Islamic State Group Says It Has Established a ‘Province’ In Pakistan, Days
After the Terrorist Organization Used the Name ‘Hind Province’
Arrests Hafiz Saeed’s Brother-In-Law Abdur Rehman Makki
2019: Hindus, Muslims Unite At Gujarat Dargah for Iftar, Say ‘It Is For All’
True Ramadan Spirit, Muslims and Christians Break Fast Together In Malaysia
Target Iran's President As U.S. Pressure Grows
Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt Urge Qatar to Stop Funding Terror Groups
Congress to Get Classified Iran Briefings Next Week, Say Sources
Message for Ramadan Urges Universal Fraternity
suspected militants killed in security forces' operation in Balochistan's
raises questions over efforts against terror financing
deal has nothing to do with NFC award: Hafeez
embassy branch to be opened in Lahore
Wings to a Dream: Muslim IAS Aspirants Are Being Coached For Free At Mumbai Haj
True Essence Shared with Secular Fare in Delhi
Jaish commander among 5 terrorists killed in Kashmir
IRF trustee deposes in IS case, identifies Arshi Qureshi
in Malang Hand Out Iftar Meals to Local Muslims
arrests suspected militants 'planning' to attack non-Muslim places of worship
Transgender Muslims Find Safe Haven for Prayer during Ramadan
want to be known as a leader who defends Islam, says Anwar
Christian leaders break barriers along with Ramadan fast
DAP rep raps FB page for calling Labis MP a ‘dog’ over mosque appearance
were threatened, says Sunni head of group accused of spreading Shia Islam
Says It Foiled Plot to Detonate Bombs via Wi-Fi
Yemen, Fighting Resumes between Houthi Rebels and Government Forces
Embassy In US Calls On Muslim Community To Unite Against Anti-Muslim Hatred
strike on Palestinian refugee camp in Syria kills 10 civilians, says UN
reduces Gaza fishing zone, attacks Palestinian fishermen
civilians killed in Saudi strikes on Yemen’s capital
blacklists 600 persons for funding Muslim Brotherhood: sources
Saudi Partnership, UNDP Builds Hundreds of New Homes In Gaza
Forces Kill 47 Militants, Lose Five Soldiers
Communal Iftar, An Expression Of Social Solidarity And Compassion
security kill 9 Islamic State fighters in Anbar
Coalition: Raids on military targets loyal to Houthi militia have begun
refugees struggle to make ends meet during Ramadan
Says He Hopes US Not Going To War with Iran
meets with Swiss president whose country represents US interests in Iran
terrorist convicted in US for planning attacks
asks US Congress to help fund Taliban members seeking ceasefire
battle to save New York's 'Little Syria' from being forgotten
Parliament Holds Debate On Islamophobia
Of Austrian Far-Right Extremist's Funding Comes From Germany: Report
kids of Nordic IS couple killed in Syria return to Sweden
erupts in UK over definition of Islamophobia
says shares same assessment of Iran as the United States
call’ prompts commitments from tech firms and countries on online extremism
Muslim Leaders Appeal for Calm, Say Attacks Against Community Helping Extremism
Airstrike kills 17 policemen in south Afghanistan
ISIS militants and their family members surrender to Afghan armed forces
Overrun District Center in South Afghanistan
asked for funds to reimburse Taliban expenses: report
security forces, 40 militants killed in Afghanistan within day
speech concerns in Bangladesh as writers, activist arrested
charity opens Rohingya refugee village in Bangladesh
Demands Sh150m Ransom for Kidnapped Cubans
54 Hostages Rescued From the Boko Haram
ambush: Militants kill 28 soldiers near Mali
killed in ambush on Catholic parade in Burkina Faso
opposition regrets military council’s suspension of talks
clashes, cautious calm prevails in Libyan capital
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Islamic State Group Says It Has Established a ‘Province’ In Pakistan, Days
After The Terrorist Organization Used The Name ‘Hind Province’
Islamic State group says it has established a "province" in Pakistan,
days after the terrorist organization used the name "Hind Province"
for an attack it claimed in the India-ruled portion of the disputed Kashmir
of the divisions formerly fell under the "Khorasan Province" or ISKP
— the name the Middle East-based terrorist group uses for its regional
operations launched in early 2015 from bases in the border region of
Afghanistan — according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist
"Islamic State Pakistan Province," in communiques issued via its
global propaganda mouthpiece Amaq News Agency, took credit for killing a
Pakistani police officer this week in Mastung, and it reported shooting at a
gathering of militants linked to the outlawed Pakistani Taliban militant group
the districts are located in violence-hit Baluchistan province, which borders
Afghanistan and Iran. Several separatist Baluch groups and sectarian
organizations also are active in the province.
was no immediate reaction available from the Pakistani government.
maintains there is no "organized" presence of IS in the country.
Pakistani military officials say an ongoing nationwide military-led
"intelligence-based operation" is primarily aimed at denying space in
Pakistan to extremists linked to any terrorist groups.
group released no details about the boundaries of the territory it is now
claiming. In previous Islamic State propaganda, all of Afghanistan and most of
Pakistan, parts of modern Iran and Central Asia make up the so-called Khorasan
Province. IS also has spoken about creating its own chapter for the Indian
also took responsibility for last month's suicide blast in a marketplace in
Quetta city that killed 20 people and left nearly 50 injured. The targets of
the attack were members of the ethnic Hazara Shiite Muslim community.
Friday, IS declared in a statement via Amaq the creation of "Hind
Province," while taking responsibility for clashes with Indian forces in
Amshipora in the Shopian district of Kashmir.
has increased attacks lately in the region, including taking credit for the
group's Easter Sunday first-ever bombings in Sri Lanka that killed more than
say altering its provincial structure and fragmenting the "Khorasan
Province" by IS could be aimed at bolstering its credentials after losing
its "caliphate" in Syria and Iran, where the terrorists at one point
used to control thousands of miles of territory.
ISIS [one of several acronyms used for IS] seeks to build and restructure
foundations of insurgencies across the globe after its losses in Iraq and
Syria, it is attempting to recruit also from Pakistan, a country with an
existing jihadi militant population," tweeted Rita Katz, the director of
the SITE Intelligence Group.
suspected rebranding of ISKP comes as the United Nations earlier this week
designated the “Khorasan Province” as a global terrorist, noting the group was
formed in January 2015 by former members of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
who pledged allegiance to Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, leader of the ISIS/ISIL.
United States has already blacklisted ISKP as a foreign terrorist organization,
and American troops are conducting regular airstrikes against the group’s bases
in Afghanistan with the help of local forces, killing thousands of militants.
say American counterterrorism airstrikes and clashes with the Afghan Taliban
have prevented ISKP from expanding its regional influence and the rebranding
strategy could have stemmed from those challenges.
chapter has been struggling to establish a footprint in Afghanistan and the
region in general, and they may be following al-Qaida’s strategy to create
regional affiliates,” says Muhammad Amir Rana, who heads Islamabad-based
Pakistan Institute for Peace and Studies (PIPS).
arrests Hafiz Saeed’s brother-in-law Abdur Rehman Makki
Pakistan confirmed on Wednesday the arrest of Abdur Rehman Makki, the
brother-in-law of Hafiz Saeed, the chief of the outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD)
and the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
according to the interior (home) ministry, was arrested from Gujranwala, in
central Punjab, and shifted to prison in the adjacent city of Lahore.
interior ministry said Makki was arrested during an ongoing crackdown against
proscribed organisations. He was taken into custody for his hate speeches
against the crackdown on banned organisations and raising funds for
Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), the charity wing of JuD. In his recent
speeches, Makki was also criticising the steps being taken by the Financial
Action Task Force (FATF), a Parisbased international body mandated to combat
money laundering and terror financing. His arrest, the interior ministry said,
was made under the Maintenance of Public Order Act, a public safety law.
71, belongs to a Gujjar family; he was the JuD second-in-command, in charge of
FIF, and also headed JuD’s political and international affairs wing. The US
treasury department, at the behest of India, had designated him a specially
designated national and had announced a reward of $2 million through its
“Rewards for Justice Programme” for information leading to him.
February this year, Pakistan had launched a crackdown on outlawed organisations
under the National Action Plan (NAP), a policy formulated in January 2015 to
eradicate terrorism and extremism from the country.
the designation of JuD and FIF as proscribed groups, the government had frozen
all its accounts and sealed its seminaries besides taking administrative
control of its pharmacies, health units, schools, ambulances and steamer boats
across Pakistan. Under the NAP, more than 500 properties owned by JuD and FIF
have been confiscated in 36 district of only Punjab, Pakistan’s most populated
province. The management and operational control of these properties have been
taken over by the district administration.
JuD and FIF were placed on the watch list by the UN in January 2017. They were
declared proscribed by the UN in March 2019 and subsequently by the interior
ministry under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Since the organisations and its splinter
groups have been notified as proscribed, giving them aid or financial
assistance has become illegal and anyone supporting them in any manner can be
punished with up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a heavy fine.
At Dargah Hazrat Khwaja Dana in Gujarat's Surat, people across religions
gathered on Thursday for Iftar, a post-fast meal during the holy month of
Ramadan. For them, this sends a strong message on communal harmony in the
have been coming to this dargah for over five years. Many Hindus come to this
dargah. It is a great symbol of religious harmony," K Gheewala, a frequent
visitor to the dargah told news agency ANI.
worshipper said, "I have been coming here for the last 38 years. The
number of people coming here has always increased with time. Also, I see people
belonging from different religions coming here and praying. Iftar is not just
for Muslims, it is for all."
similar sentiments, a worker at the dargah said year after year, people have
been gathering at the dargah cutting across all religious barriers to sit and
one wants to see an example of religious harmony, then one should definitely
visit this dargah," he added.
Ramadan, the devout observe rigorous fasting for about 30 days and do not
consume food or water from dawn to dusk. They eat sehri (a pre-dawn meal) and
break their day-long fast with Iftar in the evening. This year Ramadan in India
began on May 7 and be completed by June 5 or June 6. Ramadan is practised by
all Muslims irrespective of where they live.
ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramzan. The festival is
celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic lunar
JAYA, May 16 — Leaders and representatives from the Muslim and Christian
communities came together today to break fast.
iftar (breaking fast) dinner was hosted by the Global Unity Network (Unity)
along with Christians for Peace and Harmony in Malaysia (CPHM), with the theme
of “Common terms between us and you”.
event is aimed at aims to bolstering a better understanding and deeper ties
between Muslims and Christians.
Malaysia, we have been blessed for having peace harmony and unity but we have
to exert effort to keep the harmony, peace and unity and this is one of the
small steps we are doing and we hope we can do more for others,” said Unity
President Shah Kirit Kakulal Govindji in a speech to a crowd of some 100 people
who attended the Iftar event at the Royal Chulan Mutiara Damansara Hotel here
Kirit also said that various religions share many similarities which each
other, namely Islam and Christianity where both members of the faith observe
fasting and among other practices.
other common thing that we have, Islam and Christianity, is that we want people
to come back to God,” he said, stating further that society today has put too
much emphasis into material possession.
is so much to say on the matter, but let us speak less and do more,” he added.
has held the annual Iftar dinner for the past five years along with CPHM who
also, in turn, have held their annual Christmas dinner hosting various
religious groups in promoting closer ties together.
at the event, CPHM Chairman Lee Min Choon said unity among men is among the
greatest “beauty” that should be preserved.
one beautiful thing that God sees in man is when there is unity among brothers
and when God looks at Malaysia and see brothers and sisters in Malaysia living
in unity surely it is a beautiful thing in the eyes of God. You can fail in
many things but we must not fail in unity.
it is the aspirations of us now not just to live in unity but to promote, to
encourage and to find ways in which we can bring about unity in our society.
is a beautiful thing in the sight of God and will bless all efforts to promote
unity,” he said.
breaking of the fast, a minute of silence was also observed in remembering the
victims of the terror attacks several churches and hotels in Sri Lanka last
month and the Christchurch mosque shooting that occurred in March.
in attendance at the Iftar dinner event was members from the Department of
Islamic Development Malaysia, The Federal Territory Islamic Religious
Department and the Selangor state Islamic Religious Department among others.
- Growing US pressure on Iran has weakened pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani
and made his hardline rivals more assertive at home and abroad, recent
he succeeded firebrand leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2013, Rouhani was seen as
an establishment figure who would do little to end Iran's long standoff with
the West. Two years later, his administration signed the nuclear deal with six
world powers that spurred hopes for wider political change.
authority is now waning: his brother, a key adviser on the 2015 deal, has been
sentenced to jail on unspecified corruption charges, a hardline rival heads the
judiciary and his government is under fire for responding too softly to US
President Donald Trump's sanctions squeeze.
has said lifting sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear program did
not stop Tehran meddling in neighboring states or developing ballistic missile
capabilities and Rouhani's outreach to the West was a fig leaf.
the US pullout from the nuclear deal a year ago and subsequent attempts to end
Iran's oil exports have led to a sharp increase in regional tension: the US
military said on Tuesday it was braced for "possibly imminent threats to
US forces" from Iran-backed forces in neighboring Iraq.
has urged opposing factions to work together and noted limits on his power in a
country where an elected government operates under clerical rule and alongside
powerful security forces and an influential judiciary.
much authority the government has in the areas that are being questioned must
be examined," the presidency's website quoted Rouhani as saying on
Saturday, an apparent attempt to fend off public anger at plummeting living
Raisi, who became head of the judiciary in March and is a contender to succeed
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, retorted that all branches of government
had sufficient authority to carry out their duties.
media interpreted the statement as a direct rebuke from Raisi, who ran against
Rouhani in the 2017 presidential election.
May 4, Rouhani's brother Hossein Fereydoun was sentenced to prison. The
judiciary has not given details of the charges against him and attempts by
Reuters to seek comment were unsuccessful. The judiciary has said it has no
political motivation for the cases it tries.
has two years until his term ends, but if he is seen by Iranians as responsible
for their problems, his successor is more likely to take a hard line with the
West, some analysts say.
couldn't ask for a better ally than the Trump administration,” said Ali Vaez,
director of the Iran project at the Crisis Group.
Rouhani announced last week that Iran would roll back some of its commitments
under the international nuclear deal a year after Trump withdrew, the hardline
daily Kayhan newspaper called the move "late and minimal."
Mr. Rouhani's government had reacted reciprocally from the beginning to the
broken promises of America and Europe, they (the Americans and Europeans) would
not have reached this level of offensiveness and arrogance," an article in
the newspaper said on Thursday.
on social media, championed by hardline officials and clerics, are putting
further political pressure on Rouhani, who promised in his 2017 and 2013
election campaigns to lift such curbs.
a messaging app popular in Iran, was banned last year. Twitter is also banned
and hardliners have set their sights on Instagram, used by some 24 million
his comments on Saturday, Rouhani said the government does not have full
authority over the cyberspace, underlining the limits to his powers.
and other officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have
active Twitter accounts despite the ban.
month, Instagram shut down several accounts under the names of Iran's elite
Revolutionary Guards, the country's most powerful military and economic force,
after Washington declared the Guards a foreign terrorist organization.
lawmakers are now seeking a complete ban on Instagram, one of the few social
media platforms yet to be blocked.
Javidnia, the deputy in charge of cyberspace affairs at the prosecutor
general's office in Tehran, said last month Instagram would be blocked unless
the government found an effective way to monitor its content, Fars news agency
Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi told Reuters in an interview last month
that he used social media actively, including Twitter, and wanted fewer
restrictions. But he said filtering usually takes place with a judicial decree.
Raisi has recently started his work in this area and we will have to see what
his view will be," he said.
THE EMPTY SPOT"
Guards have used authorities response to heavy flooding in March to criticize
the government and promote their effectiveness.
video of the head of the Guards’ ground forces lambasting the government after
visiting a flood-stricken area in western Iran in early April was widely
circulated on social media.
are a lot of problems. There is no management. No government official has the
courage to go there," Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said in the
video. "It's horrible."
news sites posted pictures of members of the Guards helping remote villages,
with their uniforms covered in mud.
Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, a Rouhani ally who has tried to attract
investment, has been accused by hardline politicians of giving away the
nation's wealth and criticized for not doing more to bypass sanctions.
Guards have developed expertise in bypassing sanctions through years of
experience and are now eyeing opportunities arising from the new US economic
al Anbia, the Guards’ huge engineering and construction arm controls over 800
affiliated companies worth billions of dollars. Its head, Saeed Mohammad, said
at an oil and gas exhibition in Tehran on May 2 that the firm has the ability
to develop a phase of South Pars, the world's largest gas field, according to
the Iranian Students' News Agency.
goal is to fill the empty spot left by foreign companies," he said.
Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt called on Qatar Wednesday to stop funding terrorist
groups and respect the rights of migrant workers.
three countries made the demand before the UN Human Rights Council's Review on
its speech to the Council, Saudi Arabia called on Qatar to take the necessary
measures to stop its financing of the terrorist groups and to take the
necessary measures not to give terrorist groups media platforms to spread
fanatical ideas of terrorism. The Kingdom also urged the removal of obstacles
that hinder Qatari citizens and expatriates working in Qatar from performing
the Hajj pilgrimage and Umrah.
Arabia expressed deep concern over the tragic humanitarian situation of
hundreds of Qatari families of Al-Ghufran clan as the Qatari government
withdrew citizenship from members of Al-Ghufran clan, confiscated their money
and property and discriminated against them with forced displacement in addition
to robbing them of their rights to return home.
its part, Bahrain demanded that Qatar to take the necessary and immediate
measures to remove barriers hindering access to justice for migrant workers, to
apply the necessary standards to ensure their protection from abuse and
exploitation, to punish offenders and to ensure that they receive their wages
in a timely manner.
appealed to Doha to implement reforms to develop the contractual system to
improve labor recruitment procedures and to intensify efforts to prevent forced
also called on the Qatari authorities to fully implement the National Plan of
Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and to ensure that victims reach
urged Qatar to take steps and steps to sever all forms of communication with
individuals, organizations and terrorist or extremist entities, and stop
providing financial, financial or moral support to them.
also called on Doha to stop providing various forms of support to media
platforms that disseminate hate speech and justify violence or incitement to
it, whether in Qatar or abroad.
urged the Qatari authorities to end all arbitrary detentions and enforced
disappearances against a number of Qatari nationals, including members of the
demanded that Qatar to commit to the International Convention on the Protection
of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and to adopt
legislation to combat violence against women, including protection of migrant
women, and to take immediate measures to end the arbitrary deprivation of
citizenship of some Qatari citizens and to restore nationality to those
Congress to get classified Iran briefings next week, say sources
from US President Donald Trump’s administration will conduct classified
briefings on the situation with Iran next week, congressional sources said on
Thursday, after both Democratic and Republican lawmakers asked for more
aides said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman
General Joseph Dunford and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan would
hold a session on Tuesday afternoon for all members of the Senate.
fellow Republicans control a majority of seats in the Senate.
in the House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, said they also
expected a briefing next week with Pompeo, but other details had not yet been
of the US Congress have complained for weeks that Trump’s administration has
not shared enough information with them as tensions flared with Iran, with even
some Republicans saying they have been left in the dark.
between Washington and Tehran have become more fraught following Trump’s
decision this month to try to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero and beef up the US
military presence in the Gulf in response to what he said were Iranian threats.
this week, Washington pulled some diplomatic staff from its embassy in Baghdad
following weekend attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf.
said on Thursday he hoped the United States was not heading toward war with
message for Ramadan urges universal fraternity
City, May 14, 2019: In a message dedicated for Islam’s Holy Month of Ramadan
and Eid al-Fitr, the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue,
PCID, has urged Christians and Muslims worldwide to build bridges of
brotherhood and promote the culture of dialogue.
Vatican is calling on Christians and Muslims worldwide to promote human
fraternity and harmonious existence by building bridges of friendship and
promoting a culture of dialogue where violence is rejected, and the human
person is respected,” reported Vatican News, the Holy See media communications
PCID message, issued by its Secretary, Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, wished
Muslims worldwide a peaceful and fruitful celebration of Ramadan and Eid
month of Ramadan with its dedication to fasting, prayer and almsgiving, is also
a month for strengthening the spiritual bonds we share in Muslim-Christian
friendship,” it added.
message, entitled ‘Christians and Muslims: Promoting Universal Fraternity’,
went on to quote the Human Fraternity Document signed in the UAE capital by
Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayyeb on 4th February, inviting Christians
and Muslims to “remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of
mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence; to
reestablish wisdom, justice and love.”
Guixot’s message reminds Muslims and Christians that by opening themselves to
others, knowing and recognising them as brothers and sisters, they can “tear
down walls raised out of fear and ignorance and seek together to build bridges
of friendship that are fundamental for the good of all humanity.” This way,
they can cultivate a new way of life in their political, civil and religious
institutions where violence is rejected, and the human person is respected, it
PCID Secretary encouraged followers of both communities to continue to promote
the “culture of dialogue as a means of cooperation and as a method of growing
in the knowledge of one another.”
Guixot cited “three fundamental guidelines” that Pope Francis proposes for the
promotion of dialogue and knowledge among people of different religions,
namely, “the duty of identity, the courage of otherness and the sincerity of
for diversity calls for a dialogue that seeks to promote the right to life of
every person, to physical integrity, and fundamental freedoms, such as freedom
of conscience, of thought, expression and religion,” he added. “This includes
the freedom to live according to one’s beliefs in both the private and public
spheres. In this way, Christians and Muslims – as brothers and sisters – can
work together for the common good.”
Ayuso concluded by wishing that the followers of both faiths put into practice
not merely an attitude of tolerance but true and peaceful living together.
forces claimed to have killed nine suspected militants during a raid in
Balochistan's Mastung district on Thursday.
in the Counter-terrorism Department (CTD) said that personnel of CTD and other
law enforcement agencies conducted a joint operation against suspected
militants in Qabo Mehran area of Mastung.
the ensuing exchange of fire with the militants, four security personnel also
sustained injuries, the sources added. The injured security men were rushed to
a hospital for treatment.
forces also recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunition from the
possession of the suspected militants.
senior security officer who declined to be named told DawnNewsTV that the slain
militants were affiliated with an outlawed organisation. Their bodies were transported
to Quetta for postmortem examination.
is considered to be one of the sensitive areas of Balochistan. Security forces
have conducted operations there against the militants in the past as well.
operation comes just over two days after a police vehicle in Quetta was
targeted through an improvised explosive device in the Satellite Town area.
Four policemen were martyred in the attack — which was claimed by the banned
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan — and a fifth who was seriously injured succumbed to
his injuries on Wednesday.
in the provincial capital and other parts of Balochistan was beefed up in the
aftermath of a recent wave of terrorist incidents in the province.
Pakistan faced harsh questioning on effectiveness of its efforts against money
laundering and terror financing at the “face-to-face meeting” of the
Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on money laundering, a regional affiliate of the
Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
10-member delegation led by Finance Secretary Mohammad Younas Dagha represented
Pakistan at the two-day APG meeting in Guangzhou, China. It briefed the group
about the country’s updated actions against currency smuggling, proscribed
organisations and tightening of financial and corporate sector systems and
coming from China suggests that some participants of the meeting, particularly
those from India, raised very tough questions about Pakistan’s seriousness to
act against proscribed organisations and effectiveness of internal controls.
Pakistani side reported arrests of key operatives of some proscribed
organisations, putting more such organisations and their affiliates at the list
of banned outfits, blocking their accounts and financial flows and taking
control of their assets. The delegation reported that Pakistan had either
complied with or was very close to accomplishing the milestones under the FATF
action plan well before the September deadline.
APG will submit to the FATF its analysis of the compliance report submitted by
Pakistan on the basis of its deliberations and cross-questioning at the
Guangzhou meeting and the progress made since the group’s on-site inspection in
Islamabad and Karachi in March. The APG report will become the basis for the
FATF to exclude Pakistan from its grey list or otherwise. At those on-site
inspections, the APG had flashed contradictory situations and poor coordination
among stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, in fighting money
laundering and terror financing.
then, Pakistan has taken a series of measures with commitment from top civilian
and military leadership to address all weaknesses pointed out by the
international watchdog and its affiliates in the long- term interest of the
APG meeting was told that Pakistan had put all proscribed organisations at high
risk category by freezing their assets and accounts. The delegation explained
Pakistan’s actions against proscribed outfits and strengthening of systems to
block illegal flow of funds that could be used against any state or considered
a threat to global financial systems.
was explained that the government had recently revised its national risk
assessment of the corporate sector, strengthened customs procedures on borders
and inland movement of funds and assets and put nine more entities at the list
of proscribed organisations. In this regard, internal control of the banking
and non-banking financial institutions, insurance companies and stock exchanges
has been strengthened to curb the possibility of money laundering and terror
financing. The account opening is now subject to additional checks and
delegation also reported the creation of a specialised directorate of
Cross-Border Currency Movement (CBCM) in Islamabad to maintain a database of
currency seizures. All model customs formations are required to report on a
prescribed format each currency seizure on fortnightly basis. These reports are
then shared with the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) and the Federal Board of
Revenue on monthly basis or when called for. The CBCM directorate also has to
maintain and update database of suspicious transaction reports (STRs) and
ensure information sharing with law enforcement agencies, the FMU and the FBR
on real time basis.
the Data and Risk Analysis Cell has been created to conduct regular analysis of
data pertaining to currency seizures, currency declarations, banking
transactions, benami accounts, transaction, etc, and continuously update
measures to combat money laundering. According to the Pakistani delegation,
investigating officers have been designated to institute money laundering cases
emanating from the STRs or currency seizures or from other sources and
complaints filed in courts. It has been decided that investigation and
prosecution of such cases will be conducted under the Anti-Money Laundering Act
2010, Customs Act of 1969 and Criminal Procedure Code 1898.
week, the government placed nine more entities on the list of proscribed
organisations, taking the tally to 71. In March, law enforcement agencies had
launched a major crackdown on Jaish-e-Mohammad, Jamat-ud-Dawa,
Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation and other banned outfits and taken over control of
their assets throughout the country under the international pressure increased
through the Paris-based FATF.
Govt bans 10 more organisations for alleged affiliation with proscribed outfits
investigating officers have been directed to focus on the individuals’ personal
and family association with any religious, political, social organisations or
groups, travel history, past record and professional history while
investigating money laundering cases in general and currency seizure cases in
investigation officers are also required to study motives and currency
smuggling and its linkages with any of the associated offences such as
trade-based money laundering, capital flight, hundi/hawala and examine if there
is any linkage of terror financing related to transnational terrorist networks
or United Nations-designated entities and individuals.
possibilities of involvement of any foreign networks other than transnational
terrorist networks have also been given top priority for investigation and to
see if cash smuggling is used by the proscribed entities. The data from advance
currency declarations from airports, airlines, ports and borders are also being
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul
Hafeez Shaikh asserted on Thursday that the agreed upon deal between the
government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had nothing to do with the
already settled National Finance Commission award. He said the lending body had
not asked for any reforms for the constitutionally established programme for
distribution of revenues between the federal and provincial governments.
talking to reporters at Governor House after meeting members of the business
community, Dr Shaikh referred to serious questions raised by Pakistan Peoples
Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani who sought explanation from the government
regarding an IMF statement about the NFC award.
IMF deal has nothing do with the NFC Award,” he replied to a questioner and
took a jibe at different statements from political quarters. “There is freedom
of expression in the country so we can’t stop anyone from issuing statements.
But the matter of the fact is that the IMF deal has nothing to do with our NFC
Award, neither have they (IMF) asked us to do anything on these lines.”
a press conference at the Karachi Press Club earlier in the day, Senator
Rabbani said that the government’s agreement with the IMF was a violation of
the sanctity of Pakistan’s constitution. He urged the government to clarify its
position with regard to the IMF statement about the NFC Award and explain to
the people of Pakistan if it would slash the NFC award in violation of the
IMF in its press release has said that the government has promised to review
the NFC Award,” Rabbani said. “The government has promised the lender it will
amend the relevant constitutional clause. The new NFC Award could not be kept
below the level set by the previous award. The IMF statement has said that they
will review the NFC Award as per the agreement with the government.”
while addressing the business community at the Governor House, Dr Shaikh said
that the country’s economy would be improved after implementation of the IMF
Board of Revenue chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi and Sindh Governor Imran Ismail
were also present on the occasion.
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing on Thursday announced opening an
embassy branch in Lahore for the issuance of Chinese visa from next month.
Chinese ambassador called on Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and Chief Minister
Usman Buzdar in meetings at their respective offices and discussed promotion of
Pak-China relations, CPEC-related projects and expansion of bilateral
cooperation in different sectors.
the meeting at Governors House, the governor said Pakistan would take all
possible steps to get advantage of the Chinese economic model that had made
unprecedented progress by lifting more than 700 million people out of the
poverty in the past three decades.
who conspire against the friendship of Pakistan and China are our enemies,” he
governor said Pakistan was striving for boosting confidence of the Chinese
investors so that they could invest here. Apart from that, Pakistan was also
willing to enhance prospects of CPEC to alleviate poverty, educate the masses
and increase energy production. He said investors were coming from around the
world to invest in different sectors, which shows Pakistan has attained
are also striving for ending corruption and bring about transparency in the
system as the Chinese have done successfully,” he added.
Chinese ambassador said there existed a well-structured harmony between the
relations of Pakistan and China. In the days to come, he said, China would be
interested in more investments acknowledging that Pakistan was taking all
possible steps to attract Chinese investment.
the CM-ambassador meeting at the Chief Minister Secretariat, Usman Buzdar said
China is a trustworthy friend of Pakistan and its cooperation is appreciable
for making “Naya Pakistan”. He said the bilateral economic relations were
touching new heights. He said the CPEC-related projects were very important in
the journey of durable development in the country.
Buzdar said the Punjab government was setting up new economic zones where
Chinese investors would be given facilities and incentives. He said the durable
development of the social sector was a priority of the government.
said the Punjab government was interested in utilising the latest Chinese
technology in agriculture, tourism and technical and vocational training
chief minister said the Punjab government was establishing technical
universities in D.G. Khan and Mandi Bahauddin. He said an industrial park was
being set up in southern Punjab for the promotion of agro-based industries. The
Chinese investors should take benefit of investment opportunities in special
Shaikh became the first female engineer in her community, thanks to her
parents’ support in the face of fierce disapproval by their Bagbaan (Mali) community
Byculla’s Kainaat Qureshi, every step of the way – from entering college to
completing her graduation to warding off marriage – has been a battle against
her family, in which she often contemplated suicide.
girls today are immersed in preparing for the IAS in the secure environs of the
was after the 2006 Sachar Committee Report revealed the abysmal proportion of
Muslims in the civil services that Mohammed Owais, then head of the Haj
Committee of India, decided to use the ample space available at Haj House to
start a free residential coaching centre for Muslim graduates. Fifty-odd applicants
are selected through an all-India entrance exam followed by an interview. Last
year, 7,000 graduates applied. Last month, the centre struck gold as three of
its alumni got all-India ranks of 3, 225 and 613.
of the current aspirants, who hail from Bihar to Bhiwandi, have studied in
mixed schools, and would not find it difficult to adjust to a career in the services,
where they will have to interact with all communities. Humaira Mir’s case,
however, is different. Belonging to a Srinagar-based business family, she
wondered how this city would look at a Kashmiri Muslim woman.
her surprise, she found that nobody in busy Mumbai bothered about her obviously
Kashmiri identity, not even the non-Muslim staff at Haj House.
as a whole were not anti-Muslim, she discovered; nor was everything the
government’s fault. “We always felt government schemes were just propaganda;
now I find some good schemes do work,” she says.
independently and preparing for the IAS have changed these young women and men
irrevocably. The awareness that they are equal citizens, which comes from their
grounding in the Constitution, is evident in their confident replies to
questions about being potential administrators in a saffronised “New India”.
of these women cover their heads; some wear a burqa. Some of the men have
beards. Won’t they have to give these up? There’s no such rule, they point out.
It’s only as IPS officers that they must wear a uniform, say the women, and
they’d have no problem following that rule. “Our personal and professional
lives are separate,” they say.
if they had to serve under an openly communal CM? After initial laughter, comes
the unanimous reply: “Why should it be any different for us? We will work with
the same will.” Juwairiya Sayyed, who studied in a Marathi medium school in
Pune, spells out the rationale: “I’m a Muslim and also an Indian. As a Muslim,
the Quran is my guide; as an Indian, it’s the Constitution. My conscience will
help me uphold both.”
syllabus forces them to read newspapers every day. Doesn’t the news of lynching
of Muslims affect their preparations?
comes the reply by Barira Fareed from Hyderabad: “Why only Muslims? The
lynching of any Indian affects us.”
the early stages,” says Sajid Ali, an engineering graduate from Mumbai, “such
news would disturb us. But gradually we began to realise that one or two
incidents cannot define our entire nation.”
does this exceptional maturity come from?
focus is on preparing these aspirants to be law-abiding citizens and officers
of a secular, democratic India,” says MA Khan, CEO, Haj Committee, “creating in
them an administrative ability.” What this means is explained by Saddam Hussein
from Dholpur, Rajasthan. “We are being trained to understand the reasons for
every problem and work out solutions. Once we enter the system, we can change
able to change things” is the main reason propelling these youngsters. Says
Farheen Shaikh, the first graduate in her family, “I’ve seen dreams shattered
because of lack of opportunities; maybe I can try to prevent that.” However,
for the men, the glamour of the services plays a part. Mudassir Ahmed still
remembers the day the DM stopped by in Chhapra, with one person holding his
umbrella and two policemen waiting on him. That’s when the Std VIII student
decided what he wanted to be.
do they think of Mohammed Mohsin, the IAS officer on election duty who dared to
check the PM’s helicopter, and was suspended and sent back to his state? “He’s
become the talk of the town,” points out Raees Shaikh from Thane who wants to
join the IPS. “He’s being compared to Kiran Bedi.”
you heard of Tukaram Mundhe?” asks Ashraf Turki from Nashik. “He’s been
transferred 12 times in 13 years, and people have come out on the streets in
his favour.” As Saeed Muzammil from a Marathi medium school in Latur puts it,
“We are going to be seen as role models by our community.”
aspirants have managed to overcome the two main hurdles that keep Muslim
numbers low in the civil services. The first is the belief, especially among
elders, that prejudice will prevent Muslims from being selected. Experiences of
those who’ve qualified have proved this false.
second is family pressure. “Muslims marry early, start earning early, and
settle into family life early. Waiting, taking risks is still not part of their
tradition,” says CEO Khan.
with strange men, being posted in far-off places – these fears don’t trouble
the women. Their biggest worry is to fight off the pressure to marry.
six attempts allowed to a general category IAS aspirant are a luxury their
families won’t allow. Two years is what they’ve been given. That means they
have to try that much harder than men. “That only motivates us more,” says
Aqsha Taskeen from Bengaluru. They have a role model among them: a newly
married aspirant who’s been “allowed” by her husband and in-laws to stay here
and pursue her dream.
men, the pressure is to support their families. But they hope that with the
solid foundation provided by their centre, they can continue to study even while
year, Zaib Shaikh of Ahmednagar, a Haj House alumnus, defied his parents to
attempt the exam for the fourth time. He came 225th, qualifying for the IPS. He
now plans to give it one more shot to make it to the IAS. This time, he says,
smiling broadly, his parents won’t stop him.
DELHI: Sartaj Khan, his wife and child waited near the parking lot of GB Pant
Hospital in central Delhi, waiting for sunset so they could break their Ramzan
fast. The family had travelled to Delhi from Rampur in UP on Wednesday for
Khan’s treatment at the hospital. But before Khan could leave the hospital complex
to get some food, he ran into a group of individuals wearing Gandhi caps that
had ‘Iftar for All’ written on them.
soon, Khan and his wife were in a queue receiving their Iftar meal for free.
Tanwir Siddiqi, a young Supreme Court lawyer and co-founder of the group,
started the initiative last year to “celebrate Ramzan in its true essence”. His
intention is to reach out to people and inform them about the meaning of the
Muslim month of fasting. The idea, he said, was to “spread the message of Ramzan”
by providing people with the Iftar meal.
group distributes food to patients, their family members and everyone else at
GB Pant and LNJP hospitals, irrespective of their faith. “We want to show the
charitable aspect of Islam and so change the narrative about the community,”
Rana Safvi, member of the group, explained the historical significance of
serving food to others in the holy month. “The Sufi saints had a 24-hour langar
where they served food to people of all faiths,” she said. “In fact, the
gurdwaras have only emulated the idea of Sufi saint Baba Farid’s langar.” She
added that Islam encourages giving, so being a part of this initiative is her
way of serving mankind in the name of God.
Iftar approached, several queues had formed to accept the food, which included
fruit and pakodas, both regular fare for breaking the fast. Padma Kain, a
resident of a Minto Road slum cluster, was at LNJP Hospital to collect
medicines and the free food was a welcome distraction for her.
a Moradabad resident who had come to get his father treated at GB Pant, was
knowledgeable about the gesture and said the food was for all “because during
Ramzan people who are in need are fed”.
were, however, some who were circumspect and asked if the food was ‘Hindu’ or
vegetarian. Clarifying on the “secular credentials” of the initiative, Siddiqi
said that the food was prepared under the guidance of Old Delhi resident Ashok
consultant at an NGO, Mathur said, “I took on the task but suggested that we
serve the food only to Muslims. But the other members said that the food should
be for everyone who is needy because Iftar means satiating the hunger of all.”
Court lawyer Sanjay Hedge, who also participated in the programme, said, “Pain,
misery and suffering are common to all humanity. If you try to reduce it to
some extent, then that is better than doing nothing at all. The idea behind our
action is also to unite the different communities.”
A top Pakistani Jaish-e-Muhammed commander was among the five terrorists killed
on Thursday in two different encounters — in Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian
districts — which also claimed the lives of two civilians and two soldiers.
top JeM commander, Khalid Bhai, who a police spokesperson said had masterminded
the 2017 fidayeen attack on a CRPF camp in Lethpora that had left five CRPF men
dead, and two other JeM terrorists — Naseer Pandith of Karmibad Pulwama and
Umar Mir of Shopian — were slain by security forces in an encounter at Dalipora
village, in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, in the early hours of Thursday. A
soldier and a civilian were also killed while three people, including two
Armymen, were injured during the gunfight in Dalipora.
police officer said that in the initial phase of the encounter, three soldiers
and two civilians, brothers Younis Dar and Rayees Ahmad Dar, were injured.
While Rayees died at the encounter site, his brother Younis was immediately
taken to a nearby hospital from where he was referred to a Srinagar hospital
for specialised treatment, the officer said. The injured soldiers were airlifted
to the Army’s 92 Base hospital at Badami Bagh, Srinagar, where one of them,
Sandeep Kumar, died. The other two soldiers, who were injured, are Sepoy
Arunesh GSW and Sepoy Ravindar GSW.
three terrorists were killed in the Dalipora encounter and their bodies, along
with arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site, the police officer
another encounter, two terrorists, one civilian and one Armyman were killed in
Handew area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Thursday. The encounter
occurred when the Army’s 44 RR, SOG and CRPF launched cordon-and-search
operations at Handew village on Thursday afternoon.
police officer confirmed that two militants were killed and their bodies
recovered. The slain civilian was Ishtaq Ahmad Bhat and the soldier who
succumbed to injuries sustained in action was Rohit Yadav.
officer said the Pakistani terrorist Khalid, killed in Dalipora, had been
active for the last eight years in Kashmir and that his killing was a major
success. According to police records, Naseer Pandith had a long history of
crime before joining the JeM and several cases were registered against him for
planning and executing attacks in the area after joining the proscribed JeM. He
was also involved in the 2018 killing of a policeman, Mohammad Yaqoob Shah, of
Pulwama, on the eve of Eid, and in some weapon-snatching incidents in the area.
“He also had several criminal cases registered against him, including case FIR
No 30/15 & 277/14 under the NDPS Act and case FIR No 25/16 pertaining to
forgery,” a police spokesman said. The third terrorist slain in Dalipora, Umar
Mir, also was involved in several terror attacks and had been part of groups
responsible for attacks on security forces, the police spokesman said.
officer said Wednesday’s early morning encounter erupted when the three
terrorists fired upon a joint team of police and Army personnel conducting a
cordon-and-search operation in Dalipora village following credible inputs about
the presence of the militants.
after the encounter ended, the villagers clashed with security forces at
various places in Pulwama district. The authorities then imposed curfew in
Pulwama town as well and Internet services were suspended in the southern
another encounter broke out between terrorists and security forces, in Kandi
forest in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, on Thursday morning. Reports said a
joint team of the Army’s 47 RR, 28 RR and the police’s SOG launched a
cordonand-search operation at Portel Nad and Razdan Nad — the upper reaches of
Kandi which connect to the Lolab forest.
Army officer said the operation was launched following intelligence inputs
about the movement of suspected terrorists in the woods. He said contact was
established soon after the forces challenged the movement of the group of
terrorists in the forests.
DEPOSING before a special NIA court earlier this week, a former trustee of the
Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) identified accused Arshi Qureshi as the guest
relations manager at the Dr Zakir Naik-led group.
a statement in 2016, which is a part of the NIA chargesheet, the witness had
claimed that Ashfaq — the youth Qureshi is alleged to have influenced to join
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — had told him that he often went to the
IRF office and met Qureshi. However, the witness made no mention of this in his
deposition on Monday.
was arrested in 2016 on the complaint of Ashfaq’s father, Abdul Majid, who
claimed that his son, along with his wife and one-year-old daughter, had left
the country and joined ISIS. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) began
probing the case and arrested Qureshi, Kerala-based preacher Maulana Mohammed
Haneef and Rizwan Khan, a volunteer with a group called Al-Birr foundation.
is undergoing trial under sections 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) and
39 (support to a terrorist organisation) of the Unlawful Activities
February 2017, the NIA had said that it did not have enough evidence to file a
chargesheet againt Haneef and Khan, while claiming that Qureshi had used his
official position in the IRF to influence youngsters, including Ashfaq and
others, who subsequently joined ISIS.
witness told the court that his younger son studied at the Islamic
International School run by the IRF Educational Trust. He added that he was
also a temporary trustee of the trust, along with three permanent trustees,
including Naik. He further told the court that Qureshi’s job was to clear
misconceptions of those who visited the office about Islam.
one of his wife’s relatives, he had met Ashfaq, he claimed.
asked what had happened in 2016, the witness said that International Dawa Training
Programme was held at Mahalaxmi studio in Mumbai. “The programme was organised
by IRF and attendees had come from Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and UAE. Dr Naik was
there among the trustees… he was a trainer and had organised the programme,”
the witness added.
in Malang hand out iftar meals to local Muslims
Paguyuban Metta Buddhists community of the Sanggar Suci temple in Malang, East
Java, was handing out nasi soto (aromatic soup with rice), es campur (ice
dessert), warm tea and snacks at a yard near Jl. Dr. Wahidin on Monday
4:30 p.m., the locals as well as travelers who happened to be in the area,
flocked the place for some free food.
distribution of iftar meals for the 30 days of Ramadan has become a tradition
since it began in 1998," said the community's counselor, 72-year-old
Winantea Listiahadi, in Malang on Tuesday. "Fifteen years ago, the
activity was held in the yard of the vihara [Buddhist temple], but because of
the large crowd, it has since been moved to an empty space near the
added that the free dishes for breaking the fast were initially provided in
1998 to help locals experiencing financial hardship following the country's
have maintained that tradition until now. Initially, about 60-80 people would
come every day during Ramadan, but the figure later increased to 100 a
day," he said, adding that the Buddhist community came up with the money
for the meals as they aimed to express their love for their Muslim neighbors.
make sure all the food and cooking equipment is halal by involving our Muslim
neighbors when preparing the meals or ordering them from a third party. On the
last day of Ramadan, we usually provide nasi kuning [yellow rice] and
congratulate the Muslims who celebrate Idul Fitri."
happened to pass by from Malang to Pasuruan and saw the locals lining up. I
then stopped to break the fast with the food provided," said 34-year-old
Yuniarti, who lives in Purwodadi.
37-year-old Suprayitno said he usually visited the place after work for iftar.
"For me, such an activity is very helpful; I usually ask the committee
members to pack the food for me to bring home." (dpk/kes)
LUMPUR: Three militants inspired by the Islamic State group have been arrested
in Malaysia, accused of planning attacks on non-Muslim places of worship in the
country and neighbouring Indonesia, police said Thursday.
suspects are thought to have links to a wider IS-inspired cell, some of whose
members were detained last week in Malaysia.
and Indonesia, both Muslim-majority countries, are on high alert amid fears
that followers of the jihadists are plotting attacks after the group's defeat
in the Middle East.
Indonesian, Nuruddin Alele, was detained Tuesday outside Kuala Lumpur following
a tip-off, Malaysian national police chief Abdul Hamid Bador said.
34-year-old man had been exposed to IS idealogy while serving a five-year jail
term in Indonesia.
was involved in a plot to kill high-profile individuals and attack Christian,
Hindu and Buddhist places of worship and entertainment outlets around Kuala
Lumpur, the police chief added.
announced Monday they had foiled that plot after making the first series of
arrests, and seizing explosives.
have not identified the high-profile individuals targeted. The planned attacks
were aimed at avenging the death of a Muslim firefighter in riots at an Indian
temple last year.
two other suspects -- Muhammad Syazani Mahzan and Muhamad Nuurul Amin Azizan
from Malaysia -- were arrested Tuesday in the northern Malaysian state of
Kedah, police said.
two suspects had undergone bomb-making training in (the Indonesian city of)
Yogyakarta in 2018 which was conducted by the terror group Jemaah Ansharut
Daulah," said the police chief.
two suspects had been seen surveying several churches in Yogyakarta to launch
attacks." Jemaah Anshurat Daulah (JAD) is an Indonesian extremist group
that has pledged allegiance to IS and was blamed for suicide bombings at
churches last year in the city of Surabaya that killed a dozen people.
Syazani is also suspected of planning attacks on religious minorities' places
of worship in Malaysia.
per cent of Malaysia's population is Muslim but the country is also home to
substantial religious and ethnic minorities.
has seen a surge of IS-inspired plots and assaults in recent years, although
Malaysia has not had any notable terror attacks.
transgender Muslims find safe haven for prayer during Ramadan
LUMPUR: A small Islamic school in Indonesia is providing a safe haven for the
marginalized transgender community to pray during the holy month of Ramadan,
its founder said on Thursday, calling for wider acceptance of LGBT+ people.
around the world are observing the month-long Ramadan – which began in early
May – with fasting from dawn to dusk and extra prayers at mosques until the Eid
al-Fitr celebrations in early June.
people are often stigmatized when they pray in mosques, where women and men are
segregated, said Shinta Ratri, who runs the Pesantren Waria al-Fatah school in
the central Java city of Yogyakarta.
want to provide a safe space for the ‘waria’ because praying in mosques can
feel very uneasy sometimes,’ said Ratri, using the Indonesian term which refers
to transgender people.
can express ourselves freely here. We can observe Ramadan and pray together, it
is important for us Muslims in the holy month,’ the 57-year-old transgender
woman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.
as the world’s only Islamic boarding school for transgender people, the
institution founded in 2008 is a testament to the tolerant brand of Islam long
practiced in the world’s most populous Muslim country.
a surge in anti-LGBT+ sentiments in recent years forced the school to temporarily
shut in 2016 after it was mobbed by a group of Islamic hardliners.
currently has 42 students, all transgender women who are mostly street
performers or sex workers, who attend weekly prayers and classes about Islam
taught by six Muslim preachers.
students can choose to dress as man or woman during prayers, Ratri said.
Ramadan, the school has added extra Koran study sessions and special prayers at
night, while it also holds fast-breaking meals at sunset for the students and
we want to show is that we have the right to worship and we are accepted in
Islam. We are transgender people but we do not forget our obligations as
Muslims,’ said Ratri.
rights activists say religious conservatism is threatening to erode the
Indonesia’s long-standing reputation for tolerance of minorities like for the
is not regulated by law in Indonesia, except in the ultra-conservative province
of Aceh where same-sex acts are banned, but the country has a growing number of
bylaws targeting LGBT+ people.
Indonesian filmmaker received death threats after his latest movie, about a
male dancer exploring his gender identity, was released domestically last month
and sparked an online backlash that led to bans in some cities.
Ratri, her Ramadan prayer has been the same every year for many decades.
Anwar Ibrahim has expressed his desire to be known as a leader who strongly
supports Islam when he takes office as the eighth prime minister.
PKR president said he also wanted to be known as a leader who is concerned and
cares for non-Muslims.
want to be known as a very caring and compassionate friend to non-Muslims, like
the Christians and Hindus.
is because they are our loyal citizens,” he said during his speech at a
breaking-of-fast event with several Muslim NGOs tonight.
also raised concern over the habit of current leaders exhibiting excessive wealth and luxury.
claimed this was becoming increasingly visible among Pakatan Harapan leaders
this ‘illness’ becomes more serious and widespread, it is the responsibility of
civil society and all parties to remind these leaders against such display of
regretted that such overt display of wealth, seen previously among Barisan
Nasional leaders, was now being seen among Pakatan Harapan leaders, especially
those recently given positions.
Augustin and Faiz Zainudin
JAYA: Muslims, Christians and other religious leaders came together for a
breaking of fast event last night, with organisers hoping it will encourage
people of different faiths to build a better understanding among them.
“buka puasa” event at a hotel here was organised by a group called the Global
Unity Network (Unity) headed by popular Muslim preacher Shah Kirit Kakulal
event was supported by Christians for Peace and Harmony in Malaysia (CPHM),
which also invited several pastors to join Muslims as they waited for the azan
signalling the end of the day’s fast.
was the fifth “interfaith buka puasa” organised by Unity.
in turn has organised Christmas gatherings with Muslim community leaders as
well as those from other faiths.
is how we work together. We get the religious leaders to sit down together and
make friends rather than holding a talk and everyone going their separate ways
after,” CPHM chairman Lee Min Choon told FMT.
said it was unfortunate that the country had seen polarisation in recent times,
and warned that it would get “harder to make things better”.
religious leaders are part of the grassroots level, so we try to get grassroots
leaders to get involved,” he said.
said religious leaders should not see their counterparts from other faiths as
rivals, but as friends, as their objectives are similar.
who lead mosques, churches or temples, they are all trying to make their
followers better human beings, better citizens, so there are many similar
Shah Kirit said his group has organised courses and meetings between religious
happen because there is dissatisfaction which stems from misconceptions.”
said while some Muslims felt the position of Islam was being challenged, some
non-Muslims felt they were denied religious freedom.
said bringing together leaders of different faiths does not undermine Islam’s
status as the religion of the federation.
are not saying all religions are the same. To us, it is about respecting one
Kirit said there have been critics of his efforts including the interfaith buka
puasa, adding that it was unfortunate that extreme voices on both sides are
seen as representing Muslims and non-Muslims.
BARU, May 16 — A DAP Muslim state assemblyman today has condemned a Facebook
page that had insulted non-Muslims who entered mosques.
comes after an issue involving Labis MP Pang Hok Liong, who was accused of
making a political speech in a mosques last week.
DAP publicity secretary Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali criticised the owners of the
Facebook page “Ops Johor” for calling Pang a dog.
should not label non-Muslims visitors who enter mosques as dogs.
the issue of calling or labelling someone as a dog or animal should be
avoided,” said Sheikh Umar when met by Malay Mail here after breaking fast
Paloh assemblyman was commenting on a Facebook post by an anti-Pakatan Harapan
(PH) page Ops Johor that insulted Pang by labelling him as a dog for visiting a
mosque on May 10.
Umar, who is a graduate in Islamic studies, majoring in Usuluddin, and also
Islamic Propagation Foundation of Malaysia’s (Yadim) board member, said he
believed that other religions do not permit degrading others as animals.
added that in Islam, the approach of “fatabayyanu” as verifying facts is
important as not to cause undue problems.
me, the Ops Johor Facebook page approach can cause confusion.
the same time, it also paints a negative picture of Islam,” said Sheikh Umar.
Pang told Malay Mail that he denied giving a political speech at a mosque in
his constituency that had earned him a royal rebuke from Johor ruler Sultan
Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar today.
Ibrahim had earlier in a statement said he had received complaints from the
community there who were uneasy that Pang had reportedly given a speech in the
JAYA: Members of a group which distributed leaflets on the grandson of the
Prophet in Kuala Lumpur have denied accusations that they were out to spread
Shia Islam, a day after police warned them of action.
“Who Is Husain?” group also told FMT that they had received death threats.
refers to the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, who is also a central figure in
Shia Islam, which authorities in Malaysia label as deviant.
the group’s head who only wanted to be known as Natasha said it was not a
organisation is a charity organisation which wants to bring about positive
change. We have nothing to do with religion. Our focus is on the environment,
poverty, homelessness, sanitation and water,” she told FMT.
said group members had distributed Ramadan goodies to members of the public,
including dates, drinks, rosary beads and a flyer on the organisation.
who said she is a Sunni Muslim, said a Facebook group had later accused them of
spreading Shia Islam.
are people who are misinformed and who are deliberately trying to manipulate
the situation,” she said.
top cop Abdul Hamid Bador said police would work with religious authorities to
stop the group.
is irresponsible and goes against Sunni Islam,” Hamid told reporters.
said the group should be treated fairly, adding that those who threatened them
should also be investigated.
Hannah Beech and Muktita Suhartono
Indonesia — The Indonesian police say they have foiled a suspected terrorist
cell with the ability to use Wi-Fi to detonate explosive devices, highlighting
advances in bomb-making in a country with a history of militant activity tied
to the Islamic State.
of the suspects, who were arrested in raids last week on the densely populated
island of Java, are members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, or J.A.D., a local
militant group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, the police
the raids, counterterrorism agents found bomb-making equipment and traces of
triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, a highly unstable homemade explosive that is
sometimes used by the Islamic State outside the Middle East. TATP was used in
Islamic State bombings in Paris and Brussels, as well as last month in Sri
Lanka, where more than 250 people were killed by suicide attacks at churches
and luxury hotels.
of the suspects in the Indonesia plot, a skilled bomb-maker who was arrested on
May 8, was perfecting the process of detonating a bomb through Wi-Fi networks,
Dedi Prasetyo, the national police spokesman, said on Thursday. Mr. Dedi said
that militants were planning to launch attacks on Wednesday, when the official
results of Indonesia’s national elections are expected to be tallied.
Indonesia has been the site of repeated attacks by radical Muslim militants,
the authorities sometimes use phone-signal jammers during mass gatherings to
prevent bombers from remotely activating explosive devices .
Mr. Dedi said that jamming a Wi-Fi signal is harder to do. By using a router to
strengthen a Wi-Fi signal, a bomber could theoretically extend the signal range
from 200 meters to 500 meters, he said. With an amplifier, that range could
extend as far as a kilometer, or about two-thirds of a mile.
guy with electronics skills, that’s all you need,” said Sidney Jones, the
director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta and an
expert on Southeast Asian militant groups.
Tuesday, counterterrorism officers on Java arrested nine people suspected of
militant activity, seven of whom had returned from Syria, where the Islamic
State had constructed a caliphate before its territory was overrun earlier this
year. One of those arrested who had spent years in Syria held a prominent
position with the Islamic State, the police said.
are still questioning them since they were just arrested two days ago,” Mr.
Dedi said. “The network, the structure of the organization, the plans.”
of Indonesians went to fight with the Islamic State, but critics of the
government’s counterterrorism strategy say the fighters have avoided the radar
of local law enforcement upon returning home from the battlefields of the
authorities have limitations in executing monitoring because of budget
constraints,” said Alto Labetubun, an Indonesian terrorism analyst who has
worked in Afghanistan and the Middle East. “They do register returnees — but
imagine the manpower needed if you want to do surveillance on them after they
return to their hometowns.”
though the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, lost its territory in Iraq and
Syria, the terrorist organization has been able to metastasize far from its
former self-proclaimed caliphate, spreading its tentacles throughout Southeast
Asia and elsewhere. In January, a group that had sworn loyalty to the Islamic
State bombed a cathedral in the southern Philippines. And the attacks in Sri
Lanka depended on local radicals who claimed links to ISIS.
groups have not been discouraged by ISIS defeats in the Middle East but rather
emboldened by them to wage war at home, in accordance with ISIS central
directives,” said a report last month by the Institute for Policy Analysis of
Conflict on Jamaah Ansharut Daulah and other Indonesian terrorist cells
affiliated with the Islamic State.
danger has always been that someone with technical expertise and combat
experience would return from Syria to turn a handful of ISIS supporters into a
more serious threat,” the report added.
Dedi said that bombs have never been detonated through Wi-Fi networks in
Southeast Asia. But such technology has been used in the Middle East, he said.
than 200 suspected members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah have been arrested over
the last year, along with others from splinter groups and separate cells. The
group was formed with the ideological support of Aman Abdurrahman, a radical
cleric who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. A former university
lecturer, Mr. Aman is on death row in Indonesia after having been convicted of
orchestrating multiple fatal terrorist strikes.
most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world, Indonesia is a vibrant
democracy in which the vast majority of people follow a moderate form of the
faith. But Muslim extremists have carried out attacks and called for the
nation’s political system, with its guarantee of freedom of religion, to be
replaced by a Southeast Asian caliphate that extends across Indonesia, Malaysia
and the southern Philippines.
of militant attacks have included hotels and hot spots frequented by
foreigners, as well as symbols of the Indonesian state, such as police
first case of the Islamic State claiming an assault in Southeast Asia occurred
in January 2016 when Jamaah Ansharut Daulah militants carried out a bombing and
shooting attack in Jakarta’s central business district.
March, the wife of a suspected Jamaah Ansharut Daulah militant detonated a
suicide device during a standoff with the police at her home on the island of
Sumatra, killing her child as well. More than 660 pounds of explosives were
found at the family’s house, the police said.
year, in a chilling heightening of militancy in Indonesia, parents and their
children blew themselves up in coordinated attacks on churches and a police
station in Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia. Those suicide
attacks, in which a child as young as 8 was outfitted with explosives, used
TATP. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.
deadliest attack in Indonesia’s recent history occurred in 2002 when a local
terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda bombed a nightclub on the holiday island of
Bali, killing 202 people.
Yemen, Fighting Resumes Between Houthi Rebels and Government Forces
Yemen — Houthi fighters and Saudi-backed pro-government forces renewed fighting
in Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah on Wednesday.
fighting breached a cease-fire and is likely to complicate a troop withdrawal
agreement intended to pave the way for wider peace talks aimed at ending the
four-year war, which is seen as part of a wider regional conflict between Saudi
Arabia and the Iran-backed Houthi.
of thousands of people have been killed, many of them civilians, and aid
agencies say the humanitarian crisis is the worst in the world.
the main entry point for food imports and aid, Hodeidah, which has been under
Houthi control, is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis threatened by starvation
because of the war.
Houthi began withdrawing from Hodeidah and two other Red Sea ports on Saturday,
in the most significant advance yet of efforts to end the war.
both sides reported renewed clashes on Wednesday, a day after the Houthi
claimed responsibility for a drone attack that Saudi Arabia said had hit two of
its oil pumping stations.
media said government forces hit various parts of Hodeidah, including the
airport, with heavy and medium weapons. It did not say if they were Yemeni
troops or members of the Sunni Muslim coalition, which backs President Abd
Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s Aden-based government.
forces said in a report on Wednesday that they had foiled an attempt by Houthi
fighters to infiltrate Hodeidah and the al-Duraihmi area to its south.
coalition, which receives weapons and other support from the West, intervened
in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthi movement ousted Mr. Hadi from the
the Saudi-led military coalition will “retaliate hard” for any Houthi attacks
on coalition targets, it remains committed to the Hodeidah peace deal, reached
during talks in Stockholm in December, said Anwar Gargash, a senior official
from the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the coalition.
the Houthi action we are there to support the process, we are there to make
sure that the Houthi pullout of Hodeidah is real and that the U.N. can monitor
it,” Mr. Gargash, the U.A.E. foreign affairs minister, told reporters in Dubai.
“This is our best opportunity.”
Griffiths, the United Nations envoy to Yemen, called on the Security Council on
Wednesday to urge the warring parties to quickly put in place the remaining
actions agreed to during the Stockholm talks.
Griffiths told the Council he was still seeking a deal between the parties to
have local forces assume responsibility for security in the area.
Cohen, the acting United States ambassador to the United Nations, said the
Council should consider how to hold parties responsible if they did not implement
the Stockholm agreement.
of the U.N. process cannot be tolerated,” Mr. Cohen said. “For months apparent
breakthroughs have happened just in time for Security Council briefings, then
Embassy in US calls on Muslim community to unite against anti-Muslim hatred
Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, underlined the importance of
uniting against anti-Muslim sentiments, amid escalating terrorist attacks
against Muslims all around the world.
embassy hosted American Muslim opinion leaders and some diplomatic
representatives in Washington for an iftar dinner organized in the Diyanet
Center of America (DCA).
has no color, race or religion. All kinds of terrorism are obvious crimes and
we all must be against them," stated Serdar Kılıç, the Turkish ambassador
in the U.S. He added that it is pleasing to see all Muslims living in the U.S.
act together against the hateful discourse targeting Muslims. Mentioning the
terror attack that targeted Muslims in two mosques and killed at least 50
civilians in New Zealand, Kılıç underlined the damage of anti-Muslim attacks
have caused across the world.
also expressed his sorrow over the arson attack targeting the Diyanet Mosque in
New Haven and said such attacks should have no place in the U.S.
Diyanet Mosque in New Haven was targeted in an arson attack Sunday, becoming
the latest example of growing numbers of anti-Muslim attacks in the Western
a statement, the Religious Services Attache of the Turkish Consulate General in
New York said an investigation was underway into the fire at Diyanet Mosque in
the city of New Haven and efforts are continuing to catch the perpetrators.
was also reported that a donation campaign was launched for the Diyanet Mosque.
the Diyanet Center of America (DCA) announced on its website, a charity
campaign for the restoration of the attacked mosque has been launched under the
title, "Support the New Haven Mosque."
least 10 civilians were killed and 30 wounded in Syria by a rocket strike on
the Neirab camp for Palestinian refugees close to the city of Aleppo on Tuesday
night, the United Nations said in a statement on Thursday.
families gathered to break their fasts for the Ramadan Iftar meal, several
rockets hit the densely populated Neirab camp for Palestine refugees in
Aleppo,” the statement from the UN humanitarian aid agency UNRWA said.
those killed were four children, the youngest just six years old. A number of
the injured remain in critical condition.”
authorities have reduced the permitted fishing zone off the coast of the
besieged Gaza Strip “until further notice,” less than a week after lifting a
ban on Palestinian fishing boats operating off the coastal enclave.
head of the Fishermen Committees in the Union of Agricultural Work Committees,
Zakaria Bakr, told Palestinian Ma'an news agency on Thursday that the fishing
zone had been reduced from 12 nautical miles to only five nautical miles.
added that Israeli naval forces prevented Palestinian fishermen from retrieving
their fishing nets, which they had cast seven nautical miles off Gaza’s coast.
Palestinian official noted that Israeli forces opened heavy fire at the
fishermen who sought to cross the five nautical miles, forcing them to sail
back to the shore for fear of their lives.
development came less than a week after Israeli officials lifted a ban on
Palestinian fishing boats operating off the Gaza Strip, ending a measure
imposed during a deadly flare-up of violence earlier this month.
fishing union in the Gaza Strip confirmed the lifting of the ban, saying
Palestinians were allowed fishing up to 12 nautical miles in the southern half
of Gaza, while the fishing zone was six nautical miles in the north.
Israelis and 27 Palestinians, including two pregnant women and three children,
were killed after three days of deadly Israeli airstrikes and retaliatory
Palestinian rocket attacks earlier this month. The two sides reached a
ceasefire agreement on May 6 with the help of Egyptian and Qatari mediators.
the Oslo Accords signed in 1993, Israel is obligated to permit fishing up to 20
nautical miles off the coast of the Gaza Strip, but this has never been
implemented. The Oslo Accords were
signed between the Israeli regime and the Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO) during the early-mid 1990s to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
maintains a heavy naval presence off the coast of the impoverished Palestinian
enclave, severely affecting the livelihoods of some 4,000 fishermen and at
least 1,500 more people involved in the fishing industry.
the past few years, Israeli forces have carried out more than a hundred attacks
on Palestinian boats, arresting dozens of fishermen and confiscating several
least six civilians, including children, have been killed and dozens of others
wounded in multiple airstrikes by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition on various
neighborhoods of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a.
to Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, Saudi-led fighter
jets pounded various parts of the capital on Thursday, killing at least six
civilians, four of whom were children from one family, and wounding dozens
officials said the death toll could rise due to the intensity of the strikes
and the number of those who have been seriously injured. They added that there
could be other civilians, dead or wounded, under the rubble.
of the strikes targeted residential areas in Sana’a, the officials said.
also struck a building of Yemen’s Ministry of Information, al-Masirah added.
There were no immediate reports about possible casualties or the extent of the
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of
ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power.
to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project
(ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has
claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
- 14 May 2019: The Egyptian state committee tasked with confiscating and
managing the funds and assets of terrorist groups blacklisted 600 persons,
including Muslim Brotherhood figures and sons, high-level sources revealed.
designated the Muslim Brotherhood group as a terrorist organization inDecember
committee received information proving the involvement of the recently
blacklisted persons in funding terrorist attacks against army and police
personnel and civilians, the sources explained.
sons of the imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood figures cooperated with fugitives of
the group who fled to other countries to provide logistic support and financial
assistance on monthly basis required to fund the group's terrorist attacks,
according to the sources.
to law, the committee has to submit an official request to Cairo Court of
Urgent Matters before the former can seize and manage the assets of the
blacklisted persons and transfer the ownership of these assets to the state's
committee then would inform the state's concerned parties including the Central
Bank of Egypt and the Real Estate Registration Office.
Saudi partnership, UNDP builds hundreds of new homes in Gaza
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on Wednesday tweeted a photo showing
new buildings among the hundreds built in Gaza by the world body in partnership
with Saudi Arabia.
is one of many initiatives taken by Saudi Arabia in support of the Palestinian
people. On February 13 this year, the UNDP announced that it signed agreements
with 120 of the 275 people whose homes were to be renovated.
part of their continuous efforts to support the Palestinian people, and with
the $10 million additional contribution from the Saudi Fund for Development
(SFD), the UNDP signed today new agreements with 120 people, out of the 275,
who will be benefiting from the repair and reconstruction of their homes that
have been damaged following the Gaza 2014 hostilities,” the UNDP statement
said. “This brings the total SFD contribution to $71.5 million, benefiting
approximately 13,195 families from the Gaza Strip.”
January, the UNDP announced that 26 families would be the owners of new homes
at al-Ameer Nayef bin Abdelaziz Saudi neighborhood in Beit Lahia, owing to
funding from Saudi Arabia. The funding was part of a project to reconstruct 100
housing units for Palestinian families.
in April 2018, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine
Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the UNDP signed an agreement with the SFD
for $10 million to cover house reconstruction and rehabilitation works in the
to the UNDP, this new contribution was to cover more than 200 totally damaged
houses for Palestinian non-refugees.
forces kill 47 militants, lose five soldiers
security forces have killed 47 extremist militants in operations in the Sinai
peninsula recently, the military said on Thursday.
military personnel were also killed, the armed forces said, without specifying
where those deaths took place.
figures covered the “last period,” the military said in a video, without specifying
dates or locations of operations.
did not give the identity of the militants or their affiliation.
military said it had found 385 explosive devices and had carried out controlled
explosions, but did not specify the locations.
Communal iftar, an expression of social solidarity and compassion
Community iftar in the holy month of Ramadan is one of the most rewarding
deeds. The Prophet said: “Whoever gives iftar to a fasting person will have a
reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the person in the
slightest,” and in this holy month, communal iftars are abundant in a number of
mosques in Al-Jouf cities and some external roadways.
and affluent people, along with charities and advocacy offices, compete to
organize communal iftars where residents of different nationalities come
together in a spiritual, brotherly and friendly ambiance even though most of
them had never met each other except in communal iftars, and the big mosques
are these charitable events’ venues.
iftar organizers prepare the venues properly and decently to receive fasting
people; they set up air-conditioning and appropriate furniture and make sure
the place is clean to receive the biggest number possible. They also prepare a
variety of food and drinks at the dining table, such as dates, juices and
drinking water, dairy products, pastries, sweets, fruits and soup, in addition
to rice, chicken, meat, coffee, tea and other items.
set the venue to receive fasting people and arrange the quality and variety of
food served and many iftars have adopted “meat and rice” as the main course.
Al-Ali who volunteers in organizing communal iftars, said that his role, along
with his fellows, is to prepare the place and dining tables, receive fasting
people, organize their seats without crowding each other, remove the remaining
food and distribute it.
most notable challenges are the organization of the big number of people who
come daily, which may result in a shortage of meals when the turnout is more
than expected. The opposite happens sometimes, and there is a surplus of meals,
however, the former happens more than the latter,” he said.
Abdul Samad expressed his happiness about the organizers’ hospitality and
fairness in treating Arabs and non-Arabs alike. He commended the good
organization and quality of meals served.
Mahmoud said that communal iftars found in most mosques exemplify the citizens’
hospitality and their kindness. He described the communal iftars as the perfect
location to catch up with friends in the holy month of Ramadan.
(IraqiNews.com) – Iraqi security forces killed on Wednesday nine members of the
Islamic State militant group during a preemptive operation in Anbar province, a
security source was quoted as saying.
to Almaalomah news website, the source said that counter-terrorism forces in
Anbar killed nine Islamic State terrorists, who were planning to launch attacks
against security forces deployed in Ar-Rutbah district in western Anbar.
troops, according to the source, also destroyed several Islamic State tunnels
and seized a large cache of the group’s ammunition.
declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in November 2017
with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which
was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.
The Arab Coalition has begun an operation against military targets loyal to the
Houthi militia in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.
efforts in Yemen continue against terrorist organizations to maintain regional
and international security,” a coalition spokesman said, adding that the raids
were consistent with international law.
coalition also confirmed it had taken all measures to ensure civilian safety,
and that the mission was to neutralize the militia’s capabilities to carry out
Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco oil pipes prove their loyalty to Iran,” Khalid
bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister, said. "Houthis are a
tool to advance Iranian agenda in the region.”
bin Salman خالد بن سلمان
attack by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias against the two Aramco pumping
stations proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran's regime uses
to implement its expansionist agenda in the region, and not to protect the
people of Yemen as the Houthis falsely claim.
PM - May 16, 2019
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people are talking about this
Arabia said Tuesday that armed drones hit two oil pumping stations in the
Kingdom but did not disrupt output or exports. The Houthis said they were
of State of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the attack on Saudi oil
pipelines was ordered by Iran and the militants are an inseparable part of the
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Aljubeir عادل الجبير
The Houthis are an indivisible part of #Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps
(#IRGC) and subject to the IRGC’s orders. This is confirmed by the #Houthis
targeting facilities in the Kingdom
PM - May 16, 2019
people are talking about this
the full coalition statement here:
“The Coalition Forces to Support
Legitimacy in Yemen carried out on Thursday an air operation on legitimate
military targets that contain military bases and installations, weapon and
ammunition warehouses for Iran-backed Houthi militia as per military
information and intelligence.
raids hit their targets with accuracy.
coalition forces also ascertained that the Iranian-backed Houthi militia’s
attacks on the vital facilities in the Kingdom, are considered serious
violations of the international human law and customary rules and amount to war
forces will keep chasing and target terrorists all over Yemen and reach all the
locations from which the attacks are launched.
For Um Nabil, a 46-year-old Syrian refugee living in Irbid in Jordan, preparing
the iftar dinner on the first day of Ramadan was a challenge. With three
children to raise alone and with little money left, she had to borrow the funds
to buy half a chicken to cook for the meal.
Nabil’s husband left for Syria to collect his mother after his father died but
has not returned for three years. Not only did her husband leave her with her
three children, she also has to deal with his second wife and their child.
her difficult life, Um Nabil told Arab News that her situation is much better
than some. She looks out of the kitchen window and points to her three Syrian
neighbors. “They live in even smaller apartments and God knows how bad their
few vegetables can be seen outside the kitchen window. Um Nabil has learned how
to grow vegetables without soil and has been able to produce enough for her
family as well as sell anything extra. She regularly plants lettuce, tomatoes
year Um Nabil volunteered with a local agency which gave her 13 Jordanian
dinars ($18) a day in return for her help.
year with her husband gone, she has to figure out ways to pay the steep cost of
the rent at 140 Jordanian dinars per month. She depends on the monthly food
stipend from the World Food Program for the amount of 60 Jordanian dinars, less
than half the cost of rent alone.
the time for breaking the fast approaches, Um Nabil’s children gather in what
they call the sitting room, a room with old furniture that is in need of
repair. Wafa, the oldest daughter at 17, said that Ramadan was much better in
Syria: “All that is left of Ramadan is sitting together and eating rice and
Nabil recalls the dinners she used to prepare with many dishes and fresh
juices. “We used to get what we wanted without thinking of money.”
why she does not return, Um Nabil said that although her house was not badly
destroyed in Dera’a, her friends advised her not to go back. “We communicate a
lot and they tell me don’t come back. Life is not easy in Syria.”
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says that 137,539 registered Syrian
refugees live in Irbid while Jordanian government sources say that the number
is closer to 250,000.
the opening of the Jaber crossing point, 16,700 of the 671,000 registered
Syrian refugees living in Jordan have returned. Jordan says that the actual
number of refugees (both registered and unregistered) is more than 1 million.
promise to provide work permits for Syrians has failed to address the economic
problems facing them with only 40,000 documented permits issued, according to
agencies say that the average annual income of Syrian refugees in Amman, Irbid
and Zarqa is about 3,000 Jordanian dinars while in Mafraq and some of the
refugee camps the average income is 1,000 Jordanian dinars.
98 percent of the income of Syrian families goes to pay rent, which ranges from
120 to 140 Jordanian dinars a month, according to a study prepared by the
Norwegian Agency Fafo.
High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has issued an international
appeal for donor help to support Syrian families in countries such as Jordan
during Ramadan. “Ramadan is a month of compassion, renewal and service. The
resilience of refugees inspires us and reminds us that all actions that we
take, big or small, can have an impact.”
family of Um Nabil has no money and so pays little attention to the many Ramadan
deserts available locally.
some Jordanians continue to suffer economically, overall there is a wide gap
between Syrian refugees and most Jordanians.
says he hopes US not going to war with Iran
President Donald Trump said on Thursday he hoped the United States was not
heading to war with Iran as he met with Switzerland President Ueli Maurer,
whose nation has served as a diplomatic conduit between the two countries.
by reporters if Washington was going to war with Tehran, Trump responded, “Hope
not” as he greeted Maurer at the White House.
have escalated in recent days with increasing concerns about a potential
U.S.-Iran conflict. Earlier this week the United States pulled some diplomatic
staff from its embassy in Baghdad following weekend attacks on four oil tankers
in the Gulf.
a neutral country, has historically been a liaison between the United States
and Iran, which have no diplomatic relations.
White House statement said the two leaders discussed “a range of international
issues, including the crises in the Middle East and in Venezuela.”
Trump expressed his gratitude for Switzerland’s role in facilitating
international mediation and diplomatic relations on behalf of the United
States,” the statement said.
Washington Post, citing unnamed US officials, reported late Wednesday that
Trump preferred a diplomatic route with Iran and direct talks with its leaders
but worried that some of his advisers were pushing war.
House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends”
that there is no friction between Trump and his advisers and he welcomes
the one the American people elected. He’s going to take in the information and
the guidance from all of his national security team and he then will make a
decision on what he thinks is the best and safest thing for the American
people,” she said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday welcomed what she called Trump’s lack of
“appetite” for military conflict with Tehran.
on Thursday, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who is in Japan on an
official visit said there is “no possibility” of negotiations with the United
States to reduce spiraling tensions.
Wednesday, Trump predicted that Iran will “soon” want to negotiate and denied
any discord in the White House over moves that critics say could lead to war in
the Middle East.
opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision - it is a very
simple process,” Trump tweeted. “I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.”
President Donald Trump met with Switzerland President Ueli Maurer, whose nation
has served as a diplomatic conduit between the two countries.
Trump greeted Maurer at the White House, he responded to reporters who asked if
Washington was going to war with Tehran: “Hope not.”
a White House statement said the two leaders discussed “a range of
international issues, including the crises in the Middle East and in
who is also the Swiss finance minister, was in Washington upon an invitation
from Trump, the Swiss government said.
to local media reports, it is the first time a Swiss president has been
received by a US president in the White House.
agreed last month to represent Washington’s interests in Venezuela. The South
American country has not yet responded to the US request.
YORK: A US federal court in New York on Thursday convicted a man of charges
that he bought weapons and plotted attacks on behalf of the Lebanese Shiite
Kourani, a 34-year-old American of Lebanese descent, was convicted of eight
allegations including conspiracy to use weapons in a violent crime, which is
punishable by life in prison.
chilling mission was to help procure weapons and gather intelligence about
potential targets in the US for future Hizballah terrorist attacks,” US
attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement, using an alternate spelling for
targets Kourani surveyed include the JFK International Airport and a federal
building in Manhattan.
Kourani has fittingly been convicted for his crimes in a courthouse that stands
in the shadow of one of his potential targets,” Berman said.
in Lebanon but naturalized by the US in 2009, Kourani attended several
Hezbollah training camps in his country of birth and took orders from agents of
the Iran-backed organization after his 2003 arrival in the US.
is now set to be sentenced on September 27.
man who was taken into custody in Michigan on the same day Kourani was arrested
in 2017, Samer El Debek, is still awaiting trial. He is also accused of
belonging to Hezbollah.
considers Hezbollah, which was created by Iran in the early 1980s, a terrorist
Pentagon said on Thursday that it had asked Congress for the authority to help
fund lodging and transportation for Taliban members who were interested in
negotiating local ceasefires with the Afghan government, as the Washington
seeks an end to the more than 17-year-old war.
year, the Taliban observed an Afghan government ceasefire over the three-day
Eid al-Fitr festival, leading to unprecedented scenes of government soldiers
and militants embracing on front lines, and raising hopes for talks.
then however, fighting between the Taliban and US-backed Afghan government has
intensified, even as talks between Washington and the militant group have
cases where lodging and transportation would be required to facilitate the
participation of all required parties to negotiate a local peace deal, the
funds could be used for the purpose," Pentagon spokeswoman Commander
Rebecca Rebarich said.
said the Pentagon was seeking "to lay the groundwork in anticipation of
opportunities to facilitate talks with the Afghan government to find a way to
end the war." She said until now no funds had been used and the Pentagon
did not provide further details of possible funding.
bill passed this week by the House of Representatives Appropriations
Subcommittee on Defense barred the US government from using money to pay for
the expenses of Taliban members taking part in the peace talks with the United
States, unless the talks included members of the Afghan government or did not
restrict the participation of women.
bill has still not passed the full House Appropriations Committee and it is
unclear whether lawmaker's would approve the Pentagon's request.
far, Afghan government officials have been sidelined from talks between
Washington and the Taliban.
said that the Defense Department was not reimbursing local insurgent groups
taking part in the talks.
United States also supports local peace initiatives between the Afghan
government and insurgent groups looking to cease hostilities against the Afghan
Government and coalition forces," she said.
added that the request for this authority was made by the commander of U.S.
forces in Afghanistan following the June 2018 ceasefire.
and Taliban negotiators wrapped up their sixth round of peace talks on Thursday
with "some progress" made on a draft agreement for when foreign
troops might withdraw from Afghanistan.
Afghan government has expressed frustration about not being included in talks
with the Taliban and the limited information Kabul is being provided by
government does not feel that they have been briefed enough," Roya
Rahmani, Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States, told reporters in
Washington this week.
was once a thriving souq, the place where New Yorkers first gained a taste of
the Middle East. From the 1880s until the 1920s, Washington Street, in the
city's financial district, was filled with Arab artisans weaving designs from
imported silk and lace for the wealthy Americans who could afford them.
Surrounding shops sold rugs and objets d'art. And food vendors offered produce
ranging from pistachios to spices in between dozens of Arab coffee stands where
wholesale merchants did larger deals and exchanged gossip.
today in the shadow of the former World Trade Centre site, only three
low-profile buildings of the once thriving area of Manhattan known as Little
Syria remain. A new phalanx of skyscrapers, mostly offices, apartments and
a large vacant commercial plot up for sale next to old Washington Street, its
past could soon be a memory.
commonly referred to as New York's Arab Quarter, the area was where thousands
of immigrants from Greater Syria – today's Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and
the Palestinian territories – made their home, renting rooms just yards from
where they had stepped off ships on Ellis Island.
of the cause of its vanishing past is that the September 11 attacks caused
devastation beyond the Twin Towers, requiring demolitions that lessened the
number of old buildings and changed the character of the area.
is maddening,” said Todd Fine, president of the Washington Street Advocacy
Group, who is campaigning to ensure the area's Middle Eastern roots are
reconstruction began there were public consultations called listening sessions,
where everyone agreed that the historical character of this part of New York
had to be recognised. Instead, there has been lots of attention given to some
of the most expensive skyscrapers in the world, but little else.”
Fine, a Harvard graduate and historian, has recently rallied to raise interest
in preserving the site by conducting guided walking tours of the area at
he has also compiled an updated study of an official 2003 report into buildings
identified in the area as valuable landmarks to city authorities. It shows that
more than a quarter of them have since been demolished.
who frequented Little Syria included Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese poet who had
emigrated with his parents while still a child, writing his best-known work,
The Prophet, published in 1923 by Albert A Knopf, in New York. One of the
benches at a nearby plaza and rest area bears a plaque in his name and quotes
him: "Those are the sons of my homeland, who are born in cottages and die
aftermath of the Second World War heralded a lot of redevelopment and land
reclamation at what was then a waterfront, leading much of the Arab community
to move to other areas of New York and the US.
one ancient building that does have landmark status and which cannot be pulled
down is the St George Chapel, where the mostly Roman Catholic Syrian and
Lebanese immigrants worshipped.
facade still stands but inside is a Chinese restaurant, owned by the adjoining
Holiday Inn, whose recent construction includes plastic silver outer cladding
that adds nothing of architectural interest.
a shame,” said Mr Fine. “Downtown tourism and a lot of residential and office
space is what the area has turned into. Historic preservation does not seem to
be part of the plan.”
two other remaining buildings on Washington Street dating from its Arab era – a
community house where new arrivals gathered, and a tenement building – should
not be altered, he says. They were deemed to not be of enough architectural interest
to be landmarked in a past bid for such status.
Matthew Stiffler, research manager at the Arab American Museum in Dearborn and
a lecturer at the University of Michigan, said the settlement had significant
the Arab-American community, Europe was not the only place they moved to, New
York was the hub. From there the wholesalers would supply their goods across
the country,” he told The National.
Little Syria not being landmarked, he said: “What is dangerous about that is
that if it is not marked in some way it can lead subsequent generations to
mistakenly think Arab immigration, be they Christians, Muslims or Jews, is a
recent thing. Such immigration has been happening since the 1880s.”
Fine said his next move was to ask the new head of the city's Landmarks
Preservation Commission to evaluate his study and tour the area with him to see
what was at stake.
spokeswoman for the LPC said it received many requests for landmark status and
that all bids were considered on merit of architectural, cultural or historical
importance, pointing out that St George's Chapel gained recognition in 2009.
parliament holds debate on Islamophobia
House of Commons held a debate on Thursday on Islamophobia, one of the rising
dangers of British society, which affects the lives of more than 3 million
Muslims living in the U.K.
co-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims (APPG) and
the Labour MP Wes Streeting opened the debate on the definition of
Islamophobia, which was drawn by the group last year.
gave examples of Islamophobic attacks and disturbances across the U.K.,
inviting all parties to accept the definition, which describes it as "a
type of racism”.
underlined that 51 Muslim worshippers were slaughtered in March in a mosque in
Christchurch, New Zealand for no other reason but their faith.
said: “Hatred against Muslims does not start with the sound of a gun fire…
[but] it begins with simple prejudice that can go unchecked and unchallenged in
our schools, our workplaces and our communities.
is amplified on the pages of national newspapers. It is legitimized by
political leaders who use Muslims as punch lines and bigotry as a vote winner.”
is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of
Muslimness or perceived Muslimness,” he read out the definition, calling all
parties to adopt the definition.
year, APPG on British Muslims alongside the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)
devised a working definition on Islamophobia with the aim to tackle anti-Muslim
prejudice and hate crime. The definition was also drawn up in part to tackle
supposed police prejudice against Muslims.
police, however, has warned that efforts to come up with a working definition
of the phenomenon could undermine free speech and the fight against terrorism.
groups and MPs have contested this claim, arguing that the proposed new
definition was consulted extensively with parliamentarians and police officers.
National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), the policing body that represents law
enforcement in England and Wales, issued a statement earlier this week, voicing
their concerns regarding the cross-party working definition, arguing that it
could cause confusion for officers.
are concerned that the definition is too broad as currently drafted, could
cause confusion for officers enforcing it and could be used to challenge
legitimate free speech on the historical or theological actions of Islamic
states" said Martin Hewitt, the NPCC’s chairman, adding that "there
is also a risk it could also undermine counter-terrorism powers, which seek to
tackle extremism or prevent terrorism."
inability of senior police officers to understand how Islamophobia -- the
plethora of everyday microaggressions impacting British Muslims is NOT THE SAME
as hate crime shows a worrying lack of understanding of the communities they
seek to police," said Sayeeda Warsi, a senior member of the House of
Lords, in a statement.
MP Dominic Grieve said in today’s debate that the challenge in fight against
terrorism by the definition of Islamophobia is “beyond his comprehension”.
MP Naz Shah invited all parties to adopt the working definition of
Islamophobia. She said the Conservative Party is “willing to orchestrate” to
reject the definition of Islamophobia and it fails even to “acknowledge” it.
Muslim life will be lost next? Mine?” she questioned.
Labour and Liberal Democrats parties have adopted the working definition and
the Conservative party is facing growing calls to adopt it as well after
failing to tackle rising Islamophobia within its ranks.
Conservative Party has been under fire for inaction against openly Islamophobic
members. The MCB wrote two letters to Prime Minister Theresa May to launch an
inquiry on Islamophobia within the party.
APPG said in its report that British Muslims face higher levels of hate crime.
figures from the report found that the risk of being a victim of race hate
crime was highest for Muslim adults at 1.7% compared to non-Muslim adults at
in the UK has spiked following the 2017 terror attacks in London and
Manchester, according to Tell MAMA, a group recording anti-Muslim hate crime.
of Austrian far-right extremist's funding comes from Germany: report
May 15 (Xinhua) -- The majority of the 20,000 euros (22,440 U.S. dollars) in
funding received by the Austrian right-wing extremist Martin Sellner came from
bank accounts in Germany, according to bank statements seen by German
(Sueddeutscher Zeitung, NDR, WDR) and Austrian (Wiener Standard) publications
is a leading figure of the Identitarian Movement of Austria (IBOe, also known
as Generation Identity), a right-wing nationalist and new right organization,
which is part of a broader Europe-wide network.
to German media reports, Sellner received funding from around 250 people in
Europe in the first three months of last year.
majority of donors were in Germany and made donations of between 10 and 500
euros. Only three of the donors transferred amounts in excess of 1,000 euros,
according to German media.
reportedly included German artists, filmmakers, corporate executives and
university professors. Some were even low-level functionaries of the German
right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD).
notes attached to the donations showed the extent of support for Sellner's
ideology and struggle against the alleged demise of Christianity in Europe.
Austrian right-wing extremist had also received a donation of 1,500 euros from
the Christchurch mosque shooter in New Zealand and even had been in email contact
with the terrorist, according to German newspapers.
year, the public prosecutor's office in the Austrian city of Graz initiated
investigations against Sellner on suspicion of establishing a criminal
organization and asked for information about his accounts in Germany.
criminal proceedings ended with an acquittal. However, investigations are
currently underway based on the suspicion that the IBOe had evaded far more
than 100,000 euros in taxes, German media reports said.
grandfather of seven children of a Swedish-Norwegian couple that had joined the
Islamic State group and were killed in Syria says they have returned to Sweden.
grandfather, Patricio Galvez, says the children, aged between 1 and 8, will be
taken care of by social services and now needed "peace and quiet."
spoke to Swedish broadcaster SVT upon arriving on Wednesday in Goteborg,
Sweden's second largest city on the west coast.
month, Galvez was allowed to travel to Iraq to pick up the children of his
daughter Amanda Gonzales, a Swede, and her Norwegian husband Michael Skramo.
The two were reported killed earlier this year.
children were living at a refugee camp in northern Syria before being
transferred to the city of Irbil in Iraq.
Police chiefs and Muslim groups in the UK have clashed over a proposed official
definition of Islamophobia as part of efforts to tackle antiMuslim crimes in
definition, proposed by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British
Muslims based on wide consultation over the issue, reads: "Islamophobia is
rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness
or perceived Muslimness."
the UK's National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) warned in a statement on
Wednesday that the definition may be too broad and cause confusion.
take all reports of hate crime very seriously and will investigate them thoroughly.
However, we have some concerns about the proposed definition of Islamophobia
made by the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims," said NPCC
Chair Martin Hewitt.
are concerned that the definition is too broad as currently drafted, could
cause confusion for officers enforcing it and could be used to challenge
legitimate free speech on the historical or theological actions of Islamic
states. There is also a risk it could also undermine counter-terrorism powers,
which seek to tackle extremism or prevent terrorism," he said, calling for
wider consultation on any definition of anti-Muslim hostility.
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which had made a "resounding call"
for political leaders to adopt the definition when it was released as part of
the APPG on British Muslims report at the end of last year, attacked the NPCC
general secretary Harun Khan said: "Our understanding is that the police
and security forces will rightly fight terrorism based on intelligence and a
scrutiny of the evidence.
operations can only be 'hampered' if counter-terror officers have been
targeting Muslims because of their identity (or Muslimness as the definition
states), categorising them as security concerns. If this is the case, it
confirms long-voiced concerns about the disproportionate focus and impact of
counter-terror operations on Muslim communities."
row comes ahead of a UK Parliament debate on whether to formally adopt a
definition of Islamophobia. The debate, initiated by MPs from the APPG on
British Muslims in the House of Commons on Thursday, is expected to mount
pressure on the Theresa May led government to accept the formal definition.
definition, which has been accepted by Opposition parties such as Labour and
the Liberal Democrats as well as the London Mayor's Office, followed concerns
of a rising number of Islamophobic attacks in the UK.
office data notes that 52 per cent of religious hate crimes recorded by the
police was against Muslims. The APPG's report concluded that the lack of an
official definition was hampering efforts to counter Islamophobia, harming
Muslims and wider British society.
said: "The aim of establishing a working definition of Islamophobia has
neither been motivated by, nor is intended to curtail, free speech or criticism
of Islam as a religion.
open society can place religion above criticism and we do not subscribe to the
view that a working definition of Islamophobia can or should be formulated with
the purpose of protecting Islam from free and fair criticism or debate."
Sayeeda Warsi, a former Conservative Party chair who has called for an inquiry
into Islamophobia within the Tory party in the past, also countered the view
that a formal definition would interfere with police work.
report makes clear that the definition does not seek to protect or stop
criticism of Islam - to suggest it would, is disingenuous and divisive,"
inability of senior police officers to understand how Islamophobia - the
plethora of everyday microaggressions impacting British Muslims is not the same
as hate crime shows a worrying lack of understanding of the communities they
seek to police," she said.
minister is set to present the UK government stand on the definition of
Islamophobia at the end of the Commons debate this week, but it looks unlikely
that it would be formally adopted.
agrees with the United States that Iran poses a heightened threat and will work
closely with its ally, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday.
said he had discussed Iran with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week in
London, and again in Brussels on Monday.
share the same assessment of the heightened threat posed by Iran,” Hunt said on
added: “As always we work closely with the USA.”
and I discussed #Iran last week in London and again in Brussels on Monday. We
share the same assessment of the heightened threat posed by Iran. As always we work closely with the US 🇬🇧 🇺🇸
PM - May 16, 2019
people are talking about this
this week, Britain’s defense ministry backed a British general who appeared to
question the Trump administration’s claims that an imminent threat had emerged
US military has sent forces, including an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers, to
the Middle East in a move that US officials said was made to counter “clear
indications” of threats from Iran to American forces in the region.
Chris Ghika, the deputy commander of the US-led coalition fighting ISIS
extremist group in Syria and Iraq, said that there had been no increased threat
from Iranian-backed forces.
remarks contradicted the US claims and prompted a rare public rebuttal from the
Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron have
launched an initiative to tackle the spread of violence and extremism online.
countries and some of the world’s biggest tech companies have signed up to the
Christchurch Call, a three-page document containing a series of voluntary
pledges to prevent uploads of hateful and violent content, and quickly remove
any that gets through their defences.
nations who did not attend Wednesday's talks, including Germany, Australia and
India have signed the pledge.
measures to achieve these outcomes may include technology development, the
expansion and use of shared databases... and effective notice and takedown
procedures," the declaration read.
particular they promised "immediate, effective measures to mitigate the
specific risk that terrorist and violent extremist contest is disseminated
US State Department confirmed it will not sign up, but said it was in broad
agreement with the goals of the call.
move to secure pledges from firms and world leaders comes just months after a
white supremacist gunman used Facebook Live to stream his rampage at two
mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, killing 51 people.
live stream was broadcast live by the gunman on Facebook for 17 minutes and
remained online for a further 12 minutes before Facebook was alerted by a user
and took it down, but millions of uploads and shares of the video continued in
the following days.
Ardern asked for international assistance to solve the issue. "It's a
global problem that requires a global response," she said.
the conference kicked off in earnest, Facebook had already pledged to ban
Facebook Live users who shared extremist content and work to reinforce its own
internal controls to stop the spread of offensive videos.
the horrific recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand, we've been reviewing what
more we can do to limit our services from being used to cause harm or spread
hate," Facebook vice-president of integrity Guy Rosen said in a statement.
is a lot more work to do, but I am pleased Facebook has taken additional steps
today," Ms Ardern said in a statement.
Ardern also asked world leaders in attendance, including the UK’s Theresa May,
King Abdullah of Jordan and Canada’s Justin Trudeau, to act responsibly when
finding a balance between regulation and their citizens’ freedoms.
we as governments may choose regulation as a tool to address this issue. But we
need to recognise that regulation alone will not solve the problem. We need to
work collectively with tech companies, with civil society, to make meaningful
change,” she said.
we regulate, these regulations must not become a barrier to a free, open and
inter-operable internet. We must maintain and support an internet that acts for
Muslim leaders appeal for calm, say attacks against community helping extremism
Attacks against minority Muslims only fulfils the agenda of extremist militants
among the community who want to divide people, Muslim political leaders said
here Thursday as they appealed to the radical elements to shun violence, amid
widespread communal riots following the Easter blasts.
riots have killed one person and caused extensive damage to homes, businesses
and mosques in Sri Lanka this week.
communal violence is a fresh backlash from the Easter Sunday attacks where nine
suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts
that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels, killing 258 people
and injuring over 500 others.
who attack Muslims only fulfil the agenda of extremist militants. Terrorist
want other communities to target Muslims.
wanted to divide us," Imtiaz Bakeer Markar, a senior Muslim politician
are not with them and a majority of Muslims do not approve it (the Easter
Sunday attacks)," Ferial Ashraff, a former minister said.
said the Muslim community had volunteered to give information to security
forces in their operations to nab the extremists.
do not push them towards divisive groups by attacking them," Ashraff said.
to criticism that Muslims have become religiously more aggressive living among
the majority Buddhist community, Kabir Hashim, a minister said, "We are
not ashamed to do soul searching, we may have made mistakes in the past, but we
are ready to correct them. We are ready to move forward as one nation".
a group of opposition legislators moved a motion in Parliament for a vote of no
trust against Industry and Trade Minister Rishath Bathiyutheen who leads a
small Muslim party, a coalition partner in the government, for alleged
complicity with the jihadists.
motion accuses Bathiyutheen of applying pressure to release the supporters of
the jihadi group, supplying empty ammunition to a copper factory owned by one
of the suicide bombers and being friends with the rich father of the two
suicide bombers, a Muslim preacher who is under arrest.
Lanka has faced condemnation for the recent anti-Muslimn violence.
United Nations welcomes the unequivocal condemnation expressed on many
occasions by political, religious and other community leaders towards the
hate-mongering and violence carried out by a few," the UN statement in a
a country, Sri Lanka remains at a critical juncture where a unified rejection
of hate is of paramount importance for sustaining peace," it said.
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said it was closely monitoring the
anti-Muslim attacks that have taken place at various locations.
OIC calls on the authorities in Sri Lanka to ensure the safety and security of
the Muslim community in the country and combat the rising tide of violence,
extremism and hate speech, which is spreading fear and mistrust among the
communities," it said.
European Union while welcoming the arrests stressed the need to ensure the rule
Sri Lankan police said over 70 people have been arrested for attacking the
attacks are a fallout of the April 21 attack.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government has
blamed local Islamist extremist group, the National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ), for
Afghanistan: Afghan officials say an airstrike killed 17 policemen by mistake
during a battle with the Taliban just outside the provincial capital of Lashkar
Gah in the country’s southern Helmand province.
Afghan, head of the provincial council, says the airstrike took place on
Thursday as Afghan police were fighting the Taliban near the city. He also says
14 policemen were wounded in the strike.
wasn’t immediately clear who carried out the airstrike, Afghan or US forces.
There was no immediate response to a query to the US military in Kabul.
American forces regularly back Afghan troops when asked to.
members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group
surrendered to Afghan forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
governor Shah Mahmood Miakhel told reporters that the two ISIS members are
originally hailing from Punjab province of Pakistan.
further added that the two ISIS members surrendered to Afghan forces together
with their family members which include three women and nine children.
also added that the two ISIS members surrendered to the Afghan forces one and
half years after joining ISIS ranks and conducting terrorist related activities
in Achin district.
comes as numerous reports have emerged recently regarding the growing
activities of Pakistani militants in Afghanistan.
least 33 Pakistani nationals who were fighting in the ranks of Taliban were
killed in South-eastern Ghazni province earlier this week.
provincial government and police headquarters issued separate statements on
Tuesday confirming that 42 militants including 33 Pakistanis were killed in
latest operations which were conducted in Andar district.
Taliban captured a district center Wednesday in southern Afghanistan, killing
at least 13 government soldiers. The fighting comes as Russia asserted the
Taliban is getting stronger and called for increased efforts to reach a
negotiated settlement to the 17-year-old war.
officials and insurgent sources reported Taliban fighters assaulted Shamulzayi
in Zabul province before dawn, forcing Afghan security forces out of the
district center and also overrunning the regional office of the government
intelligence agency, NDS.
provincial security official requesting anonymity confirmed to VOA the fighting
killed at least 13 personnel of the Afghan National Army.
Defense Ministry announced a counteroffensive was underway in to retake the
lost ground, claiming the insurgents suffered heavy casualties in the process.
“Afghan air forces are in the area. Taliban [fighters] are on run from
district,” the ministry said in a statement.
spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi acknowledged fighting was raging in the area
“because some enemy [government] posts” were still offering resistance. He
rejected official claims of retaking the district center from the Taliban.
Zabul council chief, Atta Jan Haqbayan, confirmed to VOA the fall of Shamulzayi
district headquarters to the Taliban, saying government forces had retreated to
a nearby major army base.
Taliban 'getting stronger'
has engaged the Taliban in direct peace negotiations in a bid to persuade
insurgents to participate in an intra-Afghan dialogue process to end years of
hostilities in the country. The dialogue has not achieved any significant
breakthrough, however, nearly a year after it started, nor has the Taliban
responded positively to cease-fire appeals by Afghan and international
latest insurgent battlefield advances come a day after Russian President
Vladimir Putin said the Taliban were gaining strength, although he acknowledged
finding a negotiated settlement to the Afghan was “rather a complicated issue”
and a difficult task.
the same time, the positions of the Taliban are getting stronger. So we need to
step up cooperation and try to achieve the balance of power in this country,”
Putin said in a meeting with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,
according to the Russian media.
maintains overt contacts with the Taliban and says it supports the U.S. peace
its bid to push peace and reconciliation efforts in the war ravaged country,
Russia arranged a first-ever informal intra-Afghan meeting in February where
Taliban representatives and Afghan opposition politicians, civil society
groups, as well as tribal elders, exchanged views on how to end the war.
this year, the Pentagon reportedly asked Congress for funding to reimburse the
Taliban for transportation and other expenses the group incurs by attending
Defense Department requested fiscal 2020 funding to support certain
reconciliation activities, including logistic support for members of the
Taliban and, in March 2019, they sent a notification letter to the Committee on
using fiscal year 2019 funds for similar activities,” a spokesman for House
Appropriations subcommittee on Defense Chairman Peter J. Visclosky (D-Ind.)
told Roll Call.
money would pay for the terrorist organization's transportation, lodging, food
and supplies, the spokesman said. He also said the Defense Department's request
“would implicate provisions of law concerning material support to terrorists,
the Taliban’s ongoing offensive operations against U.S. service members, and
their continuing lack of acknowledgement of the government of Afghanistan or
the rights of women in Afghan society.”
funding request is like “life imitating The Onion,” Steve Ellis, executive vice
president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, told Roll Call.
if you leave aside that they are still conducting operations against our
interests and allies, having to pay for someone to be at the table undercuts
our bargaining position and demonstrates their lack of enthusiasm for a deal,”
Ellis said. “I’m sure the Taliban would like whatever cash we’re willing to
give them, but it’s not like they aren’t able to continue funding their
fighting. How about using some of that cash instead of American taxpayer
subcommittee on Wednesday approved a spending bill for fiscal year 2020 that
prohibits reimbursing Taliban expenses.
of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay the expenses of any
member of the Taliban to participate in any meeting that does not include the
participation of members of the Government of Afghanistan or that restricts the
participation of women,” the legislation said.
Call noted that the Taliban are well-funded, making most of their money
trafficking drugs. The group reportedly makes at least $800 million a year from
activities related to opium sales.
Hill has reached out to the Pentagon for comment.
May 15 (Xinhua) -- At least five security forces and nearly 40 Taliban
militants have been killed in clashes in Afghanistan within the past 24 hours,
authorities said Wednesday.
Afghan army soldiers, two police officers and four militants were killed after
Afghan security forces repelled an attack by Taliban on remote Shamulzay
district in southern province of Zabul Tuesday night, Afghan Ministry of
Defense said confirmed.
ministry added that heavy clashes with the security forces foiled the enemy's
plan to capture the remote district, in southeast of provincial capital Qalat
least 17 militants were also wounded in the fighting in the district, bordering
Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, claimed that the insurgents overran the
government offices in the district.
a separate incident, four Taliban militants were killed after Afghan Air Force
targeted a running vehicle in Naw Bahar district of Zabul on Tuesday.
another incident, four Taliban militants were killed and eight others wounded
after Afghan army commandoes launched an operation in Khelahzai village, on
outskirts of Pul-e-Khumri, capital of northern Baghlan province Tuesday night,
army Corps 217 Pamir said in a statement.
security force also destroyed two Taliban control and command posts and four
defensive positions in the area which threaten Pul-e-Khumri city, according to
addition, a Taliban divisional commander named Abubakar was killed after an
improvised explosive device that he was making detonated accidently in
Khelahzai on Tuesday, provincial police spokesman Jawid Basharat told Xinhua.
eastern Ghazni province, 20 militants were killed following a string of
airstrikes and army shelling attack against Taliban positions in Arizo and
Shahleez localities on outskirts of provincial capital, Ghazni city, provincial
government spokesman Harif Noori told Xinhua.
motorcycles, a heavy gun and a heavy machinegun were also destroyed after the
raids, he said.
neighboring Nangarhar province, five Taliban militants were killed and four
militants were arrested after Afghan Special Forces launched a night raid
operation in Khogyani district, provincial official Attaullah Khogyani told
Taliban's hideouts and two defensive positions were destroyed after the raid,
Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since early April when the militant
group launched its annual rebel offensive in different places of the country,
which had claimed hundreds of lives including militants, security personnel and
Taliban has urged civilians to stay away from official gatherings, military
convoys and centers regarded as the targets by militants besides warning people
not to support the government.
in Bangladesh arrested three people, two writers and an activist, in the past
week under the country's controversial Digital Security Act (DSA) and the
Information and Communication Technology Act (ICTA).
arrests have once again raised fears of a crackdown on freedom of expression in
the South Asian country and have drawn criticism from activists and
international rights groups. Both the laws seek to curb free speech, mainly in
the press, and carry a maximum punishment of 14 years each.
Sawpon, 48, a prominent poet living in the southern district of Barisal, was
arrested under the DSA on Tuesday for allegedly hurting the religious
sentiments of Bangladesh's minority Christian community. He was released on
bail on Thursday morning.
Imtiaz Mahmud, 61, was arrested under the ICTA in the capital Dhaka on
Wednesday over a Facebook post in which he wrote about the rights of minorities
in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) region.
a semi-autonomous region within Muslim-majority Bangladesh, shares borders with
India and Myanmar. The region has for decades been the site of low-intensity
conflict between its 13 ethnic minorities and the country's armed forces.
third arrest involved Abdul Kaium, a rights activist charged under the DSA on
May 11 following a complaint by the principal of an Islamic school, who accused
Abdul Kaium of "sharing improper content online".
arrests in a week
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Shahabuddin Khan told Al Jazeera that Sawpon,
a Christian himself, has been charged with posting "slanderous"
remarks against the Catholic Church of Barisal, a district with a large
police report mentioned a post in which Sawpon allegedly criticised the Barisal
diocese for holding a cultural event on Easter Sunday last month when more than
250 people were killed in serial bombings in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.
Rome was burning, Emperor Nero was playing with his flute," he allegedly
posted on April 23, two days after the Sri Lanka attack.
friend, poet Altaf Shahnewaz, told Al Jazeera that the Facebook post was an
excuse and he was being framed. "He was vocal about misdeeds and
embezzlement in Barisal churches. That’s why he was framed," he said.
Mahmud's case, police picked him up from his Banani home in Dhaka on Wednesday,
his brother Parvez Mahmud told Al Jazeera.
came to know later that police were complying with a warrant issued by a
Khagrachhari [a CHT district) court on January 21 this year," said Parvez.
July 2017, a case under the stringent ICTA was filed against Mahmud with the
Khagrachhari police for inciting communal violence in the CHT region through
his Facebook posts.
Abdul Kaium's arrest, Mymensingh police official Faruq Ahmed told Al Jazeera
that he was accused of "sharing improper content online".
was denied bail and was sent to jail by a court on Monday," Ahmed said.
also a lawyer at the country's Supreme Court, is known for his writings and
activism, especially on the CHT issue.
whose poems are published regularly in leading Bangladeshi newspapers and
magazines, was granted bail on Thursday morning by a Barisal court. The bail
will be effective till June 30, the date of the case's next hearing.
the arrests on Wednesday in Dhaka, a group of writers, artists and journalists
formed a human chain and demanded the release of the three within 24 hours.
and activist Robin Ahsan said the Bangladesh government is "walking in a
backward direction" and Sawpon's arrest was "a glaring example".
stayed back in Barisal since he loved his birthplace, while we all came to
Dhaka for a better life. He has always written against communalism. But the
administration of Barisal is ignorant," he said.
protesters threatened to go on an indefinite strike beginning Friday and called
for the abolition of the DSA and ICT, calling the two laws "inhuman".
Turkish aid agency has built a village for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh's
Cox Bazaar region.
as "Emir Sultan," the village consists of 414 bamboo houses, two
water wells, two mosques, a community space and a garbage plant.
to these houses, our Muslim brothers and sisters got electricity in their
houses for the first time. We have put solar panels on every house," said
Halil Asa, a representative of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a
leading Turkish aid group.
Rohingya see Turkey a source of optimism. They see a hope when they know you
are from Turkey and carry a Turkish flag on your clothes," the IHH
described by the U.N. as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened
fears of attacks since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women,
and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar
forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar's
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
demands Sh150m ransom for kidnapped Cubans
Al-Shabaab militants who are holding two Cuban doctors after their abduction in
Mandera are now demanding Sh150 million in ransom.
ransom demand was communicated through community elders who went to a remote
area between the towns of Buale and El-Ade in Jubaland region of Somalia.
is where general practitioner Herera Corea and surgeon Landy Rodriguez are said
to have been seen alive by the elders who were sent to negotiate their release.
days of negotiations, community elders from Mandera and Bulahawo in Somalia who
travelled to the area confirmed that the two are alive and offering treatment
to the community in a restricted environment.
seem to be under the care and offering medical care services to the locals,”
said a security official who cited the elders’ message.
officials in Mandera dismissed the claims as premature and farfetched saying
this was not official for now.
doctors were abducted on their way to work from home in Mandera County on April
say authorities in Kenya have sent back the elders seeking to further negotiate
reports say the two were abducted by bandits who handed them over to suspected
the Al-Shabaab militants who subsequently sought the ransom from the group of
elders allegedly through proxies.
bandits were used by over business rivalry in Mandera after it emerged the
doctors had sharply led to the drop of cost of medical services in the area.
team of security officials from Cuba had come to Kenya and visited Mandera as
part of the efforts to trace the whereabouts of the two abductees.
abducted doctors are among 100 Cuban specialists who arrived in the country in
the abduction, Cuban doctors posted in Wajir, Garissa and Tana River were
recalled and reassigned other counties.
Administration Police officer who was among two escorting the doctors was
killed during the incident that has raised fresh security concerns in the
driver who was taking the doctors from their residential area to work has since
been arrested and was being interrogated.
Cuba, a health ministry statement read on television said: “Channels of
communication have been established immediately with the Kenyan authorities to
address this situation while keeping the collaborators’ family members here in
Cuba informed. Likewise, a government working group has been set up to follow
up on this sensitive issue.”
November, an armed gang seized Silvia Romano, 23, an Italian charity worker, in
the southeastern town of Chakama. Her whereabouts are unknown.
— NIGERIAN troops have rescued more than 50 hostages from Boko Haram terrorists
northeast of the country.
29 adults and 25 children were freed during operations in a number of villages
in the Borno State.
have been rescued under the military's Operation Lafiya Dole (Peace by Force)
to eliminate the Islamic militants.
encounter was made with the Boko Haram terrorists as they ran away before
troops' arrival leaving behind 54 suspected kidnapped victims," said
Colonel Sagir Musa, Acting spokesman of the Nigerian Army.
recently destroyed makeshift accommodation for suspected terrorists also in
restated the Nigerian Army's resolution to ending terrorism and other forms of
insecurities across the West African country.
appeal to the public to continue to provide useful information about suspicious
movement of terrorists and criminals wherever they are seen hibernating in
Nigeria," he said.
Boko Haram is involved in a decade-long campaign to topple the Nigerian
government and establish an Islamic state.
bodies of 11 Nigerien soldiers missing since Tuesday's ambush have been
discovered, bringing the death toll to 28.
killed four US soldiers at the same place in 2017.
and other countries in the Sahel have been facing a growing militant threat
from several Islamist groups.
Islamic State group has said it was behind the ambush but there has been no
confirmation of this claim by the authorities.
belonging to affiliates of al-Qaeda are also active in the region.
are most active in neighbouring Mali, where French troops intervened in 2013 to
prevent them from advancing on the capital, but they often stage cross-border
did the attack happen?
soldiers were in pursuit of militants who attacked a high security prison 50km
(30 miles) on Tuesday outside the capital, Niamey, a government spokesman told
of the soldiers' vehicles drove into a landmine and then the assailants started
firing at our soldiers," Mr Zakariyyah told the BBC's Focus on Africa
programme on Tuesday.
was initially reported that 17 soldiers had been killed in the ambush.
providing any evidence, the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for
the attack via its news agency Amaq. According to the statement, 40 were killed
and injured, although for now the government has said that the death toll was
Zakariyyah did not identify the perpetrators of the attack but said it happened
near where US troops and five Niger soldiers were killed two years ago.
search operation, aided by French and American troops, who have a base in
is part of a five nation anti-insurgency force operating in the Sahel. It includes
Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Mauritania.
G5 Sahel, as it is called, is backed by a 3,000-strong French force.
to attack French allies
Louise Dewast, BBC West Africa correspondent
was the deadliest attack recorded in western Niger, where government troops and
their international allies are fighting affiliates of al-Qaeda and the Islamic
say it was a complex attack in which the militants planted improvised explosive
devices. Despite years of heavy deployments of French, US and UN forces, the
region - including Niger - remains a tinderbox.
group called the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), which has claimed
responsibility for the attack, has recently been subject to counter-militancy
operations, mainly led by the French, making large-scale attacks against
government troops difficult.
one expert on the region, Héni Nsaibia, a researcher at The Armed Conflict
Location and Event Data group, this attack could be the result of French forces
shifting its focus to central Mali, and to the recent hostage-release operation
in Burkina Faso which required attention and assets.
adds it could also be that militants are heeding the call of Islamic State
group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who in a recent audiovisual speech
explicitly called on them to intensify attacks against France and its allies in
the Sahel region.
people were killed and a statue of the Virgin Mary was destroyed in an attack
on parishioners during a religious procession in Burkina Faso, church officials
told CNN on Wednesday.
armed men, who on Monday stopped a group of worshipers during a Catholic parade
in the remote village of Zimtenga, in the Kongoussi area of the country's
northwest, set children free but killed four adults.
then burned a statue of the Virgin Mary, Paul Ouédraogo, president of the
Episcopal Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger told CNN.
attack came a day after six people, including a priest, were killed by gunmen
who opened fire on worshipers in a Catholic church in Dablo in the central part
of the country.
will not be bogged down by the religious attacks," said Cardinal Philippe
Ouédraogo at an ongoing conference of Catholic bishops in the capital,
Ouagadougou, on Tuesday.
have recently come under attack across the northwest African country, which is
facing a growing terrorist threat. In April, five churchgoers, including a
pastor, were killed in a deadly attack by armed men in Silgadji town.
attacks by armed Islamist groups have forced tens of thousands to flee their
villages this year, Human Rights Watch said in a recent report.
forces last week freed four hostages, including an American and South Korean,
in a rescue operation in Burkina Faso that saw two soldiers killed.
US in February said it might send additional military advisers as well as
intelligence and surveillance assets such as drones to Burkina Faso to help
fight the uptick in terrorism attacks in the country.
opposition alliance on Thursday said the ruling military council’s suspension
of talks with protesters for 72 hours was a “regrettable decision”.
opposition alliance, known as the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces
(DFCF), also vowed to continue sit-ins outside the defense ministry and across
in the day, the Transitional Military Council (TMC) suspended the talks after
protesters broke a deal on de-escalation, the council head said in a televised
the past three days, cautious calm has prevailed on Tripoli’s southern
outskirts following earlier clashes between Libya’s rival political camps.
clashes, however, continue to break out sporadically, especially in and around
Tripoli’s international airport, which remains held by forces loyal to renegade
military commander Khalifa Haftar.
Wednesday, aircraft affiliated with Haftar’s forces reportedly carried out
airstrikes in the city of Gharyan (some 100 kilometers south of the capital)
without causing casualties.
last month, Haftar, who commands forces loyal to a government based in the
country’s east, launched a major campaign to capture Tripoli, where Libya’s
UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) is headquartered.
more than a month of fighting on Tripoli’s outskirts, however, Haftar's
campaign has failed to achieve its primary objective.
Haftar’s forces remain deployed in several areas around the capital.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi
was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising after four decades in
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