uproar in Lebanese banking sector is related to money deposited in the name of
late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein or under his former regime. (File photo:
And Islam: There’s No Conflict, A Delhi Project Set to Tell You
State to Be Resisted By Religious Parties: Pakistan Jamaat-i-Islami Emir
Target Shiite Mosque in Afghanistan, Killing At Least 39
Transferred Saddam’s Billions to US, Clarifies Top Banker
Civilians Killed In Attacks Thursday on Yemen's Hodeida: Red Cross
Terrorists Killed In Fresh Exchange Of Fire With Security Forces In Shopian
files chargesheet against six in LeT terrorist escape case
Modi’s BJP aiming for the moon in India’s Muslim-majority Jammu & Kashmir?
Schools Attacked, Set on Fire in Northern Pakistan
families denied visas to see Pope Francis
support to Imran Khan for betterment of country, says Pir Pagara
confirms support to PTI in exchange for federal package for Karachi
minister says Imran may take PM oath on 14th
considering Khursheed or Nafisa for NA speaker
condemns attack on Afghanistan mosque
leader sees tough time for Pak-US ties under Imran
Possible For Daesh Fighters Surrendering In North Afghanistan
commandos rescue 61 civilians from a Taliban prison in Helmand
Pakistani militants killed, 8 wounded in Kunar operations
rejects involvement as Gardez mosque bombing attracts widespread condemnation
Tolerance: Dubai Summit to Fight Extremism with Knowledge
gradually returning peacekeepers to Syria-Israel frontier
talking with ISIS to free 36 women, children abducted in Syria’s Sweida
Mai Skaf laid to rest in Paris flanked by Syrian Revolution flags
Arabia sends evidence to UN of deadly Houthi attack on Hodeidah hospital
working to forestall Idlib offensive by Syria: Report
coalition accuses Houthis of Hodeidah hospital attack
praises KSA’s commitment to human rights
Leaders to Meet In Gaza amid Israel Truce Reports
UN report reveals North Korea attempts to supply Houthis with weapons
Houthis kill civilians by bombing Hodeidah hospital
Houthis killed in intense fighting in Yemen’s al-Jawf
forces shoot dead one, injure 120 Palestinian protesters
army continues to advance, pushing back Houthis in Al-Baydah province
protesters attack religious school: Fars news agency
Activist Runs Schools to Counter Boko Haram Violence
Military Airstrike In Somalia Kills 4 Al-Shabaab Fighters
in Libya running out of time and resources
army says several ISIL fighters killed in border clashes
prominent Muslim cleric abducted
Says U.S. Muslims Lately Subject To More Attacks, Hate Crimes than Ever
Claims NYPD Is Discriminating Against Him for Being Muslim
Bin Laden May Have Planned 9/11 to Unleash the Apocalypse
says it agreed with US 'to work closely to resolve issues'
call on Canadian government to reunite Yazidi families
Labour Must Tackle Its Anti-Semitism
Refutes IS Claim of “Terror Attack” That Killed 4 Tourists
condemns 'shocking' Yemen hospital strike
peacekeepers return to Golan after talks with Russia, Israel, and Syria
arrests two over foiled biological attack in Germany
Fails Yet Again To Counter Islamic State Threats
launches new group to combat extremism
MB says ‘cruel to marry children’ 16 and younger
Nabs Cleric over Bomb Claimed by Islamic State
by New Age Islam News Bureau
and Islam: There’s no conflict, a Delhi project set to tell you
can’t Muslims be queer and vice-versa? Why don’t queer Muslims open up within
their community? Why is it that queer Muslims remain caught in a double bind of
homophobia and Islamophobia?
is with these tough questions in mind that queer activist Rafiul Alom Rahman is
looking to reconcile the two identities – that of gender and faith – of queer
Muslims and create an inclusive safe space that will help them come out without
the fear of ostracism and ridicule.
to the indianexpress.com, Rahman said, “Belonging to two marginalised
communities, queer Muslims often fail to find acceptance even within the queer
community. They are facing a parallel struggle to navigate their sexual as well
as religious identities. There needs to be a fearless space to discuss gender
identities and faith in Islam.”
begin with, Rahman, inspired by the queer Muslim groups in the West, has
launched The Queer Muslim Project (TQMP), an online space for uninhibited
conversations and exchange of experiences, ideas and information regarding
in fact, came into being after Rahman quit his PhD on the queer Muslim
community midway at Texas University, US, when he found that there was a dearth
of information or contemporary documents available on LGBTQ Muslims in India.
down by the rigidness in the culture and community, the activist said that many
LGBTQ people give up on practising Islam to avoid Islamophobia.
mainstream idea about what faith says regarding the LGBTQ community is that
their actions are sinful and punishable and as a result, I have heard people
saying, ‘I’m not a Muslim, I’m queer,’ and I have seen the other extreme as
well,” Rahman said while speaking for the need for such a project and the
perceived conflict between Islam and homosexuality.
its reach to the Muslim homosexuals, TQMP has now decided to mark their
presence offline and gather in person to strengthen the movement. The Queer
Muslim Project is holding a “Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Islam” workshop in Delhi that
will be a space for LGBTQ and queer Muslims to explore their feelings and
experiences of Islam, both good and bad, this Sunday, August 5.
discussion will be felicitated by Fyzah Tajdin who is a non-binary queer Muslim
from New York City (NYC), who works with the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and
Gender Diversity (MASGD) in planning the annual LGBTQIA Muslim Retreat.
said: “The gathering is available through strict RSVPs to safeguard the voice
and interest of the queer Muslims.”
TQMP an open chapter, Rahman said it is a voluntary initiative and right now
the project is moderated by a group of 10 people. “It is a voluntary community
initiative expanded in both Delhi and Bangaluru,” he said.
to The All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s statement on not contesting if the
Supreme Court scraps Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises homosexuality,
Rahman said, “It is a positive approach but that doesn’t stop the backlash and
hate we receive from the conservatives.”
are constantly trolled for organising events for queer Muslims, saying we
should head to Pakistan as we are creating a divide within the LGBTQ community.
But we want to include the voices of people who have queer and Muslim
experiences in a way that invites conversation with the public,” said Rahman.
State to Be Resisted By Religious Parties:
Pakistan Jamaat-i-Islami Emir
Certain elements are overjoyed over the poor electoral performance by religious
parties in the elections and believe that secular and liberal lobbies will now
be able to pursue their agenda freely but they are gravely mistaken, says
Jamaat-i-Islami emir Senator Sirajul Haq.
the Friday congregation at Mansoora, he said the people were always ready to
lay down their lives for Islam and the Holy Prophet and no one can dare to
convert this country into a secular state.
Haq said the JI would continue watching new government and see where it was
getting guidance from. The US was saying it was glad over the defeat of the
religious parties in this country and that the Pakistanis have rejected
extremism and terrorism. In fact, the US itself was promoting terrorism and
extremism in the world.
said the list of US crimes against humanity was long. It was the only country
in the world to drop nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which killed
millions of innocent humans. During the last three decades, he said, the US had
been involved in the bloodshed of innocent people, especially the Muslims, in
different parts of the world. The Americans had even bombed the factory
preparing milk for the infants in Sudan and they were mainly responsible for
the killings of the Muslims in Palestine and Kashmir, he added. He said that if
the new government also acted on Washington’s dictation, it would also lose public
support in no time.
said the JI wanted Imran Khan to fulfill his commitment to build the country an
Islamic state on the pattern of the Medina state. He said that a beginning in
this direction should be made soon. He said the JI would welcome every good
work of the new government. If the government tried to change the direction of
the country, the JI would be the biggest obstacle in its way.
said the JI had always struggled for the enforcement of the Islamic system as
it wanted to see this country an Islamic, welfare state. He was sure that the
sacrifices of the JI workers for this great cause would not go waste.
said that during the election campaign, the JI workers had approached the
people in every nook and corner of the country and sought the public support
for the blessed Islamic system. He said the hurdles arising in their way could
not shatter their resolve and they would continue to strive for the sublime
cause till their last breath and they were sure to be successful in the last
— Attackers clad in Burqas opened fire on a Shiite mosque and set off a suicide
blast Friday, killing at least 39 people and injuring scores of others in
south-eastern Afghanistan, officials said.
Taliban denied any links to the attack that occurred during prayers in Gardez,
about 50 miles south of Kabul, and there was no immediate claim of
responsibility from others.
militants linked to the Islamic State have carried out similar attacks in the
past against Shiites. The Islamic State and other Sunni-led extremists view
Shiites as following a heretical branch of Islam.
Wali Tabassum, a provincial spokesman, said two assailants launched the mosque
opened fire on the worshipers before the second one blew up explosives on his
body,” he said. Each was said to be disguised in a Burqa, the head-to-toe
covering worn by Muslim women in Afghanistan.
Hasrat, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said at least 39 people were
killed and 80 injured. Witnesses said the mosque was badly damaged.
senior provincial Shiite clerics were among the victims, he said. Televised
images showed a damaged part of the mosque with body parts strewn on its floor.
Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack, which he said was aimed at trying to create
sectarian division in Afghanistan. Hundreds of Shiites have been killed in
strikes by Islamic State militants in recent years in Afghanistan.
attack targeting civilians has no possible justification,” said Tadamichi
Yamamoto, the United Nations secretary general’s special representative for
Afghanistan and head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. “Those who
are responsible for enabling this attack must be brought to justice and held to
added in a statement: “These brutal and senseless attacks against people at prayer
are atrocities. Such attacks . . . may amount to war crimes.”
have struck a variety of targets in Afghanistan in recent weeks.
July 15, a suicide bomber detonated explosives outside a government office for
rural projects, killing five people. On Thursday, the bodies of three foreign
workers — from India, Malaysia and Macedonia — were found after they apparently
were abducted and slain. The three men worked for Sodexo, one of the world’s
leading food and catering services.
rising violence casts further doubt on the ability of Ghani’s government to
securely hold long-delayed parliamentary elections slated for October, followed
by a presidential election in April 2019. Ghani announced last month that he
intends to run for reelection.
transferred Saddam’s billions to US, clarifies top banker
head of Lebanon’s Association of Banks, Joseph Torbey, revealed in a press
conference on Thursday, that the Lebanese Authority transferred to the United
States in the wake of its occupation of Iraq in 2003, the money deposited in
Lebanese banks under the name of late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein or that
under his regime.
revelation came in reply to a question regarding rumors about “very huge
deposits” by Saddam Hussein’s regime in some of the Lebanese banks.
the veteran Banker confirmed that “these deposits were sent to the United
States Federal Reserve from the Iraqi Central Bank under the supervision of the
legal military authority in Iraq and Lebanon’s Central Bank, and therefore
there was no secrets or smokescreen around this subject.”
stressed that banking system does not deprive the rightful owners of their
deposits , adding that “the current Iraqi regime is the heir to
the former regime.”
comments came after the turbulence caused by an organized crime network
operating between Iraq and Beirut claiming to have documents giving them access
to accounts with billions of dollars, which actually belong to people who
passed away or disappeared, and was registered under their names since 1999.
members of the network published their names in Iraqi media claiming ownership
of documents under their names and others who passed away, with access to
billions of dollars deposited in Lebanese banks.
claims caused uproar in Lebanon for almost two weeks, especially as the news
affected important and well-known banks, which demanded that Major General
Abbas Ibrahim, the head of Lebanon’s General Security, travel to Baghdad to solve the issue.
the visit, the Iraqi Intelligence issued a statement saying that they uncovered
the network and arrested a number of suspects.
Tuesday, Major General Abbas Ibrahim announced that a joint operations with the
Iraqi authorities resulted in the discovery of the criminal network based in
Iraq, targeting the Lebanese banking sector and trying to extort money from the
said this operation prevented a $1 billion fraud scam, stressing in statements
to the media the need to know who was behind this gang , “especially since the
losses of the banking sector, because of these rumors, may reach one billion
also revealed that the arrested were Iraqis.
case goes back more than a year, but it surfaced again in the past two weeks
following a campaign of accusations and rumors on social media by the criminal
network against some prestigious Lebanese banks.
civilians killed in attacks Thursday on Yemen's Hodeida: Red Cross
series of explosions Thursday on Yemen's rebel-held port city of Hodeida killed
55 civilians and wounded dozens of others, the Red Cross said, denouncing the
"reprehensible" disregard for human life.
the exact circumstances around the ground explosions are still unknown, this
lack of respect for civilian life and civilian property is reprehensible,"
said Johannes Bruwer, the head of the delegation in Yemen for the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in a statement Friday.
Red Cross said 55 civilians were killed and 170 injured "when a series of
explosions rocked densely populated districts of the coastal city, including a
fish market and the area around Al-Thawra Hospital" — a facility supported
by the ICRC.
ambulances were also destroyed, it said.
Thursday, medics and witnesses said at least 20 people were killed in an air
strike at the entrance to a hospital and the bombardment of a fish market in
the Red Sea city of Hodeida.
scenes coming from Hodeida are horrific. The disregard of international humanitarian
law in Yemen cannot be tolerated," said Bruwer, condemning the attacks.
Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, earlier said hundreds of
thousands of people depend on Al-Thawra, the country's largest hospital.
is shocking," she said of the attacks.
government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition have been conducting an
offensive to capture Hodeida from Iran-backed Houthi rebels but announced last
month they were pausing the assault to give UN mediation efforts a chance.
have picked up again around Hodeida since the Saudis last week said that two
oil tankers operated by one of the kingdom's companies were attacked in the
waters of the Red Sea.
media outlets accused the Saudi-led coalition of carrying out the attacks in
the coalition's spokesman, Turki al-Maliki, on Friday denied the charges,
accusing the Houthis of having bombed the hospital and the fish market.
nearest target hit by the coalition on Wednesday or Thursday was more than two
kilometres (1.2 miles) away from the two sites, Maliki told a news conference
terrorists killed in fresh exchange of fire with security forces in Shopian
Four terrorists were killed in a fresh exchange of fire with security forces in
Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, the Army said on Saturday.
these deaths, the number of terrorists killed in the overnight operation
Fresh firing has been heard at the site of encounter in Shopian's Killora
Village. An encounter h…
ANI (@ANI) 1533347314000
more terrorists have been killed in the operation at Kiloora in Shopian. One
terrorist was killed last night," an Army official said, adding the
operation was still going on.
security forces had cordoned off the area last night following specific
intelligence inputs about the presence of terrorists there and had started a
search operation there.
search operation turned into an encounter after the terrorists fired upon the
security forces, an official had said.
DELHI: The NIA on Friday filed chargesheet against six people in a case related
to the escape of LeT terrorist Mohd Naveed Jatt from a hospital in Jammu and
Kashmir, according to an official statement.
agency said the conspiracy to free the Pakistan-born terrorist was hatched in
central jail, where he was lodged.
chargesheet was filed at the NIA special court in Jammu against six people
including Mohd Tika Khan, Shakeel Ahmad Bhat, Syed Tajmul Islam Kirmani and
Mohd Shafi Wani -- all residents of different villages in Kakapora Tehsil of
Pulwama district, it said.
who has also been named in the chargesheet, escaped after an attack on a police
escort party on February 6 this year while he was being taken for medical
treatment at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS), Srinagar.
police personnel of the escort party were killed in the incident.
the investigation, it was found that the escape was in furtherance of a
well-planned criminal conspiracy hatched among Jatt, a native of Pakistan, and
another person Hilal Ahmad Rather (also a resident of Pulwama), besides four
others -- Khan, Bhatt, Kirmani and Wani.
revealed that the accused conducted meetings in the central jail, Srinagar on
different dates before the incident and a comprehensive plan was made to effect
the escape of LeT terrorist Mohd Naveed Jatt," the National Investigation Agency
(NIA) said in the statement.
per the plan and in furtherance of the criminal conspiracy, the accused
conducted a detailed recce of the SMHS Hospital as well as routes to be
followed before and after the action, it said.
also arranged vehicles and weapons to be used in the execution of the plan.
the investigation, accused Khan, Bhat, Kirmani and Wani were arrested.
Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is aiming for the moon in
Jammu & Kashmir – the Hindu nationalists are pulling out all stops to
install a Hindu chief minister in India’s only Muslim-majority province.
man BJP is desperate to anoint is none other than Jitendra Singh, party MP from
Udhampur-Doda in the Jammu region. He is the federal Minister of State for
Development of North-East and is considered close to Modi and BJP president
outcome of the BJP’s “Operation Hindu CM” will depend on its capabilities to
engineer a split in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of ex-CM Mehbooba
and BJP ran a coalition government in J&K from 2015 until June 2018 when
the latter suddenly pulled the plug dethroning Mufti and triggering yet another
bout of Governor’s Rule in the troubled state bordering Pakistan.
Governor N.N. Vohra hasn’t dissolved the 87-member J&K legislative assembly
which has 28 PDP lawmakers besides 25 BJP members.
National Conference has 15 and Congress Party 12 members, while the People’s
Conference, People’s Democratic Front and Communist Party of India (Marxist)
have 2, 1 and 1 respectively. Moreover there are three independents.
assembly is still in what is called “suspended animation”, a new coalition
enjoying the support of at least 44 members can easily and legally stake its
claim to form a new government.
82-year-old Vohra, a BJP appointee, hasn’t deliberately disbanded the J&K
House with the sole intention of helping the BJP to recapture power through the
backdoor by engineering defections – a strategy derisively described as
horse-trading by losers in the game of numbers.
Ganai, former Advocate General of J&K, told Al Arabiya English that “the
amended Para 4 of Schedule 7 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution stipulates
that if two-third members of a legislative party form a new block, they will
evade disqualification under the state’s anti-defection laws”. Hence at least
19 out of PDP’s 28 members must quit the party together to bypass
anti-defection provisions applicable in J&K.
deserters from the PDP plus 25 BJP legislators add up to 44 members needed for
a simple majority in the 87-member House. The strength of the new coalition
will be augmented by two members of Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference and three
independents increasing its tally to 49, which is more than enough for the
Governor to invite the new coalition to form the government.
things stand, the BJP has already instigated five PDP legislators to openly
rebel against Mufti. They are: Imran Reza Ansari, Abid Ansari, Abdul Majeed
Padder, Abbas Wani and Javed Hassan Baig. The five have accused the ex-CM of
perpetuating “family” rule, patronizing corrupt leaders and civil servants and
declared their willingness to join an alternative government.
is no greater proof of BJP’s machinations and manipulation to split the PDP
than Mufti’s public outbursts.
said in a television interview: “If Delhi intervenes and breaks our party to
install a chief minister, it will erode the trust of Kashmiris in Indian
democracy. Any intervention from Delhi will be taken seriously.” Subsequently
she warned that “if Delhi tries to break PDP, the outcome will be dangerous…”
the BJP is speaking in two voices. While Ram Madhav, General Secretary of BJP
and senior-most BJP leader handling J&K, denies all reports of poaching of
PDP members and insists that there is no alternative to Governor’s Rule at
present, BJP leaders like former Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta are openly saying
that they are trying to cobble up a government with those who are unhappy with
schools attacked, set on fire in northern Pakistan
schools have been attacked and torched overnight in a northern Pakistani
district, where Taliban-affiliated terrorists openly opposed to girls’
education are active, police say.
to police chief Raja Ajmal, eight girls and four boys’ schools were attacked in
total on Friday in villages of the scenic Diamer district in northern Gilgit,
whose Shia minority and tourists come under regular attacks by Taliban-linked
further said that the overnight attacks had been “a well planned and
coordinated act,” adding that there were no immediate reports of casualties.
group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but Pakistani Taliban
militants have been attacking thousands of schools for young women in northwestern
and northern parts of the country.
prime minister-elect, Imran Khan, denounced the “shocking” attacks on schools.
is unacceptable (and) we will ensure security for schools as we are committed
to focusing on education,” tweeted Khan, who won last week’s general election.
in 2012, militants of the Pakistani Taliban shot and severely injured Nobel
Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, known for her girls’ education advocacy in
northern Swat valley.
frequent offensives by the Pakistani army, acts of terror by militant outfits
continue to target security forces as well as civilians.
of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks
since 2001, when Pakistan entered an alliance with the United States in
Washington’s so-called war on terror.
in Pakistan have been left reeling after the Irish government denied them visas
to attend the upcoming World Meeting of Families.
10,000 families applied from all over the country — 600 from Karachi
Archdiocese alone — for the Aug. 21-26 event in Dublin that will be attended by
Pope Francis. All were refused visas.
Anthony Abraz, parish priest of Good Shepherd Church in Karachi, is among six
priests who had visa applications rejected for providing no evidence of a
connection with, or of traveling to, similar events in the past.
visa officer has found insufficient evidence of strong family, social, economic
or other obligations to return to your home country," stated the response
to families from Ireland's consulate in Karachi, which also expressed
dissatisfaction at their purpose for travelling to Ireland, financial
situation, family circumstances, employment details, travel history, host in
Ireland and itinerary.
applications should have been assessed on a case-by-case basis," Father
Abraz said, adding that two groups of laity received letters with the same
had carefully selected potential pilgrims, including school principals and NGO
directors, from the executive class. Cardinal Joseph Coutts of Karachi only
granted letters of recommendation to those who were not interested in seeking
Sarfraz, who works in a pharmaceutical company in Multan city of Punjab
province, sold a residential plot to raise 300,000 rupees (US$2,420) for
non-refundable visa applications and registration fees for his family of three
children to attend the Irish event.
is a conspiracy to mint money from people who are already marginalized and
discriminated against in a Muslim-majority country. If the policy was to reject
all Pakistanis, why did they accept visa and registration fees for the world
meeting?" he asked.
only wanted to see our beloved Holy Father. The refusal affects our prospects
of visiting any European country."
ranked fourth on the Open Doors World Watch List 2017 of the 50 countries where
it is most difficult to be a Christian.
St. John Paul II's 1981 visit is the only one by a pope to Pakistan, while the
Henley Passport Index ranks the Pakistani passport as the fourth worst in the
world for international travel.
Pakistan Muslim League-Functional president and Grand Democratic Alliance’s
chief Pir Pagara has said solidarity and stability of the country is above
everything and that is why his party is extending complete support to Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan.
GDA chief expressed these views in response to a phone call from PTI’s central
leader Jahangir Tareen who told him on Friday that he wanted to pay a visit to
Kingri House, the Pir’s Karachi residence.
Pagara pointed out that the GDA even before the general election on July 25 had
decided to extend political support to Imran Khan and his party backed PTI
candidates in Sindh whenever possible during the election.
cooperation with the PTI will continue,” he said.
the sentiments of Pir Pagara, Mr Tareen said he would be visiting Karachi in a
day or two to meet him at Kingri House.
protests against rigging
GDA on Friday staged a protest rally outside the Karachi Press Club against
rigging where its leaders rejected the outcome of the general election.
protesters were led by Ghaus Ali Shah, Sardar Raheem, Nusrat Sahar Abbasi, Qari
Usman, Abdul Karim Abid, Maulana Omar Sadiq, Aslam Ghauri and others.
want fresh elections. The election commission failed to discharge its duties
fairly,” they said.
GDA leaders also warned that they would give a call for a shutter-down strike
in the province if their demands were not met.
protesters included a large number of women and youths who were holding
placards and raising slogans against the “rigged and fraud” elections.
also accused the PPP of “destroying” the entire province. “People now want to
get rid of the PPP,” they said.
GDA leaders further said their polling agents were thrown out of polling
stations at 6pm on election day and Form 45 was not provided to them.
asked the chief election commissioner to tender his resignation as he failed to
conduct fair and free elections despite spending Rs22 billion on the exercise.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Friday inked an agreement with the
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), promising to extend its support to the latter
for the formation of government in the Centre, DawnNewsTV reported.
exchange for MQM-P’s support for the upcoming federal government, PTI promised
that a special federal package will be announced for Karachi, with an emphasis
on the provision of water for its residents.
the PTI agreed that Sindh police reforms will be implemented, a university will
be established in Hyderabad, and constituencies identified by MQM-P will also
be audited, according to the contents of the memorandum of understanding.
agreement was a constitutional and democratic necessity,” said MQM leader
Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.
on Wednesday, the MQM-P had announced its decision to support the PTI for the
formation of the upcoming federal government. The party has won six National
Assembly (NA) seats in the July 25 election.
parties that won NA seats and have declared their support for PTI include
Pakistan Muslim League-Q with four seats; Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) with
two; Balochistan Awami Party with four; Awami Muslim League and Jamhoori Watan
Party with one seat each.
head Pir Sibghatullah Rashidi, also known as Pir Sahab Pagara, also telephoned
Jahangir Tareen to declare his support for Imran Khan.
nine independents have joined PTI so far. Their names are Sanaullah Mustikhel,
Basit Bukhari, Saleh Muhammad Khan, Fakhar Imam, Muhammad Amjad Farooq, Abdul
Ghafar Wattoo, Asim Nazir Shabbir Qureshi, and Ali Mohammad Mehr.
PTI won 115 NA seats, but due to an error which the Election Commission of
Pakistan (ECP) admitted on Friday, the party's tally for elected members stands
a statement of clarification, the commission said that the similarly named
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaniyat did not win a seat in the National Assembly and
the win attributed to it earlier actually belongs to PTI, thereby bringing the
latter's initial tally to 116. "We made a mistake in reporting the
data," the commission stated.
the support of independents and other parties, PTI will have a coalition of 143
seats in the Centre.
Tareen during a media conference said, "Out of the 13 independent
candidates for the National Assembly, nine have joined PTI."
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan is likely to take the oath
as the 21st elected prime minister of the country on Independence Day.
is my and caretaker prime minister retired Justice Nasirul Mulk’s desire that
the oath-taking of the new prime minister should take place on Aug 14,”
caretaker law minister Ali Zafar told Dawn on Friday.
a tentative schedule of the National Assembly formation, the law minister said
the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was already on board as the ECP was
engaged in making necessary arrangements required to hold the prime minister’s
election on the desired date.
Zafar said a fresh session of the assembly could be called on Aug 11 or 12.
it is held on Aug 11, the election of the prime minister can take place on Aug
14 and on the same day President Mamnoon Hussain can administer the oath to
the new prime minister,” he added.
elaborated that if the NA session was held on Aug 11, the same day the new
members would be administered the oath. He added that after printing of ballot
papers for the elections of the NA speaker and deputy speaker, their elections
could take place on Aug 13 and the next day the election of the prime minister
could be held.
if the NA session was called on Aug 12, the election of the prime minister
would be held on Aug 15. “We wanted that the new prime minister should take his
oath on Independence Day so that the new government can start its functioning
with full national fervour and commitment to bring progress to the country,” he
successful candidates of the July 25 general elections will have to submit
returns of their election expenses on Aug 4 (today) — the deadline fixed by the
ECP for filing of returns — and a notification will be issued the following
days will be given to independent candidates if they want to join any party.
Similarly, three days will be spent on seats reserved for women and minorities.
caretaker law minister told the media that as per Constitution the first
session of the National Assembly would have to be summoned within 21 days after
the general election. He said it was necessary to fulfil this obligation by Aug
election, the newly-elected prime minister would take the oath and the job of
the caretaker PM and his cabinet would be over and power would be transferred
to the new government under constitutional provisions.
minister said the ECP was completing legal formalities including consolidation
of elections results and collection of returns of election expenditures from
the wining candidates. The ECP after giving time to independent candidates to
join a political party or stay independent would issue parties position in the
assembly, Mr Zafar said, adding that after that the ECP would issue a list of
winning candidates on reserved seat for women and minorities.
reply to a question, he said the caretaker government during its short tenure
had performed its duties with commitment and dedication and took steps for
overcoming challenges in power, energy, water, law and petroleum sectors and
matters related to foreign affairs and prepared guidelines which he hoped would
help the next government to run the business of the governance smoothly.
on July 30, PTI chairman Imran Khan, who claimed to have secured a simple
majority in the polls required to form his government, had expressed his desire
to take the oath of PM on Aug 11.
Syed Khursheed Shah and Dr Nafisa Shah are figuring prominently among the
likely candidates for the National Assembly speaker from the PPP.
party in a meeting, presided over by Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, in
Islamabad on Thursday evening discussed credentials of its various MNAs-elect
to run for the coveted office after the joint opposition reached the agreement
that it would support PPP nominee for the speaker’s slot and of Muttahida
Majlis Amal for deputy speaker.
source privy to the development says that the arguments put forward in favour
of Khursheed Shah were that not only he was a seasoned politician in the
political field since 1988 he had also earned a name as opposition leader in
the National Assembly, and developed good relations with leadership of other
parties through his humble persona and won many admirers from among rivals
because of his gentle style of politics.
Nafisa was considered for she could attract votes of women parliamentarians
from the ‘treasury’ benches through the contacts she had developed as general
secretary of Women Parliamentary Caucus.
a PhD in social and cultural anthropology from the Oxford University, Ms Shah
proved her administrative skills by leading Khairpur, Sindh, district
government as Nazim from 2001 to 2007.
has also been a parliamentarian since 2008 for she was elected twice on reserve
seat for consecutive two terms - 2008 and 2013-18. In the July 25 vote, she
defeated former Sindh chief minister Syed Ghaus Ali Shah on a general seat
bagging over 100,000 votes.
has been chair of the National Commission for Human Development and
vice-president of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
Pakistan has strongly condemned the shooting and suicide attack during Friday
prayers at a mosque in Afghanistan’s city of Gardez, which claimed the lives of
at least 20 people.
Office (FO), in a statement issued here, has expressed deepest sympathies and
condolences to the bereaved families.
prays for the earliest recovery of the injured and stands together with the
government and people of Afghanistan in this hour of grief,” said the
statement, adding that the country condemned terrorism in all forms and
US-Pakistan relations are heading towards a difficult phase under Pakistan’s
new government as Imran Khan’s demand for relations based on equality will be
met with staunch opposition from Trump administration.
were the views of noted US Muslim leader and philanthropist Frank Islam, who
had previously worked with Obama administration on South Asia affairs. Frank
shared these views in an email interview with The News.
a graduate of Aligarh Muslim University who keenly follows Muslim believes
Pakistan’s future prime minister Imran Khan wants a mutually beneficial
relationship with the US.
is my understanding, after conferring with experts that Imran Khan wants to
push the reset button and start all over in terms of Pakistan-US relations. In
past, Khan has been very critical of US involvement in Afghanistan and wants it
out of there as quickly as possible,” Franks said adding that Khan does not
understand how the US can call Pakistan an ally and then bomb it with drones.
my understanding is correct, I believe that Khan’s views and approach would be
a non-starter with the Trump administration. I believe the US would want to
negotiate a modified approach from a position of strength,” Frank said.
said any proposed change that reduces US influence without getting something
meaningful in return would be met with staunch resistance. “I say this not as
an administration spokesperson but as my personal insights as someone who is
fairly knowledgeable on this topic,” Frank said.
US-Muslim leader said he was aware that Pakistan and the US have had an
on-again off-again relation dating back to 1947 when the US was one of the
first countries in the world to establish diplomatic ties with Pakistan.
Trump’s tweet at the beginning of the year regarding the aid that the US has
“foolishly given” to Pakistan over the past fifteen years followed by a
suspension of military aid have made those relations off-again. He said the
relations between the two countries are attenuated and for them to strengthen
would require serious diplomacy from both the US and Pakistan.
is an expert on Muslim affairs in the United States as he serves on a number of
boards and advisory councils including the Kennedy Center for the Performing
Art, the JFK Library, American University in Emirates, Marymount University,
John Hopkins University, and the Brookings Institution.
talking about influence of the US-Muslims on the US policies, Franks said there
are two Muslim representatives in the US House, Keith Ellison and Andre Carson.
“That’s only 2 out of 435. I also know through personal involvement that
American Muslims contribute to political campaigns and provide input into
policy papers for both parties.”
he said there is no major formal coordinated lobbying being done by American
Muslims as a unified group. There are groups by country such as the Indian
American Muslim Council and the American Muslims for Palestine.
have not had direct contact with either of these groups. But, I do not believe
them to be very influential. Bottom line is that I think the American Muslim
influence is more individual than it is an organised effort and as a result the
influence is fragmented and modest at best. I do believe that the influence was
much better with the prior administration than this one,” Frank said.
said the Trump administration’s “Muslim ban” and other statements by the
President Trump have definitely made the Muslim world view the US in a different
and less positive light.
was born in India and moved to US at the age of fifteen to go to college at the
University of Colorado in Boulder.
up in India had an enormous impact on the person I am today. It’s there that I
learned lessons from my motherland, my faith, my family, my home city of
Azamgarh, and Aligarh Muslim University,” he said.
a Muslim has taught me many things – but the most important one is that the
whole purpose of religion is to provide justice and a path to justice for all
of us. My faith firmly believes in equality, dignity, compassion, respect,
tolerance, justice and peace for other faiths,” he said.
recently donated $2.5 million to Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). He said AMU
helped him with the basic building blocks to become a successful entrepreneur,
to assume serious responsibilities, and most importantly, to become a
passionate leader. “Aligarh provided me with an excellent education. AMU shaped
my story and determined my destiny. AMU is a precious possession. Its
principles have always guided me during times of calm and crisis,” he said.
said he is engaged in purposeful philanthropy. “I look at the contributions
that I make to organisations, groups and individuals that I support not as
charity but as investments.”
possible for Daesh fighters surrendering in north Afghanistan
Afghanistan: Daesh fighters who surrendered to Afghan forces this week in the
northern province of Jawzjan may be granted amnesty despite accusations of
atrocities including rape and murder, officials said.
150 Daesh fighters, including two senior commanders, gave themselves up after
being driven from their strongholds in Jawzjan by the Taliban after weeks of
of civilians fled the area in the districts of Darzab and Qush Tepa and many
accused Daesh fighters of multiple atrocities, giving detailed accounts of
women and young girls being taken from their families, raped and, in some
the spokesman for the Jawzjan provincial governor said the need to encourage
militant fighters to surrender was likely to mean that they would not face
is an amnesty for the Daesh group that surrendered in Darzab district,”
Mohammad Reza Ghafouri, spokesman for the Jawzjan provincial governor, said.
group will not be presented to legal and judicial authorities because they are
taking part in the peace process,” he said, adding that people with complaints
about individual Daesh members were free to take the matter up with the courts.
officials said it was the first time such large numbers of Daesh fighters had
surrendered at once. Several women and children, all related to the fighters,
had also handed themselves to Afghan authorities.
adversary of the government that joins the peace process has to be given
amnesty because if they are taken before the judges, other adversaries who have
reached an agreement with the government will go cold on it,” Ghafouri said.
pressure has been building for peace talks between the Western-backed
government in Kabul and the Taliban, the local affiliate of Daesh, which has
gained an unmatched reputation for brutality, has shown no signs of joining.
Taliban, seeking to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster, also
took credit for the surrender, saying they had “cleared” Jawzjan.
Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said the military had done its duty and
it was now for the government to decide the next step.
defenders of our people and country, our job is to fight our enemy until the
battle ground. Now they have surrendered...our job is done,” he said.
official, Jawzjan security commander General Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani, said any
Daesh fighter who had committed crimes against humanity would face justice and
expressed skepticism about any reconciliation.
said those fighters who surrendered to the government were Afghans, although
foreign fighters believed to be in the area may have been killed or captured by
am concerned and afraid that after surrendering, these people will commit more
crimes because they are completely untrustworthy,” he said.
Commandos of the Afghan National Army rescued at least 61 civilians from a
Taliban prison in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said the civilians were
rescued during an operation conducted in Kajaki district.
statement further added that the operation was conducted in Deh Baba Kariz area
of the district and the rescued civilians have all been shifted to 215th
Maiwand Corps compound
to Helmand governor’s office, a number of old men and children were also among
those held by the Taliban and were rescued by the Commando forces.
number of the released inmates have said the Taliban militants were torturing
and misbehaving with them.
the meantime, the provincial government said at least seven suspected militants
were also arrested during the same operation and two others were killed.
is not the first time the Afghan forces are conducting special operations
against the hideouts of the Taliban militants which are used as prison cells.
least seven Pakistani militants were killed and eight others were wounded
during the operations in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said the militants were
killed or wounded in Nari district.
source further added that the Afghan national army, Afghan national police, and
the National Directorate of Security operatives conducted joint operations in
Do Kalam area of the district.
to Silab, the operations were launched on Thursday and are still being
conducted to suppress the militants.
armed forces also receiving air and artillery support during the operations,
the 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military added.
security situation in eastern Kunar province has started to deteriorate sharply
during the recent months amid growing insurgency activities by the Taliban and
anti-government armed militants continuously attempt to expand their foothold
in this province amid ongoing military operations and airstrikes.
Taliban militants group in Afghanistan rejected involvement in the deadly
attack on a mosque in Gardez city, the provincial capital of Paktia province,
as the raid has attracted widespread condemnation.
spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid in a statement claimed the fighters of the group
have no role in the attack on a mosque in Gardez city.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said President Ghani has strongly
condemned the attack on a mosque in Gardez city, calling it a criminal act
which is against the principles of Islam.
said the attack on civilians and mosque once again proved the filthy nature of
the terrorist groups.
attack targeting civilians has no possible justification,” said Tadamichi
Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and
head of UNAMA. “Those who are responsible for enabling this attack must be
brought to justice and held to account.”
brutal and senseless attacks against people at prayer are atrocities,” said
Yamamoto. “Such attacks directed against congregations and places of worship
are serious violations of international law that may amount to war crimes.”
Commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission Gen. John Nicholson said
“The entire Resolute Support Mission offers our deepest sympathies to the
family and friends of those martyred adn wounded today during the horrific
attack at the Sahib-ul-Zaman Mosque in Gardez city.”
said “The enemies of Afghanistan who martyr innocent Muslims in prayer can only
be described as evil. We will continue to pursue these terrorists and destroy
tolerance: Dubai summit to fight extremism with knowledge
UAE has enacted laws and formed government organisations to promote a culture
of tolerance and to clamp down on hate crime, the head of Dubai’s Islamic
affairs authority said.
anti-discrimination law, that came into effect in 2015 and criminalises all
forms of discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste, creed, doctrine,
race, colour or ethnic origin, and the establishment of a Ministry of Tolerance
are among the ways the country is leading the fight against extremism.
Hamad Al Shaibani, managing director of the International Institute for
Tolerance, said intolerance and discrimination create a breeding ground for
extremism and fanaticism and their consequences need to be addressed.
in Dubai on Monday, Dr Al Shaibani said: “Wars and famines resulted from
intolerance and fanaticism across worldwide communities.
of the culture of tolerance is key to the elimination of worldwide conflict.
The UAE is the first country to establish a ministry for tolerance,” he said.
World Tolerance Summit will be held in November to inform policies and
brainstorm solutions to address radicalism.
and private sector leaders, human rights activists, society studies experts and
social media influencers will be hosted at the two-day summit to exchange
topics and come up with binding resolutions for societies worldwide,” Dr Al
asked about the reason for hosting the summit in the Middle East – a region
blighted by the consequences of wars, Dr Al Shaibani said: “Tolerance is a
concept that incorporates other values, specifically the human ones. The issues
of fanaticism and not accepting the other need to be highlighted and
said the UAE was the perfect place to host the summit since it has proven
itself as a tolerant country capable of hosting a multinational society which
country is at the forefront of combating terrorism by using measures from
internationally recognised experts,” he said.
year’s annual Arab Youth Survey revealed that unemployment and extremism were
regarded as the greatest challenges to the region.
extremist ideologies thrive in societies with the largest number of young
people, experts at the summit will focus on youth involvement in educational
institutes and the empowerment of women.
United Nations said Friday it is implementing “a gradual return” of the UN
peacekeeping force to the frontier zone between Syria and the Israeli-occupied
deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that a key goal in the return of the
peacekeeping force, known as UNDOF, is reopening the Quneitra crossing between
the two sides.
ultimate goal for UNDOF is the full return, conditions permitting,” he said.
peacekeepers returned on Thursday for the first time in years to the
Syria-Israel frontier, conducting joint patrols with Russian military police in
a reflection of Moscow’s deepening role in mediating between the decades-old
foes in the volatile region.|
said “the August 2 patrol to the Quneitra crossing point is part of UNDOF’s
ongoing efforts to return incrementally to the area of separation.”
military police have been deploying in all areas recaptured from rebels by the
Syrian government, and they have deployed on the edge of the Israeli occupied
Golan Heights in the past two days - a move that also appears aimed at
considers Iran’s growing influence in Syria - it has advisers and allied
militias fighting alongside Syrian troops - as an existential threat and had
looked for guarantees from Moscow to push pro-Iran fighters away from its
stressed that the Russians are not part of UNDOF, which has been authorized to
patrol the buffer zone between Syria and Israel since 1974, a year after the
Arab-Israeli war. He said the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement state that
UNDOF’s members cannot include the five permanent members of the UN Security
Council - the US, Russia, China, Britain and France.
regime ally Russia is negotiating with the ISIS over the release of Druze women
and children kidnapped by the terrorist group, a Druze religious leader said
July 25, ISIS carried out a series of coordinated attacks in the southern
province of Sweida that killed more than 250 people, mostly civilians.
was the deadliest attack ever to target the mostly government-held province and
the Druze religious minority that populates it.
also abducted 36 Druze women and children from a village in Sweida’s east, said
the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor.
said four women had since escaped while two had died, leaving 14 women and 16
children in ISIS captivity.
Druze religious leader, Sheikh Yussef Jarbua, told AFP that Russia was in talks
with the extremist group over their release.
Russian side is carrying out negotiations in coordination with the Syrian
government,” Jarbua said.
“planned to take captives to put pressure on the Syrian state and implement
specific demands”, he said.
did not detail the demands, but the Observatory says ISIS is seeking the
release of extremists captured by the regime in the neighboring province of
fighters once held a patch of Daraa known as the Yarmuk Basin, but regime
forces have in recent weeks ousted them from all of the towns and villages
state media says regime troops are pursuing the last remaining extremists who
fled to nearby valleys.
Moscow intervened in Syria in 2015, it has helped the regime retake swathes of
territory militarily but has also negotiated rebel surrenders on its behalf.
has not claimed the kidnappings but local sources say the families have been
sent photos and videos of their loved ones via Whatsapp.
urged the “international community and the United Nations to help us free the
hostages and exert pressure so civilians are not used as human shields”.
families of the captives are terribly sad and sick with worry,” he said.
from Sweida have expressed concern over reports that one of the women, captured
by ISIS with her four children, had given birth to her fifth child in
extremist group had called the woman’s relatives to tell them she had given
birth, according to Nour Radwan, who heads news outlet Sweida24.
confirmed the woman was nine months pregnant when she was kidnapped during
ISIS’s rampage last week, which also killed her husband, Radwan said.
said the oldest woman abducted was 60.
had until last week largely remained isolated from Syria’s seven-year conflict.
actress- turned- activists Mai Skaf who died in July, 23, aged 49, in her
Parisian home due to a brain hemorrhage, was laid to rest on Friday and buried
in a cemetery in a suburb in the French capital, surrounded by family members
and friends carrying flags of the Syrian revolution.
burial was delayed due to forensic investigation into the cause of the death by
the French police, as she was found dead by her only son in her flat in Paris.
publicly opposed the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and was arrested twice in
2011 and 2013. She was nicknamed as the ‘Revolution’s Icon’. After she was
released from prison, she left Syria in 2013 and lived in France until she
last post she shared on her Facebook page before her death was: “I will not
lose hope, I will not lose hope. It is the great Syria, not Assad’s Syria.”
Arabia on Saturday sent a letter to the UN Security Council that included
“evidence of the involvement of Houthi militias” in the targeting of a hospital
in Hodeidah and other civilian sites on Thursday in a series of explosions.
letter demanded immediate action against the militias to disarm and implement
the relevant UN resolutions.
Red Cross statement denouncing the "reprehensible" disregard for
human life said 55 civilians were killed and 170 injured "when a series of
explosions rocked densely populated districts of the coastal city, including a
fish market and the area around Al-Thawra Hospital."
Arab Coalition for the Support of Legitimacy in Yemen earlier accused the
Houthi militias of carrying out the attacks.
Colonel Turki al-Malki, said the coalition has developed many rules of
engagement because of the nature of military operations. “We apply the highest
international standards in targeting operations in Yemen,” he said.
militias continue to violate international laws in Yemen,” he added. “There are
22 million Yemenis affected by the Houthi coup on legitimacy.”
Malki said the collision of a ship in Hodeidah confirms the failure of the
militias in the management of the port, stressing that the control of the
Houthis on the West Coast hurts the Yemenis and the international community.
is reportedly working to stave off an imminent Syrian army offensive to
dislodge terrorists from Idlib which is the last major territory still in
to a Turkish diplomatic source, cited by the Middle East Eye news portal,
"Ankara is working with other opposition groups in Idlib to eliminate the
militants" in order to fend off a Syrian operation.
militant commander was quoted as saying that the US was happy with Turkey’s
plan, since it meant the Turkish-backed "opposition" would be in
control of the city instead of Syrian government forces.
of Idlib is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly al-Qaeda's affiliate
Bashar al-Assad told Russian media last month that Syria's next priority was
retaking Idlib after the army's liberation of three provinces on the border
with Jordan and the occupied Golan Heights.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday the counter-terrorism fight in
Syria would not become complete without eliminating terrorists in Idlib
work is in full swing, a lot is yet to be done. At the same time, it is
necessary to deal a final blow to terrorists near Idlib, which still remain
there," Lavrov said in Singapore.
Turkey commits rights abuses in Afrin
International on Thursday accused Turkish forces of allowing terrorists to
commit major rights abuses in the northern region of Afrin, calling on Ankara
to immediately end the violations.
city is under the occupation of Turkish forces since January when Ankara
launched an offensive to clear it of US-backed Kurdish militants. Turkey began
the operation without permission from the Syrian government.
said since Turkey’s military intervention, residents in Afrin have been
“enduring a wide range of violations,” to which Turkish armed forces
"turned a blind eye."
violations include arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, and
confiscation of property and looting to which Turkey's armed forces have turned
a blind eye," the rights group said.
said some of the terrorist groups in Syria as well as Turkish armed forces had
taken over schools, disrupting education for thousands of children.
quoted residents as saying that Afrin University had been "completely shut
down after it was destroyed and looted," adding that only one school in
Afrin city was accessible.
Maalouf, Amnesty's Middle East research director, said the terrorist groups in
Syria continued to "wreak havoc on civilians, unchecked by Turkish
The Saudi-led coalition on Friday accused the Houthi militia of carrying out an
attack on a hospital and fish market in Yemen that killed dozens of people.
spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the Iran-backed group targeted the sites in
the port of Hodeidah on Thursday with mortar shells in what he described as a
reports said more than 20 people were killed in the attack which hit near
Al-Thawra Hospital — one of the county’s biggest. But the Red Cross on Friday
said the series of explosion in Hodeidah had killed 55 with dozens more
media accused the Arab coalition of carrying out an airstrike on the hospital,
but Al-Maliki strongly refuted the allegation.
targets were not from the coalition and the weaponry used was mortars, which
are from the Houthis,” he said.
spokesman presented evidence including pictures he said showed the Houthi
mortars used in the attack and maps of Hodeidah showing coalition targets in
relation to the location of the hospital.
said the nearest Houthi position targeted by the coalition on the day of the
hospital attack was a weapons storage facility 7.5km from the hospital, east of
Hodeidah. A day earlier, on Tuesday, the coalition hit a target 2.5km away from
Hodeidah, the country’s largest
port, is still held by the Houthis. Pro-government forces backed by the
coalition were close to capturing the city before pausing the offensive last
month to allow UN mediation efforts to continue.
said the UN had received “incorrect reports from invalid organizations” which
had blamed the coalition.
said the coalition had aways applied the highest international and humanitarian
standards in its targeting operations in Yemen.
Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, condemned the hospital
attack as “shocking”.
are protected under international humanitarian law. Nothing can justify this
loss of life,” she said, adding that hundreds of thousands of people depended
on the hospital to survive.
Thursday, Martin Griffiths, the UN envoy to Yemen, told a Security Council
meeting that he had called for talks between the warring parties to take place
on Sept. 6 in Geneva.
Yemeni government official told AFP that the government would attend the
meeting although it was “not optimistic” over the outcome.
said the coalition had always sought to find a political solution, but that the
Houthis continued aggression had hindered this.
have given them time for a political solution and also, many opportunities,” he
said. “We know that 22 million Yemenis
have been devastated through this time. However, the real reasons behind the
suffering of the people is the coup.”
collation shall continue its work to free Yemen and return the Yemeni land to
the legitimate government.”
conflict in Yemen began when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and
forced the internationally recognized government to flee to Aden. The Arab
coalition intervened in 2015 to return the country to the control of President
Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
war has killed nearly 10,000 people and triggered what the UN calls the world’s
largest single humanitarian crisis.
Friday, the World Health Organization warned that Yemen may be on the brink of
a new cholera epidemic and called for a three-day truce to allow vaccinations.
Mohammad Al-Muadi, the official spokesman of the Human Rights Commission in
Saudi Arabia, announced that the Kingdom has fulfilled all of its obligations
to international human rights conventions.
is one of 36 states, out of a total of 197, that has done so proving, he said,
the country’s commitment to human rights, as led by King Salman and Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
stressed that Saudi Arabia’s commitment to cooperation with regional and
international human rights organizations stems from Shariah, which calls for
respect for all and the protection of their rights.
leaders to meet in Gaza amid Israel truce reports
leadership of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas is to convene late Friday for
a rare meeting, officials said, amid speculation of a long-term truce between
the Gaza Strip’s rulers and Israel.
meeting comes as a Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces in clashes along
the border between Gaza and Israel.
senior Hamas source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the evening
meeting would be chaired by the movement’s leader Ismail Haniya.
“will discuss a number of important issues including proposals from Egypt and
UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov concerning a truce and the lifting of the Israeli blockade
imposed on Gaza,” the source said.
meeting will be the first of its kind by Hamas’s political bureau to be held in
Gaza, they added.
those attending will be Hamas’s deputy leader Saleh al-Aruri, who crossed the
border from Egypt on Thursday with eight other Hamas leaders based outside
who lives in Lebanon and has never before visited Gaza as he is wanted by
Israel, was given Egyptian and United Nations assurances over his safety, the
Hamas source said.
of the gathering Hassam Badran, a member of Hamas’s political wing, said during
a speech on the border that the leadership “will push for political action to
break the blockade on Gaza”.
on Thursday reimposed a blockade on fuel supplies to the enclave, in response to
a resurgence of the flow of fire kites across the border.
Hamas ‘committed to calm’ –
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday delayed a planned visit to
Colombia amid speculation that a truce agreement could be reached within days.
a deal would involve a long-term cessation of hostilities between Israel and
Hamas in exchange for a significant easing of the Jewish state’s crippling
economic blockade of Gaza, according to Hamas and UN officials.
agreement could allow international donors to fund a series of programmes
including electricity and water network upgrades in Gaza.
could also cover a prisoner exchange with Hamas, which holds the bodies of two
soldiers killed in a 2014 war, Israeli media say.
Friday Ezzat al-Rishaq, a member of the Hamas political office, told protesters
along the border they were “committed to calm”.
do not want war and we are determined to spare our people in Gaza a new war,”
Palestinian shot dead –
Palestinian on the Gaza border was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on Friday, in
the latest round of deadly clashes on the frontier.
Yaghi, 25, was killed by a sniper east of Gaza City according to the enclave’s
than 220 people were wounded, of them 90 from live bullets, the ministry’s
spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.
least 158 Palestinians have been killed in border demonstrations which began at
the end of March, while one Israeli soldier has been shot dead.
to the Israeli army, some 8,000 Gazans gathered at different spots along the
frontier Friday, attempting to sabotage the Israeli border fence.
number of suspects infiltrated into Israel from the southern Gaza Strip, hurled
firebombs and an explosive device in the border fence area and then returned
into the Gaza Strip,” an army statement said.
said a tank struck a Hamas post in response.
forces also launched tear gas at protesters, who had set tires alight along the
have also flown balloons and kites attached to incendiary devices across the
border, starting hundreds of fires inside Israel in recent months.
borders to both Egypt and Israel largely sealed in recent years, Gaza suffers
from desperately high rates of poverty and unemployment.
insists its blockade is necessary to isolate Hamas, with which it has fought
three wars since 2008.
say it amounts to collective punishment of the coastal territory’s two million
Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and has been trying to
sell weapons to Yemen’s Houthi militia, according to a confidential UN report
seen by Reuters news agency on Friday.
report said North Korea is in violation of United Nations sanctions and is
cooperating militarily with Syria.
six-month, 149-page report by independent experts monitoring the implementation
of UN sanctions was submitted to the Security Council North Korea sanctions
committee late on Friday.
Korea) has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy
Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship
transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea
during 2018,” the experts wrote in the report.
report said that experts were investigating efforts by the North Korean
Ministry of Military Equipment and Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation
(KOMID) to supply conventional arms and ballistic missiles to Yemen’s Houthi
country, which was not identified, showed the experts a July 13, 2016 letter
from a Houthi leader inviting the North Koreans to meet in Damascus “to discuss
the issue of the transfer of technology and other matters of mutual interest,”
according to the report.
Coalition for the Support of Legitimacy in Yemen said that the Houthi militias
killed civilians by bombing a hospital and fish market in Hodeidah.
spokesman for the coalition, Colonel Turki al-Malki, said this at press
conference on Friday evening, accusing the Houthi militias of targeting of
Yemeni civilians in Hodeidah.
Malki noted that the Coalition has developed many rules of engagement because
of the nature of military operations. “We apply the highest international
standards in targeting operations in Yemen,” he stressed.
militias continue to violate international laws in Yemen,” he said. “There are
22 million Yemenis affected by the Houthi coup on legitimacy.”
are continuing our operations to restore the port of Hodeidah and the West
Coast in Yemen,” he added.
Coalition is exerting great efforts on behalf of the international community to
ensure the security of the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the South Red Sea, although
it is an international and regional responsibility, Col Malki said.
military sources said on Friday that around 25 Houthis have been killed in
intense fighting between Yemeni national army and the Houthi militias in
al-Maslub district west of al-Jawf governorate.
source said that the Houthi militants were killed in different areas of the
district when the national army advanced in the governorate.
added that most of the Houthi wore civilian clothes during clashes with the
military to trick the army into not staging any military advances in the
district in the pretense that there are only civilians in the area.
Yemeni military source said that a number of Houthis fled leaving behind those
killed and weapons confiscated by the army.
Thursday military sources reported that the Yemeni national army, supported by
the Arab coalition, seized control over the international road between Saada
and Saudi Arabia.
sources confirmed that the army backed by the Arab coalition is battling, in
the last few days, with the Houthi militias in the mountainous areas
surrounding the district of Baqim near Saada and that the national army gained
full control over a town at the entrance of the district after inflicting
losses among the militias.
Palestinian has been shot dead and 120 have been wounded after Israeli forces
opened fire on thousands of peaceful demonstrators during a march in the
besieged Gaza Strip.
Gaza Health Ministry said that Ahmed Yaghi, 25, was killed by a sniper near the
fence that separates the occupied territories from the east of Gaza City on
Ministry sources noted that 50 of the wounded Palestinian protesters were taken
to nearby hospitals, while the rest were treated at the scene of the protests.
Most of the casualties were due to the Israeli troops' use of live fire.
Israeli military said some 8,000 people took part in the protests at five sites
along the fence.
have been running high near the fence since March 30, which marked the start of
a series of protests dubbed “The Great March of Return.” Palestinian protesters
demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
clashes in Gaza reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year with Washington's
relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
fire has taken the lives of at least 157 Palestinians since March 30.
15,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries, of whom at least 360 are
reportedly in critical condition.
June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by
Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline in living
standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
Yemen’s army liberated new positions in Al-Baydah province, south east of the
capital Sanaa, following fierce clashes with Houthi militants, Saudi state-news
agency Al-Ekhbariya reported.
military source issued a statement to the Yemeni army’s official website,
September net, saying that concentrated militia locations along the mountains
were targeted by the army.
dozens of Houthi militants were killed during battles with the army on the
outskirts of Fadha province while trying to infiltrate the area.
Iran protesters have attacked a religious school in Karaj province near Tehran,
the conservative Fars news agency reported on Saturday.
9 pm (1530 GMT on Friday) they attacked the school and tried to break the doors
down and burn things,” Fars quoted the head of the school in the town of
Ishtehad, Hojatoleslam Hindiani, as saying.
gave only his clerical rank -- Hojatoleslam -- not his given name.
were about 500 people and they chanted against the system but they were
dispersed by the riot police and some have been arrested,” Hindiani said.
Rebecca Gadzama meets with the teachers she oversees, they sometimes hold the
meeting outdoors, under trees in open fields. It gives them a chance to spot
danger and run in case of an attack.
Islamist militant group Boko Haram is still an ever-present danger in
northeastern Nigeria and is still against people being educated in
James, an elementary school math teacher, recalled one attack in his hometown
of Lassa, in the southern part of Borno state.
was here in the town when they came. I was living with my mom and my dad and we
just heard gunshots and we started running,” he told VOA.
lies adjacent to Sambisa Forest where most Boko Haram members are believed to
be hiding. The insurgents frequently invade Lassa for supplies, and the town
shows visible signs of attacks. Buildings here are crumbling.
why Gadzama returned home from where she was living in central Nigeria. She
brought dozens of teachers, Yahaya James and others, together to work in a
school that she co-founded with her husband.
program is called the Education Must Continue Initiative, or EMCI. It was
created in 2014 to respond to the need for quality education in a region where
Boko Haram militants have destroyed most of the government schools.
are just private individuals, just good citizens, natives of this area, so … because
we weren’t sure when the government would start their school, we just found
this place,” Gadzama said.
runs two schools for displaced children, one in Lassa and one in the city of
Yola. Gadzama said the schools have 1,600 students being instructed by 80
teachers. The teachers sometimes meet in the open, but classes are held under
roofs, either in newly constructed buildings or tents provided by the
focused on Maiduguri
schools run mainly on donations. Much of the government’s reconstruction
spending in Borno State is directed at Maiduguri, the state capital and the
city where Boko Haram started.
June, a newly built neighborhood of 200 housing units was opened in the
Maiduguri area, which is more than 200 kilometers north of Lassa. Largely a
private-funded venture, the new community provides brand new housing for Boko
hear about what is happening in northern Borno. Buildings are made, they are
allocated to people. It doesn’t look like there is government presence in the
situation in the rebuilding of this area,” Gadzama said.
and a group of local schoolteachers walk around an aging school building in
Lassa. Among them is 23-year-old Maimuna Zhubairu. Boko Haram killed three of
her uncles and her older brother. She feels the government has abandoned Lassa.
of the help comes from NGOs,” she said. “The government, they are not doing
thinks the inaction may be because Lassa is a mostly Christian town, while the
majority of people in northern Nigeria are Muslim. When Boko Haram launched its
violent insurgency in 2009, Christians and their churches were among the
group’s early targets.
Bulama, the Borno state minister of information, told VOA the government is
overwhelmed by the amount of damage Boko Haram caused: $9 billion in northern
Nigeria and $6 billion in Borno state alone.
said that most of the reconstruction efforts are focused on northern Borno
because it is where most of the damage is, and also because parts of southern
Borno are still inaccessible.
said the government has begun working in Lassa, helping to rebuild a church.
is not even a local government capital, yet it has received some
rehabilitation. Reconstruction is not an event, it is a process. We have not
neglected any area and most of the people accusing the government of religious
bias are mischief makers,” Bulama said.
stops by to visit another EMCI school. Most of the students are Christians
still traumatized by what they have seen. Some of them want to become soldiers
when they get older to get revenge on what Boko Haram did in their communities.
Haram, I see them use knife, chop my grandfather head,” 13-year-old Ibrahim
Daniel told VOA, speaking in pidgin slang English. “I like to be a soldier
because anything that them do, I like to do for them. If me I see them, me I go
carry them, me I kill them.”
the blazing sun in a sandy field, the kids play war games, with one side
pretending to be soldiers and the others acting like Boko Haram.
hopes the school library she’s working on will help heal the students’ minds.
is not an issue of fighting back,” she said. “It’s an issue of how do we get
over this? How do we become one again because the guys in the Boko Haram are
also children. ... When will it stop? So we thought that the best thing to do
is to give these children here education, good education, and psychosocial
counseling and teach them positiveness in the society.”
her mind, education is the only way that the region can withstand and defeat
military airstrike in Somalia kills 4 al-Shabaab fighters
US military says it has carried out an airstrike in Somalia that killed four
members of the al-Shabaab extremist group.
US Africa Command says this is the 19th such airstrike this year against the
Somalia-based al-Shabaab, the deadliest Islamic extremist group in sub-Saharan Africa.
US also has carried out a number of drone strikes against a small presence of
fighters linked to the Islamic State organisation in northern Somalia.
statement says the latest airstrike was carried out on Thursday about 119km
northwest of the capital, Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab often targets the capital with
in the Libyan city of Benghazi has displaced hundreds of families who have come
to rely on the government, UN and NGO support.
now that support has starting to fade and IDPs say it is still not safe to
return home, leaving them nowhere to go.
Jazeera's Mahmoud Abdelwahed reports from Misrata.
army says its forces have killed several fighters belonging to ISIL to prevent
them from crossing from southern Syria.
units used "all types of weapons" to shell a group of fighters who
had come close to its side of the Yarmouk Valley in clashes that lasted nearly
20 hours from Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon, an army source told state news
applied rules of engagement and members of the Daesh (the Arabic acronym for
ISIL, also known as ISIS) gang were forced to retreat inside Syria and some of
their members were killed," the source said.
fighters have been staging attacks in southwestern Syria, as they face an
offensive by troops loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.
coordinated attack by ISIL on a busy market street in the city of Sweida last
month killed more than 200 people, many of whom were civilians.
and its affiliated Khaled Bin Al Waleed group still control pockets in southern
Syria, as well as some western areas, close to the Israeli-occupied Golan
Jordanian army source told the Reuters news agency that ISIL fighters who fled
from the border area were chased by Syrian army units conducting operations in
the region aiming to drive them out of their last hideouts.
armed group had sought to take cover among hundreds of civilians camped near
the Jordanian border to escape the bombing of their villages during the
offensive against the fighters, an intelligence source told Reuters.
heavy fighting had displaced most of the former 40,000 inhabitants and caused
many civilian casualties, the source said.
prominent Nigerian Muslim cleric has been abducted alongside two other persons
in northwestern Kaduna state, police said on Friday.
Aliyu, spokesman for Kaduna state police, said that Malam Ahmad Garko,
popularly known as Al-Garkawy, went to his farm in Maguzawa village, from where
some unknown armed men kidnapped him.
is a vocal preacher with a large following in the hugely Muslim region.
said at least two suspects have been arrested in connection to the abduction,
while police tactical units have been deployed to free the victims.
says U.S. Muslims lately subject to more attacks, hate crimes than ever
Texas member of a Muslim congregation said after a man was convicted of setting
its mosque on fire that the United States isn’t what it used to be.
can’t afford to lower their guards, Omar Rachid, a board member at the Victoria
Islamic Center, told the San Antonio Express-News for a July 2018 news story
stating that Marq Vincent Perez, just convicted of burning the mosque, faces up
to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced in October 2018.
then made a claim making us wonder: "The reality of it is that Muslims in
America have been subjected to more insults, attacks and hate crimes in the
last two or three years than ever before, specifically more than after
9/11," Rachid said, adding: "Islamophobia is thriving. This is not
America. It is not the America I came to 35 years ago."
didn’t divine how to pin trends in insults. But, we found, the FBI and others
tabulate anti-Muslim attacks and hate crimes.
records recently been set? By phone, Rachid told us he based his declaration on
accounts of upticks tied to FBI figures; he emailed us web links to news
stories and a commentary published in 2017 and 2018.
was a November 2017 Pew Research Center blog post citing FBI figures indicating
307 incidents of U.S. anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2016, which marked a 19
percent increase from 2015.
post specifies that a record was set in 2016 in the subcategory of anti-Muslim
assaults, which rose significantly between 2015 and 2016, per the FBI, easily
surpassing the previous peak reached in 2001, the year of the 9/11 attacks. For
2016, the FBI reported 127 reported Muslim victims of aggravated or simple
assault, compared with 91 the year before and 93 in 2001, Pew's post says.
assaults are not the only form of hate crime carried out against Muslims and
other religious groups," Pew’s post says. "The most common is
intimidation, which is defined as reasonable fear of bodily harm. Anti-Muslim
intimidation also increased in 2016, with 144 reported victims, compared with
120 the previous year." Pew cautioned, though, that the 2016
"intimidation" count was "dwarfed by the 296 victims of
anti-Muslim intimidation in 2001" tallied by the FBI.
general caution: Pew and others that explore anti-Muslim activism stress that
the FBI collects hate crime data from about 15,000 law enforcement agencies
that voluntarily participate, which means the statistics likely undercount hate
reports on anti-Muslim incidents
we looked directly at the FBI’s annual reports on hate crimes, which the agency
defines as "criminal offenses motivated, in whole or in part, by the
offender’s bias against" a particular group such as a religion, race or
looked to us like the greatest percentage spike in reported anti-Islamic
incidents occurred between 2000 and 2001. For the latter year, the FBI tallied
481 anti-Islamic incidents--a count up more than 1,600 percent from 28 in 2000.
According to the FBI, such incidents decreased by 68 percent to 155 the next
year and then dipped to 149 in 2003 before escalating to 156 in 2004.
also reviewed the agency’s recent tallies, finding there was not a
bigger-than-post-9/11 spike in incidents in recent years -- though the numbers
have been on the rise. The 307 incidents noted for 2016 compare to 257 reported
incidents in 2015, the FBI says, and that count was up 67 percent from 154
anti-Muslim incidents reported in 2014.
another way, the 2016 tally reflected a two-year 99 percent increase. But that
latest count still fell 36 percent shy of the agency’s 2001 count of 481
offered among the stories fueling his claim a July 2017 analysis of hate crimes
against U.S. Muslims by Brian Levin, who directs the Center for the Study of
Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
article, covering every year since 9/11, says that from 2002 to 2014, the FBI’s
counts of anti-Muslim crimes receded to a range of 105 to 160 though the 257
tally for 2015 was the highest since 2001 and, the article says, the
second-highest total of anti-Muslim hate crimes since the agency began
eliciting reports of hate crimes from police agencies in 1992.
only did anti-Muslim crime cases rise numerically, the article says, they grew
as a percentage of all hate crimes, accounting in 2015 for 4.4 percent of all
reported hate crimes even though Muslims are estimated to be only 1 percent of
the population, the article says.
phone, Levin told us that in 2016, per FBI figures, anti-Muslim hate crimes
accounted for 5 percent of all hate crimes. After 9/11, Levin told us,
anti-Muslim hate crimes represented 4.5 percent of hate crimes reported by the
2016, Levin’s published calculations of hate crimes against Muslims were cited
by Hillary Clinton to justify her claim that hate crimes against American
Muslims and mosques had tripled after attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
Levin said in a 2016 interview that since 9/11, anti-Muslim incidents ranked
second to anti-Jewish incidents among all anti-religious hate crimes.
PolitiFact rated Clinton’s claim Mostly True.
rights reports by CAIR
for more up-to-date information, we approached several non-government groups
about research into anti-Muslim incidents. This tack drew data only from the
Council on American-Islamic Relations, which says it challenges stereotypes of
Islam and Muslims.
Arain of CAIR pointed by email to the council’s latest annual civil rights
report. The April 2018 report, based on investigations by council staff, says
that in 2017, there were 2,599 U.S. anti-Muslim "bias incidents,"
including 300 hate crimes--a count exceeding the council’s confirmation of
2,213 incidents in 2016 by 17 percent.
report classifies incidents by type. Harassment, it says, accounted for 14
percent of the confirmed incidents in 2017 with incidents in which an
individual was "inappropriately targeted and harassed by Customs and
Border Protection" proving second-most prevalent. Anti-Muslim hate crimes,
including crimes targeting children and families, made up 12 percent of the
2017 cases, the report says, with incidents involving FBI harassment or other
targeting of individuals constituting 10 percent of incidents.
counts, the report says, should be considered only a "snapshot of the
experiences of American Muslims, including children, youth, and families. From
experience, CAIR knows that bias incidents targeting the community are vastly
underreported to both law enforcement and community institutions. Community
members will often not report incidents, such as harassment and bullying,
because of a certain level of desensitization," the report says.
told us: "Based on the numbers we report, we have documented more
anti-Muslim bias incidents and anti-Muslim hate crimes from 2015 to present
than were documented in the year immediately following September 11,
followed up by checking the council’s 2002 civil rights report. It says the
group received 1,516 complaints from community members over the year involving
the lives of more than 2,250 people, most of whom "were subjected to
incidents of bias-motivated harassment and violence" including several
murders, the report says. The report says its complaint count was up 300
percent from the year before. "Excluding the September 11 backlash
incidents," the report says, "this year's normal reporting period
contains 525 valid complaints, up from 366 in 2000/2001--a 43 percent
said: "Muslims in America have been subjected to more insults, attacks and
hate crimes in the last two or three years than ever before, specifically more
than after 9-11."
confirmed by the pro-Muslim CAIR support this statement. Also, FBI hate-crime
statistics drawn from police departments indicate there were more anti-Muslim
assaults in 2016 than after 9/11 though its counts generally indicate there
were more anti-Muslim incidents after 9/11. A footnote: We didn’t come up with
a way to gauge shifts in the prevalence of insults.
claims NYPD is discriminating against him for being Muslim
Muslim cop on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s security detail filed a $7 million federal
suit against the city Friday, claiming he’s being discriminated against for his
Abdelim “Abe” Azab says he’s been denied a deserved promotion and prestigious
gigs like protecting Hizzoner during his daily workouts at the Park Slope Y
because of his faith and Middle Eastern heritage — while his bosses smear him
as a “misfit” who is “too intimidating.”
Azab, a detective who went undercover after 9/11, has been regularly passed
over for promotion, and has been given insulting assignments within his unit,”
his attorney Marshall Bellovin, of the firm Ballon, Stoll, Bader & Nadler,
told The Post.
Egypt-born Staten Islander was previously assigned to the NYPD’s now-disbanded
Demographics Unit, which put plainclothes investigators in predominantly Muslim
neighborhoods, and has been a detective second grade since 2008 — earning base
pay of $103,585 last year plus another $60,000 on top of that, public records
he says he should’ve been promoted to first grade by now — where he’d be
earning $20,000 more a year and get $15,000 more toward his pension, the
just-filed Manhattan federal suit says.
alleges his bosses have made “vulgar” and “derogatory” comments about him —
including that he’s “useless” and a “misfit,” and have directed sergeants to
keep “Abe away from [de Blasio].”
a result, he spent most of 2015 through 2017 protecting City Hall instead of
the mayor in an effort “to isolate him from the rest of the EPU team,” he
says he’s been repeatedly pulled off driving duty and replaced by a non-Muslim,
non-Middle Eastern officer — on at least four occasions, he claims he was told
to pull over and vacate the car when the top cops realized he was behind the
also claims he’s been denied training opportunities that would help advance his
career, and wasn’t included on the mayor’s 2015 trip to Israel, despite being
the only Arabic speaker in the unit.
Azab asked the unit’s commanding officer, Inspector Howard Redmond, about the
treatment, he says he was told he is “too intimidating.”
is clear that Inspector Redmond used this as an excuse as there are other
officers in the EPU who Inspector Redmond has stated ‘I love this guy he is so
intimidating,'” the suit charges.
suit notes that numerous other officers in de Blasio’s unit have filed
discrimination complaints, and yet the mayor has not spoken out publicly or
“taken any affirmative steps to date to curb preferential assignments and
preferential promotions that result in discriminatory practices.”
years after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, officials in Saudi Arabia
have granted western journalists access to the Bin Laden family in an effort to
separate the Saudi kingdom from its most infamous son, Osama Bin Laden.
According to a new groundbreaking interview, Bin Laden may have orchestrated
the 9/11 attacks to bring about the end of the world.
Islam, the Hadith, or traditions of the Prophet Mohammed, are second in
importance only to the Quran itself. One of the earliest and most authoritative
hadith — Sahih Muslim — predicted that the apocalypse would come after the
destruction of the Kaaba, the building housing the black stone at the center of
Mecca, the most holy site in Islam (Book 41 Hadith 6951).
its oil wealth, Saudi Arabia's clout comes from the fact it contains the Hejaz,
the region of most importance to Islam, containing the holy cities of Mecca and
Medina. Bin Laden grew up in Saudi Arabia, and radicalized while fighting
against the Soviets in Afghanistan. All the same, he went out of his way to
involve Saudis in the 9/11 attacks.
is no doubt that he deliberately chose Saudi citizens for the 9/11 plot,"
a British intelligence officer told the Guardian's Martin Chulov. Fifteen of
the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. "He was convinced that was going
to turn the west against his ... home country. He did indeed succeed in
inciting a war, but not the one he expected."
interviewed Bin Laden's family members in a groundbreaking story. The
terrorist's mother, Alia Ghanem, insisted that her son's radicalization began
in college, and that he became a strong, driven, pious figure while studying at
King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah.
people at university changed him. He became a different man," Ghanem said.
While at the university, Bin Laden met Abdullah Azzam, a member of the Muslim
Brotherhood who was later exiled from Saudi Arabia and became Bin Laden's
was a very good child until he met some people who pretty much brainwashed him
in his early 20s. You can call it a cult," the mother recalled. "They
got money for their cause. I would always tell him to stay away from them, and
he would never admit to me what he was doing, because he loved me so
United States and Turkey have agreed to work closely to resolve issues between
them, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday, following what
he said was a "constructive" meeting with Secretary of State Mike
and Pompeo met on the sidelines of a meeting of regional ministers in
Singapore. Their talks came after Washington imposed sanctions on two of
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's ministers over the trial of a U.S. pastor
accused of backing terrorism. Turkey has said the sanctions are unacceptable.
in comments to Turkish broadcasters, said he and Pompeo had also discussed
potential joint steps the two countries could take regarding Syria's Idlib and
Manbij. The NATO allies have also been at odds over Syria policy.
Turkish Foreign Minister said he told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that
threats and sanctions will not work, after Washington targeted Turkish
ministers over the detention of an American pastor.
have said from the start that the other side's threatening language and
sanctions will not get any result. We repeated this today," Cavusoglu said
in televised remarks in Singapore after their meeting.
Andrew Brunson was held in prison for nearly two years before he was moved to
house arrest last week, disappointing American officials who expected his
is accused of carrying out activities on behalf of two groups viewed by Ankara
as terrorists: the movement of the US-led Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen
blamed for the July 2016 coup attempt and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
who led a Protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir, denies the charges. He
risks up to 35 years in prison if found guilty. His next hearing is on October
case is now at the centre of a bitter row between NATO allies Ankara and
Washington after the US on Wednesday imposed sanctions on the Turkish justice
and interior ministers claiming they played a major role in the arrest and
detention of the pastor.
meeting was the first between the countries' officials after Ankara vowed it
would respond to sanctions with retaliatory measures.
was Aug. 3, 2014, when hundreds of thousands of lives changed forever for the
Yazidi people living in northern Iraq.
militants attacked and captured the city of Sinjar and surrounding areas,
forcing 50,000 Yazidis to flee to nearby mountains, only to face death by starvation,
dehydration and ISIL gunfire.
month, 7,000 Yazidis were slaughtered in a genocide, while many young women and
children were sold into sexual slavery.
afternoon, four years after the genocide began, roughly 100 Yazidi Calgarians
who fled the hardship held a demonstration in front of City Hall calling on the
Canadian government’s help.
these people are ISIL survivors,” said Ghazi Hasso, a member of the Yazidi
community who came to Canada after the attacks.
not a single person here who has not been affected by ISIL. There are many
people here that have half of their family missing — their parents, children
missing, husband missing, wife missing, all sort of family. These are
still have 3,000 or so (Yazidi people) in captivity in the hands of ISIL.”
could be seen carrying photographs of missing loved ones as they marched around
City Hall chanting “stop ISIS! Save our women! Stop genocide!”
can imagine losing your cat or something. You would worry about it, but people
have lost most of their family; you can imagine what they are going through,”
not a single minute that goes by where we don’t think about the family members
lost and our women and children.”
genocide continues to this day, as hundreds of thousands of Yazidi are
displaced in camps and makeshift shelters in northern Iraq.
Kengo is one of the few lucky enough to escape the war-torn area.
a translator, she said her mother, brother and sister were captured. Her mother
and sister were recently bought out of the slavery, but they are still
uncertain of her brother’s fate.
came to our areas and they attacked us because we are Yazidi — either you turn
to Islam, or you will die,” she said of the threats the militant group made.
many people got killed because they refuse to become Muslim. They killed the
older women, and any woman not good enough for them to be married or sold into
sexual slavery were killed. They sold the young women around nine years old or
younger on the market.”
said she was sold six times over 21/2 years.
were sold from one person to another — something you would not do to another
human being,” she said.
were just considered property. It’s hard for me being alone here — I have no
Labour must tackle its anti-Semitism
Labour Party of Britain, Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition and possible
government-in-waiting, is in deep trouble.
not what happened:
member, let’s say, of Labour’s ethics committee and once even a shadow minister
appeared on TV saying that all Muslims living in Britain supported the
murderous cult of ISIS. Several Muslim leaders objected and complained to
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, to take action. Mr Corbyn declined
member of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) went a step further and
said that in his opinion the majority of Muslims in Britain owed more loyalty
to ISIS than to Britain. Two Muslim Labour MPs, call them Miriam Haji and Yusuf
Ahmed, representing constituencies in the north with large Muslim populations,
reacted, calling this abject anti-Muslim nonsense. They asked Mr Corbyn to take
Corbyn issued a statement of Labour’s opposition to all racism. Brandishing
that assurance. Ms Haji and Mr Ahmed asked Mr Corbyn to suspend or expel the
NEC member who held and voiced this opinion. Mr Corbyn didn’t. Ms Haji then,
very publicly in the House of Commons, called Mr Corbyn an Islamophobe and a
remarks were noted and calls for her expulsion from the party followed.
Ms Haji and Mr Ahmed in their protests, 68 imams of mosques in Britain signed
an open letter in the press pointing to several remarks that Labour officials
had made over time. They said there was a current of Islamophobia in the Labour
Party, which ought to be checked and dealt with.
Labour luminary and known ideological associate of Mr Corbyn then pronounced
these imams to be “Putin’s puppets” who supported Bashar al-Assad and his
murderous Russian-backed regime in Syria.
the national press, surveying opinion within the UK’s Muslim communities and
questioning a large sample of Muslim Labour Party members, concluded that there
was a widespread fear that Labour, hitherto seen as a champion of Muslims and
anti-racism, was being infiltrated by a current of Islamophobia.
put this down to the Labour spokespersons perceived as Islamophobic confounded
the actions and ideology of Islamism with Islam and attributed these to all
Muslims. The prevalence of this conflation could certainly be labelled
Islamophobia and had to be addressed head-on.
Muslim MPs of the Labour Party muttered about resigning if action was not
taken. Investigative journalists unearthed another fact: In 2010, Mr Corbyn
appeared on a platform with a rabid rabbi who advocated the genocide of
is time, gentle reader, to repeat as I said at the start, that none of these
things happened. And yet I didn’t
exactly make them up! Within the contexts of several statements, events,
speeches, protests and accusations that have indeed taken place over the last
few weeks in Britain. I substituted “Muslim” for “Jewish”, “ISIS” for “Israel”,
“Islamophobia” for “anti-Semitism”, “imams” for “rabbis”, two Muslim MPs for
two Jewish Labour ones and “Putin’s puppets” for “Trumpeteers”.
Labour Party, its NEC and Mr Corbyn appear in the above allegory as themselves.
the above scenario, the statements substituting Muslims for Jews had actually
come to pass or be pronounced, the Labour Party would be in deeper trouble than
it is. That can’t happen. Any overt Islamophobia would be dealt with through
severe condemnation and expulsions. And yet the Labour Party has got its
knickers in a right twist over anti-Semitism.
party has adopted a code against anti-Semitism and annexed to itself a
definition of what that is. The code comes from the world Jewish organisations
themselves, but in its adoption of the definition it has left out some serious
clauses. Without going into the semantics of each, it can be generally said
that these are the clauses, which allow the conflation of anti-Zionism with
instance, a Labour Party official who condemns the domestic or foreign policy
of Benjamin Netanyahu would not be considered anti-Semitic by either the Jewish
community, very many of whom are critics of Israeli policy, or by the Labour
the other hand, if, as the Labour ex-mayor of London Ken Livingstone did, one
was to say that Hitler was a Zionist because he favoured the repatriation of
Jews from Germany to Israel, he would be condemned by the Jewish community as
anti-Semitic and suspended from the Labour Party for at the least not choosing
his words carefully enough. It may be true that Hitler wanted initially to
expel Jews before he set in motion the Holocaust, but that doesn’t make him a
is true that some of the actions of the Israeli state against Arabs are
comparable to the actions of German National Socialists, but that doesn’t
excuse calling all Jews or Israeli Jews Nazis.
Corbyn needs to save the party from this destructive dilemma. He did appear on
a platform in 2010 with terrorists who advocated the annihilation of Israel. In
the wake of this coming to light he apologised for it saying he disagreed with
what was said. A respected Jewish MP, Margaret Hodge, did object to Labour’s
mealy-mouthed definition of anti-Semitism and she did call Mr Corbyn an
anti-Semite and a bigot. Now the Labour deputy leader, several MPs and Labour
constituencies are calling for no disciplinary charges to be levelled against
Corbyn’s supporters say this is all a conspiracy by Jews who own the press and
control “the establishment” to discredit him and the party.
is errant nonsense. Rupert Murdoch, Lord Rothermere and the Barclay Brothers,
who together own all British newspapers, have not converted to Judaism — and as
for “the establishment” I think Prince Charles and the Queen are still
refutes IS claim of “terror attack” that killed 4 tourists
Tajikistan has called for the first time an incident that left four foreign
cyclists dead in the Central Asian country a “terror attack” while appearing to
refute the Islamic State group’s claim of responsibility.
a statement published late on Friday the ex-Soviet country’s state prosecutor
said the attack initially reported as a hit-and-run road accident was aimed at
“creating an atmosphere of fear and panic in society and undermining the
international authority of the Republic of Tajikistan”.
attack on the foreign tourists was a terrorist act,” the statement said of the
assault by an armed gang on a group of seven foreign cyclists Sunday which left
two Americans, one Swiss and one Dutch national dead.
Tuesday IS released a video showing what it said was a pledge of allegiance by
the five men accused of murdering the tourists visiting the impoverished
a first official mention of the video Friday, however, the country’s state
prosecutor said the clip had been released “with the aim of deflecting
suspicions from another terrorist organisation, the Islamic Renaissance Party,
which is the main commissioner of this terrorist act”.
prior police report pinning responsibility for the attack on the Islamic
Renaissance Party (IRPT) — which styled itself as a moderate, faith-based
opposition party until it was outlawed by Tajikistan in 2015 — has generated
scepticism outside the republic.
government began a long crackdown on the opposition in 2015 just before the
IRPT failed to make parliament in a vote widely viewed as strewn with
police also alleged that a detained suspect viewed as one of the leaders of the
attack on the tourists “underwent training” in Iran, a country with whom
Tajikistan currently has poor relations.
Iran and IRPT have denied any links to the attack.
video released by IS Tuesday shows five men, who resemble pictures of the
suspects put out by Tajik police, sitting by a tree in front of a jihadist
clip shows them swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group’s
of the men were killed resisting arrest, according to Tajik police while a
fifth is in police custody.
victims were killed by being struck by a car and attacked with knives and guns
as they cycled along a road off the Pamir Highway — a popular tourist route
with spectacular views.
have been named as Lauren Geoghegan and Jay Austin of the United States, Dutch
citizen Rene Wokke and Swiss citizen Markus Hummel.
- A senior UN official expressed alarm Friday at deadly strikes in Yemen's
rebel-held port city of Hodeida including at the entrance to the war-wracked
country's largest hospital.
least 20 people were killed and 60 wounded Thursday in an air strike at the
Al-Thawra hospital and the bombardment of a fish market in Hodeida, according
to medics and witnesses.
is shocking," said Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.
of thousands of people depend on Al-Thawra, which is Yemen's largest hospital,
are protected under international humanitarian law. Nothing can justify this
loss of life."
government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition have been conducting an
offensive to capture Hodeida from Iran-backed Huthi rebels, but announced last
month they were pausing the assault to give UN mediation efforts a chance.
media outlets accused the Saudi-led coalition of carrying out the attacks in
Hodeida on Thursday, but there was no immediate response from the alliance
headed by Riyadh.
fighting around Hodeida has raised UN fears of a new humanitarian catastrophe
in a country already standing at the brink of famine and gripped by a deadly
day this week we have seen new cholera cases in Hodeida, and now this,"
impact of the strikes is appalling. Everything we are trying to do to stem the
world's worst cholera epidemic is at risk."
Relano, resident representative in Yemen for the UN Children's Fund, said the
"senseless attack in Hodeida has destroyed families, hopes and dreams for
a better future".
war has killed nearly 10,000 people and triggered what the UN calls the world's
largest single humanitarian crisis, with more than eight million Yemenis at
risk of starvation.
NATIONS - UN peacekeepers have carried out a first patrol since 2014 to a key
crossing point between the Syrian and Israeli-controlled Golan Heights after
liaising with Russia, Israel and Syria, a UN spokesman said Friday.
patrol at the Quneitra crossing point was the first since the UN Disengagement
Observer Force (UNDOF) withdrew in 2014 after Al-Qaeda-linked rebels overran
government forces, backed by Russia, have in past weeks recaptured territory
near the Golan Heights, driving out rebel groups from a “de-escalation zone”
agreed by Jordan, Russia and the United States.
“patrol to the Quneitra crossing point is part of UNDOF’s ongoing efforts to
return incrementally to the area of separation,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq.
said the mission liaised with both the Syrian Arab Armed Forces and Israel’s
Defense Forces ahead of the patrol.
troops and Russian military police also carried out “simultaneous” patrols of
the area, said Haq.
the Russian army said Thursday it planned to deploy eight military observation
posts in the Golan, the UN spokesman said any Russian military presence would
be “separate and distinct from that of UNDOF.” The United Nations is aiming for
the full return of UNDOF to the Syrian side. Currently, more than half of
UNDOF’s 978 troops are deployed on the so-called Bravo (Syrian) side.
has carried out more than 30 patrols in the northern and central parts of the
area of separation since it resumed its activities on the Syrian side in
February. Established in 1974, UNDOF monitors a ceasefire line that has
separated Israelis from Syrians in the Golan Heights.
authorities said Friday they had arrested two suspects in connection with a
biological bomb plot thwarted by police in Germany in June.
two men are suspected of links to 29-year-old Tunisian Sief Allah H. who was
arrested in Germany in possession of the deadly poison ricin and bomb-making
material, the interior ministry said.
police commandos on June 12 stormed the Cologne apartment of Sief Allah H. and
discovered "toxic substances" that turned out to be ricin, according
to the German authorities.
by processing castor beans, ricin is lethal in minute doses if swallowed,
inhaled or injected and 6,000 times more potent than cyanide, with no known
Allah H., who has been charged with possession of weapons of war and planning a
serious act of violence against the state, was thought to have followed
instructions on making a ricin bomb disseminated online by the Islamic State
revealed that one of the two men had conspired with Sief Allah H. "to
simultaneously carry out in Tunisia and Germany two attacks using homemade
bombs", Tunisian anti-terrorism spokesman Sofiene Sliti told AFP.
other suspect allegedly prepared a false passport to help Sief Allah H. flee to
other European countries, according to the interior ministry.
fails yet again to counter Islamic State threats
Tuesday, Indonesia banned the Islamic State (IS)-aligned terrorist group Jemaah
Ansharut Daulah (JAD) as part of ramping up its counter terror measures ahead
of the Asian Games to be held in Jakarta and Palembang in mid August and the
Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) in
Bali in mid-October.
May of this year, terrorist attacks and counter-terror operations in Indonesia
have resulted in at least 49 deaths including civilians, policemen and terrorists.
Three families including young children staged suicide bombings in Surabaya.
The JAD is alleged to have inspired the Surabaya attacks.
predictable doom-laden hyperbole from terrorism experts and understandable
national shock over the use of women and children in the Surabaya attacks
galvanised support for President Joko Widodo to push through an amended Law on
law was first proposed in January 2016 in the wake of a terror attack in
Jakarta in which eight people were killed.
amended law provides wide powers to Indonesia's security forces, including to
detain suspects for up to 221 days without producing them before the court. The
amended law follows a well-worn global pattern shifting the balance between
rights and security.
part of preparations for the Asian Games and IMF-WB meeting, Indonesia has
launched a wider crackdown. The country has seen the arrest of hundreds of
suspected terrorists, the imposition of a death sentence against Aman
Abdurrahman, leader of the JAD and now banning of the JAD.
overall picture for Indonesia remains positive and the recent terror attacks
may not amount to any strategic upsurge or gains for terrorism.
IS remains unpopular in Indonesia. The US-based Pew Research Centre survey
estimated support for the IS at around 4% of the population, notably one of the
lowest levels of support amongst Islamic majority states. Yet some security
experts extrapolate that number against the total population and conclude that
there may, therefore, be 10 million potential IS operatives in Indonesia. The empirical
evidence suggests that such extrapolation is neither helpful nor valid.
Expressing extremist views in a public survey is not a useful measure of a
person's willingness to act on their views.
than a cause for panic, limited support for the IS might better be viewed as
cause for optimism. The reality is that terror attacks in Indonesia have been
on the slide since the Bali bombings in 2002. This fall is consistent with
global trends. Despite a panic-prone security sector, both Indonesia and the world
are now far safer places from terrorism than in the 1970s.
if terror attacks do rise, it is difficult to square this with terror experts'
predictions of regional chaos. Local terror exists only to the extent it can
draw on local support. Pew research consistently suggests that Indonesian
Muslims, 92% of them, believe that violence against civilians in the name of
Islam is rarely or never justified. Once again, this is one of the highest
levels of rejection of Islamist terror amongst Muslim majority nations.
violent extremist groups including the IS depend on public support, without
which terrorists can never grow beyond their current minuscule minority.
vast majority of today's counter-terror "experts", media pundits and
policymakers fail to understand this particular dimension of terrorism that
leads them to obsess over a narrow view of security to the exclusion of
leaders, often with one eye on elections, find it easier to appear
"strong" and respond emotionally to these types of attacks. It is
popular with the public.
security by itself is subject to diminishing returns. A shift in the balance in
favour of security over human rights has invariably led to an increase in human
rights violations. Security experts often argue that human rights violations
are a necessary evil in the fight against terror. The real challenge for
Indonesia is not just about immediate security but also about taking measures
that avoid the current 4% support for the IS becoming 10%, and then 10%
the JAD doesn't remove the underlying grievances that eventually coalesce into
terror groups. The JAD will soon be replaced just as the JAD itself had
replaced the vacuum after the banning of Jemaah Islamiah in 2008. Jemaah
Islamiah stepped into the vacuum created by the destruction of the Darul Islam
movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
needs to move beyond security-centric approach and seek to understand local
grievances better and address them through a variety of measures that fall far
outside the one-dimensional security-centric approach.
Muslims in Indonesia have launched a new civil society group to promote
interreligious tolerance in a country where religious and ethnic sentiments are
on the rise ahead of a presidential election in 2019.
than 200 people, including religious leaders such as Jakarta's Catholic
archbishop, as well as politicians, attended the Aug. 1 launch of the Said Aqil
Siroj Institute in Jakarta.
new non-profit organization is named after a prominent Muslim cleric who now
serves as chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia's largest Islamic
thoughts and ideas highlighting tolerance, mutual respect, peace and
willingness to work together with people from different religious and ethnic
backgrounds have inspired the establishment of this institute. These are
important pillars for the existence of our diverse nation," Imdadun
Rahmat, the organization's executive director, said at the launch.
institute has come about because of concerns among young people about problems
and challenges faced by our nation, especially the weakening of national unity
as a result of segregation based on religion, ethnicity and ideology," he
said the organization would take up the same fight as similar organizations
including the Jakarta-based Wahid Institute, an organization that focuses on
the creation of peace and non-violence espoused by former Indonesian president
Abdurrahman Wahid, who was also a former NU chairman.
organizations need to expand to serve as 'shields' to protect our younger
generation from radicalism," he told ucanews.com.
near future, he said, the institute will share moderate Islamic teachings
through social media and conduct research, seminars and discussions.
to reporters, Siroj said the institute would promote Islam Nusantara (Islam of
the Archipelago) as many people still don't have a clear understanding of it.
Nusantara means an Islam which promotes cultural values that are dignified,
friendly and polite," he said.
think Islam Nusantara is a solution to the wave of globalization which is very
radical and extreme.
believe Indonesian Muslims can show people that they respect differences and
other cultures," he said.
Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, said the launch of the
new organization comes at the right time.
year] is the year of politics. Regional elections [held in June] ran
peacefully. Yet, we see that in some regions the issues of religion, ethnicity
and ideology were used to influence public opinion. We predict these issues
will grow ahead of the presidential election next year," he said.
Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, who attended the launch, welcomed
the institute's establishment.
Aug 4 ― Perak Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu said he is personally opposed to
child marriages, saying it is “cruel” for those 16 and below to be wed when
they have far more options in the world today.
48-year-old said things have changed from the past when underaged marriages
were common, and added that parents have a duty to prepare their children to be
independent and equip them with life skills to set up their own households
am a Muslim and I understand that someone has the right to be married or marry
when they have reached akil baligh,” he said, using the Islamic term meaning
the same time I think parents of children under 18 have a duty to make their
kids ready for independence. We must give them the highest education possible
and the skills to take care of themselves instead of getting them married.
at the age of 16 or lower, I think it is cruel to marry children off,” he said
during a recent sit-down with journalists here.
Chenderiang assemblyman and Tambun MP stressed that he was only expressing his
personal opinion, which should not be taken as the state government’s official
Faizal said that married children might be forced to care for their own
children before they were ready to do so, which was not an easy task.
cases could cause future problems, and add to the already high divorce rates in
no reason, a young mother at the age of 16 or 17 could have to take care of her
own child. Come on lah, we have to be respectful towards women.”
Faizal acknowledged that not everyone shares his views, and that he may even be
criticised but said he sincerely believes that child marriages are not suitable
for the society today.
my great-grandparents time, things were different. Then there were no schools
or universities, so this was acceptable.
we should think of the futures of these children. When they are truly ready,
they can get married but not too early,” he said.
Perak Islamic Family Enactment 2004 has set a minimum marriage age for female
Muslims in the state to 16.
experts say a uniform legal age of marriage of 18 can only be realised if all
state legislative assemblies amend their respective Islamic Family Law
if he would lead the charge to raise the age limit, Ahmad Faizal said more
viewpoints were needed before a final call was made.
needs to be discussed by the Pakatan Harapan council. We are also a state with
a monarchy,” he said.
Nabs Cleric Over Bomb Claimed by Islamic State
The Philippine military said on Thursday (02/08) that it has arrested a Muslim
cleric who knew in advance about a bomb that killed 11 people on Basilan Island
in an attack earlier this week that raised fears of Islamic State involvement.
on a tip off, scout rangers raided the home of Indalin Jainul, alias Ustadz
Abdulgani, 12 hours after Tuesday's bombing in Lamitan town.
told the army that the cleric, 58, knew the bomb would go off and had been
helping foreign operatives reach Basilan from Malaysia, according to army
spokesman Gerry Besana. A grenade was found at his home.
is charged with multiple murder and illegal possession of explosives. His
family protested what they said were trumped-up charges. Islamic State claimed
responsibility for the attack, which killed five militias, a soldier and four
civilians, including a child, calling it a "martyrdom operation."
driver of a van carrying the device also died. He was believed to have
detonated the device when questioned at the checkpoint. Defense and military
officials dismissed the Islamic State claim as propaganda, with Defense
Secretary Delfin Lorenzana describing the claim as "just
speculation." Basilan is a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, a group better
known for its banditry and kidnapping, though it has pledged loyalty to Islamic
attack came days after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made peace
overtures towards the Abu Sayyaf, following his approval for an autonomy plan
sought for decades by leaders of the region's Muslim minority.
bombings are rare in the Philippines, despite decades of separatist and
Islamist violence that have destabilized the southern Mindanao region.
experts say that although Islamic State has no known affiliate in the southern
Philippines, it has ties with local extremists who have given refuge to foreign
radicals, particularly from Malaysia and Indonesia.
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