–Research says expansion of Daesh in South Asia hints at major shift from
extremism: Meet the violent followers of a religion widely known for its
protests: Rehana Fathima expelled from Muslim community
Haram kill 12 farmers in Nigeria: militia
India under new IS threat ‘Wilayat-e-Hind’: study
gives message of peace, love, protection
resurgence of Barelvism as the new face of extremism
offered seats in general elections, says Khadim Rizvi
security personnel killed by militants
FATF grey-listing hinges around Hafiz Saeed’s status
bureaucracy hurdle to ‘Naya Pakistan’, says PM Khan
envoy to Kabul denies Islamabad’s support to Taliban
extends election to Sunday due to chaos at polling stations
SCR says ‘Impressed by the courage and determination of Afghan voters’
15 dead in Kabul polling station suicide bombing
bomb and rocket blitz as Afghans go to polls
Urdu poet attacked after confronting youth for harassing girl
For years, Aqueel is lone Muslim face in House
Minorities Commission team in Palwal to probe foreign funding of local mosque
local body elections: Independents sweep ULB polls in Muslim-dominated
districts of Jammu
3 terrorists killed in Kulgam encounter
ambassador reveals details of upcoming Egypt-Sudan summit in Khartoum
Jordan border, Damascus seeks to revive regional trade
Kenya-Somalia border, locals facilitate Shabaab attacks
Asia boosts fight against ‘real and present’ militant threat
church bombers believed world ending in 2018: Report
Muslim detention camps are ‘humane’
Sabu: Malaysia can’t cope with so many Rohingya refugees
Ibrahim urges Malay students to master the Chinese language
airstrikes kill 22 civilians in eastern Syria
'saddened' over confirmed death of Saudi journalist
League welcomes Saudi investigations into Khashoggi’s case
Send Heavy Arms to Hama, Idlib to Attack Army-Controlled Regions
Salman sought most brutal murder for Khashoggi: Ex-FBI agent
of Civilians Killed, Wounded in US Raids on Mosques in Eastern Syria
Saudi regime does not represent Islam
US-Backed Militia Commander Killed in Bomb Blast in Northeastern Syria
Druze civilian hostages freed 3 months after abduction by Daesh in Syria
officials discuss 'finally destroying' terrorists with Syria's Assad
insists Khashoggi killers must be held accountable
‘strongly’ condemns killing of Saudi journalist
truth on Khashoggi’s killing not told: Danish PM
Jerusalem ploy fails to avoid by-election beating, risks Muslim backlash
over Muslim scholar's invitation to preach at Anglican service
cleric, 51, who runs Britain's largest network of sharia courts is quizzed over
child rape claims
Drouiche: For fear of hard right, Europe’s left wing fails to condemn Islamism
Army Launches Missile, Drone Strikes on UAE Operations Room
in occupied Golan burn Israeli election ballots, protest judaization
demands Pakistan secure immediate release of abducted security forces
reopens people and goods crossings to Gaza amid calm
of Houthis killed in strikes targeting gathering in Yemen’s Hodeidah
protest icon goes from jail cell to VIP suite
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Pakistan, India and Bangladesh are under a new threat of the deadly terrorist
organisation Islamic State (IS), also called Daesh, resulting from a major
shift from the Middle East, a recent study has found.
to a new research conducted by Abdullah Khan, the Managing Director of Pakistan
Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), ‘Wilayat-e-Hind’ (WeH) is
the new chapter of Daesh which is quickly attracting the educated youth in
India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and promoting its extremist ideology.
ongoing military operations in and around Pakistan’s border areas with Afghanistan
have provided gaps to the IS militants who have swiftly moved in either from
Syria or Iraq and have presence in across the bordering areas in Afghanistan,
the study found, adding that the terror group is provoked by the governments of
India and Bangladesh which are known for their ‘state-sponsored terrorism’
against the Muslim communities.
OF IS IN SOUTH ASIA:
study titled “Prospects of Daesh’s Expansion in South Asia” says that an
unorganised presence of WeH militants has been identified in parts of Pakistan,
India, Bangladesh and other countries of the South Asian region. The WeH
operates as an Indian chapter of the IS which was formally announced in 2016.
study highlights that the Indian citizens, especially from Kerala State, find
IS more attractive than any other group and at least 54 people from Kerala have
announced to join the IS during the past three years.
who have joined the Wilayat-e-Hind are well-educated and most of them are
engineers, doctors and MBA degree holders. Indian citizens are mostly joining
Khorasan chapter of Daesh than the core group in Syria or Iraq. However, the
possible launching route of Indian IS members to Afghanistan is not clear yet,”
the study reads.
OPPRESSION IN KASHMIR:
study also identifies the India-sponsored oppression in Kashmir as a key reason
that more youth are joining the IS.
unrest and protracted conflict of Kashmir is going to further complicate
security dynamics of the region. More Kashmiri citizens joining Kashmir
militancy is going to deepen the societal divide in the Indian occupied Kashmir
(IoK) which may impact the whole region,” the study finds.
ongoing torture and killings of Muslims in across India at the hands of Hindu
extremist groups like RSS, VHP and others under the ongoing campaign of forced
conversions — also called ‘Ghar Wapis’ under which oppression and rape is used
as a tool to kill and force Muslims to covert towards Hinduism — is also a
major factor, it said.
maltreatment of Indian Muslims by the government and Hindu extremists will push
more Indian citizens towards Daesh, the study finds.
to Pakistan Today, Abdullah Khan said that the WeH Bangladesh chapter was
another surprise addition where the so-called secular regime of Prime Minister
Hasina Wajid was targeting religious Muslim groups under a witch-hunt drive.
ongoing targeting of scholars linked to Jamat-e-Islami and other religious
right-wing outfits has provoked educated youth to take up arms. On November 7,
2015, Dr Sajit Debnath, aka Muhammad Saifullah Ozaki, gave a lecture to the
audience at the Asia Pacific Conference at Ritsumeikan University. The topic of
the lecture was Womenomics in Business. But this was one of the last public
appearances of Dr Sajit before he disappeared along with his family in December
2015. Dr Sajit is a PhD and was considered an expert on the Islamic finance and
economic theory. Later, he announced to join the IS.
Khan said that Daesh has successfully replaced Al-Qaeda as global champion of
terror and it uses the concept of Khilafah to inspire Muslim youth from around
concept of Khilafah is the next level of the concept of global Jihad or
ultimate goal of global Jihad. The conquering of most parts of Iraq and Syria
helped IS get a global attraction. Some Pakistani and Afghan Taliban commanders
and commanders of some smaller groups got in contact with ISIS,” he said.
Rauf Khadim, an Afghan Taliban Commander from southern Afghanistan and former
Guantanamo detainee, Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost, were the first to join ISIS and
propagate for the IS.
January 2015, Wilayat-e-Khorasan was officially formed after pledging of the
allegiance by some senior TTP commanders and commanders of at least ten smaller
Khan also sheds light over Khurasan chapter’s different approach to recruit
this part of the world, IS focused on making allies. Except for Afghan Taliban,
the IS is pursuing a policy of cooperation instead of confrontation with other militant
groups of the region. It found an ally in the form of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
Al-Aalami (LeJ-A),” he said, adding that Daesh was part of the five-member
alliance formed against Pakistan in Paktia in 2016, including TTP, JuA, LI,
have developed with Lashkar-e-Islam as they are fighting at some places, but
cooperation with other groups continue. He said that IS Khorasan militants have
developed an arch along Pakistani border to target the local areas and are
interested in waging a war from the Afghan soil.
arch was developed by creating bases of IS militants in Badakhshan, Nuristan,
Kuner and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan,” he added.
argued that the IS terrorists had resorted to guerrilla-style attacks and they
are capable of penetrating high-security zone of the Afghan capital.
quality of attacks and ability of IS militants to inflict heavy losses on the
enemy is improving. More militants from
Syria and Iraq are joining Khorasan chapter which will further enhance operational
capabilities of the group,” he stated.
about the ideological aspects of IS terrorists, Abdullah Khan reacted that the
group professes extremist views of Islam and mostly people from Deobandi and
Salafi (Ahle-e-Hadith) schools of thought have joined the group in the region.
major organisations of Deobandi and Ahle-e-Hadith have condemned Daesh and
consider it as a threat to their following. Ideologically, the group’s
prospects of growth are bleak, however, political issues will provide the
required ground for expansion,” he said.
about the way forward, Abdullah Khan said that the solution of the key
political issues of Muslims in the region need to be resolved amicably.
peace process needs to be stepped up but should never provide Daesh a
justification to market the possible deal as ‘sell out of Jihad’,” he said
while adding that mistrust between regional security forces/intelligence
agencies needs to be removed for the betterment of the region. “Islamic State should
be seen as a common threat instead of using it as leverage by one state against
the other,” he concluded
"Buddhist Bin Laden" has made a return to public life, appearing at a
rally in support of the military generals condemned globally for a brutal
crackdown on the Muslim minority Rohingya.
an infamous Buddhist nationalist monk, was sanctioned in March 2017 for
religious hate speech that demonised the Rohingya Muslims.
last weekend, his rhetoric demonstrated that — at least in his mind — little
military flag-waving demonstrators carried portraits of Senior General Min Aung
Hlaing, Wirathu lambasted the United Nations, saying the day Myanmar
authorities are brought before the International Criminal Court is "is the
day that Wirathu holds a gun".
court last month opened a preliminary probe into alleged state-sponsored
violence against the Rohingya, including sexual violence, killings, and
estimated 700,000 Rohingya fled over the border into Bangladesh between
September and December last year, leaving behind lives built over generations
in their dash for safety.
lie to the world saying that Bengalis are Rohingya because you want to promote
Islamisation in Myanmar," Wirathu said, according to a report by local
news magazine Frontier Myanmar.
plight of the Rohingya has elicited global condemnation, but less attention has
been paid to the Islamophobia driving their exodus.
say there is a perception gap when it comes to religious extremism — with
Muslims regularly being unfairly cast as terrorists while Buddhists are
generally depicted and understood to be pacifists.
problem is far too many Westerners fail to understand that Buddhism, like any
other religion, can be misused for political purposes," Phil Robertson,
deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, told the ABC.
nationalism has become increasingly prominent in Myanmar since the country
began opening up in 2011, with growing tensions sparking roiling communal
violence in Rakhine State.
military generals retaliated after Rohingya insurgents attacked border police,
killing 12 people, by embarking on what the United Nations has called "a
textbook example of ethnic cleansing" with "genocidal intent".
military has also been accused of using social media to stoke tensions between
Buddhists and Muslims, allegedly orchestrating a sophisticated anti-Muslim
Facebook campaign ahead of the violence.
Crouch said the military junta, which has ruled the country for nearly five
decades, had reinforced the idea that Burman Buddhists were
is one reason among many that different ethnic and religious groups distrust
the rise of Buddhist extremism at the expense of Muslims is not contained to
Lanka also experienced an outbreak of communal violence in March this year that
saw Sinhalese mobs sweep through Kandy and other towns burning mosques and
attacking Muslim businesses.
followed the death of a Buddhist truck driver days after he was involved in an
altercation with four Muslims.
violence prompted the Government to declare a state of emergency and
temporarily block social media sites it blamed for fuelling the clashes.
Myanmar and Sri Lanka are home to a Buddhist majority — about 90 per cent and
75 per cent of the population respectively — with a sizeable Muslim minority.
as in Myanmar, many Sri Lankan Buddhists feel their status is threatened by
adherents of an opposing religion.
Johansson, director of the Swedish South Asian Studies Network, said the
anti-Muslim sentiment mirrored post 9/11 attitudes in the West.
radical monks espousing violence against Muslims have become a huge problem in
the two countries that Governments have done little to address, according to Mr
governments must urgently act with strong measures against Buddhists who
espouse and instigate violence, recognising that failure to act means the
hatreds will spread and the situation will get worse," he said.
a problem that governments need to meet head on before the situation gets out
| Oct 20, 2018
The Kerala Muslim Jamaath Council has expelled Rehana Fatima, the woman, who
reached within hailing distance of Sabarimala’s sanctum sanctorum, from Muslim
a press note issued here on Saturday, the council state president A Pookunju
informed that the Council directed the Ernakulam Central Muslim Jamaath to
expel her and her family from the membership of the Mahallu.
per the press note, "her act hurt lakhs of Hindu devotees and it is against
the rituals of the Hindu community. She also took part in ‘kiss of love’
agitation and acted in a film, nude. So, she has no right to use a Muslim name.
The state government should register a case against her under section 153A of
the IPC for creating communal hatred,” Pookunju said.
also demanded to register a case against IG S Sreejith, who helped 'anti-social
elements' to enter the shrine wearing police safety jacket.
Haram jihadists on Saturday hacked 12 farmers to death as they worked on their
fields in the volatile northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, civilian militia
came in two trucks and attacked the farmers with machetes outside Kalle, a
remote village 17 km outside the state capital Maiduguri, the birthplace of the
Boko Haram movement.
used machetes to kill their victims who were working on their farms,"
militia leader Babakura Kolo said. "So far, we have recovered 12 dead
bodies from the fields and nearby bush."
people were injured in the raids.
militants had guns but did not use them so as not to attract the attention of
troops in nearby Molai village, said another militia leader Ibrahim Liman.
the farmers saw them pulling over close to their crop fields they all ran in
different directions but the terrorists pursued them," Liman said.
was not clear which of the two Boko Haram factions was behind the attack.
jihadist faction loyal to Abubakar Shekau is notorious for deadly attacks on
IS-affiliated faction --Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) -- focus on
the military and high profile targets including Western interests, although
they have recently been involved in attacks on civilians.
Haram has stepped up attacks on farmers and loggers in recent years, accusing
them of passing information on the group to the military.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith harmony Noor ul Haq Qadri
on Saturday said that Pakistan has safe and peaceful policy for the followers
of all religions.
was addressing an international conference on Social Responsibility and World
Religions organized by Minhaj University Lahore (MUL) and Punjab Higher Education
Commission (PHEC) at the university.
conference was supported by School of Religions and Philosophy and School of
Peace Counter Terrorism Studies.
said, “Islam gives message of peace, love and protection and people of Pakistan
fully support the agenda of today’s conference”.
Qadri also quoted various verses from the Holy Quran and Hadees Sharifs to
highlight the significance of respecting other religions in the teachings of
minister lauded Tahir-ul-Qadri’s role for interfaith harmony.
emphasized to change the temperaments as it was essential for forming a good
will get eliminated and culprits of model town incident would reach their
logical end, he added.
Dr Herman from Australia, speaking on the occasion said that every person has
great responsibility towards global peace and self understanding in this regard
was very important.
the minister along with Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Khurram Nawaz
Gandapur also visited the book stall. MUL Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad
Aslam Ghauri and others were also present.
society has been badly spoiled by religious extremism and terrorism since its
inception. Due to the extremism and terrorism, religious and social values are
hammered, economy has not prospered, political freedom has been curtailed, and
sadly, thousands have lost their lives. In this article, it is discussed that
how it was ideologically wrong to mainstream Barelvism to counter hard-liner
sects and how the rise of Barelvism is threat to peace in Pakistan.
and Salafi extremism has been very common in Pakistan. Around 70,000 lives are
lost because of their terrorism. Farhan Zahid in his article “The Potential for
a new strand Islamist Extremism in Pakistan” writes that prominent among these
are Deobandi organizations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Harkat Ul Jihad-e-Islami,
Harkat Ul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Omar and Tehreek-e-Taliban
Pakistan. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda, Islamic State, Wilayat-e-Khurasan, Hizb-ut
Tahrir and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) adhere to the Salafist tradition. On the other
hand, Barelvi sub-sect is responsible for less than 1 percent of terrorist
attacks in Pakistan. They have remained involved in mass mobilization against
minorities, spreading hatred and extremism in society, threatening people and
arousing sentiments for pro-blasphemy law.
is believed to be motivating factor for terrorism and when War on Terror
started, the then President Musharraf formed the policies of counter narrative
against hard-liner sects. In his policies, Sufi Islam was presented as
“counter-narrative” by counter-ideology theorists and different literature was
produced to show softer image of Islam. After 2008, PPP government followed the
same policies of mainstreaming Barelvi sub-sect. It has been the history of
Pakistan that in order to counter one group, another has been created against
it and in this all when one group is politically and financial supported,
chaos, conflicts, extremism, and sectarian strife occurs.
the recent years with the resurgence of Barelvism, corporate media has
exacerbated the situation by giving false binaries between Deobandism and
Barelvism but it cannot be denied that the potential radicalization in Barelvi
sub sect can be immense threat to peace in Pakistan if not checked.
Islam” or “Barelvism” is a Sunni Islamic movement and school of thought that is
widely spread in South-Asia. Its roots can be traced back in 19th and 20th
century. The name “Barelvi” traces its history with the Northern Indian town
Bareilly where the founder of the sect, Ahmad Raza Khan Bareilly (1856-1921),
was born. He was a revivalist and his teachings influenced many. Barelvis
identify themselves with his teachings. Nadeem F Paracha writes, “It
(Barelvism) was a reaction against the theological onslaught of the Deobandis
against the traditions of the majority of Muslims, who, during the 500-year
Muslim rule in India, had merged various elements of Sufism with the rituals of
pre-Islamic creeds existing in India.”
Deoband School of thought started preaching their version of Islam; they
criticized local shrine culture. To counter this, Ahmad Raza laid the
foundation of the Ahl-e Sunnat movement and emerged as leading scholar. He
declared Fatwas and refutations against Deobandis, the Ahl-e-Hadithis and
Ahmadis and made arguments for shrine-based and Divine Grace through the text.
Ahmad Raza was an Anti-Hindu, and it was the Barelvi sub sect which supported
the cause of Pakistan’s Independence. It was his teachings which gave
theoretical basis for separate Muslim land. On the contrary, Deobandi Ulema
the Deobandi and Barelvi have different ideological outlooks and they have
countered each-others views. Historically, both are dichotomous, and have
presented their approach extremely. The formation of Barelvi thought emerged
out of Deobandi’s contradictions. In 1906, when Ahmad Raza went for performing
Hajj, he asked Ulemas of Madina and Mecca to endorse his Fatwas against
Deobandis and other sects. When he returned to India, both the sub-sects
started ‘Fatwa War’ and called each other Kafir (Infidel). Hussam al-Harmain is
the book of fatwas by Ahmed Raza in which he has accused Deobandis and other
sects of heresy.
the sects have always taken extreme positions for their religio-political
gains. Ahmed Raza declared leading figures of Deoband school of thought as
Kafirs, in Fatwa-i-Rizvia, which “declares Deobandis as Kafirs and he who
doubts that they are Kafirs are also Kafir” In a same way, Fatwas from Deobadis
against the Barelvis have been always there and it can been understood by
looking at attacks on Sufi shrines, Barelvi Mosques and Madrasas.
is commonly believed that Barelvis are pacifists, peaceful, apolitical and
tolerant, but it is not completely true. Their language and literature is not
apolitical and non-extremist. The myth, they are tolerant, can be busted by
looking at their Fatwas against other sects. They do compete with rival sects
for space and religious monopoly. Sunni Tehreek, a Karachi based Barelvi group,
was involved in violent activities. Muhammad Amir Rana , the Director of the
Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) writes. “To further complicate the
intermingling of beliefs and practices, the Barelvis, who are considered to be
representatives of Sufism in Pakistan, are not free from pro-militant jihadi
tendencies. In the Kashmir insurgent movement during the 1990s the Barelvis
were quite prominent. Some Barelvi militant groups, such al-Baraq and
Tehreek-e-Jihad, are still active.”
Roy in his book, “Islam and Resistance in Afghanistan” tells how Sufis allied
with Talibans to take over the country. There are many examples of atrocities
against minorities by Barelvis in Pakistan. Aamir Mughal writes, “The Barelvi
text is full of fatwas like any other sect. When it comes to the power and
domination of their sect, every group has grown the tendencies to apostatise
others, which has affected the common masses,”
can be different answers to the question that why Barelvis remained quite
lesser violent than other hard-liner sects. Firstly, they were scattered and
politically weaker after the independence of Pakistan. Secondly, they didn’t
believe in concept of Jihad like that of Deobandis. Thirdly, they didn’t
affiliate with Saudi’s version of Islam. When the war in Afghanistan started in
1979; foreign funding from USA, KSA and other countries started flowing in
Pakistan, and majority of Mujahedeen belonging to Deobandi sect participated in
Afghan War. “General Zia’s apparent tilt towards the Deobandi or Ahl-e-Hadith
sub sects resulted in disregard for Barelvis during the Islamization process in
1977” When Deobandi sect was morally, religiously, financially and politically
supported, they got powerful in Pakistan’s society in 1980s and 1990s; other
sects, like Barelvi felt insecure and deprived.
1990s, Barevlis also started practicing Jihad to be at the stage like other
sects, but that was Kashmir centric, and after 2001, when war on terror
started, they returned Pakistan, and Mubashir Akram says “The ‘returning
Mujahideen’ did not sit silent, and joined the ranks of Sunni Tehreek, mostly
in Karachi and Hyderabad, Sindh, and thus began the journey of Barelvi
extremism that is now much more institutionalised than what it was in the
2006, Pervez Musharraf, formed the National Council for the Promotion of Sufism
(NCPS) as a counter narrative against Deobandi sect. PPP carried same policy
and in 2009, they established ‘Sufi Advisory Council’. This time, Barelvis were
being empowered, and celebrated Pakistani scholar Ayesha Siddiqa warned,
“greater power not only enhanced the greed for more power but also resulted in
corrupting of the Sufi order.” State sponsored Sufism started filling the space
which was being left by Deobandis. This time Sufis were being seen violent.
the Barelvi sect to counter Deobandis’ narrative was politically and socially
wrong, as their historical and theological rivalry was neglected. Barelvis have
historical sense of deprivation as being majority in Pakistan; they were
religiously and politically sidelined, and attacks on their shrines, people,
mosques and madrasas have given them sense of vendetta. In this all, when
recently, Barelvism has resurged; all pre-conditions are present which
threatens peace in Pakistan. Its recent example is the rise of Tehreek-i-Labaik
was initially established to support Salman Taseer murderer, later, it changed
into the political party. Within a short span of time TLP has grown up violent,
after hanging of Mumtaz Qadri (Murderer of Salman Taseer), different protests
and violence occurred in country. In late 2017, for 21 days, TLP ceased
Islamabad, roads were blocked, many were injured and 6 people died.
Resultantly, Law minister resigned. State accepted their demands.
leader, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, seems to be anti-civilian-government. Umer Ali,
in his article, writes that By using the Barelvi groups, over an issue as
sensitive as blasphemy, the establishment might be preparing alternative assets
to be deployed against their political rivals in Pakistan. Many of the
political scientists believe that due to the tensions between civil-military
establishment. P.M Nawaz Sharif’s government was targeted. Historically Nawaz
and Deobandis have good ties that is why Deobandis have also lost their power.
Yet, many of the Deobandi outfits enjoy soft-corner.
minted religious group, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), has made it to power,
winning its first two seats in Karachi, Sindh in the general elections 2018.
TLP has also emerged as third largest party in Lahore. With 2.2 million votes,
TLP had emerged as the fifth largest party in the election in terms of number
of votes obtained countrywide, according to official ECP data.
rise of far-right Barelvi group possess all the elements of violence, they have
their interpretation of text, motivated and radicalized members, messengers,
message, martyrs, historical sense of marginalization and sense of vendetta.
They have theological rivals and spit venom of hatred and extremism.
Radicalization of youth in the name of blasphemy. Different incidents of mob
based violence are also observed after its rise. TLP’s narrative is extremist
and Pakistani society where there is fragmentation along the sectarian lines,
it can be very dangerous.
a group emerges and dominant group loses it ground, due to the greed of power
and fear of losing it, violence takes place between the two. When Deobandi and
Barelvi are involved in competition for their religio-political gains, there
are the signs of violence and sectarian divide. In this all, those who are
already marginalized minorities, they have to face the difficulties. When
religion is instrumentally used, society is caught by the clutches of
extremism. The consequences of Barelvi extremism can be catastrophic as
observed in the past. The technology of silencing can be used against the
secular voice and critical thinkers.
Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi said that he was offered seats during
the recently conducted general elections.
video doing rounds on social media shows Rizvi making the claim.
number of people came to me before the elections,” he says.
asked me ‘how many seats do you want?’ but I declined the offer.”
asked me to pinpoint the seats I wanted, I responded I do not need the seats.”
General Elections were held on July 25 this year with the Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerging victorious. The TLP failed to win any National
Assembly seats but succeeded in winning two provincial assembly seats from
Two Pakistani security personnel have been killed in a targeted attack carried
out by the Taliban militants in the country's restive Waziristan district,
incident took place in Walma Langar Khel area where the two personnel had gone
to fetch water. The security personnel came under attack from the Taliban
militants as they were returning from the area, said the official.
Pakistan has claimed the responsibility of the attack.
has long been a sanctuary for Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups.
February 12 this year, the then President Mamnoon Hussain issued an ordinance
to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, which sanctioned a nationwide ban against
groups and individuals enlisted as terrorists by the United Nations. These
include Hafiz Saeed, who has been the UN’s “specially designated terrorist” for
the past decade, and his affiliated groups.
ordinance was passed days before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting
in Paris, where Pakistan feared being moved to the grey-list for insufficient
action against terror groups. This was a move reminiscent of Pakistan putting
Hafiz Saeed under house arrest ahead of an FATF meeting in January last year.
get support in what was being predicted as a US led manoeuvre to put Pakistan
on the terror watch-list, Islamabad made overtures to Russia and Saudi Arabia
before the FATF meet in February as well. However, following what proved to be
a diplomatic farce in Paris, as the then Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif irked
the US officials owing to a self-congratulatory tweet that leaked details of
the meeting, the American delegate was forced to call in an unprecedented
second round of voting on Pakistan.
was formally grey-listed at the FATF plenary meeting in June, with potential
blacklisting looming in case Islamabad didn’t abide by the instructions
released by the counterterror watchdog.
case in the June meeting was put forth by the caretaker setup which had taken
over from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led government in the lead
up to the July 25 elections. When a delegation from the Financial Action
Taskforce’s Asia Pacific Group (FATF-APG) visited Pakistan to monitor the
progress, they too met with the caretaker officials since the Pakistan
Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s cabinet hadn’t taken oath at the time.
August, Islamabad submitted 11 proposals in discussions with the watchdog, and
underlined the actions already undertaken in a bid to avoid being blacklisted,
as it aspired to get its name removed from the grey-list as well. The FATF-APG
delegation was told that Islamabad is working on enhancing coordination between
agencies that are monitoring money laundering –those working in Pakistan and
overseas – and will increase the reporting and enforcement of counterterror
another FATF-APG team’s visit to Pakistan it was formally conveyed that the
watchdog isn’t pleased with the procedures in place to scrutinise the potential
terror activities and funding for such groups. Islamabad was also told that the
despite legal framework being in place there is a lack of connectivity between
agencies that are tasked with tracing the financial flows to suspected terror
damningly, what has been a common theme throughout the FATF meetings is the
status of Hafiz Saeed. Before the February meeting, Hafiz Saeed had publically
announced that he would be contesting the July elections, just before he was
designated as a terrorist in the country.
however, did not stop his affiliates from participating in the elections, as
the Allaho Akbar Tehreek (AAT) contested in the July polls, with Hafiz Saeed
established as the group’s ideologue and his face ubiquitous in campaign
banners. AAT had evolved from the Milli Muslim League (MML), whose members had
contested the by-elections leading up to the July elections as independent
candidates after the Election Commission of Pakistan had turned down the MML’s
request for an election symbol following the interior ministry’s request.
so, AAT’s participation in the election was questioned by the FATF-APG teams in
August and last week, with Islamabad failing to come up with a convincing
reply. This is because Hafiz Saeed’s indirect participation in the elections
was mandated by the all-powerful military, which designed a mainstreaming
process for the jihadist groups that it has used as strategic assets to target
Afghanistan and India and serve its regional interests.
is this mainstreaming process, which has brought up the likes of
Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a radical Islamist group which took credit for
the removal of Atif Mian from the PM’s Economic Advisory Body last month owing
to his Ahmadiyya Muslim identity, and the cancellation of the Prophet Muhammad
cartoon contest in the Netherlands owing to death threats to the organisers.
Islamist groups as a unit bagged five million votes in the July polls, which
was around 10 percent of the total votes cast – twice as much as 2013. Multiple
surveys have revealed that the biggest dent that these Islamist parties gave
was to the PML-N vote bank, which resulted in the party being overtaken by the
PTI in the July polls.
Prime Minister Imran Khan lashed out at the political bureaucracy and police
department for creating hurdles for his government at the administrative level.
to a delegation of journalists who met him in Islamabad on Saturday, he said
problems were being created at the administrative level to disrupt government’s
functionary by the same people, who were appointed by the previous government.
criticised segments of bureaucracy and police appointed by the previous regimes
for creating hurdles for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
prime minister elaborated that certain officers appointed by the previous
government were involved in disrupting the policies of the government, however,
he has the necessary patience to deal with such matters.
have come into power after 22 years of struggle and therefore have the patience
necessary to deal with such matters,” he stated.
premier said that the opposition’s hue and cry over the ongoing accountability
process was an attempt to avoid arrests, adding that “they know that none of
them would be able to come out clean in corruption cases”.
Khan said that the opposition had started making noise against the National
Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) actions from the first session of parliament.
government has no direct links to NAB and corruption cases against the
opposition leaders were not initiated during the three-month-old tenure of his
the opposition leaders think that such protests and claims will result in an
NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] for them then they are mistaken. We are
standing by our announcement of bringing back the nation’s looted money and no
one will be spared from accountability even if it put his government’s future
at stake,” he added.
the debt problem faced by the country, PM Khan revealed that the foreign debt
had increased to Rs 36 trillion during the tenure of the last government,
adding that the country would go bankrupt if the PTI government does not borrow
money in next two months.
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout is not a problem but rather
the conditions that come attached to it, Prime Minister Khan said. He, however,
said that seeking an IMF bailout would be the last option for this government
as other options are also being explored.
are getting positive messages from both Saudi Arabia and China. Both countries
have already been approached for financial assistance,” he added.
on increasing electricity tariff, the prime minister said that the government
had no other option as the circular debt has reached Rs1,200 billion.
“Devaluing rupee was the only solution in current circumstances and the time
will prove that these tough decisions were taken only on temporary basis,” he added.
Pakistan Ambassador to Kabul Zahid Nasrullah Khan denied Islamabad’s support to
Taliban, said that his country is not supporting the group.
a number of Afghan political affairs analysts label Pakistan as the main
supporter of Taliban but Khan said putting blames on Pakistan is ignoring
problems in Afghanistan.
to TOLO news, Khan said Taliban commute in the border areas between Afghanistan
and Pakistan and that it does not necessarily mean that Islamabad backs the
have already more than two million Afghan refugees living there (in Pakistan).
So if somebody from there has shares of views or has sympathy with Taliban, you
cannot say, that you know, Pakistan is supporting him. Also, as you know that
we have a 2,611km of the border and as know that more than 30,000 people
crossing every day. So, we are not supporting them,” said the ambassador. “To
blame Pakistan is to really take your eyes off the real problems within
meanwhile said that he hopes that Afghanistan’s Saturday elections will be held
said his country supports talks on Afghanistan’s peace.
government of Pakistan wishes great success in holding a credible parliamentary
election. We know that there have been many challenges, but President Ghani has
remained very firm and has ensured that the elections will be held the day
after Friday on 20 October,” he said.
Iran’s Ambassador to Kabul Mohammad Reza Bahrami said Tehran supports the
Afghan peace process.
said they want a sustainable peace in Afghanistan and that the Afghan
government and the Afghan people should make the decisions on the war and peace
in the country.
us as one of the supporters of peace in Afghanistan. We want sustainable peace
and the Afghan government and stakeholders inside Afghanistan should be
involved in this process and in fact be the creators of a consensus in this
country. It again belongs to the Afghan government and people, but in general,
we welcome any phenomena that could bring peace,” said Bahrami.
comes after US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay
Khalilzad has started talks with regional stakeholders to move forward the
Afghan peace process.
in Afghanistan’s parliamentary election will be extended to Sunday in some
constituencies after technical and organizational problems stopped voters
casting their ballot in some polling centres on Saturday, government officials
Badi Sayad, chairman of Independent Election Commission said the voting process
will continue till Sunday in those places where election officers or election
material arrived late.
over biometric voter registration equipment, polling stations not opening on
time, missing election materials and delays forcing lengthy waits angered
voters on Saturday.
today, multiple explosions rocked polling centres across Kabul, as voters cast
their ballots in long-delayed legislative elections.
were seen fleeing a school in the north of the Afghan capital after a blast, a
correspondent said, with witnesses reporting explosions at other polling
began voting on Saturday in parliamentary elections overshadowed by chaotic
organisation, allegations of corruption and violence that has forced a
postponement of the vote in the strategic southern province of Kandahar.
United Nations, which has been supporting the process, has urged Afghans to
“use this opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to vote” and
called for the election to take place in a safe and secure environment.
worry that violence will keep voters away from polling stations, particularly
following the assassination of the police chief of Kandahar on Thursday, which
forced authorities to delay the election in the province by a week.
militants have issued a series of statements telling people not to take part in
what they consider a foreign-imposed process and warning election centres may
of police and soldiers have been deployed across the country but already nine
candidates have been assassinated and hundreds of people killed and wounded in
NATO Senior Civlian Representative in Afghanistan Cornelius Zimmermann has
hailed the Afghan people for their courage and determination for the massive
turnout in the long-delayed parliamentary elections amid serious security
the parliamentary elections in Kabul, Ambassador Cornelius Zimmermann said “I’m
impressed by the courage and determination of Afghan voters shaping the future
of their country.”
the people of Afghanistan will have the choice to cast their vote and choose
their representatives for parliament. They should be able to do that freely,
without fear of violence or intimidation,” Ambassador Zimmermann had said ahead
of the elections.
parliamentary elections kicked off in 32 provinces of Afghanistan at around 7am
local time today as large number of voters, including men and women, showed up
in polling stations to cast their votes in the long-delayed parliamentary
the induction of the state-of-the-art technology or biometrics system in this
parliamentary election being a new phenomenon, the conduct of the process faced
some hurdles, mainly due to the lack of training and experience to properly
utilize the system.
least 15 people were killed and 25 wounded in a bombing at a polling station in
the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, as the country's parliamentary elections
to reports, at least 10 civilians and 5 police officers were killed in the
bombing of the polling station in the northern part of the city.
explosions reportedly hit other polling stations, resulting in dozens of
elections, which are already three years late, have been marred by violence and
further delays. The Taliban and Daesh have been intimidating potential voters
to stay at home and boycott the elections.
Afghanistan’s first parliamentary elections in eight years suffered from
violence and chaos Saturday, with a multitude of attacks killing at least 36
people, key election workers failing to show up and many polling stations
staying open hours later than scheduled to handle long lines of voters.
surrounding the elections — already three years overdue — threaten to
compromise the credibility of polls which an independent monitoring group said
were also marred by incidences of ballot stuffing and intimidation by armed men
affiliated with candidates in 19 of the country’s 32 provinces. Some areas have
yet to vote, including Kandahar, where the provincial police chief was gunned
were high in these elections for Afghans who hoped to reform Parliament,
challenging the dominance of warlords and the politically corrupt and replacing
them with a younger, more educated generation of politicians.
were also high for the US, which is still seeking an exit strategy after 17
years of a war there that has cost more than $900 billion and claimed more than
2,400 US service personnel.
ballot is regarded as crucial for the stability of Afghanistan, wracked by more
than four decades of war, foreign interventions and tribal rift. The latest
poll is the third for choosing a legislative body since the ouster of the
Taliban in late 2001 in a US-led invasion.
Interior Minister Akhtar Mohammed Ibrahimi said 36 people were killed in 193
insurgent attacks across the country: 27 civilians, eight police officers and
one Afghan soldier. He said attackers used everything from grenades to small
arms fire to mortars and rocket launchers, and that security forces killed 31
most serious attack on the polls was in a northern Kabul neighborhood where a
suicide bomber blew himself up just as voting was about to end, killing three
people and wounding another 20, many of them seriously, said Dr. Esa Hashemi, a
physician at the nearby Afghan Hospital. Interior and defense ministry
officials said 15 people were killed or wounded, including several police.
stations also struggled with voter registration and a new biometric system that
was aimed at stemming fraud, but instead created enormous confusion because
many of those trained on the system did not show up for work. Also, the
biometric machines were received just a month before polls and there was no
time to do field testing.
results of the vote, delayed by more than three years because of a power
struggle in the government, will be released in three weeks’ time. Final results
will be published after two months.
candidates are young and educated men and women who want to replace current MPs
at the house, regarded as one dominated by corrupt elements and factional
members as Taliban and Daesh spread their attacks in the country.
Taliban guerrillas had threatened to disrupt the process, conducted various
attacks, including firing mortars, suicide raids and bomb blasts near some
polling stations, including in at least five areas of Kabul.
we proved together that we uphold democracy with casting out ballots without
fear, we honor the sacrifices of the fallen,” President Ashraf Ghani told
reporters after casting his vote in a highly protected school near the
presidential palace in Kabul.
of widespread irregularities across the country were reported by journalists,
locals and even government officials.
include late opening of sites, lack of knowledge of some election works in
recording votes and use of biometric devices, aimed at reducing fraud, which is
another major concern apart from security threats.
and media were barred from visiting some sites. Some stations did not open at
all. The country’s second Chief Executive, Mohammad Mohaqiq, openly said that
at least 22 stations did not open at all in only two areas in Kabul city
Soresh, a spokesman for the election commission, confirmed that some sites
remained closed owing to “technical challenges,” vowing to prolong voting hours
when they open.
blamed the government appointed elections body for the shortcomings. The body
has faced organizational problems and a rift owing to a power struggle among
frustrated voters even went back home after waiting for hours for the opening
of polling stations in Kabul.
one such station, a policeman asked voters if they knew the voting process so
he could let the station open. In northern Maimana, people complained that
there were no biometric devices in place.
others, voters said they could not find their names on the books where they had
registered months before during the registration process. It would take at
least five minutes for a voter to cast a vote.
journalist covering the event closely described the situation as “Mismanagement
and chaos across the country.”
is just a joke, I am leaving. I came to vote despite the Taliban warning, but
you see the mess and confusion and heard the blasts. It is not worth dying for
this because the process is not handled properly,” Zaman Khan, a bewildered
voter in a central area of Kabul, told Arab News.
irregularities that led to closure and caused slow voting process are seen as a
further blow to the voting, which is funded by donors’ money.
government already had said it could not open some 2,000 sites because of
of people, including 10 candidates, have died in a series of attacks by Taliban
and Daesh in recent months.
government delayed the holding of the polls in the historically important
southern Kandahar for a week after an attack that killed its powerful police
chief and intelligence head.
Sarwary, a candidate from eastern Kunar, said like some other parts of the
country, there were “high irregularities” during the voting there.
sites opened very late. The biometric system did not work in some sites and in
others they were slow or election workers did not know how to use them,” he
told Arab News by phone.
Urdu poet Hashim Firozabadi was attacked with “acid” and beaten up allegedly
for confronting those sexually harassing a girl, in Firozabad’s Rasoolpur area
official of Rasoolpur police station has confirmed the incident, and said a
case has been registered against the accused. Police are also verifying if the
chemical thrown at Firozabadi was acid.
Friday, a local complained to me about his daughter being harassed. The man
said a few boys had obtained the mobile number of his daughter and were
harassing her on the way to coaching classes. I suggested that he approach the
police but he was unwilling. So, I called one of the accused and tried to
convince him. He paid no heed,” Firozabadi told Hindustan Times over the phone.
reached his locality on Friday night and tried to persuade him, but the accused
and his brothers attacked me instead. They threw a liquid, which appeared to be
acid. It caused a burning sensation and has left marks on my face and hand,” he
a resident of Rahi Nagar, has lodged an FIR against Saif, Musaif, Saqlain Sunny
case has been registered but the accused are absconding,” said a senior sub
poetry community has condemned the attack.
a serious matter. It’s condemnable that a poet, who had gone to help a girl
facing sexual harassment, has been attacked. Firozabad police should act fast
and nab the accused,” Amir Akbarabadi, a noted poet from Agra, said.
Till 1980s, finding five or six Muslim MLAs in state assembly was nothing
unusual. The number seemed good enough going by ratio of Muslim population in
the state. There were of course 320 seats in assembly, but Muslim
representation often came from areas, which are still part of Madhya Pradesh,
following bifurcation of the state in 2000.
in 1990 election, when BJP came to power in the state for the first time,
number of Muslim MLAs in the House came down to two and post-Babri demolition,
no Muslim representative was elected to the Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly
in 1993 state assembly election, despite Congress wresting power from the BJP.
Singh, who was elected the chief minister then, nominated Ibrahim Qureshi as a
cabinet minister in his council of ministers, perhaps in the hope he would find
a seat suitable for him in six months, but when it could not happen, Qureshi
had to resign as the minister. In 1998, two Muslim MLAs were elected, including
Arif Aqueel, who was elected as an independent candidate then and, in following
three assembly terms-2008 and 2013- Aqueel has been the lone Muslim
representative in the House, now a member of Congress party. Muslim leaders in
Congress have often complained ahead of elections in the state the party does
not give them enough tickets, but in a situation, when “winnability” has become
lone criteria for political parties in selection of candidates, Congress
doesn’t ‘risk’ giving more than a couple of seats to Muslims in the state
2013 election, other than Aqueel and Arif Masood ,who got tickets from Bhopal,
Mujeeb Qureshi was the only other Muslim candidate from the Congress from Rewa
constituency, a choice questioned by many in the party.
about poor representation of Muslims in assembly, a Congress leader said “It’s
true that Congress under pressure from BJP propaganda has started distancing
itself from Muslims. Congress was never a pro-Muslim party, but the BJP somehow
was able to create this perception among Hindus and the Congress in place of
aggressively combating the perception, became defensive and started distancing
itself from Muslims at least in area of electoral representation.”
said in Bhopal, Muslim candidates can be considered for three assembly
segments, but only Arif Aqueel is trusted. Besides, seats like Burhanpur, where
Muslims have sizeable presence, has also been taken away from them.
Prof Zamiruddin, however, said apart from polarisation in the society, lack of
social leadership among Muslims, which is acceptable to all sections of
society, is responsible for their shrinking presence in political arena. “If
you have able social leadership, you don’t necessarily need a Muslimdominated
seat to win the election because they are acceptable to all.
three-member fact-finding team of Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) on Saturday
reached Palwal in neighbouring Haryana to probe the alleged funding of a local
mosque by terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The team will also meet the
family members of the persons arrested by the National Intelligence Agency
(NIA) in connection with foreign funding of the mosque, DMC chairman Zafarul
Islam Khan said.
fact-finding team is in Palwal to probe the allegations about the alleged
foreign funding of the mosque being constructed in a village in Palwal,
Haryana,” he said.
will also meet, in Hazrat Nizamuddin area, the family members of the persons
arrested in this connection, he added.
team comprises human rights activist Ovais Sultan Khan, a member of DMC’s
advisory committee Sardar Gurmindar Singh Matharu and a member of Sikh
Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar, Abu Bakr Sabbaq.
July this year, the NIA filed a case to probe the terror funding module linked
to Pakistan-based terrorist Hafeez Saeed’s Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) —
a front-end organisation of LeT.
the probe, it emerged that one Mohammad Salman was in regular touch with a
Dubai-based Pakistani national, who in turn is connected with the deputy chief
of FIF, the agency had said.
candidates got a lion’s share of seats in the urban local body (ULB) polls,
especially in Muslim-dominated districts of Jammu, winning 185 wards out of 521
spread across the region.
independents have an edge over the BJP and the Congress in over a dozen
municipal bodies, officials said.
have presented a good show in all the 10 districts which registered a high
voter turnout in the recently concluded ULB polls held after a gap of 13 years.
the two municipal committees of Poonch district — 17-member Poonch and
13-member Surankote — the independent candidates won 23 seats, while the
Congress and the BJP had to soothe with four and three seats, respectively, the
the adjoining Rajouri district, independents won seven-member Kalakote
municipal committee, while the BJP swept 13-member Sunderbani with 10 seats
against three by independents and 13-member Noushera by winning seven against
three each by the Congress and independents, they said.
Congress won 13-member municipal committee Thanamandi by winning nine seats
while four seats went to independents, the officials said, adding that
17-member Rajouri municipal committee witnessed a tough fight with the
Congress, the BJP and independents getting seven, six and four seats,
13 wards of Kishtwar district, the officials said independents won 10 seats,
while the Congress and the BJP won two and one seat, respectively.
also enjoyed popular support in Doda district where they won 18 wards, out of
total 37 of the three municipal committees of Doda, Bhaderwah and Thatri. The
Congress got 12 and the BJP won seven wards.
Ramban district, the Congress swept Banihal municipal committee winning all the
seven wards, while Batote handed over four seats to the BJP, one to the
Congress and two to independents.
Ramban municipal committee, six seats were shared by the BJP, Congress and
independents, while the election for one ward was countermanded due to the
death of a BJP candidate on the polling day in the second phase on October 10.
district also witnessed a record number of 27 independent candidates emerging
as victorious followed by the BJP (18), the Congress (nine) and the National
Panthers Party (two) in the four municipal committees of Samba, Vijaypur,
Ramgarh and Bari Brahmana having a total strength of 56 wards, the officials
Bari Brahmana where BJP had got seven seats and independents six, the rest of
the municipalities have independents heading the chart.
nearby Kathua district having one council and five municipal committees,
independents won 27 of the total 80 seats. The BJP had won 34 seats and the
Congress got 19 seats in the district.
the Jammu Municipal Corporation, the BJP won by 43 seats, out of 75, while the
independents emerged second with 18 seats followed by the Congress with 14.
other municipal committees of Jammu district having a total strength of 79
wards saw independents winning 16 seats, leading the chart in Bishnah.
rest of the seats were shared by the BJP (49) and the Congress (14), the
independents emerged victorious in Udhampur municipal council followed by the
National Panthers Party (six), the BJP (four) and the Congress (two) — much to
the surprise of the saffron party which was expecting a victory of its
candidates given the constituency being represented by Union Minister Jitendra
Singh in Parliament.
two other committees of Udhampur — Ramnagar and Chenani — saw the BJP winning
10 seats, National Panthers Party got five seats, independents won four seats
and the Congress got one.
Reasi district, the BJP headed the chart with 13 seats followed by independents
(nine) and the Congress (four).
Three terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Kulgam
district of Jammu and Kashmir Sunday, police said.
identity of the slain terrorists is being ascertained, a police official said.
forces launched a cordon and search operation in Laroo area of Kulgam district
in south Kashmir following specific information about the presence of
terrorists in the area, he said.
the forces were conducting the searches, the ultras fired upon them, triggering
the encounter, the official added.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is set to visit the Sudanese capital of Khartoum
on Thursday to attend a summit meeting of an Egyptian-Sudanese Higher Committee
between the two countries.
Abdelmahmood Abdel Halim, Sudan's ambassador to Cairo, told Al Arabiya English
that the Egyptian-Sudanese summit will be held on Thursday between Egypt’s Sisi
and Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir to discuss bilateral relations and regional and
international issues of common concern.
preparatory meeting will be held on Tuesday, in which senior officials of the
two countries are expected to agree on all details regarding the joint
agreements and memorandums of understandings, and the projects to be
added that a final pre-summit meeting will be held on Wednesday for the
ministers of the two countries to agree on the files to be discussed at
Thursday’s summit and ways to implement them and put them in the meeting of the
Supreme Committee led by the two heads of state.
two sides discussed 20 draft agreements, MoUs and executive programs in the
fields of education, higher education, agriculture, health, oil and gas,
international cooperation, trade, media, immigration, judicial and legal
cooperation, extradition, manpower, communications, youth, tourism and
By reopening a key land crossing with Jordan this month, the Syrian regime is
inching toward a return to trade with the wider region as it looks to boost its
government of President Bashar Assad took back control of the Nassib border
post in July from rebels as part of a military offensive that reclaimed swathes
of the south of the country.
international trade has plummeted during the seven-year civil war, and its
foreign reserves have been almost depleted.
reopening of Nassib after a three-year hiatus, on October 15, is a political
victory for the Damascus regime, said Sam Heller of the International Crisis
is “a step toward reintegrating with Syria’s surroundings economically and
recapturing the country’s traditional role as a conduit for regional trade,” he
Nassib crossing reopens a direct land route between Syria and Jordan, but also
a passage via its southern neighbor to Iraq to the east, and the Gulf to the
the Syrian government, reopening Nassib is a step toward normalization with
Jordan and the broader region, and a blow to US-led attempts to isolate
Damascus,” Heller said.
pressure and numerous rounds of peace talks have failed to stem the fighting in
Syria, and seven years in the regime has gained the military upper hand in the
forces now control nearly two-thirds of the country, after a series of
Russia-backed offensives against rebels and jihadists.
faces a mammoth task to revive its battered economy.
country’s exports plummeted by more than 90 percent in the first four years of
the conflict alone, from $7.9 billion to $631 million, according to a World
Bank report last year.
Syria Report, an economic weekly, said Nassib’s reopening would reconnect Syria
with an “important market” in the Gulf.
it warned, “it is unlikely Syrian exports will recover anywhere close to the
2011 levels in the short and medium terms because the country’s production
capacity has been largely destroyed.”
now, at least, Nassib’s reopening is good news for Syrian tradesmen forced into
costlier, lengthier maritime shipping since 2015.
them, Syrian businessman Farouk Joud was looking forward to being able to
finally import goods from Jordan and the United Arab Emirates via land.
2015, “it would take maximum three days for us to receive goods, but via the
sea it takes a whole month,” he told AFP.
goods until recently has involved a circuitous maritime route from the
Jordanian port of Aqaba via the Suez Canal, and up to a regime-held port in the
northwest of the country.
costs twice as much as land transport via Nassib,” Joud said.
parliament member Hadi Sharaf was equally enthusiastic about fresh
opportunities for Syrian exports.
(fruit and) vegetables will have a positive economic impact, especially for
much-demanded citrus fruit to Iraq,” he told AFP.
Syria’s war broke out in 2011, neighboring Iraq was the first destination of
Syria’s non-oil exports.
parliamentarian also hoped the revived trade route on Syria’s southern border
would swell state coffers with much-needed dollars.
the conflict, the Nassib crossing raked in $2 million in customs fees, Sharaf
month, Syria’s Prime Minister Imad Khamis said fees at Nassib for a four-ton
truck had been increased from $10 to $62.
foreign reserves have been almost depleted due to the drop in oil exports, loss
of tourism revenues and sanctions, the World Bank says.
the local currency has lost around 90 percent of its value since the start of
businessmen are also delighted, as they can now reach other countries in the
region by sending lorries through Syria and its southern border crossing.
farmers “used to export more than 70 percent of their produce to Arab countries
via this strategic crossing,” said Bechara Al-Asmar, head of Lebanon’s labor
recent victories, Damascus still controls only half of the 19 crossings along
Syria’s lengthy borders with Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey.
and Baghdad have said the Albukamal crossing with Iraq in eastern Syria will
open soon, but did not give a specific date.
trade, there is even hope that the Nassib crossing reopening might bring some
tourists back to Syria.
years since Kenyan troops entered Somalia to combat Al-Shabaab militants,
Mandera Town is yet to enjoy peace.
several occasions, the militants have crossed into Mandera at will, attacked,
maimed, killed and crossed back into Somalia undetected.
administrators on the ground blame the porous Kenya-Somalia border and
unwillingness of locals to share information. But the local community accuses
government officials of corruption, leading to persistent attacks.
government, we are doing our best to secure Mandera, including posting more
security teams to different parts to respond to such incidents. We are heading
somewhere,” Mr Erick Oronyi, Mandera Deputy County Commissioner, said.
up of military and police camps along the Kenya-Somalia border has reduced
terror incidents in the county, he said.
have security camps in areas that never used to have them. This has closed the
loopholes, helping in reducing the incidents,” he said.
radicalisation of people across the county, especially the youth, is also to
blame for the attacks, said the government official.
have cases of local youth joining terror cells. This is proving a challenge but
we are up to the task,” Mr Oronyi said.
to him, the latest attack at Arabia Boys Secondary School on October 9, 2018
had a local hand in it.
local was involved in providing information about the school and where the
targets reside in the compound, leading to two deaths,” he said.
non local teachers were killed in the night attack while two others escaped
reported to the school administration that things would not be usual that
fateful night and a meeting of all prefects was called. I don’t know what was
discussed. Then that night we were attacked,” Mr Elijah Nderitu, a survivor,
told Sunday Nation.
Abdiaziz Abdullahi, a local, said it is difficult to identify a Shabaab member
are all the same but with different missions and intentions, making it
difficult to know who is Al-Shabaab and who is not,” he said.
Abdullahi added that locals fear sharing information with security officers in
Mandera in case their identities are disclosed to the militants.
the police arrest suspects, they usually reveal the informant's identity,
putting many lives in danger,” he said claimed.
police are dishonesty in this fight and locals are keeping off,” he said.
Abdullahi added that locals are well-paid by Shabaab to provide information on
security operations in the county. “There are intelligence people even among
the security officers that inform the enemy of traps and operations,” he said.
are mostly used by the terrorist organisation to gather information. “It is
very difficult to suspect a woman of such missions, but the truth comes to
light after an attack,” Ms Fatuma Adan, a businesswoman in the town, said.
December 7, 2015, the body of Ms Isnina Mohamed, a tea vendor in Mandera, was
found in a shallow grave.
government accused her of being a cook for Al-Shabaab, but denied killing her.
victim of a terror incident in Mandera said he sustained injuries in a
retaliatory attack after he shared information with the government.
grenade was hauled into my house after sharing some vital information with the
police. I was exposed by those I worked for. This has created a lot of fear
among locals,” he said, requesting not to be named for fear of victimisation.
November 2014, the militants killed at least 64 people in Mandera within 10
November 22, 2014, Al-Shabaab militants hijacked a Nairobi-bound bus, killing
28 people. And on December 2 of the same year, a quarry was surrounded by
militants and 36 miners killed.
government then announced stiff measures that included transfer of all security
officers serving at home and building of a security wall along the
wall project has since been halted after only six kilometres of fencing and
2014, Al-Shabaab has carried out raids on residential areas in Mandera Town,
killing people, mostly of non-Somalis.
July 7, 2015, the militants killed 14 quarry workers at a residential plot in
Alex ole Nkoyo, then County Commissioner, asked quarry workers and non-Somali
community members not to dwell in the same estate in large numbers.
in quarries at night was banned after 36 miners were executed.
October 6, 2016, the militants killed six people at a residential plot in the
town and on 25th of the same month, a guest lodge was raided, leaving 12 dead.
June 16, 2017, four people died and 11 others were seriously injured after a
public service vehicle run over a roadside bomb.
August 28, 2017, two KDF soldiers were killed when their armoured personnel
carrier (APC) triggered off an improvised explosive device in Damasa Lafey
Sub-County. Three others were injured in the explosion.
May 5, 2018, four quarry miners were killed by suspected militants in a quarry
in Shimbir Fatuma, Mandera South Sub-County.
government has since completely closed quarrying activities in Mandera, forcing
miners to leave the county. “We are still facing challenges in securing
Mandera, but we have plans that will see us succeed,” Mr Oronyi said.
towns in the county are segmented into zones, manned by different security
forces at night, to curb insecurity.
a recent meeting with Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, the leadership
of Mandera pledged to launch peace and security campaigns to educate locals on
the effects of terrorism.
leaders pledged to carry out several campaigns to build relationships between
security agencies and the community,” Mr Oronyi said, and added that locals
leaders will seek to build an information-sharing relationship.
Governor Ali Roba has since maintained that his administration will support any
initiative by the national government to secure his region.
Roba has survived at least six terror incidents and lost five bodyguards on May
20, 2017 in a roadside explosion.
Southeast Asian nations seeking to combat the threat of militancy have agreed
to share intelligence, Singapore’s defence minister said Saturday, as he warned
of a “real and present” danger to the region.
than a year after Islamic State-linked fighters seized the southern Philippine
city of Marawi, the terrorist threat is as potent as ever, said Ng Eng Hen
after hosting a meeting of defence ministers.
even as the situation in Iraq and Syria improves, we are expecting more foreign
fighters to come this way,” he added.
said all 18 ministers at the gathering in Singapore, from Southeast Asia and
key partners outside the region, viewed “terrorism as a real and present threat”.
Southeast Asian delegates adopted an information-sharing platform called “Our
Eyes” that will be used to share real-time intelligence that can immediately be
acted upon, the minister added.
came after the countries realised that they had underestimated the threat
before the attack on Marawi, where the rebuilding effort could cost around US$1
billion, he said.
by Indonesia, the platform is based on an intelligence-sharing alliance set up
by the United States, Britain and three other countries after World War II to
monitor the former Soviet Union.
weekend security meeting was attended by the 10-member Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (Asean), as well as US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and their
counterparts from countries including China, Australia, India and Russia.
last year’s assault on Marawi, hundreds of armed militants backed by foreign IS
fighters attacked and took control of the largely Muslim city in a bid to
establish a base in Southeast Asia.
troops, supported by sophisticated surveillance planes from the United States,
dislodged the militants after five months of heavy fighting that left more than
1,000 people dead and the city in ruins.
from other Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia and Malaysia, were
involved in the fighting.
at the meeting “felt that this must never happen again to any city within
ASEAN”, Ng said.
Oepriarto, the suspected mastermind behind the Surabaya church bombings in May,
believed the world would end in 2018 and was driven by his apocalyptic belief
to carry out the deadly attack, according to a report released by the Institute
for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC).
imminent end of the world, the report says, was a frequent theme of Dita’s
lectures after taking charge as the emir (leader) of Jamaah Anshar Daulah (JAD)
Surabaya in mid 2017 — a year before a series of bombings in Surabaya and
Sidoarjo, East Java, in May this year.
bombings killed 25 people, including the perpetrators and their family members.
was said to have believed in a hadith (a saying from Prophet Mohammad)
regarding the end of days, when the stars would fall and a meteor would hit the
earth, followed by a black cloud that would last for at least 40 days.
apocalyptic event, according to the hadith, would kill everyone but those who
live in the greater Syria area, where an Islamic leader called Imam Mahdi would
appear after the cloud disappeared.
suspected Surabaya bombers, Anton Ferdianto and Tri Murtiono, are thought to
have shared this belief.
three later used their own families, including children, to carry out the
attacks. They believed that, since getting to Syria was almost impossible then,
the best guarantee to get to heaven was to carry out jihad in their home
decision to use children in the attacks was later condemned by JAD ideologue
Aman Abdurrahman, who called it “a cruel act under the pretext of jihad.”
report, released on Thursday, elaborates on the preparation of the JAD network
in East Java from 2015 and future scenarios of terrorist activity in Indonesia.
IPAC notes that Dita, Anton and Tri had started building homemade bombs in
October 2017. In five months, the three produced almost 100 pipe bombs and some
64 so-called “mug bombs”.
the relative success of the families in their terrorist activity was attributed
to their “unusual ability to keep secrets rather than their technical
mounting international criticism, China has given its most extensive defense
yet of its sweeping campaign to detain and indoctrinate Muslims, with a senior
official this past week describing its network of camps in the far west as
humane job-training centers.
groups, American lawmakers and a United Nations panel have assailed the
“transformation through education” camps holding Uighurs and members of other
Muslim minority groups in China’s far northwestern Xinjiang region.
of thousands have been held in the camps—one estimate says 1 million—and former
inmates who have fled abroad have described them as virtual prisons that engage
in harsh brainwashing.
the chairman of Xinjiang’s government, Shohrat Zakir, himself an ethnic Uighur,
called the camps a “humane” and lawful shield against terrorism in an interview
published by China’s official Xinhua news agency.
said the facilities gave Uighurs and other Muslims courses in the Chinese
language and taught them to be law-abiding citizens. They also receive training
in job skills, such as making clothes, e-commerce, hairdressing and
cosmetology, Zakir said.
said that “students” in the facilities were provided with free meals,
air-conditioned dormitories, movie screenings and access to computer rooms.
has launched a vocational education and training program according to the law,”
Zakir said. “Its purpose is to get rid of the environment and soil that breeds
terrorism and religious extremism.”
people being held
did not say how many Muslims had been sent to the camps, but he appeared to
acknowledge for the first time that people were being held against their will
in the facilities for months or years at a time.
said the program dealt with people suspected of wrongdoing that fell short of
requiring criminal convictions, and that they received “graduation
certificates” only after signing agreements and meeting certain criteria.
detainees, he said, were being prepared for release and assignment to jobs at
the end of 2018. Zakir suggested the campaign would continue for many years.
The “deradicalization” program is showing results, he said, “but the duration,
complexity and intensity remain acute, and we must maintain high vigilance.”
Eli, a businessman who has described his time held in a camp in 2017, scoffed
at Zakir’s description of the indoctrination centers as “colorful” places where
students play basketball, watch movies and join in singing contests.
experience, he said, was far harsher, involving long days of marching, singing
patriotic Chinese songs and memorizing Chinese laws.
full of nonsense,” Eli, who is originally from Xinjiang and obtained Kazakh
citizenship, said by telephone. “They say that these camps are to eradicate
terrorism, but inside I saw lawyers, doctors, intellectuals, even officials who
had nothing to do with extremism,” he said. “They call these vocational
training centers, but it was really a prison.”
publication of the interview with Zakir confirmed a shift in China’s
public-relations strategy over the camps, from silence to an unapologetic
defense. Zakir even cited a United Nations resolution on fighting terrorism to
criticism of the detentions grew throughout this year, the government first
stayed silent. Then it gave sparing acknowledgments of the camps’ existence.
before a UN panel in Geneva in August, a senior official in the Chinese
delegation defended the government’s measures yet denied that they amounted to
Zakir’s comments marked the first full-throated defense of the indoctrination
program, which grew out of policies launched by Xi Jinping, China’s president
and Communist Party chief.
week, the Xinjiang government issued amended rules for its “deradicalization”
program that for the first time gave clear public authorization for the
Tuesday evening, China’s main state television network, CCTV, broadcast a
current affairs program in prime time that praised the camps and depicted them
as caring, happy places. It showed a class of Uighur students reading out a
Chinese lesson, titled “I am a law-abiding citizen.”
a year plus of denial, the Communist Party has decided to get out in front of
the story, and put forward its own view over the legality and the nature of
these detention camps,” James Leibold, an expert on Xinjiang at La Trobe
University in Australia, said by e-mail. “The party’s central leadership now
seems determined to ‘standardize’ and ‘legalize’ their approach.”
comments appeared to be part of China’s preparations for an international
meeting that could put the camps under further scrutiny.
a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in early-November, foreign governments
will have a chance to question officials from Beijing about the detention
program and other intrusive security measures affecting Muslim minorities.
meeting is a very important occasion to raise the camp issue,” Dolkun Isa, the
president of the World Uyghur Congress, an exile group based in Germany, said
by telephone. (Uyghur is an alternative spelling of Uighur.) “China has denied
the camps, but now it’s something that they just cannot hide.”
governments have indicated that Xinjiang will be a priority at the Human Rights
Council meeting in Geneva.
are deeply concerned by credible reports pointing to a serious deterioration of
the human-rights situation” in Xinjiang, Federica Mogherini, the European
Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, told the
European Parliament this month.
week, a bipartisan panel in Washington issued a report condemning the
indoctrination camps. Lawmakers on the panel, including Sen. Marco Rubio,
Republican-Florida, proposed legislation that would punish China for the
China, the government is engaged in the persecution of religious and ethnic
minorities that is straight out of George Orwell,” Nikki Haley, who recently
announced that she was stepping down as the US ambassador to the UN, said on
Monday, according to Fox News. “It is the largest internment of civilians in
the world today.”
Zakir’s account indicated that China would maintain that the camps have strong
backing in law. Up until 2014, China was beset by a string of violent attacks
and riots involving discontented Uighurs. “Now Xinjiang is not only beautiful,”
Zakir said, “it’s also very safe and stable.”
access to camps
Chinese officials have not given foreign diplomats or journalists access to the
camps, nor have they said how many people they hold.
Xijin, a prominent editor of Global Times, a brashly nationalist Chinese
newspaper, said on Monday that he knew the number, and denied it was 1 million.
groups said the existence of the camps exemplified the Communist Party’s use of
legal justifications as a sweeping cloak for measures that betray China’s own
guarantees of rights and procedural protections, as well as international law.
Oct 21 — Myanmar could regard the Rohingya ethnic issue as merely a domestic
problem because Malaysia also gets the spillover effect, said Defence Minister
said there were currently more than 100,000 Rohingya refugees in Malaysia and
not all of them were registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for
cannot afford to bear the burden of so many refugees,” he told Bernama.
is here since Oct 18 on an introductory visit to the republic during which he
also attended the 12th Asean Defence
Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the fifth ADMM-Plus hosted by Singapore.
a meeting with his Myanmar counterpart, Mohamad said he expressed the need for
efforts be made to allow the Rohingya refugees to be allowed to return to their
(Myanmar) embassy should find ways to let the Rohingya to return to their
homeland safely,” he added.
he said, also assisted Bangladesh in its handling of the Rohingya by setting up
a field hospital at Cox’s Bazar since two years ago for the refugees, adding
that Malaysia was assisted by several countries, including saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates and Brunei.
Anwar Ibrahim called on Malay children to master the Chinese language as it was
an important regional 'economic language'.
of other languages must be supported but it does not mean I am defending the
Chinese and English languages," the
de facto leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) said at a seminar organised in
conjunction with the 47th general assembly.
Chinese language is a strategic regional economic language at present provided
it is accepted without questioning the position of the Malay language as the
national language," he added.
who is a former Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia chief, also said the nation's
development needs to be in tandem with the emphasis on humanitarian aspects in
order to heighten Islamic understanding more inclusively.
said at the moment the effort to show Islamic understanding was facing the challenges
of knowledge, understanding and attitude.
economic view must not be just good governance and no corruption but there must
be human values.
sometimes development in terms of numbers shows stunning growth but the human
dimension is marginalised," he said.
least 22 civilians have been killed in U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in eastern
Syria’s Deir Ez-Zor province, according to local sources on Saturday.
sources said a coalition airstrike targeted a mosque in the town of al-Susah in
eastern Deir Ez-zor during the weekly Friday prayer, killing 16 people.
more civilians were killed in another strike that hit a local religious
institute in Hajin city in the same province, the sources added.
has been the scene of constant clashes between YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorist
Wednesday, 65 civilians have been killed in Deir Ez-Zor province in airstrikes
carried out by the U.S.-led international coalition.
Thursday, 30 civilians, including two children, were killed in a coalition
airstrike on Ammar ben Yasir mosque in Al-Susah. Thirteen more people were
killed in the same town on Wednesday.
currently holds control of Hajin city, the towns of Al-Susah, Al-Shaafah as
well as the villages of Al-Muhasan and Bu-Khater.
maintains presence in the eastern part of the Euphrates River which runs
through Deir Ez-Zor province.
U.S. and French support, the YPG/PKK terrorist group recently launched an
offensive against Deir ez-Zor’s city of Hajin with a view to retaking it from
number of Daesh terrorists now in Hajin is estimated at some 1,000 out of an
estimated 2,500 throughout the entire Deir ez-Zor province.
has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011
when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected
U.S. on Friday expressed "sadness" over the death of Saudi journalist
Jamal Khashoggi inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul.
died after a brawl inside the consulate and 18 Saudi citizens have been
arrested over the murder, said the Kingdom.
House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the U.S. acknowledged
Saudi Arabia’s announcement and was "closely" following the
will continue to closely follow the international investigations into this
tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in
accordance with all due process," Sanders said. "We are saddened to
hear confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi’s death, and we offer our deepest
condolences to his family, fiancée, and friends."
a columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing since entering the Saudi
Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
General Secretariat of the Arab League welcomed the Royal Orders issued by
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the statement issued by the Saudi
Attorney General regarding the case of the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Arab League praised in a statement today the investigations carried out by the
Kingdom so far, which indicate the keenness of the Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques to clarify the reality of events in the case and to take the necessary
legal action,” a statement on Saudi Press Agency read.
league expressed deepest condolences to the families and relatives of the Saudi
journalist and reaffirmed its statement issued on 14 February on the refusal to
politicize or exploit this issue by any party, including for the purpose of
threatening economic sanctions or unilateral measures in any form against Saudi
Arabia, which remains a key pillar of security and stability at the regional
and international levels,” the statement added.
sources in Northern Syria reported that Tahrir al-Sham (the Levant Liberation
Board or the Al-Nusra Front) militants and other allied terrorists launched
heavy artillery and mortar attacks against the army-controlled positions and
towns in Northern Hama and Southeastern Idlib.
added that the terrorists have also pounded the army points in Northern
Lattakia and Sahl al-Qab region, noting that they have dispatched more heavy
weapons to the region to attack the army targets.
reports said that after heightened tensions in Hama and Idlib, the Syrian army
has sent its renowned General Suheil al-Hassan, the commander of the Tiger
Forces, to Abu al-Zohour airbase in Eastern Idlib.
Syrian army will likely use the military option against the terrorists if they
still avoid withdrawal from the weapons-free zone.
Syrian army forces were put on alert in Hama and Idlib on Thursday as
terrorists proved adamant to the implementation of the Sochi agreement to set
up a weapons-free zone.
sources in Northeastern Hama reported that a large number of Syrian army troops
were on alert in their positions in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.
added that the development came after the terrorist groups avoided
implementation of the Russia-Turkey agreement to create a demilitarized zone in
report said the Syrian army troops have also attacked the moves of the
terrorists in Hama and Idlib, foiling their attempts to infiltrate into the
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman wanted the planned murder for outspoken
journalist Jamal Khashoggi to be as brutal as it was, says a former high-profile
American intelligence officer.
Soufan, a former FBI agent, told German weekly Der Siegel on Saturday that the
way Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on
October 2, had to be an epitome of a brutal assassination because the man
behind the murder wanted to use it as a message.
(bin Salman) wanted it as brutal as it was to send a message. He thought he
would get away with it,” said Soufan in an interview published on Spiegel's
who has been involved in several notable anti-terrorism operations both in the
United States and around the world, said bin Salman, also known as MbS, wanted
to make it understood through Khashoggi’s murder that whoever opposed him would
pay the costs.
we are getting into the head of dictators and authoritarians,” he said, adding,
“MbS wanted to send a message. And this message is: If you oppose me I will get
you whoever you are, wherever you are.”
Salman, only in his early 30s, is believed to be eagerly seeking to accede the
throne in Saudi Arabia and replace his ailing father King Salman bin Abdulaziz
Al Saud. The young prince launched a sweeping crackdown against his rivals and
opponents last year when he ordered the arrest of key royal figures inside a
hotel in Riyadh.
the very early hours of Khashoggi’s disappearance, many pointed the finger to
bin Salman, saying the crown prince had clear motives to kill the journalist.
Later revelations in the Turkish media showed that a 15-member hit squad, among
them members of bin Salman’s personal guard, had carried out the murder inside
the Saudi consulate.
said Khashoggi had posed a direct threat to bin Salman through his writings and
speeches in the West and the Saudi prince was eagerly seeking his elimination.
... he (Khashoggi) did not believe in MbS' reckless ways and he was vocal about
his criticisms, both in person and in his Washington Post columns. Someone like
Jamal is threatening to someone like MbS,” said e former intelligence officer.
highlighted the fact that if bin Salman is proven guilty of Khashoggi’s murder,
he would lose his credibility as a young reformer for good, adding that the
case will certainly impact the future relations between the United States and
quoted local sources as reporting that the fighter jets have bombed al-Aliyat
region in the small town of al-Souseh near the town of Albu Kamal in
Southeastern Deir Ezzur in the last 24 hours and killed 15 civilians, including
women and children.
further said that a sum of 37 civilians were killed and tens more were wounded
in another air attack by the coalition jets on Othman Bin Afan mosque in
went on to say that the warplanes also targeted Amar Bin Yasser mosque in the
village of Albu Daran, killing 10 civilians and wounding dozens of others.
death toll is expected to rise as some of the injured are in critical
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted a military source as saying on
Thursday that 2 US-led coalition F-15 fighter jets targeted the positions of
Washington-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
added that the US warplanes' target was ISIL's strongholds in areas near the
town of Hajin but they attacked the SDF, killing 6 Kurdish forces and wounding
Khaled A Beydoun
recent disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has the world's
fingers pointed in the direction of the Saudi government, specifically at its
de-facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
a Saudi citizen living in exile in the United States because of his criticism
of the Saudi regime, earned the esteem of audiences that read his political
commentary in both Arabic and English. He was last seen alive entering the
Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, when he visited to procure documents
he needed to wed his Turkish fiancee.
about bin Salman ordering his kidnapping, or state-sponsored murder, rose to
the fore, dominating mainstream and social media discussions about the missing
journalist's likely fate. On October 19, Saudi authorities finally admitted
Khashoggi was killed inside the country's Istanbul consulate. This admission merely
confirmed a conclusion most had already drawn given the regime's dismal human
rights record and fierce intolerance to any criticism: The Saudi government was
directly responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance and death.
where Saudi Arabia is the subject of wrongdoing, Islam stands alongside it.
Collaterally implicated and indicted as the source of the vile actions taken by
a government that, since its inception as a sovereign state, has been popularly
anointed as the living embodiment of the religion.
again, was the case with the Khashoggi affair. The unknown whereabouts of the
journalist, widely regarded to be among the most courageous indigenous critics
of the Saudi regime, implicated Islam in the minds of many. The
"redeployment of Orientalist tropes," as articulated by law scholar
Leti Volpp, surged to the surface and steered the popular discourse, driving
immediate conclusions that Islam itself is "intolerant to criticism,"
"resistant to independent media voices," and "suppressive of
blanket assessments of the religion, spurred by the actions of the Saudi state,
coloured conversations about Khashoggi's disappearance, and cast Islam as the
source of Saudi actions. However, what is more insidious than these stereotypes
is the assumption that undergirds them: specifically, that Saudi Arabia itself
is the primary manifestation of Islam, and everything that it does is
representative of the religion.
Arabia does not represent Islam. Despite its best efforts to promote and
project itself as the symbol and "centre of Islam," the Saudi state
represents a regime steered by a desperate and austere few and, namely, one
Mohammed bin Salman. Home to Medina and Mecca, the two holiest sites in Islam,
the regime leverages its role as ward to these cities to shroud its legitimacy
with religion; and function as the gatekeeper to the 1.8 billion Muslims around
the globe called to enter its bounds to complete the mandated pilgrimage to
Mecca. Being home to these holy sites has been just as potent as its boundless
supply of crude oil to sustain the regime, with ruling monarch after monarch
strategically intertwining the heft of their petrodollars with the global
promotion of Wahhabism to propel the idea that Saudi Arabia and Islam are interchangeable
be clear: while the bulk of the idea that Islam and Saudi Arabia are one is
rooted in Orientalist ideas and portrayals of Saudi clerics, sheiks and
monarchs as the very archetypes of Islam, Saudi Arabia itself has been very intentional
in distilling that idea and disseminating it broadly in the Middle East, Muslim
majority countries, and the West. In fact, Wahhabi thought is largely
intolerant of other Islamic traditions, and holds itself out to be the only
authentic mode of Islamic practice. In addition to this, strategic alliances
with global powers, principally the US, have emboldened the Saudi regime to
further its project of positioning itself as the political representative of
Islam. For better, and far more frequently, as represented by the Khashoggi
affair, for worst.
it does not represent Islam, before and especially today. Saudi Arabia is just
one nation, which enshrines an austere and primitive interpretation of Sunni
Islam, Wahhabism. This tradition is only practised within the country of
approximately 32 million people and other nations where the Saudi regime has
spread its influence by way of direct economic and political influence, or
indirectly, through the spread of terror networks. In fact, Indonesia, Pakistan
and India are home to far bigger Muslim populations, and Nigeria has
two-and-a-half times the number of Muslim citizens as Saudi Arabia. Beyond its
spiritual and demographic shortcomings, Muslims globally are beginning to see
Saudi Arabia as a blight to how Islam and Muslims are viewed, a sentiment that
is especially strong in the US.
highlight the force of the popular association of Saudi Arabia with Islam, it
is common for both media pundits and lay people to conflate the whole of Islam
with the aberrant tradition of Wahhabism, viewing the latter as a stand-in for
a religion comprised of distinct sects, subsects, and diverse schools of
thought. Again, this is in great part the work of prominent Orientalists and
modern Islamophobes, but also the intended fruit of Saudi policy and
propaganda, proselytization and posturing. At most, Saudi Arabia represents the
insular and static canon of Wahhabism. But further investigation of its
domestic and global manoeuvering even renders that position obsolete, revealing
that the regime is fundamentally driven by the all-costs ambition of one crown
prince and the shadowy figures backing his rise to power.
who represented honesty and evenhandedness, courage and the possibility of
journalistic freedom in a nation entirely devoid of it, offered the world a
living counterexample of what it meant to be Saudi. He was proud of both his
faith and his national origins; his work and his very being stood as an affront
to the Saudi regime and the assent of its unpredictable strongman, Mohammed bin
Muslim, a senior SDF field commander, was killed after a bomb went off in
Hazimah square North of Raqqa city.
aides of Muslim were also seriously injured in the blast.
the meantime, unidentified attackers targeted the militias' "sugar company
checkpoint" North of Raqqa city, a local source said, adding that the
attack triggered heavy fighting that left several SDF gunmen injured.
media activists pointed to the continued attacks on the SDF in Raqqa during the
last week, and said that a growing wave of insecurity has covered the region.
further said that looting people's assets and insecurity have enraged residents
Arabic-language Baladi news website affiliated to the militants reported
earlier this month that SDF Commander Hamzeh Zabiyan was killed in a bomb blast
near al-Omar oil field in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
added that the bomb also killed and wounded 5 other militants who accompanied
other reports from Raqqa said that the SDF erected new checkpoints inside Raqqa
city and put its forces on alert.
number of SDF forces were also killed and wounded after a bomb went off in
areas near the village of al-Jarniyeh in Northwestern Raqqa.
women and four children of the Druze minority have been freed from the grips of
the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group some three months after they were kidnapped
by the terror outfit in Syria’s southern province of Sweida.
official SANA news agency, citing Sweida Governor Amer al-Ashi, reported on
Saturday that a woman and a mother with her four children, all from Druze
al-Shabki village, had been freed from the clutches of Takfiri terrorists
thanks to the efforts exerted by the authorities concerned.
governor also said that “upon directives of President Bashar al-Assad on
hunting down terrorist organizations, our armed forces and the affiliated
security apparatus tracked the remnants of terrorists in the depth of Sweida,
in eastern Badiya.”
refers to the vast desert stretching from central parts of the Arab country to
its eastern border with Iraq, and where Daesh terrorists still hold some small
and isolated territory.
July 15, Daesh terrorists, who lost all of their urban bastions in the Arab
country late last year, launched a brutal attack on the rural areas of the
province, killing more than 250 people, who were members of the Druze minority.
The attacks were the bloodiest ever seen in the province, as well as some of
the deadliest launched by Daesh in the war-torn country.
also abducted 36 women and children during the raid. Four of the abductees
managed to escape from the grips of terrorists, but two of them lost their
lives. Furthermore, one woman died in Daesh custody while another was shot
which is largely under the control of the Syrian government troops, is home to
the Druze minority. The province has been relatively insulated from Syria’s
seven-year bloody war launched by foreign-backed militants and terror group
senior delegation representing Russia’s foreign and defense ministries has met
with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss the country's situation,
specifically the 'final destruction' of terrorists.
Russian Foreign Ministry statement was released on Saturday, detailing the
talks which included Russian special presidential envoy for Syria Alexander
Lavrentyev, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin and a number of Defense
whole range of issues relating to the development of the situation in [Syria]
was substantively considered. A firm commitment was confirmed to finally
destroy the terrorist presence and make steady progress towards a long-term political
settlement in the interests of all Syrians,” read the statement.
discussions come amid recently heightened diplomatic activity over the fate of
Syria as a delegation from the Syrian People’s Assembly met with Russian
officials in Moscow earlier today. Furthermore, a high-level Russian delegation
met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the matter four days
earlier while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to host Russian,
German and French heads of state seeking to find a "long-lasting
solution" for the war-torn country in a week.
September, the Syrian government was about to stage a large-scale
counterterrorism operation in the militant controlled Idlib province. Russia,
an ally of the Syrian government, and Turkey, which sides with anti-Damascus
militants, however, announced a plan to create a demilitarized zone in the
province, where the outfits would be disarmed and ultimately ordered to
British government has insisted that it will consider action in response to the
death of a Saudi journalist in Turkey, saying those who killed Jamal Khashoggi
must be held into account.
Home Office (the British foreign ministry) said Saturday that it was
considering “next steps” after the Saudi government acknowledged Khashoggi was
killed in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
the Foreign Secretary has said, this was a terrible act and those responsible
must be held to account,” said the ministry in a statement, adding, “We are
considering the Saudi report and our next steps.”
a close ally of the Saudi Arabian government and a major arms supplier to the
kingdom, had earlier indicated that it would stop short of imposing an arms
sale embargo on Riyadh over its role in the disappearance and murder of
Khashoggi. Officials had said a ban on British arms sale to the Saudis would
enable rivals like China and Russia to fill the gap in the weapons market.
rights campaigners called for an outright ban on weapons sale to Saudi Arabia,
a country that has been leading a devastating war on its southern neighbor for
the past three years.
opposition Labour Party also announced earlier this week that it would slap the
Saudis with arms sanctions if it was in the government.
a prominent Saudi journalist who had been living in exile in the US since last
year, went to Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to collect documents for
his forthcoming marriage. No one saw him leaving the facility after that.
on Saturday “strongly” condemned the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal
to a statement issued by French Foreign Ministry, the country is still looking
for clarity on the issue.
days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia on Saturday claimed
Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.
that Khashoggi was killed is the first step towards revealing the truth. Many
questions are still unanswered," the statement said.
order to get answers to the remaining questions, the statement called for a
large-scale research and investigation and urged the Saudi administration to
make an effort.
statement also extended condolences to the family of the Saudi journalist.
the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several
officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he
was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified
individuals have since left Turkey.
the facts about the murder of Saudi journalist have not yet been revealed,
Danish prime minister said on Saturday.
fact that the Saudis last night confirmed that he died, after previously
insisting he left the consulate alive, shows that we haven’t been told the full
truth,” Lars Lokke Rasmussen told state broadcaster DR.
we must insist on getting that,” Rasmussen added.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, had gone
missing since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Press Agency reported Saturday that 18 Saudi citizens have been arrested over
links to killing of Khashoggi.
In the kosher cafes of Sydney's east, Australia's surprise move to mull
recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital won some support but not enough votes
to prevent a huge backlash against the government at a crucial weekend
results, with about a fifth of the Wentworth electorate switching their vote
away from Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government, are on track to plunge
the ruling conservative coalition into political chaos and a parliamentary
Israel gambit could unravel further.
unexpected announcement last week that he was open to Australia moving its
mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the United States did in May, ended some
70 years staying out of one of the Middle East's thorniest issues.
delighted Israel, infuriated Palestinians and was seen locally, where he trails
in opinion polls, as a naked grab for votes in Wentworth, the most strongly
Jewish electorate in the country at around 13 percent.
is already showing signs of alienating Muslim voters the government also needs
to win over in an election due within months.
not the proper process," Ali Shikder, 42, said of the move over sweet milk
tea at a cafe in Lakemba, in Sydney's working-class western suburbs, 18 km (11
miles) inland from the city's well-heeled east.
Jerusalem proposal was the latest example of how out of touch the government
was with the Muslim community, said Shikdar, a Bangladeshi migrant.
have had no say, but we have the power to say yes or no (at the ballot box) and
I think it could change the way people vote," he said.
Morrison, elevated to prime minister eight weeks ago in a party-room coup, Saturday's
result is a stinging rebuke for him and the chicanery that has turned the
national leadership into a revolving door.
will now likely need to negotiate with Wentworth's successful independent
candidate, Kerryn Phelps, and four other independents to pass laws.
ANYONE WHO'S JEWISH'
status of Jerusalem is one of the trickiest obstacles to a peace deal between
Israel and the Palestinians. Israel regards all of the city, including the
eastern sector that it annexed after the 1967 Middle East war, as its capital.
earlier this week denied the Israel proposal was a domestic policy ploy, though
former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull resisted moves to shift the embassy,
citing security and diplomat advice that it would undermine efforts to bring
peace to the region.
the neighbourhoods of Sydney's eastern suburbs, dotted with synagogues and
kosher delis and home to a fifth of Australia's entire Jewish population for
generations, however, the proposal was popular.
don't care what the reason for it was, I'm proud of him," Sara Lavan, 61,
told Reuters at Jesse's, a kosher bakery in the seaside of suburb Rose Bay,
where a huge photograph of the Tel Aviv skyline hangs on the wall.
the cafe, which hosted the wife of Israel's Prime Minister for brunch during a
visit last year, James Hochroth, 65, likewise lauded the decision's symbolism.
anyone who's Jewish and cares about being Jewish and cares about the state of
Israel it's an unmitigated good for Australia to follow the U.S. and move its
embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," he said.
had already made up the minds to vote for the Liberal Party candidate, a former
ambassador to Israel, before the embassy shift was mooted.
another eight constituents who spoke with Reuters, none said the policy change
shifted their vote, raising the possibility that Morrison has risked
Australia's international reputation, and his political standing, without
and socially diverse, Wentworth voters were turned off by the Liberal Party
infighting that saw Turnbull, a local resident, deposed and the party become
more conservative on issues including fighting climate change.
HERE OPPOSES IT'
embassy proposal drew concern from neighbouring Indonesia and a sterner rebuke
from 13 Arab ambassadors who met in Canberra and agreed to condemn the shift as
a belt of narrowly held seats in Sydney's west, Morrison's Israel policy shift
upset many Muslims who could influence the outcome of the general election due
before May next year.
here opposes it," Faisal Mohammed, 38, said while holding court with his
friends, who agreed, on the outside tables of a biryiani shop in Lakemba in the
afternoon sun last week.
Safar, 34, said the embassy issue had barely registered in the Lakemba cafe she
runs but she was exasperated by what she saw as an unnecessarily divisive move.
are a multicultural country and we shouldn’t be worrying about what’s happening
in Jerusalem. That’s what I think about it," she said, over a cup of
invitation to a distinguished Muslim scholar to preach at a eucharist service
in an Oxford church on Sunday has triggered complaints from traditionalists.
Hussain, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours last year for
services to interfaith relations and the community, will deliver a sermon at
the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, following a request from Oxford
University’s vice-chancellor, Louise Richardson.
move has been denounced by Archbishop Cranmer, a conservative Anglican blog
authored by Adrian Hilton. He said he failed to understand how an imam
delivering a sermon at a eucharist service would respect “a sacred act of
divine worship which is supposed to be conducted according to the rites and
formularies of the Church of England”.
diocese of Oxford has received 12 complaints about the sermon as a result of
Cranmer’s blogpost, only three of which come from the local area.
a statement endorsed by the university, the diocese said Hussain was “most
welcome” to speak following the eucharist. It added: “Monawar is not the first
person from another faith community to be invited to preach the university
sermon. His presence on Sunday reflects the strong commitment of the church,
university and other faith communities to interfaith engagement.”
acknowledged Hussain’s “manifestly sterling work in the promotion of religious
and racial harmony, and good relations between persons of different faiths and
as Muslims do not believe Jesus was the son of God, nor in the resurrection,
Hussain “will deny by his presence in the pulpit the very body and blood of
Christ commemorated by the eucharist”, Hilton wrote.
suggested the C of E was now “open to people of all faiths and none, and that
we can look forward to a series of heretics, blasphemers, idolaters and
unbelievers” preaching from Anglican pulpits.
told the Guardian that the diocese of Oxford’s statement that Hussain’s would
“follow” the eucharist service was “not as billed”, which suggested a change of
plan since his blog was published. “If he is speaking as an addition to the
service, I have no problem with that, but the publicity says he is giving the
who is Muslim tutor at Eton College and the founder of the Oxford Foundation,
which promotes religious and racial harmony, said: “There are many different
voices in all our traditions. Some Muslims might not be happy at my presence at
the church. “So I’m not surprised [at the objections], but there are so many
more Christian friends who are pleased I’ll be there. We need to be building
trust and working together.”
Wilson, the bishop of Buckingham, said objections to Hussain’s sermon were
Oxford Foundation had done “pioneering work to help with community integration,
both locally and nationally. [Hussain] is absolutely one of the good guys. His
work has been fundamental in deepening our understanding of Islam and combating
the threat of terrorism in this country. He is promoting a charitable and wise
interpretation of Islam against a fundamentalism ideology,” said Wilson.
long as it is plain who he is and what his faith affiliation is, I don’t think
it’s reasonable to object to one of the leading faith figures in the area being
invited to give an address in a Christian church.”
engagement was “a measure of the kind of society we need to be: respecting one
another’s differences, honouring one another as the people we are, and also
communicating with each other”.
January 2017, a row erupted over the inclusion in an Anglican service at St
Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow of passages from the Qur’an read in Arabic by
Madinah Javed, a 19-year-old Muslim student.
Muslim cleric who runs Britain’s largest network of sharia courts has been
questioned over historic child rape allegations.
Midlands Police are investigating claims that Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi
raped two Dutch women in the 1980s and 1990s.
has denied the claims, which first appeared in the Dutch newspaper De
Telegraaf, saying they are ‘unfounded’ and part of a campaign to discredit his
cleric, 51, is the head of the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, an Islamic legal
service that operates a string of controversial sharia law courts across England
which critics say discriminate against women.
two women claim they were sexually abused from the ages of 11 and 12 until they
turned 16. They were sent to the UK by their parents to be educated by Sheikh
Siddiqi’s father, a respected Muslim scholar.'
West Midlands Police spokesman said: ‘A 51-year-old man from Nuneaton has been
voluntarily interviewed in relation to allegations of historical rape cases.
Inquiries remain ongoing.’
(AsiaNews) - Imam Hocine Drouiche, Vice-president of the French Conference of
Imams and a great friend of AsiaNews, has sent us this speech, which he will
present at a meeting in the European Parliament. In it, Drouiche, a scholar of
the relationship between Islam and modernity, underlines how Europe is divided
with regards Islam and above all the Islamist violence and fundamentalist
interpretation of the Koran: the "right" demonizes Islam and as a
result pushes it to an even harder extreme; the "left" - for fear of
being accused of "xenophobia" - is silent on all the violence, losing
an opportunity to help the Muslim world - especially young people - to do away
with old Salafist schemes. In this way, he says, Europe and Islam are destined
Libya to Yemen, through Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, the Muslim world is
shrouded in chaos. The movements deemed moderate fail to propose real solutions
that build a credible way forward. Faced with the ravages of jihadism, the
violation of religion and culture by Islamists, many Muslim intellectuals or
Muslims cannot help but keep silence, even if the task is difficult and
are Islamists who oppose Daesh (the Islamic State). There are also Islamists,
including some Salafists, who have engaged in an armed confrontation against
the Daesh. But on the front of ideas, a similar confrontation is astonishingly
leads to the question why do Muslims not rise up to defend their religion, when
today it is used to define criminal and inhumane practices. Why are they unable
to say clearly that this is not Islam?
the absence of reforms and adaptation of Islam to modern times, the explanation
is at the intellectual level, where there is no important difference between
moderate and extremist. The two are inspired by the same texts. Moderates are
obliged to accept extremist views in order not to be accused of apostasy or
betrayal of divine right.
two aim at the return of a dual order, which was supposedly deprived by
colonizers. Nation-states, like democracy and equality between men and women,
are considered to be passive phenomena, because "the absolute truth"
of the Islamic invariable will never change.
this denies any historical evolution and social or cultural progress.
is a real refusal to separate religion and violence. Religious freedom, freedom
to change one’s religion or to have none are taboo, unacceptable issues in
Islam and also in Islam in Europe.
European Islam or a European Muslim is still distant [from this] because the
majority of Muslims still have a mindset of conquest, invasion and Islamization
of Europe. It is an imaginary of power and domination, driven by the nostalgia
of wanting to reproduce the historical empires of Islam.
will and application of Sharia is another major problem that brings together
all moderate and extremist Islamists and adds to coercion, the collective
imagining of the empire, the contempt for the nation-state and the conquest of
the absence of a profound reform of Islam and of solid intellectual bases to
oppose this religious extremism, young Muslims have the impression that it is
Daesh - this intolerant and conflictual Islamism - that represents Islam and
not the inconsistent moderates.
present, in Europe, a Muslim can only be veiled, a Muslim must believe in
jihad, and also have an immeasurable hatred for the West.
could be a real hope for reform and modernization of Islam. Unfortunately, we
have closed our eyes on the manipulation of fundamentalists in the peripheries
(banlieues) of Europe’s cities and in its Islamic institutions.
the imams and preachers of an enlightened Islam are terrified, the fear of
being racist, Islamophobic and contemptuous, silences many European thinkers.
Muslim world, torn by endless wars, has become a true cultural, social and
economic desert that one hopes to ignore when it is on our doorstep. The flow
of immigration continues unabated and Muslims from wherever they may come are
represented only through the Islamist prism.
extremists flourish among the Muslims of Europe. And this is good for the
extreme right-wing business in Europe.
lax Europe serves neither Islam or Europe. An extremist European only triggers
a new wave of violence and hatred.
generation has the right to benefit from its teaching and its progress to discover
new horizons beyond the truth lost by the generations that preceded it.
must help European Muslim youth to free themselves from the past and violent
interpretations of Islamic texts. This is why there is only one path. Only
knowledge and culture can free Muslims from violence and hatred that destroy
the image of their religion.
must help the Muslims to free themselves from the tyranny of the Islamists, by
refusing to ally itself with them. This will save Muslims and also Europe
which, because of the Islamists, risks losing all that it has achieved as well
as its universal values, and to the benefit of nationalists and the extremists.
is at a dangerous crossroads caught between extremist Islamists and
nationalists. The moderate European right is the only one that could force a
sensible end to this crazy will to destroy Europe, especially after the new
waves of agricultural-Asian migrants, mostly Muslims.
is easy, comfortable, pleasant to accuse the West and the rest of humanity for
our faults, illnesses and neuroses, and we live quietly without denouncing them
at home. We ask to share the status of humanity, but we refuse to admit it as a
universal value to our home.
want the rest of humanity to accept our differences, but we do not accept those
of others and other faiths.
informed military source told the Arabic-language al-Masirah news channel on
Saturday that the operations were carried out after receiving precise
intelligence and monitoring the UAE forces' moves on the Western coasts.
report also said that the Yemeni army and popular committees inflicted heavy
tolls and damage on the militants affiliated to the Saudi-led coalition during
a military operation near Hilan region in the town of Sarwah in Ma'arib
is yet no report on the precise number of casualties in the attack.
UAE has been Saudi Arabia’s main ally in the military campaign against Yemen.
Saudi-led coalition has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power
to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led
aggression has so far killed at least 17,500 Yemenis, including hundreds of
women and children.
Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters,
Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the
impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as Saudi Arabia's deadly
campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and
blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.
is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in
need and is seeing a spike in needs, fuelled by ongoing conflict, a collapsing
economy and diminished social services and livelihoods.
UN panel has compiled a detailed report of civilian casualties caused by the
Saudi military and its allies during their war against Yemen, saying the
Riyadh-led coalition has used precision-guided munitions in its raids on
in the occupied Golan Heights have demonstrated and burned Israeli election
ballots in a symbolic dismissal of local council elections and “a policy of
judaization” administered by the Zionist regime.
demonstrators, who described the elections as an Israeli effort to legitimize
its occupation, raised Syrian flags on Friday while gathering in a central town
square in Majdal Shams, the most populated of four Syrian communities in Golan,
and vowed to spread demonstrations to the other communities in ongoing protests
until the end of this month.
activist and former prisoner Bashar al-Maqt addressed the crowd, asserting that
the election along with any other Israeli measure is legally void due to the
illegal occupation. Maqt further called for international organizations to put
an end to the racist judaization policy maintained by Tel Aviv.
protesters chanted in support for the integrity of the Syrian state, rejecting
any compromise of their national identity.
Golan will remain Syrian and Arab land in the face of the occupation and its
supporters," said a young protester named Emille Masoud.
local media outlets have brought up the symbolic significance of the burned
ballots, claiming that the move is reminiscent of when Syrians in the occupied
land burned Israeli identification cards handed out by occupation forces in
protests come two weeks after Golan's Druze community organized a similar act
of defiance against Israeli authority, waiving large Syrian flags and portraits
of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad towards Syrian soldiers on the other side
of the border.
of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri has demanded
that Islamabad push for the release of a number of Iranian forces abducted in
the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan on the border with
on agreements [signed] between the Armed Forces of the two countries to ensure
security of common borders, we expect the Pakistani Armed Forces to adopt the
necessary preparations and push for the immediate release of the abducted
[Iranian] soldiers and border guards," Baqeri said in a phone call with
Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday.
a statement issued on October 16, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)
said terrorists had kidnapped the Iranian forces, including local Basij
volunteer forces and border guards, overnight near the town of Mirjaveh on the
IRGC did not say how many were kidnapped, but IRNA quoted an unnamed official
as saying that 14 people had been kidnapped in the village of Lulakdan near
Mirjaveh around 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.
so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group – which is based in Pakistan – claimed
responsibility on its Twitter account.
also called on Pakistan to take "immediate and severe" action to
arrest terrorists behind the Iranian forces' abduction.
senior Iranian commander further stressed the importance of strengthening the
presence of Pakistani security forces along the common borders to promote and
ensure security in the border areas and prevent acts of terror.
Pakistani general, for his part, expressed regret over the abduction of the
Iranian forces and briefed his Iranian counterpart about the Pakistani army’s
measures to hunt down the kidnapers.
Bajwa expressed hope that the measures carried out by Pakistani security forces
would secure the arrest of the terrorists and the release of the Iranian forces
as soon as possible.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday that Pakistan should
instantly adopt all necessary measures to help release the abducted Iranian
Pakistani government should immediately implement all necessary means and
measures to free border guards of the Islamic Republic of Iran and arrest the
wicked terrorists," Qassemi added.
a letter to his Pakistani counterpart Shehryar Khan Afridi on Wednesday, Iran’s
Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli once again urged the neighboring
country to spare no effort in securing the release of the abductees.
he added, should fully honor its obligations under bilateral security agreements,
which require it to prevent attacks targeting Iranian border posts from the
expects Pakistan to gather intelligence, confront terrorists: Interior minister
in a phone call with his Pakistani counterpart on Saturday, the Iranian
interior minister said Tehran expects Islamabad to collect intelligence and
confront terrorist groups.
Fazli expressed the Iranian security forces' readiness to cooperate with
Pakistan to ensure security along common borders.
for his part, expressed regret over the abduction of the Iranian security
forces and said his country would conduct all necessary measures to release
ordered the country’s goods and people border crossings with Gaza to be opened
on Sunday, four days after shuttering them following a Palestinian rocket
attack that sparked retaliatory strikes.
decision comes after a decrease in the violent events in Gaza over the weekend
and efforts (militant Islamist Gaza rulers) Hamas made to restrain”
demonstrators, a statement from Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman office read.
Wednesday, Lieberman had ordered the closure of the Kerem Shalom goods crossing
and the Erez crossing for people, after a rocket from the Palestinian territory
hit a home in southern Israel, prompting the Jewish state to strike 20 Hamas
targets in Gaza.
disavowed the launch and said it was investigating the incident, as fears of a
new war rose.
daily protests along the border since March 30 against Israel’s crippling
11-year blockade of the impoverished enclave have sparked repeated clashes with
Friday, thousands again gathered for protests in northern Gaza, but
demonstrators largely remained at least 100 meters from the border.
Arab Coalition launched a targeted air raid on a meeting of Houthi militia
leaders in the Yemeni province of Hodeidah on Saturday.
raid killed about 15 Houthi leaders and wounded several others.
aircraft also launched another raid targeting military reinforcements and
militia positions west of Duraihemi, south of Hodeidah, killing about 30 Houthi
the east of Duraihemi, there were fierce battles during which the army and the
National Resistance forces attacked the militias, killing more than 30 Houthi
elements and wounding seceral others.
When Israel locked up Ahed Tamimi for slapping a soldier last year, it hoped to
finally silence the teenage Palestinian activist. Instead, it created an
than three months after walking out of prison, Tamimi is on a victory tour,
crisscrossing Europe and the Middle East as a superstar of the campaign against
Israeli occupation. She has spoken to throngs of adoring fans, met world
leaders and was even welcomed by the Real Madrid soccer club.
VIP reception has dismayed Israeli officials and is prompting some to ask if
Israel mishandled the case.
could have been smarter,” said Yoaz Hendel, a media commentator and former
spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
gained international attention last year when she confronted an Israeli soldier
in front of her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. She kicked and
slapped him, and then took a swing at a second soldier in a videotaped incident
that spread quickly on social media.
extended family has long been on Israel’s radar screen. Nabi Saleh is home to
some 600 people, most of them members of the clan. For years, they have held
weekly protests against the expansion of a nearby Israeli settlement,
gatherings that sometimes turn to stone-throwing, prompting Israeli troops to
respond with tear gas, rubber bullets or live fire.
Israelis, the Tamimis are a group of provocateurs intent on manipulating the
media to hurt the country’s image. One cousin, Ahlam Tamimi, was an accomplice
to a suicide bombing. Among Palestinians, they are seen as brave heroes
standing up to Israel.
neither side anticipated the fallout from last December’s standoff, which
occurred during one of the weekly protests.
military said it moved in after villagers began throwing stones at troops. In
the video, Tamimi and her cousin, Nour, walk toward the two soldiers. Tamimi
tells the soldiers to leave, pushes and kicks them and slaps one of them.
the cousin films the scene on her mobile phone, Tamimi’s mother, Nariman,
arrives. At one point, she steps between Ahed and the soldiers, but then also
tries to push back the soldiers, who do not respond. Ahed Tamimi later said
that she was upset because a cousin had been shot in the face by a rubber
bullet fired by Israeli troops.
the video spread, Palestinians celebrated Ahed as a hero. Cartoons, posters and
murals portrayed her as a Joan of Arc-like character, confronting the Israeli
military with her mane of long, dirty-blond curls flowing in the breeze.
Israel, the incident set off its own uproar. While the army praised the
soldiers for showing restraint, politicians felt the army had been humiliated
and called for tough action against the young firebrand. Days later, in an
overnight raid, troops entered Tamimi’s house and took her and her mother away.
Both were given eight-month prison sentences.
has traditionally been obsessive about defending its image — making the term
“hasbara,” which roughly translates as public relations, part of its national
lexicon. But as the country has moved toward the right under the decade-long
rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, charm has been replaced increasingly
an admirer of President Donald Trump, rarely speaks to the media anymore and
often lashes out at reporters for what he believes is unfair coverage. Under
his watch, Israel has tried to weaken liberal advocacy groups critical of his
policies, detained Jewish American critics at the airport for questioning and
banned people who boycott the Jewish state from entering. It attempted to expel
an American woman who will be studying at an Israeli university, accusing her
of being a boycott activist. She was held in detention for two weeks until
Israel’s Supreme Court overturned the expulsion order.
widely supported at home, these policies risk backfiring on the international
after her release from prison, Tamimi began a tour that has taken her to
France, Spain, Greece, Tunisia and Jordan. At nearly every stop, she has been
welcomed by cheering crowds.
don’t like living as a celebrity. It’s not an easy life to live. I’m
exhausted,” she said in a telephone interview from the Jordanian capital,
Amman. “But what I like more is delivering the message of my people. That makes
me feel proud.”
kicked off her tour on Sept. 14 in Paris, where she participated in the
Communist Party’s “Humanity” rally. The popular weekend festival attracts
rockers, rappers and other entertainers and celebrities. On the festival’s last
day, she spoke to thousands of cheering supporters. She traveled to other
cities around France at the invitation of the France Palestine Solidarity
Greece, she was a headliner for the 100th-anniversary celebration of the
country’s Communist party, KKE. Addressing a crowd of thousands, she was
interrupted by several long ovations and chants of “Freedom for Palestine.”
support means a lot to me. It gives me a big push to return to my homeland and
continue my struggle vigorously against the occupation,” she told the crowd.
“Free people unite to face capitalism, imperialism and colonization ... We are
not victims. We are freedom fighters.”
family was invited as official guests of Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi
to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Israeli bombing of what was then the
Palestine Liberation Organization’s headquarters. At the ceremony, Essebsi gave
her a statue of a silver dove with an olive branch.
with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are
in the works, said her father, Bassem Tamimi, who has been accompanying her.
the Champs-Elysees in Paris, we were surrounded by hundreds of people who
wanted to talk to Ahed and take pictures with her,” her father said. “The same
thing happened in every other city we visited.”
a sign of her mainstream appeal, Tamimi recently wrote a first-person account
of her time in prison for Vogue Arabia, a Middle Eastern edition of the popular
want to be a regular 17-year-old. I like clothes, I like makeup. I get up in
the morning, check my Instagram, have breakfast and walk in the hills around
the village,” she wrote. “But I am not a normal teenager.”
officials have remained silent throughout her tour — with one exception.
Tamimi’s reception at Real Madrid, where she met the legendary striker Emilio
Butragueno and received a team jersey with her name on it, was too much to
Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon called the team’s embrace of Tamimi
“shameful” in a Twitter post. “It would be morally wrong to stay silent while a
person inciting to hatred and violence goes on a victory tour as if she is some
kind of rock star,” he said.
faces a dilemma — wanting to respond but fearing criticism will attract even
Oren, Israel’s deputy minister for public diplomacy and a former ambassador to
the United States, learned a bitter lesson when he acknowledged earlier this
year leading a secret investigation into whether the Tamimis were “real”
said their light features, Western clothes and long history of run-ins with
Israeli forces suggested that they were actually paid provocateurs out to hurt
the country’s image. The investigation concluded that the family was indeed
real — prompting mockery and racism accusations from the Tamimis.
is reflective of changing Palestinian sentiment. Where an older generation of
political leaders sought either armed struggle or a two-state solution with
Israel, many younger Palestinians have given up on the long-stalled peace
process and instead favor a single state in which Jews and Arabs live equally.
Israel objects to a binational state, saying it is merely an attempt to destroy
the country through a nonviolent disguise.
is unhappy because she highlights to the world both how unjust the occupation
is and how absurd their legal system is,” said Diana Buttu, a former legal
adviser to the Palestinian Authority. “Israel instead wants subservient
Palestinians who simply stay quiet in the face of the denial of freedom. Ahed
shows that won’t happen — including not with this generation.”
the former Israeli government spokesman, said he initially supported Israel’s
tough response to the slapping incident but now thinks it was an error. He said
issuing a fine or punishing her parents for their daughter’s actions might have
generated less attention.
acknowledged there is a broader problem for which Israel does not seem to have
a good answer.
powerful, part of a sophisticated machine that tries to delegitimize Israel by
using photos and creating scenarios that portray Israel as Goliath and the
other side as David,” he said. “It is much easier to fight terrorism than to
fight civilians motivated by terrorist leaders. I think Tamimi in this story is
a kind of a front line for a much bigger organization, or even a process.”
could continue to frustrate the Israelis for many years to come. She completed
her high school studies in prison and now hopes to study international law in
Britain. She dreams of one day representing the Palestinians in institutions
like the International Criminal Court.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women
in Islam, Islamic
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism