mosque on wheels has the capacity for up to 50 people [Mobile Mosque Executive
Committee via AP]
Elections: Cricket Star Imran Khan Leads in Slow Count of Pakistan Vote
Least 220 Dead in ISIS Suicide Attacks on Southern Syria on Wednesday
Company Debuts Mobile Mosque Ahead Of 2020 Olympics
Team Preparing Economic Plan as Part of Mideast Peace Proposal
US Envoy Met With Taliban Officials in Qatar to Explore Ways for Peace Talks
Parties Fail to Make Their Presence Felt
die in suicide bombing outside Quetta polling station
violence mar polling in various constituencies; at least 2 killed
supporters celebrate as Pakistan faces electoral chaos
observers term polling process smooth, peaceful
tells nation to defeat enemies through vote
World League Joins Moroccan League in Fight against Extremism
Threat from Within: Erbil Attack Exposes Radicalization In Kurdistan
Helmets Pulled Back from Syria to Avoid Intelligence Leak
Attacks against Sweida Launched from Al-Tanf Region
Widening among US-Backed Militias in Northeastern Syria
Withdraws from More Regions in Southern Syria
Jet Shot Down by Israel to Gift Terrorists A Pause
Treasury sanctions eight people linked to Syria chemical weapons
no more: Iraq protesters challenge factions’ reign of terror
MP Wants Policy on Shariah-Compliant Dressing
Be Friends for Islam’s Sake, Najib Tells PAS
to speaker to decide whether to debate shariah bill, says deputy minister
PAS veep says no to blanket ban on child marriage
court rejects Ahmadi blasphemy law petition
Aceh is on track to cut off hands for graft
skyrocketed in China's Muslim far west in 2017
Employees at Halliburton Called 'Terrorists': Lawsuit
Religious Freedom Summit Can’t Undo Trump’s Record on Islam
Evidence’ To Back IS Claim for Toronto Attack
says US ready to make a ‘real deal’ on Iran’s nuclear program
Charged With Aiding Islamic State Held without Bond
Suicide Attack on Afghan Intelligence Convoy Kills Five
years on, Bangladesh police charge 8 over Dhaka cafe attack
bloody persecution of Rohingyas demands a US response
forces arrest Taliban’s shadow governor for Panjshir province
commander and his 4 comrades killed in Nangarhar night raid
on Video in Cameroon ‘May Not Be Isolated Cases,’ U.N. Fears
Reportedly Ill, Reveals Why Boko Haram Is Losing Grounds against Nigerian Govt
to fund new headquarters for G5 Sahel force
Now Muslim Cleric Wants to Sue State for Loss of Sight 27 Years On
Imam Charged for Quoting Muslim Scripture Encouraging the Killing of Jews
Greeks Pray For Victims of Wildfires
terror groups active in Germany
Medical College Wants To Admit Only Sunni Muslim Students, Karnataka High Court
Lashkar terrorists shot dead in Anantnag
Airstrike Targets Undisclosed Region In Syria
Targets Gaza Strip with Artillery Fire, Killing Three
killed as Israeli strikes hit Gaza in fresh flare-up
parliament to vote on security law to replace emergency rule
Palestinian agency says to axe 250 jobs after US funding cuts
by New Age Islam News Bureau
elections: Cricket star Imran Khan leads in slow count of Pakistan vote
Vote counting in an election marred by allegations of fraud and militant
violence has been tediously slow, yet from the outset cricket star Imran Khan
and his Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have maintained a commanding lead.
officials say it will be Thursday evening local time before an official count
confirms Pakistan's next government. But before even half the votes were
counted, Khan's leading rival, Shahbaz Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim
League, the party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, rejected the vote,
generating fears that disgruntled losers could delay the formation of the next
winner will face a crumbling economy and bloodshed by militants. More than
11,000 candidates vied for 270 seats in the National Assembly, and 577 seats in
four provincial assemblies.
in the Syrian province of Sweida killed at least 220 people on Wednesday, the
director of health in the south-western province told the pro-government Sham
said it had carried out the seemingly coordinated attacks, which included
suicide bombings, in several villages and the provincial capital, also called
bombers with explosive belts targeted Sweida city alone, while the other blasts
hit villages to the north and east,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human
Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Observatory, said the group then
followed up with further attacks in the province.
pro-government forces ousting ISIS from urban centers in eastern Syria last
year, surprise raids in recent months have killed dozens of regime and allied
regime of President Bashar Al-Assad controls almost all of Sweida province.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported a series of
suicide blasts and other attacks in the southern province.
said one of the attackers hit at a vegetable market in the city just after 5
a.m., a busy time for the merchants at the start of their day.
bomber drove through the market on a motorcycle and blew himself up, the TV
station said. The second attacker hit in another busy square in the city. Two
other attackers blew themselves up when they were chased by authorities.
city of Sweida has largely been spared most of the violence that Syrian cities
have witnessed in the years since the conflict started in 2011.
the southern offensive, government forces redeployed troops from Sweida
province last month to attack rebels and ISIS-affiliate militants in the nearby
provinces of Daraa and Quneitra.
government is now in control of Daraa, but continues to battle the
ISIS-affiliate militants in Quneitra.
company debuts Mobile Mosque ahead of 2020 Olympics
large white and blue truck pulls up outside a stadium in central Japan and
slowly expands into a place of worship.
to the Mobile Mosque.
Japan prepares to host visitors from around the world for the 2020 Summer
Olympics, a Tokyo sports and cultural events company has created a mosque on
wheels that its head hopes will make Muslim visitors feel at home.
Inoue, the CEO of Yasu Project, said the possibility that there might not be
enough mosques for Muslim visitors in 2020 is alarming for a country that
considers itself part of the international community. His Mobile Mosques could
travel to different Olympic venues as needed.
an open and hospitable country, we want to share the idea of ‘omotenashi’
(Japanese hospitality) with Muslim people,” he said in a recent interview.
first Mobile Mosque was unveiled earlier this week outside Toyota Stadium, a
J-League soccer venue in Toyota City, which is also the headquarters of the car
company with the same name.
back of the modified 25-ton truck flipped up to reveal an entrance and then the
side slid out, doubling the width of the truck. The 48-square-meter
(515-square-foot) room can accommodate 50 people.
guests prayed inside the mosque, which includes outdoor taps and a washing area
for pre-worship cleansing. Indonesian students who were victims of the 2004
Indian Ocean tsunami also participated in the debut ceremony.
Mobile Mosque is very important to Muslim people such as Japanese people or
tourists, Muslim tourists who visit Japan,” said 14-year-old Nur Azizah. “I
want to show my friends.”
estimated 100,000 to 200,000 Muslims live in Japan.
Sakaguchi, a Japanese guest, expressed hope that the Mobile Mosque would help
open people’s minds worldwide. “Looking in from the outside at the people in
the mosque, they looked very happy,” said Sakaguchi, the representative
director of an Osaka retail company.
said the inspiration for the project came to him on a trip to Qatar four years
the project organizers plan to target international sporting events both in Japan
and overseas. Inoue said he hopes the project will do more than fill a gap in
religious infrastructure. “Going forward, I would be so happy if people from
Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, the Middle East and, for example, refugees who are
coming from Syria are able to use the mosque as a tool to promote world peace,”
team preparing economic plan as part of Mideast peace proposal
long-awaited Middle East peace plan from the Trump administration will include
what the White House is calling a robust economic plan to help resolve the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an official has said.
President Donald Trump’s envoys are also working on the most detailed set of
proposals to date for the overall plan, the White House official said in a
briefing with reporters on Monday.
plan thus far has no release date. Trump had hoped to reveal it early this year
but his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the
embassy there, reversing decades of US policy, inflamed tensions in the region.
Palestinians have said that they have lost faith in the Trump administration to
act as a fair mediator and have boycotted the process since last December’s
Jerusalem announcement. The White House has offered few details on a peace plan
that has drawn widespread skepticism even before its unveiling.
proposals are the product of shuttle diplomacy to regional capitals by senior
White House adviser Jared Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka,
and Jason Greenblatt, a lawyer who is playing a role in the negotiations.
two envoys have asked leaders in the region to outline for each issue an
outcome that they could live with and that the other side could accept, the
official said. Past attempts by American presidents at negotiating peace
between Israel and Palestine have fizzled based on differences over the status
of Jerusalem and borders.
Trump team has studied past efforts as a guidepost to the future, said the
official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official said the Trump plan
would be the most detailed package of solutions ever offered and that some finishing
touches were being put on the main proposals and economic plans.
rollout strategy was being developed, the official said. Trump had asked his
team how the embassy announcement would affect peace negotiations. He was told
it would cause some short-term disruption, but that long-term the prospects for
peace would be improved, the official said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to engage on the subject, Trump’s
advisers expect the Palestinian leadership to read it and provide some realistic
feedback and offer some proposals on how to improve it, the official said.
US envoy met with Taliban officials in Qatar to explore ways for peace talks
delegation of US officials led by Ambassador Alice Wells, the State
Department’s deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asia, met with
the Taliban officials in Qatar to explore ways for the revival of Afghan-led
peace talks, it has been reported.
privy of the development have told The Wall Street Journal that the top U.S.
envoy for South Asia met with Taliban officials this week to discuss ways to
lay the groundwork for peace talks.
sources have further added that the aim of the discussion was to build on
momentum created by a recent three-day cease-fire that offered Afghans a
tantalizing taste of peace after decades of war, these people said.
Alice Wells, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for South and
Central Asia, led the U.S. delegation, which met with members of the Taliban’s
political commission in Doha, Qatar,” according to the report.
Taliban’s political office in Qatar and the US Department of State has not
commented regarding the meeting so far.
a State Department official has told the paper that “The United States is
exploring all avenues to advance a peace process in close consultation with the
parties fail to make their presence felt
Unlike in the by-polls held for a National Assembly constituency in the city
around a year ago, religious parties and groupings failed to make their
presence felt in the July 25 general election.
emerging religious entities, the Khadim Rizvi-led Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan
(TLP) and Kashmir-Jihad fame Hafiz Saeed’s political front Milli Muslim League
(MML), could neither field candidates to all 14 National and 30 Punjab Assembly
seats in the provincial metropolis. Muttahida Majlis Amal (MMA), the five-party
religious alliance that ruled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan during
2002-07, also could not cover all the constituencies.
the extreme-right TLP has fielded two women candidates for NA seats though none
of two – Sumera Noreen and Memona Hamid – ever appeared in the public to seek
Khatme Nabuwat issue for its electioneering, the outfit managed to mobilize
voters from certain pockets in NA-135 (Lahore-XIII), NA-125 (Lahore-III) and
NA-132 (Lahore-X) but could not make any visible dent in the right vote of the
of the TLP and MML presence was seen in the form of banners and flexes, as
their polling camps and polling agents were seldom found in and around the
the NA-120 by-polls in September 2016 against former prime minister Nawaz
Sharif’s ailing wife Begum Kulsoom, both the TLP and MML had run significant
election campaigns and secured 7,000 and 5,000 votes, respectively, to the
astonishment of many. But these could not maintain their tempo in the general
TLP leader, who requested not to be named, admits that they’ve learnt the hard
way that contesting a by-poll is much different from going into general
elections. “In a by-poll, you may gather the whole country and amass all
resources in a constituency but in the general vote all your workforce and
resources are scattered throughout the country.”
says that a seasoned politician from the Jamiat Ulema-i- Pakistan (JUP) had
advised them to strike alliance with any major party and focusing energies on
the few seats for giving a better parliamentary result but some in the main TLP
leadership frowned upon the suggestion believing that they could get more
through common man support on the issue of finality of prophethood.
Mustafa, who was manning a polling camp at Minhaj University for the TLP, said
that the support the outfit is getting from non-seminary people was astonishing
and asserts that it would soon become a force to be reckoned with.
MML, which could field only four candidates for 14 NA seats from Lahore,
reflected even poor picture as the few camps it had set up were found empty
throughout the day. It seemed voters mostly neglected the welfare work claims
by the charity networks affiliated with it.
was the situation of the MMA which, except for the constituencies of Liaquat
Baloch (NA-130) and Manzoor Hussain Gujjar (NA-128), was not visible in the
publicity match with rivals.
A day after an attack in Kech district in which three soldiers and a teacher
were martyred, about 31 people — six of them policemen — lost their lives and
around 70 suffered injuries in a suicide bombing outside a polling station in
Quetta on Wednesday.
Inspector General of Quetta police Abdul Razzaq Cheema survived the suicide
attack but another police officer, Riaz Ahmed Nothani, was killed. The injured
included policemen and voters.
in the deadliest attack on the election campaign, 149 people — including
Balochistan Awami Party candidate Nawab Siraj Raisani — were martyred and 150
others were injured in a stunning suicide bombing in the Mastung area on July
so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group has claimed responsibility for
Wednesday’s suicide attack through its official propaganda agency, Amaq.
to official sources, a large number of people had gathered in election camps
set up by candidates near a polling station in Tameer-i-Nau Public College
Complex at the Eastern Bypass of Quetta. The suicide bomber blew himself up
when DIG Cheema reached there to inspect security measures.
said that the suicide bomber who was riding a motorcycle tried to enter the
college premises to target the polling station. But security forces stopped him
and he rammed his motorcycle into a vehicle carrying SHO Abdul Hameed Awan of
Abdul Khaliq Shaheed police station, who was injured.
people gathered in the election camps and going into the polling station fell
victim to the suicide bombing.
children were among the deceased.
20 people died on the spot,” a senior police official told Dawn.
19 bodies and dozens of injured were brought to the hospital, 12 of whom succumbed
to their injuries there,” Dr Wasim Baig, spokesman for the Provincial Civil
said that 35 injured were admitted to the hospital and later 12 of them, who
had received critical injuries, were shifted to Karachi.
others, who had received minor injuries, were discharged after treatment.
had left the polling station after casting my vote when the powerful explosion
took place,” said a witness, Abid Ali. “I collapsed on the road and saw a large
number of people lying around me and calling for help.”
official of the bomb disposal squad, which collected evidence from the
explosion site, said around 7kg explosive material was used in the blast.
of the educational complex and adjoining buildings and shops were smashed.
workers and a heavy contingent of personnel of law enforcement agencies shifted
the bodies and the injured to the civil hospital where emergency was declared.
was suspended in the polling station as voters left it due to panic caused by
the blast. However, after a few hours voting resumed when more security
personnel were deployed at the polling station.
was beefed up at all polling stations of Quetta and in and around the city
after the terrorist attack.
caretaker Chief Minister of Balochistan Allauddin Marri condemned the suicide
attack and said that despite the incident, voters’ turnout in Quetta and other
parts of Balochistan was at a record level which showed that terrorists had
failed to deter people from casting their votes.
a visit to the Election Monitoring Cell in the office of Quetta’s capital city
police officer, Mr Marri expressed grief over the martyrdom of 31 people and
said that they had sacrificed their lives for the country. He also praised the
role of the security forces in maintaining law and order in the province.
of Balochistan Police Mohsin Butt and DIG Cheema briefed Mr Marri on security
measures for polling stations and he chief minister expressed satisfaction over
attack targeted a convoy of security personal and election staff taking poll
material to Buleda of Kech district.
convoy was waylaid on reaching the rugged mountainous area close to the Iranian
border. Attackers atop a mountain opened fire on the convoy causing death of
four men and injuries to 13 others, an official of the Turbat administration
heavy exchange of fire ensued after the security personnel returned fire.
However, the attackers managed to escape.
injured included nine security men and four civilians. More troops rushed to
the site and shifted the bodies and the injured to hospital.
deceased were identified as Sepoys Muhammad Akmal, Jahanzeb and Muhammad Imran,
while the fourth victim was a schoolteacher, Saifullah, who too was going to
Buleda for election duty.
clashes and violence between activists of rival political parties were
witnessed in several areas as millions of Pakistanis went to polls on Wednesday
amid tight security.
clash erupted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Swabi district between workers of the
Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), with one
activist of the latter shot dead, and two others injured.
and ANP workers also exchanged fire in Mardan, leaving some people injured.
Police now has taken control of the situation.
clash erupted between activists of two independent candidates' groups at a
polling station in Batera area of Kohistan. There were no reports of
casualties, but the polling was halted for the time being.
people were taken to hospital and the polling process was stopped after a
scuffle between supporters of two independent candidates in Jijal area of
man was shot dead and another was injured in NA-153 when two political groups
clashed in Punjab's Khanewal district.
people were injured as workers of the PML-N and PTI came face-to-face in
Punjab's Rajanpur district. Police has been deployed in the area to prevent
reported that PTI and PML-N activists also clashed in Shahdara area of Lahore.
least one person was injured when PML-N and PTI workers clashes in Rawalpindi's
clash was also reported between two political groups in Gujranwala.
people were injured after clashes between two rival political groups at a
women's polling station in Khipro area of Sindh's Sanghar district. Polling was
halted at a polling station following the clashes.
dispute started between voters of the PPP and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA)
at a polling station in Yamin Hingorjo after a woman was stopped from casting
the vote on technical reasons.
Abid Hingorjo who was injured in the clash is said to be in a serious condition
and has been shifted to Hyderabad. Other injured include GDA's Nazar Hingorjo and
Anwar Hingorjo and PPP's Anwar Marri, Mir Muhammad Marri, Ali Ahmed and Kanndo
Marri; they have have been shifted to Khipro taluka hospital.
clash between workers of the PPP and GDA left five people injured in Chak No 1
near Golarchi town of Badin district. The polling process in the polling
station falling in NA-230 and PS-74 was suspended after the clash.
seven people were injured when a clash erupted between supporters of GDA
candidate Shehzad Mehar and independent candidate Ameer Jatoi in Shikarpur.
least two people were injured during an incident of firing at a polling station
in Balochistan's Naseerabad district, DawnNewsTV reported.
woke to electoral chaos on Thursday with the outgoing ruling party denouncing
“blatant rigging” in the pivotal general election and rejecting unofficial,
partial results suggesting victory for former cricket champion Imran Khan.
were still being tallied Thursday morning, hours after Khan’s supporters took
to the streets to celebrate victory in an election opponent have said the
powerful military rigged in his favour.
media said less than half the votes had been counted more than 13 hours after
polls closed, an unprecedented delay that has fuelled widespread fears over the
legitimacy of the exercise.
Election Commission of Pakistan dismissed allegations of manipulation, blaming
the delay on glitches in new, untested counting software.
elections were 100 percent fair and transparent,” said Chief Election
Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza early Thursday as the outcry grew.
did not say when election authorities would be in a position to announce the
Wednesday, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which had been in power
since 2013, rejected the results because of “outright rigging”, and vowed it
would use “all political and legal options for redressal of these glaring
what they have done has pushed Pakistan back 30 years… People will not bear
it,” the party’s leader Shahbaz Sharif, brother of jailed former premier Nawaz
Sharif, said in a press conference.
major parties also alleged fraud, including the once-dominant Pakistan Peoples
Party (PPP), whose chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari echoed the PML-N’s claim
that party representatives were barred from monitoring the count, tweeting that
the situation was “Inexcusable & outrageous”.
television channels were all predicting victory for Khan’s Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf, with the partial results giving him at least 100 seats so far
in the National Assembly, the lower house.
majority of 137 seats is needed to form a government.
Imran Khan nor the military, which had been accused of seeking to manipulate
the vote in his favour in the months leading up to the polls, have yet
commented on the situation. Both have previously denied allegations of
controversy follows a campaign already considered by some observers to be one
of the “dirtiest” in the Pakistan’s history because of the allegations against
the military, and marked by the increased visibility of extremist religious
is complete chaos,” said political analyst Azeema Cheema, who said she was
“very concerned” about what comes next.
depends on how the civilian disobedience is being organised. You may have spontaneous
riots among political party workers. Then maybe political parties will organise
sit-ins and demonstrations,” she told AFP.
Kugelman, an analyst at the Wilson Center in Washington, shared the concern:
“No matter how you slice it, the immediate post-election climate in Pakistan
will be quite tense.”
don’t see any way to prevent a period of turmoil,” he told AFP.
PTI supporters were ecstatic at the projected results.
time voter Fahad Hussain, 21, said the party had successfully lured the
country’s massive youth population.
motivated the youth,” Hussain told AFP in the capital Islamabad as he hit the
streets to celebrate with friends.
elections, conducted under high levels of security, were meant to be a rare
democratic transition from one civilian government to another in the young,
nuclear-armed country which has been ruled by the military for roughly half its
who captained Pakistan to their World Cup cricket victory in 1992, largely
campaigned on ambitious promises to tackle widespread graft while building an
“Islamic welfare state”.
his bid for power was dogged by widespread accusations he is benefiting from a
“silent coup” by the generals.
has also increasingly catered to hardline religious groups, particularly over
the inflammatory issue of blasphemy, sparking fears a win for PTI could
embolden Islamist extremists.
PML-N says it is the target of the alleged military machinations. Nawaz Sharif
was ousted from power last year and jailed over a corruption conviction days
before the vote, removing Khan’s most dangerous rival.
800,000 military and police had been deployed to provide security on election
delegation comprising European Union (EU) observers on Wednesday visited
different polling stations of the federal capital and termed the polling process
smooth and peaceful. While talking to media at polling station No 113 in F-6/2,
NA-53, head of the delegation Michael Gahler said that 120 members of the team
will observe 87 different constituencies, which is 32 per cent of the total
constituencies of the country. He said team members will observe the electoral
process in the federal capital and Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
No member will visit Balochistan due to security reasons.
to a question, Gahler said the overall assessment of the EU observers would be
issued in a preliminary statement on July 27 (Friday). Talking about the
security measures, he said, “What I have observed for the time being, the
election process is running peacefully and security measures are good.” He observed
that the polling staff showed sealed and empty ballot boxes in the presence of
political agents of different political parties so that they could be a witness
to the transparency of the process.
to a question, he said the EU observers will observe some specific points
including code of conduct being followed by military, staff of the Election
Commission of Pakistan, sealed ballot boxes, ballot papers, turnout, security
measures and the strength of the polling staff.
access to media to cover the polling process, he said he himself did not
observe any restrictions being faced by the media. Replying to a question about
accessibility of EU observers to the polling stations, Gahler said, “Credit
goes to ECP for providing us complete access to observe the entire election
of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his wife cast their ballots
in Rawalpindi on Wednesday, military’s media wing said.
army chief urged the nation to ‘come out and vote undeterred’ in order to
defeat enemy forces working against Pakistan, Inter-Services Public Relations
Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted. “We are target of inimical
forces working against Pak. We’ve come a long way in our comprehensive national
effort to fail them. We are united & steadfast to defeat them, and ‘TODAY’
through our ‘VOTES’. Please come out & vote undeterred’, COAS,” the tweet
dismisses PML-N’s request for one-hour extension in polling time
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday dismissed Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) request for one-hour extension in the polling time.
will not extend polling time anywhere in the country. Voters present in polling
stations will be able to cast their votes even after 6pm,” the ECP stated.
Senator Mushahid Hussain had earlier written a letter to the chief election
commissioner seeking a one-hour extension in the polling time under Section 70
of the Election Act, 2017, which authorises the Election Commission of Pakistan
(ECP) to extend polling hours.
the basis of reports that have been received from PML-N candidates from almost
all constituencies of Pakistan, I would like to kindly request you to extend
the polling time by at least one hour from 6pm to 7pm given that there are long
lines of voters waiting in the queue, while only three to four persons are
allowed to enter the polling station at a time to cast their vote,” the letter
is not only causing inconvenience to voters standing in lines in the hot and
humid weather but also may end up depriving people of their right to vote
because of this tedious, slow and cumbersome voting procedure adopted by
personnel at almost all the polling stations in Pakistan,” it added.
World League joins Moroccan league in fight against extremism
The Muslim World League (MWL) has joined Morocco’s Mohammadian League of
Scholars in a joint program to encourage enlightened Islamic speech and combat
research and data sharing agreement between the two organizations was signed
during a visit by Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, MWL secretary-general, to
the league headquarters in Rabat, where he met with Ahmed Al-Abadi, the
with information sharing, the agreement includes joint scientific research and
publishing initiatives, and invitations to take part in conferences, panel
discussions, cultural programs, and joint training programs and workshops.
committee from both organizations will decide on an annual executive program to
identify joint projects.
agreement follows an international conference hosted by MWL with the
Mohammadian League of Scholars under the theme “Deconstruction of Extremist
thinkers and researchers from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan,
Iraq, Lebanon and Syria took part in the two-day conference early this month in
conference discussed interventions on deconstructing the extremist discourse,
the intellectual ideas of extremists and their rebuttal, sectarian extremism
and strategies to prevent the spread of extremism.
Al-Issa said that cultural communication generates understanding among nations
… and this leads to the alliance of civilizations.
said extremism was a general and comprehensive concept, and to attribute it
only to Islam was false since it also had intellectual, political and racial
threat from within: Erbil attack exposes radicalization in Kurdistan
(Kurdistan 24) – Even though the Islamic State's (IS) ability to operate in
Iraq is far less than it was one year ago, academics and other observers warn
that Monday’s attack on the Erbil Governorate building demonstrates the
continued threat of IS-style radicalism in the Kurdistan Region.
three assailants, all of whom were killed when security forces stormed the
building, were no outsiders to Kurdistan. They were all Kurds from Erbil, high
school students between 16 and 18 years old.
to Erbil’s security chief, all three were linked to IS, although no group has
claimed responsibility for the attack. Experts say more needs to be done to
tackle Islamist ideology and prevent future such incidents in the Kurdistan
Nahro Zagros, Vice President of Soran University, told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday
that the attack shows that Kurdish authorities should be doing more to curb
radicalization among young Kurds.
in the deprived areas in our cities and towns, there are still people,
especially youth, [who] are hijacked by extremists and brainwashed in their
needs attention and this need to be tackled quickly,” he said. "We have to
defeat the ideology.”
according to Dr. David Romano, a Political Science Professor at Missouri State
University, the threat is inevitable.
KRG has done a good job so far of curtailing radical Islam in its region.
Despite this, some people will still radicalize and some incidents will still
happen,” he told Kurdistan 24 on the day of the attack.
vast majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslim,” he continued, “so naturally some will
be attracted to Jihadism rather than other ideologies such as secular Kurdish
surprising point is not that three of the attackers today were Kurdish, but
rather that more Kurds are not attracted to Jihadism - especially as the
international community keeps blocking Kurdish nationalist moves towards
independence or even autonomy,” he added.
Kurdish nationalism keeps failing to achieve its promises, however, we can
expect more Kurdish jihadists.”
the past, Kurdish residents have voiced concerns about the risk of IS members
infiltrating groups of displaced Arabs coming to the Kurdistan Region from
other parts of Iraq.
Kurds, however, make up the majority of participants in such attacks in the
Kurdistan Region, including a remote-controlled car bomb that detonated near
the US Consulate in Erbil on April 17, 2015, killing two civilians.
Investigators announced that four Kurds from Erbil took part in the attack.
400 to 500 Kurds from different countries are thought to have joined IS, but
most of them were reportedly killed in battle.
attackers were not terrorists from the outside, rather a few teenagers which
two of them were under eighteen who were from mosques and schools," Soran
Sewkani, an expert on Islamic groups told Kurdistan 24 after the three were
killed on Monday.
incident that occurred in Erbil’s governorate building was once again a proof
that IS is not a stranger from the outside, rather an ideology amongst us.”
to some sources,” he said, “these teenagers were victims of an ideology that
accomplish terrorism acts behind the holiness of mosques. This again tells us
that we have a huge and extensive fight ahead of us, a long term intellectual
and educational fight.”
even before IS, Kurdish Jihadism has had a 37-year turbulent history, wrote
Kurdish expert Adel Bakawan in a report for the French Institute of
International Relations (IFRI) released last July that read, “It emerged in the
1980s as one of the consequences of the Islamic movement in Kurdistan."
majority of the Kurds who joined IS are young, with up to 75% of them between
the ages of 14 and 29.
Asayish (security) has said that Monday's three attackers were students of the
popular Mulla Ismael Susayi, who was reported to have been arrested just three
security department announced it had issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday for a
former Iraqi parliament member from the Islamic Group of Kurdistan (KIG) named
Mullah Salim Shushkayi, linking him to IS. Shushkayi, who was banned from
preaching at mosques in the Kurdistan Region along with three other clerics in 2016
by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), has denied any connection to the
are some imams who encourage radicalism in Kurdistan,” said Kurdish researcher
and lecturer in sociology at Soran University Ibrahim Malazada. “A few of them
joined IS and there are some of them who were accused [of] backing radicalist
young Kurds joined IS from his mosque 2 years ago,” he told Kurdistan 24.
and family members of the Monday's attackers told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday that
all three had become radicalized in recent months and had spent most of their
time at local mosques.
is a responsibility for the clerics,” he added. “They are not explaining [to]
people that extremism, for example, has no relation to Islam. The problem is
that they are not taking any kind of responsibility,” he added.
explained that some circles support Salafist groups against traditional Kurdish
Islamic parties. “But in some levels, they are more dangerous than political
Islam,” he added. “Because Jihadists are Salafists.”
to Malazada, a further complication is that some Kurdish Muslims charge that
the KRG is against Islam, and because of this, more should be done on an
educational and cultural level to change the mind of people.
the same day, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani emphasized the
importance of combating terrorists militarily and ideologically while
addressing a gathering of religious leaders in Erbil.
KRG has monitored activities in mosques for some time, but more recently, the
curriculum in schools have been changed in an attempt to further address the
was a good and brave step from the KRG to monitor religious texts in school,
and from now on people are not only studying Islam in school, but also theology
and other religions," said Dr. Zagros of Soran University.
he said, the mind of some locals also must be changed.
an example, after social media users referred to Farhan Elya, the employee who
died in Monday’s attack on the Governorate building, as a “martyr,” some Muslim
Kurds complained because Elya was a Christian, and therefore did not deserve
the title. Others condemned this reaction.
are different ways where people can be attracted to extremism and we have to
find the source," Zagros said.
to the research of Adel Bakawan, the third generation of Kurdish Jihadists
after 2014 are radicalized through Facebook, not through Salafism, clerics, or
traditional Islamic Kurdish parties, as was the case in earlier jihadist generations
of the 1980s and the militant Ansar al-Islam group in the early 2000s.
of the members of this Facebook generation never connected with an Islamist or
secular ideology before their encounter with Daesh (IS)," read his 2017
report, which came with a warning for those who think IS or similar radical
movements are defeated after losing territory.
says that, in 2003, the Iraqi Kurds thought the battle was over after Ansar
al-Islam was defeated in 2003 with US support. 10 years later, after a large
number of Kurds joined IS, the threat seems to be higher.
West and Tel Aviv had two options of either withdrawing the White Helmets from
Southern Syria or killing them, the Arabic-language service of Russia Today
cited a report by Expert Online.
pointed to the failure of the White Helmets to create fake stories and a halt in
financial aid to them, and said since the White Helmets had a lot of intel with
them, Washington could not leave them to be given to Syrian President Bashar
report said that killing the White Helmets was considered as one of the
cheapest and most confident options which could later be blamed on the Syrian
the risks were high as few could have survived who would then run to the Syrian
government to save their lives and they could have leaked vital intel during
the process; hence, the western countries decided to pave the way for their
escape in the shortest possible time," it added.
terrorists' exit from Syria occurred at a time when the Syrian army took
control of borders with Jordan; White Helmets had been besieged in a narrow
strip in the Golan Heights.
a relevant development on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in an
official commentary on Monday that flight of workers of the White Helmets
nongovernmental organization from Syria with foreign assistance shows graphically
whose orders they fulfilled and whose money they existed on.
information available to us suggests the Westerners evacuated a big group of
those pseudo-aid workers to Jordan via the Israeli territory," the
commentary noted, adding that "meanwhile, it is known perfectly well that
the White Helmets have been involved in the most odious provocations during the
conflict in Syria", TASS reported.
organization concentrated its operations exclusively in the areas controlled by
Islamic radicals, forging overt fakes that would be used as pretexts for
charges against the Syrian authorities," the Foreign Ministry added.
Helmets had a particular fancy for shooting the propagandistic clips, which the
Western media and social networks would circulate endlessly, it noted.
quite emblematic that the White Helmets preferred to flee Syria with foreign
assistance, thus unmasking their essence and hypocrisy to the whole
world," the commentary said, adding that "as if acting out the
principle 'an uneasy conscience betrays itself', these people showed in a most
graphic way whose orders they had been fulfilling and whose money they had
also called attention to the recent comments by the US Department of State
official Spokesperson upon the results of a telephone conversation between
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.
comments said in gushing terms, so typical of the Americans, Russia was failing
to act properly on its obligations regarding southwestern Syria," the
ministry said, adding that "we’d like to say in this connection the
situation is entirely opposite in reality. It was Washington that did not do
anything over several months in the Southwestern de-escalation zone to separate
the so-called moderate opposition units from the terrorist of the Islamic State
and Jabhat al-Nusra".
a results of successful actions of the Syrian Armed Forces and with our
assistance, law and order are returning to Southwestern Syria and conditions
are arising for people’s return of peaceful life there," the ministry
evacuated several hundred White Helmet staff and their families from the Golan
Heights region in Southern Syria to Jordan overnight on Saturday. The initial
plan reportedly involved the evacuation of 800 people.
Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel reported that the ISIL terrorists
launched heavy attacks against the towns of Douma, Tarba, Shabaki,
al-Sowaimareh and Rami in Northern and Northeastern Sweida from al-Tanf region
after suicide attacks.
Syrian army and popular forces repelled the terrorists' offensives preceded by
suicide attacks, killing tens of militants.
reports today said that the Syrian army soldiers and popular forces engaged in
fierce clashes with ISIL in the Southern province of Sweida and managed to
repel their heavy attack after inflicting tens of casualties on the terrorists.
army men, supported by popular force, exchanged heavy fire with ISIL that
attacked the villages of al-Matouneh, Douma and Tima in Northeastern Sweida,
fending off the terrorists' offensive.
the meantime, residents of the village of Rami clashed with ISIL terrorists and
did now allow them to enter their region.
the army forces along with popular fighters fought the terrorists in Tal Basir
region in Eastern Sweida and captured the region.
people in the village of Shabaki and the army men laid siege on the terrorists.
sources reported that more than 100 civilians were killed and tens of others
were wounded in ISIL's suicide attacks in a local market and in Maslakh
district in Sweida city and in several villages in the city outskirt.
sources further said that two of the suicide attackers were arrested before
carrying out their attacks.
sources reported last month that the army sent a large convoy of military
equipment to the Eastern desert of Sweida.
added that the convoy which included several tanks, missile-launchers and
vehicles equipped with heavy weapons was sent to Tal Sa'ad, the frontline of
battle against the ISIL, through the village of al-Janineh in Northeastern
the Syrian army units engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL terrorists in
Badiyeh region of Sweida province, including al-Harmieh region.
sources further said that Ibrahim al-Shavakh nom de guerre Abu Teif al-Hendavi,
an Arab commander of a SDF regiment in the town of Tal Abyadh in Northern
Raqqa, was dismissed from his post.
SDF members further arrested al-Shavakh, they said.
sources further said that the SDF gunmen have captured a number of people
accusing them of cooperating with the Free Army in the town of Solouk in Tal
the meantime, three SDF militias were killed and several more were wounded
after a bomb planted on their vehicle went off in the village of al-Mankhar
East of Raqqa.
SDF's brutalities against people in Raqqa province have enraged them, making
them to take to the streets in protest.
Tuesday, the US dispatched a convoy of military equipment and troops to its
base in Northern Raqqa to clamp down popular uprising against its forces and
long convoy of the US military vehicles left Iraqi territories for Northern
convoy included 300 trucks carrying logistic and military equipment, arms and
ammunition for the US troops' base in Kharab Ashak region that is one of the
most important bases of the US in Syria.
army soldiers, backed up by the artillery and missile units, stormed ISIL in
Hawz Yarmouk in Southwestern Dara'a, driving ISIL out of Jalin housings and
the meantime, other units of the army clashed fiercely with ISIL and captured
the towns and villages of Saida Joulan, Khan Saida, al-Lobid and al-Maqraz.
number of terrorists were killed and their military equipment were destroyed in
said earlier today that the army men, backed up by artillery units and the Air
Force, engaged in fierce clashes with terrorists of ISIL near Seida region at
border with the Israeli-occupied Golan in Quneitra and seized control over the
town of al-Basah Sharqi.
the meantime, other artillery and missile units pounded terrorists' positions
and movements near the town of Tasil and Tal al-Jomou'a region in Hawz Yarmouk,
destroying several bases, vehicles and a large volume of military equipment and
killing a number of terrorists.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik reported that the Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet
that was downed by Israeli Air Defense Units' missiles on Tuesday never entered
the Israeli-occupied Golan airspace.
unnamed analyst further told the Arabic Sputnik that Israeli air defense
intentionally shot down the Syrian jet East of the de-escalation line with
Israel near the town of Saida, where ISIL is active in a bid to give ISIL
terrorists a chance to capture the pilot to have an advantage for some
negotiations with the Damascus government over ending the military operation in
ISIL-held regions in Southwestern Dara'a.
to reports, the pilot was killed after fighter jet was shot down by the Israeli
Syrian Army's operation is now mainly concentrated on liberating an ISIL-held
triangle-like region among Syria, Jordan and Israeli occupied-Golan with an
area as large as 50 sq-km.
Syrian Air Force Sokhoi fighter jet was shot down by the Israeli Air Defense
Units as it was targeting terrorist groups in South-West Syria on Tuesday, the
state news agency confirmed in a report, but it also refuted Israeli Army
claims that the warplane had cross the border into the Israeli-occupied Golan.
reported that the Syrian Sukhoi was shot down by Israeli Air Defense while
flying over terrorists-held regions in Southern Dara'a, refuting Israeli Army
Spokesman Avichay Adraee's claims that the Syrian warplane had entered 2km deep
into the occupied Golan that is now under the Israeli army's control.
Israeli enemy reaffirmed its backup for terrorist groups and downed out fighter
jet that was pounding terrorists' positions and movements in Saida region near
Wadi al-Yarmouk inside the Syrian airspace," SANA further quoted a
military source as reporting.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed in a statement earlier today that it has
fired interceptor missiles at a Syrian Sukhoi warplane, adding that the
aircraft had penetrated Israeli-controlled airspace.
Patriot missiles were launched at a Sukhoi fighter plane. The plane was under
(Israeli) surveillance, it penetrated about two kilometers into Israeli territory
and was intercepted,” the Israel Defense Forces wrote on Twitter.
US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Wednesday against five groups and
eight individuals linked to Syria’s chemical weapons program, the department
said in a statement.
targeted groups and people were key to a network that procured electronics for
the Syrian agency that develops the weapons, it said.
horrific use of chemical weapons, including attacks against innocent women and
children, remains deeply embedded in our minds,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury
undersecretary for terrorism.
For nearly 15 years, Shiite armed factions backed by Iran have imposed a reign
of fear in southern Iraq.
fought US-led troops after the 2003 invasion, played a leading role in the
sectarian war that engulfed the country between 2006 and 2008, and were the
backbone of the forces that defeated Daesh after the militants seized almost a
third of Iraq in 2014.
Shiite militias’ brutality, the boldness of their fighters and their blatant
defiance of the Iraqi authorities meant that no one dared challenge their rule.
They have significant influence in Baghdad and the south, and continue to
challenge the Iraqi government on a daily basis. Clear red lines were drawn
around them, and anyone who publicly crossed those lines risked being killed.
rule was absolute — until now. Massive demonstrations that have swept southern
Iraqi provinces for the past two weeks were angry protests against shortages of
basic services such as electricity and water, and high rates of unemployment
and poverty. But they have also shattered the self-assured arrogance of the
pro-Iranian Shiite armed factions and challenged their influence, observers and
Iraqi security officials have told Arab News.
attacked the headquarters of several militant groups, including the most
powerful Shiite paramilitaries, the Badr Organization and Asaib Ahl Al-Haq. At
least four people were shot dead as they tried to storm the organizations’
offices in Najaf, Diwaniya and Muthanna and set them on fire.
protests may be the first step toward removing them from the equation, thus
limiting Iranian influence in Iraq by clipping the wings of the pro-Iranian
political parties that use the groups as tools to strike at rivals and
happened in these demonstrations has really broken the prestige of these
groups,” a senior Iraqi national security official told Arab News. “It sent a
strong social message that says there are no red lines anymore and this
situation (the dominance of armed factions on the Iraqi streets) will not last
for much longer.
was a significant shift in the Iraqi public perception. People have come to
know where to direct their anger and who they have to face.”
first protesters took to the streets on July 18 in the southern oil-hub city of
Basra to protest against a serious lack of electricity, a shortage of drinking
water and the high rates of poverty and unemployment. This was followed by
uprisings in Shiite-dominated southern provinces such as Dhi Qar, Muthanna,
Amara, Karbala, Babil, Najaf, before the protests spread to the capital,
mass demonstrations turned violent when protesters stormed the headquarters of
several oil companies in Basra and the airport in Najaf, set fire to government
buildings and tried to swarm the offices of the pro-Iranian Shiite political
parties and paramilitary groups.
security forces, which have been on high alert since the protests began, and
guards at the offices opened fire to disperse the protesters. Fourteen people
were killed and hundreds wounded, most of them members of the security forces.
in impoverished Amara, southwest of Baghdad, demanded the closure of all
offices of Shiite armed factions and the surrender of their weapons to the
state as part of their conditions to end their demonstrations.
of the identity of the demonstrators who attacked these offices or presented
their demands, the barrier of horror that surrounds these groups has been
broken,” said Mustafa Sa’adoun, an Iraqi analyst. “The demonstrators just told
the tough guys, ‘Your day is coming and you are reachable’.”
efforts by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi to ease tensions by increasing the
hours of electricity generation and water flow, and announcing thousands of new
jobs, demonstrations are expected to continue growing in Baghdad and the south.
politicians have yet to ratify the results of the parliamentary elections held
in May and form a new government.
country has been a battleground for many international and regional powers,
particularly the US and Iran, since the 2003 US-led military invasion. No new
government will be formed without the approval of Washington and Tehran.
security sources suggested that followers of the influential Shiite cleric
Muqtada Al-Sadr, whose Sairoon Alliance took first place in the preliminary
results of the May elections, were involved in the protests and attacks on the
offices of Asaib, Badr and other groups. However, other intelligence
information indicates the involvement of other local and international
interests in the unrest.
demonstrations have provided great cover for the regional and international
powers operating in Iraq to terminate their opponents in an attempt to expand
their areas of influence,” said a senior intelligence official.
results of the elections did not satisfy many in the region, and the world, so
they have been trying to influence the political forces and push them in
certain directions to form the next government.
is a big game — much bigger than us.”
rivalries between regional and international powers and their proxies in Iraq,
along with a desire to dominate the Iraqi streets to affect the chances of
Abadi serving a second term as prime minister, increase the chances of further
attacks on the offices of Shiite groups and their armed factions.
LUMPUR: A PAS MP has urged the government to introduce a policy that, among
others, will require employers to allow Shariah-compliant dressing for Muslim
Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS-Rantau Panjang) said shariah-compliant dressing should
apply to both public and private sectors.
new government must come up with clear policies that include rules that are
will allow Muslim women at work to practise their faith,” she said when
debating the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat.
claimed that Muslim women were finding it challenging to find a work
environment that would allow them to abide by Islamic teachings.
notice that many Muslim women at work are finding it difficult to dress in
shariah-compliant attire. They want to do so but are deterred from doing so by
includes air stewardesses who are often ‘forced’ to dress in
of them whom I met (when I was travelling) told me that they have no choice but
not to wear a headscarf as they are not allowed to,” she said.
Zailah claimed that the air stewardesses she spoke to said they had to follow
the rules at work as they needed to earn a living.
am hearing that Muslims today are finding it hard to even exercise their rights
in practising the faith, where some quarters have even suggested for the Friday
prayers to be done on Saturday.
is becoming of our children today?” she said.
Zailah was previously reported as saying that women can prevent sexual crimes
by not wearing short pants and skimpy dresses.
had said that indecent dressing had become a norm among young women in
had also called for the former government to consider enacting laws to prevent
women from wearing indecent clothing to prevent sexual crimes.
Siti Zailah also took Pakatan Harapan ministers to task for no longer being
vocal about Muslim rights.
asked if they had forgotten their fight now that they were in decision-making
have they gone to? What happened to these ministers who used to fight for
it because they now have positions (in the government), and therefore they have
urge them to come forward and fulfil their responsibilities and continue to
defend Muslims. Do what has been ordered by God,” she said.
be friends for Islam’s sake, Najib tells PAS
Najib Razak has urged Umno and PAS to bury their past animosity and work
together in the interest of Islam, as the former prime minister reaches out to
the Islamist party ahead of the Sungai Kandis by-election on Aug 4.
is a given fact that among PAS supporters, they see Umno’s commitment towards
Islam is far greater than Pakatan Harapan.
think that’s a given fact,” said Najib, during a visit to the state
Lokman Noor Adam is standing against PKR’s Zawawi Mughni for the state seat
which fell vacant following the death of its incumbent Mat Shuhaimi Shafie on
July 2. Another candidate is independent Murthy Krishnasamy.
is staying away from the by-election, saying it was to avoid splitting
opposition votes. But the party has stopped short of urging its members to vote
said it was important that both PAS and Umno look to the future.
could be some lingering feelings that we cannot overlook but hopefully people
realise that what is important is not the past, it’s the future.
must do whatever we can to uphold Islam but at the same time taking into
interest the religions of the other communities,” he said.
Lokman in an interview with FMT said it was impossible for the former ruling
coalition to win in Sungai Kandis without PAS’ backing.
is no way I can win if PAS members do not help me. Impossible,” he said, adding
that he would meet “friends” from PAS as part of his campaign.
asked whether Umno would approach PAS, Najib said he was leaving it to party
president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
here just to help out whatever I can, to make sure our candidate does well in
this election,” he said.
Najib said he was happy with the reception given to him in Sungai Kandis,
despite the police raids and corruption charges against him linked to the 1MDB
72% of the 50,800 voters in Sungai Kandis are Malays, while Chinese and Indians
make up the rest.
The government will hold to the principle of separation of powers and will not
intervene in deciding whether the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment)
2016 bill or RUU 355 should be debated in Parliament again, said Deputy
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh.
said based on the principle, the executive body could not interfere in the
running of the Parliament, including in the tabling of any motion by members of
said it was the jurisdiction of the Dewan Rakyat speaker to decide on the
priority of motions, whether they should be tabled or discussed.
regulation also requires a notice of 14 days before Parliament sits for any
motion to be tabled, and for it to be tabled, it has to be included in the list
of the meeting order, and so far, it is nowhere to be seen,” she added.
said this in response to the opposition’s hope for it to be allowed to debate
government would take part in debating the bill if a motion on it was tabled in
Parliament, she told reporters after opening a symposium on Muslim motivators
and trainers here.
Kelantan Islamic Development, Dakwah, Information and Regional Ties Committee
chairman Mohd Nasuruddin Daud was reported as saying that the state government
would discuss the matter with the federal government even though there were
rumours that the RUU355 would not be debated in Parliament during this session.
another development, Fuziah said she hoped the Malaysian Islamic Development
Department would assist in enhancing the capability of the Malaysia Muslim
Motivation Training group.
SYED JAYMAL ZAHIID
LUMPUR, July 26 — A PAS vice president is reportedly against a blanket ban on
Star quoted Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Amar as saying outlawing
child marriage contravenes Islam.
Nik Amar suggested improving existing laws to ensure children are not forced to
is not wrong to marry young, from a religious perspective,” he reportedly told
reporters on the sidelines of the Kelantan legislative assembly sitting
Amar was responding to the Government’s announced plan to draw up a strict
standard operating procedure (SOP) for the approval of underage marriage under
the Shariah court.
announcement was made by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr
Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s recently.
child marriage was brought to public attention again after news that a
41-year-old rubber tapper had married an 11-year-old broke last month.
reports prompted public uproar and renewed calls for the government to outlaw
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the newly-elected
Pakatan Harapan administration aims to table a Bill that will outlaw child
marriage, but highlighted the complication that may arise from the country’s
dual legal system.
matters pertaining to Islam fall under state purview, a point Nik Amar raised
in his views about the issue.
approval from the state authorities needs to be sought in cases where marriages
involve underage children,” he was quoted as saying.
Constitutional Court has rejected a petition from the Ahmadiyya community to
strike down the country's blasphemy law, which they said is used to persecute
minority groups, including them.
was the second time the court has rejected changing the law after rights
activists filed a similar petition in 2009.
petitions sought a review of articles 1-3 of the law, which prohibit people
from publicly spreading beliefs and teachings that can be considered heresy.
criminal code dictates that blasphemy is punishable by up to five years in
July 23, the court rejected the Ahmadiyya petition on the grounds that the
principal source for interpreting religious teachings is through a holy book,
which in this case was the Quran.
cannot be carried out freely," Chief Justice Anwar Usman, said.
interpretation of religious teaching is carried out freely … it will create
chaos," he said.
is an Islamic movement founded in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in the late 19th
century, which believes that the Prophet Mohammed was not the last prophet.
2005, the Indonesian Ulema Council issued a fatwa calling the group heretics.
2008, the government prohibited the dissemination of Ahmadiyya teachings.
community spokesman, Yendra Budiana, told ucanews.com the court's ruling means
believers would only suffer more and more.
law justifies persecution against us," he said, pointing to mosque
closures in recent years in Java and evictions of hundreds of Ahmadis in West
Nusa Tenggara province since 2006 after being accused of having tainted Islam.
have not been any solutions to these problems," he said.
Abdullah from the Indonesian Ulema Council backed the court ruling, saying the
interpretation of norms in a particular religion must be based on an
interpretation acknowledged by its experts and adherents.
must not be based on the free interpretation of an individual who then calls on
others to support it," he said.
in Indonesia's Aceh province have vowed to consider cutting off the hands of
those convicted of corruption, in response to a public outcry following the
arrest of Governor Irwandi Yusuf.
was arrested on July 3 on suspicion of misusing special autonomy funds after he
allegedly received 500 million rupiah (US$34,488) from a district head. Two
businessmen that police suspect handed over the bribe were also detained in
is the only province in Indonesia that implements parts of Islamic Shariah,
which includes highly-criticized public caning for homosexuality, adultery,
sexual assault, rape, gambling and selling alcohol. More than 95 percent of its
population is Muslim.
arrest has sparked a furor among activists and citizens calling for the Islamic
criminal code — known as qanun — to be implemented against convicted officials
for crimes such as graft.
have taken to social media and held a series of public rallies, including on
July 24 outside the local assembly office and the governor's office, calling on
lawmakers to immediately propose such a qanun.
Asnawi, a legislator, said they would consider the proposal, as "this
demand has also been voiced by people from various circles for a long
it is really the people's aspiration and the will that comes from the
grassroots, it feels right and needs to be seriously considered by
parliament," he said on July 25, according to news portal detik.com.
said Aceh's assembly has not yet seriously discussed the qanun because there
are already official institutions that handle corruption, such as police,
prosecutors and the Corruption Eradication Commission.
lawmaker Ghufran Zainal Abidin said he would raise the issue at a plenary
its status as a special autonomous region as part of a 2005 agreement with
Jakarta to end a three-decade struggle for independence, Aceh received an
injection of funds amounting to US$3.9 billion between 2008 and 2017.
activists claim corruption is rampant in the province.
year, local NGO Aceh Transparency Society (MaTA) reported the misappropriation
of US$45.2 million that the government spawned for ex-combatants, but the issue
a region where graft often goes unpunished, the arrest of Governor Yusuf by the
Corruption Eradication Commission was welcome news, according to MaTA
every corruption case never gets processed, especially if it involves
high-ranking officials," he told ucanews.com.
have waited for a long time for the commission, which we recognize as
independent, to pay attention to this region."
year, 67 corruption cases were reported to the Aceh courts, up from 51 cases in
Tanjung, of the Anti-Corruption Movement (Gerak), described the province's
corruption as "propagating, structured and systemized".
has threatened the rights of Acehnese to enjoy development, wealth, and proper
public services," he said.
the 5 million population, almost 16 percent are poor, according to state agency
data, which ranked Aceh the sixth poorest out of 34 provinces.
Arrests skyrocketed by more than 730 percent last year in China's far-western
Xinjiang as the government ramped up a security crackdown in the traditionally
Muslim region, activists said on Wednesday (Jul 25).
ruling Communist Party has justified increasingly tight policing of Xinjiang by
saying it faces a threat from Islamic extremism and separatism, but many
Muslims in the region accuse Beijing of religious and cultural repression.
in Xinjiang arrested nearly 228,000 people on criminal charges in 2017,
according to data compiled from official government sources by rights group
China Human Rights Defenders (CHRD).
around 21 per cent of all arrests in China last year, the group said, even
though the sparsely populated region has only around 1.5 per cent of China's
nearly 1.4 billion population.
dramatic increase in arrests followed the introduction of draconian new
restrictions on religious practices in Xinjiang, where about half the
population of around 22 million are ethnic minorities.
the government does not provide the data disaggregated by ethnicity, criminal
punishment would disproportionately target the Uighur Muslim group based on
their percentage of the population," CHRD wrote.
report drew on public data released by Chinese prosecutor's offices at the
national and local levels.
in Xinjiang also increased at a rate "far out of proportion" to its
population, amounting to a 422 per cent increase year-on-year in 2017, it said.
increases follow significant drops in both statistics in 2016, when arrests
fell by 20 per cent and indictments by 15 per cent, respectively.
legal system has a conviction rate of over 99.9 per cent, virtually
guaranteeing any indictment will end in a conviction.
says its policies in Xinjiang are aimed at rooting out the "three
forces" of separatism, religious extremism and terrorism.
resentment exploded in deadly rioting by Uighurs in the regional capital Urumqi
in 2009, and Uighurs have since been tied to mass stabbings and bombings that
have left dozens dead across the country.
unrest and clashes with government forces have killed hundreds more.
year marked a dramatic turning point in Beijing's approach to the strategic
region as the government in 2017 pushed its plans to foster greater trade with
Central Asia and Europe, a programme that puts a premium on security.
March, local authorities introduced stringent new restrictions on religious
practices, forbidding beards and the wearing of veils and the distribution of
"extremist" religious content including everything from songs with
Arabic lyrics to unofficial editions of the Quran.
of the Uighur diaspora say relatives have been arrested for seemingly innocuous
acts such as sending Ramadan greetings to friends or downloading popular music.
are also believed to have detained hundreds of thousands of Muslims in a
secretive network of extra-judicial political re-education centres, where
inmates are given language and ideological training and forced to participate
in military-style drills.
local government pumped more than 58 billion yuan (US$9 billion) into security
spending in 2017, nearly double the year before, according to Adrian Zenz, a
China security expert at Germany's European School of Culture and Theology.
employees at Halliburton called 'terrorists': lawsuit
Muslim men were subjected to racist and Islamaphobic harassment while working
at the American multinational energy corporation Halliburton in US state of
Texas, according to a federal lawsuit.
earlier this month by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),
the lawsuit claims that Hassan Snoubar and Mir Ali were taunted and harassed by
supervisors and fellow employees.
response to Al Jazeera's request for a comment, William Fitzgerald, a
spokesperson for Halliburton, said the corporation does not comment on pending
is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment for our more
than 55,000 employees that represent 140 nationalities in approximately 80
countries," Fitzgerald said by email.
Clark, the senior trial lawyer on the three-person EEOC team, described the
case as "very important".
allege that Halliburton subjected Mr Snoubar (Syrian) and Mr Ali (Indian) to
discrimination based on their national origin and religion, Muslim," he
told Al Jazeera by email.
EEOC will prosecute these kinds of cases to prevent discrimination from
happening in the workplace and to vindicate the rights of those affected by discrimination."
to the lawsuit, coworkers accused Snoubar, who is of Syrian descent, of being
linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS)
and called him a "terrorist" and "camel jockey".
began working as an operator assistant at Halliburton's facility in Kilgore,
Texas in August 2012.
lawsuit adds that Ali, who is of Indian ancestry, was also called a
"terrorist", and that a supervisor regularly mocked him about having
a "magic carpet".
and Ali's co-workers regularly broadcast derogatory name calling over radio
headsets to other workers," the lawsuit states, adding that supervisors
and other employees mocked their "cultural attire" and claimed that
"their 'people' engaged in bestiality".
filing explains that Snoubar lodged a complaint with the human resources
department in September 2015 over the alleged harassment and concerns for his
Halliburton initially suggested that Snoubar could transfer to another
facility, according to the filing, he was "abruptly terminated"
before "having a reasonable opportunity to consider" the offer.
Snoubar and Ali are no longer employed by Halliburton.
lawsuit seeks punitive financial damages and compensation for
"humiliation, emotional pain and suffering, stress, inconvenience and loss
of enjoyment of life".
also requests a permanent injunction barring Halliburton from discrimination
based on national origin, religion and retaliation.
lawsuit is the latest in a long string of cases alleging discrimination against
US Muslims in the workplace.
to the 2017 "Civil Rights Report", published by the Council on
American Islamic Relations (CAIR), employment discrimination is persistent for
2014 to 2016," according to the report, "employment discrimination
has consistently remained in the top three types of anti-Muslim bias
documented 312 anti-Muslim bias incidents in workplaces in 2014, 230 in 2015
and 281 in 2016.
2015, the EEOC v Abercrombie and Fitch case went to the US Supreme Court, which
said that employers are forbidden from rejecting applicants if the decision is
based on a desire to avoid accommodating to a religious practice.
case stemmed from Abercrombie and Fitch's refusal to hire Samantha Elauf, who
was a teenager at the time, because her hijab did not comply with the clothing
company's "look policy", which prohibited the wearing of head
coverings at work.
to a July 2017 poll by the Pew Research Center based on interviews with 1,001
Muslim respondents, 75 percent believed there was "a lot of
discrimination" against the religious minority in the US.
poll also found that 62 percent of respondents felt that Americans did not view
Islam as part of US society and that 60 percent considered American media
coverage of Muslims "unfair".
the November 2016 election of US President Donald Trump, rights groups observed
a sharp uptick in hate crimes, including those targeting Muslims.
to a separate CAIR report, the number of hate crimes against Muslims grew by 15
percent in 2017, reaching a total of 300 incidents.
religious freedom summit can’t undo Trump’s record on Islam
week’s State Department ministerial on international religious freedom has been
a well-orchestrated, if hastily organized, event with a sense of common purpose
rarely seen in the current administration.
prominently features the work of the United States Commission on International
Religious Freedom, as bipartisan a body as you’ll find in Washington these
days. The foreign ministers and religious leaders from around the world all
concur that politics should be the furthest thing from anyone’s mind when it
comes to a universal value like advancing religious freedom.
it doesn’t take an expert to see that politics are everywhere in the United
States’ current approach to religious freedom.
plain, to begin with, that the impetus for putting on the event has much to do
with President Trump’s indebtedness to conservative evangelical Christians for
his election. To their credit, American evangelicals have engaged religious
freedom issues for some time.
the dominance of evangelicals in this sphere carries with it costs and
oversights, including excessive deference to politicians and co-religionists
who have shown hostility toward Islam.
a meeting last month, Sam Brownback, the former Kansas senator and governor who
is now U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, reportedly
lobbied British Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch on behalf of an English anti-Muslim
activist, Tommy Robinson, now in jail in the United Kingdom. A State Department
spokesman called characterizations of Brownback’s meeting with Darroch
“completely false” but did not comment further.
should comment further. Americans deserve to know what the United States’
interest is in a notorious bigot who has been associated with Steve Bannon, the
erstwhile Trump adviser and white nativist. Brownback, who has done too little
to distance himself from the anti-Muslim sentiments of the president who
nominated him, should also take the opportunity to renounce positions that mar
his leadership on religious freedom, including his support for Trump’s travel
White House’s equating of religious freedom with evangelical causes is apparent
in its three recent nominations for USCIRF, which went to Christian political
operative Gary Bauer; the Rev. Johnnie Moore, one of Trump’s liaisons to the
religious right; and Nadine Maenza, who served as an aide to former
Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum.
is not alone in handing off this issue to evangelicals. Senate Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell used his USCIRF nomination to appoint Family Research Council
President Tony Perkins, a longtime leader in the religious right who has made
disqualifying statements about Islam.
in the capital seems to be above politics when it comes to religious freedom,
of course: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer appointed Gayle Manchin to
USCIRF, where she serves as vice chair. She happens to be the wife of West
Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a vulnerable Democrat facing re-election this year
and being pressed by Republicans to switch parties.
the disgusting anti-Muslim sentiments of Trump and some of his supporters
besmirch the argument that religious freedom is a cornerstone diplomatic
priority, and, frankly, call the whole project into question.
question is whether the ministerial, and religious freedom itself, can rise
above the politics to serve a higher purpose.
answer is likely yes. While undoubtedly a boost for evangelicals that Trump can
tout as another “win,” the ministerial can only foster collaborations among the
assembled government officials, civil-society representatives and faith groups
and encourage them in their work ahead.
is critical, however, for the gathering to hold the White House to account for
its failures to stand up for everyone affected by religious persecution. In a
thoughtful op-ed in the Globe Post, University of Vermont Professor Peter Henne
says religious freedom advocates often “prize institutional access too highly.”
evidence’ to back IS claim for Toronto attack
- Canadian authorities said Wednesday they have no evidence to substantiate a
claim by the Islamic State group that the gunman who killed two people in a
Toronto rampage was an IS fighter.
group’s Amaq news agency said the gunman, identified by police as 29-year-old
Faisal Hussain, was an IS “soldier” responding to its calls for attacks on
nationals from countries fighting the group in Iraq and Syria. “At this stage,
we have no evidence to support these claims,” Toronto police said in a
will continue to explore every investigative avenue, including interviewing
those who knew Mr Hussain, reviewing his online activity, and looking into his
experiences with mental health,” police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray said.
attack occurred Sunday night in Toronto’s Greektown area when the shooter
opened fire at people on a crowded street before turning his attention to
to the scene, police exchanged fire with the gunman, who was found dead in an
18-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl were killed in the rampage, and 13
people were wounded.
family said he had suffered since infancy from serious mental problems, which
treatment and medication were unable to overcome.
a statement, the family said Hussain had battled “severe mental health
challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life.”
Wednesday, however, Amaq claimed that Hussain “carried out the attack in
response to calls to target nationals of countries of the coalition” that has
been fighting IS in Syria and Iraq since 2014.
day earlier, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale had said: “There
is no national security connection between this individual and any other
national security issue.”
had no prior criminal record and had not been on the radar of Canada’s security
agencies, he said.
Toronto Star reported Wednesday that Hussain worked at the same Loblaws
supermarket chain as two of the shooting victims - Reese Fallon, the
18-year-old killed in the attack, and Samantha Price, who was wounded. Loblaws
called it a “tragic coincidence.”
was the third time that Islamic State has claimed an attack in Canada,
according to Amarnath Amarasingam, a Canadian researcher at the London-based
Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
first was in 2014 when it said two attacks against Canadian soldiers, one south
of Montreal and the other in Ottawa, were “the direct result” of its call a
month earlier for attacks on the West.
2016, it again claimed responsibility when a Canadian national, surrounded by
police, detonated a bomb in a taxi in southern Ontario before being shot to
death by police.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday kept open the possibility of negotiating an
agreement to denuclearize Iran, two days after he rattled his saber at the
nation on Twitter.
see what happens, but we’re ready to make a real deal, not the deal that was
done by the previous administration, which was a disaster,” he said during a
speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
on Monday dismissed Trump’s angry warning that Tehran risked dire consequences
“the like of which few throughout history have suffered before” if it made
threats against the United States.
defense secretary, Jim Mattis, declined to directly answer a question about
whether he was concerned that Trump’s rhetoric might ratchet up tensions in the
region, increasing the chances of miscalculation.
Mattis, speaking at a news conference in California, listed his many concerns
about Iranian actions in the Middle East, including Tehran’s support for
President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war and for Houthi militants
fighting the internationally recognized government in Yemen.
time for Iran to shape up and show responsibility as a responsible nation. It
cannot continue to show irresponsibility as a revolutionary organization that
is intent on exporting terrorism, exporting disruption, across the region,”
said Mattis, a retired Marine general.
Charged With Aiding Islamic State Held Without Bond
(AP) — A 28-year-old Detroit-area man is being held without bond on a charge of
providing support to the Islamic State group, which the United States has
designated as terrorists.
hearing was held Wednesday in federal court in Detroit for Ibraheem Musaibli of
Detroit News reports that a detention hearing is scheduled Friday at which the
government is expected to portray Musaibli as a flight risk and danger to the
government says Musaibli was captured by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic
Forces while IS was fighting in Iraq and Syria. Musaibli is accused of working
for the group for three years.
family has said he isn't an IS fighter.
Suicide attack on Afghan intelligence convoy kills five
suicide bomber blew himself up near an Afghan intelligence convoy on Thursday,
killing at least five people and wounding six, police said, in the latest
deadly attack in the city.
Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the National Directorate of Security
(NDS), which police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said happened at 5:00 am (0030
GMT). Most of the victims were NDS officers, Stanikzai said.
members of the NDS and a civilian were killed, while five NDS personnel and a
civilian were wounded. The attacker was “most likely” driving a vehicle
carrying explosives, Stanikzai added.
assault comes two days after five rockets were fired on a residential area of
Kabul, wounding at least three people. There was no claim of responsibility.
on Sunday, a suicide bomber blew himself up near Kabul international airport,
killing at least 23 people, including AFP driver Mohammad Akhtar. A further 107
people were wounded.
attack was claimed by the ISIS, which said it had targeted Afghan Vice
President Abdul Rashid Dostum, who returned to Kabul after more than a year in
and ISIS militants have repeatedly carried out deadly attacks in the Afghan
capital, turning it into one of the most dangerous places in the country.
Police in Bangladesh have pressed charges against eight militants over the 2016
Dhaka cafe attack that killed 20 people, including an Indian girl, the worst
terror attack in the country's history.
chargesheet was placed before a Dhaka court this morning, more than two years
after the gruesome attack on the Gulshan's Holey Artisan Bakery (cafe) in
Dhaka's posh diplomatic area, claimed by the Islamic State terror group.
delay in filing the chargesheet was attributed to the "complexities in
obtaining information" as those "involved directly with the operation
were killed on the spot," The Daily star quoted chief of Bangladesh's
Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit Monirul Islam as saying.
however, claimed that the homegrown terror group Neo-Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen
Bangladesh (Neo-JMB), which is close to the ISIS, was behind the attack.
said that police have pressed charges against eight militants over the attack,
where 20 people, mostly foreigners, were killed after being taken as hostages.
added that the six militants who directly carried out the attack were killed at
the scene in the subsequent military assault while 13 others involved were
later killed in different security clampdowns.
Hasnat Karim, a former teacher of North South University was dropped from the
chargesheet as "investigation could not relate him with the militant
activity", he said.
charges brought against the accused are based on 75 pieces of evidence and 211
witnesses to the incident.
made accused are: "Neo-Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh" operatives
Rakibul Islam Regan, Hadisur Rahman Sagor, Jahangir Hossain Rajeeb alias Rajeeb
Gandhi, Aslam Hossain Rashed alias Rash, Abdus Sabur Khan alias Sohel Mahfuj,
Mizanur Rahman alias Baro Mizan, and Mamunur Rashid alias Ripon and Shariful
Islam Khaled, a former student of the English department at Rajshahi
them, the first six "Neo-JMB" operatives are now in jail while the
two others are on the run.
officials, meanwhile, said a metropolitan magistrate recorded the chargesheet
but the case was expected to be transferred later this week to the
Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal for its quick disposal.
people, mostly foreigners, were killed in the brutal late-night attack on July
1 after the attackers took diners and restaurant staff hostage.
Indian girl, Tarishi Jain, was a student of the University of California in
Berkeley. She was in Dhaka for vacations.
Abdul Malik Mujahid
Burmese military’s systematic human rights abuses against their own population
have pushed close to 1 million Rohingya Muslims into massive refugee camps at
the Bangladesh border. Despite this abominable record, the Burmese regime
reigns unchecked, free to continue terrorizing innocent people as much as it
likes. This is why the United States must act now and re-impose comprehensive
sanctions to apply the economic pressure that will bring this rogue regime to
the bargaining table and force them to acknowledge their crimes.
August 2017, Burmese security forces were unleashed to rampage, unchecked,
through Rakhine State in western Burma. Their numerous, unconscionable crimes
against the region's native, mostly defenseless Rohingya population are now
undeniable. The evidence for them has been unearthed in the mass graves of
innocent families, seen in the babies born to mothers systematically raped by
the Burmese army, and testified to in countless stories from refugee survivors.
It is also there for all to see in the sprawling refugee camps across the
border in Bangladesh, where over a million people languish in stateless limbo.
then, the Myanmar military has continued to carry out a savage campaign of
violence and expulsion against its own population. Most recently it has turned
its guns on the Christian people of Kachin State. The army appears to be
stepping up its offensive, with the apparent intention of repeating the
successful results of its genocidal campaign against the Rohingya against the
Christian minority in Kachin. As a result of such persecution, approximately
400,000 Kachin Christians have fled the country since 2003. Villages are being
bombed and burnt, suffering a similar fate as the Rohingya community in Rakhine
state. Over 200,000 Kachin refugees are now spread across Thailand, Malaysia,
and the U.S., with 160,000 in the U.S. alone. This is happening every day, with
additional reports of atrocities committed by the military against civilian,
minority targets surfacing daily.
human rights advocacy group Fortify Rights has been carrying out some of the
most thorough documentation of these crimes. Their brand new report exposes, in
detail, the premeditated nature of the genocidal campaign against the Rohingya.
While the Burmese military continues to deny any such systematic or planned
campaigns against its minority populations, these denials can no longer be
taken seriously in the face of such overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
these facts, and that the record of their unspeakable atrocities is obviously
there for all to see in the clear light of day, the current government of Burma
denies all wrongdoing, even that its army has attacked civilian targets. Such
an Orwellian display of contempt for the truth would put the most duplicitous
totalitarian regimes to shame.
is an interfaith crisis because it concerns members of Christian, Muslim,
Hindu, and other religious traditions who make up the increasingly threatened
minorities among Burma's majority Buddhist population. The Burmese military
works hand in hand with widely influential, fundamentalist monks to advance the
campaign of genocide against the country's minorities. The Rohingya Muslims
have borne the greatest brunt of this campaign in recent years, but the
military regime is growing bolder in its transgressions, and extremist monks
are growing more audacious in their pogroms. Some leading monks have even gone
so far as to bless the military's actions, excusing their crimes because they
are focused on the alleged enemies of Buddhism.
convergence of military interests and extremist Buddhist ideology has created
an almost unstoppable juggernaut of hateful violence in Burma. For many years
the world has stood and watched the horror that is taking place there. It is
past time for it to be brought to an end. It is time to remind the world that,
in the immortal words of Dr. King, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
at the Faith Coalition to Stop Genocide in Burma respectfully request that the
government of the United States reinstate full economic sanctions against
Burma. Specifically, we ask that the Executive Orders of Sept. 14, Sept. 28,
and Oct. 7, 2016, and the Presidential Determination of Dec. 2, 2016, issued by
President Barack Obama be rescinded. These represent grievous errors that must
sanctions formerly had a major impact on sensitive sectors in the Burmese
economy, including the largely military-owned jewel trade, to such a degree
that they helped prompt democratic elections in 2015-2016. The sanctions
targeted Burmese imports and financial institutions, and stemmed the flow of
U.S. investment. They also sapped key business concerns tied to the Ministry of
Defense, one of the main drivers of the country's dismal human rights record.
in 2012, these sanctions began to be rolled back in anticipation of basic
democratic reforms in the country. The idea at the time was that repealing
these sanctions would encourage further democratic reform by opening up the
country to global trade. Clearly, this has been a grievous error. The repeal of
these sanctions between 2012 and 2016 meant the military and government no
longer had an incentive to follow international law or deepen democratization.
The results are now here for all to see. It seems safe to conclude that the
stick of sanctions, rather than the carrot of free trade, is the required
approach to this case. Re-imposing full sanctions, exempting food and medicine,
is the best tool available for compelling the Burmese government and military
to recognize human rights, and accept a U.N.-brokered repatriation process for
the face of the apparent inability of the international community to act, the
United States must step in with policies that will compel cooperation and end
these crimes against humanity. Such policies are available in the form of a
return to a full regime of economic sanctions against Myanmar. There is a great
deal of evidence to suggest such sanctions would dramatically transform the
situation for the better.
Afghan National Defense and security Forces have arrested the shadow governor
of the Taliban group for the northern Panjshir province of Afghanistan.
Security Chief Najamullah Rezaye said the shadow governor of the Taliban for
Panjshir was arrested during an operation late on Tuesday night.
said the detained Taliban leader has been identified as Agha Mir and was
arrested from the vicinity of Aabshar district of the province.
further added that the shadow governor of Taliban was arrested during an
operation launched in response to an attack by the Taliban militants on Aabshar
to Rezaye, at least two civilians were killed during the attack by the Taliban
militants late last night.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
least five Taliban militants including one of their commanders were killed in a
night raid conducted in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said the raid was conducted
late on Tuesday night in the vicinity of Khogyani district.
statement further added that the Special Forces of the Afghan Intelligence,
National Directorate of Security (NDS), conducted a night operation in Nakar
Khel area of the district on Tuesday night, leaving a Taliban commander and his
suspected militant was also arrested during the operation on charges of having
links with the anti-government armed militants, the statement said.
security personnel and local residents did not suffer any casualty during the
operation, the provincial government said, adding that some weapons and
munitions were also destroyed during the operation.
has been among the relatively calm provinces since the fall of the Taliban
regime in 2001 but the anti-government armed militants have been attempting to
expand their foothold in this province during the recent years.
Senegal — In the video, a man in a military uniform leads a woman down a dirt
road, smacking her in the head several times as she holds a little girl’s hand
and stumbles along. Another woman trails them with an infant strapped to her
back. The group is blindfolded and made to sit on the ground.
uniformed men raise their weapons and fire.
girl is still breathing,” someone says after the shooters pause, and one walks
over to the limp bodies.
uniformed man approaches the girl and fires again.
graphic video, which has circulated on social media in recent days, appears to
show soldiers in Cameroon executing two women, a child and baby on suspicion of
being affiliated with Boko Haram. It has drawn outrage from human rights
advocates and riled secessionist groups that have taken up arms in
English-speaking areas of the country and say that they, too, have suffered
abuses at the hands of the military.
Wednesday, the United Nation’s high commissioner for human rights expressed
alarm at continuing violence in Cameroon, saying he was “utterly appalled” by
the horrific video.
government of Cameroon has an obligation to investigate this atrocious crime
urgently,” said Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the high commissioner. “I am deeply
worried that these killings captured on camera may not be isolated cases.”
United States Department of State has called for an inquiry, and Cameroonian
officials have said they would investigate the episode. Some officials have
told various groups that four soldiers have been arrested in the shootings, but
others have denied that, calling it “fake news.”
forces in Cameroon have battled Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group, for
years in the north of the country. Now, the country faces new threats from a
protest movement that has inspired an armed separatist group demanding the
creation of a breakaway nation in the south. Government forces have been
accused of abuses in both conflicts.
presidential election due to be held in October — in which President Paul Biya,
now in his 36th year of power, is running for re-election — is adding to
of abuses by security forces posted to social media have served to escalate the
violence. In English-speaking areas, it has worsened significantly in recent
weeks and claimed at least 425 lives, according to the United Nations agency
of the clips cannot be verified. The statement from the United Nations said it
had repeatedly asked to enter English-speaking areas, but the government had
recent video appears to have been filmed in the Far North, a region where Boko
Haram operates. Its timing could not be determined, but diplomats believe it to
action, as horrible as it is, did not come as a surprise to some human rights
activists in Cameroon who say that security forces have been acting with
impunity for years, especially in the fight against Boko Haram. Amnesty
International and other groups have publicized numerous abuses.
extrajudicial killings are part of a broader pattern,” said Agbor Balla, a
human rights lawyer in Cameroon.
defense officials said they had arrested a soldier in the rape of a woman in
Bamenda, a major city in the English-speaking area. News of the arrest followed
the publication of a video of the woman recounting being attacked after failing
to produce identification at a military checkpoint.
of both security forces and armed separatists in southern Cameroon have been
condemned by human rights groups. Military forces have used deadly force on
unarmed protesters, firing on some from helicopters and torching homes.
Separatists have carried out kidnappings and targeted killings of police
officers and local officials, and have burned schools.
of thousands of civilians caught in the middle of the violence have fled — both
from Boko Haram areas and from areas where armed separatists are operating.
officials have pledged to investigate abuses, and have made arrests in some
cases. But rarely have they broadly publicized any such actions.
United Nations may start monitoring the area remotely, its statement said.
Reportedly Ill, Reveals Why Boko Haram Is Losing Grounds Against Nigerian Govt
Haram’s factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, has re-emerged in a new video after
a long absence that fuelled speculation about his health and ability to lead
the Islamist militants.
a 36-minute message, released to the media through Ahmad Salkida, the Nigerian
journalist with very deep knowledge of Boko Haram’s workings, Shekau looked
unwell but made no reference to his health condition.
however, urged his fighters to adhere strictly to the tenets of Islam if they
wish to be victorious over the “infidels”.
stated that he decided to appear in the video after numerous requests by his
followers to do so.
delivered a long, incoherent speech about the group’s doctrine of who is a
believer and who’s not, adding that the loss of ground being witnessed by his
group was a consequence of the failure of members to adhere to the teachings of
said: “Anything that befalls a Muslim, it is Muslims that caused it. There is
no way infidels will triumph over the faithful except if they have strayed in
brethren, you should recognise that this war we are waging is not new; this is
a war that has been raging for a long time. Therefore, anybody that fights
because of Allah alone will never witness defeat.”
prayed to Allah to free their Muslim brothers in various prisons, asking: “How
can we go to sleep, eat and drink if our Muslim brothers are being humiliated
in prisons like Guantanamo, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Somali, Iraq, Sham and Yemen
among other places?”
POST reports that the jihadist leader used to appear frequently on camera but
was last seen in a 14-minute video message on February 6, in which he claimed
responsibility for attacks in the northeast region.
EU will finance the construction of a new headquarters for the Sahel’s
five-nation anti-terror force in Mali, after the destruction of the former HQ
in a militant attack that left three dead at the end of June, the bloc’s
foreign policy chief said Wednesday.
EU has decided to finance in full the rebuilding of a new headquarters and to
continue its support in order to ensure the operational continuity of the
Force’s staff on the ground,” Federica Mogherini said in a statement.
soldiers and one civilian were killed when a car bomb exploded outside the G5
Sahel force headquarters in the central Malian town of Sevare on June 29.
suicide attack was claimed by a militant group, the Muslim Islam Support Group,
the main Sahelian militant alliance linked to al-Qaeda.
joint force was launched in 2017 by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and
Niger and has received 100 million euros in financial support from the EU.
is set to expand to 5,000 troops, divided into seven battalions: two each from
the Mali and Niger, and one from Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
evening in 1991 as Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa addressed his supporters at Mwembe
Tayari in Mombasa town, a contingent of officers from the dreaded General
Service Unit descended on the crowd and arrested Sheikh Khalifa.
was at the height of the Islamic Party of Kenya (IPK) agitation for recognition
of the Muslim community which made the Moi government feel insecure.
arrest ended in chaos forcing the Central Police Station, where he had been
taken, to be shut as riot police and youths engaged in running battles.
27 years later, Mr Khalifa, the organising secretary of the Council of Imams
and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK), narrates the chilling experience and painful
memories that changed his life for worse.
his Mwembe Tayari offices, he sat pensively as he narrated the events that led
to loss of his eyesight. Some of his supporters, he remembers, were fatally
shot. Others were paralysed and are now left to suffer in silence because of
fear of being victimised.
Muslims, we had been marginalised for long by the Moi administration. That is
when we decided to form IPK to fight for the rights of Muslims. It was before
the 1992 General Election," he said.
Khalifa said the push was caused by the government's decision to allow
we presented the party for registration, it was rejected. And Muslims were not
happy. The agitation started mostly in Mombasa, which was the party's
headquarters. We had national and district leaders," he said.
the leaders then was Mr Omar Mwinyi who is now the Changamwe MP, Abdulrahman
Wandati, Khalid Balala and their lawyer was Taib Ali Taib. Mr Mwinyi was the
decided to use a site at Mwembe Tayari to preach and sensitise our people on
their rights. Our teachings were not about the Muslim faith only but we used
the chance to educate the people on their rights," Mr Khalifa said.
evening as he was preaching, a contingent of police officers descended on them
and Mr Khalifa and eight supporters were arrested.
arrest did not please our supporters and that was the beginning of chaos. Angry
supporters pelted stones at the police station and it was the first time that
the Central Police Station was closed," he said.
was chaotic and police had to fire in the air to disperse our supporters,"
said Mr Khalifa.
said that at night, they were taken to various police stations, including
following day, we were taken to court and again taken to remand at Shimo La
Tewa Prison in Shanzu. We were released after being in remand for four
days," he said.
said that on the day he was arrested, police were targeting Sheikh Khalid
Balala, a fiery preacher who was on police radar, but he did not show up when
Mr Khalifa was arrested.
arrested Mr Balala at his house in Kisauni and took him to a Voi court, forcing
us to attend his court cases in Voi. At one point when we were heading to Voi
for the hearing of Mr Balala's case, GSU officers lobbed teargas at us at
Mackinnon where several people were injured," he said. He said the cases
were later terminated.
Khalifa said he was arrested for five consecutive years because he was a critic
of Mr Moi's government. "After the 1991 arrest, I was arrested again in
1992, 1993,1994 and 1995. Every time Moi was in Coast, I was put in police
cells and would only be released after he left the region," he said.
said police brutally beat up IPK supporters. Some were killed and others
paralysed following the injuries inflicted by the police.
were shot even as they sought refuge at Kwa Shibu Mosque," he said.
in detention, I was taken to different police stations and in the process I
developed glaucoma (an eye infection). The disease needed regular medical
check-ups but I could not get because I was in detention and eventually lost
his sight," he said.
though he paid a heavy price, Mr Khalifa said that their efforts paid off as
the Muslim community in the country was recognised.
he wants to start a case against the government for the atrocities they
suffered in the crackdown on IPK.
imam in Denmark has been charged with “approbation” of the killing of Jews
after quoting and commenting on Muslim scripture that calls for it. This is the
first time a defendant will be tried under the controversial so-called “imam
law” that took effect in January 2017.
imam, Mundir Abdallah, spoke at the Masjid Al-Faruq mosque in Copenhagen in
March 2017 and quoted a hadith (a Muslim scripture) in which the prophet
Muhammad is quoted as saying, with reference to Judgement Day, “The Hour will
not begin until you fight the Jews, until a Jew will hide behind a rock or a
tree, and the rock or tree will say: ‘O Muslim, O slave of Allah, here is a Jew
behind me; come and kill him.’”
the new law does not make it illegal to quote scripture, prosecutor Eva Ronne
said in a press release that “it is illegal if, for instance, the killing of a
group of people is called for, and if the preacher at the same time makes the
words his own.”
was also charged with hate speech. If found guilty, he may be fined or face up
to three years in prison.
the sermon, which was made available on Youtube, Abdallah spoke in the context
of Israel and Palestine. According to the press release from the Danish
prosecutor’s office, he called for an Islamic Caliphate to “repair what the
West has corrupted,” where a united Muslim nation will “free the Al-Aqsa Mosque
[in Jerusalem] from the Zionist scum,” so that the aforementioned words of the
prophet Muhammad would be realized. He further said that this future nation
would “free Jerusalem and tear the Jewish entity out by the roots, this
Rønne said, “I think it’s appropriate that the court will now have a chance to
evaluate this matter.”
new law, which specifically targets religious speech, is controversial in
Denmark, since some observers view it as limiting free speech, and others
believe that it was written solely with Muslim preachers in mind.
himself said in a Facebook post that his sermon could in no way be construed as
inciting the killing of Jews. He writes that the Muhammad quote does not
pertain to Jews in general, but Jews as military aggressors, and that it’s
therefore appropriate to use in the context of “the military occupation of
Palestine problem is a military problem and can therefore only be solved
militarily, by a military liberation of Palestine and the destruction of the
Zionist occupation,” Abdallah said.
Rosenberg Asmussen, director of the Jewish Community in Denmark, told
Kristeligt Dagblad that he was “satisfied” with charges being brought against
are aware that it’s a legal gray area, analyzing Koran quotes in a contemporary
context. But for us, there’s never been any doubt about the intentions behind
this sermon,” he told the paper.
feel that it’s deeply troubling that everyday sermons are held that encourage
the killing of Jews.”
Danish commentators have voiced criticism. Jacob Mchangama, director of the
Justitia think tank, told the Politiken newspaper that the law has problems,
especially the use of the word “approbation” rather than “incitement.”
could imagine other situations, where you simply make a positive comment about
something illegal, which is something you’ll find every day on Facebook, and I
don’t think that should be a crime,” he said.
mosque where Abdallah held the sermon was previously in the media spotlight, in
2015, when it emerged that terrorist Omar El-Hussein visited it prior to
killing two people and wounding five in an attack against a cultural center in
Greeks pray for victims of wildfires
and Greeks living in Turkey's northwestern Canakkale province on Wednesday
prayed for the victims of wildfires near Greece's capital.
in Gokceada district gathered at a ceremony carrying banners in Turkish, Greek,
and English saying "We share your pain".
fires broke out on the east and west coasts of Greece's Attica region, home to
the capital Athens, killing 81 people and injuring more than 170.
fires have forced thousands of locals to flee to safer areas as firefighters
battle the blazes.
the tragedy, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Greek Premier
Alexis Tsipras over the phone, expressing his "deep sorrow" and
offering him help.
conveyed his condolences to Tsipras on the loss of lives and wished a speedy
recovery to the injured.
of the casualties occurred when people were stuck in their homes or vehicles or
when they drowned in the sea while trying to escape the flames.
groups targeting Turkey have expanded their activities and increased their
followers in Germany, according to a new report released by a German spy agency
or adherents of the PKK terror group have increased to 14,500 in 2017, up from
14,000 in the previous year, domestic intelligence agency BfV said in its
continues to be the largest extremist organisation of foreigners in Germany in
terms of members and efficiency,” the report said.
terrorist group raised more than €14 million ($16.4 million) in Germany, and
€25 million ($29.2 million) across Europe in various campaigns last year, the
spy agency estimated.
BfV underlined that while the PKK had changed its name several times over the
past years in order to give a positive impression, its organizations in Germany
and Europe were still strictly controlled by the authoritarian cadres of the
terrorist organization in northern Iraq.
though peaceful events remain the focal aim in Europe, violence continues to be
an option of the PKK ideology,” the report said.
PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993, but it has still managed to set up
several covert organizations in the country, and used them for its recruitment,
propaganda and fundraising activities.
has long criticized German authorities for not taking serious measures, but
tolerating the activities of the PKK and other terrorist organizations that are
medical college wants to admit only Sunni Muslim students, Karnataka High Court
The high court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by Kanachur Islamic
Education Trust, Mangaluru, which had sought allotment of only Sunni Muslim
students to their institution for MBBS course under the management quota.
division bench comprising Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Mohammed Nawaz
observed that if such requests are allowed in other religious and linguistic
minority institutions, the entire process of admission would be affected. The
right of a meritorious candidate belonging to Muslim community who opts for the
petitioner college cannot be denied just because he/she doesn’t belong to Sunni
sect, it noted.
court pointed out that the certificate issued in September 2015 by the National
Minority Commission stated that Kanachur College of Medical Sciences is a
Muslim minority institution and even the undertaking in consensual agreement
states that not less than 66% seats be filled by minority community students.
trust, which runs Kanachur Institute of Medical Sciences in Mangaluru, had
challenged the July 4, 2018 decision of the department of medical education,
rejecting its plea to admit only Sunni Muslim students.
to the trust, it’s not only a declared religious minority institution, but also
an institution managed by Sunni Muslims and has every right to choose its
students. The trust had written to the government in May for making mandatory
religion certificate issued by the government along with a certificate issued
by Sunni Jam Iyyathul Ulama, Mangaluru, for admission to management quota
seats. The college has an intake of 150 students of which 25% come under the
Security forces gunned down two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists in an
encounter in the Lal Chowk area of Anantnag town in South Kashmir on Wednesday.
This is the first time in almost two decades that Anantnag town has witnessed
some terrorist activity, according to official sources.
slain terrorists have been identified as Abid Hussain Bhat of Doda in Jammu and
Bilal Ahmad Dar of Khudwani in Kulgam.
was involved in a series of terror acts in the past.
the burial of Dar at Khudwani in Kulgam district of South Kashmir, a section of
the protesters clashed with security forces during which five youths were
police had to impose ‘undeclared curfew’ in Anantnag town and adjoining areas
to avert any further clash with civilians.
general of police (IGP), Kashmir, SP Pani said the encounter that began in the
morning ended by the afternoon with the killings of the two terrorists, who
were believed to be from the Lashkar.
encounter had started after a joint team of Army, SOG and CRPF laid siege to
Mehmaan Mohalla in the Lal Chowk area following inputs about the presence of
some terrorists in a house there.
the security forces advanced towards the suspect house, the terrorists hiding
inside fired on them. The forces retaliated, resulting in an encounter in which
the two terrorists were eliminated. No collateral damage occurred during the
encounter,” a police spokesman said.
airstrike targets undisclosed region in Syria
says it has carried out an airstrike on an undisclosed region in Syria in what
it claims to be a response to two rocket launches from the country.
Israeli military released a statement on Wednesday, claiming it had targeted
the rocket launcher that fired the projectiles.
statement noted that the launcher's surrounding areas were also targeted in the
attack, but there have been no immediate reports of possible casualties or the
extent of damage caused due to the Israeli raid.
Tuesday, Israeli military forces targeted a Syrian Air Force fighter jet over the
Golan Heights as it was flying in Syria’s airspace and conducting a series of
airstrikes against the positions of foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants in the
has been on high alert in recent days as Syrian government forces advance
against foreign-backed terrorists near the Golan Heights.
Tel Aviv regime has recently increased its airstrikes in Syria. Damascus has on
multiple occasions denounced the Israeli regime’s aggression and also warned
about the “dangerous repercussions” of Israeli assaults on its territory.
Aviv is widely believed to have been providing weapons to anti-Damascus
militants as well as medical treatment to Takfiri elements wounded in Syria
inside the occupied Golan Heights.
this month, Syrian air defenses repelled an Israeli attack on the country's
on May 10, Israel conducted what it called its most intensive airstrikes on
Syria in decades. According to Russia's Defense Ministry, Israel had used 28
warplanes in its airstrikes and fired 70 missiles. Both Damascus and Moscow
said the Syrian army managed to shoot down over half of the missiles.
Tel Aviv regime, at the time, claimed that its assault was in response to a
barrage of 20 rockets fired from Syria at Israeli military outposts in Golan.
targets Gaza Strip with artillery fire, killing three
least three people have been killed in Israel's latest series of attacks that
targeted multiple locations throughout the Gaza Strip.
Health Ministry on Wednesday announced that another Gazan was also critically
injured while Israeli forces hit the town of Beit Lahia and other locations
with artillery fire.
claims that the attacks were in response to gunfire which originated from the
besieged coastal sliver.
Israeli military frequently bombs the Gaza Strip, with civilians being the main
target of such attacks.
Saturday, Israeli artillery units targeted a position of the Palestinian Hamas
resistance movement in the Gaza Strip only hours after it was announced that
the Tel Aviv regime had reached a truce with Palestinian factions in the
incident came just one day after, at least four Palestinians lost their lives
and nearly 120 others sustained critical injuries when Israeli military
aircraft and battle tanks hit targets throughout the Gaza Strip.
150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the “Great March of
Return” began in the Gaza Strip on March 30.
total of 14,811 Palestinians have also sustained injuries, of whom 366 are
reportedly in critical condition.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
early July 2014, Israel waged a war on the Gaza Strip. The 50-day military
aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians,
including 577 children. Over 11,100 others – including 3,374 children, 2,088
women and 410 elderly people – were also wounded in the war.
Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday,
the enclave’s health ministry announced, as Israel’s army said it was striking Hamas
after its soldiers came under fire.
flare-up comes five days after a United Nations-brokered ceasefire helped halt
an earlier surge in violence.
Israeli army said it was carrying out a number of strikes on military targets
belonging to Hamas who control the strip.
short while ago, terrorists fired at (Israeli) soldiers in the southern Gaza
Strip,” an army statement said, without mentioning any injuries to the troops.
response, the IDF is currently targeting military posts of the Hamas terrorist
was no immediate comment from Hamas about the identities of the dead.
shooting was the second such incident reported by the Israelis along the
fractious border in days.
Friday an Israeli soldier was shot dead, sparking a fierce wave of bombing that
ratcheted up fears of another war.
violence was ended late Friday by a UN-brokered ceasefire.
parliament is expected to hold a final vote on Wednesday on a security law
giving authorities broad counter-terrorism powers following the lifting
the two-year state of emergency imposed after a failed military coup.
completed approval of the individual articles of the law late on Tuesday.
regulations grant broader authority to local governors, extend detention
periods and allow public servant dismissals if there are links to or contacts
with terrorist organizations or other perceived threats to national security.
state of emergency, declared after the failed 2016 putsch, expired on July 18
but President Tayyip Erdogan’s opponents say the new executive presidency and
the latest security measures give him sweeping powers to stifle dissent.
the presidential system, Erdogan is able to issue decrees on executive matters
and appoint and remove senior civil servants, including some judges and
160,000 people have been detained under emergency rule and nearly the same
number of state employees have been dismissed, the UN human rights office said
in March. Of those detained, about 77,000 have been formally charged and kept
in jail during trial, the interior minister said in April.
United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees announced Wednesday it was
cutting more than 250 jobs in the Palestinian territories after the United
States held back hundreds of millions in aid.
total, 154 employees in the occupied West Bank and 113 in the Gaza Strip will
be let go, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said in a statement.
than 500 other full-time staff will be offered part-time contracts, the
job cuts were the first since the US announced it would only provide the agency
with $60 million this year, down from $360 the previous year.
statement said the cut represented an “existential threat” to UNRWA, which had
been trying to raise the money from other donors.
agency, which provides services to more than three million Palestinian refugees
across the Middle East, was seeking to “protect core services, including
education, health and relief”, he said.
against the cuts were being held in Gaza on Wednesday.
January, US President Donald Trump linked the cutting of Palestinian aid to the
decision by president Mahmud Abbas to refuse to talk with his administration.
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