls for calm
Rejects Anti-Racism Convention to Uphold Malay Muslim Privileges
govt says it won't ratify UN rights treaty after facing anger from Malays and
protest will continue until issue solved in Parliament, say Johor Umno and PAS
Target Shia Seminary, Kill 35 in Pakistan
suicide squad kills 4 at China’s consulate in Karachi
arrests over 100 TLP members
voices lead new UK asylum calls for Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi
confirms death sentence of 11 hardcore terrorists
India, politicians condemn twin terror attacks in Pakistan
against terrorism, militancy not over yet: Bajwa
orders intelligence-based operations against militants, abettors
will inaugurate Kartarpur crossing on 28, NA told
Neglected By All Muslim Segments: Former Vice President of India
Remarried Widow Who Embraced Islam Will Get Pension
corridor will act as bridge between people of India, Pakistan: PM Modi
Attacks Anniversary: Lessons Shrouded In Lethargic Strategic Culture
Singh Sidhu to Visit Pakistan for Kartarpur Border Corridor Ceremony: Report
Bukhari's assassin among 6 terrorists killed in Kashmir
SPO Abducted, Killed by Terrorists in J&K's Shopian
Muslim University: AMUSU demands cancellation of BJP MP’s court membership
Amritsar blast MHA seeks NIA probe on J&K students held from Jalandhar
Says Trump Turning A ‘Blind Eye’ To Khashoggi Murder
Russia ready to mediate between Palestinians and Israel
Hodeidah port should be under legitimate authority’s control
calls US sanctions 'humiliation' to entire world, urges 'collective response'
fire injures 20 more Palestinians in Gaza
Netanyahu to visit Bahrain amid signs of Arabs warming ties with Tel Aviv:
court orders eviction of 700 Palestinians from East Jerusalem neighbourhood
charges Gulen, 27 others for killing of Russian ambassador
sends 9 truckloads of aid to Bosnia-Herzegovina
Airstrikes Kill 50 Al-Shabaab Jihadis in Somalia
Haram: Buhari govt under fire over killing of 44 soldiers
Islamic State attack kills nine in southeast Libya
Seek to Revoke Zakir Naik’s Peace TV’s License in UK
Party Leader Hires Prominent Anti-Muslim Extremist As Adviser
urges S. Arabia to cooperate with Turkey
don't need the British government to teach them about resilience
group with alleged ties to Hamas cooks chicken soup with local Jews
Khashoggi 'Truly Lived Life to the Fullest', His Daughters Say
Tag of the ‘Children of ISIS’ Is a Slur That Weighs Heavily Upon a Large Number
of Arab and Foreign Children
Agrees to Withdraw from Military Bases in Hasaka after Popular Uprising
Army Pounds Terrorists' Movements from Demilitarized to Repel Attack in Hama
coalition strikes kill 11 Syrian civilians in Dayr al-Zawr
Israeli military affairs minister met Syrian terrorists: Report
kill two activists in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province
holds elections with ban on opposition groups
Fails to Address Mistreatment of Rohingya: NYT
Feared As Suicide Attack Target Army Mosque in Khost Province
is why the Afghan peace plan will fail again
not in favour of Taliban’s return to power: Ghani
of boat exodus as smugglers prey on Rohingya desperation
States Do Not Want To Irrevocably Damage Ties with Saudi Arabia: Researcher
went off-script, exposed Saudi-Israel alliance: Analyst
House To Probe Trump Ties To Saudi Over Response To Khashoggi Murder
member killed in Afghanistan
by New Age Islam News Bureau
million Chinese people 'move into Muslim homes to report on Islamic or
more than one million Han Chinese people have reportedly moved into the homes
of Uighur Muslim families to report on whether they display Islamic or
to homes in Xinjiang province by the Chinese government, American
anthropologist Darren Byler said they were tasked with watching for signs that
their hosts’ attachment to Islam might be “extreme”.
informants, who describe themselves as "relatives" of the families
they are staying with, are said to have received specific instructions on how
to get them to let their guard down.
devout Muslims would refuse cigarettes and alcohol. this is seen as one way of
finding out whether they were extreme.
a Uighur host just greeted a neighbour in Arabic with the words ‘Assalamu
Alaykum’? That would need to go in the notebook,” said Dr Byler, in research
published by Asia Society's Centre on US-China Relations. “Was that a copy of
the Quran in the home? Was anyone praying on Friday or fasting during Ramadan?
Was a little sister’s dress too long or a little brother’s beard irregular?”
many as a million Uighurs are thought to have been rounded up and placed in
"re-education’ centres", in what China claims is a clampdown on
who have spent time in them, have however claimed that they were forced to undergo
an intensive indoctrination programme, urged to renounce Islam and instead heap
praise on the Chinese Communist Party.
former inmate claimed Muslim inmates were forced to eat pork and drink alcohol.
Byler said more than a million Chinese civilians, who refer to themselves as
"relatives", were assigned to the homes of Muslims for a series of
week-long stays in 2017.
claim appeared to be confirmed in the Communist Party's official newspaper, the
People's Daily, which reported that more than 1.1 million people paired up with
1.69 million ethnic minority citizens in China by the end of September this
often focus on families of those who have been detained in the
was also said to be trying to prevent people from fasting during Ramadan in
Xinjiang last year.
to the World Uighur Congress (WUC), officials in the region ordered all
restaurants to remain open and a series of measures were put in place seemingly
designed to prevent people observing the holy month.
authorities have also been accused of putting Uighur children and those from
other ethnic minority groups into state-run orphanages across the western
Xinjiang region, even if their parents were not dead, as some one million
adults in their families were sent to internment camps.
Raxit, of the exile World Uighur Congress, has also claimed officials in
Xinjiang warned them that they must surrender religious items such as the Quran
or face “harsh punishments”.
Pakistani police late on Friday (Nov 23) detained a hardline cleric whose party
recently paralysed the country with violent protests over the acquittal of a
Christian woman accused of blasphemy.
cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who is the leader of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan
(TLP) party, was detained ahead of a scheduled rally on Saturday in Islamabad,
the country's information minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted.
Hussain Rizvi has been taken into protective custody by police and shifted to a
guest house," Chaudhry tweeted, adding that the move was not linked to the
case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was on death row for eight years
before the Supreme Court overturned her blasphemy conviction last month.
to safeguard public life, property and order and has to do nothing with (the)
Asia Bibi case," Chaudhry tweeted.
shall take its course and it cannot be left to individuals," he added.
court's decision sparked furious demonstrations led by the hardline TLP, with
protesters calling for Bibi's execution as they blocked major roads, leaving
large swathes of the country paralysed.
response, the government made a deal with the Islamists to impose a travel ban
on Bibi, who was released from jail earlier this month as she awaits the
outcome of a final review of her case.
TLP has vowed to return to the streets if she is allowed to leave the country.
a video message released on Friday, another TLP leader Pir Afzal Qadri called
for fresh protests, saying police had arrested dozens of party workers in the
port city of Karachi and in parts of central Punjab province including Lahore.
is a massively inflammatory issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even
unproven allegations of insulting Islam and Prophet Mohammed can lead to
lynchings and murders.
conviction stemmed from a 2009 incident when she was asked to fetch water while
out working in the fields.
women labourers objected to her touching the water bowl as a non-Muslim, and a
fight reportedly erupted.
local imam then claimed Bibi insulted the Prophet Mohammed.
has consistently denied the charges, and her prosecution rallied international
rights groups, politicians and religious figures.
Delhi: Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, Bharatiya Janata Party Member of
Parliament (MP) Sakshi Maharaj from Unnao has advocated demolishing Delhi’s
Jama Masjid, claiming, the mosque was built on the remains of a temple. The BJP
leader further said that he should be hanged if idols were not found below the
staircase of the mosque.
rajniti mein jab aya to mera pehla statement tha Mathura mein… Ayodhya,
Mathura, Kashi ko choro… Delhi ki Jama Masjid toro, agar siriyon mein murtiyan
na mile to mujhe fansi pe latka dena… Aj bhi main kayam hun..” (When I came to
politics, my first statement was in Mathura. To leave Ayodhya, Mathura and
Kashi aside and demolish Jama Masjid in Delhi and if idols are now found below
the staircase then I should be hanged. I still stand by this statement), Indian
Express quoted Maharaj as saying.
BJP leader also said that he expected the government to bring in a law to build
Ram temple in Ayodhya before the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Maharaj, giving his first statement after his venture into politics, claimed
that Mughals had shown disregard to sentiments of Hindus and built around 3000
mosques by dismantling temples across the country. “Mugal kal mein Hinduon ke
samman ke sath khilwar kiya gaya Mandir tore gaye..Masjiden banayei gayi, 3000
se jyada..” (During Mughal era, people played with the honour of Hindus and
demolished temples and mosques were constructed, over 3000.), the newspaper
quoted Maharaj as saying.
his firm position on the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Maharaj
appealed Congress president Rahul Gandhi, BSP chief Mayawati and SP president
Akhilesh Yadav to voice their stand on the issue.
Imam calls for Sunni-Shia unity against enemies of Islam
Friday Khatib Ahmad Khatami called for unity amongst Muslims, Sunnis and Shias,
against the conspiracies of the great powers so as not to allow a rift in the
nation because of America, which he accused of “supporting terrorism”.
said this would mean “Shias and Sunnis unite together, depending on their
constituents, against enemies who are targeting the foundation of Islam.”
its unity, the Islamic world will give a powerful blow to the United States,”
went on to criticise how US President Donald Trump stigmatised the Iranian
people for “terrorism” and said that “Trump’s remarks are very silly. The whole
world knows that America is the terrorist and the sponsor of terrorism.”
is they [America] who send terrorists to Syria,” he added.
his call for unity, Khatami accused Saudi Arabia of being a “puppet of America”
that had a key role in every terrorist act in the Muslim world.
also accused the Saudi authorities of “committing war crimes” in Yemen. “The
crimes committed by the Al Saud family in Yemen are very brutal. They unjustly
call themselves the Custodians of the Two Holy Mosques, while they are actually
the traitors of the Two Holy Mosques.”
activists call for protest during bin Salman’s visit over Khashoggi killing
activists have called for holding protests during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman’s upcoming visit to the north African country over the killing of
dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Thursday, bin Salman began a tour of several Arab states, starting with the
United Arab Emirates, in his first trip abroad since the killing of Khashoggi
in the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s city of Istanbul last month, which is blamed
on him and battered his image abroad.
activists on Friday called for demonstrations in front of the presidential
palace in Carthage during the trip on Tuesday.
blood of Khashoggi has not dried yet, the murderer bin Salman is not welcome in
Tunisia, the country of democratic transition," said Neji Bghouri, the
president of the journalists' syndicate.
North African country has been hailed for its relatively smooth democratic
transition following the 2011 revolution that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine
bloggers and human rights activists are also trying to mount a legal challenge
to stop the visit.
tasked a group of 50 lawyers to file a complaint with the Tunisian courts to
oppose the visit, lawyer Nizar Boujlel said.
Tunisian presidency, however, welcomed the visit, with Nourredine Ben Ticha,
adviser to Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi, saying "Bin Salman will
visit Tunisia on November 27. He is welcome in Tunisia, like the rest of the
Arab brothers. Saudi Arabia has an important role in the Arab region."
added that Tunisia had asked for the truth about the death of the Washington
Post columnist and the punishment of those involved, but said the incident
should not be exploited "to harm the stability of a brotherly country like
59, a one-time royal insider who had been critical of the crown prince
recently, was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October
weeks of denial of any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance, the Saudi
regime eventually acknowledged the “premeditated” murder, but has sought to
distance the heir to the Saudi throne from the assassination.
Saudi prosecutor later said Khashoggi’s body had been dismembered, removed from
the diplomatic mission and handed to an unidentified “local cooperator.”
a recent report by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said that the spy
agency had concluded that bin Salman had been behind the gruesome crime.
brave in defending Pancasila, Jokowi tells Nahdlatul Ulama youths
Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has urged GP Ansor, the youth wing of Nahdlatul Ulama
(NU), Indonesia's largest Islamic organization, to be brave and to be on the
front line in safeguarding the state ideology of Pancasila and national motto
Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity).
President also said that he expected GP Ansor to protect the state from
terrorist threats and separatism.
Ansor has shown that our country’s heritage is the spirit of warriors and the
sincerity of heroes. GP Ansor can’t be easily threatened, and that’s our spirit
as a nation,” Jokowi told thousands of GP Ansor members at a commemoration of
the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, known in Islam as Maulid Nabi, in
Pekalongan, Central Java, on Thursday evening.
Ansor was recently in the spotlight after a division in the group, Barisan
Ansor Serbaguna (Banser), was involved in the burning of a black flag bearing
the Islamic creed written in Arabic.
incident occurred during National Santri Day celebrations in Garut, West Java,
on Oct. 22, and led to several rallies in various cities accusing Banser of
said the Banser members burned the flag because they thought it was the flag of
outlawed group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).
said GP Ansor should insist that Pancasila could not be replaced by any other
ideology and its members should be patient in facing all problems and
challenges, and put the interests of the nation first.
want all GP Ansor members to safeguard and maintain our unity and brotherhood
as the country with the largest Muslim population. Our biggest asset is us our
unity and harmony. We should keep our Ukhuwah Islamiyah [Islamic brotherhood]
and Ukhuwah Wathaniyah [brotherhood of the nation],” Jokowi said. (foy)
LUMPUR, Nov 23 — The Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association (PPMM) has expressed
its relief and gratitude to Putrajaya today for backtracking on its earlier
pledge to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
president Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar also called for calm, after mass
protests by Malay-Muslim groups nationwide and police investigation into
feel very relieved with the announcement,” he told Malay Mail.
said Muslim groups were alarmed over the decision, claiming the Convention
would affect Bumiputera privileges.
I would consider that since a very firm decision has been taken by the
government, the matter should put a stop to the grouses raised,” he added.
said that Muslim NGOs were confused with the different position given by the
mass protests across the country, the Prime Minister’s Office had announced
today that the government will not ratify ICERD.
rejects anti-racism convention to uphold Malay Muslim privileges
Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Malaysian government will not ratify the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination (ICERD), the Prime Minister’s Office announced today.
government will continue to defend the Federal Constitution in which is
enshrined the social contract that was agreed upon by the representatives of
all the races during the formation of the country,” the statement read.
"social contract" was a pact made by the leaders of its Malay
majority and minority Chinese and Indian groups regarding their rights and
privileges as citizens, prior to independence from Britain in 1957.
time, the government adopted an affirmative action policy to benefit the
Malays, who form 60 per cent of a population of about 32 million, after deadly
race riots in the late 1960s.
Chinese are estimated at 23 per cent and ethnic Indians comprise about 7 per
cent, government data shows.
Malaysia, race and religion are official bureaucratic terms included in the
national identity papers of all citizens over the age of 12.
concepts of Malay supremacy and Muslim supremacy (Ketuanan Melayu and Ketuanan
Islam) are closely linked, since ethnic Malay are legally required to be
Sunday, Prime Minister Mahathir said that it would be almost impossible for the
government to ratify the ICERD since changes to the Federal Constitution
require a two-third majority in parliament.
in early September, Mahathir had told the UN General Assembly that Malaysia
would ratify each of the six human rights conventions still not adopted,
including the one on racial discrimination.
proposed ratification sparked criticism and protests in the government and
opposition, as well as among non-governmental organisations.
feared that its implementation could undermine the privileges status for Malays
in the Constitution.
ruling Islamist Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) coalition and the opposition
United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) had planned a protest on 8 December.
some NGOs claimed that the approval of the Convention was part of the
Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) secret agenda to abolish the special privileges
of the Malay Muslim community.
LUMPUR - The Malaysian government has officially declared it will not be
ratifying a United Nations human rights treaty, after facing anger from Malay
and Muslim organisations who are worried about the dilution of their rights.
Pakatan Harapan government will not ratify the ICERD," said a statement
issued by the Prime Minister's Office, as quoted by the Malaysia media.
refers to the UN's International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
government will continue to defend the Federal Constitution which includes the
social contract agreed upon by representatives of all races during the founding
of this nation," the statement added, as quoted by Utusan Malaysia and
Free Malaysia Today news sites on Friday (Nov 23).
debate over the ratification of ICERD grew louder in the weeks after Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad spoke in September at the UN General Assembly, where
he said his new government would ratify all remaining UN human rights
conventions as part of its international commitments.
is also taking steps to remove the death penalty.
main opposition parties, Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), are strongly
united against the issue, and are planning a massive demonstration in Kuala
Lumpur over ICERD on Dec 8.
opposed to the convention said ratifying ICERD would weaken the rights of
Malays and Malay royalty, and dilute Islam's position in Malaysia.
two top leaders of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, Tun Mahathir and Datuk
Seri Anwar Ibrahim, over the weekend signalled that the government is unlikely
to ratify the treaty anytime soon.
ratified, the convention requires the signatory state to set up legislation
that prohibits racial discrimination and related acts.
could affect Malaysia's longstanding bumiputera policy that reserves education
and job spots for Malays and other indigenous races. There are also concerns
that this would also weaken the primacy of Islam in the country and the special
position enjoyed by the nine Malay royal houses.
police, meanwhile, said on Friday that they are keen to interview several
political leaders, after messages linked to ICERD and them were spread on
president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi last week, speaking at a joint rally over ICERD in
Perak, told the crowd: "Don't wait until the Malays run amok. But if our
warning goes unheeded, Umno and PAS will unite.
is not a mere warning; don't play if you don't want the amok to happen."
Mahathir, speaking to Malaysian reporters in Papua New Guinea on Sunday, said:
"This matter (ICERD) is sensitive to the Malays, we understand that."
was quoted by Bernama news agency as saying: "In my speech at the United
Nations, I mentioned about the complexity of implementing ICERD. So, we didn't
commit that we are going to do it."
Prime Minister said it would be almost impossible to change the federal
Constitution to accommodate ICERD, as this would need support from two-thirds
of MPs in Parliament.
ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition that he leads has 127 out of the 222 seats in
Parliament. A minimum of 148 votes are needed for a two-thirds majority to
change any part of the Malaysian Constitution.
with the support from the opposition can we have a two-thirds majority, and
even then, government members themselves may not support (it). So I feel that
it's almost impossible for us to achieve the two-thirds majority
necessary," Dr Mahathir said.
Anwar, speaking to reporters after the annual congress of Parti Keadilan Rakyat
that he leads, said on Sunday that he believes it is not the right time to
Nov 23 — Johor’s Umno and PAS Youth wings say they will continue to protest
against the United Nations’ International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in spite of the government’s decision
today not to ratify it.
will not rest until the matter becomes official and is brought up in
Parliament,” said Johor Umno Youth chief Mohd Hairi Mad Shah, adding that they
supported the joint rally organised by Umno and PAS against ICERD at Dataran
Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on December 8.
Hairi and Johor PAS Youth chief Juwahir Amin led more than 50 protesters on a
demonstration in front of the Kulai district police headquarters in Bandar
Indahpura here today at 2pm.
had also lodged police reports against Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department
P. Waytha Moorthy over a video clip in which he allegedly made disparaging
remarks on Malaysia’s supposed abuse of human rights involving the Indian
maintained his support for the protest which the parties deemed to be
detrimental to the Muslim way of life as well as a blow to bumiputra rights and
the Pakatan Harapan government giving the assurance (that it will not ratify
ICERD), we in PAS are not convinced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s
statement on the matter.
will continue with our protest as the basis of our struggle is against Waytha
Moorthy which we view as the main cause of the government’s earlier decision to
ratify ICERD,” Juwahir told Malay Mail when contacted.
Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd confirmed that the Kulai
district police has received three reports by the parties.
Khalil advised anti-ICERD protestors who wish to lodge police reports to do so
within the confines of the country’s law.
A suicide bomber on a motorbike rammed through a marketplace outside a Shia
religious seminary, in northwestern Orakzai district near the border with
Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 30 people, including members of minority
Sikh community. Over 50 people were injured in the terror attack targeted at
Shias, the minority sect in the Sunni Muslim-majority Pakistan.
Khan, a senior district management official said, "A suicide bomber drove
a motorcycle into a crowd busy in shopping at a weekly festival (Juma Bazar)
before detonating his explosives." Among the dead were three members of
the minority Sikh community and two security officials, he added.
majority of the dead were Shia," Aminullah, an official of local
administration said adding that at least 51 people were injured, 17 of them
critically. The injured have been shifted to hospitals in Kohat and Peshawar.
suicide attack took place outside an imambarah (a religious seminary of Shia
Muslims) in Kalaya Bazar, a Shia majority area in Lower Orakzai district. Lower
Orakzai was one of the tribal agencies before its merger into Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa province by the previous government.
Minister Imran Khan and his minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari,
condemned the attack. In a tweet, Mazari feared that the death toll could rise
and blamed the US failures in neighbouring Afghanistan for the attack.
the US fails in Afghanistan, Pakistan should be prepared for a fallout and we
must ensure greater security for our tribal areas especially protection of our
people," Mazari tweeted.
attack occurred shortly after a brazen attack on the Chinese consulate in
Karachi by members of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a militant group
of ethnic Baloch separatists that had waged a nationalist insurgency against
the Pakistani state.
BLA attack left two police officers and two civilians dead. No group has yet
claimed responsibility for the Orakzai bombing.
Three suicide squad members of an ethnic Baloch separatist group stormed a
Chinese consulate in the southern port city of Karachi on Friday, killing five
people before they were shot dead by the Pakistani security forces. No Chinese
national was hurt in the attack.
suicide attack was claimed by Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), an insurgent group
that has been fighting Pakistani state for over a decade and considers China
Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an illegal occupation of Balochistan. Since
the launch of CPEC construction projects, the BLA and other Baloch separatist
groups have been targeting Chinese and Pakistani engineers and workers in the
restive province. On Friday, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
said at a press conference, “All of our Chinese friends and officials who work at the
consulate, 21 in total, are safe and they have been shifted to a secure
location. The area is now clear.” He vowed that Islamabad and Beijing will
defeat the forces that wish to halt development in Pakistan.
in a statement, condemned the attack and promised to protect Chinese citizens
in Pakistan. But Beijing made no comment on whether Qureshi’s reference to
Pakistan and China fighting the Baloch separatists together, could result in
its security forces playing a bigger role in CPEC.
the BLA spokesperson, Jihand Baloch had said, “We have been seeing the Chinese
as an oppressor, along with Pakistani forces. Three of our fighters have raided
the consulate.” The fighters, he said, were members of the Fidayeen Majeed Brigade,
a new force raised by the group to carry out suicide attacks on Pakistani
security forces and Chinese targets. "The objective of this attack is
clear: we will not tolerate any Chinese military expansionist endeavours on
Baloch soil," the BLA said in a statement.
group also released images of three young men, Azal Khan, Raziq Baloch and
Raees Baloch, claiming that they were the attackers assigned with the task to
target the consulate. Later, the BLA confirmed that their fighters had been
said some gunshots were heard at 9.30am outside the Chinese consulate in
Karachi’s upscale Clifton area. An exchange of fire and multiple explosions
followed soon after, leaving two policemen and two civilians, a father and son,
dead. “All three attackers were also killed in the ensuing gunfight with
security forces. Police recovered a suicide jacket, arms and ammunition from
the attackers,” Javed Alam Odho, a senior police officer said. In a tweet,
Major General Asif Ghafoor, army’s spokesperson, had said that Karachi police
and Pakistani Rangers had brought the “situation under control.”
policemen lost their lives due to multiple injuries caused by explosive
material, while a private security guard was injured in the blast,” Dr Seemin
Jamali, Executive Director at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC), told
media. “Two civilians, a father and son, named Zahir Shah and Abdul Karim, were
also killed in the attack,” Dr Jamali added.
Pakistani police have arrested over 100 members of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik
Pakistan, including the radical Islamist party's chief who had given a protest
call for Sunday against the acquittal of Christian woman Aasia Bibi.
month, Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) disrupted daily life across Pakistan by
staging widespread protests following Bibi's acquittal in a blasphemy case by
the apex court.
have taken into custody more than 100 TLP leaders and activists including its
chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi from Lahore and other parts of the Punjab
province," a senior police officer told PTI on Saturday.
said a team comprising government officials and clerics tried to persuade Rizvi
in Lahore late on Friday night to defer its November 25 protest, but he refused
this police arrested him and other leaders," the officer said.
Hussain Rizvi has been taken into protective custody by police from Lahore. The
action was prompted by TLP's refusal to withdraw its call for protest on
November 25. It is to safeguard public life, property and order," Federal
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted.
minister, however, clarified that the "arrest has nothing to do with Aasia
TLP has become a continuous threat to the life and properties of the citizens
and is doing politics under the guise of religion... the situation is fully
under control, people should remain peaceful and fully cooperate with
authorities," Chaudhry said.
said the government did its best to convince the party against staging the
protest, but they refused every offer and started to incite violence.
were reports of TLP workers clashing with police in Lahore following Rizvi's
arrest. Three policemen and seven workers are reported to have been injured.
apex court, in a three-member bench led by chief justice Saqib Nisar, issued
the landmark verdict last month.
the verdict, the TLP had termed the chief justice and other judges in the bench
"liable to be killed" and had called Army chief General Qmar Javed
Bajwa a non-Muslim and urged Muslim generals to revolt against him.
was convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting Islam in a row with her
neighbours. She always maintained her innocence, but spent most of the past
eight years in solitary confinement.
has been released from the jail and the government says is in a 'safe' house.
The government says she cannot leave the country till decision on the review
petition against her acquittal. Chief Justice Nisar has ordered full protection
British Muslim voices, including three Imams, have led new calls for the UK to
offer asylum to Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman recently acquitted of
blasphemy in Pakistan.
a letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid, they urge him ‘to make a clear and
proactive statement that Britain would welcome a request for sanctuary here.’
The signatories add that they are ‘confident that action to ensure Asia Bibi
and her family are safe would be very widely welcomed by most people in Britain,
across every faith,’ and that ‘If there are intolerant fringe voices who would
object, they must be robustly challenged, not indulged.’
to the letter include Imam Qari Asim, Imam Mamadou Bocoum and Imam Dr Usama
Hasan, as well as representatives from the Association of British Muslims, New
Horizons in British Islam, Faith Matters, Muslim Council of Wales and Open My
Mosque. Cross-party MPs Stephen Crabb, Liam Byrne, Ed Davey and Nigel Dodds
have also signed the letter (full text + signatories below).
Hannan, co-founder of New Horizons in British Islam, said:
idea that granting asylum to Asia Bibi would damage community relations is
unfounded. On the contrary, the case offers a chance to show how we can work
together for our common values and respect for free speech. If anything could
damage community relations, it would be letting this wrong-headed idea take
hold that we should let fear of extremists dictate our policies.”
Zaidi, a former Tory parliamentary candidate and signatory to the letter, said:
someone with a track record of working on protecting religious freedoms,
including Christian and Muslim minorities, I know that Asia Bibi and her family
would be welcomed and supported in rebuilding their lives in Britain. We all
witnessed how ethnic minorities in Britain campaigned against the atrocities
being committed by ISIS against Iraq’s Christian and Yezidi minorities and
fundraised for relief efforts. Work is undertaken in every region of Britain on
tolerance and the protection of religious freedoms, led often by our ethnic
communities. The Government should make it clear that any extreme voices will
not be allowed to have any influence in this matter.”
letter to Home Secretary reads:
Bibi’s life is in danger in Pakistan, where violent mobs are calling for her
execution following her acquittal by the Supreme Court in a blasphemy
commitment to freedom of religious expression is one of our most important
values. This is especially valued by minority faiths in our society. Its
foundation is respect for the beliefs of others, of all faiths and none. This country has a long tradition of offering
protection, stretching back to the Huguenots. We should seek to act in this
is essential that there is strong international pressure to ensure the
Pakistani government allows Ms Bibi to leave for a place of safety if she
wishes to do so. We call on you to make a clear and proactive statement, that
Britain would welcome a request for sanctuary here. Many other governments may
wish to make a similar offer: we wish to see our government step up and show
are confident that action to ensure Asia Bibi and her family are safe would be
very widely welcomed by most people in Britain, across every faith in our
society. If there are intolerant fringe voices who would object, they must be
robustly challenged, not indulged.
real threat to good community relationships in Britain would arise from a
failure to stand for and act upon the values we should all share.
Rev Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham
Dr Usama Hasan
Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism
Byrne MP (Labour)
Caulfield MP (Conservative)
Crabb MP (Conservative)
Davey MP (LibDem, Home Affairs spokesperson)
Dodds MP (DUP)
Jeffrey Donaldson MP (DUP)
Double MP (Conservative)
Green MP (Labour)
Jardine MP (LibDem, Foreign Affairs spokesperson)
Kerr MP (Conservative)
Lammy MP (Labour)
Paisley MP (DUP)
Streeter MP (Conservative), Chair of Christians in Parliament
Timms MP (Labour)
Wilson MP (DUP)
Abbasi, Association of British Muslims
Khalid Anis, Future Leaders
Ashraf, British Muslim TV
Ahmed, Founder, She Speaks We Hear.
Ali, Institute of Strategic Dialogue
Salahuddin Armstrong, Association of British Muslims
Ali-Reza Bhojani, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of
Field MBE Faiths Forum for London
Friedman, JCORE, Jewish Council for Racial Equality
Hale, Refugee Action
Hannan, New Horizons in British Islam
Haroon-Iqbal MBE DL MPhil Association of British Muslims
Hussain, New Horizons in British Islam
Katwala, British Future
Kidwai, Muslim Council of Wales
David Landrum, Director of Advocacy, Evangelical Alliance
Lone, Co-director, Social Action and Research Organisation
Lowles, Hope Not Hate
Basri Mirza, British Muslims for Secular Democracy
Tariq Modood, University of Bristol MBE FBA
Mughal OBE FCMI, Faith Matters,
Nayyar Co Founder Open My Mosque
Shama Nazir, Founder, British Kashmiri Women Council
Otta OBE, Tell MAMA
Rauf, founder, Making Herstory
Rutter, British Future
Scott, barrister, Pump Court Chambers
Siddiqi, gender equality campaigner
Siddiqi, New Horizons in British Islam
Singh, Chair, City Sikhs
Taj OBE, Henna Foundation
Taj, Welsh Secretary, PCS Union
Zaidi, Director, Cities of Hope
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Bajwa Friday ratified the death
sentences awarded to 11 hardcore terrorists, who were involved in attacks on a
school, law-enforcement personnel and a civilian, the Inter-Services Public
Relations (ISPR) reported.
to the military’s media wing, the terrorists, who were sentenced to death, were
involved in heinous offences related to terrorism, such as targeting armed
forces and the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) of the country, destruction of
educational institutions and killing of an innocent civilian.
were involved in the killing of 26 persons, including a civilian and 25 troops
of the armed forces, frontier constabulary and police. Arms and explosives were
also recovered from their possession upon apprehension and the convicts were
tried by special military courts.
sentenced to death are Anwar Salam s/o Said Nazar, Irfanul Haq s/o Dilbar,
Sahib Zada s/o Akbar Zada, Nadir Khan s/o Ahmed, Izat Khan s/o Bashreen, Imtiaz
Ahmed s/o Taj Muhammad, Ameer Zeb s/o Jahangir, Badshah Iraq s/o Muhammad
Ishaq, Izhar Ahmed s/o Mukhtiar Ahmed, Akbar Ali s/o Shaiber Sahib and Muhammad
Imran s/o Azizur Rehman.
many as 22 convicts have also been awarded life imprisonment.
United States (US) and India as well as politicians at the local level have all
condemned the twin attacks in Pakistan on Friday, denouncing the involvement of
33 were killed and dozens injured when a bomb hidden in a carton of vegetables
ripped through a crowded marketplace in Kalaya Bazar area of lower Orakzai
tribal district, security forces in Karachi foiled a terror attack targeting
the Chinese consulate situated in Clifton area.
attack in Karachi was reportedly claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army
(BLA). Pakistan has long accused New Delhi of supporting the Baloch
separatists. The two countries have a history of bitter relations and have
fought two of their three wars over the disputed region of Kashmir since
gaining independence from Britain in 1947.
Foreign Ministry condemned the bid to attack the Chinese consulate in the
Pakistani port city, saying that “there can be no justification whatsoever for
any act of terrorism.”
statement from New Delhi said, “Perpetrators of this heinous attack should be
brought to justice expeditiously.”
also added that “such terrorist attacks only strengthen the resolve of the
international community to combat terrorism in all its forms and
Ambassador in Pakistan Paul Jones also condemned the attempted attack on the
Chinese consulate in Karachi. Denouncing the attack, the ambassador said that
the US condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
FROM POLITICAL LEADERS:
president Asif Ali Zardari condemned the terror attacks in Karachi and Orakzai
agency. The PPP co-chairman said that the planners and facilitators of these
attacks should not be spared.
hailed the timely operation by the Sindh Police, praising SSP Suhai Aziz Talpur
who fearlessly headed the operation. He instructed the Sindh government to pay
compensation to the martyred police personnel and look after their families.
also expressed his condolences to the families of the martyred police
need to eliminate the nurseries of terror once for all to stop such acts of
terror,” Zardari said, adding that killing innocent people is the most brutal
Minister Azad Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider paid tribute to the security forces
who foiled the terror attack on the Chinese consulate.
a statement, the AJK PM applauded police and Rangers who paid rich tributes to
them. He also acclaimed those police officials who lost their lives during the
Haider said security agencies have set an example of professionalism by foiling
said terrorists will be eradicated from the country and for this purpose, the
political leadership will back the law enforcement agencies.
said the base of Pak-China friendship is stable. “Enemy tried to sabotage this
friendship but they had failed in their nefarious designs in the past and will
be given a befitting reply in the future too,” he said.
(JI) Ameer Senator Sirajul Haq and Secretary General Liaqat Baloch also
condemned both terrorist attacks.
their reaction, the JI leadership said these were the enemy activities to
sabotage the CPEC. “The enemy is playing with the lives of innocent citizens,”
they said, while paying tributes to the police and Rangers for foiling the
terrorist designs in the Karachi attack and said the nation was proud of its
brave security men.
JI chief prayed for those martyred in the Hungo blast and expressed his
condolences with the bereaved families.
/ RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has said
that war against terrorism and militancy is not over yet.
army chief’s remarks came during a visit to Multan Garrison on Friday where he
witnessed training demonstration on combat readiness by an armour formation of
the strike corps.
to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Gen Bajwa underlined that an
army deterred war through professional competence and readiness.
his visit, the army chief interacted with officers of Multan Garrison and
shared his thoughts on the security situation of the country, challenges and
the response, the ISPR added.
kinetic operations, we are now into the phase of stability operations. War
against terrorism and militancy is not over yet,” the ISPR quoted the army
chief as saying. “Besides kinetic efforts we have to take on measures to
address the root causes while staying cognisant of inimical forces and foreign
hostile agendas,” he added.
Bajwa said that within the folds of national action plan, the country should
support national focus on socioeconomic development so that the people of
Pakistan reaped dividends of improving security.
said some elements were wittingly or unwittingly trying to pull the country
back into confrontation. “The State shall not let them do it whether on the
name of religion, ethnicity or any other pretext,” he said, adding that peace,
stability and progress of the country was contingent upon rule of law by all.
the army chief confirmed death sentences awarded to 11 hardcore terrorists, who
were involved in heinous offences related to terrorism.
to the ISPR, the terrorists were involved in attacking armed forces, law
enforcement agencies, killing of an innocent civilian and destruction of an
convicted terrorists, it said, were involved in the killings of a total of 26
people — one civilian and 25 armed forces/security personnel — and injuring 22
others. Arms and explosives were also recovered from their possession.
to the ISPR, these convicts were members of proscribed organisations. They were
tried by special military courts and were awarded death sentences. The courts
also handed down imprisonment to 22 convicts.
of conviction provided by the ISPR are as follows:
Salam was involved in an attack on the armed forces which resulted in the death
of Major Ziaul Haq, Subedar Ali Asghar, Havildar Muhammad Afzal, Havildar
Muhammad Bashir and Lance Naik Muhammad Anwaiz.
was also found involved in the kidnapping of Lt Col (retired) Khaqan Afzal for
ransom. The convict confessed to his crimes before a judicial magistrate and
the trial court, which sentenced him to death.
Haq was involved in abetting terrorist commander Mufti Meraj Uddin in the
kidnapping of Capt Najam Riaz Raja and Capt Jonaid Khan along with two
soldiers. The officers/soldiers were later slaughtered by the terrorists.
was also found in possession of explosives. The convict was awarded death
sentence after he confessed to his offences before a judicial magistrate and
the trial court.
was found involved in attacks on armed forces/law enforcement agencies
personnel, which resulted in the death of Naib Subedar Muhammad Hanif along
with four soldiers, a civilian and injuries to eight others. He was also
involved in destruction of Government Primary School, Langar (Swat). In
addition, he was found in possession of firearms/explosives as well.
convict confessed to his offences before a judicial magistrate and the trial
court. He was awarded the death sentence.
Khan, Izat Khan and Imtiaz Ahmed were involved in attacks on armed forces
personnel, resulting in the death of a junior commissioned officer along with
two soldiers and injuries to two others.
were also found in possession of firearms and explosives. These convicts were
sentenced to death after they confessed before a judicial magistrate and the
Zeb and Badshah Iraq were involved in attacks on armed forces/law enforcement
agencies personnel, which resulted in the death of three soldiers and injuries
to nine others.
and explosives were also recovered from their possession. The convict confessed
to their offences before a judicial magistrate and the trial court. They were
awarded the death sentence.
Ahmed was involved in attacks on law enforcement agencies, which resulted in
the death of Constable Ayub Khan and Constable Islam Gul. He was also found in
possession of explosives.
was sentenced to death after he confessed before a judicial magistrate and the
Ali was involved in attacks on armed forces personnel, which resulted in the
death of Sepoy Asif Mehmood and injuries to an officer and two soldiers. He was
also found in possession of explosives.
convict confessed to his crimes before a judicial magistrate and the trial
court. He was awarded death sentence.
Imran was found involved in attacks on law enforcement agencies, which resulted
in the death of a soldier. He was also found in possession of firearms.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed law enforcement agencies
to speed up intelligence-based operations against terrorists in the city.
attempt to attack the Chinese consulate general shows that still there are
abettors of terrorists in the city,” he said while presiding over a special
meeting on law and order here at the CM House on Friday.
CM directed the inspector general of police (IGP) to investigate the incident
like the police had previously investigated some other high-profile cases
including the Safoora bus carnage so that the abettors of terrorists in the
city could be eliminated.
also directed the IGP to conduct a security audit of all the diplomatic
missions/consulates and install most sensitive CCTV cameras in the vicinities
of the foreign missions.
meeting was attended by CM’s Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz
Shah, IG Dr Kaleem Imam, Home Secretary Kazi Kabir, Commissioner Iftikhar
Shalwani, Karachi police chief Dr Amir Shaikh, representatives of Pakistan
Rangers, provincial heads of intelligence agencies and representative of the
army’s Corps 5.
said that after the recent bomb blast in Quaidabad Friday’s attack was the
second such incident in the city.
said that the heavily armed militants must have stayed somewhere in the city
and travelled from their place to Clifton. He questioned why they were not
shows that our snap-checking system needs to be more effective and strict,” he
said, directing the city police chief to ensure snap checking of vehicles in
the CM, the IGP said: “On Nov 23, at about 9.30am unknown armed terrorists
armed with heavy weapons and grenades attacked the Chinese Consulate General
near the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi, in Block-4 Clifton. The Sindh police’s
special security unit and Rangers reached the scene and killed all three
terrorists. Two civilians died, one private security guard was wounded. All
were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.”
chief minister directed the IGP to get the incident investigated properly.
“This must be worked out as the police have worked out high-profile cases like
Safoora carnage and others,” he said.
chief minister was told that the Clifton police and Counter-Terrorism
Department (CTD) were investigating the case.
CM directed the IGP to look after the families of the slain policemen, who
valiantly laid down their lives in the line of duty.
also asked to make necessary arrangements for shifting of the bodies of the two
civilians to their native town in Balochistan.
chief minister, governor, chief secretary, corps commander, DG Rangers and
senior police officers offered funeral prayers for the martyred policemen at
police’s headquarters in Garden.
IG announced “bravery award” for both martyred policemen.
ASI Ashraf Dawood, father of three children, was a resident of Lyari, while
martyr constable Mohammad Amir, father of two children, was a resident of
Neelum Colony in Clifton.
CM met with their family members and assured them that they would not be left
alone. “The provincial government will look after you properly, you are not
alone ... we are with you,” he told the aggrieved family members.
to Chinese CG
the attack on the Chinese consulate, the CM spoke to Consul General Wang Yu and
asked him about his well-being.
also rushed to the spot and met with Mr Wang and his staff. He told them that
the security was enough to thwart the attack.
soon as the incident was reported to me I got in touch with the IGP and Rangers
DG and remained in constant touch with them until they controlled the
situation,” he told the consul general.
consul general of China thanked the chief minister for his prompt action and
also lauded the efforts of the law enforcement agencies in controlling the
police officer appreciated
IGP also briefed the CM and the diplomat about the incident.
lower house of the Parliament was on Friday informed that Prime Minister Imran
Khan would inaugurate the opening of Kartarpura crossing, which would generate
goodwill between Pakistan and India.
in the National Assembly, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the
corridor would facilitate the Sikh community during their visits to Pakistan.
He said the Sikh community all over the world including Canada, UK and India
were hailing the decision.
said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would perform the ground breaking ceremony
at the Kartarpura corridor on Wednesday. The minister said Pakistan had taken a
positive step by deciding to open Kartarpura crossing and the Indian side
should also reciprocate.
said that Indian leadership should also demonstrate the courage to open doors
for the Kashmiri people for trade and people-to-people contacts. He said
Pakistan had given a message of peace on the LoC but regretted that Indian side
was resorting to violence and unleashing atrocities on the Kashmiri people. The
minister also said that Pakistan desired friendly relations with all its
neighbours including India. He said resolution of all outstanding disputes with
India lies only in the dialogue process.
to the dialogue offer made by the Prime Minister to the Indian side, he said
the Indian side backtracked from the talks due to domestic political pressure.
He, however, said that Pakistan still desired dialogue with India.
National Assembly witnessed a rare moment of unity between the government and
the opposition when the foreign minister and Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz
Sharif both condemned the terrorist attack on Chinese Consulate, saying that
some elements wanted to sabotage Pak-China relations and the China-Pakistan
Economic Corridor (CPEC).
project [CPEC] is providing economic activity which is not bearable for many.
They do not want peace and economic prosperity in Pakistan,” Qureshi said.
also paid tribute to the two policemen who were martyred foiling the attack. He
said the policemen lost their lives when they stopped one of the attackers who
detonated his suicide jacket. According to the foreign minister, two other
attackers were killed by snipers before they could enter the consular section.
terrorists wanted to create a hostage situation but their plan was foiled.
There were about 21 Chinese staff members at the consulate and they were all
safe and shifted to a safe location,” Qureshi maintained.
condemned the attack and praised the swift response of the Sindh Police and
Rangers. Sharif emphasised that China was among the few countries who had
supported Pakistan through difficult times.
also said that the Prime Minister Imran Khan should disclose the name of the
person who said that Nawaz Sharif wanted a National Reconciliation Ordinance
(NRO). It had emerged that the prime minister’s sister Aleema Khan had some
properties in Dubai and that she was given an NRO, he said, adding, “Who were
these people who said that Nawaz Sharif wanted an NRO? Prime minister should
tell us the name of the person.”
Minister should stop using threatening language. This is only hurting
Pakistan,” he lamented. Speaking about the prime minister’s statement regarding
U-turns, he said, “If taking U-turns is a big trait, then who in the world will
trust us.” “Does the prime minister know that a negative image of Pakistan has
been created because of his statement? If the premier gives out statements like
these then no will trust him,” he asserted.
reiterated the opposition’s claim that the PTI government officials were still
behaving as if they were in the opposition.
lawmaker Saad Rafique alleged that those in the custody of the National
Accountability Bureau (NAB) were being drugged to influence their confessional
statements. Addressing the National Assembly, the PML-N leader said, “During
[Pervez] Musharraf’s time, NAB was used to coerce people into switching
loyalties. Those who were with Musharraf were considered ‘clean’ and those who
stood firmly by their viewpoints were punished by NAB. Those were unfortunate
lamented, “PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) were given chances but
despite attempts both the parties were unable to amend the draconian NAB law.
We are responsible for this.” “Several lawmakers believe the NAB law had
completed its time. However, despite this for some time now, NAB was being used
as a tool to force people into switching political loyalties,” he added.
“Kamran Mujahid had earlier revealed NAB’s injustices and inappropriate
behaviour and Shehbaz Sharif had said similar things. It has been told that NAB
imprisons people in a room which is 10×10 in size.”
Friday, the National Assembly also unanimously passed a resolution paying
homage to Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) on the occasion of his birth
anniversary. The resolution was moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary
Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan. Responding to the points of opposition members on
the martyrdom of SP Tahir Dawar, Minister of State for Communication Murad
Saeed said those involved in the despicable incident will be brought to
justice. He pointed out that Pakistan has rendered innumerable sacrifices in
the war on terrorism. He said certain elements do not want peace in Pakistan
and also want to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. He said
that India also stands exposed on the Ajmal Kasab case.
Minister Asad Umar also spoke on Friday, insisting that the government would
only sign an IMF package that was in the interest of Pakistan’s economy and the
a policy statement in the National Assembly, he said, “we are not in a hurry
for the IMF package as alternative arrangements have been made to address
immediate economic needs of the country.”
Vice President Hamid Ansari on Friday said among the identified issues faced by
the Muslim community, education has been the most important one and is
neglected by all the segments of the community.
have identified the issues (faced by the Muslims) a number of times. The issue
is of identity and security, it is also of education. And I feel education is
the most important issue," Ansari said during the 12th Dr. Asghar Ali
Engineer Memorial Lecture On 'Muslims of India: Past and Present'.
according to him, "has been neglected by all segments of the community and
it has only confined to a small section of the community".
has a large number of Sikhs and most of them were refugees. They have not only
rehabilitated themselves but have also set up their religious institutions as
well as their educational institutions. If a small community can do that, why
can't a much bigger community," he asked.
also said that, "190 million (of population) is not a minority except in
terms of legal technicality".
also suggested that, "interacting on a continuous basis with the wider
community of fellow citizens is the answer" to remove the mental barriers.
(the interaction) does not have to confine to our idioms and our manner of
behaviour. If I interact with another person, I will do it on the level of
equality not on saying my way is the only way."
also said this formula (of interaction) has worked in different parts of the
world, and he does not see any reason why it will not work in the country.
lecture, dedicated to Indian reformist-writer and social activist, was
organised by the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism.
the lecture, A.G. Noorani, Advocate, Supreme Court and Constitutional Expert,
advised the Muslims to involve themselves in national issues.
also said "denying the discrimination is to denying the truth".
is a form of agitation among the Muslims and that can only be controlled
through secularising the identity and by including them," he said.
Being a soldier’s widow, P D Sunantha did not think her remarriage and
conversion to Islam would ever come in the way of her continuing to receive her
husband’s family pension. Sunantha became Haleema, and her religion became
Islam instead of Hinduism in records.
it was only after Canara Bank denied her pension stating that it faced problems
in linking her Aadhaar card which carried her new Muslim name, did Sunantha
decide to approach the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) for remedy. The AFT came to
her rescue, by ordering the local record office to make necessary changes and
ensure that she received the family pension.
few years ago Lance Naik V S Viju, who on patrol duty in Assam, met with an
accident and had splinter injuries after a handgrenade in his pocket detonated
when he tripped and fell down. Though he was carried to the Air Force Hospital
at Hasimra, the hospital authorities declared him as ‘brought dead’. His death
was classified as battle casualty and liberalised family pension was sanctioned
to his mother and wife Sunantha (50% each).
who used to receive her pension through Marthandam branch of Canara Bank in
Kanyakumari district, married P Maheen later and embraced Islam. She also
changed her name to Haleema. Due changes were made in the government gazette in
2015, and she got her name changed in PAN and Aadhaar cards as well.
Sunanthan — now Haleema — approached the Chennai regional bench of the Armed
Forces Tribunal stating that bankers refused to release the family pension, the
Army said the Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Army) in its letter
on April 2018 revised its policy on allowing change of name so that widows of
deceased soldiers did not face any problems in receiving pensions.
hearing both the sides, Justice VS Ravi and Lieutenant General C A Krishnan
directed the Record Office in Madras Regiment Abhilekh Karyalaya to make
changes in the Army records.
office has been asked to publish the Part-II order changing her name as Haleema
instead of Sunantha and religion as Islam instead of Hinduism.
Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the proposed Kartarpur corridor
between India and Pakistan will act as a bridge between the two nations. The
Prime Minister was speaking at a function on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti
organised by Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
socha that ki Berlin ki deewar gir sakti hai. Shayad Guru Nanak Dev Ji ke
aashirwad se, Kartarpur ka corridor sirf corrdior nahi, jan jan ko jodne ka
bahut bada karan ban sakta hai,” (Who thought that the Berlin wall would fall?
With the blessings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Kartarpur corridor can become a reason
to connect people with each other),” Modi was quoted as saying by ANI.
the function, Modi was felicitated with a ‘saropa’ and turban by Shiromani
Akali Dal (SAD) president and former deputy chief minister of Punjab Sukhbir
Singh Badal and president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC)
Manjit Singh GK.
Union cabinet on Thursday cleared the plans to build the corridor from Punjab’s
Gurdaspur district to the International Border to facilitate Indian pilgrims to
visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Narowal district of Pakistan Punjab. Pakistan
has conveyed to India its decision to open the Kartarpur Corridor for the Sikh
pilgrims on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary, Foreign Minister
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Thursday.
cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu also wrote to Union minister Sushma Swaraj
on Friday and hailed the Centre’s decision to develop the corridor. Sidhu in
the letter said, “As we move down this road and write a new chapter of faith
and love for the region, I pray and hope that this enterprise will yield
undeniable and implicit change and thaw in the relations, that it will build
bridges, burn animosity and will act like a soothing balm for two neighbouring
city was held hostage by a group of terrorists from the Lashkar-e-Taiba who
entered the city by the sea route and carried out a dastardly attack that led
to the death of 166 people. The dead included security personnel and 28 foreign
nationals from 10 nations.
26/11 has been etched on the Indian collective as a totally unexpected and
surprise attack on national sovereignty by a ruthless terrorist group with
visible state support. Ten years later, it is valid to ask if India’s seas are
safer and could terrorists succeed in taking the sea route again? And
furthermore, have the gaps in coastal security been plugged effectively and the
appropriate lessons learnt and internalised across the security lattice of
happened because the national security apparatus from Delhi to Mumbai was found
inadequate to anticipate this kind of a threat from the maritime domain and
when it did unfold over three days with murderous consequences, the various
institutions mandated to deal with such an exigency were found wanting. The
Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard (CG) and the local Mumbai police, who have
different areas of responsibility, were unable to detect and prevent the
terrorists from sneaking into the city and carrying out the attacks.
gap was compounded by the fact that the national intelligence infrastructure
that includes the external, domestic and state/city level agencies were unable
to pick up any significant lead in the run-up to the 26/11 attacks that could
have pre-empted the massacre of innocents that took place in late November
2008. It later transpired that the slim intelligence lead provided to the navy
was not actionable.
lessons were learnt in the immediate aftermath of 26/11 and the most
significant was the acknowledgement that maritime domain awareness (MDA) in the
Indian Ocean region needed to be enhanced by a significant index with
appropriate focus on the more vulnerable coastal regions. A comprehensive plan
that included a chain of coastal radars was envisaged in two phases.
Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN) with a chain of surveillance radars, cameras
and related sensors has been established along the coast. The first phase of 46
radars has been installed and 38 more are in the pipeline as part of the second
phase. Almost 1,500 potential landing points on the coastline have been
identified and a broad division of responsibility has been arrived at, which
involves the navy, the CG, the local police of the coastal states and the local
was enabled by the reality that one small vessel was able to enter the shores
of Mumbai undetected and this was a gap that had to be plugged. Small fishing
craft in India are in excess of 200,000 and over the last 10 years there has
been an attempt to fit them with an automatic identification transponder system
and introduce a colour code state-wise. This has been partially successful
though the scale of the numbers and the compliance by owners remains uneven.
November 2014, India commissioned the Information Management and Analysis
Centre in Gurgaon, which is a joint operational facility of the navy and the
CG. Shipping data from various sensors and databases is aggregated, correlated
and then disseminated to various stations for enhanced awareness.
gist is that the seas around India are better monitored now, after the enormity
of November 2008 and the MDA index is much better – but that is only part of
the success that has been achieved as far as composite security of the seas is
security is complex and 26/11 has revealed the inherent vulnerability of a
country that has the kind of geography and security culture that India has.
Mumbai 2008 triggered the need to beef up coastal security assets and the CG
was enabled such that its ability to board vessels and monitor the coastal
waters was enhanced. Consequently the CG has doubled its operational
deployments since 2009 and average deployment per day is: ships/boats 35-40 and
aircraft 10-15 sorties. One indicator is that average total aircraft flying
efforts in 2009 which was over 10,000 hours annually is now over 21,000 hours .
The CG extensively undertakes boarding operations which has resulted in a 50%
increase in apprehensions at sea.
while the navy and the CG have made steady improvements in their capabilities
and organisational procedures, the last-mile credibility of coastal security
lies with the state led maritime police and this domain is far from
satisfactory. Coastal states lack the resources – both fiscal and HR -- to
ensure 24/7 surveillance in critical coastal areas and 10 years after 26/11,
this is a glaring gap with modest exceptions on the east coast.
a final observation: India’s comprehensive maritime security compulsions go
beyond what 26/11 symbolises and warrant a national maritime authority with a
dedicated high-ranking professional adviser at the helm. Currently, legislation
about India’s maritime security is embedded in a coastal security bill that is
yet to be objectively deliberated upon and in the interim, a committee has this
onerous responsibility – the NCSMCS (National Committee for Strengthening
Maritime and Coastal Security).
Singh Sidhu to visit Pakistan for Kartarpur Border corridor ceremony: Report
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday that Punjab cabinet minister
Navjot Singh Sidhu would visit the country to attend the groundbreaking
ceremony of the Kartarpur Border corridor, according to a media report on
Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the groundbreaking ceremony of the
facilities at the crossing on the Pakistan side on November 28.
confirmed that the former Indian cricketer would visit the country. This will
be Sidhu’s second visit to Pakistan this year.
told Roznama Express that he has gladly accepted the invitation, sent by khan
for the November 28 event. He said the Pakistani premier was his friend and he
will visit the country whenever he is invited by him.
don’t have words to express my joy,” he said.
long-pending demand of the Sikh community to build a religious corridor linking
India’s border district of Gurdaspur with a historic gurudwara in Pakistan may
finally be fulfilled with both the countries announcing that stretches would be
developed in their respective areas.
a significant decision, India’s Cabinet Thursday cleared a proposal to develop
a corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district to the
International Border to facilitate Indian pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar
Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan.
issue of Kartarpur Sahib came into focus after Punjab Minister Navjot Singh
Sidhu visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Khan as
prime minister of that country.
Security forces gunned down six top terrorists of Lashkar-eTaiba and Hizbul
Mujahideen including one of the assassins of senior Kashmiri journalist Shujaat
Bukhari in south Kashmir on Friday.
law and order Munir Khan said all the terrorists were killed in a predawn operation
on the basis of specific and credible intelligence about their presence at
Sekipora forest area of Bijbehara in Anantnag district.
of the slain terrorists, Azad Ahmad Malik, was involved in Bukhari’s assassination
at Press Colony in Srinagar in June this year, he said.
General A K Bhatt, GOC of 15 corps, who spoke to the media in Baramulla, called
the operation a major success for security agencies.
assassin, Azad, also known as Dada, was from Arwani and LeT’s district
commander of Anantnag. He had escaped along with his aide from an encounter
site at Khudwani in Kulgam in April 2018.
said he was a close associate of the absconding Pakistani terrorist Naveed
Jatt, the main assassin of Bukhari and his security guards. Jatt made a
dramatic escape from a Srinagar hospital in February.
identified other terrorists as LeT’s Basit Ishtiyaq of Pushwara Anantnag,
Firdous Ahmad of Muchpuna Pulwama and Shahid Bashir of Kawni Awantipora. Unais
Shafi of Takiya Maqbool Shah Bijbehara and Atif Najar of Waghama Bijbehara were
the killed six terrorists were wanted by police for their complicity in a
series of civilian atrocities and terror attacks including those on security
huge quantity of arms and ammunition including four AK 47 rifles and one Insas
rifle were recovered from the site of the encounter.
the news of the killing of the terrorists spread, people shut down markets in
Anantnag and Bijbehara townships. Reports said militant sympathizers held
massive protests in Bijbehara. An eyewitness said that forces used tear gas
shells at the protesters who were pelting stones on the forces. At least three
protesters were injured in clashes with the security forces in Bijbehara area.
Delhi: In another act of terror, a former special police officer (SPO) was
killed after he was kidnapped by terrorists in Reban area of Shopian district
of Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Friday. Earlier in the day, three persons
including a former special police officer (SPO) were kidnapped by unidentified
said, “Terrorists in a brutal act of terror killed an individual in Shopian
after he was kidnapped from Reban area of Shopian earlier. 3 young men
kidnapped forcibly by terrorists were identified as Reyaz Ahmad, Zahid Ahmad,
and Basharat Ahmad. The two of them were set free.”
terrorists kidnapped Basharat Ahmad Wagay, a former SPO, Zahid Ahmad Wagay, and
Reyaz Ahmad Wagay from their village at Reban in Zainapora area of Shopian.
Police retrieved dead body of one Basharat Ahmad from village Nikloora in
Pulwama. His body was handed over to his family after completion of medico-legal
formalities,” police added. A case has been registered and an investigation is
also initiated in the matter.
incident comes few days after a 19-year-old schoolboy was abducted and killed
by terrorists. Huzaif Ashraf Kuttay was abducted along with two other, Farooq
Ahmad and Shahid Ahmad, from a bakery shop from Saidpora Payeen village in
body of Huzaif Ahmad was recovered from Lundoora village on Saturday evening
while Farooq Ahmad and Shahid Ahmad were released unharmed. “Terrorists Saturday
killed a civilian in a brutal act of terror in Shopian district after he was
kidnapped earlier in the day from Saidpora area,” a police official had said.
17-year-old Nadeem Manzoor was abducted from Shopian was killed in neighbouring
Pulwama district. The video of the incident had gone viral on social media
drawing wrath from all over the country.
in the intervening night of November 15-16 forcibly abducted a civilian and
killed him in Pulwama. He has been identified as Nadeem Manzoor of Safanagri,
Shopian. His bullet-riddled body was retrieved by police from Kilora Pulwama.
Cas registered and an investigation initiated,” the J&K police was quoted
as saying by news agency ANI.
Secretary Students’ Union of Aligarh Muslim University Huzaifa Aamir has
written a letter to AMU Visitor and President of India Ramnath Kovind and
demanded cancellation of MP Satish Gautam’s membership of AMU Court. He said
Satish Gautam should be replaced by an educated, sincere MP. He announced that
the said MP will not be allowed to attend the Court meeting to be held on
December 2. The Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union (AMUSU) accused the
BJP MP from Aligarh, of attempting to “sully” the name of the institution by
making baseless charges against it.
MP Satish Gautam had reportedly alleged that the AMU administration was being
run on “Talibani ideology”.
to sources on the hoarding installed for the publicity of a drama to be staged
on November 18, had by mistake an incomplete map of India. On which the BJP MP,
in a letter to the AMU vice-chancellor, had alleged that the recent incident of
putting up a poster showing the map of India sans Jammu and Kashmir on the
campus proved that the university was breeding “anti-nationals”.
Punjab Police claims to have cracked the grenade attack on Nirankari Satsang
Bhawan in Amritsar on Sunday as the handiwork of ISI-backed Khalistani forces
in Pakistan, the Centre had, after the attack, ordered a probe by the National
Investigation Agency (NIA) into last month’s arrest of three Kashmiri students
from an engineering college in Jalandhar.
students — Zahid Gulzar, Yasir Rafiq Bhat and Mohd Idris Shah — were alleged to
be members of Zakir Musa’s outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGuH), and officials
said the terror outfit’s pan-network requires detailed investigation.
ordering transfer of the probe to NIA, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
stated in its order, “Central Government has received information regarding
registration of FIR number 166 on October 10, 2018 at police station Sadar,
Jalandhar, Punjab, under Sections 121, 121A, 120B of IPC, Sections of the
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, Arms Act and Explosive Substances
Act relating to arrest of 3 Kashmiri youths for their involvement in terrorist
NIA team will soon take over the investigation and question the three suspects
arrested by Punjab Police, officials said.
Police had claimed to have seized two weapons, including an assault rifle, and
explosives during its raid from the hostel room of a student identified as
Zahid, a B.Tech (Civil) student. Gulzar was detained along with Shah and Bhatt.
Two of them were pursuing B.Tech and the third was a B.Sc student, it was
MHA official said the trio’s questioning has revealed attempts by AGuH to
recruit more youths.
said Bhatt is related to Zakir Musa, and that further raised suspicion on
AGuH’s plans to spread its base outside Jammu and Kashmir, and of efforts by
Pakistan’s ISI to expand the arc of militancy on India’s western border.
Investigations have also thrown leads that the module has links with
Jaish-e-Mohammad, the terror group responsible for the Pathankot and Uri
attacks, sources said.
grenade blast in Amritsar on Sunday was initially suspected to be the work of
AGuH after posters on Musa’s possible movement in the state came up, but Punjab
Police ruled it out.
according to J&K Police, is a former Hizbul Mujahideen militant who broke
away to form AGuH, which is suspected to be affiliated to the Al-Qaeda in
Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). Musa had released a video clip in 2016, threatening
to chop off the heads of Hurriyat leaders and advocated establishing Islamic
law in Kashmir. As per the assessment of central intelligence agencies, he has
recruited nearly two dozen youths from the Valley.
says Trump turning a ‘blind eye’ to Khashoggi murder
- Turkey on Friday said US President Donald Trump intended to turn a “blind
eye” to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder after he said it would not
affect Washington’s ties with Riyadh.
backing of Saudi Arabia, his key ally against Iran, comes despite global
outrage over the grisly October 2 killing that has tarnished the image of both
the kingdom and its de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
one sense, Trump is saying ‘I will turn a blind eye’ no matter what happens,”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with CNN Turk
is not the right approach. Money doesn’t mean everything,” Cavusoglu said,
referring to Trump’s continued support for Saudi Arabia, which has committed
billions of dollars in US weapons contracts.
on Tuesday glossed over the Central Intelligence Agency’s reported conclusion
that the crown prince had authorised the killing. “Maybe he did and maybe he
didn’t!” Trump said, implying Prince Mohammed’s culpability in Khashoggi’s
killing in the Saudi mission in Istanbul.
was widely pilloried for what critics called his mercantile priorities that
made him appear more like a lobbyist for Riyadh. A former Saudi royal insider
who became a critic of the crown prince, Khashoggi was killed and dismembered
in what Riyadh -- after weeks of denial -- said was a “rogue” operation.
59-year-old had gone there for documents he needed to marry his Turkish
fiancee. Saudi Arabia has held 21 people in custody over the murder but
shielded the powerful crown prince.
earlier this month placed sanctions on 17 Saudis, which also targeted the two
top aides to the crown prince by freezing assets under US jurisdiction and
forbidding US companies from doing business with them. The killing and Riyadh’s
explanations have angered its Western partners.
on Monday said Berlin would bar 18 Saudis from entering its territory and
Europe’s Schengen passport-free zone over their alleged links to the murder.
October, Germany called for EU countries to follow its lead and suspend arms
sales to Saudi Arabia, prompting a dismissive response from France, the
kingdom’s second-biggest customer after India.
Denmark on Thursday followed suit, freezing all sales of weapons and military
equipment to Riyadh.
said “artificial measures” would not help solve the crisis. “They (Europe) say
they don’t want to upset ties with Saudi Arabia. We do not want to upset our
relations either,” he said, but added Ankara would do anything to shed light on
insists the murder was premeditated, sharing evidence with Riyadh as well as
with the US and Western allies but stops short of pointing the finger of blame
at the prince.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the order came from “the highest levels” but not
from King Salman.
has not ruled out the possibility of a meeting between Erdogan and Prince
Mohammed on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Argentina next week. “We don’t
see any obstacle to a meeting with the crown prince,” Cavusoglu said. “If there
is a request, there could be a meeting but our president will decide.”
two men spoke on the phone in late October but that would be the first
face-to-face encounter since the murder. Prince Salman on Thursday embarked on
a regional tour starting with Riyadh’s close ally United Arab Emirates, his
first official trip since the killing.
prince is also set to travel to the Tunisian capital on Tuesday. Turkish
pro-government media, which has often provided gruesome details of what
happened to Khashoggi in a series of leaks maintaining pressure against Riyadh,
speculated further on what happened to Khashoggi’s body.
newspaper reported Khashoggi was first strangled using a bag over his head
before Salah Muhammed Al-Tubaigy, a lieutenant-colonel in the Saudi forensic
department, drained his blood in the bathtub before dismembering him.
would be ready to host a meeting between Palestinians and Israel and to act as
a mediator, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.
was speaking to reporters during a two-day trip to Rome.
least 14 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli gunfire on the same day, during
protests along the Gaza border, the enclave’s health ministry said, as a lull
in deadly violence held after a truce deal last week.
of demonstrators turned out for the protests but largely kept their distance
from the fortified frontier.
Yemeni minister of information, Moammar el-Eryani, said on Friday that it is
not possible to accept any formula to manage the port of Hodeidah that does not
guarantee its return to the legitimate authority’s control and the exit of
Houthi militias from the city.
a series of tweets, the minister said that welcoming peace has been reassured
based on the three agreed terms of reference.
further expressed his welcoming to any steps or efforts made by the UN envoy to
Yemen, Martin Griffiths, to convince Houthis of leaving Hodeidah and its port,
handing it over to the legitimate authority.
UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, arrived on Friday in the Red Sea
port city of Hodeidah.
Thursday, Griffiths met with Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi to discuss
logistics ahead of planned peace talks in Sweden in December.
says the US sanctions against the country are a "humiliation to all
international community," calling for a "collective response" to
Washington's unilateralism to uphold the rule of law and prevent the US from
remarks were made by Iran's Ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharibabadi in his
address to a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of
Governors on “Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in
Light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015)”.
humiliation to all international community, the United States’ most recent
illegal and unilateral acts and sanctions brazenly and boldly disregard
Security Council resolution 2231,” Gharibabadi said Friday.
said the United States not only blatantly defies the Security Council
resolution 2231 (2015), but also audaciously and preposterously coerces other
States to follow suit.
sanctions as well as their previous reckless acts are specifically designed ‘to
directly and adversely affect economic relations with Iran’ by intimidating
third parties and pressuring other States to abide by their political
aspirations,” he went on to say.
Iranian envoy further referred to the US imposition of new bans as an illegal
move that runs “counter to the well-established principles as enshrined in the
Charter of the United Nations and as accepted by the community of nations such
as the sovereign equality of States, non-intervention and non-interference in
internal affairs of Member States and freedom of international trade and
irresponsible conduct of the United States necessitates a collective response
by the international community in order to uphold the rule of law, to prevent
undermining diplomacy and to protect multilateralism,” Gharibabadi said.
referred to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano’s latest confirmation of Iran’s
full compliance with its end of the 2015 multinational nuclear deal, and said
that was the thirteenth quarterly report by Amano which confirmed Tehran’s
compliance with the JCPOA.
are clear indications of utmost transparency in Iran’s nuclear program,” he
an address to a quarterly meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors on Thursday,
Amano said, "Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under
the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”
Agency has continued to evaluate Iran’s declarations under the Additional
Protocol, and has conducted complementary accesses under the Additional
Protocol to all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit,” he
IAEA's latest report comes about two weeks after the US administration finished
restoring all the anti-Iran sanctions it had lifted under the JCPOA, which has
been ratified by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
administration of US President Donald Trump also resorted to a highly hostile
campaign of maximum pressure against Iran in the aftermath of its exit from the
deal, threatening "secondary sanctions" against all those firms that
fail to abide by the American bans and keep doing business with Iran.
least 20 Palestinians have been injured as Israeli forces once again opened
fire on anti-occupation protests near the fence between the besieged Gaza Strip
and Israeli-occupied territories.
al-Qedra, the spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry, said the 20 people were
shot and injured in the east of Gaza on Friday.
Qassem, a spokesman for the Hamas resistance movement, said on Friday that the
people’s insistence to take part in the protests stresses their determination
to achieve the goals of the rallies, especially to break the siege of Gaza.
has been under the Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline in living
standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty. It has also
witnessed a fresh wave of tensions since March 30, which marked the start of
“The Great March of Return” protests.
240 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since anti-occupation
protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Over 22,000 Palestinians
have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by
Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit Bahrain
"soon" amid reports that a number of Arab countries in the Persian
Gulf region are dramatically warming their relations with the Tel Aviv regime
after secret contacts.
Kingdom of Bahrain is the next destination for Netanyahu,” Turkey’s official
Anadolu news agency quoted Hani Marzouk, a spokesman for Netanyahu's office for
Arab media, as telling the Israeli Broadcast Authority on Friday.
added, “This visit is only a prelude for something bigger, for another Middle
East. It "is the start for new relations and an indication that we are on
the right track to correct history.”
added, “Israel sees the Arab world is large, diverse and has rich human
potential and it wants to establish great relations with it at the scientific
and academic level.”
Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz visited Oman on November
4 to attend an international transport conference and pitch a railway project
that would link the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean via Israeli-occupied
trip came on the heels of a surprise visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu to Oman late last month, where he met Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said
Al Said at the Bait al-Barakah Royal Palace in the coastal city of Seeb near
the capital Muscat.
English-language daily newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported that the two men
discussed ways to advance the so-called Middle East peace process as well as a
number of issues of mutual interest with regard to the region’s stability.
was accompanied by senior officials, including the head of the Mossad spy
agency and his national security adviser.
unpublicized visit to Oman came on the same day that Israeli Culture and Sports
Minister Miri Regev traveled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to accompany
Israel’s judo team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2018.
arrived in Abu Dhabi on October 26, and she participated in the opening
ceremony of the international event at the Emirati capital’s Zayed Sports City,
Palestinian Arabic-language Ma’an news agency reported.
visit to the UAE marked the first of its kind by an Israeli minister to a
Persian Gulf littoral state.
Aviv and Abu Dhabi have no diplomatic ties and the UAE does not recognize
Israel, but the two sides have increased backchannel cooperation in recent
years. There have been numerous reports of growing contacts between Saudi and
Israeli officials too.
Arab countries, Israel has diplomatic relations only with Egypt and Jordan.
so-called High Court of Justice has approved the evacuation of 700 Palestinian
residents of a predominantly Arab neighborhood on the outskirts of the occupied
Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds from their homes in a blatant ethnic cleansing
procedure. The court rejected the appeal filed by 104 Palestinians from the
Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan against claims by right-wing Israeli
organization Ateret Cohanim, which is working permanently to Judaize the Old City
of Jerusalem and adjacent neighborhoods.
court, however, acknowledged that the expropriation methods used by the
settlement association were suspicious and raised questions about the validity
of the procedures for the transfer of land and ownership.
high court was ruling on claims that the land in question was populated by Jews
who came from Yemen before the creation of Israel in 1948. The neighborhood was
purportedly registered as belonging to a Jewish trust during the Ottoman
human rights group B'Tselem has criticized the court ruling for failing to
address the context.
though the land were not ‘freed’ by an association whose goal is to drive
Palestinians out of their homes; as though the body of law does not allow Jews
alone to file ownership for land abandoned in 1948; as though the court were
not sanctioning the broadest move to dispossess Palestinians since 1967,”
B'Tselem said in a statement.
statement added, “The judgment proves, yet again, that the Israeli high court gives
its seal of approval to almost any infringement of Palestinians’ rights by the
than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations
Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and
completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian
territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major
sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement
expansion on Palestinian territories.
backtracked on Washington’s support for a “two-state solution” earlier this
year, saying he would support any solution favored by both sides.
has charged 28 people, including US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen,
for their alleged involvement in the killing of the Russian ambassador to
Ankara back in 2016.
Russian ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was killed on December 19, 2016 during the
opening of a photo exhibition at a gallery in the Turkish capital Ankara. The
assassin, off-duty policeman Mevlut Mert Altintas was later gunned down in an
exchange of fire with security personnel at the scene.
28 suspects are charged with "violating the constitutional order",
"being a member of a terror organization", "premeditated murder
with the intention of causing terror", and "seeking to create terror
or panic", the state-owned Anadolu news agency said Friday.
carrying out the murder, Altintas went on a rant caught on camera, which saw
him bawling “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!”
assassination, condemned by the Turkish and Russian leaders as an attempt to
sour Ankara-Moscow ties, came amid cooperation between the countries over the
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Gulen was behind the assassination.
The elderly cleric, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US since 1999,
however, has flatly denied the allegation as he has strongly rejected the
charge of having a role in the July 2016 attempted coup and condemned the
April, Turkish judicial authorities ordered the arrest of Gulen and seven
others within the context of the investigation of the 2016 assassination of the
Russian ambassador to Ankara.
Turkish Red Crescent has sent nine truckloads of aid to improve the living
conditions of refugees in Bosnia-Herzegovina with winter approaching, the group
said on Friday.
carrying out humanitarian relief efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina for many years,
the Turkish Red Crescent initiated a new project to improve the housing
conditions of refugees in the country, said a Red Crescent statement.
aid includes 22 group tents measuring 105 square meters, 229 shelter tents of
various sizes, 10,000 blankets, 1,000 kitchen sets, and two mobile kitchens.
aid, sent from the Turkish cities of Istanbul and Kirklareli, will be delivered
to refugees in need in the cities of Bihac and Mostar.
and Herzegovina has found itself in the middle of a migrant crisis, with the
government decrying a lack of funds.
the Balkan route -- through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary or Croatia
-- was closed to refugees in March 2016, many migrants chose Bosnia-Herzegovina
as an alternate route.
airstrikes launched over the last three days have “degraded” the East
Africa-based al-Qaeda wing al-Shabaab, killing 50 jihadis in Somalia days after
the United Nations determined the group is expanding and remains the top threat
facing African nation, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) revealed.
airstrikes came after the United Nations found that the American airstrikes
have failed to diminish al-Shabaab’s ability to carry out “complex asymmetric
attacks in Somalia,” adding that the growing Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) presence
in the African country fueled by an influx of fighters from the fallen
caliphate in Iraq and Syria also poses a menace.
press releases, AFRICOM announced it launched airstrikes this week to support
the Somalian government’s efforts to degrade al-Shabaab, killing 37 jihadis on
November 20; seven on November 21; and six jihadis and a weapons cache on
November 22, adding: Airstrikes reduce al-Shabaab’s ability to plot future
attacks, disrupt its leadership networks, and degrade its freedom of maneuver
within the region. Alongside our Somali and international partners, we are
committed to [preventing] al-Shabaab from taking advantage of safe havens from
which they can build capacity and attack the people of Somalia. In particular,
the group uses portions of southern and central Somalia to plot and direct
terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, extort the local populace to fund its
operations, and shelter radical terrorists.
desired end state in East Africa is one in which terrorist organizations cannot
destabilize Somalia and its neighboring states, nor threaten the interests of
the U.S. and its international allies in the region.
October 16, an airstrike left 60 dead [terrorists] in Central Somalia. This was
the deadliest attack since November 2017 when 100 terrorists were killed,”
Kenya’s Capital FM news outlet acknowledged.
week’s U.S. airstrikes came after the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia and
Eritrea warned this month that al-Shabaab and its ISIS rival in Somalia are
expanding despite international efforts against both groups.
presence in Puntland, in north-east Somalia, has expanded, exacerbating the
challenges faced by authorities in the region. Concurrently, the Islamic State
of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction, largely confined to Bari region in
north-east Puntland, has grown in numbers and is attracting an increasingly
broad range of recruits,” the U.S. reported on November 2.
U.N. determined that although ISIS is expanding alongside al-Shabaab in
Somalia, the latter terrorist group remains the most potent threat facing the
to the U.N., America’s air campaign under U.S. President Donald Trump has
failed to decimate al-Shabaab:
remains the most immediate threat to the peace, security, and stability of
Somalia. Despite ongoing efforts by international forces to eliminate
Al-Shabaab’s leadership, in particular through the use of airstrikes, the
group’s ability to carry out complex asymmetric attacks in Somalia remains
the issue of ISIS’s weekly Al Naba newsletter last Friday, the Long War Journal
(LWJ), a component of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) think
tank, reported that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s organization has directly threatened
to displace al-Shabaab as the top group in Somalia.
groups are competing for territory, influence, and fighters.
U.S. learned ISIS continues to mainly target “disaffected members of Al-Shabaab
in southern Somalia” for recruitment, a move that is likely to infuriate the
to the U.N., the U.S. air campaign is making an impact on ISIS’s operations in
the commencement of United States air strikes, ISIL operations in Puntland have
been at an ebb, and it appears that the group has entered a period of
retrenchment and reorganization,” the U.N. reported on November 9. “However, it
is apparent that ISIL in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic continues to view
Somalia as an important avenue for future expansion.”
President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has come under attack over
the recent killing of about 44 soldiers by Boko Haram insurgents.
past Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, in a tweet on Friday, queried the
silence treatment of Buhari over death of soldiers yet was quick to criticize
Goodluck Jonathan’s book “My Transition Hours”
tweeted: “Over 100 soldiers killed in just one week and our President and his
men are acting as if nothing happened? And the same Presidency is jumping up
and down over the content of @GEJonathan book? May the soul of those soldiers
rest in peace and may God restore sanity to our land.
the Senate had earlier taken notice of the killing of the soldiers and
suspended plenary in honour of the slain officers.
least nine security service officers were killed in a suspected Islamic State
(IS) group attack in the southeastern Libyan town of Tazerbo on Friday, a
senior security official said.
other people, including civilians and a security chief, were also kidnapped by
gunmen thought to belong to the militant group, who attacked a police station
in the oasis town, said the official.
Tazerbo desert region is controlled by the forces of Libyan strongman Khalifa
Haftar, who heads the self-styled National Libyan Army (LNA).
capital Tripoli is the seat of a rival administration, the
internationally-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez
assault, which is yet to be claimed by IS, is the second attack targeting
forces loyal to Haftar in less than a month.
October, an attack claimed by IS killed at least five people in the country's
central Kufra region.
IS-claimed attack in August killed 11 people, including nine members of the
apart by power struggles and undermined by chronic insecurity, Libya has become
a haven for militants since the ouster and killing of Moammad Gaddafi in 2011.
took advantage of the chaos to gain a foothold in the city of Sirte in 2015,
but forces loyal to the GNA regained control of the city in December 2016 after
eight months of fighting.
then, some militants have returned to the desert in an attempt to regroup and
office of communication, Ofcom is being urged to immediately revoke the license
of the TV station founded by Islamic Preacher Dr. Zakir Naik. Who was banned
from UK over concerns about extremism.
Zakir Naik founded the channel Peace TV in 2006, which broadcasts from Dubai.
This channel claims to have more than 200 million viewers in hundreds of countries
around the world.
UK, Dr Zakir Naik’s Peace TV, has continued broadcasting to millions of British
households since he was barred from entering the country in 2010.
2010, high profile preacher was banned by Theresa May when she was home
secretary, after he praised Osama bin Laden and said “all Muslims should be
TV station was banned in India and Bangladesh in 2016 after its founder, Zakir
Naik’s speeches were blamed for inspiring a terror attack in Dhaka which killed
being reported, Peace TV has repeatedly fallen foul of broadcasting rules on
extreme content but remains available to Sky subscribers on its English and
Urdu channels in UK.
Henry Jackson Society has accused Ofcom of “a material failure” to protect viewers
in UK by revoking the station’s licence.
publication reports that the media regulator said it had launched “six detailed
investigations” earlier this year to find out whether Peace TV had breached
regulations that protect audiences from hate speech, offence and the incitement
2012, Peace TV was found to have breached Ofcom rules by broadcasting a speech
in which the Dr Naik said he “tend[ed] to agree” that Muslims “should be put to
death” if they converted to another faith and tried to spread their new
religion against Islam.
2016, four years later, Peace TV’s Urdu channel was fined £65,000 for airing
lectures of late Islamic scholar Israr Ahmad, in which he described Jewish
people as “a cursed race” with an “evil plan” that had filled Europe with
Zakir Naik has been reported to have resign as the director of the company
which holds Peace TV’s licence in May this year. But he is still listed as the
channel’s lead speaker and the station is funded by his charity, the Islamic
Research Foundation International.
charity was banned in India last year to safeguard its national security, but
it remains a registered charity in the UK.
Zakir Naik, who now reportedly lives in Malaysia, is being sought to extrude by
Indian security services, for allegedly inciting terrorism and delivering hate
party leader hires prominent anti-Muslim extremist as adviser
right-wing extremist dubbed the loudest Islamophobic voice in Britain has been
appointed an adviser to the leader of a British political party that championed
the campaign to leave the European Union.
Robinson has been brought in by Gerard Batten of the United Kingdom
Independence Party (UKIP) to give his views on so-called grooming gangs and
prison reform despite having a history of criminality and leading violent
demonstrations against Islam.
has no MPs and has shifted to the political side lines after its charismatic
former leader Nigel Farage quit having played a prominent role in persuading
Britons to vote to quit the EU.
new leadership, UKIP has lurched further to the right culminating in the
appointment of Mr Robinson despite him being barred from holding membership
under party rules.
Farage said on Friday that he was appalled at the appointment of Mr Robinson
and called for Mr Batten, to be dumped.
said the selection of Mr Robinson, a former leader of the extremist English
Defence League, was dragging the party in a “shameful direction”.
2014, UKIP had two MPs and won the third highest number of votes in national
elections the following year but has seen its support decline since. It retains
lawmakers in lower-tier representative bodies and at the European parliament.
Batten claimed that Mr Robinson had been “persecuted by the state” because of
his views. Mr Robinson has used the convictions of Asian men for grooming and
raping young women to further his anti-Muslim agenda.
lot of people respect his stand on things and his courage,” Mr Batten told the
BBC. “Islamophobic is a made-up word... I don’t have an irrational fear of
Islam, nor does Tommy Robinson.”
Robinson is the most recognisable face of the far-right and the tie-up has the
potential to lift his party out of the doldrums.
the party has fewer than 13,000 followers on its official YouTube channel,
Robinson has more than 270,000 for a medium he uses to raise money and to
promote himself and his anti-Islam world view.
his role in violent street protests, targeting Muslim-majority areas in
confrontational campaigns and using a counter-terrorist agenda to promote an
anti-Muslim agenda has seen him condemned and shunned by mainstream political
has, however, secured support and financial backing from prominent figures in
the United States after emerging as the most recognisable anti-Muslim
personality on the far-right in the UK.
Bannon, Donald Trump’s former strategist, described Mr Robinson, who has
convictions for violence, mortgage fraud and drug offences, as a “force of
nature” and was seen as a potential key figure in the American’s plans for a
European far-right movement.
Robinson’s ability to raise money for his campaign came into sharp focus
earlier this month when he was barred from travelling to the US this month for
speaking engagements that anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate claimed could net
him some £1 million.
feared a ban from entering the US because of a 2013 conviction for using a
false passport could be lifted. More than 50 UK lawmakers wrote to the US
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to press him to uphold the ban.
Mr Robinson is still due to take part in a five-date tour of Australia next
month along with Gavin McInnes, a Canadian who co-founded the Vice Media group.
The tour website offers tickets from 85 Australian dollars (225 AED) to a 995
Australian dollar-package (2,650 AED) that included a pre-show private dinner
with the two men.
say Mr Robinson mixes small donations from mainstream payment engines with
larger donations from far-right US figures including Robert Shillman, a
successful manufacturer of high-tech equipment, and Pamela Geller, a US
far-right political activist.
Geller was barred from Britain in 2013 when she planned to speak at an EDL
rally to mark the murder of a soldier by Islamist extremists.
activist campaign led to PayPal cutting off its services to Mr Robinson, who
has switched to requesting his followers to send him bitcoin to help fund his
organisers of the activist campaign said they would seek to publicly shame
other providers into blocking Mr Robinson from using their platforms.
Barns, said 65,000 members of his group SumOfUs used Twitter and petition
campaigns to pressure PayPal to cut its ties with a man he described as the
“loudest Islamophobic voice in Britain”.
wouldn’t have taken this step without public pressure,” said the UK-based
campaigner. He said it also sent a strong message to corporations not to seek
profit where “that puts communities around the world in danger”.
Robinson claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy. “This is their attempt to
remove me,” he said in a filmed clip posted on his YouTube site.
can see the support we are galvanising. By closing my PayPal account it closes
my ability to continue working - and they know that.”
of travelling to the US, Mr Robinson instead spoke about his bar from PayPal
via videolink to a closed-doors meeting in Washington hosted by a Republican
congressman, Paul Gosar, and the right-wing Middle East Forum (MEF).
urged Saudi Arabia on Friday to fully cooperate with Turkey to enlighten the
killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
at a news conference in Berlin, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Adebahr
said many questions regarding the murder of Khashoggi still remained unclear.
hope that the Saudi authorities would closely cooperate with the Turkish
authorities,” she stressed, adding that Germany and its EU partners would
continue to demand that all responsible for the murder are held accountable.
whether Germany supported growing calls for a UN inquiry into the killing of
Khashoggi, Adebahr said they would like to first wait for the result of Turkish
Turkish public prosecutor’s office has not yet concluded its investigation and
released a final report. First, we have to wait for this outcome,” she added.
a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2
inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted that Khashoggi had been
killed at the consulate but claimed that the Saudi royal family had no prior
knowledge of a plot to murder him.
Monday, Germany imposed a travel ban on 18 Saudi citizens suspected of
involvement in the killing of Khashoggi.
German government has also halted all arms exports to Saudi Arabia in a move to
increase pressure on Riyadh to conduct a full investigation into the murder.
Wednesday, Middle East Eye reported that a secretive British government
counter-terrorism propaganda unit has been working on youth-targeted campaigns
in the Middle East and North Africa. The British Council-led work has been
rolled out in Tunisia, Morocco and Lebanon and has focused on cultural and
artistic platforms to "deliver messages about alternative pathways to
programme, called Strengthening Resilience in MENA, works with the national
governments of each country in the hope of recruiting local civil society
groups and organisations into the project in order to supposedly steer young
people away from radicalisation and possible recruitment into terrorist groups.
are many alarming aspects of this work. Firstly, the Research, Communications
and Information Unit (RICU), which forms part of the Home Office’s Office for
Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), is also involved, though seemingly
behind the scenes.
the UK, this has been a heavily criticised unit which has targeted grassroots
organisations – some of which include Muslim women's groups – in order to
deliver Home Office-funded propaganda in relation to counter-terrorism, by
attempting to shape Muslim identity in Britain.
was pursued despite opposition from large sections of the Muslim community to
the government’s Prevent strategy, and the deeply racist and repressive
tendencies of these so-called counter-terrorism policies.
made matters more insidious is that some groups were not directly informed of
RICU’s role and funding, a familiar practice that was also used following
Prevent’s inception, when grassroots community spaces were approached and
resourced without being given full disclosure on the nature of the funding
despite mounting criticism at home, the British government continues to export
problematic projects like this, not only to other European countries but also
to Muslim majority ones.
of the campaigns, developed through the programme, was a social media
celebration of Tunisian identity (Ala Khatrek Tounsi – Because You Are
Tunisian). Advertisements were played on television depicting a positive image
of the country, as well as videos, posts and photos being shared across social
media platforms evoking pride in national and cultural identity.
took place during Ramadan 2016 and 2017, a time of increased TV and online
platforms viewership given the lengthy and hot fasting days, when working and
school hours are often made shorter in the region throughout the holy month.
to the concept of controlling the sense of belonging and identification with
the state, which the Home Office attempted in the UK, this tactic has been
applied in a region where young people have grown up in the aftermath of a revolutionary
uprising that demanded an end to poverty and state repression.
these campaigns are not engaging with the social issues that continue to plague
Tunisian society, despite the fall of former Tunisian president Ben Ali’s
autocratic rule, such as the ongoing repression of political and journalistic
freedoms – intensified under the state of emergency that has been in place
since 2015 – or the lack of jobs and prospects for young people.
are many cases of arbitrary arrests, police brutality, torture and even
extrajudicial killings of protesters, which are often denied by the government.
last month a 30-year-old English studies graduate, Mouna Guebla, detonated a
handmade explosive in a suicide attack in Tunis. She was unable to find a job
for years after completing her degree. This was effectively brushed off as an
attention was given to her social position, potential hopelessness as a
consequence of studying for years in a field that she was unable to find work
in, and the fact that she had no history of criminal activity.
week, thousand of Tunisians took to the streets to protest and strike alongside
650,000 public sector workers over rising inflation, public sector cuts, and a
failure to increase wages. There were walkouts across universities, schools,
hospitals and ministries, chanting in demand of their rights.
the Strengthening Resilience in MENA programme continues working alongside
governments in the region, including Tunisia, and seeks to support their
strategic communications campaigns. One has to then wonder: who is to build
resilience and against whom?
of the biggest social issues for young people across Tunisia, Morocco and
Lebanon include poverty, unemployment, political repression, government
corruption, access to good education and healthcare, and police brutality.
Working alongside these states – renowned for violating people’s right to
protest, not adequately tackling poverty and joblessness, divesting from welfare
services, as well as relying heavily on aid – surely contradicts the intention
to tackle the roots of isolation, marginalisation and even violent extremism.
this sense, the programme appears more like an active campaign to strengthen
identification with the state and undermine feelings of social revolt and
Qureshi from human rights group Cage best described it as follows:
has been involved in secret programmes to promote versions of Islam that are
depoliticised and attempt to ignore the root causes of political violence -
foreign and domestic policies. These programmes exist specifically to reinforce
ideas that ideology are at the centre of violence, rather than dealing with the
structural violence they perpetuate. If RICU was serious about ending political
violence, they would turn their attention to the way that regimes quell
dissent, not only abroad, but in the UK as well."
British Council’s own assessment report states that working in partnership with
RICU, they have,"succeeded in creating a platform where government and
civil society can communicate more effectively to strengthen resilience and
reduce radicalisation and recruitment by violent extremists in the three target
countries of Tunisia, Lebanon and Morocco”.
order for that to happen, there probably needs to be a major probe into the
stifling of freedom of speech and the violence towards political activists,
trade unionists and various figures from oppressed minority groups in these
countries. Effective communication would become a reality when the threat to a
person’s life and liberty for criticism of the state are an unlikely outcome of
Hop culture (i.e. rap and graffiti) has been a key component in the
"Strengthening Resilience" work. What has historically served as an
artform which speaks to young people from oppressed groups about social
consciousness, political frustrations and state violence, has been co-opted to
serve as a means of "strategic communications" by repressive states.
This can be likened to the way the CIA used American abstract expressionism as
a weapon during the Cold War.
by Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko were
toured internationally in order to promote the "freedom" of the US in
contrast to Russian, communist repression of self-expression.
methods of propaganda that can be traced back to the Cold War, during which the
UK and US funded different forms of cultural expressions – from Pollock to Jazz
– to dissuade support for communism, doesn’t exactly point to the project as
being about overall social good.
is – overall – a striking level of colonial arrogance involved in the idea that
a people who have participated in the largest revolutionary uprising in recent
times need the British state to teach them about civil society, communication,
or reducing violence. This is to say nothing of the irony of focusing on
potential, isolated, individual violence while ignoring – or even legitimising
– organised structural state repression.
truth, it is us – the people of the global North – who should be learning from
the people of Tunisia and the region about how to face down increasingly
repressive states, curtailment of our free speech, and growing poverty. The
revolutionary waves that shook the MENA region in 2011 emerged out of specific
local contexts, and yet they also spoke to a broader global truth.
— Dozens of British Jews cooked chicken soup for homeless people with
volunteers from a Muslim group that is banned in Israel over alleged ties to
least 1,000 bowls of soup, which used a traditional Jewish recipe and halal
meat, were prepared at the East London Mosque on Sunday, the East London
Advertiser reported. The drive was part of Mitzvah Day, a Jewish communal
initiative that encourages social action and that started in the United Kingdom
13 years ago.
to the BBC, the London-based Muslim Aid group helped organize the event, where
its volunteers wore its logo on green shirts. In 2008, Ehud Barak, who was then
Israel’s defense minister, outlawed the group in Israel, citing unspecified
ties to Hamas.
Jewish partners at the event were from the New Stoke Newington Shul, a Masorti
or Conservative synagogue. Last year, the government of Bangladesh also banned
some activities of the group, citing the use of their resources for promoting
“radicalism.” Similar charges leveled against the group in Britain were found
by authorities to be unfounded in a 2014 inquiry led by the United Kingdom’s
4 Truth, a hawkish Jewish group from London, said in a statement it found the
event “questionable” in light of the allegations by Israel against Muslim Aid,
“in a climate when Israel faces an existential threat from Iran proxies Hamas
Muslim Aid spokesperson rejected the allegations against the group, quoting a
Charity Commission assertion that it can give “public assurance that public
allegations of links between [Muslim Aid] and terrorism are unsubstantiated.”
Aid “has never had any links to terrorist groups. Muslim Aid works via trusted
partner organizations, which are carefully screened and do not appear on
international lists of proscribed organizations,” the spokesperson said.
“Muslim Aid regularly partners with numerous organizations of many faiths,
persuasions and backgrounds,” the spokesperson added, and “has a 30-year
history of excellent field work here in the UK and globally.”
Day founder and chair Laura Marks reiterated to JTA her group’s commitment to
“bringing people together and showing that there is more that unites than
divides us.” She declined to address the claims raised against Muslim Aid.
“This particular project was all about Jews and Muslims coming together to feed
the homeless. We do not raise money or fund projects,” she told JTA.
chicken soup drive was one of hundreds of events held throughout the United
Kingdom on Mitzvah Day, many of them across religious divides. The initiative
has spread over the years to include Jewish communities in nearly 30 other
countries, which this year saw approximately 2,000 different Mitzvah Day
Aid did not respond to JTA’s request for a comment about the accusations made
against it by Israel.
to a Telegraph exposé from 2010, the group has admitted funding Al-Ihsan, a
charity linked to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Islamic University of
Gaza. It has declined to address claims that it has funded the Islamic Society
and five other bodies linked to Hamas, according to that article.
Malik, the CEO of Muslim Aid, told BBC of the chicken soup drive: “The
interfaith is the fabric of our society it’s part of what makes our British
communities so rich, so diverse.” Rabbi Roni Tabick of the New Stoke Newington
Shul told BBC that the use of halal meat is “kind of a fusion in that way of
both our traditions.”
was just ‘Baba’”.
how Jamal Khashoggi’s daughters, Noha Khashoggi and Razan Jamal Khashoggi,
described their father: “simply Dad”.
a column published Friday in the Washington Post, the US newspaper in which
Khashoggi had a regular column, his daughters described him as "a loving
man with a big heart", a passion for books and an unrelenting thirst for
surrounded himself with books and always dreamed of having more. And in all he
read, he never discriminated, fully absorbing every opinion. His love of books
taught him to form his own thoughts. He taught us to do the same," they
who was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, strived
"for a utopian version of reality" — which is what drove him to think
critically, his daughters said.
was vitally important to him to speak up, to share his opinions, to have candid
discussions. And writing was not just a job, it was a compulsion; it was
ingrained into the core of his identity, and it truly kept him alive,"
his words keep his spirit with us, and we are grateful for that. They say,
'Here was a man who truly lived life to the fullest.'"
longed to return to Saudi Arabia, his daughters wrote on Friday.
said that on the day he left the Gulf kingdom, he stood on the doorstep of his
home, "wondering if he would ever return".
all his trials and travels, he never abandoned hope for his country. Because,
in truth, Dad was no dissident. If being a writer was ingrained in his
identity, being a Saudi was part of that same grain," they wrote.
his killing last month, Khashoggi's daughters said the family has visited his
home in the US state of Virginia, where he had been living in self-imposed
hardest part was seeing his empty chair," they said, and "his absence
we looked at his belongings, we knew he had chosen to write so tirelessly in
the hopes that when he did return to the kingdom, it might be a better place
for him and all Saudis."
Khashoggi's daughters said their column may read like a eulogy for their
deceased father, they insisted it wasn't.
this is a promise that his light will never fade, that his legacy will be
preserved within us. Baba said it best: 'Some depart to remain,' which rings
true today," they wrote.
feel blessed to have been raised with his moral compass, his respect for
knowledge and truth, and his love.
we meet again in the next life."
tag of the ‘children of ISIS’ is a slur that weighs heavily upon a large number
of Arab and foreign children. It could haunt them for years to come, as even
their countries of origin and sometimes even their parents do not want them.
on Children’s Day, celebrated by the world on November 20, these children were
kept outside UNICEF’s “Blue Line” drawn in commemoration of Children’s Day.
to the Raseef22 website, there are two types of children within the terrorist
organization — the children of the organization’s fighters born in Syria, Iraq,
Libya and then the children kidnapped by the organization for recruitment.
is another classification for such children which concerns arming and
recruitment: children who have not yet taken up arms, and other where children
were recruited and have even carried out executions and suicide attacks.
ISIS was chased out of Mosul in July 2017, the world discovered suffering of
the people of the city, both young and old. It was a difficult task for the
authorities to deradicalize the minds of the children that had lived under the ISIS
news agency Sputnik reported in March this year that the Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that a total of 1127 children lived
in the shelters of the Ministry of Social Affairs, of which 514 were under
three years old, while 460 children were between the ages of 3 and 9 years. Of
them, the majority is of girls (94), while 59 are boys.
Ministry of Social Affairs told Sputnik that it was dealing with these children
as "victims of an oppressive organization" and was working toward
removing extremist ideology from their minds.
look at the nationalities of these children shows how the terrorist
organization spread its influence across various societies in the east and
west, attracting fighters from different countries.
children in this center are of Turkish, Azerbaijani, Russian, Tajikistani,
Kyrgyzstani, Uzbek, Moroccan, Ukrainian, Iranian, Algerian, German, French and
South American origin.
project of recruiting children to carry out suicide operations was part of the
"cubs of ISIS" project, but it is an advanced stage of the terrorist
action. The plans were overseen by the French brothers Michel and Fabien Clain,
who were also responsible for the propaganda of the organization.
Tag of The ‘Children Of ISIS’ Is A Slur That Weighs Heavily Upon A Large Number
Of Arab And Foreign Children
ISIS was chased out of Mosul in July 2017, the world discovered suffering of
the people of the city, both young and old. It was a difficult task for the
authorities to deradicalize the minds of the children that had lived under the
look at the nationalities of these children shows how the terrorist organization
spread its influence across various societies in the east and west, attracting
fighters from different countries.
attending a meeting with elderly tribesmen in Southern Hasaka, the SDF accepted
to withdraw from its military bases in populated outskirts of Hasaka and also
agreed to release the arrested people and stop forced recruitment of
soldiers," Maza Hamad al-Asa'ad, a tribesman leader in Eastern Syria,
tribal leader reiterated that the agreement took place after widespread
protests took place in several regions of Hasaka, specially in al-Shadadi
region in Southern Hasaka.
Bashir, another tribal leader in Eastern region, also emphasized that amid
threats by Turkey to launch military operation in Eastern Euphrates, the
Kurdish forces agreed to withdraw from their military bases as they fear from
Arab tribal leaders' imminent support for Turkish military intervention in
relevant remarks on Tuesday, clashes were reported in Southern Hasaka after
protesters from various Arab tribes took to the streets and called for the
expulsion of the US army men and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from
Northeastern Syria, a militant-affiliated website reported.
news website reported that protesters, mainly from the Arab al-Mahasen tribe,
clashed with the US soldiers in al-Aam street in the town of al-Shadadi in
Southern Hasaka after the US artillery attack killed the entire members of a
family from the same tribe.
further said that a large number of civilians in al-Shadadi and in the villages
of al-Hana Sharqi, al-Sarab and Saleh al-Leil in Southern Hasaka took to the
streets, protesting against the US-backed SDF and SDF-affiliated security
forces of Asayesh.
the meantime, field sources reported that the protestors attacked 2 bases of
Asayesh and set fire at their flags and their leaders' photos, calling for
their expulsion from their region.
added that the SDF, in response, opened fire at the protestors and launched
artillery attacks on several neighborhoods, injuring several civilians.
militant-affiliated website reported on Sunday that Arab tribes in Hasaka
province in Northeastern Syria demanded the Syrian Army to deploy its guards at
border with Turkey after the Ankara forces' threats to launch an imminent
large-scale operation against the Kurds on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates
al-Wasl reported that the Kurdish militias try to hold different meetings with
Arab tribes in Hasaka, Raqqa and Aleppo provinces to persuade them to join them
in battle against the Turkish troops.
further said that the Kurds had several meetings with Arab tribes in al-Safir
region in the town of Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka, adding that all
tribal elites called on the SDF to hand over border control to the Damascus
force to deter a Turkish invasion.
the meantime, local sources in Hasaka province pointed to the Kurdish concerns
about the Turkish troops' operation, and said that the Kurds have transferred
prisoners and detainees from their Alaya jail in the town of Qamishli in
Northeastern Hasaka to their central jail in Hasaka city.
Damascus army warded off the terrorists' attacks on its military positions in
the Northern parts of Hama province.
Syrian army's units pounded movements by Al-Izza Kataeb and other terrorist
groups who were trying to penetrate from the demilitarized zone into military
positions in the surrounding areas of al-Moghir village and Bridij village in
Northern Hama. The terrorists came under the Damascus army's attacks on Tal
al-Sakhar-al-Janabereh road as well.
the Syrian army troops killed a number of terrorists and forced others to
sources also reported that the Syrian army also engaged in tough battle with
several terrorists who were intending to penetrate from al-Masaseneh in
Northern Hama into the military zone and pushed them back.
sources pointed to the presence of terrorists together with their weapons and
military hardware in a location between al-Zuka and al-Arbaeen towns to launch
attacks on Syrian army's military positions, and confirmed that the Syrian army
troops stationed in al-Jabin town West of Mahradeh in Northern Hama targeted
and pounded terrorists, leaving high casualties on them.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian army repelled militants'
offensive in the demilitarized zone in Hama, Idlib and Aleppo as reports said
that the terrorists have further equipped their members with more weapons and
Syrian army forces pounded the terrorists' positions in al-Ziyarah and
al-Sarmaniyeh with artillery and missile fire on Thursday as they wanted to
infiltrate into the army positions in Northwestern Hama from the demilitarized
zone, inflicting heavy tolls on them.
the Syrian army troops launched artillery attacks against the terrorists' moves
and positions in the towns of al-Latamineh, al-Zakat, Murak, al-Arba'een, Tal
al-Sakhar, Lahaya, al-Jaisat, al-Jaberiyeh and Tal Hawash in Northern Hama.
army units also targeted the militants' moves in al-Khowayn, Sakik, al-Katibeh
and al-Mahjoureh, warding off their offensives and forcing others to flee.
in Aleppo province, Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the
Al-Nusra Front) terrorists launched 15 missile and mortar attacks against
residential areas in Share' al-Nil and Jamiyat al-Zahra regions on Wednesday.
The army reciprocated the attacks with missile fire.
field sources reported that the terrorist groups in Northern Syria have in the
past week sent unprecedented volumes of weapons and equipment to the contact
lines with the Syrian army in Northern Hama and Southeastern Idlib in
terrorists' refusal to implement the Sochi Agreement is pushing the army to
initiate its long-waited assault on militants in Idlib that had been put on
hold due to the Sochi Agreement.
Mar'ei Hamdan, a Syrian military expert, was quoted by the Arabic-language
website of Sputnik news agency as saying earlier this month that Tahrir al-Sham
is in control of nearly 70% of towns and villages in Idlib province and makes
provocative moves against the Syrian army, adding that the army's commitment to
decrease tensions is not lasting forever.
added that the Syrian army has so far repelled all attacks by terrorists
against its positions and inflicted heavy damages on them, noting that the army
is now necessitated to come out of the defensive mood to retake control of
said that Tahrir al-Sham will resort to a full-scale military operation against
the Syrian and Russian armies soon, after rejecting the Sochi agreement last
October, which leaves no room for ceasefire or disarmament anymore, and
underlined that the Syrian army's battle against Tahrir al-Sham is inevitable.
the Turkey-backed Ahrar al-Sham and National Liberation Front (NLF) terrorist
groups has also dismissed the Russian-Turkish Sochi agreement and is preparing
for military operations against the army in Northern Syria, calling for a
coalition with Tahrir al-Sham.
al-Sham and other allied terrorist groups have not left the demilitarized zone
two months after the Sochi agreement and have instead reinvigorated their
strongholds and targeted the army positions every day.
reports said last week that the Turkey-backed NLF had put its gunmen on alert
to launch a heavy offensive against the Syrian army in the demilitarized zone
in Idlib province.
least 11 civilians, mostly women and children, have lost their lives and dozens
more have been wounded when the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the
Takfiri Daesh terrorist group bombarded residential areas in Syria’s embattled
eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
sources, requesting anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA on Friday
that the airstrikes pounded multiple parts of the village of al-Shafa in the
east of the flashpoint province, adding that three women and five children were
among the victims.
report further said that the death toll could rise as some of the wounded were
in critical condition due to the intensity of the aerial aggression.
November 17, the so-called military coalition killed at least 40 people after
its warplanes struck the village of al-Buqa'an on the outskirts of Hajin town
in the same province, leaving dozens more wounded.
November 13, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned a
recent airstrike by the US-led coalition against the eastern town of
al-Shaafah, which left more than 60 people dead and injured, arguing that the
massacre clearly pointed to the fact that members of the military alliance had
no respect for moral values, international rules and regulations besides the
lives of innocent civilians.
ministry, in two separate letters, addressed to United Nations Secretary General
Antonio Guterres and the rotating president of the UN Security Council Ma
Zhaoxu, called on the Security Council to fulfill its responsibilities and stop
US-led aerial assaults.
the US-led coalition has in multiple occasions used internationally-banned
white phosphorus munitions in bombing raids across the province, particularly
the town of Hajin, located some 110 kilometers east of the provincial capital
city of Dayr al-Zawr.
June last year, Human Rights Watch warned that the US-led coalition was
deploying white phosphorous bombs in both Iraq and Syria.
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be
Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from
the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
retired Israeli military General Staff Corps commander has revealed that former
Israeli military affairs minister Moshe Ya’alon met with Syrian terrorists
operating near the occupied Golan Heights during his tenure.
General Gershon Hacohen made the remarks at an Israeli conference earlier this
week, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper report on Friday.
I was commanding a corps in the Golan and Bogie [Ya’alon] was defense minister,
we sat with three Syrian activists from the other side, from Syria,” said
has largely remained silent about military cooperation with terrorists fighting
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
authorities have, however, openly admitted sending “civilian” provisions to the
other side of the border, effectively sending much food, aid and fuel supplies
to militant forces north of the occupied Golan Heights.
Israeli reports indicate that up to 70 percent of wounded individuals treated
in Israel from Syria have been “men of fighting age.”
Syrian army has, nonetheless, confiscated Israeli-made arms and military
equipment from militants fighting pro-Damascus forces on numerous occasions.
Two activists critical of both the regime and militancy were gunned down Friday
in Syria’s last major rebel bastion in the northwest of the country, their
radio station and a monitor said.
journalist Raed Fares and Hammoud Al-Juneid were “shot dead by unknown
assailants riding in a van in the town of Kafr Nabel” in Idlib province, Fresh
FM said on its Facebook page.
than half of Idlib and the surrounding region is controlled by Hayat Tahrir
Al-Sham, an alliance led by militants of Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate,
while most of the rest is held by pro-Turkey rebels.
also has a presence in the province.
killings and kidnappings have for months plagued Idlib, with angry residents
blaming all sides.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the two
men died of their wounds from the attack, for which there was no immediate
claim of responsibility.
were famous for their criticism of rebels committing violations or arresting
civilians, especially when it came to jihadist groups,” Observatory chief Rami
Abdel Rahman said.
have several times been detained by Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham,” he said.
Syria’s seven-year uprising, Fares has been known for his often humorous signs
in English and Arabic criticizing President Bashar Assad’s regime.
founded Fresh FM in 2013 to counter “fundamentalist narratives” in Idlib, he
has said, after which he was repeatedly targeted by armed groups.
militants raided the radio’s offices on several occasions, but it was also
bombarded by regime forces, he wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Times in
2014, I almost lost my life when two armed men opened fire at me and shot me in
the chest,” he said.
was abducted four times by Al-Qaeda militants and released a few days later
after being tortured.”
killing was a blow to the few independent voices that have continued to promote
nonviolence and democratic change in the war-torn country.
media sites were rife with the news of Fares’ killing. “My last friend &
hope 4 a better Syria has been killed (today) after being let down by”
everyone, Zaina Erhaim, a UK-based Syrian journalist who left the country in
2016, wrote on Twitter.
gained fame during the Syrian uprising because of continued support for
opposition protests even when the conflict took a violent turn.
town gained attention during weekly anti-government protests because of the
humorous English-language banners he created for each rally. “Do not send
money. Gold is not edible,” one banner read, urging the world to free a
besieged area instead of sending assistance.
organized protests to express support for the victims of the 2013 Boston
bombings, which he called “a sorrowful scene of what happens in Syria every
day. Do accept our condolences.”
was also a vocal critic of militants, supporting rallies against them, and
accusing them of silencing dissent. The Observatory reported that more than 390
people have been shot and killed since April in the rebel-held north amid a
wave of assassination and lawlessness.
Katoub, a doctor who supports health facilities in rebel-held areas, said
public figures and civil society activists are increasingly under threat in
northwestern Syria by militant groups. He said at least 13 doctors have
disappeared since 2018.
think the targeted people are all public figures and community leaders who
believe in the same values of humanity, dignity, justice and liberty,” Katoub
said. “You can’t know (Fares) without loving him, his smile, his optimism, his
hopes for Syria, (his) way of thinking and creativity.”
who also worked at the radio, was an advocate for freedom of expression and the
rule of law.
freedom of opinion. I want to be able to speak and not be scared,” he said in a
video posted on Facebook earlier this year.
September deal between regime ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey held off a
major regime assault to retake Idlib.
a buffer zone has yet to be implemented around the region, as stipulated by the
deal, after militants refused to withdraw from a planned demilitarised area by
has since evolved into a complex conflict involving world powers and militants.
are heading to the polls on Saturday in a parliamentary election from which
opposition groups have been barred in a crackdown on dissent in the
Western-allied kingdom as tensions with the Shia Muslim opposition show no
signs of abating.
have called for a boycott of what they describe as "farce" elections,
raising doubts about the credibility of the polls. The government says the
elections are democratic.
polls opened at 8am local time (05:00 GMT) and are set to close at 8pm.
Sunni-Muslim ruling Al Khalifa family has kept a lid on dissent since the Shia
opposition staged a failed uprising in 2011. Saudi Arabia sent in troops to
help crush the unrest in a mark of concern that any power-sharing concession by
Bahrain could inspire Saudi Arabia's own Shia minority.
regards the neighbouring island nation, which does not possess vast oil wealth
like other Gulf states, as a critical ally in its proxy wars with Iran in the
which is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, has closed the main opposition
groups, barred their members from running in elections and prosecuted scores of
people, many described by human rights groups as activists, in mass trials.
legislatures from the world's leading democratic states believe that the
upcoming election in Bahrain lacks legitimacy. You simply cannot crush, torture
and imprison your entire opposition, call for a pseudo-election, and then
demand the respect of the international community," said Sayed Ahmed
Alwadaei, director of the UK-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy
government said 506 candidates are running in the election, including the
highest number of female candidates. It expects a higher voter turnout than in
2014, which it put at 53 percent, when opposition groups boycotted the
23, out of 40 incumbents of the House of Representatives, are seeking
re-election this year to parliament, which has limited powers.
of Bahrain's Shia say they are deprived of jobs and government services and
treated as second class citizens in the country of 1.5 million.
authorities deny the allegations and accuse Iran of fostering unrest that has
seen demonstrators clash with security forces, who have been targeted by
several bomb attacks. Tehran denies the allegations.
Rights Watch said in a statement that Manama is failing to create conditions
necessary for a free election by "jailing or silencing people who
challenge the ruling family" and banning all opposition parties.
leader of dissolved opposition groups al-Wefaq said the rise of Saudi Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman has emboldened Bahrain's authorities in their
crackdown on dissent, which has included stripping scores of activists from
couldn't go ahead with all the crackdown without the strong backing of the
Saudi government. Mohammed bin Salman listens only to hardliners in Bahrain's
ruling family," Ali Alaswad, who lives in self-exile in London and has
been sentenced in absentia to life in prison, told Reuters news agency.
opponents say the space for political expression has been shrinking in the lead
up to the election. Several activists, including a former lawmaker, were
arrested last week for tweeting about boycotting elections, activists said.
is barred from expressing their political views," said a government
is home to 16 political societies, the majority of which have put forward
candidates for the upcoming elections, and the government fully supports open
and inclusive political dialogue."
candidates have taken to social media to urge Bahrainis to vote as a patriotic
who don't participate will not be part of the national consensus or equation in
Bahrain," said Ali Al Aradi, deputy president of Bahrain's House of
opposition figures hope the outcry over the murder of prominent Saudi
journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul last month could
help strengthen more moderate voices in the region, including members of
Bahrain's royal family who are open to dialogue with the opposition.
killing of Khashoggi, a critic of Prince Mohammed, has drawn global
condemnation and exposed Saudi Arabia's crackdown on dissent and aggressive
if there's a real accusation from the US against Mohammed bin Salman, radical
wings in Bahrain which don't want to work with the opposition will be
weakened," Alaswad said.
some analysts are skeptical.
fails to address mistreatment of Rohingya: NYT
plan to repatriate Rohingya who fled the country from persecution fails to
address the country's mistreatment of the Muslim minority, The New York Times
an opinion piece, the Time's editorial board said the Rohingya should be able
to return to their homes in Myanmar, however, "simply pushing them back
across the border" is not the right way.
asked the Rohingya about the repatriation plan, and they understandably panicked
when Bangladesh troops entered their camp and told the first group of 2,200 to
get ready to move," the board wrote Thursday. "With one voice, young
and old alike shouted, 'We won’t go!'"
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced
heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children
and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces
launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community.
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya:
The Untold Experience."
18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and
over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it
UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young
children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state
forces. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted
crimes against humanity.
plight of the Rohingya ranks among the worst injustices in the world
today," the board wrote.
newspaper also criticized Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi for her role in the
persecution of the Rohingya.
Myanmar government, including the once-respected Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has
denied any culpability, invoking ancient grievances and skewed history to
justify treating the Rohingya as Muslim interlopers in a predominantly Buddhist
land," it added.
different rights group, along with the UN, objected to the plan to repatriate
Rohingya to Myanmar, saying conditions were not met and it could put the lives
of the Muslim minority at risk.
noted an “overwhelming majority” of the refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar
were reluctant to be repatriated unless their safety was ensured.
week, the Bangladeshi government halted the first scheduled Rohingya
repatriation to Myanmar following protests by more than 700,000 refugees.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, the world does not need your 'explanations,' nor
repatriation schemes that fail to address the mistreatment of the Rohingya and
give them assurances that they can rebuild their burned-out homes and live in
security and dignity," the board wrote.
feared as suicide attack target army mosque in Khost province
suicide bomber detonated his explosives among the participants of Friday
prayers in mosque located inside an Afghan army brigade in southeastern Khost
province of Afghanistan.
incident took place this afternoon during Friday prayers in Mandozai district
of Khost province.
Afghan army source confirmed the incident and said preliminary reports indicate
at least ten army soldiers have been martyred and at least 20 others have
unconfirmed reports indicate at least 26 people have died and nearly 50 others
have sustained injuries in the explosion.
individual or group including Taliban militants has so far claimed
responsibility behind the incident.
has been among the relatively calm provinces since the fall of the Taliban
regime but the security situation of the province has deteriorated
comparatively during the recent years.
early October, the newly- appointed US Department of State’s Special
Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad launched his
shuttle diplomacy. He is not a new face on the scene.
was on the US team in Geneva in 1988, which negotiated the agreement on the
Soviet military withdrawal from Afghanistan. He also led the American
delegation in Bonn that established the post-Taliban government in 2001. Both
deals failed to bring peace.
questions rise again over whether he can offer a solution in 2018 that can
bring sustainable peace to Afghanistan.
week, Khalilzad held the second round of meetings with Afghan government and
opposition politicians, Pakistanis and Afghan Taliban representatives in Qatar.
he has not announced a peace plan,
rumours left in the trail of his visits point to a scenario that
envisions postponing presidential elections slated for April 2019; dissolution
of the current elected Afghan government and establishment of an
extra-constitutional interim government and a trial-based ceasefire agreement.
the US would devise a military withdrawal plan from Afghanistan and finally,
once the Taliban receives some territorial concessions, elections will be held.
concessions would involve granting the Taliban protection inside Afghanistan or
even autonomy over a few districts they already control, but this remains a
a Taliban spokesperson denied that the group has asked for an interim
government, the US envoy was quoted in the Afghan media as saying that he is
“cautiously optimistic or hopeful” that a peace deal can be reached before the
April presidential poll.
fundamental flaws beset both scenarios. But let’s backtrack a little.
Afghanistan war had escalated considerably since 2014 when US President Barack
Obama pulled most of the American military out of Afghanistan. The drawdown was
a short-sighted quick-fix attempt to end America’s longest war.
drawdown, however, was not the first time America had abandoned the Afghans.
the 1980s, the US pumped millions of dollars of weapons and ammunition through
Pakistan, to the Afghan mujahideen who were fighting the invading Soviet army.
The intention was to bleed the Soviets in their own Vietnam.
US and the USSR finally agreed in 1988 for a Red Army withdrawal, leaving the
Afghan resistance out of the negotiations. Washington found no use in remaining
powers were quick to step in arming their proxies among Afghanistan’s ethnic
and sectarian groups. Neither the chaos and bloodshed of the early 1990s nor
the subsequent coming to power of the Pakistani-backed Taliban alarmed the
Americans. Neither did the existence and flourishing in Afghanistan of Osama
Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network.
retaliated swiftly. A military campaign was followed by a new government made
up of mostly former mujahideen, circumventing the Taliban. But, with the US
military intervention came lofty promises of Marshall-Plan proportions for
reconstruction, democratisation and eradication of terrorism.
attention, however, quickly shifted to invading Iraq and the quagmire that
followed. This provided a golden opportunity for Pakistan’s Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI) to resurrect the Taliban, and over time, sponsor a plethora
of transnational terrorist organisations.
Obama plan for a military drawdown was announced at the end of 2009 to be
completed by the end of 2014.
have the watches, but we have the time,” a Taliban commander was quoted as
telling a NATO general in 2011, referring to the disadvantage of a deadline.
2015, Afghan casualties have skyrocketed with nearly 29,000 police and military
personnel killed. Civilian casualties have risen too. From January through
September this year, 1065 civilians have been killed and 2,569 injured. Women
and children accounted for almost 25 percent of civilian casualties.
2015, Americans have lost 58 military personnel in Afghanistan.
such staggering casualties, Afghans are naturally the most eager stakeholders
in peace. But, to achieve a comprehensive and sustainable peace, first and
foremost, all Afghans must feel ownership of the process.
old method of promising a piece of the power pie to the now mostly irrelevant
old guard for their stamp of approval will not assure success for Khalilzad’s
have moved on. A new generation of men and women with master’s degrees are
governing the nation. Even the illiterate tribesman aspires for modern life.
sports, arts and music, equal rights, life with dignity, justice, freedom of
expression, ethnic and sectarian inclusion and room for prosperity are the
values of the new Afghanistan. These values need to be a part of any realistic
a peace process must not be handled between individuals as a business deal. It
must not be negotiated secretly behind closed doors. It must be allowed to be a
process. It must be negotiated nationwide and a national consensus must be
reached on the red lines and compromises. This is especially crucial given the
multitude of actors, diversity of objectives and newly defined values.
important is the fact that the Taliban are no longer a homogenous group loyal
to one supreme leader and having only one foreign backer. Past negotiations in
Qatar have been rejected by disparate Taliban factions.
the current conflict environment in Afghanistan includes not only the Taliban
but the Haqqani Network, the IS-K (Daesh), the resurgent Al Qaeda Arabs, Uzbek
and Tajik insurgents, the Chechens, the Uyghur and various Pakistani militant
groups. Striking a deal with one branch of the Taliban would hardly stop the
war in Afghanistan.
reducing the solution to foreign troop withdrawal, a release of Taliban
prisoners and accommodating the Taliban’s ideology in the Afghan constitution
will not carry the country to peace.
drivers of conflict are many, chief among them is the lucrative opium trade,
from which the insurgents and their foreign supporters—in the region and
mining is yet another driver of conflict. A simple exercise of superimposing
the map of Afghan mines on the map of the country’s conflict zones would
illustrate this point.
example, insurgents gain an estimated $9 million per year from talc mining in
the restive Nangarhar province, while lapis mining in Badakhshan province
finances much of their fight in the north and perpetuates insecurity.
the regional dimension of the conflict in Afghanistan is arguably more
difficult to tackle than internal grievances. Complexities of regional
ambitions and fears must be addressed fundamentally.
a time when most of Afghanistan’s neighbors near and far are supplying their
proxy groups, withdrawal of US and NATO troops and release of Taliban prisoners
will not achieve peace.
genuine process with the intention to achieve a comprehensive and lasting peace
could only begin with a firm US commitment to support an Afghan-led process
with no deadlines. It would allow the Afghans to reach a national consensus on
the terms and task their elected government to prepare the prerequisites, seek
international support and negotiate with the insurgents.
US interests are better served if instead of acting like traders in peace,
willing to mortgage Afghanistan’s achievements for a “dignified exit”,
Washington assumes a supporting role to an Afghan-led process for peace with justice,
freedoms and dignity for all sides.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani says the Afghan people do not want the Taliban to return
to power and the nation supports peace, education, prosperity, and development
during a gathering of elders and influential figures of Jaghoori and Malistan
districts, President Ghani said it has been revealed during his interaction
with the people that the nation do not want the return of Taliban to power.
said the nation supports peace, education, prosperity, and development of
Afghanistan and under no circumstances are prepared to make compromise with the
achievements of the state.
towards the casualties of the armed forces in Jaghoori district, President
Ghani said the martyrdom of the commando forces is a sign of the national unity
of the nation and national unity is key for the existence of the nation.
Ghani further added that the future steps in Jaghoori and Malistan would ensure
stability in the two districts and clear instructions and security plan exist
for the two districts emphasizing that ensuring security of the routes is part
of the plans.
also added that clear instructions have been issued for the reinforcement of
security outposts in Jaghoori and Malistan districts and work is underway for
the establishment of a special unit in Bamyan province.
BAZAR, Bangladesh (AFP) - As desperation swells in the squalid camps that are
home to a million Rohingya refugees, long-dormant - and often deadly -
trafficking networks are being revived, Bangladeshi officials warn.
operating rickety fishing boats prey on the hopes of people who fled violence
in Myanmar, charging them small fortunes for a dangerous journey to South-east
Asia, offering an empty promise of a fresh start.
first vessel to depart Bangladesh for Malaysia since the end of the monsoon was
intercepted by law enforcement, who warn others will follow.
in the heaving Rohingya ghettos of Cox's Bazar feel they have no other option
but to try to escape, community leaders and aid workers say.
deal to safely return the persecuted Muslims to Myanmar has failed, condemning
them to limbo and deprivation in fetid camps where they are barred from leaving
or looking for work to improve their lot.
a surge, coastguard patrols have been stepped up since the first boat was
detected in November in the Bay of Bengal, said Ikbal Hossain, deputy police
chief in Cox's Bazar.
boatload of refugees who fled a camp in Myanmar were found off the country's
southern coast in November after spending 15 days at sea in a failed attempt to
the sea turns calm, the smuggling rackets have resumed their activities. But we
have a zero-tolerance attitude towards human trafficking," Mr Hossain told
he said traffickers were difficult to detect in the teeming hills where more
than 720,000 Rohingya sought refuge after a brutal crackdown by the Myanmar
military in August 2017.
Begum, a 30-year-old widowed in what UN investigators called ethnic cleansing,
said she was approached by another refugee offering to reunite her with a
sister and brother-in-law in Malaysia.
Muslim-majority nation hosts one of the largest overseas Rohingya communities,
many of whom arrived by boat from Cox's Bazar until that smuggling pipeline was
closed in 2015.
Begum was introduced to a Bangladeshi handler in the coastal town of Teknaf and
arranged to get the required US$120 (S$165) from family in Kuala Lumpur.
secured Ms Begum and her two children a spot aboard the crescent-shaped fishing
boat crammed with 33 other refugees above and below deck.
promised my life would change if I could reach there with my kids," she
told AFP despairingly from a plastic-roofed shanty. Her son, seven-year-old
Mohammad Riaz, recounted his terror as the creaking boat was tossed about in
the churning sea.
was scared because the boat was bouncing on the waves. I thought I would fall
overboard and into the sea," he told AFP.
traffickers were arrested in connection with the failed voyage, police said.
told AFP the fishing trawler had been due to transfer the Rohingya to a bigger
Malaysia-bound ship out at sea.
its peak, transnational smuggling networks passed refugees from boat to boat
before docking in Thailand and moving them overland to secret campsites in
route collapsed in May 2015, when shallow graves were found at migrant holding
camps along the Thai-Malaysia border.
the authorities closed in, traffickers abandoned boats in the Andaman Sea,
leaving starving and dehydrated passengers to drift south.
one knows exactly how many died in the transit camps or at sea.
authorities fear another exodus is looming, as traffickers return to old tricks
to lure vulnerable refugees onto ships.
Khadiza, a 16-year-old refugee, said her mother put her on board after
traffickers promised that a wealthy Rohingya man in Malaysia would marry her.
were kept in a fish refrigerator inside the boat's hull for hours. We couldn't
move inside the tight space," she told AFP.
UN refugee agency UNHCR is running awareness campaigns in the camps about the
dangers of trusting people smugglers and taking flimsy boats into the open
recognise that the continued maritime movements, despite the serious dangers,
illustrate the desperation that people feel," UNHCR spokesman Caroline
Gluck told AFP. "Unless they believe there are other tangible solutions to
their plight, Rohingya will continue to risk their lives on boats."
amid grinding hardship, with little prospect of a brighter future, camp leaders
say the promise of a better life elsewhere would be difficult to counter.
is not a life anyone would prefer," said Rohingya community leader
Mohammad Osman. "That's why they jump on boats without a second thought
when approached by traffickers."
states do not want to irrevocably damage ties with Saudi Arabia: Researcher
United States and other Western states do not want to irrevocably disturb their
relations with Saudi Arabia despite evidence that the Saudi rulers murdered
dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to Walt Peretto, a writer and
researcher based in Washington, DC.
Turkish foreign minister has expressed his disdain for Donald Trump's laissez-faire
stance regarding Saudi Arabia's handling of reports that a dissident Saudi
journalist is missing and presumed murdered after entering the Saudi consulate
in Istanbul on October 2. While Germany, Denmark, and Sweden have halted arms
sales to the Saudis -- France, the UK, Spain, Italy, and the United States will
continue to supply the Saudis and their murderous campaign in Yemen,” Peretto
said in an interview with Press TV on Friday.
Turkish foreign minister’s comments came after Trump stated that the murder of
Khashoggi would not affect Washington’s ties with Riyadh despite the fact that
the murder had been ordered at highest levels of the Saudi government.
on Tuesday glossed over the CIA's reported conclusion that Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman had authorized the killing.
said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “has blamed higher-ups in the
Saudi government for the murder of the journalist, but falls short of blaming
King Salman. Western bloc nations in general do not want to irrevocably disturb
their relations with the Kingdom despite evidence that they murdered one of
their own journalists. Relations between the Western bloc nations, which
includes Saudi Arabia, is much stronger than any reprimand for killing a
has strong ties to the Saudis going back decades including a 'financial'
relationship. In the large scheme of things, a murder of a journalist is a very
minor offense compared to foreign entities colluding with higher ups in the US
government to murder 3,000 people on 9/11. Independent investigation and
analysis has concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that US and Israeli
intelligence, so called neo-cons in the Bush administration, current and former
Israeli prime ministers, and representatives of several industries including
the mainstream media were complicit in these heinous crimes,” he stated.
bad as the murder of the journalist is, it is nothing compared the crimes
against humanity perpetrated every day by members of the Western bloc nations who
are under the financial and psychological control of the international bankers
and military industrialists who work obsessively for a one world system of
complete domination and control led by a relatively small number of organized
psychopaths,” he noted.
Humanity has a choice, and it has freewill, it can continue to spin its wheels
until it sinks into the ground of the impeding New World Order -- or it can
deal directly with organized psychopathy, expose these dark elements of human
behavior, and figure out a way to save what is good about the human race and
begin to build a rational society from that point on,” he concluded.
President Donald Trump’s remarks on Saudi Arabia’s importance for Israel prove
right longtime speculation about Riyadh’s secret alliance with Tel Aviv,
American political analyst Keith Preston says.
with international pressure to hold Riyadh responsible for murdering dissident
journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump has argued that punishing the kingdom hurts
the US more as it would alienate the key Middle East ally and jeopardize
billions of dollars in arms sales.
the biggest reason, as he told reporters on Thursday, was the risk that losing
Saudi Arabia’s services would pose to Israel.
would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” Trump said after a Thanksgiving
Day telephone call with military personnel from his Mar-a-Lago resort home in
you look at Israel, Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” he
added. “So what does that mean, Israel is going to leave? You want Israel to
leave? We have a very strong ally in Saudi Arabia.”
President said the Saudis were “tremendously helpful” in the region as they
also helped keep oil prices down.
chief editor of attackthesystem.com, said the remarks corroborated previous
reports about growing ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
is unusual for an American president in that he frequently goes off-script and
says things that are unusually candid,” Preston told Press TV on Friday.
analyst said while many people seemed to think that Riyadh and Tel Aviv were
enemies, Trump’s statement proves that they are not.
relationship between the Americans, the Israelis and the Saudis as a triangle
is very well established and the common objective of all three powers is for
the triangular alliance to dominate the Middle East and doing so by attacking
other forces in the Middle East that pose a challenge to that kind of
hegemony,” he added.
makes Saudi Arabia essential for Israel’s existence is the Saudi regime’s
“destabilizing” role in the region, Preston said.
“true that the instability that the Saudis have helped to create has also
served the interests of Israel by attempting to undermine rival countries such
as Iran, Syria and also Iraq,” he argued.
those policies served the limited interests of the American elite and hurt the
US national interests in general, he added.
we actually see happening is the Saudi state, the Israeli state are aligned
with elements in the United States and the American government… that have a
vested interest in either destabilizing the Middle East so that the Israelis
and the Saudis could exercise further domination in the Middle East or simply
in eliminating” rivaling forces, he noted.
House to probe Trump ties to Saudi over response to Khashoggi murder
US House of Representatives is set to take a “deep dive” into US President
Donald Trump’s ties to Saudi Arabia, following his response to the murder of
dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
House intelligence committee will launch the investigation once the new
Democratic-dominated House assembles in January, California Representative Adam
Schiff, who is in line to become head of the committee, told the Washington
Post in an interview published Friday.
has refused to pressure Saudi Arabia to be accountable over the killing of
Khashoggi, arguing that doing so would hurt political and financial relations
with the traditional Middle East ally.
US green card holder and a columnist for the Post, Khashoggi was murdered after
entering the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh eventually admitted that
the journalist was indeed murdered. However, it denied evidence that Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman had anything to do with the apparent hit job.
after it was reported that the CIA was in possession of recordings that incriminated
MBS, Trump stood by the young prince and referred further question to the
we will be delving further into the murder of Khashoggi,” Schiff told the Post.
“We will certainly want to examine what the intelligence community knows about
addition to examining the CIA’s findings, the lawmakers would also see whether
Trump’s private financial dealings with Riyadh influenced his response as
are a whole set of potential financial conflicts of interest and emoluments
problems that Congress will need to get to the bottom of,” Schiff said. “If
foreign investment in the Trump businesses is guiding US policy in a way that’s
antithetical to the country’s interests, we need to find out.”
who still owns his business despite relinquishing day-to-day control to his
children, told a rally during the campaign days that he had made “hundreds of
millions” of dollars from Saudi purchases.
president argues that going after Saudi Arabia for issues like Khashoggi and
the Riyadh regime’s war on Yemen hurts his $110bn arms deal with the Saudis and
pushes them towards Russia.
has regularly attacked Schiff, calling him “little Adam Schitt” in a tweet
earlier this month.
service member killed in Afghanistan
A US service member was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday, the NATO-led
Resolute Support mission said in a statement, bringing the US combat death toll
this year to eight.
identity of the service member and details about the incident will be shared at
a later stage, said Debra Richardson spokesperson for the Resolute Support in
Pentagon says there are about 14,000 US service members in Afghanistan. The US
military’s mission is focused mainly on guiding and aiding Afghan forces
battling the Taliban, which was ousted from power in 2001.
than 2,400 US forces have died in the 17-year-old war, America’s longest
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