Palestine Liberation Organization mission in Washington. (Reuters)
Administration to Shut Down PLO Office in Washington, Use Sanctions to Block
Cases against Israel at ICC
Weighs Sanctions against Chinese Officials over Muslim Detention Camps
Masjid Demolition Case: How Will You Complete Probe by April 2019, SC Asks
Seeks Role for Minorities in Pakistan Govt
Africa: Understanding the Muslim Marriages Judgment
administration to shut down PLO office in Washington, use sanctions to block
cases against Israel at ICC
Bonds with Mexico's Indigenous Muslims through Developmental Aid
army advances in Hodeidah, Houthi supply commander killed in battles
judge orders Iran to pay $105m over 1996 Khobar Towers bomb in Saudi Arabia
says Bahrain’s claim about arrest of Iranians lacks evidence
Idlib liberation battle could pose risks to Turkey, Europe
opens fire on Palestinian boats attempting Gaza siege break
court sentences 115 suspects to jail over affiliation to Gulen movement
Vice President: We will regain control over every inch of Yemen
Emphasises Compassion as Muslims Mark Start of Islamic New Year
role concerns handed to Mindanao Muslim group
thinks Islam is a disease, and Muslim leaders don’t care
suspects in deadly Philippine bombings face criminal raps
non-Muslim dominance in Parliament, PAS to push for ‘Islamic leadership’
nice if cabinet ministers lead the way and declare ‘I’m Malaysian first’
PAS to continue co-operation with Umno, but will stay independent
scholar, Prof Christian W Troll and Mr Sanjiv Sharaf to receive Sir Syed
To Decide On Panaji Qabristan Today
terrorists killed in encounter in J&K
terrorists get death penalty for Hyderabad blasts
Focuses On Kashmir Issue after Being Out Of Power
army chief confirms death sentences for 13 Taliban
rejects plea to cancel registration of Pakistan Rah-i-Haq Party
was very clear about Pakistan’s relationship with India: speakers
China refute Financial Times' CPEC report, resolve to expand cooperation
decides to remove JUI-F chief’s brother as Afghan refugees’ commissioner
forces foil terrorist bid in Balochistan
Bomb Kills Six outside Somali Government Office
group says 100 migrants die off Libyan coast
1000 days of wrongful incarceration
Kano Govt Declares Tuesday Public Holiday for Islamic New Year
US resident extremists defect from Al-Shabaab in Somalia
Haram captures Nigerian town after troop attack
Behind 1988 Pakistan Plane Crash That Killed Gen. Zia: Pakistani Senator
Explores Role of Muslim Americans in Solving Social Problems
warns ICC against probing its troops for excesses in Afghanistan
anger at Iran is an opportunity for America
Turkish Army Keeps 50,000 Terrorists on Alert for Battle against Syrian Army in
Al-Islam Deploys Terrorists at Contact Lines with Syrian Army in Aleppo
begins operation to drive out Daesh from Hajjin
‘Terror’ Convicts Executed in Iraq’s Dhi Qar Province
displaces over 30,000 in Syria’s Idlib, Hama this month
security forces kill 11 suspected extremists in Sinai
Issues New Notice to Kabul Residents Regarding Possible Attacks
militants overrun Khamab district in Jawzjan province
police shut down journalists’ discussion about Rohingya Muslims
demand Bangladesh opposition leader's release
military release airstrike video on Taliban’s HME storage in Wardak
Muslim Group Wants Franklin Graham Banned for Spreading Anti-Islam 'Hate
leading Muslim organisation calls for Home Office to refuse Billy Graham's
preacher son a visa over Islamophobic and homophobic remarks
to review report calling for reform of Islam in France
think tank calls for 'halal tax' on Muslims
a halal tax fix France’s approach to the ‘Islamist factory’?
MI6 planning chemical attack in Syria: US senator
provides logistic support for terrorist organization in Syria: Report
to brief UN Security Council on results of Tehran Summit on Syria
hold ‘vigil’ in Germany for man who died after fight with Afghans
rights chief presses for new body on crimes against Rohingya
Joins Europe’s Move to Right Over Muslim Migration Backlash
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Administration to Shut Down PLO Office in Washington, Use Sanctions to Block Cases
against Israel at ICC
— Palestinian officials on Monday vowed not to bend to what they called the
Trump administration’s bullying tactics after being notified that their office
in Washington would be shut down as part of an effort to block cases against
Israel at the International Criminal Court.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said he was officially notified of the
decision, which the State Department formally announced Monday morning,
charging that the Palestine Liberation Organization “has not taken steps to
advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” The
announcement also cited U.S. “concerns with Palestinian attempts to prompt an
investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court.”
decried the move as a continuation of a policy of “collective punishment” by
the Trump administration.
people have decided to stand on the wrong side of history by protecting war
criminals and destroying the two state solution,” he said. “I told them if you
are worried about courts, you should stop aiding and abetting crimes.”
moves to pressure the Palestinian leadership over the past year have driven the
relationship to a crisis point. They have chipped away at the core tenets of
Palestinian aspirations — a capital in part of Jerusalem and a right of return
for refugees — while ramping up financial pressure on the Palestinian
Authority, which governs Palestinian territories in the West Bank.
The Trump administration’s moves, Palestinian
officials say, represent an attempt to inflict irreversible damage on their
ambitions for a state, as Washington also effectively greenlights Israeli
settlement activity in the West Bank.
United States said last year it would close the PLO’s office in Washington
after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on the International
Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes.
However, he later backtracked on the decision, advising the Palestinian
leadership to limit the office’s activities to efforts to achieve peace with
Israel as the Trump administration prepares its long-awaited peace plan.
order to close the PLO office comes days before the 25th anniversary of the
historic Oslo Accords, when the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel
mutually recognized each other and launched a peace process. That pact paved
the way for the PLO to open its Washington office the following year, but as it
doors close, the optimism surrounding that deal is a distant memory.
PLO office essentially functions as an embassy but does not officially
represent “Palestine,” as the United States does not recognize a Palestinian
state, although that is a stated aim of previous administrations. The Trump
administration has refrained from directly calling for a two-state solution,
saying it would back one if both sides agree.
a series of blows to the Palestinians, the Trump administration has recognized
Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moved the U.S. Embassy there and cut
funding to the U.N. agency that deals with Palestinian refugees. Then, last
week, Washington said it would withdraw $25 million in support from hospitals
in East Jerusalem.
of Palestinians began protesting May 14, the same day the Trump administration
hailed the movement of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. (Joyce Lee/The Washington
a speech Monday, national security adviser John Bolton threatened to impose
sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) if it proceeds with
investigations against the United States or Israel.
that the ICC has “threatened” to investigate Israel for actions against
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as for its settlement
activity in occupied territories, Bolton vowed, “We will not allow the ICC . . .
to constrain Israel’s
right to self-defense.”
United States would ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the country,
sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system and prosecute them in the
courts, Bolton said.
Erekat said the Palestinian leadership would double down on its efforts and
submit a new complaint to the ICC within 48 hours over an Israeli Supreme Court
decision to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar.
said the United States is not “part of the peace process” and does not even
have the right to “sit in the room” during any negotiations, and he dismissed
U.S. officials such as the ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, as a “group of
settlers” pursuing a right-wing Israeli agenda.
Zumlot, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s representative to the United
States, accused the White House of attempting to do irreversible damage to the
U.S.-Palestinian relationship that would be hard for any future administration
well as checking off a wish list of Israeli demands, such as recognizing
Jerusalem, it shows that the United States is attempting to preempt Israel’s
fears over international prosecution and a more favorable attitude toward
Palestinians among young Americans. He described U.S. efforts to block
investigation of Israel at the ICC as an “onslaught against international
United States is not a member of the ICC but cooperated with the court under
the Obama administration. Israel is also not a member. Despite vehement Israeli
opposition, Palestine was admitted as a member state in 2015. Since then, it
has lodged complaints over the expansion of Israeli settlements and alleged war
crimes during the 2014 Gaza War and the use of sharpshooters during protests in
Gaza this year.
latest U.S. moves show that Palestinian efforts to pressure Israel through
international institutions are working, Zumlot said.
Palestinians, though, U.S. cuts are beginning to bite. This year, the United
States has held back $300 million in funding for the U.N. Relief and Works
Agency (UNRWA), which provides education, health care and food aid for more
than 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan,
largely the descendants of those displaced when Israel was created in 1948.
has accused UNRWA of perpetuating the conflict by supporting the descendants of
refugees with their “right of return,” which Israel considers a major stumbling
block to peace.
officials have also said that they will freeze $25 million in funding to six
east Jerusalem hospitals that primarily serve Palestinians. The largely
church-run hospitals traditionally serve as the main providers of care for
Palestinians referred for treatment for procedures not available in the West
Bank and Gaza.
announcement is likely to be widely welcomed by the government in Israel, which
was on holiday Monday to mark the Jewish New Year.
Ashrawi, a member of the PLO’s executive committee, described the action as a
form of “crude and vicious blackmail.”
irresponsible moves are clear proof of American collusion with Israel’s
occupation,” she said. “The U.S. would do better to finally understand that the
Palestinians will not surrender and that no amount of coercion or unwarranted
collective punishment measures will bring the Palestinian leadership or people
to their knees.”
Weighs Sanctions Against Chinese Officials Over Muslim Detention Camps
— The Trump administration is considering sanctions against Chinese senior
officials and companies to punish Beijing’s detention of hundreds of thousands
of ethnic Uighurs and other minority Muslims in large internment camps,
according to current and former American officials.
economic penalties would be one of the first times the Trump administration has
taken action against China because of human rights violations. United States
officials are also seeking to limit American sales of surveillance technology
that Chinese security agencies and companies are using to monitor Uighurs
throughout northwest China.
to rebuke China for its treatment of its minority Muslims have been underway
for months among officials at the White House and the Treasury and State
Departments. But they gained urgency two weeks ago, after members of Congress
asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to
impose sanctions on seven Chinese officials.
now, President Trump has largely resisted punishing China for its human rights record,
or even accusing it of widespread violations. If approved, the penalties would
fuel an already bitter standoff with Beijing over trade and pressure on North
Korea’s nuclear program.
month, a United Nations panel confronted Chinese diplomats in Geneva over the
detentions. The camps for Chinese Muslims have been the target of growing
international criticism and investigative reports, including by The New York
rights advocates and legal scholars say the mass detentions in the northwest
region of Xinjiang are the worst collective human rights abuse in China in
decades. Since taking power in 2012, President Xi Jinping has steered China on
a hard authoritarian course, which includes increased repression of large
ethnic groups in western China, notably the Uighurs and Tibetans.
Sunday, Human Rights Watch released a detailed report that concluded that the
violations were of a “scope and scale not seen in China since the 1966-1976
Cultural Revolution.” The report, based on interviews with 58 former residents
of Xinjiang, recommended that other nations impose targeted sanctions on
Chinese officials, withhold visas and control exports of technology that could
be used for abuses.
new American sanctions would be announced by the Treasury Department after
governmentwide consultations, including with Congress.
Muslims in the camps are forced to attend daily classes, denounce aspects of
Islam, study mainstream Chinese culture and pledge loyalty to the Chinese
Communist Party. Some detainees who have been released have described torture
by security officers.
officials have labeled the process “transformation through education” or
“counter-extremism education.” But they have not acknowledged that large groups
of Muslims are being detained.
discussions over the mass detentions in Xinjiang highlight American efforts on
issues that diverge from the president’s priorities. Mr. Trump has rarely made
statements criticizing foreign governments for human rights abuses or
anti-liberal policies, and in fact has praised authoritarian leaders, including
Trump administration has confronted China over economic issues — the two
countries are in the middle of a prolonged trade war — but has said little
about rampant abuses by its security forces.
scale of it — it’s massive,” Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said
of the Muslim detention centers in an interview. “It involves not only
intimidating people on political speech, but also a desire to strip people of
their identity — ethnic identity, religious identity — on a scale that I’m not
sure we’ve seen in the modern era.”
Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking group that is mostly Sunni Muslim. With a
population of around 11 million, Uighurs are the largest ethnic group in
Xinjiang. Some of the desert oasis towns and villages that they consider their
homeland are being emptied out as security officers force many Uighurs into
large detention centers for weeks or months.
Hoja, a Uighur-American journalist who works for Radio Free Asia, which is
financed by the United States government, said at a congressional hearing in
July that two dozen of her family members in Xinjiang were missing, including
hope and pray for my family to be let go and released,” Ms. Hoja said. “But I
know even if that happens, they will still live under constant threat.”
Chinese law student in Canada, Shawn Zhang, has compiled satellite images that
show the scale of some of the detention centers.
their demand last month, Mr. Rubio and other lawmakers urged officials at the
State and Treasury Departments to impose sanctions on Chinese companies that
have profited from building the camps or the regionwide surveillance system,
which includes the collection of biometric and DNA data. They singled out
Hikvision and Dahua Technology for the surveillance.
Rubio said the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, of which he is a
chairman, will also ask the Commerce Department to prevent American companies
from selling technology to China that could contribute to the surveillance and
many years, Chinese officials have talked about the need to suppress what they
call terrorism, separatism and religious extremism in Xinjiang. In 2009, ethnic
violence began soaring in the region. Security forces carried out mass
repression in response, but large-scale construction of the camps, which now
hold as many as one million people, did not begin until the arrival of Chen
Quanguo, who became party chief of Xinjiang in August 2016, after a stint in
the Tibet Autonomous Region.
congressional demand, outlined in an Aug. 28 letter, singles out Mr. Chen among
the seven Chinese officials who would be sanctioned.
Washington, officials grappling with the plight of the Uighurs and other
Chinese Muslims are doing so in the shadow of the mass murders, rapes and
forced displacement of Rohingya Muslims by Burmese military forces that began
in Myanmar in August 2017. More than 700,000 Rohingya fled to neighboring
Bangladesh and live in squalid camps.
American officials see the actions of the Chinese government as another form of
the genocide that occurred in Myanmar, according to people with knowledge of
the continuing discussions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because
they have not been authorized to talk publicly about the issue.
Brownback, the State Department’s ambassador at large for international
religious freedom and former governor of Kansas, supports taking a hard line
against the Chinese government on the issue of Xinjiang, they said. Mr.
Brownback declined to be interviewed.
April, Laura Stone, an acting deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and
Pacific affairs, told reporters on a visit to Beijing that the United States
could impose sanctions on Chinese officials involved in the Xinjiang abuses
under the Global Magnitsky Act. The law allows the American government to
impose sanctions on specific foreign officials who are gross violators of human
same month, Heather Nauert, the chief spokeswoman for the State Department,
called on China to release all those “unlawfully detained” after meeting in
Washington with Ms. Hoja and five other ethnic Uighur journalists who work in
the United States for Radio Free Asia. The journalists shared details of the
mass detentions and of harassment of their own family members in the region.
issue of the Uighurs was raised in July at the first international
minister-level forum on global religious freedom, over which Mr. Pompeo and
Vice President Mike Pence presided. Ahead of it, Mr. Pompeo wrote an op-ed that
listed the Uighurs among several groups suffering religious persecution. “These
episodes and others like them are abhorrent,” he wrote.
a statement to The Times, the State Department said officials “are deeply
troubled by the Chinese government’s worsening crackdown” on Muslims.
reports indicate that individuals sent by Chinese authorities to detention
centers since April 2017 number at least in the hundreds of thousands, and
possibly millions,” the statement said.
Trump administration has used an executive order tied to the Magnitsky Act once
to impose sanctions on a Chinese official. In December, the White House
announced sanctions against Gao Yan, who was a district police chief in Beijing
when a human-rights activist died in detention.
Masjid demolition case: How will you complete probe by April 2019, SC asks
Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from a sessions judge in a Lucknow
court on how he intended to complete the trial in the Babri Masjid demolition
case within the April 2019 deadline.
bench of Justices R F Nariman and Indu Malhotra also sought a reply from the
Uttar Pradesh government, in a sealed cover, on a plea of trial court judge S K
Yadav seeking promotion that was stalled by the Allahabad High Court on the
ground that the top court had directed him to complete the trial.
May 30, 2017, the top court had framed charges against 12 people, including BJP
stalwarts L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, in the Babri Masjid
demolition case. Their applications for discharge from the offence were
rejected and they were granted bail on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 each. The
court also rejected the CBI opposition to their bail applications.
April 19 in the same year, the apex court ordered the restoration of the
conspiracy charge against the three BJP leaders, directing the special court to
“complete the trial and deliver the judgment within a period of two years”. It
also shifted the trial from Rae Bareli to Lucknow.
seeks role for minorities in Pakistan govt
Catholic Church in Pakistan has called on the nation's new government to help
minorities amid criticism of the dumping of a talented Ahmadi economist from a
senior advisory position.
nomination of Atif Mian, an Ahmadi, to join the country's 18-member economic
advisory council was withdrawn amid opposition from some mainstream Muslims.
Ahmadis are a minority Islamic group not accepted by all Muslims.
National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), the Catholic Church's human
rights body in Pakistan, congratulated new Prime Minister Imran Khan and
President-elect Arif Alvi on their appointments in a media statement on Sept 6.
seeking development and progress of the nation, the government should also
prioritize the issues of minorities so that they are integrated well in society
and feel proud to be responsible Pakistanis," Archbishop Joseph Arshad of
Islamabad-Rawalpindi, NCJP national director Father Emmanuel Yousaf and
executive director Cecil Shane Chaudhry said in a joint statement.
commission also stressed a need for the government to establish a Ministry for
Minority Affairs at both provincial and federal levels while giving due
representation to minorities in all ministries.
church also called for a national commission to protect the rights of religious
minorities. The government belongs as much to minorities as it does to the
majority, the statement added.
Arshad expressed "prayerful best wishes" for the new government. He
said all parties should strive to improve life for weak and marginalized
communities as well as steering youth and the nation toward peaceful
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf political party of Imran Khan dropped the appointment
of Mian, a professor at Princeton University in the United States.
of Information Fawad Chaudhry tweeted that it would be inappropriate if a
single nomination was divisive.
the minister had previously said the government would not "bow to
extremists" opposed to the appointment.
2014, the Supreme Court of Pakistan mandated a quota system, with 5 percent of
government jobs set aside for religious minorities. However, the rule is rarely
Michael, a research scholar and professor in Karachi University's social work
department, expressed disappointment over the handling of Mian's appointment.
"Mian was the highest qualified person in the economic advisory
council," he noted.
for the first time, members of religious minorities have not been included in
the federal or Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial cabinets, he said.
don't have much hope for change," Michael told ucanews.com. "Perhaps
church leaders should meet the PM and president in person and share their
concerns. "We are not seeing justice being done."
fierce opposition, the Cape High Court has compelled government to introduce
legislation that recognises Muslim marriages
and children in Muslim marriages have few safeguards to protect their interests
especially when it comes to divorce and inheritance.
draft bill to legally recognise Muslim marriages was introduced for public
comment but according to the Minister of Justice, the bill was widely opposed:
over 7,000 petitions objected to the bill; only 734 messages supported it. The
main objections said that the bill was inconsistent with Sharia law and was
the Cape High Court in Women's Legal Centre Trust v President of South Africa
and others on 31 August ordered the state to pass legislation that recognises
Muslim marriages within 24 months. (Read the judgment.)
will be interesting to see if and how the new legislation will balance the
protection of the rights of Muslim women and children while still retaining
important aspects of Sharia law.
to the Case
organisations and people were involved in this complicated case.
case was a consolidation of three applications brought by the Women's Legal
Centre, Tarryn Faro and Ruwayda Esau. This was done because there was an
overlap in the issues raised in their cases.
were nine respondents in the case. The first five can be summed up as
government: (1) President, (2) Minister of Justice, (3) Minister of Home
Affairs, (4) Speaker of the National Assembly, (5) Chairperson of the National
Council of Provinces. The other respondents were: (6) Association of Muslim
Women South Africa, (7) United Ulama Council of South Africa, (8) South African
Human Rights Commission and the (9) Commission for the Promotion and Protection
of the Rights of Religious, Cultural and Linguistic Communities.
the participants argued
applicants asked the court to do two things: (1) Make an order declaring that
the government had failed to fulfill its constitutional obligation to protect,
promote and fulfill various constitutional rights, and (2) order the government
to enact legislation to recognise Muslim marriages as valid marriages within 12
applicants argued that by failing to recognise Muslim marriages, the government
was violating the constitutional rights to equality, dignity, freedom of
religion, the best interests of the child and access to the court.
applicants also argued that the government had failed to fulfil its duties
imposed on it by various human rights treaties and conventions to which South Africa
is a party.
the government respondents argued that they were not in breach of their
constitutional obligations as the Constitution does not obligate it to enact
legislation for the protection of a group of people. They also argued that the
courts have been developing the common law in relation to Muslim marriages, and
this provided some protection to Muslim women and children. They also argued
that the international law obligations do not create enforceable rights unless
enacted as domestic legislation, and this had not been done.
of the Court
full bench (three judges) of the court heard the case. Judge Nolwazi Penelope
Boqwana wrote the judgment.
court found that while marriage itself is not a constitutional right, it has
been given "a seal of constitutional significance" by the
Constitutional Court. So the court found that there had been numerous cases
that had been decided by various courts to support the argument that the
different treatment between Muslim marriages and civil and customary marriages
amounted to a violation of rights.
7(2) of the Constitution says: "The state must respect, protect, promote
and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights." The court found that this
imposes an obligation on the state to enact laws to protect rights that are
being breached. Also, the court found that by ratifying international treaties
and conventions, the state became was bound by them in the international
sphere, and it would be "faithful to the Constitution" to take this
into account when interpreting the obligations of the state.
court found that considering the complexity and importance of the marriage, the
only reasonable and effective way the state could fulfil its obligations in
section 7(2) of the Constitution was by enacting legislation that recognised
court rejected the interim relief requested by the applicants (while waiting
for the new legislation to be enacted). The applicants wanted the marriage and
divorce acts to include marriages concluded under Islamic law. The court found
that doing so may cause too much confusion.
court found that the state is obliged to respect, protect and promote the
rights to dignity, equality, religion, the best interests of the child and
access to courts by enacting legislation to recognise Sharia law marriages. It
found that the state has failed to fulfil this obligation. It gave the state 24
months to rectify this failure.
court also ordered that if legislation is not enacted within 24 months, then
all marriages validly concluded under Sharia law would be dissolved according
to the Divorce Act.
is this case important?
has important legal consequences for the people who participate in it. It is a
"source of socio-economic benefits such as the right to inheritance,
medical insurance coverage, adoption, spousal benefits, bereavement leave, tax
advantages and post- divorce rights", as the Constitutional Court judgment
on gay marriage explained. This is why civil and customary marriages are
regulated. Because Muslim marriages are not recognised in South Africa, there
are not enough legislative protections of the people affected by it, especially
women and children. This judgment hopefully remedies this problem.
case also illustrates how in a constitutional democracy, neither the majority,
nor the loudest voices, nor government, necessarily get their way. If
constitutional rights are violated, the situation must be fixed, no matter what
government, the loud, the powerful, or the majority believe.
of the other arguments made in the case
South African Human Rights Commission (respondent 8) agreed that the state
should legislate recognition of Muslim marriages. But it argued this obligation
was not based on international law.
Commission of the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural,
Linguistic and Religious Communities (respondent 9), opposed the main relief
the applicants wanted -- i.e. enacting legislation -- but preferred the relief
of reading in the recognition of all religious marriages (including Muslim
marriages) into the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act.
organisations took part in the case as friends of the court (amicus curiae).
These were the United Ulama Council of South Africa (different from respondent
7 that has the same name), Law Society of South Africa, South Africa Lawyers
for Change, Islamic Unity Convention, Commission for Gender Equality and
Jamaitul Ulama KwaZulu Natal.
the friends of the court, except for two organisations, supported the
application as well as the relief sought. The Islamic Unity Convention which
acknowledged the hardships faced by Muslim women and children. But it did not
support enacting legislation to recognise Muslim marriages. The Jamiatul Ulama
KwaZulu Natal opposed the application and the relief sought, arguing that the
Constitution is incompatible with Sharia law.
Association of Muslim Women of South Africa and the United Ulama Council
(respondents 6 and 7) opposed the relief sought as they were of the opinion
that the matter raised several disputes of fact that could not be resolved by a
court that only decided the case on the papers (i.e. there was no
cross-examination of witnesses).
bonds with Mexico's indigenous Muslims through developmental aid
its bid to reach out to small Muslim communities all across the world, the
state-run Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) offers aid to
indigenous Muslims of Mexico. Their population is concentrated in rural parts
of the state of Chiapas. Native Americans who mostly converted to Islam in the
recent decades thrive on jobs with little income. Some sell clothes they sew to
tourists while others depend on livestock breeding. Aid is scant as the region
they live in is remote.
donated sewing machines and cows to the community and set up a sewing workshop
for women. The agency also regularly delivers food aid during the Muslim month
of fasting Ramadan and organizes iftar (fast-breaking) dinners for Muslims.
mountainous area near San Cristobal de Las Casas is home to some 400 Muslims
from Tzotzil, indigenous Mayan people whose population is concentrated in the
highlands of Chiapas. Women sew traditional dresses to sell to tourists and
sewing workshop set up by TİKA gives them support and extra income for each
household in this poor community where mass conversions to Islam began in the
1980s. Most people are recent converts from Christianity and they are part of
Mexico's larger Muslim community that numbers around 5,000 people, a minority
in a country of 130 million people.
a little-known state apparatus founded with the purpose of helping former
Soviet republics after the collapse of the Soviet Union, TİKA rebranded itself
in the past decade as a major source for Turkey's international clout by
reaching out to people in need around the globe. In Mexico, its work focuses on
disadvantaged indigenous communities.
in the country since 2016, TİKA launched some 60 projects in this period and
provided about $2 million in development aid. Most recently, it reached out to
victims of three major earthquakes that rocked Mexico last year and this year.
TİKA delivered humanitarian aid packages of food and hygiene kits to earthquake
victims in three remote areas in Oaxaca, which was among the most affected
areas of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in February. It previously supplied
ambulances and rescue vehicles to Mexican authorities to be used in
President Enrique Pena Nieto sent a letter of gratitude to TİKA for sending aid
to help cope with the string of earthquakes that have shaken the country since
September 2017. In August, the Turkish agency started construction on a health
center in the state of Oaxaca.
also opened libraries in schools in Chiapas and last summer and established two
greenhouses that will provide food to 300,000 people a year in the Iztapalapa
district of Mexico City.
army forces continued advancing in Hodeidah as the Houthi militias continue to
suffer several losses in the strategic province.
military source said the national army restored posts where the militias were
fortifying, adding that Houthi commander Abu Hashem, who supervises military
and human supplies of militias in Hodeidah, has been killed.
violent battle is being fought by the national army and resistance in the
important area of Kilo 16 which connects the capital Sanaa with the city of
army advanced towards this area and restored posts where the Houthis were
fortified. Dozens of Houthi fighters were killed or injured in the
confrontations in which the coalition air force is participating.
army also managed to restore control over the New Generation School that
overlooks the road which connects Kilo 10 and Kilo 16.
Sunday, the army forces cut the Houthis’ route of supplies to Kilo 16 and the
army had advanced reaching Kilo 16.
sources noted that Kilo 16 is strategic and fully controlling it means
suffocating militias and cutting their route of supplies from Sanaa.
federal judge in Washington, D.C. on Monday ordered Iran to pay $104.7 million
to victims of a June 1996 truck bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia that killed 19
US military personnel, though it is unclear when and how the plaintiffs might
Judge Beryl Howell entered a default judgment against Iran and the Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps, which did not defend against claims over their
alleged roles in the attack, which sheared off the front of the Khobar Towers
permanent mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.
said 15 service members who were at the complex when it was bombed could
recover for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
judge also said 24 relatives could recover for emotional distress from seeing
how the bombing affected their loved ones.
rejected punitive damages, saying US law did not allow them for attacks
occurring before 2008.
lawsuit sought damages under the so-called terrorism exception to the Foreign
Sovereign Immunities Act.
plaintiffs are very pleased with the decision, and look forward to pursuing
collections," Paul Gaston, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in an interview.
"Having the court ruling gives them some measure of justice."
members of Hezbollah were indicted in June 2001 in the federal court in
Alexandria, Virginia over their alleged roles in the attack.
December 2006, another federal judge in Washington ordered Iran to pay $254.4
million to family members and the estates of 17 Americans who died in the
attack, also in a default judgment.
U.S. government in 2015 established the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism
Fund to compensate victims.
was designated by the US Department of State as a state sponsor of terrorism in
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi says the recent claim by Bahrain
about having arrested 14 Iranians with fake passports has no verifiable
far, no documents and evidence have been provided to Iranian authorities in
this regard and due to lack of more information, this (Bahraini) claim cannot
be verified," Qassemi said on Monday.
Interior Ministry said on Saturday that the country has arrested 14 Iranians
who entered Bahrain on “fake passports” under fake names.
ministry claimed that the Iranians “bought passports to enter Bahrain in
coordination with Bahrainis of Iranian origin.”
said the mere claim that the detainees are of Iranian origin who have entered
Bahrain with fake passports is not verifiable, declining to make further
comments without more information.
Iranian spokesperson explained that Tehran and Manama have had no relations in
recent years, saying, "This is the reason that the Manama government
issues no visa for Iranian citizens."
is no transaction between the two countries in any field and the Iranian
nationals cannot travel to Bahrain, Qassemi added.
January 2016, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia broke off
diplomatic ties with Iran following Tehran's objection to the execution of
prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by the regime in Riyadh.
Nimr, a critic of the Riyadh regime, was shot by Saudi police and arrested in 2012
in Qatif, which was the scene of peaceful anti-regime demonstrations at the
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned against what he called “the security
and humanitarian risks” of an upcoming Syrian army operation to liberate Idlib
Province, which holds the largest concentration of militant groups, including
those backed by Ankara.
an article published in The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Erdogan called on
the international community to intervene as Syrian forces are gearing up for
the Idlib liberation battle.
members of the international community must understand their responsibilities
as the assault on Idlib looms. The consequences of inaction are immense,” he
has the backing of Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement in
its bid to rid the strategic province bordering Turkey of terrorists.
hosts several militant groups backed by Turkey and other foreign parties –
especially Western states, Israel and their regional allies.
warned that the planned counter-terrorism campaign in Idlib “would also create
serious humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and
beyond,” apparently referring to a fresh influx of Syrian refugees in the wake
of the Idlib battle.
the international community, including Europe and the US, fail to take action
now, not only innocent Syrians but the entire world stands to pay the price,”
further stressed that not only the West, but also Turkey’s partners Iran and
Russia are responsible for stopping a humanitarian disaster in Idlib.
on the one side and Iran and Russia on the other support opposite sides of the
Syria conflict, but they have been mediating a diplomatic process between the
warring parties since January 2017 aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the
comments came as his country has been deploying heavy artillery tanks,
howitzers and commandos to the Syrian border.
week, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani hosted his Russian and Turkish
counterparts for a trilateral summit on Syria.
a joint statement, the participants at the Tehran summit said the Syria crisis
could only be resolved through a negotiated political process, and has no
trio also “emphasized strong and continued commitment to the sovereignty,
independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, as well as to the
purposes and principles of the UN Charter and highlighted that they should be
respected by all.”
Israeli navy has opened fire on a group of Palestinian fishing boats that
sailed off the shore of Gaza to break the years-long siege on the coastal
incident took place on Monday after some 55 boats set sail from the Gaza port
in the northern Gaza Strip and headed towards the nearest point of the sea
border with the occupied territories to challenge the Israeli blockade.
have been no reports available on casualties yet.
of Palestinians also clashed with Israeli forces on the Gaza beach, prompting
the Tel Aviv regime’s troops to fire a barrage of tear gas to disperse the
Health Ministry reported that at least 49 Palestinians sustained gunshot wounds
during the violence or suffered respiratory problems due to inhalation of tear
gas. Among the injured was Palestinian reporter, Atieh Hejazi (pictured below),
who was covering the event for Iran's Arabic-language Al Alam television news
Gaza Strip has been under an inhumane Israeli siege since 2007 and witnessed
three wars since 2008. The blockade has also caused a decline in living
standards as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and poverty.
have been running high near the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the
start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return.” Palestinian
protesters demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
court in Turkey has handed down jail terms to more than 100 people, including
former air force officers, on suspicion of affiliation to a movement led by
US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the Ankara government accuses
of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against President Recep
judicial source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Monday that Ankara
Heavy Penal Court sentenced 35 suspects to eight years and 9 months in jail,
while the remaining 80 suspects received jail terms up to seven years and 6
the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul has issued arrest warrants for
102 active serving and former soldiers over their alleged links to Gulen
forces have so far managed to arrest 56 of the suspects during separate
operations across Istanbul. A total of 89 suspects are accused of communicating
the 2016 botched putsch, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had
seized control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in
charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.
has since accused Gulen of having orchestrated the coup. The opposition figure
is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to topple the
government via infiltrating the country’s institutions, particularly the army, police
and the judiciary.
has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
against me related to the coup attempt are baseless and politically-motivated
slanders,” he said in a statement.
77-year-old cleric has also called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his
followers, a move he says is aimed at “weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to
President Erdogan and his regime.”
officials have frequently called on their US counterparts to extradite Gulen,
but their demands have not been taken heed of.
which remains in a state of emergency since the coup, has been engaged in
suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to have played a role in
the failed coup.
of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having
links to Gulen and the failed coup. More than 110,000 others, including
military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended
from work over the same accusations.
The Vice President of Yemen, Lieutenant General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar said his
internationally recognized government will continue to liberate Houthi-held
areas until every inch of the country is under the government’s control and end
the suffering of civilians.
vice president’s statements came during a meeting held in Riyadh with the
commander of the First Brigade, Brigadier General Heikal Mohammed Hantaf,
Yemen’s state news agency Saba New reported.
the meeting, Brigadier General Hantaf stressed the need to unify the ranks and
gain the support of the civilians to establish the restoration of the state and
to build a federal Yemen consisting of six provinces.
progress of military operations and successive victories in Yemen, including
Al-Jouf, were also discussed during the meeting.
- Muslims in Singapore should reflect on the past 50 years in achieving their
dreams to be good Muslims and citizens, Mufti Fatris Bakaram said in a sermon
marking the start of the Islamic new year on Monday night (Sept 10).
to more than 1,200 Muslims who had gathered for evening prayers at Al-Khair
Mosque in Choa Chu Kang, he emphasised compassion and serving the whole
society, in line with the celebration's theme of Striving with Confidence,
Serving with Compassion.
Islamic new year marks the hijrah, or migration, of Prophet Muhammad and his
companions from Mecca to Medina in the year 622. Muslims follow the lunar
start of Islamic new year 1440 also coincided with the Islamic Religious
Council of Singapore's (Muis) 50th anniversary.
Fatris, Singapore's highest Islamic authority, gave the media a short summary
of his sermon before he delivered it.
us move together, as a team, as a family, with love and compassion so that we
can spread goodness to everyone," he said.
challenges that we face today demand from us a high level of confidence in
doing good without waiting and expecting others to do goodness unto us."
a lecture Dr Fatris delivered at the Conversations With Mufti event at the
Salam Singapore Community Festival on Saturday, he urged his fellow Muslims to
start teaching compassion within their families first, and gradually extend
this to do good for the community at large.
festival aimed to spread better understanding of Muslim culture.
forward in the next 50 years with a more educated and affluent Muslim
community, I hope we will be able to not only more effectively address current
social challenges, but also be a community whose resources and expertise would
be instrumental to Singaporeans at large," he said.
Islamic new year is traditionally a quiet holiday, with time spent in prayer
and contemplation, and some choose to make resolutions on the day.
event was jointly organised by Muis, the West Mosque Cluster and Al-Khair
Mosque, and was also attended by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs and
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, Senior
Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman; Minister of
State for Manpower and National Development and MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC Zaqy
Mohamad, as well as Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Social and
Family Development Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.
were also joined by Muis' president, Mohammad Alami Musa, and its chief
executive Abdul Razak Maricar.
rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has accepted a "Christian
policy agenda" submitted by a group of Catholic and Protestant church
leaders in the southern Philippines.
agenda — drafted by non-Muslim groups in areas covered by a proposed new
autonomous Muslim region — aims to give a voice and roles to religious
MILF's Mohagher Iqbal, one of the leaders of a transitory body that will
implement a law creating the new region, said he received the document from
Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, archbishop of Cotabato.
agenda was drafted at the end of a series of consultations organized by the
group Christians for Peace, a coalition of various church leaders in areas that
will be part of the Muslim region.
proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will replace the
current autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao with the MILF taking up a
the points raised in the Christian policy agenda were the "security of
tenure" of Christian workers in the regional government, the participation
of Christians in the political process, and the status of the Christian
educational system in the Muslim-dominated territory, among others.
said Cardinal Quevedo wanted to know how injustices committed against
Christians would be resolved under the new set-up.
you’re talking about historical injustices, you are not selective," said
the rebel leader, adding that it should be an inclusive process.
said the Christian policy agenda would be discussed in a meeting with all
stakeholders in the region because "the MILF will not answer [Christian
consultations conducted last month by Christian groups in several areas of
Mindanao, people pressed for what they described as "policies that will be
inclusive for all" once a new autonomous political entity for Muslims is
President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law in July that provides for the
establishment of the new entity. The law is part of a peace agreement signed by
the government and Moro rebels in 2014.
in China have embarked on a large-scale and systematic campaign against the
country’s Muslim minority, sending a staggering one million Uighurs to
showing any adherence to Islam in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region -
praying, fasting, abstaining from alcohol or pork, growing a long beard, or
wearing Islamic clothing - have been detained by authorities and treated as
though they suffer from a mental illness.
from their homes to re-education camps, the detainees have been forced to
comply with Communist Party propaganda, which includes singing party anthems
and slogans and attending daily brainwashing sessions. If they fail to submit,
detainees are subjected to torture, including sleep deprivation, solitary
confinement and physical violence.
as “enemies of the state” solely because of their religious identity, the
detainees are held without charge and often without access to legal
representation, human rights activists say.
while the treatment of Uighur Muslims is shocking, it has failed to cause a
global outpouring of sympathy or anger.
2014, authorities began using “transformation through education” to deal with
Uighur Muslims amid concerns of “extremist” or “separatist” elements in the
community, including reports of a few hundred Uighurs travelling to Iraq and
Syria to join the Islamic State. But experts say the arrival of Communist Party
leader Chen Quanguo to Xinjiang saw this programme expanded and intensified in
the course of last year, Uighurs accounted for 21 percent of all arrests in
China, even though they make up just 1.5 percent of the population.
of discrimination and prejudice against the minority has repeatedly filtered
out of China, but the events of the past year - including comments last month
from the head of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,
which stated that Beijing had “turned the Uighur autonomous region into
something that resembles a massive internment camp” - have lent credibility to
a story that most would rather pretend didn’t exist.
international media have predictably started to ask questions about the
treatment of China’s Uighurs, leaders and governments around the world have
carefully steered clear of the issue. The silence has been startling.
position as an immense economic power, able to wield tremendous political clout
over governments around the world, is without question. But not one of the 49
Muslim-majority countries around the globe have asked for clarity or condemned
the Chinese for the escalation of human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
week, leaders from more than 40 countries - including many with sizeable Muslim
populations - travelled to Beijing for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
President Xi Jinping pledged $60bn to the continent in development initiatives
and promised to cancel debts of those nations struggling to repay them.
all the talk of Africa being “an equal partner” and the relations being a
“win-win”, not one African leader dared to ask their hosts for clarity on the
rights violations reported.
“trade” between China and the Arab world and “economic development” in Africa
is way more important than institutionalised bigotry on the part of their
benefactor, an emphatic endorsement of China’s policy of non-interference in
the domestic issues of the countries it deals with.
Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s president and the current head of the African Union,
described China’s engagement with the continent as “deeply transformational”,
noting: “We will also open new pathways on environmental protection and scale
up people-to-people exchanges.”
refusing to raise legitimate concerns with their Chinese counterparts over the
treatment of the Uighur population, those Muslim and African leaders in
attendance were complicit in what is essentially a project of social
is the same inertia that led to the murder and expulsion of hundreds of
thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017, in what is
now being openly called a genocide.
is the same silence that accompanied India’s decision to potentially strip some
four million people - mostly Muslims - of their citizenship in the northeastern
state of Assam. They are now described as imposters and foreigners.
same lacklustre approach has also allowed the US to continue to ban citizens of
several Muslim countries, without so much as a whimper from the African and
humiliation suffered by Uighurs, and the silence that has accompanied these
disclosures, emphasises the rise of a new world order.
has long acted as a test-site for the Chinese government to experiment with new
modes and methods of control; with endless checkpoints, including
facial-recognition systems fitted on street corners across villages in the
province, Uighurs face endless scrutiny. It may be among the most policed areas
on the planet.
such conditions go unchallenged, activists say, these policies could easily be
replicated by other countries looking to repress or control minorities.
Criminal complaints have been filed against 43 Muslim militants from two armed
groups linked to the Islamic State group for two bomb attacks in the southern
Philippines, including a suspected suicide bombing that killed 11 people,
police said on Monday.
complaints were filed against 18 suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf for a
powerful blast on July 31 that killed 11 people and wounded several others in
Lamitan city on Basilan island, said director general Oscar Albayalde, the
national police chief. A foreign militant who drove the bomb-laden van died in
the suspected suicide attack.
those facing charges is an Abu Sayyaf commander, Furuji Indama, who Albayalde
said ordered the bombing but remains at large along with nine other suspects.
suspects, including a militant bomb expert, Julamin Arundoh, who police said
rigged the van with plastic gallons containing the explosives, have been
secretary Eduardo Ano said the foreign militant who drove the van targeted a
public gathering of about 3,000 people in Lamitan city but his vehicle stalled
and villagers whom he asked for help became suspicious when they saw unusual
wires protruding from plastic gallons in the vehicle.
army troops approached, the van blew up, killing the militant and 10 other
people outside a paramilitary detachment and wounding several villagers.
Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Lamitan bombing and
identified the attacker as Moroccan. However, it cited a greatly inflated
military death toll.
said criminal complaints were also filed against 25 members of the Bangsamoro
Islamic Freedom Fighters, who are blamed for an August 28 bombing that left
three people dead as Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat province celebrated its
annual founding festival.
days after the blast, another deadly bombing hit Isulan, prompting authorities
to remove the town and provincial police chiefs and further strengthen already
tight security in the volatile region.
not only a presence there, there should be police intervention that should be
carried out like ... searches and checkpoints," Albayalde said in a news
conference in Manila.
southern Philippines, the scene of decades-long Muslim separatist rebellions in
the largely Roman Catholic nation, remains under martial law, which president
Rodrigo Duterte declared last year to deal with a five-month siege of southern
Marawi city by Islamic State group-linked militants.
disastrous siege left more than 1,200 people dead, mostly militants, displaced
hundreds of thousands of villagers and sparked fears that the Islamic State
group was gaining a foothold in Southeast Asia amid battle defeats in Syria and
factions of the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters have
aligned themselves with the Islamic State group.
LUMPUR, Sept 11 ― Islamist party PAS said today it will focus on pushing for
“Islamic leadership” in Malaysia as the current Parliament is dominated by
president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang was quoted saying the party will bring up
the issue in its muktamar, or annual congress, this weekend.
want to raise awareness of the need for an Islamic leadership in the country
because the GE14 outcome sees a federal government that does not represent the
nation’s demographics,” he told New Straits Times in an interview.
Muslim population in Malaysia is 65 per cent, but the seats are dominated by
needs to be addressed as it could affect the well-being of Muslims. We need to
rise to face this challenge,” he added.
Hadi’s assertion, the last official census in 2010 showed that Muslims made up
just 61.3 per cent of the population.
and its supporters had previously claimed that there are more non-Muslim MPs
than Muslim ones among the government.
that, Muslims still make up the majority of the Dewan Rakyat.
July, PAS had previously claimed that the legal rights of Muslims are now under
threat following the appointments of non-Muslims into top legal positions in
information chief Nasrudin Hassan had questioned the Pakatan Harapan
government’s rationale in appointing non-Muslim to the posts of attorney
general, chief justice, and minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in
charge of legal affairs.
said in the interview that he hoped PAS members and supporters will continue to
back its state governments in Kelantan and Terengganu, pledging to turn them
into “models of Islamic administration” in the country.
PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim advised Malaysians not to defend bad leaders
even if they were of the same race and religion.
attitude of some people now is that it is okay to defend individuals who go
against religious teachings and do things like steal people’s money or engage
in corruption as long as they are from the same race and religion,” the man who
is in line to be the next prime minister said.
of course, was speaking in a narrow, political context; and certainly he was
hinting at former prime minister Najib Razak and the 1MDB scandal when he
proffered this advice.
I think it is good advice, for he is telling people to look beyond race and
religion. I would have been more happy if he had taken it further and told
Malaysians to apply this in all spheres of life, particularly now when we are
celebrating Merdeka Day and National Day.
the risk of sounding trite, I think it is time we start to consider ourselves
Malaysian first. Enough of thinking of ourselves as Malay first, Malaysian
second or Chinese first, Malaysian second or Indian first, Malaysian second.
that, in saying this, I do not include the Dayaks or Kadazandusun or Ibans or
others from Sabah and Sarawak. This is because they are much more mature than
peninsular Malaysians when it comes to engaging with people and living in
is so much that we in the peninsula can learn from the people of Sabah and
Sarawak about tolerance, acceptance and respect for the ways of other people.
year has been most remarkable as Malaysians voted for a change in government by
booting out the Barisan Nasional coalition that had ruled, in one form or
another, for 61 years and replaced it with the Pakatan Harapan (PH).
ride on this mood for change by transforming the way we think about ourselves
and fellow Malaysians. Again, at the risk of sounding platitudinous, let me
suggest that we consider ourselves Malaysian first.
the PH government swept in on an agenda of change, I challenge it to work
towards transforming the attitudes of Malaysians so that they think of
themselves as Malaysian first.
doesn’t mean we deny our ethnicities or our cultures. It just means that while
we celebrate our individual ethnicities and cultures, we see ourselves as part
of the wider national group.
government is elected to lead. While it has to take cognisance of the wishes of
the public, it has to show the way; while it has to be mindful of the situation
in the nation and the world, it has to move the nation forward. It cannot say:
“Oh, people are used to thinking along racial lines, what can we do?” or “This
is the reality and we have to live with it.” That is not why voters elect
I am asking PH government leaders to show gumption, to lead by initiating
action that will encourage people to think of themselves as “Malaysian first”.
“I am Malaysian” feeling is already there in many people, but, like in most
other things, we are selective about when we let it show itself. On all the
occasions that I have met Malays and Chinese and Indians from Malaysia
overseas, we have been proud to refer to ourselves as Malaysians.
who have travelled abroad will not only acknowledge how we invariably identity
ourselves as Malaysians, but also understand the joy of bumping into a fellow
Malaysian, regardless of ethnicity and religion.
is it then that when we are back home, we revert to calling ourselves Malays or
Chinese of Indians?
need to bring that Malaysian spirit that binds us overseas into our lives in
a start, it would be good for cabinet members to declare that they are
“Malaysian first”. That includes Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who, when he
was part of Umno, famously declared that he was “Malay first”.
done this, the PH government should get all the top civil servants – the
secretaries-general, directors-general and department heads – to declare that
they are “Malaysian first”.
it should encourage business leaders and heads of corporations to declare
themselves “Malaysian first”.
comes the hard part: putting this into effect in the way they deal with fellow
Malaysians of different ethnicities and religions. The civil service,
corporations and businesses would need to incorporate policies and actions that
demonstrate this stand in the way they interact with clients, do business and
deal with employees.
will be tough as we have for long become accustomed to seeing ourselves as
Malays, Chinese and Indians living together – not as Malaysians living
together. The nature of politics in Malaysia – growing up with mostly
race-based parties – militates against seeing ourselves as one. The influence
of religious leaders who tell us we should not befriend or work with people of
other religions is another major barrier. The habit of supporting businessmen
of our own race is yet another obstacle that we have to overcome.
will be a transformative experience because it means everyone treating everyone
else as a Malaysian, and not as a Malay or non-Malay or Muslim or Hindu or
Christian or Buddhist.
am not pollyanna enough to expect a total transformation, as that can only be a
dream. However, I believe that even a slight change in this direction will do
our overall well-being and our nation good.
the Marang MP said PAS will continue to be independent, with “its own
will proceed with the ‘taawun’ concept, that is to co-operate on good things,”
Hadi said in a recent interview with New Straits Times.
video of the interview was uploaded on his Facebook page today.
comes as the pact between the two Opposition parties has failed to bring
results in the last three by-elections.
contested in the Sungai Kandis by-election, the first to be called after GE14.
It sat out the twin polls last Saturday in Balakong — which was contested by
fellow Barisan Nasional partner MCA — and Seri Setia, which PAS contested, but
campaigned for its former rival.
week, Umno and PAS finally formalised their political alliance when both
parties campaigned jointly for the Islamist party’s candidate in Seri Setia, Dr
announcement was made by PAS election director Roslan Shahir, Selangor PAS
commissioner Sallehen Mukhyi and Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri
in all three by-elections, Pakatan Harapan claimed victory.
response, Umno’s Senator Khairul Azwan Harun called for his party to distance
itself from “far-right” PAS and revisit its moderate and centrist political
approach, as the pact has been ineffective.
the interview, Hadi downplayed any perception that PAS “has no backbone” for
allying itself with Umno despite insisting on going it alone, after the Pakatan
Rakyat pact was dissolved.
September 8: Prof Christian W Troll, noted scholar of theology and philosophy
and Honorary Professor for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at
the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule St. Georgen in Frankfurt, Germany
will receive this year's International Sir Syed Excellence Award for his work
on Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, while Mr Sanjiv Saraf, the founder of Rekhta Foundation
will be conferred with the National Sir Syed Excellence Award for making
outstanding contribution to promotion of Urdu language and literature. The
awards will be given on Sir Syed Day Celebrations, October 17, 2018.
prestigious Sir Syed Excellence awards in the International and National
category includes cash prizes worth Rs two lakhs and one lakh respectively.
selection was done by a five-member Jury Committee headed by AMU Vice
Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor; Prof Farhathullah Khan (Convener); Prof Ishtiaq
A Zilli; Prof A R Kidwai and Prof M Shafey Kidwai.
Christian W Troll is a reputed scholar and his book, 'A Reinterpretation of
Muslim Theology' blazed a new trial in Sir Syed studies. Recently he
contributed to collective volumes a number of substantial studies on
Christian-Muslim dialogue in the context of conflicting truth claims as well as
on the change in Catholic teaching and thinking on Islam and on
Christian-Muslim relations since the middle of the 20th century. His widely
cited research works on Sir Syed have been published by the prestigious Journal
of Royal Asiatic Society (London), Ibla (Tunis), Islamochristiana (Roma),
Islamic Culture (Hyderabad, AP), Zakir Husayn Institute, Vikas Publications and
Encyclopaedia of Religion (New York) among other publications.
Sanjiv Saraf, founder of Rekhta Foundation, will receive the award in the
National category, which is devoted to the promotion and preservation of Urdu.
His website, rekhta.org has created the largest available online resource on
the Urdu language and almost all notable books of Urdu have been made
available. Jashn-e-Rekhta, an annual literary festival meant for propagation of
Urdu language and literature is immensely popular and is attended by prominent
Urdu scholars, authors, poets, fiction writers and theatre and film personalities.
Mr Saraf is the founder, Chairman and principal shareholder of Polyplex
Corporation Limited, which is among the world's largest producers of PET films.
He is an alumnus of The Scindia School and a graduate from IIT, Kharagpur. In
1984, Mr Saraf built an outstanding organisation, Polyplex with exemplary
values and ethos. An entrepreneur at heart, he has incubated other businesses
such as Manupatra - India's premier legal information provided. Mr Saraf is a
voracious reader; passionate about Urdu poetry and has recently learnt the
language. He is a lover of art and music.
to decide on Panaji Qabristan today
Members of the Muslim community have raised their their objection to an open
space being used as a garden within the Qabristan in the new integrated burial
and cremation ground at St Inez that the Goa State Urban Development Agency is developing.
of ‘jamats’ in Panaji stated that the open space is part and parcel of the
Qabristan and since its inception the entire area, surrounded by the compound
wall, has been used as a Qabristan area. The space which is vacant is used by
the Muslim community for prayer (Janaza Namaz). The area in the future will be
used for burial purpose as the present area is not sufficient for burial
purpose, stated the Association Anjuman Nurul Islam, Panaji, the
Jamat-e-Mohamedia and the Sunni Madani Masjid Committee in representations made
to the Corporation of the City of Panaji.
association members met with CCP commissioner, mayor and councillors on Monday
to come to a consensus on temporary arrangements of shifting the prayer hall
that will be taken so that the redevelopment project can go ahead.
of the community could not come to a consensus and stated that other members
from the community were not present and need to be taken into confidence where
the transitional arrangements are concerned. Engineers from the corporation will
also be present at Tuesday’s meeting that will decide about shifting of the
prayer hall to an adjacent facility for the duration of the execution of the
project which is expected to be 18 months.
Two unidentified terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in
Handwara area of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, police said.
terrorists have been killed in the encounter at Galoora area of Handwara, in
the north Kashmir district, a police official said.
said the identity and group affiliation of the slain terrorists is yet to be ascertained.
forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area early Tuesday morning
following specific information about the presence of terrorists there, the
said the search operation turned into an encounter after terrorists fired upon
Eleven years after twin blasts in Hyderabad killed 44 people, the two
terrorists who planted the bombs were awarded the death penalty by a sessions
judge here on Monday. A third terrorist, who was convicted on Monday of
harbouring Indian Mujahideen (IM) founders Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal in
Delhi after the blasts, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Aneeq Shafique and Ismail Chowdhari were given the death penalty, Tariq Anjum
was given a life term. The bombs were planted in Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat Centre,
two of the most crowded areas of Hyderabad, on August 25, 2007. The blasts were
triggered by Aneeq and Riyaz Bhatkal. A third bomb, planted at Dilsukhnagar,
did not explode.
judge T Srinivasa Rao pronounced the verdict, all three convicts claimed they
were innocent and had been framed by police. While Aneeq and Ismail said they
should be let off since they had already served 10 years in jail, Tariq said he
did not know the Bhatkal brothers.
judge started the proceedings at 11 am and continued till 6 pm. The prosecution
pitched for capital punishment for the convicts while the defence counsel
pleaded for leniency.
public prosecutor K Surender said Aneeq and Ismail were given capital
punishment under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC and Section 16 (1) of the
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The duo were given life imprisonment in
the Dilsukhnagar case.
focuses on Kashmir issue after being out of power
HAMID KHAN WAZIR
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who hardly played any
serious role for the Kashmir cause despite being the chairman of Parliament’s
Special Committee on Kashmir for ten consecutive years, has all of a sudden
prompted into action and threatened the incumbent government on consequences
for showing any laxity over Kashmir issue.
said that they would not let the PTI-led government to forget the Kashmir issue
though contrary to it during his own chairmanship of Kashmir committee; he
hardly appeared on special occasions and functions relating to Kashmir issue to
discuss the on-going atrocities in the Indian-held Kashmir, which indicated how
much concerned he was regarding resolution of the issue.
a press conference after chairing a meeting of Muttahida Majlis-e-Aml (MMA)
here on Monday, Fazl stated that contrary to the previous government policy, the
present government seemingly closed the eyes to Kashmir issue in lieu of
establishing cordial relation with India.
MMA president, who faced humiliating defeat at two National Assembly seats in
election and subsequently in presidential election, flayed the government for
inclusion of Qadiyani member in Economic Advisory Council (EAC) and the
registration of religious seminaries, vowing that All Parties Conference (APC)
would be convened on the issue of Khatme Nabuwwat and changing of curriculum,
where all religious parties would be invited.
said that the government would not be allowed to make any change in the
about the foreign policy, Fazl said that the government foreign policy was very
weak and the government’s plan to review the CPEC project could affect the
70-year-old brotherly ties with China, besides it could have long-lasting
impacts on Pakistan economy.
said that the government has put the country in a crisis-like situation, as
after tendering resignation of a Qadiyani advisor.
said that the move indicated that people with specific mentality were included
in the EAC, who wanted to make Pakistan economic system in the pattern of the
Western economic system, which are occupied by the Jewish lobby.
a question that KP cabinet has decided principally to relieve your brother from
the position of commissioner on Kashmir Refugees, he said that he was a civil
servant; hence the government has the authority to take any such decision.
the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s appeal for charity for building dams, Fazl said
that neither dam could be constructed with charity nor the country could run
said that there was a need of formulating policies to run the government’s
affairs; hence the government should focus on policies formulation instead of
Pakistan’s army chief has confirmed death sentences for 13 “hardcore
terrorists” after military courts found them guilty of carrying out attacks
that killed 202 people including 151 civilians.
a statement Monday, the military says Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa also approved
prison terms for seven convicts involved in acts of terrorism, including the
destruction of educational institutions.
added that the 13 convicted Pakistani Taliban had killed 151 civilians and 51
security forces attacks in recent years that also saw 249 others wounded.
trials are closed to the public but defendants are allowed to hire lawyers.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has rejected a petition seeking to
cancel the registration of the Pakistan Rah-i-Haq Party (PRHP), which allegedly
has links with the banned outfit Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ). The commission
directed the petitioner to approach the federal government.
Gul Zohra Rizvi’s lawyer appeared before a two-member bench of the ECP headed
by the Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza and argued that Muavia Azam,
son of Maulana Azam Tariq — leader of the now defunct Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan
(SSP) — has after his election to the Punjab Assembly, joined the PRHP.
that the PRHP had links with the SSP, which kept changing names after being
outlawed, he argued that the registration of the party be cancelled under
section 212 of the elections act.
ECP member from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, retired Justice Irshad Qaiser, asked if
according to the petitioner the PRHP was involved in acts of terrorism. The
response of the petitioner’s counsel was that the flags of all those who ran in
the polls under the banner of the PRHP were the same as the flags of the SSP.
The petitioner claimed that Muavia Azam’s name appeared in the fourth schedule.
commission after hearing arguments announced the verdict, rejecting the plea
for cancelling the enlistment of the PRHP and directed the petitioner to
approach the government.
212 of the elections act, which deals with the procedure for dissolution of a
political party reads “Where the Federal Government is satisfied on the basis
of a reference from the Commission or information received from any other
source that a political party is a foreign-aided political party or has been
formed or is operating in a manner prejudicial to the sovereignty or integrity
of Pakistan or is indulging in terrorism, the Government shall, by a
notification in the official Gazette, make such declaration.”
the law, within 15 days of making a declaration the government shall refer the
matter to the Supreme Court. If the apex court upholds the declaration made
against the political party, it shall be dissolved.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s foreign policy was based on peace, equality
and a vibrant role of the United Nations, vitality of the right of self-determination,
friendly relations with neighbouring countries and adoption of the policy of
today’s Pakistan is facing grave challenges and water crisis are at the top
which need to be dealt with national unity as by 2035, the Indus water system
will face a severe shortfall which can create national food security. These
were the opinions shared by speakers in a seminar organised by Muslim Institute
titled Today’s Pakistan & Quaid’s Legacy at the National Library of
Iqbal Fikri Forum Chairman Rana Abdul Baqi, Quaid-i-Azam University History
Assistant Professor Dr Farooq Ahmad Dar, writer and analyst Professor Ayub
Sabir, Muslim Institute Chairman Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali addressed the
highlighted that Jinnah always wanted to explore the true potential of this
country. Although we have progressed but in order to fulfill Jinnah’s dream, we
need to work hard further in a pragmatic way. He dreamt of a peaceful and
prosperous Pakistan. He was well aware of the geo-strategic significance of
Pakistan and also about the perils it is going to face due to this
significance. The Quaid stressed the need of social justice based on the
equality. Jinnah was a staunch advocate of peace. He propagated the notion of
peace within and peace without. Soon after getting independence, Jinnah speeded
up the process of joining UN. He always endorsed the reality that there should
be a unanimous international body in the world which can arbitrate between two
countries in case of any conflict. He advised that UN should learn by the
mistakes committed by the League of Nations. Jinnah was also a firm supporter
of the right of self-determination. In this respect, he was very concerned
regarding Palestinian as well as the Kashmir cause.
governments of both Pakistan and China on Monday refuted an article published
in the Financial Times (FT) which had alleged that Pakistan is looking to
renegotiate its position in Beijing's Belt-Road Initiative (BRI).
the article "Pakistan rethinks its role in Xi’s Belt and Road plan"
the FT, while quoting Adviser for Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production,
and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, said Pakistan "should put everything on
hold for a year so we can get our act together."
adviser for commerce was also quoted as saying that the Chinese companies
"received tax breaks ... and have an undue advantage in Pakistan; this is
one of the things we’re looking at because it’s not fair that Pakistani
companies should be disadvantaged.”
article also mentions Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's recent statement that
the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) "has not inflicted a debt
burden on Pakistan. When these projects get completed and enter into operation,
they will unleash huge economic benefits.”
to a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Textile on Monday, the
Pakistan government "rejects the article especially the title."
statements attributed to Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile
have been taken out of context and distorted," the statement said while
reiterating that CPEC is a "national priority for the government."
China also issued a statement through its embassy in Islamabad and said there
was a "firm consensus between China and Pakistan that CPEC is a mutually
beneficial project and both governments will carry it forward according to the
needs of Pakistan".
statement from the Chinese embassy called the FT article
"ill-intentioned" and "based on distorted and misquoted
in the day, the government issued another statement saying Pakistan and China
will continue to work towards implementing ongoing CPEC projects and expand the
initiative to new areas of cooperation, Radio Pakistan reported.
while quoting a statement of the Foreign Office, said that the new areas that
the two governments would work on include "socio-economic development,
poverty alleviation, anti-corruption, agricultural cooperation and industrial
The federal cabinet on Monday approved the removal of Ziaur Rehman, the younger
brother of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, as Afghan
cabinet has also approved a probe into Rehman’s appointment as the Afghan
refugees commissioner without belonging to any cadre of the civil service.
Shehzad Arbab, adviser to PM for establishment, has been ordered to prepare an
investigation report on the matter.
report will determine how and why Zia was inducted in the Provincial Management
Frontier Corps countered a terrorist bid and captured arms in Zhob district of
Balochistan on Tuesday.
to a press release, Frontier Corps foiled a terrorist bid in Zhob district of
Balochistan, and recovered 21 explosive devices of 235 kilogram from Qamar Din
enforcement agencies decided to boost security efforts on the arrival of
Muharram. The security forces are conducting operations to prevent any mishaps
during the month.
bomb kills six outside Somali government office
people were killed and another 16 injured when a car bomb exploded outside a
local government office in Mogadishu on Monday, Somali police and rescue
ambulance teams have collected the dead bodies of six people,” said Abdiqadir
Abdirahman, director of the city’s Aamin Ambulance service.
said 16 others were wounded in the blast.
officer Ibrahim Mohamed said a vehicle had rammed a security checkpoint outside
the Hodan district headquarters then exploded.
blast was huge,” he said.
explosion levelled buildings and left a thick plume of smoke which could be
seen across the city.
caused a huge blast and there was dust everywhere,” said Osman Ali, who was in
the area at the time.
from the scene showed collapsed buildings -- including a mosque -- with rescue
workers and civilians picking through the debris.
Adan, a bystander, told AFP he saw “several dead bodies being recovered from
under wreckage” and that the blast had destroyed two local mosques.
attack was claimed by the Shabaab, an al-Qaeda aligned extremist group fighting
to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Somalia.
for the last decade, the militants carry out regular bombings and armed
assaults on government, military and civilian targets in the capital.
Doctors Without Borders says more than 100 people have died in a shipwreck off
the Libyan coast and the remaining survivors are being held in detention in
humanitarian organization says in a Monday news release the shipwreck occurred
Sept. 1 and survivors include people with severe burns, pregnant women and
babies. A team from the organization provided medical care.
group says two rubber boats left the Libyan coast carrying migrants from Sudan,
Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Libya, Algeria and Egypt. One of the boats
deflated and sank.
Libyan Coast Guard recovered 276 survivors from both boats and brought them to
the port city of Khoms, Libya, and only two bodies were reportedly recovered.
London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, an umbrella organization of about
30 Islamic and other nongovernmental organizations, as part of #FreeZakzaky
campaign held protests in London and called for immediate release of Zakzaky
and his associates. Protests were also held in other countries including USA,
India, Iran, Australia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Switzerland, Malaysia, Ghana,
Sudan and Nigeria.
states in the Holy Quran: “And they ill-treated them for no other reason than
that they believed in Allah, exalted in power, worthy of all praise (85:8).
This verse contains the central philosophy of justice and its importance in
human society. According to a popular adage, justice delay is justice denied
and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. So justice is the key
to peace and stability of all nations.
doubt the overwhelming solidarity and sympathy for the leader of Islamic
Movement in Nigeria, notwithstanding its humanitarian nature, owes a lot to his
visionary and insightful leadership. Since the gory Zaria massacre, the demands
of Islamic Movement apparently remain unchanged: unconditional release of the
Sheikh, his wife and other detainees; handing over the bodies of slaughtered
men dumped in mass graves to the Movement for their proper Islamic burial;
compensation for the damages made, and of course the urgent need to bring the
mass murderers to book.
and peaceful protests by all justice loving people continue across the world.
Zakzaky doesn’t only belong to Nigeria now. He belongs to everyone and
everywhere. Even though the calls for justice have fallen flat on the ears of
Nigerian authorities, no matter how long, hope is never lost in the struggle
for justice. Despite the contemptuous nature of the government, the Movement is
optimistic on the undecided cases (issues) with the Federal High Court Kaduna,
and the International Criminal Court.
dismay is clear over total disregard of Justice Kolawale Abuja’s court verdict
to release the ailing Sheikh and his wife unconditionally, provide a befitting
house and security for them with a compensation of fifty million Naira. By
refusing to do so, the regime has shown blatant disrespect to the rule of law.
To the concerned individuals in the country and beyond, Sheikh el-Zakzaky’s
situation is proportionate to the Nigeria’s security and socio-economic well-being.
other endless questions are: on what ground was the Sheikh initially arrested?
Who benefits from the continued incarceration of the ailing Sheikh and his
wife? What is the government’s stand on the Federal High Court verdict? Why
doesn’t it respond to the demand of millions of Nigerians to take him abroad
for medication? And how long should the detention continue? What is the stand
of the government over one thousand Nigerians killed in the Zaria pogrom and
related incidents? If peace, unity and progress of this country were important,
who else has played better role than the leader of the Islamic Movement, Shaikh
my constitutional right as a concerned citizen that contributes his best to the
progress of the nation, I draw the attention of those in authority on the above
subject as the Sheikh and his wife clock 1000 days in detention, and in
defiance of the federal high court order on their unconditional release, the
regime continues to keep them behind bars. The indifference on the side of the
regime cannot help the country at all. No doubt, justice is the key to the much
needed peace and stability of our nation which the Sheikh symbolizes.
its forty years of existence, the Movement was never been accused of vandalism
or bloodshed. The Shaikh is widely credited for unequalled role in promotion of
peaceful coexistence and ethno-religious tolerance. He is deeply concerned
about the well-being of his country and its citizens as his Movement was once
described as the most organized Muslim group in Nigeria.
states “O you who believe! Stand firmly For Allah, as witnesses to fair
dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and
depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah, for Allah
is well-acquainted with all ye do” (5:8).
Sheikh is well known for being a peace lover, for his sincerity, broad
mindedness, theoretical and practical teachings of Islam. He is known for
forging cordial relations with people of other religions and being an advocate
of ethno-religious tolerance. His teachings are based on the principles of
Ahlul-bait. Sheikh believes in what Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) said: a man is
either your brother in faith or an equal in humanity. As such, he is the
champion of Muslim unity, evident from his speeches.
is known to speak fearlessly against tyranny and oppression, for which he has
faced untold hardship in the past four decades. In the compendium of thirteen
speeches delivered in Najaf in 1970, Imam Khomeini stated that the scholars of
Islam have a duty to struggle against all attempts by oppressors to establish a
monopoly over the sources of wealth or to make illicit use of them. They must
not allow the masses to remain hungry and be deprived while rulers usurp the
sources of wealth and live in opulence. He also said a clergyman should be such
that when the people see him, they should remember the messenger of Allah (S).
You have accepted this heavy responsibility and it is you that should guide
this people to the end.
concept of Wilayatul Faqih -governance of the jurist- was built on this basis.
Sheikh el-Zakzaky has been firmly and rightly treading on the same path,
enduring oppression on himself while creating public awareness. It is
imperative to commend those putting hands for justice to prevail across the
globe. That was the rationale behind all prophetic missions. Allah states:
Verily, We sent our messengers with manifest signs and sent down with them the
book and the balance that people may act with justice (2:247). In an often
repeated quote, Sheikh Usman Bn Fodio - the great revivalist of Islam in West
Africa - said a kingdom can endure with unbelief, but it cannot endure with
Kano State Government has declared Tuesday Sept. 11 as public holiday to mark
the new Islamic year 1440
After Hijra (AH).
was contained in a statement signed by the state commissioner for Information,
Malam Muhammad Garba on Monday in Kano.
statement quoted Governor Abdullahi Ganduje as congratulating Muslims faithful
for witnessing the New Year, which commences in the month of Muharram, the
first month in the lunar Islamic calendar.
also urged Muslims to reflect on their deeds and activities during the past
year and also to use the occasion to offer prayers for peace and prosperity of
statement reassured the people of the state government's determination to work
hard towards improving their living standards.
caught a man whose body complexion was white with a long beard, and when we
interrogated him he told us that he has escaped from Alshabab and was willing
to surrender himself to the Somali government, he has identified his nationality
as an American", said commissioner Mohamed. He said that Hassan was part
of a group of disillusioned foreign fighters who fled their homes after
Al-Shabab forces started "hunting down those who pledged allegiance to
ISIS", following the death of a top Shabab official in a drone strike
earlier this month. Hassan, who went by the nickname
who went by the nickname Miski when he lived in Minneapolis, was just 17 and a
high school senior when he left the U.S. to join al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate
in Somalia, in August 2008.
hated them because I found their ideology was totally wrong", John said,
adding that he finally escaped the group six days ago.
officials are holding an American citizen and an American resident who have
been fighting alongside the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab after the men
reportedly defected from the rebel fighters and surrendered to authorities.
Jones is missing the index finger of his right hand, said the official.
execution, a Minnesota man who joined al-Shabaab in Somalia seven years ago
turned himself into the Somalia government.
losing key strongholds in Somalia, al-Shabab is fighting the Somali government
and African Union forces and continues to carry out deadly bombing attacks across
Somalia and neighboring countries.
is one of the FBI's most wanted terror fugitives and faces 2009 terrorism
charges for allegedly providing material support to al-Shabaab. State
Department spokesman Pooja Jhunjhunwala did not say why Hassan's November 6
surrender had not been announced, but did say that Hassan is a "lawful
permanent resident of the United States".
defections of two American Islamic extremist fighters in Somalia highlight
tensions within the insurgent group al-Shabab over whether it should remain
affiliated to al-Qaida or switch allegiance to the Islamic State group,
according to an al-Shabab commander Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015.
the relocation program now well over 20 years old, a new generation of
Somalian-American citizens are growing up in America. Hassan, who was speaking
from prison, said he wasn't tied to the Islamic State group.
he said he joined Al-Shabab, he said he left in 2013 "because of the
oppression that they are doing on the people, the way they are killing people,
and the imprisonment of innocent people and the torture without no evidence at
Los Angeles Times reported that "the Federal Bureau of Investigation has
become increasingly "intrigued with" Hassan, who became a recruiter
for the Islamic State". The two defections show tensions within al-Shabab,
according to Mohammed.
Haram jihadists were in control of a town in northeast Nigeria on Saturday
after sacking a military base, in the latest attack that raises questions about
claims they are weakened to the point of defeat.
officials and security sources said scores of fighters believed to be loyal to
a Boko Haram faction backed by the Islamic State group overran troops in
least eight civilians were believed to have been killed, while thousands of
others fled to neighbouring towns.
in the Guzamala area of Borno state, is Boko Haram's first major seizure in two
years and comes after a series of recent attacks on troops.
authorities and the military have been encouraging people displaced by violence
in the long-running conflict to return to Guzamala, insisting it is safe to do
aid agencies say minimum levels of basic services, including shelter, civilian
infrastructure and security are still lacking.
Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general, was elected in 2015 on a promise to
defeat Boko Haram and is seeking a second term of office at polls in February.
Gudumbali attack will again raise questions about his claims to have
"technically defeated" the group and that Borno state was now in a
"post-conflict stabilisation phase".
official of the Guzamala local government area, of which Gudumbali is the
headquarters, confirmed troops had been pushed out of the town and Boko Haram
was in "full control".
military source in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, said the attack began at
about 1850 GMT on Friday and lasted until the early hours of Saturday,
"when troops were forced to withdraw".
civilian militia member Musa Ari said: "So far eight civilians, who were
errand boys for troops, were believed to have been killed in the attack."
"most civilians were spared because the attack was targeted at the
military base", he added.
ISIS-backed faction - known as Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) - has
vowed to hit only "hard" military or government targets.
is reportedly trying to get the support of local populations in the
said soldiers and residents fled Gudumbali to Damasak, some 80km away, on the
border with Niger.
escaped south towards Gajiram, where nine soldiers were killed in a similar
attack in June.
Army spokesperson Brigadier General Texas Chukwu said he was "not
aware" of the latest attack.
fighters led by Abu Mus'ab al-Barnawi were last month blamed for an attack in
Zari village, just 50km away from Gudumbali, which killed 48 soldiers.
July, dozens of troops were said to have been killed, wounded or missing in a
similar attack on a base in Jilli village, across the border in Yobe state.
St-Pierre, head of the Modern Security Consulting Group, said the Gudumbali
attack was "another demonstration of ISWAP's increasing capabilities and
level of strength".
been able in recent months to attack larger, more important targets with
increasing frequency and success," the counter-terrorism specialist told
is likely to get worse because ISWAP is not only adapting to changing
circumstances but benefiting from the changing dynamics in the Sahel as
Nigerian military regularly trumpets successes against Boko Haram and has
strongly condemned any reports of significant troop losses.
there are indications of disquiet in the ranks, mirroring the situation four
years ago when Boko Haram ran rampant across the northeast.
under-equipped troops in some instances refused to deploy.
military counter-insurgency has since driven out Boko Haram from captured
territory, including Gudumbali, which was captured in 2014.
aid agencies providing food, shelter and healthcare to 1.8 million displaced by
the conflict, say much of the hard-to-reach countryside remains in Boko Haram
month, hundreds of soldiers protested at the airport in Maiduguri, for several
hours, shooting into the air and disrupting flights.
complained about being battle weary and needing home leave after sometimes
years on the frontlines.
Pierre said Nigeria's military needed to break the cycle by acknowledging its
tactics against the insurgents were not working and by addressing low morale.
behind 1988 Pakistan plane crash that killed Gen. Zia: Pakistani senator
United States was behind the August 1988 C-130 Hercules plane crash that killed
then-Pakistan President General Muhammad Zia-ul Haq, according to Pakistani
Senator Mushahid Hussain. Also killed in the crash were several of Zia’s top
army officers and the American Ambassador in Islamabad, Arnold Raphel.
Hussain, who is also a renowned political analyst, strategic expert and
journalist, made the remarks in a recent exclusive interview with Pakistan’s
assassination of General Zia “was a joint operation by America and the then
(Pakistani) military establishment,” he claimed.
Hussain said a year after the assassination, Congressman Stephen Solarz, who
was then the chairman of the Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee of the
House Foreign Affairs Committee, asked him (Hussain) at a US embassy reception
in Islamabad: “Who do you think killed Zia?”
guys did,” Senator Hussain said he replied. “You people killed General Zia.”
It’s not in our Constitution. We don’t do such things now,” Solarz said.
you stopped assassinating Third World leaders? Since when?” Senator Hussain
said he asked him.
the senator said he read a list of the leaders of the Third World leaders who
were killed by the CIA and the congressman’s face became pale.
asked why then the American Ambassador was killed in that incident, the senator
explained: “It was a mistake. He was not supposed to be on that plane. At the
last moment General Zia put Ambassador Arnold Raphel and Brigadier General
Herbert Wassom, who was (America’s) chief defense representative (in Pakistan)
on the plane.” General Wassom also died in the plane crash.
said that the United States covered up the assassination plot. “There is a rule
in America that wherever a suspected terrorist incident happens, they send the
FBI for investigation, but the FBI was not allowed to investigate that
Zia ruled Pakistan from September 16, 1978 till his death on August 17, 1988 in
the crash. Backed by the United States
and Saudi Arabia, Zia played a major role in the 1979-1989 Soviet–Afghan War.
Pakistan army under Zia’s rule had trained Afghan “mujahideen” to fight against
the Soviet occupation throughout the 1980s that culminated in the Soviet
Union's withdrawal in 1989.
to some analysts, the United States used General Zia to defeat Soviet forces in
Afghanistan and then had him killed because the general was planning to
establish a regional bloc constituting Pakistan, Afghanistan and the newly
liberated states from the Soviet Union.
Miss.— Scholars, community organizers and Islamic leaders convened here over
the weekend for a national conference examining “Race, Class and Religious
Intersectionality in America” with a focus on the involvement of Muslims in
addressing America’s social issues.
“An Ongoing Struggle for Human Dignity,” one of the conference’s goals was to
“bring out of the shadows and into the forefront the important work of Muslim
American individuals, institutions and communities,” said conference organizer
Okolo Rashid, president of the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in
we’re doing now is really about educating and engaging the public and community
around these issues,” Rashid said, adding that the four-day event supported by
the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, was designed “to have a really candid
conversation” to spur interest, scholarship and activism in examining Islamic
culture at this critical time in America and throughout the world.
included education, race relations and law enforcement.
panelists were challenged to offer “a way forward out of a deepening culture of
racism, classism and denial of human dignity” and to help develop a
prescription for addressing those issues.
agreed that education reform and increasing the numbers of African-American educators
in the classroom and at administrative levels is essential. Several academics
proposed ways in which historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) can
improve the achievement levels of African-American youth and contribute to the
overall advancement of communities of color.
academics focused on deep problems facing the country’s public education
system. Dr. Hakim Rashid, a professor in Howard University’s School of
Education, said HBCUs must enhance and expand their teacher education programs
– not reduce or eliminate them as some are doing – in order to increase the
numbers of African-American teachers and administrators in public schools,
particularly Black men. He also suggested non-traditional recruitment
can’t just focus on the education majors,” Hakim Rashid said. “We have to go
out and recruit people in other fields. We have to recruit people at the
mid-career level. We have to recruit young men who may have issues in their
past [such as] encounters with the criminal justice system.”
Clyde Robertson, director of the Center for African and African-American
Studies at Southern University of New Orleans (SUNO), said his programs work
with Muslim groups in New Orleans in the university’s community outreach
efforts. He suggested that “HBCUs can address the issue of shortages of Black
teachers by producing more of them, instead of downsizing colleges of education
. . . those divisions should be strengthened and increased.”
outlined the accomplishments of HBCUs in educating outstanding
African-Americans in myriad disciplines. However, with historical references to
groundbreaking Black educators and authors
like Drs. Carter G. Woodson and W.E. B. Du Bois, he cautioned, “Despite
these dynamic achievements, some argue that in recent years HBCUs might have
retreated from their Africana responsibilities but what is perfectly clear is
that until our institutions become rededicated to [their] communities they will
become frayed and may one day, very soon, break.”
Mason, Jr., a lawyer and president of the University of the District of
Columbia, touched on politics by raising issues about the state of America
today “at a time when the [possibility] of nuclear destruction is real, the
planet is starting to push back on what we’re doing to it, there is a real
question about our relationship to nature . . .
and the top ten percent of the country control 77 percent of the
Rashid said gatherings such as the Jackson conference are aimed at finding
common ground and breaking down stereotypes and falsehoods.
The United States threatened on Monday to arrest and sanction judges and other
officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any
American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes.
House National Security Adviser John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body
“unaccountable” and “outright dangerous” to the United States, Israel and other
allies, and said any probe of US service members would be “an utterly
unfounded, unjustifiable investigation”.
the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly,”
said the US was prepared to slap financial sanctions and criminal charges on
officials of the court if they proceed against any Americans.
will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will
sanction their funds in the US financial system, and we will prosecute them in
the US criminal system,” he added.
will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of
Americans,” he said.
Bolton made the comments in a speech in Washington to the Federalist Society, a
powerful association of legal conservatives.
pointed to an ICC prosecutor’s request in November last year to open an
investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the US military and intelligence
officials in Afghanistan, especially over the abuse of detainees.
Afghanistan nor any other government party to the ICC’s Rome statute has
requested an investigation, Bolton said.
said the ICC could formally open the investigation “any day now”. He also cited
a recent move by Palestinian leaders to have Israeli officials prosecuted at
the ICC for human rights violations.
United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of
our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court,” Bolton said.
will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We
certainly will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own.”
condemnation of the ICC added to the White House’s rejection of many
supranational institutions and treaties the president does not believe benefit
the United States.
Baghdad’s politics back in chaos, America needs to up the battle against Iran’s
influence over Iraq.
week angry protesters torched the Iranian consulate in Basra, the southern city
in the heart of Iraq’s oil country. The protesters, mostly young Shiites, were
angry over increasingly contaminated water. Related illnesses have recently
hospitalized 30,000 people.
Basra’s water problem is but a symptom of Iraq’s succession of hapless
and Turkey have built dams on the Tigris River, Basra’s main water source, and
also diverted water to aid their own farmers. Meanwhile, Baghdad and local
governments have failed to maintain, let alone renew, water infrastructure (or
adequately fulfill any other civil task, for that matter.)
anger is directed at those who run things, and Iran controls Iraqi militias and
top politicians — especially in Basra, where posters of Ayatollah Khomeini hang
everywhere. So the Iranian consulate was a natural target for protests.
tense calm returned Monday, and Prime Minister Haider al Abadi even dared visit
Basra. Abadi’s hold on power is tenuous amid a political standoff after the May
12 election, in which a faction led by Moqtada Sadr, the former anti-American
firebrand turned a calculating politician, won the largest number of votes.
who isn’t vying for the leadership himself, initially backed Abadi — an
alliance that looked like a promising coalition against the politicians in Iran’s
pocket. Sadr recently removed his support from Abadi, but Iraqi sources tell me
that, after Abadi’s Basra visit, the coalition may well reunite, perhaps riding
a wave of anti-Iran frustration.
anger over the Iranian-backed Basra politicians who’ve run things forever,
there’s fear that Tehran is speeding up plans to turn Iraq into a forward base
against its regional enemies.
last month, Reuters reported that Iran has moved missiles to Iraqi soil and
offered to manufacture missiles there as well. That raised alarm bells in
Riyadh and Jerusalem, the likely intended Iranian targets, but also across
Arabs are no fans of their Persian neighbors. With Imam Ali and other ancient
Shiite icons buried in Iraq, they consider themselves the originators of Shia,
the branch of Islam that Iran claims to lead.
2003, we never had a breath of fresh air, as Iran turned Iraq into its colony,”
says Iraqi-American Entifadh Qanbar, president of the Washington-based Future
Iraq’s most significant Shiite politician, is well aware of such feelings. Then
again, he’s said to believe Iran was behind the assassination of his father,
the much-revered Shiite scholar Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr — and to fear that a
similar fate will one day be his own. So he swings between cooperating with
Tehran and opposing it.
Iraqis share his fear of Iran, but anger may overcome it. The consulate
torching shows young Iraqi Shiites have had it with their neighbor. And US
moves (walking out on the nuke deal, renewing sanctions) help convince Iraqis,
and the rest of the Mideast, that Iran’s fortunes are changing.
US envoy in Iraq, Brett McGurk (an Obama holdover), denounced the embassy
torching, retweeting a State Department statement saying America “condemns
violence against diplomats.” Such sentiments are at best meaningless and,
worse, may even hurt the cause of demonstrating to Iraqis that Iran is no
longer rising as the region’s hegemon.
may want to help revamp Basra’s water system, but Iran and its pawns will do
their best to undermine such efforts. Tehran’s guiding hand was unmistakably
behind last week’s firing of rockets at US posts in Basra. The Islamic Republic
fears losing influence.
best way to help Iraqis thrive, then, is to further weaken Iran. It’ll help
Basra’s Shiite politicians cut ties to the mother ship, and listen to their
broadly, the region needs to know that the Iran-favoring Obama years are over.
They’ve eroded America’s influence in the Mideast and beyond and hurt our claim
to global leadership.
Safak daily claimed that the Turkish army has kept more than 50,000 FSA
terrorists on alert in Afrin, Azaz, Jarabulus, al-Bab and al-Rai regions to
further sent them to battle against the Syrian government forces' operation in
further said that 30,000 FSA gunmen are in regions under the occupation of the
Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch forces, "and a sum
20,000 FSA fighters are to be transferred to Idlib to counter the Damascus
forces' upcoming operation".
daily went on to say that Turkish army has urged its allied militants to report
the exact number of their gunmen and volume of arms and ammunition.
said that the Turkish army has in recent days sent a number of cannons and missile
launchpads to the borders with Syria and has reinvigorated its forces' combat
London-based pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported
earlier today that .Jeish al-Islam terrorist group has deployed its fighters at
contact lines with the Syrian Army in Eastern Aleppo after coordination with
said that Jeish al-Islam has started deploying militants in more than ten
contact points with the Syrian Army in Tadif in Northeastern Aleppo after
coordination with Ankara-backed Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh.
further said that Jeish al-Islam set up a large base in the town of Afrin after
retreating from Eastern Ghouta, adding Jeish al-Islam stationed its fighters in
said that Jeish al-Islam has also set up several bases in Aleppo province.
the meantime, the Syrian Army dispatched more troops and equipment to the
contact lines with Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the
Al-Nusra Front) in a large region from Jam'iyat al-Zahra and al-Lairamoun
industrial zone up to the small town of Kafr Hamra in Northwestern Aleppo and
from al-Malah farms to the small towns of Haraytan, Hayan, Anadan and Bayanoun
in Northern Aleppo.
the army has forwarded a large number of forces and military hardware to
contact lines with Ankara-backed terrorists known as the Olive Branch Forces in
the army has forwarded a large number of forces and military hardware to
contact lines with Ankara-backed terrorists known as the Olive Branch Forces in
Sunday, terrorists of the National Liberation Front, deployed in occupied
regions in Aleppo province, arrested tens of people in the region, including
the village of Kafr Nouran in Southwestern Aleppo.
sources, meantime, said that the arrested people who intended to join the peace
agreement with Damascus have been transferred to secret jails run by the
sources further said that the National Liberation Front and other terrorist
groups in Aleppo are preparing for a preemptive attack on the Syrian Army
positions in the region.
US-backed fighters have launched a fierce assault against a dwindling pocket of
territory held by Daesh in East Syria, said a commander and a war monitor.
Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, have been
closing in for months on the town of Hajjin in eastern Deir Ezzor province.
Monday, they began an offensive for the Daesh-held town itself.
SDF commander said the assault, relying heavily on artillery and US-led
coalition airstrikes, had killed at least 15 Daesh fighters. The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights monitor said the Daesh death toll was at least 17.
forces today began attacking the last bastions of Daesh in Hajjin, with intense
artillery and air support,” said the SDF commander.
clashes will be fierce in Hajjin because Daesh has reinforced their positions,
but we will take control of it,” said the commander.
Britain-based Observatory said the SDF had been amassing fighters and equipment
and beefing up their positions for weeks ahead of the attack.
operation to end Daesh’s presence in this pocket began today, with the heaviest
airstrikes, artillery fire, and ground attacks in months by the SDF and the
coalition,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
said the SDF had broken into Hajjin from its northwestern edge and taken
control of part of the area, while opening a humanitarian corridor to allow
residents to flee.
declared a self-styled “caliphate” in 2014 across swathes of Syria and Iraq,
but various separate offensives by the national armies of both countries,
Kurdish forces and international backers have seen the extremists’ territory
Syria, Daesh controls part of Deir Ezzor as well as some territory in the
SDF, founded in October 2015, has been backed by US-led coalition airstrikes,
artillery, and special forces advisers.
ousted Daesh from swathes of Syria’s north last year, including from their main
Deir Ezzor, the SDF is battling Daesh on the eastern side of the Euphrates
River while Syrian regime troops backed by Russia battle them west of the
July, a coalition official said a few hundred IS fighters remain in the eastern
‘terror’ convicts executed in Iraq’s Dhi Qar province
executed by hanging seven of its citizens convicted of “terrorism”, the head of
the health ministry in the southern province of Dhi Qar said on Monday.
Abdel Hassan al-Jabri said the bodies of the seven men were handed over on
Monday to the morgue of the state hospital of Nassiriya, the provincial
capital. They had been tried and convicted on charges of “terrorism”, he said.
December last year Iraq declared “victory” over ISIS after a three-year war
against the group that once controlled nearly one third of the country.
June, Iraq executed 13 militants after ISIS claimed responsibility for the
murder of eight civilians.
has repeatedly faced criticism from international human rights groups over the
high number of death sentences handed down by its anti-terrorist courts.
in Syria’s Idlib and the adjacent province of Hama has forced more than 30,000
people out of their homes this month alone, a United Nations spokesman told AFP
deeply concerned about this recent escalation of violence, which has resulted
in the displacement of over 30,000 in the area. That’s something we’re
monitoring very closely,” said David Swanson of the UN’s humanitarian
coordination agency (OCHA) in Amman.
UN’s new humanitarian chief warned Monday that a large-scale military operation
against the rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib could create “the worst
humanitarian catastrophe” of this century.
needs to be ways of dealing with this problem that don’t turn the next few
months in Idlib into the worst humanitarian catastrophe with the biggest loss
of life in the 21st century,” Mark Lowcock told reporters in Geneva.
security forces have killed 11 suspected extremists in the Sinai Peninsula as
they press a campaign against militants in the area, a security source said
military launched a sweeping operation in February focused on the Sinai in
eastern Egypt aimed at wiping out extremists, including from ISIS, who have
been waging a bloody insurgency.
terrorist elements were killed in an exchange of fire” with security forces in
El-Arish, the capital of North Sinai province, the security source said.
extremists were in an abandoned petrol station “preparing terrorist acts”
against security forces, the source added.
have been launching an insurgency in Egypt after the 2013 ouster of Islamist
president Mohamed Morsi, forced out by the military in the face of mass
protests against his rule.
of police and soldiers have since been killed in the attacks.
issues new notice to Kabul residents regarding possible attacks
Ministry of Interior (MoI) issued a new notice on Monday to the residents of
Kabul city regarding the possible terrorist attacks in the city.
Interior Ministry in a statement said the residents of the city must refrain
from visiting the blast sites or the areas where suicide attacks would likely
take place in the future.
statement further added that the terrorists likely continue their save acts of
terrorism to shed the blood of the innocent people in the country.
Ministry of Interior also urged the residents of the city to cooperate with the
security forces, specifically with the police forces in maintaining security
and ensuring safety of the residents of the capital.
statement by MoI also added that the residents of the city must inform the
security forces when they come across with the suspicious movements by the
terrorist and other criminal groups in the city.
Ministry of Interior urged the residents of Kabul city to inform the police
forces or contact 119 while noticing any suspicious activity.
comes as there has been a sharp rise in the attacks by the militant groups in
Kabul city and other parts of the country during the recent months.
least 7 people were killed and 24 others sustained injuries after a suicide
bomber targeted the convoy of the supporters of Ahmad Shah Massoud in the
vicinity of the 4th police district of the city on Sunday afternoon.
local officials in northern Jawzjan confirm the Taliban militants have overrun
the Khamab district after hours of heavy gun battle.
police chief Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani confirmed that the district was overrun at
around 4am local time today.
further added that both the Taliban militants and the national defense and
security forces personnel have suffered casualties during the clashes.
he said the exact number regarding the casualties inflicted on the security
personnel and the Taliban militants have not been ascertained so far.
the meantime, the security director of Jawzjan security commandment Abdul Hafiz
Khashi said at least eight security personnel have lost their lives during the
clashes and 3 others have sustained injuries.
said the anti-government armed militants have also sustained heavy casualties
during the clashes but the exact number is not known yet as heavy clashes are
still underway in the district.
has been among the relatively calm provinces in North of Afghanistan but the
security situation of the province has deteriorated during the recent years.
in Thailand shut down a forum organized by foreign journalists to discuss
whether senior military officers in Myanmar should face justice for alleged
human rights abuses committed by their forces against Rohingya Muslims and
other ethnic minorities.
a dozen policemen showed up ahead of Monday evening’s scheduled panel
discussion at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand and ordered the
panelists not to speak. The scheduled speakers included Tun Khin, a prominent
U.K.-based Rohingya activist; Kobsak Chutikul, a former Thai diplomat; and
Kingsley Abbott, a representative of the International Commission of Jurists, a
rights advocacy group.
month a specially appointed U.N. human rights team recommended that Myanmar
military leaders should be prosecuted for genocide against the Rohingya.
Critics of Myanmar’s military have also accused it of carrying out ethnic cleansing
and other war crimes.
700,000 Rohingya fled across the border to Bangladesh after the army launched a
counterinsurgency campaign in response to attacks by Rohingya militants last
army, which for decades has been accused of violating the human rights of
various ethnic minorities, denies having committed organized rights abuses.
police at the Bangkok event handed over a letter requesting the panel
discussion on “Will Myanmar’s Generals Ever Face Justice for International Crimes?”
be cancelled because it could damage national security, affect foreign
relations and a give a third party the opportunity to create unrest. However,
Police Col. Thawatkiat Jindakuansanong told the organizers: “We are not asking.
We are ordering you to cancel the event.”
Faulder, the president of the Foreign Correspondents Club, expressed his
disappointment and said he had no choice but to announce the cancellation. It
is believed to be the sixth time police have forced a cancellation of one of
the group’s programs since Thailand’s military seized power from an elected
government in 2014. Politically sensitive events in other venues have also been
panelist Abbott, a senior international legal adviser with the International Commission
of Jurists, chided Thai authorities for the shutdown.
is an issue of global concern and Thailand, as Myanmar’s neighbour and a
leading voice in ASEAN, should be taking a leadership role in addressing the
situation,” he said. ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a
10-member regional grouping.
of opposition supporters staged protests across Bangladesh on Monday demanding
immediate release of their leader and three-time former premier Khaleda Zia,
jailed early this year for graft.
73, is currently on trial on more corruption charges in a makeshift courtroom
inside a 19th-century British-built prison where she is the only inmate and in
failing health, her lawyers say.
police official told AFP that some 4,000 activists of the main opposition
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) joined protests outside the National Press
Club at the heart of capital Dhaka.
more joined similar demonstrations in cities and towns across the country.
opposition spokesman Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said some 20,000 protesters,
many shouting slogans calling Zia's jailing illegal and a sham, turned up at
the Dhaka rally.
have said the charges against her were false. She should be released
immediately and be treated at a private hospital,” Alamgir, secretary general
of the BNP, told AFP.
already serving a five-year term, attended a hearing last week in a wheelchair,
telling the court she was extremely ill and is losing feeling in her hand and
in a leg.
lawyers have said that trying her in the abandoned prison is unlawful.
met with the chief justice on Sunday to lodge a complaint.
was granted bail in a corruption case in May but remains in jail while she
fights dozens of other violence and graft charges.
Dhaka Central Jail in the old Mughal district of Dhaka was built under British
colonial rule in the 19th century and was Bangladesh's largest until it was
declared abandoned in 2016.
was jailed for five years in February after being convicted of corruption, a
sentence that triggered clashes between police and thousands of BNP supporters.
was found guilty then of embezzling money intended for an orphanage, a charge
she dismissed as politically motivated.
is appealing against the verdict which bars her from standing in a general
election to be held in December. Alamgir has accused the government of
launching a crackdown on the party ahead of the elections.
U.S. military has released a new video of an airstrike carried out on a storage
containing homemade explosives in central Maidan Wardak province of
airstrike was reportedly carried out in the vicinity of Maidan Wardak province
last week but no further details have been given in this regard.
is yet not clear if the airstrike has caused fatalties among the Taliban
insurgents or not.
and other militants often use IED and homemade explosives as the weapon of
their choice to target the security forces and government but in majority of
such attacks ordinary civilians are targeted, besides such attacks often claims
the lives of the militants as well.
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in its latest report stated that
1,692 civilians were killed in the first six months of 2018.
to UNAMA, the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in attacks by
Anti-Government Elements remained the leading cause of civilian casualties.
largest Islamic organization in Britain is urging the government to ban
evangelist Franklin Graham, who is scheduled to appear at an event in the
country later this month.
reports the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the umbrella organization for
hundreds of Islamic groups, has supported the calls from three members of
parliament and members of the public to deny Graham a visa for spreading what
the organization calls "hate speech."
"hate speech" they refer to is Graham's preaching against Islam as
"evil" and as a "religion of war." He's also been an opponent against the
movement for LGBTQ rights.
the son of the late Billy Graham, is to be the featured speaker at the Festival
of Hope event in Blackpool, located in northwest England, on Sept. 21.
the website Jihad Watch, writer Robert Spencer asks "Would anyone be
calling for the banning of Graham from the UK if he had called Christianity
MCB in a statement to The Guardian said: "In the past, the government has
banned individuals whom they claim are 'not conducive to the public good'. Mr.
Graham's remarks are on record and clearly, demonstrate a hatred for Muslims
and other minorities. "We would expect the government to apply its
criteria here. If it does not, it will send a clear message that it is not
consistent in challenging all forms of bigotry."
says the British government is already inconsistent.
bans foes of jihad terror and critics of Islam while letting in jihadis,"
he wrote. "The Home Office recently banned Martin Sellner, Brittany
Pettibone, Lauren Southern and Lutz Bachmann from entering, all for the crime
of opposing jihad terror and Sharia oppression, and thereby made it clear that
it is more authoritarian and unwilling to uphold the freedom of speech than
ever – at least when it comes to criticism of Islam, Muslim rape gangs, and
mass Muslim migration."
writes he and Pamela Geller were banned from entering Britain five years ago
for telling the truth about Islam and jihad.
days after Geller and I were banned, the British government admitted Saudi
Sheikh Mohammed al-Arefe. Al-Arefe has said: 'Devotion to jihad for the sake of
Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for
the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for
the believer,'" he wrote.
"Allah said that if a man fights the infidels, the infidels will be
unable to prepare to fight."
Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri's preaching of hatred and jihad violence was so hardline
that he was banned from preaching in Pakistan, but the UK Home Office welcomed
him into Britain," he continued.
also writes that the UK Home Office also admitted letting Shaykh Hamza Sodagar
into the country despite the fact that he had said: "If there's homosexual
men, the punishment is one of five things. One – the easiest one maybe – chop
their head off, that's the easiest. Second – burn them to death. Third – throw
'em off a cliff. Fourth – tear down a wall on them so they die under that. Fifth
– a combination of the above."
also points out that Prime Minister Theresa May's government allowed two jihadi
preachers into the country, and one of them was even greeted by the Archbishop
of Canterbury. At the same time, the
British government banned three Christian bishops from Iraq and Syria from
entering the country even though they were facing persecution back at home.
if the British government is consistent in this case, it will ban Graham and
let in a few jihadis," Spencer wrote.
leading UK Muslim organisation has called for the Home Office to deny a visa to
the son of a prominent US preacher.
Graham, son of famous televangelist Billy Graham who died earlier this year,
has been asked to speak at the Christian Festival of Hope in Blackpool later
66, who has links to US President Donald Trump, is no stranger to controversy
and has previously called Islam 'wicked' and 'evil' and also said Barack Obama
was 'born a Muslim'.
has also been criticised for linking LGBT rights and gay marriage movements
Muslim Council of Britain said the government should not admit the preacher on
'hate speech' reasons.
a statement, it said: 'In the past the government has banned individuals whom
they claim are 'not conducive to the public good'. Mr Graham's remarks are on
record and clearly demonstrate a hatred for Muslims and other minorities.
would expect the government to apply its criteria here. If it does not, it will
send a clear message that it is not consistent in challenging all forms of
comes after several MPs urged the Home Office to ban Graham from visiting last
December, while a petition was also set up against his appearance at the
festival which was signed by more than 7,500 people.
Marsden, MP for Blackpool South, told the Guardian he would be writing to Home
Secretary Sajid Javid to renew the call for the refusal of a visa because the
visit would be 'likely to cause considerable offence'.
churches in Blackpool have also refused to back the event, which takes place on
September 21, with Blackpool Methodist Church telling the paper it 'cannot
support any teaching which promotes homophobia'.
churches in the town will hold services aimed at LGBT audiences during that
weekend with a large model of Jesus wearing a rainbow sash also due to be
paraded through the town centre.
council confirmed it was contractually obligated to allow the appearance at the
town's Winter Gardens venue but would make the Billy Graham Evangelistic
Association, of which Franklin is president, 'aware of the need to comply with
councillor Maria Kirkland told the Guardian: 'The council's position on these
matters is robust and clear.
want to tackle discrimination, promote equality and increase respect and
understanding between people regardless of their race, religion or sexual
— Islamists have an “intellectual monopoly” over public debate among Muslims in
France and the state must intervene to limit foreign influence over
worshippers, according to a new report submitted to President Emmanuel Macron.
617-page report, “The Fabric of Islam,” presents a comprehensive plan for
reform of Islamic institutions in France following a call from Macron to bring
them under the aegis of the state. During a July address to lawmakers at the
Palace of Versailles, Macron committed to giving Islam “a framework and rules”
by the fall. His goals: discouraging insular Muslim communities and combating
extremist strands of the religion.
notably the young, inform themselves of the religion more and more on social
media,” warned the report’s author Hakim El Karoui on BFM TV on Monday, adding
that Salafist-aligned Saudis play a disproportionate role online.
report, which was unveiled Sunday and published by liberal think tank Institut
Montaigne, calls for the development of a “French Islam” — an autonomous,
France-centric branch of the faith that would respond to French law. El Karoui,
an essayist and ex-Rothschild banker, is also the nephew of former Tunisian
Prime Minister Hamed Karoui.
from concerns over terrorism, which have grown in France since a series of
deadly attacks in 2015, officials have long expressed concerns about the
development of a “parallel society” of Muslims within France. The idea that
such enclaves breed radical ideologies and, ultimately, terrorism was a central
plank of Marine Le Pen’s 2017 presidential campaign, which called for tougher
policing of mosques and expelling suspected terrorist sympathizers with dual
nationality from France.
Macron has set himself the challenge of reforming Islam. His initiative
coincides with the run-up to campaigns for the European Parliament election,
when the president faces his strongest challenge from conservative and
hard-right groups urging stronger oversight of Muslim clerics, mosques and
schools. One of their criticisms is that Macron has not done enough to address
the roots of Islamic fundamentalism — a critique that such a reform would
Macron is following in the footsteps of presidents who have tried, and failed,
to establish an “Islam of France.” Drawing on the example of Napoleon
Bonaparte’s 1808 “concord” with France’s Jewish community, which established a
religious authority recognized by the state, ex-French President Nicolas
Sarkozy tried, as interior minister, a representative council for French
Muslims. But that group and its successors failed to gain traction with a
majority of worshippers, largely due to divisions between Muslim groups from
whereas foreign countries heavily fund mosque construction and employ imams in
France, the host country cannot do the same to compete for influence, given its
resolve the stalemate, El Karoui calls for bypassing a mediative approach and
directly backing moderate strands of the faith against Islamist sects, who
place political ideology above the tenets of the French Republic.
question of organizing Islam in France is not a question of
representativeness,” El Karoui said Monday on Europe1 radio, adding the
problem’s solution only requires “a system with men, money, and financing to
there are activists on one side and nobody across to say something else, [the
Islamists] have an influence that goes well beyond their number of followers,”
fund a French alternative, El Karoui proposed taxing halal foods, which in
France generate €5-6 billion annually. He also called for restricting funnels
of religious funding from abroad, regulating Saudi Arabia-approved tour guides
for the Hajj pilgrimage, and increasing public school offerings of Arabic, all
to reduce the influence of foreign actors on France’s Muslims.
Macron chooses to act on the proposals could have political consequences. Bruno
Retailleau, senator for the right-leaning Les Républicains party, issued a
statement Monday critical of the report: “Not only will an Islam of France not
protect the French from radical Islam, but it risks fragilizing the republican
should impose a "halal tax" to pay for an association that would
govern Muslims practicing in the country, a French think-tank has recommended
in a report published on Monday.
its report "The Islamist Factory", the Institut Montaigne also
proposes that instead of being instructed in mosques, the Arabic language
should be learnt in more state schools, following a national curriculum.
recommendations come as President Emmanuel Macron has promised to redefine
relations between Islam and the state and establish rules this autumn to ensure
that the religion “will be practised everywhere in accordance with the laws of
official rule is strict separation between religion and state, with the former
considered a strictly private matter.
rule has been used to justify bans on the wearing of Muslim veils by public
service employees as well as any wearing of fully concealing head-to-toe veils
in public places.
has been under pressure after a wave of terrorist attacks since 2015, which
have killed more than 230 people in France.
the report, Hakim El Karoui, a Franco-Tunisian consultant, writes that Salafis
are “gaining ground” among Muslims practicing in France, particularly among
young people and France should construct its own “Muslim religious discourse”
to challenge the Salafi discourse.
must equip itself with important means and networks to disseminate this
counter-speech. Who can do it? Muslims,” he writes.
any reluctance they might have, Muslims in France and Europe “must mobilise...
because the solution will come from them,” he writes.
report also suggests once again that the country should establish a national
Muslim association through taxes collected from practicing Muslims, a measure
that his institute has proposed before.
idea is to create a neutral organisation, independent of the countries of
origin, independent of those who hold the mosques today, to take a very small
sum of money on every act of consumption and reinvest that money in theological
work, because it's the mother of all the battles,” he writes.
a follow up interview with AFP, Karoui suggested that taxable acts could
include going on pilgrimages and buying halal products.
have enriched themselves, contrary to what is believed, and they practice a lot,"
he told AFP. There is therefore "more and more money related to
consumption: the pilgrimage, the halal, the gift".
the 1980s, French politicians have repeatedly attempted to formulate a
"French Islam", with the dual aim of managing the integration of
immigrants and also defending against religiously-inspired violence.
these attempts have been met by criticism from Muslim leaders in the country,
where 5.7 million Muslims make up the second largest religious community.
must stick to their role," Ahmet Ogras, president of the French Council of
Muslim Faith, told Reuters earlier this year.
Muslim faith is a religion and, as such, takes care of its own household
affairs. The last thing you want is the state to act as guardian."
independent think-tank in France released a report on Sunday proposing to fight
against the “rise of Islamism which is a European issue” by creating a Muslim
Association for Islam of France.
el-Karoui, who is a senior fellow at the Institut Montaigne in France and the
author of the report titled "The Islamist Factory", stated that the
country should also push for learning Arabic at schools.
the key measure that Karoui discussed, which was already mentioned for more
than two years by this liberal think tank, was the creation of a Muslim
Association for Islam of France.
institution must be created, responsible for organizing and funding the Muslim
faith (training and remuneration of imams, construction of places of worship,
theological work and fight against Islamophobia and anti-Semitism,” Karoui wrote.
also suggested creating a program aimed at “codifying and normalizing social
interaction” including gender relations, dietary norms and economic principles.
is no ‘halal tax’ in the sense that there is a tax levied by the state,” said
the former banker concerning economic reforms. The levy would be managed by the
association and would be inspired by the “kosher tax” of the Jewish community,
managed by the rabbinates and which certifies products “kosher”, he added.
who has the ear of Emmanuel Macron, also advocates strengthening the learning
of Arabic in public schools. “The number of students who learn Arabic in middle
and high school has been halved, it has increased tenfold in mosques, you have
to know what you want,” he said.
report notes that Salafists - the rigorous branch of Islam - “are gaining
ground within the community”, especially among “young people under 35”.
all the answers on the internet to religious questions are provided by
preachers close to Salafists, worries Hakim El Karoui, who also points to the
development of community sites, accommodation or carpooling that is “halal”.
US senator has indicated that British intelligence services are planning to
stage a chemical attack on civilians in Syria to implicate the government and
its allies as they seek to liberate the last remaining regions from the grip of
state Senator Richard Black said last week that Britain’s MI6 had been working
on a chemical attack in Syria for the past few weeks, adding that the main aim
of the plan was to blame the Syrian
government and military for targeting defenseless civilians.
four weeks ago, we knew that British intelligence was working towards a
chemical attack in order to blame the Syrian government, to hold Syria
responsible,” said Black in an interview with Al Mayadeen, a news channel based
Republican senator, who was in Syria recently to meet with senior government
officials, reiterated his claims about fake chemical attacks in Syria in an
interview with The Washington Post, saying Britain had no intention of carrying
out such attacks itself, but it was to direct militants, including members of
the so-called White Helmets, a group with alleged humanitarian mission, to
launch the attack.
plan is to use the White Helmets who have always been involved in these
notorious deceptions, to portray an attack.” he said, adding, “From what I can
tell, they have been planning a fake attack, not a genuine one, but one where
they actually move people out of a town and they have trained people to portray
victims of a gas attack.”
remarks echoed similar concerns raised by the Syrian government and its allies
about the possibility of a chemical attack in the northwestern province of
Idlib, where the military is planning a large-scale offensive against
Dutch government has come under fire after a report revealed it has been
providing logistic support for a Syrian “opposition” group labeled as a
terrorist organization by Dutch prosecutors.
news report, aired by the national public broadcaster, said Amsterdam had given
“non-lethal assistance” (NLA) to 22 armed opposition groups, including the
Jabhat al-Shamiya terrorist organization, fighting against the Syrian army.
Dutch government has reportedly provided pick-up trucks, uniforms and other
equipment for the terrorist group last year, the report added.
caused a storm of protest from Dutch parliamentarians, who strongly protested
against the country’s government on Monday and asked for its explanation.
cabinet is bound to a deadline on Tuesday, in which it has to answer the
questions, including whether any aid to Syria may have ended up with extremist
groups, Christian Democrat party MP Pieter Omtzigt told AFP.
lawmaker Sjoerd Sjoerdsma also described the news report as “shocking”, and
asked, "How did this happen, despite all the warnings by lawmakers?"
revelations on Monday come days after Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok
announced the government was cutting all support to what it called
"moderate" opposition groups in Syria.
governments have in recent years tried to justify their support for terrorists
operating in Syria by labeling them as moderate opposition working to topple
the government of Bashar al-Assad.
to Assad, the US tried to promote the notion of the so-called moderate
opposition in Syria. However, “they haven’t been able to market this lie
because the facts on the ground proved the opposite, that all those they
support are extremists,” who belong to Daesh, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly
known as al-Nusra Front, with the same extremist and terrorist ideology.
says it will brief other members of the United Nations Security Council on the
results of a trilateral meeting between Iran, Russia, and Turkey, which was
held last Friday in Tehran to discuss the latest developments in Syria.
was announced by the Russian mission to the United Nations in an email seen by
AFP on Monday.
UN Security Council member states are expected to hear the briefing on Tuesday
at 4 pm (GMT).
trilateral Tehran Summit, held on September 7, was attended by Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
the end of the Tehran Summit, the three presidents issued a joint statement,
reaffirming their determination to maintain their cooperation until the
eradication of terrorist groups in Syria.
the statement, Rouhani, Putin and Erdoğan "reaffirmed their determination
to continue cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate Daesh, al-Nusra Front
and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with
al-Qaeda or Daesh, as they have been designated as terrorists by the UN
underlined that, in the fight against terrorism, separation between the
above-mentioned terrorist groups and the armed opposition groups that had
joined or would join the ceasefire regime, would be of utmost importance
including with respect to preventing civilian casualties," it added.
three presidents agreed to hold the next round of their meeting in Russia.
supporters have staged a “memorial march” in eastern Germany, where a man
earlier died following a fight with two Afghan men.
2,500 far-right demonstrators took to the streets in the eastern city of Kothen
on Sunday, holding up lighters, commemoration candles, and flowers in a “vigil”
for a 22-year-old German man, who died in the fight with the two Afghan men in
a playground on Saturday.
said the deceased had suffered heart failure and that his death was “not
directly caused by the injuries suffered.”
have however arrested the Afghan nationals — aged 18 and 20. Prosecutors said
the Afghan nationals were being investigated on suspicion of aggravated assault
and causing bodily harm resulting in death.
deployed to prevent violence
deployed police forces to help prevent violence during the demonstration in
groups had earlier taken to the social media to call for protests in Kothen.
city is located about 160 kilometers north of Chemnitz, where a similar
incident sparked violent protests just two weeks ago.
is always a kind of danger — we just had Chemnitz — and so things could
escalate and I believe nobody wants that,” said a local pastor, who called on
authorities to do whatever they can to ease tensions.
why we are trying to appease all sides and to talk to people and tell them that
it’s not the moment to let things escalate,” he added.
far-right politician, Andre Wendt, however, reacted angrily to the incident
while criticizing “establishment parties and the media,” which he said “have
nothing else to do but defame worried citizens and silence critics.”
Angela Merkel has previously criticized far-right parties for staging violent
protest rallies over incidents blamed on refugees.
she has herself been criticized for her early advocacy of an “open-door” policy
toward refugees coming to Europe from conflict zones in the Middle East, Asia,
and Africa. While she has defended that policy in rhetoric, she has modified
her stance in practice, agreeing to curbs on the number of arrivals in Germany.
United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on Monday for a new
quasi-judicial body to collect evidence with a view to future prosecution of
crimes against Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar including murder and torture.
independent UN team of investigators said in a report last month that there was
evidence indicating “genocidal intent” by the military against Rohingya and
that crimes against humanity and war crimes appear to have been committed.
investigators named six generals, including the commander-in-chief, whom they
said should face justice.
ago, government troops led a brutal crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in
response to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on 30 Myanmar
police posts and a military base.
700,000 Rohingya fled the crackdown and most are now living in refugee camps in
in her first speech to the Human Rights Council since taking office on Sept. 1,
said that attacks and persecution appear to continue in Rakhine state.
Investigators had also found indications of executions, torture and sexual
violence against minorities in Kachin and Shan states, she said.
persistence of these patterns of violations underscores the total impunity
accorded to the Myanmar security forces,” Bachelet told the 47-member Geneva
forum which opened a three-week session.
welcomed a decision by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC)
last week that it has jurisdiction over alleged deportations of Rohingya from
Myanmar to Bangladesh as a possible crime against humanity.
is an immensely important step toward ending impunity, and addressing the
enormous suffering of the Rohingya people.
also welcome efforts by Member States at this Council to establish an
independent international mechanism for Myanmar, to collect, consolidate,
preserve and analyze evidence of the most serious international crimes, in
order to expedite fair and independent trials in national and international
new mechanism — similar to what has been set up for crimes in Syria — would complement
and support the preliminary examination of the ICC prosecutor, she added.
urge the Council to pass a resolution and refer the matter to the (UN) General
Assembly for its endorsement so that such a mechanism can be established,” she
– Sweden has become the latest European country to have its political order
shaken by a backlash against large-scale immigration, with voters giving a
boost to a far-right party and weakening the more established ones.
election left the two rival blocs — a center-left group and a center-right
alliance — with roughly 40 percent of the vote each, portending what is likely
to be weeks of uncertainty and complex coalition talks before a new government
can be formed.
Sweden Democrats, which has roots in a neo-Nazi movement but has worked to
soften its image, won 17.6 percent, up from 13 percent in 2014, for a
third-place finish. That showing is not strong enough for it to lead a
government, but it reflects how deeply that Sweden, famous for its progressive
policies, is being transformed by migration.
country that is home to the Nobel prizes and militarily neutral policies for
the better part of two centuries has been known for its comparatively open
doors to migrants and refugees.
general election was the first since Sweden, with a population of 10 million,
took in a record 163,000 migrants in 2015 — the highest per capita of any
had followed the earlier arrival of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers.
2015, the center-left government has sharply restricted immigration, but many
Swedes complain that society cannot cope with integrating so many newcomers,
many of them Muslims from Africa and the Middle East.
growing strength of the Sweden Democrats also reflects how old taboos are
a few years ago, Swedes would be shunned as racist for suggesting the country
had limits on how many migrants it should take, or for expressing the view that
it is hard to integrate Africans and Arabs. But people increasingly are
expressing such ideas more freely — adding to the support for the party.
the result is a boost for the Sweden Democrats, the party fell short of
Expressen tabloid said in editorial that “it all pointed at the Sweden
Democrats taking over the position as Sweden’s second-biggest party. But the
expected … bang didn’t happen.”
election came after populist and anti-migrant parties made significant
political gains in Germany, Austria and Italy since 2015 — the other countries
that have shouldered the heaviest burden of accommodating those fleeing war and
conflict or simply searching for a better life elsewhere.
also gained international scrutiny after U.S. President Donald Trump portrayed
the country as place where multiculturalism has brought crime and insecurity.
early 2017, Trump claimed that a terrorist attack had happened the previous
night in Sweden. The night, in fact, had been quiet, but Trump had seen a Fox
News report about crime by immigrants in Sweden. He has insisted that he is
still right about the general picture of the country as one where large-scale
migration has brought security threats.
narrative of Sweden as a failed multicultural experiment is also pushed by some
on the right in Europe. While some Swedes say there is some truth to that,
others feel it is too exaggerated and ignores the fact that Sweden is a place
with a strong economy where many things work very well.
the left-leaning bloc led by the Social Democrats and the center-right bloc, in
which the Moderates is the largest of four parties, have said they would refuse
to consider the Sweden Democrats as a coalition partner.
Minister Stefan Lofven, who brought the Social Democrats to power in 2014, said
he intended to remain in the job. His party emerged with the greatest share of
the vote — 28.4 percent as the count neared completion — yet is looking at
holding fewer seats in parliament than four years ago.
told his supporters the election presented “a situation that all responsible
parties must deal with,” adding that “a party with roots in Nazism” would
“never ever offer anything responsible but hatred.”
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