who was 16 when she was arrested in December for hitting and kicking soldiers
in front of her house in the occupied West Bank, was released Sunday and
swarmed by media from across the globe.
Imam of Jama Masjid Writes To PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi; Seeks To Allay 'Fears' Of
25 Crore Indian Muslims
Opposition Alliance Taking Shape in Pakistan Parliament
Involves Itself in Tabligh Affairs
Teen, Ahed Tamimi, Says No Regrets after Release from Israeli Prison
Trump Says He Will ‘Certainly Meet’ Iran President Hassan Rouhani
India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat Denounces NRC
Codify Muslim Personal Laws: AIMPLB
Those creating Hindu-Muslim divide not real Dogras, says Mehbooba Mufti
Modi and Pakistan's Khan discuss regional peace in post-election call
with Hindu-Muslim couple elopement, mob in Gujarat attacks, burns man’s house
men volunteer as divers for Kanwar Yatra
JWAM seeks deportation of Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslims from state
Vows To Fully Cooperate With Imran-Led Govt
Pakistan’s Imran Khan deliver peace through dialogue in Afghanistan?
seeks MQM-P’s support for govt formation
says PTI to form govt in Balochistan as well
chief rejects Rehman’s suggestion against taking oath in parliament
to stage protest in Lahore on Aug 6
deposit of PPPP, MMA, TLP candidates forfeited on NA Rawalpindi seats
Militants Killed, Wounded, Suspected Pak Militant Held in Paktia Operations
elder among 4 killed in a suicide car bomb attack in Nangarhar
reporter jailed in Myanmar denies collecting secret documents
least 8 dead, 40 wounded, as roadside bomb hits Afghan bus
votes peacefully but allegations of fraud persist
Christian, Druze Communities Denounce ‘Jewish Nation-State’ Law
of Jerusalem Peacebuilders Gather In New Haven to Paint Welcome Billboard For
forces ‘neutralize’ 46 PKK terrorists in Turkey, northern Iraq
kill 4 Saudi troopers in mortar attack on bases in kingdom’s Najran, Jizan
package to save JCPOA not ideal but good start
in no position to make human rights' judgment on other countries: Iran
regime too weak to start war against even one Yemeni village: Ansarullah
panel finds further evidence of Iran link to Yemen missiles
Shocking Expose: Obama Administration Funded Al-Qaeda Affiliate
Hired By Qatar to Sabotage US World Cup Bid Did PR for Assad, Gaddafi
revive 'Muslim ban' challenge over lack of waivers
Muslim students fight for protection, some parents battle to keep Islam out of
incumbent faces Muslim challenger in Florida House district that includes
of action against Haqqani network missing from US defence bill
Highlights Muslims' 'Persecution' Fears in Greater Manchester
Within Muslim Countries Serious Issue: Britain’s Counter-Extremism Commissioner
Candidates Band Together In Michigan
tells moral theologians of the need to build bridges of fraternity
claims deadly attack on tourists in Tajikistan
envoy rejects Israel demand to expel Iran from Syria
Court Disbands Islamic State-Linked Group for 'Terrorism'
Muslims and The Denial Syndrome
protests that spell victory for the rakyat
over atheism at forum on religious tolerance
group claims attempt made to ‘indoctrinate’ court officers, registrars
Infighting Reported Among Ankara-Backed Militants in Northern Syria
Start New Coalition in Northern Syria under Turkey's Pressure
Starts for Syrian Army's Major Assault on Terrorists in Idlib
Army Shells Terrorists' Positions Heavily in Aleppo Province
FSA Rebels Fighting alongside Syrian Army against ISIL in Dara'a
Senior Terrorist Commanders Killed in Northern Syria
Senior Non-Syrian Emir Killed in Southwestern Dara'a
part of Mecca Road Initiative, first Indonesian pilgrims arrive in Jeddah
constitutional reform tops agenda on first day of Sochi talks
Eritrea Mend Ties as Change Sweeps Africa
Africa Command confirms deployment of armed drones in Niger
Libya parliament set to vote on constitution bill
Lessons Learned, Missed in Yusuf's Death Nine Years After
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Bukhari of Jama Masjid in Delhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi
seeking stern action against mob lynching and alleged atrocities on minorities,
including Dalits and Muslims in India.
his letter, Imam Bukhari alleges that Modi government has failed to deliver its
poll promise 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas'. "You gave a promise of treating 125
crore Indians with equality, irrespective of their religion and ethnicity...
but unfortunately, the ground reality is not only contrary to this, but is a
cause of concern for every civilised Indian citizen," he said in the
Imam racked up the issue of mob violence by Gau Rakshaks or cow vigilantes and
claimed that PM Modi's stern warning to such 'anti-social' elements has failed
to rein them in.
he alleges that BJP government has been tactically encouraging some central and
state legislators who have called Muslim community names. "The BJP talks
of the formation of a riot free society, but today every thing are being
weighed in a Hindu-Muslim perspective. The government and the sizeable of the
media are doing the job very diligently," he claimed.
has come today for the state and its leadership to prove its impartiality with
its words, deeds, moves and their implementation. Even today I have faith in
the state and hope that the Indian state would allay the uneasiness prevalent
amongst the 250 million Indian Muslims without delay, the Imam appealed in the
letter to PM Modi.
a similar letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, the Imam has sought
clarity of the stand of his party over alleged atrocities on Muslims in the
country. In his letter to Gandhi, the Imam has said that the condition of
Muslims in the country is currently worse as compared to the last seven
has also pointed that as many as 64 innocent Muslims have been killed in cases
of mob lynching. “Where is your voice against the way the current government is
treating us?” Imam Bukhari has asked Rahul Gandhi in his letter.
to him, it has become difficult for Muslim youth to walk out of their homes
wearing skull caps and sporting beard. “We expect that as a responsible
opposition, you will pressure the government over this issue,” Bukhari further
wrote in his letter.
The possibility of a grand opposition alliance looms before the future
parliament as leaders of four groups on Monday agreed they would launch a joint
protest campaign “inside and outside the parliament” against alleged rigging in
the July 25 elections.
leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party
(PPP), Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) and Awami National Party (ANP) met at the
residence of speaker of the outgoing assembly Ayaz Sadiq in Islamabad, and
agreed that they would not leave the field open for their opponents and will
give the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the party looking to form the future
government, a tough time.
the PTI has emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly after
the polls, the final results issued by the ECP, however, show that the party is
still short of the numbers required to form a government independently.
According to the results, the PTI has bagged 115 general seats — 22 short of a
simple majority — whereas the PML-N and PPP have won 64 and 43 seats,
told Dawn that Maulana Fazlur Rehman had suggested that they should jointly
field candidates for the parliamentary offices and make every effort to prevent
the PTI from forming its government at the Centre. Since the MMA has 12 seats,
the combined seats of the PPP, PML-N and MMA come up to 117 — two more than the
number of seats the PTI has.
to sources, Maulana Fazlur Rehman agreed to reconsider his earlier decision of
boycotting the upcoming National Assembly apparently at the insistence of the
PPP and the PML-N, and due to a division within the MMA. The sources said the
Maulana had told the other two parties that he would consult leaders of his
party and the MMA, and would inform them about their decision.
Ayaz Sadiq’s house on Monday, leaders of the four parties discussed strategies
for holding a strong protest in the National Assembly as well as outside the
parliament during its first sitting when the newly-elected members would take
oath, sources said.
leaders also agreed in principle that they would demand the formation of a
parliamentary commission to probe charges of rigging and alleged interference
of some institutions in the polling process.
parliamentary commission is the best option to probe rigging and fix
responsibility. The commission can be formed under a person like Raza Rabbani,”
said a senior PML-N leader, though he said that no names were discussed at the
was the first direct meeting of PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif with PPP leaders
in recent years.
Mr Sharif, the PML-N was represented by Mr Sadiq, Raja Zafarul Haq, Mushahid
Hussain Sayed, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ameer Muqam, Shah Muhammad Shah and
retired Lt-Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch.
PPP delegation comprised Syed Khursheed Shah, Sherry Rehman, Yousuf Raza
Gilani, Syed Naveed Qamar, Raja Pervez Ashraf and Farhatullah Babar. Maulana
Fazlur Rehman was joined by Akram Durrani, whereas Ghulam Ahmed Bilour and Mian
Iftikhar Hussain represented the ANP.
to Dawn, PML-N’s Mushahid Hussain termed the meeting positive, saying that
democratic forces were coming closer to form a “united front” inside and
outside the parliament. He said that the parties would hold several meetings in
the coming days.
to a question, the PML-N leader said so far, they had not discussed a strategy
for elections of the speaker, deputy speaker and the prime minister. He said
another multi-party conference (MPC) would be convened to finalise a joint
strategy for opposition parties.
Sherry Rehman said they had tried to explain to the Maulana that boycotting the
parliament was not a good option for them. She said that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari
had convened a meeting of the party in Karachi on Tuesday (today) to discuss
the post-election scenario.
to reporters following the meeting, former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
said it had been decided that they would “form a strong opposition both inside
and outside parliament”. He said all the parties had rejected the polls
Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said the “establishment” should not have interfered in the
poll process as by doing so, it had brought a bad name for itself.
PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq alleged that the Election Commission of Pakistan
(ECP) had “remained ineffective” in the conduct of the election and demanded
that the chief election commissioner (CEC) should resign.
chief Fazlur Rehman said all parties were deliberating on the issue so they
could arrive at a consensus regarding a future course of action. He also
criticised the electronic media for not showing protests being held all over
the country against the alleged rigging in the elections. He urged the media to
join hands with political forces in the struggle for upholding democracy in the
involves itself in Tabligh affairs
influence on a Tabligh Jamaat faction has become evident with the Hefazat chief
attending a rally of the faction for the first time in the capital yesterday.
the presence of Hefazat chief Maulana Shah Ahmed Shafi, the faction decided to
prevent Tabligh Jamaat's top leader and Indian Islamic scholar Maulana Saad
Kandhalvi from giving sermons in Bangladesh.
the top leader of the Chittagong-based Islamist outfit, agreed on the six
decisions made at the rally attended by thousands of followers of the Tabligh
Jamaat faction and Hefazat that oppose Saad.
none of the 11 Shura members of Tabligh Jamaat, a non-political Islamic group,
attended yesterday's rally.
who had conducted Akheri Munajat (concluding prayers) of the Biswa Ijtema at
Tongi for three consecutive years since 2015, had to return to New Delhi
without joining the congregation this year in the face of protests over his
alleged controversial statements for which he later apologised.
Tabligh Jamaat faction claimed that Saad took the title of Ameer by himself
going against the Sharia, and said it would not let him give any sermons in
rally which began around 9:00am at Mohammadpur Eidgah caused traffic chaos on
the roads around the venue. It ended around 1:00pm.
his speech at the rally, Shafi, also chairman of Qawmi Madrasa Education Board,
said no “new Tabligh Jamaat” would be tolerated.
should fan out across villages so that none can launch a new Tabligh. Ulema
should join Tabligh even if they have to shut madrasas for this ...,” said
to one of the six decisions, no member or group of Tabligh Jamaat will travel
to Nizamuddin in India to attend religious programmes, and no one of Tabligh
Jamaat there will be allowed to attend programmes in Bangladesh.
faction also asked Tabligh Jamaat members to disobey those Shura members --
based in the capital's Kakrail Mosque -- who follow Saad.
said Tabligh Jamaat would be run in line with the teachings of three murubbis
(leaders) -- Maulana Ilyas, Maulana Yusuf and Maulana Inamul Hasan.
instructions have to be followed in carrying out all the activities at Kakrail,
Tongi Maidan and in districts, read one of the decisions.
another decision, the faction said those Shura members who follow Saad have
lost the eligibility to remain in the posts.
the rally, Shafi said, “Ulema made the decisions on the basis of fatwa
[religious edict] by Darul Uloom Deoband. Tabligh [Jamaat] will follow the
teachings of the three murubbis [leaders] till the judgement day.”
faction thanked Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and Awami League lawmaker
Jahangir Kabir Nanak for facilitating the rally.
by Maulana Ilyas Kandhalvi in India in 1927, Tabligh Jamaat, a non-political global
religious movement, now has an estimated 70 to 80 million followers in more
than 150 countries, majority of whom are based in South Asia.
the decisions regarding Ijtema and selection of Shura members are made after
consultations with the organisation's headquarters in Nizamuddin of New Delhi,
according to sources at Kakrail mosque, considered the headquarters of Tabligh
Jamaat in Bangladesh.
had played a key role in these affairs in the past. But this year has been an
exception as the Shura members in India and Bangladesh have become sharply
divided over Saad's alleged controversial statements.
there has been a rift in Tabligh leadership in India for the last two years, no
such conflict occurred in Bangladesh until Hefazat's protests in January this
conflict between the two factions of Tabligh Jamaat in Bangladesh surfaced at
the last Biswa Ijtema, the second largest Muslim congregation after the hajj.
then, the two sides clashed at least four times over Saad's statements as well
as establishing supremacy at Kakrail mosque. Police were deployed at the mosque
as tension ran high.
the home minister mediated between the two factions to resolve the feud.
to the mosque sources, there are 11 Shura members. Of them, six support Saad
and five oppose him.
the past, Saad used to hold meetings with the Shura members in Bangladesh every
year to decide on various issues. But this year, some of the Sura members
declined to meet him when he came to Bangladesh to attend the Tabligh Jamaat in
January, said the sources.
residents of Mohammadpur and its adjoining areas suffered due to long tailbacks
as more than 20,000 members of Hefazat and the Tabligh faction gathered at the
venue adjacent to Tajmahal Road.
movement was disrupted on Tajmahal and Noorjahan roads, and also on the streets
and alleys around the Town Hall and Mohammadpur bus stand. Rain worsened the
were set up at nearby mosques, intersections and on different roads to relay
the speeches of the participants, said witnesses.
and office-goers were the worst sufferers. Failing to find any transport, many
of them started walking to their destinations.
Biplob Kumar Sarkar, deputy commissioner (Tejgaon Division) of Dhaka
Metropolitan Police, said the organisers verbally sought permission from police
to hold the rally but did not submit any written application.
why police permitted holding the rally in a residential area, the DC said,
“Every area in Bangladesh is a residential area.”
Dyke - Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi said Monday she was deeply changed by
her eight-month sentence in an Israeli jail for slapping two soldiers, but does
not regret any of her actions.
an interview the day after her release, the now 17-year-old told AFP that she
understood she had become a “symbol” of the Palestinian cause.
course my life has been changed a lot. I changed a lot in prison,” said Tamimi.
became more focused, more aware also. Prison ages a person. In one day you age
100 years,” she said in the backyard of her home in the West Bank village of
if she would have done the same thing if she had known it would land her behind
bars for months, she said yes.
pointed to the circumstances in which the soldiers had entered the garden of
her house in December during a day of major protests that saw her cousin shot
in the head with a rubber bullet.
confronting of the Israeli soldiers was recorded and went viral online. “I
didn’t do anything wrong that I should regret,” she said.
I had known I would be in jail eight months, of course I would have done it
because it was a natural reaction to a soldier being in my house shooting at
people, people from my village,” she said.
person in this situation - I hit him, maybe there are people that would have
military said the two soldiers had been in the area to prevent Palestinians
from throwing stones at Israeli motorists.
video of the altercation does not show the soldiers reacting to Tamimi’s
actions or using their weapons, and the teenager was arrested four days later.
Tamimi said she hoped to study law to expose the issue of Israel’s occupation
to the rest of the world.
has long said Tamimi and her siblings have been manipulated by her parents -
long-time activists - and used as pawns in staged provocations.
she was only 14, a picture of her biting a soldier’s hand to prevent him from
arresting a family member went viral.
denied claims that she had been exploited.
family never exploited me once,” she said.
am mature enough and I know the cause. I know the consequences that will stem
from choosing this path. I am not a child.”
and her mother Nariman were sentenced to eight months by an Israeli military
court in a plea deal following the December incident.
has occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem since seizing it in a 1967 war.
Tamimi’s village Nabi Saleh is close to a number of Israeli settlements.
though she’s only 17, Tamimi’s stint in jail has made her one of the best-known
and their supporters see her as a hero standing up to the Israeli army unarmed.
Israelis view her with contempt and some accuse her activist family of being
supporters of “terrorism.”
week a 14-foot (4-metre) mural of her was painted on Israel’s separation wall
that cuts off the West Bank. The Italian artists who painted it were arrested
her release on Sunday, throngs of media and supporters rushed to catch a
glimpse of her and greet her.
times when speaking to AFP she sounded like a budding Palestinian politician,
at others like the teenager she is.
said she still loves football and was crazy over the World Cup - watching the
games when possible in jail and supporting Brazil and Neymar in particular.
of the first things she did after leaving prison was visit an ice cream parlour
in central Ramallah, the West Bank city where the Palestinian government is
course there is no ice cream in prison ever. I love it a lot. When it was
summer I would avoid food. I would only eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and
dinner,” she said.
if she had a message for Israelis who think of her as a “terrorist”, she said
she would ask them to “put themselves in my place, just that, nothing more”.
back to their humanity a little so they can understand the reality.”
Trump says he will ‘certainly meet’ Iran President Hassan Rouhani
Donald Trump said Monday that he would “certainly meet” Iranian President
Hassan Rouhani, and without preconditions, if the Iranian leader was willing.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Italy’s premier, Trump said he would
meet with the Iranians “anytime they want to”. “I’ll meet with anybody. There’s
nothing wrong with meeting,” he said.
overture marks a significant shift in tone and comes as Trump and the Iranians
have been escalating their rhetoric following Trump’s May withdrawal from the
landmark Iran nuclear accord. The administration is set to begin reimposing
sanctions that had been lifted under the 2015 deal next month and has been
ratcheting up a pressure campaign on the Islamic republic that many suspect is
aimed at regime change.
it’s unclear whether Rouhani has any interest in meeting. Rouhani’s chief of
staff claimed earlier this month in Iran’s state-owned newspaper that Rouhani
had rejected eight requests from Trump for one-on-one talks last year. Rouhani
recently warned the US that “war with Iran is the mother of all wars,”
prompting an all-caps retort from Trump.
Iranian President Rouhani. NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU
WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER
SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED
WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH,” Trump tweeted. He ended the message with a
warning: “BE CAUTIOUS!”
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif fired back with his own message that
began, “COLOR US UNIMPRESSED.” Trump tempered his threatening rhetoric two days
later when he said his administration stands ready for Iran to come back to the
negotiating table. “We’re ready to make a real deal, not the deal that was done
by the previous administration, which was a disaster,” he said.
has long cast himself as a master negotiator who is most effective when he
meets with his counterparts face-to-face. He pointed to his recent one-on-one
with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin as examples of the
benefits of such get-togethers, though both drew bipartisan criticism.
believe in meeting,” he said, talking up the benefits of “speaking to other
people, especially when you’re talking about potentials of war and death and
famine and lots of other things”. Asked whether he would set any preconditions
for the meetings, Trump was clear.
preconditions, no. If they want to meet, I’ll meet anytime they want, anytime
they want,” he said. “Good for the country, good for them, good for us and good
for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet,” Trump said.
of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC on Monday that he was onboard with the
president’s invitation, but he appeared to add several qualifications. “If the
Iranians demonstrate a commitment to make fundamental changes in how they treat
their own people, reduce their malign behavior, can agree that it’s worthwhile
to enter in a nuclear agreement that actually prevents proliferation, then the
president said he’s prepared to sit down and have a conversation with him,” he
Marquis, a spokesman for the president’s National Security Council, later said
in a statement that the US would not be lifting any sanctions or
re-establishing diplomatic and commercial relations until “there are tangible,
demonstrated, and sustained shifts in Tehran’s policies”. “Until then,” he
said, “the sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does
not change course”.
among Trump critics in both parties on Capitol Hill was mixed, with Senator
Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, telling reporters, “I actually think that’s a good
idea.” Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn,
characterised the overture as fine, but only “as long as they are willing to
talk about being a normal country in the future”.
Bob Menendez, D-NJ, was more skeptical, calling it “another recipe for bad
outcomes”. “It’s the same as North Korea,” he said. “No preconditions, no
preparation. And what do we have? We have Kim Jong-un was elevated from an
international pariah to someone who seems like a legitimate statesman,” he
All India Muslim Majlise-e-Mushawarat, an Apex Body of Indian Muslims,
expressed shock over “mischievous” exclusion of 40.07 lac Indian citizens from
Assam’s draft NRC.
the whole exercise full of faults and fictitious for ignoring genuine and valid
documents like Passport and Aadhar Cards as proof of citizenship, Mushawarat’s
president Navaid Hamid described it as tragedy on a massive scale.
about families of freedom fighters, descendants of great people who had
confronted the accession of areas of Assam state to then East Pakistan whose
names have been excluded in the proposed NRC list?”
claimed that families of former Deputy Speaker of Assam state assembly and
former Director General of Police and several government pensioners also do not
find their names in the proposed NRC list.
the only guiding criteria of the officers of NRC officials, it seems, was
politics of bigotry and hate to exclude as much as Bengali speaking citizens
(overwhelming majority with Muslim names) and a good number of citizens with
roots of ancestry in Bihar.”
The whole exercise is being done not only to create an environment of hate and
polarize nation on communal lines but also to create a fear psychosis amongst
the citizens across nation invoking false bogey of infiltration,” said Hamid.
codify Muslim personal laws: AIMPLB
DELHI: The All India Muslim Personal Law
Board (AIMPLB) is against codification
of Muslim personal laws and changes in those laws, as is being considered by
the Law Commission, the New Indian Express has learnt.
board, which will meet the commission on Tuesday, has prepared a detailed
response to a questionnaire given by the law panel as part of consultations
undertaken by it to pave the way for the implementation of the Uniform Civil
commission sought the views of Muslim groups, including AIMPLB, on seven key
issues, including custody of children, inheritance rights and adoption in
Islam. On the commission’s clarifications on the different interpretations that
exist among the schools of thought in Islam, such as Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki or
Hanbali, the AIMPLB is likely to tell the panel that the different schools of
thoughts should continue to enjoy this right.
Muslim personal laws are to be codified or reviewed; only people belonging to
the community can codify these laws. In Islam, the Quran and Hadith are guide
to all problems. There is a consensus among the Muslim community on most
issues. However, there are certain issues on which the view of the community is
divided. For instance, instant triple Talaq was never practised by those
belonging to certain schools of thought in Islam, but some others were
practising it,” said a member of AIMPLB, on condition of anonymity.
to sources, the AIMPLB is also likely to oppose any reforms in Muslim personal
laws based on principles from other religions, as suggested by the Law
Commission. For instance, the commission, headed by Justice BS Chauhan, had
proosed incorporating among Muslims the practice of giving equal inheritance
rights to women and men, as is the practice in Hinduism. According to the Muslim
personal law, a woman is entitled to only half her brother’s share in property.
However, the Board has decided to oppose this.
equal rights for adopted child
OVER a month after the BJP pulled out of the alliance with the PDP, leading to
the fall of her government in Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti on Monday took
on her former ally on a range of issues the saffron party is taking up to
support of some BJP leaders from Jammu to the demand to hand over the probe
into the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu
region, Mufti said that those who “carry the Tricolour and support people who
have committed crime with a little girl” only to create a divide between Hindus
and Muslims are “not real Dogras”.
remarks come days after Choudhary Lal Singh, BJP MLA and a former minister in
Mufti’s cabinet, floated a “non-political” organisation named Dogra Swabhiman
Sangathan, which is seen as a front to press for his public support to the call
for a CBI probe into the Kathua gangrape and murder case.
her first rally in Jammu, a stronghold of the BJP, since stepping down as chief
minister, Mufti said, “What Dogras you are talking about? I want to remind
those trying to make it (Kathua case) a Hindu-Muslim issue that a Dogra
maharaja had banned the entry of a maharaja of some other state into Jammu and
Kashmir since the latter had made certain remarks against a girl. They are the
real Dogras, and not those who carry a Tricolour and support those who have committed
a crime with a little girl…”
rapist is a rapist. He has no religion,” Mufti said in her address to party
workers on the occasion of PDP’s foundation day.
(Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Imran Khan on Monday to
congratulate him on his party’s victory in the Pakistan general election, with
both men discussing regional peace.
was their first call since Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party emerged
victorious from the July 25 vote that has been marred by claims of pre-election
rigging and irregularities on the day.
between the nuclear-armed rivals have frayed in the last couple of years, with
direct talks stalled amid diplomatic rows and military firing across the Line
of Control frontier that divides the disputed region of Kashmir.
widely seen as Pakistan’s prime minister-in-waiting, is now courting
independent candidates and minor parties to form a coalition government in a
nation that has fought three wars with India.
the phone call, Modi “reiterated his vision of peace and development in the
entire neighborhood”, according to a statement by India’s Ministry of External
declared in his victory speech that he wanted to resolve the long-standing
territorial dispute over Kashmir, saying “if India comes and takes one step
toward us, we will take two”.
media team said he had told Modi it was vital both countries focus on pulling
millions out of poverty.
PTI said Khan had also told Modi that issues between the two nations must be
resolved through talks. “Wars can breed tragedies instead of facilitating
resolution of conflicts,” he said, according to a PTI statement.
Minister (Modi) expressed hope that democracy will take deeper roots in
Pakistan,” the Indian ministry said in a brief statement.
Union observers say there was uneven playing field during the election as major
obstacles were put in the way of a rival party that was led by jailed former
premier Nawaz Sharif. The United States has also expressed concern about what
it calls electoral “flaws”.
has offered to investigate all claims of irregularities, and promised to build
a new Pakistan with an Islamic welfare state that would seek to elevate those
mired in poverty.
analysts and commentators have said Pakistan’s democracy has been weakened by
meddling by the armed forces. Both Khan and the military deny colluding with
people were arrested for allegedly setting vehicles ablaze and stealing
ornaments from a house while demonstrating against the elopement of an
interfaith couple, police said on Monday.
to police, a Hindu man and a Muslim woman eloped on June 29. Following which,
the woman’s relatives and members from her community stormed the man’s house in
Sanjeli village in neighbouring Dahod district on last Saturday.
man’s father, Prakash Bhoi, filed a complaint against the mob comprising at
least 200 people, Sanjeli police Sub-Inspector S N Bariya said.
complainant alleged that the mob, armed with sticks and sharp weapons, set
ablaze his multi-utility vehicle and his neighbour’s moped bike, Bariya said.
complaint stated that the mob ransacked the house and looted ornaments worth Rs
45,000,” the official said, adding that since the couple eloped, the woman’s
kin had asked the Bhoi family to send their daughter back to them.
woman’s family had also staged a hunger strike outside the Sanjeli police
station on July 22 and had called it off only after officials assured them that
their demands would be looked into, Bariya said.
Superintendent of Police Hitesh Joysar said the entire area was under vigilance
and efforts were on to trace the couple.
have taken prompt action to maintain peace in the area. Our operation is on to
nab the remaining accused. We have also formed various teams to find the
couple,” Joysar said.
Sub-Inspector said relevant sections pertaining to dacoity, rioting, arson and
trespassing haven been invoked against members of the mob.
“We don’t ask the religion of a person while rescuing him from drowning,” says
Mohammad Sookha, a diver camping by a narrow lane running parallel to Upper
Ganga canal near here, which is taken by lakhs of Kanwariyas (devotees of Lord Shiva)
while they embark on their religious excursion every year. Like Sookha, there
are 20 more Muslim divers who have volunteered to save lives of the Shiva
devotees and are living in makeshift camps. They are always on their toes to
dive and fish out people in the nick of time.
of Kanwariyas drown every year as they venture into the canal to wash clothes
and utensils. The canal is usually gushing with muddy rainwater during the
yatra period. In all, there are 25 divers in the camps.
know these divers for quite some time and police often utilise their services
for locating missing people in the canal. I just asked them if they would like
to be part of the camp as standby divers, and they readily agreed. We will
certainly make provisions to pay them for their services,” said superintendent
of police (city) Ranvijay Singh.
however, said that it was a noble cause.
are all Muslims but that does not matter. I think I am in a very important
profession – of saving lives. And, when we are rescuing someone, we don’t ask
that panic-stricken person which religion he belongs to,” he said.
of the divers are from Julhera and Mehmati villages on the outskirts of Meerut.
diver, Zishan Ahmad, said that this is not the first time when he will be on
guard to save the devotees.
Jammu West Assembly Movement (JWAM) on Monday demanded deportation of Rohingya
and Bangladeshi Muslims, fast-tracking development projects and dissolution of
president Sunil Dimple highlighted these demands in a memorandum handed over by
a delegation of the party which met Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, advisor to the
Governor N N Vohra, here.
memorandum, addressed to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister
Rajnath Singh and the state governor, opposed dialogue with Pakistan while
seeking free hand to the security forces to crush terrorism and deal with
separatists, the JWAM said in a statement here.
who led the delegation also demanded cancellation of the registration of PDP
and arrest of its leaders including former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and MP
Muzaffar Hussain Baig under sedition charges for their “anti-national”
vows to fully cooperate with Imran-led govt
Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Hunarmand Dost on Monday said that Imran
Khan’s victory in 2018 General Elections will further strengthen ties between
the two countries and that Iran is willing to fully cooperate with next
an official letter written to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman, the
envoy congratulated Khan and his party over success in elections 2018.
also praised the people of Pakistan for showing “willingness to apply their
right to self-determination accomplish progress and development in the
country”. Mehdi also said Iran is willing to cooperate with Pakistan in various
ventures to bolster ties. The dignitary also extended his good wishes to the
PTI chief and hoped that the party will work in the best interests of the
people of the country.
Khan, Pakistan’s cricket star-turned politician, is all set to become nuclear
armed nation’s next prime minister. But how his rise to power will influence
the security situation in Pakistan, Afghanistan and South Asia, remains to be
65, known for speaking his mind, won hearts in New Delhi, Washington and Kabul
simultaneously as he expressed his desire to play role in bringing peace in
neighboring Afghanistan, resume talks with arch-rival India and establishing
warm ties with the Trump administration, which is striving hard to maintain law
and order in war-torn Afghanistan.
has suffered a lot in the war on terror. Peace in Afghanistan is in greater
interest of Pakistan. We will work with the world and Afghanistan leadership to
bring to ensure peace in Afghanistan”, Khan said after his party won majority
its approach to bring peace to Afghanistan, Trump Administration has vowed to
negotiate with Taliban signaling green to reduce, or even eliminate, its
military presence in the country.
Imran Khan has expressed support for such a strategy during his speech last
week and has been calling for talks with Taliban for several years.
there is peace in Afghanistan, there will be peace in Pakistan. People of both
Pakistan and Afghanistan want peace in Afghanistan. We have to ensure that”
Khan said, unveiling salient features of his foreign policy.
it is yet to be seen how Khan, who has been an outspoken critic of the US led
war in Afghanistan and its controversial drone operations across the globe,
plans to proceed.
important question is how his rise to power will influence the security
situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Given his excellent relations with
Afghan Taliban, can he play a role in bringing peace?
believe Khan’s stance against the US’ role in Afghanistan will be a hurdle in
the Trump administration’s dealings with Islamabad. He promised to shoot down
US drones if he was elected prime minister. However, for now, both the United
States and Imran have vowed to work together.
is believed that Khan can play a vital role in bringing Taliban and the US to
sit across the table and ensure long lasting peace in Afghanistan.
politicians of Imran’s political party also believe Khan has sound knowledge of
the situation on the ground in Afghanistan and is determined to play his role
in bringing peace.
has the team and the experience suited to handle the Afghan challenge. So, when
it comes to Afghanistan, Imran as prime minister will be a blessing for the
world,” Fawad Chaudhry, his party’s spokesman, told reporters.
victory speech sent the right signals across the war-torn Afghanistan where
prominent figures well as officials welcomed his statement.
the two countries to embrace a “European Union” type of relationship, Khan
hinted “an open border policy” with Afghanistan. The plan, however, seems
can bring Taliban to the table and we need him to get rid of years-long war,”
Abdullah Shah, an Assistant professor of International Relations in a local
university in Kabul told Al Arabiya English.
scored a brownie point last week after the United States stated it look forward
to work with new government in Pakistan to advance the goals of security and
stability in South Asia.
United States will look for opportunities to work with new government in
Pakistan to advance our goals of security, stability, and prosperity in South
Asia,” the spokesperson of US state department said.
Khan may turn his back on Washington if the Trump administration continues with
its existing policy in Afghanistan.
Trump and Imran can work wonder in Afghanistan. While Imran can help brig
Taliban across table, Trump can convince the world to change attitude towards
them,” Ijaz Ahmed, Islamabad-based foreign policy expert said.
the other hand, Imran Khan has made it loud and clear that his government will
be “ready for talks” with arch-rival India which is also a stakeholder in
they take one step toward us, we will take two steps toward them,” Khan said
during his maiden speech, drawing a positive response from India.
desires a prosperous and progress Pakistan at peace with its neighbors,” a
spokesperson of India’s Ministry of external affairs said on Thursday, last
Saudi Arabia, which also has great influence in Afghanistan, and South Asian,
Khan said Pakistan has always found Saudi Arabia close to his heart.
Arabia is one of Pakistan’s great friend which has always helped Islamabad
through thick thin,” Khan said. Unveiling his future plan, Khan vowed to bridge
the gulf between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
and Saudi Arabia are two important Muslim countries. We will play our role to
bring them closer,” a determined and confident looking Khan said.
Ghauri, Islamabad-based editor of influential daily The News International
believes there is a limit to what an elected Pakistani civilian head of
government can do in relation to Afghanistan.
Khan will not be any different from Nawaz Sharif or Benazir Bhutto. His
diplomatic skills are untested and his campaign rhetoric ran parallel to what
any government in Kabul would like to hear from a Pakistani prime minister,”
Ghauri told Al Arabia English.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s pointman Jahangir Tareen
flew into Karachi from Islamabad on Monday evening and invited former nemesis
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) to join Mr Khan-led next federal
MQM-P has won six National Assembly seats — four in Karachi and two in
Hyderabad — in the July 25 elections compared to its 24 NA seats in 2013.
just six seats, the MQM-P has become an important factor in national politics
since the PTI cannot form a government on its own and lacks a simple majority
in the lower house of parliament.
Tareen along with PTI leaders Arif Alvi, Firdous Shamim Naqvi and Imran Ismail
reached the MQM-P’s temporary headquarters in Bahadurabad area and met with its
convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. Senior leaders Dr Farooq Sattar, Amir
Khan, Faisal Subzwari, Khwaja Izharul Hasan and Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar were
between the two parties held behind closed doors till 1.10am and an MQM-P
source told Dawn that Mr Tareen sought MQM-P’s help in the election of speaker,
deputy speaker and leader of the house in the National Assembly and offered the
party its share in the upcoming federal cabinet.
source said the MQM-P was not interested in a single ministry and it wanted
more powers for the Karachi and Hyderabad local governments.
Mr Tareen told the media that the PTI had invited the MQM-P to join its
government at the Centre for the sake of the country.
said that both the PTI and MQM-P got mandate from Karachi and now it’s time to
deliver to the people.
Tareen said that the issues of water shortage, garbage collection, mass
transit, an empowered local government system, devolution of powers came under
discussion and the MQM-P was told that all such things were part of the PTI
manifesto. To a question, Mr Tareen said that the PTI did not offer the MQM-P
any ministry as the two parties discussed ways and means to solve the problems
of the people of Karachi.
convener Dr Siddiqui said that the coordination committee would discuss the PTI
offer on Tuesday (today). However, he hoped that the cooperation between the
two parties would go a long way and it would strengthen not only democracy but
also the country.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi says the party will
also form government in Balochistan with the support of the allies.
to media here on Monday, he said PTI would form a stable government in the
Centre owing to its numerical edge. “The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have
changed the history by making the PTI successful as no party in the past was
able to form government again. They not only brought the PTI into power again
but also gave it two-third majority,” he said.
said PTI’s new candidates defeated ‘giants’ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which showed
the success of the ideology of Imran Khan. He said the multi-party conference
had failed in which Maulana Fazlur Rehman tried to convince other parties for
boycott of the parliament; however his proposal was rejected.
defeated elements are hatching conspiracies to achieve their notorious
designs,” he said.
PTI leader said there was a major difference between the election held in 2013
and now as the recent polls were transparent.“The international observers have
also termed the elections transparent.”
said demand for the resignation of chief election commissioner was
unjustifiable. He said his son Zain Qureshi defeated Ali Musa Gilani, the son
of former prime minister Yousaf Gilani, in the first election of his political
Muttahida Malis-e-Amal's (MMA) deputy president Siraj-ul-Haq on Monday rejected
president Fazal-ur-Rehman's suggestion to boycott taking oath in the
a political alliance consisting of conservative, religious, and far-right
parties of Pakistan, has protested against the poll results. It includes Jamaat-e-Islami,
Rehman's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) among other political parties.
a press conference held at Jamaat-e-Islami's (JI) head office in Mansoorah, Haq
said he did not believe in responding to disagreement with hostility.
will sit in the opposition with complete dignity and play our part," he
JI chief and deputy president of MMA further noted that a responsible
leadership was put in charge of the electoral process, however, excessive
intervention of institutions had affected the public opinion.
efforts were made to remove the national and political leadership from the
picture," Haq said. "From Karachi to Dir and Chitral, poll results
were not released in a timely manner. The election process was made suspicious
and it is regrettable that polling agents were sent out while the votes were
MMA deputy president further stated that an effort had been made to target
democracy, however, despite serious reservations his party was ready to give a
chance to the new government to prove itself. "We will wait for Imran Khan
to fulfill his promise to make Pakistan a welfare state like Madina," he
Haq stated that MMA would play its part in making democracy stable — both from
within and outside the parliament.
to information received from sources, MMA has called an emergency meeting in
the federal capital later today. Members will attempt to convince the MMA chief
to let the alliance join the opposition. They will also discuss the suggestion
to not take oath in the parliament.
on July 27, the All Parties Conference — convened by Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N) and MMA — had rejected the results of the July 25 general
to the media after presiding over the APC meeting, Rehman said people had been
robbed of their mandate. He had rejected the 'claims of those claiming victory
in the elections.' Rehman had also said that the APC will organise
demonstrations in different parts of the country till elections were held
The Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan will hold a march on Monday (Aug 6) to protest
against, what it called, the worst rigging in the elections, says a press
release of the party after a meeting of its central executive committee.
protest rally will start from Data Darbar and end at the Punjab Assembly.
party maintained that it was not an election, but a selection – a “fraud,
committed on the basis of the worst kind of rigging.”
party also decided to participate in by-elections and told its workers to get
ready for the purpose.
workers should also get ready for local bodies elections. The party also told
its workers to prepare for Aug 14 which would be celebrated in a befitting
Security deposits of Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP), Mutihda
Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) candidates have been
forfeited on five National Assembly (NA) seats of the district out of seven.
election on NA-60 was postponed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)
due to life imprisonment of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate
Hanif Abassi in ephedrine case while ECP has ordered re-counting of NA-57
votes. Losing security deposit in any election is termed as a humiliating
to Section 43 of The Representation of People Act 1976 in the Election Laws,
any candidate who fails to get one-eighth (12.5 percent) of the total votes
cast in a constituency from where he contests the polls, his security deposit
would be confiscated.
the security deposit is not a handsome amount but in Pakistani politics, one
whose security is confiscated is considered to have been defeated
NA-58 MMA candidate Mehmood Hussain got 1,960 votes and failed to keep his
NA-59 Ch Kamran Ali Khan of PPPP got 4830 votes while the total votes polled
were 209,974. MMA’s candidate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Tauhidi obtained 1,506
votes and TLP candidate Malik Taj bagged 14,320 votes and could not obtain 12.5
per cent of the total votes.
from NA-61 Haji Gulzar Ahmed Khan of PPP could only get 2,693 votes while TLP
candidate Syed Shahid Pervaiz got 9,246 votes and MMA candidate Mian Zafar
Yaseen bagged 3,899 votes.
NA-62 Sumera Gul of PPPP also could not manage to save her security deposit as
she obtained 5,583 votes. MMA’s candidate Tariq Munir got 3,719 votes while TLP
candidate Ch Qadeer Ahmed bagged 9,366 votes.
militants killed, wounded, suspected Pak militant held in Paktia operations
least eight militants were killed and a suspected Pakistani militant was
arrested during the operations of the Afghan National Defense and Security
Forces in southeastern Paktia province.
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in a statement said the Afghan armed
forces conducted operations based on intelligence tip in Zurmat district,
leaving at least eight militants dead.
statement further added that at least twelve militants also sustained injuries
during the same operations and a suspected Pakistani militant was arrested.
detained Pakistani militant has been identified as Mirza Khan son of Sardar
Khan who is originally a resident of Balochistan province, Thunder Corps added
counter-terrorism operations are still being conducted in Zurmat district of
Paktia and is led by Thunder Corps commander Rohullah Khalil Oghlo, Thunder
has been among the relatively calm provinces in southeastern parts of the
country but the security situation has deteriorated in some parts of the
province during the recent years.
Afghan forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations in Paktia and
other provinces in southeastern parts of Afghanistan.
least four people including a local tribal elder were killed in a suicide car
bomb attack in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said the incident took place
at around 6:30pm local time in the vicinity of Rodat dsitrict.
statement further added that the attack in Kabul Camp area left the local
tribal elder Haji Hayat and three of his family members dead.
to governor’s office, Haji Hayat’s son was also wounded in the suicide car bomb
incident took place as Haji Hayat Khan was on his way to Jalalabad city from
Kot district, the statement said, adding that the suicide bomber used a mini
truck packed with explosives to carry out the attack.
Hayat Khan was also a nominee for the upcoming parliamentary elections and
three of his family members killed in the attack were serving as his security
guards and driver, the provincial government added.
statement by the provincial government also added that Haji Hayat Khan’s son
has sustained minor injuries in the attack.
Kyaw Soe Oo, one of two Reuters journalists accused of obtaining state secrets
in Myanmar, told a court on Monday that the information in documents police say
were found on his mobile phone was already public.
28-year-old reporter said he did not know how the documents, previously
submitted to the court in Yangon by the prosecution during pre-trial hearings,
had got on to his phone.
Soe Oo and his Reuters colleague Wa Lone, 32, are facing up to 14 years in
prison for allegedly violating Myanmar’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act.
Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have told the court how they were
“trapped” by police officials who planted documents on them.
to what he said were “top secret” documents found on his phone and in his
possession, lead prosecutor Kyaw Min Aung accused Kyaw Soe Oo during
cross-examination of having “a habit of collecting those documents…to write
news and send to foreign news agency Reuters”.
response, Kyaw Soe Oo, sitting in the witness box facing the judge, said: “I
didn’t collect those documents voluntarily.”
the time of their arrest in December, the journalists had been investigating
the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys in a village in western
Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The killings took place during an army crackdown that
United Nations agencies say sent nearly 700,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh.
trial has attracted global attention and has come to be seen as a test of press
freedom and reforms in the fledgeling democracy.
lawyers also called as a witness on Monday a driver for Reuters, Myo Thant Tun,
who had dropped the reporters off for a meeting on the evening they were
Thant Tun said the pair were carrying “nothing but their handphones” when they
entered a restaurant where they met police officials who handed them a set of
papers shortly before they were detained.
Soe Oo and Wa Lone have testified that Police Lance Corporal Naing Lin and
another officer handed them documents during their meeting at the north Yangon
restaurant, but that they had no time to look at them before being arrested as
police captain, Moe Yan Naing, has also testified that a superior officer had
instructed his subordinates, including Naing Lin, to “trap” the reporters.
Naing Lin has told the court he met the reporters, but denied giving them
government spokesman Zaw Htay has mostly declined to comment throughout the
proceedings, saying Myanmar courts are independent. He did not answer calls
seeking comment on Monday.
their testimony, the journalists have described how they were handcuffed,
hooded, deprived of sleep, and forced to kneel for hours while being questioned
by interrogators who focused on their reporting of the massacre of Rohingya
Muslims, rather than the documents they are accused of obtaining.
Afghanistan: A roadside bomb hit a Kabul-bound passenger bus in western
Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least eight people and wounding around 40,
mostly women and children, officials said.
was a bomb planted by the Taliban to hit security forces but unfortunately it
got a passenger bus,” Farah provincial police spokesman Muhibullah Muhib told
explosion happened as the bus travelled through Bala Baluk district of Farah at
4:30 am (0000 GMT), provincial governor spokesman Naser Mehri told AFP.
posted on social media purportedly of the bus showed the vehicle's blackened
shell and dozens of Afghan men standing at the scene.
candidates of BNP and Islami Andolan Bangladesh claim there has been massive
irregularities during the vote
City Corporation voted peacefully on Monday, as the Election Commission saw no
reason to shut down or suspend polling at any polling centre.
were no reports of violence at any of the polling centres in the northern city.
shortage of ballot papers did cause problems at some polling centres, sources
on the ground told the Dhaka Tribune. Voters complained about having to wait
for hours outside the polling centres.
was temporarily put on hold at the Islamia Degree College centre in Rajshahi's
Binodpur area because of a shortage of ballot papers.
when asked about the shortage of ballot papers, the presiding officer at the
polling centre, Abdullahil Shafi, refused to comment.
do not want to talk about it,” he said.
long line of voters was seen at the Khademul Islam Government Primary School
centre. One of the voters, Mosharraf Hossain, said he had been waiting for two
hours on the same spot, with no sign of the line moving.
asked about it, the centre's presiding officer Azad Masud said: “Security
checking of the voters has been intensified as we have received information
that some of them are carrying hidden cameras, which is why it is taking
mayoral candidate Mohammad Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul and Islami Andolan
Bangladesh mayoral candidate Shafiqul Islam claimed there had been massive
irregularities during vote casting.
said BNP polling agents had been barred from entering polling centres by the
Awami League men, and Shafiqul complained about vote rigging.
Awami League mayoral candidate AHM Khairuzzaman Liton said there had been
nothing out of place and the voting had gone peacefully.
voting has been conducted peacefully,” said Liton, who cast his vote at the
Satellite Town High School polling centre. “I hope the people will elect me,
but I will accept whatever their decision is.”
also requested the law enforcement agencies to ensure a peaceful voting
environment across the city corporation.
refrains from voting, claims election fraud
a rare move in Bangladesh's politics, BNP candidate Bulbul refrained from
casting his vote in protest of alleged vote rigging and conducted a sit-in
demonstration in front of the Islamia Degree College polling centre.
even 20% voters have come to the polling centres, but over 50% of the ballots
have been cast. I have never seen an election with this much fraud,” Bulbul
told reporters. “I will not cast my vote, as this is not a fair election.”
further claimed BNP polling agents had been thrown out of the polling centres
by Awami League men.
in BNP said their polling agents could not enter Siroil Government High School
polling centre until Bulbul himself went to the centre around 10:30am.
Jatiya Tarun Sangha Government Primary School, nine of the 10 BNP polling
agents were allegedly thrown out by Awami League activists.
Bulbul went to the centre and asked the presiding officer about his agents, the
presiding officer said the BNP agents had been around before and he did not
know where they had gone.
during a press briefing, Bulbul rejected the election and demanded that the
entire Election Commission resign. “This was not a fairly held election,” he
Andolan candidate Shafiqul alleged that massive vote rigging had taken place.
were rigged at Wards 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. “A
group people entered the polling centres and put seals on the ballot papers.”
barred from polling centres
were barred by police from entering some polling centres in Rajshahi City
Corporation, who cited instructions from presiding officers.
barred Dhaka Tribune reporters at Dashmari High School polling centre in Ward
29, Upashahar Model Government Primary School centre in Ward 17, and Shishu
Niketon Madhyamik Balika Bidyalay centres.
Christian, Druze communities denounce ‘Jewish nation-state’ law
to a newly-adopted apartheid law that calls Israel “the exclusive nation-state
of the Jewish people” has grown to include Arab and Druze minority groups as
well as the Christian community in the occupied territories.
Sunday, the Catholic Church in the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds condemned
the “nation-state” law that cleared the Israeli parliament on July 19, The
Times of Israel reported.
Latin Patriarchate, which represents the Roman Catholic Church, said in a
statement, “The law fails to provide any constitutional guarantees for the
rights of the indigenous and other minorities living in the country.”
citizens of Israel, constituting 20 percent are flagrantly excluded from the
law,” it added, citing an example.
is beyond conception that a law with constitutional effect ignores an entire
segment of the population as if its members never existed,” the church said. “It sends an unequivocal signal to the
Palestinian citizens of Israel, to the effect that in this country they are not
legislation also violated international laws, the church said, calling on
Christians to rise in protest against the legislation.
Sunday, hundreds of Arabs and Israelis protested the law in the port city of
protest was joined by several lawmakers, who lashed out against the
legislation, with outspoken Arab legislator Aida Touma-Sliman calling it “an
law prioritizes “Jewish” values over democratic ones, declares al-Quds the
“capital” of Israel, and sets Hebrew as the official language, relegating
Arabic from an official language to one with “special status.”
on Sunday, Druze leaders met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
President Reuven Rivlin to voice their unease at the issue.
want full civil equality for all residents,” Rafik Halabi, mayor of Druze town
Daliyat al-Karmel, told the president.
week, Druze leaders, including three Knesset members, filed a petition with the
Israeli High Court of Justice against the legislation, calling it an “extreme”
commander breaks ranks
a commander with the community, whose members are subject to mandatory draft
into the Israeli military, resigned in protest at the law.
called on the Druze to end their youths’ service in the military, and warned
that the Israeli military will suffer greatly as a consequence of the law.
an open letter to Netanyahu, Capt. Amir Jmall wrote, “This morning, when I woke
up to drive to the [army] base, I asked myself, why?”
many thoughts ran through my head, I decided to let go and to discontinue
serving the country, a country that has a government that takes and does not
give back,” he wrote.
serving the country? I do not want to continue and I am sure that hundreds more
people will stop serving and will be discharged from the army following your
decision, Netanyahu, that of you and your government,” he continued.
30 Jewish, Muslim, and Christian teenagers came together on the New Haven Green
Tuesday to paint a 48-foot sign welcoming refugees.
teens are part of the Jerusalem Peacebuilders, an interfaith organization that
promotes peace across religions, cultures, and nationalities.
goal for the project was to create a visual message of tolerance and respect.
teens worked side-by-side with local residents and city officials painting,
socializing, and listening to music. But they each had a clear, and somewhat unique,
vision of what the billboard represents. Malak, 16, is an American Muslim from
really important to make other people feel included, and let people know that
New Haven and America is about including,” she said. “This is what America is
built upon - refugees upon refugees. So us not accepting them is just going
against our principles and what built this country.”
billboard design was inspired by a photograph taken by the New York Times
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Tyler Hicks of a young Turkish boy
arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos in October 2015.
Eliran, a 15-year-old from Israel, the welcoming sign is personal. His parents
are Moroccan Jews who were forced to migrate to Israel.
just want to help, especially kids,” Eliran said. “Kids have a special place in
my heart, but I want to help refugees to find a warm house everywhere. And I
think the U.S. is a good start. If we can be friends here, we can be friends in
Israel and Palestine. So this is our example for the whole world - that we can
military forces have “neutralized” nearly four dozen members of the Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group when they carried out a string of
counter-terrorism operations in the country’s southeastern provinces as well as
Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
Interior Ministry, in a statement released on Monday, said 36 PKK terrorists
were “neutralized” in counter-terrorism ground operation and airstrikes between
July 23 and 30.
statement said 18 Kurdish terrorists were killed while six others were
captured. The remaining 12 surrendered themselves to Turkish authorities.
Turkish military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that
the militants were killed, captured or surrendered.
the Turkish General Staff, in a message published on its official Twitter page,
said Turkish Armed Forces conducted clean-up operations in the Metina region of
northern Iraq on July 29, neutralizing 10 PKK terrorists.
militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated
southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.
along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a
terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an
autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.
shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July
2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.
the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out
operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and
army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have killed
four Saudi Soldiers after hitting two military bases in the kingdom’s southern
provinces of Jizan and Najran with mortar shells.
Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, citing unnamed military
officials, announced the news on Monday, saying that the al-Ojabah base in
Jizan and al-Soh base in Najran came under Yemeni mortar fire earlier in the
the Saudi military in one of its affiliated twitter accounts confirmed the
army soldiers, backed by fighters of the Houthi Ansarullah movement, also
launched an attack against Saudi-led units deployed in the Baqim Mountain in
Yemen’s northern province of Jawf and established full control over the
mountain after driving enemy force out of the area.
to a separate report by al-Masirah, Yemeni troops inflicted heavy damage on
Saudi-led forces, killing several Saudi mercenaries, mostly Sudanese.
on Monday, at least four civilians were killed and five others sustained
injuries after Saudi warplanes conduced a number of airstrikes against the
residential areas of al-Doreihami distinct in the impoverished country’s
western province of Hudaydah.
Arabia and some 20 of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco
and Sudan, launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against
Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall former Yemeni President Abd
Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the popular Ansarullah
offensive initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with
a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen.
imposed war, however, has so far failed to achieve its goal, thanks to firm
resistance mounted by Yemeni troops and Houthi fighters in defense of the city.
The war was also launched despite warnings that it would compound the
impoverished nation’s humanitarian crisis.
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the
war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured until then. The war and the
accompanying blockade have also caused famine across Yemen.
Saudi-led aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country's
infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. The United
Nations has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food
aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the European package
to save the 2015 nuclear deal may not be an ideal one but it could be an
opening for the future.
the Europeans, as they have promised in the proposal, stay committed and if
they really materialize what they have proposed to us… it could be a good start
for a good relationship with Europe and then try to expand it further,” he told
Press TV on Monday.
his optimism about the Iran nuclear deal, Salehi said if the international
community joins hands, the accord will be a good example for resolving international
crises in the future.
is a deal that is in the interest of my nation, it is in the interest of the
region, and it is in the interest of the international community. So I wish
that this deal will stay intact and it will not be jeopardized further,"
the Iranian top nuclear official added.
it (JCPOA) fails, if it breaks down, nobody will be benefiting from that,”
also described the US foreign policy as confusing and said such a policy will
not serve any purpose even for American people.
says the United States is not in a position to make biased and one-sided
judgments about the human rights situation in other countries.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Monday condemned a statement
issued on July 26 by participants at the Ministerial to Advance Religious
Freedom held in the US.
said the statement was interference in the Islamic Republic's internal affairs
and leveled allegations against the country based on "incorrect, spiteful
and unreal" information.
US and other violators of the most natural and obvious basic human rights are
not in a position to make biased and one-sided judgment about other countries
with different cultures and varieties," Qassemi pointed out.
their statement, participants at the US-hosted meeting said "as
representatives of the international community, we stand together in condemning
the systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom taking
place in Iran and call on authorities to ensure religious freedom for
also strongly urged "the government of Iran to cease" alleged
violations of religious freedom "and ensure that all individuals –
regardless of their beliefs – are treated equally and can live out their lives
and exercise their faith in peace and security."
spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has dismissed the recent
belligerent remarks by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of State for
Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash, saying the Abu Dhabi regime is too
feeble to fight in a battle against the residents of a single village in Yemen
let alone the entire Yemeni nation.
Emirati regime is notoriously too weak to wage an armed assault on a Yemeni
village. Therefore, there are serious questions about their capability to
launch a war against the entire Yemeni people,” Yemen’s Arabic-language
al-Masirah television network quoted Mohammed Abdul-Salam as saying.
added, “The United States dragged the UAE into the Yemeni quagmire. The ongoing
military aggression on Yemen fully exposed the type of relationship between a
colonial power and one of its pawns. This war plainly showed that the Emirati
regime is nothing without the support of the US.”
Thursday, Gargash denounced Houthis after an attack on Saudi oil tankers,
asserting that Yemen’s strategic western coastal city of Hudaydah must be taken
from members of the Ansarullah movement.
attack on the two Saudi oil tankers in the Red Sea reinforces the need to free
Hudaydah from the Houthi … forces. The systematic attack on maritime traffic is
a terrorist act, which is an expression of the uncontrollable, aggressive
nature of Houthis,” he wrote on his official Twitter page.
was apparently alluding to an incident in which fighters from Yemen’s Houthi
Ansarullah movement targeted a Saudi warship off the country’s western coast in
retaliation for the Riyadh regime’s deadly military campaign on the
the attack, Riyadh announced that it was temporarily suspending all oil
shipments through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
Yemeni army soldiers, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees,
launched an airstrike against a strategic economic target in the United Arab
Emirates in retaliation for the devastating military aggression against their
impoverished homeland by the so-called Saudi-led military coalition to which
the UAE is an important member.
Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Yemeni
soldiers and their allies attacked Abu Dhabi International Airport using a
domestically-built long-endurance Sammad-3 (Invincible-3) unmanned aerial
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the
Saudi-led war had left some 600,000 civilians dead and injured since March
United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid,
including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
high-ranking UN aid official has warned against the “catastrophic” living
conditions in Yemen, stating that there is a growing risk of famine and cholera
NATIONS: Yemen’s Houthi rebels are still arming themselves with ballistic
missiles and drones that “show characteristics similar” to Iranian-made
weapons, a report by a UN panel of experts has found.
a confidential report to the Security Council, a copy of which was seen by AFP
on Monday, the panel said it “continues to believe” that short-range ballistic
missiles and other weaponry were transferred from Iran to Yemen after an arms
embargo was imposed in 2015.
has repeatedly denied that it is arming the Houthis in Yemen, but the United
States and Saudi Arabia have accused Tehran of providing military support to
inspections of weaponry including missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
used by the Houthis “show characteristics similar to weapons systems known to
be produced in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said the 125-page report.
recent visits to Saudi Arabia, the panel was able to inspect debris from 10
missiles and found markings that suggest an Iranian origin, said the report
spanning January to July this year.
seems that despite the targeted arms embargo, the Houthis continue to have
access to ballistic missiles and UAVs to continue and possibly intensify their
campaign against targets in KSA (Saudi Arabia),” said the report.
panel said there was a “high probability” that the missiles were manufactured
outside of Yemen, shipped in sections to the country and re-assembled by the
support for Houthis
a letter to the panel, Iran maintained that the missiles, which the Houthis
have dubbed the Burkan, are a domestic upgrade of SCUD missiles that were part
of Yemen’s arsenal before the start of the war.
experts are also investigating information that the Houthis received from Iran
a monthly donation of fuel valued at $30 million. Iran has denied providing any
financial support to the Houthis.
the inspections of the missile debris, the experts mandated by the council also
found power converters produced by a Japanese company and Cyrillic markings on
components that suggested a Russian link.
investigation of those findings continues.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the council in a separate report in
June that some components from five missiles fired at Saudi Arabia were
manufactured in Iran but that UN officials were unable to determine when they
were shipped to Yemen.
panel has opened an investigation of seven airstrikes by the Saudi-led
coalition that hit civilian buildings, a gas station and commercial vessels, in
a possible violation of international humanitarian law.
Houthis are accused of widespread and indiscriminate use of land mines.
2015, Saudi Arabia has been leading a military campaign to push back the
Houthis and restore the internationally recognized government to power.
shocking expose: Obama administration funded al-Qaeda affiliate
Obama Administration “knowingly funded” an Islamist organization linked to
al-Qaeda. This startling expose, published on the website of US magazine
National Review, states that a Sudan-based terror organization was approved a
grant of $200,000 by the US Treasury in 2014.
then adds the more shocking news that even after Obama administration’s
officials were told that the financing unit — Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA) — is
a US-designated terrorist organization, they went ahead with authorizing the
release of at least $115,000 of the aforesaid grant to the Khartoum-based group
despite terror tag
was way back in 2004, that the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign
Assets Control (OFAC) had designated ISRA, also known as the Islamic African
Relief Agency (IARA), as a terror-financing organization. It had taken the
decision because of ISRA’s strong links to Osama bin Laden and his organization
Maktab al-Khidamat (MK) since 1997. In fact, ISRA had raised $5 million for
Osama bin Laden’s group by 2000.
spite of these and other evidence of linkages in the past, the magazine claims
that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in July 2014 awarded
$723,405 to an international charity group World Vision Inc. working in Sudan
for humanitarian purposes— out of which it surprisingly earmarked $200,000 to
the sub-grantee, the infamous ISRA.
a lot of controversy over the news of the grant of these funds to the terror
funding unit, OFAC held “close collaboration and consultations with the [US]
Department of State” to then take the untenable decision of issuing a license
to a World Vision affiliate, World Vision International, which allowed “a
one-time transfer of approximately $115,000 to ISRA in May 2015.
for Congressional probe
astounding fact in this respect is that all grantees and sub-grantees of US-government
grants register for a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and with
the government’s System for Award Management (SAM) database. However, ISRA was
mysteriously assigned a DUNS number — as recorded at the government’s
USAspending.gov website — that did not match with any organization in the US
government’s SAM database. The only listings for ISRA in this database were
among the designated Sudanese al-Qaeda affiliates and branches.
writer of the article Sam Westrop, who is director of the ‘Islamist Watch’
project of the Middle East Forum, states that: “It is no secret that the Obama
administration sought to downplay the threat of Islamism, and even to coopt
some Islamist movements to promote its agenda. In its foreign policy, the
administration expressed support for Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood
government in Egypt, while domestically, the White House invited Islamists to
design the government’s Countering Violent Extremism program”.
his concluding remarks, he states: “[The US] Congress must investigate this
question and, more broadly, where USAID is sending taxpayers’ money, for ISRA
might not be the only example. The House’s Foreign Affairs, Oversight, and
Financial Services Committees, along with the Senate Finance Committee, must
examine how a designated group came to qualify for government monies, why OFAC
and the State Department authorized the transfer of funds after learning of
ISRA’s terror ties, and which bureaucrat or political appointee was responsible
for this mess”.
hired by Qatar to sabotage US World Cup bid did PR for Assad, Gaddafi
PR company Brown Lloyd James Worldwide which Qatar hired to sabotage World Cup
bid rivals, the US and Australia, has a list of interesting former clients who
used the company’s services to cover up their corrupt governments’ conducts and
‘rebrand’ their names. Topping that list is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
and slain Libyan ex-President Muammar Ghaddafi.
company was hired in 2010 by Assad, where they signed a $5000 per month
contract. The strategic communications agency was able to “liaise” between
Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad and Vogue, where they landed her a glamorous
profile in the magazine titled “A Rose in the Desert”.
world-renowned magazine described her as “young and very chic—the freshest and
most magnetic of first ladies…a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained
analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement.” It also claimed that
Syria was “the safest country in the Middle East.”
has since removed the article after finding out the truth about the dictator’s
regime and the killing of innocent civilians, but it remained available on
their online site.
Worldwide was also hired in 2008 by then President Muammar Gaddafi to manage
his international image. According to reports, the firm helped write speeches
for him at the UN, and reached out to newspaper editors to discuss proposed
edits and articles.
Supreme Court may have upheld President Trump’s travel ban, but several dozen
Muslims are still challenging the way his administration is carrying it out,
saying he’s not living up to the terms he set for his own policy.
Muslims, in a new court filing Sunday, said Mr. Trump promised there would be
waivers available for people from banned countries who nonetheless showed a
special reason why they should be admitted to the U.S. But those waivers
haven’t been forthcoming, the Muslims said.
who range from a “world-class” Syrian violinist to a number of Iranian
professors or investors, say they had been initially cleared for visas to visit
the U.S., but when they went to try to actually get their visas, they were
denied under the travel ban.
blanket denials of visas to applicants from banned countries without the
opportunity to demonstrate their eligibility for a waiver from the
proclamation, together with statements made by defendants concerning their
intent and the application of the travel ban, makes clear that defendants are
targeting individuals for discriminatory treatment based on their country of
origin or nationality, without any lawful justification,” the plaintiffs say in
their new filing.
case is being led by Muslim Advocates, a group that has battled Mr. Trump on
immigration in general and has been one of the most vocal critics of the travel
original ban — one of the first major actions of Mr. Trump upon taking office —
prohibited nearly all entry into the U.S. of citizens from seven
nearly 18 months of court battles, and several revisions to the policy, the
latest version applies to Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and
Venezuela. For some of the countries the ban is fairly wide, covering most
visitors. For Venezuela, the ban applies to government officials and their
policy was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling last month, with the
court citing the availability of waivers as evidence the policy is carefully
in dissent, however, Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the waivers were actually a
strike against the policy, because the government hadn’t followed through on
said during the first month the new ban was in place the State Department
approved just two waivers out of 6,555 applicants. That grew to 430 waivers
over the next few months, but that was still “minuscule,” Justice Breyer wrote.
evening. My name is Sohaila Gebaly,” she said. “I’m going to 6th grade. I love
school and science.”
went on to tell board members that the year before, three boys in school
started calling her names. When no one stopped them, they hit her, kicked her
and pushed her.
didn’t feel safe,” Gebaly said. “I told my teacher I didn’t feel safe, but she
didn’t react to that.”
was one of several Muslim students and parents with similar stories.
members were supportive, pointing to a national climate of escalating tension
fueled by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim comments.
Activists were documenting a dramatic rise in hate crimes across the country,
particularly against Muslims. The Council on American-Islamic Relations — an
organization that’s a prominent voice for Muslims — launched a national effort
to work with schools to combat Islamophobic bullying.
Diego is the first place where a small group of parents pushed back.
night Gebaly and others testified, asking for more protection, board members
took action, voting unanimously to develop an anti-bullying program focused on
Islamophobia. Over the next few months, San Diego district staff started
putting the new program together with some help from CAIR.
were some books that that CAIR recommended,” says Mike Sullivan, an attorney
for the school district. “The district vetted those. Anyone who looks at those
books sees they're not advocating at all for Islamic beliefs. They're simply
trying to give an understanding and an understanding of why bullying is not
April 4, 2017, Superintendent Cindy Marten presented a plan for the new
initiative: It would create safe spaces for Muslim students; send staff and
parents letters about Islamophobia; make sure calendars list Muslim holidays; and
include Islamic history and culture in social studies lessons.
who were caught bullying Muslim students wouldn’t be disciplined with detention
— schools would instead use a restorative justice method, an organized
mediation technique where the accused student and alleged victim talk to repair
their relationship. Again, the board voted to unanimously approve the plan.
when Jose Velazquez, a Navy veteran whose kids go to San Diego schools, went
searching for an attorney who would listen to his concerns about CAIR.
is creating division using religion and that’s not right,” he says. “Their
agenda is to promote Islam in the school district, in the schools.”
didn’t understand why the district needed a special new program. He says he got
bullied as a kid, and his children had been bullied, and they just went to the
principal and complained. That worked, Velazquez says, so it should work for
Muslim kids, too.
found a team of pro bono lawyers called the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund
who wanted to help him make his case. They filed an injunction on the grounds
that the district was singling out Muslim students as a privileged religious
they’re going to work with CAIR, then any other organization should have the
same equal access. But we doubt that would happen,” says Freedom of Conscience
Defense Fund attorney Daniel Piedra. “So we think the reasonable solution would
be just to have CAIR out of the schools completely.”
response to concerns, the San Diego board of education revised their earlier
plans. They decided to instead create an intercultural committee, and work more
with the Anti-Defamation League — a group who says its values are rooted in
don't think there was anything inappropriate that they did initially,” Sullivan
says, but the district revised the program “to make sure that it was clear to
everyone that they were not favoring any religion, and that this was an effort
to prevent all bullying with regard to anyone with religious beliefs in the
move by the district — taking a step away from CAIR — frustrated another group
of parents who spoke at a July 11, 2017 board meeting.
want to thank the school board for the policy to combat Islamophobia,” said
parent Laura Beiser. “Given the current misinformation and fear shown by a
small group of parents, it is clear that this program is much needed in our
the group of parents worried about CAIR’s involvement with the district wasn’t
satisfied. They said people working on the revised program were still talking
with CAIR. So the lawsuit continued, and it got a lot of play in the media.
CAIR’s attorney, Gadeir Abbas says that’s part of what the Freedom of
Conscience Defense Fund was trying to accomplish.
theory of why San Diego district’s interactions with CAIR are problematic is
premised on these conspiratorial notions that CAIR is not an American
organization run by US citizens ... and somehow CAIR is a nefarious group aimed
at displacing American law,” he says.
has never been charged with criminal activity.
think there is a very determined, well-organized group of organizations that
have as their mission the marginalization of the Muslim community all across
the US,” Abbas says. “This lawsuit legitimizes the false beliefs that
anti-Muslim bullying is a fiction, when in fact it’s an emerging phenomenon
that affects most Muslim students anywhere in the country.”
says that’s why CAIR’s working with many students and school districts nationwide
to address Islamophobic bullying.
San Diego case, unfortunately, might be the first of many attempts to exclude
CAIR and Muslim communities from their own schools in an attempt to isolate the
Muslim communities and allow anti-Muslim bullying to fester,” he says.
says that he just wants all children, including his own, to be treated the same
got kids in school. They should not be treated differently,” he says. “CAIR
itself called us Islamophobics, bigots, racists. ... You know, they don’t even
know me. I’m Hispanic. Served my country. Every time someone says
‘Islamophobia,’ I think that’s just another reason to cover up the real facts
says the district has always maintained that no one’s being treated differently,
and it works with all community groups, including religious ones.
plaintiffs have requested is the notion that the district not have any
relationship with CAIR,” Sullivan says. “They think it's inappropriate to have
any relationship with CAIR because they disagree with CAIR. That is what would
says if the school district refused to have any contact with CAIR, that, in and
of itself, would be religious discrimination.
the state House district that includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,
Democratic challenger Saima Farooqui says incumbent state Rep. Kristin Jacobs,
D-Coconut Creek, has not been a strong enough presence in the community
following the mass shooting that claimed 17 lives.
a huge disconnect in between the current representative and the community
because most of the people really don’t know that she’s our current
representative and post-Parkland, it was very noticeable,” Farooqui said in a
meeting with the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board. “When you are involved in
different clubs and groups and different associations in the community, and you
meet with people on a day-to-day basis, then you know better about their
cited her positions as vice president of the Coconut Creek Democratic Club, a
board member of the Broward Democratic Environmental Caucus and secretary of
the American Muslim Democratic Caucus of Florida as examples of active
involvement that gives her a sense of the community’s feelings.
is especially important in state House District 96, which comprises an area of
Broward County west of Florida’s Turnpike and northeast of Coral Springs, up to
the Broward-Palm Beach County line, including parts of Parkland, Margate and
Florida Legislature was in session in Tallahassee when the mass shooting
occurred, and Jacobs immediately went home to her district, along with other
lawmakers who represent the area. All Democrats, they invited the leadership of
the Republican-dominated legislature to tour the building where the shooting
visit was an important first step in passing what eventually became the Marjory
Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act, which contained the first gun-control
provisions passed by the Florida Legislature in more than 20 years.
violence is not what Jacobs had in mind when she was elected to the Legislature
in 2014 after 16 years on the Broward County Commission.
four years in Tallahassee, Jacobs has made a mark as an environmental advocate,
sponsoring successful legislation to protect South Florida coral reefs and
establish an interagency group to consider how to deal with the effects of
with the Parkland shooting now in the forefront, Jacobs said she wants to push
to gun violence issues, including requiring bleed kits wherever public
facilities currently have defibrillators. The kits would allow onsite treatment
of injuries with severe loss of blood, such as gunshot wounds.
are some people who think the way to get something done up there is to rattle
your saber and poke leadership in the eye,” Jacobs said. “And I always want to
ask them, ‘How’s that working out for you?’ ”
is one of two Muslim candidates seeking election to the state House from
Broward County in a Democratic primary this year. A Muslim candidate is also
running for the Broward County Commission.
Muslims are trying to raise their political profile, that hasn’t translated to
fundraising. Farooqui has raised $5,485 through July 6, the latest period for
which campaign finance reports are available. Jacobs has raised $37,640 over
the same time period.
cited affordable education and creating more science and engineering jobs as
re-elected, Jacobs said she hopes to continue to push for environmental change.
She is the Democratic ranking member on both the Agriculture and Natural
Resources Appropriations and Natural Resources and Public Lands subcommittees.
She cited cleaning up pollution from septic tanks, especially north of Lake Okeechobee
where the runoff can create ideal conditions for algae development in the lake,
as a top concern.
also intends to push for a sexual harassment bill that was filed this year
after several sex scandals in the Legislature but did not pass due to
irreconcilable differences between House and Senate versions.
feel like I’m hitting my stride,” she said. “I’ve learned so many ways to move
things and get things done up there.”
The US National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) 2019, passed by Congress this
week, does not link future payments of security-related assistance to Pakistan
to the country’s counterterrorism efforts.
bill, which was approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate last
week, now goes to President Donald Trump for signing into a law. The bill has
only one reference to the Haqqani network, which the US claims carries out
attacks into Afghanistan from its hideouts in Pakistan, a charge Islamabad
rejects as incorrect. It mentions the Haqqani network while talking about the
ability of the Afghan security forces to defend their territory against
are 19 references to Pakistan in the document, known as the conference report,
which is the joint version of both chambers of the US Congress.
first reference comes in the section that lays out the condition for
reimbursing some friendly countries for their border security operations. It
notes that the US could provide security assistance to Pakistan for supporting
and enhancing efforts of its armed forces to “increase security and sustain
increased security along the border of Pakistan with Afghanistan”.
not clear how much assistance the US plans to provide to Pakistan for these
operations. Some media reports suggested that the amount has been reduced to
$150 million from $350 million last year and $700 million a year before.
reports, however, suggested that the Trump administration retained $350 million
for 2019 as well. The conference report, however, makes it clear that the goals
and desired outcomes of each such operation or activity have to be “established
and agreed upon in advance by the United States and Pakistan". It also
requires a bilateral process to verify the achievement of the goals and desired
outcomes, as agreed.
bill also requires Pakistan to actively coordinate with Afghanistan on issues
relating to border security. The US Secretary of Defence is required to provide
a quarterly report to Congress about Pakistan’s compliance with the goals and
objectives of this assistance.
section urges Pakistan to release Dr Shakil Afridi, who is praised as “an
international hero” for helping the US find Osama bin Laden in a hideout in
observers in Washington said the reduction in reimbursement was not specific to
Pakistan. The NDAA 2019 had reduced total global Coalition Support Fund (CSF)
authorisation to $350 million from which Pakistan may receive up to $150
million as reimbursement for border-security operations, not CSF. The remaining
$200 million will be “available” to reimburse Pakistan or other nations as CSF.
Goel, a former staffer of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told The
Hindustan Times newspaper that NDAA 2019 “gets rid of the certification
requirements for Pakistani action against the Haqqani network, and also gets
rid of the authority to reimburse Pakistan for counterterrorism".
Highlights Muslims' 'Persecution' Fears In Greater Manchester
is a "genuine fear" that the government's counter-terrorism strategy
is targeting Muslims in Greater Manchester, according to a new report.
Shared Future was commissioned by the region's mayor Andy Burnham after the
Manchester Arena attack in May 2017.
report said a lack of information about the Prevent scheme had led to a
"fear of persecution" among Muslims.
Minister Ben Wallace said the biggest challenge to Prevent was
"inaccuracies" in perception.
critics claim it "disproportionately targets" Muslims.
is part of the government's counter-terrorism strategy and is designed to
support people at risk of carrying out terrorist activities.
report was set up to consider how to tackle extremism, social exclusion and
radicalisation across Greater Manchester in the wake of the Arena attack on 22
May 2017, which killed 22 people.
said there was "no causal pathway that leads to extremism" and it was
"unwise" to attempt to identify vulnerable groups.
also recommended there should be an effort to move Prevent away from police and
law enforcement to the safeguarding of people at risk of radicalisation.
Burnham said he wanted to "challenge false perceptions" of Prevent
despite previously saying it should be scrapped.
Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi was not known to the Prevent scheme, Greater
Manchester Police had previously said.
two people who knew him while he was at college made separate calls to an
anti-terrorism hotline about his extremist views.
report from the Greater Manchester Preventing Hateful Extremism and Promoting
Social Cohesion Commission said the current strategy was "vital to
community safety" and "vulnerable people were being
it said much of the positive work "was not being appropriately
disseminated into communities".
mayor said Prevent was "working well" in many areas but he accepted
the need to provide more information about it.
has been backed by senior police figures, but criticised by some who said it
Iqbal, a Manchester GP who is the co-founder of Advancing Voices of Women
Against Islamophobia, said it was "almost offensive" to suggest
Muslims were critical of Prevent because of a lack of understanding.
said the Muslim community was "being disproportionately targeted by a
strategy that has repeatedly been shown to be counter-productive".
2016, Mr Burnham, then shadow home secretary, called for a cross-party review
of the strategy, The Guardian reported.
after the Manchester attack, he said he "didn't back away" from the
comments, saying Prevent had led to "a sense of division and
alienation" among some British Muslims.
Britain’s Pakistani origin counter-extremism commissioner Sara Khan has said
that religious-motivated extremism within the Muslim communities is a serious
issue, and it will be dealt at any cost to make Muslim communities safe and
an interview here coinciding with the launch of an evidence gathering programme
with the aim of producing an in-depth report on how to confront all forms of
extremism from all communities, Sara Khan explained the role of the Commission
for Countering Extremism (CCE) to deal with the problem of extremism within the
communities and the far-right threat.
British Pakistani campaigner, who was appointed this year in January in her
role by the Home Office, said she has been vilified for speaking out against
extremism and terrorism, but it was her resolve to continue highlighting the
threats that exist and why its important to deal with these challenges.
counter-extremism commissioner told this reporter that the CCE, which she now
leads, was set up after five incidents of terrorism last year. She said the
commission has been set up to “build our understanding of extremism and to look
at the harm it has caused”.
said: “We are engaged in an intensive evidence gathering drive because we want
to produce a comprehensive study helping us to understand the scale of
extremism in our country and the harm its causing to the communities, to our
families, to young people, to our society, to understand the tactics of
extremists and to look at what should be the response of counter extremism
experts. Are we doing enough to counter extremist threat? We are embarking on a
study to determine all of this and its findings will be published next year.”
January, Sara Khan has visited 10 towns and cities and spoken to 300 experts,
women groups, youth and faith leaders in her quest to understand the problem.
“Everywhere I went to the communities are concerned about extremism; on the one
hand, they talk about far-right extremism and extremists as mosques have been
attacked, there has been a rise in hate crimes and also there has been Islamist
extremism within our communities as well and the challenge that it brings. I
have been speaking to mothers who have been telling us that their children are
being groomed into extremism and that they have been targeted and being drawn
are the challenges we have to look at, we have to look at how we can protect
women rights, how we can protect human rights, this is where extremist
threaten; they don’t believe in diversity and pluralism. I want to help people
and help communities to challenge extremism and do more to support those who
are challenging it, and we know that Muslims in this country are diverse. I
have spoken to members of Hindu and Sikh communities; I am very keen to look at
all forms of extremism because that way we can come together collectively to challenge
all forms of extremisms,” explained the commissioner. After her appointment in
January, Sara Khan faced immediate calls to quit from some Muslim groups and
politicians because of her support for the Home Office's prevent
counter-terrorism strategy, but Sara Khan said that she will continue and will
not be bothered by the politics around the issue. She said that there are two
sets of people who were worried about her appointment; those who were concerned
about the commission and its mission and those who are scared of the agenda of
the counter extremism commission.
had a very constructive meeting with Sayeeda Warsi and with the free speech
alliance. These meetings were constructive and useful. Then there are those
people who are scared of the agenda against extremism. It’s for sure that I
will be actively exposing and highlighting extremism,” said Sara Khan.
candidates band together in Michigan
Mich. — The crowd at the first #MyMuslimVote rally was bigger than it looked, a
few hundred people clustered on one side of a soccer pitch. The attendees had
spent the afternoon getting henna tattoos, sampling from food vendors and
registering to vote — often under the watchful eye of candidates who want their
had a low-key feel, until speakers took the stage and began explaining the
stakes of the 2018 midterm election. Linda Sarsour, a co-founder of the
national Women’s March, reminded the crowd that two Muslim women are running in
winnable congressional primaries, and a Muslim man has a shot at being elected
don’t want you to think that you guys are just one state, one people,” Sarsour
said, as several security guards looked on. “People across this country —
immigrants, undocumented people, black people, people who feel intimidated and
silenced, you have an opportunity to show those people that democracy still
works in America.”
Aug. 7, Michigan Democrats will vote in primaries that have become,
simultaneously, tests of the party’s progressive insurgency and tests of
whether Muslim candidates can win.
state legislator Rashida Tlaib and Obama administration official Fayrouz Saad
are competing for a deep-blue seat in Detroit and a GOP-leaning seat in the
suburbs. Abdul El-Sayed, 33, a gubernatorial candidate backed by Sen. Bernie
Sanders (I-Vt.), has leaned into identity to explain why the party’s
establishment is afraid of him.
say: Abdul, you’re a little bit young. You’re a little bit brown. You’re a
little bit Muslim,” El-Sayed says in his stump speech.
candidate, as well as some progressive challengers down the ballot, is working
to mobilize an electorate that swung decisively toward Democrats after 2001,
but has struggled for representation. Two states — Indiana and Minnesota — have
sent Muslims to Congress. Michigan, with at least 115,000 Muslims registered as
Democrats, has not.
we’re going to be real, we come from a legacy of oppression,” Mohamed Gula, the
executive director of Emerge USA, said at a weekend conference of Muslims in
of this year’s Muslim Democrats in Detroit are running to the left. Dearborn
broke for Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, as the senator
won an upset victory. But in the general election, the overall vote in Wayne
County fell by 35,417 compared to 2012 — more than three times as large as the
overall margin by which Hillary Clinton lost the state.
Aiyash, a Democrat running for state Senate this year from Wayne County, said
that he saw some of that falloff himself. It wasn’t just that some Muslim
voters were skeptical of Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state — it was that
“they didn’t think Trump could win.” The cold splash of reality that came that
year had galvanized Muslim voters, he said; his campaign had registered more
than 1,500 voters alone.
Saturday, Aiyash campaigned alongside El-Sayed, whose campaign has made his
religion and his roots — he frequently talks of “my father’s native Egypt” — a
selling point. Last year, when he began his long-shot bid, much of the
attention that came his way focused on Michigan’s opportunity to elect a Muslim
governor. El-Sayed was called “the man running to be US’s first Muslim
governor” by Al Jazeera, while Politico asked whether the Midwest was “ready
for a governor named Abdul.”
has also suggested that his faith has kept Democrats away from his campaign —
which promises statewide single-payer health care, a $15 minimum wage and rural
broadband. In an interview Monday night on HBO’s “Vice News Tonight,” El-Sayed
makes some of the points he made in a recent conversation with The Washington
Post, that party elites warned that his religion would make him unelectable.
literally had, I had, let’s just say, very powerful people who call a lot of
shots in the party sit me down and say: We think you’re great,” El-Sayed told
Vice. “You just, you know, it’s not that we’re racist. It’s just that we think
people outside of Southeast Michigan are racist and so you can’t win.”
the race’s final weeks, El-Sayed has received far more media attention than the
longtime front-runner, Gretchen Whitmer, a former state Senate leader who would
be Michigan’s second female governor. On Saturday and Sunday, a large group of
reporters, national and international, followed El-Sayed and Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic congressional candidate in New York, to rallies and
speeches across Michigan, where both made the argument that party elites had
been wrong about who could and could not win.
isn’t the year that we get our first Muslim woman to Congress — it’s the year
that we get our first class of Muslim women,” Ocasio-Cortez said in Dearborn.
at one press scrum, in Detroit, a reporter tossed El-Sayed a question about
U.S. policy in the Middle East, and he demurred. “I’m running for governor of
Michigan,” he said. Saad and Tlaib, the candidates for Congress, have eagerly
engaged on those questions — especially Tlaib, who would join Rep. Justin Amash
(R-Mich.) as the second Palestinian American in Congress. At a forum at a
Detroit synagogue on Friday night, she told Jewish voters that she wants more
integration between Jews and Muslims in Israel.
need to be much more honest about the fact that the walls are not working,”
Tlaib said in an interview. “We need to be honest about the dehumanization on
both sides, frankly. And more importantly, we need to be not choosing a side.
What I bring to the table, growing up in a Palestinian American household, and
coming to Detroit, is an understanding that there’s so much comparison between
what happened there and what happened to African Americans here.”
who would be all but certain to join Congress if she won her primary — no
Republican is competing for the Detroit-based seat — had the clearest path to
victory of any of this year’s Muslim candidates in Michigan. All of the
candidates were described, by their allies, as uniquely positioned to oppose the
Francis is encouraging Catholic men and women in the field of theological
ethics to be passionate about dialogue and networking in order to remove the
walls of division and build bridges of fraternity everywhere in the world.
Pope’s encouragement came in a message to participants in a 2-day conference in
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. on the
theme, “A Critical Time for Bridge-Building, Catholic Theological Ethics
Today.” Some 500 Catholic moral
theologians from 80 countries are attending the July 26-27 meeting, organized
by the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church (CTEWC) network.
on Sarajevo, the Pope said that in today’s environment of tension and division
marked by fear and forms of regression, the city of bridges calls for the need
to build new paths of closeness between peoples, cultures, religious, visions
of life and political orientations.
Pope noted that certain aspects of the ecological challenge can create grave
imbalances not only in terms of the relationship between man and nature, but
also between generations and people. In
this regard, he said, the issue of migrants and refugees can foster ethical and
theological reflection, even before inspiring suitable pastoral attitudes and
responsible and carefully planned political policies.
this backdrop, the Holy Father said individuals and institutions need to assume
a renewed leadership to help find and put into practice a more just way for all
of us to live in this world as sharers in a common destiny.
Islamic State jihadist group on Monday claimed an attack that killed four
foreign cyclists in Tajikistan in what was originally reported as a hit-and-run
victims, two Americans, a Swiss and Dutch citizen, were struck by a car and
attacked on Sunday while on a popular cycle route in the Danghara district,
about 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the capital Dushanbe.
suspects) had knives and firearms,” said interior minister Ramazon Hamro
Rahimzoda, adding that two other cyclists, Swiss and Dutch nationals, were
injured and hospitalised.
tourist received a knife wound and is being given medical assistance. The
victim’s condition is stable,” said Rahimzoda, without mentioning a
cyclist with the group, a French citizen, escaped without injury and had been
questioned by police, he added.
a statement published Monday, IS said that a “detachment from the soldiers of
the Caliphate” had carried out the attack against “citizens of Crusader
coalition countries,” according to intelligence monitor SITE.
people suspected of involvement in the attack were killed by police and at
least four suspects detained, according to separate police accounts.
the dead suspects was 21-year-old Jafariddin Yusufov, the owner of the Daewoo
Leganza car that struck the tourists on Sunday afternoon, local officials said.
Belgian cyclist who said he arrived at the scene after the attack told Flemish
broadcaster VRT that he saw “several cyclists on the ground. Some were
I asked what had happened, the first thing someone said was that they had been
hit by a car and that the people who had come out had started stabbing them
with knives,” cyclist Nicolas Moerman said.
Dutch foreign ministry told AFP on Monday that one of the dead tourists was a
56-year-old man who was cycling the route with his 58-year-old partner, without
cyclists were travelling on a road that adjoins the famous Pamir Highway, a
Soviet-era road surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.
HANDYSIDEMap locating Danghara in Tajikistan where four tourists were attacked
and killed, according to police.
can’t say if it is an act of terror,” Rahimzoda said earlier on Monday.
are considering all possibilities,” he added but said that “state institutions
are being guarded… to provide safety for citizens and tourists”.
US embassy in Tajikistan confirmed that two of the fatalities were American
Swiss foreign ministry on Monday told AFP that Switzerland “calls for every
effort to be made to shed light on this serious incident”.
it is established that this was a terrorist attack, it will be noted in
(Switzerland’s) future travel advice for Tajikistan,” said ministry spokeswoman
Silvia Muller while noting that the motive for the attack was still unclear.
French diplomatic source told AFP that the country’s embassy in Tajikistan was
“engaged in facilitating the return” of the French survivor of the attack.
President Emomali Rakhmon sent notes of condolence to the US, Switzerland and
the Netherlands over the deaths and called for increased security throughout
the country at a special meeting on Monday with the country’s law enforcement
authorities had declared 2018 “a year of tourism” in the former Soviet
June, Rakhmon said that state officials found to be soliciting bribes from
tourists would be deemed “traitors” and fired from their positions.
numbers had quadrupled in the first five months of 2018 compared the same
period last year, he said.
ambassador to Israel on Monday described as unrealistic Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated demands that Iranian forces and their allies be
expelled from Syria.
is a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime alongside Iran and
Lebanon’s Hezbollah -- two sworn enemies of Israel.
Iranians are playing a very, very important role in our common efforts to
eliminate the terrorists in Syria,” Anatoly Viktorov said in English-language
comments on Israel’s private Channel 10 broadcaster.
why, for this period of time, we see as non-realistic demands to expel any
foreign troops from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic,” he said.
said Iran’s presence in Syria was “fully legitimate according to UN
about the possibility of Russia expelling the Iranians from the war-hit
country, the ambassador replied: “No, we cannot force them”.
said Russia was “not okay” with the use of “force” by the Israeli government.
attacks often attributed to Israel have repeatedly struck Iranian targets or
those of its ally Hezbollah in Syria.
diplomat continued by saying Russia “cannot persuade Israel how to proceed” in
is not up to Russia to give (Israel) freedom to do anything or to prohibit
anything,” he said.
Monday at a Jerusalem meeting between Netanyahu and Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov, Russia offered to keep Iranian forces 100 kilometers (62 miles)
from Syria’s border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, according to an
ambassador refused to confirm information about the deal.
in recent months has increased demands that Iran withdraw from Syria and not
entrench itself militarily.
it has been careful not to be dragged into the conflict next door, Israel has
on several occasions struck Syrian territory -- including convoys of weapons it
says are bound for Hezbollah.
has been on high alert since June 19, when Syrian government forces launched an
offensive to retake southern Daraa and Quneitra provinces, the latter of which
includes the divided Golan Heights.
court disbands Islamic State-linked group for 'terrorism'
An Indonesian court disbanded the country's largest Islamic State-linked group,
Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), on Tuesday for "conducting terrorism"
and affiliating itself with the foreign militant organisation.
JAD figure Zainal Anshori stood up and shouted "Allahu akbar" when
the judge delivered the ruling in the heavily guarded courtroom in Jakarta,
capital of the world's largest Muslim-majority country.
is a U.S.-listed terror organisation with thousands of followers in Indonesia.
leader, Aman Abdurrahman, was sentenced to death last month for masterminding
from his jail cell a string of deadly attacks.
ban and recent changes to anti-terrorism laws will empower police to detain JAD
sympathisers, experts say. Police have long complained of not being able to act
against the group.
has been linked to attacks across the country in recent years, including
suicide bombings in the city of Surabaya in May that killed more than 30
group's lawyer Asludin Hatjani said JAD would not appeal the verdict.
Muslims and the denial syndrome
refer to Amer Aqel Amer Nordin’s response to my piece dated July 22, “Why
Muslims are failing in society”.
stand by my opinion that dogmatism, orthodoxy and fundamentalism among some
Muslim scholars, leaders and preachers have attributed to Muslims’ failing in
society. Muslims are failing because they have rejected the reasoning and
inquiry that was the bearing used by Muslim scholars of the past.
are statistics to this effect if one were to glance through research papers and
articles on the achievements of the Muslim world as compared to the non-Muslim
world. One can also look into the observable facts – phenomenological
observation, they say in social science – that many Muslim countries are
failing themselves with unending wars, illiteracy and poverty. And yet they
claim to be following the right teachings of Islam based on the Quran and
must be adamant, or are we just reluctant to accept the fact that we need to
reform in order to be seen as a successful people in society?
has to be a paradigm shift in the way Muslims approach knowledge. As Muslims,
we should not have the opinion that everything about ourselves and our
practices is hunky-dory. If truth be told, failed Muslim countries are putting
up a false front to the real unpleasant concerns affecting them. This denial
syndrome is not going to make Muslims any the wiser.
a fact that Sufis such as Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Sina, etc, were great Muslim
philosophers and many were free thinkers. One only has to do a quick Google
search on this subject and read up the narratives, biographies and writings on
these philosophers to prove my point.
were lovers of knowledge and they rejected dogmatism. They were generally influenced
by the thoughts of Greek philosophers. Persians (not Arabs) then were seekers
of worldly knowledge who travelled far beyond their state.
Muslims fear accepting this fact. They fear that their thoughts of these people
as Arabs and not Persians and the fact that they were philosophers will make
their pre-conceived understanding of these figures crumble. This is not the way
we approach knowledge in the 21st century.
the way, free thinkers may not necessarily have no faith in God. They are just
against dogmatic thinking. They adopt reasoning, inquiry and thinking in their
approach to seeking knowledge.
am not a proponent of Sufism. In truth, though, in some Muslim countries,
persecution of Sufis and Sufism has included the destruction of Sufi shrines
and mosques, suppression of orders, murder, and discrimination against
adherents. Turkey, for instance, banned all Sufi orders and abolished their
institutions in the early 20th century after Sufis opposed their new secular
Iran has harassed Shia Sufis, reportedly for their lack of support for the
government doctrine that the supreme Shia jurist should be the nation’s
most other Muslim countries such as Pakistan, attacks on Sufis and other sects,
especially their shrines, mosques and burial grounds, have come from adherents
of puritanical schools of thought.
is no denying that the majority of Muslims in this country belong to the Sunni
school of thought. One should also be aware that there are Muslims in this
country who belong to other schools of thought. Even the Salafi/Wahhabi school
of thought is creeping into the Muslim community here with the help of some
preachers and sectarian scholars.
of course, there are other Muslim groups too. This happens in almost all Muslim
countries. We have to accept this manifestation, though some of their teachings
can be detrimental to society.
agree that “Islam looks forward, not backwards”. Islam practised in the 21st
century should of course be forward looking in life, and Muslims should not
just be contented in delving into thoughts of the hereafter. There’s nothing
wrong with glorifying God’s scriptures and the past, but this is not enough.
must prove to themselves that they can move forward in life just like the many
successful non-Muslim nations. For this reason, Muslims have to make reforms to
the ways they approach religion and knowledge so that their practice is
relevant in the 21st century. Otherwise, they will be left behind.
don’t deny the fact that there are many verses in the Quran that advocate
exploring, learning and thinking. The problem with many Muslims these days is
that they are more obsessed with rituals than looking into the virtuous
teachings of the Quran – that is in part, to seek knowledge and become thinking
Muslims. As a consequence, they are left behind when it comes to the pursuit of
knowledge and this phenomenon can be seen in almost all Muslim countries.
are verses in the Quran that give high respect to women and also state that
slaves of those days should be freed by Muslims in various circumstances.
Muslims have and should abide by this.
preachers today should not preach the “unpleasant” norms that were accepted in
the 7th century. Slavery, for instance, is against human rights. Prisoners of
war must be given due respect, be they women or men.
women should not be turned into “sex objects”, as practised by some extremist
groups such as the IS in the name of religion, who justify their acts by
referring to the Quran or hadith. We are now living in the 21st century and no
longer in the 7th century.
mentioned in my article, it has been quoted – the interpretation by a
controversial Indian preacher from overseas now residing in the country – “…
that Muslims have the right to sex with their female slaves where he referred
to slaves as ‘prisoners of war’.”
main reference he cited is verse 23:1-6 in the Quran. It reads: “And successful
are the believers who guard their chastity… except from their wives or those
that their right hands possess.”
controversial high-level Saudi jurist, also a Salafi, Shaykh Saleh Al-Fawzan,
was quoted to have said in a lecture, “Slavery is a part of Islam. Slavery is
part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam.” He dismissed
Muslims who believed otherwise as ignorant and blind followers.
prominent Saudi Salafi cleric, Saad Al-Buraik, was quoted to have urged
Palestinians “to enslave women of the Jews”.
these are people who read and understand the Quran and hadith and yet come up
with weird decrees of this nature for present-day consumption. This really
baffles the minds of intellectuals and thinkers of the 21st century.
Muslims would not be misguided by elements of terrorism and sex slavery. No
sane mind in the 21st century would accept terrorism or sex slavery. Preachers
of these distorted precepts based on their literal understanding of the
scriptures must be reined in before people out there are influenced by them.
there are still Muslim preachers in this century who believe that Muslims have
the right to have sex with their slave prisoners and also terrorise others not
of their own faith, when this is against 21st century norms.
me again emphasise here that no doubt, slavery was a mainstay of life in
Islamic Arabia and the surrounding lands in the 7th century – before and after.
It was in this social milieu that Islam emerged. And it was in these
circumstances that sex slaves were permitted.
is no dispute that Malaysian Muslims and most Muslims of the world follow the
Sunni practice, with the Quran as the main source of guidance and hadith as a
supplementary source of review.
Muslims should be given the latitude to follow other schools of thought
peacefully if they wish. The Quran is the main source of guidance for all
Muslims despite their adherence to their respective sects.
should be allowed the freedom to practise Islam the way they choose as long as
they are tolerant of one another’s opinions and are able to critically dissect
issues with an inquisitive mind using reason and understanding.
for the hadith, I have said that this has always been a contentious point among
many Muslims. Nevertheless, I have not suggested that the authentic hadith be
no doubt that Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country despite claims of us being
a secular state. However, the people are allowed to practise their own faiths
peacefully. Being the Muslim majority does not mean that our ideas and opinions
must be trapped in 7th century culture and we should keep on living in denial.
Muslims cannot be static in their thinking if they want to move forward in
should not stop other Muslims from giving their ideas or opinions, either. And
Muslims should learn to accept differences of thoughts and opinions in others.
Only this way can Muslims thrive in today’s world. Having a conformist mind
without accepting new ideas and venturing into the realm of the 21st century
will not make Muslims any the wiser.
no intention of misguiding Muslims in this context. Muslims should have an open
mind and be able to accept criticism. Muslims cannot live in a cocoon, thinking
that all is already well. They have to accept the fact that they are failing in
many fields of life and cannot make headway in some countries because of our
stagnancy in thinking and refusal to acknowledge our weaknesses.
is the problem with our society. We fear the truth and would want to remain
outmoded in our outlook. We just cannot accept new ideas and new approaches to
doubt that this article is misguided or misguiding the thinking Muslims.
Thinking and educated Muslims will appreciate new ideas put forward by others,
and they are given all the wisdom to accept or reject opinions of others
without going to war.
am not denying the fact that there are many Muslims who have made it in life,
who are kind and compassionate and have contributed a lot to mankind. They
belong to the farsighted, rational and thinking cohort of people. These are
those who use their intelligence to trek forward. And we need more people of
this kind among Muslims.
have been at least three street protests in the past ten days. All of them were
peaceful. The protesters came, they shouted, they left.
did not use force, or did not need to use force, to break up any of the three
July 20, about 300 Muslims protested after Friday prayers at the Masjid Jamek
Shaik Eusoff in Jalan Macalister, Penang, against Penang Deputy Chief Minister
II P Ramasamy’s call for controversial preacher Zakir Naik of India to be sent
back if India were to request for Naik’s extradition.
also claimed that Ramasamy had links with the now defunct Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which has been listed as a terrorist organisation by about
30 countries, including Malaysia. The LTTE was defeated in 2009 by the Sri
Lankan government with the aid of several nations. Ramasamy says he was helping
the peace process.
week later, on July 27, two opposing groups – one supporting Ramasamy and the
other against – gathered at Komtar in Penang. The supporters were non-Muslim
Indians. Those against were Muslims.
was a potentially dangerous mix. Religion and race were at play. However, there
was no violence, as the protesters dispersed peacefully after engaging in a
July 28, almost 2,000 Malays gathered at Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur to
protest what they perceived as a threat against Malay and Muslim interests in the
nation because of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s policies.
speakers claimed that Islam and Malay rights were in danger. Many in the crowd
were unhappy with the appointments of non-Muslims to three top positions
recently: Tommy Thomas as attorney-general, Richard Malanjum as chief justice
and Liew Vui Keong as minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of
crowd later dispersed peacefully.
usual, at all three gatherings, policemen – both uniformed and in plainclothes
– were in attendance.
Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim expressed happiness at the way
the Kampung Baru protest went. He said: “We tried to ease the organiser’s
business and co-operate with them. This is the kind of gathering we want and hope
to see in the future. We will help any such gathering and we hope that
organisers will follow the rules and regulations that have been set.”
am happy with this new attitude of the police. It augers well for democracy. I
am also satisfied with the way the crowds at all three protests handled
themselves. It augers well for democracy, too.
this with protests and gatherings before the May 9 general election. The
authorities threw all sorts of obstacles in the way of protest organisers. And
organisers of protests in the past had almost always complained that police
were not helpful.
readers would recall the many incidents where police fired tear gas and water
cannons, used batons, or arrested protesters.
Malaysian Human Rights Commission, or Suhakam, lawyers groups and NGOs have
over the years spoken up against attempts to frustrate citizens’ right to
protest. In fact, after the Bersih 5 rally for free and fair elections and the
Red Shirts rally to oppose Bersih in November 2016, Suhakam reminded the police
that any attempt to prevent peaceful assemblies was unconstitutional.
least 14 people were arrested, including Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah
and Red Shirts leader Jamal Md Yunos, in the opposing rallies in Kuala Lumpur.
year earlier, a day before a Berish 4 rally, then home minister Ahmad Zahid
Hamidi banned all items related to the rally. This included the ridiculous ban
on the wearing of yellow-coloured t-shirts with Bersih 4 on it in any part of
the country. Such materials, the authorities stated, were “likely to be
prejudicial to security” and to “national interest”.
29 people were arrested on May 1, 2015, during an anti-goods and services tax
protest in Kuala Lumpur?
589 people were arrested after tear gas was fired and water cannons used to
break up a rally protesting the Internal Security Act in Kuala Lumpur in August
1,401 people were arrested in July 2011 after police fired tear gas to break up
a protest against the government of Najib Razak?
in November 2007, police fired tear gas and water cannons, and arrested more
than 130 people when protesters led by Hindraf tried to hand over a memorandum
on the treatment of Indians to the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur in
that happened during the rule of the Barisan Nasional.
those who participated in the recent protests should be happy that the PH
government is different, that it is allowing people the freedom to gather and
protest – a fundamental right of all citizens.
and we, should be happy that the police are adopting a new, and better,
approach in line with the democratic policy of the new government. The job of
the police is not to place impediments or break-up peaceful protests; rather,
they should facilitate demonstrations so that there is the least disruption in
the normal cycle of everyday life. However, they should be alert and act
against any troublemaker.
there is greater space for freedom today under the PH government. It is
incumbent upon those who wish to protest to ensure they do so peacefully. Both
protesters and the police should work together to ensure that citizens get to
exercise their rights, but without causing chaos.
July 31 — Panellists at the “Religious Tolerance and New Malaysia” forum
organised by interfaith NGO Projek Dialog exchanged opinions over the right to
profess no religion in the county.
vice-president Aminuddin Yahya said that despite Malaysia's social status as a
tolerant Muslim nation, atheism is still not permitted in Islam.
had discussed earlier that a framework for religious tolerance is needed, which
originates from divine inspiration rather than man-made ideals.
this framework, atheists should be counselled and given proper guidance. Yet
when they push for their so-called human rights, it is another thing
altogether. Such things would render them largely unacceptable and viewed as
alien,” he said.
contrast, lawyer Syahredzan Johan advocated that atheists have a place in the
new Malaysia just as everyone else did.
me, freedom of religion also means freedom to not believe (in any faith) Just
as the right to have an opinion means the right to have no opinion if you so
choose,” he said.
also extended this to individuals or groups who who followed schools of Islam
beyond what is officially recognised here.
Constitution defines Islam as the federal religion but it does not specify if
this solely refers to Sunnis, so broadly speaking it can possibly encompass
Shi'as and Ahmadiyyas as well. Whatever the case I feel there needs to be some
sort of harmonisation for Malaysians to be able to live peacefully among each
other,” he said.
her part social activist and lawyer Siti Kasim said Malaysia would be better
off if religion and politics could be separated.
LUMPUR, July 31 ― Not just lower court judges but judicial officers and
registrars at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya were ordered to attend
“propaganda” courses organised by the National Civic Bureau (BTN) prior to the
May 9 general election, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) claimed today.
group’s adviser N. Surendran said there were new documents to suggest that
there was a bid to “indoctrinate” Palace of Justice staff as well as court
officers from the Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam courts in the training programme
that was held between March 23 and 25 at Kem Bina Negara, Tanjung Rhu in
rot, thus, runs deeper than we had previously suspected; it is not just session
court [sic] judges, but the entire court system that appears to have been
targeted for BTN's propaganda,” he said in a statement.
who were forced to attend the course have informed us, among other things, that
it was impressed upon them that it was important to maintain the BN in power as
government,” he added.
BTN, created in 1974 as a research unit under the Youth Ministry, was later
renamed and parked directly under the Prime Minister’s Department in 1981 when
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad became prime minister the first time.
agency is supposed to work towards nation building, but its critics, including
participants, have claimed that the programmes promote Malay Muslim supremacy
and aim to keep the BN in power.
to Surendran, the BTN training programme was also drummed into the court
officers ahead of the 14th general election that “if the opposition Pakatan
Harapan wins, the people will suffer and the economy be damaged”.
civil rights lawyer and former Padang Rengas MP accused the BTN of fomenting
racism and disunity as well as being an alleged propaganda machine of the
former Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.
had recently also claimed that Sessions Court judges were asked to attend a
similar training from March 16 to 18 at the Akademi Kenegaraan Biro Tatanegara
at Jalan Bellamy here.
is an unmistakable attempt at the indoctrination of the judicial arm of the
state, carried out behind closed doors,” he said.
said such an act cannot be ignored and called for an independent panel of
inquiry to investigate the matter.
need to know what else was done to compromise the judiciary, and over what
period of time?” he said.
of Sultan Murad and the 51st Brigade, both affiliated to the Turkish troops,
engaged in heavy fighting in Akhtarin in Azzaz region in Aleppo province.
Reports said the clashes left a number of casualties on both warring sides.
infighting came after Commander of the 51st Brigade Mohammad al-Dayeri was
abducted in al-Bab, making the Brigade commanders to put forces on alert and
declare curfew in the some areas.
the meantime, Eastern Ghouta's Faylaq al-Rahman terrorists, who were forced to
retreat from Damascus province to Aleppo last month, engaged in heavy
infighting with Ankara-backed militants in Afrin that inflicted a number of
casualties on both warring sides.
Afrin infighting came after Ankara-affiliated local military police forces
called on Faylaq al-Rahman terrorists to leave houses they had occupied.
looting of people's assets and infighting in Turkish Army-held regions in
Northern Syria has been on rise in recent weeks.
sources reported on Saturday that terrorists of Ahrar al-Sharqiyah affiliated
to the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army resettled over 20 terrorists of Faylaq
al-Rahman in civilians' residential units in the town of Rajou Northwest of
terrorists had left Eastern Ghouta in Damascus province under a reconciliation
deal with the Syrian Army.
sources went on to say that the FSA-affiliated Firqah al-Hamzah broke into
residential units of the people in the village of Qojman Northeast of the town
of Jandaris and captured 20 villagers, transferring them to an unknown
further said that fresh infighting has started between Ahrar al-Sham and Firqah
al-Hamzah over the share of the assets looted from the local people in
al-Baladi website quoted a well-informed source as disclosing that the
terrorist groups' decision to form a new coalition in Idlib was made under
Ankara's pressure, adding that Turkey had forced the entire terrorist groups,
including Syria's Liberation Front, the National Liberation Front, Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at and Jeish al-Izzah, in Northern Hama to stand united against the
Damascus government before they are annihilated in the upcoming operation of
the Syrian army.
the meantime, Commander of Syria's Liberation Front Abdul Salam Abdul Razaq
claimed that the coalition members have an endorsed an agreement to specify
their battlefield responsibilities across the region which stretches from the
coastal areas to Northern Aleppo.
further said that representatives of Idlib's terrorist groups will gather in
Ankara in coming days to confer on their duties with regard to Idlib province.
al-Arabi daily quoted militant-affiliated sources in Northern Syria as
reporting on Sunday that Syria's Liberation Front, Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the
Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front), National Liberation Front,
Jeish al-Islam and Idlib Free Army formed a new coalition known as Jeish
al-Fatah in Idlib province.
daily further said that the newly-formed Jeish al-Fatah has almost 75,000
gunmen, adding that the terrorist groups' move is aimed at confronting the
Syrian Army's large-scale imminent operation in Southern and Western Aleppo,
Western Idlib and Northern and Northeastern Lattakia.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted field sources as reporting that the
army has recently dispatched a large number of forces and a large volume of
military hardware to Southeastern Idlib, mainly to the town of al-Dhohour and
to al-Zalaqiyat in Northern Hama.
went on to say that the army intends to free the villages and towns of Kafr
Zita, al-Latamina, al-Latmin, al-Zakah, al-Arba'ein, al-Lahaya and Ma'arkaba in
the first phase of its upcoming large-scale operation.
report further said that the army plans to restore security to Northeastern
Lattakia and Jisr al-Shughour in Southwestern Idlib in the upcoming offensive.
went on reporting that the Russian and Syrian forces have paid several visits
to the battlefields and have specified their joint military objectives in
Northeastern Lattakia and in Jourin in Northwestern Hama.
further said that the army's artillery and missile units have been pounding
terrorists' bases, command posts, arms depots and movements in the towns of
Badama and al-Najiyeh in Western Idlib and Khan Sheikhoun region in Southern
Idlib for their immediate ground invasion.
added that the army is likely to launch the operation from Western Idlib to
Jisr al-Shughour and Ariha after heavy artillery fire at terrorists' centers in
Northern Hama, Southern Idlib and Northern Lattakia.
terrorists, deployed in Western Aleppo, launched missile attacks on residential
areas in al-Hamdanieh district and the 3,000-unit Housing Project near Aleppo
city, killing and wounding eight civilians.
army's artillery and missile units, in response, targeted terrorists' positions
in Bashantara, Hoor and Bashqatin regions in Western Aleppo, destroying several
artillery platforms, launchers, cannons and positions of the terrorists.
number of terrorists were killed in the army shelling.
month, the Syrian army engaged in heavy clashes with Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the
Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) as the terrorists were preparing
to attack the government forces' positions in Khan Touman.
the artillery and missile units of the Syrian army pounded the terrorists'
positions in the area, killing all the terrorists and destroying their military
Syrian army's missile units also targeted a movement of Al-Nusra Front (also
known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) near Kharba Marate
in Southwestern Aleppo, destroying their military vehicles.
rebel fighters from the Free Syrian Army’s Shabab Al-Sunnah Brigade are
currently taking part in the Syrian Army’s ongoing offensive against the
ISIL-affiliated Jeish Khaled bin Walid terrorists in Hawz Yarmouk region,
to a Syrian military report, over 500 former rebels are now fighting alongside
the government forces after settling their cases in Dara'a.
reconciled rebels were given the option to serve alongside the Syrian Army in
order to settle their cases and remain in Dara'a and Quneitra provinces.
Jamal nom de guerre Abu Zeid, a security commander of the National Liberation
Front, along with two other commanders namely Osama al-Jaqmara and his aide
were killed after unidentified raiders opened fire at them in the town of
Ma'arat al-Nu'aman in Southern Idlib.
the meantime, Mahmoud Zab'an, a senior field commander of the National
Liberation Front was also killed in a bomb blast near the town of Dar al-Izzah
in Western Aleppo.
Saturday, Mohammad Saleh Qatish, a field commander of Jund al-Aqsa, was killed
after unknown raiders who opened fire at him in the village of Ma'ar Zita South
of the town of Kafr Nubl in Southern Idlib.
the meantime, Abu Aisha Tunisi, a notorious commander of Tahrir al-Sham, was
also killed by unknown attackers in the village of Hass Southwest of the town
of Ma'arat al-Nu'aman in Southern Idlib.
a number of Tahrir al-Sham militants were killed or wounded after unknown
attackers stormed their base in the town of Sarmada in Idlib province.
base of Tahrir a-Sham also came under rocket attack in the town of al-Dana in
Northern Idlib that left a number of fighters dead or wounded.
army men, covered by artillery and missile fire, stormed ISIL's strongholds in
the small town of al-Shajara in Hawz Yarmouk and captured several key areas
near the main base of the terrorists in region, killing a large number of
terrorists, including Abu Walid Mesri, the Egyptian commander of them.
army men further cut off the supply lines to the terrorists' positions in
al-Shajara, destroying their positions and bases.
army soldiers, meantime, destroyed several suicide vehicles of the ISIL that
tried to block the army's dvance.
sources reported on Sunday that more than 230 ISIL terrorists were killed and
hundreds more wounded in the army's massive operation in Hawz Yarmouk region in
Southwestern Dara'a that started ten days ago.
sources further said that the army men have now fortified their newly-captured
positions in the region, repelling several heavy attacks of the ISIL.
first flight carrying Indonesian pilgrims arrived on Tuesday through a
dedicated Mecca Road Initiative hall at the King Abdulaziz International Airport
initiative facilitated the completion of entry procedures for the 406 pilgrims
from the airport in Jakarta.
group was received by members of a supervising committee who provided the
pilgrims with flowers, sweets and gifts, including the undersecretary of the
Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and the vice president of ground operations for
authorities said that this initiative, which is being implemented for the
second year in a row, aims to make a pilgrim’s journey from their country to
Mecca or Medina easier.
of the Syrian constitution was top of the agenda during the first day of the
tenth round of Syrian talks in Sochi on Monday according to Russian Special
Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev.
received lists of potential candidates for the constitutional committee from
the Syrian government and opposition, “we are currently discussing the third
main group: representatives from Syria’s civilian society,” Lavrentiev said.
we will look into procedural and organizational issues surrounding how the
constitutional committee will work, but that is not for now. As a guarantor, we
are helping Stefan de Mistura get the constitutional reform off the ground,” he
delegations also discussed helping refugees to return to Syria and “the
strengthening of trust between the opposition and government.”
pay particular attention to this question, mainly during our working group
meetings on prisoner exchanges, searches for missing people and body exchanges.
This is very important and we hope that to make progress here,” the envoy said.
from Iran, Turkey and the Syrian government along with UN Special Envoy for
Syria Staffan de Mistura are attending the talks.
Eritrea mend ties as change sweeps Africa
- The presidents of Somalia and Eritrea on Monday signed an agreement to
establish diplomatic ties after over a decade of animosity, in the latest
lightning rapprochement between Horn of Africa rivals.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's three-day visit to Asmara coincides with
an extraordinary peace process between Eritrea and Ethiopia - part of dizzying
change in a region burdened by war, proxy conflicts, isolation and iron-fisted
two countries will establish diplomatic relations and exchange
ambassadors," read a "joint declaration on brotherly relations"
signed in Asmara by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Mohamed.
declaration came just three weeks after Ethiopia and Eritrea declared an end to
two decades of conflict, rapidly restoring diplomatic ties and flights between
history of the three nations, and their fallouts, have been intertwined.
and Eritrea were once close. Under Somali dictator Siad Barre, the military
regime in Mogagishu backed Eritrea's long fight for independence from Ethiopia,
which was attained in 1993.
1998 Ethiopia and Eritrea began a bloody two-year war over their shared border
which left 80,000 dead before settling into a bitter cold war.
the fall of Barre in 1991, Somalia fell into chaos.
around 2006, it became the site of what observers called a proxy war between
Eritrea and Ethiopia.
backed backing a weak interim government in Mogadishu while Eritrea was accused
of backing the militants fighting to overthrow it, a charge it denied.
United Nations Security Council in 2009 imposed an arms embargo and targeted
sanctions on Eritrea for its alleged support of the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab
militants, which continue to launch regular deadly attacks despite losing
territory in recent years.
declaration placed special emphasis on its support for the Somali government.
strongly supports the political independence, sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Somalia as well as the efforts of the people and government of
Somalia to restore the country's rightful stature and achieve the lofty aspirations
of its people," it said.The document, posted on Eritrea's information
ministry website, also said the two nations "will endeavor to forge
intimate political, economic, social, cultural as well as defense and security
will in addition "work in unison to foster regional peace, stability and
a state banquet on Sunday, Afwerki bemoaned the gloomy post-Cold War history of
the Horn of Africa.
said the region had been destroyed by "ethnic and clan cleavages" and
"external pillage and internal thievery" in the speech which also
lashed out at the "micromanagement of anarchy" by the United Nations
these bleak realities, interventionist and expansionist regional agendas in the
name of religion, cultural intoxication under various extremist ideologies,
terrorism, piracy, human trafficking, as well as trade in weapons and narcotics
became the new normal," he said, according to a speech posted on the
information ministry's website.
this epoch of crises, conflict and instability is not inherently sustainable.
As such, it is nearing its end. We are indeed entering a new, transitional,
which is undergoing lightning reforms under new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, has
already formally requested that sanctions be lifted against Eritrea.
in the wake of Ethiopia's peace with Eritrea, its other neighbour and rival
Djibouti asked the UN Security Council for help mediating a long-standing
border dispute that has soured relations with Asmara.
Africa Command of the US military (AFRICOM) says US forces started deploying
armed drones in the West African country of Niger earlier this year to launch
attacks against purported militant hideouts.
coordination with the Government of Niger, US Africa Command has armed
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft already in
Niger," media outlets quoted a
spokesperson for AFRICOM as saying on Monday.
a matter of operational security, we do not discuss where strike platforms
originate from, nor current or future operations,” it added.
reports indicate that the drones are currently being flown out of a base in the
capital Niamey while the military completes construction of a $100 million
drone base in the central city of Agadez.
November, Niger's government granted American forces permission to arm their
drones. Before that, US drones had only been used for surveillance.
ambush by a local affiliate to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in western
Niger last October killed four US troops. Militant groups based in neighboring
Mali have also struck military and civilian targets as far afield as Ivory
recent years, the US military presence in Niger has expanded to an 800-strong
force that accompanies Nigerien troops on intelligence gathering and other
in November last year, the Pentagon revealed that the US had some 500 troops on
the ground in Somalia.
US military says the drones are a cost-efficient way to counter the militants.
however, say drone strikes will cause civilian casualties and trigger blowback
from the local population.
US has currently thousands of Special Operations troops deployed to 92
countries, in an alleged bid to fight against violent extremists.
Libya-based parliament is set to vote Monday on a bill for holding a referendum
on a proposed constitution.
of the House of Representatives (parliament) have arrived in [the eastern city
of] Tobruk to take part in the vote,” spokesman Abdullah Bleiheq said in press
July 2017, a constitution-drafting assembly approved a draft for a permanent
constitution and demanded the adoption of a bill for holding a referendum on
United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNMIL) immediately welcomed the move,
saying on Twitter that it is “following closely this democratic process to
ensure a free and fair voting process on the referendum bill for the future and
safety of Libya”.
May, Libya’s warring rivals agreed during talks in Paris to finalize and adopt
a constitution by Sept. 16 and hold presidential and parliamentary elections on
has been dogged by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led
to the death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in
Tope Templer Olaiya
July 30, 2009, the Nigerian Police Force summarily executed Mohammed Yusuf,
founder of the dreaded militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, then aged 39.
years after, it has turned out to be an 'unforced error' in one of the unending
incidences of extrajudicial killings that is hurting the nation dearly.
forces had hunted door-to-door for the Islamic militants after killing more
than 100 of them by storming the sect's compound in Borno State.
military captured Yusuf at his parents-in-law's house.
transferred him to the custody of the Nigerian Police.
police summarily executed Yusuf in public view outside the police headquarters
officials claimed Yusuf was shot while trying to escape.
Shekau took over Boko Haram following Yusuf's death.
thew time of his death, Yusuf had four wives and 12 children, one of them being
Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who has claimed since 2016 to be the rightful leader of
Boko Haram, opposing Shekau.
the home of Yusuf is to be turned into a museum, in the hope it will boost
tourism in the area by the Borno State government.
state is also considering plans to transform the Sambisa forest - the group's
base - into a tourist centre.
critics say the plans risk immortalising the Boko Haram founder.
20,000 people have been killed in the group's eight-year insurgency, with
dozens still dying in deadly attacks on a regular basis.
Bulama, Borno Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture, told
reporters in November 2017 that the house in Maiduguri would become a museum
"where all the things that had happened relating to the insurgency will be
want to document and archive all that had happened so that our future
generation will be able to have first hand information," he said.
the moment, save for the capital in Maiduguri, many parts of Borno is still an
active theatre of war with security forces repelling attacks from the
began the group in 2002, focusing on opposing Western education.
was not for another seven years that it launched its military operations in an
attempt to create an Islamic state.
then, the group, which officially is called Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati
wal-Jihad, meaning "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's
Teachings and Jihad", has spread into neighbouring countries.
Haram, literally 'Western Education is Sin', has been one of the deadly
terrorist groups, not only in Nigeria but in the world.
2014, the group overtook ISIS as the world's most deadly terrorist
organisation, after series of beheadings, bombings, kidnappings, and other
after, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS, also known as the Islamic State.
led to the breakout of the group into two factions, the Shekau group and the
the end of 2015, Boko Haram had conquered and captured more than one-third of
the Borno and Yobe states local government areas and instituted its own violent
interpretation of sharia law.
insurgency dislocated social and economic activities in the North-Eastern and
some parts of the North-Western Nigeria that resulted in over 20,000 deaths
while displacing more than three million people.
in Girgir village, in Jakusko, present-day Yobe State, Yusuf received a local
he studied more of Islam and became a Salafi. As a young man, Yusuf was
strongly influenced by the teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah and studied theology at
the University of Medina, Saudi Arabia.
his return, he violently criticised the Federal Government and believed in the
strict application of Islamic law, which represented his ideal of justice
according to the teachings of the Prophet.
a 2009 BBC interview, Yusuf stated his belief that the concept of a spherical
Earth is contrary to Islamic teaching and should be rejected.
also rejected Darwinian evolution theory and the concept of the condensation
cycle that produces rain.
the interview he said: "There are prominent Islamic preachers who have
seen and understood that the present Western-style education is mixed with
issues that run contrary to our beliefs in Islam, like rain.
believe it is a creation of God rather than an evaporation caused by the sun
that condenses and becomes rain; or like saying the world is a sphere.
it runs contrary to the teachings of Allah, we reject it. We also reject the
theory of Darwinism."
then led to the uprising in 2009 that marked the turning point of the deadly
sect? Boko Haram members were en route to bury a comrade at the cemetery in
police officers, part of a special operation to suppress violence and rampant
crime in Borno, demanded that the young men comply with a law requiring
motorcycle passengers to wear helmets.
refused and, in the confrontation that followed, police shot and wounded
several of the men.
July 28, Nigerian troops surrounded the home of Yusuf in Maiduguri, after his
followers had barricaded themselves inside.
July 30, the military captured Yusuf and transferred him to the custody of the
to a young scholar, Aliyu Dahiru Aliyu, Boko Haram, officially 'Jama'at
Ahlussnnah Lid Da'awati Wal Jihad' (Ahlussunnah Group for Preaching and
Combat), can be traced back to 2001, when some unknown militants appeared in
some Northern states, especially Yobe and Kano, who were then called Yan
group called Nigerian government 'thaghut' (an Arabic term that means ungodly
people that would later be called Boko Haram, started becoming popular after
they attacked a local government secretariat and police station in Kanamma,
Borno in 2003.
group then moved to Gwoza, where they took the town as their training
Boko Haram leader, who before his death was a student of another popular salafi
cleric, Sheikh Ja'afar Mahmoud Adam, started preaching violence in the mosque
he named after the 13th century controversial scholar, Ibn Taimiyya.
embarked upon aggressive preaching mission between 2004 and 2009 and started to
win the heart of the Maiduguri youth and attracting them to the Markaz Ibn
2009, the terror squad started to launch attacks in various cities and villages
in Northern Nigeria.
primary motive of Boko Haram is to institute a caliphate in the region and to
continue conquering lands as it is in the slogan of its terror mother
developments have however shown that the Federal Government has learned little
lessons from the growth and expansion of religious sects in the country. Barely
two weeks ago, a new religious sect known as Hakika emerged in Toto Local
Government Area of Nasarawa State.
group, with members claiming to be Islamist saints, is currently occupying a
large expanse of the forest in the area.
a meeting in Lafia, Alhaji Isah Agwai, the Emir of Lafia, who is also the
chairman of the State Traditional Council of Chiefs, expressed dismay over the
activities of the group and cautioned residents to be wary.
also, the Secretary General of the state Ja'martu Nasil Islam, Ahmed Ali, said
the doctrines of the group were not Islamic.
have the kind of religious belief which I think is not Islam; they don't believe
in Quran, they don't believe in any of the doctrines that Allah talked about in
the Quran," Ali said.
his part, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security Matters,
Brigadier General Muhammad Adika(retd), said: "It is believed that some of
them are those running away from Zamfara State as a result of the pressure and
have concentrated themselves in an expanse of land, which is highly
there is tension in Kaduna State ahead of Thursday's August 2 resumption of the
trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem
Zakzaky at the state High Court.
his last day in court on July 11, messages of possible violence by Zakzaky's
followers were being circulated on WhatsApp, advising residents to avoid some
areas in the city, as the IMN members, also known as Shiites, were allegedly
planning "a big attack" during the trial.
the spokesman of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, dismissed the message, saying it was
maintained that the message was being peddled by the detractors of the IMN,
including the security agencies.
Zakzaky's court appearance on June 21, his followers allegedly killed a
policeman during a clash.
has been in detention, alongside his wife, for over two years following a clash
between his followers and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, in December 2015.
was charged with unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide,
punishable with death.
the root of the crisis is religious extremism upon which religious terrorism is
other loopholes that are exploited are poor economy (the wider gap between the
rich and the poor in Nigeria) and poor governance associated with corruption
and mismanagement of public funds by government officials.
conviction and the extremists' interpretation of Islam are two among the most
important triggers of terrorism in Nigeria.
may see the emergence of another Boko Haram if it turns a blind eye and allow
extremists continue propagating their own interpretation of religion, of war
should be regulated and religious hate speech should be curbed and countered
before it reaches the point of becoming religious terrorism.
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, recently noted that no unjustly
treated man would be interested in embracing peace if nothing is done to ensure
that every segment of the society is given a sense of belonging.
advocated justice, dialogue, and tolerance as key instruments for building
peace at all levels of the society.
to the Deputy Senate President, mankind was "besieged by a groundswell of
intolerance, injustice, racial discrimination, and ethnic hatred, leading to
violence, conflicts, extremism, terrorism, insurgency, and all forms of restiveness."
spoke at the first procedural session of the International Parliament for
Tolerance and Peace (IPTP), which was launched in Valetta, Malta, early this
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