Sri, who was on a four-day visit to the UAE, visited the mosque on Sunday and
hailed its beauty and “good vibrations”. (Twitter/@SriSri)
Sri Visits Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi Hails Its ‘Good Vibrations’
King Salman to Shura Council: We Adopt Values of Moderation, Tolerance
Will Do What Is Best for Our People, Our Interests': PM Khan Fires Back after Trump
Polls: Why Awami League Cosying Up To Islamic Fundamentalist Hefazat-e-Islam Is
Mosques Preaching Extremism to Civil Servants, Warns Intelligence Agency
of Milad un-Nabi, the Prophet's Birthday
Terrorists Killed, Commando Martyred in Shopian Encounter
Muslim University Issues Notices To Drama Club Members, Cancels Play over
Police collect data on Rohingya Muslims
Four militants, soldier killed in encounter in Shopian
Saudi Royals Turn On King's Favourite Son after Killing
Sisi Calls On Scholars, Intellectuals to 'Spread the Tolerant Teachings of
Army Hands over Demilitarized Zone in Northern Syria to Tahrir Al-Sham
Al-Shaabi Blocks US Attempts to Capture Military Base in Al-Anbar
Justice in Khashoggi case is a Saudi demand before it is a global one
Baghdadi hiding in this ISIS stronghold in Syria?
army says Daesh cleared from last stronghold in south
looks to remove religion from ID cards — but is it too little, too late?
Will Do What Is Best for Our People, Our Interests': PM Khan Fires Back after
Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent ‘High-Profile Militant’ Held In Karachi
Remain Over Tough Conditions of IMF Bailout
Received From Saudi Arabia: State Bank of Pakistan
filed against journalist Nasrullah in ATC
national response needed on hybrid conflicts: COAS
No Deal Reached With US in Qatar on Deadline to End Afghan War
say no pact struck with US over deadline to end war
confirms talks with US officials on Afghan conflict
wants six seats from BNP-led alliance in Sylhet Division
Wants a ‘Systematic Repatriation’ of Rohingya, Social Welfare Minister Says
Ghani met with the delegation of U.S. House of Representatives
calls for calm after Myanmar police shoot, wound Rohingya Muslims
Prophet's Birthday, Minister Says Islam Doesn’t Discriminate
finds Malaysian Muslims sympathetic towards terrorism
leaders backtrack on ratifying UN human rights treaty
govt committed to strengthening Jakim, says Mujahid
Malaysia Cleo magazine hunk dies fighting for Islamic State in Syria
needed between following Shia Islam and propagating it, says minister
Muslim Lawmaker-Elect in Proposal to End Head-Covering Ban In Congress
Mulls Designating Venezuela State Sponsor Of Terror’
years into Afghanistan War, US admits ‘Taliban not losing’
Osama bin Laden should have been captured sooner
defends Saudi prince despite Khashoggi murder
in Turkey observe Milad un-Nabawi, the birth of Prophet Muhammad
Information Minister Says Houthi Militias Have Broken The Truce
legitimate government says to take part in peace talks in Sweden
forces injure 25 Palestinians in Gaza flotilla protests
Palestinian children killed by Israel since beginning of 2018, says rights
forces raze Palestinian property, seize vehicles in East Jerusalem al-Quds
cuts in Palestinian refugee aid mitigated by new pledges
to Impose Sanctions on Saudi Arabia
Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi Hit: UK Think-Tank
bets on Europe as UK’s Hunt lands in Tehran to discuss nuclear deal
foreign secretary in Tehran for nuclear deal talks
bans 18 Saudis from entering Schengen zone over Khashoggi killing
halts all arms exports to Saudi Arabia
backs Iran sanctions over foiled France attack plot -diplomats
Eid-El-Maulud - Buhari, Saraki, Dogara, Others Preach Peace, Unity
Haram attacks three military bases in NE Nigeria
Twitter Trolls Stoking Anti-Islamic Sentiment In Australia, Experts Warn
charged over alleged Melbourne terror plot
by New Age Islam News Bureau
leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the
largest in the UAE, whose marble pillars have been designed by Indian artisans
belonging to the families believed to have worked for the Taj Mahal.
Sri, who was on a four-day visit to the UAE, visited the mosque on Sunday and
hailed its beauty and “good vibrations”.
of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre (SZGMC) Yousef Al Obaidly briefed the
Art of Living (AOL) founder about the Indian connection of the mosque
constructed between 1996 to 2007.
SZGMC director explained to Sri Sri that the white marble pillars, inlaid with
floral patterns in the mosque, were inspired and done by the descendants of
skilled families from India who are believed to have done similar art work in
the Taj Mahal, Art of Living (AOL) officials said.
to a website of the Abu Dhabi Government, Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the third
largest in the world after the ones in Mecca and Madina in Saudi Arabia.
is named after the founder and first President of the UAE, the late Sheikh
Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The mosque can accommodate around 40,000 people.
Artisans and materials for its construction came from many countries including
82-dome mosque’s main dome is the largest in the world with a diameter of 32.8
metres. The spectacularly decorated mosque is open for prayers to everyone,
including non-Muslim visitors.
beautiful place with very good vibrations. With love and blessings,” Sri Sri
wrote in the visitors’ book at the mosque.
Obaidly said the warm reception accorded to the Indian spiritual leader at the
mosque was part of a mission to foster social connections between followers of
Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri, business tycoon B R Shetty and south
Indian super star Mohanlal joined UAE’s minister of Culture, Youth and Social
Development Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan in welcoming Sri Sri.
visited the country on an invitation from ruler of Fujairah Hamad bin Mohammed
Al Sharqi. Sri Sri meditated with thousands of people including women and
children for world peace in Fujairah, one of the seven emirates in the UAE.
also held a meditation session in Sharjah and imparted lessons on how to lead a
stress-free life to nearly 5,000 migrant workers from 20 countries, including
two-day discourse- ‘Unveiling Infinity’, based on the rare Kashmiri scripture
‘Vigyan Bhairav’ was attended by a large gathering, including women members
from the royal family of the UAE, at the Dubai World Trade Center.
King Salman to Shura Council: We adopt values of moderation, tolerance
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud inaugurated the activities of the 3rd year of the
7th session of the Shura Council in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince
Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council
of Ministers and Minister of Defense.
after the King's arrival, the Royal Anthem was played. Then, the 3rd year of
the 7th session of the Shura Council was inaugurated with a recitation of
verses from the Holy Quran.
his speech, King Salman bin Abdulaziz stated that the kingdom adheres to
Islamic Sharia law and adopts the values of moderation and tolerance.
his speech, King Salman spoke about a number of issues, including oil, stating
that the kingdom’s policy on oil is based on cooperation and coordination with
other oil producers.
are keen on a strategic partnership based on mutual benefits and respect,” the
King said, referring to oil production.
are working to maintain the stability of oil markets to protect producers and
consumers,” the King said.
King also said that the kingdom is continuing to develop the governance of
added that the Saudi citizen is the main driving force of development in the
country, adding that development plans are achieving set goals at a
King also stated that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is focused on
developing human capabilities and preparing the new generation.
King also spoke about terrorism in the region, stating that the kingdom will
continue to fight extremism and support a developmental approach. He added that
the Palestinian case will remain the number one priority “until the
Palestinians get their rights.”
the Yemeni file, the King stated that Saudi Arabia’s involvement was not a
choice, but a duty to confront the Houthi militias. He said that the kingdom
supports a political solution in Yemen according to Security Council
resolutions and the GCC initiative.
King also spoke about relations with Iraq, stating that the kingdom looks
forward to continuing efforts to strengthen cooperation with Baghdad.
Iran, the King said that the international community needs to put an end to its
activities that threaten the stability and security of the region. He added
that Iran is working to cause chaos in surrounding countries, and that it
insists on sponsoring terrorism.
is the third year of the seventh session of the Shura Council, where the
council’s Chairman Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Sheikh said they were looking
forward to the king’s much-anticipated speech, which acts as an annual
guideline for the deliberations of the council.
thanked the kingdom’s foreign ministry for their cooperation in the council’s
deliberations and the council members for their inputs and efforts.
will do what is best for our people, our interests': PM Khan fires back after
started with United States President Donald Trump’s tirade against Pakistan on
Sunday night culminated into a heated exchange between him and Prime Minister
Imran Khan on Twitter on Monday, with the latter making it clear that “Now, we
[Pakistan] will do what is best for our people and our interests."
Khan’s latest rebuttal came after Trump tweeted about Pakistan’s alleged
inaction against “Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan”. The US head of state was
repeating his statements from his interview to Fox News on Sunday in which he
attempted to justify his administration's decision to pull "military
aid" to Pakistan.
US president claimed he had pointed out Osama bin Laden in his book "just
BEFORE" the 9/11 attacks and that his country "of course" should
have captured the Al Qaeda leader "long before we did".
Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars &
they never told us he was living there. Fools!.." he wrote.
his earlier comment, Trump said the US no longer pays billions of dollars in
aid to Pakistan "because they would take our money and do nothing for
us". He cited the capture of bin Laden in Abbottabad and the Afghanistan
war as the two areas of alleged inaction by Pakistan.
[Pakistan] were just one of many countries that take from the United States
without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!" Trump said.
US president's tweets were shortly followed by a Twitter post by Prime Minister
Khan, who said Trump "needs to be informed abt historical facts".
false assertions add insult to the injury [that] Pak has suffered in US WoT in
terms of lives lost & destabilised & economic costs," the premier
has suffered enough fighting US's war. Now we will do what is best for our
people & our interests," he concluded.
Khan's response to Trump's tirade
Khan first hit back at Trump's remarks earlier today, suggesting that
Washington assess its efficacy in the War on Terror in Afghanistan instead of
making Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures.
speaking to Fox News, Trump had justified his administration's decision to
cancel military aid for Pakistan by linking it to bin Laden being found in
Pakistan in 2011. "They [Pakistan] don’t do a damn thing for us," the
US president had said.
of the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden was found in 2011, Trump said the
bin Ladens had been "living in Pakistan right next to the military
academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there."
contrary to Trump's insinuations, former US president Barack Obama, under whom
the raid was carried out, had said last year: "We had no evidence that
Pakistan was aware of his presence — that is something that we looked at."
also added that the US used to give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year, but doesn't
anymore. "I ended it because they don't do anything for us."
more: 'Appeasement does not work with US': Shireen Mazari claps back at Trump
over tirade against Pakistan
Khan responded to Trump's statements, saying that Islamabad had decided to
"participate in the US War on Terror" although no Pakistani was
involved in the 9/11 attacks.
suffered 75,000 casualties in this war and over $123 billion was lost," he
added, of which "US 'aid' was a minuscule $20bn", the premier said.
addition to economic losses, the PM highlighted the impact of the US war on
Pakistan's tribal areas. "Our tribal areas were devastated and millions of
people were uprooted from their homes. The war drastically impacted the lives
of ordinary Pakistanis," he said.
continues to provide free lines of ground and air communications
(GLOCs/ALOCs)," he added.
Mr Trump name another ally that gave such sacrifices?" he asked.
today, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari also called Trump out over his
remarks about Pakistan, saying: "@realDonaldTrump suffers conveniently
from perpetual historic amnesia!"
between the United States and Pakistan, which began to strain in 2011, reached
a new low in January when Trump suspended US security assistance to Islamabad
over the alleged presence of Afghan militant groups in Fata. The government as
well as the military had rejected the charge as incorrect.
Inter-Services Public Relations had clarified at the time that the Coalition
Support Fund, received from the US, is reimbursement of money spent for
operations in support of the coalition for regional peace.
polls: Why Awami League cosying up to Islamic fundamentalist Hefazat-e-Islam is
is at full throttle across Bangladesh ahead of the December 30 general
elections. The election-related activities assume greater significance this
time due to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s display of political astuteness in
engaging her political adversaries into what is being described as 'dialogue'.
Such adversaries include the Jatiya Oikya Manch — a conglomerate of rightist
parties — and a more significant faction led by Gano Forum chief and former
foreign minister under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Dr Kamal Hossain.
would be worth recalling that Hossain, a constitutional expert and Mujib-Hasina
loyalist, floated a separate platform against Hasina just before the elections
to take on the formidable Awami League.
more surprising is Hossain's volte-face in consistently pressing for Begum
Khaleda Zia’s release from prison and canvassing for the Bangladesh Nationalist
Party's (BNP) participation in the elections as an ally. There were a slew of
dialogues between Hasina and the Oikya Manch’s delegates that started from
November 1. They have locked horns mainly over the release of Khaleda.
former President of Bangladesh AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, a former BNP cadre,
had initially allied with Hossain but parted ways as Chowdhury (of the
erstwhile Bikalpa Dhara) distanced himself from the former on the grounds that
Hossain was supporting the BNP that has partnered with the fundamentalist
realised through straws in the wind that the BNP was a 'burden' and taking it
along will be an electoral suicide. However, he too held a dialogue with
Hasina. General HM Ershad of the Jatiya Party (JP) followed suit. Ershad, as of
now, is with Hasina but talks with the Oikya Manch did not yield any results
and things are in limbo and unlikely to show any tangible results.
the Awami League's growing warmth towards Islamic fundamentalist
Hefazat-e-Islam has raised eyebrows among a section of the liberals in
Bangladesh. And such elements are not off the mark. Their argument is the same
that Hefazat, perceived to be a diehard communal outfit with its hate actions
in 2013 silencing liberals and abetting terror, perpetrated through hate
crimes, has now tied up with the Awami League.
analysts, however, reckon that this is political masterstroke by Hasina because
of the following: activities of Hefazat in May 2013 had elements of violence.
From there, the moderation that is now seen in Hefazat is a positive
development. There are almost 1.4 million students studying in 14,000 Qawmi
Madrasas in Bangladesh. Most of the students are very poor and many are
recognising the madrasa’s degree, the government has taken a very positive step
in bringing these students into the formal employment circuit in the country.
By coming close to Hefazat and conceding to its list of demands, The Awami
League has tactically neutralised the Hefazat's communal aggression. The
recognition of degrees is expected to enable the madrasa students to compete
with students from the mainstream education stream for jobs both in public and
keeping these huge number of poor students outside the formal job market would
mitigate a great danger of these young people becoming radicalised. The banned
extremist organisations would exploit the situation to the maximum possible
extent. Further, mainstreaming the madrasa students would expose them to the
wider society and to the enlightened world weaning them away from the medieval
and antiquated thoughts.
this is fine, but Hasina should be hawkish in keeping an eye on Hefazat
activities in the longer run.
in the past, have always let down democratic governments. Be it the Taliban in
Afghanistan or the latest misdeeds of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP). The
TLP initally gave signals that it was all for Imran Khan. But in the infamous
Asia bibi acquittal case, it held the government to ransom.
in the context of Bangladesh too, caution is called for.
perhaps took a calculated risk in addressing a Hefazat gathering at Dhaka’s
Suhrawardy Udyan openly engaged in bonhomie incurring the wrath of the minority
and liberals who are opposed to or are victims of Hefazat-e-Islam. Hasina, on
the other hand, appears confident to handle Hefazat keeping it on a tight
last week Dhaka downtown areas saw violence allegedly sparked off by BNP
leading to many injuries and a law and order situation cropping up. Under no
circumstances, the BNP or its allies like Jamaat should be given any leeway to
take to the streets and agitate. That’s exactly what they want. A little
political space to exploit the situation to their advantage.
all, they have nothing to lose and violence will enable the BNP to stay
politically afloat. By implication, they must be enjoying moral and logistical
support from inimical quarters. That needs to be curbed.
in the meantime, is picking up steam with colourful posters and poll speeches
and film actors, sportspersons and other celebrities seeking to contest in
large numbers. By and large, as of now, the Awami League and party leader
Hasina are riding on the waves of optimism.
enthusiasm deserve careful restraint to ensure a decisive victory for the Awami
League. And, that will be in the interest of India too.
mosques preaching extremism to civil servants, warns intelligence agency
of Indonesian mosques are preaching extremism, including violence against
non-Muslims, to government workers, the country’s intelligence agency has
alarming findings of the Indonesian State Intelligence Agency follow
Indonesia’s worst terrorist attack in a decade when three churches and a police
station were bombed in the city of Surabaya in May, killing 28 people. Islamic
State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) claimed responsibility for the bombings.
a chilling development, child suicide bombers were among the attackers in the
deadly assault, once again raising fears about the growing influence of
hardline Islamism and the decline of religious tolerance in the world’s most
populous Muslim nation.
to AFP, the intelligence agency revealed it had probed about 1,000 mosques
across the Southeast Asian country since July, and discovered that imams at
some 41 places of worship in one neighbourhood in the capital, Jakarta, were
preaching extremism to worshippers.
majority of people who go to these mosques are government workers so that’s why
this is alarming,” Wawan Purwanto, the intelligence agency’s spokesman, told
the newswire. “These are the people who are running the country.”
officers found about 17 clerics expressed support of sympathy for Isil and
encouraged their congregation to fight for the jihadist group in Syria and
Marawi, the southern Philippine city that was destroyed in 2017 after it was
besieged by foreign Isil fighters.
than 600 Indonesians, including at least 166 women and children, travelled to
Syria to join Isil, according to data released earlier this year by the
preachers urged their followers to commit violence on behalf of the jihadist
group, and spread hatred to vilify Indonesia’s minority religions, which
include Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism.
were not released about the agency’s findings at hundreds of other mosques
outside of Jakarta.
have been rising in recent years about the growing influence of extremist
groups in Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago that is home to 260 million
year, the Christian minority was left reeling in shock after the controversial
jailing of the former governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama – known by
his nickname Ahok – on blasphemy charges.
conviction of a prominent member of the Christian community followed months of
large-scale protests by the Islamic Defenders Front, a hardline group with a
record of violence and intimidation, which had previously argued that a
Christian should not govern a Muslim-majority city.
was accused of insulting Islam on the campaign trail but he insisted that his
comments had been misinterpreted.
case highlighted the challenges faced by the government and judiciary in
tackling extremist groups which are capable of influencing large sections of
the electorate, despite constitutional guarantees on freedom of religion.
Joko Widodo faces a tough re-election battle in 2019 in a country which ranges
widely from the more liberal holiday paradise of Bali to Aceh province, which
is ruled by Sharia law and where citizens can be caned for having sex outside
of marriage or for selling alcohol.
of Milad un-Nabi, The Prophet's Birthday
is celebrated to honour the birth of Prophet Mohammed. This year, the
auspicious Muslim festival will begin on November 20 and will end on November
21. The festival is also called Nabid and Mawlid colloquially. The festivities
start one day prior to the festival and end on the following day. Several
places across the country are lit including streets, mosques, shrines and
residential areas, with colorful lights.
‘Mawalid‘ word is derived from the Arabic word which means to give birth and in
this context, the term refers to the observance of Prophet Muhammad. On this
day, people carry green flags in their hands and tie ribbons on their wrist to
celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s teachings. Have you ever thought why only green
color and what does this shade represent? The color green represents Islam and
paradise. The origin of celebrating this day dates back to the early four
Rashidun Caliphs of Islam. The idea was first initiated by the Fatimids.
get together at the mosque or at the dargah and carry on long hours of prayers.
Processions are carried out from the mosques to the town and back. People march
and chant prayers and praises of the Prophet simultaneously. There are
community meals organized and people gather together and narrate stories about
the Mohammed’s life.
Sunni community of Muslim’s celebrate this auspicious day on the 12th of the
Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal. Whereas the Shi’a community celebrate it on
the 17th of Rabi’ al-Awwal. Muslims celebrate the advent of the Prophet
Muhammad’s teachings and even held social gatherings wherein they have night
long prayers meeting. The date of this festival varies in the Gregorian
occasion is celebrated at its best when people wear new clothes, observe
prayers, and exchange greetings. Eid is incomplete without sweet Sheer Kurma
and Sevaiyan. On this auspicious occasion, we at India.com wish each one of you
Happy Eid. We just hope you celebrate and strengthen the bond of love with your
Four terrorists were gunned down in the encounter in Nadigam village in Jammu
and Kashmir’s Shopian early Tuesday morning, confirmed ANI. However, a commando
was also martyred even as two soldiers were injured, said Zeenews. (Also read:
BSF Jawan Killed in Blast)
the security forces managed to restrict the terrorists to an area. The
gunbattle has reportedly lasted over an hour. More details are awaited.
Valley has been witnessing a spurt in terror activities for the past few
months. On November 18, two terrorists associated with terror outfit Al-Badr
were killed in an encounter in Rebban area of Shopian district. The encounter
came a day after the militants abducted and killed a 19-year-old teenager.
said that a search and cordon operation was launched in the area after the
forces received specific inputs about the presence of terrorists hiding in the
region. “As search operation was going on, a search party was fired upon by the
hiding terrorists. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the
ensuing encounter, 2 terrorists were killed and bodies were retrieved from the
site of encounter. Identities are being ascertained,” police added.
Muslim University issues notices to drama club members, cancels play over
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Monday issued showcause notices to the
president and secretary of its drama club for putting up posters allegedly
carrying a map of India without Kashmir and the North East.
notice has also been issued to an employee of the university, who allegedly
prepared the controversial poster.
Lahore Na Vekhiya’, the play for which the posters had been put up, was
cancelled hours before it was was to be staged at the university’s Kennedy
auditorium Sunday after an uproar over the issue.
Brij Chhetra vice-president Manvendra Pratap Singh claimed to have intimated
AMU proctor Mohsin Khan and the additional district magistrate about the posters.
by noted Hindi writer Asghar Wajahat in the 1980s, the play, ‘Jis Lahore Na
Vekhiya’, is set in 1947. AMU’s public relations in-charge M Shafey Kidwai said
the plot revolves around the Mirzas, a Muslim family which migrated from
Lucknow to Lahore and are allotted a haveli which was evacuated by a Hindu
family. When they arrive in Lahore, they find an elderly Hindu woman living in
the haveli, claiming its ownership and refusing to leave. The Muslim family
gradually settles in the haveli along with the Hindu woman and drops the idea
of evicting her.
coming to know about the poster, AMU cancelled the play and also removed the
posters and hoardings from campus. Action will be taken after receiving replies
to the notices issued to the drama club president, secretary and the employee,”
said Kidwai, adding that the play was “anti-partition” and “anti-communal”.
president of the drama club is an assistant professor of the university, said
Kidwai. The professor and employee have been asked to submit their explanations
to the registrar’s office within two days, while the student has been asked to
provide an explanation to the proctor’s office within 72 hours, said a press
note issued by AMU on Monday.
permission was obtained from AMU authorities, the said poster was not shown.
The AMU had given permission to stage the play on Sunday at the auditorium.
Hoardings and posters carried an erroneous map of India in which the North-East
and J&K parts are mixed up. The drawing of the map was a mistake committed
inadvertently by the drama society of AMU,” added Kidwai.
Jammu and Kashmir Police has started collecting personal details of all
Rohingya Muslims living in the state to identify how, from where and when they
came to India, and travelled further on to J&K.
General of Police, Jammu zone, S D Singh Jamwal, said this is being done on
instructions from the Central government to identify these people and maintain
records. Asked whether it has to do something with their deportation, Jamwal
said, “It may be a process for that.”
in Burmese language, with English translations, these “personal date forms’’
were circulated by the police in some Rohingya settlements in Jammu city on
Sunday as well.
settler from Myanmar has been asked to fill up these forms, furnishing personal
details of not only self but of parents, spouse and siblings, too.
seven-page form seeks details such as the applicant’s name, parentage,
occupation or present address, colour of his/her eyes and hair, other name, and
special particulars. Applicants are asked to furnish passport-sized photograph,
besides details about place of birth, height, national identity card, address
in Myanmar, education, spouse’s current occupation, address and even of school
and university where he or she studied, among several others.
Governor Satya Pal Malik had earlier this month said that biometric details of
Rohingya refugees in the state will be collected within two months. His
statement came nearly a month after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said
that all states have been asked to identify Rohingya refugees living within
their boundaries and collect their biometric data, a compiled report of which
will be sent to Myanmar.
are nearly 8,000 Myanmar nationals staying in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts
of Jammu region, with nearly 90 per cent of them settled in Jammu city and
outskirts, according to the police.
least four militants and a soldier were killed in an encounter that broke out
Tuesday morning in Nadigam village of Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on
Tuesday. Two other Army men were injured in the gunbattle. The gunfight is
underway and the operation began after forces cordoned off the area following
inputs on the presence of militants.
terrorists have been killed in the operation in Nadigam area of Shopian,” PTI
quoted Srinagar-based defence spokesman, Col Rajesh Kalia as saying. However, a
police official said an Army man was killed while two others were injured in
the encounter. “The search operation turned into an encounter after the militants
fired on the forces, who retaliated,” PTI quoted a police official as saying.
Saudi royals turn on king's favourite son after killing
of Saudi Arabia's ruling family are agitating to prevent Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman (MBS) from becoming king after the international uproar over the
killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, sources close to the royal court
told Reuters news agency.
US officials, meanwhile, have indicated to Saudi advisers in recent weeks they
would support Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz - who was deputy interior minister for
nearly 40 years - as a potential successor to King Salman, according to Saudi
sources with direct knowledge of the consultations.
international outrage over Khashoggi's murder, dozens of princes and cousins
from powerful branches of the Al Saud family want to see a change in the line
of succession, but will not act while King Salman - the crown prince's
82-year-old father - is still alive, sources said.
recognise the king is unlikely to turn against his favourite son, the report
they are discussing the possibility with other family members that after the
king's death, Prince Ahmed, 76, uncle of the crown prince, could take the
throne, according to the sources.
Ahmed, King Salman's only surviving full brother, would have the support of
family members, the security apparatus, and some Western powers, one of the
Saudi sources said.
Ahmed returned to Riyadh in October after two months abroad.
the trip, he appeared to criticise the Saudi leadership while responding to
protesters outside a London residence chanting for the downfall of the Al Saud
dynasty. He was one of only three people on the Allegiance Council, made up of
the ruling family's senior members, who opposed MBS becoming crown prince in
2017, Saudi sources said at the time.
Prince Ahmed nor his representatives could be reached for comment. Officials in
Riyadh did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters for comment on
House of Saud is made up of hundreds of princes. Unlike typical European monarchies,
there is no automatic succession from father to eldest son. Instead, the
kingdom's tribal traditions dictate the king and senior family members from
each branch select the heir they consider fittest to lead.
sources said they were confident Prince Ahmed would not change or reverse any
of the social or economic reforms enacted by the crown prince, would honour
existing military procurement contracts, and would restore the unity of the
one senior US official said the White House is in no hurry to distance itself
from MBS despite pressure from legislators and the CIA's assessment he ordered
Khashoggi's murder, though that could change once Trump gets a definitive
report on the killing from the intelligence community.
official also said the White House saw it as noteworthy that King Salman seemed
to stand by his son - also known as MBS - in a speech in Riyadh on Monday and
made no direct reference to Khashoggi's killing, except to praise the Saudi
Saudi sources said US officials had cooled on MBS not only because of his
suspected role in the murder of Khashoggi. They are also unhappy because the
crown prince recently urged the Saudi defence ministry to explore alternative
weapons supplies from Russia, the sources said.
a letter dated May 15, seen by Reuters, the crown prince requested the defence
ministry "focus on purchasing weapon systems and equipment in the most
pressing fields" and get training on them, including the Russian S-400
surface-to-air missile system.
the Russian defence ministry nor officials in Riyadh immediately responded to
requests for comment.
brutal killing of Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the crown prince, in the
Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month has drawn global condemnation, including
from many politicians and officials in the United States, a key Saudi ally.
Arabia's foreign minister said on Tuesday claims, including by the CIA, that
MBS gave the order to kill Khashoggi were false, according to an
Arabic-language newspaper interview.
in the kingdom know that such allegations about the crown prince have no basis
in truth and we categorically reject them, whether through leaks or not,"
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir was quoted as saying in Saudi-owned al-Sharq
are leaks that have not been officially announced, and I have noticed that they
are based on an assessment, not conclusive evidence."
was also asked about comments by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that
the kill order came from the highest level of the Saudi leadership but probably
not King Salman, which has put the spotlight instead on the 33-year-old crown
have already asked the Turkish authorities at the highest level about the
meaning of these comments, and they confirmed to us categorically that the
crown prince is not meant by these comments," he said.
leadership of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia - represented by the Custodian of the
Two Holy Mosques [the king] and the crown prince - is a red line and we will
not permit attempts to harm or undermine them."
Arabia's public prosecutor has also said the crown prince knew nothing of
his ascension, MBS has gained popular support with high-profile social and
economic reforms, including ending a ban on women driving and opening cinemas
in the conservative kingdom.
the reforms have been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, a purge of top
royals and businessmen on corruption charges, and a costly war in Yemen.
has also marginalised senior members of the royal family and consolidated
control over Saudi's security and intelligence agencies. The entire House of
Saud has emerged weakened as a result.
to one well-placed Saudi source, many princes from senior circles in the family
believe a change in the line of succession "would not provoke any
resistance from the security or intelligence bodies he controls" because
of their loyalty to the wider family.
[the security apparatus] will follow any consensus reached by the family."
in Riyadh did not respond to a request for comment.
Sisi calls on scholars, intellectuals to 'spread the tolerant teachings of
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has called on scholars and intellectuals to
"defend the reputations of Muslims worldwide by spreading the tolerant
teachings of Islam."
a speech, El-Sisi said that the "building up of human beings" and the
enlightening of minds is the main pillar of progress and development.
president called on clerics and intellectuals to exert efforts to enlighten and
call upon the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, which promote working to face
those who call for killing, destruction and extremism.
spoke during an event held to celebrate Al-Moulid Al-Nabawy; the Prophet
Muhammad's birthday. The event was organised by the Ministry of Endowments and
attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Ahmed
El-Tayeb, Grand Mufti Shawki Allam and a number of ministers and Arab
said that Islam's message promotes peaceful coexistence between human beings
and the right to life without discrimination based on colour or race.
noble religion has taught us that there is no compulsion in religion and it
establishes the values of tolerance and acceptance," El-Sisi said.
is regrettable that we have among us those who have misinterpreted [the
religion] and abandoned moderate teachings to follow unchecked opinions that
are not in line with the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah regarding the
inviolability of human beings," El-Sisi said.
issue of reforming religious discourse, which has been brought up by the
president on multiple occasions, was also discussed during the event.
Endowments Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said that the issue of reforming
religious discourse should move forward as long as the "fixed
principles" of the religion are preserved.
state-owned al-Watan daily quoted a sources close to Tahrir al-Sham as
disclosing that Ankara forces have hand over the demilitarized zone, spread
from Northeastern Lattakia to Western and Southern Idlib, Northwestern Hama and
Western Aleppo to Tahrir al-Sham and its allies.
further said the move comes as the Turkish army plans to move to the East to
launch a large-scale assault on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Tal
Abyadh region in Northern Raqqa and other border regions on the Eastern bank of
the Euphrates River.
daily went on to say that recent attack on the Syrian Army by Tahrir al-Sham,
deployed in the demilitarized zone in Northeastern Lattakia and Northern Hama,
is yet another proof showing the agreement between Ankara and Tahrir al-Sham to
hand over the zone to the latter over a month after the deadline for the
terrorists' withdrawal from the zone under the Sochi Agreement ended.
to the deadline the terrorists including Tahrir al-Sham should have evacuated
the demilitarized zone or face repercussions that included a joint attack by
the Syria and Russian army assisted by Turkey.
move by the terrorists is pushing the army to initiate its long-waited assault
on militants in Idlib that had been put on hold due to the Sochi Agreement.
Mar'ei Hamdan, a Syrian military expert, was quoted by the Arabic-language
website of Sputnik news agency as saying on Monday that Tahrir al-Sham is in
control of nearly 70% of towns and villages in Idlib province and makes
provocative moves against the Syrian army, adding that the army's commitment to
decrease tensions is not lasting forever.
added that the Syrian army has so far repelled all attacks by terrorists against
its positions and inflicted heavy damages on them, noting that the army is now
necessitated to come out of the defensive mood to retake control of Idlib.
said that Tahrir al-Sham will resort to a full-scale military operation against
the Syrian and Russian armies soon, after rejecting the Sochi agreement last
October, which leaves no room for ceasefire or disarmament anymore, and
underlined that the Syrian army's battle against Tahrir al-Sham is inevitable.
the Turkey-backed Ahrar al-Sham and National Liberation Front (NLF) terrorist
groups has also dismissed the Russian-Turkish Sochi agreement and is preparing
for military operations against the army in Northern Syria, calling for a
coalition with Tahrir al-Sham.
al-Sham and other allied terrorist groups have not left the demilitarized zone
two months after the Sochi agreement and have instead reinvigorated their
strongholds and targeted the army positions every day.
reports said last Sunday that the Turkey-backed NLF had put its gunmen on alert
to launch a heavy offensive against the Syrian army in the demilitarized zone
in Idlib province.
of Hashd al-Shaabi forces in Western al-Anbar Qassem Moslih said on Sunday that
his forces had prevented a US plane carrying military forces from landing at
Abu Radha al-Baladawi airbase, adding that they wanted to capture the military
commander for Hashd al-Shaabi said on Monday that their forces cordoned off the
runway at the Abu Radha al-Baladawi airbase.
added that Hashd al-Shaabi opposes the presence of US military personnel in the
area which, as the source said, contradicts Washington’s claim of contributing
to the ongoing anti-ISIL efforts on the ground.
are always provoking our troops while in the area and interfering in the
security affairs,” he said. “The western Anbar region does not need any foreign
deployments as the Iraqi forces, whether from the army or the Hashd al-Shaabi,
are able to defend it at any time.”
accused the US forces of supporting the revival of terrorism and the remaining
ISIL sleeper cells instead of eliminating them on the border between Iraq and
said that the US troops were planning to establish a military installment at
US military has widened its buildup in bordering areas between Iraq and Syria,
Iraqi sources said in September.
Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news agency quoted Farhan Mohammed al-Dulaimi, a
member of al-Anbar province's council, as saying that the US forces were still
present in different parts of Western al-Anbar near the borders with Syria.
Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Asharq Al-Awsat that justice in
the case of late journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi demand before it is an
also said that the king and his crown prince are a red line and that “we will
not allow them to be harmed”.
Saudi foreign minister also called on Ankara to submit its evidence in the
Khashoggi case to the Saudi Public Prosecution and help them in reaching all
the facts, pointing out that Ankara confirmed that the Crown Prince was not the
intended person in their accusations.
who want to achieve justice, must provide what they have to the Saudi
judiciary,” Jubeir was quoted as saying by Asharq al-Awsat.
stressed that “the leadership of the Kingdom is keen to maintain and strengthen
the strategic relationship and historical partnership with the United States,”
noting that “the US sanctions in the case of Khashoggi are individual and did
not target the Kingdom’s government or economy.”
like Kurdish officials and their allies in Syria hid intelligence information
related to the Beatles terrorist cell which slaughters foreigners, and which
the Syrian Democratic Forces held two of its members since the beginning of
this year, they once again abstain from revealing the whereabouts or fate of
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
prominent Kurdish official commented in a British news report that the Syrian
Democratic Forces managed to locate Baghdadi and monitor him. He told Al
Arabiya English that what was published “is a mere intelligence piece of
information that was conveyed to them via a journalist.” The official thus neither
denied nor confirmed the report.
Democratic Forces spokesperson Kino Gabriel refused to comment on these reports
but military sources said there was a great possibility that Baghdadi is
present in the Syrian town of Hajin near Deir az-Zour, which is close to the
border with Iraq.
az-Zour military council spokesperson Lilawa al-Abdullah told Al Arabiya
Englsih that most ISIS fighters in Hajin and its surroundings have different
nationalities, and they are among the organization’s most important commanders.
possible that Baghdadi or those close to him are in that area. The Syrian
Democratic Forces monitor the movement of most ISIS members who are besieged in
Hajin and who cannot easily escape,” Abdullah said.
seek to completely end ISIS in Syria all the way to the Iraqi borders where its
last stronghold is. The campaign against it is ongoing after it was halted as a
result of Turkey’s attacks on populated areas,” she added.
since the campaign resumed, our fighters launched major attacks against ISIS
and they’ve managed to destroy a command headquarters and kill dozens of them,”
she also said.
Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish-Arab factions supported by
Washington in the war against ISIS, holds hundreds of ISIS members in their
prisons, including two members of the Beatles cell, including their wives and
Omar, the head of foreign relations in the Kurdish-led area, had told Al
Arabiya English that these detainees are a burden and pose a security threat,
calling on the international community to take serious measures to find a
in North Syria are not trying these ISIS members, and are demanding that they
be handed to their governments for trials. This is unlike the case in Iraq
where the judiciary sentenced more than 300 ISIS fighters to life in prison or
Syrian army says it has removed Daesh Takfiri terrorists from their last
stronghold in the country's south, where they had been holding out for months.
government forces made the announcement in a statement on Monday, saying they
had taken full control of the hilly region of Tulul al-Safa, situated between
Damascus and Suwayda provinces.
army also said a large amount of light and medium weaponry had been recovered
following the victory over the Takfiris.
a string of accurate and focused military operations, our valiant armed forces
have established complete control over Tulul al-Safa area which is of a complex
volcanic nature, eliminating Daesh terrorists positioned there, and confiscated
large amounts of light and medium weapons,” the statement said.
armed forces also hailed the liberation as an achievement which is particularly
significant given that an area of 380 square kilometers in the country’s south
has been cleared of terrorism.
official news agency SANA confirmed a day earlier that the army units had made
"a significant advance against Daesh terrorists’ depots in Tulul
al-Safa" and killed many extremists during their counter-terrorism
Syrian army has been fighting Daesh in Suwayda since July, when the Takfiri
terrorists launched their deadliest attack on the Druze minority community in
terror outfit killed over 250 Syrians and kidnapped around 30 in its July 25
assault. Most of the hostages have been released, but the remainders appear to
have died or been executed.
Ismail Nasreddin has announced plans to submit a bill to Egypt's parliament
that would remove religious affiliation from national ID cards. The move paves
the way for a civil state that respects the values of citizenship, Egyptian
media quoted Nasreddin as saying. While the national charter recognizes the
three "heavenly religions" and guarantees freedom of belief and
worship for all citizens, Article 2 of the constitution declares Islam the
official religion and states that "the principles of Islamic Sharia are
the main source of legislation."
time is ripe for elimination of all forms of religious discrimination,
Nasreddin said, adding that he took a cue for his action from President Abdel
Fattah al-Sisi's comments on citizenship rights at the recent World Youth Forum
in Sharm el-Sheikh. Painting an idealistic picture of religious tolerance and
diversity, Sisi told the youth participants that "every citizen has the
right to worship as he or she pleases and the right not to worship at
the reality is vastly different: In Egypt's majority Muslim conservative
society, atheism is a longstanding taboo, and "minority Christians face
unprecedented levels of persecution," according to The Guardian. Those who
dare express their lack of faith in public risk prosecution and arrest under
Egypt's blasphemy law, in place since 1982. The law stipulates that a person
can be imprisoned for up to five years if he or she defames or disrespects one
of the three monotheistic religions; harms national unity; or uses religion to
promote extremist ideas with the intention of sowing discord in society.
Amr Hamroush sought to outlaw atheism in late December of last year, proposing
a bill to that effect to parliament. This was part of a wider fear-mongering
campaign by politicians, the media and religious leaders. Rights campaigners
warned that the draft law "risks heightening discrimination against the
nonreligious." But Hamroush insisted the bill was necessary to counter
what he described as "a dangerous trend that threatens the fabric of our
society." While the bill has yet to be signed into law, it sent a chilling
message to nonbelievers.
are not the only group that is being targeted for their nonconformist ideas,
which some Egyptian media outlets and religious clerics have criticized as
"inappropriate" and "destructive." Coptic Christians —
estimated at 10% of the population — also have their own grievances and have
come under repeated attack in recent years. In the latest assault on the
religious minority, eight people were killed and at least a dozen others
injured on Nov. 2 when gunmen opened fire on a bus transporting worshippers
from a remote desert monastery to the southern province of Minya. The violence,
later claimed by Egypt's Islamic State affiliate, is reminiscent of a similar
assault on Christian pilgrims that took place in the same spot in May 2017.
proposed bill came on the heels of the latest deadly violence and was seen by
skeptics as an attempt by the state to appease angry Christians who accuse the
government of failing to protect them.
state has no interest in pushing this forward," Samuel Tadros, a senior
fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, told Al-Monitor,
in reference to the draft law. "Even if it does pass, it would be
symbolic, as it is easy to tell a person's religion by his or her name, even if
the religion box is deleted." Christians in Egypt often name their children
after Christian saints and traditionally have a cross or other religious
symbols tattooed on their wrist to assert their religious identity.
who have repeatedly called for the "divisive'' and
"discriminatory" religious demarcation on ID cards to be scrapped,
welcomed the bill but are skeptical about the likelihood of its endorsement.
the past several years, there have been several discussions about removing
religion from ID cards, but they have all come to a dead end," Timothy
Kaldas, a nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy,
told Al-Monitor. "If the bill is signed into law — and that's a big if at
the moment — it is definitely welcome."
proposition is not the first attempt by a lawmaker to have religion dropped
from ID cards. In 2016, a similar proposal from legislator Alaa Abdul Moneim
was shelved after it met with stiff resistance from conservatives in the House
of Representatives. Members of the Salafi Nour Party slammed the bill, arguing
that it contradicts Article 2 of the constitution and warning that such an
amendment could pave the way for interfaith marriages between Christian men and
Muslim women, which are forbidden by Sharia. Islam allows Muslim men to marry
women of other Abrahamic faiths but does not permit Muslim women to marry
Al-Azhar, Islam's highest authority, shares these concerns, it considers the
removal of religion from IDs more of a security than a religious matter,
Mostafa Abdel Gawad, head of Al-Azhar's Media Department, told Al-Monitor. If
the bill is endorsed by parliament, it would be referred to Al-Azhar for
review. It would be up to Al-Azhar's Committee of Ulama, comprised of senior
Al-Azhar scholars, to ultimately decide if the legislation conforms with
like Bahey Hassan, director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies,
dismissed the bill as "cosmetic," saying "it is an attempt by
the state to whitewash institutionalized discrimination against
discrimination faced by Coptic Christians is not because their religion is
mentioned on their ID cards, it is because they are Christians," he told
Al-Monitor. He cited examples of unjust policies that fuel sectarian violence,
like the legal restrictions on the building and restoration of churches and how
Christians are denied high-level positions in government, the military and
church construction law, approved by parliament in 2016, fell short of a much
anticipated unified houses of worship that critics say would have put Muslims
and Christians on equal legal footing in terms of the governing of mosques and
churches. Instead, the law has been decried by critics as "sectarian"
and "prejudiced." The legislation makes it mandatory to get approval
from governors to build or renovate a church and stipulates that the size of a
church must be proportional to the number of Christians in the area. No such
restrictions are in place for the building of mosques.
legal difficulties of building houses of worship for Christians are a pretext
for acts of vigilante violence against the Coptic Christian community,
particularly in rural areas," said Kaldas.
state's tendency to try and resolve these issues at traditional arbitration
gatherings as opposed to legal trials for the perpetrators, creates an
environment of impunity that encourages more people to commit acts of violence
against the Coptic Christian community," he said.
A ‘high-profile’ militant linked with the banned Al Qaeda in the Indian
Subcontinent (AQIS) has been apprehended in Karachi, it emerged on Monday.
security official who wished not to be named told Dawn that Umar Jalal Chandio
alias Kathio was detained from Gulshan-i-Iqbal recently.
hailed from Mirpurkhas. He shifted to Kotri where he remained neighbour of
Tahir Minhas alias Sain. Minhas was one of the main accused in the Safoora bus
carnage in which over 47 members of the Shia Ismaili community were shot dead
along with other militants was arrested in 2015 by the Counter-Terrorism
joint investigation team (JIT) in its report on the Safoora carnage revealed
that Jalal was appointed AQIS’s local emir after the arrest of previous AQIS’s
chief Abdul Rehman in 2001 in Karachi.
to JIT, when Minhas was associated with AQIS, Jalal Chandio asked him to move
a press conference in 2015, Raja Umar Khattab of the CTD had stated: “Jalal was
associated with Al Qaeda’s Arab network while Haji Sahib (code name) was active
in Karachi and the Wadh area of Balochistan where the group’s mainly Baloch
youths were involved in kidnapping for ransom, terrorism and attacks on Nato
told Dawn that Jalal’s wife was also a high-profile activist of AQIS.
remain over tough conditions of IMF bailout
Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund are facing differences over tough
conditionalities on key areas of an IMF bailout programme, including further
increase in energy prices, more taxes and complete disclosure of Chinese
are still gaps in the position of the IMF and the position that we have,”
Finance Minister Asad Umar said after a series of meetings with an IMF team on
Monday. He, however, said the talks were continuing positively and gaps
a look: Why Pakistan will go to the IMF again, and again and again
said that $1 billion of the $3bn committed by Saudi Arabia had been remitted to
the State Bank of Pakistan on Monday and the remaining $2bn would follow over
the next few days.
sources said the two sides had a wide gap in their positions on the need for
increase in electricity tariff, upward revision in the revenue target and
additional tax measures on matters relating to Chinese assistance and its
impact — both inflow and outflow.
sources said the IMF also demanded that the provincial governments finance the
Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), instead of the federal government, and
wanted committed cash surpluses to minimise the consolidated fiscal deficit.
two sides are expected to conclude the talks on Tuesday before Finance Minister
Umar leaves for Malaysia in the evening.
sources said the IMF was insisting on revising the revenue target upward to
Rs4.75 trillion for the current year — more than eight per cent increase from
the existing target of Rs4.39tr. Practically, this means raising about Rs360bn
additional revenue from the remaining seven months of the current fiscal year.
Minister Umar, according to the sources, told the IMF mission led by Herald
Finger that the revenue target could be increased at best to Rs4.5tr and the
government’s major focus would be on recovering taxes through administrative
to a question, he said the talks would end on Tuesday and declined to go into
specifics of the sticking points. Regarding the Chinese financing, the minister
said there was complete transparency in the Chinese assistance and whatever the
external debt was would have to be shared with the IMF as part of the
response to another question, he said the people in the United States might
have some issues, but there was no secret in Chinese loans and investments
which were transparent and open.
sources said the IMF mission wanted a clear roadmap for elimination of power
sector circular debt that currently stood at Rs1.2tr and welcomed
administrative measures to recover some arrears, but insisted on further
increasing electricity rates for full cost recovery of power supply. The
sources said the IMF team was not satisfied with the power sector reforms plan
and wanted the government to surrender its powers to set electricity tariff and
let these be independently dealt with by the power regulator.
finance minister insisted that maximum funds would be generated through
administrative measures against theft and recovery of past bills and there was
no more room for further increase in electricity rates in the short term.
sources said the IMF was very critical of the fiscal federalism arrangements at
present and noted with concern that the Centre had transferred all profitable
taxes to the provinces while keeping all necessary expenditures of provincial
nature as federal responsibility.
this regard, the IMF wanted the provinces to finance the BISP that currently
stood at about Rs150bn a year and is increasing because poverty reduction
should be a shared responsibility of the federal and provincial governments.
Likewise, the special areas like mainstreaming of the tribal region should also
be a responsibility of the provinces.
IMF mission also sought a complete market-based free float of the exchange rate
and complete independence to the State Bank of Pakistan.
Pakistan received $1 billion from Saudi Arabia on Monday as part of the $3bn
package promised by the kingdom during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Bank of Pakistan’s Chief Spokesman confirmed the arrival of $1bn, taking the
SBP reserves to $8.482bn, from $7.482bn reported on November 9.
new government has been struggling to plug the big hole on the external front
as the current account deficit reached record $18bn in FY18.
suggest the country needs $12bn additional inflow to meet the deficit in FY19.
visited Saudi Arabia last month and got promises of $3bn oil on deferred
payments and $3bn cash to be placed in the SBP account.
dollars would not be used by Pakistan; they will simply support the foreign
$3bn oil on deferred payment for next three years would help the country reduce
its import bill, the main cause for rising current account deficit.
The Counter Terrorism Department has filed a charge-sheet with the
administrative judge of antiterrorism courts on Monday against a journalist
accusing him of fanning religious disharmony.
to the CTD, it arrested Nasrullah Khan Chaudhry, a journalist associated with
Urdu-language daily Nai Baat, in Karachi’s Garden area on Nov 11. The agency
alleged that Nasrullah Khan was carrying some journals and booklets about
Afghan Jihad and the Punjabi Taliban which contained material intended to sow
discord on sectarian grounds as well as to motivate people to take part in
the court remanded the journalist to prison.
investigating officer (IO) named five prosecution witnesses in the
charge-sheet. The IO repeatedly cited the name of Khalid Mukshi in the remand
papers and the charge-sheet, alleging that he was a leader of Al Qaeda and that
the detained journalist had links to him.
the IO did not name Mukshi as an accused or absconder in the charge-sheet.
administrative judge sent the case to ATC-VIII for trial and directed the jail
authorities to produce Nasrullah Khan before the trial court on Friday (Nov
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday said that a
comprehensive national response was required on hybrid conflicts.
was speaking to 20 participants of the National Security Workshop during an
interactive session at the General Headquarters (GHQ).
the interaction, COAS Bajwa said that Pakistan us now confronting hybrid
conflicts where the focus is shifting subversion on religions, sectarian,
ethnic and social issues, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a
needs a national response,” the COAS said about hybrid conflicts, emphasising
that there was greater responsibility now on ensuring that Pakistanis,
especially the youth, stay aware and steadfast against the propaganda onslaught
being launched through soft offensive.
is our time to rise and progress and we must grasp the opportunity achieved
after countless sacrifice,” the press release quoted COAS.
army chief also said that Pakistan had been subjected to various threats,
especially during the last two decades, adding that the Pakistani nation and
its armed forces had bravely and successfully stood up to these challenges and
are on a positive trajectory to defeat it effectively.
No deal reached with US in Qatar on deadline to end Afghan war
Taliban militant group says it has failed to reach any agreement with the
United States after three days of talks in Qatar, citing dissatisfaction with a
deadline set by Washington’s Afghanistan envoy to end the war.
Taliban leaders met US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad at their political
headquarters in Qatar last week for the second time in the past month, said the
militant group’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid on Monday.
were preliminary talks and no agreement was reached on any issue,” Mujahid
statement came a day after Khalilzad said he was hoping to cut a peace deal
with the Taliban by April 20, 2019, the date set for presidential elections in
militant group, however, said they had not accepted any deadline set by
senior member of the Taliban said Khalilzad’s strategy to declare a deadline
showed how desperate Washington was to withdraw foreign forces from Afghanistan.
leaders have not agreed to any deadline because we are winning on all fronts,”
Taliban also warned the US against sending mixed messages that could muddle the
peace process. The group was apparently referring to an earlier statement by
Khalilzad that said the Taliban believe they will “not win militarily.”
were astonished to see Khalilzad’s statement in Kabul on Sunday. He wrongly
quoted us, saying that the Taliban admitted that militarily we would not
succeed,” said a senior Taliban member in Afghanistan.
United States appointed Khalilzad, its former ambassador to Iraq and
Afghanistan, in September to lead the reconciliation efforts with the Taliban.
has since been traveling to the region for discussions with the national
government and the Taliban, trying to renew the peace talks.
senior US officials also confirmed that the second round of talks ended last
week, and that the Taliban expected Khalilzad to visit Qatar for a meeting
before the end of 2018.
second round of talks went on for three days. This clearly proves that both
sides are exercising patience and caution during their diplomatic engagement,”
a US official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
group’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an
end following the 2001 US-led invasion, but 17 years on, Washington -- having
failed to end Taliban’s militancy campaign – is seeking truce with the
Taliban have strengthened their grip over the past three years, with the
government in Kabul controlling just 56 percent of the country, down from 72
percent in 2015, a US government report showed this month.
Taliban issued a statement earlier this month, demanding the lifting of
sanctions against its leaders; the release of prisoners and the recognition of
their office in Qatar.
however, is strongly opposed to any recognition of the Qatar office, which was
established at the request of Washington in 2013 to "facilitate peace
and political analysts in Kabul have urged Khalilzad to include Afghan
politicians and officials from neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Iran
in the process before a third round of talks.
hasty approach could lead to an epic disaster,” Reuters cited a Western
diplomat in Kabul as saying. “The Taliban would trust him only if he did not
speak on their behalf."
A three-day meeting between the Taliban and the US special envoy for
Afghanistan to pave the way for peace talks ended with no agreement, the
militant group said a day after the diplomat declared a deadline of April 2019
to end the 17-year-long war.
security situation has worsened since Nato formally ended combat operations in
2014, as the Taliban battle to re-impose Islamic laws following their
overthrow in 2001 at the hands of US-led troops.
of the hardline group met US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad at their political
headquarters in Qatar last week for the second time in the past month, said
spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. “These were preliminary talks and no agreement was
reached on any issue,” he said in a statement on Monday.
leaders had not accepted any deadline set by the US to wrap up talks, three
Taliban officials added.
US embassy in Kabul declined to comment.
an Afghan-born US diplomat authorised by US President Donald Trump’s government
to lead peace negotiations with the Taliban, on Sunday said he hoped to cut a
peace deal with the group by April 20. That deadline coincides with the date
set for Afghan presidential elections.
Taliban held talks with US officials in Qatar on ending the Afghan conflict
last week, the militants confirmed Monday, but said no agreement was reached on
statement comes a day after US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad expressed hopes in Kabul
that a peace deal could be struck before the Afghan presidential election, scheduled
for April 20 next year.
was in the Afghan capital after the second round of regional meetings with top
government officials to coordinate efforts on ending the 17-year war.
Taliban officials met with a "high-ranking" US delegation in Qatar on
November 14, 15 and 16, the militant group said in a WhatsApp message, without
Taliban has a political office in the capital Doha that serves as a de facto
were preliminary talks and no agreement was reached on any issue,"
spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said.
want to reassure our Mujahideen and Muslim nation that the representatives of
the Islamic Emirate will never agree to anything that does not adhere to
second Taliban-US meeting in as many months come as the militants step up
attacks on beleaguered Afghan security forces, which are suffering an
unprecedented level of casualties.
death toll among Afghan soldiers and police is nearing 30,000 since the start
of 2015, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani revealed this month -- a figure far
higher than anything previously acknowledged.
a recent report, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan
Reconstruction (SIGAR) cited the NATO mission in Kabul as saying this summer's
toll had been worse than ever for Afghan forces.
told reporters on Sunday that he recognized the "complexity" of the
conflict, but insisted he wanted to "make as much progress as possible as
soon as possible".
comments underscore an apparent increasing sense of urgency in the White House
and among American diplomats for a peace deal to be done quickly.
say former MP and Jamaat Executive Member Moulana Farid Uddin Chowdhury
collected the nomination form from Constituency 5 and its central leader
Moulana Habibur Rahman collected it from Constituency 6
Jamaat-e-Islami is planning to demand six seats from the BNP-led political
alliance for vying in 11th general election in Sylhet Division.
Jamaat leaders said they had got the green signal from the party central
committee to prepare for the election with the alliance members, but work as
have categorized the Sylhet 5 (Kanaigaht and Zakiganj upazilas) and 6
(Bianibazar and Golapganj upazilas) constituencies as A grade.
think they have stronghold in A. They also seek four more other seats to vie in
the election in the division.
sources said former MP and Jamaat Executive Member Moulana Farid Uddin
Chowdhury collected the nomination form from Constituency 5 and its central
leader Moulana Habibur Rahman collected it from Constituency 6.
also seeks nomination from the Sunamganj Constituency 5 for Principal Abdus
Salam Al-Madani, from Moulvibazar Constituency 1 for ex-Shibir leader Aminul
Islam, from Sylhet 3 for former South Surma Upazila Jamaat Chairman Moulna
Lokman Ahmed and from Sylhet 4 for the Jointapur Upazila Parishad Chairman
central leader and Sylhet city unit Ameer Advocate Ehshanul Mahbub Zubayer said
they would work with the alliance to contest the poll.
want to vie in 6 of 19 seats in the division,” he said.
asked about their symbol, Ehshanul said Jamaat’s policymaking body would decide
it in the next meeting of the alliance.
Aminul Islam collected a nomination paper from the Moulvibazar 1 constituency,
said Jamaat sources.
Jamaat-e-Islami, an organization committed war crimes during the country's
Liberation War in 1971, carry on organizational activities and prepare for the
national election even if the registration of the party is cancelled.
to sources, to bring back the image of the party and to maintain their own
existence, the activists are silently preparing to become candidates for the
11th parliamentary election.
party is also tactful about carrying out organizational activities. Even though
the court has imposed a ban on the party participation in the polls, the high
command of the party directed its Sylhet unit to prepare to participate in the
next parliamentary election.
has delayed the return of Rohingya Muslim refugees from Bangladesh in order to
conduct a “systematic repatriation,” a Myanmar government official said Monday,
four days after an initial group of Rohingya verified as eligible for return
did not show up at the border for processing on the day that they were expected.
want to work on this repatriation systematically according to the memorandum of
understanding with Bangladesh,” Win Myat Aye, Myanmar’s minister for social
welfare, relief and resettlement who is in charge of the repatriation program,
told RFA’s Myanmar Service in response to a question asked during an event in
Naypyidaw marking Universal Children’s Day.
Myanmar government wants the dignified and safe repatriation [of the refugees,
and the postponement of the repatriation to the end of December by Bangladesh
means that there is still work to be done to have a systematic repatriation.”
signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh a year ago to take
back the Rohingya who were among the hundreds of thousands who fled a violent
military crackdown in Rakhine state that began in August 2017 in response to
deadly attacks by a Rohingya militant group.
campaign prompted an exodus of more than 720,000 Rohingya as security forces
killed families, sexually assaulted women and girls, and burned villages in
what the United Nations, human rights groups, and other members of the
international community have said amounted to ethnic cleansing and genocide.
first group of 2,200 refugees was set to return on Nov. 15, but none of them
showed up amid protests by Rohingya in the refugee camps in Bangladesh who said
they would not go back unless the Myanmar government met their demands to be
treated as equal citizens in Myanmar.
to the MoU and to another agreement that Myanmar signed with the U.N.’s refugee
(UNHCR) and development (UNDP) agencies, the country can only accept refugees
who want to return voluntarily.
UNHCR and rights groups have warned that repatriations should not begin until
the safety of returning Rohingya can be guaranteed and that they will not be
subject to systematic discrimination. The Rohingya refugees are demanding that
Myanmar grant them certain rights and access to basic services contingent upon
and Bangladesh were to begin the repatriations on Nov. 15, but none of the
Rohingya or Hindu refugees approved for return showed up at the border for
we have to work on this procedure, it is very important to consider whether
these refugees really want to return or not,” said Win Myat Aye, who is also
vice chairman of Myanmar’s Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance,
Resettlement and Development in Rakhine State (UEHRD). “Bangladesh, the UNHCR
and UNDP will work on the repatriation on this basis.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali said his county will resume the
repatriation process at the end of December after a general election.
to the MoU, Myanmar can receive the refugees only if Bangladesh sends them
back,” Win Myat Aye said. “When it resumes the refugee repatriation, we want a
systematic process like we have arranged in Myanmar.”
terms of the agreement say that the Myanmar government can accept only refugees
who want voluntary return and it cannot force those who don’t wish to return,
people return home
Myat Aye also said that more than 100 Rohingya rescued on Friday from a boat
stranded in the Andaman Sea on Friday as they attempted to travel from Myanmar
to Malaysia had been sent back to their places of residence in Rakhine state.
of the 106 Rohingya detained by police following their rescue at sea are from
internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Sittwe township, while the rest are
from 40 villages around the township, he said.
refugees, who were found adrift off Kyauktan township in Yangon region after
their vessel’s engine failed, said they left Myanmar because they didn’t have
enough food rations in the camps and they wanted jobs.
asked about the lack of food in the camps, Win Myat Aye said that the Rakhine
state government is responsible for the management of IDP camps in Sittwe, and
that his ministry provide support to the state.
NGOs still support the Sittwe camps as well, but more may be needed,” he said.
“We are working on this issue with other organizations as well.”
Sunday, Myanmar police shot and injured four Rohingya at the Ah Nauk Ye IDP
camp, about 15 kilometers (nine miles) east of the capital Sittwe on Sunday,
after detaining two men accused of smuggling the 106 Rohingya out of the
country in their boat, Reuters reported.
organizations have been investigating whether or not they were illegally
trafficked, Win Myat Aye said, though he had no details about the probe.
the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, we are working on
supporting them in their resettlement,” he said.
camps in Sittwe and other areas of Rakhine house tens of thousands of Rohingya
displaced by communal violence between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslims in
Myanmar government is in the process of shutting down the camps in keeping with
one of the recommendations of an advisory commission that probed ways to end
violence in the ethnically and religiously divided state.
want to return
nearly 440 Hindus who were not on the first list of refugees to be repatriated
told officials from Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs visiting the
Bangladeshi camps in October that they still wanted to return to Rakhine state.
their visit to the Kutupalong camp, Myint Thu, permanent secretary of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pledged that he would try to have the Hindus
returned as soon as possible, said Maungdaw district administrator Soe Aung.
tried to contact some of the Hindus in the camps to get an update, but they
refused to answer questions, citing security reasons.
Maul, a Hindu social worker and community leader in Maungdaw who has regular
contact with the Hindu refugees, told RFA that they want to return to Rakhine
state so they can die where they were born.
thank Bangladesh for helping and feeding them in the camp, but they want to
come back home because they want to die where they were born,” he said. “It is
our religious belief.”
officials initially sent the Bangladeshi government a list of 1,222 people,
including roughly 440 Muslims, in March to receive as the first group of
returnees, said Chan Aye, director general of the Consular and Legal Affairs
afterwards, Bangladeshi officials sent back a list with more than 8,000
refugees to be considered for repatriation, he said.
from the Bangladesh camps contacted and told us that they want to return, said
Soe Han, director general of the ASEAN Affairs Department at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. “We requested that Bangladesh put them on the list of first
group to be repatriated.
Bangladesh replied that it didn’t want to send Hindus back first and that it
would try to put them on the list after the first group had been sent,” he
said. “I hope they will be on the list after the first group of 2,260 refugees
is sent back.”
residing in northern Rakhine suffered violence at the hands of Muslim militants
who invaded their villages and drove out or killed them following deadly
attacks on police outposts that sparked the 2017 crackdown on Rohingya
militants detained nearly 100 people from several Hindu villages, killed most
of them, and dumped their corpses in mass graves. They also forced the young
Hindu women to convert to Islam and took them to a Rohingya refugee camp in
Buddhist monks and ethnic Rakhine groups are planning a protest in Sittwe on
Nov. 25 to oppose the resettlement of Rohingya refugees in northern Rakhine’s
Maungdaw district, a predominantly Rohingya area prior to the crackdown.
organizers said they will also protest against plans to appoint Muslim youths
as assistant teachers and against the issuance of National Verification Cards
to Muslims in Ramree township. The cards are seen as a first step to applying
for citizenship, which the Rohingya have long been denied since they are seen
as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Monday met with a delegation of the U.S. House of
Representatives in Presidential Palace to discuss key issues of bilateral
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said the meeting took place
on Monday evening during which the two sides held talks regarding the expansion
of bilateral cooperation, impact of the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and South
Asia, Afghan-led peace process, elections, reformss, regional connectivity and
statement further added that the U.S. delegation reaffirmed the long term
commitment of the United States to Afghanistan and hailed the Afghan
government’s recent achievements.
United Nations has called for calm after several members of persecuted Rohingya
Muslims were shot and wounded at a camp in the western state of Rakhine.
Ostby, head of the UN office in Myanmar, in a statement on Monday called for
"calm, non-violence and restraint" in Ah Nauk Ye camp, which is
located about 15 kilometers east of Sittwe, capital of Rakhine.
said at least four Rohingya Muslims were shot and wounded as Myanmar police
entered the camp in central Rakhine state's Pauktaw township on Sunday morning.
Hakim, an Ah Nauk Ye resident, said that the trouble started on Sunday soon
after 20 police arrived and crowds gathered. "I am not sure where the
police shot but four people got injured and among them, one seriously."
added that one of the wounded was sent to Sittwe hospital. Another man said his
son was hit on the left thigh.
said officers were trying to arrest two Rohingya suspected of links with a boat
carrying over 100 Rohingya last week.
immigration authorities on Friday arrested 106 Rohingya members who were
heading to Malaysia. Authorities stopped a boat about 30 kilometers south of
Yangon. The group was taken back to Rakhine on Sunday by Myanmar's navy.
years, the Rohingya on both sides of the border have boarded boats in the dry
months between November and March, when the sea is calm. The perilous journey
to Thailand and Malaysia, often undertaken in rickety vessels, has cost many
of Rohingya have been confined to camps outside Sittwe since violence swept
Rakhine in 2012. More than 4,000 people live in Ah Nauk Ye. They are denied
free movement, access to decent healthcare and education.
year, Solidarites International, an international aid group, warned the conditions
at Ah Nauk Ye, home to more than 4,000 Rohingya, were severe. It said the
"natural environment" at the camp was "unsuitable to human
settlement" and warned of water shortages, poor access to livelihood
opportunities and communal violence.
aid groups worry many refugees may once again risk traveling to Southeast Asia
by boat, a route previously popular among Rohingya Muslims seeking economic
opportunities outside the crowded camps.
of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have also been living for more than a year in
cramped refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh after fleeing violence in
Rakhine at the hands of the Myanmar military.
late October, Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin to repatriate hundreds of
thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled last year.
of those on the list agreed to return if their demands for justice, citizenship
and the ability to go back to their original villages and land were not met.
don't think anyone's agreeing to go back without these," said Kalam, who
last week called on the international community to pressure Myanmar to accept
certain "logical and acceptable" demands in order for any
repatriation to take place.
Kalam, Bangladesh's refugee relief and repatriation commissioner, said on
Sunday that Bangladesh's plans to tackle the Rohingya refugee crisis had been
stalled until the new year with repatriation and relocation programs.
government has faced international condemnation for failing to halt the brutal
persecution of Rohingya Muslims by military forces and Buddhist extremists.
Prophet's birthday, minister says Islam doesn’t discriminate
Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Nov 20 ? Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa reminded Muslims today that Islam admonishes
any form of discrimination, amid growing conservative anger over Putrajaya's
proposal to ratify an international convention against racial bias.
at the official celebration of the Prophet Muhammad's birthday here, the
Islamic affairs minister reminded the faith's followers that Islam is a
religion that promotes universal values of justice and goodness, more so towards
universality of Islam's notion of justice, he added, was reflected in Prophet
prohibits any form of discrimination based on faith, descent or differences,”
minister's speech came amid simmering tension between conservative ethnic
Malays and minorities over state efforts to recognise the International
Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
treaty's detractors, mostly nativists aligned to the former ruling party Umno
and Islamists PAS, claim ICERD is a backdoor for non-Muslims to abolish Malay
political and economic privilege.
leaders, including Mujahid, have denied this and said the ICERD issue has been
intentionally distorted by political rivals to stoke racial strife.
his speech today, Mujahid defended inclusive policies as in line with “maqasid
syariah”, the universal objective of Islamic teachings that takes into
consideration context and social pluralism.
administration of a state must be based on the Quran and sunnah without
abandoning key rules like the maqasid syariah,” he said.
a multiracial context, governance must be based on the maqasid syariah in that
justice must be for all without exclusion.
will prosper under this system. That is what we call rahmatan lil alamin.”
lil alamin literally translates to blessedness to all, which refers to Islam as
a universal religion. It is often cited by progressives to defend merits-based
newly-elected Pakatan Harapan administration is facing fierce opposition
against its plans to expand state socio-economic development programmes to
include more minorities.
backlash has forced them to stall some of these initiatives, including delaying
ratifying the ICERD in a move both aimed at mitigating tension and averting
the streets and in social media, disquiet over the issue has somewhat spilled
over and given rise to casual racism towards minorities.
touched on this in his speech today. Saying how Muslims behave affect the
faith's image, he urged Malays to display exemplary lives and avoid acts that
courtesy and politeness is how we win them over as actions that reflect poorly
will only alienate them from Islam.
is the right and smooth dakwah,” he said.
LUMPUR: A research firm has warned of a growing trend in support and tolerance
for terrorist activities despite the findings from a recent survey that Muslims
in Malaysia report low tendencies for direct participation in violent
S Hazis an academic who coauthored the survey on tolerance and susceptibility
to extremism in Southeast Asia, said 28% of Malaysian Muslims demonstrated
“violence-receptive” tendencies, meaning that they did not directly reject
he said, the respondents showed support for extremism or justified violence in
the name of Islam.
only 2% of the 823 Malaysian Muslim respondents polled said they would directly
participate in violent extremism.
study by the Merdeka Center was conducted across four Southeast Asian
countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. It included both
Muslim and non-Muslim respondents.
survey measured two areas of extremism: violent extremism and “self-sacrificial
tendencies” or the willingness to sacrifice their lives, freedom or belongings
to defend Islam.
and Thailand recorded the highest levels of self-sacrificial tendencies.
Center also found that support for global and regional terror groups such as
Jemaah Islamiyah was present across all four countries surveyed, but was the
highest in Malaysia at 18.1%.
said support for the Islamic State was also highest in Malaysia.
to the study, intolerance among Muslim respondents for other religious groups
was also high in all four countries, except Thailand where Muslims demonstrated
a positive attitude towards Buddhists.
respondents in the region, including Malaysia, were also reported as being
against the implementation of multi-faith education to learn about other
Sains Malaysia political scientist Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid said the research
provided compelling evidence that the Southeast Asian region, including
Malaysia, demonstrated “increasing degrees of extremism” although he added that
the levels were still considered moderate.
behaviour in Malaysia has been creeping into the state. Not all, but a part of
it has been creeping into the government and universities.
can be seen in the form of religious education such as sekolah agama(religious
schools), and even in the national curriculum as part of high school or
university syllabi,” he said.
added that many extremists were from government schools, not religious schools.
for extremist ideologies
Al-Ramiah, who coauthored the survey with Faisal, said that for both forms of
extremism – violent and self-sacrificing – men were more likely to be
said the main drivers for extremism were religious narratives such as the
pursuit of “purist” Islamic goals like jihad or hudud, as well as religious
literalism in which respondents take the word of their Islamic teachers
said those inclined towards religious extremism also reported feeling a
perceived loss of Muslim dignity, saying they felt Muslims were treated
unfairly by governments around the world.
also reported feeling a loss of personal dignity, saying they felt personally
victimised for being Muslim.
research also found that those who reported inclinations towards violent
extremism did not have much money, tended to believe that suicide bombing is
sanctioned in Islam, and felt that there was discrimination against Islam.
Ananthi also noted that 96% to 98% of Muslim respondents strongly endorsed the
view that people should be treated with respect despite having extremist
researchers recommended an audit to determine, change or refine religious
narratives in education and sermons to see if these were in line with plural
democracies or secular countries.
also suggested an active push for more moderate counter-narratives, especially
towards the younger population.
“formers” or ex-militants who had been de-radicalised and reintegrated into
society as messengers to educate the public and raise awareness was also an
effective way to counter extremism, they said.
seen it from the inside out, so when they speak about the dangers or tell
people not to get recruited, it can be much more effective,” Ananthi said.
LUMPUR • Malaysian government leaders are backpedalling on a plan to ratify a
United Nations human rights treaty after facing resistance from Malay and
Muslim organisations, and with the main opposition parties Umno and Parti Islam
SeMalaysia (PAS) united against the issue.
opposed to the convention said that if the government ratified the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination, or ICERD, it would weaken the rights of Malays and Malay
royalty, and dilute Islam's position in Malaysia.
two top leaders of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, Prime Minister
Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, on Sunday signalled that the
government is unlikely to ratify the treaty soon.
ratified, the convention requires the signatory UN state to set up legislation
that prohibits racial discrimination and related acts. This could affect
Malaysia's longstanding bumiputera policy that reserves education and job spots
for Malays and other indigenous races, as well as the primacy of Islam in the
country and the special position of the nine royal houses.
and PAS leaders met last Saturday and agreed to hold a big demonstration in
Kuala Lumpur on Dec 8 to protest against the government's plan to ratify the
at a joint Umno-PAS rally in Perak over the issue, Umno president Ahmad Zahid
Hamidi told the crowd: "Don't wait until the Malays run amok. But if our
warning goes unheeded, Umno and PAS will unite.
is not a mere warning; don't play if you don't want the amok to happen."
matter became a major talking point in Malaysia soon after Tun Dr Mahathir
spoke in September at the UN General Assembly, where he said his new government
would ratify all remaining UN human rights conventions as part of its
international commitments. Malaysia is also taking steps to remove the death
Mahathir, speaking to Malaysian reporters in Papua New Guinea on Sunday, said:
"This matter (ICERD) is sensitive to the Malays, we understand that."
was quoted by Bernama news agency as saying: "In my speech at the United
Nations, I mentioned about the complexity of implementing ICERD. So, we didn't
commit that we are going to do it."
Prime Minister also said it would be almost impossible to change the federal
Constitution to accommodate ICERD, as this would need support from two-thirds
of MPs in Parliament.
ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition that he leads has 127 out of the 222 seats in
Parliament. A minimum of 148 votes are needed for a two-thirds majority to
change any part of the Malaysian Constitution.
with the support from the opposition can we have a two-thirds majority, and
even then government members themselves may not support (it). So I feel that
it's almost impossible for us to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary,"
Dr Mahathir said.
Anwar, speaking to reporters after the annual congress of Parti Keadilan Rakyat
that he leads, said he believes it is not the right time to ratify ICERD.
is a new government; we need to make sure Pakatan Harapan and the Prime
Minister are strong and receive the support of the people. For me, it
(ratifying ICERD) can be postponed," he was quoted as saying by
Malaysiakini news site.
LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr
Mujahid Yusof Rawa has dismissed allegations made by certain parties that the
Pakatan Harapan government is not concerned about Islamic affairs, including
relating to the Islamic Development Department Malaysia (Jakim).
stressed that the government was always committed to strengthening and
upgrading the institution through various measures.
include placing four agencies under Jakim — the Department of Wakaf, Zakat and
Haji, the Al-Hijrah, the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) and
Yayasan Dakwah Islamiyah Malaysia.
these agencies were scattered, even though they have to report to the Prime
Minister’s Department, but we have made the changes to strengthen Jakim.
the assumption that we (the government) is not concerned (about Jakim) is
wrong, in fact some even said we wanted to shut down Jakim,” he said when
winding-up the debate on Budget 2019 at his ministry level in Dewan Rakyat,
said Jakim had also been allocated RM882 million in 2019 for the Estimated
Operating Expenditure involving the four agencies.
also said the government had set up a task force to look into the status of
Quran reading and Fardu Ain (KAFA) teachers which is chaired by Deputy Minister
in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh.
said this special team will study and review the duties of KAFA teachers and
supervisors and will propose to the government a scheme of permanent posts for
who is also Parit Buntar MP said at present, the government had provided a
special allocation through Jakim to pay for the allowances of KAFA teachers.
said in 2018, a total of RM401.8 million was provided for this purpose, which
benefited 32,764 KAFA teachers who taught 978,661 pupils in 40,711 classes.
JAYA: The winner of Cleo magazine's Most Eligible Bachelor of Malaysia in 2010
has been killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Syria.
newspaper Herald Sun reported that Amir Milson died in 2016 when he stepped on
a landmine while carrying another fighter on his shoulder in Syria.
heard when he died," Amir's friend reportedly said.
was carrying a fighter on his shoulder when he stepped on a landmine. That was
it," he added.
September, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation confirmed his
who was half Malaysian and half Australian, studied mass communication at
Curtin University in Perth, according to the report.
2010, Amir who was 27 then, was doing part-time modelling and had even planned
to be a television presenter.
the Herald Sun reported that Amir, whose real name is Amirrudin Hud Rashid
Milson, subsequently got married and had a son.
2014, he began to become radicalised. Subsequently, he divorced his wife before
going to Syria.
to one of his friends, Amir's conversion to Islam was a "gradual
Clear guidelines should be drawn between Muslims who follow Shia Islam and
those who not only follow but also promote it, Mujahid Yusof Rawa today.
minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said this in response to Penang
mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor’s remark that the fatwa or edict which established
Shia as a devious teaching could be reviewed based on the argument that the
previous consensus only stated that it was against the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah
Islamic (Sunni) sect.
Salim reportedly said the review could be done by taking into consideration the
fact that Shia was still in line with Islamic teaching and that Sunni Islam did
not represent Muslims as a whole.
however, said Shia teachings must be practised discreetly because it
contradicted with Sunni teachings, apart from fear that it would cause unrest
and division among Muslims.
are two things in this matter (regarding the fatwa). Firstly, all Shia
teachings are devious. Secondly, the fatwa says that Malaysia follows Sunni
should action be taken just because people follow Shia teachings? Or because
they are Shias and they are promoting Shia Islam? These are two different
things,” said Mujahid when met by reporters after the national-level Maulidur
Rasul celebration held here at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre
noted that Article 11 of the Federal Constitution stated there was freedom to
said this freedom, however, should be read with the caveat under Article 11 (4)
that “such teachings cannot be promoted”.
that is why there should be a guideline between the right to embrace any
religion and teaching, and promoting it,” he said.
Muslim lawmaker-elect in proposal to end head-covering ban in Congress
Muslim congresswoman-elect has co-authored changes to a longstanding rule
banning the wearing of head coverings on the US House floor, an effort
supported Monday by the nation's largest Muslim rights group.
Omar, a Somali refugee who was one of the first two Muslim women elected to
Congress earlier this month, has joined Democratic leaders in drafting an
update to a 181-year-old rule to allow for religious exemptions for headwear
like the Muslim hijab, Jewish yarmulkes or Sikh turban.
change is part of a rules package introduced by top Democrats including House
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that is expected to be approved in January, when
Democrats take majority control of the chamber.
one puts a scarf on my head but me. It's my choice -- one protected by the
first amendment,” Omar posted Saturday on Twitter.
this is not the last ban I'm going to work to lift,” added the Minnesota
proposal earned the backing of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
support the effort to update this anachronistic policy and to bring the House
of Representatives into conformity with the Constitution and its existing
protection of religious freedom,” said CAIR national executive director Nihad
record number of women, and scores of minorities including Hispanics, African
Americans, Native Americans and members of the gay, lesbian and bisexual
communities, will fill the ranks of the 116th Congress when it convenes
beginning January 3.
Jim McGovern, expected to chair the House Rules Committee starting in January,
said the update reflects the broader diversity in Congress.
change will finally codify that no restriction may be placed on a member's
ability to do the job they were elected to do simply because of their faith,”
head-covering rule has vexed some lawmakers, notably Congresswoman Frederica
Wilson, who is known for her colorful hats and has pushed to get the ban
the proposed changes, Wilson would still be barred from wearing hats on the
mulls designating Venezuela state sponsor of terror’
United States is considering enlisting Venezuela as a “state sponsor of
terrorism,” but no final decision has been made by Washington yet, an informed
source reportedly says.
source told Reuters that the deliberations had moved forward in recent days
with strong lobbying by junior Republican Senator Marco Rubio, himself the son
of Cuban migrants and a hawk on Latin America.
move could limit US economic assistance and impose financial restrictions on
source, however, said no time frame had been determined yet for the decision on
whether to designate Venezuela as a terrorism sponsor.
US official, who also talked to Reuters under the condition of anonymity, said
it would be a challenge for the US administration to provide concrete proof
linking the Venezuelan government to terrorism if it decided to add Venezuela
to the list.
has already been facing a series of US sanctions targeting its economy and
officials since 2014 over alleged human rights abuses and threats to US
President Nicolas Maduro has said the US administration is seeking to
has long pressed the administration of US President Donald Trump to take a
tougher stand against the Maduro government.
a letter sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in September, Rubio and two
other Republican senators called for naming Venezuela as a state sponsor of
terrorism and accused it of links to Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement
and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), without offering any
United States has classified Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement as a
“terrorist” group. Hezbollah is a resistance and political group that has aided
the Lebanese military fend off Israeli aggression on Lebanon in the past.
top US military officer has admitted that the Taliban "are not
losing" in Afghanistan and much more needs to be done to bring peace to
the war-torn country 17 years into the longest war in American history.
are not losing right now, I think that is fair to say," General Joseph
Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the Taliban during a
discussion at a security forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Sunday. "We
used the term stalemate a year ago and, relatively speaking, it has not changed
top US military officer said while there was no "military solution"
to peace in Afghanistan, Washington and its allies in the NATO military
alliance were trying to use all their military, political and economic
potentials in a bid to convince the Taliban that it was time to come to the
going into detail here, we do believe the Taliban know that at some point they
do have to reconcile," he said. "The key to success is to combine all
that pressure to incentivize the Taliban" to negotiate.
commander said reconciliation was still too far-fetched, conceding that “we are
a long way" from that stage.
Dunford’s claims that Washington sees no military solution, US President Donald
Trump’s strategy for the long-running war revolves around bringing more troops
and use them to force a political resolution to militant groups.
new strategy, unveiled last year, announced an increase in US troop levels,
bringing the total number of foreign foot soldiers in the country to about
US State Department has named former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay
Khalilzad as its special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation process.
has traveled to the region to meet national government officials and the
Taliban to try and jump-start a dialogue. But progress has proven elusive.
is partly because the Taliban are gaining strength as the Afghan government in
Kabul struggles to keep ground.
US government's overseer for the military push in Afghanistan warned in a
report earlier this month that the Taliban had cemented their position by
taking control over larger chunks of the country while the Afghan government
had seen its control shrink to about 56 percent of the land -- down from 72
percent in 2015.
contributing to the issue is the fact that Afghan security forces who took over
in 2014 -- after undergoing years of US training – have failed to secure the
country and suffered a high number of casualties in their battle against the
Defense Secretary James Mattis said last month that Afghan forces had sustained
"over a thousand dead and wounded" in August and September in their
effort to protect Afghan parliamentary elections in October.
President Donald Trump repeated Monday that Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden,
killed by US Navy SEALs in May 2011, should have been captured much earlier,
casting blame on his predecessors and Pakistan.
course, we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did,” the US president
tweeted, echoing remarks he gave to “Fox News Sunday” that drew the ire of
Pakistan, where bin Laden had been hiding.
pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center,”
Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars &
they never told us he was living there. Fools!”
years after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, bin Laden was
found to be hiding in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, where he was killed in
a raid by US Navy SEALs approved by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.
Of course we should have captured Osama Bin
Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack
on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid
Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there.
PM - Nov 19, 2018
assault sent relations between the wayward allies to a new low.
his interview on Sunday, the Republican leader had said he canceled assistance
worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan earlier this year because
“they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.”
had also told Fox News that bin Laden had lived “beautifully in Pakistan and
what I guess in what they considered a nice mansion. I don’t know, I’ve seen
Prime Minister Imran Khan hit back at Trump’s claim, calling on the president
to name an ally that has sacrificed more against militancy.
suffered 75,000 casualties in this war & over $123 bn was lost to economy.
US ‘aid’ was a minuscule $20 bn,” Khan tweeted.
O’Neill, a former Navy SEAL who claims to have fired the shots that killed bin
Laden, was terse in his reply.
mission to get bin Laden was bipartisan. We all wanted to get him as soon as we
could,” tweeted O’Neill, who regularly appears on Fox News as a security
....We no longer pay Pakistan the $Billions
because they would take our money and do nothing for us, Bin Laden being a
prime example, Afghanistan being another. They were just one of many countries
that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s
PM - Nov 19, 2018
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
director of national intelligence James Clapper was more direct in his
criticism of Trump.
really a slam at the intelligence community, who was responsible for tracking
down Osama bin Laden, and reflects, I think, his complete ignorance about what
that took,” Clapper told CNN.
CIA director John Brennan also hit back at Trump’s remark.
President Donald Trump continues to defend Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman amid mounting evidence that he is responsible for the murder of
Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, The New York Times reported Monday.
an opinion piece, The Times wrote that Trump called Saudi Arabia a “truly
spectacular ally” in direct contrast to his earlier criticism of the Kingdom
for “the worst cover-up in history”.
after the CIA released a report which concluded that bin Salman ordered the
assassination, Trump said he would wait for his administration to deliver its
own report before making any comments and assigning blame.
Mr. Trump, it is enough that Prince Mohammed denied any involvement in the
killing in phone calls with him," said The Times.
newspaper noted that Trump’s position on Khashoggi is becoming increasingly
isolated, with the European Union demanding clear answers on what happened to the
Saudi journalist, and even Israel, which has strategic ties with Saudi Arabia,
not verbally defending the Crown Prince.
a columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi
Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
initially saying he had left the consulate alive, the Saudi administration
admitted weeks later that he was killed there.
position on the matter is also being met with resistance in the U.S.
points to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, MbS, ordering @washingtonpost
journalist Jamal #Khashoggi’s killing,” said Bob Corker, head of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee.
president noted that Saudi Arabia’s pledge to buy $110 billion worth of weapons
has created jobs for the American people. Yet The Times, citing defense
analysts, said only around $14.5 billion in sales have been booked.
also noted that the U.S. has suspended air-to-air refueling of Saudi planes in
the Yemen war and imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi nationals involved in the
the same time, we do have an ally, and I want to stick with an ally that in
many ways has been very good,” he said.
Times wrote that despite Trump's defense of bin Salman, the White House will
leverage the Khashoggi incident to curtail the war in Yemen, which would
appease American legislators who have been calling for an end to the war.
Trump's commitment to bin Salman will not waver because the Crown Prince
"has become the fulcrum of the administration’s strategy in the Middle
East," according to The Times.
very clear that what the administration wants is to buy off Congress with
Yemen,” Bruce Riedel, an expert on Saudi Arabia and senior fellow at the
Brookings Institution, told The Times.
in Turkey joined Muslims throughout the world Monday to mark the Milad
un-Nabawi, the celebration of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad, a day
of spiritual significance in Islam.
of all ages flocked to mosques to pray and recite poems dedicated to the
prophet on the occasion known as Milad un-Nabawi.
programs were organized at mosques across Turkey, including Istanbul, Ankara,
Bursa, Edirne, Gaziantep, Hatay, Konya, Hakkari and Sanliurfa.
this sacred night, Muslims say their prayers and read the Holy Quran in their
homes and mosques.
remember today our beloved prophet, who has been sent to humanity as messenger
and advisor," said Parliament Speaker Binali Yildirim in a statement.
should work to dominate our lives with goodness and kindness," he added.
Erbas, head of Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs, issued a message
congratulating the Mawlid of all citizens.
said with the birth of Prophet Muhammad, humanity regained its lost morals and
if mankind meets the values that he has brought, humanity will find peace,"
top cleric said Muslims should introduce the Islamic principles of kindness,
mercy, fairness, good morals and coexistence to the world which is struck by
wars and conflict.
across the world celebrate the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal, with the day varying from
country to country according to the lunar calendar. The prophet passed away on
the same day as that of his birth, at the age of 63.
day is a public holiday in several Muslim-majority countries, including
Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and some parts of India.
Indonesian capital Jakarta, thousands of people gathered in a commemoration
program held in the Monas National Monument after the isha prayer.
information minister says Houthi militias have broken the truce
Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani confirmed that the Houthi militias have
broken the ceasefire after firing a missile targeting Saudi territories just
hours after saying that they were halting drone and missile attacks on Saudi
Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their Yemeni allies.
after a statement issued by Al-Houthi announcing the halt of ballistic missile
fire, one of their fighters directed one of its rockets targeting the lands of
Saudi Arabia,” al-Eryani tweeted.
Iranian missile did not achieve its goal and fell in Yemeni territory,
confirmed how the militias do not stick with their word.”
the Arab Coalition had confirmed that forces have intercepted and destroyed
three ballistic missiles launched by the
Yemeni legitimate government announced Monday its participation in peace talks
the United Nations is trying to hold in Sweden in the coming weeks to end the
a letter to UN envoy Martin Griffiths, the Yemeni foreign ministry in the
internationally-recognized government said in a statement published by Yemen’s
news agency SABA, that it would send a delegation to represent it in the
its letter, the government called on the United Nations to “pressure the Houthi
militias to respond to UN efforts and to come to consultations
Yemeni legitimate government demanded that the UN take a “firm stance of any
disruption by the militias to delay or not to attend scheduled consultations.”
Read: Yemen’s Houthis announce halt of missile attacks on Saudi Arabia
is seeking new peace talks in Sweden in the coming weeks, with support from
major powers, notably the United States, Britain and France.
least 25 Palestinians, including a journalist, were injured by the Israeli live
fire during the Freedom Flotilla protests at the northern border of the Gaza
Strip on Monday.
protests were held in support of the launch of a flotilla titled 'Freedom Ship
16' that set sail from the port of Gaza in an attempt to break the Israeli
siege on the enclave.
Israeli forces’ live fire wounded 25 people, including the Associated Press’
cameraman Rashed Rashid, who were all transported to local hospitals for
journalist was filming hundreds of Palestinians who were protesting on a beach
by the border fence near Beit Lahia, a spokesman for the Palestinian health
30 fishing boats reportedly joined the flotilla, which was organized by Gaza's
National Committee for Breaking the Siege.
flotilla sailed to the northern coastal border of the Gaza Strip but was then
allegedly forced to return to shore by Israeli naval forces.
protests came days after a Palestinian was killed and more than a dozen were
injured in similar clashes along the border with Israeli troops and a week
after a major flare-up between Israel and Palestinian resistance forces.
has been under a crippling siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since
2008. It has also witnessed a fresh wave of tensions since March 30, which
marked the start of “The Great March of Return” protests.
Tel Aviv regime carries out regular attacks on the coastal enclave under the
pretext of hitting positions belonging to Hamas.
on Monday, Israeli military forces shot and injured a dozen Palestinians across
West Bank as tensions continue to rise in the occupied territories over US
President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital
and relocation of the US embassy to the occupied city.
to a statement released by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, four
Palestinians were injured overnight by bullets from Israeli forces near the
village of Deir Abu Mash'al, located 24 kilometers (15 miles) west of Ramallah.
renowned children rights NGO says the Israeli military troopers have shot and
killed more than 50 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and the
besieged Gaza Strip so far this year.
for Children International - Palestine reported on Monday that 52 Palestinian
children lost their lives due to Israeli soldiers’ live fire since January, 46
of whom killed in the blockaded enclave, mostly during anti-occupation
to the report, 18 of these children were shot in the head, 9 were shot in the
chest, 7 were shot in the belly, 5 were shot in the neck and the rest sustained
fatal injuries in other parts of their bodies.
show that more than 2100 Palestinian children have been killed and over 13,000
wounded by Israeli live bullets since the outbreak of al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000.
NGO also called for the arrest of Israeli soldiers, who kill or maim
Palestinian children in clear violation of international law.
240 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since anti-occupation
protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Over 22,000 Palestinians
have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by
Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries,
garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8
votes against and 45 abstentions.
resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals
within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and
well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,”
including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
bulldozers have razed a Palestinian property on the outskirts of the occupied
Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds under the heavy protection of Israeli
troops, who confiscated a number of Palestinian-owned vehicles.
Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported on Monday that the land, belonging to
Palestinian resident Khaled al-Zir, was situated in the Silwan neighborhood,
adding that the incident occurred after the staff members of the Israeli Nature
and Parks Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality stormed the area.
report, citing unnamed sources, further said that the Israeli forces seized
several Palestinians’ civilian vehicles in the neighborhood under the pretext
that their owners had not obtained an Israeli license.
years, Israel has expanded the authority of its military to demolish
Palestinian homes in the occupied territories. The Israeli army can now execute
demolition orders in the so-called Area C of the West Bank, in which the Old
City is located, just days after they are issued.
recent months, the Israeli regime ordered the demolition of Palestinian homes
as a punitive measure in response to a growing number of alleged attacks by
Palestinians against Israeli settlers, who constantly waged attacks against
Palestinian residents and their properties.
say Israel is relentlessly destroying Palestinians’ homes and livelihoods in
order to make way for more illegal settlements.
bodies and rights groups argue that Israel’s sustained demolitions of
Palestinian homes and structures in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
al-Quds are an attempt by the Tel Aviv regime to uproot Palestinians from their
native territories, and confiscate more land for expansion of illegal
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
on Monday, Israeli soldiers detained at least 22 Palestinians during predawn
raids across the occupied West Bank, including al-Khalil (Hebron), Ramallah and
to the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, there are 5,580
Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli prisons.
recent months, Israeli forces have frequently raided the houses of Palestinians
in the West Bank, arresting dozens of people, who are then transferred to Israeli
prisons, where they are kept without any charges.
occupied Palestinian territories have been the scene of heightened tensions
since August 2015. The tensions were triggered by an Israeli move to impose
restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque
compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
say the Tel Aviv regime seeks to change the status quo of the sacred site.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees says it has nearly closed its funding
gap after securing new donor pledges to make up for US aid cuts.
Kraehenbuehl, the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency, said Monday that the
shortfall was reduced from $446 million to $21 million, singling out donors
from Europe and the Gulf region.
says the agency no longer faces the “critical situation” created by a US decision
earlier this year to cut nearly $300 million of aid.
agency provides health care, education and social services to 5.4 million
Palestinian refugees and their descendants in the West Bank, Gaza Strip,
Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The agency was created after the mass displacement
of Palestinians during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.
to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday said his country will impose
sanctions on Saudi Arabia over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
will swiftly impose many sanctions [on Saudi Arabia] based on what we know
[about Khashoggi]," Jean-Yves Le Drian said in an interview with Europe 1
that details of the murder of Saudi journalist must be revealed, Le Drian said
the culprits should be unmasked.
Drian said France and Germany were cooperating on the issue.
a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after
entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
initially saying he had left the consulate alive, the Saudi administration
admitted weeks later he was killed inside the consulate.
body has yet to be returned to his family amid reports that it was chemically
crown prince ordered Khashoggi hit: UK think-tank
order to kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was given by Saudi Crown Prince
Mohamed bin Salman, Azzam al-Tamimi, director of the London-based Institute of
Islamic Political Thought, has told Anadolu Agency.
to the Palestinian researcher, bin Salman issued the order because Khashoggi
was undermining Saudi efforts to market the crown prince as a “liberal” and
“reformist” to western audiences.
frequent contributions to The Washington Post, al-Tamimi said, “had been
attracting considerable attention”.
in the U.S. viewed Jamal as an insider vis-à-vis the Saudi administration,” he
explained. “And his criticisms were counteracting the propaganda on which the
Saudi lobby was spending millions of dollars.”
for the first time, the international media is focusing on a single issue,”
al-Tamimi continued. “Not only because a prominent journalist was brutally
killed, but because it took place inside a diplomatic mission.”
to al-Tamimi, the Turkish government has handled the issue in a very competent
[the Turks] shared the information gradually, thus keeping the issue on the
[international] agenda,” he said.
more, al-Tamimi said, Khashoggi had not concealed his position regarding the
2011 Arab Spring uprisings, which Saudi Arabia had actively worked to subvert.
therefore drew the ire of the Saudi royal court, which ultimately led to his
demise,” he said.
believe the Saudis hatched the plan, but it failed, after which they tried to
blame Ankara for Khashoggi’s disappearance,” al-Tamimi asserted. “But God
ruined their plans.”
added: “Without a doubt, bin Salman ordered the murder.”
[bin Salman] enjoys the support of U.S. President Donald Trump and the White
House, and now he’s looking to them to evade responsibility,” he said. “But the
murder has become an international incident and this [U.S. support] will not
believes that if the crown prince escapes prosecution, “this will be the
beginning of the end of the House of Al Saud”.
if bin Salman is removed from a position of leadership, he added, “the dynasty
may yet survive”.
[bin Salman] is the one who declared war on Yemen, imposed a blockade on Qatar
and detained [dissident] scholars,” al-Tamimi said.
also noted the close relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates (UAE), especially during the bin Salman era.
are strong ties between bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed
[Al Nahyan],” he said. “Bin Zayed is largely seen as a spiritual godfather to
his Saudi counterpart.”
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt arrived in Tehran on Monday for the first time
since taking office to hold talks with Iranian authorities on issues including
the future of the 2015 nuclear deal, Iranian media reported.
May, US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal, negotiated with five other
world powers during Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration. The
United States also restored sanctions targeting Iran’s oil, banking and
transportation sectors earlier this month.
will meet (Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad) Zarif today and the
secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani,” state TV
is an ally of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last
say on all state matters, including nuclear issues.
office said in a statement that, during his meeting with Zarif, he would stress
that the UK is committed to the nuclear deal as long as Iran sticks to its
Iran nuclear deal needs 100 percent compliance though to survive,” Hunt said in
a statement ahead of the visit.
has warned it could scrap the accord if the bloc fails to preserve the deal’s
economic benefits against US pressure.
will stick to our side of the bargain as long as Iran does. But we also need to
see an end to destabilizing activity by Iran in the rest of the region if we
are going to tackle the root causes of the challenges the region faces,” Hunt
is still hopeful that Europe can save a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and
six major powers despite the withdrawal of the United States, Iranian Foreign
Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Monday.
are some ambiguities on implementation of EU’s mechanism to protect trade with
Iran from America’s sanctions ... But we remain hopeful that the Europeans can
save the deal,” Qasemi told a weekly news conference, broadcast live on state
the deal, Iran restricted its disputed nuclear program, widely seen in the West
as a disguised effort to develop the means to make atomic bombs, in exchange
for an end to international sanctions.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has met with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in the Iranian capital Tehran for talks that
were expected to focus on a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with the Islamic
British official arrived in the Iranian capital earlier on Monday and later met
reported that Hunt would also meet with Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National
Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani.
on Monday, Zarif posted a tweet on his official Twitter account saying that the
2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, officially
known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), ways of maintaining
it, and the crisis in Yemen were major items on the agenda of his talks with
Iranian foreign minister added that the two sides also discussed Europe’s
commitment to normalize economic relations with Iran.
Hunt is the first Western official of his rank to visit Iran since the United
States — formerly a party to the deal — unilaterally withdrew from the
agreement in May.
administration of US President Donald Trump had been hoping to get the other
parties to the deal with Iran to likewise scrap the deal. Instead, they have
stressed that not only will they stick to the agreement but that they will also
work to sustain it in the face of increased US pressure.
a statement ahead of the visit, Hunt called the Iran deal “a vital component of
stability in the Middle East.”
(the Iran nuclear deal) needs 100 percent compliance though to survive,” the
British foreign secretary stressed. “We will stick to our side of the bargain
as long as Iran does.”
last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran
continues to adhere to all of its obligations under the JCPOA, despite the US
pullout, which also entailed the restoration of unilateral sanctions on Iran
and the countries doing business with it.
IAEA is tasked with monitoring the technical aspects of the deal. It is yet to
post its latest verification and monitoring report on Iran on its website, but
Reuters has obtained a copy and reported its content.
partners in the deal, namely the UK, France, Russia, China, Germany, and the European
Union (EU), have been working on a financial mechanism that would bypass the
American monetary system and enable direct and secure payments to the Islamic
Republic, including for oil purchases, which the US sanctions have attempted to
mechanism, known as the Special Purpose Vehicle, will likely be one topic of
discussion between Hunt and Zarif.
has imposed travel bans on 18 Saudi nationals suspected of having links to the
murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s diplomatic
mission in Turkey’s Istanbul early last month.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas made the announcement on Monday, saying the 18
Saudi citizens had been banned from entering the country’s territory as well as
Europe's Schengen passport-free zone over Khashoggi’s killing.
before, there are more questions than answers in this case, with the crime
itself and who is behind it," Maas said on the sidelines of a European
Union meeting in Brussels, adding that he had discussed the decision with his
British and French counterparts prior to the announcement.
has "decided that Germany should impose an entry ban on 18 Saudi citizens,
who are presumed to be in connection with this deed, in the Schengen
information system," Maas told reporters.
office later announced that it could not release the names of those sanctioned
Saudi nationals due to Germany's privacy laws, but said the members of the
15-strong squad accused of carrying out the killing and a further three
suspected of organizing the brutal act had been given entry bans.
Schengen Area comprises 22 EU countries and four non-EU countries. Britain is
not part of the passport-free Schengen zone but shares intelligence through
Schengen Information System (SIS) for law enforcement purposes.
has already imposed a ban on selling weapons to Riyadh until the circumstances
of Khashoggi's killing are fully cleared up.
United States also imposed economic sanctions on 17 Saudi nationals last week,
including suspected members of the alleged hit squad and senior advisers to
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – who is alleged to have been involved
in the killing of the 59-year-old critic.
media reported on Saturday that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
believed with "high confidence" that the Saudi crown prince directly
ordered the killing.
Arabia is facing global criticism over Khashoggi's killing inside the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
a prominent commentator on Saudi affairs who wrote for the Washington Post’s
Global Opinions section, had lived in self-imposed exile in the US since
September 2017, when he left Saudi Arabia over fears of the Riyadh regime’s
crackdown on critical voices.
59-year-old was seeking to secure documentation for his forthcoming marriage
when he entered the Saudi consulate, but never came out despite Riyadh’s
initial claim that he exited the mission less than an hour after completing his
Saudi kingdom, after denying the murder for several days, finally admitted that
Khashoggi had been killed in the consulate during an interrogation by rogue
operatives that had gone wrong after diplomatic pressure grew tremendously on
Riyadh to give an account on the mysterious fate of its national.
Saudi Arabia said that it did not know the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body,
which is widely believed to have been dismembered.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the assassination was ordered at the
"highest levels" of the Saudi government, but stopped short of
pointing the finger of blame at the crown prince.
announced Monday that it halted all arms exports to Saudi Arabia in a move to
increase pressure on Riyadh to conduct a full investigation into the murder of
journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
at a news conference in Berlin, Economy and Energy Ministry spokesman Philipp
Jornitz said the German government informed companies, who had already received
export licenses, that currently no arms exports to Saudi Arabia would be
remarks came after U.S. media reports claimed the CIA had concluded the Khashoggi’s
murder was ordered by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
government had decided last month not to approve any new weapon exports to
Saudi Arabia, but Berlin stopped short of blocking the delivery of already
approved arms sales.
Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman renewed call on Riyadh to conduct
a full and transparent investigation into the murder of Khashoggi.
circumstances surrounding this horrendous crime have not been cleared up yet in
a satisfactory manner,” Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin.
a Saudi journalist working for The Washington Post, was killed shortly after he
entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Arabia had offered shifting explanations for Khashoggi's disappearance before
suggesting he was killed during a botched rendition operation by rogue agents.
Union foreign ministers on Monday endorsed a French government decision to
sanction Iranian nationals accused of a bomb plot in France, a move that could
enable EU-wide enforcement of the measures, diplomats said.
ministers said technical work could now start on a freeze on the EU assets of
two Iranians and Iran's intelligence service over a failed plot to carry out a
bomb attack at a rally near Paris organised by an exiled Iranian opposition
which in October said it suspected an Iranian government intelligence service
had tried to carry out an assassination plot on its soil, also lobbied for
support for similar EU-wide sanctions once its investigation is complete, the
diplomats told Reuters.
largely symbolic in impact, the EU's readiness to target Iranians marks a shift
after months of division within the bloc over how to punish Iranians accused of
destabilising activities in Europe and the Middle East.
October, France said there was no doubt that Iran's intelligence ministry was
behind the June plot to attack the demonstration by Iranian exiles near Paris.
froze assets belonging to Tehran's intelligence services and two Iranian
nationals - a Vienna-based diplomat now under arrest in Belgium for the plot
and the deputy minister and director general of intelligence, Saeid Hashemi
appear to have had any assets in France. Paris also discreetly expelled an
Iranian diplomat, diplomatic sources told Reuters last month.
to save a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran from which the United States has
withdrawn, the EU has focused its efforts in trying to keep trade flowing with
Iran in the face of renewed U.S. sanctions, in order to keep Tehran from
the 2015 deal, Iran restricted its disputed nuclear programme, widely seen in
the West as a disguised effort to develop the means to make atomic bombs, in
exchange for an end to international sanctions against it.
March, Britain, France and Germany proposed to sanction Iran over its
development of ballistic missiles and its role in Syria's war, but the
initiative failed to gather sufficient support across the EU to take effect.
was one EU country unwilling to countenance new measures as it sought to
preserve business ties with Iran?.
an effort to balance Iran policy, the ministers at their meeting on Monday also
tried to press ahead in setting up a special mechanism to trade with Iran that
could be under EU, not national, law.
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is a kind of clearing house that could be used to
help match Iranian oil and gas exports against purchases of EU goods in an
effective barter arrangement circumventing U.S. sanctions, which are based on
global use of the dollar for oil sales.
technical difficulties and delays, the EU believes this formula could shield
individual member states from being hit by US sanctions that have been
reimposed on trade with Iran after Washington's pullout from the nuclear deal.
is a willingness for the financial vehicle ... to be set up quickly,"
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters.
no country has come forward as a potential host. Their reluctance arises from
fears that SPV reliance on local banks to smooth trade with Iran may incur U.S.
penalties, severing the lenders' access to U.S. markets, diplomats said.
is seen as a good candidate to manage the Iran SPV given its experience setting
up a similar mechanism during the 2009-12 euro zone financial crisis.
Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told Reuters that the country had not been
formally asked and he declined to say if it was willing to play host, insisting
that firstly, setting it up under EU law could prove a critical step.
a European commitment, not a national commitment. It must therefore be given a
basis in European law," he said.
Muslims in Nigeria join their counterparts the world over to commemorate the
Eid Maulud, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, President Muhammadu Buhari;
President of Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of
Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike
Ekweremadu; Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun and his Delta State
counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa, have called on Nigerians to close ranks and work for
a country where every man is his brother's keeper.
his message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina,
President Buhari said the nation is making great progress under the APC-led
federal government in dealing with issues of security, the war against
corruption, the reform and restructuring of the economy and the provision of
needed infrastructure but to be fully successful, the country needs the support
and prayers of all citizens.
also asked for prayers for the nation for peaceful electioneering as we embark
on the journey to democratic elections in the New Year.
on his part, urged Nigerians to use the opportunity of Prophet Muhammad's
birthday celebration to show love to one another and imbibe the virtues of perseverance
Senate President while congratulating the Muslim Ummah on the birthday of the
Holy Prophet emphasised that the occasion should inspire Nigerians to renew
their belief in the Almighty Allah and the country.
charged Nigerians, particularly Muslims to always emulate and promote the
virtues of Prophet Muhammad which include honesty, love for others and peaceful
co-existence, saying "He, Prophet Muhammad preached and lived for peace
and was revered and widely followed for his honesty and perseverance".
Maulud, according to him, would not have come at a better time than now when
the country is about to conduct elections, adding that "this year's Maulud
has come at the most appropriate time for Nigerians to use it in praying for
peaceful, free, fair and credible elections."
his part, Dogara called on the Ummah to replicate in their lives, the virtues
of righteousness, honestly, charity and peaceful coexistence as exemplified by
a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki
Hassan, the Speaker said the celebration of Maulud is an opportunity for the
adherents to renew faiths, rejuvenate their spirit and engender love in the
life of Prophet Muhammad and his teachings on piety, unity, charity, peaceful
coexistence and good neighbourliness should serve as a lesson and guidance as
we march towards building a nation of our dream".
his message, Ekweremadu called for peaceful prayers towards 2019 general
elections and charged politicians to play by the rules and highest democratic
said: "As the nation joins the Muslim Ummah around the world to mark the
birth of the holy prophet, let all compatriots rededicate themselves to the
path of peaceful coexistence, unity, love, forgiveness, and tolerance to build
a Nigeria of our dreams. "I urge our Muslim brethren to pray for unity and
peace in the country as well as a peaceful general elections in 2019.
also call on the political elites to eschew any utterances and actions capable
of undermining peaceful and credible elections. Let the campaigns be
issues-based and a rich marketplace of ideas and plausible alternatives for the
peace and development of the country."
his part, Amosun, in a statement signed by the state Commissioner for
Information and Strategy, Otunba Adedayo Adeneye, said in the midst of the
celebration, Muslims should also pray for the nation and the leaders.
we rejoice in celebration of the birth of Prophet Mohammed, let us be mindful
of the need to pray for peace and unity among the citizens, which form the
fulcrum for the progress of our dear country.
is not coincidental that this is coming in the build up to the 2019 polls, but
a divine arrangement, to give us the opportunity to lift up our voices in
supplication to Allah, for guidance in the choice of our leaders," Amosun
governor also called on Nigerians to continue to live in harmony and tolerant
of each other, irrespective of religion, tribe and language.
Okowa, Muslims need to offer prayers for peaceful conduct of the 2019 general
a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, the governor
enjoined Nigerians, and Deltans especially Muslims to use the celebration as a
period of sober reflection and pray for the peace and unity of the country
especially as we are entering an election year.
governor also advised Muslims to use the period to reflect on the challenges
bedeviling our country and share with one another, to spread the virtues of
peace, love and charity which the Holy Prophet represents.
enjoined Muslims to follow the exemplary leadership of the Holy Prophet
Mohammed by promoting and ensuring peaceful co-existence within the society.
urging Nigerians to eschew ethnic, political and religious tendencies in all
their dealings, he urged them to work towards building a secured and prosperous
Haram jihadists at the weekend attacked three military bases in northeast
Nigeria, putting the spotlight on insecurity in Nigeria just three months
before presidential polls.
Sunday, fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction attacked
a base in Metele, a remote village in northeast Borno state, near the Niger
were "dislodged" from the base before it was reclaimed with aerial
support, a military officer in the northeast told AFP.
are still no details of human or material losses," said the officer, who
asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak on the
same day, jihadists also launched a pre-dawn attack on another base in the town
of Gajiram, some 80km north of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.
fought off the insurgents after hours of fighting which lasted up to 0430
GMT," said Kulo Gana, who lives 60km away in the garrison town of Monguno.
Saturday, ISWAP fighters attacked a base in the town of Mainok, killing a
soldier and seizing a truck from civilian militia fighting the jihadists.
faced stiff resistance from soldiers who fought them for an hour before the
terrorists withdrew," said a militia member in the town.
lost a soldier in that Mainok attack," the military officer said.
Metele and Gajiram have been attacked in the past six months, underlining the
persistent threat that Boko Haram poses to the ravaged region.
claimed on Monday to have killed 42 troops in the Metele and Mainok attacks,
according to the SITE Intelligence Group which monitors jihadist activities.
militant group said it killed "more than 40 Nigerian soldiers" in
Metele and two more in Mainok, in addition to carting away "four
tanks" and other vehicles and ammunition.
spokesperson Brigadier General Texas Chukwu told AFP he had "no
information" about any attacks. Neither claim could be independently
on bases have increased in recent months and claims that the military has
played down casualties.
military said it repelled an attack on a base in Kekeno village, near Monguno,
on Friday, in the second attempted takeover in two months.
which split from the Abubakar Shekau-led faction in mid-2016, also claimed another
attack on a base in Kareto, 150km north of Maiduguri, last on Wednesday.
attacks have been seen as a sign of a hardline takeover in the faction by more
radical lieutenants and have stretched the army at a time when troops are
complaining of fatigue.
than 27 000 people are thought to have been killed in the nine-year insurgency
that has triggered a humanitarian crisis and left 1.8 million people without
Twitter trolls stoking anti-Islamic sentiment in Australia, experts warn
Twitter trolls have targeted Australia’s democracy primarily through attempts
to stoke anti-Islamic sentiment and have begun to advocate on behalf of Julian
Assange, researchers have warned.
Tuesday academics from the University of Canberra’s News and Media Research
Centre told a parliamentary inquiry that tweets identified by Twitter as
belonging to an “organised influence operation” from Russian troll-farm the
Internet Research Agency were playing on fears around Islam.
research fellow Michael Jensen told the joint standing committee on electoral
matters his analysis of the Russian tweets suggested there was “little
evidence” of direct influence on Australian elections.
Russia-linked accounts seem “interested in amplifying social divisions, in
particular distinctions between Muslims and the rest of the population” and
they “emphasise links to terrorism extensively”, he said.
explained that amplifying “fears and anxieties make it easier to move people to
new political identifications” because they help convince targets they can “no
longer trust the institutions and political figures that have kept them safe in
noted that the accounts had “advocated strongly on behalf of Julian Assange
asking for Australia’s intercession regarding his cause to help free him”.
said this cause may become “more salient in the near future” after last week’s
revelation that Assange – who is still in the Ecuadorean embassy in London – is
under sealed indictment in the United States.
said that despite the focus on the spread of misinformation and fake news, the
“truth or falsity of a statement is often incidental to its utility in an
leaked information and statements that are “true in and of themselves or not
demonstrably false” can be used to amplify fears and anxieties regardless of
their accuracy, making fact-checking “likely inadequate” as a solution to
foreign influence operations, he said.
said the day on which the Internet Research Agency-linked accounts were most
active was 8 February 2017 on which they participated in the #makeTVshowsAussie
conversation on Twitter.
said the accounts “showed an ability to use Australian slang terms” which was
commonly associated with “traditional spy-craft practices” to first establish a
connection with an audience on “non-political grounds then slowly move them to
adopt political positions over time”.
within that game I saw experimentation where they would move from that game to
statements about Muslims being dangerous.”
said the Twitter accounts would “seize on any evidence they can find”, looking
for people who make statements of that type and retweeting them to amplify
media reactions can form the basis of articles in news sources like Russia
Today or other “grey media sources”, a form of “information laundering” that
can “create the illusion of credibility for particular claims” and add to a
growing sense that a social attitude or belief is widely accepted.
deputy chair of the committee, Andrew Giles, said the evidence of
Russian-linked Twitter accounts fomenting anxiety against Muslims was “of great
concern to me”.
said the evidence was concerning “at a couple of levels” because it shows the
focus on social media is “too narrow” and “simply looking at the accuracy” of
statements would not be enough to deal with the problem.
agreed that combating foreign influence “likely requires a whole-of-government
or a whole-of-society approach”.
the joint standing committee on electoral matters is examining the need to
combat cyber interference in elections as part of its inquiry into the 2016
its submission to the committee, Twitter said that in October 2017 it banned
advertising from all accounts owned by Russia Today and Sputnik because of the
US intelligence community’s conclusion they attempted to interfere in the 2016
US presidential election.
said it had identified and suspended “a number of accounts” potentially
connected to the Internet Research Agency and identified and suspended a
further 1,062 accounts associated with the IRA.
did not address the issue of Russian interference in its submission, but said
it had “expanded [its] ability to find and eliminate information operations” in
which “sophisticated threat actors run coordinated efforts to mislead and
manipulate the public”.
men who allegedly plotted “chilling” terror attacks in Melbourne were charged
early Tuesday, less than two weeks after a stabbing rampage inspired by the
Islamic State group left two dead in Australia’s second city, police said.
trio, all Australian nationals of Turkish descent, were detained by
counter-terror police in overnight raids as they escalated preparations to
attack crowded areas of Melbourne, according to police.
three, two brothers aged 31 and 26 and 21-year-old, were later charged with
planning a terrorist action, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison,
Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the men were “certainly inspired
by ISIS”, the Islamic State group, but had no known links to a specific
had been under investigation since March but had become “more energised” since
the IS-inspired stabbing attack in Melbourne on November 9, he said.
men had sought to purchase semi-automatic .22 calibre rifles and police were
concerned they could target upcoming Christmas season events that will see huge
crowds gathering in the city.
was a view towards a crowded place, a place where maximum people would be
attending, to be able to kill, we allege, as maximum an amount of people as
possible,” Ashton told reporters.
group had not yet picked a specific target or time for the attack, and Ashton
added that police were confident Tuesday’s arrests had “neutralised any threat
to the… community from this group”.
the November 9 attack, a Somali-born Australian, Hassan Khalif Shire Ali,
stabbed and killed one man and wounded two others in a central shopping area
before being shot dead by police.
the victim of that attack, Sisto Malaspina, 74, was honoured by a state funeral
in Melbourne on Tuesday.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women
in Islam, Islamic
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism