roup of authors and filmmakers recently released Hi Dubai series to celebrate
the love of the UAE through the eyes of Emirati and expat women
Cleric Who Led Protests against Asia Bibi Charged With Terrorism
The Jihadists Gone, Booze Is Back In Iraq's Mosul
Reveals Up to 1,200 ‘Muslim Gulags’ Built in China
Demand Full Legal Protection from Islamophobia
Finds MBS Texted To Khashoggi Hit Squad Leader
Will Remain an Islamic State, Qureshi Responds to Gen Rawat’s Remarks
rendered huge sacrifices in war on terror: president
media's negative propaganda on Kartarpur corridor dismays us, says Pakistan
militant killed in D.I. Khan encounter
holding six civilians hostage killed in DIK encounter
foreign investment pouring into Pakistan: Imran
Missiles Found in Terrorists' Arms Cache in Southern Syria
Thousands of Civilians Leave Terrorist-Held Regions Via Humanitarian Corridor
Turkish Military Convoy Dispatched to Hama amid Syrian Army's Preparation for
Militia's Senior Commander Killed in Bomb Attack in Northeastern Syria
Reinvigorating Military Base in Northeastern Syria
Militants Suffer Heavy Defeats in Clashes with Kurds in Northern Syria
Army Preparing for Imminent Operation in Northern Syria as Tensions Rise in
In India, Fiery Islamic Preacher, Zakir Naik, Says He Has Not Broken Any Law
Indonesian Muslims hold big rally in Jakarta
let Tabung Haji probe play out on ‘media stage’, says Umno Youth chief
Islamists hold massive rally in Jakarta
protesters, opposition camp mark 212 rally anniversary
Council Bans Political Activities in Mosques Ahead of 2019 Elections
Government Criticised For Serving Pork at Islam Event
growing religious conflict cannot be ignored
Turkey has not yet managed to achieve everything in Idlib as planned
PM May urges Saudi Arabia to punish Khashoggi killers
Arabia An ‘Enormous Support’ To US: Pompeo
of US ME forces in Navy's Fifth Fleet base found dead in Bahrain
Aiming To Harm Saudi Royals in Khashoggi Affair: Tayyip Erdogan
Army Kills 40 Houthi Militants in Clashes in Al-Baydah
have Yemen's rebels survived the Saudi-led onslaught?
defence minister acknowledges supporting Houthi militias in Yemen
to vote Thursday on US measure condemning Hamas
coalition destroys Houthis rocket pad launcher in Yemen’s Saada
urges Security Council to condemn Pompeo’s threat to ‘starve’ Iranians
fighting erupts again in Yemen’s Hodeida
Humvee Goes Off Prematurely Among Taliban Leaving 37 Dead
Strikes Target Taliban Court In Kapisa Province
Kyi calls for peace in speech, avoids Rohingya crisis
killed, over 200 injured in Tabligh Jamaat factional clash in Tongi
Jamaat clash: What is this fight all about?
suffer casualties in Badakhshan airstrike
involved in target killings eliminated in Lashkargah city
to stand with the coalition of 41 nations committed to Afghan efforts: Mattis
of All India Tanzim Ulema-E-Islam Urge Secular People to Observe Dec 6as ‘Black
Jaish Terrorists Believed To Have Entered Delhi
remark disrespectful to Sikhs, exposes you’: Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan
Kartarpur, Mehbooba Mufti bats for opening of Sharda Peeth route in PoK
Extremists in Nigeria Are Now Using Drones
World League’s Relief Campaign Targets 40,000 African Refugees
military strike kills nine militants in Somalia
dead as Boko Haram attacks Nigeria army base
by New Age Islam News Bureau
cleric who led protests against Asia Bibi charged with terrorism
hardline cleric has been charged with terrorism and sedition offences by the
Pakistani government, after he led violent protests to oppose the acquittal of
a Christian woman from blasphemy charges, a minister said Saturday.
cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi and his party Tehreek-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) held
furious protests after the Supreme Court overturned the death penalty for Asia
Bibi in October.
blocked major roads in protest, burning cars and buses, and leaving large
swathes of the country paralysed as they called for her execution to be carried
was detained on November 24 after police launched a crackdown on hundreds of
his supporters in Punjab province and the port city of Karachi.
Chaudhry, federal minister for information and broadcasting told reporters in
Islamabad that sedition and terrorism charges had been made against Khadim
Rizvi and other TLP leaders.
the violent protests, one leader of TLP called for mutiny against the military
chief, the murder of the judges who acquitted Asia Bibi, and branded Prime
Minister Imran Khan as a “son of Jews.”
said these charges can carry a life term in prison.
people who were directly involved in destruction of properties, insulting women
and snatching their purses, burning buses, have been charged in terrorism
cases,” he said, saying more than 3,000 people had been arrested in connection
with the TLP protests.
government signed an agreement with the protesters at that time to bring about
a quick end to protests -- but launched a crackdown a few weeks later when the
TLP threatened to launch another protest.
is a hugely inflammatory issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unproven
allegations of insulting Islam and Prophet Mohammed can lead to lynchings and
conviction stemmed from a 2009 incident when she was asked to fetch water while
out working in the fields.
women labourers objected to her touching the water bowl as a non-Muslim, and a
fight reportedly erupted. A local imam then claimed Bibi insulted the Prophet
has consistently denied the charges, and her prosecution rallied international
rights groups, politicians and religious figures.
spent eight years on death row before the Supreme Court decision to free her.
the jihadists gone, booze is back in Iraq's Mosul
of yellow-labelled whiskey bottles sit alongside imported French wines, while
cans of Korean beer chill in the fridge: with Iraq's Mosul free of jihadists,
the booze is back.
city spent three years under the iron-fisted rule of the Islamic State group,
which punished those caught drinking alcohol with public lashings or worse.
more than a year since Iraqi forces ousted the jihadists from Mosul, liquor
stores are flourishing.
western commercial district of Al-Duwasa is home to several modest outlets,
including Khairallah Tobey's.
enterprising 21-year-old bounced between well-stocked shelves, pulling down
bottles of beer priced at an affordable 1,500 Iraqi dinars -- just over a
sales are good right now," said Tobey, a member of Iraq's Yazidi minority.
of Mosul's bottle shops are all Yazidi or Christian, as Iraq does not grant
alcohol licenses to Muslim citizens.
under IS, which violently enforced a strict interpretation of Islamic law when
it overran Mosul in 2014, everyone was banned from selling, buying, or drinking
never completely disappeared from the city -- its residents found ways to
smuggle in the devil's drink -- but it was expensive and dangerous.
Mosul back under government control since July 2017, liquor stores are now back
in the open.
work, I feel relaxed and not afraid or nervous at all, thanks to the security
and freedom now present in Mosul," Tobey told AFP.
the Tigris river in the city's east, vendor Abu Rayan said he has had the last
opened up my shop again just to spite Daesh, after it kicked us out of the city
and confiscated our property and money," he said, using an Arabic acronym
forbids the consumption of alcohol, but drinking has remained commonplace
across Muslim-majority Iraq.
years ago, the country's presidency shot down a draft bill in parliament that
proposed a ban on the production, sale, and import of alcoholic drinks.
are no restrictions on consuming alcohol in Mosul, but those who sell, buy and
drink it take certain precautions.
shops keep their signs relatively discrete, hanging just a few posters
advertising Turkish beer Efes or its Korean counterpart Cass to help customers find
are always packed in opaque black bags, and when they are cracked open, it's
typically out of public view -- usually a spot on the Tigris river late at
night or in the privacy of a home.
everyone in Mosul is thrilled with the city's burgeoning booze sector.
residents have demanded liquor stores be shut for religious reasons or to
protect young people.
others say doing so would be a violation of individual rights.
wine is a personal freedom that is allowed by the law. It has nothing to do
with the difficult circumstances that this city has gone through," says
Ali Hassan, who paints homes.
has heard stories of a different Mosul, in the 1960s and 1970s, when people
visited bars, clubs, and liquor stores across the city.
drank openly and without fear," says Hassan, 33.
after this golden age, Iraq's troubles began.
string of conflicts in the 1980s was followed by an international embargo that
brought shortages of most goods.
in 2003, the US-led invasion of Iraq toppled strongman Saddam Hussein -- but
paved the way for the rise of religious militias across the country, including
extremists gained traction, they targeted liquor stores with gun and grenade attacks.
Mosul may have the opposite problem -- too many unlicensed liquor stores are
opening up, which has worried authorities and angered those shopkeepers who do
have the right paperwork.
received more than 100 requests for licenses, and so far 25 have been
issued," said regional official Zuhair al-Aaraji.
selling alcohol must be a certain distance from homes, schools, places of
worship, and government offices, he said.
activist Mohammad Salem, 31, said regulation isn't necessarily a bad thing, but
that individual rights should be protected.
best situation is to organise the trade and sale of alcoholic drinks,
supervised by social, health, and security authorities," Salem said.
all, he added, alcohol sales could provide an important source of revenue for
Mosul as it rebuilds.
decision to ban liquor would contradict personal freedoms, and deprive the city
of economic and financial resources that it needs in this current state."
is rapidly expanding the construction of its so-called “vocational” centers
used to incarcerate, torture, and subject up to a million members of the
country’s Muslim minority to communist indoctrination, according to a bombshell
Reuters investigation published this week.
reported on Thursday:
Zenz, an anthropologist who has tracked the expansion of the camps, estimates
there could be as many as 1,200 – at least one for every county and township in
[Muslim-majority] Xinjiang [province]. There is limited information on the
costs of construction, but tenders for one facility outside the city of Kashgar
list a combined budget of $45.6 million.
Uighur (or Uyghur)-majority Xinjiang is China’s largest province. Xinjiang’s
long border covers various countries, including Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and India.
estimates, including one by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), had placed the
number of re-education facilities, also known as mind-transformation centers
and concentration camps, at no more than 181.
a forensic analysis of satellite images of 39 of the re-education facilities,
Reuters found that China is “expanding” the construction of the centers “at a
rapid rate,” adding:
building-by-building review of these facilities revealed that the footprint of
the built-up area almost tripled in size in the 17 months between April 2017
and August 2018…By August this year, the number of buildings at these
facilities had more than doubled to 1,129. The area they covered had almost
tripled to more than 1 million square meters – roughly the size of 140 soccer
to the report, China began construction of new facilities and expansion of
existing around April 2017, soon after Bejing implemented new anti-extremism
regulations in Xinjiang, including bans on the wearing of veils and long beards
in public places.
reportedly continues to expand the magnitude of its re-education facilities.
further 67 buildings, covering an area of 210,000 square meters, are now under
construction in these compounds, according to the most recent satellite imagery
that was analyzed,” Reuters noted.
other reports, the news outlet found that China’s persecution of Muslims has
prompted adherents of Islam to abandon mosques.
across Xinjiang are now adorned with Chinese flags and banners exhorting people
to ‘Love the Party, Love the Country.’ During Friday prayers, the mosques are
almost empty,” Reuters reported.
the majority of detainees at the centers are Uighur, Beijing is also reportedly
incarcerating Muslims from other ethnic groups, including Kazakhs.
U.S. government and United Nations has determined that China has forced an
estimated one million individuals into re-education centers where they face
systemic torture, disappearances, executions, and arbitrary detentions as part
of Beijing’s campaign to ensure its Muslim minority is loyal to the communist
has denied the accusations, arguing that the camps are vocational centers
intended to combat terrorism and Islamic extremism.
detainees describe being tortured during interrogation, living in crowded cells
and being subjected to a brutal daily regimen of Communist Party indoctrination
that drove some people to suicide,” Reuters noted.
assessments, including the one by Reuters, have found that the facilities
resemble the Soviet Union’s Gulag prisons.
Muslims Demand Full Legal Protection From Islamophobia
organisations are urging Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and all other party leaders
to adopt a newly proposed working definition of Islamophobia in an attempt to
put pressure on a reluctant Home Office to follow suit.
Muslim Council of Britain and other Islamic groups want the Conservatives and
Labour to take the lead in the aftermath of a week marked by public outrage
over the alleged racist bullying of a 15-year-old Syrian refugee in
definition was set out in a report published by a cross-party group of MPs last
week and says: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that
targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”
Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said his and other
groups hoped political leaders would “all understand the importance of
listening to communities” and make a “positive response” by adopting the
a Home Office minister said earlier that the department had no intention of
adopting a definition, in response to a question from one of the chairs of the
cross-party group, the Conservative MP Anna Soubry. Victoria Atkins told the
Commons in March that there were “many definitions of Islamophobia”, but added:
“We do not accept the need for a definitive definition, but we know that
Islamophobia is clearly recognised and that we have very effective monitoring
systems of all race-hate crimes.”
inquiry by the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims held sessions
in Manchester, London, Birmingham and Sheffield. Members heard about a wide
spectrum of Islamophobic experiences, including multiple incidents of physical
and verbal abuse.
Muslim woman described how a lit firework was posted through her letterbox in
her home in Wales; a student in Sheffield was abused on public transport and
“no one intervened to stop it”. Victims described the impact on their mental
health of their experiences, which often left them feeling isolated.
newly launched website in support of the definition includes the example of a
Muslim mother who was allegedly attacked by three women “for wearing a
headscarf” as she walked to a primary school in south London.
plea for politicians to adopt the definition comes after a bruising summer dominated
by rows about antisemitism in the Labour party as well as Islamophobia among
the Conservatives, following a particularly controversial newspaper column
written by the former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, in which he compared
fully veiled women to letterboxes and bank robbers.
antisemitism row was partly resolved when, after a long period of argument, the
party’s national executive committee agreed to adopt a working definition drawn
up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and all 11 attached
who worked on the definition of Islamophobia wanted it to capture the reality
that, while Muslims are not a race, abuse against them amounts to a form of
racism. At the same time it was felt important that the definition did not
silence non-racist criticism of Islam.
of the most influential contributions to the parliamentary group’s work were
made by Professor Salman Sayyid of Leeds University and AbdoolKarim Vakil of
King’s College London.
said: “Opposition to the term Islamophobia or to attempts at its definition is
nothing new. Islamophobia is racism; naming and combating Islamophobia is not
about special pleading, it’s about civil rights.”
finds MBS texted to Khashoggi hit squad leader
Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent about a dozen messages to the
leader of the team that killed dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in the
hours before and after the journalist’s death in October, according to a top
secret CIA assessment.
to the highly classified CIA report cited by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on
Saturday, Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, known by media as MBS, sent Saud
al-Qahtani, a top servant who was later sacked, at least 11 messages at the
time of the crime.
Salman had instructed his men back in August 2017 that "we could possibly
lure [Khashoggi] outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements," if the crown
prince could not convince the dissident Saudi journalist, who was living in the
United States, to return to Saudi Arabia. according to the classified CIA
report as quoted by The Hill political website from WSJ.
report states that the communication "seems to foreshadow the Saudi
operation launched against Khashoggi," according to the Journal.
excerpt reportedly states that the CIA has “medium-to-high confidence” that
Prince Mohammed “personally targeted” Khashoggi and “probably ordered his
be clear, we lack direct reporting of the Crown Prince issuing a kill order,”
according to the excerpts reported by the Journal.
adviser in question, Saud al-Qahtani, was sanctioned by the White House last
month for his involvement in Khashoggi's death.
CIA has reportedly concluded that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's killing.
However, US President Donald Trump has cast doubt on the CIA report.
Senate on Wednesday advanced a resolution that would end US military support
for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen’s civil war, issuing a rebuke to Trump
after the White House opposed the bill. The resolution advanced even as the
administration vowed to stand by Saudi Arabia following global outcry over the
killing of Khashoggi.
was killed on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain
marriage documents for his upcoming wedding.
will remain an Islamic state, Qureshi responds to Gen Rawat’s remarks
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday said Indian Army chief General Bipin
Rawat’s recent statement calling for secularisation of Pakistan is meaningless
and that it will not change the country’s ideology.
day earlier, the Indian army chief had said, “Pakistan has made its state an
Islamic state. If they have to stay together with India, then they have to
develop as a secular state.”
to reporters in Multan, the foreign minister said, “The opening of Kartarpur
corridor was hailed globally with people on both sides of the border agreeing
to it and India even sending two of its ministers.”
was our wish that India’s foreign minister and the governor of Indian Punjab
also attend the groundbreaking but this was a good first step and we should
take it in a positive way,” he added.
foreign minister continued, “It is Prime Minister Imran Khan and the
government’s desire that there should be peace and stability in the region. If
there is peace in the region then the government can pay attention to the
problems facing the country. Pakistan is facing economic and employment issues
which can be solved through investment,” he said. “Investment will only come
through peace,” Qureshi said.
added Pakistan desires for peace on its eastern and western borders and better
relations with its neighbours.
to the Indian army chief’s statement on a secular country, the foreign minister
said the remarks were meaningless and will not change their ideology. “Pakistan
is an Islamic state and came into being because of an ideology. These remarks
will not change it,” he asserted.
PM Imran Khan reiterated that no issue was impossible to solve between India
and Pakistan. He stressed that Pakistan wishes to maintain peace and is asking
for taking a step forward from the very first day.
Mumbai attacks, Indo-Pak relations were dented but India has not changed its
mindset till date. Only peace is the way to move forward. Two nuclear powers
cannot afford war. We will take two steps if India takes one,” said Khan.
prime minister made it evident that great gestures should not be one-sided.
“India should also provide some positive response. It should not be always us,”
am not responsible for the past. I will only be answerable for the present,”
declared the premier.
the role of the security forces and the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in
restoring peace in the country, President Dr Arif Alvi Saturday said Pakistan
has rendered great sacrifices in the war against terrorism.
a press conference here, the president said people of the country have suffered
immensely because of terrorism and extremism in the country. Lauding the role
of the security forces, he said that valiant forces and people of the country
paid a heavy price to restore peace.
assured that Levies and the Khasadar forces will be merged into the police
force to be formed for the tribal areas. He said 30,000 more police personnel
will be recruited to maintain law and order in the region.
the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, the president reiterated that 3%
resources from the award would be allocated for the newly merged tribal
districts. During the next decade, he pledged, an amount of Rs 1000 billion
will be spent for the development of infrastructure in the tribal areas. He
said the infrastructure damaged due to terrorism in the province will be
response to a question about KP-FATA merger, he said the governor has been
tasked to complete the process at the earliest. “This merger is not an easy
task,” he said.
president highlighted the importance of increasing tourism and said the country
is blessed with many tourist areas which lack development and basic facilities.
“Take Muree for example, such structures have been built there that it has lost
its charm. No uncontrolled development will be allowed in future,” he added.
Pakistan expressed disappointment on Saturday over the role of the Indian media
on the "Kartarpur Corridor Initiative", stating that it was deeply
dismayed at the "relentless negative propaganda campaign" being waged
by a section of the Indian media against Pakistan.
Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone of the
Kartarpur corridor, which connects Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Norwal district of
Pakistan's Punjab to Dera Baba Nanak in India's Gurdaspur.
are deeply dismayed at the relentless negative propaganda campaign being waged
by a section of the Indian media against Pakistan on the Kartarpur Corridor
Initiative," a statement issued by the foreign office (FO) said.
FO said that it categorically reaffirms that the initiative to open the
Kartarpur corridor has been taken by Pakistan solely in deference to the
longstanding wishes of "our" Sikh brethren, and especially in view of
the forthcoming 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Devji.
"Attributing any other motive is purely malicious," the statement
said, indirectly referring to critical views expressed in some media outlets
regarding Pakistan after the Kartarpur groundbreaking ceremony.
have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the Sikh community - not
only in India and Pakistan but also from across the globe. The government and
people of Pakistan fully share their joy on this historic breakthrough and
solemnly affirm that they will make every possible contribution to a befitting
celebration of the auspicious occasion of Baba Guru Nanak's 550th birth
anniversary in 2019," it read.
to the foreign office, it was convinced that those seeking to sow negativity
around this initiative for partisan purposes or due to their known
anti-Pakistan proclivities would not succeed in their designs. Pakistan will
continue to do what is right to advance this noble initiative, the statement
are pleased that distinguished guests from India, both from the Centre and from
the Punjab, were able to join Prime Minister Imran Khan during the
ground-breaking ceremony at Kartarpur on November 28, 2018," it added.
stated that the presence of thousands of Sikh yatris visiting Pakistan from
India and other parts of the world made the occasion even more poignant.
FO said Pakistan would now proceed with the development of physical
infrastructure for the corridor on its side of the international border.
"We also look forward to working out necessary details and modalities with
the Indian side concerning passage through the corridor."
ISMAIL KHAN: A suspected Taliban militant was killed and three security
personnel were injured in an encounter in the Daraban area of Dera Ismail Khan
to sources, security forces launched an operation in the Gara Alam locality on
information about the presence of Taliban militants there.
seeing members of security forces encircling the area, the militant opened fire
and lobbed hand grenades at the security forces.
security forces returned fire, triggering a gun battle which continued for 14
hours before the militant was killed.
was identified as Abdul Hakeem, son of Abdur Rehman. He hailed from Gandapur
tribe of Kulachi tehsil of Dera Ismail Khan. He was wanted by police in a
number of terrorist acts.
ISMAIL KHAN: A wanted terrorist was killed in an intelligence-based operation
in Dera Ismail Khan’s Daraban area on Saturday, according to the Inter-Services
Public Relations (ISPR).
to ISPR, Hakim was killed during Operation Raddul Fasaad after he made six
civilians hostage for ulterior motives.
was armed with automatic weapons and grenades. All hostages have been rescued
by security forces,” the military’s media wing said.
security forces personnel received injuries during the operation,” ISPR added.
Minister Imran Khan Saturday said huge foreign investment was pouring into
Pakistan owing to the country’s geo-strategic position, business-friendly
policies and the government’s anti-corruption efforts.
an interaction with a delegation of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(LCCI), the prime minister said around 120 million population of Pakistan was
under 35 years of age which the investors consider as a huge potential. He said
Suzuki was bringing in an investment of around $450 million, Coca Cola $500
million, Pepsi $800 million, and Fonton, a Chinese car-making company, was
investing $900 million to set up a car manufacturing plant.
said Exxon Mobil, a US-based and one of the world’s largest oil and gas
companies, had re-entered Pakistan’s market for exploration believing that the
country had gas reserves for 50 years. He told the gathering that during his
visit, the Malaysian companies had shown interest to invest in halal meat
market that was of Rs 2,000 billion worth industry in the world.
prime minister, who was accompanied by Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood,
said the government was taking four measures to resolve the current economic
situation. Firstly, the government was extending all-out support to exporters
to enhance the country’s exports and help bridge the current account deficit.
Secondly, he said, the overseas Pakistanis were being given incentives to send
remittances through banking channels that could enhance the volume by $10
the government was striving to attract foreign investment as the world was
eyeing Pakistani market owing to its attractive geo-strategic position and
acknowledging the government’s anti-corruption drive, he added.
the prime minister said, the government was getting tough on money laundering
and would make legislation next week to clamp down the perpetrators. Currently,
around $10 billion were laundered from Pakistan annually, he added.
prime minister recalled that the policy of industrial nationalization had hurt
the country’s economy in 1970s. The wrong policies in the past had also
encouraged smuggling and begot deindustrialization in the country, he said,
adding that the incumbent government was fully incentivizing the investors.
Syrian military source reported on Saturday that the army's engineering units
have found American TOW missiles in the weapons cache which belonged to the
terrorists before being forced to leave Dara'a province.
source added that the army forces also found over 100,000 rounds of
machine-guns bullets, a large number of RPG rockets and a number of assault
reports revealed last month that the US was providing direct military support
for the ISIL in trade for Syria's artifacts.
in November, the Syrian army forces discovered and seized a large number of
arms and military equipment manufactured by the US and Britain from the bases
of terrorist groups that have been captured by the government troops in
Quneitra and Damascus provinces.
army units found a large amount of military equipment and ammunition in the
militant groups' strongholds during cleansing operations in the village of
Jabata al-Khashab in Northern Quneitra and the village of Beit Jin in
field source said that the Syrian army forces have discovered several US-made
machine-guns and sniper guns, TOW missiles and tanks as well as a large number
of different types of bullets, mortars and communication systems.
added that the army forces also found a large number of advanced medical and
surgery equipment made by the US and Britain in the terrorists' dens.
Babov, the center's spokesman, said that over 30,000 civilians have left the
de-escalation zone in Idlib province that has been under militants' control
further said that the fleeing civilians have been resettled in regions under
pointed to the continued relocation of civilians from militant-held region in
Idlib to safer regions, and said that 3 passageways have been set up in Abu
al-Dhohour region in Southeastern Idlib for civilians' exit.
the meantime, the Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted a military source
as reporting that a sum of 800 Syrian families, whose total number stands at
3,500, have left terrorist-held regions in Idlib in the last five days.
terrorists' refusal to implement the Sochi Agreement to establish a
demilitarized zone is pushing the army to initiate its long-waited assault on
militants in Idlib that had been put on hold due to the Sochi Agreement.
Mar'ei Hamdan, a Syrian military expert, was quoted by the Arabic-language
website of Sputnik news agency as saying last month that Tahrir al-Sham is in
control of nearly 70% of towns and villages in Idlib province and makes
provocative moves against the Syrian army, adding that the army's commitment to
decrease tensions is not lasting forever.
added that the Syrian army has so far repelled all attacks by terrorists
against its positions and inflicted heavy damages on them, noting that the army
is now necessitated to come out of the defensive mood to retake control of
said that Tahrir al-Sham will resort to a full-scale military operation against
the Syrian and Russian armies soon, after rejecting the Sochi agreement last
October, which leaves no room for ceasefire or disarmament anymore, and
underlined that the Syrian army's battle against Tahrir al-Sham is inevitable.
the Turkey-backed Ahrar al-Sham and National Liberation Front (NLF) terrorist
groups has also dismissed the Russian-Turkish Sochi agreement and is preparing
for military operations against the army in Northern Syria, calling for a
coalition with Tahrir al-Sham.
al-Sham and other allied terrorist groups have not left the demilitarized zone
two months after the Sochi agreement and have instead reinvigorated their
strongholds and targeted the army positions every day.
reports said that the Turkey-backed NLF had put its gunmen on alert to launch a
heavy offensive against the Syrian army in the demilitarized zone in Idlib
Turkish army sent a long military convoy, accompanied by 5 military vehicles of
the terrorists of the National Liberation Front, to Syria.
convoy included 12 military vehicles, including personnel carrier vehicles and
also logistical equipment.
convoy was dispatched to 2 Ankara-run observation posts in the town of Morek
and in the village of Shirmaqar in Northern and Northwestern Hama.
Turkish convoy's arrived in Hama as the Syrian army is readying to conduct a
large-scale operation in the Northern and Northwestern parts of the country
after Ankara failed to expel the terrorists from the demilitarized zone
mentioned in Sochi Agreement.
Syrian Army has dispatched a large number of forces and a large volume of
military hardware to contact lines with the terrorists in Idlib, Hama and
Thursday, Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari called on all foreign forces,
who had been operating on the Syrian soil without Damascus' consent, to leave
the Arab country.
a press conference at the end of the 11th round of talks on the Syria crisis in
the Kazakh capital, Astana, Jaafari accused the US, Britain, France and Turkey
of dispatching troops to Syria illegally and occupying some areas in the
is a clear discrepancy in the stances taken by the US, France and Britain who
have already agreed on the UN Security Council resolutions on commitment to
Syria’s sovereignty; meanwhile these countries have been deploying their troops
illegally in Syria,” he added.
also expressed concerns about the illegal Turkish military presence in Syria in
violation of Ankara's commitments in the Astana and Sochi agreements.
raised alarm at the complicity of certain countries in delivering chemical
weapons to terrorists in Syria's Idlib Province, saying “The use of shells
containing chemical substances by terrorist organizations indicate an
escalation by the sponsors of terrorism."
on Thursday, the 11 round of the Astana talks published a closing statement,
condemning any use of chemical arms in Syria and demanding a transparent probe
into reports concerning the issue.
the statement, Tehran, Moscow and Ankara, which are acting as the guarantors of
an all-Syria ceasefire, reaffirmed their determination to fight terrorism in
Syria and eliminate ISIL, al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups there.
sources said that a bomb exploded at the main base of the Syrian Democratic
Forces (SDF) near the town of Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka and killed 13
militias, including Sardar Kobani, a notorious SDF commander.
number of gunmen were also wounded, the sources said, adding that the Kurdish
militia have put fighters on alert following the blast, and embarked on
arresting tens of civilians.
militant-affiliated website reported last month that Arab tribes in Hasaka
province in Northeastern Syria demanded the Syrian Army to deploy its guards at
border with Turkey after the Ankara forces' threats to launch an imminent
large-scale operation against the Kurds on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates
al-Wasl reported that the Kurdish militias try to hold different meetings with
Arab tribes in Hasaka, Raqqa and Aleppo provinces to persuade them to join them
in battle against the Turkish troops.
further said that the Kurds had several meetings with Arab tribes in al-Safir
region in the town of Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka, adding that all
tribal elites called on the SDF to hand over border control to the Damascus
force to deter a Turkish invasion.
the meantime, local sources in Hasaka province pointed to the Kurdish concerns
about the Turkish troops' operation, and said that the Kurds have transferred
prisoners and detainees from their Alaya jail in the town of Qamishli in Northeastern
Hasaka to their central jail in Hasaka city.
24 reported that the coalition has started reinvigorating Himo military base
they recently set up near the town of Qamishli in Northern Hasaka.
further said that the US forces have embarked on installing radars at the base
and dispatching new military vehicles to the region to monitor Syria's Northern
border with Turkey.
went on to say that that US forces have also managed to conduct regular ground
and aerial patrols along the border to detect any possible attack by the
the meantime Ahmad Othman, commander of the Turkey-backed Free Army, said that
his forces are ready to partake in any operation on the Eastern bank of the
Euphrates River similar to their partnership in the Turkey-led Operation Olive
Branch against the Kurds in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.
sources in Eastern Syria said last week that a military convoy comprising
US-led military aids arrived in Hasaka province from Iraq through Simalka
sources noted that the US military convoy comprised 100 large trucks carrying
aids and military equipment, and said that the convoy was destined to
the Kurdish military sources reported that more than 300 trucks carrying
weapons, military hardware, missiles and armored vehicles arrived in the
SDF staged an assault on the Ankara-backed militants' positions West of the town
of Azaz in Northern Aleppo.
the meantime, other SDF units engaged in fierce clashes with the Ankara-backed
al-Shamiyah Front in the village of Ablah near the town of al-Bab in
Northeastern Aleppo on Friday, killing a number of militants, including Momtaz
al-Dayeri, a commander. The SDF further seized a large volume of arms and
ammunition in the attack.
Ankara-led Euphrates Shield Force sent a large military convoy to the villages
of Ablah and al-Hamran following the attack.
the SDF launched artillery and missile attack on the Ankara forces' positions
in Azaz and in the small town of Kaljabrin in Northern Aleppo, sources said,
adding that the SDF tried to advance in Mar'anaz and al-Qazi regions in
reports said last month that the Turkish army and allied militants attacked the
Syrian Democratic Forces' positions in Hasaka and Raqqa near the borders with
Turkey as the SDF was preparing to repel Ankara's offensives.
Arabic-language al-Manar news channel reported
that the Turkish army's artillery units targeted an SDF stronghold near
the village of al-Monbateh West of al-Abyadh city at the border between Syria
and Turkey in Northern Raqqa.
field sources in Hasaka province reported that the Turkish army forces had
attacked the SDF positions in Kharab Kourt region near Qamishli at the borders.
Turkish army forces have also pounded several regions in Eastern Euphrates in
the past few days.
media activists reported that the SDF in Hasaka was digging tunnels around the
town of Ra'as al-Ayn in Northwestern Hasaka in preparation for battle with the
Turkish army and affiliated militants.
source said that the army dispatched the 4th Division, who are elite forces of
the army, to contact lines with the terrorists in Northern Lattakia, preparing
for an imminent huge operation in the region.
al-Sham and its allies have also been fortifying their positions in the
demilitarized zone, intensifying attacks on government forces' strongholds.
source said that the army may launch operation from Kbabana strategic heights
in Northern Lattakia.
army has been pounding the positions of Tahrir al-Sham and its allied in
Northern Hama, Southern Idlib, Western Aleppo and Northwestern Lattakia in
recent days to weaken their combat capabilities.
Malaysia (Reuters) - Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, wanted in his
home country of India, said he has not broken any Indian law and was being
targeted by the “enemies of Islam,” in a rare public speech in Malaysia where
he has sought refuge.
53, is facing charges of money laundering and hate speech in India, where
authorities last year said he has been “promoting enmity and hatred between
different religious groups in India through public speeches and lectures”.
preacher has been living in Malaysia, where he has permanent residency, since
India started investigating him, but he has kept a low profile over the past
year amid criticism that he is a threat to peace in multi-ethnic Malaysia.
said in a late Saturday speech in Kangar, capital of the north Malaysian state
of Perlis, that he had never broken any Indian law.
because I was spreading peace, I was giving solution for humanity, all the
people who don’t like peace to prevail, they don’t like me,” he said, adding he
was being targeted because of his work to spread Islam.
doesn’t go down (well with) the enemies of Islam. Be it western countries or
the country I was born in, India.”
has been controversial because of his puritan brand of Islam - recommending the
death penalty for homosexuals and those who abandon Islam as their faith,
according to media reports.
a clip on Youtube, Naik says that if Osama bin Laden “is terrorizing America
the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him”.
suspended a television channel that featured his preachings after media
reported that militants who attacked a Dhaka cafe killing 22 people last year
were admirers of him.
State claimed responsibility for the attack.
banned Naik from entering in 2010.
1,000 people turned up for Naik’s speech, along with the state’s chief
minister, crown prince and religious officials.
preacher was known to be close to officials in the previous Malaysian
administration, which was unexpectedly defeated in a May general election.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in July said as long as Naik was not creating
any problems in Malaysia, he would not be deported. Indian media has reported
that India has sought his extradition.
Kangar, Naik described himself as a fundamentalist for following the
fundamental teachings of Islam.
am proud to be a fundamentalist Muslim,” he said
rally was attended by former general, Prabowo Subianto, a nationalist with
strong links to Islamists who is seeking to topple President Joko Widodo in
next year's polls.
of thousands of Indonesian Muslims held a rally in Jakarta on Sunday led by
hardline groups who had agitated to remove the city's Christian governor,
underscoring the growing influence of Islamist groups ahead of elections in
rally was attended by former general, Prabowo Subianto, a nationalist with
strong links to Islamists who is seeking to topple President Joko Widodo in
next year's polls after being narrowly defeated in 2014 during a bitterly
crowd, many of whom were dressed in white and carrying Islamic flags, started
gathering at Jakarta's National Monument from around 3 a.m. to hold prayers.
are proud because the Islam in Indonesia is Islam that unifies and is united
and will maintain peace for everyone,” Mr. Subianto said in a speech.
of police had been put on standby but the rally was peaceful.
call their movement a “reunion” for a series of rallies starting in late 2016
that targeted Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the first ethnic-Chinese
Christian in the job, who was charged with insulting the Koran.
and political tensions spiralled during this period and then governor Purnama,
an ally of President Widodo, lost his bid for re-election to a Muslim rival and
was later sentenced to two years in jail for blasphemy.
Islamist groups were banned under the authoritarian regime of President
Suharto, which ended in 1998, but they have gained ground in recent years,
emerging from the fringes of society in the worlds biggest Muslim-majority
LUMPUR, Dec 2 — Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki urged the authorities to follow the
rule of law in its investigation of Tabung Haji, the country’s largest fund
dedicated to Muslim pilgrims, following allegations that millions of ringgit
were funnelled to political activities.
Umno Youth chief said he takes a serious view of the alleged misconduct by a
former chairman of Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) and the senior management of the
fund’s welfare arm Yayasan Tabung Haji (YTH).
Youth stresses that there can be no compromise on issues concerning integrity
and morals, what more when they involve a religious institution where the
public expects high levels of administrative principles,” he said in a statement
posted on his Facebook page last night.
called on the authorities, especially the police, to immediately begin their
investigations into the matter and for charges to be pressed without delay if
there is strong evidence to suggest criminal misconduct.
the legal process be conducted fairly, transparently and without prejudice in
court and not on the media stage.
must be undertaken immediately on the basis of public interest and prevent the
public from continuing to engage in polemics about the reputation of this
Islamic institution which has contributed much to Muslims in Malaysia and is
respected worldwide,” former deputy minister in charge of Islamic Religious
November 30, the new LTH filed a police report that more than RM22 million of
YTH’s funds had been used for activities with political inclinations last year.
second police report was filed over the sale of TH’s 95 per cent stake in PT TH
Indo Plantations, a plantation company which had owned 83,000 hectares of land
in Indonesia, for US$910 million in 2012 to PT Borneo Pacific.
first police report implicated former LTH chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul
Rahim who was a trustee of the welfare arm; and former CEOs Tan Sri Ismee
Ismail and Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah, TH chief operating officer Datuk Adi
Azuan, and chief financial officer Datuk Rozaida Omar.
Tens of thousands of Indonesian Muslims held a rally in Jakarta on Sunday led
by hardline groups who had agitated to remove the city's Christian governor,
underscoring the growing influence of Islamist groups ahead of elections in
crowd, many of whom were dressed in white and carrying Islamic flags, started
gathering at Jakarta's National Monument from around 3am to hold prayers.
are proud because the Islam in Indonesia is Islam that unifies and is united
and will maintain peace for everyone," Subianto said in a speech.
call their movement a "reunion" for a series of rallies starting in
late 2016 that targeted Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the first
ethnic-Chinese Christian in the job, who was charged with insulting the Koran.
Islamist groups were banned under the authoritarian regime of President
Suharto, which ended in 1998, but they have gained ground in recent years,
emerging from the fringes of society in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority
groups and the opposition camp held a major rally marking the 2016 anti-Ahok
rally in Jakarta on Sunday with a call for Muslims to shun political parties
that backed the imprisoned former governor in the 2017 Jakarta election.
group calling itself the 212 Rally Alumni was established to gather people who
were involved in the rally on Dec. 2, 2016, to call for the prosecution of
then-Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian of Chinese
descent, for blasphemy. The rally drew a huge turnout, possibly the biggest
show of force from the opposition camp and the Islamist groups, which have long
had a troubled relationship with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, after the
campaign season kicked off in September.
incumbent is running for reelection in the 2019 presidential candidate, facing
his old rival Prabowo Subianto of Gerindra Party and running mate Sandiaga Uno,
the former deputy governor of Jakarta.
of people, mostly wearing white clothes, had gathered at the National Monument
(Monas) square since Saturday night. While most of them came from Greater
Jakarta, there were also others who came from other regions, such as Central
from Monas square, other rallygoers also crowded the area around the Horse
Statue in Central Jakarta – located roughly 1-kilometer from the monument. Some
people eventually decided not to join the rally as there was no room left, The
Jakarta Post observed.
candidate and Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto attended the rally, as
well as Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, who beat Ahok in the 2017 election.
were present alongside officials from political parties supporting Prabowo and
his running mate Sandiaga, including National Mandate Party (PAN) founder Amien
Rais and party chairman Zulkifli Hasan, as well as Gerindra deputy chairman and
House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Fadli Zon.
committee, however, omitted their intention to invite President Joko “Jokowi”
Widodo to attend the rally. The committee issued a circular, as reported by
tempo.co, that said it decided not to invite the President because Jokowi “was
seen as opposing the rally and tried to incriminate clerics.”
Sunday morning, President Jokowi was scheduled to visit Bogor, West Java.
a speech during the rally, Prabowo said he could not talk much because he
“bears the task of being a presidential candidate; therefore, he could not talk
about politics during the occasion.”
like to thank the committee for inviting me today. I’m proud of seeing millions
of Indonesians, millions of Muslims, gathering here peacefully,” he added.
the rally, the committee played a recording of
a speech by firebrand cleric and Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader
Rizieq Shihab. Later, the cleric joined the rally through a phone call from
called on his supporters to continue the fight during the 2019 presidential and
the 2019 elections, it is haram [forbidden] for us to vote for presidential and
legislative candidates backed by parties supporting the blasphemer. Let’s vote
for presidential and vice presidential candidates based on the decision of
Ijtima Ulama [the consensus of the ulema],”
51-year-old rallygoer from West Jakarta, Sukarno, said the rally was meant to
tighten the relationship among Muslims.
no political interest [behind the rally] or any intention of supporting certain
candidates,” Sukarno said. Minutes after talking to the Post, he welcomed
Rizieq’s call to reject candidates backed by parties that supported Ahok .
participant from Bandung, Hendra, 22, said he would follow the call to support
candidates produced from Ijtima Ulama “because it’s a mutual agreement.”
The Indonesian Mosque Council, or DMI, said it fully supports the democratic
process but recommends that mosques be separated from political campaigns.
DMI announced the decision at the conclusion of its first national meeting in
Jakarta on Sunday, attended by 250 members from across the country.
the use of mosques for political activities was one of seven proposals adopted
during the meeting, the council said in a statement. The other six pertained to
leadership and organizational matters.
DMI is headed by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, while three members of President
Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's cabinet – Bureaucratic Reform Minister
Syafruddin, Communication Minister Rudiantara and Agrarian Affairs and Spatial
Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil – serve on its organizing committee.
Indonesian Mosque Council issued a recommendation to prohibit the use of
mosques as political platforms... The DMI fully supports a safe and peaceful
democratic process," it said in the statement.
will hold simultaneous legislative and presidential elections next year.
Political campaigns for both elections have been ongoing since September, but
have yet to gain momentum. The campaigning is set to end on April 13 for a
three-day quiet period before the elections.
the Election Law distinctly prohibiting the practice, mosques in the capital
were widely used during last year's Jakarta gubernatorial election to drum up
support for Muslim candidates running against the incumbent, Basuki
"Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian.
280 of the law states: "Election organizers, participants and campaign
teams are prohibited from using government facilities, places of worship and
Baswedan and his running mate Sandiaga Uno went on to defeat Ahok and his
deputy, Djarot Saiful Hidayat.
government criticised for serving pork at Islam event
government is under fire for serving pork sausage at a conference on Islam in
Berlin this week.
German Interior Ministry has been forced into an apology over the food choice
that it said was selected for a “diverse religious attendance” at the event
known as the German Islam Conference.
the menu was blutwurst, known as blood sausage, which includes pig’s blood,
pork and bacon. Muslims are forbidden from eating pork.
Minister Horst Seehofer was in attendance at the conference, despite once
claiming that Islam has no place in the country and that Germany had been
“shaped by Christianity”. He said he wants to see a “German Islam”.
decision to serve pork was seen by critics as intentional, although the
ministry said it had served halal, vegetarian and fish dishes.
signal does Seehofer's interior ministry want to send? A little respect for
Muslims, who don't eat pork, is needed.” German journalist Tuncay Özdamar wrote
Twitter user wrote: “Did they have the same mistake at a Jewish event?”
has been at the centre of a rise of the far-right in Europe, with the
Alternative for Germany (AfD) party becoming the country’s third-largest and
stoking anti-migrant feeling after more than a million people entered the
country’s border at the height of the refugee crisis in 2015.
group portrayed Chancellor Angela Merkel in a Muslim headdress and with vampire
teeth in their posters and online posts when railing against her pro-migration
far-right group, Pegida, has staged protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz,
attended by neo-Nazis performing the salutes once acted out by the leaders of
the Nazi party.
line with the far-right rise, centrists such as Mr Seehofer have tried to
toughen their rhetoric in order to win back voters, but this has had the
opposite effect. In Bavaria, his party suffered major losses.
have begun to muse that an ageing and tired Europe is not a partisan or
electoral issue; it is a civilizational one. This will also decide the future
of the EU.
quite a while now, some citizens have been complaining that the environment in
India is afflicted by insecurity. More recently, voices are being raised about
“institutions being overturned”. It is, however, not realised that the flow of
history itself is undergoing a churning. Certainly since the Berlin Wall fell
in 1989. In order to understand this elementary truth, it is useful to know
that a religious conflict began in Europe only a year after Mohammad bin Qasim
invaded Sind in 711 AD. The conflict continued in less or more intensity, and
has once more become the most prominent problem in the great continent today.
a recent talk to the BBC, Witold Waszczykowski, Poland’s former Foreign
Minister (2015-18) emphasised that his country wants a democracy, but “a
democracy without adjectives”. The government wants to be left free to pursue
its people’s interests. For instance, Poland has assigned 17 lakh visas to
enable immigration from Ukraine and Belarus. However, Waszczykowski is emphatic
that adherence to EU immigration norms and other rules does not mandate Poland
to let in Syrians and North Africans, allowing them to settle in his country.
He has explicitly spoken out against the “mix up” of Christians and Muslims.
aversion to what Waszczykowski calls a “mix up”, is not based merely on recent
events, but on Europe’s experience of Christo-Muslim conflicts beginning 712
AD. Incidentally, Mohammad bin Qasim, the first Islamic invader to conquer
territory in India, reached Sind the previous year, in 711 AD.
clashes in Europe commenced with the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula
from North Africa, capturing most of it, crossing the Pyrenees and entering
France. The Moors reached Poitiers in central France, where they were defeated
by Charles Martel by 732 AD and turned back, never to return. The Moors,
however, ruled Spain and Portugal for centuries, until their expulsion by
resurgent Christians; Granada was the last outpost, which they left in 1492.
The erstwhile invaders had to bear their share of revenge. The victorious Christian
retaliators placed three alternatives before them; reconversion to
Christianity, leaving Iberia immediately or death. Most chose the first of the
conditions and came to be known as Moriscos.
second long Christo-Muslim war were the eight Crusades. The first was fought in
1095 AD, while the last was in 1291. Christians strove to recover their holy
land, especially Jerusalem, lost to Arabs in 638 AD. The Arabs allowed
Christians to visit the holy city freely for over four centuries, but the Turks,
who captured Palestine by 1071, ended this privilege. European reaction to this
Turkish arbitrariness was the first Crusade. By July 1099, Crusaders from
Western Europe had captured Jerusalem, which remained with them until Saladin,
the great Turkish sultan, snatched it back in 1187. Christian zeal for the holy
land sustained but by the end of the last Crusade, nothing much had been
achieved. Christians had effectively lost the long war. Jerusalem’s Muslim
rulers, however, allowed a few Christians to stay on as caretakers of their
holy places, but did not permit them to preach.
isn’t alone in bluntly voicing its opposition to Muslim migration. In its
parliamentary elections in April this year, Hungary’s ruling party Fidesz’s
campaign concentrated on a single issue—no immigrants. Not that Hungary was
being overrun by immigrants; it has one of the lowest foreign born populations
in the developed world. Its own fertility rates are below even the European
average. But the Hungarian election campaign was not a response to any
demographic development. It is a cultural crusade that has made Hungary the
least refugee friendly country in Europe.
is not inherently anti-immigrant. In 2016 (official data available till then),
23,803 foreigners moved there; numbers have been stable since before Prime
Minister Viktor Orban came to power in 2010. Interestingly, fewer than half of
the migrants were EU citizens. So it isn’t immigration per se that Hungary has
a problem with. Orban’s Hungary is fiercely against a certain kind of
assertion comes from government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs: “We’ve been living
next to Islam and with Islam for 500 years”. He further said that Muslim
immigrants create “parallel societies” in the European countries that receive
them—Hungarians want none of that. A 2016 Pew Research study revealed 72% of
Hungarians have negative views of Muslims in their country, far higher than the
EU average of 43%.
the Moorish conquest of Spain (712 AD) to the second Turkish siege of Vienna
(1683), Europe was under constant threat from Islam. All but the easternmost
provinces of the Islamic realm had been taken from Christian rulers, and the
vast majority of the first Muslims west of Iran and Arabia were converts from
Christianity. North Africa, Egypt, Syria, even Persian-ruled Iraq had been
Christian, in which their religion was older and more deeply rooted than in
most of Europe. Their loss was sorely felt and heightened the fear that a
similar fate awaited Europe. The fall of Constantinople, known as the Rome of
the East and the seat of the Byzantine Empire and Eastern Christianity to the
invading Turks in 1453 is to this day regarded as the greatest tragedy to have
befallen Christendom. The Turkish Caliphate ended in 1924 following the Ottoman
Empire’s defeat and collapse after World War I, but today’s Turkey under its
neo-Ottomanesque ruler Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who disguises his pan-Islamist
ambitions, only further exacerbates fears among Europeans, the assertions of
the EU elites to the contrary notwithstanding.
European writers, litterateurs and intellectuals warn that in the years to
come, there is the “possibility that Europe will become a museum or a cultural
amusement”. The late historian Walter Laqueur offered a far-sighted prognosis
about Europe’s crisis. He was one of the first to understand that the current
crisis isn’t about economics. Because of low birth rates, Europe is
dramatically shrinking. If current trends continue, Laqueur said, a hundred
years from now, Europe’s population “will be only a fraction of what it is
today, and in two hundred, some countries may have disappeared”.
spectre is becoming more visible and is being frequently discussed by writers.
French writer Michel Houellebecq, through his best-selling novels, such as
Submission, has often lamented that “the Western world as a whole is committing
suicide”. French President Emmanuel Macron, known to wear his liberalism on his
sleeve, while referring to France-bound migration from North Africa in 2017 had
called Africa’s problems “civilisational”. The unspoken part is that this
African influx with burgeoning fertility rates is Muslim.
worrying is Europe’s loss of confidence in its hard-won Enlightenment values,
such as personal freedoms, reason and science ousting superstition, and the
separation of church and state. These are very important if Europe truly wishes
to survive. Distinguished American historian Victor Davis Hanson recently
wrote: “Judged by the great historical determinants of civilizational
power—fuel, energy, education, demography, political stability, and military
power—Europe is waning. It spends a mere 1.4% of its collective GDP on defence.
And with a fertility rate of less than 1.6%, Europe is slowly shrinking and
ageing—hence the short-sighted immigration policy of Angela Merkel who
apparently sees immigration also as a solution to the demography crisis and a
shortcut to low-cost labour.”
European Union politicians have advocated having more children as the answer to
Europe’s demographic problems in the looming conflict with Muslims. Italy’s
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who heads the anti-immigration League Party,
has said that his country’s and Europe’s youth ought to have more children
rather than bring in modern-day slaves (i.e., Africans and other migrants) to
“replace the children Europeans are not having”.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has called on Europeans to stop the “demographic
decline” by investing more in traditional families. Catholic bishop Andrew Nkea
Fuanya of Mamfe, Cameroon, recently said about low birth rates in Europe: “you
look through history, where the Church slept, Islam took advantage”.
has not yet managed to fully achieve everything planned in Syria’s Idlib,
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said in a press conference on the sidelines
of the G20 summit in Argentina.
said that Russia is worried about the situation in the Syrian province, adding
that he hopes joint efforts from both countries’ defense ministries and special
services will solve the situation soon.
situation in Idlib worries us too. We see that our Turkish partners have not
yet managed to achieve everything [that is planned], but they are working. We
also see that they are working on creating a demilitarized zone,” Putin said.
hope that our special services and the defence ministries will resolve this
issue via joint efforts as soon as possible,” he added.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Russian President Vladimir Putin on
Saturday he should hold another summit to discuss the situation in Syria’s
Idlib province where the two countries are trying to create a sustainable
made the suggestion during a meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G20
also expressed his disappointment that his meeting with US President Donald
Trump at G20 did not happen.
a pity we could not have a full-fledged meeting because I believe it is long
overdue. I’m talking about issues of strategic stability in the light of the
president’s announcement that he plans to pull the US from the INF treaty,”
Putin told reporters.
Prime Minister Theresa May has told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that
he should take action to prevent the repeat of incidents like the murder of
journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
British leader also told Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler that those responsible
for Khashoggi’s killing should be punished for their crime, May’s office said
on Friday in a readout of a meeting with bin Salman at the G20 summit in
Prime Minister stressed the importance of ensuring that those responsible for
the appalling murder of Jamal Khashoggi are held to account, and that Saudi
Arabia takes action to build confidence that such a deplorable incident could
not happen again,” May’s office said.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned that Saudi Arabia would face “serious
consequences” if suspicions of Khashoggi’s murder turned out to be true.
killing of Washington Post columnist Khashoggi on October 2 at the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, has strained Saudi Arabia’s ties with the West
and battered bin Salman’s image abroad.
Arabia claims the prince had no prior knowledge of the killing.
the US, President Donald Trump has dismissed a CIA assessment that bin Salman
likely ordered the murder and has vowed to remain a “steadfast partner” of
Saudi Arabia despite repeated calls from members of Congress for a strong US
Saudi crime has put unprecedented pressure on the traditionally close ties
between Washington and Riyadh and helped bolster efforts to stop the Saudi-led
war in Yemen.
least five of the 37 US republican senators who voted against a recent
resolution to end US military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen have
received election contributions from lobbying groups working for Saudi Arabia,
according to a study.
Tim Scott, John Boozman, Roy Blunt, Richard Burr and Mike Crapo all received
financial contributions from firms representing Saudi interests between 2016
and 2017, according to a report by the Center for International Policy (CIP).
Yemen war has killed more than 15,000 people and created the world’s most
urgent humanitarian emergency.
Arabia an ‘enormous support’ to US: Pompeo
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia has
been an “enormous support” to the United States on all major global issues and
Washington wants to maintain that relationship.
also said in the interview that the US will continue to provide military
support to the kingdom in the war in Yemen.
Trump administration faces tremendous domestic and international pressure to
review its relationship with Saudi Arabia after Saudi journalist Jamal
Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate Istanbul in October this year.
an interview to CNN, Pompeo was asked if he could confidently tell Khashoggi’s
four children that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was not involved in
his murder, Pompeo said he had “read every piece of intelligence” in possession
of the US authorities and concluded “there’s no direct evidence linking him to
the murder of Jamal Khashoggi”.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Pompeo if US military support to the Saudis in Yemen
will continue, the secretary said: “The programme that we’re involved in today
we intend to continue.”
why the United States wanted to maintain its strategic and operational
relationships with the kingdom, Pompeo said: “Today we’re working with the
Saudis in Afghanistan, we’re working with the Saudis to push back against
Ayatollah Khamenei … they are an enormous support to us.”
pointed out that the US-Saudi relationship “has mattered” for 70 years across
Republican and Democrat administrations alike. “It remains an important
relationship and we’re aiming to keep that relationship with the kingdom of
top US Navy officer in charge of American naval operations throughout the
Middle East and Southwest Asia has been found dead in Bahrain, home to US
military’s Fifth Fleet naval force, which he commanded.
Admiral Scott A. Stearney was found dead at his residence in Bahrain, said a
statement issued Saturday by Chief of US naval operations Adm. John M.
Richardson, adding that Pentagon’s Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the
Bahraini Ministry of Interior were cooperating on the investigation of
commanding admiral took charge in May of the Navy’s Fifth Fleet base in the
Persian Gulf dictatorship, as well as a wider naval coalition based in Bahrain
involving more than 20,000 US and allied marine forces.
stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce
where international law allows,” Stearney proclaimed in a press conference call
back in September. “We are postured to defend and protect, not to cause
international crises and provocation and escalation. We are here for the
stability and the security of this region and for nothing else.”
US-led naval forces assigned to the Fifth Fleet are responsible for purported
“protection” of strategic waterways in the region, such as the Persian Gulf,
the Strait of Hormuz and the Red Sea. In recent years, they have been
challenged in a number of occasions by Iranian naval forces near Iran’s territorial
to his Navy biography, Stearney was “an FA-18 fighter pilot and former Top Gun
instructor with more than 1,000 landings on aircraft carriers,” and was
previously deployed to Afghanistan, as chief of staff of Joint Task Force 435,
“which trains and advises Afghan military and security forces conducting
detention and other operations there.”
other previous assignments included stints at the military’s Transportation
Command, commander of the Navy’s warfare development command, and director of
operations for the Central Command.
is devastating news for the Stearney family, for the team at Fifth Fleet, and
for the entire Navy,” Admiral Richardson added in his prepared statement on
Saturday. “Scott Stearney was a decorated naval warrior.”
further insisted that no foul play was suspected in his death.
aiming to harm Saudi royals in Khashoggi affair: Tayyip Erdogan
AIRES: President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey’s insistence on
finding the truth behind the recent killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was
not aimed at damaging the Saudi royal family.
to reporters at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Erdogan said that solving the
Khashoggi killing would also be in the interest of the Saudi monarchy.
have never seen this as a political issue,” Erdogan said. “We want to make sure
that the murder is revealed in all aspects and that the perpetrators are
killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has strained Saudi Arabia’s ties
with the West and battered the image overseas of its de facto leader, Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder. After offering
numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh later said Khashoggi had been
killed and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to return to
Saudi Arabia failed.
has said the killing was ordered by the highest level of Saudi leadership but
probably not by King Salman, putting the spotlight instead on the 33-year-old
have no interest in harming the Saudi Arabian state or the Saudi royal family.
We believe bringing to light all aspects of the murder and prosecution of all
perpetrators will be in the interest of Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he brought up the Khashoggi issue while at
the summit. At a news conference in Buenos Aires, Trudeau said he had a “frank
conversation” with the Saudi crown prince at the leaders’ dinner on Friday.
spoke to the crown prince to highlight our concerns and the need for better
answers on the killing of Khashoggi and the need for cease fire in Yemen,”
nations are calling for an end to the Saudi-led military campaign in
neighboring Yemen, which was launched by Prince Mohammed, as a humanitarian
crisis there worsens.
also said Prince Mohammed had sent his chief prosecutor to Turkey to
investigate the Khashoggi killing, but the prosecutor failed to share
information with Turkey.
has evidence documenting that Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a
critic of the crown prince, was killed in 7- 1/2 minutes, Erdogan said. He said
Ankara has shared this evidence with all countries who requested it, including
the United States, Britain, Germany and Saudi Arabia.
army kills 40 Houthi militants in clashes in Al-Baydah
Yemen’s national army clashed with the Houthi militia in Al-Baydah province on
Friday leaving 40 militants dead and dozens wounded, Saudi state-news agency
sources quoted by the official Yemeni news agency said that clashes between the
army and militia in Malajim directorate left 30 militants killed.
said that aerial support from the Saudi-led Arab coalition destroyed Houthi
gathering sites and killed 10 militants on the Qanya Front.
Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners predicted a quick victory when they
launched a military intervention in Yemen in 2015 to support the ousted
more than three-and-a-half years later the Huthi rebels remain undefeated and
the conflict is a quagmire that has set off a major humanitarian crisis.
is a look at how the outgunned rebels have clung on:
Huthis come from the minority Zaidi Shiite sect of Islam and have their traditional
stronghold in the mountainous north of Yemen.
movement, which takes its name from late spiritual leader Badreddin al-Huthi
and his son Hussein, rose up in the 1990s over alleged sectarian
2004 and 2010, the Huthis fought six wars against Yemen's then-government and
battled Saudi Arabia in 2009-2010 after storming over the border.
calling themselves the Ansarullah (Supporters of God), the Huthis took part in
the Arab Spring protests that forced veteran ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh from
office in 2012.
chaos that followed they later sided with former foe Saleh and together ousted
the internationally-recognised government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi that had
rebel takeover of capital Sanaa set off the Saudi-led intervention in March 2015.
Huthis later fell out dramatically with Saleh and killed the former president
in December 2017.
war in Yemen is viewed by many as a front in the broader struggle between
regional titans Saudi Arabia and Iran that has heated up under Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh.
Saudis and their ally the United States say Shiite Iran provides military
support to the rebels, including components for ballistic missiles that have
been fired over the Saudi border.
denies the accusation and insists its backing for the Huthis is purely
Jamal al-Moammari, a former Yemeni air force officer, told AFP that Iranian
arms, experts and "equipment to develop ballistic missiles" arrived
analyst Aleksandar Mitreski says Iran helps the Huthis both directly and
and when possible, Iran supplies the rebels with equipment and training for the
Huthis to remain a formidable opponent," he said.
Saudi-led coalition has claimed that members of Iran-backed Lebanese militia
Hezbollah were also killed in Yemen while training the Huthis. Hezbollah has
the allegations over Iranian support, it appears that the bulk of the Huthi's
weaponry comes from looted official stockpiles.
Abdo Majli, a spokesman for pro-government forces, told AFP that "90
percent of Huthi arms came from the Yemeni army depots" taken along with
Sanaa in 2014.
said that despite coalition warplanes destroying some of the weapons the Huthis
had managed to "hide them in secret stores" in their northern
rebel's impressive arsenal has been on display in the latest battles for the
key port city of Hodeida as they deployed tanks to halt the advance of
Huthis have also laid a large number of landmines and manufacture some of their
own weapons, including rockets and reportedly even drones.
Huthis have benefited from home advantage and local alliances as they have
faced off against some of the best equipped militaries in the region.
hailing from northern Yemen, they know the rest of the country and the terrain
very well, said analyst Mitreski.
from geography, what aids the rebels is cooperation with local tribes. Yemen
remains a fragmented society along tribal lines, and the rebels capitalise on
that," he said.
tribal support goes a long way in this conflict."
International Crisis Group said in a report in November that the Saudi-led
coalition has underestimated the resilience of the Huthis.
defense minister, Amir Hatami, said his country has been supporting the Houthis
in Yemen, but claimed that the support was limited to the “moral side”, while
other Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that such support includes
arming and sending missiles, experts and money.
on Saturday at a meeting for the Basij (volunteer forces) militia leaders
affiliated to the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hatami said: “Yemen is a
thorn in the eyes of the Americans,” adding that Iran’s support for the Houthis
in Yemen is “moral” As he puts it.
statement comes as the US State Department on Thursday presented new evidence
of Iranian military support for the Houthis in Yemen.
the Acting Commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein
Salami , publicly admitted on November 22 at a conference to support the
Houthis in Tehran that Iran provides all forms of support for the Houthi
militias, saying that this comes within the framework of “brotherhood and
January 2016, the former Iranian police chief, Major General Ismail Ahmadi
Muqaddam, has been appointed head of the Houthi Support Committee, which the
Iranians call it “The Yemeni People Support Committee,” in continuation of a
series of blatant Iranian military intervention in Yemen in favor of the coup
May, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on five Iranian Revolutionary
Guard experts for their role in transporting missiles and unprecedented weapons
to the Houthi militias in Yemen.
April 2017, Mehdi Taib, the head of Ammarioun a strategic headquarters for soft
wars, a lobbyist close to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, admitted that
Iran’s support for Houthi’s militias was aimed at attacking Saudi Arabia.
stressed that “the provision of missiles by Iran to the Houthis was carried out
in stages by the Revolutionary Guard and the support of the Navy of the Iranian
has supplied the Houthis with dozens of short and long-range missiles to hit
targets in Saudi Arabia, which has been defied by air defenses in the kingdom.
Iranian media have acknowledged supplying these militias in Yemen with rockets.
support for the Houthi militia was not limited to supplying them with missiles,
but the Arab coalition supporting Legitimacy in Yemen and the international
forces seized heavy and light weapons, explosives, shells and other types of
weapons in more than two years after the decisive storm operation.
UN General Assembly will vote on Thursday on a US-drafted resolution that would
condemn the Palestinian Hamas movement, a measure championed by US Ambassador
United States won crucial backing from the European Union for the draft
resolution that condemns the firing by Hamas of rockets into Israel and demands
an end to the violence.
adopted, it would mark the first time that the assembly has taken aim at Hamas,
the militant group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007.
28 EU countries agreed to support the measure after the United States included
a mention of relevant UN resolutions in the text that does not however refer to
the two-state solution.
a statement, the US mission to the United Nations said it had hoped to put the
draft resolution to a vote on Monday but that the Palestinians had pushed for a
delay until Thursday.
issue before the United Nations on Thursday is not whether it supports one form
or another of a Middle East peace plan,” the US mission said.
country will be asked to vote for or against the activities of Hamas, along
with other militant groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
the UN cannot bring itself to adopt this resolution, then it has no business
being involved in peace discussions,” it added.
divided over peace efforts
European Union, like the United States, considers Hamas a terror group, but the
28-nation bloc is divided over how to support peace efforts.
who will step down as UN ambassador in January, has steadfastly supported
Israel in its confrontation with Hamas and chastised the United Nations for
criticizing both sides.
vote on Thursday will follow the adoption in the assembly of about a dozen
resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that condemn Israeli
settlements and call for progress toward the two-state solution.
adopted by the General Assembly are non-binding, but they carry political
weight and are seen as a barometer of world opinion.
United States put forward the resolution as it prepares to unveil new peace
proposals that the Palestinians have already rejected.
Palestinians have severed ties with the administration of President Donald
Trump after the decision nearly a year ago to move the US embassy to Jerusalem
and declare the city Israel’s capital.
US administration has also cut more than $500 million in Palestinian aid.
Arab coalition supporting the legitimate government in Yemen, destroyed on
Saturday a rocket pad launcher for the pro-Iranian Houthi militias in Saada.
coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al-Maliki said that the joint forces
command of the coalition and through the ongoing monitoring of the activities
and movements of the Houthi militias, could track the militias’ attempt to
prepare the camouflaged pad launcher with ballistic missiles in Saada province.
added that the coalition forces immediately targeted and destroyed the pad
launcher in full compliance with international humanitarian law and the rules
of engagement of coalition forces.
mission to the United Nations has called on the UN Security Council to condemn
the recent “irresponsible” and “provocative” remarks by US Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo, who openly threatened to “starve” Iranian people.
call was made in a Tuesday letter, signed by Iran's deputy ambassador to the UN
Es'haq Al-e Habib, to the Security Council’s president and the UN secretary general,
Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported Friday.
remarks are part of the US policies of exerting pressure and issuing real
threats in order to wage an economic war against the people of Iran,” the
letter said, slamming the move as “a collective punishment for a nation” and a
“clear violation of the basic principles of international law”.
comments are another indication of the US’ bullying policy, which knows no
limit and principle,” the letter said, adding that the US has no hesitation in
penalizing other countries when punishing the Iranian nation.
also reiterated the fact that the re-imposition of US sanctions against Iran
prevents Iranian people from having access to their basic requirements,
including medicine and medical equipment.
White House’s measures are a clear instance of crime against humanity,” it
has shown resistance against the US’ bullying behavior and illegal measures
within the past 40 years, and will manage to do so against Washington’s recent wrong
policies as well,” the letter added.
UN and its member states must condemn such bullying remarks by American
officials, Iran’s mission to the UN said, urging the international community to
stand against such policies, which threaten the foundations of the UN and
also called on the world to hold the US accountable for such irresponsible
policies and measures, and force it to remain committed to the UN’s principles
an interview with BBC Persian on Nov. 7, the US secretary of state said Iranian
officials must listen to Washington "if they want their people to
reaction, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the threat,
stressing that the Islamic Republic will survive and even advance despite
a post on his official Twitter account on Nov. 10, Zarif said Pompeo's open
threat to starve the Iranian nation was "a crime against humanity"
and "a desperate attempt to impose US whims on Iran."
ADEN: Renewed violence in Yemen’s vital port city of Hodeida has left 10
fighters dead, despite a UN push for peace talks, an official and medical
sources told AFP on Saturday.
official with pro-government forces said fighting erupted in the east and south
of the Red Sea city on Friday.
clashes continued on Saturday, Hodeida residents told AFP by phone.
violence follows a visit to the city last month by UN envoy Martin Griffiths to
press for talks aimed at ending the war.
Hodeida port is held by the Houthis and serves as the entry point for nearly
all of the country’s imports and humanitarian aid.
aid chief Mark Lowcock warned on Saturday that the country was “on the brink of
a major catastrophe.” His comments came after deadly clashes in the Red Sea
port city of Hodeida, vital for the flow of humanitarian aid.
internationally recognized government forces launched an assault to take
Hodeida in June, but its forces had largely suspended the offensive amid
intense diplomatic efforts.
clashes have however continued since a fragile truce began on Nov. 13.
sources on Saturday confirmed the bodies of eight militants had been
transferred to hospitals. Two fighters with pro-government forces were also
killed, according to a medical source at a hospital in an area held by the
a further sign of renewed tensions, Saudi Arabia said the Houthis launched a
“military projectile” which hit a house in the Kingdom.
people were injured in the strike in Samtah governorate, Saudi state news
agency SPA reported. It is the first confirmation by Riyadh of such a rocket
attack since September.
escalation comes just days ahead of proposed peace talks hosted by Sweden,
which have been backed by both the coalition and militants.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, however, has played down the early December
schedule and said he hoped talks would start “this year.”
as you know, there have been some setbacks,” he said on Thursday. Riyadh has
expressed concern over Houthi rocket attacks on Saudi territory, while the
militants are seeking assurances their delegation will be able to safely leave
and return to Yemen.
talks planned for September in Geneva failed to get underway as the Houthi
delegation never left the Yemeni capital Sanaa, arguing that the UN could not
guarantee their safe return.
Humvee goes off prematurely among Taliban leaving 37 dead
Humvee Armored Personnel Carrier packed with explosives went off prematurely
among a group of Taliban militants in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan
leaving at least 37 militants dead.
local officials are saying that the incident has taken place in the vicinity of
Maruf district of Kandahar.
governor’s spokesman Aziz Ahmad Azizi confirmed the incident and said a group
of militants who were looking to target a compound of the Afghan army with
explosives-laden Humvee APC, were killed after the vehicle-borne improvised
explosive device went off prematurely.
further added that the explosion has left at least 37 militants dead and a
number of others wounded.
Taliban militants have rejected the claims by the local officials and claim
that no such incident has taken place.
has been among the relatively calm provinces but the security situation in some
of its districts has deteriorated during the recent months.
strikes target Taliban court in Kapisa province
U.S. forces based in Afghanistan have carried out airstrikes on a Taliban court
in northeastern Kapisa province of Afghanistan.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East in a statement said the
airstrikes were carried out in Nejrab district on Friday.
statement further added that the coalition forces unmanned aerial vehicles
bombarded a Taliban court in Zarba Khel area in Pechghan Valley of the
to 201st Silab Corps, at least two militants were killed in the airstrikes and
at least two others sustained injuries.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the airstrikes so far.
Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is facing international
criticism over her country’s crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, called on Saturday
for “a culture of peace” to end conflict between communities.
Nobel Peace prize winner did not mention the Rohingya crisis — which has led
the United Nations to call for a genocide investigation — in her keynote
address to an international meeting organised by a group linked to the
the basis of conflict is ill-will which seeks to hurt and to destroy and thus
to open the way to conflict, which in turn spews out an ever-renewing cycle of
hate and fear, snuffing out the light of peace,” Suu Kyi said.
Kyi called for cooperation between nations to seek peace and mutual prosperity.
by promoting a culture of peace in this world of interdependence will it be
possible to create harmony between diverse countries and societies,” she said.
Kyi, whose position of state counsellor in Myanmar is considered the equivalent
of a prime minister, has faced a wave of condemnation since Myanmar launched
its military crackdown on the Rohingya in August 2017.
military insists it only targeted Rohingya militants and Suu Kyi has deflected
top officials at the meeting, which was accompanied by boosted security in the
Nepali capital to head off protests, did not mention the conflict which has overshadowed
many of Suu Kyi’s international appearances.
speech at the Kathmandu meeting, backed by the Universal Peace Foundation, came
a day after Paris announced it will strip her of her honorary freedom of the
French capital over her failure to speak out against the Rohingya crackdown.
British cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Oxford have taken similar action
against Suu Kyi over her refusal to condemn the military violence. A UN rights
team found evidence of widespread murder, rape, torture and arson, and called
for top generals to be prosecuted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against
factions have fought at the Bishwa Ijtema ground over establishing dominance
least one person has been killed in a series of clashes between two factions of
Tabligh Jamaat over establishing dominance at the Bishwa Ijtema grounds on the
banks of the Turag River.
than 200 people were also injured in the clashes at the Ijtema grounds in Tongi
deceased was identified as Ismail Hossain, 70, of Munshiganj, said Tongi (west)
police station Officer-in-Charge Emdadul Haque. Ismail was a follower of
Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, top scholar of Indian Tabligh Jamaat, said Assistant
Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Gazipur Metropolitan Police, Masudur Rahman.
Ahsan Ullah Master Health Complex physician, Dr Monira Begum, said around 150
people received treatment at the hospital and more people are being admitted.
them, 25 people who were severely injured, have been transferred to Dhaka
Medical College and Hospital, Kurmitola Hospital, and other hospitals,” she
of Indian preacher Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, and Maulana Jubayer’s supporters
engaged in sporadic clashes, chases, and counter-chases for several hours since
morning, said OC Emdadul.
trouble mongers also vandalized a number of cars and motorcycles parked at the
Ijtema grounds, he said.
clash broke out around 8am when supporters of Saad Kandhalvi tried to enter the
Ijtema premises where the supporters of Maulana Jubayer had taken up position.
one stage, the supporters of Maulana Saad broke open the main gate of the
Ijtema grounds and swarmed in.
clashes took place between the two groups, leaving Ismail dead on the spot and
scores of people injured. The Tabligh men hurled brickbats at each other and attacked
each other with sticks.
administration takes control
officials of Gazipur Metropolitan police and members of Rapid Action Battalion
went to the Ijtema grounds around 3pm and drove out all the people from there.
situation is now under control,” said OC Emdadul.
police with armoured vehicles and water cannons have been deployed to avoid any
untoward situation. Local administration has taken control of the grounds
following a Home Ministry decision later in the day.
Gazipur Metropolitan Traffic Police (South Zone) Senior Assistant Commissioner
Thoai Aung Prue Marma told the Dhaka Tribune: “Thousands of Muslim devotees
took up position on the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway, resulting in a huge
ground to a halt on the highway for one-and-a-half hours in the afternoon, he
movement on the western side of busy Airport Road remained at a standstill from
the Airport intersection to Abdullahpur since morning, as Saad Kandhalvi’s
supporters attacked followers of the other faction at the Airport intersection.
the last couple of days, Maulana Jubayer supporters had been taking up
positions on the Ijtema Maidan in Tongi. The followers of Maulana Saad started
gathering in front of the maidan from 6am Saturday and took position in front
of the main gate.
follower of Maulana Saad said: “We had announced a ‘Jor Ijtema’ (a gathering of
devotees before the Bishwa Ijtema) between November 30 and December 4, as a
tradition that is followed annually.
as thousands of devotees tried to enter the Ijtema grounds, they were denied
entry by supporters of Maulana Jubayer. Madrasa students following Maulana
Jubayer had already positioned themselves inside the venue with sticks.”
devotee added that the clashes have resulted in a tense situation in the area.
Shariful Islam, a supporter of Maulana Juyaber, said: “Both factions had
entered a stalemate centring the Jor Ijtema, which was to be held at the Ijtema
Home Ministry had requested both parties to halt the Jor Ijtema until further
notice, which we all agreed on. However, thousands of supporters of Maulana
Saad attempted to enter the Ijtema grounds on Saturday morning, causing unrest
in the area.”
is this fight all about?
January, hundreds of members of the Bangladesh chapter of Islamic movement
Tabligh Jamaat and some Qawmi madrasa Alems (clerics) staged a demonstration
near Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, protesting the arrival of Indian
preacher Maulana Muhammad Saad Al Kandhalvi.
the face of stern opposition from a faction of Tabligh Jamaat, Saad Kandhalvi
had to return to New Delhi last year without being able to join that years’
Biswa Ijtema, the second largest religious congregation of Muslims after Hajj.
radical Islamic organization Hefazat-e-Islam initially tried to prevent Saad’s
arrival because they were strongly opposed to his participation in the Ijtema
and oppose his statements made during the last Bishwa Ijtema.
opposition stemmed from allegations of what Hefazat leaders claimed to be
“controversial statements about the Quran and Sunnah” that Saad had made. Saad
is the great-grandson of the founder of the Tabligh movement and head of its
Indian chapter, though his leadership is disputed by the organization’s
Pakistani and Bangladeshi followers.
Bangladesh chapter split into two groups following disputes among its top
leaders over establishing dominance and the visit of Maulana Saad Kandhalvi.
conflict had also led to violent clashes between the factions on the premises
of Kakrail Mosque in Dhaka in November last year.
that, the government had issued five directives to resolve the internal
disputes of Tabligh Jamaat and carry out their activities in an organized manner,
on September 18.
circular said that Tabligh Jamaat activities around the world were known as a
non-violent, peaceful and completely religious. However, the directives have
been issued as recently a visible split in the organization has spread conflict
in two factions across the country, which goes against religious customs and
overall peaceful environment.
the followers of Maulana Saad Kandhalvi in the country are not allowed into
Tabligh Jamaat Bangladesh chapter’s markaz (headquarters), the Kakrail Mosque
government later decided to postpone Bishwa Ijtema due to the ongoing dispute
between the factions and the upcoming 11th parliamentary election, which is
slated for December 30..
every winter in Bangladesh, the next Ijtema was supposed to be organized in the
second or third week of January.
Bangladesh chapter split into two groups following disputes among its top
leaders over establishing dominance and the visit of Maulana Saad Kandhalvi
that, the government had issued five directives to resolve the internal
disputes of Tabligh Jamaat and carry out their activities in an organized
manner, on September 18.
decision to postpone the congregation was taken at a meeting between Home
Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and leaders of the two factions of Tabligh
Jamaat at the secretariat on November 13.
least 21 militants were killed in an airstrike in Jurm district of northeastern
Badakhshan province of Afghanistan, the Afghan Military in the North said.
to a statement released by 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the
North, the Air Force carried out an airstrike in Khastak valley of Jurm
district on Friday.
statement further added that the airstrike left at least 18 militants dead
while three others sustained injuries.
209th Shaheen Corps also added that three Hilux vehicles, a hatchback car, a
motorcycle, and some weapons and munitions were also destroyed during the same
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the airstrike so far.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in Northeast of Afghanistan where
the anti-government armed militants including Taliban are active in some of its
militant who was involved in target killing has been eliminated during an
operation of the Afghan forces in Lashkargah city, the provincial capital of
Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a statement said another accomplice of the
militant was also wounded during the same operation.
statement further added that the militants were involved in the target killings
of security personnel, tribal elders, and religious scholars.
to the Ministry of Interior, the two militants belonged to the group of Mullah
Manan, the shadow governor of the Taliban in Helmand.
Afghan forces also confiscated a weapon and a motorcycle during the operation,
the Ministry of Interior added.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the killing of Mullah Manan’s two militants so far.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has said the United States will stand with
the 41 nations coalition committed to the ongoing efforts in Afghanistan.
Mattis has said he is focused on finding an end to the war in Afghanistan, but
that doesn’t involve withdrawing U.S. military forces from the country soon.
are going to stand with the 41 nations, largest wartime coalition in history,
who are still committed to this effort,” Mattis said at the Reagan National
Defense Forum on Saturday.
Taliban have made clear the lives of the Afghan people are of no value to them.
They can’t win at the ballot box, so they are trying to terrorize instead,” he
regards to the importance of the U.S. military presence in Afgahnistan,
Secretary Mattis has said “If we leave, with 20-odd of the most dangerous
terrorist groups in the world centered in that region, we know what will
happen. Our intelligence is very specific. We will be under attack.”
Clerics under the aegis of All India Tanzim Ulama-e-Islam have appealed to
people to observe December 6 — the 26th anniversary of the Babri
Masjid demolition in Ayodhya — as “Black Day”. The organisation has further
appealed to all secular people to close their shops in protest.
Shahbudin Razvi, national general secretary, All India Tanzim Ulama-e-Islam, a
social and religious organisation, said, “The demolition of Babri mosque in
1992 is a blot in the history of our country, as it was against the right to
freedom of religion endowed upon us by the Indian Constitution.”
a meeting held on Saturday, it was decided to observe the Babri Masjid
demolition anniversary as Black Day. Our organisation appeals to secular
people, including those belonging to minority communities, to close their
business on December 6 to mark their protest. Besides, people from across the
country will send memorandums to President Ram Nath Kovind to register their
Sageer Ahmad, national coordinator, All India Tanzim Ulama-e-Islam, said, “As I
am based in Delhi, I have been seeking support of like-minded organisations
there to make a joint appeal to people to shut down their establishments on
our protest, we want to emphasise that none of us has forgotten the Babri demolition.
However, we have made it clear that we will accept the Supreme Court’s order in
year on December 6, several organisations helmed by the minority community in
Bareilly send memorandums to the President condemning the Babri demolition,
whereas right-wing outfits celebrate the anniversary as ‘Shaurya Diwas’.
Hindu Parishad district president Manvendra Rana said, “The outfit is
organising events in all Lok Sabha constituencies wherein participants will
demand from the government to enact a law for the construction of a Ram temple
in Ayodhya. Our theme is ‘Abhi Nahi to Kabhi Nahi’ (now or never). In Aonla Lok
Sabha constituency, a Dharam Sabha will be held in Faridpur on December 2, and
a memorandum containing our demands will be handed over to BJP Aonla MP
Dharmendra Kashyap. VHP’s union joint minister Rajendra Singh Pankaj will be
the chief guest at the event.”
had organised a similar event in the city on November 25.
Jaish terrorists believed to have entered Delhi
Delhi: Four terrorists belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), including three
Pakistani nationals and one Afghan national, entered Delhi last month, and are
likely to be hiding in the city, a specific input generated by the Intelligence
Bureau (IB) has stated. The input, which has been shared with the other
security agencies, has also stated that these four terrorists are being
accompanied by two over-ground workers of JeM—a 24-year-old girl from Sopore
and a boy from Anantnag in Kashmir valley.
to official sources, the group has managed to lay their hands on weapons provided
to them by an individual named Jaffar Rizwan, who operates from Nepal and Saudi
Arabia. The four terrorists, who are stated to be on a suicide mission, are Abu
Musaib, Abu Azhar, Abu Wakeel and Rehman Afghani, while the male over-ground
worker has been identified as Saifullah. The Sunday Guardian has the
photographs of these four terrorists (see image).
two over-ground workers, according to sources, reached Delhi two days before
the arrival of these terrorists and stayed in the Delhi Gate area of the Old
City. Earlier this week, JeM chief Masood Azhar released an audio clip in which
he warned against the building of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, saying that if any
step towards this was taken, his cadre would retaliate massively. Apart from
well guarded establishments like stations of the Delhi Metro and the IGI
airport, the IB has said that the security agencies should keep an eye on other
places which see the presence of tourists. The winter session of Parliament is
slated to start from 11 December and security agencies are taking steps to
ensure that the routes leading to Parliament and the vehicles used by the MPs
Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Saturday came down hard on her Pakistani
counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi for his “googly” remark, saying it “exposed”
him and that Pakistan has no respect for Sikh sentiments
as series of tweets, Swaraj said,”Mr.Foreign Minister of Pakistan – Your
‘googly’ remarks in a dramatic manner has exposed none but YOU. This shows that
you have no respect for Sikh sentiments. You only play ‘googlies’.” “Let me
explain to you that we were not trapped by your ‘googlies’. Our two Sikh
Ministers went to Kartarpur Sahib to offer prayers in the Holy Gurudwara”, she
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who completed 100 days in office, on Wednesday laid
the foundation stone for the Kartarpur Corridor linking two revered gurdwaras
on both sides of the border in Kartarpur in Punjab province.
ministers from India, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri, along with
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, attended the event in Pakistan Punjab
province’s Narowal area.
Thursday, Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi had said Prime Minister Khan bowled
a “googly” to ensure Indian government’s presence at the groundbreaking
ceremony of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor.
remarks came a day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj categorically
ruled out the possibility of resumption of bilateral talks with Pakistan unless
it stops cross-border terror activities against India.
the opening of Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims, former Jammu and Kashmir
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi
seeking opening of road to Sharda Peeth, a Hindu shrine in Pakistan occupied
Peeth in Pak administered Kashmir is an outstanding relic of Kashmir’s glowing
history. Though it generally connects the people here with their cultural and
intellectual roots, for the Kashmiri Pandits it is an important place of
pilgrimage which has frequented by them till Independence,” Mufti wrote in her
letter. “Their urge to open it to pilgrimage has been projected ever since
reopening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road. Kartarpur has encouraged the Pandit
community to see a possibility of pilgrimage to Shardapeeth in the same spirit
and our belief is strengthened by the reported offer of Pakistan Prime Minister
Mr Imran Khan to allow it along with pilgrimage to Katas Raj,” she added.
has welcomed the opening of Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims. “I heartily
greet you on the opening of Kartarpur corridor with Pakistan to facilitate the
Sikh pilgrims’ visit to holy places in that country,” she said. “It is my
fervent hope and prayer that it turns out to be a new leaf in the painful
history of relationship between our country and Pakistan and it proves to be
the first step towards rediscovering avenues of peace and prosperity in our
extremists in Nigeria are now using drones
extremists in Nigeria have begun using drones, the country's president says,
opening a worrying new front in the region's nearly decade-long fight against
Boko Haram and an offshoot linked to ISIS.
Muhammadu Buhari announced the development during a meeting on Thursday of
countries that contribute troops to a multinational force combatting the extremists.
appears to be the first confirmed use of drones by an extremist group in
Africa, according to the World of Drones project run by the Washington-based
New America think tank. Its section on non-state actors notes that Libyan
rebels are reported to have used drones for surveillance in that chaotic North
attacks against Nigeria's military are on the rise, with 39 soldiers killed
this month alone and another 43 wounded. The extremists' use of drones for
surveillance in the country's northeast has proven to be a "critical
factor" in the resurgence of attacks, the president said.
military has its own, armed drones, as the United States and others and others
increasingly use them in West Africa's fight against groups linked to Al Qaeda
organisations have been quickly adopting the use of drones. ISIS in Syria and
Iraq last year was found to have a formal drone unit, and Houthi rebels in
Yemen have used a drone to strike a Saudi warship, according to the New America
assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in August,
when two drones loaded with explosives exploded during his speech, set off
another round of global fears about the threat of drones in enemy hands.
greater commercial accessibility to [unmanned aerial vehicle] technology will
make UAVs more attractive as a delivery method for terrorist attacks," US
Air Force Maj. Bryan Card wrote in Air & Space Power Journal this year.
World League’s relief campaign targets 40,000 African refugees
The Muslim World League (MWL), represented by the International Association for
Relief, Care and Development (IARCD), has implemented an urgent relief campaign
distributing food baskets to more than 40,000 refugees from Central Africa who
are residing in the refugee camps on Chad’s borders.
has been providing relief since the beginning of the armed conflict in Central
Africa and the displacement of its residents to neighboring countries,
is the only international humanitarian organization that is still providing aid
for Central Africans, with the big support of relevant governmental and
security bodies in Chad, while all other organizations have stopped their work
on the borders for different reasons.
secretary-general of the MWL, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa stressed the
need to continue supporting these vulnerable groups, formed mostly by women and
children. The aid must cover all their basic needs, along with health
requirements and clothes, he added.
has pledged to continue aiding the displaced Central Africans, no matter how
dangerous the conditions get, as it strongly believes in the greatness of its
humanitarian mission and the cause of the Islamic religion that is tolerant
toward all religions and races.
extended thanks and appreciation for Abad Al-Sayer, governor of Southern Chad,
for supporting the efforts of MWL’s teams in the camps.
said the urgent relief campaign targeted four camps on the borders between Chad
and Central Africa, where 8,400 food baskets were distributed.
MWL team has made strenuous efforts to reach this dangerous border area,
located more than a thousand kilometers from Djamena, the capital of Chad.
team was also able to include 150 new refugees who escaped to a border school
in MWL’s distribution plan, thanks to the league’s long experience in the field
and in recognition of the new refugees’ urgent need for relief, after the long
distances they had traveled to reach the safe area.
said that it will not fail to implement health, developmental and relief works
in Africa in general, and in Chad in particular.
also noted that it will start implementing programs focusing on health on a
periodic basis in most regions of Chad, where it manages one of the best health
centers in the capital.
The US military said it killed nine militants in an air strike targeting
Al-Shabab in Lebede, Somalia, as part of its operations to support the
government’s efforts to weaken the militant group.
military’s Africa Command (Africom) said the strike was carried out on Friday.
“We currently assess this airstrike killed nine militants with no civilians
involved,” Africom said in a statement late on Saturday.
United States carries out periodic air strikes in Somalia in support of a
UN-backed government there, which has been fighting against an Al-Shabab
insurgency for years.
Haram militants attacked an army base in northeast Nigeria, killing one
soldier, military sources told AFP on Friday, a day after regional leaders
urged more international support to fight the jihadists.
with the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) came in trucks fitted with
anti-aircraft guns and attacked the base in Arege village near the fishing town
of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad.
base came under attack before dawn, prompting clashes, a military source told
attack was successfully repelled but unfortunately a soldier was killed and
seven others were injured," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity
because he was not authorised to speak on the incident.
same base came under attack on Wednesday, but the militants failed to overrun
it "and suffered heavy casualties," a military statement said on
jihadists have in recent months intensified their attacks on military bases in
the northeast, with the most audacious taking place on November 18 when
military sources said at least 43 soldiers were killed at a base in Metele near
the border with Niger.
who survived said over 100 of their colleagues were killed, but after a long
period of silence, the military on Wednesday gave an official figure of 23
latest attack came a day after President Muhammadu Buhari went to N'Djamena to
meet top leaders from Chad, Niger and Cameroon to discuss how to deal with the
surge in violence.
is under pressure to show his administration is winning the fight against Boko
Haram ahead of a presidential election in February at which he will seek a
second term in office.
heads of state and government... expressed their deep concern with regards to
the upsurge of attacks... and expressed the crucial need to change their modus
operandi in the fight against Boko Haram," a joint statement said after
also urged the international community "to support their efforts in the
fight against terrorism in the region."
nine-year conflict has killed 27,000 people and displaced 1.8 million from
their homes in Nigeria.
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