the backdrop of the alleged targeting of the minority community members by the
right-wing outfits and their leaders, leading Islamic organisation Jamiat
Ulama-i-Hind has constituted the 'Jamiat Youth Club' to protect Muslims
of Pakistan Rejected Islam: Jamaat-e-Islami JK
Ulama-i-Hind Forms RSS-Like 'Youth Club' To Protect Muslims
al-Islam Operatives Training With India’s Kuki Rebels, CTTC Finds
Ahmadi Muslims Fear Attacks after Imran Khan Victory In Pakistan
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
Jamat-e- Islami Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday quoted controversy saying that
people of Pakistan rejected Islam as election results showed that secular
parties were winning most of the seats.
of Jamat-e- Islami Adv Zahid Ali said that people of Pakistan had proved that
they never had any likening for the Islamic system of life.
to his Facebook Zahid wrote, “Pakistani people proved beyond doubt that they
never like Islamic system of life though they call themselves MUSLIMS!
Virtually they inadvertently rejected Islam,”
wrote the post when poll results in Pakistan general elections showed parties
like PTI, PML-N and others way ahead of Islamist parties like Jamaat-e-Islami
however, was soon rebutted on his views about the Pakistan elections that has
come under attack from various extremist groups including IS. More than 250
people have died in different attacks during the course of elections.
who commented on his post included journalists and other notables of the
society, both of whom criticized the Jamaat spokesperson for his views.
expert Dr Showkat Hussain and Journalist Sameer Lone, like many others
countered Zahid and reminded him
that Jamat-e-Islami in Pakistan had been
part of different “Secular” coalitions in the country including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where Imran Khan’s Party
PTI is in power.
is Imran Khan and his PTI unIslamic now when till yesterday u were part of his
Govt in KPK. Grow up as a political person. U ppl behave like BJP, that those
who vote us are not real Hindus.” Sameer Lone wrote.
Showkat was of the similar view, he wrote, “Absurd comment voting or not voting
for a party does not mean rejection of Islam. A Muslim has submitted no choice
of accepting or rejecting. By becoming part of this western democratic process
Islamic groups subject them to this process. By aligning with almost every
party in different elections including notorious Fazlu Reman they have
discredited them selves. They were part of PTI government in KPK for last five
years,” Showkat said.
netizens asked how the people had rejected Islam, Zahid replied by saying that
they had denied any chance to those people who could implement Islam in “letter
and spirit” referring to the candidates of Jamat-e-Islami.
DELHI: In the backdrop of the alleged targeting of the minority community
members by the right-wing outfits and their leaders, leading Islamic
organisation Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has constituted the 'Jamiat Youth Club' to
Jamiat Youth Club has been modelled on the lines of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak
Sangh's (RSS) Scout Guide. Like the RSS, the young members of the JYC will be
trained in various self-defence techniques.
Ulama-i-Hind plans to give membership to nearly 10,000 youths within a period
of six months in the first phase.
launching the JYC exhibition at Deoband's Firdaus Garden, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind
general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani outlined its modus operandi and its
future course of action.
informed that within a span of six months, nearly ten thousand Muslim youths
shall be included and imparted training. They would display their skills at an
open forum in the month of February 2019.
this occasion, 96 members of the JYC, hailing from states like Gujarat, Haryana
and Uttar Pradesh, also showcased their talents.
is to be noted that several Muslim bodies have expressed concerns over growing
incidents of mob lynching across the country in the name of cow protection and
over suspicion of beef consumption.
latest one was reported from Alwar in Rajasthan where a 28-year-old Muslim man,
identified as Rakbar aka Akbar Khan, was lynched to death by a violent group of
villagers over suspicion of cow smuggling.
incident triggered a sharp response from several quarters and a blistering
attack on the incumbent BJP dispensation at the Centre.
Ulama-I-Hind is one of the leading Islamic organisations in India. It was
founded in 1919 by noted Islamic scholars including Sheikh ul Hind Maulana
Mehmood Hasan, Maulana Syed Hussain Ahmad Madani, Maulana Ahmed Saeed Dehlvi,
Mufti Kifayatullah Dehlavi, Mufti Muhammad Naeem Ludhianvi, Maulana Ahmad Ali
Lahori and many others.
al-Islam operatives training with India’s Kuki rebels, CTTC finds
militant operatives are trying to
collect weapons from the separatist group based in the north-east states of
Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur in India
of Bangladeshi militant outfit Ansar al-Islam are now secretly training with
the separatist Kuki rebels in India, Bangladeshi counterterrorism officials
militant operatives are also trying to collect weapons from the separatist
group based in the north-east states of Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur in India,
reported Bangla Tribune.
of the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crimes (CTTC) unit of police gleaned
this information from Ansar al-Islam operative Sheikh Abdullah alias Zubayer
alias Zayed alias Babed alias Abu Omair, during interrogation.
Kuki separatist group is mainly active in the north-eastern parts of India, but
Kuki people are also present in the Chin state of Myanmar and the Chittagong
Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.
al-Islam law enforcement agencies say is made up of the old members of militant
outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team banned in 2015, that targeted secular activists,
writers and bloggers, as well as LGBT activists. The group was also banned in
was arrested by the CTTC in Chittagong on July 17 as the prime suspect in the
2016 murder of LGBT activists Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, who
confessed to being involved in the double murder.
investigators say Zubayer liaised between the Kuki rebels in India and the
Ansar al-Islam in Bangladesh on behalf of the militant group’s top leader,
sacked armed forces Major Ziaul Haque.
who joined Ansar al-Islam in 2013 and was gradually promoted to run the
intelligence wing of the militant group, sent its operatives to India to the
Kuki rebels for training, the officials said.
a trusted accomplice of Zia, he was also in charge of collecting funds and the
militant group’s management, the investigators said.
is an important member of Ansar al-Islam. He has confessed to being involved in
the Xulhaz-Tonoy murder before court. We have collected some vital information
about the organization from him during interrogation; we are now verifying the
information,” said CTTC Deputy Commissioner Mohibul Islam Khan.
working on the case said Zia was currently hiding in the greater Chittagong
area, but his exact location has yet to be identified.
the interrogation, Zubayer told the CTTC that he travelled to Dhaka once a month
to collect funds – amounting from Tk2 lakh to Tk6 lakh – from designated
individuals on Zia’s instruction.
portion of that fund would be sent to Zia, and the rest would be sent to the
heads of different units of Ansar al-Islam.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Md Saiful Islam said Zubayer gave names of Ansar
sympathizers provide the funds to the militant organization. We are looking for
these people to find out more details,” he told Bangla Tribune.
Ahmadi Muslims Fear Attacks After Imran Khan Victory In Pakistan
followers of a minority Islamic sect have expressed fears of violent
persecution after cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan announced victory in
Pakistan’s general election.
Ahmadiyya community is considered heretical by orthodox Muslims because its
followers do not believe that Mohammed was the final prophet.
stance means they are not recognised as Muslims and its adherents can be put to
death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
65, has been accused of risking bloodshed for electoral gain after he offered a
defence of the strict laws in the run-up to the country’s general election this
are standing with Article 295c and will defend it,” said the leader of the
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party at a gathering of Muslim leaders in
Islamabad, referring to a clause of the constitution that mandates the death
penalty for any “imputation, insinuation or innuendo” against the prophet
Britain’s 30,000 strong Ahmadis say they fear Khan’s election victory will
embolden Islamic extremists in this country to target them for attacks.
year British Ahmadi mosques were forced to introduce airport-style security to
screen worshippers for knives and firearms after receiving death threats from
other Muslims around the country.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK (AMC) brought in walk-through metal detectors,
identity checks and bag searches at its prayer centres after threats were made
on the life of its leader, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, and other group members.
severe security measures came just months after an Ahmadi shopkeeper Ahmad Shah
was murdered by an orthodox muslim in Glasgow.
killer Tanveer Ahmed, 32, from Bradford, later said he murdered the 40-year-old
as he had falsely claimed to be a prophet.
Rafiq, spokesman for the AMC said: “We are hopeful that Mr Khan will withdraw
his support for the anti-Ahmadi laws but his rhetoric so far has not been
are literally outlawed in Pakistan and even in the UK we have had incidents
where orthodox muslims serving as local councillors have refused to sit
alongside Ahmadis on interfaith committees.”
explained how in 1974 Pakistan’s military dictator further targeted Ahmadi
Muslims by making it a criminal offence, punishable by three years imprisonment
(or by death under the Blasphemy Laws), for any Ahmadi who “directly or
indirectly poses himself as Muslim.”
meant that Ahmadis could no longer profess or practice their Islamic faith in
any way without facing prosecution.
said: “Consequently, thousands of Ahmadis have been charged under these laws
and have continued to face harassment, intimidation and persecution on a daily
are routinely referred to as infidels and apostates with open calls for them to
be killed. The persecution is institutionalised with harassment and
intimidation rife in education, public services, the judiciary and Ahmadi
graves have also been vandalised and bodies exhumed.”
added: “The effects of such persecution is not limited to Pakistan alone as
anti-Ahmadi hate has also surfaced in the UK as well. The most extreme example
of this was the brutal murder in Glasgow of Ahmadi shopkeeper Asad Shah in
2016, who was killed on grounds of faith.
has also been a worrying development of hate preachers coming to the UK and a
stream of hate speech on satellite television, the internet and social media
and that is promoting intolerance and extremism.”
top cleric warns Abadi: Introduce reforms or protesters will fix officials
Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, Iraq’s most influential Shiite cleric, has
called for a government to be formed as soon as possible to tackle corruption
and improve basic services.
a Friday sermon delivered by a representative, Sistani also challenged the
caretaker administration of Prime Minister Haider Abadi to respond to
protesters’ fears following widespread demonstrations in the Shiite-dominated
southern provinces and Baghdad.
current government must work hard, urgently, to reduce citizens’ suffering and
misery,” Sistani’s representative, Sheikh Abdulmahdi Al-Karbala’ie, said in the
Shiite holy city of Kerbala.
in Iraq is mounting as politicians struggle to form a government following the
May 12 election, which was marred by allegations of fraud, prompting a recount.
cleric’s Friday message was the clearest and most detailed call for government
reform since 2015.
the government or Parliament ... do not meet the reformations, the people will
have to escalate their peaceful protests to impose their will on the
officials,” Al-Karbala’ie said.
hope that there will be no need for this (escalation), and that the
decision-makers ... get the matter resolved before it is too late.”
who is seeking a second term in office, is heading a fragile caretaker
government until a new administration is formed.
is the most influential figure in Iraq and his support is essential for any
government. The cleric is seen by most Iraqis as the “godfather” of political
changes that have taken place in the country since 2003.
of people have protested this month in cities in the long-neglected south,
Iraq’s Shiite heartland, against the lack of basic services, and high rates of
poverty and unemployment. Protests over the same issues have occurred in the
past, but the unrest this time is more widespread.
(the corruption) will be his (the PM’s) first duty and his essential mission,
waging a relentless war on corrupt (officials) and their protectors,”
also called on the next prime minister to expand the role of the Commission of
Integrity and other regulatory bodies “to combat corruption and stand against
has been at the top of the list of the world’s most corrupt countries for more
than a decade.
elects first non-Muslim in modern history to general national assembly seat
has elected a non-Muslim to a general seat in the national assembly for the
first time in its recent history, even as the victory of ex-cricketer Imran
Khan raises some concerns among minority communities.
Kumar Malani, a 55-year-old Hindu, spoke to The Independent on Friday after it
was confirmed that he had won his seat in the impoverished Tharparkar district
of Sindh province.
a member of the third-placed progressive Pakistan People’s Party, led by the
son of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, Mr Malani said he
will now likely travel to Islamabad in opposition to Mr Khan’s Pakistan
results late on Friday showed PTI had won 115 of the 272 contested seats in the
national assembly, while the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)
conceded defeat on 62. PPP placed third, with 43 seats.
while coalition talks for Mr Khan to form a government are just beginning, Mr
Malani was willing to get a headstart on taking the victorious former sportsman
– whose critics dub him “Taliban Khan” for his perceived closeness to extremist
Islamist groups – to task.
represents one of the biggest challenges to Pakistan’s future, Mr Malani said,
alongside poverty. “We [PPP] can join hands with anyone if they have any
actable agenda to fight against both poverty and terrorism in the best
interests of the nation,” he said.
up for minority rights represents one of the key tenets of the PPP manifesto,
Mr Malani said, but he would not let his religion alone define his role in
am not only the representative of the Hindu or the minority,” he said. “In a
general election the Muslim majority also votes for me, so I am going to
perform my duty for all my people and for my nation. My agenda is to stand up
for the rights of every citizen of Pakistan.”
the campaign trail, Mr Khan rallied support from mostly Muslims with populist
messages calling for the death penalty for blasphemers and vitriol against
voters from religious minorities told The Independent on election day that they
would vote for PML-N over Mr Khan’s PTI. Nadeem Masih, 30, from Islamabad’s
small Christian community, said of Mr Khan: “He is not interested in our rights
if I tell you the truth.”
Mr Malani, the biggest issue with Mr Khan was not necessarily his courting of
extremists, but rather his courting of independent candidates who regularly
swap parties for elections to join the highest bidder – a group of influential,
veteran politicians dubbed “electables”.
Khan has the same team of ‘electables’ who were part of the previous
governments of the PML-N and the PPP,” Mr Malani said. “Khan declared that
previous government corrupt and specifically said all these ‘electables’ were
am surprised – how will Imran Khan bring the change he has promised with all
these old faces? How are they now not corrupt, but have become honest and
Malani said it was nonetheless time for people to come together in the best
interests of the country. He praised his campaign team of mostly Muslim workers
and said he hoped soon other political parties would pick candidates like PPP
“on merit, with no discrimination towards religion or any other basis”.
while he said he will “do what I can” as a member of the opposition to Mr Khan,
his final words for the new prime minister elect were reconciliatory, adding:
“Despite all the reservations, my best wishes are with him.”
Delhi: Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed has been secretly building
a 15-acre complex on the outskirts of the city of Bahawalpur in Punjab province
to train thousands of young children to sacrifice them to the cause of Jihad,
of the complex show that it will be five times the size of the banned group’s
existing headquarters in the city. Work at the site has been going on for the
last three months.
is no coincidence that the expansion plans coincide with the rise in prospects
of cricketer-turned-politician and now Prime Minister-designate Imran Khan, who
emerged victorious in Wednesday’s general election, with the aide of the JeM,
whose primary aim is to separate Kashmir from India and merge it into Pakistan.
it’s going to ask for the debt to be repaid.
group had thrown its weight behind Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf,
and campaigned extensively against his main rival, Nawaz Sharif, who it
described as a traitor to Pakistan and Islam.
Pakistan is facing international sanctions for failing to act against terror
groups on its soil, little action has been taken so far. The country has
committed to a 26-point action plan to check financing of groups like the JeM.
The sanctions could come into effect from September next year.
the ground reality is that the banned outfit is operating freely. According to
local government records, land for the new Bahwalpur complex was purchased
directly by Masood Azhar, the group’s commander, who India holds responsible
for many terrorist acts in India, including the December 2001 attack on
Parliament as well the January 2016 attack on the Pathankot airbase.
Indian government has been trying to get him declared as a United
Nations-designated terrorist, but the move has been blocked numerous times by
rates in the area where the complex is being built range around Pakistani
rupees 80 to 90 lakh per acre. Sources who have visited the place say that the
seminary already includes kitchens, medical facilities and classrooms and a
large underground facility, possibly for use as secure housing or indoor firing
are also plans for a swimming pool, archery range and sports fields, Firstpost
reported. The JeM hopes that in time this complex would emerge as the centre of
all its Jihadi operations.
for this quest is being done in the form of cash donations from pilgrims who
are heading to Haj. In 2017, landowners were also called upon to gift their
ushr, a religious tithe levied on the harvest, to help “martyrs, prisoners
detained for Islam, the families of religious warriors, seminaries, offices and
call was issued in the name of the Al-Rehmat Trust—an
internationally-proscribed organisation which the United States Treasury says
raises funds for jihadist operations.
PM Nawaz Sharif had tied to stop the JeM and ordered the arrest of Azhar, but
now that he is sidelined and Khan is in the hot seat, the operations are
expected to go in overdrive, sources said.
A multi-party meeting which included the Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz (PML-N)
on Friday rejected the result of the general polls alleging rigging and
demanded a "transparent" re-election, threatening country-wide
president Shehbaz Sharif and Jamiat Uleme-e-Islam Fazal chief Maulana Fazlur
Rehman jointly presided here the 'all parties conference', called to devise a
joint strategy over the alleged rigging in the July 25 polls.
smaller political parties badly thrashed in the elections turned up for the
meeting. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)
Pakistan did not attend it.
told media after the meeting that it was "not an election but
selection" and the results were unanimously rejected by the parties
attending the moot.
has been decided to reject the elections of July 25 because these elections are
not based on the mandate of the people but the people have been robbed of their
mandate," he said.
to the victory Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), he said those
claiming to have the right of representation of the people do not have this
demand that new elections should be held and we will hold protests in the
country for new polls," he said.
the parties could not agree on a proposal to refuse to take oath of the
membership of parliament due to noncommitment by PML-N.
said that he would consult with his party over the issue of oath and inform
other parties about it.
Majlis-e-Aml Pakistan, Awami National Party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party,
Qaumi Watan Party and some other smaller parties attended the meeting.
with 64 members and MMAP with 13 members are the main parties in the group.
Rehman is also chief of MMAP and his tough stance was due to deep personal
differences with Khan. The two in the past have used strong words against each
far, Khan was inching closer to form the government in Pakistan with his party
bagging 118 of the 270 seats. Khan's PTI was followed by jailed former prime
minister Nawaz Sharif's PML-N with 62 seats and former president Asif Ali
Zardari's PPP with 43 seats.
candidates have won 12 seats, according to the election commission which has so
far issued results for 265 seats of the National Assembly.
National Assembly comprises a total of 342 members, of which 272 are directly
elected. A party can only form the government if it manages to clinch 172 seats
chances of any major challenge to the PTI forming its government will be slim
because the PML-N will not be ready to leave Parliament.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Friday started
preparations for formation of his party’s government at the Centre after the
PTI won a majority of seats in the National Assembly.
PTI is also working to form its government in Punjab and for this purpose it
has started contacting leaders of different parties and independent candidates.
leader Jehangir Tarin made telephonic contacts with the head of a faction of
Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM), Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.
MQM faction and the PPP did not participate in the Multi-Party Conference (MPC)
convened by the Muttahidda Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) leader and JUI-F chief Maulana
Fazlur Rahman in Islamabad on Friday.
contacted, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry claimed that PTI had clinched 137 seats
of the National Assembly out of 270 and, therefore, it would easily form its
government at the Centre.
also claimed that the number of PTI’s successful candidates in Punjab was 130,
while the number of PML-N seats according to unofficial results of the polls,
is said to be 127.
will definitely form our government in Punjab as we are in contact with 21
independent candidates,” the PTI leader said
asked who will be the next chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he
said that the matter would be decided by PTI chairman Imran Khan.
about provincial setup of Balochistan, he said that the PTI was in a position
to form a coalition government in Balochistan as well.
The United States on Friday questioned the fairness of Wednesday’s elections in
Pakistan adding that it shared the concerns expressed by the European Union and
the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
a statement released to the media, the US State Department underlined what it
said were flaws in the pre-voting electoral process and the constraints placed
on freedom of expression and association.
United States shares concerns about flaws in the pre-voting electoral process,
as expressed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan,” said the department’s
spokesperson Heather Nauert.
included constraints placed on freedoms of expression and association during
the campaign period that were at odds with Pakistani authorities’ stated goal
of a fully fair and transparent election.”
Nauert said the United States concurs with the conclusions of the European Union
Election Observation Mission, whose report notes that while there were positive
changes to the legal framework for elections in Pakistan, these were
“overshadowed by restrictions on freedom of expression and unequal campaign
United States also “has deep reservations over the participation of
terrorist-affiliated individuals in the elections,” said the US official while
commending Pakistani voters for “fully rejecting these candidates” at the
ballot box on Wednesday.
with our international partners, the United States will continue to encourage a
broadening of opportunities for political participation for all Pakistanis, and
for the further strengthening of legitimate, democratic institutions,” said Ms
Pakistan’s elected leaders form a new government, the United States will look
for opportunities to work with them to advance our goals of security,
stability, and prosperity in South Asia,” she added.
the opening paragraph, the State Department also commended “the courage of the
Pakistani people, including many women,” who turned out to vote and showed
resolve to determine their country’s future.
condemn the horrific acts of terrorist violence that marred this process,
including the latest attack outside a polling station in Quetta on election
day. We offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their families, and
wish a speedy recovery to those injured,” said the US official.
NATIONS: Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General, has
congratulated the people of Pakistan upon the conclusion of elections, saying that
he “looks forward to the formation of a new government”.
exercising their constitutional right to vote, the people of Pakistan have
reaffirmed their commitment to a democratic Pakistan,” he said in a statement
read out by his spokesman Stephane Djuarric on Friday.
Secretary General commends the Election Commission of Pakistan for organising
the elections, taking initiatives to train women and for making efforts to
enhance the inclusion of women, persons with disability and other marginalised
groups, as well as first-time voters, in the electoral process,” the UN chief
Workers of religio-political parties took to the streets in Peshawar and other
parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday to protest against alleged rigging in the
general elections held on July 25.
were organised on the appeal of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the president of
Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), an alliance of five religio-political parties.
were taken out in Dera Ismail Khan, Orakzai, Buner, Lakki Marwat, Mardan,
Malakand, Battagram, Karak and Lower Dir.
other political parties, MMA was also humbled in the elections and its top
leaders, including Fazlur Rehman and Sirajul Haq, the Jamaat-i-Islami chief,
suffered defeat at the hands of PTI candidates.
protesters blocked the Karakoram Highway, the land route between Pakistan and
China, for traffic for more than five hours to protest against alleged rigging
and manipulation of the election results.
of activists of various religious parties took out a protest rally from a
mosque in the Peshawar city that turned into a big public meeting at Bajauri
Gate. The protesters were carrying placards and banners and chanted slogans
against the Election Commission of Pakistan, caretaker setup and the other
role of judiciary and the army has disturbed every Pakistani,” read a banner.
Another read: “Save dignity of vote. We will not let the agent of Jews to be
imposed on the nation,” referring to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran
the protesters, the speakers alleged that billions of rupees were wasted on the
rigged elections. They said that judiciary should clear its position in that
regard. They termed the polls a big fraud in the history of Pakistan as results
speakers urged the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of what
they said massive rigging in the elections. They alleged that foreign agenda
was being imposed on the nation.
Battagram, workers of Rah-i-Haq Party and MMA blocked Karakoram Highway to
register their protest against the alleged fraud in the elections. The
candidates who lost polls in the PK-29 constituency and their supporters led
the rally, raising slogans.
Party candidate for PK-29 Atta Mohammad, candidate for NA-12 Saeed Ahmed, MMA
candidate for NA-12 Qari Mohammad Yusuf and independent candidate Maulana
Rasheed Ahmed addressed the protesters.
remained disrupted for several hours on the busy highway.
protest leaders said that Atta Mohammad was leading in PK-29 with 4,000 votes
after counting of votes in 128 polling stations out of 149 stations, but
suddenly results of other polling stations were stopped and were announced
after two hours.
said that they had recorded video footages as a proof of rigging and polling of
bogus votes, adding while they were making videos officials tried to snatch
their phones but they did not succeed.
said that polling continued till 11pm at Trand Gidri polling station while at a
polling station in Trand government high school it continued till 9.30pm. They said
that they had already submitted an application to the RO for recounting of
votes, but the authorities rejected their appeal.
Lakki Marwat, the district chapter of JUI-F took out a rally in Naurang town to
record their protest against alleged rigging in the elections.
good number of activists participated in the rally. MNA-elect from NA-36
Maulana Mohammad Anwar, MNA-elect from NA-51 Mufti Abdul Shakoor and other
leaders of JUI-F attended the rally.
condemned the alleged rigging and said that mainstream leadership of the
political parties was kept from the National Assembly under a conspiracy. They
rejected the poll results and demanded re-election in a transparent and
Buner, JUI-F workers staged a demonstration in front of the press club against
the alleged rigging in the elections. The protesters said that they would not
accept the poll results.
speakers termed handing over of magisterial powers to the army on the polling
day interference in the election process. They alleged that a western lobby was
bent upon empowering Imran Khan, the PTI chief, to unleash liberalism and
secularism in Pakistan.
Timergara, MMA losing candidates Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan, Maulana Asadullah,
Muzafar Said and others rejected the results of the election and demanded of
the ECP to hold re-polling on all constituencies of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
demand was made during different protest rallies at Chakdara and Talash which
were attended by scores of MMA supporters.
MMA candidates said that election was rigged and its results were made
With only six seats in the National Assembly, the Muttahida Qaumi
Movement-Pakistan is inching closer to forge a coalition with the Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf which lacks a simple majority in the lower house of parliament,
it emerged on Friday.
MQM-P, which only a day before had rejected the election results, also chose
not to side with the parties complaining of massive rigging in the general
elections. The party’s announcement that it was not attending the multi-party
conference convened by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in Islamabad is being
seen as an attempt to appease the establishment and keep its door open for
negotiations with the PTI.
estranged parties, the MQM and PTI had developed a working relationship in
September last year when PTI’s senior leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi made an
attempt to replace then leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Syed
Khursheed Ahmed Shah. The two parties also supported each other’s candidates in
the July 25 elections in various constituencies in the interior of Sindh.
the PTI has emerged as the single-largest party in the National Assembly with
115 seats, it still requires 22 more votes to get a simple majority. Even if
all 13 independents join the PTI, the party still needs nine more MNAs.
this backdrop, PTI chief Imran Khan’s point man Jahangir Tareen telephoned
MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Friday to pave the way for future
negotiations on forming a coalition at the Centre.
spokesperson Aminul Haque told Dawn that Mr Tareen congratulated Dr Siddiqui on
his party’s success in the election.
said both sides accepted each other’s mandate and agreed on having a meeting
soon. Mr Haque said nothing had been decided about formation of a future
sources said the MQM-P was ready to support the PTI at the Centre but wanted
Imran Khan to visit its Bahadurabad headquarters to seek its support. Besides,
it wanted a package for Karachi and Hyderabad and funds and powers for the
local bodies in the two cities.
the past, the MQM-P had extended unconditional support to former prime
ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Nawaz Sharif and Shahid
on Friday, cracks reappeared in the MQM-P when senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar,
who lost Wednesday’s election to PTI candidates from two NA seats, attended the
multi-party conference in Islamabad against the decision of the party’s
leader Faisal Subzwari took to social media to say that Dr Sattar had attended
the MPC because he was not immediately contacted. “Everyone knows about our
reservations on election results. We are fighting our case and keep fighting.
However, right now we have decided not to attend the all-party conference,” he
MQM-P had sent Dr Sattar and senior leader Kanwar Naveed Jameel to Islamabad to
attend the MPC.
sources said that Kanwar Naveed did not attend the MPC on the instructions of
the party, but Dr Sattar went to the venue.
last month, Dr Sattar headed the PIB group, while Kanwar Naveed was part of the
Bahadurabad group of the MQM-P.
One of the Jamaat-i-Islami leaders wasn’t far wrong earlier this month when he
compared the party’s loosening grip on its stronghold of Dir districts to the
fall of Granada, the last battle of Spanish Reconquista leading to the
expulsion of Moors from Spain in 1492.
the JI, the ‘grim prophecy’ came true rather quickly as the party was literally
wiped out from its strongholds in Upper and Lower Dir.
July 25, the party lost all three National Assembly seats to the Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf and managed to win only one of the total eight provincial
assembly seats of the two districts.
magnitude of defeat could be judged from the fact that the party’s chief,
Senator Sirajul Haq, a candidate for a NA seat from home constituency, lost to
the PTI’s little-known candidate with a huge margin of over 17,000 votes.
2013, the party had won both NA seats from Upper and Lower Dir and six
provincial assembly seats.
elections, it became part of the province’s PTI-led ruling coalition and
remained so for five years having a fair share of development funds to use
primarily on both districts.
the question arises what went wrong with the JI.
reason seems to be not too mystifying. The party content with its share of
funds probably failed to grasp the reality that its stronghold was gradually
slipping out of its hands.
signs were already there. One of the JI’s NA members has managed to win the
Lower Dir NA seat with a margin of 5,000 votes. The PTI candidate had stood
second in the constituency. In 2015, a Pakistan Peoples Party candidate had
defeated the JI nominee in by-polls.
the JI leadership under Senator Siraj failed to know about the party’s
dwindling fortunes and he steered the party to the fringes of the political
politician, Siraj focuses on public consumption. His optics is public attention
and his social media appearances where one can see him trying himself to liken
with the man on street albeit comically.
The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution: The Jamaat-i-Islami of Pakistan,
Iranian-American academic Vali Nasr describes then party chief Qazi Hussain
Ahmad as populist. Munwar Hasan, upon taking over was portrayed as someone with
academic bent of mind, who would balance Qazi’s populism and reorient the party
to its roots.
contrast to both, Siraj just plays to the gallery without any regard for vision
and policy. His attempts to garner public attention could at best be likened to
a teenager’s obsession with social media persona.
1985 when it lost Karachi to the rising MQM, the Jamaat’s political fortunes
have been in flux. In the 1977 polls, it had won nine seats: two from Punjab
three from the erstwhile NWFP and four from Sindh. In 1985, the party’s seats
from Karachi reduced to two and it won four from the NWFP, while in 1988
elections, it was effectively eliminated from Karachi and managed to win five
seats from Punjab and two from the NWFP.
contested the 1990 polls under the banner of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad and
won eight NA and 20 provincial assembly seats from across the country.
1993 came the peak of Qazi’s populist streak as the party contested election
under the Pakistan Islamic Front with slogan ‘Zalimo Qazi Aa Raha Hai’.
However, it proved to be a disastrous venture as the party managed to win only
three NA seats: one from Punjab and two from the NWFP.
party ended boycotting the 1997 polls.
2002, party took part in elections under the banner of MMA religious alliance,
which ended up winning the government of erstwhile Frontier.
the party boycotted the 2008 elections.
makes 2018 significant is that this time around, the Jamaat has lost the
pockets of support in Malakand, which it managed to retain despite its changing
has left the party without its moorings.
JI chief Mushtaq Ahmad Khan thinks that the party’s electoral failure has more
to do with external factors than internal ones.
told Dawn that it was part of the same pattern, which happened to all political
parties, which were denied the people’s mandate for them through pre- and
Mushtaq said while one party was facilitated, others were threatened and
sidelined and of which all political parties were complaining.
An All Parties Conference, chaired by PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and JUI-F
chief Fazlur Rehman, on Friday dismissed election results, with the latter
demanded the elections to be held again.
is not people’s mandate, this is a mandate which has been stolen,” Fazlur
Rehman said while addressing the media outside F-8 sector of Islamabad.
was also announced that all parties, except for the PML-N, have refused to take
oath and that the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) will lead a movement against
‘rigging’ during the elections.
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif has said that the blatant rigging in this
election has taken the democratic process back 50 years.
the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has asserted time and time again that
the the 2018 were the fairest elections in the country’s history.
country has been hurled in a political chaos with the Election results because
of accusations of outright rigging, the withholding of form 45 and the forced
removal of polling agents from polling stations by stationed army officials.
Many have dubbed this election as the worst in the Nation’s history.
as future Prime Minister Imran Khan made his victory speech, towards the end he
said that he is ready to assist the opposition in any allegations of rigging.
leader Khawaja Asif has rebuked his comment and said that scrutiny is their
legal right and any assistance in that by the ruling government is unnecessary.
Two minor daughters of moderate Hurriyat Conference leader Shahidul Islam, who
is lodged in Tihar jail in connection with a Hawala funding case, have written
to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his "personal intervention"
in the case.
and Sundas described their father as a "pro-dialogue leader" and
argued that no charges have been proven against him.
father, a prominent political leader, is known for his pro-dialogue stance
aimed at peaceful settlement of Kashmir, for which he was attacked twice by
unknown gunmen, we never expected that peace-loving and moderate voices like
him will be treated so shabbily in the world's largest democracy," the
girls wrote in the letter which was released to media here today.
girls, studying at an elite school here, appealed to both India and Pakistan to
stop ill-treating political detainees.
the helpless daughters of a jailed and ailing man humbly appeal the governments
of India and Pakistan to stop ill-treating the political detainees and their
families as even criminals and their families have right to be treated
humanely," they said.
the country where prime minister's 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' slogan has
rekindled hope among the hopeless disadvantaged girl child, we are unable to
attend to our studies, the sisters said.
us, our home is like a prison, while Daddy has been jailed for months, with
none of the allegations levelled against him having been proved.
look forward to an immediate personal intervention by your good self,"
read the letter addressed to the prime minister.
girls said their recent meeting with Shahidul Islam in Tihar jail reminded them
of a similar meeting between former Navy commander Kulbhushan Jadhav with his
family in a Pakistani jail.
alone touching him, the glass wall was too thick to let our words reach him.
One intercom in the poorly-ventilated room was the only means to converse. Our
visit to Tihar Jail, reminded us of the union of Kulbhushan Jadhav with his
aged mother and wife in a prison in Pakistan," they said in the letter.
girls also said that their father's life was at risk as he has been lodged with
"criminals and drug addicts".
to the walls of 8x6 feet cell of High Risk Ward of Thiar Jail, he has been kept
with criminals and drug addicts, which exposes him to an obvious threat to his
life. But then, even meeting Daddy couldn't end without horror. When we're
still to finish our conversation with him, the phone line snapped and the
lights went off.
pray that no daughters have to visit Tihar again," the letter added.
Islam, spokesman of moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq,
was arrested along with six others by the National Investigation Agency (NIA)
last year in connection with its probe into funding of terror and subversive
activities in Kashmir Valley.
who trafficked 39 Indians to Iraq still sending people abroad, says Sushma
Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said the agent responsible for
trafficking 39 Indians to Iraq, who were abducted and later killed, was still
operating his business and urged state women commissions to crackdown against
such illegal agents.
had told Parliament in March that the 39 Indians, who were abducted by the ISIS
terror outfit in Mosul three years ago, were dead.
addressing a national conference on state women commissions, she urged them to
launch a crackdown on the illegal network of agents operating across the
lamented that agent who transported the 39 Indians to Iraq was still sending
said the passage of the anti-trafficking bill was a very good step but till the
network of such illegal agents was curbed its full impact could not be
boys are trafficked from Mumbai who say that they are being sent to different
merchant ships as crew members, but in reality they are being sent for
smuggling and when they get arrested in other countries it becomes very
difficult to rescue them from there,” she rued.
advised that people need to go only through authorised government agents.
ministry has all the information of people who go through government authorised
agents and we know who is the employer. So in case of any unforseen incident,
we have an agent responsible for them,” she said.
said the state commissions need to identify these illegal agents and give their
names to the chief minister and ask him to take action against “so called
chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq warns of mass agitation as hearing on Article 35A’s
leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday warned of massive agitation in Jammu and
Kashmir if the special rights accorded to the state by the Constitution of
India were taken away.
Hurriyat chairman made the comments as the Supreme Court is set to hear on
August 6 a petition challenging the validity of Article 35A of the
Constitution. The Article empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to
define “permanent residents” of the state and provides special rights and
privileges to those permanent residents.
the Friday congregation in the city’s Jamia Masjid, Farooq said that Kashmiri
people have been fighting for their rights since 1931 against various powers in
said the people of Kashmir are cautiously and carefully watching the events
around the hearing on the Article 35A.
of Kashmiris from all spheres of life will never take machinations against them
lying low and will oppose them tooth and nail. The people of Kashmir will hit
the streets and start agitation on the mass scale,” he said.
accused the BJP and RSS plan of changing the demographic nature of Jammu and
Kashmir by doing away with the state subject law and flooding it with people
from outside and warned that changing Kashmir’s status will never be allowed.
resulting consequences will entirely be the responsibility of those who will
force people to take drastic steps,” he said.
hearing comes amidst the lack of an elected government in the state which was
put under governor’s rule after the BJP pulled out of the coalition government
Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on
the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg and congratulated him on his
in the day, Modi met Russian President Valdimir Putin and also held bilateral
meetings with the presidents of Argentina and Angola.
last engagement in Johannesburg! PM @narendramodi met the Turkish President
Recep Erdogan on the sidelines of #BRICSSummit2018,” ministry of external
affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
congratulated President Erdogan on his re-election as the President.
#IndiaatBRICS,” he said.
expert and 12 ISIS-K militants killed in Nangarhar province
expert of the Improvised Explosive Devices and at least twelve ISIS Khurasan
militants were killed in separate incidents in eastern Nangarhar province of
provincial government media office in a statement said a militant was killed
while he was developing an improvised explosive device in his house in Ghani
statement further added that the IED expert was killed instantly after the
explosives went off during the making of the improvised explosive device.
provincial government also added that the US forces conducted airstrike in
Awghaz area of Haska Mina district, leaving at least seven ISIS Khurasan
separate airstrikes conducted in Nazian and Achin districts, at least 5 ISIS
Khursan militants were killed, the provincial government added.
statement also added that the local residents and security personnel have not
suffered casualties during the operations.
has been among the relatively calm provinces since the fall of the Taliban
regime in 2001 but the anti-government armed militants have been attempting to
expand their foothold in this province during the recent years.
the Afghan armed forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations to
suppress the militant groups.
after heavy monsoon rains displaced more than 16,000 people in Myanmar, local
media reported yesterday. A total of 16,792 people were displaced by floods,
which began over the weekend in southeastern Kayin State, as of Wednesday, the
Myanmar Times reported, quoting the Department of Disaster Management. Some
10,368 people were forced to flee their homes in the state capital Hpa-an
because of flood water from the Thanlwin River, it added. Many evacuation
centers were set up across the state to provide temporary shelters for the
rains affected a large part of the Philippines, Japan and Southeast Asia this
Bangladesh, the Rohingya Muslims face the risk of losing shelters due to
monsoon rains and many infectious diseases due to polluted water sources. Aid
agencies have been warning that the monsoon could unleash "an emergency
within an emergency" for the close to one million Rohingya living in
temporary shelters in southeast Bangladesh. Many of the hillsides were cleared
of trees to make way for shelters, making the land highly unstable. The region
is prone to cyclones, landslides and devastating downpours during the rainy
season, which arrives in June and typically lasts three months.
estimated 700,000 Rohingya have fled over the border to Bangladesh since an
army crackdown was launched in Rakhine state in August. Myanmar blames Rohingya
militants for an Aug. 25 strike on security posts in Rakhine state that
triggered a fierce army crackdown. At least 9,000 Rohingya were killed in
Rakhine state from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24, according to Doctors without Borders.
In a report last December, the global humanitarian group said the deaths of
71.7 percent, or 6,700 Rohingya, were caused by violence. The stateless
Rohingya have been the target of communal violence and vicious anti-Muslim
sentiment in mainly Buddhist Myanmar for years. Last year, monsoon rains
triggered landslides in Cox's Bazar and the nearby Chittagong Hill Tracts,
killing at least 170 people.
commander of the Afghan Border Police Forces Gen. Juma Gul Hemat says the
border police forces will be equipped with the special modern weapos.
Hemat made the remarks during a visit to the 1st Brigade of Border Forces in
eastern Nangarhar province.
to a statement released by the provincial government, Gen. Hemat visited
Nangarhar province to inspect the headquarter and Kandaks of the 1st Brigade of
Border Police forces in this province.
thanked the commander of the 1st Brigade Gen. Mohammad Ayoub Hussain Khel for
the better administration of the brigade which has resulted into the less
casualties of the border forces while the achievements of the soldiers have
been on the higher side. Hailing the devotion of the border police forces, Gen.
Hemat said based on the instructions of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the
border forces will be equipped with modern weapons and equipment.
also added that the border forces will also receive air support in a bid to
boost the capabilities of the border troops in suppressing the militants.
senior Taliban official says the insurgent group has held the first direct
talks with a US official in a preliminary discussion about future plans for
week’s meeting with Alice Wells, the US’s top diplomat for South Asia, was an
attempt to jump-start talks on ending Washington's longest military engagement,
a senior Taliban official told The Associated Press early Saturday.
officials neither confirmed nor denied a meeting took place.
Taliban have long demanded direct talks with Washington.
discussion was preliminary, initial and both discussed a future meeting and
contacts,” said the official on condition of anonymity because he was not
authorized to speak to the media.
has halted cooperation with the U.S. in the case of two British Islamic State
fighters pending an appeal, the government said Friday, after concerns that
they could face the death penalty provoked a backlash.
U.S. has designated the two men, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, as
global terrorists and accuses them of being part of a cell that beheaded U.S.
citizens. They are currently being held by Kurdish forces in Syria.
has launched an investigation into three suspects over a terrorist plot to
attack Muslims thwarted last month, French media reported on Friday.
to French daily Le Figaro, the suspects -- two men and one woman-- were
arrested on Monday by the Internal Security Directorate and are accused of
plotting attacks on Muslims.
month, French prosecutors charged 10 far-right extremists with criminal
terrorist conspiracy over the terrorist plot to attack Muslims.
handguns, homemade grenades and items used in the manufacture of TATP
explosives were found during raids in the Paris area, the Mediterranean island
of Corsica, and the western Charentes-Maritimes region.
10 are believed to be part of a radical right-wing group called Operational
Forces Action or AFO, which works to incite French people to combat Muslims,
calling them "the enemy within."
its website "Guerre de France" (War for France), the AFO says that it
is training French "soldier-citizens" for a fight on French
chief calls new Muslim region in Philippines ‘a landmark’
Nations, Jul 28 (AP) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling a new law
in the Philippines creating a Muslim autonomous region “a landmark achievement
on the road to lasting peace” in the country’s troubled south.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed legislation Thursday establishing the
Bangsamoro region, culminating over two decades of negotiations under four
presidents. The new region is aimed at settling nearly half a century of Muslim
unrest in the south.
Stephane Dujarric said Friday “the United Nations will continue to support the
Philippines in the implementation of the law, and to help build the capacity of
the Bangsamoro Transition Authority as an effective conduit for peace,
democratic governance, and human rights.” He said Guterres congratulates
negotiators including the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
delegation in Damascus for peace talks
alliance of Kurdish and Arab militants in Syria has sent a delegation to the
Syrian capital for talks with Syrian government officials.
so-called Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), which is linked to the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) — a US-backed coalition of mainly Kurdish militants
holding a grip on northeastern Syria — sent the delegation to Damascus on
Wednesday, according to SDC co-chair Riad Darar.
delegation, led by executive head of SDC Ilham Ahmed, was expected to discuss
matters of service provision in the areas controlled by the Kurdish group, but
“the talks might widen to political and security matters," Darar told
Reuters on Friday.
is certainly the first visit that happened," he added.
militants are allied with the United States and French troops deployed to Syria
under the pretext of fighting Daesh.
among their demands is having an autonomous region within the Syrian borders.
Darar, however, said that the outcome of the meetings is not yet clear, and
that he did not know which Syrian officials will be meeting with the Kurdish
also did not clarify how long the delegation will stay in Damascus.
Kurdish militant group, once called by President Bashar al-Assad as “traitors”
to the nation, announced last month that it was ready for “unconditional” peace
talks with the government amid the Syrian army’s major gains against the
foreign-backed terrorist groups.
said back in May that he was “opening doors” for negotiations with the SDF, who
have apparently become wary of their unpredictable “ally”, the United States.
an interview with Russia's RT television network, Assad said, “we started now
opening doors for negotiations, because the majority of them are Syrians,
supposedly they like their country, they don't like to be puppets to any
foreigners. If not, we’re going to resort... to liberating those areas by
to Syrian media, the Kurds had expressed readiness to hand over control of the
Eastern Euphrates to the government after Washington withheld its support for
the Kurdish militants in the northern Syrian cities of Manbij and Afrin.
presence of the Kurdish militants in the area has been a source of tension between
the US and Turkey. Last month, the two sides reached a deal about the
withdrawal of the Kurds from Manbij.
Kurds have stressed that they do not seek independence, but say they want a
political deal to safeguard an autonomous administration which is now under
their control in the north.
World League gives update on halal certification work in Saudi Arabia
As the only body in Saudi Arabia authorized to issue halal certificates, the
Muslim World League has given an update on its latest efforts, developments and
projects in this area.
MWL confirmed its continuing commitment to applying the highest standards,
pointing out that it recently suspended several abattoirs and slaughter
companies around the world for violating the rules of halal slaughter.
addition, it was recently awarded the globally recognized ISO 9001 Quality
Management System certificate. It is the only organization in the world to
achieve this certification in the halal field.
MWL is also in the process of finalizing the establishment of the largest legal
center for halal in the world, as part of its headquarters in Makkah. The
center’s functions include supervising slaughter and the production of halal
goods, and issuing certificates, directly or through its offices and
representatives abroad, according to the halal certification mechanism and
center also issues certificates for selling halal goods, provides technical and
Islamic consultancy services, introduces businesses to halal food, provides
media, awareness and marketing consultations, and supports the production of
MWL said it has earned the trust of exporters and importers of halal meat
worldwide, thanks to its 30 years of experience in the field.
league has organized several international halal conferences in meat-exporting
countries and regions, such as Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Europe
issuing halal certificates, MWL adheres to regulations and standards set by the
GCC Standardization Organization. It also relies on the views and fatwas of the
International Islamic Fiqh Academy in Jeddah.
Muslim World League is an International Islamic NGO concerned with Muslims’
affairs in general, and the religion of Islam in particular.
army men, backed up by the artillery units and army aircraft, exchanged heavy
fire with ISIL in Hawz Yarmouk, imposing control over the town of Jalin and
al-Jomou'a strategic hill overlooking several towns and villages in the region.
army men further advanced in the depth of ISIL-held regions, seizing control
over Tasil and Advan towns in Hawz Yamrmouk.
the meantime, other units of the army conducted an assault South of Hawz
Yarmouk and captured the town of Hayt.
a military source pointed to the intensified operation of the army against ISIL
at borders with Israeli-occupied Golan after a Syrian Sukhoi was shot down by
Israelis and also terrorist's attacks on government forces in Sweida,
underlining that the army men inflicted major casualties on the terrorists.
Syrian army continued clashes against the ISIL terrorists in Hawz al-Yarmouk in
Northwestern Dara'a on Thursday, retaking control of the village of
al-Mazire'ah and Sad Awan North of the town of Jalin.
the Syrian artillery and missile units as well as the air force pounded the
terrorists' positions and moves in the region with repeated attacks.
a military source said that the Syrian army has taken back control of over 18
towns and villages, including the strategic regions, from the ISIL in the past
two days, adding that the militants' defense lines have collapsed.
to a statement from the Syrian authorities, the army uncovered a White Helmets
base in the town of Sahm Joulan, which was recently held by ISIL and previously
by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the AMN reported.
statement said that the White Helmets base contained IEDs and artillery shells
inside, adding that they would release a video shortly.
military source in the Dara'a said that the White Helmets base could have been
turned into a weapons storage by the ISIL after they took over Sahm Joulan.
details have been released at this time.
army men pulled the country's flag up in Quneitra border-crossing after years
of occupation by the Al-Nusra front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant
Al-Nusra terrorists had set fire at the border-crossing before withdrawal
towards Idlib under a reconciliation plan.
units of the army managed to impose control over the villages of Sheikh
Hossein, Kokab, al-Shabraq, Masireteh, al-Lawihaq and Salbak after heavy
fighting with terrorists in Southeastern Quneitra and Northwestern Dara'a.
suffered heavy casualties and their military equipment sustained major damage
in the clashes.
of people took to the streets of Baghdad and cities across southern Iraq on
Friday in the latest protests against corruption, social ills and political
by a cordon of anti-riot personnel equipped with electric batons, protestors in
Baghdad’s Tahrir Square accused leaders of being “thieves” and “corrupt”, AFP
hundred people shouted “No to corruption!” and “Iran out!”.
people have been killed in nearly three weeks of unrest as demonstrators have
railed against power shortages, unemployment, a lack of clean water and state
to tensions, the country still awaits the results of a partial recount of May
12 elections, while political factions jostle to cobble together a coalition
under the watchful eyes of regional powers including Tehran.
oil-rich Basra, the southern port city where the protests began on July 8,
several thousand demonstrated in front of the governorate.
live in catastrophic conditions -- we need food and water,” said 33-year-old
history graduate and labourer Hassan Hantuch, one of the protestors.
to corruption, yes to change!” proclaimed banners held up by protestors in
Nasiriyah, southern Iraq, an AFP correspondent said.
also took place Friday in Najaf and Maysan provinces, south of Baghdad.
spokesman for Iraq’s highest Shiite authority Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
called at midday on the outgoing government to meet protestors’ demands.
top Syrian Kurdish official is in Damascus this week for talks with Syrian
government officials at the head of a delegation including members of the
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, their first declared visit to the capital.
visit points to moves by the Kurdish-led authorities that control roughly one
quarter of Syria to open channels to President Bashar al-Assad's administration
as they seek to negotiate a political deal that preserves their autonomy.
delegation in Damascus is headed by Ilham Ahmed, executive head of the Syrian
Democratic Council (SDC), said Riad Darar, SDC co-chair, speaking by phone from
Vienna. The delegation arrived two days ago, he added.
meetings were expected to primarily discuss matters of service provision in the
areas controlled by the Kurdish-led authorities, but Darar added that there was
no set agenda and the talks might widen to political and security matters.
outcome of the meetings is not yet clear, he said, adding that he did not know
which officials they would meet. It was not clear how long the delegation would
stay in Damascus.
main Syrian Kurdish groups have mostly avoided conflict with Assad during the
seven-year-long war, at times even fighting common foes -- including rebels
that his forces are gradually crushing with help from Russia and Iran.
recently began over a return of state employees and repairs to one of Syria’s
most important pieces of infrastructure: the Tabqa dam, Syria’s largest, which
the SDF took from ISIS last year with the help of US air power.
said the talks over the Tabqa dam had been held with delegations that had come
from Damascus. Referring to this week’s visit to Damascus by the SDC, he said:
“This is certainly the first visit that happened.”
acting chargé d'affaires to the United Nations says all military aggressors
will leave the Arab country soon as the army and its allies gain more ground
against foreign-backed terrorists on the battlefield.
at a UN Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Syria on
Friday, Abdullah Hallaq said the army's counter-terrorism operations have
successfully reduced the suffering of civilians, including those holed up in
militant-besieged areas, and facilitated humanitarian access to those regions.
major anti-terror campaign underway in southern Syria has also demonstrated
that certain governments only care about protecting terrorist groups,
particularly the so-called “White Helmets,” rather than the fate of the
displaced in Jordan, he added.
White Helmets, Hallaq said, is an arm of the al-Nusra Front terror outfit,
which has fabricated evidence to mislead the international public opinion about
chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
the face of advancing government forces in southern Syria earlier this month,
Israel evacuated hundreds of White Helmets volunteers and their family members
to Jordan for resettlement in the UK, Canada and Germany. The evacuation
further proved the much-reported collaboration between Tel Aviv and
day when all aggressor military forces leave Syria is not far away," the
Syrian diplomat pointed out.
also condemned unilateral economic measures taken by the EU and the US against
Syria, saying the sanctions have hindered the process of providing basic services
to the Syrian people and improving their humanitarian situation.
further accused the UN of deliberately
ignoring the information provided by the Syrian government regarding the
suffering of kids at the hands of terrorists and relying on "questionable
information" from militant-affiliated sources in its latest report on the
situation of children in the country.
UN, he said, should adopt a "objective, transparent, and neutral"
stance on the humanitarian situation in Syria amid "constant efforts to
distort facts about the Syrian state’s work to provide the needs of its
citizens and in light of certain states’ support for terrorists and
exploitation of the humanitarian situation in Syria to serve their own
rejoice at army advance in Quneitra
on Friday, the Syrians celebrated the hoisting of their national flag at
al-Tahrir Square in the town of Quneitra.
official SANA news agency reported that the Syrian army units had managed to
enter the town after eliminating terrorists and dismantling their landmines and
the ceremony, Quneitra residents voiced their support for the army in their
battle against terrorism until the liberation of the entire Syrian territory.
Syrian military is trying to wrest control over the strategic southwestern
Quneitra Province, which borders Jordan, Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied Golan
has also been conducting a major counter-terrorism operation in the nearby
Dara’a Province that also borders Jordan and the Golan Heights.
militants in the two provinces have been handing over their heavy weapons to
Syrian government forces and leaving the region in negotiated surrender deals.
government forces have discovered a field hospital used by members of the
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front,
containing a considerable amount of Israeli-made medicine and medical supplies
in the country’s strategic southwestern province of Quneitra.
footage broadcast by Syria’s state-run television network on Friday showed the
hospital at the Quneitra Crossing and in close proximity to the
Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
had an operating room with adequate Israeli-made medical devices, laboratory
equipment and a warehouse, where large quantities of Israeli- and Jordanian-made
medicine were being kept.
were also medical products manufactured by a number of Persian Gulf littoral
states, particularly the United Arab Emirates, in the warehouse.
on Friday, Syrian army troops scored progress in the fight against Daesh
Takfiri terrorists at Yarmouk basin in the southern countryside of Dara’a
Syrian military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said government
forces established control over the Wadi Saisun area and the Sahem al-Golan dam
after fierce battles with the extremists.
development came a day after army soldiers captured the strategic Tal al-Jomou’
hill as well as the towns of Jalin, Hait, Tasil and Sahem al-Golan. Most of
those areas are close to the Golan Heights.
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
May 21, the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces announced in a
statement that complete security was restored to Damascus and its countryside
after al-Hajar al-Aswad district and al-Yarmouk camp were totally purged of
reported that the government has officially completed the restoration work on the
Tayyem Gas Fields after it was put out of service by the ISIL.
restoration of the Tayyem Gas Fields took nearly three months, as the
construction workers had to reboot at least one of the two gas pumps in order
to provide the gas needed for electricity.
the repairs completed at the Tayyem Gas Fields, the Syrian government can now
work to restore electricity to all neighborhoods inside of the provincial
capital of Deir Ezzur.
re-open al-Aqsa mosque gates after hours of closure
police reopened al-Aqsa mosque gates after hours of closure on Friday, when
clashes erupted with Palestinian worshippers following midday prayers.
worshippers returned to the site around four hours after they were forced out
by police using tear gas.
the waqf, the religious authority that runs the mosque, confirmed the gates
were closed after clashes broke out, as AFP reported.
news agency reported that masked youth cracked fireworks in the direction of
Israeli police near the mosque on Friday and police charged the mosque compound
to confront them. It was not immediately clear if the entry of the police
happened before or after the fireworks.
Israeli police spokesman said firecrackers and stones were lobbed at the police
at al-Aqsa mosque compound “for an unknown reason”. Police were clearing the
compound in response, he said.
compound is a frequent flashpoint of Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
Houthi leaders among hundreds killed in al-Malahiz in Saada
correspondent in Yemen reported on Friday evening that the Yemeni army,
supported by coalition forces to support the legitimacy, succeeded in killing
six Houthi leaders in the Al-Malahiz Front in Saada.
killed are the leader of the Houthi Abdo Jubran Ali Ghalis, the leader Mohammed
Abdullah Al-Hazeq, Abed Mohammed Shubla, Mohammed Qasim Al-Shami, Abdul Majid
Abdullah Alwani and the leader Dale Hussein Khammash.
General Abdulkarim al-Sudai, commander of the Arab Army's Arabism Brigade, told
Al-Arabiya that troops had carried out several military operations on Houthi
positions in the Al-Malahiz front in Saada since the beginning of last week,
“continuing the process of cutting off the head of the snake.”
is to build hundreds of new homes in a settlement in the occupied West Bank
where a Palestinian stabbed three Israelis, one fatally, Defense Minister
Avigdor Lieberman said Friday.
best answer to terrorism is the expansion of settlements,” Lieberman wrote on
Twitter, announcing 400 new housing units in the Adam settlement north of
Jerusalem a day after the deadly stabbing.
teenage attacker snuck into the settlement on Thursday evening, the Israeli
army said, stabbing three people before being shot dead. The army named the man
who died as Yotam Ovadia, 31, with Israeli media saying he had two young
attacker was later identified by official Palestinian media as Mohammed Dar
Youssef, 17, from the village of Kobar. The army said Friday it had raided the
village, questioned a number of his family members and suspended their work
the raid on Friday morning, clashes broke out between young Palestinians and
soldiers firing tear gas, an AFP journalist reported. Official Palestinian news
agency Wafa said three people were arrested.
attack came after a period of relative calm in the West Bank, although there
has been recurrent violence between the Israeli army and Palestinian protesters
in the Gaza Strip in which at least 154 Palestinians have been killed since
a statement, Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza praised the
“courageous operation” in the West Bank without claiming responsibility for it.
Arab coalition in support of the legitimate forces in Yemen launched a series
of air strikes on Friday targeting positions under the control of Houthi
militias in Hodeidah, west of the country.
told Al Arabiya news channel that the intensive raids on the Hothi militia
positions in Hodeidah could be the beginning of the port battle that has been
underway for some time.
Yemeni national army and the resistance, with the support of the coalition,
decided to stop progress towards Hodeidah to give the United Nations a chance
to resolve the issue of the Houthi control of the port and the city.
addition, the alliance announced the issuance of four entry permits for vessels
destined for Yemeni ports carrying essential materials and oil derivatives,
including two ships to Hodeidah and two ships to al-Saleef port.
coalition sources said that five ships were docked at the port of Hodeidah and
seven ships were waiting to enter the port.
more Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces in the besieged Gaza
Health Ministry said Ghazi Abu Mustafa, 43, was shot in the head near the fence
that separates the occupied territories from Gaza east of Khan Yunis on Friday.
An unnamed 14-year-old boy was also killed during clashes east of Rafah in
have been running high near the fence since March 30, which marked the start of
a series of protests dubbed “The Great March of Return.” Palestinian protesters
demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
clashes in Gaza reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary
of the Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year with
Washington's relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem
fire has taken the lives of at least 155 Palestinians since March 30.
than 14,800 Palestinians have also sustained injuries, of whom at least 360 are
reportedly in critical condition.
June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by
Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
Gaza Strip. The resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and
Muslim countries, garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member
assembly, with 8 votes against and 45 abstentions. The resolution called on UN
Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60 days “on ways
and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of the
Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,” including
“recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline in living
standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
has also launched several wars on the Palestinian sliver, the last of which
began in early July 2014 and ended in late August the same year. The Israeli
military aggression killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and injured over 11,100
police storm al-Aqsa mosque, arrest 24 worshipers
on Friday, Israeli forces stormed al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site for
Muslims, in the Israeli-occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds, arresting
police claimed that they raided the mosque to arrest youths who had thrown
rocks and fireworks during clashes with its forces in the al-Aqsa Mosque
compound. Witnesses later saw about 20 young men arrested by Israeli police.
forces fired tear gas and stun grenades at Muslim worshipers gathered for
Friday prayers in the mosque compound, leaving scores of people injured.
continued Israeli attacks against occupied Jerusalem al-Quds will increase
tensions and will drag the region into a religious war that we have long warned
against," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's office said in a
Trump administration is quietly pushing ahead with a bid to create a new
security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in
part to counter Iran’s expansion in the region, according to US and Arab
White House wants to see deeper cooperation between the countries on missile
defense, military training, counter-terrorism and other issues such as
strengthening regional economic and diplomatic ties, four sources said.
plan to forge what officials in the White House and Middle East have called an
“Arab NATO” allies will likely raise tensions between the United States and
Shi’ite Iran, two countries increasingly at odds since President Donald Trump
administration’s hope is that the effort, tentatively known as the Middle East
Strategic Alliance (MESA), might be discussed at a summit provisionally
scheduled for Washington on Oct. 12-13, several sources said.
White House confirmed it was working on the concept of the alliance with “our
regional partners now and have been for several months.”
officials raised the idea of a security pact ahead of a Trump visit last year
to Saudi Arabia where he announced a massive arms deal.
from some of the Arab countries involved also said they were aware of renewed
efforts to activate the plan.
will serve as a bulwark against Iranian aggression, terrorism, extremism, and
will bring stability to the Middle East,” a spokesperson for the White House’s
National Security Council said.
Riyadh and Abu Dhabi accuse Iran of destabilizing the region, fomenting unrest
in some Arab countries through proxy groups and increasingly threatening
alliance would put emphasis on Gulf heavyweights Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates working closer together with the Trump administration on
United States has not instituted a policy of regime change or collapse in Iran,
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday, telling reporters that the goal
was still to change Iran’s behavior in the Middle East.
whether the Trump administration had created a regime change or collapse
policy, Mattis said: “There’s none that’s been instituted.”
need them to change their behavior on a number of threats that they can pose
with their military, with their secret services, with their surrogates and with
their proxies,” he added.
remarks were the most detailed ones by a senior official in President Donald
Trump's administration about US Iran policy following high-level discussions at
the White House on Thursday that included the issue of Iran.
came after a week of heated rhetoric between Washington and Tehran that was
kicked off by a warning from Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday that
hostile US policies could lead to “the mother of all wars.”
Are the Corporations Behind Trump’s Muslim Ban
month, the US Supreme Court officially gave its seal of approval to
discrimination against Muslims by upholding President Trump’s Muslim ban. With
all three branches of the federal government now apparently united in their
anti-Muslim animus, it is clearer than ever that we cannot wait for our public
officials to see the folly of their ways and right this wrong.
is why on June 29th, we at the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE) and
LittleSis released a report, Ban Them: Taking on the Corporations Behind the
Muslim Ban, which looks at the companies that either directly profit off
anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies or that finance the politicians who
support these policies. Our goal is to inspire campaigns that force these
companies to stop promoting Islamophobia.
we think of anti-Muslim corporations, organizations like Breitbart News and
News Corp may come to mind. However, these companies make for poor targets
because hate- and fearmongering are a core part of their business models.
Similarly, defense contractors like Halliburton, Blackwater and Caterpillar —
as well as Big Oil companies like ExxonMobil and BP — depend on war in
Muslim-majority countries for their profits. They need a large portion of
Americans to view Muslims as the enemy in order to survive and thrive. This
also makes them imperfect targets.
there is a different set of companies — companies whose executives are
brand-sensitive and want to appear cosmopolitan and multicultural, many of whom
count large numbers of Muslims among their customers, but who nevertheless help
prop up Islamophobia and our brutal anti-immigrant regime. This includes, for
example, corporations who are major donors to anti-Muslim politicians like Rep.
Steve King from Iowa and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. It also
includes companies that profit from and enable immigrant detention,
incarceration and surveillance.
That Support Anti-Muslim Politicians
King may well be the most racist member of Congress. He is certainly the most
anti-Muslim. Just last month, he encouraged meat-packing plants in his district
to discriminate against Muslim workers. Last year, King tweeted out an
endorsement of the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who has compared
the Qur’an to Hitler’s Mein Kampf, writing, “Wilders understands that culture
and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with
somebody else’s babies.”
is not a stretch to say that Senator Mitch McConnell gave us the Muslim ban.
McConnell masterminded the theft of Obama’s Supreme Court pick by refusing to
schedule hearings for Merrick Garland and made it possible for Trump to appoint
Neil Gorsuch to the bench, which gave Trump the fifth vote he needed to uphold
King and McConnell receive major funding from Wall Street. Over the course of
King’s political career, his second biggest campaign donor has been the
American Bankers Association (ABA), the leading industry association of big
banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, US Bank and
Goldman Sachs. JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America both have representatives on
the ABA’s board.
ABA gets its money from its member banks, and banks often rely on the ABA to do
their lobbying and push their agenda without getting their own hands dirty. All
of these banks are indirectly funding Steve King. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire
Hathaway is another one of King’s top campaign contributors. Berkshire Hathaway
is the largest shareholder in both Wells Fargo and Bank of America and a major
shareholder in Goldman Sachs and US Bancorp (the parent company of US Bank).
Blackstone Group, the world’s largest private equity firm and a Wall Street
giant, is McConnell’s top donor. Blackstone’s investments include companies
like Versace, Crocs, Motel 6 and Michaels craft stores. Blackstone CEO Stephen
Schwarzman was also the Chairman of Trump’s business council before it
disbanded. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and the Swiss bank UBS are
also among McConnell’s top campaign contributors, as is Elliott Management, the
hedge fund run by Paul Singer. All of these companies are complicit in the
theft of Obama’s Supreme Court pick, which has given us the conservative
majority we now have today.
company that is on the list of both King and McConnell’s top donors is
AT&T. Even though thousands of American Muslims are AT&T customers, by
giving so much money to these anti-Muslim politicians, the company is actually
a leader in promoting discrimination against Muslims in the United States.
AT&T also has a history of discriminating against Muslims in its own
workforce. In 2012, a jury awarded a Muslim former AT&T worker a $5 million
award over punitive damages.
of these corporations may claim that they only contribute to a politician
because they support their regulatory policies and not their xenophobic ones.
However, once they are in office, these politicians are pushing a racist
agenda, so any corporation that helps catapult them into office is complicit in
their Islamophobia and white supremacy.
Profiting From Trump’s Immigration Policies
role of anti-Muslim fervor and Islamophobia in the immigration debate cannot be
overstated. It is immigrants and refugees from Muslim-majority countries that
are the most directly affected by Trump’s Muslim ban. It is also important to
remember that ICE was first created after 9/11 as part of the Bush
Administration’s efforts to clamp down on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries
as part of the so-called War on Terror.
same zero-tolerance immigration policies that are separating families at the
Southern border are also separating Muslim families, and the Muslim ban is a
part of that framework. The same detention centers that are used to lock up
migrants from Latin America are also used to lock up Muslim immigrants. This
means that the companies that are profiting from Trump’s immigration policies
are also all responsible for creating a culture of Islamophobia in this country.
of March, 71 percent of immigrant detention beds in the United States were run
by private prison companies. The two largest private prison companies in the
world — which control a large portion of these beds — are GEO Group and
CoreCivic. Although demanding that these private prison companies stop locking
up people of color is also akin to asking someone to stop breathing, there are
other companies that enable these immigrant detention profiteers that are more
susceptible to public pressure.
slew of big banks provide financing to and are major investors in these private
prison companies. A 2016 report from In The Public Interest identified six
banks as the primary financiers of GEO and CoreCivic: Wells Fargo, Bank of
America, JPMorgan Chase, BNP Paribas (which owns Bank of the West and is the
largest investor in First Hawaiian Bank), SunTrust and US Bancorp. As of 2016,
both companies had $900 million in lines of credit from this consortium of
banks. Wells Fargo stands out, as it served as the largest underwriter of
corporate bonds for both GEO and CoreCivic. Wells Fargo has been one of the top
shareholders in GEO in the past, and the bank still has over $16 million
invested in CoreCivic and $10 million invested in GEO.
not just private prison companies that are partnering with ICE to enforce our
brutal immigration policies. In the wake of the public outcry over the Trump
administration’s policy of separating children from their parents who are
detained at the US-Mexico border, tech companies have also come under scrutiny
for their contracts with ICE. These companies provide a wide variety of
hardware, services and infrastructure to the agency, including systems for
tracking immigrants, mobile radio communications and tactical communications
programs, and facial recognition software.
Microsoft, employees are calling on the company to cancel its $19.4 million
contract with ICE for processing data and artificial intelligence capabilities.
In a January blog post, Microsoft said it was offering cloud services to ICE
and was “proud” of the work. The company said the services could “help
employees make more informed decisions faster,” such as “enabling them to
process data on edge devices or utilize deep learning capabilities to
accelerate facial recognition and identification.”
Anti-Muslim Companies Accountable
though they don’t openly flirt with Neo-Nazis the way Breitbart does, and are
not bent on “eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe” the way
Blackwater is, companies like Wells Fargo, AT&T and Microsoft are all
complicit in the culture of Islamophobia that has emboldened Trump, McConnell
and the Supreme Court to cement discrimination against Muslims into law.
Whether their attacks on Muslims are direct or indirect, and whether their
interests in doing so are ideological or economic, all of these companies are
partly responsible for the Muslim ban.
crowd of angry Torontonians confronted a man who held up an anti-Islam sign at
the site of the Danforth Avenue shooting, with one of them eventually throwing
the man into a fountain.
of the Friday afternoon incident shows the man standing in front of the
fountain at Alexander the Great Parkette, which has turned into a memorial for
victims of Sunday’s shooting, and engaging in a shouting match with people over
sign read “C.B.C. presents” on top, followed by two lines below, “Little Mosque
on the praire [sic]” and below that, “Two dead girls in Greek Town.”
Mosque on the Prairie” was a CBC sitcom about the lives of small-town Muslim
Canadians, while Greektown is the neighbourhood in which police say 29-year-old
Faisal Hussain opened fire, killing two and injuring 13.
one point early in the video, a man stepped up to the protester and yelled,
“Not all Muslims are bad,” to which the protester retorted, “I don’t know about
Muslims, I talked about Islam!”
woman wearing a head covering is then seen trying in vain to seize the
protester’s sign, which he held high above his head, while the gathered crowd
chanted “Shame! Shame!”
another man then appeared and grabbed the protester, hurling him into the
fountain to cheers from many in the crowd.
protester continued to hold up his sign while lying on his back in the water,
before standing back up with sign still in hand. Police officers eventually
ushered the man away from the area.
man has reportedly been a constant presence at the memorial site this week and
has been involved in multiple confrontations, though none as heated as the one
incident occurred less than two hours before business owners and workers took
to the sidewalks on a nearly three-kilometre stretch of the Danforth to observe
a minute’s silence in memory of the victims and in support of all those
Donald Trump’s threat of sanctions on Turkey have not had an impact on U.S.
military relations with Turkey, the American defense chief said Friday.
had no impact on U.S.-Turkey relations, military operations,” James Mattis told
reporters at the Pentagon.
assessment follows a tweet by Trump that threatened sanctions against Ankara
for the detainment of an American pastor.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu responded on Twitter, saying Turkey “will not
tolerate threats from anybody.”
back-and-forth between Trump and Cavusoglu have not trickled down to military
relations between the two sides.
this time we continue to work very closely together,” Mattis added.
religious diversity without Naik’s brand of comparative religion
Lim Eu Kit
Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi’s article, “Is Zakir Naik engaging in comparative
religion or insulting other faiths?” published by FMT on July 26, I was
disheartened to find that his efforts to Google search and locate any
comparative religion professors in Malaysia was an abject failure.
I must confess they are out there. I am, for all intents and purposes, a
“professor of comparative religion”. But I am not identified as such by my
received my PhD in Religious Studies at the University of Denver and the Iliff
School of Theology in the United States.
I am attached to a private university in Kuala Lumpur where I teach
introductory courses in Religion, History, and Philosophy. Alas, the (private)
education industry in Malaysia is not one that promotes academic disciplines
such as Religious Studies.
I consider myself fortunate to be able to teach subjects related to my field,
however minimally that may be.
that I have established my academic credentials, I wish to briefly comment on
controversial preacher Zakir Naik’s dubious position as an expert in
comparative religion. More importantly, I would like to shed more light on the
idea of comparative religion as an academic discipline, its uses, and aims.
Tajuddin had rightly pointed out that Naik is not practising comparative
am not questioning Naik’s religiosity or his academic knowledge in the world’s
am sure he is a well-learned man. In fact, I don’t even have a problem with him
spreading the message of Islam.
in an academic setting, religious proselytisation is simply not the task of
comparative religion. And while I do not know if Naik is guilty of insulting
other religions, certainly scholars who call themselves “experts” in
comparative religion, would NEVER assume the supremacy of one religion over the
Tajuddin is also correct in pointing out that the task of comparative religion
is to “find commonalities and explain conflicts by uprooting the origin of the
elements of the religion vis-a-vis an issue in society”.
to this definition, we can infer that whatever differences each religion
possesses is superficial since the core of every religion is the same:
different paths to the same mountain top, so to speak.
being said, one of the goals in studying comparative religion is to promote a
more enlightened and tolerant community so that we can all live in a peaceful
want to stress that these aims are not wrong. In fact, I would like to think
that this is something ALL Malaysians SHOULD strive to achieve.
any mention of studying or implementing comparative religion in schools and
universities will immediately elicit dirty looks from many Malaysians.
if you should be so fortunate, you might even get labelled with the now
infamous “L” word – liberal.
though the aims of comparative religion are noble, I suspect that the idea and
language of “commonality” can be off-putting for many religious Malaysians.
we take any ordinary Muslim or Hindu or Christian aside and ask them, “What is
your religion all about?”, we will see that their answers are totally different
from each other.
example, Muslims would never equate the Jesus of Islam to the Jesus of
Christianity. Perhaps this is one reason why Naik is so popular among Muslims
here. He does not mince his words in showing how Islam is unique and different
from other religions.
is indeed, nothing untrue about this statement. And we would be foolish to
simply dismiss these exclusive views as “closed-minded” or “backward”, least of
all from Naik’s supporters.
we want to build a better Malaysia, we need to start taking this idea of
of the first things that I always do in my religion class is to ask my students
if all religions are essentially the same.
answer in the affirmative. This is not surprising as many students are aware of
the conflicts that arose around the globe in the name of religion. And people
like Naik, they opined, are the reason why conflicts happen – by spewing
messages of “I’m right and you’re wrong”.
remedy to this toxic message is to find commonalities within each religion.
according to American religious scholar Stephen Prothero, we cannot begin to
solve these conflicts if we are blinded by what he calls “pretend pluralism”: a
feel-good idea that if we could just get rid of these superficial differences,
we will see that deep down, we all worship the same God and we want the same
thing in life.
are tangible differences between Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, and
Hindus in Malaysia and pretending that deep down we are all the same
obliterates whatever that is unique that each religion brings to the table.
know that in Malaysia Baru, it is trendy for us to say that we are all
Malaysians, as Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng so emphatically declared, “I am
not Chinese. I am Malaysian”.
how can we begin to call ourselves Malaysians when we blindly sidestep our
complex multi-religious and multi-cultural identities? Yes, we are Malaysians.
But are we not Chinese, or Malays, or Kadazans, or Taoists, or Muslims as well?
fact, it is utterly disrespectful to the historical struggles each religious
community went through to build this nation. No one will disagree with me when
I say that there are still many unresolved racial and religious problems.
religious differences by appealing to a false mantra of “we are all the same”
only serves to bury our country’s historical baggage.
are blessed with a community where a multitude of races and religions live, for
the most part, harmoniously with each other.
onus is on us to develop a study of comparative religion that facilitates authentic
and humble dialogue with other religious communities in order to identify the
commonalities AND similarities as well as the good AND the bad in each other.
ought to start by acknowledging that religions are not the same and that it is
okay to be different.
don’t need Zakir Naik’s brand of comparative religion in Malaysia because when
we engage each other out of a sense of humility, we do not need to assume that
one religion is “better” than the other.
then can we begin to make sense of a world in which religions play an integral
role in all of us, and truly appreciate each religion’s unique beauty and
results of GE14 have gifted us with a golden opportunity to forge a new
direction for Malaysia.
a time when talk of racial and religious supremacy is beginning to rear its
ugly head once again, a more accurate and well-rounded take on comparative
religion will help resist this toxic rhetoric and propel us toward a Malaysia
Baru that cares about integrity, humility, and respect for each other without
sacrificing what makes our faiths different and unique.
steadfast in promoting moderate Islam: Mohd Zawawi
ALAM: PKR is focussed on promoting a moderate Islam that is acceptable to all
was reiterated today by PKR’s candidate for the Sungai Kandis by-election, Mohd
Zawawi Ahmad Mughni, who said that he would work towards upholding a temperate
Islam if he were given the mandate to represent the residents of the
said he would uplift Islam according to the principles of “wasatiyyah,” or
Selangor, we (already) have laws that safeguard and uphold Islam.
InsyaAllah, I will take a suitable approach (to promoting) an Islam that is
more acceptable to all. An Islam that is not too liberal (where Muslims consume
alcohol) and not too rigid (where people are restricted from doing anything
because all is labelled haram (forbidden by Islam). We will practice
wasatiyyah,” he said at a press conference here today.
a related matter, Zawawi said that he will look into the proposed Religious and
Racial Hatred Act if he were elected.
I will study the proposal to see if it is suitable to be implemented,” he said.
also took a swipe at the opposition for playing the race and religion card to
garner votes in the Aug 4 poll.
condemned Barisan Nasional’s allegation that the Pakatan Harapan government
bows to DAP’s demands and has failed at defending Islam in the country.
Federal Constitution clearly states Islam as the official religion. These
irresponsible parties are trying to make an issue out of this to create chaos
and disrupt peace.
urge all parties to quit playing the religion card. Let us campaign in a
healthy and orderly manner.
LUMPUR, July 28 — Malaysia strongly condemns Israeli attack on worshippers in
Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque during Friday prayers after youths threw rocks and
fireworks at Israeli security personnel outside the mosque, said Deputy Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
also urged the international community to stand united in stopping such actions
on places of worship.
using tear gas and stun grenades the appropriate retaliation to rock throwing
action like this justified in a place of worship? Such actions should and will
not be tolerated by the world community,” she tweeted, today.
reported Israeli security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades yesterday at
Muslim worshipers in Al-Aqsa mosque, the third-holiest shrine in Islam, in
pursuit of the youths who had thrown rocks and fireworks at them.
Syed Jaymal Zahiid
ALAM, July 27 — A PAS Youth leader told a forum here that his party would not
ban entertainment should they take federal power, so as long as it remains
among minorities and held “away from Muslims”.
vice Youth chief Fadhli Shaari said the party would also use Kelantan as a
reference in administering laws governing minorities and entertainment if they
claim Putrajaya, declaring the state has done well to balance Shariah laws and
the cultural needs of non-Muslims.
has never prohibited entertainment or infringed on minority rights,” Fadhli,
also a Member of Parliament for Pasir Mas, told the forum discussing Islam’s
position under Pakatan Harapan (PH) rule.
you look at Kelantan, non-Muslims are free to do what they want, so as long as
they are kept away from Muslims and done only among them. We understand that
ruling as a federal government will be different from running a state, but we
will use Kelantan as a reference, and take it step by step,” he added later on.
under PAS rule for more than two decades, enforces strict Islamic rule.
which make up less than 5 per cent of the state’s population, are allowed to
open restaurants and sell alcohol, but can only do so at designated locations,
often in back alleys or areas limited to Chinese- or Indian-majority areas.
on the other hand, must observe Shariah laws in their daily lives. Men are not
allowed to wear shorts that fall above the knee even when playing sports, while
women, even at a young age, are required to don the hijab at all times.
failing to adhere to the strict dress code can be fined.
many Muslims included, have labelled Kelantan’s Islamic dress code as extreme
and there have been pockets of reports that zealous local enforcement officers
have also enforced it on minorities.
Fadhli said the laws were necessary to “safeguard” morality, and that
Kelantan’s Shariah laws have succeeded in curbing social ills within the state.
He then claimed states that were more open like Selangor and Penang were rife
is why in Kelantan there is no lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
activities but you hear about them in states like Selangor and others,” the
Pasir Mas MP said.
its strict Islamic rule and pious image, the east coast state has its own share
of social problems. Kelantan has one of the worst drug addiction problems in
the country, while Google data released just months ago showed the PAS state
also has the highest number of porn site visitors to date.
PH federal administration’s policy on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) community also became the centre of debate between
panellists from different parties at a forum to discuss the position of Islam
here, a reflection of how thorny the issue is for a government that took power
mostly on the support of liberal Muslims.
from the floor on the issue predicated mostly on the statement made by Minister
in the Prime Minister Department, Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa, whose disagreement
against discriminating LGBT members were deemed “apologetic” and supportive of
of the panellists, Amanah MP for Hulu Langat, Hasanuddin Mohd Yunos, and Perlis
Mufti, Datuk Asri Zainul Abidin, were pressed to explain their position on the
also has one of the highest cases of incest and recently topped the list in HIV
infections, mostly extracted from unprotected homosexual intercourse, according
to news reports.
said they do not condone their activities, but opposed suggestions to outlaw,
punish or discriminate against LGBT members. Persecution, they added, will only
portray Islam poorly and work against efforts at “dakwah”, a form of
evangelising done through good deeds or living an exemplary life of fairness
encourages all its followers to perform the “dakwah” in their everyday lives.
you are in power, you have to be just as you address issues affecting an entire
society, which is highly diverse. You have to approach it wisely... and with
this community, there is a way to approach them,” Hasanah said.
we are trying to do is to govern with fairness and compassion, and this will
help paint Islam in a good light.”
said: “Islam never teaches us to seek out those who commit sin.”
gangs taken to mosque for subuh prayers
A group of 79 Muslim motorcyclists and pillion riders was brought to the Sultan
Ahmad Mosque here to perform the subuh prayers after police detained them in the
“Samseng Jalanan” joint operations in the district early this morning.
district police chief Supt Mohd Said Ibrahim said they were among 115
motorcyclists who were detained in the operations held from 3.30am until 5am at
roadblocks were at Km160 Jalan Kuala Terengganu, heading towards Kuantan, as
well as in ambushes on rat trails and Jalan Chukai, heading towards Air Putih.
were aged between 15 and 30. They were first brought to the Kemaman district
giving their statements, they were taken to the mosque to join the congregation
for the subuh prayers,” he said when contacted today.
added that police also detained three youths, aged between 17 and 19, who
tested positive for drugs.
of Muslim scholars descended on Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, on Friday to
attend the International Ulema Conference, which aims to promote moderate
conference, held by Al-Azhar Alumni International Organization (OIAA), is being
attended by 400 Muslim scholars from 21 countries, including Indonesia, Egypt,
Iraq, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Timor Leste. It is the second...
a rare statement, Gerindra Party chairman and presumptive presidential
candidate Prabowo Subianto said he was ready to throw support behind other
eligible people to run for president in next year's election.
delivered the statement before hundreds of participants of an ulema gathering
spearheaded by the National Movement to Safeguard Ulema Fatwa (GNPF), During
the three-day event, ulemas are set to
discuss national issues, including the 2019 election.
his speech at the opening of the event on Friday, Prabowo said the country
needed a change of leadership, especially to improve social justice and welfare
for Indonesian citizens, most of whom were Muslims, who suffered from economic
I declare before you that I am ready to become the tool of change and a tool
for the Muslim community and Indonesian citizens," Prabowo said on Friday.
if I am no longer needed and there is someone else who is better, I am ready to
throw my support behind them for the sake of the people," he went on to
the event, the ulemas and national figures, including from the political
parties, are set to discuss the presidential and vice presidential candidates
for 2019, which would result in a recommendation.
the Gerindra chief patron, the opening was also attended by chairmen of
political parties in the opposition, including Prosperous Justice Party (PKS)
chairman Sohibul Iman and National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman Zulkifli Hasan.
Party chairman Hutomo Mandala Putra, also known as Tommy Soeharto, and Crescent
Star Party (PBB) chairman Yusril Ihza
Mahendra also attended the event. The two parties, which currently do not hold
any legislative seats, are set to take part in the 2019 general election.
Prabowo, Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab, who is currently in
Saudi Arabia, provided a speech through a recording, in which he urged the
participants of the gathering to push the political parties to unite and
challenge the parties backing President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's
and activists grouped under the GNPF were among the staunchest critics of
Jokowi. They also spearheaded several sectarian rallies in the past in which
they demanded the prosecution of then-Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok"
Tjahaja Purnama for blasphemy.
must embrace new parties like the Idaman Party, which has joined PAN and
Berkarya Party, as well as big parties such as the Democratic Party,"
Rizieq said in his speech.
and the Democrats recently indicated that they may form a coalition in 2019,
as a result of a meeting between Prabowo
and Democratic chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday. At the time,
Prabowo also signaled that he was leaning toward Yudhoyono's son, Agus Harimurti,
as a running mate.
his speech, Prabowo said the coalition of Gerindra, PKS and PAN was de facto
and already working. He went on to say, "[Rizieq] has also said that we
must invite the Democrats here."
Mosque Imam Sheikh Muhammad Swalihu wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to nominate
a Muslim as ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
his Friday sermon, the Nairobi Imam said having a Muslim envoy will ensure
national interests are aptly taken care of.
said a Muslim ambassador will be better placed to handle hajj affairs as there
are important cities in Saudi Arabia whose access is limited to Muslims.
a parallel with the Vatican, he said diplomatic postings by several countries
are mainly reserved for Catholics due to its religious importance.
same principles should be applied to Saudi Arabia due to its religious
significance," he said.
views were echoed by ambassador Yusuf Nzibo, who is Supreme Council of Kenya
Muslims chairman, who said it is not in the best interest of the country for
non-Muslims to be ambassador and deputy ambassador to the Riyadh mission.
postings to Saudi Arabia are unfair to Muslims. We just can't have both
ambassadors and number two as non-Muslims. There are areas and cities where
they will not be able to go," he said in a letter to Foreign Affairs
Principal Secretary Ambassador Macharia Kamau.
things stand, this will cause a lot of constraints within the Muslim
Oginga will be Kenya's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, should his nomination be
approved by the National Assembly.
Haram militants raid military base in Nigeria
: Boko Haram fighters aboard dozens of vehicles raided a base near a key city
in northeast Nigeria, in their latest assault on the security forces, police
and local militia said Friday.
the attack, the Nigerian army announced a "major" redeployment of
senior officers, naming a new commander to lead counter-insurgency operations
against the militants.
was the third commander to be named for the miltary operation in the space of a
Islamists late Thursday stormed a base on the outskirts of Jakana, a village 30
kilometres (18 miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, firing guns
and rocket-propelled grenades.
then sacked and burned down a police station before fleeing, local militia
at about 1742 hours, Boko Haram terrorists in about 30 vehicles launched (an)
attack on Jakana," Borno state police spokesman Edet Okon said in a short
police combat units were deployed for reinforcement. The insurgents were
successfully repelled by security forces," Okon said without giving
details on casualties.
militia leader Babakura Kolo said the attackers took over the base for
"more than an hour" before reinforcements arrived from Maiduguri.
(Boko Haram) took control of the military base after overpowering soldiers and
burned down the police station," he said.
of casualties are still sketchy but the bodies of two policemen and a civilian
were recovered while nine residents were injured from stray bullets."
attack comes just two weeks after the militants overran a military base in
nearby Yobe state and ambushed troops near the group's Sambisa forest
July 14, militants believed to be loyal to Boko Haram factional leader Abu
Mus'ab Al-Barnawi, raided a base in Jilli village. Dozens of troops were said
to have been killed or missing.
day before, 23 troops went missing after a military convoy was ambushed by
fighters in the Bama area of Borno state, where the Abubakar Shekau faction of
Boko Haram is strong.
: A Tunisian judge Friday ordered the provisional release of an alleged
bodyguard of Osama bin Laden after he was detained in a terrorism probe
following expulsion from Germany, a prosecution spokesman said.
Idoudi appeared today before a magistrate... who decided on his provisional
release as no charge has been filed against him,” spokesman Sofiene Sliti told
had been taken into custody in Tunisia on July 13, upon his arrival in the
country after being expelled by Germany.
was detained in Tunisia on suspicion of involvement in terrorist acts, taking
part in training in Afghanistan and being a former bodyguard to bin Laden,
anti-terror authorities said.
“after 15 days of preventative detention, Sami Idoudi has been investigated by
the anti-terrorist branch who have found no proof of his implication in
terrorist affairs”, said Sliti. Sliti, however, said Idoudi remains under
investigation by anti-terrorist authorities and that they have retained his
his expulsion to Tunisia, Idoudi had lived in Germany for more than two
decades, staying in the country despite his asylum request being denied in 2007
as courts repeatedly cited the danger of torture in Tunisia.
expulsion from Germany on July 13 was overturned by a court ruling the same
day, but the order was made only after his plane was already airborne.
German court added that authorities “knowingly” defied the order by completing
the transfer to Tunisian security forces.
a security threat over his suspected ties to Islamist groups, Idoudi -
identified by German authorities only as Sami A. - for years had to report to
police but was never charged with an offence.
conflict between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria is "six times
deadlier" than Boko Haram-related attacks this year, posing a great threat
to the country's stability, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a
many as 1,300 Nigerians have died since January in a wave of violent killings
that has swept the country's central states, according to the think-tank, which
has documented the death toll arising from conflicts in the country.
Haram fighters have waged a decade-long war in Nigeria's north using calculated
attacks that have killed thousands and displaced millions internally.
in its report released Thursday, the ICG said the escalating pastoral conflict
in Nigeria's Middle Belt -- largely due to land-use disputes -- is worse than
attacks this year by Boko Haram, whose fighters have bombed mosques, markets and
public places in the northeast.
30,000 Nigerians have fled their homes in affected states, the group said,
adding that incessant attacks in Nigeria's central region have placed a heavier
burden on the military and security agencies, who should be countering the Boko
Haram insurgency in the north.
farmer-herder conflict has become Nigeria's gravest security challenge, now
claiming far more lives than the Boko Haram insurgency," said the ICG.
has displaced hundreds of thousands and sharpened ethnic, regional and
religious polarization. It threatens to become even deadlier and could affect
forthcoming elections and undermine national stability."
between the Fulani herdsmen, who are mostly Muslims, and predominantly
Christian farmers in the central state dates back to 2013.
killings by armed herdsmen, believed to be Fulani on farming settlements in
central states, have increased this year.
month, at least 86 people were killed in a week-long attack in Plateau State
and 72 people died in a New Year's Day massacre in January after the
implementation of anti-grazing laws in Benue State.
ICG says three things have worsened the crisis: First, environmental challenges
in the north have impacted arable lands, forcing herdsmen to encroach on
farming settlements in central states.
new laws banning open grazing in some states and the government's slow response
to militia attacks in the region are the other factors.
conflict is fundamentally a land-use contest between farmers and herders across
the country's Middle Belt. It has taken on dangerous religious and ethnic
dimensions," the ICG said in the report.
think-tank said though the government has deployed military troops and other
security personnel to calm the violence in central states, the efforts were not
enough to stop the killings.
government needs to "prosecute perpetrators of violence, disarm ethnic
militias and local vigilantes," the ICG stated in the report, in addition
to implementing long-term herding reforms in the region.
could not immediately reach the government's spokesman for a comment.
ability of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the killings will play a
significant role in the country's 2019 general elections, the report said.
who is ethnically linked to Fulani herdsmen, has faced criticism for his
perceived silence over the attacks.
President was summoned by Nigeria's Senate to explain security strategies
needed to tackle the spate of killings in the Middle Belt.
Buhari, who has visited affected states to commiserate with those involved in
the conflict, said he could not be blamed for the actions of herdsmen suspected
to have carried out the killings.
Nigerian Army has announced a major redeployment of senior officers in Command,
Staff and other appointments.
Texas Chukwu, Director Army Public Relations, in a statement on Friday, said
the shake-up affected Principal Staff Officers both at the Defence and Army
Headquarters as well as General Officers Commanding (GOCs).
Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE and Force Commander, Multinational
Joint Task Force were also affected.
statement said the posting, which also re-organized Operation LAFIYA DOLE, was
aimed at injecting new hands to further actualize the vision of the Chief of
Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Tukur Yusufu Buratai.
read: “Those affected in the redeployment include Maj Gen AM Dikko who will
take over as Theatre Commander of Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Brig Gen AO Abdullahi
as Acting Commander Sector 2, Operation LAFIYA DOLE and Brig Gen UU Bassey as
Acting Commander Sector 3, Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
are, Maj Gen CO Ude posted as Force Commander Multinational Joint Task Force
Ndjamena, Maj Gen J Sarham as General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Maj Gen EB
Kabuk General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Maj Gen MS Yusuf General Officer
Commanding 81 Division and Maj Gen BA Akinroluyo as General Officer Commanding
the Principal Staff Officers affected are Maj Gen LEO Irabor posted as Chief of
Defence Training and Operations in the Defence Headquarters while Maj Gen LO
Adeosun takes over as Chief of Training and Operations at the Army
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