this 2016 photo, Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen speaks to members of the media
at his compound, in Saylorsburg, Pa. The Turkish government has blamed the
influential movement led by U.S.-based Gulen, who runs a network of schools,
dormitories, media outlets and universities, for a failed coup attempt. (Chris
Arabia ‘Rejects US Senate Position and Any Interference in Its Affairs’
Reformists Clash with Hard-Liners in Drive to Restrict Child Marriage
'Working On' Extraditing Islamic Cleric Gulen from US to Turkey
Board to Approach Opposition Parties on Stalling Triple Talaq Bill in
Begin Rebuilding Iconic Mosul Mosque with $50.4 Mln UAE-Financed Project
US-led airstrikes leave 17 Syrian civilians dead in Dayr al-Zawr
bomb goes off at marketplace in Syria's Afrin, kills 8
Plan Urged To Address Issues Facing Muslim World
declares 2019 as the Year of Tolerance
Arabia competent authority for Islamic world: Scholars
Khashoggi's Killer Pardoned by Saudi King
air raids kill 16 aides of ISIS leader Baghdadi in Syria
Premier's Son Blocked On Facebook for Anti-Muslim Posts
warns Hamas after deadly West Bank attacks
says it uncovered 4th Hezbollah tunnel from Lebanon
says strikes PKK in Iraq again despite Baghdad protest
Iran, Turkey use Qatar to undermine regional security and US interest
truce, intense clashes hit Yemen’s Hodeidah with 22 Houthis killed
‘ready’ for joint anti-terror operation after deadly ambush in Pakistan
marks anniversary with parade of new missiles
Arabia Rebukes US Senate over Khashoggi Resolution
US destroyed richest African nation
to review case of soldier charged with murdering Afghan
Board to Approach Opposition Parties on Stalling Triple Talaq Bill in Parliament
Mehtab Hussain Sprints Past Odds but Official Apathy Still a Hurdle
society most tolerant: Rajnath
Francis To Deliver Mass In Abu Dhabi Stadium
Security Council Delegation to Present Draft Resolution on Yemen
dismisses baseless Germany’s former FM statements over Qatar
students in Britain face suspension over new US sanctions: Report
Cyprus journalist takes on Turkey's mighty Erdogan
National Rally links to violent far-right group revealed
Khan Says That His Vision of Naya Pakistan Is Actually the Vision of
of Dhaka Underlines Need For Boosting Unity, Harmony’
school attacker a state guest: Pakistan politician
chief sees favouritism behind ongoing accountability drive
pledges to continue resistance against terrorism
moot urges Taliban to join talks
Khan condemns civilian killings in Pulwama, vows to take up issue with UN
Political Islam and Intellectual Forgery of the Harvard University
Taliban Say Will Meet US Officials in UAE Today
militants killed, 2 wounded in Uruzgan airstrikes
president urged to curb poll violence
Detention Camps for Muslims Turn to Forced Labour
Mahathir Says No Rights to Recognize Jerusalem as Israeli Capital
re-education camps' for Uighur Muslims run like 'concentration camps', says
must pressure Suu Kyi on Rohingya issue: Mahathir
taking the path less travelled to win over Malay-Muslims
should not have generalised Malaysia with other Islamic countries on ICERD:
Flee After Boko Haram Burns Nigerian Village
Nigeria Fighting With Militants Leaves 12 Soldiers Dead
says new airstrike in Somalia kills 8 al-Shabaab fighters
CSOs write Buratai, demand details of money spent fighting Boko Haram
President Lands in Syria in First Visit By Arab Leader
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Arabia ‘rejects US Senate position and any interference in its affairs’
Arabia’s foreign ministry has released a statement in which it rejected the
position recently expressed by the United States Senate and any interference in
its internal affairs.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejects the position expressed recently by the United
States Senate, which was based upon unsubstantiated claims and allegations, and
contained blatant interferences in the Kingdom’s internal affairs, undermining
the Kingdom’s regional and international role,” the foreign ministry statement
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reaffirms its commitment to continue to further
develop its relations with the United States of America, the Kingdom also
expresses its concern regarding the positions that were expressed by members of
an esteemed legislative body of an allied and friendly government, a government
that the Kingdom, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
and the Crown Prince, holds at the highest regard, and with whom the Kingdom
maintains deep strategic, political, economic, and security ties that were
built over several decades to serve the interests of both countries and
peoples,” the statement added.
Arabia said it categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs,
any and all accusations, in any manner, that “disrespect its leadership,
represented by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque and the Crown Prince, and
any attempts to undermine its sovereignty or diminish its stature”.
Arabia said it emphasizes that such a position will not affect its leading role
in the region, in the Arab and Muslim worlds, and internationally and added
that it would will continue to fulfill its pivotal role.
group of Iranian lawmakers is seeking caps on child marriage in the country, a
drive that seems to have little chance of success due to fierce opposition from
all dates back to 44 years ago," wrote hard-line daily Kayhan in a Nov. 26
editorial, "when US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger placed the
[National Security Study Memorandum 200] on President Richard Nixon's desk. …
The document addressed the threat of human development in America's rival
countries and how population growth could boost them." The editorial then
accused the Iranian members of parliament who are pushing for restrictions on
child marriages of having the document as their role model.
the lawmakers are advancing is a ban on marriage for girls below the age of 13
and boys under 16. Originally proposed by the parliamentary Women’s Faction,
the bill was formally introduced Sept. 26 by 67 Reformist members of parliament
who sought an amendment to an article in the Islamic Republic’s Civil Code,
which sets the same age limit for both genders but allows girls to marry at a
younger age, with the consent of a guardian. If passed, the bill will raise the
age limit to 16 and 18 for girls and boys, respectively. Under the same
amendment, marriage is still legal from the ages 13 to 16 for girls and 16 to
18 for boys, with consent from a "sound-minded" guardian and judicial
the Iranian parliament has fast-tracked a debate of the bill, the road is
expected to be a bumpy one, and the prospects for the bill's approval look
bleak as hard-liners tirelessly put obstacles in its path.
opposition was explicitly expressed in an Oct. 2 public letter drafted by the
Basij Students Unions, which represents the most conservative political and
religious camps at Iranian universities. Addressing the Office of the Supreme
Leader, the Guardian Council and the Expediency Council, the hard-line students
sounded the alarm on what they called the prospect of an increase in
"unregistered marriages." They described the amendment as irrational
and counter to religious principles.
if the bill is approved," stated the letter, "many families still
support marriage at lower ages and will continue the practice inattentive to
the law. Thus, we will be facing the phenomenon of unregistered
marriages." It further said the legislation will give a free pass to the
spread of religiously forbidden contacts between youths of opposite sexes.
to figures released by the Department for Women's Affairs affiliated with the
presidency, 39,609 Iranian girls had their marriages registered in the previous
Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2018). Statistics from Iran's National
Organization for Civil Registration put the total number of national marriages
in the same period at 608,956. Girls aged 10 to 14 accounted for 6% of the
marriages in the mentioned period.
hurdle the bill faces stems from the country's senior clerical community. Tehran
University's Basij Student Union urged top conservative clerics to publicly
declare their opinions on the measure. Though different in tone and wording,
the positions of all four clerics were similar, affirming that once girls reach
puberty — at the age of nine, according to Islamic principles — they are
allowed to get married with parental consent, regardless of limits set by the
the pressure did not stop there. Fereshteh Rouhafza, director of the Department
for Women's Cultural Policymaking, which is affiliated with the Supreme Council
of the Cultural Revolution — whose members are appointed by the supreme leader
— warned that the amendment will exacerbate such social maladies as runaway
girls, prostitution and illegitimate male-female relationships. "Given
today's increasing sexual content online and across social media, which expose
the young to more sexual temptations, the age limit should not be raised and
obstacles ought not be placed on legal marriage," Rouhafza said.
voices in support of the bill have also been heard here and there. Fahimeh
Hassan Miri is the director of an Iranian nongovernmental organization that
advocates for the rights of children who have been subjected to domestic abuse.
"Even the new amendment still allows the marriage of girls below the age
of 18, who are considered as minors under the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of the Child," she told Al-Monitor.
the amendment is bringing hope," she added. "It is a positive step
toward defending the rights of children and protecting them against harms which
underage marriage poses to them." As a former journalist, with a
years-long career focused on Iranian women's issues, Hassan Miri noted that in
most cases of underage marriage, young girls are wedded to men far older, and
"this, coupled with a lack of pre-marital sexual awareness and physical
fitness, makes them vulnerable to irreparable physical and mental damage."
the opponents of the bill, age limits should not be the government's priority.
Rather, the government should institute policy aimed at facilitating marriage
for young Iranians. Mohammad Taghi Rahbar, a former lawmaker, is critical of
the bill for that very reason. "The marriage age has already gone up in
Iran and such limitations are of no help to the young, who need to get married.
Although under religious rules, the age limits are nine and 15 for girls and
boys [respectively], over the years those numbers have [practically] undergone
changes," he said, echoing the hard-liners' stance that the government
should focus on easing the process of marriage instead.
Mohammad Dehghan, a member of the parliament's Judicial Commission, has
described the bill as "immature." "The commission has already
found numerous faults with the proposal by the Women’s Faction. Still, it has
not been put to the commission's internal vote for a final decision, Dehghan
said, implying just how uncertain the bill’s fate is.
the Women’s Faction win parliament's support for the bill, tough challenges
still lie ahead. The measure is still pending final approval from the country's
powerful Guardian Council, which is controlled by hard-liners. The supervisory
body has the full authority to decide whether the bill runs counter to Islamic
'Working On' Extraditing Islamic Cleric Gulen from US To Turkey
Trump told Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Washington is working
on extraditing an Islamic cleric self-exiled in the United States, according to
Turkey's foreign minister.
extradition of Fethullah Gulen would be a strategic effort to persuade Turkey
to lessen scrutiny on Saudi Arabia over the killing of journalist Jamal
Gulen, a former ally of Mr Erdogan, is blamed by Turkish authorities for
orchestrating a failed coup in 2016, when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and
helicopters, attacked parliament and shot unarmed civilians. Mr Gulen denies
any involvement in the coup.
at the Doha Forum in Qatar on Sunday, Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut
Cavusoglu said: “In Argentina, Trump told Erdogan they were working on
extraditing Gulen and other people.”
Cavusoglu was referring to the G20 summit where the leaders met two weeks ago.
added: “I have recently seen a credible probe by the FBI on how the Gulen
organisation avoids taxes.”
has long sought the extradition of Mr Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed
exile in the US for nearly two decades.
Erdogan said that Turkey will start new initiatives abroad to target the
financing of Mr Gulen’s supporters during a speech in Ankara on Thursday.
last month, Mr Trump said he was “not considering” extraditing the Islamic
foreign minister’s recent comments about Washington now working to extradite Mr
Gulen come after Mr Erdogan on Friday renewed attacks on Saudi Arabia over the
Erdogan accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s “closest” associates
of being behind the killing of Khashoggi, in an apparent attempt to keep the
pressure on the oil-rich kingdom.
have learned this from the audio recordings: of those who arrive, those closest
to the crown prince played the most active role,” Mr Erdogan said, according to
the official Anatolia news agency. “The perpetrators are clear to me.”
Erdogan’s statement comes after the US Senate passed a resolution saying Crown
Prince Salman is responsible for the murder of Khashoggi following the CIA’s
assessment of the case. Riyadh maintains that the murder, which took place at
the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, occurred at the behest of
"rogue elements" – not the Crown Prince.
Trump and a number of administration officials have sought to play down the CIA
assessment, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying this week that it has
been reported “inaccurately”.
recent months, the Trump administration has been vigorous in its defence of
Saudi Arabia and the crown prince, in an effort to maintain close relations
including lucrative weapons deals.
board to approach opposition parties on stalling Triple Talaq bill in
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has decided to approach opposition
parties to ensure that the Triple Talaq ordinance is not cleared by the
Parliament in the ongoing session.
decision was made at the AIMPLB's working committee meeting.
issues that were also discussions included the Ayodhya issue, matters
concerning Muslim women and Darul Qaza (shariat courts).
the media after the meet, senior AIMPLB member Qasim Rasool Illyas said,
"We have decided that our members will be approaching leaders of
opposition parties especially Rajya Sabha members so that the Triple Talaq
ordinance is not cleared by the Parliament. This ordinance goes against the
interests of Muslim women."
AIMPLB member Jafaryab Jilani said, "We have also discussed about the
Ayodhya issue. The matter is pending in the Supreme Court and hearings are
expected to resume from January. If the government tries to bring in
legislation in Parliament for the temple's construction then we will approach
the apex court against it. Fourteen new Darul Qazas have also been set up. They
are easing the burden on courts and helping us resolve dowry and matrimonial
issues that concern Muslim women."
on the Ayodhya issue, board member Kamal Farooqi said, "On one hand we are
waiting for the Supreme Court's decision while on the other hand people are
talking about a bill in Parliament for the temple's construction. They are also
giving statements about it. However we have been assured that such statements
cannot influence the case."
secretary Umrain Mehfooz Rehmani said, "We will try to chalk out a
solution for shortcomings in society. We are working hard to educate people
from our community on the matter. We have also issued a helpline to deal with
issues concerning Muslim women. We handled more than 28,000 matters through the
to AIMPLB decision's on the Triple Talaq ordinance, Uttar Pradesh BJP
spokesperson Dr Chandramohan said, "The BJP is committed to empower Muslim
women and this is why an ordinance to make instant triple talaq a punishable
offence was brought by the government. We believe in equality for all. We also
urge the AIMPLB to prioritise the issue of women's security. We also request
the opposition parties to help us ratify the ordinance in both the
begin rebuilding iconic Mosul mosque with $50.4 mln UAE-financed project
part of a five-year project financed by a $50.4 million donation from the
United Arab Emirates, Iraqis on Sunday laid the cornerstone in rebuilding
Mosul’s Al-Nuri mosque and leaning minaret, national emblems destroyed last
year in the ferocious battle against ISIS.
Bakr Kenaan, head of Sunni Muslim endowments in Nineveh province, told AFP
remnants of the minaret would be preserved, while other parts of the mosque
would be built afresh, along with a museum about its history and adjacent
famed 12th century mosque and minaret, dubbed Al-Hadba or “the hunchback,”
hosted Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s only public appearance as ISIS chief, when he
declared a self-styled “caliphate” after extremists swept into Mosul in 2014.
structures were ravaged three years later in the final, most brutal stages of
the months-long fight to rid Iraq’s second city of ISIS.
Sunday, dozens of government officials, religious figures, United Nations
representatives and European ambassadors gathered in the large square in front
of the battered mosque to see the foundation laid. Abdullatif Al-Humaym, the
head of Sunni Muslim endowments in Iraq, set down the stone in a simple
bore a black Arabic inscription: “This cornerstone for the rebuilding and
restoration of the Al-Hadba minaret and the Great Al-Nuri Mosque was laid on
December 16, 2018.”
than a year after ISIS lost control of Mosul, the iconic mosque still lies in
ruins. The stone gate leading up to its courtyard and the greenish dome now
covered in graffiti are virtually the only parts still erect. All that is left
of the minaret is part of its rectangular base, the rest of it sheared off by
first year will focus on documenting and clearing the site, while the next four
years will see the physical restoration, the UN’s heritage agency UNESCO has
said. The mosque’s destruction “was a moment of horror and despair,” said
UNESCO Iraq representative Louise Haxthausen.”Today as we lay the foundation
stone of the Nuri mosque, we are starting a journey of physical
reconstruction,” she told those gathered.
mosque takes its name from Nureddin al-Zinki, who ordered it built in 1172
after unifying Syria and parts of northern Iraq. Its cylindrical minaret, which
featured several levels of ornamental brickwork capped by a small white dome,
started listing centuries ago. It is featured on Iraq’s 10,000-dinar banknote
and gave its name to countless restaurants, companies and even sports clubs.
in June 2014, it became infamous as the site where Baghdadi declared ISIS’s
“caliphate” just days after the extremists seized Mosul in a lightning assault.
capture prompted three years of ferocious fighting to wrest back Mosul and
other Iraqi cities overrun by ISIS. In June 2017, as Iraqi forces closed in on
a shrinking ISIS-held pocket in Mosul’s Old City, the extremists blew up both
the Al-Nuri mosque and its leaning minaret.
itself blamed a US-led strike for the destruction. When the rest of the Old
City fell back under state control, Iraqi forces celebrated at the mosque,
holding ISIS black flag upside down and tauntingly calling out, “Where is
than a dozen civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed after the
US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group carried
out a series of aerial assaults in Syria’s troubled eastern province of Dayr
official news agency SANA reported that 17 people were killed on Sunday when
US-led warplanes bombarded residential buildings in Albu Khatir village, which
lies southeast of the town of Hajin.
report added that the air raids also severely damaged private property in the
sources told Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency on December 12 that a US-led
coalition airstrike targeted a residential building in al-Kashmah neighborhood
of al-Shaafah town, which lies in Abu Kamal district of Dayr al-Zawr province,
the previous night, leaving 15 people dead.
noted that the victims were all members of the same family.
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be
Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from
the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of
November 13, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned a
recent airstrike by the so-called US-led coalition against the eastern town of
al-Shaafah, which left more than 60 people dead and injured, arguing that the
massacre clearly pointed to the fact that members of the military alliance had
no respect for moral values, international rules and regulations besides the
lives of innocent civilians.
ministry, in two separate letters, addressed to United Nations Secretary
General Antonio Guterres and the former rotating president of the UN Security
Council Ma Zhaoxu, called on the Security Council to fulfill its
responsibilities and stop US-led aerial assaults.
also asked the world body to propose an international, independent and
impartial mechanism to investigate the crimes being perpetrated by the
so-called US-led coalition.
letters noted that the coalition was deliberately targeting Syrian civilians
and making use of internationally banned weapons, including white phosphorus
bombs, in Syria.
ministry stressed that the so-called US-led coalition airstrikes were meant to
kill as many Syrian people as possible, prolong the ongoing Syrian conflict,
destroy the country’s infrastructure and undermine its sovereignty and
territorial integrity in flagrant violation of all UN Security Council
resolutions on Syria.
least eight civilians have been killed and dozens more injured after an
explosives-laden vehicle exploded at a marketplace in Syria’s northern province
so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the explosion
struck al-Hal market in the city of Afrin, situated 43 kilometers north of the
provincial capital city of Aleppo, on Sunday afternoon.
Britain-based monitor group added that security forces have sealed off the
attack scene, members of the so-called White Helmets are rushing to the area to
provide help to the victims
death toll is expected to rise as some of the injured are in a critical
militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
was captured in March this year from the Kurdish People's Protection Units
(YPG) by Turkish armed forces and Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army militants.
explosion came as Turkey said that there would be a campaign against
“terrorists” in the eastern Euphrates region.
is time to realize our decision to wipe out terror groups in the east of
Euphrates,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.
will start the operation to clear the east of the Euphrates from separatist
terrorists in a few days,” Erdogan added.
commander-in-chief of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on
Thursday that his fellow fighters would respond strongly to any Turkish attack,
but noted that the US-supported Kurdish-led forces were pressing diplomatic
efforts to deter an assault.
Kobani told Reuters that Washington had made “serious attempts” to prevent a
Turkish offensive, but the US should ramp up its efforts further.
warned that a Turkish assault would tie up militants from the People's Protection
Units (YPG), who are purportedly fighting Daesh remnants in eastern Syria,
which would allow the Takfiris to spread again.
are ready for any attack and will respond strongly ... within our areas. “Till
now, our diplomatic attempts are ongoing to deter this,” he said.
plan urged to address issues facing Muslim world
Describing Saudi Arabia as the center of Islam, religious scholars and
intellectuals said media attacks against the Kingdom offend more than 1.8
billion Muslims across the world.
scholars expressed their solidarity with Saudi Arabia on Sunday — the final day
of a conference titled “International Conference on Islamic unity — the perils
of labeling and exclusion” organized by the Muslim World League (MWL) in
said the Kingdom and its leadership command great respect due to their services
to Islam and Muslims.
conference, organized under the patronage of King Salman, was attended by more
than 1,000 religious scholars and intellectuals from 128 countries.
participants of the conference called for a comprehensive plan to address
sectarianism and extremism.
also stressed the need for creating effective channels of communication between
followers of different Islamic schools of thought to remove misunderstandings
and increase cooperation.
unanimously rejected sectarian views and extremist ideas and urged scholars and
preachers to play their role in uniting Muslims.
scholars recommended the establishment of an all-inclusive committee to draft a
comprehensive Islamic charter that lay down rules to resolve disputes between
Muslim and to help forge unity among different schools of thought.
entrusted the MWL with the implementation of the decision through a
comprehensive document titled “Makkah document.”
conference stressed the idea of nation state is an extension of the concept of
the Ummah, which converges and integrates with other Muslim countries under the
umbrella of the MWL. Its international political framework comes under the
umbrella of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its international
economic framework under the umbrella of the Islamic Development Bank. In
addition to other Islamic institutions, especially the Islamic Military Counter
closing statement urged the MWL to establish an international forum to promote
common values among followers of different religions and cultures and, another
forum to promote the values of tolerance and coexistence. It also stressed the
importance of improving relations between Muslim sects.
highlighted the importance of rejecting futile debates between different sects
or schools of thought and called on the media and other social institutions to
help strengthen the values of moderation and unity.
participating scholars described themselves only as “Muslims” without referring
to their respective sects or schools of thought.
decried religious edicts (fatwas) that incite hatred. They also stressed the
need for finding a single scientific reference for each country and respecting
the religious leaders of the minorities.
MWL secretary-general, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, said his
organization is making efforts to forge unity among Muslims and to promote love
President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Saturday declared 2019 as the
Year of Tolerance, an extension of the Year of Zayed which has run this year.
leader said 2019 would highlight the UAE as a global capital for tolerance,
instilling the values of co-existence and peace in local, regional and
international communities, state news agency WAM reported.
values of tolerance carries on Sheikh Zayed's legacy and teachings,"
Sheikh Khalifa said, adding that the Year of Tolerance will focus on five main
first will be to deepen the values of tolerance and co-existence among cultures
and peoples by concentrating on teaching the youth on the values of tolerance
while the second seeks to solidify the UAE as the global capital for tolerance.
third factor will see the UAE enacting multiple cultural programmes and
contributions to build tolerant communities while the fourth pillar will focus
on legislative and policy-oriented objectives that contribute to mandating
cultural and religious tolerance.
fifth pillar will focus on promoting tolerance and co-existence via targeted
media initiatives and projects.
Khalifa added: "We look forward to further contributing towards building
societies that believe in the values of tolerance, cohesion and dialogue, and
establishing concrete models improving tolerance and co-existence both
regionally and internationally."
in the UAE," he said, "the Year of Tolerance will be celebrated as a
national effort towards further advancing a decades-long dream of creating a
tolerant and cohesive society, open to peoples of varying cultures and
religions from around the world. The UAE and Tolerance go hand-in-hand."
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of
Dubai, said: "We want government policies that further consolidate
tolerance and a deep sense of community, and to spread this values among our
youth and future generations.
UAE must lead the way for intellectual, cultural and media initiatives that
further consolidated the values tolerance and co-existence, opening up to
cultures of the region and the world as a whole," he added.
July 2015, Sheikh Khalifa issued Federal Decree Law No. 02 of 2015 on Combating
Discrimination and Hatred, which aims to protect everyone in the UAE and fight
— Renowned Islamic scholars and muftis from around the world underscored the
importance of Saudi Arabia’s position as the competent spiritual authority for
the entire Islamic world.
1,200 prominent figures, including scholars, religious leaders, thinkers and
intellectuals representing 28 schools of thought and sects from 127 countries
attended the two-day conference in Makkah.
conference was organized by the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL).
participants lauded the efforts of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin
Salman, in serving Islam, Muslims and the entire humanity, especially their
initiatives in fighting extremism and terrorism.
conference recommended the drafting of a comprehensive Islamic charter that
includes the rules to tackle disagreement and govern the relationship of
Muslims in a broad spectrum.
called for setting up of a committee, comprising representatives of major
segments, to draw up a charter called “Makkah Charter” under which all major
points of disagreement will be referred to a group of specialists to study and
Arabic-language al-Nashrah news website of Lebanon quoted Mujtahid as writing
on his twitter page that al-Qahtani still continues his job which is running
the social media for Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and supervising the
intelligence and foreign ministries.
has been apparently pardoned by King Salman and at present is using several
twitter accounts, including Monzar Al Shaikh Mubarak," he added.
a top aide for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was one of the fall guys
as Riyadh tried to stem international outrage at Khashoggi’s death. Saudi state
media reported in October that King Salman had sacked Qahtani and four other
officials over the killing carried out by a 15-man hit team.
Qahtani’s influence in the crown prince’s entourage has been so vast over the
past three years - his own rise tracking that of his boss - that it will be
hard for Saudi officials to paint Qahtani as the mastermind of the murder
without also raising questions about the involvement of Prince Mohammed,
according to several sources with links to the royal court.
himself once said he would never do anything without his boss’ approval.
you think I make decisions without guidance? I am an employee and a faithful
executor of the orders of my lord the king and my lord the faithful crown
prince,” Qahtani tweeted last summer.
fighter jets launched an air raid in Syria’s Sousa east of the country, killing
16 aides of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to the Iraqi interior
military source revealed that the 16 terrorists were killed during a gathering
they were holding in the area.
added that a second strike targeted another location killing 13 would-be
suicide bombers, who were preparing to enter Iraq through the desert bordering
Syria to execute terrorist operations targeting the Iraqi capital Baghdad ,
Karbala, Samarra and Kirkuk.
source revealed that among those killed were senior ISIS leaders, one of them
is Mushtaq Anad Haram al-Mouhamadi, an Iraqi national known as Abu Omar and
carries the title war minster responsible for what is classified by ISIS as the
“Middle Euphrates State.”
killed is al-Baghdadi's deputy Sijad Ali Hussein who is known by the name the
Iraqi Abu Saffia, accused of overseeing the implementation of the bombings of
the recent massacre in Karrada in Baghdad, and participating in the
implementation of a number of terrorist operations in Iraq and Syria.
premier's son blocked on Facebook for anti-Muslim posts
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's eldest, Yair, tweeted on Sunday that
Facebook blocked his page for 24 hours over apparent anti-Muslim posts and
called the leading social network a “dictatorship”.
a message posted on Thursday on his Facebook page after deadly Palestinian
attacks, Yair Netanyahu had called for “all Muslims (to) leave” Israel.
you know where there are no attacks? In Iceland and in Japan where
coincidentally there are no Muslims,” the prime minister's son wrote.
another post he wrote that there were only two possible solutions for peace,
either “all Jews leave (Israel) or all Muslims leave”.
prefer the second option,” he added.
comments came after two soldiers were shot dead on Thursday at a central West
Bank bus station near a settlement.
the same day, a baby prematurely delivered after his mother was shot and
wounded in a separate attack nearby on Dec 9 also died.
deleted Yair Netanyahu's posts, prompting him to take to Twitter to criticise
the social networking giant, calling it a “dictatorship of thought”.
of the prime minister have often attacked Yair as a grown man living in the
premier's residence despite having no official role and benefiting from a
bodyguard, a driver and other perks.
say the parents of the 27-year-old are grooming him for future political power
in an attempt to establish a ruling dynasty.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he had issued a warning to Hamas
after recent deadly attacks in the occupied West Bank, including two shootings
claimed by the Palestinian faction.
referred to a controversial Gaza ceasefire in November that ended the worst
escalation between Israel and Hamas since a 2014 war.
conveyed a clear message to Hamas - we won’t accept a situation of a truce in
Gaza and terror in Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting, using
the biblical name for the West Bank, as is Israel’s official policy.
will exact a high price over them,” he said of the attacks.
runs the Gaza Strip but also has a presence in the West Bank.
comments came after two soldiers were shot dead at a central West Bank bus
station near a settlement on Thursday.
the same day, a baby prematurely delivered after his mother was shot and
wounded in a separate attack nearby on December 9 also died.
claimed responsibility for the December 9 shooting and another in the West Bank
on October 7 that killed two Israelis.
two Palestinians behind those attacks were shot dead by Israeli forces during
arrest raids last week, Israeli officials said.
security forces say they have also arrested at least 37 Hamas operatives in
connection with recent violence.
attacks came after a deal to restore relative calm to the Gaza Strip that
included Israel enabling Qatar to bring fuel and tens of millions of dollars to
the besieged territory for salaries.
Israeli politicians opposed the Gaza agreement and have also criticized
Netanyahu over the recent West Bank violence.
Sunday, hundreds of settlers protested outside Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem
to call on the government to increase security measures as well as settlement
moves would make Palestinian militants understand that “there’s no point to
terror and hope in it,” said Hananel Dorani, chairman of settler group the
in the protest were a number of ministers, including Justice Minister Ayelet
Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home.
ministerial committee headed by Shaked later gave initial approval to a bill
that would help legalize settlement homes built on state land without
terrorists will know that we’re here to stay,” she said following the vote. “We
won’t be deterred by attacks.”
Thursday, Shaked said that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit had also
approved of a way to help legalize some 2,000 West Bank homes considered
illegal by Israel as they are located on privately owned Palestinian land.
Israelis often call for increased settlement construction and approvals
following Palestinian attacks.
Israeli settlements are viewed as illegal under international law, but Israel
differentiates between those it has approved and those it has not.
occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War.
army said Sunday it has uncovered another Hezbollah “attack tunnel” leading
from Lebanon into north Israel, the fourth since it started a search-and-destroy
operation this month.
says the Iranian-backed Shiite militant group has dug the infiltration tunnels
for use in a future conflict, and the military has been working to eliminate
latest tunnel crossing into northern Israel was exposed at the weekend, the
army said in a statement.
with the other tunnels, soldiers placed explosives in it to keep out militants
from the Lebanese side, it said.
military refused to give the exact location, stressing the tunnel did not “pose
an imminent threat”.
December 4, the army announced an operation dubbed “Northern Shield” to destroy
tunnels it said have been dug under the border by Hezbollah.
fought a devastating war against Hezbollah in 2006 that was halted by a
is the only group in Lebanon not to have disarmed after the country’s 1975-1990
Lebanese government is held accountable for the attack tunnels dug from
Lebanese territory,” the Sunday statement said.
Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the UN peacekeeping force in
south Lebanon, UNIFIL, and international community should do more to curb
Hezbollah’s “acts of aggression against Israel”.
warplanes struck PKK targets in northern Iraq on Saturday, the military said,
ignoring protests from Baghdad which said Turkey’s repeated air strikes violate
Iraqi sovereignty and endanger civilians.
authorities summoned Turkey’s ambassador in Baghdad on Friday after Ankara said
it killed eight militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Turkey said it would continue attacking the PKK as long as it sought refuge in
a statement on Twitter, Turkey’s armed forces said they carried out air strikes
in northern Iraq on December 14 and 15, killing seven militants. It was not
immediately clear whether those casualties were in addition Friday’s toll.
regularly hits PKK bases across its southern border, saying the militants use
the mountainous northern Iraqi region as a base for deadly attacks inside
Turkey, where the Kurdish separatist group has waged an insurgency since the
a speech on Saturday, Erdogan said Turkish air strikes against PKK targets in
the Iraqi region of Sinjar earlier this week had “turned those places into
will bury them in the holes they dug,” he told supporters in Turkey’s
southwestern city of Denizli.
threatened to launch a ground offensive in northern Iraq earlier this year.
This week he also announced an imminent operation against a Kurdish militia in
US-backed YPG militia, which has been fighting ISIS in Syria, controls Syria’s
northeastern border with Turkey. Ankara says it is an extension of the PKK and
poses a direct threat to Turkey.
activities of the PKK terrorist organization in the territory of Iraq and Syria
have become a national security issue for Turkey,” Foreign Ministry spokesman
Hami Aksoy said.
operations “will continue as long as terror organizations nest on Iraqi soil
and as long as Turkey’s security needs require it to,” Aksoy said.
only did the statements from Iranian and Turkish officials during the Doha
Forum recently, underline simmering tension within the Arab Gulf region and its
US ally, they demonstrated Qatar’s risk of breaking away from the Arab orbit
and posing a serious threat to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and
Bahrain, according to experts.
a sign of transforming the forum into a platform to divide the Arab Gulf
countries and blasting the Arab treaties, Iranian and Turkish officials engaged
in slamming the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and its allies.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday said US sanctions would have
no impact on the policies of the Islamic Republic at home or abroad.
is obvious that we are facing pressure by the US sanctions. But will that lead
to a change in policy? I can assure you it won’t,” Zarif told the Doha Forum
policy conference in Qatar.
there is an art we have perfected in Iran and can teach to others for a price,
it is the art of evading sanctions,” he added.
the Yemen conflict, Zarif said that the Houthi militias have enough weapons,
adding that there were only “allegations” that Iran had sent weapons to Yemen.
are American-made jets and those are Saudi fighters, I assume, which are
piloting those jets,” Zarif said.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu on Saturday also criticized Saudi Arabia and
the sanctions imposed on Qatar by its main four Arab neighbors.
to reporters on the sidelines of the 18th Doha Forum, Çavuşoglu said the
sanctions targeting the country is “unacceptable… these issues will be resolved
as soon as possible”.
Turkish FM’s statements follow campaigns against the GCC in Turkish media.
military offence on the east of Euphrates River would also mean a defeat for
the GCC, columnist Ibrahim Karagul said in pro-government Yeni Şafak daily on
the price to be paid, even if it means suicide, this operation should be
launched,” Karagul added.
wave of attacks
new wave of attacks against the GCC, launched from Qatar, follows Qatari Emir
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s decision to skip the annual GCC summit in
the Qatari moves have been depicted as “symbolic” by Doha and as
“insignificant” political maneuvers by its embittered neighbors, they reflect
Qatar’s shifting foreign policy that has been dubious and counterintuitive
according to Iman Zayat, the Managing Editor of The Arab Weekly.
added in a piece that Doha has gradually slid into an unofficial yet open
alliance with Iran, the arch-rival of the GCC, and Turkey, one of the few
remaining havens for Islamist groups, notably the Muslim Brotherhood.
Turkey and Qatar quietly struck a deal in late November in Tehran to create a
“joint working group to facilitate the transit of goods between the three
countries.” While the agreement seemed like a modest effort to streamline trade
flow to Qatar, which can no longer access air, land and sea routes to
neighboring Arab countries, it has proven to be a mechanism to further the
agendas of Ankara and Tehran, which are at loggerheads with Saudi Arabia, the
showed that the Qatar-Iran entente, previously concealed, is out in the open.
To put it simply: Qatar has irrevocably joined with Ankara and Tehran against
its former Arab allies. It has conclusively positioned itself in a regional
alliance that pursues geopolitical dominance by driving instability, Zayat
Tehran has tried to resurrect a Persian Shia empire through supporting proxies
in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere, Ankara has struggled to
rediscover the glory of the Ottoman Empire by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood
and other Islamist groups as they sow division in Arab countries and weaken
their social fabric, the article added.
not only represents a threat to the GCC and the Arab world, it also jeopardizes
the US interests in making the sanctions work.
two countries’ trade volume topped $8 bln over the May-October 2018 period and
is expected to rise to $12 bln by March next year, Chairman of Iran-Turkey
Chamber of Commerce Reza Kami said.
trade, Ankara and Tehran share key political objectives. Both countries, for
example, view the Kurdish presence near their borders as a threat to their
strategic interests and territorial integrity. They are engaged in fierce
competition with Riyadh over primacy in the Arab Gulf and the wider Middle
East, a battle that has played out in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Africa.
states hope to continue playing their respective roles as key powers in the
region and they regard their cooperation as a means to this end, at least in
the short term, according to Zayat.
continuing this course, Qatar is playing with fire, not only because its foreign
policy objectives are precarious but because it is antagonizing its neighbors
and driving the country into isolation, according to Zayat.
Saturday, Qatar called for a new alliance that would replace the
four-decade-old Gulf Cooperation Council.
regional alliance has been undermined,” Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and
Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told policymakers at
the two-day Doha Forum.
strikes and fierce clashes shook the outskirts of Yemen’s militia-held port city
of Hodeidah overnight, pro-government sources and residents said Sunday,
despite a UN-brokered ceasefire.
least 29 fighters, including 22 Houthis, were killed on Saturday night in
clashes and air strikes in Hodeidah province, a pro-government military source
added that seven Houthis were captured during an attack on al-Durayhimi
district, which lies about 20 km south of Hodeida city.
fighting comes days after a UN-backed ceasefire came into effect, part of a
hard-won accord agreed in Sweden between Yemen’s warring sides.
truce was due to be followed by the withdrawal within days of fighters on both
security sources and residents in the capital Sanaa said that the Houthi
militias were carrying out large-scale arrests of intelligence officers of the
national security service branch, amid Houthi fears of a rebellion against
to local media, the sources also revealed that the Houthi militias are
subjecting the remaining members of the national security service to surprise
searches of their homes and examinations of their personal phones, while the
arrest of dozens from the branch has been carried out during the past few
prisoner swap involving some 15,000 detainees is planned and a “mutual understanding”
has been struck to facilitate aid deliveries to Yemen’s third city Taiz - under
control of loyalists but besieged by the Houthis.
two sides also agreed to meet again in late January for more talks to define
the framework for negotiations on a comprehensive peace settlement.
says it is fully ready for joint anti-terror operations with neighboring
Pakistan after terrorists killed six Pakistani troops in an ambush near their
joint border Friday.
Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi strongly condemned the attack on a border
checkpoint in Pakistan's Balochistan province.
also expressed condolences to the Pakistani government and people as well as
the families of the victims and those wounded in the terrorist attack.
Islamic Republic of Iran, Qassemi said, is fully ready to take part in any
joint campaign “against the evil phenomenon of terrorism in all its forms and
shapes in the region,” IRNA reported.
Pakistani soldiers were killed when a paramilitary convoy came under attack by
gunmen during a routine patrol in the mountainous district of Kech on Friday.
authorities said some 30 militants attacked the Frontier Corps convoy, also
wounding 14 soldiers.
separatist Pakistani group the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility
for the attack, which also left four attackers killed in the shootout.
Foreign Ministry said Saturday it had lodged a protest with Iran over the
killing of the troops. It summoned Iran's ambassador to demand it take action
against the armed group responsible for the attack.
the past, Iran has repeatedly announced its readiness for joint operations with
Pakistan from where militants launch cross-border attacks against Iranian
troops and civilians.
month, Iran's Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli called for intelligence
sharing between the two neighbors as he suggested Iranian operations on
Pakistani soil under Islamabad’s supervision.
proposal came after 12 Iranian border guards were abducted near the town of
Mirjaveh in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan province and taken into Pakistan in
of the guards were released last month, but the rest of them still remain in
captivity despite Pakistan's repeated promises to have them freed.
of thousands of Palestinians have attended a huge rally in the besieged Gaza
Strip to mark the 31st anniversary of the establishment of the Hamas resistance
was established in 1987 soon after the first Palestinian Intifada or uprising
broke out against the Israeli occupation. The movement has been administering
Gaza since 2007 when it scored a surprise parliamentary victory.
Saturday, Hamas marked the anniversary of its foundation with a military parade
featuring the Palestinian resistance movement’s new defensive hardware.
of the group's military movement, the Izzddin al-Qassam Brigades, showcased
various military vehicles and weapons.
ceremony was held in the southern city of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip which is
ruled by the movement.
movement's special units staged a march-past during which truck-mounted missile
defense systems were driven through the streets.
movement also honored its fighters who outed and neutralized an Israeli
infiltration near Khan Yunis last month.
Israeli special forces infiltrated into the territory in a civilian car near
Khan Yunis, opening fire and killing local commander Noor Baraka when they were
unit was chased by Hamas fighters who killed a ranking Israeli officer. Israel
then launched dozens of airstrikes on Gaza, drawing Hamas retaliation. During a
two-day flare-up, more than 500 rockets were fired at Israel, forcing Tel Aviv
to accept a hasty declaration of a ceasefire.
Saturday ceremony also coincided with the anniversary of the first Palestinian
Intifada, which broke out in 1987 after four young Palestinians were killed by
Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in Gaza as well as the shooting death of a
17-year-old boy during an unarmed protest.
Arabia rebukes US Senate over Khashoggi resolution
Arabia has issued an unusually strong rebuke of the US Senate, rejecting a
bipartisan resolution that put the blame for the killing of Saudi journalist
Jamal Khashoggi squarely on the Saudi crown prince and describing it as
interference in the kingdom’s affairs.
was the latest sign of how the relationship between the royal court and
Congress has deteriorated, more than two months after Khashoggi was killed and
dismembered by Saudi agents inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. The
assassins have been linked to Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Thursday US senators passed the measure that blamed the prince for Khashoggi’s
killing and called on Riyadh to “ensure appropriate accountability”. Senators
also passed a separate measure calling for the end of US aid to the Saudi-led
war in Yemen.
a lengthy statement early on Monday, Saudi Arabia said the Senate’s resolution
“contained blatant interferences” in the kingdom’s internal affairs and
undermines its regional and international role. The resolution was based on
“unsubstantiated claims and allegations,” the statement also said.
kingdom categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs, any and
all accusations, in any manner, that disrespect its leadership ... and any
attempts to undermine its sovereignty or diminish its stature,” it said.
language is usually reserved for those who criticise the kingdom’s human rights
record, such as Sweden in 2015 after the public flogging of a blogger, and
Canada this year over the arrests of women’s rights activists.
the statement was also tempered in saying the kingdom “reaffirms” its
commitment to relations with the United States and describing the Senate as “an
esteemed legislative body of an allied and friendly government”.
Trump has been reluctant to condemn the crown prince, despite US intelligence
officials concluding that Prince Mohammed must have at least had knowledge of the
plot. Trump instead has touted Saudi arms deals worth billions of dollars and
has thanked the Saudis for lower oil prices.
Arabia denies Prince Mohammed was involved in the 2 October killing of
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who wrote critically of the crown
prince. Under intense international pressure, the kingdom recently acknowledged
that the plot was masterminded by top Saudi agents close to Prince Mohammed.
shifting accounts about what happened to Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia said its
investigations concluded that the crown prince’s aides had plotted to bring
Khashoggi by force back to Saudi Arabia and that the agents on the ground
exceeded their authority and killed him.
Saudi statement said the Senate’s position will not affects the kingdom’s
“leading role in the region” and the stability of international energy markets,
its counterterrorism cooperation and its stand with the US in confronting Iran.
“sends the wrong messages to all those who want to cause a rift in Saudi-US relationship,”
the statement added.
United States and its allies are responsible for completely destroying Libya,
the richest country with a highest standard of living in Africa, an American
journalist and political analyst says.
to the invasion of Libya in 2011, which resulted in the murder of Muammar
Gaddafi and his country's destabilization, Libya had enjoyed one of the highest
standards of living on the African continent,” Walt Peretto said in an
interview with Press TV on Sunday.
major crime in the perception of the global financial elites was the
announcement by Gaddafi that he planned on creating a new currency that would
be backed by gold which would have potentially destabilized other currencies
that are fiat based and lacking significant material foundation,” he added.
Libya had been openly targeted for invasion by the Western bloc nations,
Gaddafi’s announcement put an invasion of Libya on the top of the priority
list. Predicted chaos ensued which culminated in the infamous Benghazi incident
where an American diplomat and three associated were brutally killed after the
US State Department led by Hillary Clinton reacted in ways that seemed
irresponsible at the very least. Since then there has been no official US
diplomatic presence in Libya,” he stated.
US military commander has declared that conditions are improving on the ground
in Libya for the return of an American diplomatic post in the country, six
years after the US envoy was killed there in an attack on the Benghazi
were indications that ... recent improvements in the landscape and the operating
environment of Libya were suggestive that a reintroduction a diplomatic mission
was on the near horizon," Commander of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground
Task Force-Crisis Response Africa, Col. Adam Chalkley, stated on Friday as
quoted in the US-based military.com news website.
to the report, the taskforce was established as a result of the September 11,
2012 attack on the Benghazi diplomatic post that killed US Ambassador Chris
Stevens and three other Americans.
said, “In my opinion, based on recurring patterns of behavior by the
military/media complex, I see this latest policy announcement as an official
advertisement that Libya is stabilizing and the 2012 invasion is now bearing
some positive fruit. In reality, the invasion of Libya ousted a leader who was
independent of the looming one world order pathologically coveted by the
Western-led financial elites.”
last thing they would have wanted is a new currency, backed by real value, in
competition with the new world order's fiat currencies which are used primarily
as a means of control over large swaths of the world's population instead of a
convenient means of exchange backed by a
more one-world agenda-free regulatory financial system,” he concluded.
President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he will review the case of a soldier
charged with premeditated murder for killing an alleged bomb-maker in
will be reviewing the case of a 'US Military hero,' Maj Matt Golsteyn, who is
charged with murder," Trump wrote on Twitter.
president's tweet mentioned Fox News, the channel on which Golsteyn's attorney
and his wife were interviewed about the issue earlier in the day.
media reported that the soldier killed the suspected bomb-maker after he was
detained in 2010, and that Golsteyn admitted to doing so both to the CIA in 2011
and on Fox in 2016.
latter appearance prompted the military to open a new investigation after
Golsteyn was previously cleared.
attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, tweeted that Golsteyn is charged with
"premeditated murder, a death penalty offense for allegedly killing a
Taliban bomb-maker during combat operations in Marjah, Afghanistan."
US military spokesperson confirmed the charge but said: "We are not at
liberty to discuss details of an ongoing case or investigation to ensure the
rights of the accused are protected."
on Fox, Mr Stackhouse on Sunday denied "a narrative... put out" by
the military in which Golsteyn "released this Taliban bomb-maker, walked
him back to the house... and assassinated him in his house."
to why his client is being charged now, Mr Stackhouse said: "The
prosecutor in this case has intimated to me that they have new evidence."
wife Julie, also appearing on Fox, denied that her husband had "killed
someone in cold blood" and said that "there are a lot of words flying
around that make this very difficult for us as a family."
is due to report to Fort Bragg in North Carolina on Monday, she said.
Hussain, a daily wager at a meat factory in Bareilly, is locally famous as
‘Bolt’— the last name of Jamaican sprinter and nine-time Olympic gold medallist
Usain Bolt – for his athletic prowess.
and mute by birth, Hussain, in his 30s, is an athlete of international repute
and has won a number of national and international tournaments, including Asia
Pacific Deaf Games.
his sporting talent and achievements have failed to fetch him a job and the
fame he deserves, thanks to official apathy. Despite overcoming his physical
disability, financial constraints have forced him work at a local meat factory
to support his family in Chak Mehmood area of Bareilly.
to the core, Hussain still wakes up at 4am and runs at least 10km a day to keep
himself fit as he never knows when his financial condition permits him to
participate in sporting events.
mother Ashraf Jahan says, “As my daughter was already suffering from hearing
and speech impairment, we did not take long to understand that Hussain was also
suffering from the same problem. He was only three then.”
behaviour was very much like his sister. He hardly responded to any sound,” she
recalls. Hussain is the youngest among three brothers and a sister. Soon after
Hussain’s birth, his father Latafat Hussain, a teacher at a primary school,
Ashraf Jahan didn’t lose hope and got Hussain admitted to a school for
differently-abled students in Bareilly where he showed much interest in
his school days, he never hired a rickshaw or public transport to reach his
school which was 7 kms away. He always preferred to go by foot. Once he bought
me a present from the money I gave him for conveyance,” she recalls.
winning innumerable interschool athletic championships, he participated in
state-level championship in Faizabad and stood first.
couldn’t believe that I had overpowered all the other athletes there,” says
Hussain, using sign language.Winning the championship fetched him entry to
national-level championship and he became a member of the All-India Sports
Council for Deaf (AISCD), the apex body for sports for the deaf.
participated in national level athletic meet in West Bengal in 1995 and won the
400-metre relay. I was on cloud nine. This was what I wanted,” says Hussain.
The period from 1995-2000 proved to be the golden one for Hussain as during
this time he participated in about 22 state and 19 national athletic meets.
2000, he was informed by AISCD that he has been selected in the 6th Asia
Pacific for Deaf, to be held in Taiwan.
had to sell a piece of land for Rs 50,000 to bear the expenses. Representatives
of the council assured us that the money we spent would be reimbursed but they
did not keep their word,” Ashraf Jahan says.
who was the only player from the state to participate in the event, bagged
third position in 5000-metre race. Later, Hussain received several calls from
the council informing him about his entry in several international
championships but his financial condition did not permit him.
letters from the council, Hussain says he got calls from Australia, Italy,
Kuwait, Canada and Turkey but could not go there for the want of money.
don’t have any problem in playing providing I get help from the government,
which seems to be a distant dream,” says Hussain. In the hope of playing for
his state and country again, Hussain still continues to practice daily before
leaving for his 12-hour shift in the meat factory.
society is most tolerant, and people of all major religions of the world live
here in harmony, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Sunday.
a group of school children from Jammu and Kashmir, he said all sects of Islam
are present in India, something not even any Islamic nation can boast of.
is a unique country where people of all major religions of the world live in
harmony. There is no other such tolerant society anywhere," Singh said.
home minister said India is a rising power and in last four years the country's
economy jumped from ninth position to sixth.
the next fiscal, we will break into the top five and by 2030, we hope to be
among the world's top three economies," he said.
students are visiting the national capital under a youth exchange programme
called "Watan ko Jano", organised by the Union home ministry, to give
them exposure about the cultural and socio-economic development taking place in
other parts of the country.
Francis to deliver Mass in Abu Dhabi stadium
were announced on Wednesday about the visit of Pope Francis to the UAE next
February which will see him deliver Mass in a stadium in Abu Dhabi.
programme for the February 3-5 trip shows the Pope will celebrate Mass in Zayed
Sports City on the last day of the visit.
of the trip, the first by a pope to the Arabian peninsula, said it would be the
first time Mass would be held in an outdoor, public venue in the UAE.
are about a million Roman Catholics in the UAE, all of them expatriate workers.
to the itinerary, Francis will also visit Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand
Mosque, the largest in the country where he will hold a private meeting with
the members of the Muslim Council of Elders.
will also preside at an inter-religious meeting at the Founder’s Memorial, a
complex commemorating the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding
father of the UAE, and pay an official visit to the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince in
the Presidential Palace.
Francis has made boosting ties between Christianity and Islam a cornerstone of his
pontiff was invited to the majority-Muslim country by both Abu Dhabi Crown
Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and the local Catholic church.
Security Council delegation to present draft resolution on Yemen
speaking to Al Arabiya News Channel have revealed that the British delegation
at the United Nations is currently working on a draft resolution on the
situation in Yemen, and it is expected that members of the Security Council
will vote in its favor within the next few days.
draft resolution aims to form a "strong and effective" monitoring
mechanism suggested by UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths in the Red
Sea city of Hodeidah.
pointed out that diplomats have agreed on a set of objectives, most important
of which is to grant Griffiths the full support to implement the Sweden
agreements. As well as granting the necessary authority to carry out the
monitoring tasks and the mobilization of international support for the
diplomatic and humanitarian efforts.
addition to calling on the special envoy to submit reports to the UN Security
council on about the commitment to implement the agreement and report any
objectives are as below:
The draft resolution would welcome the parties’ participation at the Stockholm
consultations and the agreements that had been reached, which the draft
resolution would describe as an important step towards the implementation of
resolution 2216 and would quote the contents of resolution 2216.
The draft resolution will include the ratification of the Stockholm
Conventions, including the Prisoners' Exchange Agreement, the Hodeidah
Agreement and the Taiz Understanding. It will encourage the parties to continue
to work towards a gradual opening of the Sana'a Airport and to reach economic
agreements (including paying public sector salaries) of the timetable agreed
upon by the Parties.
The draft resolution will also include the ratification of the Hodeidah/Taez
preparations which include an immediate ceasefire and will call for applying it
implementation according to the agreed timed schedules.
The draft resolution also includes authorize the United Nations to provide the
support required by the parties, including monitoring the implementation of the
agreements reached, and on how to report violations to the Security Council.
The draft resolution will welcome the involvement of the parties in discussing
a framework for the upcoming negotiations, presented by the UN Special Envoy to
the parties. The draft resolution will encourage the parties to continue this
engagement to pave the way for the start of formal negotiations with a view to
finding a political solution to the Yemeni crisis.
The draft resolution will also include the condemnation of Houthi attacks using
ballistic missiles and drones, as well as their attacks against shipping lines.
The draft resolution would also deplore the provision of weapons by the Houthis
to resolution 2216, and would deplore the military and illegal exploitation of
civilian infrastructure and reports of the use of civilians as human shields.
The draft resolution will condemn Houthi attacks against merchant ships in the
Bab al-Mandab area and the surrounding region.
The draft resolution will reaffirm that the crisis can only be resolved through
a comprehensive political process, as called for in resolution 2216, the Gulf
Initiative and the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference.
The draft resolution would welcome the progress made by the parties in dealing
with the humanitarian situation, welcome the Alliance's financial commitments
in that regard and appeal to the Member States of the international community
to provide additional funding for United Nations-led humanitarian operations.
The draft resolution will emphasize the importance of adherence to
international humanitarian law.
The draft resolution will emphasize the need for the regional States concerned
to refrain from any action that might undermine the political process and
stresses the need to respect their obligations towards the arms embargo.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash dismissed baseless
Germany’s former FM statements about a military intervention in Qatar in 2017.
Twitted on Saunday saying that” “the statement by Sigmar Hartmut [Gabriel], the
former German minister, at the Doha Forum that the region, during the Qatar
crisis, was not far from a military intervention is incorrect.”
decision of the four countries was based on Qatar’s support for extremism and
interference in their affairs. I met Gabriel at the time in Berlin and he
understood the causes of the crisis.”
added that the measures taken by the four countries are political and aim to
thwart the Qatar’s destructive orientation.
realize that Doha will go back to its senses and to its Gulf surroundings in
due course and the statement of Gabriel is distinctively spatial and wrong.”
university students in Britain are being affected by Washington’s newly
re-imposed sanctions on the country, with some facing suspension because they
are unable to pay their tuition fees, according to a report.
sanctions have targeted money transfers from Iran, making it difficult for
families to financially support their children studying abroad.
student Parsa Sadat, 23, of the University of Reading in Berkshire, England, is
among those Iranians who risk being unable to graduate, and possibly having their
student visa removed, even though he has already paid £30,600 to cover his
first two years, The Guardian reported.
university has warned Sadat that the “only viable option” is for him to travel
to Tehran over Christmas and return with cash to pay his £5,350 tuition fees
for the next term.
should hopefully provide you with sufficient time to bring the money back from
Iran after the Christmas break. If payment is not received by this date, you
would be suspended from your course,” according to an email from a senior
university official, obtained by The Guardian.
said he has received at least six threats of suspension, most recently on
am not in a unique position. One of the other students has his parents coming
and bringing in cash. They’re hitting ordinary people. It’s basically an
economic blockade,” he told the British newspaper.
is not clear how many Iranian students studying in the UK are affected by the
sanctions but the London-based Iranian Association described their plight as
university has an opportunity here to be seen to take a stand against a clear
injustice that flows directly from President Trump’s policy towards Iran,” said
Sadat’s tutor, Mai Sato, associate professor in criminology.
students in the US are facing similar problems.
in May withdrew from the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear deal, officially known
as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which had seen sanctions
lifted in exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear program.
November, the Trump administration announced the re-imposition of the
“toughest” sanctions ever against Iran's banking and energy sectors.
time, angry mobs and assassination attempts — editor Sener Levent has paid a
price for challenging Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and authorities
in breakaway northern Cyprus through his tiny newspaper.
the stacks of old papers on his desk in northern Nicosia, a screen displays
footage from security cameras at the entrance to his office..
cameras are part of protective measures in place since gun attacks in 2011
targeted Mr Levent, who has run the leftist daily Afrika for the past 20 years.
is always a price you pay for freedom of expression," said the 70-year-old
Turkish Cypriot, grey hair combed back and sporting a mischievous grin.
paid this price … but I believe that a person should get rid of his
January, hundreds of protesters attacked the paper's offices after it ran an
article criticising a Turkish military offensive against the Kurdish border
enclave of Afrin in Syria.
a second occupation by Turkey" after Cyprus, ran the article's bold
Levent is a native of Cyprus. The northern third of the Mediterranean island
has been under Turkish military control since 1974.
troops invaded that year in response to a coup backed by the military junta
then in power in Athens that sought to unite the island with Greece — a union
staunchly opposed by Turkish Cypriots.
Ankara recognises the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
It also bankrolls the entity.
regards the use of the term "occupation" for its deployment of some
35,000 troops in the TRNC — as well as criticism of its operations against the
Kurds in Syria — as defamation.
Afrika's article on Afrin, Mr Erdogan called on Ankara's "brothers in
north Cyprus to give the necessary response".
following day, a crowd of ultranationalists attacked the paper's offices — a
tiny daily with a 1,500 circulation in a statelet of around 300,000 people — as
Turkish Cypriot police stood back and watched.
media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), "the hunt for critical
media conducted by Erdogan's government" is so widespread that "we
can fear a collateral effect in Cyprus".
ranks 157th out of 180 countries on RSF's 2018 press freedom index.
holds more than 160 journalists in detention, according to P24, a platform that
promotes editorial independence in Turkey.
embassy in northern Cyprus refused to comment on "unfounded allegations"
that Ankara interferes with the media.
the head of RSF's EU and Balkans desk, Pauline Ades-Mevel, said "a
freelance journalist critical of Turkey like Sener Levent can fear the
Levent faces three separate trials in north Cyprus for "defaming a foreign
leader", "insulting religion" and "publishing fake news
with the intent to create fear and panic among the population", his lawyer
Tacan Reynar said.
faces up to five years in prison for the article on Afrin and for republishing
a cartoon from social media of a Greek statue urinating on Mr Erdogan's head
captioned: "Through Greek eyes".
avoid possible arrest, Mr Levent shuns travel to Turkey, a country he says
"is no longer a democracy".
TRNC leadership has said Turkish Cypriots cannot be extradited to Turkey, and
Mr Levent also sees EU citizenship as his protection.
know in Turkey that they can't really do what they are doing to their citizens
to a European citizen," said Mr Levent, a seasoned campaigner for
reunification with the island's Greek Cypriot south, an EU member state since
two-decade career has long brought pressure from the Turkish Cypriot
2002, he and colleague Memduh Ener were jailed for nearly two months after
"offending" the Turkish Cypriots' veteran leader Rauf Denktash.
previous year, an assailant who considered Mr Levent a "traitor"
tried on two separate occasions to shoot him.
has carried a revolver ever since, but remains undaunted.
thing that upsets me the most is the silence of people in front of
injustice," he said.
so, every night, the pages of Afrika continue to roll out from an old-fashioned
press in Nicosia. But Levent remains modest.
Jazeera's Investigative Unit has exposed close links between high ranking
figures in France's National Rally and a violent far-right movement that calls
for the expulsion of Muslims from Europe.
new documentary, broadcast on Sunday, shows senior National Rally politicians
mingling with Generation Identity (GI) activists at a private bar that functions
as the group's headquarters in the city of Lille, and expressing support for
GI's anti-immigration policies.
a secretly filmed conversation in March, Nicolas Crochet, Le Pen's former
accountant and key ally, told our undercover reporter that the National Rally
would introduce "remigration" - a programme to send immigrants back
to their countries of origin - if it came to power.
it will happen. If we win, it will happen," he said.
added: "You see all those pieces of s**t. You see the migrants. You see
revelations came in the second film of a two-part documentary called Generation
first film, broadcast last week, shows a GI activist carrying out a racist
attack on an Arab teenage girl. It also shows other activists admitting to a
series of assaults on Arab and Muslims and making Nazi salutes.
is one of Europe's fastest-growing and most prominent far-right movements.
second film shows high-profile members of the National Rally, formerly known as
the National Front, attending the GI's bar, called the Citadelle, during the
weekend of the party's annual congress in Lille earlier this year.
politicians included Christelle Lechevalier, a National Rally Member of the
European Parliament (MEP), who was voted on to the party's national council at
fight for our identity, our culture," she told our undercover reporter.
"When you see Islam which is winning out against Christianity. No!"
said that most National Front politicians, and most of its leaders, held
similar views as the GI. But they had to hide them from voters, she said.
need the greatest number of people to come to our side to obtain the highest
vote, in order to win," she said. "Then we can do what we want when
we are in power."
why Le Pen didn't want senior party members to mix with GI, the legislator
said: "She doesn't want us to show ourselves. She doesn't want people to
see us … She doesn't want the media to take control of our image. That's the only
reason Marine isn't personally against this. But in public, we need to be
said many National Rally politicians wanted to come to the Citadelle, "but
wouldn't dare because they are scared their photos will be taken and people
will see them".
Lechevalier was interviewed by Al Jazeera at the party congress, she denied any
links between the National Rally and groups that promote violence.
small groups who claim to be on the far right will remain small. These days
they are not allowed to join a political party because they promote too much
violence," she said.
Destal, a French journalist who investigates the country's far right, said he
was shocked by Lechevalier's claim that many National Rally leaders
"support the programme and ideas of Generation Identity".
the second thing which is telling for me, is to see a National Front MEP, in an
identity bar, surrounded by violent, openly racist activists," he said.
prominent members seen at the Citadelle included Sylvie Goddyn, who was a
National Rally MEP at the time. She has since left the party.
our undercover reporter asked Goddyn if a prominent party figure should be seen
at a GI bar, she replied: "We have the same objectives."
echoed the same sentiment: "We don't give a s**t. We are Identitarians. We
don't care. That's just how we are."
was at the Citadelle with Frederic Chatillon, who was Le Pen's communications
adviser during the presidential elections last year.
two men are known as Le Pen's "men in the shadows" because they
"pull the strings from behind the scenes", said Marine Turchi, a
journalist who covers the far right. "They've been her friends for 30
years. They control the party's communications and finances and work for the National
Front at the European Parliament."
- Prime Minister Imran Khan says that his vision of Naya Pakistan is actually
the vision of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
corroborate his claim, the prime minister posted on Twitter videos of famous
Islamic scholar late Dr Israr Ahmed in which the prominent scholar reads an
excerpt from the diary of Dr Riaz Ali Shah who treated the Father of the Nation
as he suffered from TB.
the video Dr Israr has quoted the Quaid-i-Azam as saying that Pakistan’s emergence
on the world map was a blessing of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), and now it is
incumbent upon the people of Pakistan to make the new state as a model of
“Khilafat-i-Rashida” so that Allah bestows upon Muslims the rule of the world.
the prime minister talks of in his speeches is a reference to
Israr Ahmed himself worked for caliphate in Pakistan, although he did not get
popular support required to translate the determination into reality.
was a great preacher who spent his life spreading the message of Islam.
migrant from India, Dr Israr remained a member of the Jamaat-i-Islami for long.
However, he had parted ways with it because he was opposed to the JI’s decision
to take part in electoral politics. He was of the view that the JI should focus
on nation’s character-building instead of taking part in politics.
politics, he used to argue, the leaders have to make compromises to please
their voters and thus there was a strong possibility of the society changing
the character of the party rather than the party molding the society’s
Gen Zia’s era, a debate was started in the media about the kind of system that
suited Pakistan. The idea was to keep people busy in the debate so that they
don’t demand elections, which the military ruler was obliged to hold to honour
his commitment to the Supreme Court that had legitimised his intervention on
the basis of doctrine of necessity. People belonging to various walks of life
expressed their views in the media. The debate continued for months. The matter
also went to the Lahore High Court.
Israr was also among those who gave their opinion on the subject. He took many
by surprise when he said in the courtroom that the US presidential system was
closer to Islam.
Muhammad Hussain Naeemi of Jamia Naeemia, Lahore, also appeared before the
court. He had said that there was no importance in Islam of who came to power
through which means. If such a person has all the qualities of a ruler, Islam
has no objection against his takeover.
Israr was in favour of caliphate, and opposed to democracy. He had also
launched a movement (Tehrik-i-Khilafat) for the introduction of this system in
Pakistan. However, opposed both by religious as we’ll as other political parties,
he could not get public support to his programme.
only important person who joined hands with Dr Israr for the caliphate was
Maj-Gen (retd) Muhammad Hussain Ansari, who also remained the director general
of the Lahore Development Authority during Gen Zia’s period.
joining hands with Dr Israr, Gen Ansari also remained a leader of the Jamiat
Ulema-i-Pakistan, of which Maulana Shah Ahmed Noorani and Maulana Abdus Sattar
Khan Niazi remained president and secretary general for more two decades.
Israr was also appointed as a member of the Majlis-i-Shoora by Gen Zia, a body
that served as an unelected parliament before the 1985 partyless elections.
Khwaja Muhammad Safdar, father of Khwaja Asif (foreign and defence minister in
the last PML-N government) was the chairman of the Majlis-i-Shoora.
Dr Israr resigned on account of differences with the military ruler.
Israr was criticised by a large number of people when he arranged both wedding
ceremonies of his son and his daughter, on the 10th of Muharram (Some recall
that it was 7th of the month). Setting a date for marriage in a month of
mourning for all Muslims of all sects was not liked by anyone.
authored many a book on Islam and addressed countless seminars on various
subjects concerning religion.
the organisation set up by Dr Israr, continues to work for the mission the
medical doctor-turned-preacher had set for himself.
Israr thought US system was closer to Islam
of Dhaka underlines need for boosting unity, harmony’
Speakers at a national conference organised by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in
connection with the fall of Dhaka underlined the need for promoting national
unity and harmony and educating the younger generation about the Pakistan
Ideology in order to prevent similar tragedies in future.
said unless and until Pakistan was brought in harmony with the objective of its
creation, its solidarity and integrity would remain in danger. Presided over by
the JI Secretary General, Liaquat Baloch, the conference was addressed by JI
deputy chief Dr Farid Ahmed Piracha, columnist Sajjad Mir, Amirul Azeem and
speakers deplored that hundreds of people who had been expelled from Bangladesh
only for their love for Pakistan had not been granted citizenship in the
country and they were forced to live in camps. They demanded that these
patriotic Pakistanis be granted citizenship without further delay to enable
them live with respect.
Secretary General called for raising a strong voice against inhuman treatment
being meted out to the pro-Pakistan people in clear violation of the tripartite
agreement between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
said despite the drama of elections in Bangladesh three times, Bangladesh was
under the grip of dictatorship and the BD leader had thrown their country into
the lap of India. Dr Farid Ahmed Piracha said pro-Pakistan people in Bangladesh
were being executed and jailed but the rulers in Islamabad were silent. JI
chief for central Punjab, Amirul Azeem, said the emergence of Bangladesh was
the result of forgetting the Islam’s message of love and fraternity and
strengthening of the feelings of parochialism. He alleged that the rulers were
decorating the ministers with medals despite their poor performance.
conference: The Young Nurses Association (YNA) held a Seerat-un-Nabi (SAW)
conference at Services Hospital. According to a press release issued here on Sunday,
YNA President Shamshad Niazi and Nursing Superintendent Azra Abbas addressed
the participants. A large number of nurses were present. Shamshad Niazi said
management according to the principles of Islam provides best services for
everyone without any discrimination. She asked the nurses to come forward with
a new passion to extend cooperation to the patients.
As Pakistan observed the fourth anniversary of a terrorist attack on a school
in Peshawar on Sunday, some political leaders blamed the authorities for
treating one of the accused in the case as a "state guest".
than 150 people, 137 of them kids, were killed in a gun-and-bomb attack by a
squad of suicide bombers of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a conglomerate of
several militant outfits from Pakistan. In a message, PM Imran Khan said the
attack on Army Public School had unified the nation against terrorism and that
the attack was a blot on humanity.
of Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali Khan, the grandson of Frontier Gandhi,
however, said the murderer of innocent children is now a state guest while the
victims still await justice. He was referring to Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesperson
of TTP. Ehsan had surrendered to the security forces in April 2017 and is
currently in custody of law enforcers.
Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq on Sunday termed the ongoing
accountability process favouritism.
me, the ongoing accountability process in the country is unnatural. And the
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) will also suffer like that of Pakistan People's
Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in case of an across-the-board
accountability," Sirajul Haq told reporters Shan-i- Mustafa Conference
Tariq Sherazi, JI district head, and deputy head Jamil Ahmad Jahangir also
addressed the conference. Sirajul Haq said those who plundered the national
wealth and syphoned it abroad should be taken to justice through an impartial
accountability drive. "If accountability process is natural and meeting
the requirements of justice, then why only Nawaz Sharif is being targetted and
rest of 436 people, whose names were in the Panama leaks, are yet to be held
accountable," he added.
Haq said that first hundreds of days of the federal government better revealed
that Prime Minister Imran Khan was powerless. "I do not know whatever PPP Co-chairman
Asif Ali Zardari says about army but I am the firm belief that every
institution should work under its constitutional ambit," he told a query.
JI chief said that India was behind all conspiracies being hatched against
Pakistan nationally and internationally and its Prime Minister Narendra Modi
publicly claimed that his country was behind the fall of Dhaka.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday pledged
to continue resistance against terrorism “despite being the worst victim and
target of the terrorists”.
his message on the fourth anniversary of the attack on Army Public School (APS)
Peshawar, Bilawal said that the blood of innocent children will continue to
haunt the entire nation until terrorism and its sponsors and facilitators are
completely wiped out from the country. The PPP chairman said that the
terrorists had made the whole world weep on this day four years ago through
their ghastly attack on innocent children. “Pakistan and its people continue to
grieve and we stand by the bereaved parents and families in solidarity even
today,” he added.
said that his stance against the blood-thirsty beasts has finally been adopted
by everyone in the country. “All those who were martyred in the gruesome attack
on APS that day are national heroes and while we salute them we also pledge
that their sacrifices will not go in vain,” he added.
tribute to the victims of APS tragedy, Bilawal urged the party leaders to visit
their families to express complete solidarity with them.
a joint statement issued at the conclusion of a day-long trilateral meeting of
foreign ministers on Saturday, Afghanistan, China and Pakistan urged the
Taliban to join the peace process ‘at an early date’.
Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and his Chinese and Pakistani counterparts
Wang Yi and Shah Mahmood Qureshi called upon all the parties involved in the
conflict to end violence and the loss of innocent lives in Afghanistan as
efforts are underway to start the peace process.
have previously rejected all calls for talks with the Afghan government and
insist at holding dialogue with the US.
2nd Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Kabul, presided
over by Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, reiterated its support to the
Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process, which is fully supported regionally
and internationally, as the most viable way to bring peace in Afghanistan. The
three sides also expressed their strong determination not to allow any country,
organization or individual to use their respective territories for terrorist
activities against any other countries. The three sides took stock of
trilateral cooperation in their fight against terrorism and underlined the need
to further strengthen counter-terrorism coordination and cooperation in an
effort to combat all terrorist groups and individuals without any
discrimination.”They also agreed to counter terrorist’s logistical capabilities
including financing, recruitment, training, and strengthen trilateral
cooperation for counter-terrorism capacity building, deny terrorist use of the
internet and to take joint steps for de-radicalization, as well as work
together to break the nexus between narco-trade and terror financing.
advance their cooperation in the fields of counter-terrorism, the three sides
signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on counter-terrorism,” the statement
three sides reiterated their strong resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms
and manifestations, and without any distinction,” it said, adding that the
three foreign ministers agreed to jointly continue their efforts for building
political mutual trust and support reconciliation, development cooperation and
connectivity, security cooperation and counter-terrorism as the three areas of
the trilateral cooperation.
and Pakistan appreciated the efforts of President Ashraf Ghani especially for
the comprehensive peace plans that came out of the second Kabul Process in
Kabul this year, the statement further said.
joint statement said China expressed its readiness to support Afghanistan and
Pakistan in building immigration reception center and drinking water supply
schemes at each side of the Ghulam Khan crossing point in North Waziristan
district, and to explore cold storages at Chaman in Balochistan and Spin
Boldak, the border Afghan town. “China supports enhanced coordination between
Afghanistan and Pakistan on major energy and connectivity projects including
the construction of Quetta-Kandahar railway and Kabul-Peshawar motorway and
railway. The three sides reiterated their firm commitment to implement the
activities and projects agreed to under practical cooperation,” the statement
and Pakistan also congratulated Afghanistan on the completion of the
parliamentary elections, and welcomed the efforts of the Afghan government for
holding the presidential elections in 2019.
three sides, once again, reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening
their relations, deepening cooperation and advancing connectivity under the
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on
Afghanistan (RECCA) and other regional economic initiatives.
three sides agreed to promote China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral cooperation
under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. The three sides agreed to
continue economic development cooperation in areas of mutual interest. They
will continue to implement and expand the ‘soft’ projects such as exchange and
capacity building programs, and explore ‘hard’ projects of livelihood
facilities and connectivity.
agreed to implement the consensus of the 2nd Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue
through the trilateral Vice-Ministerial Strategic Dialogue, Vice-Ministerial
Consultation on Counter-Terrorism and Security, and Director Generals’
Practical Cooperation as well as other agreed mechanisms.
the killings of seven civilians in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district,
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday emphasised on the need for
dialogue to resolve the “conflict” in the state and vowed to raise the issue of
alleged “violation of human rights” with the United Nations Security Council
to Twitter, the PTI chief said, “Strongly condemn the killing of innocent
Kashmiri civilians in Pulwama by Indian security forces. Only dialogue and not
violence and killings will resolve this conflict. We will raise the issue of
India’s human rights violations and demand UNSC to fulfil its J&K
another tweet, he said, “Kashmiris must be allowed to decide their future.”
people, including two minors, were killed and at least 23 other civilians were
injured when security forces opened fire on protesters after an encounter, in
which three militants and an Armyman were killed at Sirnoo village of the
district on Saturday morning. While police said the civilians were killed when
they came “dangerously close” to the site of the encounter, eyewitnesses said
they were killed more than an hour after the gunfight.
mobile internet services were suspended in several parts of the Valley as a
precautionary measure yesterday, police appealed the citizens to maintain calm
and stay away from the encounter site. The services were restored today.
parties had lashed out at Governor Satya Pal Malik, with former J&K chief
minister Mehbooba Mufti asking “is this what was expected from the Governor’s
rule?”. “No probe enough to bring back the dead innocent civilians. South
Kashmir has been reeling under fear for the last six months. Is this what was
expected from the Governor’s rule? The administration has failed in securing
civilian lives. Deepest condolences to the bereaved.”
added: “How long are we going to shoulder the coffins of our youngsters? So
many civilians killed today post encounter in Pulwama. No country can win a war
by killing its own people. I strongly condemn these killings, and once again appeal
for efforts, to stop this bloodbath.” J&K has been under the rule of the
Governor who had dissolved the Assembly last month.
political Islam and intellectual forgery of the Harvard University
of the basic principles of the establishment of Bangladesh was secularism. But
since the tragic assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975,
all of the subsequent governments and regimes have contributed in transforming
Bangladesh into an Islamic nation. Military dictator Hussain Muhammad Ershad
was the first culprit who had given Islam the status of state religion. This
was actually the beginning of a secular Bangladesh in advancing towards
Harvard International Review article:
November 2008, prestigious Harvard International Review published an article
titled Stemming the Rise of Islamic Extremism in Bangladesh by Sajeeb Wazed and
Carl Ciovacco, few weeks before the general election in Bangladesh. Years
later, now the name of Sajeeb Wazed Joy is deleted as the author and Carl
Ciovacco is shown as the only author. This is clearly an intellectual forgery
by the prestigious Harvard University.
topic of the above mentioned article has been quoted and discussed in numerous
opinion editorials and in different newspapers and news sites around the world,
including Bangladesh. But, Harvard University authorities had silently deleted
the name of Mr. Joy in the recent years, for reasons best known to them.
People, especially those scholars and students of the Harvard University have
the right to know – who had influenced this prestigious institution in committing
such shameless intellectual forgery. If forgery is the standard of current
Harvard, then people must think twice before boasting of being a student of
this university of disgust.
understand the possible motive behind such deletion, let us have a look into
what Sajeeb Wazed Joy had written in that much discussed article.
Ciovacco, the co-author of the article has graduated from the Kennedy School of
Government with a Masters of Public Policy in International Security and
Political Economy. His thesis on Al Qaeda’s media strategy and was written for
the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. He received his Bachelor of
Science in International Relations from West Point and served as an Army
officer in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
this article, Joy wrote, “As elections are scheduled for December 18th
(ultimately the election was held on December 29, 2008) and the two major
political parties jostle over the country’s future, each party’s vision for the
proper mix of Islam and government will be at the forefront. Rahman’s (Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman, the maternal grandfather of Mr. Joy) Awami League has long been
the standard bearer of secularism and if elected, it could roll back the
growing tide of Islamism in Bangladesh. The Awami League must, however,
implement certain changes to proactively check this Islamism if it hopes to
secure long-lasting secularism and democracy.”
said winning Awami League will do everything possible in securing “long-lasting
secularism”. So, in other words, he had hinted the present rulers in Bangladesh
will make all possible arrangements in keeping power as long as possible, since
they proclaim to be the lone vanguards of secularism.
inside Bangladesh Armed Forces:
the above article, Sajeeb Wazed Joy wrote, “Islamic extremism is also on the
rise in Bangladesh because of the growing numbers of Islamists in the military.
The Islamists cleverly began growing their numbers within the Army by training
for the Army Entrance Exams at Madrassas. This Madrassa training was necessary
because of the relative difficulty associated with passing these exams. The
military is attractive because of both its respected status and its high
employment opportunities in a country where unemployment ranges from 20 percent
to 30 percent for younger males. High demand for military posts has resulted in
an entrance exam designed to limit the number of recruits. Before this Madrassa
Entrance Exam campaign, only 5 percent of military recruits came from Madrassas
in 2001. By 2006, at the end of the BNP’s reign, Madrassas supplied nearly 35
percent of the Army recruits. In a country that has seen four military coup d’
tats in its short 37 year history, the astronomical growth of Islamists in the
military is troubling to say the least.”
further suggested “increased recruitment of secularist cadets in Bangladesh
on the Qawmi or Koranic Madrassas, Sajeeb Wazed Joy wrote, “Relying on Saudi
and Kuwaiti funding that dictates rote Koranic memorization is
counterproductive for a nation that desires growth, productivity, and a
brighter future, because it limits the population’s skill-set.”
in 2008, Sajeeb Wazed Joy brought the issue of madrassa-educated members in the
Bangladesh Armed Forces, just ten years later, her mother, Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina has granted recognition to Qawmi degrees thus widely opening the
doors for the Qawmi madrassa students in entering civil and military services.
The Prime Minister also has delightedly accepted the title of “Qawmi Janani”
(mother of the Qawmi madrassas), which had been conferred to her by the
platform of Qawmi madrassa teachers and students – more precisely, Hefazat e
Islam, an organization demanding establishment of Caliphate in Bangladesh.
2016, Obaidul Quader, incumbent general secretary of the ruling Awami League
had openly proclaimed Sheikh Hasina as the “Muslim Prime Minister of a Muslim
that disturbing? Why the Awami League leaders are over enthusiastic in
transforming a secular Bangladesh into a “Muslim Bangladesh”? What is their
secret agenda? Are they willing to finally transform this country as another
Islamic Republic similar to an Islamic Pakistan? Doesn’t it go against the very
spirit of our war of independence? How the religious minorities can feel safe
in a Muslim Bangladesh where the country already has set the example of using
of the blasphemy law against people like me, simply for the “crime” of
criticizing radical Islamic militancy?
of political Islam in Bangladesh:
unfortunately, those mainstream political parties such as Awami League (AL) and
its arch rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have already embraced
political Islam thus betraying with the spirit of our liberation war. While BNP
is a known Islamist and notoriously antisemitic party, we really don’t have
good news from its political rival – AL. Both the parties in fact are competing
is appeasing the Islamists and helping in transforming Bangladesh into a Muslim
nation, if not even worst. BNP’s political darling Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh
(JIB) is already proved of having connections with terrorist entities and it is
openly proclaiming establishment of “Allah’s rule” in Bangladesh. On the other
hand, coalition partner of AL, Jatiyo Party, which is headed by military
dictator Hussain Muhammad Ershad is clearly committed in establishing Islam as
the driving force in Bangladesh. Gen Ershad is at the forefront of promoting
general election in Bangladesh is at the doorstep. It is scheduled to be held
on December 30, 2018. Here again, contestants are those two mainstream parties
– Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Looking into their past track
record, we really cannot hope anything good from either of them as both are
totally inclined towards political Islam. Both are committed in patronizing
radical Islam and even – caliphate! All of us know, South Asia already is at
the risk of seeing the rise of notorious jihadist forces – something even much
dangerous than Al Qaeda or ISIS. In India, radical Hindutva, which has been
promoted and patronized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) is already losing steam. It is well expected that Indian
National Congress (INC) will get a huge victory during the 2019-general
election. Although in the recent years INC too have adopted the rogue policy of
appeasing and promoting radical Hindutva, there is no certainly of return of
secularism in India, which is the biggest democracy in the world.
such uncertainties both in Bangladesh and Indian, what we really can expect
from the coming days and years? Are we actually going to witness the ultimate
hijacking of our secularism by religious extremism, bigotry and radicalism?
Taliban say will meet US officials in UAE today
Representatives from the Afghan Taliban will meet US officials in the United
Arab Emirates on Monday, the movement’s main spokesperson said as diplomatic
moves toward agreeing to the basis for talks to end the 17-year war in
Mujahid said representatives from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the UAE would also
take part in the meeting, which follows at least two meetings between Taliban
officials and US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar.
meetings come as diplomatic efforts to resolve the Afghan conflict have
intensified, although the Taliban have so far refused to deal directly with the
Western-backed government in Kabul, which it considers illegitimate.
Taliban say the presence of international forces in Afghanistan is the main
obstacle to peace but have said that issues including mutual recognition with
the Kabul government, constitutional changes and women’s rights can be
least five militants were killed and two others were wounded in airstrikes in
southern Uruzgran province of Afghanistan, the Afghan Military said Sunday.
to a statement released by 205th Atal Corps of the Afghan Military in the
South, the airstrikes were carried out in the vicinity of Tarinkot city.
statement further added that the militants were targeted in Sarkham area of the
city, leaving at least five dead and two others wounded.
Dshk heavy machine gun, a PKM machine gun, and two compounds of the militants
were also destroyed in the airstrikes, the 205 thAtal Corps added.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the airstrikes so far.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in South of Afghanistan. The Taliban
militants are active in some of the districts of Uruzgan and often carry out
terrorist related activities.
Bangladesh’s opposition alliance, Jatiya s Oikya Front (JOF) — led by the
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) — has called on President Abdul Hamid to
help bring an end to violent clashes between followers of the country’s leading
political parties ahead of the national election scheduled for Dec. 30.
JOF submitted a letter to the president’s office requesting a meeting with
Hamid on Tuesday, although one of the coalition’s leaders, Subrata Chowdhury,
told Arab News, “We are yet to receive any reply.”
has flared between the ruling Awami League (AL) and the BNP, with
confrontations taking place across the country since December 10, when
campaigning in all 300 constituencies began.
the first week, two AL supporters were killed, while more than 500 leaders and
supporters of both parties were injured. The AL claims that police have
arrested around 400 BNP supporters.
are yet to receive a reply from the president’s office,” said Subrata Chowdhury
a top leader of opposition alliance JOF who is also a contender in this
election from a constituency in the capital Dhaka.
an interview with Arab News, Chowdhury — who is running for election in a Dhaka
constituency — alleged that opposition parties are unable to campaign properly
because of violence from their opponents and police harassment.
are facing injustice,” he said. “Our leaders can’t stay in their constituency
and move freely as plain-clothed law enforcers intimidate them to leave the
area. There is no level playing field.”
went on to compare the country’s election commission (EC) to “a referee not
playing an impartial role.”
was why the JOF had requested a meeting with the president, he explained: “Our
election commission is a constitutional body, appointed by the president of the
country. So we want to present our demands to the president.”
added that the JOF expects to sit with the election commission again on Dec. 17
“to ensure a level playing field.” Political scientist Dr. Ataur Rahman said
that, according to the constitution, the election commission now holds
executive power in the country.
concerning a free and fair election depends on the role of the commission, and
the present government will not take any responsibility for this,” he told Arab
News. “So, in the interests of the country, the president can ask the election
commission to perform its duties without any fear.”
added, however, that there are also limits to the president’s power, since he
is himself a candidate nominated by a political party.
called the ongoing violence “unexpected,” pointing out that there had been a
number of successful meetings between the parties about the election. However,
he added that he did not believe the violence would jeopardize the election.
“In this charged situation everybody is trying to establish their might,” he
said. “And it seems that the major parties are practicing the ‘Might is Right’
formula. But the election will most likely take place according to the
Sunday, Selima Rahman, vice chair of the BNP, delivered a letter to the
election commission requesting the immediate deployment of the army to keep the
peace and to ensure that all candidates are given the same opportunities to
party is conducting a countrywide election campaign while another party cannot
even hang posters,” she told journalists. “We would like to know the EC’s
definition of a level playing field.
police are acting like our opposition. Attacks have been launched against BNP
leaders and activists, including Mirza Abbas and Mahbub Uddin Khokon. Khokon
was injured by police fire. We are facing obstacles to our campaigning in
Dhaka,” she continued.
Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda denied the opposition’s claims.
“Candidates are able to conduct campaigns and they are not facing any
obstacles,” he told reporters on Saturday at his office in Dhaka.
to the clashes, Huda said, “We will take action based on reports from the
Chris Buckley and Austin Ramzy
China — Muslim inmates from internment camps in far western China hunched over
sewing machines, in row after row. They were among hundreds of thousands who
had been detained and spent month after month renouncing their religious
convictions. Now the government was showing them on television as models of
repentance, earning good pay — and political salvation — as factory workers.
ruling Communist Party has said in a surge of upbeat propaganda that a
sprawling network of camps in the Xinjiang region is providing job training and
putting detainees on production lines for their own good, offering an escape
from poverty, backwardness and the temptations of radical Islam.
mounting evidence suggests a system of forced labor is emerging from the camps,
a development likely to intensify international condemnation of China’s drastic
efforts to control and indoctrinate a Muslim ethnic minority population of more
than 12 million in Xinjiang.
from the region, satellite images and previously unreported official documents
indicate that growing numbers of detainees are being sent to new factories,
built inside or near the camps, where inmates have little choice but to accept
jobs and follow orders.
people who are detained provide free or low-cost forced labor for these
factories,” said Mehmet Volkan Kasikci, a researcher in Turkey who has
collected accounts of inmates in the factories by interviewing relatives who
have left China. “Stories continue to come to me,” he said.
has defied an international outcry against the vast internment program in
Xinjiang, which holds Muslims and forces them to renounce religious piety and
pledge loyalty to the party. The emerging labor program underlines the
government’s determination to continue operating the camps despite calls from
United Nations human rights officials, the United States and other governments
to close them.
program aims to transform scattered Uighurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic
minorities — many of them farmers, shopkeepers and tradespeople — into a
disciplined, Chinese-speaking industrial work force, loyal to the Communist
Party and factory bosses, according to official plans published online.
documents describe the camps as vocational training centers and do not specify
whether inmates are required to accept assignments to factories or other jobs.
But pervasive restrictions on the movement and employment of Muslim minorities
in Xinjiang, as well as a government effort to persuade businesses to open
factories around the camps, suggest that they have little choice.
accounts from inmates who have worked in the factories are rare. The police
block attempts to get near the camps and closely monitor foreign journalists
who travel to Xinjiang, making it all but impossible to conduct interviews in
the region. And most Uighurs who have fled Xinjiang did so before the factory
program grew in recent months.
Serikzhan Bilash, a founder of Atajurt Kazakh Human Rights, an organization in
Kazakhstan that helps ethnic Kazakhs who have left neighboring Xinjiang, said
he had interviewed relatives of 10 inmates who had told their families that
they were made to work in factories after undergoing indoctrination in the
mostly made clothes, and they called their employers “black factories,” because
of the low wages and tough conditions, he said.
Kasikci also described several cases based on interviews with family members:
Sofiya Tolybaiqyzy, who was sent from a camp to work in a carpet factory. Abil
Amantai, 37, who was put in a camp a year ago and told relatives he was working
in a textile factory for $95 a month. Nural Razila, 25, who had studied oil
drilling but after a year in a camp was sent to a new textile factory nearby.
not as though they have a choice of whether they get to work in a factory, or
what factory they are assigned to,” said Darren Byler, a lecturer at the
University of Washington who studies Xinjiang and visited the region in April.
said it was safe to conclude that hundreds of thousands of detainees could be
compelled to work in factories if the program were put in place at all of the
region’s internment camps.
Xinjiang government did not respond to faxed questions about the factories, nor
did the State Council Information Office, the central government agency that
answers reporters’ questions.
documents detail plans for inmates, even those formally released from the
camps, to take jobs at factories that work closely with the camps to continue
to monitor and control them. The socks, suits, skirts and other goods made by
these laborers would be sold in Chinese stores and could trickle into overseas
an ancient, predominantly Uighur area of southern Xinjiang that is a focus of
the program, reported that in 2018 alone it aimed to send 100,000 inmates who
had been through the “vocational training centers” to work in factories,
according to a plan issued in August.
figure may be an ambitious political goal rather than a realistic target. But
it suggests how many Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities may be held in
the camps and sent to factories. Scholars have estimated that as many as one
million people have been detained. The Chinese government has not issued or
confirmed any figures.
don’t see China yielding an inch on Xinjiang,” said John Kamm, the founder of
the Dui Hua Foundation, a San Francisco-based group that lobbies China on human
rights issues. “Now it seems we have entrepreneurs coming in and taking
advantage of the situation.”
evolution of the Xinjiang camps echoes China’s “re-education through labor”
system, where citizens once were sent without trial to toil for years. China
abolished “re-education through labor” five years ago, but Xinjiang appears to
be creating a new version.
in the United States and other countries should guard against buying goods made
by workers from the Xinjiang camps, which could violate laws banning imports
produced by prison or forced labor, Mr. Kamm said.
the bulk of clothes and other textile goods manufactured in Xinjiang ends up in
domestic and Central Asian markets, some makes its way to the United States and
Sportswear, a company based in North Carolina, last month received a container
of polyester knitted T-shirts from Hetian Taida, a company in Xinjiang that was
shown on a prime-time state television broadcast promoting the camps.
program showed workers at a Hetian Taida plant, including a woman who was
described as a former camp inmate. But the small factory did not appear to be
on a camp site, and it is unclear whether it made the T-shirts sent to North
Gasswint, a Badger Sportswear executive, said the company had ordered a small
amount of products from Xinjiang, and used Worldwide Responsible Accredited
Production, a nonprofit certification organization, to ensure that its
suppliers meet standards.
Lennon, a spokesman for Worldwide, said that Hetian Taida had only recently
enrolled in its program, and the organization had no information on possible
coerced labor in Xinjiang. “We will certainly look into this,” he said.
calls over several days to Wu Hongbo, the chairman of Hetian Taida, went
imagery suggests that production lines are being built inside some internment
of one camp featured in the state television broadcast, for example, show 10 to
12 large buildings with a single-story, one-room design commonly used for
factories, said Nathan Ruser, a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy
Institute. The buildings are surrounded by fencing and security towers,
indicating that they are heavily guarded like the rest of the camp.
seems unlikely that any detainee would be able to go to any building that they
were not taken to,” Mr. Ruser said.
registration records also show at least a few companies have been established
this year at addresses inside internment camps. They include a printing
factory, a noodle factory and at least two clothing and textile manufacturers
at camps in rural areas around Kashgar. Another clothing and bedding
manufacturer is registered in a camp in Aksu in northwestern Xinjiang.
government’s effort to connect the internment camps with factories emerged this
year as the number of detainees climbed and Xinjiang faced rising costs to
build and run the camps.
camps were once called “transformation through education centers” by the
government, reflecting their mission: inducing inmates to cast aside Islamic
devotion and accept Communist Party supremacy.
since August, the Chinese government has defended the camps by arguing that
they are job training centers that will help lift detainees and their families
out of poverty by giving them the skills to join China’s economic mainstream.
Many rural Uighurs speak little Chinese, and language training has been
advertised as one of the main purposes of the camps.
the practical training in the camps often appears to be rudimentary, said
Adrian Zenz, a social scientist at the European School of Culture and Theology
who has studied the campaign.
hint of the factory labor program came in March when Sun Ruizhe, the president
of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, described it to senior
industry representatives, according to a transcript of his speech that was
posted on industry websites.
Sun said that Xinjiang planned to recruit from three main sources to increase
the textile and garment sector’s work force by more than 100,000 in 2018:
impoverished households, struggling relatives of prisoners and detainees, and
the camp inmates, whose training “could be combined with developing the textile
and apparel section.”
April, the Xinjiang government began rolling out a plan to attract textile and
garment companies. Local governments would receive funds to build production
sites for them near the camps; companies would receive a subsidy of $260 to
train each inmate they took on, as well other incentives.
remarks in October defending the camps, a top official in Xinjiang, Shohrat
Zakir, said the government was busy preparing “job assignments” for inmates
formally finishing indoctrination and training. A budget document this year
from Yarkant, a county in Kashgar, said the camps were responsible for
inmates assigned to factories may have to stay for years.
Byler said a relative of a Uighur friend was sent to an indoctrination camp in
March and formally released this fall. But he was then told he had to work for
up to three years in a clothing factory.
government official, Mr. Byler said, suggested to his friend’s family that if
the relative worked hard, his time in the factory might be reduced.
Chinese state media has praised the centers as leading wayward people toward
modern civilization. It also reports that the workers are generously paid.
training will turn them from ‘nomads’ into skilled marvels,” the official
Xinjiang Daily said last month. “Education and training will make them into
‘modern people,’ useful to society.”
(REUTERS) - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday criticized
Australia's move to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying
countries had "no rights" to do so.
move follows U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy to
Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in May, which infuriated Palestinians and the wider
Islamic world and upset Western allies.
should remain as it is now and not the capital of Israel," Mahathir told
Reuters on the sidelines of an event in Bangkok.
has always been under Palestine, so why are they taking the initiative to
divide Jerusalem not belonging to them, but to divide the Arabs and the Jews?
They have no rights," he added.
is a majority-Muslim country and has long supported a two-state solution in the
status of Jerusalem, home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian
faiths, is one of the biggest obstacles to a peace agreement between Israel and
Palestinians who want East Jerusalem recognized as the capital of a Palestinian
regards all of Jerusalem as its capital, including the eastern sector that it
annexed in a move not recognized internationally, after the 1967 Middle East
re-education camps used to hold Uighur and other Muslim minorities in China are
being run like “wartime concentration camps”, Amnesty has said.
to one million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other minorities have been arbitrarily
detained in internment camps in the far-west Xinjiang region, according to
human rights groups and a UN panel.
maintains that it is detaining people guilty of minor crimes, and has sent them
to “vocational centres” and that inmates are “grateful” to be there.
Uighur activists have estimated up to 3 million people have been detained in
the camps, Patrick Poon, China researcher at Amnesty International, told The Independent.
scale is scary. We haven’t seen in recent Chinese history that there would be
such a scale of detaining people in camps in such huge numbers,” he said.
I think it’s legitimate for people to raise concern about how the camps are
being run similar to wartime concentration camps. It’s comparable in scale.”
said Amnesty had reports from former detainees who said they were forced to
attend political re-education lessons and sing political songs. Previous
reports have said Muslims were forced to denounce Islam and swear loyalty to
the Chinese Communist Party, in addition to being forced to eat pork and drink
alcohol – acts forbidden by their religion.
new reports of life in the camps or the wider region are rare, mostly because
former detainees are too afraid to talk about their cases and because the
Chinese state controls what journalists in the region can do, according to
Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch.
a region that at least in theory journalists can get into, but the controls on
what they can do once there are incredibly strict, and those have only gotten
tighter,” she told The Independent. “It is a huge story that people are aware
of, but it’s hard to get fresh information.”
added: “One of the big challenges is that the diaspora community is rightly
very concerned about surveillance. So while you do see a few more people
speaking out, there is a lot of logic in the minds of people who are concerned
about speaking out, because they’re concerned about their family members inside
said there was also the issue that it was harder for those who had been
detained to leave China, adding: “When you see a government denying people the
right to leave, it generally means they’ve got something to hide.”
reason could be Uighurs’ unique status as both an ethnic and religious
minority, Ms Richardson said. “Uighurs are not nearly as well known as an
ethnic community worldwide as Tibetans are. And there’s the issue of
Islamophobia, which the Chinese government has stoked at home. They say
Xinjiang is awash with terrorists and it [China] is merely following a
counter-terror and counter-extremism strategy like everyone else is.”
Chinese officials initially issued blanket denials the country ran mass
internment camps, they later defended them by saying they were used for
citizens who were guilty of minor offences as vocational centres to provide
international reaction has also been somewhat muted, though criticism of Beijing’s
treatment of its Muslim minority is increasing.
any other government in the world was locking up a million Muslims I think we
can reasonably expect to have seen demands for a debate at the UN Security
Council or an international investigation,” Ms Richardson said. “That’s
generally unlikely to happen with China.”
week, the United Nations’ most senior human rights official recently requested
direct access to the Xinjiang region to verify the “worrying reports” of
have been asking for direct access to the region to be able to check and verify
the worrying reports we are receiving,” Michelle Bachelet, the high
commissioner for human rights, told a news conference in Geneva.
request came a day after Germany’s human rights commissioner, Barbel Kofler,
said China had blocked her from travelling to the region.
am shocked by reports of the treatment of the Turkic Uighur minority,” Ms
Kofler said in a statement last Tuesday. “I would have liked to have gained a
first-hand impression of the situation there and will continue to push for
permission to visit Xinjiang soon.”
Ms Richardson said it was encouraging that the Organisation of Islamic
Cooperation, which states it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world”, has
issued increasingly strong statements about China and the arbitrary detention
of Uighur and Muslim minorities.
of the threads of those debates all along has been ‘why isn’t the Muslim
community of the world speaking up for Muslims in China?’ Well, it looks like
they are now,” Ms Richardson said.
comes amid reports more than one million Han Chinese people have moved into the
homes of Uighur Muslim families to report on whether they display Islamic or
must take tough measures to put pressure on Myanmar and its de facto leader,
Aung San Suu Kyi, to end atrocities against the Muslim Rohingya, Malaysian
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday.
than 720,000 refugees have fled Myanmar's strife-torn Rakhine state to
Bangladesh since August last year, when militant attacks on security outposts
prompted a heavy-handed "clearance operation" by the military
(Tatmadaw) that claimed thousands of lives.
residents of Rakhine faced arson, torture, gang rape and murder and many were
forced to flee their homes.
United Nations and United States dubbed the onslaught by the Tatmadaw
UN called for Myanmar's generals to face the International Criminal Court or an
international tribunal on the charge.
can appeal to the government of Myanmar, but if there is no response and the
atrocities continue, Asean must support international moves to stop this abuse
of authority and injustice in Myanmar," Dr Mahathir said in an interview
with The Nation newspaper (of Thailand) over the weekend.
has to learn how to bring pressure on governments that are not treating their
own people with fairness and justice," he said.
Asean just allows these people to be massacred, it doesn't seem we are acting
the government in Nay Pyi Taw set up and sponsored several committees to
address the crisis in Rakhine, Suu Kyi was criticised for delaying action and
doing little to tackle the problem at its roots.
Mahathir said he and other foreign leaders has urged Suu Kyi to help the
Rohingya, just as other nations rallied to protect her when she was a victim of
injustice under Myanmar's former military regime from 1989-2010.
San Suu Kyi once fought against the military, but now she is a member of the
government and is not able to have any influence over the military," Dr
should not associate herself with the military. They were unjust to her and now
they are unjust to the Rohingya."
of Rohingya have refused plans set out by Myanmar and Bangladesh to repatriate
them, fearing for their safety should they return.
Buddhist Myanmar does not seem to want them back, Dr Mahathir pointed out.
fear of more violence is such that they would risk a dangerous journey across
the Indian Ocean to South-East Asia, where thousands have sought asylum in
mainly Muslim Indonesia and Malaysia, he said.
Mahathir said Malaysia wanted to send them back to Myanmar, but they don't want
might stay longer – they won't become Malaysian citizens, but they will be
[accepted as] refugees."
Thailand since Saturday, Dr Mahathir was yesterday conferred a prestigious Thai
honorary doctorate by Rangsit University in recognition of his statesmanship.
told The Nation that Malaysia's newly appointed peace facilitator Abdul Rahim
Noor, a former police chief who is familiar with problems in the southern
border area with Thailand, would help to install peace in the predominantly
has rocked the South since early 2004 claiming over 7,000 lives so far.
Dialogue with insurgent groups, initiated in 2013, has yielded no significant
the MARA Patani, a so-called umbrella organisation, is widely believed to not
represent the insurgents on the ground, Dr Mahathir suggests that Thailand
authorises invitations for other groups to join the talks.
are aware of the fact that there is not only one group, but several groups, so
if one group achieves a kind of settlement, it doesn't mean other group will
accept the result of such negotiation.
it's important to meet as many groups as possible," he said.
Rahim reportedly informed the Thai authority early this month that he would
introduce leaders of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) separatist group to the
talks but they were not expected to be willing to take part.
LUMPUR — Instead of competing with Islamic party PAS, splinter party Amanah is
poised to chart a new narrative for Muslims in Malaysia.
don’t want to compete with PAS. We want a new narrative,” said its
vice-president, Mr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, at the close of the party’s third
convention in Ipoh on Sunday (Dec 16).
minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) told The
Malaysian Insight that Amanah did not want to base its struggles on race and
religion any more.
can be like PAS or Umno, and I can be as Malay and Islamic as them to attract
support but this will not solve our problems,” he said.
Amanah was a PAS spin-off, with most of its leaders coming from the Islamist
party, the party constitution accepts non-Muslims as full members.
to central committee member Hu Pang Chaw, the non-Malay component of Amanah has
hit 5 per cent of its total membership of more than 100,000 individuals.
Amanah only has 11 parliamentary seats, it boasts the largest number of members
in the cabinet relative to the number of its MPs.
members of the fledgling party hold ministerial posts and another five, deputy
minister spots in Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s cabinet.
of Amanah’s seats, however, are in the west coast of the peninsula, as it lost
all the seats it contested in PAS strongholds, Kelantan and Terengganu.
tried to compete with PAS… to be more Islamic than them with all sorts of
slogans. But they failed.
has managed to deceive voters with their dressing. It is an effective
vote-puller but it will fail in the long run. But we are not interested
competing with them in the conventional sense,” said Mr Mujahid, when asked if
the party planned to boost the number of religious scholars working in the PAS
the convention, a Pahang delegate suggested that the party boost its cadre of
religious leaders to compete with PAS.
president Salahuddin Ayub said PAS’ direction was lagging behind 40 years.
are on the right track with our policy of ‘Rahmatan al’amin’ (benefit for
all),” said Mr Salahuddin, who is also agriculture and agro-based industry
chose to regress after its 2015 annual congress, he said.
why we chose to leave PAS. We don’t accept their narrow definition of Islam
that will only break apart a pluralistic Malaysia,” said the former PAS
where does this leave Amanah in the battle for Kelantan, Terengganu?
Islam and east coast analyst Dr Mazlan Ali described east coast voters as
fairly conservative, with their worldview shaped by Islam and Malay
this context, Umno and PAS align closer with east coast voters,” said the
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia lecturer.
Mazlan said any new party looking for their favour would need to spend a
considerable amount of time wooing voters there.
appeals to urban voters while rural voters don’t care for them. Lower education
levels coupled with poor analytical skills make them more likely to side with
PAS,” said Dr Mazlan.
the past two decades, PAS has also built a strong following among tahfiz and
this, Mr Mujahid reiterated that Amanah will not compete with PAS, which his
father, Yusof Rawa, founded in 1951.
now administer Jakim (Islamic Development Department) and after six months, we
have managed to convince them to include the concept of Rahmatan al-amin in all
its programmes,” said Mr Mujahid.
said that Amanah would use tactics like this to combat PAS’ narrative.
its third and largest convention since its founding in 2015, Amanah leaders
repeatedly espoused the new concept among its delegates.
PAS, which is pushing for a stricter hudud-based brand of Islam, Amanah’s
Rahmatan al-amin advocates justice and equality for all, regardless of race or
Mazlan said as Amanah continues with its inclusive approach, it also has to
take into consideration the needs of east coast voters.
needs to adapt to the political reality in Kelantan and Terengganu, where the
role of religious scholars cannot be separated from society.
Nik Omar Nik Aziz can fulfil that role for Amanah in Kelantan, there’s nobody
in that mould in Terengganu as yet,” said Mr Mazlan.
former PAS member, Shazni Munir Mohd Ithnin, said it made sense to put an end
to politics based on racial and religious sentiments.
the new Malaysia, it is up to Amanah to change this narrative,” said the Amanah
Youth deputy chief.
LUMPUR: The United Nations (UN) should not have generalised Malaysia with other
Islamic countries when it comes to ratifying the International Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said UN did not
understand the peculiarity of Malaysia compared to other Islamic countries such
as Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
don’t understand. We have our own peculiarity. The Malays are the natives of
this country, and we have other races who were the immigrants who came into the
country during the colonisation by the English.
were brought in for tin mining and to tap rubber.
the country’s independence, we were asked to accept them and we generously did
there was a social contract signed between the Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera,
which was later incorporated into the Federal Constitution.
is what happened in this country, previously known as Tanah Melayu before
eventually becoming Malaysia.
UN take into consideration all this? We have our own rights.
if you don’t know the peculiar history and background of a country, how we live
together and how we started together; sorry-lah, please do not interfere.
is what I meant by ‘go to hell to UN’,” said Tajuddin when met at the
Parliament lobby today.
was asked to comment on his recent blow of “Go to hell with UN“, while
addressing the crowd during anti-ICERD rally on Saturday.
said the UN wanted to imposed ICERD to allow equalisation between Bumiputera
and non-Bumiputera in the country.
know who is in control of UN - the Westerners. They were the colonials before
and now they wanted to colonise us again.
(Prime Minister) Tun M (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) reminded us of the new way of
colonisation by the Westerners.
must understand that they should not interfere with a country, without
understanding about it first.
Malaysia, we respect other races and religions. No discrimination here and do
not simply accuse us of discriminating one another.
flee after Boko Haram burns Nigerian village
fled late Sunday after Boko Haram burned their homes near Nigeria’s
northeastern city of Maiduguri, residents told AFP.
Haram fighters in several trucks stormed Maiborti village, five kilometers
(miles) outside Maiduguri, firing indiscriminately and setting fire to homes,
military officer who did not want to be identified said troops and fighter jets
were deployed to the village and scrambled to push out the militants after
was not clear if there were casualties in the attack, which once again
highlighted the fragile security situation in the restive region.
(Boko Haram) came around 5:30 pm (1630GMT) and started firing in the village
which made us abandon our homes and flee to Maiduguri,” Maiborti resident
Abacha Kaka told AFP.
leader Babakura Kolo said the extremists were later forced out of the village
by troops with aerial support.
the terrorists succeeded in setting fire to the village and burning it down
completely,” he added.
Haram has in recent months launched attacks in a bid to capture Maiduguri, the
birthplace of its founder Mohammed Yusuf.
month, the extremists attacked Jimmi village just outside the city, killing one
person and stealing hundreds of livestock.
April, scores of Boko Haram fighters launched a gun and suicide attack on
Jiddari-Polo, outside the city.
extremist group has attacked at least 20 military bases in recent weeks,
killing dozens of soldiers and carting away weapons.
Haram’s nine-year rebellion has killed at least 27,000 and forced more than two
million people to flee their homes.
Nigeria fighting with militants leaves 12 soldiers dead
least 12 Nigerian soldiers have been killed and dozens of others have gone
missing following clashes with Takfiri militants in the northeastern state of
unnamed military sources told media outlets Sunday that the attack targeted a
military base and a nearby community in the Gudumbali local government area.
fighting followed an attack on Friday by militants in the troubled area, where
a splinter group of Boko Haram called "Daesh in West Africa" is
influential. The poor communication network in the remote area delayed the
relay of the details of the attack. The army officially said it had repelled
the attack, in which it said one soldier was killed and another was injured.
Militants opened fire on troops while aid materials were being distributed in
Gudumbali. "The troops, however, fought gallantly and outmanoeuvred the
attackers inflicting heavy casualties on them. Unfortunately, a soldier paid
the supreme price during the encounter, while another was wounded in
action," the statement read.
late November, about 100 soldiers were killed by Daesh Takfiri terrorists who
attacked an army base in Metele, Borno.
northeastern region has been plagued by the terrorist activities of Boko Haram
and a Daesh affiliate, which broke away in 2016 and is now considered by
security experts as the stronger of the two.
Abuja government in June ordered thousands of people who fled the conflict with
Boko Haram to return to Gudumbali, one of the most dangerous northeastern
areas. Officials cut off food and other aid to those who refused.
2009, militants have killed at least 20,000 dead and made over 2.6 million
others homeless. In 2015, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to Daesh.
US military says it has killed eight members of the al-Shabaab extremist group
with an airstrike south of Somalia's capital.
US Africa Command statement says the airstrike occurred on Saturday near
Gandarshe, a coastal community. The statement says no civilians were involved.
US military has carried out at least 40 airstrikes this year against the
al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab, Africa's most active Islamic extremist group. It
controls parts of rural southern and central Somalia and continues to stage
deadly attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, and other cities.
US airstrikes have picked up dramatically since President Donald Trump took
office and approved expanded military operations in the Horn of Africa nation.
Airstrikes also target a small presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Enough is Enough
(EiE), and BudgIT have sent a joint Freedom of Information request to Tukur
Buratai, Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria, requesting him to use his good offices
and leadership position to “urgently provide information on the 2015, 2016 and
2017 budget implementation reports of the Nigerian Army, including the amounts
released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and
2017 for the various operations the Army carried out.”
groups also urged Mr Buratai, a Lieutenant General, to furnish them with “the
amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015,
2016 and 2017 for: Operation Lafiya Dole, Operation Safe Haven, Operation
Python Dance, Operation Ruwan Wuta, Operation Delta Safe, Operation Mesa,
Operation Harbin Kunama, Operation Awatse, Operation Tsera Teku and Operation
the FOI request sent last week and signed by Bamisope Adeyanju of SERAP, Seun
Akinyemi of EiE and Atiku Samuel of BudgIT, the groups said: “Transparency of
the budget process and its implementation is an essential condition to achieve
good governance. The reports, if provided and published, will shed light on
military spending and put to rest once and for all the perceived lack of
transparency and accountability in the spending of military budgets, which has
been a subject of intense public debate and concern.”
groups said: “If the requested information is not provided within 14 days of
the receipt and/or publication of this letter, our organisations shall take all
appropriate legal action under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to
comply with our request.”
to the groups: “several billions of naira allocated to the military to defend
the country and protect its people have neither contributed to improving the
ability of Nigerian soldiers to fight Boko Haram and other armed groups nor
provided the much-needed security especially for Nigerians in the North-east of
FOI request read in part: “The information being requested does not come within
the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the
provisions of the FOI Act. The information requested for, apart from not being
exempted from disclosure under the FOI Act, would serve the national interest,
public welfare, public interest and peace, human rights, good governance,
transparency and accountability.”
virtue of Section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, we are entitled
as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information
on 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget implementation reports of the Nigerian Army, and
the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years
2015, 2016 and 2017 for the various operations listed, which have yielded no
president lands in Syria in first visit by Arab leader
President Omar al-Bashir on Sunday became the first Arab League leader to visit
Syria since civil war erupted there nearly eight years ago.
was greeted at the Damascus airport by Syrian President Bashar Assad before
they both headed to the presidential palace, where they held talks on bilateral
relations and the latest developments in Syria and the region, according to the
state-run news agency.
was expelled from the 22-member Arab League soon after war broke out in 2011.
Arab countries have sanctioned Damascus and condemned Assad for using
overwhelming military force and failing to negotiate with the opposition.
Syrian state news agency SANA quoted the Sudanese president as saying during
the meeting with Assad that he hopes Syria will recover its important role in
the region as soon as possible. He also affirmed Sudan’s readiness to provide
all that it can to support Syria’s territorial integrity.
said Assad thanked al-Bashir for his visit, asserting that it will give strong
momentum for restoring relations between the two countries “to the way it was
before the war on Syria.”
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