Plundering Artifacts, Historical Treasures in North-western Hama
Mufti: Nothing can be worse than Daesh
Monks, Rohingyas and ISIS Target in India
Hazaras Fear for Their Lives in Besieged 'Ghettos'
Unity Stressed To Foil Conspiracies
Up, Stand Up: Ulema Fight Politicians' Attempts at Dividing Muslim Communities
Attacked In Sri Lanka Town after Facebook Row, Curfew Imposed
in Spain Welcome Saudi Arabia’s Efforts in Service of Islam
Whistle-Blower Reveals New Family Arrests by MbS
Welcomes Saudi Promotion of Moderate Islam: Consul General
Army Arrives at Idlib Province Borders
Forces Kill 8 Pro-Democracy Activists in Shiite Region
of Israel Found in Terrorists' Arms Depot in Southern Syria
army takes Takfiri targets in Idlib under heavy fire
media and apps are platforms for good deeds during Ramadan
says insurgent shelling kills 6 civilians in northwest
cop among two Lashkar terrorists killed in J&K encounter
Catholics and Muslims condemn violence
Real Message of Ramazan': Roadside Iftar Feeds Thousands In Karachi
toll rises to 13 in Lahore Sufi shrine suicide attack
World League opens ‘Iftar Saem’ program in Pakistan
clue found to Lahore shrine blast as toll climbs to 13
to build wall with money meant for Pakistan, Afghanistan
‘Protect Islam’ Rally, Protesters Calls For AG’s Dismissal and Support for TMJ
year on, Pakatan Harapan's allure fades for Malays
through the Malay noise
Sandakan, signs that Umno’s race card will be rejected by east Malaysians
13 tragedy: A lesson on importance of unity
hopes of economic revival under Mahathir fade
some Muslims in Blitar, Ramadan night prayer is exercise
Scholar Held For Sri Lanka Attack Link
Lanka Blocks Social Media after Worst Anti-Muslim Unrest since Easter Bombings
Lankan churches to resume services after terror attacks
Rohingya rescued from traffickers in Bangladesh
groups in Bangladesh react at anti-militancy campaign
and U.S. forces arrest the shadow intelligence chief of Taliban in Baghlan: MoD
Taliban militants killed, 8 wounded in Special Forces raid in Uruzgan
Debates ‘Mosque Tax’ To Replace Foreign Funding
air force hunting Daesh leader al-Baghdadi in Libya: Report
charity distributes Ramadan aid in N. Macedonia
mayor under police protection following threats
foreign ministers to hold emergency Iran talks
Names Site in Syria's Golan Heights after Trump
strike plea deal for Israeli suspect in killing of Palestinian family
Guards commander says US military presence in Gulf is ‘an opportunity’
confirms Houthis withdrawing from ports in Yemen’s Hudaydah as planned
demolished 41 Palestinian structures in 2 weeks: UN
soldiers killed, injured as Yemenis launch drone strike on Saudi army: Report
kill six during Catholic mass in Burkina Faso
coast guard rescues nearly 150 Europe-bound migrants
kill 6 in second church attack in Burkina Faso
tribal clashes kill 7, wound 22: Official
Boko Haram terrorists killed in northeast Nigeria
engineer killed by car bomb in Somalia's capital Mogadishu
neutralise four Boko Haram jihadists, clear Borno villages
pullout may lead to Taliban takeover, fears ex-US secretary
waging psy-war on Iran, not interested in confrontation: Scholar
says US aircraft carrier 'psychological war'
by New Age Islam News Bureau
terrorists stationed in Northwestern Hama have stolen a large amount of
priceless treasures of Apamea Museum belonging to the 16th century AD in the
surrounding areas of Qala al-Maziq in Northwestern Hama, Director of Syria's
Museum Mahmoud Hamoud said.
pointed to the vast excavations and destruction of Syria's archeological works
by the terrorist groups stationed in Western Hama, and said the terrorists have
smuggled the plundered artifacts to foreign countries.
a relevant development in late April, media sources disclosed that the
Turkey-backed terrorists were continuing to plunder the infrastructures and
artifacts in Afrin in Aleppo province.
local sources said that the Ankara-backed terrorists had begun excavations and
diggings in different parts of Afrin to gain access to archeological works
sources pointed to the terrorists' excavations in archeological sites and some
ancient graveyards, including Tal Jandaris and Houri Nabi, with modern
excavation machinery which has just come from Turkey, and said that the
terrorists transfer Syria's artifacts to Turkey with the assistance of the
artifacts director general had previously warned against terrorists' attempts
to plunder the archeological works from occupied regions in Northern Syria,
including Manbij, Afrin, Idlib and Raqqa.
had said that the Western countries, including the US and France help
terrorists in plundering Syria's
a relevant development earlier in April, the Kurdish-language media reported
that the Turkish Army had strengthened its military positions in areas under
its control in Afrin and set up another military base for Jeish al-Islam
Kurdish-language Hawar News quoted local sources in Afrin as saying that the
Ankara Army is presently setting up 3-meter walls in the surrounding areas of
its command centers in the villages of Afrin region, specially in the villages
bordering al-Shahba region.
report pointed to an attempt by the Turkish Army to destroy people's houses,
administrative buildings, schools and water reservoirs North of Jalbareh
village in Shirva, and said that the occupying army intends to set a new
military base in the same region.
informed sources reported that the Turkish troops are establishing a command
center and a camp for Jeish al-Islam terrorists near Kawa al-Haddad Square.
also said that the Jeish al-Islam terrorists are meant to use the camp for
training their militants.
— The Daesh terror network is among the worst that have appeared on the earth,
according to Grand Mufti of the Kingdom and President of the Council of Senior
Scholars and the Administration for Religious Research and Ruling (Ifta) Sheikh
Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Al-Asheikh.
an interview to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, he said Daesh has exceeded everything that
preceded them in looting wealth and properties, shedding blood, violating
honor, and selling women as slaves.
Grand Mufti said to be safe from them, one has to seek protection by complying
with the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and holding fast to the Sunnah of the
Prophet (peace be upon him) as well as following on the footsteps of the
forefathers of the Ummah.
Monks, Rohingyas and ISIS target in India
was Taliban who destroyed the century-old Buddha statues of Bamyan in
Afghanistan. The same Taliban who were once patronized by Pakistan armed forces
and then left with no purpose and source of living when the purpose is solved.
Muslims all around the world have been seen as an enemy to society and country
too. Especially after the 9-11 terrorist attack in the United States. By
principles of Islam, Muslims should be peaceful and faithful to their lands and
motherland. It’s the radical teachings by Arab and Pakistani mullahs which
turned the picture upside down. They, distorted the concept of Jihad as they
understood by their illiterate religious teachers who don’t have any knowledge
of the world’s advancements.
Munawar, an IT expert in Germany said “This routine of radicalized Islamists
around the world made every Muslim ashamed of their activities. Whenever we
hear some terrorist attack- we always assume this is done by some Islamist. Our
religion never taught us this. Prophet Mohammad never practiced such rubbish
acts. I, being an Ahmadi Muslim, believe in ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’.
This is what everyone must understand and believe.”
to the radical teachings of Islam, even the peace-loving Muslims in many
countries are facing threats and persecution. This persecution is the cause of
those radical thoughts and self-centered socio-political benefits which Muslim
majority nations sought. Anti-semitism is one of the major games which all
Muslim majority nations play to sympathies their radicalized minds in the
is one community in Muslims as well which always teaches the peaceful lessons
to not just Muslims but others too. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, founded in
India in the late 1880s is claimed to be the most modern Islamic sect in the
world with a growing population of more than 200 million.
first stood against the Ahmadiyyas as they appeared to be a heretic to their
so-called Islam. It was this reason that many radical Islamist clerics found it
to be a very soft target for them to become the stars of the Muslim world. Many
radical-Islamist organizations were born within Pakistan for the same cause.
Now, there are more than 70 organizations around the world propagating
anti-Ahmadiyya thoughts and all of them believe that Ahmadis are infidels are
worth killing in the name of religion.
the other hand, where other Muslim communities started facing threats from
other radicalized minds have raised their concerns to other radical-Islamist
organizations to deal with. Remember, radical minds can never be defeated with
other radical minds but with love, harmony, and brotherhood, this is what the
world needs today. One of the major moves of radical powers against Muslims in
Asia was the crisis of Rohingyas in Myanmar. Many Rohingyas were butchered,
girls were raped, children were beaten to death and thousands decided to leave
their motherland. This is all the birth of radical-Islamist groups. Now,
Rohingyas are joining the terrorist groups to avenge their sufferings.
issue is a very serious issue. Every society must understand that education is
the key to success, not gun or violence. This is the first time we heard of
Buddhist terror in the world. What radical people like Wirathu are doing in the
world is totally unacceptable. No society will ever accept this act of
religion-driven terror. ” said Qamar Bajwa, a professional architect in
New Zealand, a brutal terror attack on a mosque is witnessed. Many lost their
lives, if radical groups reach these victims and teach them their cause of
Jihad at this crucial time, what will be the effect? But, Prime Minister of New
Zealand Jacinda Ardern dealt with the situation very well. All the world
leaders including Muslim leaders praised the efforts. The world needs leaders
like Jacinda Ardern.
groups have shown their next interest in Buddha Purnima in India now. To avenge
the Rohingyas, ISIS, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Taliban, and Jaishe Mohammad are combined
to attack this event. This is the responsibility of the Government of India and
the intelligence to protect the events all around the nation and fail their
Hazaras fear for their lives in besieged 'ghettos'
PAKIstan: Crowded into "ghettos" surrounded by armed checkpoints,
Pakistan's Shiite Hazara minority say they are being slaughtered by sectarian
militants in the southwestern city of Quetta, with authorities seemingly unable
to halt the killings.
years, hundreds of thousands of the Shiite community's members have been hemmed
into two separate enclaves cordoned off by numerous checkpoints and hundreds of
armed guards designed to protect the minority from violent militants.
like a prison here," said Bostan Ali, a Hazara activist, about conditions inside
Hazaras are experiencing mental torture," he added, complaining the
community has been effectively "cut off from the rest of the city"
and "confined" to such areas.
Shiite community's presence is particularly strong in Quetta — the uneasy
capital of impoverished Balochistan province where sectarian violence, suicide
bombings, and banditry are common.
are technically free to roam around Quetta at their will, but few do, fearing
further protect the group, day traders and market vendors are also given armed
escorts when they leave their neighbourhoods, while ongoing military operations
are said to be targeting militants in the restive province.
even these measures have proven inept at stopping major attacks on Hazaras.
last month a bombing at a vegetable market left 21 dead and 47 more wounded --
with the majority of the victims identified as Hazara.
incident is all the more disturbing considering the group was under the
protection of Pakistani paramilitary forces, who failed to stop the suicide
bomber from detonating in the crowd.
attack — claimed by the Islamic State and its local anti-Shiite affiliate
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi — is just the latest in a long series of assaults targeting
the group, including back-to-back bombings in early 2013 that killed nearly 200
of its members.
situation across the border in Afghanistan is equally if not more dangerous,
with Hazara mosques, schools, and community events regularly attacked by
has long been a cauldron of unrest and sectarian violence, with the officially
Islamic Republic home to myriad sects of Islam and religious minorities that
have been targeted by violent extremists for decades.
Hazara have proven to be particularly vulnerable with their distinct Central
Asian features making the members of the community easy targets for Sunni
militants who consider them heretics.
the entrance to Hazara town -- one of the two enclaves in Quetta -- a grim
scene plays out every day as Hazara men squeeze into the backs of a long line
of trucks headed in the city to buy food from the markets.
there, they are flanked by soldiers as they buy supplies before heading back to
their homes in a heavily armed convoy.
insist the measures are a necessity.
the last five years, 500 Hazaras have been killed and another 627 wounded in
Quetta alone, according to a Pakistani security source familiar with the
situation who asked not to be named.
know that we are passing through a killing field" explained Nauroz Ali,
about life outside the enclaves.
added: "But we have to earn a living for our families."
for their inability to stop the attacks, officials point to their own
casualties in the fight against sectarian extremists as proof that they are
trying their best.
the past six years, in their efforts to protect them "more police officers
have died than Hazaras" says local police officer Abdur Razzak Cheema,
adding that many terrorists have been arrested and others eliminated due to
explained: "New groups emerge. We're trying to track them down and
eradicate the threat."
are also plans to begin installing surveillance cameras at markets to improve
security but Hazara community leaders are sceptical of the plans saying the
existing measures have failed to stem the bloodshed.
three checkpoints in 3 km cannot keep (us) safe, can escorts, barriers and CCTV
do any better?" wrote Muhammad Aman, a professor and activist, in a recent
editorial in the Pakistani daily newspaper, Dawn.
seems that the terrorists are winning this war... there is no escape," he
the enclaves are not safe, as the bloody bombings in 2013 that struck inside
the protected areas demonstrated.
a result between 75,000 and 100,000 Hazaras have fled violence elsewhere in the
country or abroad in recent years, according to the Hazara Democratic Party,
are hopeless," said Tahir Hazara, describing their neighbourhoods as
nothing more than "ghettos".
asked: "From whom should we expect protection to save our lives?"
unity stressed to foil conspiracies
Clerics, religious scholars and leadership of different religious organisations
speaking at Tahaffuz-e-Harmain Al Sharifain, Al-Aqsa conference have said Saudi
Arabia and Pakistan are knotted with each other for mutual peace, defence and
security. Enemies of Islam and Pakistan are hatching conspiracies to create
anarchy and instability in Pakistan with the objective to undermine Muslim
unity and integrity.
activities are being committed in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to create
instability and anarchy in Muslim world, they said. Tahaffuz-e-Harmain Al
Sharifain conference was held here on Sunday in the chair of Hafiz Muhammad
Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, Chairman Pakistan Ulema Council.
scholars, clerics and representatives of different religious organisations
addressing the conference resolved to confront the conspiracies of enemies of
Islam with unity of Muslim Ummah.
of different religious organisations and notable religious scholars including
Maulana Abdul Hamid Wattoo, Maulana Mian Rashid Munir, Maulana Malik Haq Nawaz,
Maulana Ahsan Ahmed Husseini, Maulana Aseedur Rehman Saeedi, Sufi Rizwan
Tabbasum, Maulana Hafiz Ishaq and Maulana Kamran Hazarvi said that an effective
campaigning is being made for unity and integrity of Muslim Ummah and to
eradicate terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence from Muslim world.
this occasion, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi announced that during the month of Ramazan
congregations, seminars and conferences will be held all over Pakistan on the
topics of message of Islam and Harmain Al Sharifain with perspective of
Ramazan, peace, stability and moderate Islam.
of Islam and Muslims are creating anarchy with terrorism activities in Saudi
Arabia and Pakistan to create instability in Muslim world. Muslims should unite
to contain these conspiracies and anti-Islam propaganda.
Tahir Ashrafi also stated that Pakistan is first atomic power of Muslim world
and Saudi Arabia is centre of Muslims faith and belief. Both Pakistan and Saudi
Arabia are facing same enemies.
incidents in last one week in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia witness to the fact
that enemies of Islam and Muslims are targeting centres of Muslim power. Hafiz
Tahir Ashrafi also announced at the conference that Pakistan Ulema Council has
initiated countrywide campaign to spread the message of Islam and Harmain Al
Sharifain for peace and stability in Muslim world.
aim at making anarchy and chaos in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as they had done
successfully in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. With unity of Muslim Ummah, all these
conspiracies will be foiled, said Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, adding ‘we assure
complete support to kingdom of Saudi Arabia for peace, stability and security
of Harmain Al Sharifain.
and Saudi Arabia are knotted in relations of faith and belief. Both Pakistan
and Saudi Arabia have no relations with Israel and support the cause of
Palestinians unanimously, he said.
resolution at the conference paid homage for martyrs of Lahore Data Darbar
suicide blast. Talking to the media after the conference, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi
lauded the decision of the government to associate registration of seminaries
with Ministry of Education.
Muslim scholars and clerics in Indonesia say they will resist attempts by the
country's political elites to drive a wedge between followers of Islam and divide
them into two fanatical camps in support of presidential nominees Joko
"Jokowi" Widodo or Prabowo Subianto.
ulemas have held a series of meetings in anticipation of the announcement of
the official election result on May 22 by the General Elections Commission
(KPU). They warned the politicians not to provoke people into attacking the KPU
if they are unhappy with the election result.
are calling on everyone who cares about this country, to stop any attempt at
hurting it. This is a priority in our religion," said Kyai Syamsul Maarif,
the deputy chairman of the Jakarta branch of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the biggest
Muslim organization in Indonesia, on Wednesday.
is the main backer of Jokowi's running mate Kyai Ma'ruf Amin, who holds the
title of Supreme Leader (rais 'aam syuriah) at the organization.
is the title for an Islamic leader who typically also manages a pesantren, or
Islamic boarding school.
nearly 90 percent of Indonesia's 260-million population are Muslims, Islam
plays a very important role in shaping the country's politics.
Jakarta on Wednesday invited a group of ulemas and habibs, Islamic scholars
from the Sayyid community who claim to be descendants of the Prophet Muhammad,
to a breaking-the-fast event called iftar, in which they also discussed threats
to the Islamic community.
said the iftar was attended by more than 350 prominent ulemas and habibs.
Syamsul said he used the occasion to remind Indonesia's political elites to
stop dividing Indonesian Muslims and call on his fellow ulemas to tell their
followers not to manipulate Islam into a tool to further their political
and religious leaders should not act like they are above the law. If they have
information or data [about voter fraud], bring them through the appropriate
legal channel. They should not threaten people power to attack the KPU. It will
do more harm than good," he said.
of Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Sandiaga Uno have been claiming since
last month's election that the Jokowi camp has been guilty of a "massive
and organized" vote-rigging that has resulted in Prabowo lagging way
behind in the quick count.
Ja'far bin Ahmad bin Salim Al Kaff, a "traveling cleric" from Tegal,
Central Java, said he regrets the fact that politicians have been trying to
ride the Muslim wave to divide the country.
get provoked, my Muslim brothers. Stay united, and Insya Allah [God willing] we
will get over this situation. We the ulemas will hold more meetings like this
to educate the ummat [Muslims] about the importance of national unity. We're
very concerned about what is happening in this country right now," the
the past few weeks, Indonesian social media has been awash with threats that
Muslim supporters of Prabowo will lay siege to the KPU in an attempt to
overrule and delegitimize its official election result.
call on the KPU and the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) to disqualify
Jokowi and Ma'ruf from the election has also spread on WhatsApp.
is still refusing to concede the election despite quick count results pointing
to an easy win for Jokowi.
of Sunday evening, with more than 78 percent of the vote already counted by the
KPU, Jokowi and Ma'ruf are leading the election with 56.3 percent of the vote
against Prabowo and Sandiaga's 43.7 percent.
police are now taking tougher measures against people threatening to mobilize
mobs to attack the KPU or to demonstrate on the streets of the capital Jakarta
in a "people power" show of strength.
police have already declared activist and Prabowo supporter Eggi Sudjana a
treason suspect for reportedly egging on Prabowo supporters to launch people
power to overturn the result of the election.
Syarif Rahmat, a popular ulema who appears regularly on a television program
called "Damai Indonesiaku" ("My Peaceful Indonesia"), said
he believes both Jokowi and Prabowo are "good statesmen" who will put
national unity above political interests.
said provocations by elite politicians only serve their vested interests.
"We have to be careful of these people. These are evil people. We can't
let them divide our country," he said.
was speaking at another iftar event in Jakarta on Friday, also attended by
ulemas and habibs.
iftar produced a declaration from ulemas and habibs based in Jakarta, Bogor,
Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi. They pledged their support to the KPU, promised to
respect the result of the official KPU vote count, called on the country's
leaders and their supporters to obey the law, called on law enforcers to take
firm measures against forces threatening national unity and pledged themselves
to protect the unity of the Republic of Indonesia.
Manarul Hidayat, a former deputy secretary general of NU, who is now the
executive chairman of the organization's Islamic education institute, predicted
identity politics, currently a favorite plaything of elite politicians, will
not have much staying power.
is a model of a peaceful Islam for the world. Our brand of Islam believes in
blessings for everyone and the universe [rahmatan lil alamin]. When do we ever
strangle a priest? NU even helps guard churches whenever there is a
conflict," he said. "Our Islam
is moderate and tolerant, not extreme. That's also the NU way," Manarul
attacked in Sri Lanka town after Facebook row, curfew imposed
Several dozen people threw stones at mosques and Muslimowned stores and a local
man was beaten in the town of Chilaw on Sri Lanka's west coast on Sunday in a
dispute that started on Facebook, sources told Reuters.
weeks ago in Sri Lanka Islamist bombers blew themselves up in four hotels and
three churches, killing more than 250 people+ . Since then Muslim groups say
they have received dozens of complaints from across the country about people
police curfew has been imposed in Chilaw Police area with immediate effect
until 6am tomorrow to control the tense situation," police spokesman Ruwan
Gunasekera told Reuters. The police later said the curfew would be lifted at
screenshot of the alleged Facebook exchange seen by Reuters showed a user had
written in Sinhalese "It is difficult to make us cry" and added a
local slur against Muslim men.
Facebook user identified as Hasmar Hameed, whom two locals said was the man
later arrested, replied in English: "Dont laugh more 1 day u will
said they arrested the author of a Facebook post, identifying him as
38-year-old Abdul Hameed Mohamed Hasmar.
in Chilaw, a majority Christian town, said Hasmar's post was interpreted as
menacing and an angry crowd beat him.
was unable to determine what the original conversation was about or to contact
Hasmar for comment.
they pelted stones at three mosques and some Muslim-owned shops. Now the
situation has calmed down, but we are scared of the night," said one local
Muslim man who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons.
mosque suffered extensive damage, he said. Video footage circulating online
shows several dozen young men shouting and throwing stones at a clothes store
called New Hasmars, which locals said belonged to Hasmar.
communities say they are fearful that the government, which failed to act on
successive warnings about looming Islamist attacks, has not caught all
week ago in Negombo, where more than 100 people were killed during Easter
prayers, a violent clash erupted between local Muslims and Christians after a
after the Negombo clashes, the Sri Lankan government did not impose a ban on
social media platforms on Sunday.
in Spain welcome Saudi Arabia’s efforts in service of Islam
Muslims in Spain have welcomed the Kingdom’s efforts in the service of Islam
and its followers, the director of an Islamic center in the southern Spanish
city of Malaga is reported to have said by Saudi Press Agency.
Mohamed Kamal Mustafa Al-Zamrawi also commended the Kingdom’s Ministry of
Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance for dispatching 70 imams around the world to
lead prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.
comments came during a meeting with an Islamic Affairs Ministry envoy, Sheikh
Naif bin Mohammed Al-Wathainani.
wrote on his twitter page on Saturday that Bandar bin Salman was detained a
while ago at the MbS' order and transferred to a solitary confinement in a farm
in al-Kharj region in the Southern parts of Riyadh.
added that bin Salman's mother who has recently been freed from house arrest is
very sad about the issue but has not been able to do anything about it.
also said that the MbS' attempts to return Sa'ad al-Jabri, the right hand
advisor of former Saudi interior minister Mohammed bin Nayef, who is in the US
have failed so far and therefore, bin Salman has ordered his forces to detain
two of Sa'ad's brothers and threatened that other members of his family will
also be arrested if he does not return home.
Saudi crown prince has also pressured his nephew Khalid bin Talal not to exit
from a hospital in which his son has been kept in coma for years, he added.
to Mujtahid, Sheikh Jamil al-Farsi is one of the prominent tribal leaders in
Jeddah who has been kept under detention for over a year at the MbS' order.
Saudi whistle-blower also said that the crown prince who is fearing a coup in
the interior ministry has separated the military sectors from the ministry and
put them under the supervision of the defense ministry.
media outlets had also reported in January that bin Salman had put his younger
brother, Bandar, under house arrest.
have told us that Mohammed bin Salman has detained his brother Bandar bin
Salman and sent to the place where his mother Fahda Al Hathleen has also been
kept under house arrest for a long time in the palace of Prince Sultan in
Abha," the Arabic-language al-Ahd al-Jadid wrote on its twitter page.
officials believe, based on several years of intelligence, that MbS took action
against his mother, because he was concerned that she opposed his plans for a
power grab that could divide the royal family and might use her influence with
the king to prevent it.
officials added that MbS had placed his mother under house arrest at least for
some time at a palace in Saudi Arabia, without the king's knowledge.
US intelligence assessment of the Crown Prince's actions against his mother,
which American officials said has long been concealed from both the King and
the public, is an example of MbS's willingness to remove any perceived
impediment to solidifying his position as Saudi Arabia's next king, the current
and former officials said.
welcomes Saudi promotion of moderate Islam: Consul general
Indonesian Consul General Dr. Mohamad Hery Saripudin said his country welcomes
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s call for the promotion of moderate
as a guest of honor at the Arab News annual iftar at Assila Hotel in Jeddah on
Sunday, Saripudin said the crown prince’s vision of moderate Islam aligns well
with Indonesia’s concept of Islam Wasatiyyah.
believe in Islam Wasatiyyah — the middle way of Islam — in implementing
moderation in the practice of the Islamic faith, and as a response to check the
spread of extremism,” Saripudin said, adding that Indonesians have a special
attachment to Saudi Arabia.
sends the largest number of Muslims on Hajj. This year 231,000 Indonesians will
perform Hajj, and in terms of Umrah pilgrims, last year we were second only to
Pakistan, with Indonesia sending approximately 1.2 million Umrah pilgrims,” he
translates to roughly 100,000 Indonesians visiting Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah
every month, and this is over and above the 221,000 pilgrims who performed Hajj
last year,” he added. “Hajj and Umrah certainly have played important roles in
building relations between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.”
important element of a good relationship are these people-to-people ties,
Saripudin said. “The Indonesian pilgrims play an important role in
strengthening ties. Our pilgrims spend almost 70 days on average interacting
with the local Saudi population, and this helps bring our two peoples
together,” he added.
Indonesians ensure that they take souvenirs from Saudi Arabia, which they then
distribute to their families, relatives and acquaintances back home. This binds
them all with Saudi Arabia. Both the spiritual and the tangible connections
said ties between the two countries are rooted in history. “Long before the
historic visit of King Salman to Jakarta in March 2017, Saudi Arabia was among
the first countries of the world to recognize the independence of Indonesia,”
welcome the clearance by the Shoura Council of the green card (residency)
system. We’ve had many, many queries from our businesspeople and Indonesian
expatriates about the new incentives being offered by Saudi Arabia, which will
improve the business climate. The new green card system is a very significant
step in the right direction,” he said.
huge numbers of Indonesian citizens and people of Indonesian descent in the
Kingdom have adapted well to Saudi culture, and have thus become a powerful
bridge in strengthening bilateral relations, he added.
invite Arab News to help us trace the footprints of the Saudi-Indonesian
diaspora in both countries,” Saripudin said, praising the newspaper’s role in
bringing different communities and countries together.
make it a point to read Arab News every morning before starting my day. If I
don’t read it, it’s like having soup without salt. Arab News helps my sanity,”
an honor to be here at the Arab News iftar as a guest of honor. The media is an
essential part in promoting good ties between our two countries, and it has the
ability to highlight the good and the bad in both.”
News has been “very supportive of us (Indonesians), and has played a positive
role in promoting good Saudi-Indonesian ties,” Saripudin said.
thanked the newspaper’s Editor in Chief Faisal J. Abbas, and promised greater
cooperation with Arab News.
highlighted the familiarization trips that the Indonesian government sponsors
in order to familiarize Saudi journalists with Indonesia.
at the event, Abbas said: “Our iftar comes at a very important time for the Kingdom,
when his royal highness the crown prince has announced that we want to go back
to moderate Islam. This is important not just for Saudi Arabia but for the
entire Muslim world.”
is no better example of tolerant Islam than Indonesia, the editor in chief
added. Introducing Saripudin, Abbas said: “Indonesia was selected as the guest
of honor at the 2019 Janadriyah cultural festival, so it’s with great pleasure
that I introduce to you our guest speaker for tonight’s iftar.”
said Arab News was founded 44 years ago. “We’ve recently gone through a
transformation to make it more digital and more global,” he added.
also proud of our initiative to hire more Saudis and more women, and we’re
proud that women now form 35 percent of our global workforce.”
all these changes, “we were, and always will be, an international Arab
newspaper based in Saudi Arabia,” Abbas said.
means “we’re equally privileged to have some of the best Saudi, Arab and
international talent working with us,” he added.
and Arab News Western Region head Mohammed Al-Sulami presented to Saripudin a
plaque that has the newspaper’s first edition — dated April 20, 1975 — embossed
Syrian Army troops backed by artillery units and air force engaged in clashes
with the terrorists North of Qala al-Maziq in Northwestern Hama, taking control
of the towns of Bab al-Taqa, al-Sharia, al-Arimeh and al-Jamazieh.
Syrian Army troops also managed to take control of the towns of Meidan Ghazal
and al-Mostariheh in Jabal Shahshabou axis.
military source pointed to deployment of the Syrian Army's units in al-Sharia
town, and said that the Syrian Army troops arrived in Southern borders of Idlib
province after making recent advances.
the Syrian Army's artillery and missile units also pounded the military
positions and movements of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board
or the Al-Nusra Front) in the towns of Heish, Kafar Sajneh and Hass in Northern
Hama and Southern Idlib as well as destroying several key centers and military
positions of terrorists from where they launched attacks on the safe zone and
killed a number of terrorists.
a relevant development earlier this week, media sources said that the Syrian
Army had taken full control of several strategic hills and regions in Northern
Hama, as the government forces backed by Russian bombers had started fresh military
operations in Idlib province.
Al-Masdar News Website reported that the Syrian Army units backed by the
Russian fighter jets attacked the military positions of Tahrir al-Sham
al-Hay'at and Jeish al-Izza terrorists in Abu al-Zohour axis in Southern Idlib
and Northern Hama and engaged in heavy clashes with the militants.
the Syrian Army units managed to take full control of the towns of al-Bani and
al-Jonbara near the town of Kafar Naboudeh and the strategic hill of Tal Osman
that is close to several towns.
source near the front-lines stated that heavy clashes are taking place near the
Kafr Naboudeh front; however, he also pointed out that intense firefights have
broken out along the Qal’at Al-Madiq axis as well.
sources, requesting anonymity, said security forces stormed Sanabes village of
Tarout Island on Saturday afternoon, shooting at local residents.
sources added that a number of distinguished opposition figures were fatally
shot in the attack.
attacks are in line with continuous crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman against pro-democracy campaigners, Muslim preachers and intellectuals.
a former head of the American visa bureau in Saudi Arabia’s port city of Jeddah
says US President Donald Trump’s administration and Congress have given the Al
Saud regime the green light to press ahead with its brutal crimes, namely the
ongoing atrocious military aggression against Yemen.
Michael Springmann told Press TV on Saturday evening that Saudi crude oil and
the kingdom’s weapons contracts with Western countries, such as Germany and
France, have pushed the West to ignore numerous violations of international
humanitarian law by Riyadh.
then described Eastern Province as the main center of Shia Islam, noting that
followers of the radical ideology of Wahhabism display extreme sensitivity to
any sort of activism in the area, and tend to link the public unrest there to
Arabia has stepped up what appears to be politically-motivated arrests,
prosecution and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights
Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011.
Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of
political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination
against the oil-rich region.
protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime, with regime
forces increasing security measures across the province.
the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target
January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr,
who was an outspoken critic of the Riyadh regime. Nimr had been arrested in
Qatif, Eastern Province, in 2012.
in April, citizens in Qatif said that Saudi police and military established a
heavy presence in the Eastern province in preparation for possible protests by
the Shiite-majority population after the Kingdom executed 37 people for alleged
has claimed that the men had been put to death for “their adoption of
extremist, terrorist ideology and forming terrorist cells to corrupt and
disturb security, spread chaos and cause sectarian discord", accusing them
of “cooperating with hostile parties in a way that damaged the high interests
of the homeland”.
least 33 of the executed men belonged to the Shiite minority and human rights
organizations expressed doubt about the fairness of their trials. The kingdom -
that promotes Wahhabism, an orthodox reading of Sunni Islam - has provided
little information about what specific crimes had been committed by whom or
Coogle, who monitors Saudi Arabia for Human Rights Watch, stated that some of
the men were convicted based on confessions that they later withdrew in court
because, they said, they had been tortured.
a matter of principle, none of these people had lawyers during investigation,
so all of these cases are unfair,” he added.
sentences were carried out in Riyadh, the holy cities of Mecca and Medina,
Central Qassim province, Southern province of Asir and Eastern Province, home
to the country's Shiite minority, who demanded an end to anti-Shia
discrimination and the release of political prisoners.
beheaded body of one of the victims was attached to a pole for several hours,
according to reports.
Nations Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet strongly condemned the executions
of tens of Saudis beheaded in six cities across the kingdom.
voiced concern about a lack of due process and fair trial guarantees amid
allegations that confessions were obtained through torture.
International had warned that Saudi Arabia was making use of the death penalty
to crush opposition figures.
Saudi government insisted that all the executions were perfectly in line with
the law, but Amnesty International sounded the alarm over what it called a
"shocking execution spree".
noted that one of the prisoners executed in April was a young Shia man who had
not come of age at the time of his alleged offence. The right group announced
that Abdulkareem al-Hawaj was just 16 when he was arrested and found guilty of
crimes linked to his participation in the anti-government protests.
mass execution of April was the largest in Saudi Arabia since January 2016,
when 47 men were executed on a single day, including Shia cleric Sheikh
Mohammad Baqer Nimr al-Nimr.
brings the number of such punishments this year to 106, according to a count by
Human Rights Watch. Last year, the oil-rich Persian Gulf state carried out the
death sentences of 149 people, according to Amnesty International.
International has put Saudi Arabia on the list of top world executioners.
According to data from the group, Riyadh executed at least 146 people in 2017,
which represents 17 percent of all confirmed executions in the Middle East and
Arabia is the only country in the world which accomplishes execution by
Syrian Army's engineering units found several arms weapons and military
equipment, including many weapons and military equipment, in the army's mop-up
operation in the towns and villages of Quneitra province.
a military source said that the army forces found a large cache of different
types of weapons, machineguns, ammunition, RPG, anti-tank missile,
communication equipment, night-vision cameras and also Israel-made military
equipment and medicine.
Syrian Army units, during their mop-up operations against the remnants of the
ISIL, also discovered an underground depot containing a large amount of
weapons, military equipment and ammunition in the surrounding areas of Qala
al-Rahbeh West of the city of al-Mayadeen in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
a relevant development last week, the Syrian army found a large cache of
weapons, including US and Israeli missiles as well as West-made arms, during
cleanup operations in areas formerly held by the terrorists in Southern Syria.
engineering units of the Syrian army discovered underground weapons caches
during purging operations in the towns and villages of Southern Syria.
military source said that they found several US TOW missiles, Israeli LAV
missiles, shoulder-launched missiles, US-made M-16 guns, West-made sniper guns,
machine-guns and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, artilleries,
mortars, TNT and advanced goggles.
a relevant development last month, the Syrian army discovered a cache of arms
and military equipment, including the US, Israeli and western weapons, during
cleansing operations South of Quneitra province.
Syrian Army's engineering units discovered depots packed with weapons and
military equipment, some of them made in the US and Israel, left behind by
terrorists in several towns and villages in Southern Quneitra.
military source, meantime, said that the Syrian Army troops found different
machineguns, anti-tank missiles, state-of-the-art telecommunications systems,
West-made mines, satellite equipment and different kind of Saudi manufactured
drugs and medicine.
in April, the Syrian army discovered a cache of weapons and military equipment,
including West-made arms, during cleansing operations in regions freed from
terrorists' hands in Northern Dara'a.
engineering units of the Syrian army last Monday found a large number of
different types of weapons, machine-guns, RPGs, guns and ammunition left behind
by the terrorists who had earlier occupied the town of Ankhal in Northern
Syrian army has taken targets belonging to the Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
terrorist group in the country’s east under heavy retaliatory fire for another
Sunday, government forces struck the terrorists’ hideouts in Bidama Village on
the southern countryside of the city of Idlib, the official Syrian Arab News
Agency (SANA) reported.
the past several days, the army has ratcheted up its operations on the
outskirts of Idlib and the city of Hama, both provincial capitals, in response
to attacks by terrorists targeting military positions and towns lying within a
de-escalation zone located inside Idlib Province.
Saturday, the troops hit the same whereabouts near Idlib, killing and injuring
a number of the terrorists. Three days earlier, the forces had worked to choke
up the terrorists’ transit routes during counterattacks in the villages lying
around the cities.
Fateh al-Sham was formerly known as al-Nusra Front.
Syrian government has retaken almost all the territory that militant groups —
including al-Nusra and other terrorist outfits — had overrun in the country
since a conflict erupted in 2011.
agreements between Syrian peace guarantors Russia, Iran, and Turkey, remaining
militants were given safe passage into Idlib, where they remain pending
decisions by the three countries.
and Russia represent Damascus, and Turkey acts on behalf of the Syrian
The holy month of Ramadan is seen as a time for giving and improving one’s
moral character, leading to many charitable and volunteering activities taking
place across the Kingdom.
media platforms and apps — despite being blamed for social ills and mental
health problems among the younger generation — have a role to play in spreading
the Ramadan messages of selflessness.
is definitely an active season for us. We prepare a special new campaign for
Ramadan every year,” Saeed Azhar, founder of a volunteering non-profit, told
Arab News. “The technology of today has greatly helped to define the roles of
voluntary groups and to show their impact both locally and globally. Apps and
social media provided better channels for communication among those interested
in volunteering and raising awareness of its importance and positive impact in
non-profit, Joy of Youth, has an Instagram account with more than 24,000
followers and a Twitter account of more than 9,000 followers. The group has
distributed iftar food packages and handed out gifts to departing pilgrims —
just two out of 55 campaigns successfully completed in the five years since it
have more projects in Ramadan, which means the opportunities we create increase
greatly, and consequently the number of our volunteers also increases.”
of Youth was started in 2013 by Azhar and a group of young Saudi students in
the US. The group began by distributing iftar meals in Jeddah and then
gradually expanded, its work reaching 10 cities in the Kingdom including
Jeddah, Makkah, Tabuk, Dammam and Alkhobar.
of Youth has developed the type of services offered, and this year launched a
Health” aims to raise awareness in poorer neighborhoods by distributing
bulletins and brochures, and offering free medical checks for people.
said social media platforms helped Joy of Youth attract young people who wanted
to contribute to improving the lives of others, as well as sponsors and
charities wanting to play their role in Saudi Arabia’s social development.
have been able to spread our message and invite those who believe in it to join
us. We saw the desire of many to leave a positive impact on their communities
and their surroundings, which pushed us to expand outside the western region of
the Kingdom in response to the increasing demand to participate in our
initiatives,” he added.
said the downside to social media — as far as Joy of Youth was concerned — was
that the group could not include as many “passionate volunteers” as it wanted
to in its campaigns.
“Twitter is the most interactive platform
among volunteers and those who wish to join us,” he added.
Khadoum app is another social initiative that was developed by a group of young
Saudis driven by their sense of community responsibility - and taking
volunteering to another level.
“Khadoum was created in an effort to spread
civic engagement and community participation among youth,” the app’s co-founder
Dania Al-Masri told Arab News. “The iOS and Android app takes users on a
journey that will later result in an increase in their overall empathy level
and sense of leadership. It also motivates participants to acquire a higher
sense of responsibility and honesty.”
said social media had helped to spread the concept of volunteering in Saudi
Arabia and inspire the public to do good. “It has been a very powerful tool
used to shed light on certain causes that need intervention, and we are very
happy to see more and more aware individuals use this powerful tool to advocate
for a community challenge or a cause.”
and Khadoum co-founder Fidaa Al-Hassan started the app as a tech-based solution
to civil society issues. Although the app began in Jeddah, the duo want to
reach people across the Gulf.
The app enables users to unlock a set of
volunteer ideas and community challenges. People are encouraged to provide
solutions to the presented challenges, or complete the volunteer ideas and
provide proof of completion.
The volunteer ideas and community challenges
are updated on a regular basis through the app, and participants are encouraged
to complete them and upload a verification photo or video. An app admin views
the verification method presented, and either approves the completion of the
mission or rejects it.
Upon approval of the mission, the user gains
points that are equivalent to community hours and can get certificates for
their work. Khadoum certificates are issued by the Oyoon Jeddah Charity.
Khadoum will be three years old in July.
“Khadoum started out from the sole motivation of wanting to provide a window of
opportunity to anyone who would like to volunteer. We truly wanted to make
volunteering a daily habit that is convenient and accessible to all,” Al-Masri
added that more people are looking to volunteer and do good deeds during
Fighters fired rockets into a regime-held town in northwestern Syria on Sunday,
killing six people, including five children who were playing near a monastery
and wounding several others, state media said.
TV said the shelling just before noon caused widespread material damage to the
town of Suqailabiyah. It said the dead also included a 35-year-old woman.
news agency SANA said regime troops had retaliated by firing shells toward
rebels’ positions on the southern edge of Idlib province, the last major
opposition stronghold in the country.
Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, or HTS, is the main insurgent group in the area.
Maher Haddad told The Associated Press by telephone from Suqailabiyah that a
rocket struck near a group of children, instantly killing five and wounding
others. He said the woman was killed in a nearby street by a separate rocket.
kids went out to play after some days of calm,” Haddad said, since the town had
not targeted who have been pushed further north by the Syrian army.
UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, also
reported that six people were killed, adding that eight others, including six
children were wounded.
Observatory said regime shelling of an opposition-held village to the north
killed one person and wounded others.
rebel enclave has been rocked by a wave of violence since April 30, killing and
wounding dozens while forcing some 150,000 people to flee their homes in
troops have been on the offensive under the cover of airstrikes for days,
capturing several strategic locations and villages. Sunday’s deaths are another
blow to a cease-fire reached in September between Russia and Turkey.
is home to some 3 million people, many of them displaced from other parts of
truce avoided a regime offensive on Idlib.
official Anadolu news agency on Sunday reported Turkish military deployments in
southeastern Kilis province and southern Hatay province, both bordering Syria.
The fresh commando and armored vehicle deployments were to reinforce border
units, according to the agency.
Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists were killed in a pre-dawn encounter in
Hend Sitapora area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Sunday. One of the
terrorists was identified as a former cop while the other had taken up arms
recently, police said.
“terrorist sympathisers” were — three of whom sustained pellet injuries — after
clashing with the security forces following the encounter.
on intelligence inputs, a joint team including personnel from Army’s 34RR and
J&K Police’s Special Operations Group launched a cordon-andsearch operation
in the region when holed-up terrorists opened fire at the search party. In the
ensuing gunfight, two terrorists were killed.
identified the duo as Tariq Ahmad Bhat from Shopian’s Khasipora area and
Basharat Ahmad Shah from Pulwama’s Nikloora area. A former police constable,
Tariq was posted at Pakherpora in Budgam when he went missing along with an
AK47 rifle on April 25, 2018. He later joined LeT.
two were wanted in several terror attacks across Kashmir Valley, cops said.
Security forces recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition along with the
terrorists’ bodies from the encounter spot.
of people attended the funeral prayers of the slain terrorists at their native
villages. Meanwhile, sympathisers took to the streets and pelted stones at the
security forces near the encounter site and other surrounding areas. Forces
used tear gas shells and pellets to disperse the mob, in which 7 people were
injured, including three with pellet wounds.
injured were rushed to a Shopian hospital from where the three with pellet
wounds were referred to Srinagar’s SMHS for treatment. The trio is in a stable
condition, said a doctor there.
view of the security situation after the encounter, district authorities have
snapped internet services in Shopian and Kulgam districts.
Catholic and Muslim leaders have spoken out against the targeting of innocent
people by regional religious terror groups.
Ulema-e-Hind, a prominent body of Islamic scholars, and the Catholic Bishops'
Conference of India in a joint statement denounced ongoing attacks in India and
other parts of South Asia.
said associating terrorism with any faith was sacrilegious in itself.
statement was issued on May 4 and signed by bishops’ conference president
Cardinal Oswald Gracias as well as Maulana Mahmood A. Madani, general secretary
of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
was a member of the Indian parliament's upper house, the Rajya Sabha, for six
years until 2012 and is an avowed critic of extremists' misuse of Islamic terms
such as Jihad.
joint statement comes as tensions remain high in Sri Lanka in the wake of the
bombing of hotels and Christian churches that killed more than 250 people.
international terror outfit Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Easter
May 5, Christians and Muslims clashed in the Catholic stronghold of Negombo,
near Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, resulting in the imposition of a police
joint Catholic and Islamic scholars' statement called on all faith leaders to
"cleanse society of this evil."
added that terrorism became all the more gruesome if carried out under a cloak
bishops and scholars said attacks on religious places and festivals were aimed
at dividing people of various faiths and they stressed the need to work
cooperatively against such tactics.
author and columnist A.J. Philip said there was a dire need for the unified
stance of Christian and Muslims amid mounting fears of communal strife.
leader A.C. Michael told ucanews.com that the joint statement constitutes an
open message to Islamic State that its "nefarious plans" revealed in
Sri Lanka would be resisted in India.
are a tiny minority of about 27 million in India's 1.2 billion predominantly
although also a minority, number some 170 million, making India the third
largest Muslim country in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.
joint statement comes after reports that on April 29, Indian police arrested a
Muslim man in southern Kerala state accused of having links to Islamic State.
Police told media representatives that he admitted to be as follower of Sri
Lankan bomber Zahran Hashim and to having a plan to to attack religious sites
Saleem, a renowned Indian Muslim historian, said the joint statement would help
ease tensions and bring minority communities together.
are chances that the poison could spread in India too," Saleem told
it was necessary to segregate the version of Islam propagated by Islamic State
from the Islam followed in India, he added.
predicted further efforts aimed at enhancing interfaith unity.
said a message had been spread that the Christian and Muslim communities would
stand by each other in the current trying circumstances.
real message of Ramazan': Roadside iftar feeds thousands in Karachi
the sun begins to fade in the Muslim holy month of Ramazan, volunteers start
fixing traditional delicacies and drinks on scores of tables at different
points of Karachi’s main University Road. Others roll large plastic mats on the
stony footpaths and fill them with food.
pull over hurriedly and join small crowds of people of all ages already
gathered around the tables or occupying the plastic mats. As the call for
maghrib (sunset) prayer resounds from a nearby mosque, they break their fast.
group of volunteers hand packets of food and bottles of water and juice to the
fasting people sitting in their vehicles and public transport, who do not opt
50 metres away, a different group of volunteers makes preparations for dinner
to be served soon after iftar (fast-breaking). This all creates a brief traffic
jam at this portion of the road.
Ramazan, hundreds of stalls are set up at the corners of city roads by relief
organisations and local residents where homeless people, vendors, rickshaw and
taxi drivers, labourers, beggars and even those who do not fast are served free
food and drinks for the whole month.
several points, dinner is also served.
few individuals had started to arrange roadside iftar during Ramazan for needy
people in Karachi two decades ago, which now has become a tradition.
no time, this tradition was adopted by scores of other cities including the
capital Islamabad, where roadside iftar stalls feed tens of thousands of people
much so, the country's tiny Sikh community has been hosting iftar for Muslims
in the historic Qissa Khawani Bazaar and at several other points in Peshawar
for the last several years.
is my sixth year to break the fast here,” Abdul Hameed, an Afghan refugee, told
Anadolu Agency at a roadside stall on the University Road in Karachi.
together with his other colleagues works as a scavenger in the city’s eastern
district far from his residence, and cannot afford to buy iftar.
we cannot reach home on time due to traffic jams and scanty transport. This
(roadside stall) has resolved the iftar issue," he added.
fasting people are served traditional delicacies — including samosa, pakora,
fruit chaat, dates, and juices.
dinner, biryani (a spicy mixture of rice and meat) is the favourite dish of the
people of Karachi.
least in Ramazan, we fully fill our stomach," Hameed said in a lighter
a rickshaw driver is another regular visitor of this site during the holy
hard for me to go home [for iftar] and come back to work. Here, I get good and
enough food, and save money that I spend on my family," he told Anadolu
Mohammad, one of the organisers, said he together with his friends and
philanthropists has been arranging free iftar meals for the last 20 years in a
first to last (evening) of Ramazan, we break our fast with these people here.
sometimes our families also join us," Mohammad, who is also a prayer
leader at a mosque, told Anadolu Agency.
finances, Mohammad said the friends and families themselves, area shopkeepers,
philanthropists and even common citizens, all chip in to arrange the event
throughout the month.
do not have to run here and there for finances. A month before (Ramazan), we
simply start to chip in and by the end of the month, we have plenty of funds to
manage this all," he said. "It has become a set tradition now. People
trust us, and hand over huge amounts even without disclosing their names."
1,000 people, including travellers, are served the meal every day during
Ramazan, according to Mohammad.
Singh, who arranges iftar in Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar, said he was
pursuing the mission of his late father who worked for interfaith harmony in
the last four years, I had been arranging iftar for my Muslim brothers here.
But this year, we have changed the strategy due to security threats,"
Singh told Anadolu Agency, referring to threats received by the organisers last
year from some militant groups that objected to their gesture.
some elements do not want interfaith harmony here," he regretted, saying:
"Therefore, this year we are distributing ration among needy Muslims, and
arranging iftar for prisoners in jail to avoid any mishap."
Shaikh, a student of commerce at the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of
Science and Technology in Karachi, was excited as it was his first day as a
is our first day to serve here," Shaikh said with a nervous smile on his
face, pointing at a group of 8-10 students who were given instructions by an
group plans to volunteer throughout the remaining days of Ramazan.
has blessed us with everything. It's our duty to serve and help his creation.
This is the real message of Ramazan," he said.
The death toll in the suicide attack targeting one of Pakistan's oldest and
most revered Sufi shrines in Lahore has risen to 13 as another civilian
succumbed to his injuries, a media report said Monday.
Aslam, 18, was working at a shop near the shrine. He was among the critically
injured and was brought to the Mayo Hospital where he has succumbed to his
was rushed to the hospital after the blast which has claimed the lives of six
policemen and seven civilians, the Dawn newspaper reported.
senior police official told the daily on condition of anonymity that security
forces had yet to make any substantial progress in the investigations into the
said that although they had arrested a few suspects from Lahore, they were no
suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Data Darbar shrine, the largest Sufi
shrine in South Asia on Wednesday, the second day of the the fasting month of
CCTV footage showed a teenage boy wearing black shalwar kameez and a suicide
vest coming closer to the vehicle of elite force beforing blowing himself up.
Inspector General of Police Arif Nawaz has said it was a suicide attack as the
target was the vehicle of the elite force that was stationed outside the shrine
of Sufi saint Ali Hajvari commonly known as Data Darbar.
was the target. 100 per cent," he said.
police spokesman Syed Mubashir has said the police have arrested four suspects
with the help of CCTV cameras in the city.
rickshaw used to transport the suicide bomber to the shrine has been
identified, he added.
CCTV footage shows the rickshaw driver approached the bomber as the latter
emerged from Garhi Shahu area, some seven kilometres from the shrine.
Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack and has directed the Punjab government
to provide all assistance to the injured and families of victims.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has ordered an inquiry into the attack.
famous shrine is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. In 2010,
the heavily-guarded shrine was targeted in a suicide attack that killed more
than 40 people.
also confirmed that Hizbul Ahrar had claimed responsibility for sending the
teenage suicide bomber to the shrine.
Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab has examined the records of three
terror groups, including the Ghazi Force and Jamaatul Ahrar.
Ahrar is a splinter group of Jamaatul Ahrar headed by Muqarram Shah from
Afghanistan. It separated from Jamaatul Ahrar due to internal rifts.
The regional office of the Muslim World League (MWL) in Islamabad has
inaugurated the annual “Iftar Saem” program, which provides meals for fasting
Muslims, in Pakistan and the Kashmir region.
program was launched in the presence of Pakistan’s Minister of Religious
Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri and Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said
Al-Malki. The program consists of 4,700 food baskets for the benefit of
thousands of people across Pakistan, selected according to a field survey and
prioritized based on need.
As the death toll in Wednesday’s Data Darbar suicide bombing rose to 13 on
Sunday, law-enforcement agencies have yet to find any clue that can help them
trace the perpetrators.
Aslam, an 18-year-old resident of Pakpattan, was working at a shop near the
shrine. He was among the critically injured and brought to the Mayo Hospital
after the blast which claimed the lives of six policemen and seven civilians.
senior police official told Dawn on condition of anonymity that as far the
investigations into the case was concerned, security forces had yet to make any
substantial progress. He said that although they had arrested a few suspects
from Lahore, they were no big leads.
some media channels quoting the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) reported
that agencies had arrested a suspected facilitator of the suicide bomber from
Gujranwala. The suspect was identified as Zeeshan who was taken into custody
from his home in Gujranwala. Police sources said that Zeeshan was released on
Sunday evening while his cell-phone had been sent for forensic analysis. In a
video message before his arrest, Zeeshan said that he was inside the shrine at
the time of the blast and ran out as soon as he heard the bang.
am being labelled as a facilitator of the suicide bomber after I was spotted in
the CCTV footage,” he said.
DC: The United States has redirected $1.5 billion meant for Pakistan and
Afghanistan to fund US President Donald Trump’s Mexico border wall.
US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved the transfer of $1.5 billion to
build more than 80 miles (130 km) of barriers on the border with Mexico,
including taking about $600 million from an account meant for Afghan security
forces, US officials said on Friday.
latest move was opposed by congressional Democrats, who also criticised a March
transfer of $1 billion in military money to fund Republican President Donald
funds were drawn from a variety of sources, including cost savings,
programmatic changes and revised requirements, and therefore will have minimal
impact on force readiness,” Shanahan said in a statement.
said that the US military had more than 4,000 service members on the border,
along with 19 aircraft.
10 Democrats on Senate appropriations subcommittees that handle defence,
veterans affairs and related spending, wrote to Shanahan to oppose the
decision. “We are dismayed that the [State] Department has chosen to prioritise
a political campaign promise over the disaster relief needs of our service
members,” they said.
US official said the latest transfer would include $604 million from funds for
the Afghan security forces, which are struggling to hold territory against
United States had appropriated $4.9 billion in support for those forces this
year. The official said the money was taken from that account because they
found savings in contracts.
took less money to meet the policy commitment than we thought,” another US
official said, adding this was not the first time money had been reprogrammed
from the account.
United States is in talks with the Taliban to end the 17-year-long war. US and
Taliban negotiators wrapped up their sixth round of peace talks on Thursday
with “some progress” on a draft agreement for when foreign troops might
there is a concern that overstretched Afghan forces could crumble if US troops
remainder of the money will come from a chemical demilitarisation programme, a
retirement account, funds for Pakistan and Air Force programmes.
have hinted they may respond by putting new restrictions on the Pentagon’s
authority to move money around, as it has done in the past to deal with natural
‘protect Islam’ rally, protesters calls for AG’s dismissal and support for TMJ
LUMPUR, May 4 — The rally to defend the “sovereignty of Islam” organised by
pro-Islam Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah) today saw placards calling for
Attorney-General Tommy Thomas’ dismissal, and posters in support of Johor Crown
Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.
of the rally started gathering in Masjid Jamek despite the bad weather from 1pm
and speeches by political and non governmental organisation (NGO) leaders are
which is a coalition of Muslim NGOs, had last year organised a rally against
the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
2pm the crowd had swelled to 2,000 people with many participants wearing
headbands bearing the Islamic Shahada.
organisers had said that the event was to protest against the Pakatan Harapan
government for allegedly sidelining Malays and Muslims on issues pertaining to
the Rome Statute, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination (Icerd), the Unified Examination Certificate and the
death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim in the Seafield temple riots in
Subang Jaya among others.
those spotted at the event were Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki and PAS
deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
also carried banners with slogans like “Respect the institution of the monarchy”,
“Defend the sovereignty of Islam” and “TMJ continue your fight”.
NGOs at the scene included Benar Malaysia, Sedar Malaysia, and other
crowd appeared to comprise of mainly Umno and PAS supporters wearing their
party colours. At least 10 traders were selling various designs of T-shirts and
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Ummah has vested political
interests and is out to tarnish the image of the Pakatan Harapan (PH)
government by painting it as uninterested in protecting the welfare of Muslims
who form the bulk of the country’s multireligious population.
dismissed the rally as a publicity stunt, and advised the organisers not to
misuse religion to sow public discord.
one-year-old Pakatan Harapan (PH) government believes it has done plenty for
the country's dominant Malay-Muslim community - from spending billions of
ringgit to bail out troubled agencies like pilgrimage fund Tabung Haji and land
development agency Felda, to cracking down on corruption and recovering embezzled
these high-level moves have barely registered, especially among rural Malays
who struggle with high living costs and fear their ethnic privileges are being
of them had voted for a change of government, believing that the removal of the
former administration's goods and services tax (GST) would result in lower
prices. But this has not been the case.
make up 74 per cent of the B40 group - the bottom 40 per cent of low-income
earners - which comprises families with household incomes below RM4,360
(S$1,430) a month.
second-generation settler from Felda's Sendayan settlement in Negeri Sembilan,
who declined to be named, told The Straits Times: "We haven't got anything
that we hoped for. PH promised that fuel prices would go down if they win, but
they haven't. They promised that student loan repayments would be deferred, but
that didn't happen."
settler, who works as a building contractor, said his daughter had received an
offer to further her studies in Australia, but the government could provide her
with only a partial scholarship.
can't afford to pay the rest of it so she had to turn it down. I used to
support PH but I am angry and disappointed now."
rural Malays are feeling the pinch and missing the financial aid provided by
the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government helmed by former premier Najib
of these measures - including cash handouts and medical aid - continue under
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, but on a lesser scale as the government tightens
government debt - allegedly reaching RM1 trillion - has been blamed on the
previous government's practices, including rumoured pilfering of state funds
such as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Tabung Haji and Felda.
is facing dozens of criminal charges for corruption and money laundering
involving billions allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.
this, if we saw Najib, we would have spat on him. But everything has changed.
My friend was so excited the other day to hear that 'Bossku' was coming to
visit," said the contractor, referring to Najib's new moniker, which means
Malays also believe that the PH government is not doing enough to uphold their
rights and the status of Islam.
is a hot-button issue in Malaysia, where Malay Muslims make up 60 per cent of
the 32 million-strong population. Out of the 222 parliamentary seats, 117 are
May 4, about 2,000 protesters marched in central Kuala Lumpur to defend
"the sovereignty of Islam" against perceived threats, such as the
government's now-retracted decision to accede to the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court. The treaty was seen as undermining the rights of
the country's royal rulers, the traditional protectors of the Malays and Islam.
missteps have damaged PH's credibility among Malay voters, including the fake
academic qualifications scandal.
Mohamad Johan Rozaimi, 50, said PH Cabinet ministers have performed dismally,
but added that PH has had only a year at the helm.
had been there for 60. So maybe it is unfair to judge them (PH) as having
failed. But the Cabinet is weak. I hope it will be reshuffled," he said.
parties Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia have teamed up to exploit the Malay
community's disappointment with PH - winning three by-elections.
recent Merdeka Centre survey showed that approval ratings for Tun Dr Mahathir
and PH had plunged; only 24 per cent of Malays polled agreed with the direction
the country was taking.
science professor Awang Azman Awang Pawi of Universiti Malaya said: "PH
needs to stress more on the rights of the Malays... Without the Malay support,
the country's political stability will be jeopardised."
Dr Mahathir's blunt calls for Malays to work harder and not rely on the
government's affirmative action policy have only distanced the Malays from PH,
said Dr Awang Azman.
was referring to Dr Mahathir's jibe on May 2 that those who found it too taxing
to work the rice fields on a hot day could do so at night instead.
subsidies should be avoided, Dr Awang Azman added, as it would further burden
the rural Malays.
coalition of groups bent on destabilising the Pakatan Harapan government is
using post-truth politics and disinformation, targeting disgruntled and
susceptible Malays. They are taking to the streets trying to hoodwink their own
race that the king, religion and anything “Malay” are under threat.
group of Malays participated in mass demonstrations organised by NGOs like
Ummah with the support of PAS and Umno members in December 2018, and the May 4
supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam recently announced he is planning to
stage a mega rally of one million people, 10 days after Hari Raya Aidilfitri,
to protest against the ratification of the Rome Statute. Khairy Jamaluddin, the
former youth and sports minister sums up Lokman in a tweet in November 2018,
“You better pray I don’t become President of Umno. First thing I’ll do is sack
you for having the IQ of a carrot”.
a rally at a time when most of us would still be celebrating Hari Raya shows
much about a person. I am not sure what is the IQ of a carrot, zero perhaps?
a rally after the fact is like taking action when the horse has already bolted.
In the case of these two rallies, the government has already decided not to go
ahead with ICERD and the Rome Statute, yet rallies were held to protest what
has already been decided in their favour. What a waste of time.
royalty under threat? The tiff between our Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad
and the Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, where Dr Mahathir
called him “stupid” and “little boy”, is nothing new. The run-in with the Johor
royalty started during the Umno era but these Malay groups are now trying to
pin the blame on the PH government. The precedent was already set by Umno
leaders, and it’s like the pot calling the kettle black. These Malay critics
have a short, or rather selective memory when it comes to these incidents.
June 2015, a news portal reported that the former tourism and culture minister,
Nazri Aziz, warned Tunku Ismail to keep out of politics, otherwise, he may be
subjected to the same rule and will be whacked. Nazri was quoted as saying by
an online portal, “Rulers and royal families are not above the law. If he wants
to be a politician, then say so”. When Nazri wanted to whack the crown prince,
none of the Muslim NGOs, Umno or PAS took to the streets or criticised Nazri.
Not even the former prime minister Najib Razak.
another incident in October 2017, a YouTube video showed a preacher, Zamihan
Mat Zin, openly criticising the Sultan of Johor’s decree banning Muslim-only
laundrettes in the state.
was at that time under the employment of the Islamic Development Department
(Jakim) and seconded to the home ministry.
the Sultan of Johor declared Zamihan as persona non grata and banned Jakim from
the state, the deputy prime minister then, Ahmad Zahid Hamid, instead of
penalising or sacking Zamihan, said that the home ministry would retain the
services of the outspoken preacher, to rehabilitate and de-radicalise Islamic
State militants held in prisons.
was a BN government employee who challenged the Sultan of Johor’s decree.
Islam really under threat? Islam is in a confused state because some muftis
play politics. Take the recent case. In his usual blunt remarks, Mahathir
criticised Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin for being deaf to the good
things the PH government has done for Islam. Asri’s outburst was due to the
arrest of preacher Muhammad Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu. Zamri, who was alleged to
be a disciple of controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, was arrested
for mocking and belittling Hinduism during a religious sermon in December 2018.
Asri has garnered support from strange bedfellows.
Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki revealed that the mufti, a frequent critic of
the previous Barisan Nasional government, had contacted him seeking the wing’s
support. Why would a mufti reach out for the support of a deposed political
party to protect a Muslim preacher if he is not playing politics?
Asri should take heed of the advice Nazri gave to the Crown Prince of Johor –
when you cross the line, you no longer remain a respected religious leader but
will be exposed to public criticism and ridicule. Many of us can’t remember a
time when our muftis came out strongly against corruption and excesses of the
previous BN government.
views have never been consistent. Netizens have commented that he tends to flip
flop in his opinion and has a thing about Hinduism. In April 2017, he had to
apologise to the Hindus who, he said, misunderstood the contents of his
controversial poem criticising “cow worshippers”. Asri had written the cryptic
poem criticising “cow worshippers” (Hindus) for trying to have Naik handed over
to the Indian government. Hindraf chairman P Waytha Moorthy had reportedly said
that Asri was “under the influence” of Naik, who was granted permanent
residence in Malaysia.
Muslims and NGOs feel uneasy with Naik’s ideologies and controversial
preaching. In India, he has now been formally charged with money laundering,
and he has been banned from entering Sarawak, the United Kingdom and Canada:
those governments are weary of Naik’s controversial preaching.
question being asked now is whether Asri follows Naik’s ideology and teachings.
Has Naik’s preaching infiltrated our mufti’s offices and the Muslim community?
Perhaps Ummah should answer whether we need a foreigner and a wanted fugitive
to teach and lecture Muslims in Malaysia instead of our own muftis. What
happened to billion ringgit budget Jakim and all the Muslim scholars that we
have sent to the Middle East? Are they all useless?
reality is that Islam in Malaysia is under threat from internal and external
internal threats come in the form of the corruption of Muslim leaders,
radicalisation of our Islamic youth, the growth of unregulated tahfiz schools,
the distrust among different Muslim sects, the banning of books written by
Muslim intellectuals and so forth.
the threat to Islam comes when we revere a foreigner and wanted fugitive and
grant him permanent residence. Naik’s preaching does not suit our
multi-religious multi-racial country. Furthermore, he has not sworn allegiance
to our King and country. For him, Malaysia is only a convenient sanctuary which
serves his agenda. Why does he not reside in Indonesia which has the biggest
Muslim population in the world and take his preaching with him? Are our
religious and political leaders that gullible?
Malaysians are always worried that the racial politico-religious issues
constantly in play in West Malaysia will eventually reach our shores. Critics
of Naik have said that his teachings are a catalyst for radicalisation of Islam
and we should not be fooled by his intentions.
Minister, Baru Bian was reported to have said in a news portal in April of 2017
that Naik should not only be banned from Sarawak but deported or charged by
Malaysian authorities. He questioned how we could harbour someone who is wanted
elsewhere and give him PR status.
has been creating disharmony, making sensitive statements that have affected
our multi-religious society in Malaysia. That itself should be grounds to
deport him or charge him. This kind of person should not be allowed to stay in Malaysia”.
LUMPUR, May 13 — DAP’s landslide win in Sandakan is a clear indication that
voters reject racial and religious politics championed by the two biggest
Malay-Muslim opposition parties, Umno and PAS.
analysts told Malay Mail that while Umno and PAS's focus on championing
Malay-Muslim rights has worked in the Rantau, Semenyih and Cameron Highlands
by-elections, it hardly made a dent in the Sandakan polls.
Vivian Wong won with a majority of 11,521 votes compared to her closest rival
Datuk Linda Tsen from Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) who took 4,491 votes.
outcome of the voting is said to be a clear sign that former prime minister
Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s description of East Malaysia as “fixed deposit” votes
for Barisan Nasional (BN) may no longer exist.
to political analysts, the low voter turnout of 54.22 per cent out of the
39,684 voters showed that people in Sandakan weren’t worried about losing their
seat to the Opposition.
Sains Malaysia political science professor Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid said, “The
margin of victory shows the rejection of racial and religious politics which
Umno and PAS are using in Peninsular Malaysia.
and Umno were proud to have Sabah and Sarawak as their 'fixed deposits' but now
they are in danger of losing that permanently if they continue their toxic
politicking. It won’t work in Sabah and Sarawak.”
also questioned PAS's motive after the Islamist party declared its support for
the PBS candidate.
said PAS is now playing politics based on situations rather than what they
actually stand for.
you use Islam as the basis for your party but behave like any other political
party, then what separates you from them?” Fauzi asked.
endorsing PBS was not the best idea as PBS is known to be a pro-Christian
group. It contradicts with their core values which is to put Islam at the fore
seems as though PAS politics are that of expediency and their record among
Muslims in Sabah is not good,” added Fauzi.
claimed that Najib's visit worsened prospects for BN because he has unfulfilled
promises owed to Sandakan people, namely an RM80 million airport and a PR1MA
housing project which did not take off.
this obvious hypocrisy when BN keeps on harping about Pakatan Harapan's failure
to fulfill promises, when they (BN) had also done the same before?”
said DAP’s win in Sandakan shows that people are rejecting BN, as voters feel
that there are other parties that can represent them better.
added that the decision to field a former Batu Sapi MP as the PBS candidate was
another wrong move.
Sapi is adjacent to Sandakan and its portfolio is now held by Minister in the
Prime Ministers department Liew Vui Keong. In the eyes of Sandakan residents,
Batu Sapi has not developed under PBS. For voters, it has turned into a
derelict town,” said Fauzi.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Geostrategist Professor Dr Azmi Hassan said
voters had rejected Umno long before the Sandakan by-election and that
sentiment hasn’t changed.
was rejected six or seven months ago. Sandakan voters don’t see Bersatu as a
threat that’s why I feel Vivian won by a landslide.”
said Najib’s presence in Sandakan clearly shows that his gimmicks failed to
work with people of Sabah.
‘Bossku’ phenomena is meagre and insignificant in East Malaysia as it was never
entrenched in its culture as much as in Peninsular Malaysia,” Azmi told Malay
feel the message the voters sent was that they have more confidence and trust
towards the current government and aren’t too bothered with the Opposition.”
LUMPUR, May 12 — The bloody May 13 racial riots of 1969 should be a lesson for
the multiracial people in the country to recognise the importance of staying
united in order to maintain peace and live in harmony.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Ethnic Studies principal research
fellow Professor Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong, the tragedy which occurred 50 years
ago was also an important lesson to the government in ensuring country’s
May 13 tragedy is a true reminder of the Malay proverb kalah jadi abu, menang
jadi arang (the loser turns to ashes, the winner to charcoal) because racial
conflict will not do any good to any race in the country, except tarnishing the
image of the country in the eyes of the world,” he told Bernama.
said the tragedy also demanded respect for the social contract (Federal
Constitution) on the status of Islam, national language, special rights and
privileges of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak, as well as
sovereignty of the Malay rulers.
people should always be reminded of that bloody incident, not only to enable
them to self-reflect but most importantly to ensure that it will not recur,
that is by maintaining good relationship among the races and ethnic groups,” he
Teo did not deny that racial harmony in the country could once again be shaken
by the global rise of ethnopopulism, an ideology that leads to a division of
society into two groups based on race and religion, potentially disagreeing
with each other.
he said politics practised by any party in this country should focus on racial
unity that should be improved in Peninsular Malaysia and on having better
regional integration between the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.
Universiti Utara Malaysia’s College of Law, Government and International
Studies dean Assoc Prof Dr Ahmad Marthada Mohamed called for all politicians to
stop playing on racial sentiments and sensitive issues that could cause racial
tension in the country.
said in the effort to prevent racial riots from recurring, the government must
also take stern and immediate action against those who raised racial sentiment
and insulted a religion.
this era of technology, there are people who are keen on giving extreme
comments on social media. If no action is taken against them, this will prompt
others to do the same and such a provocative action is very dangerous to
national harmony,” he said. Besides, he said the government should continue
empowering the Malays and Bumiputera, especially those in the low-income group,
and reducing the economic gap between races.
the causes of the May 13 tragedy was because the Malays felt they were lagging
too far behind in economy, hence the introduction of the New Economic Policy,”
he said, adding that aid and assistance to deserving non-Malays must not be
on the official statistics, the bloody racial riots which occurred from May 13
to July 31, 1969, had claimed the lives of 196 people even though certain
quarters estimated the number to be higher.
year ago, Malaysian land surveyor Muhammad Nur Aliff had high hopes that a
shock election victory by 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamad could be the catalyst
for reform and revival in a country hobbled by sky-high public debt and
polls show that such optimism has been steadily eroded since the election
upset, in which the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) was removed from
power for the first time in 60 years and replaced by Mahathir and the patchwork
Pakatan Harapan coalition.
who inherited a debt-laden economy, has focused much of his administration’s
attention on cleaning up public finances following a multibillion-dollar
corruption scandal involving state fund 1MDB and former prime minister Najib
is facing charges but denies any wrongdoing.
deep divisions within the ruling coalition have curbed efforts to boost
government revenue, attract investment or create jobs.
for the government fell to just 39 per cent in March, sharply down from the
66pc rating in August 2018, according to a survey by independent pollster
also saw his popularity plunge to 46pc from 71pc over the same period, although
he says he doesn’t put much faith in these numbers.
for Mahathir, Merdeka Center said Malay Muslims, who make up around 60pc of
Malaysia’s 32 million people, were largely more critical of his administration.
of the poorest people in the country are Malay and for decades they have been
the beneficiaries of subsidies and other affirmative action policies pushed by
in the majority community were also angered when Mahathir appointed an ethnic
Chinese finance minister and an attorney-general from the Malaysian-Indian
minority, and said cash handouts to Malays could be reduced.
to end the death penalty and rescind oppressive laws such as the colonial-era
Sedition Act were also unpopular with traditionalists.
young people placed a lot of hope in this new government, but we haven’t seen
anything that we had hoped for,” said Aliff, 28, protesting in the capital last
week with hundreds of other Malays.
want to ensure a better future for young people, especially young Malays.”
U-TURN Following protests by Malays and a series of by-election defeats for the
ruling Pakatan coalition this year, many of these planned policies have been
put on the back-burner.
recent months, Malaysia has rolled back efforts to abolish the death penalty
and revoke repressive security laws, as well as reversed plans to ratify two UN
human rights treaties, after pro-Malay groups raised objections.
UMNO and members of the opposition Islamist party PAS have been quick to remind
voters of what they describe as Mahathir’s failure to uphold Islam and protect
is unpopular with the Malay-Muslim electorate,” said Adib Zalkalpi, a Malaysia
director with political risk consultancy Bower Group Asia.
and PAS have formed a credible opposition front to challenge the government by
exploiting communal sentiments.” Reform ambitions are also hampered by
fractures within Pakatan, a coalition of parties that was aligned in its goal
of removing Najib and UMNO, but doesn’t seem to agree on much else.
is working in silos. Everyone has a general idea of the problems we face but
there really are no discussions going on,” said a senior government source, who
asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic.
don’t have a common narrative to counter the opposition’s racial rhetoric.”
Mahathir says accusations the coalition is dysfunctional are false.
attention is directed at correcting all the mistakes of the previous
government. That has taken much of our time,” he told reporters on Thursday.
CONCERNS Business sentiment has cooled after initial optimism that followed
Pakatan’s electoral win, due mainly to a lack of consensus on the way forward
for the economy, according to an April survey of 250 businesses by Ipsos
continued lack of clarity on economic policies may lead to increased level of
anxiety among the businesses and further intensify the fear of an economic
slowdown,” the firm said its report.
in the survey also expressed concerns over currency fluctuations and slowing
economic growth. The ringgit currency has slumped this year and stocks are
underperforming regional rivals.
has had to fill a revenue shortfall stemming from a populist measure to scrap a
goods and services tax last year, while efforts to turn around struggling state
entities that burden the treasury, including long-suffering Malaysia Airlines,
March, Malaysia’s central bank cut its 2019 economic growth forecast to 4.3-4.8
percent from 4.9 percent, on expectations of a significant drop in export
expansion due to slowing global growth and the US-China trade war.
Tuesday, Bank Negara Malaysia became the first central bank in the region to
cut its benchmark interest rate, in a move to support the country’s economy.
has mended ties with China, reaching a cut-price $11 billion rail link deal,
which is a welcome investment boost.
with Malaysia’s debt-to-GDP ratio around 50pc, public support waning and an
unstable ruling coalition, it will become increasingly difficult for Mahathir
to boost economic growth and win back disillusioned voters.
is a night prayer commonly performed by Muslims during the fasting month of
Ramadan. They spend at least 10 to 30 minutes every night performing it
together in mosques or prayer rooms. But Mambaul Hikam Islamic boarding school
in Udanawu, Blitar, East Java, has a unique tradition of holding a very express
tarawih prayer, spending only 10 minutes or less. The Jakarta Post visited the
school's mosque on Thursday evening and found out there were a lot of people
from inside and outside the city joining the prayer in the mosque as they were
curious about the fast tarawih. Khoirul, for instance, drove 15 kilometers from
the nearby city of Tulungagung to perform tarawih in the mosque. “I come here
to know how it feels to perform the fast tarawih prayer. Usually, my body feels
fresher after doing it,” said the 30-year-old man. The mosque can accommodate
scholar held for Sri Lanka attack link
Sri Lankan authorities have arrested a Saudi-educated scholar for what they
claim are links with Zahran Hashim, the suspected ringleader of the Easter
Sunday bombings, throwing a spotlight on the rising influence of Salafi-Wahhabi
Islam on the island’s Muslims.
Aliyar, 60, is the founder of the Centre for Islamic Guidance, which boasts a
mosque, a religious school and a library in Zahran’s hometown of Kattankudy on
Sri Lanka’s eastern shores.
has been revealed the suspect arrested had a close relationship with Zahran and
had been operating financial transactions,” police said on Friday.
Lanka blocks social media after worst anti-Muslim unrest since Easter bombings
(Reuters) - Sri Lanka is temporarily blocking some social media networks and
messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp, it said on Monday after
attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in the worst unrest since Easter
bombings by Islamist militants.
dozen people threw stones at mosques and Muslim-owned stores and a man was
beaten in the Christian-majority town of Chilaw on the west coast on Sunday in
a dispute that started on Facebook, sources told Reuters.
said they arrested the author of a Facebook post, identified as 38-year-old
Abdul Hameed Mohamed Hasmar, whose online comment “1 day u will cry” people
said was interpreted as threatening violence.
on Sunday and early on Monday authorities arrested a group of men in the nearby
Kurunegala district for allegedly attacking Muslim-owned businesses, a police
source told Reuters.
spokesman Sumith Atapattu said people in the mostly Buddhist district then
demanded the arrested men’s release.
control the situation, a police curfew was imposed during the night,” Atapattu
mosques and Muslim homes were damaged in the attack in the district, the Muslim
Council of Sri Lanka said, but the precise extent of damage and the number of
arrests was not immediately clear.
flare-up is the worst violence in the three weeks since Sri Lankan Islamist
bombers blew themselves up in four hotels and three churches, killing more than
then, Muslim groups say they have received dozens of complaints about people
being harassed. Other communities say they fear the government, which failed to
act on successive warnings about looming Islamist attacks, has not caught all
Lanka has used temporary bans on social media in a bid to deter misinformation
media blocked again as a temporary measure to maintain peace in the country,”
Nalaka Kaluwewa, director general of the government information department,
told Reuters on Monday.
Twitter, Sri Lanka’s leading mobile phone operator Dialog said it had also
received instructions to block the apps Viber, IMO, Snapchat, Instagram and
Youtube until further notice.
violent clash between Muslims and Christians erupted a week ago in Negombo,
killing more than 100 people during Easter prayers, after a traffic dispute.
churches in Sri Lanka will reopen for Sunday Mass this weekend as bishops step
up efforts to ensure interfaith harmony after the Easter Sunday suicide bomb
attacks that killed 258 people.
schools will reopen next week after state schools resumed classes on May 6.
Malcolm Ranjith said Sunday Mass will resume in churches on May 12 after
consideration of the security situation in the country.
don’t want a single child to suffer as a result of unwanted attacks. We have
decided to reopen schools on May 14. That will also be on the advice of
security forces in various areas of the district," Cardinal Ranjith told
reporters following a press conference with 12 bishops and President
Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo on May 9.
cardinal has criticized the government for not acting on foreign intelligence
reports that attacks were being planned on Easter Sunday.
got the information but it was not communicated in a proper manner and we
experienced great losses,” he said.
hope that now government officials will get the support of international
intelligence and have a proper mechanism to combat terrorism activities in the
Sirisena has assured citizens that the security situation is now under control.
state and private schools were due to open for the second term on April 22 but
due to the terrorist attacks all were closed until further notice.
Ranjith appealed for people of all faiths to remain calm after the so-called
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombings of three churches and
repeatedly say that all Muslims are not responsible for these brutal attacks.
This was done by the youth who have brainwashed with extremist ideology against
Muslim teachings. There is no war between religions — this is purely dealing
with terrorism,” he said.
asked Catholics not to take revenge and fight with Muslims. Our religion
teaches forgiveness for those who do wrong to us.”
mob attacked Muslim-owned shops and a vehicle after a dispute between a tuk-tuk
driver and villagers in Porutota near Negombo on May 5.
Ranjith celebrated Mass on May 9 at St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo where
more than 100 people were killed on April 21.
Norbert Andradi of Anuradhapura said the diocese has held several interfaith
activities since the terror attacks.
a guard provided by security forces, we had Masses and Buddhists had Bodhi
Pooja [veneration of the Bodhi tree] for the departed souls," he said.
Andradi said he had spoken to other religious leaders about how to promote
religious harmony and coexistence among people.
Joseph Ponnaiah of Batticaloa said people were scared after the Easter Sunday
attacks but generally have a good rapport with Muslims.
of the shops in Batticaloa are owned by Muslims and Muslim people give support
to the security forces by providing details of suspected terrorism
places," he said.
request people to be vigilant and take safety measures. We had dialogue with
interreligious leaders to build peace, harmony and reconciliation.
Rohingya refugees have been rescued from being trafficked to Malaysia in the
capital Dhaka in Bangladesh, a police official said.
also detained four traffickers as well as seized dozens of Bangladeshi
passports from the smugglers, Mazedul Islam told the local daily Prothom Alo.
the 24 rescued Rohingya refugees, 22 were women aged between 15 and 22,
said the traffickers have brought the refugees to Dhaka from Cox's Bazar and
kept them confined at a house.
described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced
heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women,
and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar
forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The
18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and
over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it
UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and
young children -- and brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar
dubious individuals, groups and web portals are spreading propaganda and
ill-motivated provocative comments giving instigation to communal riots
following publication of an awareness advertisement in most of the daily
newspapers in Bangladesh. The advertisement titled ‘Elements of identifying a
suspected militancy member through radical indicator’ has drawn attention of
the cross section of people.
to counter-militancy experts, creating social awareness against militancy and
radical Islam is extremely important as the entire world is now facing threats
posed by various jihadist groups including Islamic State (ISIS).
on the effectiveness of the awareness advertisement they said, it has narrated
the issue in a very simple manner, which can be easily understood by anyone who
would read. It is essential for the members of the society to understand the
‘radical indicator’ in order to make sure, none of their neighbors are stepping
into the wrong path of radicalization.
publication of the advertisement, a vernacular web portal named Notun Diganya
published a provocative report, thus giving instigation to its readers towards
shadow intelligence chief of Taliban for northern Baghaln province was caught
alive during a joit operation of the Afghan and U.S. forces in northern Baghaln
province, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.
intelligence chief for Baghlan , Haji Mohammad Ramin was caught alive by Afghan
and US forces in Baghlan Province,” the Ministry of defense said in a statement
late on Sunday.
statement further added that Haji Ramin was behind the attack against Baghlan
was hiding in a bathroom. 10 of his bodyguards were killed,” the statement
least 12 Taliban militants were killed and 8 others were wounded in an
operation of the Afghan Special Forces in southern Uruzgan province.
Special Operations Corps of the Afghan Military in a statement said the
operation was conducted in Tarinkot city, the provincial capital of the
statement further added that 3 Ak-47 assault rifles, 2 M-16 rifles, 1 rocket
launcher, 2 radio sets, 37 IED pressure plates, and 17 landmines were
landmine production facility and 42 Improvised Explosive Devices were also
discovered during the same operation, the statement added.
debates ‘mosque tax’ to replace foreign funding
is growing in Germany for a “mosque tax” to make Islamic institutions less
dependent on potentially anti-democratic or “radical” foreign funding sources,
a media report said Sunday.
federal government sees it as “a possible path,” according to an answer to a
parliamentary query, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported.
of Germany’s 16 states had also signaled support in principle for the idea
which would mirror Germany’s voluntary Christian “church tax,” the newspaper
has grown in Germany about the influence of foreign funding sources on mosques
for the country’s estimated five million Muslims, who hail mostly from Turkey
and Arab countries.
900 mosques in Germany are run by the Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute
for Religion (Ditib), under the authority of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s
imams are paid by the Turkish state, and the group has come under scrutiny with
some of its members suspected of spying on Turkish dissidents living in
the height of a bitter row between Germany and Turkey in mid-2017, two German
ministers warned in a Spiegel Online commentary that Erdogan’s “dangerous
ideologies must not be imported to Germany via certain mosques.”
other cases, some mosques have come under police scrutiny or been closed for
preaching radical and militant Islamist ideas.
am Sonntag said that, in the newspaper’s own survey, several states had
affirmed that mosque communities in Germany should be able to finance
interior ministry of the regional state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had
said it was open to “mosque financing based on the church model” to reduce
foreign influence, including “the danger of possible radicalization.”
spokesman for the interior ministry of Baden-Wuerttemberg state had also
pointed to the threat of outside influence “on theological content and
the worst case,” the spokesman had told the newspaper, this included “radical
Islamist or anti-democratic content or aspirations.”
December, a local news outlet - citing German Intelligence and security sources
- said an official report has concluded that German security authorities
consider the Muslim Brotherhood group as “more dangerous” to Germany’s
democracy, compared to the ISIS extremist group and al-Qaeda terrorist
Online added that the German Intelligence and security sources started to be
worried about the turnout of people in organizations or mosques linked to the
Muslim Brotherhood, especially in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
entering Syria to allegedly fight Daesh, Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) is now
in Libya on a mission to "capture or kill" the leader of the Takfiri
terrorist group who has apparently fled to the North African country, according
to a new report.
Daily Express said on Sunday that RAF fighter jets were searching for Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi in Libya, where he is thought to be hiding after being purged from
territories controlled by Daesh in Syria.
report said British fighter jets, along with aircraft operated by Italian and
US militaries, were carrying out round-the-clock sorties in search of the ABB,
the code name being used to identify Baghdadi as a target. It said anyone
killing or capturing the Daesh leader would receive $25million (£19million) as
a bounty on his head.
RAF jets are being scrambled from Waddington in Lincolnshire, in eastern
England, to collate signals and intelligence on individuals and groups who
might support the 48-year-old Daesh leader.
is not clear how a coalition of Western military forces has decided to launch
the search for Daesh leader in Libya, an oil-rich country beset by years of
violence which started after a popular uprising and the NATO military
alliance’s intervention in 2011 to topple former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
authorities believed there are some “reliable” intelligence from within Libya
proving that Baghdadi had been in the country after escaping Baghouz in Syria,
where he was subject to a plot from people in his inner circle to kill him.
is reliable intel, but it needs to be verified,” said a military source,
adding, “The air component operation is delivering high-grade intelligence and
we can map names and groups to people we known that have been or are part of
ABB's inner circle."
Daily Express said similar operations were ongoing in neighboring African
countries were militant groups with close affiliation to Daesh could have
recent video of Baghdadi showed him praising his fighters and their battle
against the “apostates” in various parts of the world. He has also praised
attacks on churches in Sri Lanka last month which killed over 250 people.
has been the scene of increasing violence since Gaddafi's fall in 2011. His
ouster created a huge power vacuum, leading to chaos and the emergence of
numerous militant outfits, including the Daesh terrorist group.
military forces had been previously spotted fighting alongside militants waging
war against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Diyanet Foundation (TDV), a charity linked to the country’s religious
authority, on Saturday distributed shopping vouchers to needy families in
Skopje, as part of its efforts during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
vouchers for purchasing of food supplies, were distributed in a program
organized in cooperation with Turkish embassy’s Religious Services Consultancy
in the North Macedonian capital Skopje.
Religious Services Consultant Murat Alkan told Anadolu Agency that the head of
Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) is making efforts to distribute Ramadan
aid to needy people in 98 countries around the world.
said the vouchers of food packages were distributed among 250 families and that
the charity will also serve 250 people with fast-breaking meals, or iftar, on
mayor of London has been put under 24-hour police protection following repeated
abuse and threats on social media.
Khan, who defeated the Tory Zac Goldsmith to become mayor in 2016, has said
that the intensity of abuse has risen exponentially since the 2016 Brexit
will not be cowed or bullied by these people, but you can’t escape the fact
that those close to me are worried,” Khan said in an interview with the Guardian.
can’t be right that one of the consequences of me being the mayor of London and
a Muslim in public life is that I have police protection,” he added.
the first Muslim mayor of a global city who also campaigned to remain in the
EU, said that the referendum campaign three years ago allowed “things” to come
to the surface and normalized certain behaviors and ideas that shouldn’t be
London mayor also warned that such threats, if left unchallenged, could lead to
violence and gave the example of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox who was shot
and stabbed by a far-right terrorist prior to the referendum.
sort of message does it send to my children's generation who want to get into
politics?" Khan said.
recent months, a large number of MPs have reportedly received death threats and
abuse following their public stance against Brexit. These threats have been
received online and in person.
Tory MP Anna Soubry was harassed and verbally abused by far-right individuals
outside the houses of the parliament. Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle said in an
interview with Sky News that he was attacked and called a “traitor” while
talking to his constituents.
Phillips, another Labour MP who has been allegedly threatened by rape from a
UKIP candidate, has met with the electoral commission to create a code of
conduct for parliamentary candidates and would ban people from issuing death
and rape threats.
ministers from France, Germany and the UK were to meet the EU in Brussels later
on Monday to discuss Iran’s recent threat to breach commitments of the 2015
three ministers and the EU High Representative and Vice President Federica
Mogherini will discuss their response to Iran’s announcement on Wednesday that
it intended to abandon commitments to the agreement. US Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo cancelled the Moscow leg of his Russia trip, but will meet Russian
President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Black Sea
resort of Sochi as planned on Tuesday, a State Department official said.
Pompeo, who departed from Joint Base Andrews near Washington en route for
Brussels, will hold talks with European officials on Iran and other issues on
Monday before heading to Russia.
ministers will consider further response to Iranian threats and discuss
progress on their efforts to enable trade to continue with Iran.
ministers said they remain committed to trade with Tehran if it upheld its
commitments in the nuclear deal.
deal still offers the best prospect of averting a nuclear arms race in the
Middle East," a British Foreign Office spokesman said before the deal.
Iran remains in compliance, the UK remains committed to the Iran deal.
the Foreign Secretary’s discussions with Secretary of State Pompeo last week,
he wanted to meet counterparts at the earliest opportunity to agree on our
response to Iran’s worrying announcement.”
the agreement, which was signed in 2015, Iran agreed to curtail its nuclear
ambitions and refrain from developing ballistic missiles in return for a lifting
US President Donald Trump withdrew from the treaty last year.
the partial withdrawal on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he
would give other signatories of the agreement 60 days to return to negotiating
financial and oil deals.
Thursday, the European signatories of the deal issued a joint statement
rejecting Mr Rouhani’s deadline and urging Iran to reconsider its decision to
withdraw from some elements.
reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of
Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA
[Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons," the statement by Ms Mogherini and the three foreign ministers
an EU summit in Romania on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that
the nuclear deal must be saved and that the accord’s signatories should do all
they can to ensure Iran respects it.
the 2015 nuclear agreement is a mistake because it is undoing what we have
already done," Mr Macron said.
why France is remaining and will remain a part of it and I deeply hope that
Iran will remain."
European signatories said they regretted the decision by the US to reimpose
sanctions on Iran on Wednesday.
day, Mr Trump said that the sanctions “dramatically strengthened our national
security” before deriding the nuclear deal as “horrible” and “one-sided”.
names site in Syria's Golan Heights after Trump
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has named a site in Syria’s occupied Golan
Heights after US President Donald Trump, who has illegally recognized it as the
Tel Aviv regime’s territory.
the start of the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu said he had selected
the site for the new settlement named after the US pro-Israeli leader.
promised that we would establish a community named after President Trump,"
he said. "I would like to inform you that we have already selected a site
in the Golan Heights where this new community will be established, and we have
started the process."
Israeli premier said he would submit the new plan for cabinet approval after
taking office again in the wake of last month's snap general election.
a highly provocative move on March 25, the US president signed a proclamation
recognizing Israel's "sovereignty" over the Syrian territory.
strongly condemned the move and called it a "blatant attack on the
sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Syria.
1967, Israel waged a full-scale war on Arab territories, during which it
occupied a large swathe of Golan and annexed it in 1981, a move condemned by
the international community. Syria has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty
over the Heights, saying the territory must be completely restored to its
favor to Israelis over Golan followed his recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as
the capital of the Israeli regime.
US has relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, which
Palestinians consider the capital city of their future state.
reportedly plans to also name a train station near the Western Wall of
Jerusalem al-Quds after Trump.
United States’ military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat but
now it is an opportunity, a senior commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary
Guards said on Sunday, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).
aircraft carrier that has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and 6000 forces
gathered within it was a serious threat for us in the past but now...the
threats have switched to opportunities,” General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander
of the aerial forces division in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said.
added, “If [the Americans] make a move we will hit them in the head.”
United Nations says the withdrawal of Houthi forces from key ports of Yemen’s
western province of Hudaydah is proceeding “in accordance with established
plans” for a second day, as the Saud-backed former government still refuses to
pull out its besieging forces from Hudaydah in line with an accord the two
sides reached in Sweden last year.
Houthi Ansarullah movement is in control of key ports of Salif and Ras Isa and
Hudaydah, which have been under a tight siege by country’s former Saudi-backed
government, led by ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, since June last year.
than 70 percent of Yemen’s imports used to pass through the docks of Hudaydah,
a lifeline for the war-ravaged country's crippled economy. Salif was used for
unloading all main types of grain and Ras Isa, a vital oil terminal, used for
exporting Ma’rib light crude’s oil.
lengthy siege pushed tens of thousands of people in Yemen to the verge of
starvation and crippled the country’s economy. In an attempt to prevent the
humanitarian situation from further deterioration and to avert a full-scale
assault by the Saudi-led coalition on the ports, Houthis signed a UN-brokered
agreement with the ex-government in Sweden in last December.
warring sides agreed to withdraw their forces from the ports in a two-stage
process, the first phase of which from the Houthi side was unilaterally
commenced on Saturday and is due to be completed on Tuesday.
three ports were monitored simultaneously by United Nations teams as the
military forces left the ports and the Coast Guard took over responsibility for
security,” Lt Gen Michael Lollesgaard, head of the UN Redeployment Coordination
Committee (RCC), said in a statement on Sunday.
the first stage, Houthis are to draw back five kilometers from the three ports
until Tuesday, while forces of the former government, backed by troops of the
United Arab Emirates (UAE), currently massed four kilometers from Hudaydah, are
to withdraw one kilometer fro, two other flashpoint ports.
latter side has so far firmly refused to retreat according to the agreement and
Houthis, who are unilaterally completing the first phase, denounced Hadi’s
forces for their refusal, prompting Houthi movement’s spokesman Mohammed
Abdulsalam on Saturday to strongly call on the UN and the UN Security Council
to press Hadi and the Saudi-led coalition to move in line according the
stress the need for the United Nations to pressure the aggressor to take
similar steps to contribute to the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement
and the achievement of peace,” Abdulsalam said, adding, “The redeployment step
comes at a time when the Alliance of Aggression continues to postpone and
obstruct the implementation of its commitments with a view to thwarting” the
a coalition of its allies, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an
attempt to reinstall Hadi, who had resigned amid popular discontent and fled to
Riyadh, and to crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which has been
significantly helping the Yemeni army against a Saudi-led military coalition
for the past four years.
imposed war initially consisted of an aerial campaign, but was later coupled
with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground mercenaries to Yemen.
Furthermore, armed militia forces loyal to Hadi, in line with invaders, launch
frequent attacks against Yemeni people in regions held by Houthis.
aggression is estimated to have left 56,000 Yemenis dead.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has said that a record
22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened
by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most
severe famine in more than 100 years.
United Nations (UN) report says Israeli forces destroyed at least 41
Palestinian-owned structures in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds and West
Bank over the past two weeks alone.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its
biweekly Protection of Civilians Report that most of the demolitions had taken
place under the pretext that construction had taken place without a “permit,”
Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported on Sunday.
the demolitions, 37 were in East Jerusalem and four in the so-called Area C of
the West Bank, the report said, adding that the destruction directly displaced
38 homeowners and affected 121 others.
April 29 alone, Israelis authorities destroyed 31 structures in multiple
neighborhoods in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
April 25, the Israelis demolished a home in Az-Zawiya Village in the West Bank,
displacing a family of seven, including five children, the report said.
the full month of April, a total of 70 structures were demolished in the
occupied Palestinian territories by Israeli forces, according to OCHA,
displacing at least 70 people — including 33 children — and affecting a further
January, OCHA said Israel’s demolition and confiscation of Palestinian-owned
structures in the West Bank had soared by 10 percent in 2018.
bodies and rights groups say Israeli demolitions of Palestinian structures in
the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds are an attempt to uproot
Palestinians from their native territory and confiscate more land for the
expansion of illegal settlements.
C, which is under full Israeli control, makes up more than 60 percent of the
entire occupied West Bank. Israeli authorities frequently demolish Palestinian
buildings and structures in the area, with Bedouin and herding communities
being particularly vulnerable to that practice.
has been occupying the West Bank, including East al-Quds, since 1967. Ever
since, it has been building settlements throughout the land, in a move
condemned by the UN and considered illegal under international law.
Saudi soldiers have been killed and dozens of others sustained injuries when
Yemeni army soldiers, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees,
launched an airstrike against a military position in the kingdom’s border
region of Asir.
unnamed Yemeni military source told Arabic-language al-Masirah television
network that Yemeni soldiers and their allies attacked a gathering of Saudi
troops in al-Rabu'ah town of the region on Sunday, using a
domestically-designed and -manufactured Qasef K2 (Striker K2) combat drone.
source added that several Saudi soldiers were killed in the aerial assault, and
dozens of others sustained injuries.
scores of Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president, Abd
Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, have been killed and injured when Yemeni soldiers and their
allies struck their strongholds in the al-Wazi’iyah and Hayfan districts of the
southwestern Yemeni province of Ta'izz.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Hadi
back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project
(ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has
claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
killed a priest and five parishioners during mass Sunday in an attack on a
Catholic church in Dablo, northern Burkina Faso, security sources and a local
9:00 am, during mass, armed individuals burst into the Catholic church,"
the mayor of Dablo, Ousmane Zongo, told AFP. "They started firing as the
congregation tried to flee."
attackers -- between 20 and 30 according to a security source -- managed to
trap some of the worshippers, Zongo added. "They killed five of them. The
priest, who was celebrating mass, was also killed, bringing the number of dead
gunmen then set fire to the church, several shops and a small cafe before
heading to the local health centre, which they looted, burning the chief
is an atmosphere of panic in the town," said Zongo.
are holed up in their homes, nothing is going on. The shops and stores are
closed. It’s practically a ghost town," he added.
reinforcements were sent from Barsalogho, about 45 kilometres (30 miles) south
of Dablo, and were combing the area, a security source told AFP. Dablo is
located in the northern province of Sanmatenga.
attack came two days after French special forces freed four foreign hostages in
the north of the country in an overnight raid that cost the lives of two
operation was ordered to free French hostages Patrick Picque and Laurent
Lassimouillas who disappeared while on holiday in the remote Pendjari National
Park in Benin on May 1.
team also found two other female captives, an American woman and a South
Muslim clerics targeted
church strike came two weeks after a similar attack against a Protestant church
in Silgadji, also in the north, when gunmen on motorbikes killed a pastor and
Faso has suffered from increasingly frequent and deadly attacks attributed to a
number of jihadist groups, including the Ansarul Islam group, the Group to
Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.
raids began in 2015 in the north before targeting the capital Ouagadougou and
other regions, notably in the east.
400 people have been killed since 2015 -- mainly in hit-and-run raids --
according to an AFP tally.
groups target both Muslim and Christian clerics, mainly in the north.
to security sources, the jihadists do not consider certain Muslim clerics
sufficiently radical and sometimes accuse them of having collaborated with the
leaders are not the only people targeted by the extremists. Last month,
jihadists attacked a village school in Maitaougou, in the eastern province of
Koulpelogo, killing five teachers and a municipal worker.
colonial ruler France has deployed 4,500 troops in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger
and Chad in a mission codenamed Barkhane to help local forces flush out
4.3 million people have been driven from their homes in the worsening violence
that has engulfed the entire Sahel region, including one million over the past
year, according to UN humanitarian officials.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned Sunday's attack and offered
condolences as he recalled "the sanctity of all places of worship,"
according to a UN spokesman.
"urges all citizens of Burkina Faso to stand firmly with one another
across communities and not to succumb to efforts to sow discord and breed
coast guard says it has rescued nearly 150 Europe-bound migrants, including
women and children, off the country’s Mediterranean coast.
Ayoub Gassim said Sunday that a rubber boat carrying 96 migrants, including 16
women and four children, was intercepted a day earlier off the city of Zawiya,
50 kilometers (31 miles) west of Tripoli.
said another boat carrying 51 migrants was intercepted Saturday off the town of
Khoms, some 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Tripoli.
said the migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid, then taken to
became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe
after the 2011 uprising that ousted Muammar Qaddafi.
killed six people including a priest outside a Catholic church in Burkina Faso
on Sunday, a local official said, the second attack on Christians in two weeks
in a nation increasingly overrun by militants.
were leaving church around 9 a.m. (0900 GMT) when about twenty men encircled
them and shot six dead, Boucary Zongo, mayor of the northern town of Dablo
where the attack took place, and a witness, told Reuters.
attackers then burned the church, looted a pharmacy and some other stores, and
left in vehicles, they said.
Faso has been beset by a rise in attacks in 2018 as groups with links to Daesh
and al-Qaeda based in neighboring Mali seek to extend their influence over the
porous borders of the Sahel, the arid scrubland south of the Sahara.
government declared a state of emergency in several northern provinces
bordering Mali in December because of deadly extremist attacks.
violence has only worsened since. Two French soldiers were killed in an
operation to rescue four people taken hostage in Burkina last week, France
55% to 60% of Burkina Faso's population is Muslim, with up to a quarter
Christian. The two groups generally live in peace and frequently intermarry.
between members of two Sudanese tribes in an eastern town have left seven
people dead and 22 wounded over the past two days, a local official told AFP
violence erupted on Saturday between members of the Nuba and Bani Amer tribes
in the town of Gadaref, said Mohieddine Ahmed, governor of Gadaref Province.
all started when a woman from the Nuba tribe and a water vendor from the Bani
Amer tribe quarreled over the price of water" on Saturday, Ahmed said.
verbal dispute ended with the vendor killing the woman, which triggered anger
among her tribe members."
of the two groups then set fire to homes and shops belonging to each other's
kin, Ahmed added.
the ensuing clashes, seven people have been killed and 22 wounded," Ahmed
said, adding that the two groups have clashed in the past.
wounded included seven policemen, he said, as officers sought to separate the
groups with tear gas and by firing shots in the air.
said the fighting that erupted on Saturday continued until Sunday morning.
clashes are often reported in several regions of Sudan, especially in the
war-torn western Darfur provinces.
an ethnically diverse country, has been rocked by nationwide protests since
December last year that led to the ouster of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir on
least seven Boko Haram militants were killed late Friday in a shootout with the
army and a local vigilante group.
spokesman Col. Sagir Musa said in a statement that troops and vigilantes on a
joint patrol engaged the terrorists for hours in the Gulwa area of Borno State.
terrorists were killed, while several escaped with gunshot injuries and are
being hunted by the troops," the statement said.
said there were no casualties on the side of government forces, adding troops
recovered seven weapons from the terrorists, including six AK-47s and one FN
car bomb attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu has killed a Turkish citizen,
police said Sunday.
man was killed when explosives fitted to his car exploded on Sunday, police
Turkish a civil engineer was mercilessly blown up in his car near KM4
street," said police spokesman Ali Hassan.
heavily injured engineer was taken to the Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Training
and Research Hospital but was not able to be saved.
was unclear who planted the bomb, but the police suspect militant group
al-Shabaab, they said.
has launched an investigation into the attack. Turkey's embassy in Mogadishu is
closely following the process, according to Demirören News Agency.
Saturday, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a roadside bombing targeting a
local government official in the port city of Bosaso. Eight people were killed
in the incident.
terrorist group al-Shabaab has fought the Somali army and African Union
peacekeeping troops for over a decade.
have killed four Boko Haram jihadists in a clearance operation, tagged
Operation Hard Strike at villages in Borno State, the military authorities
announced on Sunday.
army spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, made the announcement in a statement sent to
the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
said that troops had cleared Surdewalla, Ranwa, Baladayo, Sabon Gari and
Shetimeri villages, where the jihadists previously operated in.
said that during the operation, a makeshift shelter, erected by the jihadists
was destroyed by troops and that soldiers deployed at the Forward Operation
Base in Gajigana ambushed terrorists attempting to infiltrate the town.
number of terrorists were exterminated and two soldiers were wounded during the
encounter. The soldiers are stable and currently receiving treatment in a
military hospital,” he said.
said that the Army’s 177 Task Force Battalion, in collaboration with Civilian
JTF, also cleared Mboa, Mboa-Kura, Yarchida, Bombula, Tshata and Bamzir
said that one AK-47 rifle, three magazines, 50 rounds of 7.62mm special
ammunition and one magazine bandolier were recovered from the terrorists.
was no casualty on the troops or the Civilian JTF,’’ Musa stated.
thanked people who provided information that led to recent successes of the
troops, pleading with the public to continue to report terrorists in their
localities to Army locations or other security agencies.
Haram fighters have waged a decade long war on Nigeria in a bid to carve out
some areas of the country to enforce strict Islamic code.
If American troops pull out of Afghanistan, the Taliban might retake control of
the country, warns former US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.
Gates, who served under two presidents — George W. Bush and Barack Obama — from
2006 to 2011, also believes that Taliban want to take over Afghanistan and
that’s why they are not negotiating with the Afghan government.
an interview to CBS, which was broadcast on Sunday, Mr Gates agreed with the
suggestion that the Afghan war might also end like the Vietnam war if the US
troops were to pull out now. The war in Vietnam ended with the US withdrawal
and a subsequent communist takeover of the country.
former US ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, who you know well, compared
this to Vietnam. He said, ‘You pull out your troops, it doesn’t end the war.
That hands the battlefield to your adversaries.’ Do you see that?” the host
think there’s a very real risk of that, yes,” Mr Gates replied.
repeat of Vietnam?” she asked.
a repeat of the government that we have supported being unable to sustain
itself,” he said.
Gates urged Washington to ensure that the government in Kabul is stable before
bringing American forces home. There are currently 12,000 US service members
think that the circumstances under which you bring them home matter.
I think trying to give the Afghan government the best possible shot at survival
is really important for the future of Afghanistan,” he said.
Gates also outlined potential consequences of the Taliban retaking control of
Afghanistan and claimed that a Taliban takeover would be particularly bad for
present Afghan constitution, made with the US assistance, gave Afghan women
some rights, such as attend schools and hold jobs. Women activists in Afghanistan
fear that Taliban will take away those rights if they return to power.
some Taliban representatives have that said they will not undo the rights
granted under the Afghan constitution and will allow them to work and attend
schools. Most Afghan women, however, are reluctant to trust them.
Gates shares their concerns.
the question is, can you negotiate an arrangement whereby the Taliban agree to
operate under the Afghan Constitution, become a part of the political process?”
asked if Taliban have interest in joining a broad-based government in
Afghanistan or just want to restore their rule, Mr Gates said they want to
“take over Afghanistan”.
they agree to any kind of a compromise deal, it’s really up to the other Afghans
at the end of the day to resist any moves, to get rid of those changes, to go
backward, if you will,” he said.
of a war that has continued for almost 18 years, the Trump administration is
currently holding peace negotiations with Taliban representatives in Doha,
talks are focused on two key points, the withdrawal of US troops from
Afghanistan and a Taliban assurance that they will not allow militants to use
the Afghan soil for attacking other countries.
negotiators, headed by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, have also tried to persuade
Taliban to include the Afghan government in the peace talks but they are
refusing to do so.
Mr Gates urged US negotiators to arrange a deal between the insurgents and the
Afghan government before US troops leave, although he admitted that ultimately
it will be up to the Afghans to enforce it.
think it’s up to us after all this time to at least try and put the Afghan
government in as positive a position for that contest that will come at some
point as we can. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to admit, it’s going to
be up to the Afghans themselves,” he said.
American scholar and author says despite employing psychological warfare
against Iran, the United States is not inclined towards engaging in actual
military confrontation with the Islamic Republic.
is “probably true with regard to [US President Donald] Trump himself and
perhaps many, not most of, his advisers and military people,” Kevin Barrett
told Press TV on Sunday.
“there may be a group, that kind of B-Team, talked about by [Iran’s Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad] Zarif, that would be willing to go to war,” he added.
month, the Iranian top diplomat identified the B-Team in remarks to Fox News as
US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
US has been pursuing a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran under Trump,
which has Bolton as its top security aide. The flagship piece of the policy has
seen Washington reinstating draconian economic sanctions targeting the Islamic
has been enlisting the assistance of its regional allies in implementing the
policy. Recently, it said that it would target every country potentially buying
Iran’s oil as of May 2 with “secondary sanctions.”
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates immediately reported that they would be
making up for potential shortages of the Iranian crude.
in the month, Bolton, the administration’s most warlike figure, announced that
the US has dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force
to the Middle East. The Pentagon said on Friday that the US was deploying an
amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery to bolster the carrier
people absolutely must be contained,” Barrett added, referring to pro-war
politicians such as Bolton.
Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani similarly said, “Today, a radical
group inside the White House, which holds many affairs in its hands, has even
seized control from the president himself.”
however, said, “Obviously, Iran is not going to knuckle under to these
ridiculous kinds of demands of people like Bolton and [US Secretary of State]
Pompeo.” The latter has been identified as the architect of the “maximum
of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein
Salami has described the U.S. dispatch of an aircraft carrier to the Middle
East as a "psychological war".
U.S. is seeking by this step to intimidate the people and some military
officials of the occurrence of war," the semi-official Fars news agency
quoted Salami as saying at a parliamentary session on Sunday.
American war against Iran is not possible, because Washington does not have the
ability and the courage to wage war against it," he said.
Iranian commander ruled out the possibility of a U.S. military action to what
he called "the strength of our armed forces on the one hand, and the
vulnerabilities of the U.S. aircraft carriers on the other."
Wednesday, the U.S. imposed new sanctions on four Iranian metal sectors in the
latest component of President Donald Trump administration's "maximum
pressure" campaign on Tehran after sending a carrier strike group and a bomber
task force to the region in response to unspecified threats from Iran.
President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Iran would resume high-level
enrichment of uranium to near weapons-grade levels if Tehran’s interests in the
nuclear deal are not protected within 60 days.
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They also said that the Jeish al-Islam terrorists are meant to use the camp for training their militants."
Syria's artifacts General "had said that the Western countries, including the US and France help terrorists in plundering Syria's artifacts.".
Is there any truthin this statement?