village is conducting Ganesh aarti and azaan for Muharram in same pandal. A
devotee said, 'There is no rivalry between Hindus and Muslims and it is the
politicians who instigate people and try to create a rift between us.' (Photo:
Sets Example of Communal Harmony; Hindus, Muslims Perform Azaan and Aarti
of Islam and Pakistan Lies In Hussainiyat’: Supreme Shia Ulema Board
Clerical and Political Leaders against Shop Selling Statuettes, Calls Them
‘Won’t Rest’ On Rohingya Crisis, UK’s Minister Tells Suu Kyi
Reminds Shariah Judges to Follow SOP on Underage Marriage
Declares Myanmar Treatment of Rohingya Muslims to Be Genocide
Ordinance: Darul Uloom Slams Modi Govt’s ‘Interference’ In Islamic Matters
appeasement seen in India's ban of verbal divorce
Triple Talaq, Trinamool Minister Says Quran Will Prevail, Not Law or
of Imam Hussain (AS) infused new life to Islam: Mirwaiz
is Doing More Than Waving Flags': Probe Reveals Link between Kashmir &
News, Says US as India and Pakistan Agree to Hold Talks in New York
clerics hold special prayers for Parrikar’s speedy recovery at Goa BJP office
killed in encounter with security forces in J&K
Made By Hindus Integral Part of Ashura Processions in Karachi
of Karbala Teach Us to Uphold Supremacy of Truth: President, PM
in the Muslim World Is Weakening All of Us: Pak PM
Arabia invited to become third strategic partner in CPEC: Fawad Chaudhry
says Youm-e-Ashur serves as lesson to fight against tyranny, oppression
Imran offers role to heal Middle East conflicts
will be offered neither deal nor concession: minister
commission summons IHC judge on Oct 1 in third reference
Conflicts Seen Not Rooted in Ideology Alone, Say Experts
Time for Filmmakers to Train Their Lenses on Real Muslim Stories
leader boasts group has ‘highly accurate’ missiles
air force chief to give Moscow findings on Russian plane downing
warns crackdown has turned Egypt into ‘open-air prison’ for critics
Arabia, UAE using Israel's Pegasus malware to spy on citizens
regime forces detain another Shia cleric amid Muharram crackdown
court removes judge who got Mubarak’s sons detained
Opposition Party Raises Alarm Over Fair Conduct Of Presidential Poll
refugee children in Bangladesh get doves of peace from the Middle East
air new concerns about 'grave' Myanmar crisis
Muslims mark Ashura amid tight security
Distances Children from Families to Subdue Muslim West
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Kelantan Couples Choose Oct-Dec to Register Secret Thai Marriages
Worker Alleges Workplace Discrimination over Prayers
effort to end terrorist financing remains uneven: US
backs US offer of talks with Iran on nuclear and missile treaty
appeals court boosts Muslim American man's challenge against 'no-fly' list
an ancient Islamic holiday became uniquely Caribbean on Trinidad shores
Poet Released From Israeli Prison after Two Months
Hezbollah In Possession of Precision Rockets to Israel’s Dismay
urges UN to censure Israel’s nuclear threat, make it respect intl. rules
court orders release of prominent opposition legislator
Nation’s Struggle For Liberty Main Reason Behind Saudi-Led Aggression: Houthi
Muslim, Christian Leaders Join in Call for Peace
Haftar: Army Will Intervene in Tripoli at the Right Time
Killed, As Many Injured In Boko Haram Raids In Nigeria: Reports
7 killed as Boko Haram razes villages
canvasses political agenda for Muslims
Al-Shabaab Remains Major Security Threat to Kenya
European Day Of Action Against Islamophobia And Religious Intolerance
FM Suggests Referring Myanmar Leaders to ICC
Le Pen ordered to undergo psychiatric tests over ISIS tweets
EU nations oppose demolition of Palestinian village
group in Germany attacked by PKK supporters
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Sets Example of Communal Harmony; Hindus, Muslims Perform Azaan And Aarti
Delhi: Setting an example of religious harmony, Hindu and Muslim devotees in
Mumbra village of Thane district in Maharashtra come together to celebrate
their respective festivals Ganesh Chatuthi and Muharram under the same
roof. “We (Hindus and Muslims) are
sharing the same mic and loudspeaker and organisers are coordinating the
timings for the respective rituals which are scheduled to be conducted throughout
the day,” a devotee told ANI.
residents of the village gave a message of communal harmony by conducting
Ganesha aarti and the azaan for Muharram in the same pandal, set up by the Ekta
devotee present inside the pandal said, “There is no rivalry between Hindus and
Muslims and it is the politicians who instigate people and try to create a rift
between us just before the elections in order to get the mandate. Everybody in
our village, irrespective of caste, likes to participate in such events
the initiative, Ramesh Dhumal, Assistant Commissioner of Police said,”Such
programmes will only strengthen the relationships between the two communities
and will send out a positive message of communal harmony to the outside world.”
this month, Hindus, and Muslims of Agra’s Kheriya Mod locality celebrated the
festival of Janmashtami. With the theme of Hindu-Muslim unity, the banners put
up for the occasion of ‘Janmashtami’ had
featured Lord Krishna on one side and the Islamic symbol of crescent and
star on the other.
Supreme Shia Ulema Board and Head of Tehreek-e-Nifaz e Fiqah Jafariya Agha Syed
Hamid Ali Shah Moosavi has said that the safety of Islam and Pakistan lies in
‘Hussainiyat’, says a press release.
to the media representatives while leading a Muharram mourning procession
brought out from Central Masjid-o-Imambargah Jameatul Murtaza, Sector G-9/4,
Islamabad, he said Islam found eternity after Karbala. “Conspiracy to create
conflicts among Arabs and non-Arabs as well as different sects is underway. We
will never let anyone harm Shia-Sunni unity till the last breath.
of ‘Matami’ organisations besides thousands of ‘azadars’ participated in the
procession. Responding to a question from the media, Agha Syed Hamid Ali Shah
Moosavi said that Allah and Rasool love those who love Hussain (AS). “Hussain
ibn-e-Ali (AS) refused to pledge allegiance to Yazeed for the sake of Islam’s
glory. After he was asked for allegiance, Imam Hussain (AS) departed from
Medina for Karbala and on the day of Ashura, sacrificed his entire family along
with himself to grant Islam an eternal life. Pakistan was founded on the name
of La ilaah while the foundation of La ilaah lies in the sacrifice of Imam
Hussain (AS). Agha Moosavi said that ‘azadari’ is the most effective protest of
the oppressed people which will kept continued even by our next generations.
Addressing the matamdaran at Muhammasdi Chowk G-9/2, Khateeb Syed Qamar Haider
Zaidi highlighted Hussaini objective. He said ‘Gham-e-Hussain’ is not any
particular sect’s inheritance; rather his ‘qayam’ was for demolition of
oppression and barbarism, and survival of divine principles and
‘Shariat-e-Muhammadi’, that is why every conscious person is thankful to
Hussain ibne Ali (AS). The participants on the occasion pledged to ensure
complete adherence to the Code of ‘azadari’ announced by Quaid e
Millat-e-Jafariya Agha Syed Hamid Ali Shah Moosavi. The procession culminated
after reaching at Jamia Imam As-Sadiq (AS) Karachi Company after touching
through its designated routes. ‘matmi’ groups from Islamabad and surrounding
areas participated in ‘matamdari’.
of ‘zuljinah’, ‘alam’, cradle of Hazrat Ali Asghar and Mehndi Shehzada Qasim
(AS) were taken out. Mukhtar Students Organisation, Ibrahim Scouts, Mukhtar
Generation, Mukhtar Force, Muhktar Organisation and other religious and social
organizations took part in the arrangements while ‘Sabeel-e-Hussaini’ was also
of Muharram Committee Azadari Cell of Tehreek e Nifaz e Fiqah Jafariya
Islamabad along with high level officers of Police administration accompanied
the procession throughout its route. Concluding prayers were offered by Allama
Zahid Abbas Kazmi. The senior supervisor of the procession Syed Shujaat Ali
Bukhari thanked the participants and Matamis for their participation.
clerical and political leaders against shop selling statuettes, calls them idols
City (AsiaNews) – A shop specialising in making 3D statuettes has become
embroiled in a controversy with some of Kuwait’s most conservative clergymen,
almost turning a minor issue into a national cause célèbre. In fact, a Member
of the Kuwaiti parliament has taken the issue to the house after it sparked a
heated debate on social media.
Muslim clergymen view such items as idolatry, believing that any human
representation – paintings or sculptures – constitutes a violation of Islamic
traditions and rules as laid down by the prophet Muhammad.
it started, the controversy just got worse as conservatives slammed this type
of commerce and its promoters. Many want the shop shut down, and the owner’s
store uses 3D scanning booths and printers to create lifelike replicas of
people; for conservatives, such miniatures and statuettes will be worshipped as
idols within a few years.
this shop is doing is an abomination and it must be closed immediately,” said
Othman Al Khamees, a religious figure. “[I]t is more dangerous than liquor
stores, because it revives the issue of idols.” Islam outlaws the consumption
of alcoholic beverages and transgressors can be punished with flogging.
Rahman Al Nassar created a hashtag to put pressure on the government to shut
down the shop. For him, the real threat will materialise within years. “The
grave concern is that the statues would be idolised later,” he insisted.
lawmaker Mohammad Hayef Al Mutairi believes that selling statues in Kuwait
should not be allowed.
other Kuwaitis reacted with amazement and outrage at the whole controversy,
even some clerics.
Al Sinan, another Kuwaiti religious figure, said that when the early Muslims
entered Egypt, they took no action against the Sphinx. “There is no logic in
issuing calls to ban figurines or replicas. Let us rise above such illogical,
irrational thoughts,” he said.
Kuwaiti posted a picture of a statue of Ronald McDonald, the clown character
used as the mascot of the McDonald fast-food chain, saying that no religious
leader has said anything about it.
‘won’t rest’ on Rohingya crisis, UK’s minister tells Suu Kyi
Myanmar — British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt on Thursday called for justice
on the Rohingya crisis after his visit to Myanmar’s Rakhine state, telling
embattled leader Aung San Suu Kyi the world “won’t let it rest”.
rallying cry for accountability comes at the end of a busy two-day visit during
which he visited Rakhine — the epicenter of a brutal military campaign that
drove out more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims — and met with Suu Kyi.
needs to know the international community won’t let it rest,” said Hunt using
Myanmar’s former name.
has set up an “independent” commission to address the army’s crackdown against
the Rohingya, rejecting the UN probe and calls for the International Criminal
Court to investigate.
we don’t see that process happening, we will use all the tools at our disposal
to make sure there is justice... the world is watching,” Hunt said after the
meeting, which he said was “lively” and “frank”.
British foreign minister’s visit came the same week UN investigators released a
damning and meticulous report detailing why six Myanmar generals should be
prosecuted for genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
Rohingya fled to neighboring Bangladesh, where they joined about 300,000
already in cramped refugee camps, carrying accounts of extrajudicial killings,
extreme sexual violence and arson.
evidence warrants the charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war
crimes, UN investigators said.
also brought up with Suu Kyi his “concerns” on the jailing of two Reuters
journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were sentenced earlier this month to
seven years each under the state secrets act.
pair had uncovered the extrajudicial killings of 10 Rohingya men in the Rakhine
village of Inn Din —something the army has since acknowledged.
Kyi, who endured a total of 15 years of house arrest under the previous
junta-led regime, said last week Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo’s sentencing upheld
the rule of law.
said she would look into it,” Hunt said Thursday.
the meeting, the foreign minister was led on a three-hour, tightly-managed tour
of Rakhine via helicopter, which included the Taung Pyo Letwe returnee
reception center, opened to receive the refugees even though virtually no
Rohingya have come back.
and Myanmar signed an agreement last year to repatriate the Muslim minority but
it has stalled as they fear returning to Rakhine without their safety and
each of the three other locations Hunt was shepherded to, he found a
pre-selected group of locals waiting to speak to him. At Pan Taw Pyin village,
the final stop, he walked off to try to speak with nearby residents about their
experiences despite the heavy security presence.
military has consistently denied nearly all wrongdoing, insisting that its
campaign was justified to root out militants, and Myanmar’s ambassador to the
UN on Tuesday slammed the UN probe as “one-sided” and “flawed”.
Kyi, a former pro-democracy icon, has seen a sharp fall from grace
internationally due to her failure to address the Rohingya crisis.
supporters say her hands are tied by a still powerful military, which controls
a quarter of parliament’s seats and three ministries.
investigators say her government’s “acts and omissions” contributed to the
“atrocity crimes” in the crisis.
will head to New York next week for the UN General Assembly, where he will
chair a foreign ministers’ meeting Monday on Myanmar.
Kyi will not be traveling to New York for the UN top meeting. — AFP
reminds Shariah judges to follow SOP on underage marriage
LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Shariah court judges handling underage marriages are reminded
to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) which have been approved at
the Shariah Judges’ Conference two months ago.
in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the guidelines
to be used as reference for Shariah judges, were issued following an
11-year-old girl’s marriage to a 41-year-old man in Gua Musang, Kelantan in
main objective was to tighten existing procedures in relation to underage
marriages but to date, only Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
are following the guidelines.
marriage involving a 15-year-old girl in Tumpat, Kelantan recently occurred as
the assigned judge did not follow the approved SOP,” he told the media after
officiating a Maal Hijrah 1440H celebration here today.
to Mujahid among the procedures set out were, parents need to register the
marriage application for minors, apart from making family background checks
including psychological and health assessments.
then can the Shariah judge make a decision but the guidelines clearly state
that poverty cannot be used as an excuse to allow an underage marriage,” said
are also considering on setting the age limit at 18 years for both men and
women in granting permission for underage marriage,” he said.
a 15-year-old girl reportedly married a 44-year-old People’s Volunteer Corp
(Rela) member, which was the second case after the underage marriage in Gua
Musang last June.
Mujahid presented the Federal Territory Ma’al Hijrah award to Malaysian Muslim
Scholars Association chairman Datuk Sheikh Abdul Halim Abd Kadir, who was also
the former mufti of Terengganu.
received RM5,000, a trophy and certificate of appreciation. — Bernama
declares Myanmar treatment of Rohingya Muslims to be genocide
Parliament has unanimously adopted a motion declaring crimes committed against
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to be genocide. The motion Thursday also endorsed
the findings of a United Nations mission that outlined how crimes against
humanity have been committed by the Myanmar military against Rohingya and other
Washington, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland praised members
of Parliament for passing the motion to recognize “this atrocity.”
rights observers called the declaration as a significant milestone. Some
700,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh after a brutal counter-insurgency
campaign by Myanmar security forces. The U.N. report alleged widespread rights
violations, including rape, murder, torture and the burning of Rohingya homes
denies any organized abuses.
ordinance: Darul Uloom slams Modi govt’s ‘interference’ in Islamic matters
Vice-chancellor of the influential Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband, Mufti
Abul Qasim Nomani has termed the triple talaq ordinance passed by the Union
cabinet as “a serious issue” and condemned it as “an encroachment upon the religious
freedom of the Muslim community”.
Wednesday, ignoring political and clerical resistance, the Union cabinet
cleared the ordinance to criminalise instant triple talaq. The new ordinance
specifies a jail term of three years to the husband but at the same time also
has the provision of bail by the magistrate after the victimised wife has been
Ram Nath Kovind also signed the petition the same day. The official name of the
law is the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2018.
to TOI over the phone, Nomani said, “Nikah and talaq are purely religious
matters and the Constitution of India has granted full religious freedom to all
citizens of India. What the central government is doing is an infringement of
fundamental rights, which is unacceptable. This move is against the values and
real spirit of the Constitution.”
general secretary of Tanzeem Ulema-e-Islam, a Sunni Barelvi organisation,
Maulana Shahbuddin Razvi said, “This development might result in a division
between those who go by Sharia laws and those who will quote the law of the
land and this could lead to a situation of confrontation. If Sharia laws have
been kept in mind in drafting the new ordinance, then it is okay. Otherwise, it
will lead to problems in a large number of Muslim homes.”
spokesperson of BJP, Chandra Mohan said, “The NDA government is committed to
the welfare of minority women and this ordinance is yet another step towards
providing them social security and freedom from subjugation. So, we do not
think there should be any sort of opposition to this development.”
government has been accused of placating the Hindu majority ahead of a national
election by introducing an emergency law banning verbal divorce among Muslims.
Ram Nath Kovind on Sept. 19 gave assent to an ordinance banning the practice
that allows a man to divorce his wife by saying talaq (divorce) three times in
ordinance, which needs to be ratified in parliament, comes after several
attempts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) to enact a law purportedly to help Muslim women suffering because of the
centuries-long triple talaq practice.
sole objective is to appease the Hindu vote bank ahead of the 2019 national
election," said Molvi Javaid Ahmad, a Muslim scholar in Jammu and Kashmir
state. "The move is direct interference in Muslims' religious affairs. It
is a vindictive approach." Ahmad said the move gives the impression that
the government can act tough against Muslims without caring for their votes. It
helps consolidate Hindu votes in a religiously polarized election, he added.
BJP leader and federal Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told media that there
was an "overpowering urgency and a compelling necessity" to bring in
the ordinance as verbal divorce continued unabated despite the Supreme Court
banning it in August 2017 as "unconstitutional."
January 2017 until Sept. 13 this year, there were 430 cases of verbal divorce,
BJP that come to power in 2014 initiated a bill to ban verbal divorce but
several opposition parties opposed it. The BJP said parties opposing the bill
were afraid of losing votes from India's 172 million Muslims.
Lok Sabha, the Indian parliament's lower house, passed the bill on Dec. 28 last
year, but Rajya Sabha, the upper house, kept it pending greater consensus and
debate over the issue.
Rasool Ilyas, of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, believes the
government rushed the law without waiting for more debate to divert attention
from the real issues facing the country such as inflation and unemployment.
way triple talaq has been criminalized makes it necessary to approach the court.
We will soon decide how to do it," he said.
Ali Gulzar, a prominent Muslim scholar and writer, told ucanews.com that the
ordinance stipulates a jail term for a husband who uses verbal divorce.
the husband is in jail, who will take care of the divorced wife and the
children? This is nothing but a vendetta which looms large against the
community in the country," Gulzar said.
Dias, a Catholic leader in Mumbai, told ucanews.com that the move is
"nothing but a preparation for the 2019 elections."
questioned the government's concern for the suffering of divorced Muslim women
and said similar customs exist in other religions in India.
day after the Centre passed an ordinance criminalising instant triple talaq,
state minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury on Thursday said the Quran Sharif was
supreme and would prevail over any constitutional provision or law that
contradicts it. A number of Muslim organisations in the state are planning to
protest the ordinance, with many minority leaders saying they would not tolerate
any interference in religious affairs.
us, our holy scripture, the Quran Sharif, is supreme and if any constitutional
provision or any law contradicts the Quran, then our scripture will prevail and
not the law or Constitution… BJP is playing the religion card and is playing
with Constitution. The ordinance will have no effect on Muslims. No one will
adhere to it, but will follow the religion and the holy book,” said Chowdhury,
who is also the state president of the Jamiat-e-Islami Hind. He had earlier
called the SC verdict on instant triple talaq “unconstitutional”.
tricks BJP may play, they will not be able to influence Hindus or Muslims. In
2019, they are on their way out. The ordinance is just a way of winning Hindu
votes, which they will not succeed. Hindus and Muslims will throw them out of
power,” the state minister added.
said the BJP-led Centre should be concerned with rising violence against women.
day, women and girls are being raped. Every day, women are being burnt and
brutalised. What are they (BJP government at the Centre) doing? They are doing
nothing about it. But for cheap vote bank politics, (they are) hurting the
sentiments of Muslims,” he said.
Muslim organisations are planning to protest against the ordinance.
is a pluralist, secular country but this ordinance brought by BJP is violating
the fundamental rights of Muslims and also the Constitution. We will hold a
meeting shortly to decide on our course of action,” said Md Kamaruzzaman,
general secretary of the All India Minority Youth Forum.
the state BJP lauded the move by the Centre, saying Prime Minister Narendra
Modi has helped Muslim women in the country by passing the ordinance.
Conference (M) chairman and Mutahida Majlis-E-Ulema head Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on
Thursday paid glorious tributes to the martyrs of Karbala Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS),his family and
companions, stating that their great sacrifice infused new life and meaning
into understanding Islam
a statement here, Mirwaiz said that despite being far less in number, up
against a mighty enemy , Imam Hussain (AS) fought courageously with faith and
conviction along with his companions till his last breath, to uphold the great
principles of Islam which he stood by.
Hussain (AS) refused to surrender before falsehood and deceit and instead
fought for truth and righteousness. He preferred to sacrifice his life in the
desert of Karbala but did not give in to it ,setting a great example for all of
Muslim ummah to emulate and follow,” he said.
said that the best tribute to Imam Hussain (AS) and the valiant martyrs of
Karbala is to keep their legacy of
defending the truth and Haq alive ,at all costs.
is Doing More Than Waving Flags': Probe Reveals Link Between Kashmir &
Delhi: The national investigative agency and the Delhi police, in separate
investigations, have found links between the ISIS modules of Hyderabad and
officials told CNN-News18 that two Kashmiri IS operatives arrested by Delhi
police earlier this month and a man from Hyderabad, who is under investigation
for trying to spread ISIS ideology in India, have been in regular contact to
spread the terror outfit’s footprint in India.
suspected Islamic State in Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK) terrorists, Parvez (24) and
Jamshid (19), who were arrested from near the Red Fort, have found to be
‘motivated’ by one Adnan Hasan.
duo told investigators that they met Hasan in Srinagar last year and he
motivated them to join ISIS. The investigation by NIA has also revealed that
Hasan was indeed in Srinagar and was trying to recruit people for ISIS.
questioned, Adnan Hasan also accepted that he went to Srinagar on the same
dates that Parvez and Jamshid mentioned. He is yet not accepting that he was
radicalising the Kashmiri youths. We will seek further custody to confront the
accused," a top NIA official told CNN-News18.
and his two associates, Mohammed Farhan Sheikh and Azhar Ul Islam, were
arrested for being involved in "a conspiracy to identify, motivate,
radicalise, recruit and train Indian Muslim youth on behalf of the proscribed
outfit ISIS to carry out terror activities”, an NIA statement said.
per investigators, the key to the link between the Hyderabad and the Kashmir
modules of ISIS could be a man called Abdullah Basith.
a resident of Hyderabad, is an ‘aide’ of Adnan Hassan. Delhi police sources
said that during investigations it has emerged that suspected JKIS militant
Jamshid had helped Abdullah Basith with his stay in the Shaheen Nagar area of
Jamia in Delhi in 2014. Basith and his associates had allegedly tried to obtain
a fake passport and cross over to Bangladesh via West Bengal.
News, Says US as India And Pakistan Agree to Hold Talks in New York
Delhi: The United States on Friday lauded India’s acceptance of Pakistani
proposal for talks between the foreign ministers of the two neighbouring
countries on the sidelines of the ongoing annual UN General Assembly session in
New York. Calling the news as ‘terrific’, State Department Spokesperson Heather
Nauert at her daily news conference said,”We saw that (reports of meetings
between Indian and Pak leaders). I think that’s a terrific news for the Indians
and Pakistanis to be able to sit down and have a conversation together.”
also welcomed the exchange of messages between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and
his Pak counterpart Imran Khan, saying, “We saw the reports about the positive
messages being exchanged between Prime Minister Khan and also Prime Minister
Modi. And we hope that the conditions will be set for a good strong
relationship, a good strong bilateral relationship in the future.”
United States has traditionally welcomed any talks between India and Pakistan,
the pace of which, it has noted, depends on the leadership of the two
general, the United States supports dialogue between India and Pakistan that
can reduce tensions, and we understand and had frequent conversations with the
Indian partners on the expectations that there would be demonstrable reduction
in cross-border terrorism or infiltration that will help create the confidence
for dialogue to take place,” Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, had told reporters during a
conference call last week.
Khawani', a ritualistic reading of the Koran was conducted by 10 maulanas
an initiative taken by BJP's minority morcha at the party's South Goa office,
10 maulanas from masjids across the State conducted ''Koran Khawani'', a
ritualistic reading of the Koran, for quick recovery of ailing Chief Minister
Manohar Parrikar on Thursday.
Parrikar is now undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical
Sciences in New Delhi for advanced pancreas related ailment.
had called the maulanas from all over Goa to conduct the 'Koran Khawani', which
invokes the good grace of Allah, at the BJP's South Goa headquarters to pray
for the quick recover of our Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar," president
of the minority morcha, Goa, Shaikh Jina, told journalists on Thursday.
said that Mr. Parrikar had resolved several outstanding issues related to the
Muslim community in Goa that included making Goa the embarkation point for Haj
travel, the construction of a Haj House and his involvement in the issues
affecting the community in the education sector.
in several temples and the Central church in Panaji had been conducted some
time back for Mr. Parrikar who is been in and out of hospitals in India and
abroad since February last.
An unidentified terrorist was killed in an encounter with security forces in
the forest area of Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, police
forces launched a cordon and search operation in forests of Sumlar area in
Bandipora district following information about presence of terrorists there, a
police official said.
official said the search operation turned into an encounter after the
terrorists opened fire towards security forces' positions.
made by Hindus integral part of Ashura processions in Karachi
In this bustling metropolis of Pakistan, taziyas made by Hindus in the
courtyards of Hindu temples are a prominent part of the Ashura procession taken
out on the ninth and 10th days of Muharram to remember the martyrdom of Hazrat
Imam Hussain and his people in Karbala.
at least two ancient Hindu temples in the old city area of Karachi, the Hindu
community has worked with zeal and passion to make taziyas, which are a
representation of the tombs of Hazrat Imam Hussain and Hazrat Imam Hasan, the
grandsons of Prophet Muhammad, and are an integral part of the Ashura
have been making these taziyas for three generations now and it is something we
feel proud and passionate about," Rajesh, a Hindu, said in the
Hindu-dominated Narainpura area of Karachi.
worked day and night in the backyard of the Rama Pir temple with other Hindu
youngsters to make the "Dhun Jee Sain" taziya with money collected
few miles away on Akbar Road, members of the Hindu community have worked in the
courtyard of the 100-year-old Mari Mata temple to prepare an imposing taziya,
which will be used in the 10th Muharram procession on Ashura.
is known as the Mai Jannat taziya. Our elders have been making it at this very
spot since even before partition," Gond Saleem said.
who practises Hinduism after his Hindu father who married a Muslim woman, is an
autorickhsaw driver. He devotes a month to make the taziya every year.
mother, Mehmooda, also made it a point to see that the Mai Jannat taziya was
prepared every year for Ashura till her death last year," he said, adding,
"We carry on our elders' wishes."
area in the courtyard of the ancient temple is reserved every year for the
making of the taziya.
takes at least 40 days to complete this taziya at a cost of around one lakh
rupees," Gond said.
added that stickers, shiny vault paper and wood were used to make the taziya.
a Hindu living in the same area, said their elders living in Karachi had always
shown respect towards the great sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain and that they
were doing the same.
these taziyas are prepared near our temple, everyone in our community takes
part and helps out. It is a big occasion for us every Ashura," he added.
reverence and dedication with which the Hindus make the taziyas is a mater of
surprise since their living conditions may not even include the basic
which is the first month of the Islamic calendar, is observed with great
reverence and solemnity by Muslims with taziya processions taken out to
remember the sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his people.
Karachi, like every year, thousands of policemen and paramilitary personnel
have been deployed to look after the security of the Ashura processions.
of Karbala teach us to uphold supremacy of truth: president, PM
President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the
martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) was a lesson for everyone to never stand
back and fight against extremism as well as intolerant ideologies.
us pledge on this day to take solid steps in light of Uswah-e-Shabbiri that
ensures respect for mankind, the solidarity of democracy and calls for
promoting Islamic values for the development and prosperity of the country,”
President Alvi said in his message to the nation on Ashura.
day reminds us of the great sacrifices of the martyrs of Karbala rendered to
uphold the supremacy of truth.”
said that the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) acted as a source of guidance for
Muslims and taught that one should never refrain from fighting the elements of
incident of Karbala teaches us the significance of sacrifice to attain greater
objectives,” the president said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that in view of the challenges faced by the
country, there was a dire need to unite and promote the spirit of sacrifice.
“This is the need of the hour and is linked with our very own existence,
stability and prosperity,” the premier said.
steadfast while upholding truth is a mission and one should never refrain from
offering even the greatest of all sacrifices,” he said, adding that Ashura
reminded Muslims of the sacrifices rendered by Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) and his
companions to uphold the sanctity of Islam.
said the incident of Karbala was a historic battle between truth and falsehood
that took place on 10th of Muharram and added, “Imam Hussain (AS) proved with
his immortal sacrifice that truth always wins. This example of persistence is a
guiding principle for our lives.”
in the Muslim world is weakening all of us: Pak PM
Pakistan’s Imran Khan during his maiden foreign visit to Riyadh said that
Muslim countries can’t bear to have more conflicts as it is weakening all of us
conflicts are weakening all of us and Pakistan would like to play a role of
putting out these fires, a role of reconciliation,” said Imran Khan.
Minister on Wednesday made the statement answering a question in an exclusive
interview with Al Arabiya News Channel’s General Manager Turki al-Dakhil.
PM, who was on a visit to Saudi Arabia, met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
and energy minister Khalid al-Falih as he concluded his two-day visit.
Arabia is the first major country Pakistan has formally invited to become a
partner in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, Minister of
Information Fawad Chaudhry said on Thursday.
a press conference in Islamabad regarding Prime Minister Imran Khan's two-day
visit to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE), Chaudhry said that
Pakistan's main interest lies in cooperation with Saudi Arabia on matters of
trade and security.
high-level coordination committee has has been constituted [to look into
matters of trade and commerce] and it has the complete backing of the Saudi
King, His Highness Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, as well as the Crown Prince
[Mohammad bin Salman] and PM Khan," Fawad Chaudhry said.
information minister announced that high-level delegations from Saudi Arabia
and UAE will visit Pakistan to discuss trade and security in October.
Saudi ministers of treasury and power as well as business leaders will be in
the delegation. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will finalise an important economic
partnership during this visit, the information minister said.
said that Saudi Arabia is the first country that Pakistan has invited to become
a third partner in CPEC, and the projects that Saudi Arabia will be investing
in will be worked out during the Saudi delegation's visit, scheduled for the
first week of October.
expect major investments from Saudi Arabia," he said.
strategic cooperation has been revitalised. We have assured the Saudi
leadership that we will continue to provide security to their country and
provide strategic support wherever needed," Chaudhry said.
information minister said that in Abu Dhabi, the Pakistani delegation was received
by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed. Matters of mutual interest were discussed
in detail during the meeting," Chaudhry said.
should mention here that the relations between Pakistan and UAE and Pakistan
and Saudi Arabia had been frosty for the past few years, and this visit changed
that," the information minister said.
added that the complications in the procurement of UAE visas and other matters
will be resolved soon as the matters had come under discussion during the
foreign office will soon send a proposal to UAE and it is expected that these
issues will be resolved for the thousands of Pakistanis that are dwelling in
the Emirates," Chaudhry assured.
information minister said that UAE would also help Pakistan in many projects, including
the provision of fresh water to Karachi. "Delegations from UAE will come
to Pakistan in October to discuss these matters," he said.
is important to mention here that His Highness Muhammad bin Zayed has a great
standing in GCC and Saudi Arabia, and his support will go a long way for
Pakistan," Chaudhry said.
will be in and out of jail’
on to the matter of Nawaz Sharif’s release yesterday, Chaudhry pointed out that
the ousted prime minister had only secured bail, not been vindicated of the
charges against him.
Sharif will be in and out of jail. The first thing I would like to do is
address those people who kept asking why we put the Sharif family's name on the
exit-control list (ECL). I guess now they know why we did it: had we not, they
could have flown to London yesterday evening, and where would we have looked
for them then?"
also commented on the fact that the PML-N and its supporters had praised the
judicial system yesterday.
if the verdict is in their favour, all is well with the judiciary, and if it is
against them, then the system is corrupt?" the minister asked. "The
PML-N should decide what their stance is so that their own confusion also
added: "I personally think that the judiciary is free and
information minister also said that Imran Khan does not have a personal feud
with the Sharifs, "The government is simply the custodian of the wealth of
the Pakistani people and we need to bring the looted wealth back to the
will we let Nawaz and Maryam leave the country nor will we let Ishaq Dar, Hasan
and Hussain Nawaz stay abroad for much longer," Chaudhry said, adding that
the Sharif family will have to return the Pakistani people's money back to
People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari on
Thursday said that the teachings and philosophy of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) is
a beacon of light for resisting dictatorship, tyranny, oppression and
his message on Youm-e-Aashur, the former president said that Hazrat Imam
Hussain (RA) introduced golden principles for humankind. Battle of Karbala was
a war between right and wrong and the evil forces were defeated in this battle.
said that Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) taught us to stand up to injustices and
despotism and today the forces of evil are surfacing once again in the shape of
terrorism, extremism and so-called Jihadi organisations who want to impose
their agenda by the bullet. Youm-e-Aashur demands that we should fight these forces
with full force and commitment.
Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for Saudi Arabia and
offered to play a reconciliatory role to end all conflicts in the Middle East,
which were ‘weakening us all’.
the Middle East, we will like (to play a) reconciliatory role to bring the
Muslim world together. This will be our main effort. In Yemen too, we will, if
required, play a positive role to end this conflict,” the PM said in an
interview with the Al Arabiya news channel.
was responding to a question about how Pakistan could position itself in the
Middle East and the Islamic arena and how could Saudi Arabia and Pakistan work
together to combat terrorism and restore peace internationally.
assure our support for the Saudi government but at the same time we feel it is
very important that there should not be any conflict in the Muslim world.
Already, the Muslim world has (festering) issues in Libya, Somalia, Syria,
Afghanistan … Pakistan has already suffered a lot. Conflicts in the Muslim
world are weakening us all. Pakistan would like to play a role to put out these
fires through reconciliation,” he said.
asked about Pakistan’s response to the issue of Houthi militias targeting Saudi
Arabia, the prime minister said that he did not believe in the efficacy of a
military solution to any conflict.
to him, every conflict had a political solution, asserting that Pakistan would
not allow anyone to attack Saudi Arabia.
is a stated position of all our governments … We will not allow anyone to
attack Saudi Arabia. We will stand by Saudi Arabia. But I can just say one
thing: All conflicts can be resolved through dialogue. Look at Afghanistan, the
conflict in Afghanistan has dragged on for 16 years. We were branded as
pro-Taliban and Taliban Khan, but now everyone realizes that there is only one
solution in Afghanistan and that is political solution.”
the need for ensuring peace in the Middle East, the PM said that witnessing
discord among Muslim nation was too distressing.
he said, wanted to assure the people of Saudi Arabia that the country would
always stand by them just as “Saudi Arabia stood by us in bad times”.
will always stand by Saudi Arabia in difficult times,” PM said.
a question about his government’s proactive foreign policy and its impact on
the geopolitical scenario, Imran Khan said that Pakistan already had a very
good relationship with China.
need good relationships with Afghanistan and India too. We have made overtures
to both (countries) … We want to develop our relations with both Afghanistan
and India. A relationship based on mutual trust. Unfortunately this is what has
said Pakistan, India and Afghanistan had different points of view…there was a
trust deficit. “This is why Pakistan wants to build relationships based on
he said, wanted good ties with all its neighbours, including Iran.
upon the possibility of Saudi Arabia’s investment in China-Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC) projects, the PM said that CPEC was one of the greatest
opportunities, allowing everyone to invest in Pakistan.
connects Pakistan (with) China and along the way, there will be industrial
zones which will be great opportunity for people to invest. … Once peace is
restored in Afghanistan, the same road will connect Pakistan with Central Asia,
because CPEC can go through Afghanistan to Central Asia. So this whole area is
where the future is, I mean huge markets and … when (our) relationship improves
with India, you (also) have (access to) huge market there too,” he said.
The government on Thursday rejected the notion that former prime minister Nawaz
Sharif and his family members were released from jail under a “deal” and that
Saudi Arabia had played any role in it.
Sharif is not so important for Saudi Arabia that they will talk about him,”
said Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry while speaking at a news
conference a day after Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law
retired Captain Mohammad Safdar were released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail after
suspension of their sentences by the Islamabad High Court in the Avenfield
Much room for NAB process against Sharifs to improve
IHC verdict coincided with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia,
giving rise to speculation in some circles that the Sharif family members’
release was a result of the Saudis’ request.
may be recalled that Saudi Arabia was a guarantor in a deal between the Sharif
family and then military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2000 under which the
Sharifs were released from jail and allowed to leave the country.
who say that Saudi Arabia would have talked [about Nawaz Sharif during Prime
Minister Khan’s visit] actually don’t know what kind of relationship the Saudis
have with Nawaz Sharif,” the information minister said without elaborating.
will be no deal and no dheel (concession) with them (the Sharifs),” he
declared, adding that soon “they will be back to the place where they had been
a few days back”. “Nawaz Sharif will be in and out of jail. This thing will
continue,” he said, adding that the Sharifs had only been granted bail and the
case was still pending against them.
who were questioning the government for putting the names of the Sharifs on the
Exit Control List (ECL) would have got the answer now. Had we not done so, they
could have flown to London soon after their release, and where would we have
looked for these princes then?” he said, justifying the decision of the federal
cabinet to place the names of the Sharifs on the ECL during its first meeting.
will not allow Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz to leave Pakistan and at the same
time we will not allow (former finance minister) Ishaq Dar, and Hassan and
Hussain (the two sons of Mr Sharif) to stay out of Pakistan,” he said.
Chaudhry said that for them it was not important that how much time the Sharifs
would spend in jail, as for the government bringing back the looted money of
the people of this country was more important.
out at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, he said it was heartening to see the
PML-N people praising the courts. “So if the verdict is in their favour, all is
well with the judiciary, and if it is against them, then the system is
corrupt?” the minister said, asking the PML-N to decide once and for all as to
what was their stance to end their confusion.
my opinion, the judiciary is free and independent,” he added.
Chaudhry said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was also an independent
institution and the government had no control over it. He said the government
was looking for the loopholes due to which the Sharifs had been granted bail
and soon they would rectify them and send them back to jail.
PML-N termed the information minister’s remarks “irresponsible” and asked him
to focus on “governance” instead of wasting time on petty matters.
to Dawn, PML-N information secretary Mushahidullah Khan said that no party
leader had given any statement about courts after the IHC verdict as they believed
that Mr Sharif had only got “relief” and not justice.
on Mr Chaudhry’s statement regarding deal, he said the PML-N had not struck any
deal when it could have done so in the past then why it would be doing it now.
“Had we struck a deal, Nawaz Sharif would have been prime minister even today,”
Khan also ridiculed the minister’s justification for putting the names of the
Sharifs on the ECL, terming the government’s act “vindictive”. He recalled that
Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were in London when the NAB court had announced
the verdict and they returned home despite knowing that they would straightaway
land in jail.
The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) has summoned a sitting Islamabad High Court
(IHC) judge on Oct 1 to face a reference on a speech he made in which he
allegedly targeted a particular constitutional institution.
by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, the five-member SJC asked
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the IHC to appear in person along with his
counsel on Oct 1 and face a third reference against him.
July 31, the SJC had issued a show-cause notice to Justice Siddiqui on the
reference for making unnecessary and unwarranted comments on June 21 at the
Rawalpindi District Bar Association office about some important constitutional
institution by accusing the establishment of manipulating the judicial
SJC took up the matter after considering that such comments prima facie had the
tendency of undermining the respect otherwise due to such a constitutional
Siddiqui is already facing a reference on alleged misconduct on the complaint
by some retired employee of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for alleged
refurbishment of the official residence beyond entitlement.
that reference, the judge instituted a petition before the Supreme Court
seeking an open trial of the reference, which is pending before the SJC and
being heard in the open court.
the SJC also issued a similar show-cause notice to Justice Siddiqui under
Article 209 (5)(6) of the Constitution on a reference moved by Advocate Kulsum
Khaliq on behalf of former MNA Jamshed Dasti. It was alleged in the reference
that the high court judge during one of the hearings in a case against the
20-day Faizabad sit-in objected to a compromise between the federal government
and the protesting party. The compromise was facilitated by the armed forces.
scrutinising the reference by Mr Dasti, the SJC meeting held on Feb 6 opined
that the judge was guilty of misconduct.
Justice Siddiqui was asked to furnish his reply/explanation to the council’s
secretariat on the third reference.
Justice Siddiqui furnished his reply before the council and argued that the SJC
was not an appropriate forum to take up such a matter as facts needed to be
Siddiqui explained that he had addressed the legal fraternity for the purpose
of the independence of the judiciary and its precedent was set by former chief
justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
is not the main reason that some people in the conflict-ridden Arab world join
extremist groups. Rather, a host of other issues, including political
participation, poverty, income disparity and unemployment, push people toward
violence and extremism, a panel of experts said Thursday.
mainstream population [in the Arab world] is poor and vulnerable. Decisions to
survive and provide for the family, not ideological beliefs, lead to people
joining extremist groups," said Rami Khouri, a professor of journalism and
public policy at the American University of Beirut.
added that in addition to tackling poverty, inequality and economic disparity,
environmental factors such as shortage of water and drought must not be ignored
when solutions are sought to end conflicts in the region.
Kamrava, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University in
Qatar, argued that while addressing poverty is key to resolving conflicts in
the region, the fight against poverty could not be won unless it was coupled
with creating economic opportunities for people through sound economic policies
and strengthening the education and development sectors. He argued that they
all go hand in hand.
by itself cannot resolve issues unless there is a political system that allows
people to express themselves. Adding to this is providing people with work
opportunity and improving their livelihood," Kamrava said.
Washington-based Arab Center organized the panel discussion, which focused on
the future of the Arab world.
Alsoswa, a Yemeni activist and the country's former ambassador to Sweden,
Denmark and the Netherlands, pointed to religion's role in solving some of the
faith has always been an integral part of the culture in the Arab world and
will continue to be in the future. The problem here is [lack] of tolerance for
opposing views and assuming that one's own religion or sect is the only true
one," Alsoswa said.
added that if utilized properly, religion could play a positive role in
promoting ideals such as tolerance of others, social justice, good governance,
equality of citizenship, women's rights and civil rights.
Arab world "continues to suffer from a deadlock of past grievances. But it
is not too late to build on the rich heritage of the region to bring change.
Such change requires government systems that promote the path forward,"
R. Pickering, former U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, echoed
parts of Alsoswa's assessment, adding that local knowledge of the region and
its history was crucial.
has a deficit in its knowledge of Islam and the Arabic-speaking world, and as a
result we are making mistakes," Pickering said. "It is important to
rely on people who have the knowledge of the region."
time for filmmakers to train their lenses on real Muslim stories
opening scenes of the BBC’s blockbuster TV series Bodyguard are certainly
gripping. On a train that is about to be blown up in a terrorist attack, the
show’s white, male hero searches the carriages for the would-be perpetrator.
Then he flings open a door to find a Muslim woman in a black hijab and abaya
hiding in the toilet. She looks terrified.
is wearing a suicide vest and in her hand is the detonator. The lead character,
played by Richard Madden, talks her down, explaining to her that she has been
indoctrinated by her husband, who is quite happy for her to kill herself in
pursuit of his own ideals. After a few well-chosen words, she is liberated from
her deadly mission, the hero hugs her and all is well.
just a few minutes into the show, we’ve already got our white saviour moment.
What else did you expect? It should also come as no surprise that the would-be
suicide bomber embodies every available stereotype of Muslim women: timid,
easily manipulated, a victim of domestic abuse and brainwashing that has led to
extremism and violence.
real world, of course, is rather different. Across the world, there are 1.6
billion Muslims, each of them with their own experiences. So how is it that
almost none of their stories are being told? The film and TV industry prides
itself on providing a space in which the brightest creative minds work together
to create innovative entertainment. If they drew on the wealth of narratives
that exist within the world’s Muslim population, the results could be magical.
Now, however, it appears that the best they can come up with is the worn-out
trope of the oppressed jihadi bride.
– like most contemporary films and TV shows – singularly fails the Riz Test.
Named after the British actor Riz Ahmed, who made a powerful speech to the UK
House of Commons last year about on-screen diversity and the portrayal of
Muslims, it asks five important questions about films and shows that star at
least one character who is identifiably Muslim.
they talking about the victim of, or the perpetrator of, Islamist terrorism?
Are they presented as irrationally angry? Are they portrayed as superstitious,
culturally backwards or anti-modern? Do they appear to be a threat to a western
way of life? If the character is male, is he presented as misogynistic? If
female, is she presented as oppressed by her male counterparts? If the answer
to any of the above is yes, then the film or show fails.
very little of what we see today would pass judgement by any of these criteria.
A study published last week by the Mena Arts Advocacy Coalition found that only
1 per cent of US television actors are of Middle Eastern or North African
origin, and 78 per cent of the roles they were given were as terrorists and
speaking, this is lazy and tedious. It’s also commercial madness. As films such
as Black Panther demonstrate, audiences want global stories – stories that
avoid stereotypes, stories filled with nuance and wide-ranging perspectives.
The global Muslim population is a colossal market that is being shamefully
under-served. What a missed opportunity.
is also a matter of conscience. The stories we tell and are exposed to affect
how we see the world. Some people argue that some Muslims have committed acts
of terrorism and that this reality needs to reflected. Fair enough. The problem
is that that, right now, this is the only story that is ever told. There is
also plenty of anger when Muslims step forward to demand sophisticated,
non-stereotypical representation on screen.
time to break free of these tired, old arguments and reflect the world we live
in. Yet all we ever get to see is more Muslim actors being cast as villains.
For example, it was recently reported that the actor Said Taghmaoui, who is of
Moroccan heritage, is in line to play the baddie in the next James Bond movie.
That’s just more of the same.
leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah boasted Thursday the group now possesses
“highly accurate” missiles despite Israeli attempts to prevent it from
acquiring such weapons.
Nasrallah didn’t offer specifics on the weapons in his traditional televised
speech commemorating Ashoura, a top religious holy day for Shiite Muslims. He
told supporters they need to be confident in Hezbollah’s capabilities and that
the regional balance of power has changed.
claimed Israeli strikes in Syria to prevent Hezbollah from acquiring precise
missiles were ineffective.
tell (Israel) no matter what it did to cut the route, it is over. It has
already been achieved,” he said, adding that Hezbollah “now possesses precision
missiles and non-precision and weapons capabilities.”
has thousands of fighters in Syria supporting President Bashar Assad’s forces
in the civil war.
worries Hezbollah has been improving its capabilities and acknowledged carrying
out scores of strikes in Syria, most of them believed aimed at halting
suspected arms shipments for Hezbollah.
Israel imposes a war on Lebanon, Israel will face a destiny and reality it
didn’t expect any day,” Nasrallah said.
leaders have said they will not allow “game-changing” weapons, such as guided
missiles, to reach Hezbollah.
speech was broadcast on a large screen to supporters in Beirut’s
majority-Shiite suburb of Dahiya.
Wednesday, Nasrallah said Israeli claims to have targeted a shipment to Hezbollah
in Syria’s Latakia province earlier this week were “lies.”
fighters will continue to be deployed in Syria, he said, but perhaps in lesser
numbers due to reduced fighting there after Syrian government forces regained
control of most rebel-held areas.
air force commander will lead a delegation to Moscow to share the military’s
findings on the Syrian downing of a Russian warplane following Israeli air
strikes, the army said Wednesday.
delegation, led by Major General Amikam Norkin, would on Thursday “present the
situation report... regarding all aspects” of the incident, the army said in a
addition, they will present the continuous Iranian attempts to transfer
strategic weapons to the Hezbollah terror organization and to establish an
Iranian military presence in Syria.”
Monday, Syrian air defenses shot down a Russian military plane, killing 15
soldiers, after Israeli missiles had struck the coastal region of Latakia.
President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday blamed Israel for the downing of a
Russian plane, which was accidentally hit by Syrian anti-aircraft fire during
an Israeli missile strike.
unfortunate incident was the result of Israeli arrogance and depravity,"
the Syrian leader said, offering his condolences in a letter to his Russian
are determined that such tragic events will sway neither you nor us from
continuing the fight against terrorism," he continued in the letter
published by the official Sana agency.
Russian military accused Israeli pilots of using “the Russian plane as a cover,
exposing it to fire from Syrian air defenses”.
denied the allegations, saying its jets were already back in Israeli airspace
when Syrian forces launched the missiles that hit the Russian plane.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his “sorrow” to Russian President
Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Tuesday, offering to assist Moscow in the
had said the incident was the result of “tragic accidental circumstances,”
warning Netanyahu against carrying out such operations in the future and
pledging to beef up security for Russian forces in Syria.
International has censured the Egyptian government for intensifying its
crackdown on freedom of expression, voicing concern that the clampdown has
turned the country into an "open-air prison" for critics and
London-based international human rights group said Wednesday that authorities
had arrested at least 111 people since December 2017 for criticizing
general-turned-president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Egypt's human rights
situation, adding that the crackdown on freedom of expression under the rule of
Sisi had reached "alarming" and "unprecedented" levels.
is currently more dangerous to criticize the government in Egypt than at any
time in the country's recent history," Amnesty's North Africa Campaigns
Director Najia Bounaim said in a statement, adding that Egyptians were “treated
as criminals simply for peacefully expressing their opinions."
said security services had ruthlessly clamped down on independent political,
social and cultural spaces, stressing that measures by Sisi's government were
more extreme than anything seen in the country during the past 30 decades.
measures, she said, "have turned Egypt into an open-air prison for
el-Sisi's administration is punishing peaceful opposition and political
activists with spurious counter-terrorism legislation and other vague laws that
define any dissent as a criminal act," Bounaim added.
has intensified a crackdown on dissent in the past years since the ouster of
the country’s first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi in July
coming to power in June 2014, Sisi’s rule has also been marked by efforts to
crack down on all forms of dissent, with authorities justifying the move
targeting activists and critics as being directed at saboteurs trying to
undermine the state.
of people have been jailed since 2013 while death sentences have been handed
down to hundreds of Sisi’s political opponents on different charges, including
recent report has revealed that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been among the
countries that have been extensively using the spyware Pegasus to spy on their
own people and track human rights advocates.
report, published by Citizen Lab on Tuesday, said the usage of Pegasus - made
by the Tel Aviv-based NSO company - in both countries had significantly
increased between August 2016 and August 2018.
findings paint a bleak picture of the human rights risks of NSO’s global
proliferation. At least six countries with significant Pegasus operations have
previously been linked to abusive use of spyware to target civil society,” the
Citizen Lab said in its report, refusing to name all the countries.
Lab said it identified at least six operators with "significant
operations" in the Persian Gulf region including at least two that
appeared to predominantly focus on the UAE and one with a Saudi focus. One was
also focused on Bahrain, it added, without elaborating whether it was
affiliated to Saudi Arabia - which is helping Manama suppress dissent - or not.
operators may be conducting surveillance beyond the MENA region, including in
Canada, France, Greece, the United Kingdom, and the United States,” the report
UAE had earlier used the phone hacking spyware to spy on several Arab figures,
including the Qatari emir, Lebanese prime minister, and a Saudi prince.
New York Times reported on August 31 that the NSO Group and affiliates had
actively participated in cyber attacks on individuals sought by the UAE using
the controversial Pegasus spyware to turn their smart phones into surveillance
lawsuits have been filed against the company in Israel and Cyprus by a Qatari
citizen as well as Mexican journalists and human rights activists who say they
were targeted by the spyware.
national Yehia Assiri, one of the targets of the spyware, told the Middle East
Eye recently that "governments that use these technologies have something
to be scared of, and have no respect for human rights.”
also described the move as a reflection of the lies by the governments that use
Israeli spy tools to monitor their citizens.
publicly claim their animosity toward Israel, but secretly use its products to
spy on activists whom it then accuses of treason,” he said.
Citizen Lab, an affiliate of the University of Toronto, added in its report
that it had also found evidence that the software might have been deployed
against victims in 45 countries.
addition researchers found indications of possible political themes within
targeting materials in several countries, which they said casts doubt on
whether the technology is being used as part of “legitimate” criminal
Marczak, senior research fellow at The Citizen Lab, was quoted as saying that
the researchers had found that the spyware was used by governments to spy on
journalists, human rights defenders, opposition politicians, lawyers, and
identified in 45 countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Cote
d’Ivoire, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan,
Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Mexico, Morocco, the
Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia,
Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia,
Turkey, the UAE, Uganda, the UK, the US, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zambia.”
is a modular malware. After scanning the target’s device, it installs the
necessary modules to read the user’s messages and mail, listen to calls,
capture screenshots, log pressed keys, exfiltrate browser history, contacts,
and so on and so forth. Basically, it can spy on every aspect of the target’s
regime forces have detained another Shia Muslim cleric as the ruling Al
Khalifah dynasty presses ahead with its heavy-handed crackdown against members
of the religious community during the Muslim mourning month of Muharram.
activists, requesting anonymity, said Bahraini officials ordered the arrest of
Sheikh Mohammed al-Reish after he underwent an hours-long investigation at a
police station in the Hoora district of the capital Manama, Arabic-language
Lualua television network reported.
report came only two days after Shia clergyman Sheikh Majid al-Sahlawi was
arrested, and the public prosecutor's office ordered him to be detained for 15
days pending investigations.
are no reports yet on the charges of the cleric.
Bahraini troopers had arrested Sheikh Hani al-Banna and Sheikh Yassin al-Jamri,
and took them to the police station in the coastal town of al-Budaiya.
Bahraini source, requesting not to be named, said regime forces had summoned a
number of Shia clergymen over the past few days for their sermons in the run-up
to Ashura, which marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the
third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
regime forces have removed stalls set up to provide food and drinks to the
mourners as well as Ashura signs across the country.
forces attack mourning Shias on Ashura
Bahraini regime forces have attacked dozens of Shia Muslims marking Ashura.
Thursday, dozens of people took to the streets in the village of Nuwaidrat,
located about 10 kilometers south of Manama, carrying banners in commemoration
of the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and pictures of
distinguished Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, who has been stripped of his
Manama regime’s mercenaries then raided, and fired teargas canisters to
disperse mourners chanting “Labaik Ya Hussain” to invoke the memory of the
third Shia Imam. A number of mourners suffered breathing difficulties, red eyes
and wheezing as a result.
of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost
daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February
are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just
system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14,
2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to
assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or
got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military
tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount
to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
An Egyptian court has accepted a defense motion to remove a judge who ordered
the detention of former President Hosni Mubarak’s two sons in connection with
their ongoing trial on insider trading charges.
legal basis for Thursday’s verdict wasn’t immediately known. It came less than
a week after judge Ahmed Aboul-Fetouh ordered the two younger Mubaraks detained
— wealthy businessman Alaa and Mubarak’s one-time heir apparent Gamal — before
he adjourned their hearings until Oct. 20.
unknown is whether legal proceedings would now begin to secure their release.
the two and their father were detained in 2011 and later sentenced to three
years each for embezzling funds meant for maintenance of presidential palaces.
The Maldives' opposition party Wednesday raised concerns over conduct of the
presidential elections on Sunday in a free and fair manner by the country's
poll body, which it alleged has deployed activists of the ruling dispensation
for the poll duty.
Abdulla Yameen, of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), is seeking a
second five-year term in the Indian Ocean archipelago, a popular high-end
had imposed a state of emergency in February after the Supreme Court quashed
the conviction of nine opposition leaders, including the country's first
democratically elected president Mohamed Nasheed.
the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader, is currently in
exile in Sri Lanka. He has been barred from contesting the Sunday's polls.
Maldives' Elections Commission has appointed 107 PPM activists and members and
tasked them with the official work on the election day, the MDP said here
yet another egregious example of bias, the Elections Commission has given the
PPM activists official roles in administrating the voting, vote counting, and
complaint procedures on election day. These PPM activists, as officials, will
have sole discretion on how to adjudicate a complaint at the polling
booth," a MDP release said.
opposition party claimed that the Commission had rejected its written
complaint, demanding political activists be relieved of their poll
MDP also alleged that the Commission was headed by a staunch Yameen loyalist,
who was the General Secretary of Yameen's former political party.
commission had refused to allow political parties to use a copy of the final
signed voter register. It is planning to use tablet computers to tally the
vote, and ordering officials at the ballot boxes not to announce the vote until
it is verified by the central Elections Commission.
were clear breach of election law and precedence, the opposition claimed.
further alleged that the use of tablet computers to collate election results
from polling stations on election day will create an opportunity for rigging and
Yameen is pitted against the joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
of polls, the government has sent to jail his main rivals after speedy trials
for charges ranging from terrorism to corruption. It has also and introduced
new vote-counting rules that observers say will prevent them from seeing
individual ballot papers, leading to doubts about the legitimacy of the vote.
Eight-year-old Anjuman, living in Camp 7 at Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s
Bazar, Bangladesh, has received the most beautiful gift. “I am very happy to
have received this dove. I like it so much,” she said.
is among 150 children in the camp who have received “peace doves” from Dubai
after winning an art competition organized in the camp.
celebrate the UN-declared International Day of Peace on Friday, a Dubai-based
NGO, NRS International, and a UK-based NGO, Empathy Action, have given wings to
a message of hope, peace and reconciliation.
these organizations have come together to make dove toys (symbolizing peace) to
distribute among children, who are among the first victims of conflict in any
part of the world.
while peace isn’t something the world often associates with the Middle East,
there are plenty of ways in which countries in the region are trying to make
the world a better place, from smaller initiatives such as the doves in
Bangladesh to major efforts such as the peace deal brokered this week by Saudi
Arabia between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
peace doves were handmade by women at NRS International’s factory in Pakistan.
As many as 650 dove toys have been stitched and handcrafted from upcycled
offcuts of refugee blankets and tarpaulins.
dove, made from excess blanket material that normally keeps refugees warm, is a
symbol of peace,” said Wieke de Vries, head of corporate social responsibility
at NRS International. It is the leading supplier of humanitarian relief items
such as fleece blankets to UN agencies and international aid organizations.
Glanfield, innovations manager at Empathy Action, said the doves will carry a
reminder that for 68.5 million displaced people worldwide, a blanket or
tarpaulin is a basic necessity to survive. “The passionate and skillful women
who made the doves add the love into this story,” said Glanfield.
150 larger versions of peace doves have been distributed to Rohingya refugee
children in Bangladesh camps, with the support of the Danish Refugee Council.
Atiqur Reza, who is a child protection assistant at the council, said that the
peace doves have put smiles on the faces of the children in the refugee camp.
children were so excited, and they loved these doves and making plans to take
it back home (whenever they go back home).”
in a world of conflicts, there is still much to be done. Anjuman is just one of
nearly 25.4 million refugees in the world, over half of whom are under the age
Hadia Aslam, who sets up health care systems for refugees in Europe and the
Middle East, is not hopeful about world peace in the near future.
feel we have desensitized entirely to any atrocity that happens now. Nothing
shocks us. I do not see a future for peace, but I do see conflict. Our systems
are geared to hosting this,” said the young doctor, who is the founder of a
charity that has treated thousands of refugees in Europe.
her, human rights violations by Israel are a major threat to world peace. “I
don’t know a lot about politics, but I can categorically raise concerns about
Israel’s human rights track record being astounding and the world silently
watching. Their only motive is occupation and apartheid. There is no space for
peace in such a place.”
Bhushan Rawat, a leading peace activist based in New Delhi, said that the
biggest threat to peace is injustice and growing inequalities.” I don’t think
that the world has become a peaceful place at the moment. There is a steady
growth of right-wing politics the world over, where minorities and immigrants
are considered a threat to the nation.
protect the only planet we have we need to eradicate poverty, illiteracy,
hunger, malnutrition, gender disparity and superstition from our societies.”
Kamran Bokhari, director of strategy and programs at the Center for Global
Policy in Washington, does not see peace becoming the norm any time soon.
“We constantly hear about peace talks. But
seldom do these efforts produce actual peace. The rise of nationalism is
undoing the internationalist order that we thought would gain ground after the
end of the Cold War a quarter of a century ago. Meanwhile, non-state actors are
filling the vacuums left behind by weakening states, which suggests greater,
not less, global conflict.”
Shehab Al-Makehleh also believes that the world is less peaceful now than it
has been in a long time. “Right now, peacefulness is at the worst level of any
time since 2012. By the end of 2017, 1 percent of the world population had been
refugees and displaced,” said the executive director of Geostrategic media in
does not expect things to improve unless decision-makers in the international
community give this matter attention as the world will be witnessing new
economic and financial crises that could turn major countries into enemies.
the UN takes necessary measures that the world does not fall into anarchy due
to populism and nationalism, the domino effect will cross borders, causing
insecurity at all levels, toppling some regimes and changing borders with
hundreds of thousands of people dying of poverty and terrorism,” Dr.
— U.N.-backed investigators who examined a bloody crackdown by Myanmar security
forces that caused hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee to
neighbouring Bangladesh issued a searing critique Tuesday of the United
Nations’ own response to the human rights crisis.
a 432-page report, the members of a fact-finding mission on Myanmar fleshed out
preliminary findings and recommendations released in a shorter version three
a heavy heart and deep sadness, we have drawn conclusions, on the basis of the
facts, that we never expected would be as grave as they are,” team chairman
Marzuki Darusman said he presented the report to the U.N.-supported Human
we have found are not only the most serious human rights violations, but crimes
of the highest order under international law,” he said.
team reiterated that some top Myanmar military leaders should be prosecuted for
war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Rohingya during a
deadly crackdown that erupted in August 2017 following militant attacks on
security posts in Rakhine state.
a rare rebuttal by Myanmar’s government, its new ambassador in Geneva lashed
out at what he called a “one-sided” report. The team has said Myanmar’s
government had not responded to its report or honoured requests for access to
way the report portrays … the national races of Myanmar is misleading,” the
ambassador, Kyaw Moe Tun, told the 47-member body. “It also undermines the
government’s effort to bring peace, national reconciliation and development to
the entire nation.”
of the lack of balance, impartiality and fairness, the government of Myanmar
takes the allegations of human rights violations seriously,” he said. “The
government will not condone human rights violations.”
Marzuki spoke of the rape of women and girls by military forces, the ambassador
countered, “We share deep sympathy and concern for all displaced persons,
especially women and girls.”
full report also provided new details about the investigators’ concerns about
how the United Nations reacted during the spasm of violence. It noted that the
“only statement” from the U.N. resident co-ordinator’s office “was to condemn
the ARSA (militant group) attacks and losses suffered by the Myanmar security
council created the fact-finding mission 18 months ago, after years of abuses
against ethnic minorities in Myanmar, focusing on the time since 2011 when the
country began opening up after decades of isolation under a long-ruling
the investigators looked at the treatment of minority groups across the
Southeast Asian nation, their mandate came just six months before the crackdown
against the Rohingya in Rakhine, injecting the mission with far greater
importance to help detail those abuses, crimes and human rights violations.
report provides details of violence in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states, much of
which has been documented and made public through collection of witness
accounts, satellite imagery and other sources. It cited allegations of crimes
by the military and other security forces including murder, torture, pillaging,
execution without due process, rape, sexual slavery and hostage taking.
said some acts by ethnic armed groups and the Rohingya militant organization
ARSA could also constitute war crimes.
against humanity, war crimes and genocide can be considered by tribunals such
as the International Criminal Court, but Myanmar is not a party to it. The
country’s government has snubbed a ruling by the court’s judges that said the
ICC has jurisdiction to investigate alleged crimes against the Rohingya. The
court’s chief prosecutor said Tuesday she was opening a preliminary
investigation into Myanmar’s expulsions of Rohingya.
report’s critique of the United Nations focused not only on the world body’s
response to the Rohingya crisis, but its efforts across the country.
example, the investigators noted that the U.N. had rolled out a “Human Rights
Up Front Action Plan” in Myanmar in 2013, but said its “human rights driven”
approach was “rarely, if ever, pursued.”
it was largely ‘business as usual,’ with development goals and humanitarian
access prioritized only,” the authors wrote.
cited allegations that some U.N. personnel who tried to pursue a human rights
agenda “were ignored, criticized, sidelined or blocked in these efforts.”
alluded to criticism from Fieldview Solutions, an outside group that works to
advance human rights, in July that cited some in U.N. and humanitarian circles
for not doing enough to expand their “political space” in Myanmar, adding, “The
Myanmar government has learned that it can count on U.N. and humanitarian
U.N. experts said some U.N. entities and staffers showed “a lack of
co-operation” with their work, and “appeared to view it as a threat, rather
than a means to address the most deep rooted human rights challenges facing
attitude and approach must change,” they added.
investigators did acknowledge that some people in the country had faced
“intimidation and reprisals” for their “engagement” with the United Nations.
team renewed its urgent call for “a comprehensive, independent inquiry into the
United Nations’ involvement” in hopes of “establishing whether everything
possible to prevent or mitigate the unfolding crises was done.” It also sought
to draw lessons and — “as appropriate” — make recommendations on
investigators bemoaned that “there has been no review of what happened, of
where the approach taken had some positive effect and where it did not, and of
how the U.N.’s approach could be improved in future crises.”
Abbott, senior legal adviser at the International Commission of Jurists, said
the U.N.’s failure to implement the Human Rights Up Front Action Plan in
Myanmar requires a credible and transparent investigation.
situation has demonstrated yet again that the U.N. secretary-general and his
staff in Myanmar must ensure that the entire U.N. system actually puts human
rights up front in its day- to-day work in the country,” he added.
(Reuters) - Millions of Shi’ite Muslims performed mourning rituals on Thursday
to mark Ashura, the holiest festival in their calendar, amid heightened
measures in many places to protect against sectarian attacks.
and green banners fluttered in Shi’ite neighborhoods in Kabul, the Afghan
capital, while armed volunteer groups stood guard at mosques and major
in recent years targeting the country’s mainly Shi’ite Hazara minority have
been claimed by an affiliate of Islamic State, and worsening security has led
to a sharp reduction in large public gatherings.
Bangladesh, a majority Muslim nation of 160 million, where Islamist militants
have targeted Shi’ite shrines and mosques over the past few years, authorities
said they had tightened security.
there is no specific threat, we have taken all possible measures to avoid any
unexpected incidents,” said Asaduzzaman Mia, the chief of metropolitan police
in Dhaka, the capital.
falls on the 10th day of the lunar calendar month of Muharram and commemorates
the martyrdom in 680 AD of Imam Hussain Ibn Ali, one of the grandsons of the
Prophet Mohammad, near Karbala in what is now Iraq.
mark the festival with large public rituals, sometimes involving bloody
self-flagellation or cutting to signify a link with the sufferings of Hussain,
whose death symbolizes a wider struggle against oppression and tyranny.
is not just a ritual, but also an occasion to confess the mistakes we have made
in the past,” said Humayan Kabir, a Shi’ite Muslim in the old part of Dhaka.
death of Hussain eventually led to the division of Islam into the two main
Sunni and Shi’ite sects and in recent years, the festival has been scarred by
bloody sectarian attacks in many countries.
India, Shi’ites were making preparations to mark the festival on Friday, in
line with the customary sighting of the moon.
enact the battle of Karbala and want to show that if we had been there we would
have fought alongside Hussain and his family,” said Nasir Hussain, a resident
of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
will gather in the financial capital of Mumbai on Thursday for a pre-Ashura
procession during which they whip themselves, walk over burning coals and
perform with fire.
stand that Imam Hussain took all those years ago reinforces my belief in the
goodness of society,” said Najaf, a mourner in India’s southern tech hub of
distances children from families to subdue Muslim west
Turkey: The Chinese government has turned four of Meripet’s children into
orphans, even though she and her husband are alive.
kids were left with their grandmother when the couple visited Meripet’s sick
father in Turkey. But when Chinese authorities started locking up thousands of
their fellow ethnic Uighurs for alleged subversive crimes such as travel
abroad, a visit turned into exile.
her mother-in-law was jailed, and Meripet learned from a friend that her 3- to
8-year-olds were placed in a de facto orphanage in the Xinjiang region.
like my kids are in jail,” Meripet said, her voice cracking.
family is among tens of thousands swept up in President Xi Jinping’s campaign
to subdue a sometimes restive region, including the internment of more than one
million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities. Now there is evidence that the
government is placing the children of detainees and exiles into dozens of
orphanages across Xinjiang.
orphanages are the latest example of how China is systematically distancing
young Muslims in Xinjiang from their families and culture, The Associated Press
has found through interviews with more than a dozen Muslims and a review of
procurement documents. The government has been building thousands of so-called
“bilingual” schools where minority children are penalized for using their
native languages instead of Mandarin. Some of these are boarding schools, which
Uighurs say can be mandatory and, in a Kazakh family’s case, start from the age
says the orphanages help disadvantaged children and denies the existence of
internment camps for their parents. It prides itself on investing millions of
yuan in education in Xinjiang to steer people out of poverty and away from
terrorism. The country also maintains that strong measures are necessary to
kill extremism in a region where it says Uighur separatists were responsible
for the deaths of hundreds in past years.
Uighurs fear that these measures are wiping out their ethnic identity, one
child at a time.
the kids are forced to speak Mandarin and live like Han Chinese every day, I’m
afraid they won’t be like us anymore,” said Meriyem Yusup, whose extended
family has four children sent to state-run orphanages in Xinjiang.
say what China is doing echoes how white colonialists in North America and
Australia treated indigenous children.
we’re looking at is something like a settler colonial situation where an entire
generation is lost,” said Darren Byler, a researcher of Uighur culture at
University of Washington.
of these families in China cannot be reached by journalists. However, the AP
interviewed 14 Uighur families living in Turkey and one Kazakh man in Almaty
with a total of 56 children who remain in China. The families say 14 appear to
be in state-run orphanages and boarding schools, while the whereabouts of the
rest are unknown because many of their adult relatives in Xinjiang have been
detained. Some interviewees, like Meripet, requested that they be identified
only by their first names because they feared official retaliation against
the start of last year, the government has budgeted more than $30 million (200
million Chinese yuan) to build or expand at least 45 orphanages, with enough
beds to house about 5,000 children, an AP review of procurement notices in
Xinjiang shows. In July and August alone, the government invited bids for the
construction of at least nine such centers. These numbers do not include
kindergartens and other schools where some children of Uighur detainees are
also being housed.
Yuqing, a Kashgar civil affairs official, told the AP over the phone that
“authorities provide aid and support to everyone in need, whether they’re the
children of convicted criminals or people killed in traffic accidents.”
Xinjiang government did not respond to repeated requests for government. A
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said Thursday the measures
taken in Xinjiang were necessary for “stability, development, harmony.”
friend, who visited China last November, told her that her children are living
in the Hotan City Kindness Kindergarten, where Meripet’s sister-in-law was
permitted to take them home for one night only. The schoolyard’s entrance is
blocked by an iron gate and adorned with the words “We Are Happy and Grateful
to the Motherland.” Armed police officers surrounded AP reporters minutes after
their arrival and ordered them to delete any photos.
at another kindergarten in Xinjiang were regularly asked by officials if their
parents practiced religion at home, according to Dilnur, a 35-year-old business
student in exile in Istanbul, whose children attended the school. A man was
taken away by police after his grandson said in class that he had made a
pilgrimage to Makkah, she recalled.
bilingual schools are boarding schools, which are not uncommon in China. Adil
Dalelkhan, an ethnic Kazakh sock merchant in exile in Almaty, said that even
though his then five-year-old son could live with relatives, he was forced to
stay at his preschool Mondays through Fridays instead. The father called the
policy a “terrifying” step toward extinguishing Kazakh culture.
official Kashgar notice posted in February states that children in the fourth
grade and above with parents in detention must be sent to boarding school
immediately — even if one parent is still at home.
Istanbul, the only child still with Meripet is her fifth, a son born in Turkey
whom she calls “my only light.”
have only been able to keep living because I know there is hope,” she said. “I
know one day I will see my children again.”
city orders top staff to 'pray or get a new job'
Sep 20 An Indonesian city has ordered its top civil servants to visit their
local mosque for dawn prayers or risk being sacked, underscoring the growing
influence of religion across the world's biggest Muslim majority country.
bureaucrats in Palembang, co-host of last month's Asian Games, are now required
to visit their local mosque at the crack of dawn -- and they've been warned
that a smartphone app was in the works to sniff out the less-than-devout.
order, which may be a first for Indonesia, is aimed at helping bureaucrats
better relate to residents' concerns while the early wake-up call could also
boost productivity, city spokesman Amiruddin Sandy told AFP.
praying together at dawn with regular people, we get a chance to hear from them
directly," he said, adding that common complaints ranged from water not
running to broken street lights.
edict comes as Indonesian society's lurch toward religious conservatism has
challenged its long-held reputation for having a tolerant brand of Islam.
and sexual minorities have been subject to increasing prejudice, from
authorities whipping gay people in conservative Aceh province to Christian
congregations being targeted by suicide bombers earlier this year.
officials in Aceh have struggled to roll out a child vaccination programme over
concerns the medicine contains traces of pork -- outlawed in Islam -- while the
country's leader Joko Widodo drew criticism for picking a conservative Muslim
cleric as his running mate in next year's presidential elections.
new rule, which started Wednesday, applies to Muslim members of its
16,000-strong civil service although only 1,100 senior staff will risk a
sacking if they skip dawn prayers.
city's mayor plans to do some spot checking to make sure officials were
complying until the local government launches a smartphone app to keep track of
attendance, Sandy said.
we find an official disobeying the regulation we won't immediately sack him. We
will summon him first and ask why he didn't go to the mosque," he said.
"If you're doing your prayers well then, God willing, everything else will
be good." About 90 percent of Indonesia's 260 million people follow Islam.
Kelantan couples choose Oct-Dec to register secret Thai marriages
LUMPUR, Sept 21 ― Guess where most of the cases of Kelantan couples crossing
the border into Thailand to covertly and illegally marry without permission ―
including those involving children ― come from?
chief Syarie prosecutor Zaini Sulaiman revealed that Shariah courts in the
state had since early 2018 fined 417 individuals for marrying in Thailand
without obtaining the court's consent.
said a further 258 men were also ordered to pay fines for practising polygamy
in Thailand without getting the court's consent.
couples were married in several regions in southern Thailand, including
majority of them were from Pasir Putih, Gua Musang and Tumpat, and they were
fined up to RM1,000 each, including those who married underage girls,” he was
quoted saying in an interview with local daily New Straits Times (NST) in Kota
to statistics provided by the Department of Shariah Judiciary Malaysia (JKSM)
to Malay Mail in July, there were 5,823 applications nationwide during the
2013-June 30, 2018 period by Muslims to the Shariah court for permission for
marriages involving minors.
to JKSM statistics, the top three states with the highest number of Muslim
underage marriage applications during the same period were Sarawak (974),
Kelantan (877) and Sabah (848).
is unclear how many of these applications were approved.
the same NST interview, Zaini said Muslim couples in Malaysia who marry in
Thailand have to register their marriages with local religious departments,
adding that their favourite period is the months of October to December.
of these couples tied the knot in Thailand because they faced problems, such as
the woman being pregnant or carrying children out of wedlock. After they marry
across the border, they need to register with the local religious department.
many procrastinate. They tend to register at the last minute. They normally
(register their marriages with the department) on their favourite months, which
are the last three months of the year,” he said.
said these couples felt that their registrations could be done quickly during
the year-end period and believed it would then allow then to register their
child in January.
said there were also men who decided to register their marriages only after
their underage wives turn 16.
Malaysia, the legal age of consent for sex is 16. Sexual intercourse with a
girl below the age of 16 is categorised as rape under local laws.
had recently been rocked by the news of two child marriage cases in Kelantan —
a June case involving a 41-year-old Malaysian rubber tapper who was fined
RM1,800 by the Gua Musang Lower Shariah Court for marrying an 11-year-old Thai
Muslim girl without the Shariah court’s approval; and a 44-year-old father of
two marrying on July 18 a 15-year-old girl with the Shariah court’s approval.
for the latter case, NST also reported today that the 15-year-old girl from
Tumpat was believed to have filed an application on July 2 at the Shariah court
there to seek approval for her marriage to the 44-year-old.
chief Syariah judge Datuk Daud Muhammad was reported saying that the Tumpat
Lower Shariah Court had through checks found that the Tumpat girl was not
forced into marriage with the Gua Musang man.
going through her application to get married, the court found that she met the
conditions set by the court.
the court approved her application,” he was quoted saying by NST.
minister Fuziah Salleh yesterday said there are now tighter guidelines for
Muslims seeking Shariah courts’ approval of child marriages that have yet to be
adopted nationwide, with minister Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa revealed yesterday
that only Shariah judges in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur were following the stricter
Worker Alleges Workplace Discrimination Over Prayers
(AP) — A civil rights advocacy group has filed a religious discrimination
complaint against a Detroit energy company on behalf of a former worker who is
Michigan chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations filed a grievance
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Wednesday against DTE
Energy, The Detroit News reported .
Canales joined the company last year and was initially allowed to attend Friday
prayers by working extra hours throughout the week to make up for the lost
time, the complaint states. But a new DTE supervisor who began two months later
forbade Ibrahim Canales from attending Friday prayers, it alleges.
new supervisor now refused to allow him to leave to attend Friday prayers,
despite the fact that several other non-Muslim employees were allowed to work
long hours during the week and take Fridays off completely," council
officials said in statement.
faced discipline for leaving despite having permission from other supervisors
and he received biased evaluations that affected his pay and promotion
opportunities, the filing states.
indicate that Canales' religious accommodation requests were approved and
implemented, DTE officials said, adding that the company is an equal
opportunity employer that's committed to being inclusive.
left the company because of the treatment and took a job out of state, the
should have to choose between suffering in a toxic work environment or
uprooting themselves and their family simply because they chose to practice
their faith," said council staff attorney Amy Doukoure.
As the new government in Islamabad starts work on addressing the concerns
related to money laundering and terror financing, a US State Department report
released on Thursday said that Pakistan criminalised terrorist financing
through the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), but its implementation remained uneven.
is a member of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering — a Financial Action
Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. In June, the Paris-based FATF placed
Pakistan on its grey list of countries that could be marked out for economic
sanctions if they failed to prevent terrorists from collecting funds within
official US report — released with the State Department’s country reports on
terrorism — also highlights FATF’s concerns about Pakistan.
FATF continued to note concern that Pakistan’s outstanding gaps in the
implementation of the UN Security Council ISIL (Daesh) and Al Qaida sanctions
regime have not been resolved, and that UN-listed entities — including
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its affiliates — were not effectively prohibited from
raising funds in Pakistan, nor being denied financial services,” the report
month, Finance Minister Asad Umar told the Senate that FATF had given Pakistan
15 months to comply with these requirements. The minister said FATF had
identified 27 deficiencies in the Pakistani financial system, including
“currency smuggling, hawala and terror financing of proscribed organisations”.
minister had told the house that the government would be addressing all the
objections raised not only to satisfy the international community but also
because it was in Pakistan’s own interest to get rid of terror financing and
US State Department in its report acknowledged that Pakistan’s laws technically
comply with international anti-money laundering/countering the financing of
terrorism standards, but added that Pakistani authorities “failed to uniformly
implement UN sanctions related to designated entities and individuals such as
LeT and its affiliates, which continued to make use of economic resources and
report also refers to a Nov 2017 decision of the Lahore High Court which
refused to extend the detention of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed as it judged the
government had not provided sufficient evidence against him nor had it charged
Hafiz Saeed with a crime.
US report also examines the National Action Plan that the PML-N government gave
to FATF in June this year, noting that the plan contains efforts to prevent and
counter terrorist financing, including by enhancing interagency coordination.
law designates the use of unlicensed hundi and hawala systems as predicate
offences to terrorism and also requires banks to report suspicious transactions
to Pakistan’s financial intelligence unit, the State Bank’s Financial
US State Department, however, notes that throughout 2017 “these unlicensed
money transfer systems persisted throughout the country and were open to abuse
by terrorist financiers operating in the cross-border area”.
Pakistan’s efforts to fight terrorism, the report notes that Pakistan continued
to experience significant terrorist threats in 2017, although the number of
attacks and casualties decreased from previous years.
report also identifies several major terrorist groups focused on conducting
attacks in Pakistan, including the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, Jamaatul Ahrar,
and the sectarian group Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Alami.
report also mentions groups located in Pakistan, but focused on conducting
attacks outside the country, included the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani network,
Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
reports notes that in 2017, the terrorists used a range of tactics — stationary
and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, suicide bombings, targeted
assassinations, and rocket-propelled grenades — to attack individuals, schools,
markets, government institutions and places of worship.
report also notes that the Pakistani government and military continued
high-profile efforts to disrupt terrorist attacks and eliminate anti-state
militants. “Progress, however, remained slow on the government’s efforts to
implement UN sanctions related to designated entities and enforce anti-money
laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) controls.”
State Department also said that the Pakistani government pledged support to
political reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban
but “did not restrict the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network from operating in
Pakistan-based safe havens and threatening US and Afghan forces in
UAE has called for Arab Gulf states to be party to proposed US negotiations
with Iran to on a treaty curb its nuclear and missile programmes.
top US official for Iran affairs, Brian Hook, said on Wednesday that the United
States wanted open negotiations on a treaty with Iran to replace the 2015
nuclear pact which President Donald Trump pulled out of in May.
idea was endorsed by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar
Gargash, who called Iran to consider it seriously in the face of renewed
American remarks with regards to the conclusion of a comprehensive treaty that
would control the international concern over Iran’s nuclear and missile
programme and its regional interference is important," Dr Gargash tweeted
is essential that the Arab Gulf states be part of the proposed negotiations. It
would be wiser for Tehran to avoid the sanctions phase and deal seriously with
Arab Gulf allies were not party to the negotiations on the 2015 deal between
Iran and the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, but were consulted
by their western allies.
top leadership has rejected US offers for talks, including at the annual UN
General Assembly starting in New York next week, after Mr Trump withdrew from
US president, who will chair a session on Iran during the General Assembly,
said in July that he was willing to meet Iran's leaders "anytime they
Hook, who heads the State Department's Iran Action Group that formulates US
policy towards Tehran, said the US would continue to tighten sanctions on Iran
that were lifted under the 2015 pact.
have a sanctions regime that is under way, stronger measures are yet to
come," he said.
US in August reimposed restrictions on trade and financial dealings with Iran
and will reintroduce restrictions on the Iranian oil sector from November.
US court of appeals ruled on Thursday that a Muslim American man can sue the
government for placing him on the "no-fly list", although he was
later removed from it.
Fikre, an Eritrean-born American citizen who lives in Portland, Oregon, found
himself unable to return to the US after a business trip to Khartoum in 2010.
says that he was brought to the US embassy in Khartoum under false pretenses to
be interviewed by intelligence officers who asked questions about a mosque he
attended in Oregon.
agents allegedly tried to recruit him as an informant; he says he refused.
was able to fly to the United Arab Emirates, where he settled in the fall of
2011, Fikre was arrested in the UAE, where he endured "multiple threats
and beatings" by English-speaking interrogators who again asked him about
the mosque in Oregon, mirroring the FBI's inquiries in Sudan, according to the
lawsuit. His ordeal in Emirati jail lasted for 106 days, court documents say.
lawsuit alleges that Fikre contemplated suicide or a hunger strike to stop the
abuse, but was told he would be force-fed.
the end of his detention, Fikre again asked an interrogator whether the FBI had
requested his detention and interrogation," the lawsuit reads. "This
time the interrogator confirmed the FBI had made such a request and that
American and Emirati authorities work closely on a number of such
described the UAE interrogations in a 2015 interview with the Guardian.
refused to answer questions. That’s when the beating started," he told the
newspaper. "They started with punches, slaps. They got tired of that so
they brought water hose. There’s the hard ones, the black ones, and there’s the
soft ones. The soft kind they would use for strangling. When I refused to answer,
they put that thing on my neck. They had me lay down and beat me on the soles
of my feet. They beat me on the back constantly."
after he was released in the UAE, he could not return to the US because he was
still on the "no-fly list".
list was created after the 11 September 2001 attacks to prevent potential
militants from boarding US flights. Critics of the measure argue that it robs
individuals of their freedom to fly without presenting evidence or giving them
a chance to defend themselves.
lawsuit alleges that the US government violated his constitutionally protected
right to due process.
2011, he travelled to Sweden where his bid for political asylum was rejected.
did not return to the US until 2015, when the Swedish government put him on a
Portland-bound private jet. He remained on the list until 2016. His lawsuit
against the US government was dismissed by a district judge in Portland because
he was no longer on the no-fly list.
Thursday, the 9th Circuit Courth of Appeals ruled that Fikre has standing to
sue because of the hardships that the government's actions still cause him,
including damage to his reputation.
Morgan Christen said in the ruling that Fikre remains sitgmatised if the
government does not acknowledge that he did not belong on the list, which ties
him to terrorism.
acquaintances, business associates, and perhaps even family members are likely
to persist in shunning or avoiding him despite his renewed ability to travel,
it is plain that vindication in this action would have actual and palpable
consequences for Fikre," Christen wrote.
Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been advocating for
Fikre, welcomed the ruling.
decision will give Yonas Fikre his day in court to challenge the government's
ability to place innocent Americans-people who have not been charged, arrested,
or convicted of a terrorism-related offense-on its no-fly list," CAIR
National Litigation Director Lena Masri said in a statement.
9th circuit authored a well-supported opinion upholding due process, making it
clear that saying: 'I won’t do it again, trust me" just isn’t enough when
one’s very liberty and reputation is at stake.'"
Ayad, a Detroit-based civil rights attorney who has represented several people
placed on the list, including a paralysed man, said the decision opens the door
for people who have been victimised by the list to seek damages from the
who is not involved in Fikre's case, called the list "discriminatory".
government paints with a very wide brush, and it's targeted mostly towards
people of our community, the Arab American and Muslim community," Ayad
told Middle East Eye.
explained that the FBI and Justice Department handle the no-fly list, but any
agency can nominate individuals to be placed on it.
there is a procedure to file a complaint with US aviation authorities to be
removed from the list, Ayad said he does not know of anyone who has been able
to regain the freedom to board an airplane through administrative means.
only ones who were ever able to get off had to bring a federal lawsuit, and not
everyone has the know-how or the money or the privity to a federal
constitutional attorney who knows how to deal with those issues," Ayad
2014, a federal judge ruled that the list is unconstitutional, arguing that
travel is a "necessary aspect of liberties".
ruling prompted the government to introduce changes to the list, including
reforming the appeals system.
throng of Trinidadians line up along the streets of St. James and Cedros to
admire the vibrant floats with beautifully bedecked models of mausoleums. Their
destination is the waters of the Caribbean, where the crowds will push them out
is part of the Hosay commemorations, a religious ritual performed by
Trinidadian Muslims, that I have observed as part of the research for my
forthcoming book on Islam in Latin America and the Caribbean.
fascinates me is how a practice from India has been transformed into something
the 10 days of the Islamic month of Muharram, Shiite Muslims around the world
remember the martyrdom of Hussein, Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, who was killed
in a battle in Karbala, today’s Iraq, some 1,338 years ago. For Shiite Muslims
Hussein is the rightful successor to Prophet Muhammad.
the 10th day of Muharram, is marked by public mourning and a re-enactment of
the tragedy. Shiite Muslims put on passion plays that include inflicting
suffering, as a way to remember Hussein. In Iraq, Shiite are known to beat
themselves with swords. In India, mourners whip themselves with sharp blades.
Some Shiite also visit Hussein’s shrine in Iraq.
commemoration has also become a symbol for the broader Shiite struggle for
justice as a minority in the global Muslim community.
Trinidad, the 100,000 Muslims who make up 5 percent of the island’s total
population, celebrate the day of Ashura, as Hosay – the name derived from
first Hosay festival was held in 1854, just over a decade after the first
Indian Muslims began to arrive from India to work on the island’s sugar
Trinidad at the time was under British colonial rule and large public
gatherings were not permitted. In 1884, the British authorities issued a
prohibition against Hosay commemorations. Approximately 30,000 people took to
the streets, in Mon Repos, in the south, to protest against the ordinance.
Shots fired to disperse the crowd killed 22 and injured over 100. The ordinance
was later overturned.
“Hosay Massacre” or “Muharram Massacre,” however, lives in people’s memories.
floats of Trinidad
days, Hosay celebrations in St. James and Cedros not only recall Hussein, but
also those killed during the 1884 Hosay riots. Rather than recreate the events
through self-flagellation or other forms of suffering, however, people in
Trinidad create bright and beautiful floats, called “tadjahs,” that parade
through the streets to the sea.
tadjah is constructed of wood, paper, bamboo and tinsel. Ranging from a height
of 10 to 30 feet, the floats are accompanied by people parading along and
others playing drums, just as is the practice in India’s northern city of
Lucknow. Meant to reflect the resting place of Shiite martyrs, the tadjahs
resemble mausoleums in India. To many, their domes might be a reminder of the
ahead of the tadjahs are two men bearing crescent moon shapes, one in red and
the other in green. These symbolize the deaths of Hussein and his brother
Hassan – the red being Hussein’s blood and the green symbolizing the supposed
poisoning of Hassan.
elaborateness of the tadjahs continues to increase each year and has become
somewhat of a status symbol among the families that sponsor them.
bit carnival, a bit Ashura
the festival is certainly a somber one in terms of its tribute, it is also a
joyous occasion where families celebrate with loud music and don festive
attire. This has led some to compare Hosay to Trinidad’s world-famous carnival
with its accompanying “joie de vivre.”
there are also those who believe that the occasion should be a more somber
remembrance of the martydom of Hussein. More conservative Muslims in Trinidad
have made attempts to “reform” such celebrations. These Muslims believe local
customs should be more in line with global commemorations like those in Iraq or
I saw in the festival was an assertion of both the Indian and Trinidadian
identity. For Shiite Muslims, who have dealt with oppression and ostracism –
both in the past and in the present – it is a means of claiming their space as
a minority in Trinidadian culture and resisting being pushed to the margins. At
the same time, with its carnival-like feel, the festival could not be more
poet released from Israeli prison after two months
authorities have released prominent Palestinian poet Darin Tatour, after she
completed two months out of her original five-month jail term given to her for
“inciting terrorism” on social networking platforms.
officials commuted Tatour’s sentence by three months, and she was released from
Damon Prison, near the Rimon Junction in the Carmel Forest of northern
Israeli-occupied territories, on Thursday.
three years of suffering, imprisonment and house arrest, I finally feel happy,”
the Palestinian literary figure said upon her release.
added, “I have gained my freedom and I will continue to write. All my suffering
was due to a poem I wrote and it saddens me that they (Israeli authorities)
imprisoned me for writing the poem.”
July 31, the Israeli magistrate's court in the northern city of Nazareth
sentenced Tatour after convicting her of “inciting terrorism” in a poem she
in 2015, the 36-year-old Palestinian was arrested by Israeli authorities for
her poem entitled, “Resist, My People, Resist.”
central court in Nazareth released Tatour from custody in early 2016, but
placed her under house arrest.
forces detain al-Aqsa Mosque guard
Israeli military forces arrested an al-Aqsa Mosque guard on Thursday morning as
he was heading to his work at the compound in the Old City of the occupied East
al-Dibs, spokesperson of the Islamic Waqf (Endowment) organization, which
manages the compound's affairs, told the Palestinian Safa news agency that
Israeli troopers detained Hamza al-Nabali, while he was walking towards the
Hatta Gate to reach the mosque.
sources, requesting anonymity, said Nabali was taken to an Israeli police
station in the Old City for interrogation.
occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald
Trump on December 6, 2017 announced Washington's recognition of Jerusalem
al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and said the US would move its embassy to the
dramatic decision triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian
territories and elsewhere in the world.
status of Jerusalem al-Quds is the thorniest issue in the decades-long
Palestinians see East Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of their future state.
more than 185 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since
anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Nearly
20,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by
Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries,
garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with eight
votes against and 45 abstentions.
called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60
days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of
the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,” including
“recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
resolution also called for “immediate steps towards ending the closure and the
restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza
Hezbollah in possession of precision rockets to Israel’s dismay
leader has warned Israel of a fate it “has never expected” if it chooses to
wage a new war, reminding the regime that the Lebanese resistance movement is
now in possession of precision rockets to Tel Aviv’s dismay.
Hassan Nasrallah made the comments during a Thursday speech in Beirut to a
large crowd of mourners marking Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam
Hussein, the third Shia Imam.
further said the balance of power in the region has changed in favor of the
anti-Israel axis of resistance, and that the Tel Aviv regime has failed in all
its attempts to prevent Lebanon’s Hezbollah from achieving precision rockets.
matter what you do to cut the route, the matter is over and the resistance
possesses precision and non-precision rockets and weapons capabilities,”
your attempts to prevent Hezbollah from possessing accurate missiles are
foiled,” he added.
Hezbollah chief further warned Israel against opting for yet another act of
aggression against his country and said, “If Israel imposes a war on Lebanon,
Israel will face a fate and a reality it has never expected on any day.”
also pointed to the growing power of the resistance front, stressing that the
Israelis “had pinned their hopes on the course of developments in Syria and
Iraq, but they know that the axis of resistance has returned stronger than
ever, and new countries have now joined it.”
he added, the Israeli regime is afraid of any conflict in the region,
especially against Lebanon, and is well informed that any war would have dire
Aviv is well aware that its weaknesses have been revealed to Hezbollah, and is
well aware of our strengths, he added. “Israel is aware that technology alone
cannot be decisive in a war.”
to stand by Iran, Palestine, Yemen, Bahrain
Hezbollah chief further expressed the movement's support for the Islamic
Republic of Iran in the face of “all kinds of economic and political pressure,”
saying that “it is our duty to stand by Iran” as a new wave of anti-Iran
American sanctions is returning.
is being punished by the US only because it refused to give in to Washington's
demands, and because it is keeping up its support for the oppressed nations in
the region, including Palestine and Syria.
further reiterated the movement's support for the Palestinian cause,
reiterating Hezbollah’s objection to the so-called “deal of the century” which
the US administration is drawing up on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
also noted that Hezbollah firmly stands by the Yemeni nation, which has been
under attack by the Saudi regime and a coalition of its allies.
has written to the United Nations, calling on the world body to condemn Israel
for threatening Iran with a nuclear attack and bring the regime’s atomic
weapons program under its supervision.
right beside the Dimona nuclear facility late last month, Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Iran as a “threat” to the region and said
Tel Aviv has the means to destroy its “enemies” in a veiled reference to Tel Aviv’s
who threaten to wipe us out put themselves in a similar danger, and in any
event will not achieve their goal,” he said. “But our enemies know very well
what Israel is capable of doing. They are familiar with our policy. Whoever
tries to hurt us – we hurt them.”
a letter addressed to the UN on Thursday, the Permanent Mission of the Islamic
Republic of Iran to the world body said Netanyahu’s belligerent remarks poses
“a serious threat to international peace and security.”
urged the UN to make Israel abide by international rules and the UN Charter.
letter also highlighted Israel’s long history of aggression, occupation,
militarism and state terrorism among other international crimes, urging the
world community to take a firm position on the Zionist regime’s “unbridled
actions and nuclear threat.”
the letter, Iran further demanded that the UN condemn Israel’s anti-Iran
threat, make the regime join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and
bring its nuclear program under the supervision of the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA).
also reminded the UN that Iran is itself a victim of weapons of mass
destruction, particularly chemical weapons.
UN member states should not turn a blind eye to Israel’s threat and make
efforts towards the elimination of its entire nuclear stockpile, the letter
to Netanyahu’s highly aggressive comments, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad
Zarif slammed the premier as “warmonger” and said the threat was “ beyond shameless.”
a country without nuclear weapons, is threatened with atomic annihilation by a
warmonger standing next to an actual nuclear weapons factory. Beyond shameless
in the gall,” Zarif tweeted.
is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, but its policy is
to neither confirm nor deny that it has atomic bombs. The Tel Aviv regime is
estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.
Turkish court has ordered the release of a prominent lawmaker from the main
opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), who had been sentenced to more than
five years in prison for his alleged role in disclosing government secrets.
Court of Cassation issued the ruling for CHP Deputy Chairman Enis Berberoglu on
Thursday, state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing an unnamed judicial
to the judicial source, Berberoglu’s sentence has been suspended until the end
of his term as deputy, when his parliamentary immunity ends.
61-year-old legislator was first sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2017 for
purported releasing of classified documents with the purpose of espionage. The
documents showed the country's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) had
shipped weapons to foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists in Syria in January 2014.
believes that Berberoglu had provided the footage of transport for opposition
newspaper Cumhuriyet, which posted it on its website in May 2015.
paper said the trucks were carrying some 1,000 mortar shells, hundreds of
grenade launchers and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition for light and heavy
denied the allegation and claimed that the trucks had been carrying
humanitarian aid to Syria. However, Berberoglu defended the video, saying it
a retrial that finished in February this year, Berberoglu, who has strongly
denied the espionage charges, was sentenced to five years and 10 months in
prison. In Turkey’s snap parliamentary election in June, the legislator was
re-elected to parliament from behind bars.
leaked footage triggered a huge controversy in Turkey, with many bashing the
government for explicitly supporting terrorism in neighboring Syria.
former editor-in-chief Can Dundar and the daily’s Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul
were among other defendants in the case. Dundar and Gul were sentenced to at
least five years in jail for revealing what was said to be state secrets.
in the report, Anadolu said that during the transport of weapons, gendarmerie
officers affiliated with the movement of the US-based opposition cleric
Fethullah Gulen stopped the MIT trucks on their way to Syria, despite
government orders to let them pass.
alleges that Gulen orchestrated the 2016 botched putsch against Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
the attempted coup, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had
seized control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in
charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.
has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
officials have frequently called on their US counterparts to extradite Gulen,
but their demands have not been taken heed of yet.
has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to
have played a role in the failed coup.
of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having
links to Gulen and the failed coup. More than 110,000 others, including
military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended
from work over the same accusations.
nation’s struggle for liberty main reason behind Saudi-led aggression: Houthi
leader of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has described the ongoing struggle
of his fellow countrymen and women for liberty and dignity as the main reason
behind the Riyadh regime’s devastating military aggression against their
homeland, which has claimed the lives of thousands of people and left the
country’s infrastructure in ruins.
Yemeni nation will never surrender, no matter how far the Saudi-led coalition
would press its campaign of criminality and brutality. The problem of the
Riyadh-based alliance with the Yemenis is rooted in the latter’s fight to live
a free and dignified life,” Abdul-Malik al-Houthi addressed his supporters via
a televised speech broadcast live from the Yemeni capital Sana’a on Thursday
added that the main responsibility of the Yemeni nation is to fight
relentlessly against the enemies at every front.
then called on all freedom-loving people in Yemen to mobilize support for the
battle in the country’s strategic western province of Hudaydah and along the
border with Saudi Arabia.
in his remarks, the Ansarullah leader expressed support for the Palestinians'
resistance against the Israeli regime.
also voiced solidarity with the Bahraini people, who have been facing the Al
Khalifah regime’s crackdown and repressive measures ever since a popular
uprising swept the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom in mid-February 2011.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression.
and Christian clerics and leaders of all major denominations in Cameroon have jointly
accused Cameroonians in the diaspora of funding the crisis that has rocked the
English-speaking regions of the country for two years.
clerics are asking both the military and armed groups to drop their guns and
stop the killings, looting and burning of property. But the government says
only the armed separatists should give up their guns.
Oumarou Mallam, president of the Islamic superior council of Cameroon said as
peace builders, Christians and Muslims should not be indifferent to the carnage
that has been going on in the north west and south west regions of the central
Christians and Muslims gathered at the Yaounde headquarters of the Episcopal
Conference of Cameroon Bishops, Mallam said the council he leads decided to
come up with a joint declaration with Christians because everyone in Cameroon's
two English-speaking regions has been affected by the crisis.
Gustav Ebai, a spokesman of the Council of Protestant Churches of Cameroon,
CEPCA, read the declaration in which clerics accused Cameroonians living
outside of their country of fueling the crisis:
call on the diaspora to stop the hate speech communication that promotes
violence, suspicion and fear among the people of Cameroon. We call on the diaspora
to participate in the political process of Cameroon using democratic and
nonviolent means. We call on the diaspora to respect the sacredness of human
life and children's rights to education. They should put an end to the
trivialization of human dignity and the hostage takings of schools. We call on
those who finance the activities of armed groups to stop this dirty work that
aims at destroying the natural fabric of Cameroon."
declaration was issued the Episcopal conference of Cameroon's Roman Catholic
bishops, the Council of Protestant Churches CEPCA, and the Islamic superior
council of Cameroon which brings together all mosques and churches except
pentecostal denominations. It calls on all political parties and civil society
to center their activities on bringing peace to troubled regions.
are also calling on both armed separatists and the military to lay down their
weapons and stop indiscriminate killings, kidnappings, looting and burning of
public property, and allow children to go to school.
communication minister and government spokesman Issa Tchiroma praised the
initiative, saying any effort to bring peace is welcome. But he said the
government can not respect calls to withdraw troops deployed to protect the population
from groups the government labels as terrorists.
said no regular army in the world surrenders arms when fighting an enemy.
a law abiding nation like our country, it is unacceptable to ask the government
to put at the same level our regular army, at the same level with
terrorists," he said. "It is unbearable, unacceptable."
percent of Cameroonians — close to 24 million — are Christian, 20 percent are
Muslim. The rest hold indigenous beliefs.
tolerance in Cameroon has been the norm since 2002, when religious-based
violence by the extremist group Boko Haram hit the country's northern border.
To further promote tolerance, several churches and mosques sponsored interfaith
gatherings to jointly preach against Boko Haram ideology.
the crisis began in 2016, when teachers and lawyers advocated against the over
use of French in the bilingual country. In October 2017, separatists declared
what they called a new English-speaking republic in Cameroon called Ambazonia.
The government waged a war on them.
of the separatist leaders escaped to other countries. Forty-seven of them,
including Ayuk Tabe, who proclaimed himself Ambazonia's president, were caught
in Nigeria and extradited to Cameroon.
400 people have been killed, at least 70 schools torched, and 200,000 residents
displaced since October 2017.
Haftar: Army will intervene in Tripoli at the right time
army will move towards Tripoli at the right time, in the right way, Libyan
military strongman Khalifa Haftar said during several meetings with tribes east
of the country on Thursday.
also refuted any connection between the army and the armed groups clashing in
erupted last week when the Seventh Brigade, militias, which hail from Tarhouna,
a town about 60 km south of Tripoli, attacked southern neighborhoods of the
capital. The Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigades and the Nawasi Brigade –
militias, which support the UN-backed government - have come to the city’s
death toll from more than a week of fighting between armed groups in Tripoli
has climbed to at least 50 people, including civilians.
added that everyone involved will be prosecuted, including governing bodies in
Tripoli who support the militias.
Al-Wefaq government is still unable to force the warring militias to cease
fighting and abide by the UN-sponsored ceasefire agreement signed on September
NIGERIA: Nine people were killed and nine others injured when Boko Haram
fighters raided two villages in northeast Nigeria, the civilian militia said on
in pickup trucks attacked Kalari Abdiye and nearby Amarwa, some 20 kilometres
from Borno state capital Maiduguri, on Wednesday evening.
gunmen, who were obviously Boko Haram fighters, killed nine people and injured
nine more in the attacks," Ibrahim Liman, from the Civilian Joint
Taskforce told AFP.
attacked the villages around 8:30 pm when it was raining and people were
residents rushed out of their homes but when they did so they were shot
"indicriminately", said another CJTF leader, Babakura Kolo.
two villages were completely burnt by the attackers," he added, giving a
villages are in Konduga, a district of Borno state that has suffered repeated
attacks in a nine-year insurgency which has left more than 27,000 dead.
December six people were killed in a suicide attack on a crowded market in
Amarwa, while 10 people lost their lives in April when two female suicide
bombers attacked the village.
was not clear which of the two Boko Haram factions was behind the attacks and
there was no claim of responsibility.
loyal to the group's long-time leader, Abubakar Shekau, have indiscriminately
targeted civilians, particularly using suicide bombers and hit-and-run raids.
separate faction backed by ISIS group and known as ISWAP has focused more on
attacking military and government targets.
more radical elements are said to have taken over the ISWAP leadership,
prompting fears of an upsurge in violence against the local population.
least seven civilians were killed late Wednesday as Boko Haram attacked and
burnt down three villages in northeast Nigeria, the country's official news
agency NAN reported on Thursday.
agency said the insurgents attacked Wanori, Kaleri and Amarwa villages that
began at around 9.00 p.m. local time (2000GMT).
said the insurgents shot indiscriminately and looted food items before setting
the villages on fire, according to the news agency.
unnamed security personnel, the agency said military fighter jets were later
deployed in the areas but the insurgents had already burnt down the villages in
Borno state, the heart of the nine-year insurgency.
frequency and scope of the latest Boko Haram assault have alarmed security
analysts and residents in the region, who feared the insurgents might have
reorganized, the NAN said.
Lekki Muslim Ummah (LEMU) has called for the participation of Muslims in
leadership and governance of the country.
of LEMU, Dr. Kamoru Omotosho offered this admonition at the organization’s
quarterly lecture themed ‘Muslims and Nigeria politics.’
the choice of the theme, Omotosho said, “some of us might be wondering why we
are discussing politics in a religious seminar of this nature.
and sisters, it is not out of place to do so in Islam.
is a total way of life, which covers all spheres of human endeavours.
religion has prescriptions for everything, including politics and good governance.
Religion and politics are inseparable in Islam,” he said.
chairman of the occasion, Dr. AbdulGaniy Labinjo said Muslims have been at the
receiving end in the Nigerian political firmament, even though Muslim
constitutes the majority in the country.
governments in the country hardly consider the interests of Muslims in
formulating and implementing policies.
recent times, we have been dominated, harassed and oppressed by the politicians
because of our seeming indifference and disorganized approach to politics.
the religious politics being openly canvassed by our Christian counterparts
calls for great circumspection, vigilance, and organized approach to politics
by Muslims across the country.”
urged participants to be keenly interested in politics in the country if their
fundamental rights must be protected.
must be a deliberate, planned and sustained political efforts to eradicate
oppression of Muslims in the country.
Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Nigeria (NSCIA) and its affiliates like
MUSWEN, JNI, etc., must collaborate and fashion out a proactive political
agenda for the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria,” he said.
Chief Imam of LEMU, Imam Ridwan Jamiu said lack of good leaders and followers
is one of the factors responsible for perpetual failure in the country.
showing up in numbers and being involved in the political process will enable
our votes to be sought-after by political actors.
will then be taken seriously, and considered a vital constituency by candidates
of all political parties; thus, requiring them to address issues of great
concern to our community,” he said.
urged Muslims to take advantage of their civic rights to vote for credible
Muslims, we must take advantage of our rights, and become involved in politics
either by running for government position or ensuring to vote for the right
able to vote and participate in the political process is a privilege that no
one should forsake.
we, as Muslims, feel we are not being treated fairly, or that important issues
concerning us are being neglected, we must exercise our franchise.
can then progress and make a difference in our lives, and in those of our
families and communities.”
Secretary General of NSCIA, Prof. Salisu Shehu spoke on good governance,
responsible leadership and fighting corruption: Islamic perspective.
decried the damage massive corruption has done to the country’s socio-economic
architecture permeating all sectors and all strata of the society.
influences all aspects of our life including our practice of our respective
religions and faiths.”
Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militant group remains a potent threat to security in
the region, although its capacity to stage regular attacks in urban areas has
International Crisis Group, a conflict-prevention think tank, in a report
released on the fifth anniversary of Westgate Mall terror attack, warns against
complacency despite the reduced number of attacks in cities including Nairobi
report, titled Al-Shabaab Five Years after Westgate: Still a Menace in East
Africa, says that the al-Qaeda affiliate has adapted in a number of ways
following its reduced ability to carry out bombings and gun and grenade
assaults in urban areas.
2015, Al-Shabaab has increasingly tried to recruit youths outside its
traditional hotspots at the Coast and in the North Eastern.
has instead turned to western and central Kenya regions in an effort to find
new fighters, including many Christian youths who, as recent converts to Islam,
are more easily manipulated due to their limited understanding of the region.
has also focused on targets in the border region, where it has killed dozens of
policemen and soldiers, principally through the lethal use of improvised explosive
crucial additional change has been a shift by militants from the Kenyan coast
to the Pwani region of Tanzania, where Shabaab has forged alliances with local
militants and staged numerous attacks, many of which have passed without notice
2014, particularly in the town of Kibiti within Pwani, Al-Shabaab and
affiliated militants have beheaded dozens of ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi
officials, killed policemen and staged assaults on moderate Muslim clerics.
by Tanzanian authorities have in turn forced some of the militants to migrate
further south to Mozambique, which has seen a spate of attacks in recent
is an adaptable and resilient organisation and, although its capacity has been
blunted since 2013, it will remain an enduring threat to security in the
region," Mr Murithi Mutiga, deputy project director for the International
Crisis Group, said.
European day of action against Islamophobia and religious intolerance
Muslims still remember the killing of a pregnant Muslim woman in a German court
based on anti-Muslim motivation. On July 1, 2009, Marwa was stabbed to death by
the attacker, who openly revealed his anti-Muslim bias.
years later on July 1, 2014, a Muslim student union launched the Day Against
Anti-Muslim Racism. With this initiative, Muslims are able to raise awareness
in their societies that Islamophobia is real and can have deadly effects.
initiatives aim to challenge existing Islamophobic policies. Such is the case
with the Canadian example. Very recently in Canada, in early 2017, Black Lives
Matter-Toronto alongside numerous other justice and civil liberties
organizations, appointed Feb. 4 as National Day of Action against Islamophobia
and White Supremacy following Trump's "Muslim ban." Their call was
related to policy claims toward their own government to challenge their
neighbor's Islamophobic policies.
in 2014, the No Hate Speech Movement, a youth campaign for human rights online,
financed by the Council of Europe, launched seven days of awareness. In 2014,
Sept. 21 was made an Action Day against Islamophobia and Religious Intolerance.
another day announced was Action Day Against Antisemitic Hate Speech on Nov. 9.
for part of the No Hate Speech Movement, it was clear that there had to be a
day against Islamophobia given, according to a survey conducted by the Council
of Europe in 2012 that declared that Muslim people were the second most
targeted group by hate speech online in Europe.
then, this day has informally become the European Day Against Islamophobia.
Many different Muslim and civil liberties organizations throughout Europe use
it to tackle Islamophobia on a supranational level in European institutions.
counterterrorism measures are having a disproportionate impact on Muslims or
those perceived as such, including racial profiling by law enforcement
authorities, police abuses during raids and the use of administrative
restrictions on the basis of vague and discriminatory criteria.
"escalator" approach whereby a conservative religious practice would
lead to support for violent terrorism is bound to inefficiently target innocent
Muslim individuals and families, and to generate violent backlash from the
a first step, EU institutions must publicly recognize and condemn Islamophobia
as a specific form of racism. The symbolically very important European Day
Against Islamophobia must be filled with life.
European Commission should agree on a road map to ensure that EU member states
adopt national strategies to combat Islamophobia in areas such as employment,
education, health, hate crime and criminal justice.
and national counterterrorism measures must build on independent impact
assessment studies, include human rights safeguards and be complemented by
long-term prevention through equality and social inclusion policies.
the statements of high-ranking politicians such as Frans Timmermans, the first
vice president of the European Commission, who recognized the problem of
Islamophobia, are positive steps.
European Coalition against Islamophobia, which I am part of, declared that
there is large potential for improvement regarding the fight against
Islamophobia in the EU.
to the European Coalition against Islamophobia, the EU and national legislation
provide legal remedies for racist crime and discrimination, yet Muslims still
suffer from violence, prejudice and exclusion in Europe. In this context, the
EU's Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) recommends better implementation of
relevant EU and national legislation to combat widespread harassment and hate
crime against Muslims.
a new EU coordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred being nominated, stronger
and more concrete commitment and actions are needed to combat Islamophobia.
it was a very positive step in 2015 to create the position of an EU coordinator
on combating anti-Muslim hatred, there are still structural problems to be
observed. What is needed and at the same time possible, is that the European
Parliament can adopt a resolution on combating Islamophobia with concrete
policy recommendations and ways forward as it did to combat anti-Semitism and
the current wave of illiberal democratic policies, this should be a priority
for all politicians who work for an inclusive and open society. There is also a
necessity for EU standards for national action plans against racism that take
into account specific forms of racism and include specific measures on
Islamophobia with objectives and targets. Also, EU member states should adopt
national action plans against racism addressing Islamophobia as a specific form
of racism. Here again, symbolic days against Islamophobia could be installed on
a national level to organize these efforts collectively and create the
framework to give a voice to those fighting for the equal treatment of Muslims.
many NGOs in Europe reveal that there are still misconceptions by European as
well as national institutions, with regards to the issue of Islamophobia.
Hence, it is of utmost importance for EU policy makers not to fall into the
trap of treating Muslims as potential problems but rather as human beings whose
fundamental rights can be violated. Combating Islamophobia is about politically
addressing structural forms of discrimination and racism affecting Muslims or
those perceived as such. It is not about reforming Islam or surveilling
Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt tweeted Thursday that Myanmar officials should be
held responsible for their country's Rohingya crisis before the International
comments, referring to Myanmar as Burma, came after he met Thursday with
embattled Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a high-profile state visit to the
visit followed Tuesday's release of a United Nations report that criticized Suu
Kyi's handling of the crisis. The report details why several Myanmar generals
should be prosecuted for genocide against the Rohingya minority, war crimes,
and crimes against humanity.
also accuses military leaders of extrajudicial killings, rape, and razing
Rohingya villages in Rakhine, from which more than 700,000 Rohingya were forced
to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.
arrived in Yangon Wednesday for a two-day visit. He said he planned to meet
with military and civilian leaders. He met in the capital of Naypyidaw with
Aung San Suu Kyi and said she would look into crisis-related issues that were
discussed, including two Reuters journalists who were sentenced to 7-year
prison terms earlier this month.
Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were convicted on September 3 of violating a colonial-era
law on state secrets in a landmark case that was viewed as a test of progress
toward democracy in Myanmar.
also met early Thursday with local Muslims in northern Rakhine state, where he
"mainly observed the planned repatriation process," Rakhine State
Minister U Chan Tha told VOA.
Wednesday, U.N. advisor on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng told
reporters in New York Myanmar "may constitute certainly a threat to
international peace and security."
have seen such mass exodus of people from Myanmar to Bangladesh," said
Dieng, "and this is still, in fact, continuing ... which means, although
the level of violence is now less, I would say [it is more] intense than
far-right leader Marine Le Pen voiced outrage Thursday after being ordered to
undergo psychiatric tests for having posted pictures of atrocities committed by
ISIS on Twitter.
Le Pen shared the gruesome images in December 2015, a few weeks after ISIS
militants killed 130 people in attacks in Paris, sparking widespread
condemnation in France.
50-year-old leader of the National Rally (formerly National Front), who lost to
Emmanuel Macron in last year's presidential vote, was stripped of her
parliamentary immunity over the pictures and charged with circulating messages
that "incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human
Thursday, she tweeted copies of a court order ordering her to undergo
September 11, it calls for the tests to be carried out "as soon as
possible" to establish whether she "is capable of understanding
remarks and answering questions".
crazy," fumed Ms Le Pen, herself a trained lawyer. "This regime is
really starting to be frightening," she tweeted, suggesting that the case
was part of a government plot to discredit her.
thought I had been through it all: well, no! For having condemned Daesh (ISIS)
horrors in tweets, the 'justice system' is putting me through psychiatric
tests! Just how far will they go?" she asked.
Le Pen had shared the images in response to a French journalist who drew a
comparison between IS and her party.
of the pictures showed the body of James Foley, an American journalist beheaded
by the Sunni extremists.
showed a man in an orange jumpsuit being run over by a tank, and a third showed
a Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage.
is this!" Le Pen wrote in a caption. Daesh is an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
later deleted the picture of Foley after a request from his family, saying she
had been unaware of his identity.
convicted, she faces up to three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros
Le Pen has denounced the case against her, which falls under a law punishing
violent images that can be viewed by a minor, as a violation of her freedom of
European nations issued a joint statement Thursday at the UN Security Council
calling on Israel to reverse course on plans to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, a
Bedouin village in East Jerusalem.
this month, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled against petitions by residents of the
village to prevent its demolition, allowing authorities to carry it out within
the next seven days.
the positions of France, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom,
Belgium, Germany and Italy, the statement voiced continued opposition to
Israel’s settlement policy, including demolitions of Palestinian communities and
“forced transfers” of populations, which are illegal under international law.
statement referred to the “strategic importance” of Khan al-Ahmar in the
contiguity of a future Palestinian state and stressed that its demolition would
bear serious consequences for its residents, threatening the viability of the
two-state solution and undermining prospects for peace.
as member states of the European Union, will not give up on a negotiated
two-state solution with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states,” the
statement said, adding they would also continue to support the UN Relief and
Works Agency (UNRWA).
Israeli Supreme Court issued a verdict last May to demolish Khan al-Ahmar’s
makeshift school for 170 students as well as the homes of 190 residents. But
authorities were unable to carry out the decision due to staunch resistance
from the local population as well as a global backlash.
hopes to expel some 10,000 Bedouin residents in East Jerusalem to make way for
new Jewish-only housing units linking the city to the Maale Adumim settlement.
Turkish association in central Berlin was attacked with Molotov cocktails early
Thursday by sympathizers of the PKK terrorist organization.
attackers threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the office of the Turkish
Education Association and wrote slogans on the pavement in support of the PKK
and the PYD, its Syrian affiliate.
Kam, the association's director, told Anadolu Agency that neighbors helped
extinguish the fire and prevented it from spreading further.
condemned the violence and expressed hope that the police would arrest the
sympathizers have recently called for protests and demonstrations ahead of
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Germany next week.
PKK and its offshoot organizations have claimed responsibility for dozens of
attacks against Turkish cultural associations and mosques in Germany this year,
after Turkey launched counterterrorism operations against the group in northern
PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993, but it remains active, with nearly
14,000 followers among the Kurdish immigrant population in the country.
has long accused Berlin of failing to take serious measures against the PKK and
its Syrian branch the PYD, which use the country as a platform for their
fund-raising, recruitment, and propaganda activities.
has a 3 million-strong Turkish community, many of whom are second- and
third-generation German-born citizens whose Turkish grandparents moved to the
country during the 1960s.
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