To Personal Law Changes within Islam Tenets: AIMPLB
Set For Historic Election amid Charges of Army Meddling
Raqqa: Elders Recount Life and Death Moments under ISIS Rule
Middle East States Not Doing Enough for Palestinians
Calls Israel World’s ‘Most Fascist, Racist’ State
Western Europe, Familiarity with Muslims Is Linked To Positive Views of Muslims
Should Stop Eating Beef, Cow Meat 'Haram' In Islam: Shia Waqf Board Chief
Man Attacked Outside Indian Court for ‘Love Jihad’
I Was Asked Just Like That: ‘Are You A Muslim?’
Headley, 26/11 attack convict, neither in Chicago nor in hospital, says his
jawan killed, another hurt in Srinagar terror attack
Commander Pledges Allegiance to Islamic State, Says ISI Threatening Him
Kills More Than 28 in Pakistan On Election Day, Hospital Says
Allahu Akbar Tehreek Candidates Directed To Submit CNIC, Passport Copies
shadow looms as Pakistan goes to the polls
and Other Minorities Face Big Challenge in Pakistan Elections
CM reviews arrangements at polling stations, asks authorities to stay alert
of an Afghan family shot dead in Pesahwar of Pakistan
army deploys thousands of troops ahead of elections
Dead in ISIS Suicide Attacks on Southern Syria
starts expanding already largest US military base in Mideast
Aviv Warned by Moscow against Provocative Acts in Region
Continue Rebellion against Turkey-Backed Militants in Northern Syria
Fighter Jet Downed by Israel over Western Dara'a
Regions under Gov't Troops' Control in Southern Syria
of King Abdulaziz awarded to Saudi students who died saving US children
Candidate Hopes to Become First Muslim American Governor
says US ready to make a ‘real deal’ on Iran’s nuclear program
seeking to Balkanize Iran, Muslim nations: Analyst
captured in Syria charged in US with supporting Islamic State
commanders say Afghan strategy boosting peace hopes
Yemenis Recount Forced Recruitment, Life under Houthis
attack kills two in south Yemen
snipers shoot dead 7 Saudi mercenaries in Hudaydah, Jizan
shoots down Syrian warplane as Golan frontier heats up
says rejected US call to abide by anti-Iran sanctions
letter to UN, Iran urges end to ‘illegal’ US support for MKO terrorists
militants killed and wounded in clashes in Yemen’s Taiz
Muslim Parties: A New Development in Islamisation
Cabinet Needs to Stop Making Britain Haven for Extremists
blasts Prophet Muhammad cartoon competition
stage anti-Saudi protest in London as Qatari emir arrives for talks
will have no military cooperation with Russia in Syria: Mattis
Militants Suffer Casualties during the Ongoing Operations in Helmand
urges Myanmar to ease Rohingyas' safe return
cafe siege: Briton Hasnat Karim to be freed
Islamic terrorists indicted for Dhaka massacre
Lumpur Plans Bill To Curb Racial and Religious Hatred
Claims Malays Angry Because Special Position and Islam Threatened
passes anti-terrorism law after suicide attacks on churches
chance in Sungai Kandis without PAS’ support, says Lokman
can learn about religious harmony from Singapore, says foreign minister
To Embark On Religious Education to Checkmate Boko Haram Insurgency
group frees officials abducted in central Libya
Haram faction chief reappears after health questions
by New Age Islam News Bureau
to personal law changes within Islam tenets: AIMPLB
DELHI: While the Centre’s triple talaq Bill is yet to clear the Opposition’s
hurdle in the Rajya Sabha and see the light of day, in a softening of stand,
the All India Muslim Personal Law Board is likely to agree to codification of
Muslim personal laws.
has learnt that as part of nation-wide consultations undertaken by the Law
Commission to pave the way for the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code,
the board is expected to agree to codification of personal laws related to the
issues of adoption and inheritance as laid out in the Sharia. The commission is
looking at codifying and reviewing personal laws with a ‘gender justice’ lens
and the board is expected to meet the commission on July 31, sources said.
the issue of minimum age of marriage, the board is also expected to tell the
commission that it is open to reforms or ‘tweaks’ provided they are well within
the tenets of Islam. While the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006
stipulates 18 and 21 years as minimum age for marriage for girls and boys,
respectively under the Islamic law, marriage as per Islam is permitted after
puberty. The board will however, reiterate its stand against the implementation
of Uniform Civil Code, as was expressed in its firt meeting with the commission
in April last year.
are okay with codification of laws as per the Quran. But will continue to
oppose the UCC as we are a country of many religious identities and cultures
that need to be respected,” a member said.
part of a meeting held with the members of the personal law board in May, the
law commission had sought a response on why women could only get half a share
in property. The AIMPLB will make its
opposition clear over the issue of adoption. In Islam, adoption is prohibited
for the fear of sexual relations between the adoptive parents and child, the
board claimed. The commission made it clear that it will not examine the issues
of nikah halala and polygamy among Muslims since the matters are sub-judice.
set for historic election amid charges of army meddling
will go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new prime minister, transferring power
from one civilian government to another for only the second time in the
nation's 70-year chequered history amid accusations of manipulation by the
powerful military and concerns over the participation of Islamic hardliners in
to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 3,459 candidates are contesting
from 272 general seats of the National Assembly, while 8,396 candidates are
running for 577 general seats of the four provincial assemblies.
are 105.96 million registered voters in the country.
run up to the July 25 elections have seen a massive crackdown on the media and
allegations that the military has secretly backed the campaign of former
cricketer Imran Khan while targeting his political opponents.
military has ruled Pakistan through various coups for nearly half of the
country's history since independence in 1947. Even during the civilian rule,
the country's generals have wielded enormous power, setting the agenda for the
country's foreign and security policies.
were raised about the role of the military after reports that it was given
magisterial powers. The ECP was also criticised for deploying the Army both
inside and outside of polling stations.
chief General Qamar Bajwa, however, assured that military personnel deployed
for election duties would strictly comply with the code of conduct given by the
also said the Army will only perform a facilitative role in the elections and
that the polling process is to remain under the control and authority of the
prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N) who was jailed this month after being convicted in a corruption case
also accused the military of pressuring the judiciary to convict him. Both institutions
deny the charge.
independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said there were "ample
grounds to doubt" the legitimacy of the elections and criticised the
"blatant, aggressive and unabashed attempts to manipulate the outcome of
the upcoming elections."
has also arisen over allowing militant groups to participate in the poll.
of the infamous Pakistani extremist leaders, accused of spreading religious
hatred and instigating sectarian violence, are among hundreds of candidates
contesting the elections.
leading among them are Mumbai-terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led banned
Jamat-ud Dawah's candidates who are fighting with an aim to make Pakistan a
"citadel of Islam." Saeed's son and son-in-law are contesting the elections.
the run up to the elections, the country witnessed a series of attacks on
candidates and campaign rallies, including one that killed 151 people in
fierce battle is expected between Sharif's PML-N and Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf
(PTI) in Punjab, the most populous province often known for deciding the next
government in the country.
the first time in 2013, a civilian government in Pakistan completed its
the second democratic transition of power is just around the corner, the ECP
has taken elaborate measures to ensure that elections are held peacefully and
in a fair and transparent manner.
than 1.6 million polling staff will perform duties on the election day. About
400,000 police officers and 371,000 army troops have been deployed across the
than 85,000 polling stations have been set up. The voting will start at 8.00 am
and will continue till 6.00 pm.
counting will be done on the spot and results will be announced within 24 hours
after the polling. The election campaign concluded at midnight yesterday after
about two months. All parties have claimed that they will grab most of the
several polls put Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf marginally ahead of rivals other
surveys suggest the result is too close to call.
has pledged to break the decades-old two party "status quo" of PML-N
and its historical rival the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) -- led by Bilawal
Bhutto -- which is expected to finish third place.
Sharif, the president of the PML-N, said that his party would not only win at
the centre but would also form the government in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtukhwa
a massive electoral exercise, there is a big question if the election would
bring much needed political and economic stability in the country.
Sattar, a lawyer and political analyst -- says it is unclear if the elections
will end the rift between the elected civilian government and unelected but
powerful military establishment.
bottom line is that experiment 2018 will fail just like all previous
experiments," he said, referring to the uneasy relations between the
elected government and the military establishment in the past.
analyst Dr Syed Farooq Hasnat said that this year's elections are going to be
one of the most interesting ones in the country's history.
Raqqa: Elders recount life and death moments under ISIS rule
than a year after recapturing the city from ISIS militants, Raqqa’s residents -
especially the elderly - say signs normalcy is slowly returning.
scars and signs of the brutal life under ISIS remain and for some of the city’s
elderly who were not able to leave the city with their grown children, return
to normal life will take some time.
there was an unveiled woman, they (ISIS) would murder her husband. Husbands
began to slowly hate their wives. I was one of them. I told my wife that if she
even went outside, I would abandon her,” one elderly Syrian man told Al Arabiya
Middle East states not doing enough for Palestinians
ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Tuesday criticized Middle
Eastern countries for not doing enough to help Palestinians and move the peace
process forward, saying that they need to “step up.”
is time for the regional states in particular to step up and really help the
Palestinian people, instead of just making speeches thousands of miles away,”
Haley said at a monthly meeting of the UN Security Council on the Middle East.
are the Arab countries when it comes to encouraging reconciliation between
Palestinian factions, which is essential to peace? Where are the Arab countries
when it comes to denouncing Hamas terrorism? Where are the Arab countries when
it comes to supporting compromises that are necessary for peace?” she said.
highlighted American assistance to the Palestinians, saying that in addition to
aid to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), Washington provided $300
million in bilateral aid last year, and “over six billion — with a B — dollars
in bilateral assistance to Palestinians” since 1993.
much have the Arab countries — some of whom are wealthy countries — how much
have they given to the Palestinians?” she asked.
year, Iran’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Algeria’s contribution to UNRWA
was zero. Tunisia’s contribution to UNRWA was zero,” Haley said, without
mentioning the significant reduction in the US contribution to the agency this
French counterpart Francois Delattre asked the US to reconsider that decision,
calling on Washington “to shoulder its responsibilities and maintain its
commitments on this crucial issue” to help fill the estimated $200 million gap
Skoog of Sweden, the current president of the council, let his frustration with
US policy show, saying: “Everyone is waiting for a credible peace plan.”
haven’t seen that yet. It is now about a year since we were informed about a
plan and we have not seen it yet. It is a problem that there is no credible
plan on the table,” Skoog said. Israel’s ambassador, Danny Danon, meanwhile
demanded international condemnation of militant group Hamas, while his
Palestinian counterpart Riyad Mansour denounced the law recently passed by the
Israeli parliament defining the country as the nation state of the Jewish
calls Israel world’s ‘most fascist, racist’ state
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday branded Israel the “most
fascist, racist state” in the world after Israel’s parliament passed a new law
defining the country as the nation state of the Jewish people.
measure has shown without leaving the slightest room for doubt that Israel is
the world’s most Zionist, fascist and racist state,” Erdogan said in a speech
to his ruling party.
one of his toughest recent onslaughts against Israel, Erdogan claimed there was
“no difference between Hitler’s obsession with the Aryan race and Israel’s
understanding that these ancient lands are meant only for Jews.”
spirit of Hitler, which led the world to a great catastrophe, has found its
resurgence among some of Israel’s leaders,” he added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday Turkey was becoming a “dark
is massacring Syrians and Kurds and has imprisoned tens of thousands of his
citizens,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “Turkey under Erdogan is becoming a
dark dictatorship, while Israel is meticulously maintaining equal rights for
all its citizens, before and after the law.” Around six million Jews were
killed in the Holocaust by the Nazis during World War II. The legislation,
adopted after a tumultuous Knesset session, makes Hebrew the national language
and defines the establishment of Jewish communities as being in the national
interest. Arabic, previously considered an official language, was granted only
special status. The issue is the latest source of tension between Israel and
Turkey, one of the Jewish state’s few key Muslim partners.
ordered out Israel’s ambassador in May over the killing of protestors along the
border with the Gaza Strip.
strains have threatened a 2016 deal on normalising ties after the crisis
sparked by the May 2010 deadly storming of a Turkish ship by Israeli commandos.
regards himself as a champion of the Palestinians and has twice recently held
summits of Muslim states to denounce the recognition by the United States of
Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
analysts note that behind the rhetoric economic ties remain strong, with trade
robust and both sides interested in the export of Israeli energy resources to
citizens account for 17.5 percent of Israel’s more than eight million
population. They have long complained of discrimination.
SCOTT GARDNER AND JONATHAN EVANS
Western Europe, people who say they personally know a Muslim are generally more
likely than others to have positive opinions of Muslims and their religion,
according to a recent Pew Research Centre study in 15 countries. However,
knowing something about Islam – as opposed to personally knowing a Muslim – is
less associated with these positive feelings.
pattern is evident across several different questions the Center asked of
non-Muslim Europeans to gauge attitudes toward Muslims, including whether they
think Islam is compatible with their country’s culture and values and whether
they would be willing to accept a Muslim as a member of their family.
question asked non-Muslim Western Europeans if they agree or disagree with the
statement “In their hearts, Muslims want to impose their religious law on
everyone else in the country.” In Switzerland – which has a relatively large
Muslim population (about 6% of the total population) – those who say they
personally know a Muslim are 37 percentage points more likely than those who do
not to disagree with this statement. More than eight-in-ten (85%) of those who
say they know a Muslim disagree with the statement, compared with just 48% of
those who do not know a Muslim.
gaps also exist in the UK (37 percentage points), Austria (35 points), Germany
(34 points), Ireland (29 points), Italy (27 points), Denmark (26 points) and
France (24 points).
contrast, there is less of a difference on this question between those who say
they know “a great deal” or “some” about Islam and those who know “not very
much” or “nothing at all.” Regardless of their level of knowledge about Islam,
similar shares of people in most surveyed countries disagree with the statement
that Muslims “want to impose their religious law on everyone else in the
country.” Swiss adults who know a great deal or some about Islam, for example,
are only 4 percentage points more likely to disagree with the statement than
those who know less about Islam.
more people say they personally know a Muslim than say they know a great deal
or some about Islam (medians of 67% and 36%, respectively). In France, which
has the highest percentage of Muslims in Western Europe (9%), nearly twice as
many adults say they personally know a Muslim as say they have at least some
knowledge of Islam (79% and 40%, respectively).
knowing a Muslim is prevalent in most countries across Western Europe, it is
less common in the United States, where 45% of adults know someone who is
Muslim, according to a separate Pew Research Center study.
survey in Western Europe was fielded amid ongoing political debates across the
region about the role that Islam and Muslims should play in society. In the
past year alone, the issue has played a prominent role in national elections in
a number of Western European countries, including the 2017 elections in Austria
and Germany and the 2018 election in Italy.
DELHI: Senior leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Indresh Kumar who
said that cases of mob lynching will stop when people stop killing cows, got an
unlikely support from Shia Waqf Board chief Waseem Rizvi.
chief of the Muslim body said that Muslims should stop eating beef.
"Killing of cows should stop. The meat of cows is 'Haram' in Islam as
well. You can't stop mob lynching, security can't be deployed everywhere. So a
law should be made awarding strict punishment to those killing cows," Rizvi
think Indresh Ji's statement has a point. Religious sentiments should not be
hurt. If law is made to stop killing of cows, lynching will stop. You can't
kill someone who is given the status of a mother by a community," Rizvi
to the recent incident of mob lynching in Alwar in Rajasthan, the RSS leader
had said that no religion allows slaughtering of cows. "Kisi bhi mob ki
hinsa, wo aapke ghar ki, mohalle ki, jaati ki, party ki ho, wo kabhi bhi
ahinandaniya nahin ho sakti. Parantu, duniya ke jitne bhi dharm hain, unke kisi
ek dharam sthal par bata do ki gaye ka vadh hota hai (Violence by mob, whether
that be your own home, neighbourhood, party, is not praiseworthy. But, tell me
one religion which permits the killing of cows)," he said.
dharti par gaushala mein aaye, isliye waha mother cow bolte hain. Mecca Madina
mein gaye ka vadh apradh maante hain. Kya hum sankalp nahi kar sakte ki dhara
ko,manavta ko is paap se muqt karaein. Agar muqt ho jaayegi to aapki samasya
(mob lynching) ka hal ho jaayega (It is called 'mother cow' in Christianity
because Jesus was born in a cowshed. It is a sin to kill cows is banned in
Mecca-Madina. Can't we commit that we will free the world and humanity from
this sin? If it is free, then the problem (mob lynching) will be solved),"
man attacked outside Indian court for ‘love jihad’
A young Muslim man was beaten up earlier on Tuesday in India for allegedly
wanting to marry a Hindu woman. In an incident that left many Twitter users
shocked, a mob attacked the man on Monday afternoon outside the Ghaziabad
court, Uttar Pradesh (UP).
video of the incident shared by Indian journalist @saurabh3vedi went viral on
social media, with Twitter users condemning the act.
agency Asian News International shared details of the incident.
tweeted: “Ghaziabad: Muslim man from Madhya Pradesh beaten at Marriage
registrar office allegedly because he went there to marry a Hindu girl from
Bijnor. The couple works at a company in Noida. Police took suo-motu cognisance
and registered case against two known and several unidentified persons.”
added: “For the safety reason, they preferred Ghaziabad court instead of
to reports, the couple decided to proceed with a court marriage since their
parents were against their marriage. Subsequently, they went to a marriage
registrar’s office in the Ghaziabad court. There they were talking with an
advocate about official procedures, when suddenly, a group of men arrived who
alleged that the man has conned the woman to marry him.
users could not believe that mob attacks and lynchings have become normal in
@AbdulkaderMB posted: “The courts in India must close. The lynching terrorists
are performing justice themselves.”
said that the government needed to take immediate action to punish those who
were a part of this violent mob.
wrote: “These people bring us shame. This is against the constitution and
#treason seeking strict action from @myogiadityanath to set things right or
else he is supporting polarising politics.”
@pbhushan1 added: “Muslim man assaulted in Ghaziabad by Adityanath’s ‘Romeo
squad’ when he went to court to marry a Muslim woman! This is UP’s goonda raj
highlighted that under the rule of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the
Bharatiya Janata Party, such crimes were on an increase. Twitter user
@mat_jane_de_yar posted: “This is ridiculous... The way it is growing soon they
will be number one terrorists group in the world. Thanks to Modi and his Govt
for ruining whole India and its cultural and moral values just in four years.
But don’t forget Karma (destiny as a result of actions) comes back.”
to media reports, the police managed to reach in time to rescue the couple who
were taken to Sihani police station.
couple didn’t want to register any case. However, the police filed a case
suo-motu under IPC (Indian Penal Code) section 147 (rioting), 323 (causing
hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and
506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).
is not an isolated case of people being beaten up for marrying out of their
Saturday, Khetaram Bheel, a 22-year old Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death
by a man over a relationship with a Muslim woman, near a police station in
Barmer district. The police reportedly said that the accused tied up the
victim’s hands and legs, and then started beating him.
tweeted: “This lynching of a Dalit man for having an affair with a Muslim girl
is as heinous and horrible as any other lynching taking place in the country.
We can’t allow mobs to take law and order in their hands. Lynching is a threat
to the nation and society.”
I was asked just like that: ‘Are you a Muslim?’
was yesterday. Just another Tuesday. The day had begun, well, decently – I went
off to sleep by 5 am, which is earlier than usual after my night shifts; even
given the wife’s early-morning shift, and what seems doorbells going off every
20 minutes, thanks to all sorts of everyday handypersons coming to collect
things from your doorstep, I slept well; got up just before my daughter was to
return from school; read the newspapers in time for her to tell me her tales
and play shadow-wrestling on bed; and discuss her homework, etc, before she sat
down for lunch
nearly every day, I admit, for a kid of six and four months; but do not tell
her mother that).
was time to get ready for work, and I had seen the mail from her school. I had
to get stuff for her projects the next day. On way to work. There was no other
way. Some stuff to be had for a storytelling session at school, and five images
each for Hindi letters ‘a’, ‘aa’, ‘chhoti e’, and ‘badee ee’.
to the chase, and quite a chase it was. Five stationery shops, and not one had
a booklet where you could get multiple images of words formed by the same
letter. They all had ‘a’ to ‘ah’, and ‘sa’ to ‘ha’ charts.
Will not do.
items bought, I also had a masking tape to get.
late for work, I tried one last shop. In Mayur Vihar Phase-III, in east Delhi.
A fairly big shop – bigger than the five I had been to thus far. Including two
in my local market, which were closed. Being Tuesday.
tape roll in hand, I asked the man manning the store – a young, fair,
bucktoothed man, appearing to be in his late-twenties – whether he had the said
charts, or booklet, of Hindi alphabets.
you can get prints from here,” he said, indicating a printer.
I was in no mood. Was getting quite late as well.
to download from the internet and get it from office, it seems, I told him.
Only problem is, my Hindi is sort of lousy; and I have to look up even the
given five words each. On the Net.
he asked me, “Where do you come from (kidhar ke ho aap)?”
I said, emitting a deep sigh, Bengali (Dilli se hi hoon; Bangali).
Musalmaan ho (Are you a Muslim)?”
Just like that. Without any warning.
am 42-years-old, and shorn of 10 of those years in four other cities (give or
take a year or so), I have lived in Delhi-NCR all my life, the last 10 years
being in Vaishali, Ghaziabad, which is 1.5 km from Delhi border, and hardly 7
km from where we were standing on Tuesday late-afternoon, both him and I, and
we call it NCR. And I have given that reply – “Dilli Bangali”, as opposed to
Bengal Bangali, since I have only been a visitor to the state where I was born,
and where my parents came/come from – a thousand times and more.
did I get a return question about my religion. This is my city, not some
mofussil area. And I thought I knew it like the back of my hand.
aback, I took a good 15-20 seconds — if not more; I remember my mouth puckering
for a reply, which I did not eject — to reply: My grandparents were Hindus, my
parents did not/does not believe in religion, and I am agnostic – “naastik” is
the word I used, although that in effect means atheist, I presume. So, there,
you have the details. Just short of my aadhaar card. Now, why do you want to
sir, nothing. Aise hi poochha (just like that).”
man was still smiling, just as disarmingly. Two other men, sipping tea from
thermocol glasses, smiled the same arre-sir-just-aise-hi smile.
was running late, quite late, by then. I paid for the masking tape, told the
man that ‘that’ question did not make any sense (“yeh poochhne ka matlab kya
hai?”), and left.
be told, I did not at that moment think of lynching incidents (that man, and
the two others, apparently his friends, looked quite friendly and nice anyway),
or how or what it would have felt like if I was a Muslim, or whether Bengalis
face a khatra (danger), as the next targeted community.
was getting late. And I had to get to work, fast (this last line is for the
bosses, as the appraisal time is still around).
narrated in office, one colleague tells me: It’s an image they have, a
narrative being established, about Bengalis. Reason and logic be damned.
Someone asked my husband the other day, after learning that he, and we, are
Bengalis, whether everyone in Bengal eats beef.
two: (casually) Bengalis, being always the ‘other’ from ‘their’ brand of
Hindutva, will have it coming. Sooner or later. I was asked questions (the guy
lives in south Delhi) about buying eggs during Durga Puja, when the Navratras
are celebrated, and supposed to be vegetarian.
three: Good you did not get into an argument. You just never know these days…
What? You did not give them a piece of your mind? (when told that I had said
naastik, and etc,) I told you (hints at example of some friends), we should
have moved to Canada when you had time.
am 42. I am not a senior citizen. At least not numerically. For logic’s sake, I
have not list time. And I do not want to go some place that I do not know, in
search of something I have not yet known.
that’s why I took a day to register it, have the feeling sink in, and then
react. Now. A day on.
brings me to the phrase “I have NOT YET KNOWN”.
Why would you ask the religion of a man buying masking tape, even if he admits
being a Bengali with not much knowledge of Hindi (and even if he has not shaved
for a few days? OK, nearly 15 days, I admit. I am lazy.)
Will I ever know it, given that I have the purported security of my surname,
which was handed down to me?
How will I react, otherwise (and that “otherwise” is a huge field)?
How, more importantly, will I react if someone of a different – DIFFERENT –
surname is asked the same question in my presence? Aise hi poochha, will I say?
Am I overthinking? But, then again, why? Why would you want to know my
religion, as I get back to the original question?
reports of 26/11 attacks convict David Headley being attacked by prison inmates
inside a US detention centre, his lawyer confirmed that the Pakistani-American
terrorist is neither in Chicago nor in a hospital. Media reports earlier
suggested that Headley, the prime accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack case,
was battling for his life in ICU after being beaten up by inmates at a Chicago
prison earlier this month.
I cannot disclose his location, he is neither in Chicago nor in a hospital,”
John Theis, Headley’s lawyer, told PTI. “I am in regular communication with Mr
Headley. There is no basis for the report in the Indian press,” he added.
news report claimed that Headley was attacked on July 8 by two inmates inside
the facility and was rushed to North Evanston hospital. He reportedly suffered
serious injuries and was admitted to the critical care unit. Authorities in the
US and India, both refused to comment on the reports.”We are not able to locate
information about this individual,” the Metropolitan Correctional Center in
Chicago said in a brief email response to PTI when asked about the reported
One CRPF jawan was killed and another injured in a terror strike close to the
Srinagar city police headquarters in Batamaloo on Tuesday. Terror outfit Hizbul
Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes 40 days after
journalist Shujaat Bukhari was gunned down near Lal Chowk area on June 14.
opened fire at the on-duty security personnel near the fire services department
in Batamaloo, in which two CRPF jawans were injured. They were rushed to a
hospital where Constable Shanker Lal of CRPF’s 23 Batallion succumbed,” said a
police spokesperson. Taking advantage of the crowded vicinity, the assailants
managed to escape, the spokesperson added.
attack, a first of its kind, took place near the civil secretariat where Jammu
and Kashmir governor N N Vohra, his advisors and dozens of other bureaucrats
run the state administration. Several top cops, including ADGP (law and order)
Munir Khan, IG (Kashmir range) S P Pani and SSP (Srinagar) Imtiyaz Parray also
function from the Batamaloo police headquarters.
have registered a case and are probing into the attack. Check-posts have been
installed across the city and vehicles are being searched,” said a senior
police officer. Shortly after the attack, security forces cordoned off the area
and launched a search operation, but no arrests have been made so far. Security
has been stepped up at the civil secretariat and other places in the region
following the strike.
commander pledges allegiance to Islamic State, says ISI threatening him
DELHI: Indian intelligence agencies have been informed that Umar Khalifa,
commander of Harkat-Ul-Mujahideen in Kashmir, has announced his exit from the
outfit and pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
audio and text message posted on Telegram channels, Khalifa aka Ishfaq Ahmed
Sofi also denounced the ISI calling them as Murtad (apostate). He has accused
the ISI of threatening his family and demanding ransom for his exit.
the development is being seen as a setback to Pakistan and ISI, it is also
expected to have significant impact on the war against jihad in Kashmir as it
could further bolster the presence of IS in the valley, sources said.
was founded by a former Osama Bin Laden aide, Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, and
Maulana Masood Azhar in late nineties.
belongs to Sopore in Baramulla area of Kashmir. Khalifa and his aide Sameer had
thrown a grenade at the 82 CRPF battalion in Srinagar in November 2015 and
injured 13 soldiers, ahead of prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit.
and four others (see pic) had been arrested in 2016 while trying to resurrect
the group which had been wiped out from the valley in 2012. At that time,
Khalifa's handler was identified as Sajjad Shaheen aka Ahmad Afghani, an Afghan
war veteran who had been handling the outfits operation in Pakistan.
the message released through its Telegram channels, Khalifa says,
"Alhamdulillha.. I am ishfaq ahmed Sofi aka Umar Khalifa, son of mushtaq
ahmed.. resident of Sopore Kashmir.. I am fortunate enough that after proper
research and my thirst to seek the truth I made barra (disassociation ) from
all the organizations specially the militant organistaions of Kashmir and rest
of the world. I am fortunate enough to become one of the soldiers of Islamic
I publicly announce my disassociation from the Harkatul Mujahideen,
organization run by Murtad ISI and establishment of taghoot of democratic
Pakistan. I publicly announce that Sheikh Abu bakr Al Baghdadi. Al qureshi is
my commander and khalif," he further says.
also warns that ISI and others are threatening him and his family and demanding
ransom but he is not worried.
am sure the organization and salves of Pakistani ISI will threaten your
families and relatives, just like the people from Hizb tried to threaten the
family of Firdous bhai ( May Allah accept ). These days the group Harkatul
mujahideen is not only threating my family but also demanding ransom from them.
This is nothing but their show of character which inshaallah will be revealed
in front of everyone."
kills more than 28 in Pakistan on election day, hospital says
blast targeting a police van killed more than 28 people in Pakistan’s
northwestern city of Quetta, and wounded at least 40 on Wednesday, a hospital
spokesman said, as the South Asian nation goes to the vote to choose a new
blast happened near a polling station, said a Reuters witness in Quetta,
capital of Pakistan’s province of Baluchistan, but it was unclear if voting had
20 bodies and 28 injured have been shifted to civil hospitals,” Dr Waseem Baig,
a spokesman for a Quetta hospital, told Reuters.
images showed a charred police vehicle, cordoned off by security officials.
TV, which put the death toll at 20, said a “suicide attacker” was responsible
for the attack. Rival Geo TV said 22 people had been killed.
Allahu Akbar Tehreek candidates directed to submit CNIC, passport copies
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday directed 3 Allahu Akbar
Tehreek (AAT) candidates to submit CNIC and passport copies after it was
revealed that their names were on the United States terror watch list.
Ashraf, who is running for NA-149 constituency in Sahiwal, Zafar Iqbal,
contesting from PP-113 in Faisalabad and Ehsan Ranjha from PP-67 in Mandi
Bahauddin appeared before a three-member ECP bench earlier today.
AAT candidates were directed to present their identity documents before the
bench, while they were also told to submit a written response. The hearing was
adjourned till August 29.
candidates will still be allowed to contest elections to be held on Wednesday
(July 25), but the ECP can de-notified any of the concerned individuals if it
decides against their eligibility.
Pakistan - Pakistanis will go to the polls on Wednesday, after a campaign that
has seen allegations against the military of tampering, but would nonetheless
be the second civilian-to-civilian handover of power in the country's history.
will open at more than 85,000 polling stations at 8am (03:00 GMT) and close at
are expected to trickle in several hours later, the election commission says.
Tuesday, ballot boxes, papers and other election paraphernalia was transported
to the stations, under armed guard.
military has deployed more than 371,000 personnel to provide security inside
and outside every station.
are trying our best to deliver free, fair and unbiased elections in
Pakistan," said Sardar Muhammad Raza, the chief election commissioner, in
a video message on Tuesday.
July 25, I ask that you leave your homes and use your vote correctly to fulfil
your national responsibility."
will be cast for 272 members of the lower house of parliament, as well as for
the country's four provincial assemblies.
of military 'engineering'
campaign season has seen a slew of allegations traded between the country's top
three parties, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
(PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
of the PML-N and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's PPP have accused the country's
powerful military of intimidating supporters and forcing candidates to switch
least 20 PML-N members left the party in the weeks leading to the vote, either
joining the PTI or choosing to run as independents.
July 13, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif was arrested after being convicted by an
anti-corruption court following a 10-month trial.
brother Shehbaz is contesting the election as the party's presumptive nominee
for prime minister.
PTI, led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, has dismissed allegations
that the military has been intervening on its behalf, terming the charges
"a foreign conspiracy".
military also denies it has any direct role in politics.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), an independent watchdog, has
however described the election as "the dirtiest in the country's
a statement earlier this month, it said it was concerned over "blatant,
aggressive and unabashed attempts" to manipulate the outcome of the
it is critical that the polls are held as scheduled, there are now ample
grounds to doubt their legitimacy," the statement said.
polling data is scant. The country's most populous province of Punjab - also
the PML-N's heartland - is expected to determine who comes into power.
has also been concern over the so-called "mainstreaming" of armed
groups into politics, with the far-right Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat and Milli
Muslim League, both deemed fronts for armed groups by the United Nations,
fielding hundreds of candidates in the polls.
will be tight across the country, after a bloody campaign season saw more than
179 people killed in a series of suicide attacks targeting election rallies.
and other minorities face big challenge in Pakistan elections
Pakistan heads into parliamentary elections this week, the country's minorities
are looking for better representation and a voice that will speak up for them
in what rights groups warn is in an increasingly intolerant atmosphere in this
an uphill struggle for Pakistani Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadis and others.
Minority religions make up just 4 percent of Pakistan's 200 million people;
Shiites account for about 15 to 20 percent of the Muslim population.
country's complicated electoral system allots minorities and women a small
number of "reserved" seats, based on their parties' gains at the
for the rest of the seats — both in the 342-seat National Assembly, the
law-making lower house of parliament, and the four provincial legislatures —
members of minority groups are increasingly choosing to run as independent
candidates, without affiliation to any political party.
minorities' major concern ahead of Wednesday's vote has been the plethora of
radical religious and sectarian groups that have resurrected themselves under
new names and fielded candidates for the polls — including Sunni extremists who
promise to rid Pakistan of Shiite Muslims.
radical parties have campaigned on promises to enforce Pakistan's controversial
law on blasphemy, which carries the death penalty and which has allowed for the
prosecution of anyone deemed to offend Islam. Frenzied mobs have killed at the
mere suggestion that an act of blasphemy was committed.
"is becoming more and more intolerant of minority rights," said
rights activist I.A. Rehman, a founding member of the independent Human Rights
Commission of Pakistan.
is urging the government to "make sufficient effort to ensure minorities
can cast their votes."
is piled by the roadside and cinderblock homes have flimsy curtains instead of
doors in Rimshah, a squatters' settlement on the outskirts of Islamabad.
ago, scores of Christian families settled here when a mob of Muslim men, enraged
over an alleged act of blasphemy by an 11-year-old Christian girl, tried to
kill her and drove them out of their homes.
named the slum Rimshah, for the 11-year-old girl with Down's syndrome who was
eventually cleared of charges of tearing up pages of an Islamic religious book.
Rose, an outspoken advocate of the Christian community, which numbers about 3
million in Pakistan, campaigns in Rimshah for Asif Shahzada, an independent
says that independent minority candidates are the best hope of getting
Christian grievances heard. Minority representatives chosen on the
"reserved" seat system tow the party line and rarely raise their
community's legitimate concerns, he says.
jumped into this race only for my community," says Shahzada, looking
around the slum. "We have so many problems, no education, no health care,
no jobs. We don't even have enough water."
Singh is one of about 200,000 Sikhs living in Pakistan, mostly in the
conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province along the border with Afghanistan. The
Sikhs are easily identifiable because of their tightly wound and often colorful
turbans, and because they share the surname Singh.
said attacks by the Taliban and lately also the Islamic State group have forced
thousands to leave the province, including his son. The radicals, Singh says,
are killing both fellow Muslims and members of minority groups.
is campaigning as an independent candidate in Peshawar, the provincial capital,
and refuses to leave.
wanted to show that a poor man can fight, run his own campaign and compete
against these rich candidates ... who take the poor people's votes but then
give them nothing in return," said Singh.
a street lined with small shops in his neighborhood, he stops at each store,
run by his Muslim neighbors, and is greeted with a smile. An elderly neighbor,
Allah Mir, gave Singh a gentle hug, shook his hand and promised him his vote.
don't care about his religion," Mir said. "I care only that he is a
make up Pakistan's second-largest minority, with more than 2 million, living
mainly in southern Sindh province where they are among the poorest.
live as indentured slaves on the estates of some of Pakistan's largest
landowners, working on the farms.
Hindus also suffer widespread discrimination because of the decades-old rivalry
between Pakistan and neighboring India, a majority Hindu nation.
relations between the two countries deteriorate, the treatment of Pakistani
Hindus gets worse. Rights activist also routinely raise concerns about forced
conversions of Hindu girls to Islam.
Kohli was born a slave but fled bondage, walking for three days until she found
offices of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan to help her. She then
returned to the landowner to recover her children and free eight other
is now running as an independent candidate.
she wins, she will become the second Hindu woman in parliament in Pakistan. In
March, Krishna Kumari, a member of Pakistan People's Party, was elected to the
104-seat Senate, the upper house of parliament — becoming the first Hindu woman
elected, albeit in a vote by parliament members and not a popular election.
Muslim, Pakistan's Shiites have suffered enormous losses, with hundreds
slaughtered at the hands of radical Sunni Muslims who consider Shiites heretics
and believe it is their religious duty to kill them.
unlike other minorities, Shiites in Pakistan are not allocated any special
seats in parliament and can run either on their party's ticket or as
revere the 19th century founder of their Muslim sect, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, as a
messiah, challenging the basic tenet of Islam that Mohammad is the final
Pakistan declared them non-Muslims in 1974, their numbers are difficult to
gauge; they are believed to number several hundred thousand. Hundreds have been
killed by zealots and their places of worship have been targeted; thousands
more have fled Pakistan.
Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister Fazal-ur-Rehman reviewed the arrangements and
facilities being made at the polling stations in a high-level meeting held here
at the CM House on Tuesday.
meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Major (r) Azam Suleman, Inspector
General Police (IGP) Amjad Javed Saleemi, Board of Revenue (BoR) Senior Member
Iqbal Durrani, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput and Home Secretary
Mohammad Haroon, said a statement.
chief secretary in his briefing said that on the instructions of the chief
minister, he along with IGP, BoR senior member and Home secretary visited
almost all the districts and all the most sensitive and improvised polling
stations and made all the necessary arrangements as per requirement of the Election
Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
said that there were 5673 most sensitive polling stations all over Sindh in
which 20165 booths have been set up. As per the decision of the cabinet CCTV
cameras have been installed there, he said and added that overall 21,000
cameras installed at polling stations have been tested for smooth and sound
functioning. He said they were working perfectly.
about 307 improvised polling stations, Azam Suleman said that they have been
provided mobile washroom facilities, generators, UPS, LEDs and such other
aside the impression of lack of facilities of water at the polling stations, he
said that the arrangements of water, refreshment and such other facilities were
more than enough at all polling stations.
also said that the transport arrangements have also been made to transport
polling staff and election material to the polling stations.
commissioners and deputy commissioners were giving full support to the process
of holding free, fair and transparent election, he told.
told the chief minister that there was zero tolerance for miscreants and those
who were trying to disrupt electioneering process.
have arrested 2185 troublemakers so far and this intolerance would further
aggravate if anyone tried to take law in their own hands, he said.
the polling stations, polling staff and their supporting staff have been
provided the best security and these security arrangements would be continued
till the staff is returned to their respective homes.
chief minister directed the district administration and police to remain
vigilant and alert all over Sindh.
have shot dead six members of an Afghan family in the outskirts of Peshawar
city, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunwa province of Pakistan, it has
incident has reportedly taken place late on Monday evening, apparently
involving a brawl among an Afghan and a Pakistani family.
exchange of fire took place between two rival groups. One was led by Bashir and
another by Abdul Ghaffar. Resultantly, Bashir group killed six members from the
family of Abdul Ghafar and also shot dead own one person to cross the case,”
Shaukat Khan, the superintendent of Saddar Police, quoted by The News said.
pistols, one Kalakov, and one Kalashnikov rifles have been recovered. Two
accused have been arrested while efforts are being made to arrest the remaining
ones,” Shaukat Khan added.
officials also added that two other family members of the Afghan family were
also wounded during the clash.
military has deployed hundreds of thousands of troops to oversee polling
stations across the country ahead of the July 25 elections.
soldiers watched closely as election officials in the capital Islamabad on
Tuesday distributed ballot boxes and voting materials for polling stations
across the city.
military stationed over 370,000 personnel nationwide to ensure the elections
are held smoothly. It has said the soldiers will work with local law
enforcement officials to ensure "a safe and secure environment" for
officials say an additional 450,000 police officers have also been assigned to
the grace of God, we want to see a peaceful election tomorrow," Election
Commission secretary Babar Yaqoob said, but warned that there were security
challenges and threats.
Khokhar, a counterterror police official in the eastern city of Lahore, said,
"There are terrorism threats in some areas of Pakistan and its very
unfortunate, but Lahore Police are quite capable and we are trying to do our
best to prevent any such attacks."
main challenge is basically to keep the election campaigns as well as the
security on election day, to keep it safe for the public who will come out of
their houses for voting."
string of bloody militant attacks have killed more than 180 people across Pakistan
over the past few days.
Sunday, a candidate and his driver were killed in a bomb attack in northwestern
Pakistan. The bombing was the latest in a number of attacks targeting
politicians campaigning ahead of the elections.
July 13, a blast in the southwestern province of Balochistan killed nearly 150
least 22 people were killed in a bombing on an anti-Taliban political event
held in northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on July 10.
106 million Pakistanis will be eligible to cast their ballots in the elections.
run-up to the elections has been marred by accusations that the military is
meddling in politics and muzzling the media to help put into power
cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
Khan has denied colluding with the military.
his final campaign rally held in Lahore Khan told supporters he would wipe out
corruption from the top of government.
main opponent, the three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was arrested
on corruption charges when he landed in Lahore from London earlier this month.
dead in ISIS suicide attacks on southern Syria
least 40 people including civilians were killed in a string of ISIS suicide
attacks against a regime-held area of southern Syria, a war monitor said
bombers with explosive belts targeted Sweida city alone, while the other blasts
hit villages to the north and east,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human
Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Observatory, said the group then
followed up with further attacks in the province.
assault, which the Observatory said also wounded more than 30 people, was the
estremists’ most deadly in Syria for several months.
pro-government forces ousting ISIS from urban centers in eastern Syria last
year, surprise raids in recent months have killed dozens of regime and allied
regime of President Bashar Al-Assad controls almost all of Sweida province.
group Jaish Khaled bin al-Walid, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, has
around 1,000 fighters based in nearby Daraa province.
Tahrir al-Sham, a group made up mostly of ex-members of the former Al-Qaeda
affiliate in Syria, also has a few hundred men in the region.
and the United States have launched a project to expand Washington’s already
largest military base in the Middle East region, with both sides discussing
“permanent” American presence in the emirate.
countries “laid the foundation stone for expanding” the al-Udeid air base,
located 35 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of the Qatari capital of Doha, on
Tuesday, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.
project includes “the construction of barracks and service buildings to support
joint security efforts, as well as improving the quality of life of the troops
stationed at the airbase,” it said.
QNA said the expansion project “underscores Qatar’s commitment to deepening its
strategic military relations with the United States.”
State of Qatar, along with its strategic US ally, is working on drawing up a
roadmap for the future of bilateral relations, including the addition of
al-Udeid Air Base to the list of US permanent military bases,” it said.
Chargé d'Affaires Ryan Gliha also called Qatar as an “indispensable partner for
the United States,” addressing a press conference that followed the launch of
saw today the opening of a new construction project… what we hope to see in the
coming years and months is [the] strengthening” of the bilateral ties.
of dollars have been spent already at al-Udeid over the last 15 years to
support our operations… These are essential to the fight against Daesh and our
ability to lead the coalition,” he noted.
was referring to the aerial military campaign against what is claimed to be
Daesh targets in Iraq and Syria by a US-led coalition comprising scores of
facility houses some 10,000 US forces. It also houses American warplanes,
equipment, and ammunition, also provides services to other coalition members.
expansion project went underway amid a bitter diplomatic crisis between Qatar
and a Saudi Arabia-led quartet of countries.
foursome cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar and placed it under a trade
embargo last June, accusing it “supporting terrorism.” Doha roundly rejects the
President Donald Trump initially backed the Saudi-led bloc, but later advised
that the crisis be resolved.
to various reports, the about-face came after Trump’s aides, who were wary
about the future of the US’s military involvement in Qatar, convinced him to
approach the issue more moderately.
Russian President Vladimir Putin understands that any war between Iran and
Israel in Syria will turn into a regional war," Atwan wrote on Tuesday.
said that the provocative Israeli missile attacks against Syria have increased
in recent days.
doubt the Russian officials have understood the danger of Tel Aviv's
provocative moves and have traveled to Israel to issue unprecedented warnings
to the regime or make decisions about using S-300 missile defense system. If
important issues were not involved, Putin would not have personally ordered the
Russian military chief to pay this visit," Atwan said.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian military chief Valery Gerasimov made
a surprise visit to Israel on Monday.
launched a missile strike on Syrian Army position in Western Hama on Monday to
support the terrorist front collapsing under the government forces' heavy
offensives in Southern Syria.
state-run news agency, SANA, reported that an army position in Masyaf region in
Western Hama came under Israeli jets' missile attack on Sunday evening.
further added that the army position sustained minor damage in the attack.
the meantime, the Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted a source in the
Syrian Defense Ministry's Industries as reporting that an institution of the
defense industries in the town of al-Zawi near the town of Masyaf in Western
Hama came under ten guided missiles fired by the Israeli fighter jets flying
further said that the Syrian Air Defense Units intercepted four of the fired
missiles, adding that six of the missiles targeted one of the small buildings
in the defense industries' institution, leaving eight people with minor
of civilians in the town of Jandaris took to the streets and demonstrated
against the Ankara-backed militants, urging release of the civilians captured
or abducted by Faylaq al-Sham militants.
the meantime, the Turkish troops and Ankara-backed militants arrested two
brothers from Amirat tribe and executed the brothers after torturing them.
sources, meantime, said that the terrorists had transferred the kidnapped
brothers to an Idlib jail and had called on their family to pay a hefty amount
of money in return for their release.
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported on Saturday that Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh and
Katibeh al-Farouq affiliated to the Turkish troops exchanged heavy fire in
Jandaris region over their share of properties and assets looted from
residential areas in the village of Kouran.
number of gunmen from both sides were killed or wounded in the clashes, Hawar
reported that the Syrian Sukhoi was shot down by Israeli Air Defense while
flying over terrorists-held regions in Southern Dara'a, refuting Israeli Army
Spokesman Avichay Adraee's claims that the Syrian warplane had entered 2km deep
into the occupied Golan that is now under the Israeli army's control.
Israeli enemy reaffirmed its backup for terrorist groups and downed out fighter
jet that was pounding terrorists' positions and movements in Saida region near
Wadi al-Yarmoiuk inside the Syrian airspace," SANA further quoted a
military source as reporting.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed in a statement earlier today that it has
fired interceptor missiles at a Syrian Sukhoi warplane, adding that the
aircraft had penetrated Israeli-controlled airspace.
Patriot missiles were launched at a Sukhoi fighter plane. The plane was under
(Israeli) surveillance, it penetrated about two kilometers into Israeli
territory and was intercepted,” the Israel Defense Forces wrote on Twitter.
army forces engage in heavy fighting with the remaining pockets of the
terrorists in Dara'a and Quneitra and captured the villages and towns of
al-Mahir, Rasm al-Hassan, Heiran Shamali, Heiran Janoubi, Rasm al-Ezra'eil,
Rasm al-Bonyan, Rasm Ra'aroureh, Abu Qali'eh, Abu Tineh, al-Ma'alaqeh,
al-Jabileh, al-Modawareh and Abu al-Khashan.
units of the army managed to free al-Bakar, al-Bakar Sharqi, Um al-Lowqas,
al-Mahyoubeh and al-Mashideh.
suffered heavy casualties in the attacks and their remaining pockets were
forced to pull back from the battlefield to other regions.
reports said that the army forces engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL in Tal
al-Jamou'a, Libi Company and Qadir al-Bustan in Hawz Yarmouk in Southwestern
the meantime, the army's artillery units and aircraft pounded ISIL's positions
and movements in Tal al-Jomou'a region, the small town of Taslin and Jalin
region in Hawz Yarmouk at the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has awarded students Jasser bin
Daham Al-Yami and Theeb bin Manea Al-Yami who drowned in the state of
Massachusetts in the United States while trying to save two American children
King Abdulaziz Medal of First Class is considered one of the highest honors in
Saudi Arabia. An amount of one million riyals was also given to the heirs of
each of the students in appreciation of their heroic action.
came during the King's reception of the families of the students at Al-Salam
Palace in Jeddah where he expressed his condolences.
El-Sayed grew up in the American state of Michigan. This year, he is hoping to
be nominated as the Michigan Democratic Party’s candidate for governor.
he did not always think that such a goal was possible.
I graduated college, Bill Clinton asked me why I was going to med(ical) school,
and he asked if I ever considered running for office. And at that time, I
thought that was off limits to me.”
is Muslim America. He remembered facing anger after the September 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks against the United States.
was the captain of my football team, and I was a junior in high school. And the
week after 9/11 the games were canceled that week, but the week after, we were
back on the field. And I remember that football game. For the first time,
people were calling me names that I would hear for the rest of my life:
‘Raghead,’ … ‘Osama.’ Funny thing is, my brother’s name is Osama. And I used to
say, ‘You’ve got the wrong El-Sayed.’”
he is trying to make history as the first Muslim American governor in the
told VOA his religion and ethnic roots have been important in his life. Yet
both have fueled attacks by some of his political opponents.
Muslims seeking office across the country
is seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in a state that helped to
elect Donald Trump president. Trump was the Republican Party’s candidate in
year, about 90 Muslim Americans are seeking elected office throughout the
United States. Many political observers are using the term mid-term elections
because the 2018 vote comes halfway through the president’s four-year term.
will be electing a new U.S. Congress, as well as state and local officials in
is one of 13 Muslim candidates running for office in Michigan. The state’s
large and growing Arab American community has welcomed his candidacy and the
change in politics.
Siblani is the publisher of Arab American News. He said that, “in the past 10
years, things have changed dramatically for Arab Americans.” But he notes that
El-Sayed’s chances depend on whether he can appeal to a majority of voters in
compared the chances of a Muslim candidate to John F. Kennedy, who was the
first Catholic to serve as president, and Barack Obama, the first
El-Sayed said that he is not thinking about history. El-Sayed said he just
wants to give back to the community that supported him.
notes that he has received much more education than members of his extended
family, who drive taxis in Egypt.
not my life, because of the opportunities I had here. And I’m watching as we
have leaders, whether it be at the city level in Detroit or at the state level,
who are making decisions that are taking away access to those basic goods and
services from people,” he said.
medical student to public health official
gained public recognition after he was appointed as Detroit’s top health
official. Public health grew into an important issue in Michigan after the
discovery of polluted water supplies in the city of Flint in 2014.
told VOA, “The responsibility is to promote justice…That has been the work that
I’ve committed myself to as a doctor, as an epidemiologist, as a public health
practitioner and now as a public servant.”
former health official is among several candidates seeking the Democratic
Party’s nomination for governor in Michigan.
has won the support of many Michigan voters who supported Vermont Senator
Bernie Sanders in his presidential campaign in 2016.
the summer, another candidate getting a lot of attention is expected to offer
her help to El-Sayed. Democratic New York congressional candidate Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez will appear in Michigan at several campaign events for him.
if El-Sayed is to compete against the state’s Republican governor, El-Sayed
must first win the nomination of his own party.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday kept open the possibility of negotiating an
agreement to denuclearize Iran, two days after he rattled his saber at the
nation on Twitter.
see what happens, but we’re ready to make a real deal, not the deal that was
done by the previous administration, which was a disaster,” he said during a
speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
on Monday dismissed Trump’s angry warning that Tehran risked dire consequences
“the like of which few throughout history have suffered before” if it made
threats against the United States.
defense secretary, Jim Mattis, declined to directly answer a question about
whether he was concerned that Trump’s rhetoric might ratchet up tensions in the
region, increasing the chances of miscalculation.
Mattis, speaking at a news conference in California, listed his many concerns
about Iranian actions in the Middle East, including Tehran’s support for
President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war and for Houthi militants
fighting the internationally recognized government in Yemen.
time for Iran to shape up and show responsibility as a responsible nation. It
cannot continue to show irresponsibility as a revolutionary organization that is
intent on exporting terrorism, exporting disruption, across the region,” said
Mattis, a retired Marine general.
administration of US President Donald Trump is attempting to Balkanize and
destabilize Iran and other Islamic countries in the Middle East by fomenting
unrest and fragmentation in the region, says an American political analyst.
US government “does not have the best interest of the Iranian people, but
instead the Balkanization and disassembly of the Iranian nation and government
into a chaos, of factions and infighting and ethnic division,” said Scott
Bennett, a former US military psychological warfare officer.
will also “do any other thing that may be exploited that will turn Iran from a
solid, coherent, productive country into one of squabbling smaller tribes and
factions,” Bennett told Press TV on Monday.
what they have tried to do to Syria…and it has ended with the failure of that
attempt,” he added.
Sunday, Trump threatened Iran with hardship "the likes of which few
throughout history have ever suffered before" as the United States
launched a campaign meant to foment unrest in the Islamic Republic.
pugnacious Tweeter message in all capital letters came following Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani's warning to him not to “play with the lion’s tail”
after the US unveiled a series of measures which amount to a declaration of
EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES
OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE," Trump wrote.
ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE
& DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!" he added.
on Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in a speech that the
Trump administration had launched a "maximum pressure campaign"
targeting Iran and its economy.
US will pursue a "diplomatic and economic pressure campaign" on Iran,
Pompeo said as he appealed to Iranians who fled the country after the 1979
Islamic Revolution, including MKO terrorists.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Monday hit back at Pompeo's
"foolish and baseless" remarks, saying they are a clear example of US
interference in the Islamic Republic's internal affairs.
Michigan man seized overseas by a US-backed Syrian militia has been charged
with providing material support to Islamic State militants, the US Justice
Department said on Tuesday.
Izzy Musaibli, 28, of Dearborn, Michigan, provided support to the group from
2015 until last month, the department said in a statement. Musaibli, a
natural-born US citizen, will be arraigned in federal court in Detroit on
Wednesday, it said.
prosecutors in Indiana said Musaibli was transferred from the custody of the
Syrian Democratic Forces along with a US woman, Samantha Elhassani, who has
been charged with making false statements to the FBI.
was accompanied by her four minor US citizen children, who were placed in the
care of the Indiana Department of Child Services, the US Attorney’s Office for
the Northern District of Indiana said in a statement.
defendants arrived in Indiana on Tuesday. Musaibli was transferred to Michigan,
and Elhassani, also known as Samantha Sally, will appear in federal court in
Hammond, Indiana, at a later date, according to the statement.
New York Times said last week that Musaibli was captured by the Syrian Democratic
Forces in northern Syria earlier in July as he tried to escape the Middle
Euphrates River Valley, where the group has been working to drive Islamic State
militants from one of the last areas they control.
man’s younger brother said he believed Musaibli was innocent, the Detroit News
reported on Tuesday.
don’t just believe he’s innocent. I KNOW he’s innocent,” Abdullah Musaibli said
via Facebook Messenger, according to the newspaper. Musaibli will have a
court-appointed lawyer, the brother said.
prospects of peace talks with the Taliban show the US strategy in Afghanistan
is working, despite continuing violence and insurgent control of wide areas of
the countryside, top US commanders in Afghanistan said on Monday.
comments came as speculation has grown that talks to end 17 years of war in
Afghanistan may be closer after last month’s ceasefire over the Eid holiday
brought scenes of unarmed fighters and soldiers mingling on the streets.
advancement toward the reconciliation goal in President Trump’s strategy has
seen progress in the last year that we haven’t seen in the previous 17 years
and that is significant,” General John Nicholson, commander of the NATO-led
Resolute Support mission, told reporters.
believe this advancement toward peace is extremely relevant and in a way is
perhaps more important than some of these other metrics that we’ve been using,”
a year after US President Donald Trump sent more troops to Afghanistan and gave
commanders greater authority to use air strikes against the Taliban, thousands
of civilians are still being killed and wounded and the government holds no
more than two-thirds of the country.
General Joseph Votel, the top US regional commander who was visiting Kabul,
expressed “cautious optimism” about the progress made. He said the strategy,
which set no deadline for U.S. forces to leave Afghanistan, had squeezed the
Taliban and created the space for diplomatic and social pressure for peace to
growing diplomatic activity behind the scenes, President Ashraf Ghani has
offered the Taliban peace talks without conditions and the United States has
offered to support and participate in the talks, while insisting they would
Kabul government has also said it is considering offering another ceasefire
during next month’s Eid al-Qurban holiday, an offer Nicholson endorsed, despite
the “tactical risk” that fighters could use it to gain an advantage.
said a serious threat remained from Islamic State fighters, who have claimed a
series of high-profile attacks in Kabul and who control some areas in the
eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar as well as in the northern province of
Jawzjan, where they have been fighting the Taliban recently.
are very concerned about ISIS and we are going fully at ISIS and we also note
that the Taliban are fighting ISIS and we encourage that because ISIS needs to
be destroyed,” he said.
Yemenis recount forced recruitment, life under Houthis
militias have continued to recruit children and young people for the
battlefields, with a large number of them having been forcibly taken away from
some cases, elder tribesmen were forced to agree to give away children to
appease the Houthi militias.
of them were abducted around the age of 14 and were forced to serve the
militias’ domestic and external agendas, including in battleground fights
against the Yemeni Army.
coerced into joining the militias, these children were left to fend for
themselves in the battlefields without access to food or water.
some were not given any form of income or compensation even though their lives
were put at risk.
of young recruits are now under the protection of Yemeni and coalition army and
are shared their stories of captivity under the Houthi militias with Al Arabiya
- Two people were killed Tuesday and six, including a security commander loyal
to Yemen's government, wounded in a suicide attack in Aden, a security source
said. The attacker blew himself up while riding a motorbike near a vehicle
carrying the commander of a battalion of UAE-backed forces, the source told
AFP. The explosion killed a female passerby and a soldier driving the vehicle
that was carrying the commander, who was among four wounded passengers, the
source said. Two civilians were also wounded, added the source, who is loyal to
Yemen's internationally recognised government.
least seven Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to resigned president Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi have been killed when Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from allied
Popular Committees launched separate attacks in Yemen’s strategic western
coastal province of Hudaydah and Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region of
unnamed military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told
Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that Yemeni forces and their
allies fatally shot four Saudi mercenaries in an area west of the al-Durayhimi
district in Hudaydah province on Tuesday.
other Saudi-sponsored militiamen were killed when Yemeni troops and Popular
Committees fighters targeted them in the mountainous Jabal al-Doud area of
on Tuesday, a civilian lost his life and two women sustained injuries when
Saudi mercenaries lobbed a mortar round at a bridge south of the Hays district
four Hadi loyalists were killed and six people, including a woman, injured when
a powerful explosion ripped through Enma neighborhood in the southern Yemeni
city of Aden.
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the
Saudi-led war had left some 600,000 civilians dead and injured since March
United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid,
including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
high-ranking UN aid official has warned against the “catastrophic” living
conditions in Yemen, stating that there was a growing risk of famine and
said it shot down a Syrian warplane that crossed into the Israeli-occupied
Golan Heights on Tuesday, but Damascus said the jet was fired on as it took
part in operations against rebels on Syrian territory.
incident added new fuel to weeks of tensions over the Golan, a strategic
plateau between the two old enemies and where Israel has been on high alert as
Syrian government forces, supported by Russia, close in to regain rebel-held
the second time in as many days, Israeli sirens sounded on the Golan and
witnesses saw the contrails of two missiles flying skyward. The military said
it fired Patriot interceptor missiles at a Syrian Sukhoi jet that crossed 2 km
into Israeli-controlled airspace, after first trying to warn it off.
was shot down and it crashed...most likely in the southern part of the Syrian
Golan Heights,” Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus
do not have any information so far about the pilots. I do not know of any
reports of parachutes being spotted, and we do not know if any pilots have been
retrieved.” Syrian state media said, however, that a Syrian warplane had been
targeted by Israel and hit while conducting raids in Syrian airspace.
for terror outfits
Israeli enemy confirms its support for the armed terrorist groups and targets
one of our warplanes, which was striking their groups in the area of Saida on
the edge of the Yarmouk Basin in Syrian airspace,” the official news agency
SANA quoted a military source as saying.
Israeli military statement appeared to acknowledge that its mission was related
to the civil war next door. “Since morning hours, there has been an increase in
the internal fighting in Syria, including an increase in the activity of the
Syrian Air Force,” the statement said.
said Israel would “continue to operate against” any breach of a 1974 UN
armistice deal that established buffer zones on the Golan. Israel worries that
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad might try to defy the demilitarization regime
or allow his Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah reinforcements to deploy near the
raised Israeli-Syrian tensions have prompted intercession by Moscow, which sent
its foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and top general on Monday for talks with
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israeli officials said Netanyahu
rebuffed as insufficient a Russian offer to keep Iranian forces 100 km from the
on Monday, Reuters witnesses on the southern edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan
saw numerous warplanes and helicopters in the skies over Syrian territory. The
aircraft were dropping bombs, apparently as part of a Russian-backed Syrian
government push into areas previously held by anti-government forces.
fire could also be seen, targeting the warplanes. In February, an Israeli F-16
jet was brought down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has described Washington’s sanctions against
Iran as inappropriate, saying Ankara has told US officials that it will not
abide by the bans.
said on Tuesday that Turkish authorities had conveyed the message to a
delegation of US Treasury and State Department officials during a visit to
Ankara last week.
US delegation visited Ankara. We have told them we will not join these
sanctions,” he said. “We buy oil from Iran and we purchase it in proper
conditions. What is the other option?”
we are explaining why we will not obey these sanctions, we have also expressed
that we do not find these US sanctions appropriate,” the top Turkish diplomat
the US delegation’s visit to Ankara, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a
statement that the country’s officials are working to prevent Ankara from being
negatively affected by the re-imposition of US nuclear sanctions against Iran.
ministry further emphasized that Iran was an important neighbor for Turkey and
that Ankara would continue to monitor the US sanctions within this framework.
May 8, President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a 2015
multilateral nuclear deal with Iran over the objections of Europe as well as
Russia and China — the other parties to the deal, which is officially known as
the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
withdrawal entailed not only the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran but also
the so-called secondary sanctions on third countries. Some of those sanctions
will take effect after a 90-day wind-down period ending on August 6, and the
rest after a 180-day wind-down period ending on November 4.
recently, the Trump White House has announced that it seeks to supposedly bring
Iran’s oil sales down to “zero.”
Iranian ambassador to the United Nations has called for an end to the US
unlawful support for terrorists Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), saying
Washington is responsible for the crimes perpetrated by the notorious anti-Iran
a letter addressed to the UN Security Council, Gholamali Khoshroo denounced the
participation of some American political figures and government officials,
including President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, in an MKO
gathering in Paris, France, on June 30.
enumerated the terror outfit’s many atrocities ranging from the massacre of
thousands of Iranians to collaboration with the enemies’ spy agencies in the
assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists in 2010-2015 and assistance to the
former Iraqi regime in its war on Iran and carnage of its own citizens in
notorious anti-Iran group, he wrote, had bribed American political lobbies in
2012 to facilitate its removal from the US State Department’s list of
designated terrorist organizations, adding that this shows Washington’s “dual
and selective” approach to fighting terrorism.
letter added that Washington bears the responsibility for the international
crimes committed by the MKO.
strongly condemns the US government’s illegal measures against the Iranian
people such as supporting and funding the MKO as a terrorist group, the letter
read. This illegal move violates international law, the principles of the UN
Charter and international rules on fighting terror, it added
US government should abandon these policies and end such illegal measures, the
MKO is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international
community. Its members fled Iran in 1986 for Iraq, where it enjoyed the support
of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
MKO has carried out numerous attacks against Iranian civilians and government
officials over the past three decades.
Fierce clashes erupted between the Yemeni army and Houthi militia in western
Taiz on Wednesday leaving several militants dead and wounded, Saudi state-news
clashes took place between forces of the National Army and the Houthi militia
on several fronts,” Yemen’s Defense Ministry said in a statement issued on its
official website September Net.
fighting erupted between troops and the militants on several fronts in
SUMMARY: The emergence of Muslim political parties in the Netherlands is a new
facet of Islamization. One of these parties, Denk, has three seats in
parliament and is also represented at the local level, as are other Muslim
parties. They usually oppose integration and do not accept Dutch culture as the
country’s dominant culture. Anti-Semitism is a regular attribute, often
disguised as hate speech against Israel.
facets of Islamization keep emerging in Western Europe. An important one is the
emergence of Muslim political parties, a development that has occurred
primarily in the Netherlands so far. These parties exist on both the local and
national levels. While identity politics in the Netherlands has greatly
decreased, the full impact of this new development is not yet understood.
main Muslim party in the Netherlands is called Denk (Think). It came into being
after two Turkish-born parliamentarians, Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk, were
expelled from the Labour (PvdA) faction at the end of 2014. They had opposed
the integration policy for immigrants of then PvdA Deputy Prime Minister
Lodewijk Asscher. Shortly before his expulsion from the party, Öztürk said to
Ahmed Marcouch, another Labour Muslim parliamentarian, “May Allah punish you.”
long as Kuzu and Öztürk represented Labour, they could not speak outside their
assigned areas of competence; nor could they make statements contradicting the
party line. Now that they have their own party, they are free to take far more
the 2017 parliamentary elections, Denk won three seats of a total 150. Besides
Kuzu and Öztürk, the Moroccan Farid Azarkan was also elected. An estimated 1.2
million Muslims live in the Netherlands, of whom 500,000 are Turks and 400,000
are Moroccans. Recent polls indicate that if elections were held now, Denk
would increase its number of seats.
Turks hold dual Dutch and Turkish nationality, and 115,000 Turks in the
Netherlands voted in the 2017 Turkish constitutional referendum. Of these, 71%
backed Erdoğan’s proposal. About the same number of voters participated in the
2018 Turkish parliamentary elections. Of these, 62% voted for Erdoğan’s AKP. In
Turkey, that party received 53% of the vote.
are several other Muslim parliamentarians in the established Dutch parties, but
Kuzu and Öztürk are viewed as the only loyal Erdoğan supporters in the Dutch
parliament. This is worthy of note, as under Erdoğan’s presidency the
democratic character of Turkey has been greatly eroded.
participated in the 2018 municipal elections, where it won council seats in 13
out of the 14 municipalities where it had candidates – mainly in larger cities.
Several other Muslim parties gained seats in municipal councils, such as in
Rotterdam and The Hague.
Denk program is a lengthy document. It doesn’t accept Dutch culture as the
dominant culture of the Netherlands. It states that not only do the immigrants
have to listen to the Dutch, but also the reverse. One example of such a
statement goes as follows: “When I think about the Netherlands I dream about a
healthy Netherlands where Nurse Thea takes into account the desires and demands
of Aunt Latifa.” This could include discriminatory attitudes. For instance, a
Muslim woman may refuse to be treated by a male doctor. A Muslim may also be an
anti-Semite who doesn’t want to be attended by a Jewish nurse. Both scenarios
far, elected representatives of Muslim parties have not been part of ruling
municipal coalitions. In Rotterdam before the 2018 municipal elections, three
left-wing parties – PvdA, Green Left (GL), and the Socialist Party (SP) –
intended to cooperate with the Muslim party Nida. It then became known that
Nida had called Israel a terror state in 2014 and would not refute this. PvdA
and GL backed out of the agreement, but SP remained.
parties’ attitudes towards Israel and Jews are often hostile. Earlier this
year, almost all parties in the Amsterdam municipal council signed, at the
request of the Jewish community, a document entitled the “Amsterdam Jewish
Accord.” It states that Jews have a right to security paid for by the city
government, that anti-Semitism needs to be fought, and that the Jewish elements
of Amsterdam’s history should be taught to the general population. Two parties
refused to sign the agreement: Denk and BIJ1, a party comprised mainly of black
immigrants. A candidate in the Amsterdam elections claimed on behalf of Denk
that Israel and the West had played a role in establishing ISIS.
pro-Israel organization CIDI has stated that Denk’s parliamentary questions and
promotion on Facebook are riddled with anti-Semitic symbols, suggestions, and
insinuations, hidden as criticism of Israel.
representatives of other Muslim parties make extreme anti-Semitic remarks. In
The Hague, a Dutch councilman who converted to Islam, Arnoud van Doorn, blamed
Zionism for the failed 2016 coup in Turkey. On May 4, National Memorial Day,
when the more than 100,000 Dutch Jews murdered in the Holocaust were
remembered, he said the Palestinians were equal to the victims of the
Holocaust. He has also tweeted, “May Allah exterminate the Zionists.”
year Israeli schoolchildren visited the Dutch parliament. Another Muslim
council member in The Hague, Abdoe Khoulani, called the students “Zionist
terrorists in training” and “future child murderers and occupiers.” A Dutch
judge dismissed a court case against Khoulani, saying his remarks did not constitute
incitement to hate.
is another country where Muslims are politically organized, though on a much
smaller scale. The Islam party has two representatives in municipal councils.
Its program includes the introduction of sharia and a 100% Islamic state in
Belgium. The party also promotes separation between men and women on public
transport. Islam has announced that it will contest 28 municipalities in the
October elections. If the phenomenon of Muslim parties spreads elsewhere in
Western Europe, incitement and societal tensions are likely to increase
Imam Tawhidi and Dhafir Shammery
recent years, the United Kingdom has fallen victim to Islamic extremism, which
in turn has led to terrorist attacks across the nation. The government on the
other hand tries its best to maintain healthy relations with the greater Muslim
community, and unfortunately, it has learned the hard way that enjoying healthy
relations with Muslim clerics does not necessarily mean that you can prevent an
Islamic extremist from committing a terrorist attack.
British government continues to fund Muslim Communities through community
grants in order to enhance education and to support activities such as sport
and art, hoping that this will direct the activities of Muslims in a better
direction. Yet, the never-ending chain of Islamic terrorism in the UK has
proven that the government’s plans to end domestic terror have failed
to reports conducted by the UK Government, the majority of terrorist attacks on
British soil during the 21st Century were either linked to or carried out by
extremist Islamic Fundamentalists. Within the last two decades alone, Britain
has witnessed over 100 terrorist-related deaths, with the vast majority being a
direct result of Islamic Jihad.
Jihadists and Islamic extremists have taken pride in their terrorist activities
and claim responsibility whenever they occur. Therefore, why is it that Islamic
Extremists have infested London, and how did we end up with such a situation?
Has the west become weak, or have terrorists become stronger?
governments along with Muslim-majority nations have raced to place a complete
ban on extremist and other Islamist organisations. Saudi Arabia for example,
has designated the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb Al Tahrir and Hezbollah as
extremist and terrorist organisations. However, the UK government has granted
them the freedom of political activity and proselytization under its democratic
laws, even though none of the groups believe in democracy, and instead have
issued charters which demand Sharia law and a global Islamist Caliphate.
Saudi Press Agency states that The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Arab Republic
of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain have declared a
war on extremist groups within their countries, by “drying up their sources of
funding, combating their extremist ideology, along with the tools of its
dissemination and promotion. They have joined forces to work together to
eradicate it, and immunize societies against it. However, the United Kingdom is
yet to take such a stance against ALL Islamic Extremist groups.
though each of the aforementioned Muslim governments have been accused of
promoting extremist ideologies in the past, none of the promotion happened
within their own countries. Muslim majority nations comprehend the risk of
allowing extremist ideologies to infest its societies, beginning with schools,
universities and eventually finding its way into vulnerable families.
we are busy debating the seriousness of this threat, extremist organisations
are developing and working on an hourly basis. A clear threat to Britain’s
national security is Hizb-ut-Tahrir of Britain, an extremist Islamist
organisation that is calling for the establishment of a global Islamic
Caliphate. HT is unbelievably active in recruiting and radicalizing Muslim
the individuals radicalised by HT Britain are Omar Khan Sharif and Asif Hanif,
whom were responsible for the Mike’s Place Suicide Attack in 2003. While
then-leader of the opposition David Cameron urged for the extremist group to be
banned in 2007, Jeremy Corbyn argued that “it would "end up entrapping the
innocent and preventing legitimate debate."; failing to explain why
Islamic governments have raced to ban the extremist organisation from their
countries, if that was truly the case.
ISIS Jihadists Back Home
that the “Caliphate” they dreamed of establishing has collapsed, thousands of
ISIS Jihadists are returning home. A study by the Soufan Center and the Global
Strategy Network has tracked 5,600 fighters who have returned to their home
an interview with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain, Mayor of London Sadiq
Khan testified that over 200 ISIS fighters have returned to London alone, and
that he does not know where they are or what they are doing. Yet no Islamic
Regime has welcomed any ISIS Jihadists back home. These facts are not only
extremely alarming, but also reveal the direction in which the West is heading
ISIS Jihadists are celebrated as heroes by local fundamentalists and
extremists. They are not condemned nor denounced by everyone within their
Muslim community, and always find an opportunity to preach their Jihadi
ideology and training throughout London.
very month, a returned Jihadist and ‘Taliban Bomb maker’, Khalid Ali, was
captured before he conducted a terrorist attack in London’s Westminister. In
his own words, he wanted to “deliver a message to British leaders” that “I
would consider myself as a mujahid [Islamic warrior],”. He continued by
assuring the world that “Jihad is what we do … and I am here to let you know
the reason why I have come with the message, for you to make the right
decisions, if not … we have a lot of time. UK is next on the list.”
how terrorists such as Khalid always use plurals, “we” instead of ‘I’. That is
because there are hundreds of extremists like him in London, and their
development is aided by certain factors, mainly the Jihadi atmosphere which
surrounds them; influenced by weekly hate-filled Friday sermons and a similar
daily dose on social media.
terrorism is merely a tactic to implement and give life to the extremist
ideologies terrorists adhere to. They believe that Islam must be placed at the
centre of an individual’s identity, as either the overriding or the only source
of that identity. Their view divides this world into two distinct spheres:
‘Muslims’ and ‘the rest’.
are many State and non-State actors influencing Islamic extremism, such as Iran
and the international media, that are playing a vital role in feeding terrorism
to achieve political goals. Wahhabism and Salafism Madrasas throughout the
United Kingdom still teach the ideology of “Takfir” and “Infidelity”, through
teachers and scholars who have been trained, educated and financed by Iran and
Saudi Arabia. A country such as Britain used to be an idol country for the
majority of countries around the globe, however today, it is struggling in its
battle against the spread of Islamic extremism, due to its incomplete
understanding of the matter.
will not end by long range missiles nor by occupying rogue states, as such
tactics will increase hatred towards the West and will increase sympathy
towards extremists among the general population. Terrorism will end when the
West adopts severe measures to change their educational systems to nurture a
peaceful generation, and to prevent “fatwas” of “Takfir” and “infidelity”.
Islamic terrorism has to be defeated in an ideological battle, rather than by
force. Simply because what we define as ‘terrorism’, is considered a ‘noble
duty’ by the extremists.
views expressed in this piece reflect on those of the authors and not of Al
Tawhidi is an Australian Muslim Scholar, Thinker, and one of the main leading
voices of Islamic reform who has dedicated his life to ideologically tackling
the spread of Islamic Extremism. He is the President of the Islamic Association
of South Australia, and is heavily involved in interfaith diplomacy.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned a cartoon competition
to depict the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
contest was announced by the Dutch far-right Party for Freedom (PVV), headed by
anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders.
the whole world faces religious extremism and terrorism and needs peace,
dialogue and tolerance, it is time to put in place internationally binding
legal instruments to prevent incitement, racism, discrimination (and) religious
hatred,” said OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen.
the Qatari emir visits the UK, a group of activists have staged a protest rally
to condemn the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar as well as the Riyadh regime’s
deadly war against impoverished Yemen.
rally was held on Monday as Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani arrived
in the UK capital, London, for talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May
and other government officials.
protesters, who were holding anti-Saudi placards, also called on the British
government to halt its weapons sales to Riyadh, which has been leading the war
against Yemen since 2015.
protest came amid tensions in the Persian Gulf region, which erupted after
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE severed their diplomatic relations
with Qatar on June 5 last year, accusing it of sponsoring “terrorism” and
destabilizing the region, an allegation strongly denied by Doha.
quartet of boycotters has also barred Qatari aircraft from using their
airspace. Qatar’s only land border with Saudi Arabia has also been blocked as a
Saudi-led bloc then presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them
downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or
however, refused to meet the demands and said that they were meant to force the
country to surrender its sovereignty.
has also said it had too many financial resources at its disposal to be afraid
of the financial assault.
a report says Extra People, a casting agency for supporting artists, walk-ons,
extras and crowd for the movie industry, has been offering actors money to take
part in an “anti-Qatar event” outside Downing Street during a meeting between
May and Sheikh Tamim.
UK-based independent media corporation has offered £20 per person to
participate in the protest from 11 a.m. local until 12.30 p.m. on Tuesday, just
before Sheikh Tamim’s arrival.
agency said it was “contacted by an individual” to “source people” for the
event, but refused to reveal the identity of the client.
company is looking for a large group of people to fill space outside Downing
Street during the visit of the president of Quatar (sic). This is an ANTI-Qatar
event – You will not have to do or say anything, they just want to fill space.
You will be finished at 12:30,” the casting agency said in an email to its
8.15 p.m., shortly after media reports first began to circulate about the job
offer, Extra People sent another mass email to its extras saying “on
reflection” it would not be involved “in such a project.”
spokesperson said the agency decided to cancel the project as it came “to
understand what the hirer was asking of our artistes and the event involved”
after “receiving further information.”
Secretary James Mattis says the United States will have no cooperation with the
Russian military in Syria at least for now.
remarks come after Moscow last week proposed plans to Washington to cooperate
on the safe return of refugees to Syria following a meeting between President
Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the issue had been discussed
by the two presidents.
US defense officials are shocked at the prospect of coordinating with Russia in
Syria, where the two countries are conducting two separate military campaigns.
is in Syria at the request of the government of Bashar al-Assad to help fight
Daesh, while Washington and its allies have been launching attacks on Syria
since 2014, claiming they seek to root out the terrorist group, but they are
also aiding militants fighting the government.
the Pentagon, which blames Russia for conditions that caused refugee flows in
the first place, says coordination between the two countries requires special
permission from Congress.
the only coordination between the US-led coalition with Russia in Syria is
through a special hotline to insure there are no mishaps involving the two
sides’ ground forces or planes.
will not be doing anything additional until the Secretary of State and the
president have further figured out at what point we are going to start working,
alongside our allies, with Russia in the future,” Mattis said at a press
conference in California on Tuesday.
has not happened yet. And it would be premature for me to go into any more
detail at this point, because we’re not doing any more than this,” he added.
General Joe Votel, the top commander overseeing US military involvement in
Syria, said on Thursday no new instructions were issued regarding cooperation
with Russians since Trump’s summit with Putin.
passed a law banning military-to-military cooperation following the rejoining
of Crimea with Russia in 2014.
militants suffer casualties during the ongoing operations in Helmand
Taliban militants have suffered heavy casualties during the ongoing operations
in Greshk and Nad-e-Ali districts of Helmand province.
provincial government media office in a statement said at least seven militants
were killed during the operations in Dagian and Syedan areas of Greshk
statement further added that three militants also sustained injuries and the
Afghan forces have made progress in clearing up to five kilometers of the area
from the presence of the militants.
Afghan forces have also confiscated a RPG rocket launcher, 2 Ak-47 rifles, 2
radio sets, 7 kilograms of opium, and some munitions.
governor’s office also added that five militants were killed during the
airstrikes conducted in Nad-e-Ali district as part of the ongoing clearance
Afghan forces also confiscated a motorcycle and some munitions during the
operations, the provincial government said, adding that the Afghan forces also
defused 38 improvised explosives in Sangin, Nad-e-Ali, and Greshk districts.
NATIONS - The United Nations Security Council has urged Myanmar to step up
efforts for Rohingya refugees to return to the country safely and voluntarily.
a closed-door meeting, the 15 council members called for more social and
economic development aid and facilitating the return of Rohingya refugees and
internally displaced persons to their homes in Rakhine state.
members of the Security Council continued to stress the importance of
undertaking independent and transparent investigations into allegations of
human rights abuses and violations," a statement read.
UN envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, said the government was
favorable toward a return to Rakhine for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas
who fled the area.
authorities "declared really openly that they want to bring them
back," Burgener said.
she noted that tensions remain in Rakhine between Rohingyas - a Muslim minority
- and the Buddhist majority.
they want to bring them back but they have to come back voluntarily, safe, in
dignity and in a sustainable manner," said Burgener.
with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi were "very constructive, very open,
very friendly," the envoy added.
said that Suu Kyi, who has been criticized internationally for her handling of
the crisis, "is aware about the difficulties and challenges."
envoy has traveled to Myanmar twice since taking office two months ago and is
set to visit the country again in September, with plans to travel to other
states in the country.
late August 2017, rebels from the Rohingya Muslim community took up arms,
denouncing the ill-treatment of this stateless minority in Myanmar.
British man detained in Bangladesh following a deadly cafe siege two years ago
is to be released from custody.
Karim was celebrating his daughter's 13th birthday at the Holey Artisan cafe in
Dhaka in July 2016 when it was targeted by Islamist militants.
said an investigation had cleared him of any involvement in the attack.
people, mostly foreigners, were killed during the 12-hour siege, Bangladesh's
deadliest terror attack.
other suspects have been charged.
Karim, who is in his late 40s and has dual British-Bangladeshi citizenship, was
taken hostage when gunmen stormed the cafe.
at the time said he became a police suspect because he agreed to become a human
shield during the siege.
rights group Amnesty International had campaigned for Mr Karim's release.
head of the police's counterterrorism and transnational crime unit, Monirul
Islam, said Mr Karim faced no charges in connection with the attack.
of those arrested alive named Hasnat Karim. His involvement was not found
during any stage of the investigation. That's why we have not included his name
in the charge sheet," Mr Islam was quoted as saying by news site
Karim's wife told BBC Bengali on Tuesday that he had yet to be released.
attack was claimed by the Islamic State group, although Bangladesh disputed
this and said a local militant group was responsible.
(AsiaNews) - Bangladesh police formally indicted eight Islamic terrorists who
were held responsible for the attack on the Dhaka foreign bar on July 1, 2016.
Monirul Islam, head of the anti-terrorism unit to Contrast Transnational Crime
in Bangladesh (Cttc), gave the news yesterday, presenting the results of two
years of investigations and interrogations at a press conference.
express satisfaction with the work of the investigators. Commenting to
AsiaNews, Liton Gomes, a young Catholic, said: "I am pleased that the
police have closed investigations quickly. This is a good example for our
country and will help protect it from the activities of Islamic fundamentalists
attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery Cafè in the capital, a meeting place for
numerous foreigners and business people who live in the Gulshan district, home
to several embassies, was the bloodiest in the recent history of the Asian
the evening of 1 July 2016, armed with rifles and other weapons, five Islamist
militants broke into the bar and took their customers hostage. Those who knew
how to recite the verses of the Koran by heart, were let go; the others,
murdered without hesitation.
the night, the bombers engaged a gun battle with the special police
departments. At the end of the 12-hour siege, 20 victims were counted,
including 17 foreigners; of these, nine were Italian. Added to these are the
killed terrorists, the material executors of the attack, all of them from
Islam said that 21 people were found guilty of the massacre: the five militants
killed in the police blitz; eight terrorists murdered in the following months
when a real manhunt was conducted, including the one who is considered the
"mastermind" of the attack; the eight radical Muslims against whom
the formal accusations were presented.
head of the anti-terrorist unit released the names of the eight suspected
members of the New Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh. They are: Rakibul Islam
Regan, Hadisur Rahman Sagor, Jahangir Hossain Rajeeb aka Rajeeb Gandhi, Aslam
Hossain Rashed aka Rash, Abdus Sabur Khan aka Sohel Mahfuj, Mizanur Rahman aka
Baro Mizan, Mamunur Rashid aka Ripon and Shariful Islam Khaled, former student
of the faculty English at Rajshahi University. "The first six - added the
policeman - are in prison, while the last two are on the run. [For the
fugitives] we will ask for an arrest warrant ".
Lumpur plans Bill to curb racial and religious hatred
Malaysian government is moving to curb racial and religious hatred in the
country amid the growing number of such cases, particularly on social media.
in the Prime Minister's Department (Religion) Mujahid Yusof Rawa told
Parliament yesterday that a Bill would be tabled soon.
was replying to a question from opposition Umno MP Ismail Mohamed Said, who
asked about the measures the authorities planned to take against those who
insult Islam on social media.
Pakatan Harapan (PH) government intends to table a Bill in Parliament towards
enacting the Religious and Racial Hatred Act... not just to deal with
incidences when Islam is insulted, but also when non-Muslim faiths are
insulted," Datuk Mujahid said.
is to ensure that our multi-religious and multiracial society is protected from
being insulted and belittled," he added. Datuk Mujahid, who is in charge
of Islamic Affairs, also said he would meet religious scholars this month on
recent years, concern has grown in Malaysia about rising intolerance and
exclusivist views on religious issues, especially among the Muslims.
year, a human rights organisation, Pusat Komas, released the Malaysia Racial
Discrimination report which highlighted this issue.
rise of religious extremism in Malaysia, with the notion of protecting one's
religious purity, has led to discriminatory actions that have impeded the
rights of Malaysians from different ethnic groups," the report said. The
new trend was not only worrying but highlighted the "inherent danger of
the overreach of bureaucratic Islamic institutions", it added.
Unity Minister P. Waytha Moorthy was taken aback by netizen comments about a
close friend, a Hindu scholar named Arunachalanandaji, in the latest case of
what is being regarded as racial insensitivity. The disparaging remarks related
to the scholar's appearance, with many comments about his "ghostly"
appearance, long braided hair and thick beard.
the spirit of a new Malaysia, people must change their perceptions," Mr
Waytha Moorthy said.
claims Malays angry because special position and Islam threatened
Umno supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam is hoping to ride on the
“people’s grouses” against the Pakatan Harapan government to a victory in the
Sg Kandis by-election.
who is the Barisan Nasional candidate, claimed that locals in the
constituency, especially the Malays, are fed up with Pakatan.
Malay voters I meet are very angry with Pakatan mainly because the special
position of the Malays and Islam are currently under threat.
instance, they are concerned that some strategic ministerial and
government-linked company (GLC) positions are going to non-Malays,’’ said
Lokman, who is also president of the pro-Umno NGO Pemantau Malaysia Baru.
added some were also unhappy with the way former prime minister Datuk Seri
Najib Tun Razak was being treated.
visited an elderly lady on Monday and brought her some food aid.
told me that she has stopped watching television because she cannot tolerate
how badly Najib was being portrayed by the media,’’ he said.
added the woman then handed him an envelope with money in it and told him it
was her contribution to Najib.
course I refused to accept it on Najib’s behalf but her gesture had deeply
touched my heart,’’ he added.
for the non-Malays, said Lokman, their main grouse was Pakatan not being able
to fulfil its election manifesto.
in the day during his walkabout in the constituency, Lokman said he was
confident of winning the seat with a narrow margin if PAS members and
supporters came forward to help Barisan.
had opted out of the race as a mark of support for Barisan but the Islamist
party has not made any indication that it will help campaign against Pakatan.
45, will face off with Pakatan candidate tahfiz head Zawawi Ahmad Mughni in the
Aug 4 polls.
Sungai Kandis state seat fell vacant after the death of the constituency’s
incumbent assemblyman Mat Shuhaimi Shafie on July 2.
INDONESIA — Weeks after a radicalized Muslim family committed suicide attacks
on churches in the city of Surabaya, Indonesia, the country passed an
anti-terror law meant to prevent more attacks and foster the majority-Muslim
country's tolerant culture.
May 13 attack, which killed 13 churchgoers and a security officer and took
place days before the start of Ramadan, was the deadliest terrorist attack in
Indonesia since a 2002 bombing in Bali. Then, the target was foreign tourists.
This time it was Indonesian Christians, a minority who make up about 10 percent
of the population, according to the 2010 census. Many feared that the attacks
were a sign that the country's religious diversity is under threat.
prides itself on its tradition of moderation, but intolerance is growing in a
way that is making some fear for their hard-won democracy," said Sidney
Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, based in
Joko "Jokowi" Widodo — a moderate Muslim who campaigned for the
presidency with an image of a clean, populist politician — responded swiftly to
the attacks, vowing a tough crackdown on terrorists. Key to that was his strong
call for the passing of an anti-terror law.
Widodo promoted the importance of a stronger state capacity to respond to
radicalism," said Rafiqa Qurrata A'yun, a lecturer in the department of
criminal law at the University of Indonesia. "One of his statement(s) in
the media indicated the attacks were a result of the weak coercive power and
preventive measures in countering terrorism."
anti-terror law expands the power of Indonesia's military and police to take
further actions against potential terrorists and those spreading radical
ideology. Under the law, the Indonesian National Police can conduct pre-emptive
arrests and detain people for being members of a group declared a terrorist
organization. The law makes it an official offense to join a militant group
overseas, such as the so-called Islamic State. It also expands the role of the
Indonesian armed forces into domestic security.
the weeks following Surabaya, government forces used their expanded power under
the new bill to arrest dozens of suspected terrorists across the country. On
June 22, Aman Abdurrahman, an Indonesian recruiter for the Islamic State, was
sentenced to death for his role in inspiring the Surabaya bombers. The country
last conducted a terror-related execution a decade ago. Days later, the police
said they foiled two planned terrorist attacks, killing three suspects.
far, Jokowi's crackdown seems to be working politically. In regional elections
on June 26, after both the attacks and the passing of the bill, Jokowi's
coalition defeated Islamist candidates in four of the country's five most
populous provinces, putting him in a strong position ahead of presidential
elections in April 2019. Jokowi enjoys strong support from many of Indonesia's
religious minorities, some of whom told Religion News Service that things are
back to normal and that they feel safe attending church.
has worked tirelessly to brandish his Islamic credentials while also tackling
the rise of right-wing Islamism, which he has called anti-Indonesian. Last
July, he issued a government regulation that expands the power of the Ministry
of Law and Human Rights to disband groups that have ideologies deemed threats
to national security and unity. The regulation was used to disband Hizbut
Tahrir Indonesia, an organization with ties to the Islamic State.
anti-terror bill was introduced in Parliament more than two years ago, after an
attack in a Jakarta shopping area, but it stalled for various reasons,
including concerns by human rights watchers that the bill could be used to
suppress peaceful activists. Some human rights groups do not support the new
is obviously an overreaction to the Surabaya attacks," said Andreas
Harsono, Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch. "The quick deliberation
… allowed a definition of terrorism that could be used to target peaceful
political activities of indigenous groups, environmental advocates and
religious or political organizations."
concerns are ones Indonesia knows only too well. It was just 20 years ago that
the country became a democracy, after the strongman rule of Suharto, a general
who was in power for more than three decades. Empowering the military and
having a loose definition of terror could put too much power in the hands of
those who perpetuated atrocities in the not-so-distant past, said Harsono.
has many areas with deep roots of violence and impunity," said Harsono.
"We still have not sought the truth of the 1965-66 massacres (nor what
happened in) Aceh, Papua and East Timor."
believe that the new law mostly addresses the concerns of human rights groups,
but worry about its focus on security.
passed law seems to be more receptive to human rights principles compared to
the first draft bill," said Abdil Mughis Mudhoffir, a Ph.D. candidate in
politics at the University of Melbourne's Asia Institute. "Unfortunately,
this new law still promotes the security approach that will not be effective
and even counterproductive in addressing religious radicalism."
Jones, the key to reducing terrorist attacks in Indonesia and stemming rising
intolerance will be the efficacy of deradicalization efforts, which need to be
reformed due to the fact that women and children participated in the most
recent attacks — something unprecedented in Indonesian history.
Barisan Nasional (BN) has admitted that it would need the support from PAS to
win the Sungai Kandis by-election next month.
is no way I can win if PAS members do not help me. Impossible,” BN candidate
Lokman Noor Adam, who is contesting against a religious teacher representing
PKR in this Malay-majority state seat, told FMT.
said while PAS had increased BN’s chances by staying out of the race, a victory
in the by-election – seen as the first litmus test of Malay support for the
Pakatan Harapan (PH) government – could only come if supporters from the
Islamist party vote for BN.
a former PKR leader who led the reformasi protests of the late 1990s, is
confident of that support in the run-up to polling day on Aug 4.
is a good chance but I need to get that added support from our PAS friends, as
well as old comrades from the reformasi era,” said the Umno Supreme Council
member, who is among the more vocal leaders from the party in the aftermath of
its defeat in the 14th general election.
Kandis is seen as a PKR stronghold, with the party having won the seat in the
past three general elections. The seat fell vacant after the death of PKR
assemblyman Mat Shuhaimi Shafie on July 2
is represented by religious teacher Zawawi Mughni, while a third candidate,
Murthy Krishnasamy is not expected to dent support for either BN or PKR.
72% of the 50,800 voters here are Malays, while Chinese and Indians make up the
Kandis, formerly known as Seri Andalas, is part of Kota Raja, the federal
constituency won by Amanah president and Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.
has said it is staying away from the by-election to avoid splitting opposition
votes, although it stopped short of urging its members to vote for BN.
in an indirect message to party members on how to vote, PAS secretary-general
Takiyuddin Hassan said they should choose the party which represents “Islam and
and Malays” has been the battlecry of both Umno and PAS, who frequently accuse
the PH government of undermining the position of Islam and Malay special
Lokman, the same slogan was central to the Sungai Kandis by-election.
plans to raise issues such as the status of Islam, the Malay language and the
Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.
are not aware that 50% of the present government is made up of non-Muslims. So
this is not a Muslim-majority government, unlike the previous BN
administration,” he said.
LUMPUR, July 25 — Malaysia could take a cue on maintaining religious harmony
among its multiracial, multireligious citizens from its neighbour Singapore,
Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said.
foreign minister praised the island republic for having done well in that
aspect despite differences in the issues it faced, Singapore daily Straits
Times reported today.
think they have done a good job.
have our issues, they have their issues, but to a certain extent, they have
done quite well and we can emulate, if not all, at least the spirit behind the
experience that they have gone through,” the Indera Mahkota MP was quoted
and religion have been trigger points in Malaysia over the years. The use of
“Allah” for God beyond the Islamic context and religious conversions,
especially of minors, to Islam, have led to court disputes that have also
created tensions in the public sphere.
in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs, Datuk
Mujahid Yusof Rawa, announced yesterday a proposal for the set up of a national
harmony and reconciliation commission to safeguard communal and interreligious
interests in the face of rising extremism and bigotry.
also said the government plans to introduce a law to address religious and
said both the commission and the proposed law will incorporate elements of the
defunct National Unity Consultative Council, of which he used to be chairman.
to embark on religious education to checkmate Boko Haram insurgency
Federal Government has said that it would embark on massive religious education
in the North East region, to create awareness on the dangers and consequences
of insurgency, as a way of curbing the menace.
Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen Dambazau (rtd), made the declaration when the UN
Under-Secretary on Counter Terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov led a delegation to his
office in Abuja on Tuesday.
Minister noted that the greatest challenge of the region is ignorance of what
the religion and the law stipulates, adding that the perpetrators of evil
capitalize on it to influence the youth in the Zone to carry out their evil
motives and ambition, thus making them to maim and kill at the slightest opportunity.
Dambazau said further that the land degradation as a result of desertification
in the Zone makes the rural farmers, a prey as they are easily recruited into
the terrorism group, having no serious business to hold onto especially when
the dry season sets in.
Minister who stressed that terrorism was a global issue deserving global
attention, called for the cooperation of all countries, even in the fight to
stamp it out, adding that technological innovation was needed both to cover the
ground as well as air because of the porous nature of the borders.
added that in Nigeria, more efforts are being made to check the menace through
the provision of identity number on the national ID cards, biometric capturing
of migrants as well as insertion of security features on the nation’s
earlier, the UN-Under Secretary on counter terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov said
that the purpose of the visit was to explore possible areas of collaboration
and intervention with Nigerian Government, so as to find possible ways of
addressing the threat of insurgency in the region.
called for constant dialogue among member-border countries, emphasizing that
inter-Agency collaboration would also accelerate the efforts towards curbing
gunmen on Tuesday released four hostages after having abducted them two days
earlier in Libya’s central Jufra district.
via Facebook, Ismail al-Sharif, a member of Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament,
confirmed that all four hostages had been released.
Tuesday, he said, the hostages were brought by the gunmen to the city of Sirte,
where they were handed over to local military officials.
also thanked the local authorities for helping to secure the hostages’ release.
Sunday, an unidentified armed group abducted four individuals in Jufra,
including a local judge and a prosecutor and two police officers.
Haram factional leader Abubakar Shekau has re-emerged in a new video after a
long absence that fuelled speculation about his health and ability to lead the
a 36-minute message, seen by AFP on Tuesday, Shekau wore a white robe and skull
cap, and held an assault rifle as he sat in front of a military camouflage
appeared unwell but made no direct mention of his health or reports from last
month that he had high blood pressure, failing eyesight and diabetes-related
jihadist leader used to appear frequently on camera but was last seen in a
14-minute video message on February 6, in which he claimed responsibility for
attacks in northeast Nigeria.
is widely believed to be aged in his late 40s. The US justice department lists
1965, 1969 and 1975 as possible years of his birth.
said the latest message was recorded on July 12 at the request of his
supporters "as a kind of Eid greetings... to show that their brethren are
well, in view of all sorts of things infidels are saying (about us) which we
end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan was celebrated in Nigeria on June 15.
It was not possible to obtain independent verification of the claimed date, and
there was no explanation about the apparent delay in recording or publishing
May 2017, Shekau looked frail and appeared to have difficulty reading from a
prepared speech, which he held close to his face in an apparent indication of
well-placed sources told AFP last month that Shekau's health was failing and he
was "too weak to be in charge" of the jihadists.
lieutenants were said to be in talks about the situation.
Haram, whose insurgency has left at least 20 000 dead since 2009, split in
mid-2016 over ideological differences about the targeting of civilians in the
faction, headed by Abu-Mus'ab Al-Barnawi, whose father Mohammed Yusuf founded
Boko Haram, won the support of the Islamic State group.
Barnawi faction has been blamed for a spate of attacks in recent days against
the military northeast Nigeria.
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