Indian Muslim and Christian Leaders Issue Joint Statement on Sri Lanka Bombing;
Express Solidarity with Victims
Markaz Schools In Kerala Have 50 Per Cent Non-Muslim Students: Education Is Key
To Peace, Says India's Grand Mufti
Guru’ Zakir Naik – Whom Malaysia Is Protecting – The ‘Inspiration’ Behind Sri
Out Zakir Naik ‘For The Sake Of God, Islam, Country’, Activist Tells PM
Arabia Beheads 37, Mostly Shiites, For Terrorist Crimes
Netanyahu Plans to Name New Settlement in Golan After Trump
Kushner: US to Present Middle East Peace Plan after Ramadan
Celebrate Damage to France’s Notre Dame Cathedral
Sunday Blasts: Sri Lanka’s Muslim Community Fears Backlash
Lankan group behind serial bombings had close ties to India-based terror outfit
Takes Up India’s Red Notice on Fugitive Zakir Naik
arrests founder of ‘ISIS Amroha module’ in Delhi
to India: Helping you on Masood Azhar, so end Iran oil imports
government in danger of being a one-hit wonder: The Star columnist
for non-Muslims to touch on Islam and rulers, says Hadi
Of Religious Endowment Renaming Mosques across Egypt
Referendum Extending Sisi’s Rule Passed With 88.83 Percent Of The Vote
of Civilians Flee US-Controlled Refugee Camp in Homs
shelling kills seven civilians in Syria’s Idlib: monitor
summit gives Sudan military more time for reforms, says Sisi
receives Sudan’s Director of National Intelligence and Security Services
Arabia welcomes US move to end all Iran sanction waivers
Fateh al-Sham, White Helmets preparing for false flag chemical attacks in
of Iraqi families bear the burden of Daesh legacy
Netanyahu Plans to Name New Settlement In Golan After Trump
Parliament Labels Entire US Military as Terrorist
Houthi official dies in a Hezbollah hospital in Beirut
blasts Trump’s administration for staying silent on new Saudi mass execution
demonstrators call on UN to end Gaza blockade
election board rejects objection for ‘dismissed voters’
2020 hopefuls say would return US to Iran deal
leader denies reports of war with Israel this summer
envoy rushes to Kabul and Doha to rescue intra-Afghan summit
Trains Foreign Students In Its Practice Of Moderate Islam
Right to Livestream Murder': Ardern Leads Push against Online Terror Content
arrests seven ISIS-linked extremist suspects
rejects Syria-based French extremists’ repatriation demands
shooting attack survivors offered New Zealand residency
sends counter-terrorism police to Sri Lanka after Easter Sunday bombings
and New Zealand launch bid to end violent extremism online
‘Intentionally Scuttled’ Intra-Afghan Dialogue: Taliban
Secretary General Strongly Condemned the Terrorist Attacks in Sri Lanka
Council of Elders strongly condemns Sri Lanka terror attacks
claims Lanka attack, 13 Indians among 359 dead
PM Hasina's 8-year-old relative killed in Sri Lanka blasts
Sri Lanka attack may inspire extremists at home
militants killed as U.S. airstrike destroy Humvee packed with explosives in
civilians rescued from a Taliban prison during a joint operation in Ghazni
shows Sri Lanka attacks ‘retaliation for Christchurch’
Cannot Be Used In Place Of Father’s Name, Rules CII
against Forced Conversions Sent To NA Standing Committee
Comes Under Opposition's Attack for Acknowledging Terrorists Used Pakistan Soil
Pakistan PM Imran Khan said Germany and Japan ‘share’ border
moves on amnesty scheme as IMF, FATF nod awaited
Over 250 Killed, Over 1,200 Injured In Libya Battle
stage protest rally in Abuja to demand Zakzaky's release
troops drive back Haftar loyalists south of Tripoli
Leaders At Emergency Cairo Summit Urge Peaceful Sudan Transition
in Libyan jail were reportedly seriously wounded in shooting -UN
Another Boko Haram Attack Kills Seven
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Indian Muslim and Christian Leaders Issue Joint Statement On Sri Lanka Bombing;
Express Solidarity With Victims
Muslim Mirror Special Correspondent
Delhi: Prominent Muslim and Christian
leaders expressed shocked and solidarity with the blast victims who were killed
on Sunday in a deadly serial suicide bombing in Sri Lanka. They condemned the
attack in the strongest possible terms described it as the act of devilish
joint press conference in the Constitution Club
here, Muslim and Christian
religious leaders expressed solidarity with terror victims in Sri Lanka. They
condemned the most ghastly serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka’s Churches and
hotels on the Easter Sunday. They dubbed terrorists as anti-human, anti-God and
anti-civilization and incarnation of most heinous and devilish forces on the
Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind(M) said that we
condemn this dastardly act without ifs and buts. It is not a time to blame each
other but it is time to express solidarity with the victims and help to enable
them to rid out of this trauma. He also expressed his intention to form a
delegation of Indian Muslim leaders and other Social and political leaders who
should visit the victims in Sri Lanka and assess possibilities to help them.
On this occasion, Christian leader Father
Flex, Father A. C Michal and Father Abraham thanked Muslim leaders to express
solidarity with their community in this most testing hour. DrZafarul Islam
Khan, Dr. JhonDayal, Navaid Hamid,
Nusrat Ali of JamaateIslami Hind, Shia scholar Maulana MohinTaqvi also
addressed the press.
the leaders unanimously passed a resolution that read as follows:
most ghastly serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka’s Churches and hotels on the
Easter Sunday has shocked the entire civilized society all over the world. We,
the peace-loving people, drawn from all faiths and communities condemn unequivocally
the dastardly act with no ifs and buts. The persons and the groups responsible
for the serials blasts are anti-human, anti-God and anti-civilization. They are incarnation of most heinous and
devilish forces on the earth. To associate them with any faith would be most
sacrilegious to the faith itself. Therefore, the people of all faiths must
disown and condemn such barbarous individuals and groups. It is our duty that
we must expose them and banish them from the civilized society.
(1) The terrorist attacks become all the more
gruesome if launched under the garb of religious and holy mission. Besides
causing great loss of innocent lives, the very peace and harmony is destroyed.
It is the prime most duty of all faith leaders to stand up and use all
resources at their hands to cleanse the society of this most heinous evil.
(2) Attacks on religious places and during
religious festivals such as Easter are perpetrated with design to cause divide
between people of various faiths and communities. Therefore we feel it all the
more necessary that we stand together with our Christian brothers everywhere
and assure them that we share their sorrows and pains and express our
solidarity with them.
(3) We appeal to the government and
law-enforcement agencies all over the world to be more vigilant and take
effective precautionary measures making it impossible for any terrorist groups
to play havoc with the life and property of civil society anywhere.
(4) Sri Lanka being our closest neighbour, we
are ready with offer of help to enable the victims to get over the
unprecedented crisis in their lives. We propose to depute high level delegation
of various faiths to Sri Lanka to explore the possibilities of cooperation and
also to offer our sincere condolence to the bereaved families.
hope that Sri Lankan Government will properly enquire the matter and stern
action will be taken against those who are guilty.
(5) We sincerely hope that media and
peace-loving citizens of this country will extend their fullest cooperation for
our endeavor against terrorism. We express our resolve to continue our struggle
against terrorism and for global peace. We appeal to everyone irrespective of
their religion, caste and creed to come forward for saving the humanity and
maintaining social harmony and peace.”
Markaz schools in Kerala have 50 per cent non-Muslim students and he wishes to
replicate this model in other states.
newly elected Grand Mufti of India is "pained" by "deepening
communal tensions" across his country and feels educating the generations
is the only way to end divisions. Sheikh Aboobacker Ahmad from Kerala aims to
transform the image of Indian Muslims by putting focus on education. The
80-year-old scholar, also known as Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliar, is the
founder of Kozhikode-based Markaz, an Islamic University with presence in 23
states and four union territories.
Markaz schools in Kerala have 50 per cent non-Muslim students and he wishes to
replicate this model in other states. Sheikh Aboobacker took charge as the
Grand Mufti this February and holds the supreme authority to give fatwas in
relation to Islamic religious matters in India. He aims to build consensus
among muftis from across the country to work together for development of the
community and forms opinion on issues like entry of women in mosques.
leader of Muslims is averse to mixing politics and religion - a factor which
will "destroy the secular fabric of India". In an interview ahead of
his mega reception in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Aboobacker noted there will be firm
effort from his side to revive brotherhood among Indians.
will be your role as the Grand Mufti and the changes you wish to initiate?
is a big responsibility. Whenever there is any matter of national interest, I
as the Grand Mufti, will bring together all muftis from across India and form a
collective opinion. For example on an issue like triple talaq, there will be a
discussion held among muftis. It wasn't done earlier as previous Grand Mufti
(Akhtar Raza Khan) passed away last year. A Grand Mufti also gives fatwa, which
has its own importance. In India, Muslims follow the Muslim Personal Law,
Mahomedan Law and those laws for Sunnis and Shias. When any issue on Muslim
community is in the parliament, a mufti's fatwa is needed as a guidance to take
a decision. I will seek to unite the Muslim community and develop cordial
relations with all other religious groups. I want to see Muslims playing
greater role in nation building process.
are the reasons for communal divisions in India and what are the solutions to
of education is the root cause of all hatred and divisions. Politics and
religion shouldn't be mixed as it will lead to bias in the community. But
Muslims shouldn't remain aloof too. They should be part of all mainstream
organisations. In election, it's wrong to have a Muslim candidate from Muslim
majority constituency and a Hindu candidate from Hindu majority area. A Muslim
should win from Hindu dominated area and vice versa to really make India
secular. All citizens from diverse religions across India should live together
just like you find in Kerala. Education holds key to peace and harmony in
can Indian leadership learn from counterparts in the UAE?
UAE is an Islamic country with more than 200 nationalities living together. The
new Hindu temple is an example of inclusiveness, harmony and tolerance shown by
the UAE leadership. Islam has always promoted the idea of love and peace. Islam
always propagates the fact that faith and belief shouldn't be forcefully
imposed on anyone but willfully accepted.
people continue to digest the fact that at least 290 people were killed,
including at least 39 foreign tourists, and more than 500 injured in a series
of suicide bombs tore apart churches and hotels across Sri Lanka on Easter
Sunday, questions have been raised if the radical Muslim extremists could have
been stopped before they blew themselves up.
services in India and the United States reportedly had told Sri Lanka of the
threat in early April, as a memo dated April 11 has emerged warning of a
potential attack. But early warnings had emerged earlier than that. On April 4,
foreign intelligence agencies told Sri Lankan officials of a potential plot to
launch suicide attacks against Christian churches and tourist spots.
next warning came five days later. On April 9, the country’s Defense Ministry
informed the Inspector General of Police of the alleged plot, even named the
group believed to be behind the plan – the Nations Thawahid Jaman or National
Thowfeek Jamaath (NTJ). The memo compiled by Sri Lankan security officials was
so specific that it even gave a list of suspects.
reported that foreign security services had repeated their warnings in the days
and hours before the attack. In fact, one warning came ten minutes before the
deadly bombings were started. Unfortunately, all the warnings had fallen on
deaf ears. It didn’t reach the higher authorities due to internal politics
between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
even if the authorities were aware of the potential terrorist attacks, what
could they do? Potential suicide bombers who walked into three churches or
checked into three upscale hotels in Colombo would not be subjected to enhanced
security checking anyway. Worshippers at church and hotel guests lined up for
breakfast provide the best cover for attackers.
individual or group has made a formal claim of responsibility for the horrific
Easter Sunday bombings. However, the government has blamed a local militant
group NTJ (National Thowfeek Jamaath or Nations Thawahid Jaman) as the terror
group responsible. The authorities also believe the little-known radical
Islamist organization had help from “an international network”.
the NTJ was a spin off from an Islamist organization called Sri Lanka Towheeth
Jamath (SLTJ) several years ago. The NTJ was linked to vandalism last December
that targeted Buddhist temples in Mawanella, central Sri Lanka. The NTJ keeps
such a low profile that they only update its Facebook page once every few
weeks. Their Twitter page hasn’t been updated since March 2018.
to the Jerusalem Post, unconfirmed reports revealed that the suicide bomber and
the mastermind behind the attack on the Shangri La hotel has been identified as
Islamic extremist Moulvi Zahran Hashim. An imam, he was a prolific lecturer for
NTJ. CNN reported that Hashim also wanted to attack the Indian High Commission
in Colombo earlier this month, but the attack was thwarted.
Moulvi Zahran Hashim has a history of racism and Islamic supremacy. He had also
posted several YouTube videos during which he preaches comments that could be
considered incitement. In one of his videos, the radical Muslim extremist says
– “What can Sri Lankan Muslims do for Dr. Zakir Naik?”
the name Zakir Naik sounds familiar, that’s because the Indian Islamic preacher
is one of Malaysia’s most controversial “Permanent Residents”. Infamous for
stirring hate with his lectures and messages, Mr. Zakir is a wanted man in
India. So, the burning question is – did the mastermind of Sri Lanka terror
attacks inspired by Zakir Naik?
month, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) has accused the controversial
Muslim preacher or money laundering – using his Islamic Research Foundation,
meant for the social welfare of the Muslim community, to organise dubious
donations and diverted the proceeds to purchase properties. Zakir Naik
allegedly diverted assets worth RM113 million (US$28 million).
Times of India reported that these assets included at least 20 flats in the
cities of Mumbai and Pune in India. The India’s ED had on March 21 arrested
jeweller Abdul Kadir Najmudin Sathak, an aide of Zakir, for allegedly assisting
him to transfer funds of dubious origins from the UAE to him.
Zakir is a wanted man in India, having had his citizenship revoked, he was
granted permanent resident by former Najib government. When the new government
of Mahathir Mohamad took over, the prime minister said that Malaysia would not
deport Zakir “as long as he is not creating any problems” in the country.
Naik, whose sermons are already banned in Canada and the UK, was popularly
known as the Muslim preacher who inspired the terrorists who killed 22 people
at a Dhaka restaurant on July 1, 2016. In one sermon uploaded to YouTube in
2009, he was asked by an audience member if a suicide attack could ever be
Zakir once controversially said that suicide bombing may not be “haram
(forbidden)” if the situation demands it, justifying the situation where
suicide attacks are allowed – “If the situation demands, like in Palestine …
and they cause a damage to the opponent, as a last resort, with guidance from a
scholar, so with guidance from the Koran, as a last resort, it can be used”.
preacher had once claimed that Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was not a
terrorist. He said – “If Osama-bin-Laden is fighting enemies of Islam, I am for
him. If he is terrorising America – the terrorist, biggest terrorist – I am
with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist. The thing is that if he is
terrorising the terrorist, he is following Islam.”
snake oil salesman also justified keeping sex slaves, claiming such practice is
permitted in Islam. He said in 2010 – “There are many verses in the Quran which
say you can have sex with your wife and with whatever your right hand
possesses.” Interestingly, Zakir Naik was quick to condemn the Sri Lanka terror
attacks, probably a pre-emptive strike to prevent him from being linked to the
out Zakir Naik ‘for the sake of God, Islam, country’, activist tells PM
activist Farouk A. Peru has started a petition urging Prime Minister Dr Mahathir
Mohamad to act on fundamentalist Muslim preachers and evict Indian preacher
Zakir Naik from the country.
London-based Islamologist’s petition was posted on change.org this morning and
comes two days after attacks on churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka,
which left more than 300 people dead.
Arabia beheads 37, mostly Shiites, for terrorist crimes
Arabia on Tuesday beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shiites, in
a mass execution across the country for alleged terrorism-related crimes. It
also publicly pinned the executed body and severed head of a convicted Sunni
extremist to a pole as a warning to others.
executions were likely to stoke further regional and sectarian tensions between
rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.
dissident Ali Al-Ahmed, who runs the Gulf Institute in Washington, identified
34 of those executed as Shiites based on the names announced by the Interior
is the largest mass execution of Shiites in the kingdom’s history,” he said.
International also confirmed the majority of those executed were Shiite men.
The rights group said they were convicted “after sham trials” that relied on
confessions extracted through torture.
marked the largest number of executions in a single day in Saudi Arabia since
Jan. 2, 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people for terrorism-related crimes
in what was the largest mass execution carried out by Saudi authorities since
those executed three years ago were four Shiites, including prominent Shiite
cleric Nimr al-Nimr, whose death sparked protests from Pakistan to Iran and the
ransacking of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. Saudi-Iran ties have not recovered
and the embassy remains shuttered.
Salman ratified by royal decree Tuesday’s mass execution and that of 2016. The
king, who has empowered his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has asserted
a bolder and more decisive leadership style than previous monarchs since ascending
to the throne in 2015.
kingdom and its Sunni-led Arab allies have also been emboldened by U.S.
President Donald Trump’s unwavering dedication to pressuring Iran’s Shiite
clerical leadership, which includes his decision to pull out of a nuclear agreement
with Iran and re-impose punishing sanctions to cripple its economy.
described Tuesday’s executions as a politically motivated message to Iran.
is political,” he said. “They didn’t have to execute these people, but it’s
important for them to ride the American anti-Iranian wave.”
Interior Ministry’s statement said those executed had adopted extremist
ideologies and formed terrorist cells with the aim of spreading chaos and
provoking sectarian strife. It said the individuals had been found guilty
according to the law and ordered executed by the Specialized Criminal Court in
Riyadh, which specializes in terrorism trials, and the country’s high court.
individuals were found guilty of attacking security installations with
explosives, killing a number of security officers and cooperating with enemy
organizations against the interests of the country, the Interior Ministry said.
statement was carried across state-run media, including the Saudi news channel
al-Ekhbariya. The statement read on the state-run news channel opened with a
verse from the Quran that condemns attacks that aim to create strife and
disharmony and warns of great punishment for those who carry out such attacks.
said among those executed was Shiite religious leader Sheikh Mohammed
al-Attiyah, whose charges included seeking to form a sectarian group in the
western city of Jiddah. Al-Ahmed said the sheikh publicly spoke of the need to
work closely with Saudi Arabia’s Sunni majority and would lead small prayer groups
a speech he gave in 2011 under then King Abdullah, the sheikh was quoted as
saying that frank and open dialogue between Sunnis and Shiites could help
strengthen Saudi unity. He urged patience and expressed hope in a national
dialogue that had taken place among Shiite dissidents and Sunni leaders.
long as we live in the same country, we have no choice but to accept one
another and live with one another, no matter the degree of difference between
us,” he said.
International said 11 of the men were convicted of spying for Iran and
sentenced to death after a “grossly unfair trial.” At least 14 others executed
were convicted of violent offences related to their participation in
anti-government demonstrations in Shiite-populated areas of Saudi Arabia
between 2011 and 2012.
those put to death was a young man convicted of a crime that took place when he
was 16 years-old, said Amnesty.
Arabia’s supreme council of clerics, who are all ultraconservative Sunnis, said
the executions were carried out in accordance with Islamic law.
Interior Ministry said the body of one of the executed men – Khaled bin Abdel
Karim al-Tuwaijri – was publicly pinned to a pole. The statement did not say in
which city of Saudi Arabia the public display took place.
appears to have been convicted as a Sunni militant, though the government did
not give a detailed explanation of the charges against each individual
government defends such executions as a powerful tool for deterrence.
analysts and pro-government writers brought in to discuss the executions on
al-Ekhbariya said they are a powerful sign that the country’s leadership will
not hesitate to use the full might of the judicial system to punish Saudis who
seek to disrupt the kingdom’s security.
executed hailed from Riyadh, Mecca, Medina and Asir, as well as Shiite Muslim
populated areas of the Eastern Province and Qassim. The executions also took
place in those various regions.
brings the number of people executed since the start of the year to around 100,
according to official announcements. Last year, the kingdom executed 149
people, most of them drug smugglers convicted of non-violent crimes, according
to Amnesty’s most recent figures.
are traditionally carried out after midday prayers. Public displays of the
bodies of executed men last for around three hours until late afternoon
prayers, with the severed head and body hoisted to the top of a pole
overlooking a main square.
latest mass execution comes days after four Islamic State gunmen were killed by
Saudi security forces while trying to attack a security building north of the
also comes on the heels of Sri Lanka’s Easter Day attacks that killed over 300
people, including two Saudi nationals. The attack was claimed by the Islamic
affiliates of the Islamic State group and Saudis inspired by its ideology
launched several attacks in Saudi Arabia between 2014 and 2016, killing dozens
of people, including security officers and Shiite worshippers. The last major
attempted attack is believed to have been two years ago.
group, like al-Qaida in the past, has sought to undermine the Al Saud royal
family’s legitimacy, which is rooted in part in its claim to implement Islamic
Shariah law and to be the protectors of Islam’s most sacred sites in Mecca and
Medina that are at the center of hajj.
Netanyahu plans to name new settlement in Golan after Trump
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he plans to name a new settlement in the
occupied Golan Heights after President Donald Trump of the United States in
gratitude for his recognition of Israel's claim of "sovereignty" over
the strategic plateau.
Netanyahu, who has been on a trip to the occupied region along with his family
for the Jewish week-long Passover holiday, said in a video message on Tuesday
that he would submit a resolution calling for "a new community on the
Golan Heights" to be named after "President Donald J. Trump."
Israelis were deeply moved when President Trump made his historic decision to
recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights," he said.
a highly provocative move on March 25, the US president signed a proclamation
recognizing Israel's "sovereignty" over the Syrian territory on the
direction of a number of his advisers, most notably his son-in-law Jared
strongly condemned the move and called it a "blatant attack on the
sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Syria.
Arab League also denounced the decision, saying, "Trump's recognition does
not change the area's status."
countries, including Iran, Russia and Turkey, along with the United Nations
Security Council have also lambasted Trump's provocative move.
1967, Israel waged a full-scale war on Arab territories, during which it
occupied a large swathe of Golan and annexed it in 1981, a move never recognized
by the international community. Syria has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty
over the Heights, saying the territory must be completely restored to its
has also said separately that, in appreciation of Trump, it plans to name a
proposed train station near the Western Wall of Jerusalem al-Quds after him.
Kushner: US to present Middle East peace plan after Ramadan
YORK: President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner said Tuesday that he
would present his long-awaited Middle East peace plan after the Islamic fasting
month of Ramadan ends in early June.
speaking at a forum of Time magazine, said he had hoped to offer the proposal
late last year but that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then called
elections and still needs time to form a coalition.
that’s done we’ll probably be in the middle of Ramadan, so we’ll wait until
after Ramadan and then we’ll put our plan out,” said Kushner, a senior adviser
who is President Donald Trump's son-in-law, would not discuss any details of
the plan, including whether it would endorse a two-state solution for Israel
and the Palestinians.
peace proposal has been in the works for two years and the process has been
greeted with skepticism both on Capitol Hill and in global capitals.
celebrate damage to France’s Notre Dame Cathedral
worldwide have been celebrating the destruction of large parts of the Notre
Dame Cathedral in Paris in a devastating fire on April 15.
by jihadis on social media refer to the cathedral as a symbol of Christianity
and a major point of origin for the Crusades. Several describe the fire as
punishment for various crimes attributed to France or to Christians in general,
such as France’s military intervention in Muslim countries or the mosque
massacres in New Zealand. Some jihadis, including leading figures, view the
incident as a good omen heralding calamities for the West and the global order.
following is a selection of reactions to the fire:
Media, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media outlet, published a poster showing the
burning cathedral, with the caption: “A good day! Notre-Dame Cathedral. Its
construction began in 1163 and finished in 1345. It’s time to say goodbye to
your pulpit of polytheism. ‘A fitting reward’ [Koran 78:26].”
French-speaking jihad supporter on Facebook writes: “800 years of […]
pedophilia, worship of Satan and other diabolical rituals, all up in smoke in a
few minutes … it’s thrilling […] not mentioning the Crusades and the various
wars led by the Church against the Muslims.”
jihadi supporter on Facebook describes the fire as punishment for the recent
expulsion of ISIS from its stronghold of Baghouz in Syria: “Paris is burning in
flames. Woe to it from the fire of tomorrow [hellfire], for that is the
[Divine] promise. Oh Paris, the air of your ashes is like snow falling on
cheeks strained by exhaustion. Oh Paris, how long will you wander in the sea of
haughtiness, do you not long for the army of monotheism in order to pay it the
jizyah which is long overdue and provide it with full-breasted female slaves?
Oh Paris, why the disobedience? You are a sinner, and what is the fire if not
an army that came from Baghouz to take a right which was plundered.”
Facebook post by Muhammad Nasr Abu Bakr which appears to express wishful
thinking about ISIS involvement reads: “The burning of the Notre Dame church in
Paris is an answer to the mosque incident in New Zealand. Allah bless your
virtue, oh ISIS, oh pride of terrorists! Who wants to bemoan it [the fire] so
we can stick our shoe in his mouth?”
Twitter, an ISIS supporter writes: “They bombed the Muslims in the cities of
the Islamic State and eradicated them with the ugliest types of weapons, and
they thought that they have won and defeated the jihad. They didn’t know that
they brought death upon themselves. They didn’t know that they opened the gates
of hell, which will close only on their burnt corpses.”
on Telegram, a prominent Al-Qaeda supporter who calls himself Shibl Al-Aqidah
[the cub of the faith] celebrates the devastation at Notre Dame Cathedral: “I
rejoice and praise Allah as I witness the fall of the oldest cross as a result
of the fire in the church in France. This joy is mixed with sorrow, as I
remember the massacres of Muslims and the burning of mosques by these infidels.
Praise Allah who burned their churches and destroyed their crosses. And let
there be no comfort to the hypocrites who expressed sorrow for this gladdening
a lengthy post on his Telegram channel in response to the fire, Jordan-based
jihadi ideologue Abu Qatadah Al-Falastini notes that while most educated people
associate the cathedral with the classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor
Hugo, few are aware of the church’s Crusader past, alleging that it was from
Notre Dame that Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem declared the Third Crusade
after Saladin vanquished Crusader-held Jerusalem. Abu Qatadah writes that
“today we see” the cathedral, from which the Crusade against Muslim-controlled
Jerusalem began, “burning and turning into heaps of ruins,” concluding:
“Perhaps it is a good omen.”
Islamist rebel commander in Syria writes that the Notre Dame fire might be a
good omen heralding the collapse of the international order: “Far from foolish
optimism, rather I sense it is an omen for great good. This year there have
been many dreams revolving around the glad tidings of victory. Likewise, the
events that are happening, if we look at them in a comprehensive perspective,
we will find them to be arrangements of Divine predestination laying the foundations
for the collapse of the international order and beforehand, or at the same
time, the agents of the American domain. All these are part of a recurring
story in the annals of history, praise Allah. Today the oldest cross fell
because of a fire in a church in Paris. By Allah, from the land of the den of
lions [Syria] I read it as a great message, and see it as glad tidings … ”
Sunday blasts: Sri Lanka’s Muslim community fears backlash
Easter day attacks in Sri Lanka and the subsequent naming of a local Islamist
radical organisation as the perpetrator have left the island’s Muslim community
in fear and panic.
reports of a few stray incidents of attacks on Muslim-owned property in the
last two days, the sudden, heightened scrutiny of localities where Muslim
families reside have sparked serious concerns, according to leaders and members
of the community.
Muslim community is equally outraged [by the blasts],” said Sri Lanka Muslim
Congress Leader and Cabinet Minister Rauff Hakeem. In his view, the “warped
ideology” of the radical group cannot get “even an iota of support” from within
and in fewer instances Christians, have been at the “receiving end” of violence
in Sri Lanka in the last few years, he said, pointing to the spate of targeted,
violent attacks unleashed by hard-line Sinhala Buddhist groups.
the [Muslim] community has always believed in moderation,” he said, at the same
time calling for introspection within the community on new cultural practices
and foreign ideas.
the space for conversations within the community may now shrink, fears Mareena
Thaha Reffai, founder-president of Al Muslim Aath, a 28-year-old organisation
of Muslim Women. “Despite holding diverse views, we were trying to talk about
reforming our personal laws, reflect on our changing practices. It may become
harder to have those discussions because something so big has hit us,” she
leaders also fear that the recent jihadist killings might taint the overall
image of Sri Lankan Muslims. “Even when we were targeted by the BBS (hard-line
Buddhist organisation Bodu Bala Sena) we did not retaliate even once,” Ms.
about 10% of the island’s population, Muslims in Sri Lanka are widely perceived
to be an enterprising community, successful in trade and as professionals.
Though Tamil-speaking, they identify themselves as a separate ethnic group,
different from ethnic Tamils, who are fellow minorities in the island. Many of
them are trilingual, speaking Sinhala, Tamil and English with equal ease.
have never had even an oral disagreement with Christians. What the bombers
believed in and did was completely contradictory to the values of Islam,” Ms.
Reffai said, adding: “I just don’t understand how this sort of indoctrination
happens. It is very disturbing.”
addition to grappling with how a few members of the community were veering
towards a radical path, Muslims worry about a possible backlash, particularly
in Kattankudy town, in the eastern Batticaloa district that is home to a
sizeable population of Muslims and Tamils.
of Islamist group
which witnessed one of the eight explosions, has also been identified as the
base of the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), said to be behind the bombings.
Its leader Mohammed Zaharan was a resident there. “We feel a sense of
inexplicable guilt. I don’t know how to look into the eyes of my Christian
neighbours with whom we have enjoyed cordial relations for so long. There is a
lot of fear and panic that some may think we are also culpable,” said A.L.M.
Sabeel, a member of the Kattankudy Mosques Federation and the local Urban
Sunday’s attacks, there is heavy security all around the town and the police
have been conducting frequent search operations in the area, he said. “While it
is disturbing that everyone is seen as a potential suspect in such times, I
actually appreciate it. We will offer all cooperation to authorities,” he said.
The scrutiny, he said, might help the community identify and eliminate “such
that they did not try purging radical elements earlier. For at least two years
now, locals have tried to draw the security services’ attention to the NTJ and
some “50-60 people” attached to it. “We reported their activities to the
authorities, but sadly, no action was taken,” said Mr. Sabeel.
to Mr. Sabeel, Zahran left Kattankudy after a fallout with the mawlawi
(religious scholar) two years ago, due to differences of opinion in the
practice of Islam, and had been “in hiding”. “We need to understand something.
We are a minority in this country, we must adopt a religious practice suitable
to our context. You can’t simply import practices from Saudi,” Mr. Sabeel said.
Muslim Council of Sri Lanka too made several complaints to authorities,
pointing to Zahran and his attempts to spread radical ideas, the Council’s
President N.M. Ameen said. “If they had taken our complaints more seriously,
maybe we will not be here today. What the group did is outrageous. And it has
put the community at great risk locally,” he told The Hindu.
fear of possible exclusion or a backlash from other locals was a recurring
theme among many Muslims. “We have seen so many anti-Muslim attacks here in the
past years, haven’t we?”
hard questions about their future and the recent memory of facing attacks, many
in the community are disillusioned, leaders said. “To think that there was
sufficient prior warning and yet no preventive action is baffling,” Minister
Hakeem said. The attacks, which had a massive human cost, could be used by some
for their political gains, he cautioned.
is not enough to see who the perpetrators are, we must also be mindful of who
stands to gain. We have to apply the beneficiary test to understand and
suitably address this issue.” he added. “A terrorist attack is a threat not to
some of us but all of us. We need a collective, national response to this.”
Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said the National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ),
which is believed to have carried out Sunday's serial bombings on Easter, had
close links with the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India unit.
Lankan state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene said the
Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India (JMI), a unit of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh
or JMB, may have had a role in Sunday's bombings that killed over 300 people in
the island nation on Sunday.
is little information about the terror group JMB, which established its India
faction last year. What is clear is the fact that the group shares a similar
ideology with the Bangladesh faction.
there is little information on JMI's activities in India, there have been reports
that indicate its presence in India. In Feburary, two members of the JMB were
arrested from West Bengal's Murshidabad district.
in large quantities were seized from the two terrorists, Moshibur Rahman (35)
alias Farooque and Ruhul Amin alias Saifullah (26).
Hindustan Times report from 2018 indicates that Bangladesh's most wanted terror
duo, Salahuddin Salehin and Jahidul Islam, were responsible for setting up the
"India chapter" of the JMB, which has been banned by Bangladesh.
Ruwan Wijewardene's claim turns out to be true, it could be an alarming
indication for India which is facing its own share of terror-related issues
after 40 CRPF troopers were killed in south Kashmir's Pulwama.
the situation in Sri Lanka is at a sensitive stage as the island nation remains
on high alert.
said that Sunday's attack was the most coordinated bombing attack in the
country and hinted that more attacks could follow.
takes up India’s red notice on fugitive Zakir Naik
high-powered panel of global law enforcement organisation Interpol last week took
up India’s request for issuing a so-called red notice against fugitive Indian
Islamic preacher, Dr Zakir Naik, 54, according to two Indian officials aware of
the development who asked not to be named.
notices are requests issued to Interpol’s 194 member states worldwide to locate
and provisionally arrest fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a
is wanted in India for money laundering and hate speech and also for allegedly
promoting enmity and hatred between different religious communities.
fled India after the terrorists, who attacked a Dhaka cafe and killed 22 people
in July 2016, said they were Naik’s admirers.
Interpol panel took up India’s request as the National Investigation Agency
(NIA) has been trying have Naik declared as an international fugitive.
preacher lives in Malaysia, where he has permanent residency. An Indian request
for his extradition is pending with the Malaysian government since January
2018. In July 2018, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Naik would
not be deported as long as he was not creating problems in Malaysia.
to one of the officials, the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files
(CCF) met on April 19 to discuss India’s request.
is a five-member independent body that ensures requests from Interpol member
states seeking red notices conform to the rules.
has been arguing before the global law enforcement organisation that Naik was
spreading hatred through his speeches, funding terrorists and laundering money
over the years, according to the officials.
Interpol cancelled a red notice against Naik in December 2017 as he was yet to
be charged in India then.
too, approached the Interpol in 2017 claiming he was being targeted. He linked
the cases against him to the alleged religious persecution of minorities in
contested Naik’s claim in 2018 saying they have “solid evidence” against Naik.
filed a charge sheet against Naik in October 2017 and submitted a copy of it to
Interpol as well. “After we submitted a detailed charge sheet and other
evidence establishing his crimes including religious conversions, inciting
Muslim youth to join Jihad and routing massive funds, Interpol referred the red
notice request to the CCF,’’ the second NIA official said.
official added the panel met last week but that India is yet to be updated
about its final decision. “We are positive that the CCF will recommend a global
arrest warrant against Naik, which will restrict his movements.”
added the panel will take a final call in a couple of days. The official said
NIA wanted to be a part of the CCF meeting to convince its members regarding
its case but did not get the requisite permission to do this.
CBI officer NS Kharayat, who headed Interpol’s National Central Bureau (NCB) in
India (CBI is the nodal agency for Interpol in India), told HT, “The CCF
basically discusses the legal aspects of a red notice request. If they find any
religious or political motive behind any request, they don’t issue the global
notice. However, in the cases of terrorism, where a person has done an act of
waging war against a sovereign nation, the CCF should immediately issue the red
its charge sheet , NIA has accused Naik of deliberately insulting religious beliefs
of the Hindus, Christians and Islamic sects like the Shias, and Barelvis. It
said Naik’s speeches have influenced recruits to join the so-called Islamic
State (IS), which overran swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014 and carried out
attacks across the world. Iraq and Syria declared victories over the IS in 2018
government has attached Naik’s properties since he fled India. His Islamic
Research Foundation has been banned and some of his associates have been
to reach Naik for comment were unsuccessful.
a speech in Malaysia’s Kangar in December, Naik insisted he had never broken
any Indian law. “But because I was spreading peace, I was giving a solution for
humanity, all the people who do not like peace to prevail, they do not like
me,” news agency Reuters quoted him as saying. He claimed he was being targeted
because of his work to spread Islam.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday arrested – Mohammad Faiz, a
resident of Delhi’s Jaffrabad area, for a conspiracy to carry out terror attacks
in the national capital region (NCR) and Uttar Pradesh by an Islamic State
is the founding member of pro-Islamic State module - Harkat-Ul-Harb-E-Islam,
also popularly known as ‘ISIS Amroha module’ recently unearthed by the NIA. So
far, 14 members of the module including its leader Mufti Mohammad Suhail have
spokesperson Alok Mittal said Faiz was closely involved in the procurement of
arms and ammunition for the group to carry out terrorist acts in and around
NCR. Suhail, according to a NIA officer, had even travelled to Tral, Rajouri
and Bandipora twice last year and had sought arms training from a Pakistan
agency had claimed in December 2018, following raids at 17 places in Delhi and
Uttar Pradesh that this new ISIS inspired module was at an advanced stage of
preparation for carrying out a series of bomb blasts in Delhi with crowded
areas and important persons as likely targets.
outfit members, according to the NIA, were “highly radicalised and motivated”
and had conducted reconnaissance at several places in Delhi, including the RSS
office and the Delhi Police headquarters.
the White House announcing the end of the waiver to buy Iranian oil, Washington
has conveyed to Delhi that it has stood by India on combating terrorism after
the Pulwama attack and expects reciprocity on President Donald Trump’s
commitment to disrupt Iran’s terror network, The Indian Express has learnt.
its conversation with Delhi, the Trump administration has also assured that the
exemption of the development of the Chabahar port project will continue, though
its decision to halt the waiver on oil imports to India is guided by its
objective of “changing the Iranian regime’s malign behaviour”.
to squeeze Iran’s top export, the White House Monday said it will no longer
grant sanctions exemption to Iran’s oil customers. The waiver for India runs
out on May 1, and from May 2, India cannot import oil from Iran, or its
state-owned or private entities will face US sanctions.
consultations are underway between India and US officials, with a top US State
Department official, Alice Wells, visiting India currently to discuss the issue
with Indian interlocutors. The US has told Indian officials that the policy is
designed to put “maximum pressure” on Iran, and is not targeted against India.
US has been leading the effort at the United Nations Security Council to list
Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar a “global terrorist”, and is working with
French and British interlocutors in the face of opposition from Beijing. US
officials also did the heavy-lifting to get Beijing on board when the UNSC
issued a condemnation statement after the February 14 Pulwama attack.
Secretary Vijay Gokhale had visited Washington DC on March 11, after the
February 26 Balakot air strike and when the UNSC deadline for Azhar’s listing
was due on March 13 amid the hectic diplomatic offensive.
assessment in Washington is that the reduction of oil imports from Iran has
tightened the screws against Tehran, and this is visible in the lack of
salaries for Hezbollah fighters and lack of funds to move missiles among other
Iran lost the revenue from oil over the last year, the US believes that the Iranian
regime would have used that money to support terror groups like Hamas and
Hezbollah, and continue its missile development, in defiance of UNSC resolution
2231. Earlier this month, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was
designated a foreign terrorist organisation.
US policy towards Iran was announced in May last year, and all countries were
given six months until November 2018 to bring down oil imports to zero. In
November, Washington gave a six-month waiver to eight countries, including India.
interlocutors have told Delhi that the non-renewal of the waiver will impact
not just India, but close allies like Japan and South Korea and NATO ally –
Turkey as well. They have also conveyed that the deadline for sanctions to
kick-in starts May 2, and it is a “pre-ordained process” under US law.
is also working with Delhi to keep the oil market well-supplied, with Saudi
Arabia and the UAE prepared to export more oil to India. India Tuesday said it
was adequately prepared to deal with the impact of the US decision to end
waivers that allowed it to buy Iranian oil without facing sanctions.
Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the
government will continue to work with partner nations, including with the US,
to find all possible ways to protect India’s energy and economic security
LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government could
end up like Lou Bega's Mambo No. 5, Right Said Fred's I'm Too Sexy and Sir
Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back, if it doesn't handle reforms properly.
songs are all one-hit wonders and if Pakatan doesn't dance to the reform tune
it might be a one-term government.
an analysis, New Malaysia: Four key challenges in the near term, James Chin,
who is director of the Asia Institute, University of Tasmania, contended that
if reforms were not handled properly, the country could easily revert to the
old regime after one term of Pakatan rule.
in his analysis for The Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank with a global
outlook, identified four key areas that the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
administration must deal with in the next 12 months.
issues, he said were not only crucial to the stability of the Pakatan
administration, but also for long-term institutional reforms.
Pakatan administration, said Chin, had acknowledged that the Malay
Agenda/Bumiputra Policy needed reform.
bring Malaysia to the next economic level, the Council of Eminent Persons led
by Tun Daim Zainuddin suggested that reforms to the affirmative action policies
Chin said that with only 25 per cent of Malays supporting Pakatan in GE14, Dr
Mahathir would continue with the Malay Agenda with some changes.
all probability, there is no political appetite to make real changes to the
Malay Agenda until PH has won the Malay vote at the next general election, due
in 2023. The overriding fear is that if changes are made now, PH will lose
Malay support and may even lose the government in the next election," he
you thought that the Bill - that arguably would make Sabah and Sarawak equal
with Peninsular Malaysia - was complex, wait until the government negotiates
the MA63 (the 1963 Malaysia Agreement).
foresee thorny points in the agreement that grants a high degree of autonomy to
the two states in Borneo.
example, Islam's status as the national religion of Malaysia should not be
applicable to Sarawak and Sabah.
English should continue as the official language. Or, Sabah and Sarawak should
be given a high degree of autonomy over their financial affairs, such as
control of their own finance, development expenditure, and tariffs.
summed up one of the grievances the people of my state and Sarawak feel with
their experience being part of the Federation, which they formed in 1963
together with Malaya and Singapore.
nationalists argue that Sabah and Sarawak contribute more in economic terms to
the federation than they get out of it, especially in oil and gas, and that
political neglect has resulted in the underdevelopment of Sabah and Sarawak
compared to the peninsula," he said.
academic warned that the historical grievances of Sabahans and Sarawakians were
real and deep and if it was not dealt with properly at the political level,
could provide the impetus for a secession push.
secessionist movements are already active in both states. These could easily
gain momentum if Putrajaya continues to ignore historical grievances," he
the Borneo side of Malaysia, according to Chin, the version of Islam practised
was far more liberal and tolerant compared to that in Peninsular Malaysia.
is largely due to the population structure. Unlike West Malaysia, where Malays
constitute more than half the population, Sabah and Sarawak are plural states
with no single ethnic group making up more than 40 per cent of the
population," he said.
the past three decades in Malaysia, Chin argued that the Muslims vs non-Muslims
narrative was promoted.
non-Muslim population, especially the Christian community in Malaysia, feel
they are under siege by Islamists who are suspicious of anything they deem to
be Christian," he said.
said the three issues mentioned above were not new - they went unresolved under
the previous regime, leading to an increasingly dysfunctional political system
and culminating in the change of government.
Pakatan government, he said, has an opportunity to change Malaysia's political
trajectory if it takes steps to resolve them.
immediate issue, the academic said, was the promised transition of power to PKR
president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
was persistent talk that Dr Mahathir preferred Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, the PKR
deputy president, Chin said.
chatter about Anwar Ibrahim's ability to ascend to the top job is having a
destabilising impact on Malaysian politics. In a government in which power is
highly centralised in the office of the prime minister, the prime minister's
standing is crucial in maintaining continuity and defusing tensions," he
the Malaysian economy and financial markets do not like political uncertainty,
particularly after such an unprecedented regime change. Malaysia has thrived
economically in the past, in part because of the political certainty produced
by Umno's long reign."
not, Pakatan politicians and die-hards could be singing Billy Ray Cyrus'
one-hit wonder, Achy Breaky Heart, after GE15.
have become emboldened with regard to commenting on issues related to Islam and
the Malay rulers, according to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
is is not their right to touch on these issues, sometimes it involves hukum
(Islamic laws) which is not related to them (non-Muslims) at all, including the
(non-Muslims) are bold... to write (regarding these issues) on social media.
is dangerous... it will confuse the younger generations'... understanding (of
Malaysia). So this situation must be corrected,” he added in a video clip
posted on his Facebook page.
video appeared to be from an interview with the PAS president.
was responding to a question on issues related to Islam and the rulers under
the Pakatan Harapan administration, where the interviewer said: “... Sorry to
say, non-Malays are very vocal in objecting the position of Islam and the
rulers. What is your view?”
PAS leader said these issues are enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
is a social contract involving the main races in a multiracial nation, which
was agreed to by the parties under the Alliance then and PAS...,” he added.
Alliance is the predecessor of BN, which governed Malaysia from the time of
independence until the last general election. The Alliance comprised Umno, MCA
this period, Hadi said there was a greater understanding of the spirit of the
of this... even when they (non-Muslims) were dissatisfied, they saw the
kehebatan (supremacy) of the constitution, the greatness of rulers, the
greatness of Islam and greatness of the Malays.
even when there were issues which tersinggung (slighted the non-Muslims), they
were not as bold (in raising them) compared to now,” he added.
remarks come amidst Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's administration locking
horns with the Johor palace on various issues.
Monday, Mahathir revealed that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had not responded
regarding the new chief justice.
of Religious Endowment renaming mosques across Egypt
— Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowment Mohammed Gomaa issued a ministerial
decision on April 1 changing the name of the Hassan al-Banna Mosque in Nasser,
Beni Suef governorate, to Al-Huda Mosque. Banna is the founder of the Muslim
Gomaa had ordered a month-long survey of mosques and zawyas (small local
mosques) bearing the names of certain persons, groups or associations with the
intention of replacing those names with others devoid of an ideological bent. A
well-informed source at Gomaa's ministry who spoke to Al-Monitor on the
condition of anonymity said that the survey found more than 100 mosques and
zawyas named based on a Muslim Brotherhood association or political faction.
ministry has issued a series of decisions since 2014 aimed at preventing what
it views as the political exploitation of mosques and seeks to subject all
mosques — including those supervised by the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafist Call
(Al-Da'wa Al-Salafiyya) and other organizations — to its direct supervision. In
2014, a decree issued by the government of Adly Mansour prohibited unlicensed
preachers from delivering Friday sermons. It also compelled preachers to abide
by a unified Friday sermon on predetermined topics or face punishment.
the many other mosques likely to be renamed is Al-Hudaibi Mosque, in the center
of Shibin al-Qanater, Qalyubia governorate, named after Hassan al-Hudaibi, the
second leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was born in that city. Al-Qaradawi
Mosque, in Desouq, Kafr al-Sheikh governorate, is named after Yusuf Qaradawi,
grand mufti of the Muslim Brotherhood accused of several terrorism-related
charges. He fled to Qatar in 2014, when Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was elected
Mosque, aka Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman Mosque, in Nagaa Hammadi, Qena
governorate, is named after the spiritual leader of the militant group Gamaa
Islamiya, which Egypt has designated a terrorist group. Abdul Rahman, known
widely as the Blind Sheikh, died in a US prison in 2017, having been accused of
conspiracy in connection with the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.
Zomor family has a mosque bearing its name in Giza governorate. Abboud and
Tarek al-Zomor, members of Gamaa Islamiya, were implicated in the assassination
of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. A mosque can be found in
Al-Badrashin, Giza governorate, named after the Islambouli family, a member of
which, Khaled al-Islambouli, killed Sadat.
are also several mosques bearing the names of Salafist Call leaders who founded
the Nour Party, including Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Yacoub and Sheikh Mohammed
Hassan in 6th of October, in Giza, and the mosque of Abu Ishaq al-Hawaini, in
brief survey of random Egyptians highlighted the divide surrounding the
renaming of mosques. For example, in regard to Banna, one person on social
media doubted the value of replacing his name, arguing that even if it is
removed, people will still know who he is. Meanwhile, a person who supported
the decision to remove the name cited a Quranic verse in defense of doing so:
“Mosques are for God, so do not invoke anyone with God.”
from Nasser, praised the ministry’s decision, telling Al-Monitor, “Several
groups, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, have been exploiting mosques. This has
misled Egyptian society. Naive Egyptians who believe anything they are told at
mosques fall into a trap and turn into extremists. The ministry cannot spread
moderation and non-politicized ideas through mosques named after ideological
figures. This will reduce the credibility of the ministry’s discourse.”
man from Alexandria who requested anonymity believes the renaming is political
and not actually aimed at depoliticizing mosques. He claimed, “If this was
true, the Ministry of Endowments would have also counted mosques named after
politicians, including mosques named after Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat
contacted a source from the Salafist Call who spoke on the condition of
anonymity saying that despite opposing the Muslim Brotherhood, his organization
believes it is contrary to Sharia to rename a mosque. He asserted, “This
requires the permission of the original owner who donated the mosque building
to the Ministry of Endowment or any of his heirs authorized to modify conditions
of the endowment, including the name.”
anonymous source at the ministry disagreed, telling Al-Monitor, “When someone
donates a building to be turned into an endowment for Muslims, this endowment
shall be placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Endowments, which
would be entitled to intervene in its management if it finds that it is being
managed against the best interest of Muslims or Egyptians. For example, a given
mosque could be used to promote terrorist acts or could be politically exploited.”
al-Qasabi, a sociology professor at South Valley University, told Al-Monitor,
“The ministry’s decision should not be challenged as undermining religious
freedom or discriminating against religious factions.”
argued that freedoms are practiced within the scope of the constitution and the
public order, stating, “It is the duty of any civil state to implement policies
and procedures aimed at protecting the society from the spread of the ideology
of religious political factions whose mere existence is contrary to the civil
further argued, “Egypt is a civil state under the constitution, and therefore
no mosque should be named after any political faction or any of its figures.
This would be tantamount to political propaganda that exploits religion and the
mosque. This is a flagrant and blatant breach of the constitution.”
Salah, co-founder of Almanyon (Arabic for Secularists), told Al-Monitor, “It is
a good step by the Ministry of Endowments to stop the political exploitation of
mosques by changing politically charged names.”
hopes the ministry’s move will be extended to more theologians. “Scholars like
Ibn Taimyyah and Ibn al-Qayeem and others still enjoy immunity from any
criticism in Al-Azhar's curriculum,” she said.
referendum extending Sisi’s rule passed with 88.83 percent of the vote
90 percent of Egyptian voters have approved in a referendum constitutional
changes that could see President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stay in power until 2030,
the election commission said on Tuesday.
turnout during the three-day referendum was 44.33 percent and 88.83 percent of
those taking part approved the amendments, commission chairman Lasheen Ibrahim
(changes) are effective from now as your constitution,” Ibrahim told a news
conference broadcast on state TV, adding that more than 23.4 million voters had
endorsed the changes in the referendum.
1,000 civilians, most of them children and women, residing in al-Rukban refugee
camp which is under the control of the US Army have crossed Jaligham crossing
to reach areas under the control of the Syrian Army after fleeing al-Tanf region,
the Arabic-language SANA news agency reported.
are about 40,000 to 60,000 people residing in al-Rukban Camp and about 2,500 of
them have managed to leave the camp, Al-Watan quoted special sources as saying.
sources said the exit of the civilians came after terrorists sought to block
their departure from leaving al-Rukban camp.
families who have escaped al-Rukban have confirmed lack of food and hygiene in
the camp, adding that the US-backed terrorists keep people hungry and prevent
on media reports, the US troops that occupy a 55-km zone in Southern Syria
block Russian and Syrian diplomatic and military officials from entering Rukban
to provide people with humanitarian aid.
US command in Al-Tanf had previously delayed the delivery of aid to Rukban from
Damascus, after refusing to guarantee its safety while it passed through its
zone. It has also prevented buses sent by Damascus and guarded by Russian
military police from taking Syrians from the camp to other parts of Syria from
shelling killed seven civilians in Syria’s Idlib region on Tuesday, in the
latest violence to threaten a seven-month-old truce, a war monitor and local
children and two women were among the seven killed by rocket fire on the Idlib
town of Khan Sheikhun, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
toll was confirmed by Syrian civil defense workers, who said 12 others were
ally Russia and rebel-backer Turkey in September inked a buffer zone deal to
prevent a massive regime offensive on the Idlib region, near the Turkish
the region of some three million people has come under increasing bombardment
since former al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham took control of it in
regime shelling on Khan Sheikhun has sparked one of the largest waves of
displacement since the truce agreement was struck in the Russian resort of
leaders meeting in Cairo agreed to give Sudan’s ruling military council more
time to implement democratic reforms, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
said on Tuesday.
decision appears to extend a 15-day deadline set by the African Union last week
for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power to civilians
or to be suspended from the grouping.
TMC took over after President Omar al-Bashir was ousted on April 11.
at the end of a summit attended by several African heads of state, Sisi said
that the meeting agreed on the need to deal with the situation in Sudan and to
install a comprehensive democratic system.
states had agreed to give “more time” to carry out these measures with the help
of the African Union, Sisi said in his closing remarks at the summit.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Chief of Intelligence Maj. Gen. Abbas Kamel
received on Monday the Director of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security
Services (NISS) Gen. Abu Bakr Damblab.
Bassam Radi, the spokesperson of the Egyptian government, said that Damblab
delivered a message from Gen. Abdel Fattah al- Burhan, Chairman of the Sudanese
Transitional Military Council, and briefed his Egyptian counterparts on the
latest developments in Sudan.
also expressed Sudan’s interest to continue receiving support from the Egyptian
government to guarantee the security and stability of Sudan in light of the
“eternal ties that unite the people of the Nile,” and praised Egypt’s role and
continental influence as the current head of the African Union.
Arabia’s Foreign Minister Dr. Ibrahim al-Assaf on Tuesday welcomed a US
decision to end all Iran sanction waivers by May, saying it was a necessary
step to halt Tehran’s “destabilizing” policy in the region.
Arabia fully supports this step taken by the United States as it is necessary
to force the Iranian regime to end its policy of destabilizing stability and
its support and sponsorship of terrorism around the world,” al-Assaf said in
comments carried on state media.
reiterated a statement issued by the kingdom’s energy minister on Monday that
the world’s largest oil exporter would coordinate with other oil producers to
ensure an adequate crude supply and balanced markets after Washington’s
Monday, US President Donald Trump decided not to reissue Iran oil waivers when
they expire in early May, a White House statement said.
from the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as
al-Nusra Front, together with members of the so-called White Helmets civil
defense group are reportedly making preparations to stage chemical attacks in
Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib as well as the west-central province of
Hama in a bid to implicate Syrian government forces and invent pretexts for
possible acts of aggression on army troops.
sources, requesting not to be named, told Syria’s official news agency SANA on
Tuesday that Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorists and Western-backed White Helmets,
who have been accused of cooperating with Takfiri militants and staging false
flag gas attacks, have already withdrawn from Jarjnaz village in Maarrat
al-Nu'man district of Idlib as a prelude to launching the attacks in order “to
frame the Syrian army and justify a pretext for a US act of aggression.”
highlighted that terrorists and their allies are planning to use chlorine gas
in their anticipated attacks.
during a press briefing in the Russian capital Moscow on April 18, Russia’s
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, warned that White Helmets and
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorists were “preparing for further provocations aimed
at accusing the legitimate government in Syria of using poisonous substances.”
United States has warned it would respond to any possible chemical weapons
attack by Syrian government forces with retaliatory strikes, stressing that the
attacks would be stronger than those conducted by American, British and French
forces last year. On April 14, 2018, the US, Britain and France carried out a
string of airstrikes against Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack on
the city of Douma, located about 10 kilometers northeast of the capital
and its allies blamed Damascus for the Douma attack, an allegation rejected by
the Syrian government.
September 11 last year, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov censured
the US threats to use military force against Syria as part of Washington’s
the United States, Britain and their allies, Russia provides particular facts
on a daily basis through its Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry as well
missions in New York, The Hague and Geneva. We particularly name geographical
points, where preparations are underway for certain terrorist groups backed by
the US and its allies to carry out provocations,” Ryabkov said.
governments and their allies have never stopped pointing the finger at Damascus
whenever an apparent chemical attack takes place.
Iraq: When Ahmed Khalil ran out of work as a van driver in the Iraqi city of
Mosul three years ago, he signed up with the Daesh group’s police force,
believing the salary would help keep his struggling family afloat.
what he wound up providing was a legacy that would outlast his job, and his
Mosul and elsewhere across Iraq, thousands of families — including Khalil’s
widow and children — face crushing discrimination because their male relatives
were seen as affiliated with or supporting Daesh when the extremists held large
swaths of the country.
wives, widows and children have been disowned by their relatives and abandoned
by the state. Registrars refuse to register births to women with suspected
Daesh husbands, and schools will not enroll their children. Mothers are turned
away from welfare, and mukhtars — community mayors — won’t let the families
move into their neighborhoods.
Daesh group’s “caliphate” that once spanned a third of both Iraq and Syria is
now gone but as Iraq struggles to rebuilt after the militants’ final defeat and
loss of their last sliver of territory in Syria earlier this year, the
atrocities and the devastation they wreaked has left deep scars.
say my father was Daesh,” said Safa Ahmed, Khalil’s 11-year old daughter,
referring to Daesh by its Arabic name. “It hurts me.”
has done little to probe the actions of the tens of thousands of men such as
Khalil who, willingly or by force joined, worked and possibly fought for IS
during its 2013-2017 rule. Instead, bureaucrats and communities punish families
for the deeds of their relatives in a time of war.
was killed in an airstrike in Mosul, in February 2017, during the US-backed
campaign to retake the city that Daesh seized in 2014. It was liberated in July
2017, at a tremendous cost — around 10,000 residents were believed to have been
killed in the assault, and its historic districts now lie in ruins.
widow, Um Yusuf, and their seven children were left to bear the stigma of his
Daesh affiliation. She cannot get social assistance, and her teenage son Omar
is being turned away from jobs.
live in an abandoned schoolhouse, living on what they can make selling bread on
the streets of the devastated city. Just three of the children are in school —
the oldest two dropped out because of bullying about their father, and the
youngest two cannot enroll because the civil registrar’s office won’t issue
true their father made a mistake,” Um Yusuf said. “But why are these children
being punished for his sin?“
Iraq’s patrimonial family laws, a child needs a named father to receive a birth
certificate and an identity card, to enroll in school and to claim citizenship,
welfare benefits and an inheritance.
in post-Daesh Iraq, virtually every bureaucratic procedure now includes a
security check on a woman’s male relatives, further frustrating mothers and
UN report this year estimates there are 45,000 undocumented children in Iraq.
Judges and human rights groups say an urgent resolution is needed or the
country risks rearing a generation of children without papers or schooling.
punishing entire families, you marginalize them and you seriously undermine
reconciliation efforts in Iraq,” said Tom Peyre-Costa, a spokesman for the
Norwegian Refugee Council, which provides legal aid to Mosul mothers struggling
to get their children ID papers.
Al-Iraqiya school in western Mosul, one of the city’s first to reopen in 2017,
principal Khalid Mohammad said he faces pressure from the community to deny
enrollment to children whose fathers are in jail or missing — an absence many
interpret as proof of Daesh affiliation.
anyone complains and someone is sent to investigate, I could lose my job,” he
a legal office and clinic supported by the Norwegian Refugee Council, Nour
Ahmed was looking for a way to claim legal custody of her undocumented younger
son, in order to collect food and fuel aid for the family.
husband, she said, was abducted two years ago in Mosul by a group of pro-government
militiamen who likely thought he was an Daesh member. Ahmed insists he wasn’t.
He has been missing to this day.
in 2016 at a hospital run by Daesh, their son was given a birth certificate
notarized by the Daesh group. As Iraq doesn’t recognize Daesh documents, the
3-year-old has no legal mother or father.
was told she would need to find her husband to re-register her son’s birth. If
she submitted a missing person’s report, it would raise questions about the
child’s parentage, jeopardizing his right to citizenship.
just want to find him,” said Nour.
Chalabi, an appeals court judge, said he sees more than a dozen cases each day
related to civilian documentation, brought largely by the wives, widows or
divorcees of IS suspects. There is little he can do to help, he said, without a
change to the law first.
held the city for three years. Did people stop getting married, divorced, and
having children during those three years?” he said. “We need a legislative
is little appetite to change the country’s family and patrimony laws, said
Iraq’s parliament speaker, Mohamad Halbousi, though there is a proposal to open
civil registries for a limited period, to register undocumented children.
families need to be cared for. They cannot be left to melt away into society,”
parliament labels entire US military as terrorist
lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that labels all US military
forces as terrorists, state TV reported, a day after Washington ratcheted up
pressure on Tehran by announcing that no country would any longer be exempt
from US sanctions if it continues to buy Iranian oil.
bill is a step further from the one last week, when lawmakers approved labeling
just US troops in the Middle East as terrorists, in response to the US
terrorism designation for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards earlier this month.
Trump administration re-imposed sanctions on Iran, including on its energy
sector, last November, after pulling America out of the landmark 2015 nuclear
deal between Iran and world powers.
US designation against Iran’s Revolutionary Guards is the first-ever for an
entire division of another government, and it added another layer of sanctions
to the powerful paramilitary force, making it a crime under US jurisdiction to
provide them with material support.
Monday, President Donald Trump decided to do away with waivers as part of the
administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran that aims to eliminate all
of its revenue from oil exports that the US says funds destabilizing activity
throughout the Mideast and beyond.
official in the pro-Iranian Houthi militia in Yemen died in Al-Rasool al-Azam
Hospital in Beirut’s southern suburb, al-Dhahiya, on Saturday, sources
confirmed on Tuesday to Al Arabiya English.
Lebanese official told Reuters on Monday that the Houthi official died in a
hospital in Lebanon without specifiying the location.
Al-Rasool al-Azam Hospital is owned and controlled by the Lebanese Hezbollah.
Hakim al-Maori who held the post of the interior minister in the Houthi militia
died at the age of 60 while receiving treatment for a chronic disease in a
Lebanese hospital, Houthi-run Masirah TV said on Saturday.
conflicting reports said that he died from injuries sustained from an air
strike by the Arab Coalition on a post in Yemen.
is the home of the Iran-backed group Hezbollah.
foreign minister has lashed out at the administration of US President Donald
Trump for staying tight-lipped on its ally Saudi Arabia’s latest mass execution
of its nationals, one of whom was crucified after beheading.
a wink at the dismembering of a journalist, not a whisper from the Trump
administration when Saudi Arabia beheads 37 men in one day—even crucifying one
two days after Easter,” said Mohammad Javad Zarif in a tweet on Wednesday.
was referring to Trump’s support for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,
who is reported to have ordered the brutal assassination of dissident Saudi
journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.
in the #B_team —Bolton, Bin Salman, Bin Zayed & ‘Bibi— gives immunity for
any crime,” said Zarif in a reference to the highly hawkish politicians,
besides bin Salman, in the US, the United Arab Emirates and Israel, namely US
National Security Adviser John Bolton, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Zayed Al Nahyan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
on Tuesday, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by
state-run media that it had put 37 citizens to death for their alleged
“adoption of extremist, terrorist ideology and forming terrorist cells to
corrupt and disturb security, spread chaos and cause sectarian discord.”
individuals, it added, had been ordered to be executed by the specialized
criminal court in Riyadh after being found guilty of attacking security
installations, killing security officers and cooperating with enemy
said that the body of one of the victims, Khaled bin Abdel Karim al-Tuwaijri,
was attached to a pole for several hours.
Coogle, who monitors Saudi Arabia for Human Rights Watch, said that at least 33
of those executed were Saudi Shias, noting that some of the victims had been
convicted based on confessions taken under torture, the New York Times cited
him as saying.
a matter of principle, none of these people had lawyers during investigation,
so all of these cases are unfair,” he stressed.
fresh mass execution was the largest in Saudi Arabia since January 2016, when
47 men were executed in a single day, including outspoken Shia cleric Sheikh
Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.
brings to around 100 the total number of people executed by the kingdom since
the start of the year.
International slammed the execution, saying that the victims had been convicted
“after sham trials,” which relied on “confessions extracted through torture.”
mass execution is a chilling demonstration of the Saudi Arabian authorities
callous disregard for human life. It is also yet another gruesome indication of
how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from
within the country’s Shi’a minority,” said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Research Director
at Amnesty International.
Salman was appointed the first in line to the Saudi throne by his father, King
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in June 2017.
then, the young prince has been involved in an aggressive push to purge royals
and businessmen critical of his policies under the banner of an
“anti-corruption campaign.” He has also ordered the rounding up of scores of
activists, high-profile clerics and women's rights defenders.
of Palestinian demonstrators have called on the United Nations to put an end to
the Tel Aviv regime’s tight blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has been in place
against the impoverished coastal enclave for more than a decade.
protesters converged in front of the UN office in Gaza City on Tuesday, waving
national Palestinian flags and carrying banners in condemnation of the Israeli
siege. They called for an international intervention to end the blockade.
Highest Commission of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege, which
had organized the demonstration, said in a statement that the siege must be
lifted as soon as possible.
weekly marches of return will go on until the siege is immediately lifted,” the
Ammassi, chairman of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, who
joined the protest, told reporters that the rate of unemployment in the Gaza
Strip exceeded 54 percent and poverty rates hit 80 percent.
call on the United Nations and the international organizations to press Israel
to lift the blockade that had critically affected all aspects of life,” he
said, adding, “We also call on the Arab League to help end Gaza people's
Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since June 2007. The blockade has
caused a decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of
unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
have held weekly rallies along the Gaza border to protest the siege on the
enclave and demand the right for refugees to return to their homes they fled
during the 1948 creation of Israel.
than 270 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since
anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30, 2018. Over
16,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, 2018, on the eve of the 70th
anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided with a US
decision to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem
June 13, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution,
sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, which condemned Israel for Palestinian
civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.
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.
Turkey’s high election board has rejected part of an effort by President Tayyip
Erdogan’s ruling party to have a rerun of elections in Istanbul, dismissing an
appeal regarding voters who were dismissed by decrees from government jobs
after an attempted coup in 2016, state news agency Anadolu said.
a petition submitted to cancel and rerun the city elections that it lost three
weeks ago, Erdogan’s AK Party cited thousands of ballots cast by people it said
were ineligible to vote due to previous government decrees.
on initial results and a series of recounts, the main opposition Republican
People’s Party (CHP) won the mayoralty in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, with
a margin of some 13,000 votes.
new CHP mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, took office on Wednesday, despite a formal
request submitted a day earlier by the AK Party to annul and repeat the mayoral
elections over what it said were irregularities.
high election board, the YSK, has not yet ruled on the appeal to annul and
rerun the elections due to voting irregularities including faulty entering of
voting data, a wider issue that has been described by the AK Party as organized
growing number of Democrats say they would return the U.S. to compliance with
the 2015 nuclear pact world powers struck with Iran as President Donald Trump
continues efforts to scuttle the agreement.
Elizabeth Warren, widely regarded as one of the top Democratic contenders for
the White House, said she would return the U.S. to the 2015 agreement, which
saw Iran accept unprecedented curbs on and inspections of its nuclear program
in return for billion of dollars of sanctions relief.
Iran has repeatedly and consistently been verified to be in compliance with the
agreement, Trump has repeatedly called it unfair to the U.S., and one of the
worst deals he had ever seen, before exiting in May 2018.
called on the U.S.'s negotiating partners -- China, France, Germany, the
European Union, Russia and the United Kingdom -- to follow the U.S. lead in
leaving the agreement, but to date none have, arguing the Joint Comprehensive
Plan of Action remains the best way to ensure Iran does not attain the bomb.
intelligence community told us again and again: The #IranDeal was working to
prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. If Iran continues to abide by the
terms of the deal, you bet I will support returning to it," Warren wrote
on Twitter in February.
a display of the party's support for one of former President Barack Obama's
signature foreign policy accomplishments, the Democratic National Committee
adopted in February a resolution calling for the U.S. to re-enter the
Trump administration announced Monday that it would end waivers for seven
countries, and Taiwan, to import Iranian oil in the latest attempt to mount
pressure on Tehran. The 2015 agreement lifted U.S., EU and UN sanctions on Iranian
oil exports, allowing Tehran unhindered access to one of its main sources of
of May 2, no country will be able to buy Iranian oil without the risk of
running afoul of U.S. sanctions -- the Trump administration's latest effort to
force Iran to leave the agreement.
should 2020 go the Democrats' way there is no shortage of candidates who have
said they would rejoin the historic agreement.
addition to Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, who mounted a fiery 2016 bid, has
indicated that he would seek to have Washington return.
Sanders aide told the Al-Monitor news website, "as president, Sen. Sanders
would rejoin the JCPOA and would also be prepared to talk to Iran on a range of
other issues, which is what Trump should’ve done instead of simply walking
away. Rejoining the JCPOA would mean meeting the United States’ commitments
under the agreement, and that includes sanctions relief."
is one of five presidential candidates who confirmed to Al-Monitor their desire
to return to the JCPOA, including Senator Kamala Harris; Miramar, Florida Mayor
Wayne Messam and lecturer Marianne Williamson.
spokesman for Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend, Indiana mayor whose campaign is
ascendant, also told the Hill website he would follow suit, as did a spokesman
for former congressman Beto O'Rourke.
senators who have yet to explicitly state if they would seek to rejoin the
agreement -- Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar -- did vote in
favor of the agreement when it came before Congress.
Vice President Joe Biden, who is expectedly to officially announce his
candidacy as soon as Thursday, is highly likely to return the U.S. to
compliance as has was a vital part of the U.S. administration that initially
brokered and then implemented the agreement. He strongly criticized Trump's
decision to leave the accord.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, said on Twitter
in March "If Iran continues to comply with the terms of the agreement as
determined by the intelligence community, I will re-enter the U.S. into the
#JCPOA as President."
are expected to have their first primary debate in June. That will kickstart a
flurry of campaign activity ahead of the Democratic convention next summer.
leader Hassan Nasrallah denied on Monday reports published by a Kuwaiti
newspaper that he had predicted a war with Israel this summer and that he might
be assassinated soon.
did not say these words… I did not say there would be an Israel war with
Lebanon this summer, I never even thought about it,” he said in a speech Monday
night, quoted by the state-run Lebanese National News Agency.
an article published Sunday, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai wrote that Mr Nasrallah
told regional leaders in a meeting that “there are many signs that Israel is
trying to surprise everyone like in 2006,” urging them to “not hide the
possibility of war” to their supporters. Mr Nasrallah supposedly added that
“Iran and Hezbollah are in a defensive position and will not initiate an
the summer of 2006, over 1,100 Lebanese civilians and 120 Israel soldiers were
killed in Israel’s war against Hezbollah, which functions as a regular
political party in Lebanon but also controls a private militia of thousands.
Rai quoted Mr Nasrallah as warning of the possibility that he might be
assassinated by Israel alongside other party leaders, arguing however that
“this does not mean the end of Hezbollah, which does not depend on individual
people but is part of Lebanese society.”
speaking on the 34th anniversary of the foundation of Hezbollah’s scouts
association, Mr Nasrallah called the article fiction. “I advise this newspaper
to ask the author of this article, whom I do not know, to write the scenario of
a fictional film,” he said.
Nasrallah also belittled the Israeli military, saying that “Israeli ground
forces are not ready for war”.
Rai published a follow-up article on Monday writing that “Washington sources”
had responded to its initial report by saying that should a war break out,
“Israel would not be the first to fire a bullet, but would not hesitate to
defend itself if attacked.”
elusive Hezbollah leader, who never appears in public and is rumoured to live
in a bunker in South Beirut out of fear of assassination, justified his
response to Al Rai, saying that he does not “normally” comment on newspapers
articles, but that he was “obliged” to react because of the “negative
impression” it created among “the people, political circles and many analysts.”
then moved on to bash Saudi TV network Al Arabiya, which reported that there
were clashes between Iranian and Russian forces in Aleppo and Deir Ezzor in
Syria, and that Hezbollah intervened in the fighting.
is a total lie,” said Mr Nasrallah, adding that he never turned on Al Arabiya
himself but that “others” who had watched the report told him about it.
may be political differences in some areas” between Syria’s two allies, said Mr
Nasrallah, but that “does not affect co-operation in the field.”
Nasrallah also denied reports that Hezbollah’s Lebanese political ally Amal
could be facing sanctions soon. The National broke the news this month.
has no basis whatsoever. This is the work of politicians and the media,” he
a speech two weeks ago, he acknowledged that “there are Lebanese in Washington
working towards putting friends and allies of Hezbollah on a terror list.”
he does in most of his speeches, Mr Nasrallah also lambasted US policy in the
Middle East, accusing the administration of US President Donald Trump of
wanting to “starve” the world, including Syria. “They are aiming to achieve
what they failed to accomplish militarily by starvation, siege and sanctions.”
US treasury warned in November against selling oil to Syria, pushing the
government to ration fuel, which has brought traffic to a halt in
addition to commenting on regional issues, Mr Nasrallah addressed Lebanese
politics, stressing that a “solution” must be found quickly to avoid a
envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is travelling to the region
this week in a bid to break the stalemate in political talks.
State Department announced on Monday that Mr Khalizad has left on a trip to
Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, and the United Kingdom that will
go until May 11, and “is part of the overall effort to facilitate a political
settlement that ends the conflict in Afghanistan.”
the first stop, Kabul, Mr Khalilzad “will consult with the Afghan government
and other Afghans to encourage all parties to work towards intra-Afghan dialogue
and negotiations to determine a final peace settlement.”
and Taliban officials were supposed to meet in Doha this weekend for what was
dubbed the intra-Afghan dialogue, but the summit has been postponed
indefinitely after a row about the number of delegates Kabul planned to send.
President Ashraf Ghani’s administration announced on Monday that 250 afghans
from all walks of life would represent the government. The Taliban replied that
the meeting was not “an invitation to some wedding or other party at a hotel in
comments let to more recriminations between the sides, each blaming each other
– and Kabul blaming the host nation of Qatar – for the derailment. Although the
Taliban said the meeting didn’t represent an official Taliban-Government
summit, it would have been a big step as the militant group has refused for
years to meet officials who they call a puppet regime of the US.
Afghanistan, Mr Khalizad faces a tough test as government officials have
expressed concerns over the direct US-Taliban peace talks that have mainly
focused on a pull out of American troops and how the Taliban can ensure it will
stop militant groups using Afghanistan as a base to plan and carry out attacks
against the United States.
concerns recently boiled over when President Ashraf Ghani’s National Security
Advisor, Hamdullah Mohib, launched a blistering public attack on Mr Khalizad
while visiting Washington, saying the US official was seeking personal benefit
by side-lining the government. After the comments, the US administration
reportedly told Mr Ghani that they would no longer speak with Mr Mohib.
other senior officials have downplayed the rift, it indicates that some in the
Afghan administration have concerns.
London, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi, he will work to build international
support for the Afghan peace process to help ensure that any peace settlement
reached will be sustainable,” the statement said. “In Doha, he will continue to
press forward on negotiations with the Taliban to reach a consensus on core
national security issues, and urge their participation in an inclusive
intra-Afghan dialogue,” it added. The Taliban have a political office and
negotiating team based in Doha.
trip comes after Mr Khalilzad expressed dismay ten days ago over the Taliban's
latest announcement of a Spring offensive.
US envoy then called the announcement “reckless” and described it as
“irresponsible to suggest that an increase in violence is warranted because the
government announced a security plan.”
Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad
1/6 The Taliban's spring offensive announcement
is reckless. It is irresponsible to suggest that an increase in violence is
warranted because the government announced a security plan. The Afghan people
have clearly voiced their desire for peace.
PM - Apr 12, 2019
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announcement could derail peace talks with the Taliban as it “demonstrates
their indifference to the demands of Afghans across the country.”
call for more fighting will not advance peace efforts. If executed, it will
only yield more suffering and thousands more causalities,” the US envoy said.
added that some members of the group “including fighters and some leaders
oppose this announcement.” After condemning the announcement, Mr Khalilzad
called on “Pakistan, Qatar, and other nations that want peace in Afghanistan to
do the same.”
trains foreign students in its practice of moderate Islam
(Reuters) - Naminata Koulibaly, 30, receives training in a Moroccan Muslim
teaching institute, founded by King Mohammed VI in 2015, and hopes to return to
her home in Ivory Coast better equipped to advise women on religious issues.
is one of 100 women admitted every year to study for up to three years in the
institute in Rabat, run by Morocco's ministry of religious affairs.
which is nearly 100 percent Muslim, has marketed itself as an oasis of
religious tolerance in a region torn by militancy - and has offered training to
imams and male and female preachers of Islam from Africa and Europe on what it
describes as moderate Islam.
currently trains 1,300 people mostly from the sub-Sahara nations of Mali,
Senegal, Nigeria, Guinea, Gambia and Chad, where Al Qaeda and Islamic State are
I go back to my country, I will find some children and women who did not go to
school and don't know a lot about religion...we will be very useful to them and
we will teach them about the fundamentals of religion," said Koulibaly.
will show them how to behave with others and not to be extremists. We will show
them how to be moderate in religion".
to other countries in North Africa Morocco has been largely insulated from
militant attacks. The first since 2011 took place last December when two
Scandinavian tourists were found murdered in a tourist spot in the Atlas Mountains.
Four suspects had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
at the institute receive 2,000 dirhams (£160.5) a month in addition to free
accommodation, plane tickets, and health insurance. Admission criteria include
having a Bachelor university degree.
curriculum covers Islamic studies along with philosophy, history of religions,
sexual education and mental health.
show them that the concepts of democracy and human rights serve purposes rooted
in Islamic values," said institute director Abdeslam Lazaar.
also receive vocational training in electrics, agriculture or tailoring to
enable them to have a source of stable revenue when they return home.
training can help sub-Saharan countries facing militancy and a vacuum in the supervision
of religion, Salim Hmimnat of the Rabat-based African Studies Institute said.
Francis visited the imam training institute during his trip to Morocco in
also come from France, such as 25-year-old Aboubakr Hmaidouch.
Muslim community in France is in great need of imams and female religious
preachers to ensure that the values of religion contribute to living together
and to the spiritual well-being of society," he said.
takes into account practical life and culture, and accepts diversity he said.
I return... I hope to put into practice and transmit this knowledge, especially
this spirit of peace, love, fraternity and tolerance."
institute also helps Rabat expand its foothold in a region where major Moroccan
banks and companies have been investing for years.
use of religion plays an important role in the kingdom's overall soft power
equation," said Anouar Boukhars, a Maghreb expert and Carnegie Endowment
fellow, noting Morocco promotes its tolerant Islam as an alternative to the
extremist ideologies in the Sahel.
right to livestream murder': Ardern leads push against online terror content
Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern is to spearhead a push to combat violent
extremism and terrorism on social media in the wake of the Christchurch
attacks, saying the gunman did not have “a right to livestream the murder of 50
and French president Emmanuel Macron will host a summit in Paris on 15 May,
rallying tech companies and other concerned countries to commit to a pledge
known as the “Christchurch Call” – a vow to eliminate terrorist and violent
extremist content online.
said online platforms had been used in a “unique” way to disseminate and
publicise video of the Christchurch attack, and there had been rallying cries
for New Zealand to take on a leadership role, but the remote island country of
fewer than 5 million people could not do it alone.
was a natural partner, Ardern said, due to its G7 presidency, focus on
combating the use of the internet for terrorist purposes, and being the host
country for a G7 digital ministers meeting in mid-May.
want to maintain the principles of a free, open and secure internet, but this
isn’t about freedom of expression, this is about preventing violent extremism
and terrorism online. I don’t think anyone would argue that the terrorist on
the 15 of March had a right to livestream the murder of 50 people,” Ardern said
all need to act, and that includes social media providers taking more
responsibility for the content that is on their platforms … it’s critical that
technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool for terrorism,
and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism.”
said she had already spoken to global tech company CEOs, including Facebook’s
Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter, Microsoft and Google.
described the conversations as “really positive”
tech company, just like no government, wishes to see violent extremism and
terrorism online, so we have a starting point that is one of unity” said
we’re trying to tackle here is a global issue and I think it requires a global
response. New Zealand is looking to play a leadership role because what
happened here on the 15 March was unprecedented in the way that is used the
internet, so with that does come a responsibility to try and make change.”
text of the Christchurch Call to action was still being finalised, Ardern said,
but there would be a strong focus on practical action, and not just
said a number of countries such as France, Ireland, New Zealand and Germany
already had internet legislation in place, but more needed to be done towards
ensuring better global protections, and tech companies had a responsibility to
make their platforms safer.
Christchurch mosque gunman livestreamed the mosque shootings on Facebook and
they were viewed hundreds of times before moderators were alerted 30 minutes
after the shootings.
video of the mosque attack was also copied and shared widely on the internet,
and Facebook has said that since the attacks it has intercepted and prevented
more than a million attempts to upload and distribute the video again.
authorities said on Tuesday they had arrested seven suspected extremists with
links to ISIS.
initial group of six suspects, aged between 22 and 28, were “supporters” of
ISIS and suspected of planning “terrorist acts,” the central bureau of
investigations said in a statement.
were arrested in the coastal town of Sale, near Rabat, in a raid led by the
bureau’s anti-terrorism squad.
devices, bladed weapons, and “extremist” documents were found during the raid,
later said a seventh person had been arrested in the Western Sahara town of
Dakhla on suspicion of links with the Sale detainees.
has been spared large-scale extremist attacks since a 2011 bombing in
Marrakesh’s famed Jamaa El Fna Square that killed 17 people, mainly European
authorities regularly announce they have dismantled ISIS cells.
top administrative court on Tuesday rejected demands by Syria-based women and
children, relatives of French extremists fighting in Syria to be repatriated
back to France, arguing that a judge could not rule on the issue given it
involved negotiations with foreign authorities.
Council of State (Conseil d’Etat) rejects the demands for repatriation made by
French nationals and for their children, currently in Syria,” said the court in
nations have been wrestling with how to handle suspected militants and their
families seeking to return from combat zones in Iraq and Syria, as well as
those in detention.
New Zealand will grant permanent residency to all survivors of the mass
shooting at two Christchurch mosques in which 50 Muslim worshippers were
killed, it said on Tuesday.
Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, has been charged with 50
counts of murder for New Zealand’s worst peacetime mass shooting in which 50
other people at Friday prayers were wounded.
government had said it was considering giving visas to survivors, but no
decision was announced. Tuesday’s news was only released as a link on the
immigration website, which some say was done to avoid any backlash by opponents
New Zealand said a new visa category called the Christchurch Response (2019)
visa had been created. People who were present at the mosques when they were
attacked on March 15 can apply, as can immediate family members.
must have been living in New Zealand on the day of the attack, so the visa will
not be available to tourists or short-term visitors. Applications can be made
at least 359 people, including eight Britons, on Easter Sunday.
Secretary Jeremy Hunt said family liaison officers had been sent to Sri Lanka
to support and assist the families of British victims and help with
repatriation of their bodies.
attack was complex, tightly co-ordinated and designed to cause maximum chaos,
damage and heartbreak,” Mr Hunt told MPs in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
UK will never stand by in the face of such evil, so today we stand in
solidarity with the government and people of Sri Lanka, who have been making
enormous strides towards stability and peace after the conclusion of the civil
war almost 10 years ago.”
Hunt spoke with Tilak Marapana, the Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs, on
Monday evening to offer his condolences and the UK’s assistance with the
eight explosions ripped through hotels and churches across the country, an
improvised pipe bomb found on Sunday evening was destroyed by security services
at Colombo airport.
Hunt said that the device was probably meant to harm fleeing civilians.
Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to Sri Lankan leader Ranil Wickremesinghe
earlier on Tuesday. Mrs May stressed the UK’s solidarity with the people of the
South Asian nation.
leaders discussed the strong connection between the UK and Sri Lanka, and the
need to stand together in the fight against terrorism,” a Downing Street
Minister Wickremesinghe expressed his gratitude for the UK’s support.”
Hunt spoke of religious persecution, referring to the Christchurch mosque
attacks during Friday Prayer on March 15, where 50 people died and 50 were
must respond by bringing people together – the exact opposite of what was
intended by the perpetrators,” he said.
Wijewardene, Sri Lanka’s Minister of State for Defence, said that preliminary
investigations into the bombings suggested that they were in retaliation for
the Christchurch attack.
on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attacks, without providing evidence.
Mr Wickremesinghe said the terrorist group night have been linked to the
Sunday, Mr Hunt called the Sri Lanka attacks “wicked” and said everyone had a
right to practise their faith in peace, safety and security.
despicable acts were carried out at a time when millions of Christians celebrate
Easter while living under the shadow of persecution," he said.
leaders and tech company executives have been called to a meeting -- to be
co-chaired by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French
Emmanuel Macron -- in Paris on May 15.
will be asked to commit to a pledge called the "Christchurch Call"
designed to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.
said the March 15 terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, in which 50
Muslim worshippers were killed, saw social media used "in an unprecedented
way as a tool to promote an act of terrorism and hate".
mosque attacks were live-streamed on the internet and showed distressing
footage of the gunman firing indiscriminately at men, women and children.
Paris, the Elysee presidential palace said the meeting would ensure that
"new, concrete measures are taken so that what happened in Christchurch
does not happen again".
six weeks after the massacre, social media sites are still struggling to stamp
out copies of the gunman's video.
calling on the leaders of tech companies to join with us and help achieve our
goal of eliminating violent extremism online at the Christchurch Summit in
Paris," Arden said.
meeting will be held alongside the "Tech for Humanity" meeting of G7
Digital Ministers, and France's separate "Tech for Good" summit also
scheduled for May 15.
all need to act, and that includes social media providers taking more
responsibility for the content that is on their platforms, and taking action so
that violent extremist content cannot be published and shared," Ardern
critical that technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool
for terrorism, and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism."
has previously stated his ambition for France to take a leading role in
devising new regulatory measures "to reconcile technology with the common
said the joint action was not aimed at curbing freedom of expression but at preventing
extremist violence from spreading online.
don't think anyone would argue that the terrorist on March 15 had a right to
livestream the murder of 50 people and that is what this call is very
specifically focussed on," she said.
French Muslim group said on Monday it was suing Facebook and YouTube for
allowing the grisly live broadcast of Christchurch massacre to be streamed.
livestream lasting 17 minutes was shared extensively on a variety of internet
platforms and uploaded again nearly as fast as it could be taken down.
‘intentionally scuttled’ intra-Afghan dialogue: Taliban
Afghan Taliban have again accused the Kabul administration of “intentionally
scuttling” an intra-Afghan conference planned in Doha, Qatar, while US
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also expressed “disappointment” at the
postponement of the dialogue.
postponed the April 20-21 dialogue after the Afghan government stopped
delegates from proceeding to Doha in protest over Qatari list of participants.
Kabul had announced its own list of 250 participants, excluding former
President Hamid Karzai, who was one of the prominent leaders behind interaction
between the Taliban and the Afghan political leaders.
Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who has
embarked upon another trip to the region, also said he was “disappointed” at
the delay of Qatar’s intra-Afghan initiative and said the US was in touch with
all parties, and encouraged that everyone remained committed to the dialogue.
Afghanistan, Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah came up with a different
approach and said an opportunity for talks was lost, blaming “mismanagement”
for the delay.
Taliban criticised the Kabul administration for ruining the meeting that would
have been different from the first similar dialogue in Moscow in early
February, as the Taliban had agreed to a Qatari proposal to sit face-to-face
with representatives of the Afghan government with a condition that all
participants would speak in their personal capacity. The Afghan Taliban’s
political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the conference was cancelled because of
the “hurdles created” by the Kabul administration.
told Daily Times from Doha that the Kabul administration issued a long list of
250 people just days before the conference.
(Kabul) wanted all 250 people to participate in the conference. They did not
take into account the other side of the Afghan society. And they also violated
the principles of participation – the principle was that everyone will
participate in the conference in his or her personal capacity. But they said they
will represent the government, which was not agreed upon in the last conference
held in Moscow,” Shaheen said. “It means they intentionally wanted to scuttle
the conference in Qatar. We wanted to know the views of the Afghan people
through their representatives’ participation in the conference, as to what kind
of a solution they wanted and how to reach that solution. We wanted to have
their views and their advice in this regard, and to know their vision about the
future Afghanistan. These were the main things we wanted to discuss with the
participants,” the Taliban spokesman said.
Times has learnt that Uzbekistan also wants to organise an intra-Afghan meeting
and shared the proposal with the Taliban political representatives.
Uzbekistan has offered to host an intra-Afghan dialogue, but have not agreed to
their proposal,” a Taliban source said.
Taliban had held informal meetings with those Afghans who had reached Doha from
the US, the UK and several other European countries, sources within the group
Taliban leaders Sher Abbas Stanekzai, Amir Khan Mutaqi and Abdul Salam Hanafi
spoke at the meeting and held the Kabul administration responsible for
postponement of the conference. They defended the Afghan Taliban’s refusal of
holding direct talks with Kabul and said the US had toppled the Taliban
government in late 2001 – when the present Kabul administration did not exist –
so they wanted a solution to the problem with the Americans.
has started another visit to Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, and
the UK from April 21, which will continue until May 11, as part of the overall
effort to “facilitate a political settlement that ends the conflict” in
Afghanistan, the State Department said. “In Kabul, Special Representative
Khalilzad will consult with the Afghan government and other Afghans to
encourage all parties to work towards intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations to
determine a final peace settlement,” a statement said on Monday. In London,
Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi, he would work to build international support
for the Afghan peace process to help ensure that any peace settlement reached
be sustainable, according to the State Department. In Doha, he would continue
to press forward on negotiations with the Taliban to reach a consensus on core
national security issues, and urge their participation in an inclusive
intra-Afghan dialogue. He last visited several countries, including Pakistan,
Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef
A. Al-Othaimeen, has strongly condemned the multiple cowardly attacks carried
out in churches and hotels in Colombo and neighboring towns targeting innocent
worshipers and civilians, which killed hundreds and wounded many more.
the solidarity of OIC with Sri Lanka at this painful moment, the Secretary
General offered his deepest condolences to the families of the victims,
Government and people of Sri Lanka on the tragic loss of lives and wished early
recovery to the injured people.
Muslim Council of Elders, under the Chairmanship of His Eminence Dr Ahmed
El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar strongly condemns the cowardly terror
attacks carried out in a number of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on the
morning of Easter Sunday, which resulted in hundreds of casualties and
Council vehemently denounces such despicable attacks which go against the
teachings of all religions and creeds as well as international laws and social
norms. The Council also stresses the urgent need to intensify international
efforts towards countering all forms of terrorism.
Muslim Council of Elders also emphasizes that attacks on innocent civilians
celebrating a religious holiday proves that the persons who carried out these
attacks are nothing more than inhumane cowards.
DELHI: Forty eight hours after the serial blasts in Sri Lanka, the Islamic
State claimed responsibility for the terror attacks in which at least 321
people have died and over 500 are injured. The development lent credence to the
assessment that a global terror outfit may have joined hands with local
extremist outfit, National Tawheed Jamaat, in executing the Easter bombings.
a statement released in Arabic through its mouthpiece Amaq on Tuesday afternoon,
an IS spokesperson said: "The perpetrators of the attack that targeted the
citizens of the coalition governments and the Christians in Sri Lanka the day
before yesterday were IS Inghemasis (fighters)".
the number of Indians killed in the blasts rose to 13. They were among at least
38 foreigners who lost their lives.
an emergency session of Parliament, Sri Lanka's state minister of defence,
Ruwan Wijewardene, citing "preliminary investigations", said the
serial bombings were in "retaliation to the attack against Muslims in
Indians were among 50 people killed in terror attacks on two mosques in
Christchurch, carried out by Australia-born Brenton Tarrant (28) on March 15.
the IS didn't directly mention Christchurch on Tuesday, its statement
strengthens the view that the Sri Lanka bombings were intended to be revenge
for the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand last month. The Sri Lankan
government had named the NTJ and also said the scale and sophistication of the
attacks clearly pointed to the hand of an international network .
on Tuesday had reported the names and pictures of three IS fighters involved in
the bombings after they were released by a pro-IS telegram channel.
names released by the channel were Zahran Hashim aka Abu Ubaida, Abu Al-Mukhtar
and Abu Al-Barra. The others have been identified as Abu Khalil, Abu Hamza, Abu
Mohammed and Abu Abdullah. These are identities which IS terrorists are typically
given after they have pledged allegiance to the terror outfit chief Abu Bakr al
statement by Amaq details the exact movements of the bombers. It further says:
"Some of the brave fighters went towards churches and hotels... They went
separate ways... Abu Hamza, Khalil and Mohammed went towards churches... Others
went to hotels and other places in the battle... 350 kafirs were killed and 650
injured," the translation reads.
claim by IS validates the view that a local outfit like NTJ could not have
carried out attack on its own given the expertise required in bomb-making and
planning. The attack also has typical IS imprints like the strikes carried out
in Bangladesh and other places where the global outfit roped in local extremist
groups to execute terror attacks.
Sri Lanka's case, agencies are trying to verify inputs that an IS cell based in
a southeast Asian country may have extended logistical help and provided
training to the NTJ terrorists. The Sri Lanka bombings have many similarities
with the attack on a Roman Catholic cathedral in January in Philippines. Two
bombs had exploded in the church in southern Philippines, killing 20 people and
injuring dozens. The IS had claimed the attack on the cathedral located in Jolo
island, where jihadist groups have been active for some time.
spokesperson Abu Hasan al Muhajir had earlier released an audio speech calling
for Muslims to wake up and avenge the Christchurch shootings by a heavily armed
officers, however, felt that the Sri Lanka plan could have been in the works
for months. "The speech by Muhajir could be a trigger but the planning
would have begun much earlier," an officer said. When asked about a delay
of two days by IS in claiming the attack, an intelligence officer pointed out
that bombs are still being recovered till Tuesday evening. "IS usually claims
attacks once they are 'over'," he said.
spoke to a few officers on the nature of explosives used in the blasts. While
officials said they were waiting for the post blast investigation (PBI) to get
over before commenting, sources said it was being probed if C4 explosives were
used by the terrorists.
COMBO: An 8-year-old relative of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is
among the 45 children who were killed in the devastating suicide bomb attacks
in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, media reports said Tuesday.
Awami League leader Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim's grandson Zayan Chowdhary, who
was reported missing after bombings in Sri Lanka, has died, the reports said.
boy was having breakfast with his father Moshiul Haque Chowdhary Prince at a
restaurant on the ground floor of a luxury hotel in Colombo that came under
attack along with several other hotels and churches on Easter Sunday that
killed 321 people and injured nearly 500 others.
younger brother Sheikh Fazlur Rahman Maruf said that Zayan's body would be
brought back to Dhaka on Wednesday, the Dhaka Tribune reported.
younger brother Zohan Chowdhary and mother Sheikh Amina Sultana Sonia were in
their hotel room when the blast occurred. The family went to Sri Lanka on a
is a cousin of Prime Minister Hasina.
to Bangladeshi expatriates in Brunei, Hasina urged them to pray for the
pray for their safe return," Hasina said.
said his son-in-law Mashiul is now in the intensive care unit ICU of a hospital
in Sri Lanka.
said: "I spoke with my family members there in the morning. They said
Mashiul's condition is still critical, but he is improving. We will know more
after 72 hours."
may think, we will do something in Bangladesh. But they do not have the ability
to organize an attack in Bangladesh'
counter terrorism chief Monirul Islam anticipates that extremists may inspire
globally in the event of a series of bomb attacks in Sri Lanka.
head of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism and transnational Crime
(CTTC) unit said: “Extremists may think, we will do something in Bangladesh.
But they do not have the ability to organize an attack in Bangladesh.”
was speaking at a program organized by Bangladesh Crime Reporters Association
(CRAB) and CTTC in the CIRDAP Auditorium in Dhaka on Tuesday.
countries thought we could not stop militancy or extremism after the Holey
Artisan attack. But militancy has been controlled by the government's policy of
zero tolerance and cooperation of all people,” he said.
admitted that it was not entirely eliminated.
or militancy is a doctrine, so the terrorists believe in this ideology. Many of
them have already been brought under the law, and many are under surveillance,”
chief said that after any attack, terrorists in other countries are encouraged
and try to imitate that attack.
the Holey Artisan, a group of Indonesianswere inspired. After the New Zealand
attacks, some groups have been active in anti-Christian and anti-Semitic
propaganda,” he said.
CTTC chief said that while there was a suicide group in the Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), they never targeted any religious group.
last riot that took place last year in Sri Lanka is between Buddhists and
Muslims,” he said.
the attack that took place in Sri Lanka's churches and hotels, it is
undoubtedly terrorism,” he added.
also said: “We heard from different sources that an intelligence report was
given that Jamaat al-Tawhid al-Watania could directly attack churches and the
Indian mission. All those who carried out the attack were citizens of that
country. From the nature of the attack, we can understand that outside
U.S. forces conducted an airstrike targeting a Humvee armoured personnel
carrier packed with explosives in south-eastern Paktia province of Afghanistan,
the Afghan military said Monday.
203rd Thunder Corps in a statement said Monday that the airstrike was carried
out on Friday in the vicinity of Zurmat district.
statement further added that four militants were also killed during the same
airstrike and the Humvee vehicle was completely destroyed.
to 203rd Thunder Corps, the militants were looking to use the Humvee to carry
out an attack against the security forces.
the meantime, the 203rd Thunder Corps said the U.S. forces carried out a
similar airstrike in Andar district of Ghazni province leaving six militants
dead and a 4×4 vehicle destroyed.
least ten civilians were rescued from a Taliban prison during a joint operation
conducted in south-eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan the Afghan military
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast said a statement
that the operation was conducted in Bala area of Qarabagh district.
statement further added that the foreign forces were also accompanying the
Afghan armed forces during the operation.
least 9 militants were also killed and five others were arrested during the
same operation, the 203rd Thunder Corps added in its statement.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the operation so far.
Lanka’s Easter Sunday bomb attacks were retaliation for a recent attack on
mosques in New Zealand, a Sri Lankan official said on Tuesday, adding that two
domestic Islamist groups were believed to be responsible.
initial investigation has revealed that this was in retaliation for the New
Zealand mosque attack,” junior minister for defence Ruwan Wijewardene told
was done by National Thawheed Jama’ut along with JMI,” he said, referring to
another local group, Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim.
cannot be used in place of father’s name, rules CII
Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Tuesday said that using ‘Bint-e-Pakistan,’
(the daughter of Pakistan) in place of father’s name is against Shariah.
the identity of a father is known the surname of a person cannot be changed or
replaced, the CII said in a decision.
council has forwarded the summary of the decision to the Ministry of Law on
Tuesday in a case pertaining to Tatheer Fatima, a 22-year-old girl, who sought
removal of her father’s name from her documents.
September last year, Tatheer had moved the Supreme Court to allow her to
mention the words ‘Bint-e-Pakistan’ in place of her father’s name in all her
applicant stated in an application that she was facing difficulties in
obtaining official documents, including national identity card and passport due
to her father’s absence.
top court had appointed Advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan as amicus curiae over the
submitted that there was no need for the name of father to be displayed on a
person’s identification documents as long as such information is available in
official records and databases of the authorities.
Makhdoom also said that various amendments to statutory provision and rules
would be required to eliminate the requirement of father’s name in the official
documents of children.
against forced conversions sent to NA standing committee
A bill against forced conversions tabled in the National Assembly on Tuesday
was sent to the standing committee after getting support from the Minister of
Law Farogh Naseem.
bill was moved by PPP’s minority member Amir Naveed Jeeva.
has right to change the religion by heart,” he said.
mover of the bill when told the house, he wanted to table a bill against forced
conversions, law minister Farogh Naseem responded that it is a basic issue, no
one in the house would have any problem with it. “We have to sit and discuss
this problem,” Naseem further said.
proposed legislation was sent to the concerned standing committee of the house.
forced conversion became a high pitched issue in the public space after two
Hindu girls from Ghotki recently converted to Islam.
number of the minorities groups asked the federal government to enact immediate
laws against the rising issue of forced conversions in the country.
symposium participated by various human rights groups asked the government to
undertake the responsibility for comprehensive legislation against the issue.
comes under opposition's attack for acknowledging terrorists used Pakistan soil
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday came under attack by the
Opposition for acknowledging in Tehran that in the past militants had used his
country's soil to carry out attacks in Iran.
a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the end of
his two-day trip (April 21-22) to Tehran, Khan had said, "I know Iran has
suffered from terrorism (perpetrated) by groups operating from Pakistan. We
(need to) have trust in each other that both countries will not allow any
terrorist activity from their soil. We hope this will build confidence between
a discussion on Khan's visit to Iran in National Assembly, Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khurrum Dastigir said, "Prime Minister's
statement is against the national security as for the first time he has
admitted the use of (the country's) soil for terrorism in Iran."
prime minister has ever made such a confession on foreign soil," Dastagir
said, adding that only a day earlier, "the foreign minister had stated
that terrorists had entered from Iran to carry out activities in
is exposed internationally by such statements," the PML-N lawmaker said.
said that the prime minister has committed "diplomatic blunders" and
"through his statements, he has hurt the national security".
also attacked Khan for his earlier statement that Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi's re-election could help in moving towards a settlement of
Peoples Party legislator and former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar said,
"We are worried for the country after seeing it continually become a
said that the prime minister had publicly spoke about the use of Pakistani
territory against Iran in the past also, but others who had said much less
severe things were ousted from the country and cases were filed against them
and their right to be elected was taken away.
also referred to Khan's another statement in which he had said Japan and
Germany share borders.
cannot make these stupid statements and expect us to stand behind you,"
Khan, Pakistan's Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said "he was quoted
out of context" on his acknowledgement of use of Pakistani soil by
terrorists against Iran.
Khan's statement about Japan and Germany sharing borders, Mazari said that it
was "slip of tongue" when he said that Japan and Germany were
neighbours and as he wanted to say France and Germany.
DELHI: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's knowledge of geography came under
scanner when he said that Germany, situated in Central Europe, shares a border
with Japan, an island nation in East Asia.
faux pas happened when the Pakistan PM was emphatically advocating the
necessity of promoting trade between the two countries to ensure peace in a
more trade you have with each other...your ties automatically gets stronger.
Germany and Japan killed millions of their civilians, until after the Second
World War. The border region of Germany and Japan they had joint industries. So
now there is no question of them ever having bad relations because there
economic interests are tied together," the Pakistan PM said in a video
clip, which was widely circulated on social media.
appears that the Pakistan Prime Minister was referring to the close Germany-France
ties forged after the Second World War.
the Prime Minister ended up mixing Japan with France.
lack of knowledge of geography not only left the delegates present at his
speech puzzled but also rocked up a storm on social media.
can someone find him a speech writer, or someone should give him lessons in
geography. How much can one troll him?" a Twitter user wrote.
and Japan had joint borders. Says the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan in
his one speech ♀ ♀ ♀ …
Shama Junejo (@ShamaJunejo) 1555952292000
is alarming that Khan is the Prime Minister of a nuclear-armed country,"
another Twitter user wrot #Pakistan: Is this a parody of Imran Khan?? If not he
is clearly high on more than life. He says ‘Germany and Japan…
Farahnaz Ispahani (@fispahani) 1555983022000
The timeline of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package has
complicated the launch of government’s first tax amnesty scheme, Dawn has
learnt from knowledgeable sources in the Finance Division.
FBR told to make Asset Declaration Scheme 'more attractive'
a meeting held to discuss the tax amnesty scheme — Asset Declaration Scheme —
under the leadership of Finance Adviser to Prime Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez
Shaikh, the talks centred on two important issues: tax rates and the duration
of the scheme. However, the discussions with the International Monetary Fund
and the review meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will dictate
the scope and duration of the proposed amnesty scheme.
gave directions to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to devise a successful
communication strategy in order to ensure people can easily comprehend the
scheme. The tax officials were given a deadline of two days to refine the
scheme, the sources added.
adviser is also expected to discuss the broad contours of the scheme with the
visiting IMF team expected to reach Islamabad by month-end where he will
negotiate the possibility of launching the proposed scheme during the IMF
programme, the sources claimed, adding that it was the only way which can
ensure maximum time is available for individuals willing to avail the scheme.
before sharing the new draft with the IMF, Prime Minister Imran Khan will be
given a final presentation to seek his input.
fate of the scheme depends on the IMF whether it allows the duration to be
extended during the bailout programme. Otherwise, the government will have no
option but to offer the scheme for a limited time until June 30.
the government still has two months before the June 30 deadline and in the
previous amnesty scheme announced by the PML-N government, the FBR had
collected Rs84 billion in just 13 days, the sources claimed. “We believe that
people are anxiously waiting the launch of scheme,” the sources added.
government can also extend the period in case of depositing the tax money and
repatriation of cash assets. In case of repatriation, the time period can also
be extended to one year, the sources added. However, individuals availing the
scheme will have to declare their undeclared assets by June 30, 2019.
says over 250 killed, over 1,200 injured in Libya battle
At least 264 people have been killed and over 1,200 wounded in weeks of
fighting on the outskirts of Libya’s capital, the World Health Organisation
said on Tuesday, as African leaders gathered in Cairo to discuss the crisis.
agency called on Twitter for “a temporary cessation of hostilities, and for all
parties to respect humanitarian law”.
strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on the capital on April 4, as
his self-styled Libyan National Army pledged “to purge the west of terrorists
loyal to the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA),
based in Tripoli, launched a counter-attack at the weekend.
fighting has since eased somewhat as both sides appeared to be preparing for
the next phase of the battle.
in Tripoli’s southern suburbs has so far displaced at least 35,000 people, UN
humanitarian coordinator for Libya Maria do Valle Ribeiro said on Monday.
is continuing at an increasing rate every day,” she said, warning that the
figures were a conservative estimate.
two sides have reached a near stalemate since armed groups backing the GNA
launched their counter-attack on Saturday.
AFP team on the ground at the weekend confirmed that GNA-aligned fighters had
pushed the frontline back several kilometres in the southern district of
Ain-Zara, around a dozen kilometres south of the city centre.
frontline is a little further southwest, around the districts of al-Swani and
Qasr ben-Ghachir, around 30 kilometres from Tripoli, on a key road between the
capital and the old international airport.
bursts of gunfire — and heavier projectiles — have been audible, sometimes
resonating in the city centre.
is calm on most fronts,” Mustafa al-Mejii, a spokesman for GNA forces, said on
were given to forces on the perimeter of Tripoli airport to consolidate their
positions,” he said.
force said on its official Facebook page it had received “significant”
reinforcements, particularly in the west.
Ribeiro said civilians were being displaced every day, while some had been
trapped by fire including “heavy artillery and... shelling in some densely
populated parts of the city”.
country that has leverage should be using that leverage to ensure that
civilians can be protected,” she said.
leaders were due to meet in Cairo at the behest of Egyptian President Abdel
Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday to discuss the violence.
in Cairo were to seek to “stem the current crisis” in Tripoli, Egypt’s
presidency said ahead of the talks.
and the UAE, which strongly oppose Islamist militants and the Muslim
Brotherhood, back Haftar.
military commander also spoke by telephone to President Donald Trump last week,
in an implicit sign of US support that undercut international calls for
restraint on all sides.
while the UN recognises the GNA and its leader Fayez al-Sarraj, Haftar’s
diplomatic star appears to be rising.
White House said Trump “recognised Field Marshal Haftar’s significant role in
fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources”.
came a day after Russia and the United States opposed a British bid at the UN
Security Council, backed by France and Germany, to demand a ceasefire in Libya.
of people have staged a fresh protest rally in Nigeria to voice their support
for prominent Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been held in
detention for more than three years, and demand his immediate release.
of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) took to the streets in the capital
Abuja on Tuesday, carrying images of the 65-year-old cleric and chanting
slogans in his support.
the leader of the IMN, has been held in detention since December 2015 and was
charged just in April 2018 with murder, culpable homicide, unlawful assembly,
disruption of public peace and other accusations. He has pleaded not guilty.
2016, the Federal High Court of Nigeria ordered his unconditional release from
jail following a trial, but the government has so far refused to set him free.
top cleric lost his left eyesight in a raid which was carried out by the
Nigerian army on his residence in the northern town of Zaria in December 2015.
the raid, Zakzaky’s wife sustained serious wounds too and more than 300 of his
followers and three of his sons were killed. Zakzaky, his wife, and a large
number of the cleric’s followers have since been in custody.
August, Britain-based rights group Amnesty International accused Nigeria’s
government of carrying out unlawful arrests and practicing “enforced
disappearance,” calling on Abuja to clarify the fate of hundreds of jailed Shia
organization further stated that the fate of at least 600 members of the
Islamic Movement in Nigeria remained unknown since their arrest in 2015.
Nigerian government has used enforced disappearance as a longstanding tactic to
silence critics and instill fear in civilian populations,” Amnesty International
Nigeria Director Osai Ojigho said at the time.
supporting Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) have
managed to push back militiamen loyal to the renegade commander of the
self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar, dozens of kilometers
south of Tripoli as fighting around the capital continues unabated.
reported on Tuesday that Haftar's forces were repulsed more than 60 kilometers
(37 miles) southwest of the capital as troops aligned to the internationally
recognized government targeted them.
sources said the small town of ‘Aziziya was fully under the control of forces
backing the Tripoli administration, with shops reopening after days of fierce
launched his deadly campaign on April 4, when he ordered his loyalists to
invade Tripoli and seize it from troops aligned to the GNA.
recent days, troops loyal to Tripoli have driven back the LNA forces in the
southern suburb of Ain Zara. Militiamen loyal to Haftar have, however, said
they had launched air strikes on military sites in the capital.
clashes have raised fears of a worsening conflict in the North African country.
the World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson, Tariq Jarasevic, told
reporters on Tuesday that the death toll from ongoing fighting between rival
Libyan forces in Tripoli has risen to 264.
added that some 1,266 people have also been wounded since the beginning of the
battle nearly three weeks ago.
further noted that at least 21 of the deceased and 69 of the injured were civilians.
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said 32,000 civilians
have been displaced since the beginning of the conflict.
call on the parties for the protection of civilians and humanitarian aid,”
UNHCR spokesman Barbar Baloch said.
Monday, the UN's deputy envoy to Libya Maria do Valle Ribeiro expressed concern
over "the increasing rate of displacement" and stressed that the
world body needs to ramp up its humanitarian response in the conflict-plagued
are likely to see a continuation of hostilities for some time to come,” Ribeiro
said at a press briefing in Tripoli.
added, “For that we need to gear up and accelerate and increase our capacity to
be able to respond.”
also very concerned by the fact that displacement is continuing at an
increasing rate every day,” the top UN official told reporters.
leaders urge ceasefire in Libya
leaders participating in the African Union (AU) summit in Cairo on Tuesday
called for an "immediate and unconditional halt" to fighting in
AU's Libya "troika", which includes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah
el-Sisi as well as his Rwandan and South African counterparts Paul Kagame and
Cyril Ramaphosa, urged “all parties to act with restraint” and to facilitate
“the delivery of humanitarian aid.”
has been the scene of increasing violence since 2011, when former dictator
Muammar Gaddafi was toppled from power after an uprising and a NATO military
ouster created a huge power vacuum, leading to chaos and the emergence of
numerous militant outfits, including the Daesh terrorist group.
has two rival seats of power: one known as the House of Representatives and
based in the eastern city of Tobruk, and another in Tripoli, which is headed by
Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and enjoys UN recognition.
White House said on April 19 that US President Donald Trump had personally
discussed the situation in Tripoli with Haftar on the phone earlier this week.
leaders at an emergency summit in Cairo have called on Sudan's military rulers
to effectively and peacefully carry out a democratic transition within three
Egyptian presidency said in a statement issued on Tuesday that representatives
from African countries gave the Sudanese authorities and political actors three
months "to implement peaceful... and democratic transition measures."
also urged the African Union to extend its 15-day deadline for Sudan's
Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power to a civilian authority or
face suspension from the regional bloc.
at the end of the summit, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who holds
the rotating presidency of the African Union, said there was consensus work had
to be done for Sudan to "quickly restore the constitutional system through
a political democratic process led and managed by the Sudanese
told the meeting that AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat had briefed
the meeting on his recent talks in Khartoum.
agreed on the need to give more time to Sudanese authorities and Sudanese
parties to implement these measures," Sisi said.
TMC took over after toppling President Omar al-Bashir on April 11.
leaders have vowed to continue organizing sit-ins and other rallies as part of
a widening campaign to confront the junta and push for the transfer of power to
a civilian council.
Migrants in a detention facility in the Libyan capital Tripoli have reportedly
been seriously wounded in a random shooting, the UN migration agency IOM said
gave no more details of the incident which it said took place in a facility in
Qasr Ben Ghashir, a southern suburb fought over by forces loyal to Libya’s
has been moving some migrants out of detention centers in Tripoli, which forces
loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar have been trying to take in a
more than 3,000 migrants are still in detention centers there, among them women
and children, IOM said in a tweet.
Another Boko Haram attack kills seven
attack took place in the Madagascar neighbourhood on Monday evening as the
attackers equally destroyed several properties and set houses ablaze before
taking off, sources said.
attach comes just four days after another attack in Tchakamri in Kolofata Sub
Division, Mayo Sava Division which left at leats nine persons dead and several
houses burnt down.
administrative authorities have called on the population to remain vigilant and
denounce any suspects in their localities.
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