Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, talks with Salwa Khalaf Rasho, a
human rights activist who escaped Islamic State captivity, at the conclusion of
a symposium on religious freedom presented by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See
in Rome June 25. (CNS/Paul Haring)
Fatwa Council to Preach Islam’s Moderate Values
Will Spread Islamic Terrorism Like Saudi Arabia Once Did
Shia Samaj of Shia Muslims Vows To Support BJP In 2019
Cardinal Warns Of 'Gradual Erosion' Of Religious Freedom in Pakistan
United States Cannot Afford to Pick a Side in the Shia-Sunni Fight
to Rein In Little Napoleons, Say Critics of Muslim Bureaucracy
Court Hands Death Sentences To Six Daesh Militants over Bloody Bombing
flee as regime, Russia pummel Syria's south
Likely to End Deployment in Al-Tanf Base in Eastern Syria
Resistance Force Formed in Northern Syria to Face Foreign Occupiers
Suffer Heavy Casualties in Clashes with Syrian Army in Sweida Province
makes arrests in kidnapping of security men by ISIS
Vows To Continue Capturing Syrian Territories
Army Advances in Saada as 8 Hezbollah Militant Killed In Battle
missiles ‘target Hezbollah depots’ in vicinity of Damascus Airport
urges intl. action to halt Saudi offensive in Yemen
Yemeni civilians killed, nearly 20 injured as Saudi jets hit Amran
President Cautions against Intolerance In The Name Of Cow, Love Jihad
Launches Blistering Attack on Pakistan at UN for Its Comment on PoK
turns heat on Maldives as Chinese dragon spews fire in Indian Ocean
Govt Can Only Divide Hindus, Muslims, Can't Resolve Kashmir: Former Union
About Dalit Quota in Aligarh Muslim University, Asks Yogi Adityanath
Couple Performs Puja at Almora Temple
gives clean chit to cops in SIMI encounter
Simmer Between Myanmar's Military and Civilian Leaders
militants reject fresh calls for extending June ceasefire in Afghanistan
Strikes Target ISIS-K Hideouts in Nangarhar Leaving At Least 6 Dead
penalises Myanmar generals for Rohingya violations
sacks top general involved in Rohingya crackdown
Canada Sanction Myanmar Military over Rohingya Abuses
says it stands firmly with Saudi partners against border threats
Calls Islamic Scholars Conferences A US Process
Statements Should Disqualify Trump’s Pick for U.N. Migration Post
seen backing away from Syria de-escalation enforcement
Solana refused visa waiver to US because of Iran trip
Step Ups Surveillance with Flock of Robotic Doves in Muslim-Majority Xinjiang:
participates in moderate Islam conference in Iraq
mosque bans tourists after 'dance' goes viral
Putrajaya council to meet conservative and liberal Muslims
Anwar Ibrahim says Erdogan's win in Turkey 'a victory for the Islamic world'
Islamic Immigration Is Fuelling a Political Earthquake in Europe
far-right group arrested over alleged plot to attack Muslims
calls for refugee centres south of Libya
vows to work ‘constructively’ with Erdogan
Is the New Era of Kashmir and Modi Can't Stop It from Becoming Independent:
Over Country to the Corrupt Tantamount To Committing Suicide: JI
may be placed in FATF's 'grey list' for financially aiding terrorism: Report
ambassador to US stresses need to promote bilateral trade
experience in 2013 elections, 2018 will be a win for PTI: Imran Khan
to announce PPP’s election manifesto this week
Clashes Between Muslim Cattle Herders and Christian Farmers in Nigeria Leave
Rubbishes Christian Elders over Attack on Buhari Govt
Haram: Troops nab terrorists’ fuel suppliers
coastguard picks up 1,000 migrants in one day, recovers several bodies
to restart exports after ‘full control’ of oil crescent
hands captured Libyan oil terminals to eastern administration
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Dhabi: The newly-established UAE Fatwa Council will regulate religious Fatwas,
ensure preaching of the true moderate values of Islam and combat extremism and
radicalisation, scholars said on Monday.
Mohammad Matar Al Ka’abi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi’s General Authority of
Islamic Affairs and Endowments, said that UAE Fatwa Council will ensure
alignment of fatwas (Islamic rulings) in the country and ensures preaching of
and regulating fatwa practices in the UAE will prevent personal or improvised
Fatwas and rebut extremist and terrorist Fatwas, in keeping with the leading
role played by the UAE in combating terrorism and radicalisation,” said Dr Al
UAE Cabinet on Sunday set up the UAE Fatwa Council — a single authority — to
regulate fatwas and ensure preaching of the true moderate values of Islam.
new council will be the sole reference and will ensure the alignment of all
issued fatwas in the country, according to Emirates News Agency WAM.
council will be the official reference for fatwas in the UAE and will work to
unify efforts, visions and objectives to regulate the work of government
agencies, institutions and individuals regarding Fatwas.
UAE has become the first Arab country to enact a law that criminalises the
belittling of religions and all forms of discrimination on the grounds of
religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin.
council shall be entitled to issue general fatwas on various issues or at the
request of governmental institutions or individuals, and to train muftis
(Islamic scholars) to develop and foster their skills.
council will be also tasked with publishing Islamic studies and researches
related to various development fields and overseeing the fatwa centre at the
General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments.
Council will supervise the fatwas issued by the concerned authorities after
coordination with them and will represent the UAE in all conferences, forums
and international jurisprudence councils related to the fatwa affairs and other
Al Ka’abi said the council will also ensure that religious scholars advocate
moderate Islam and eliminate any source of conflict among existing and future
Fatwa Council will issue Islamic rulings on various issues at the request of
government entities, institutions or the general public, resorting to a defined
system to issue, announce and archive rulings,” Dr Al Ka’abi said.
Ahmad Al Qubaisi, a leading scholar, said manned by trusted muftis and scholars
who are known for their moderate and tolerant approach as well as high academic
qualifications, the council will succeed in winning the public’s trust and
become a reliable point of reference for all their religious queries.
Al Qubaisi said the new council will protect and regulate the issuing of fatwas
to reduce the huge number of religious edicts affecting the lives of millions
council will limit fatwas by scholars as not all of them are qualified to issue
them. Setting up a sole fatwa authority is necessary because many individuals
have started bypassing the authority of official religious bodies and have
issued fatwas that cause disputes and dissent among Muslims,” Dr Al Qubaisi
Al Qubaisi added religious fatwas are meant to offer a jurisprudential point of
view, clarifying all its relevant terminologies, principles and objectives.
Such a task can only be carried out by scholars who are well-versed in Islamic
UAE Fatwa Council is chaired by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, chairman of the
Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies and vice-president of the
International Union of Muslim Scholars, Mauritania.
Bin Bayyah is a Mauritanian professor of Islamic studies at the King Abdul Aziz
University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is a specialist in all four traditional
Sunni schools, with an emphasis on the Maliki one.
Bayyah, who worked alongside Shaikh Zayed in his noble cause for helping the
needy around the world and also accompanied him to many Arab summits and global
events, was the first Minister for Islamic Affairs and Education in Mauritania.
He also assumed the ministerial portfolios of Justice and State for Human
Resources — with the position of Deputy Prime Minister.
Bayyah was a member of the cabinet and the permanent committee of the ruling
Mauritanian People’s Party from 1970-1978.
council will feature high-profile scholars in the country including Omar
Habtoor Dhibi from the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments,
Ahmad Abdul Aziz Al Haddad from the Department of Islamic Affairs and
Charitable Activities in Dubai, Salem Mohammad Al Doubi from Sharjah Department
of Islamic Affairs, Shamma Yousuf Mohammad Al Dhaheri from the General
Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Ibrahim Obaid Ali Al Ali from Umm
Al Quwain Court, Abdullah Mohammad Ahmad Al Ansari from the General Authority
of Islamic Affairs and Endowments and Ahmad Mohammad Ahmad Yousuf Al Shehhi
from the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared victory in an election which independent
observers say was neither free nor fair. Under Turkey’s new executive
presidency, Erdogan can rule by decree. Then again, he has been able to do so
for almost two years, since he declared a state of emergency in the wake of a
coup attempt which very well may have been Turkey’s equivalent of the Reichstag
fire. Those who support continued U.S.-Turkey partnership say either that the
United States has invested too much in its ties to Turkey to walk away because
of disgust with one man or they point to Turkey’s strategic value.
concerns miss the point, however: The partnership between Washington and Ankara
was never arbitrary; it rested on shared values. The values the Turkish
government now holds, however, are the antithesis of American democratic and
liberal values. Erdogan has cracked down on free press, imprisons opponents,
and engages in hostage diplomacy. He unapologetically supports Islamist
terrorist groups and threatens to betray U.S. military technology to Russia.
NATO, meanwhile, is an alliance of joint defense. The whole is greater than the
sum of the parts. When one member is threatened, the others rally to its
defence; they do not engage in a bidding war for loyalty, as Erdogan openly
does with Washington and Moscow.
real problem with Turkey is not its relationship with the United States,
however, but rather its relations with the world.
the case of Saudi Arabia: It grew tremendously wealthy in the 1970s on the back
of the petrodollar and used that money to spread its intolerant and extreme
vision of Islam around the world. The Sept. 11 attacks perpetrated by Saudi
hijackers and financed in part by Saudi royals was simply the tip of the
iceberg. Saudi money, Saudi nongovernmental organizations, and Saudi-funded
mosques are responsible for hundreds of thousands, if not more, deaths in
conflicts from Paris to the Philippines and from Syria to Somalia.
began to change not in the aftermath of the attacks on New York and Washington,
but rather when al Qaeda terrorists attacked inside Saudi Arabia itself. The
Saudis quickly understood the blowback they risked. After all, al Qaeda
essentially followed a theological exegesis and worldview taught in Saudi
textbooks. The kingdom could no longer ensure its own security by ensuring that
its militants focused their efforts on conflicts beyond its borders.
is uncertain if Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman will be successful with
his reforms and, if not, radicalism could return with a vengeance. That said,
there is optimism not only in Washington, but across the Islamic world and in
Riyadh itself that bin Salman is serious about righting past wrongs and
beginning to unravel the radicalism which his kingdom and his relatives once
supported. The irony here, however, is that as Saudi Arabia pulls back from its
past role as the number one financier of religious radicalism, Turkey may take
is the product of a religious education in Turkey and joined a movement more
attuned to the Muslim Brotherhood than traditional Turkish Islam. As he has
consolidated power, he has sought to privilege this Salafi vision and
fundamentally change Turkish society. After all, when Erdogan has promised “to
raise a religious generation,” he means one that adheres only to his vision. He
has sought to force Alevi students to undertake religious education with Sunni
teachers, and he has lifted age and time restrictions on supplemental Quran
schools often taught by teachers from oil-rich Gulf emirates like Qatar. He had
replaced the traditionally technocratic banking board with Turkish alum who
learned their trade working in Islamic banking in Saudi Arabia. And he has
undertaken an unprecedented mosque construction program which he then staffs
with those who amplify his vision. The whole dispute with exiled theologian
Fethullah Gulen? That has more to do with a conflict between Erdogan’s more
Salafi exegesis and Gulen’s more traditionalist, Turkish Sufi vision than
political and financial competition.
Erdogan has laid the groundwork for a new Islamist vision in Turkey, his
ambitions go beyond. He sees Turkey as leader of the Islamic world.
2004, he pushed successfully for a Turk to lead the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation. And he has pushed the Diyanet, the institutionalization of Islam
in Turkey, not only to take a more international role, but to take a more
Islamist one as well.
European security services increasingly see the Diyanet and the imams it funds
and produces to be a security threat in much the same way that graduates of
Saudi-funded religious seminaries were once viewed. Austria is closing
Turkey-funded mosques and expelling Turkey-sponsored imams. Germany and the
Netherlands are also investigating Turkey and Turkey-sponsored imams for illegal
activities on their soil. Turkey’s diplomats and imams increasingly pose a
security threat in the Balkans, where they work to radicalize Muslim
populations in Bosnia, Macedonia, and Kosovo. About 90 percent of the Islamic
State’s foreign fighters traversed Turkey.
Erdogan sought to control his border, ISIS would never have seized the
territory it did. While Erdogan has justified his incursion into the Afrin
district in Syria as necessary for counterterrorism, he has allowed radical
Syrian Islamist groups to fill the vacuum left by largely secular Kurds
ethnically cleansed from the region. Turkey is also reaching out and using its
imams to proselytize a more radical vision among Muslims in Africa; a leaked
phone call suggests it may even have supplied arms to Boko Haram. Turkey’s new
Islamist drive also determines its growing relationship with Sudan, Qatar, and
the Hamas-run administration of the Gaza Strip.
vision is clear. His goal was never simply consolidation of absolute power over
Turkey, but rather to lead a worldwide transformation of Islam and become
leader of the Islamic world. For Erdogan, phase one is complete, but phase two
of his program is just beginning. He may not have the money Saudi Arabia once
did, but he has picked up the baton dropped by Saudi Arabia as it seeks a new
direction. Alas, it increasingly appears that Turkey, as Erdogan’s vassal, will
become the new engine for instability just as the old one responsible for so
much destruction sputters out.
community under the banner of RSS (Rashtriya Shia Samaj) has decided to support
Narendra Modi as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha
muslims will be supporting Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of
the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. We are also in favour of the construction
of the Ram temple at Ayodhya," Shias' RSS head Bukkal Nawab, who is also a
BJP MLC told PTI.
community will unitedly support the BJP to ensure Modiji becomes PM once again
after 2019 elections," he said, adding no other political party except the
BJP cared for Shia Muslims, who form about 18 per cent of the Muslim
upon the Shias' reasons for supporting the BJP, Nawab said, "It was former
PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who helped lifting a 20-year-old ban on Shia
processions in the state capital".
added that various Shia leaders like Union minister Muktar Abbas Naqvi, state
minister Mohsin Raza, National Commission of Minorities Chairman Syed Ghayorul
Hasan Rizvi, UP Minority Commission Chairman Haider Abbas have been given
respectable positions by the BJP government.
alleged that in previous regimes of the BSP and the SP in the state, Shia
Muslims were subjected to "harassment" and he himself was put in jail
by the Mayawati government.
SP regime, its leader Mohammad Azam Khan did all possible things to repress the
Shia community. Going by the treatment meted out to the community in the past
by various political parties, the Shia community has decided to support Modi
this time and ensure the BJP's victory," he said.
Shia Samaj or RSS was conceptualised in 2016 and different public-oriented
programmes were started under its banner last year.
one of the 'Bada Mangal' day (a Tuesday observed as the day of worship to Lord
Hanuman), RSS organises a large-scale bhandara (community feast) besides
engaging in activities, which it claims, was for betterment and welfare of the
the abbreviation RSS, which is generally associated with the Hindu nationalist
group, Nawab said it is in a different 'avtar' here.
formation of the BJP government in the state in 2017, Nawab, who was a
Samajwadi Party MLC resigned to pave way for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and
deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma to enter the
state Legislative Council.
later joined BJP and was given a legislative council ticket by the party in
April and is now a BJP MLC.
India Shia Personal Law Board spokesman Maulana Yasoob Abbas when asked about
the Shias' RSS support to the BJP, told PTI, "I am not aware of the
development as I am out of station. We will sit and discuss it before reaching
any decision as it is a very sensitive issue.
cardinal warns of 'gradual erosion' of religious freedom in Pakistan
— A Pakistani archbishop has warned about the "gradual erosion" of
religious freedom in his country, saying the nation's caretaker government has
not been able to control vigilantism undertaken by religious extremists.
Cardinal-designate Joseph Coutts, who will become Pakistan's first cardinal in
24 years during a Vatican ceremony June 28, said a law in his Muslim-majority
country meant to prevent blasphemy against Islam is "being very easily
causing a lot of problems right now," said Coutts, speaking at June 25
event on religious freedom co-hosted by the U.S. embassy to the Holy See, Aid
to the Church in Need, and the Sant'Egidio Community. "People are being
killed ... just because of an accusation."
government is not strong enough to control the kind of extremism that has
developed in the country," he said. "It is enough to accuse someone
of blasphemy ... and you're finished."
who has led the Catholic community in Pakistan's largest city since 2012, is
one of 14 prelates Francis has chosen to elevate to cardinal this week.
Pakistan's last cardinal was Joseph Cordeiro, one of Coutts' predecessors in
Karachi, who died in 1994.
June 25 event, titled "Defending International Religious Freedom:
Partnership and Action," highlighted a number of faith communities in
different parts of the world that have suffered violence.
of the speakers at the conference was a Yazidi from northern Iraq, who escaped
enslavement by the so-called Islamic State and is now living in Germany.
Another was an activist who has worked to help some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims
now living in Bangladesh after suffering persecution in Myanmar.
U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich, opened the event by citing
nearly a dozen examples of religious persecution around the world and said it
is "a dangerous time to be a person of faith."
of us gathered here today understand that religious liberty and tolerance are
bulwarks against the forces of extremism," said Gingrich. "History
has shown that governments and societies that champion religious liberty are
safer, more prosperous, and secure."
Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State, closed the conference by
encouraging global governments to raise awareness about the persecution of
outlined seven elements he called "essential" to protecting minority
groups, including "positive collaboration" between religious
communities and governments, the "great duty to condemn abuse of religious
belief and sentiment to justify terrorism" and educational efforts
"to prevent radicalization that leads to extremism."
Rasho, a Yazidi woman who was enslaved by the Islamic State group for eight
months, called on participants to discover the fate of some 3,000 Yazidis still
in the group's captivity.
also asked for the global community to bring areas inhabited by religious
minorities in Iraq and Syria under international protection, to set up a United
Nations investigation into the Islamic State's crimes and to open borders to
this action is not taken, our existence, identity and culture will be wiped out
— fulfilling the aim of the Islamic State," she said.
tough part lies in the days ahead'
said that in Pakistan it is not only Christians who face unfair accusations of
breaking the country's blasphemy law, but also Shia Muslims. Pakistan is
estimated to be 97 percent Muslim, with 95 percent of those Muslims identifying
are suffering as Christians, but our Muslim brethren are also suffering,"
has had blasphemy laws since its time as a British colony, but the laws were
expanded in the 1980s under the military government of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.
Critics say the laws, which prohibit defiling the Koran or the name of the
prophet Mohammed, unfairly target minorities and have led to instances of mob
said the violence is carried out by those with "extremist thinking largely
based on emotions." He shared one example of a threat he received after he
was invited by Muslim friends to visit their madrassa around Christmastime one
said that some days later he and some of the Muslims received hand-written
notes, warning them: "Stop all this rubbish or we'll pull out your
can you do with people like this?" he asked. "This is the reality. I
think we've got to look for the answers but I don't know the answers."
a brief interview with some journalists after the June 25 event, Coutts said he
had been surprised by Francis' decision to make him a cardinal. The archbishop
said he learned of his appointment when a parish priest offered congratulations
course there's great joy but there's also great responsibility and I don't know
how I will be able to live up to it," said Coutts. "That's the big
thing. It's nice to receive all the congratulations at this stage, but the
tough part lies in the days ahead."
President of the United States has decided that the best approach to Iran is to
speak loudly and carry a big stick—in the hopes that relentless pressure on
Iran will either lead to regime change or the country abandoning its
contentious foreign policies. Such saber-rattling will more likely enfeeble
American power within the region and set U.S. policy on track for yet another
dangerous conflict in the Middle East. Just as importantly, increasing tensions
with Iran also bode poorly for sectarian de-escalation in the Muslim world.
This is because the Shia view American policies without a balance between
regional Sunni and Shia actors.
Trump, America is going all in with the pro-confrontation camp led by Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The United States has reversed
President Obama's policies to take a balanced approach towards Iran and other
transnational Shia groups. This shift has included pulling out of the Iran
nuclear deal, which has only further deepened the sectarian battle lines in the
region. While Trump's strategy is standard combative neocon policy at face
value—i.e., ideologically driven opposition to Iran rather than realpolitik—it
has also acquired a partisan, sectarian edge with rhetoric and policies that
appear as if the United States is taking sides in sectarian conflicts in the
administration’s narrow focus will provoke precisely what the Trump White House
aims to prevent—a more cohesive regional Shia movement under Iran’s protection
and aggrieved Shia supportive of countering U.S. influence in the region. In
other words, the current U.S. course is narrowing policy discussions both
within individual Shia organizations as well as across transnational Shia
alliances by closing the door to pro-U.S. policy alternatives. Trump’s policies
are causing a consolidation of a shared anti-American security outlook that
unites the various groups found across the Shia world.
October of last year, the White House argued that past U.S. policy was
incorrect because it “consistently prioritized the immediate threat of Sunni
extremist organizations over the longer-term threat of Iranian-backed
militancy.” This statement alluded to and conflated diverse and indigenous Arab
Shia forces with Iran and indirectly to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.
Additionally, Previous Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for “Iranian
militias that are in Iraq...to go home,” prompting a frosty response from Iraqi
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi especially since the rhetoric replicated
sectarian language which equated all Arab Shia with the Iranian ethnic
identity. These policies together create the perception that the United States
has taken a side against the Shia in the struggles ongoing in the region.
American administrations recognized that the path to regional peace requires a
non-sectarian approach. However, Trump’s coupling of Iran regime change policy
with a regional outlook echoing sectarian rhetoric threatens to upend this
fragile understanding. The Bush administration was careful to label Islam as a
“religion of peace,” and worked with previous Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
despite his pro-Iranian sympathies. The Obama administration also practiced a
pragmatic agnosticism as to its regional partners, as evident in its attempt to
thaw U.S.-Iranian relations and its insistence that Saudi Arabia and Iran
“learn to share the Gulf.”
the United States now focuses on Iran as the region’s only “bad state
actor”—and no doubt serious concerns and differences remain—America gives
carte-blanche to countries such as Saudi Arabia. United States indifference to
Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi ideology; its intervention in Yemen; its meddling in
Lebanon; the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain as well as on its
own sizable Shia minority; and the perceived support of militant groups in Iraq
and Syria has only further tarnished America in mainstream Shia opinion. This
will disadvantage long-term American strategic interests by failing to approach
Iran and other Shia-led movements with practical shared concerns in the Middle
East and instead incentivizing them to act as a spoiler against American
interests in the region.
many Shia movements may have differences of opinion with Iran, as long as the
Trump presidency uncritically supports Saudi Arabia and the threat of military
conflict with Iran remains on the horizon, it is unlikely that any popular Shia
group will side with the United States. Shia anxious at the prospect of rising
sectarian discrimination and U.S. aggressiveness will throw their weight behind
Iran and regional Shia political movements. This further consolidates Iran's
position as the center of the Shia world and its long-standing partnership with
various Shia transnational movements throughout the Middle East such as the
Lebanese Hezbollah, many of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), and
Yemen's Ansarallah (the Houthis) all of whom are engaged in critical regional
sentiments also apply to Iraq’s notoriously independent Shia clerical
institutions (the “marja’iyya”) led by Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, whose reported
rejection of overtures by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman are a clear
indication of the deep gulf which exists between the two sides. A willingness
to work with al-Sistani and Iraq’s moderate clergy who wish for Iraq to have an
independent middle path is a necessary prerequisite to meaningful bilateral
relations. For instance, in the past, Sistani has effectively vetoed American
policy during critical junctures.
a historical and structural perspective, many of the armed Shia movements
allied with Iran, such as Hezbollah and factions of the Iraqi PMF, do not do so
purely on sectarian affinity but rather see Iran as a partner in their
grievances against a regional security architecture which has long excluded the
Shia. These groups are the product of war and instability and have received
support from Iran to organize and effectively assert themselves locally. As
long as war and brinkmanship are still on the horizon, it is unlikely that the
region's Shia will meaningfully disassociate themselves from Iran. Further,
most of the region's Shia have long-standing historical ties and affinity to
Iran as a site of pilgrimage, learning, and shared cultural-religious values.
Moreover, differences of opinion do not mean that all Shia will accept the
Saudi line on Iran. For instance, in Iraq, the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was
widely perceived to be close to the Saudis and UAE, yet he also nonetheless
announced a coalition with the Iran-allied Fatah PMF front. And in Lebanon,
Hezbollah and its allies made the strongest electoral showing and are formally
intertwined with the Lebanese state.
the United States wishes to cooperate with leading political parties and states
of Iraq and Lebanon, it must consider mainstream Shia concerns and undertake a
balanced approach with regional powers. Otherwise, America will seem biased
towards Wahhabi or Salafi currents which are tied to the Persian Gulf
monarchies that have been at the forefront of lauding the administration's
policies towards Iran. This will disadvantage potential cooperation with moderate
Shia forces such as al-Sistani. Furthermore, American bias in favor of Sunnis
will increase tensions with regional powers such as Turkey and Qatar which have
recently gravitated closer to Iran in an effort balance against Saudi Arabia.
Another example includes Kuwait and Oman also striking a balanced tone for
similar reasons. The United States would do well to observe and emulate this
delicate balancing act.
to rein in little Napoleons, say critics of Muslim bureaucracy
LUMPUR: Calls have been renewed for closer supervision of the country’s Islamic
authorities; in the wake of the recent arrest of vocal lawyer Siti Kasim which critics
say has tarnished the new government’s image.
prominent Muslims who have had run-ins with Malaysia’s religious bureaucracy in
the past said the episode last weekend showed it was time the Pakatan Harapan
(PH) government reined in government Islamic agencies.
Ahmad Farouk Musa, whose group Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) has frequently
spoken out against the repression of Muslims by Islamic agencies, questioned
the swift manner in which police had acted on the complaint reportedly lodged
with the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais), accusing Siti of “abducting” a
client who had sought refuge in her house.
arrest only proves that the little Napoleons in Jais still think they are
living in the era of the old repressive regime,” Farouk told FMT.
questioned if the same level of “efficiency” was shown by police in the case of
Umno division leader Jamal Yunos, who vanished without signing his bail papers
soon after he was charged last month.
swift action of the police only showed that they can act swiftly when cajoled
by the religious authorities but are incompetent when handling issues like
Jamal disappearing right under their very eyes,” he said.
and activists have slammed the arrest of Siti, who was accused of kidnapping
24-year-old Anis Nur Izzaty Ruslan, whom Siti claimed was abused by her mother.
had sought refuge in Siti’s house but was picked up by police after a complaint
lodged by her mother with Jais, claiming that her daughter’s faith was under
her detention at the Kajang district police headquarters, Anis was heard
denying that Siti had kidnapped her.
was arrested late on Saturday after she confronted police officers, demanding
an explanation for their intrusion of her house.
and novelist Faizal Musa, better known by his pen name Faisal Tehrani, said
Siti’s arrest only strengthened the argument for the government to rein in
Islamic agencies as well as the police.
with clear supervision of the enforcement agencies can we rid the nation of
corruption, right the wrongs and restore public confidence,” Faisal said.
who has known Siti for five years, said he regarded her as the symbol of “rule
has defended the marginalised communities, including the Orang Asli and
issues of religious minorities such as the Ahmadis and Shias, she has been
vocal at public forums,” said Faisal, whose seven published works are still
under a ban imposed by the previous government over claims that they contain Shia
Muslim undertones. Shia Islam, the dominant school of thought in several parts
of the Middle East, is frowned upon by Malaysia’s religious authorities who
label it deviant.
meanwhile questioned what he called the “indifference” shown by the minister in
charge of women’s affairs, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also the deputy
after Siti’s arrest made news headlines, Wan Azizah reportedly said she was
unaware of the incident, and that it was a matter for the police to settle.
silence is deafening,” said Farouk, referring to Wan Azizah.
will definitely embolden the religious bigots in Jais and the likes to behave
like mafia, which has been their trademark.”
said Siti may have come across to some as “loud and unconventional”, but that
did not justify an intrusion of her privacy in the middle of the night.
wrong did Siti do? Giving shelter to her client who sought her help was
considered a crime? Why must the police arrest Siti for abduction when the
client voluntarily sought Siti’s protection?” he asked.
court hands death sentences to six Daesh militants over bloody bombing
court in Iraq has handed down death sentences to six members of the
foreign-sponsored Takfiri Daesh terrorist group over their involvement in a
bomb attack in the country’s southern province of Dhi Qar, which claimed the
lives of dozens of civilians and left many more injured last September.
security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language
al-Ghad Press news agency that the criminal court in Dhi Qar issued the
verdicts on Sunday, noting that all convicts were Iraqi nationals.
least 60 people were killed and dozens more wounded in two gun-and-car bomb
attacks near the city of Nassiriyah on September 14, 2017.
attacks started with unidentified assailants opening fire inside a restaurant
on the main highway that links the capital Baghdad with the southern provinces.
afterwards, an explosives-laden car targeted a security checkpoint in the same
Daesh terrorist group later claimed responsibility for the attacks.
al-Nassiri, the province's governor, said the majority of the victims were
Iranian pilgrims who were inside the restaurant.
December 9, 2017, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of
military operations against Daesh in the Arab country.
months later, Abadi formally declared victory over Daesh extremists in Mosul,
which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of
fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning
government ramped up its bombardment of the southern city of Daraa on Monday,
forcing dozens of families to flee an expected assault on the cradle of a
a string of wins elsewhere in the country, President Bashar al-Assad has set
his sights on recapturing the country's strategic south, which borders Jordan
and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
forces have been battering rebel-held towns in Daraa province for nearly a
week, leaving at least 28 civilians dead, according to the Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights.
then turned to the provincial capital of the same name, launching air strikes
and barrel bombs on opposition-held districts in the early hours of Monday.
than 55 surface-to-surface missiles slammed into those neighbourhoods after
midnight, followed by four barrel bombs, the Britain-based Observatory said.
is the first time they drop barrel bombs on Daraa city in more than a
year," said monitor chief Rami Abdel Rahman.
city was struck again around noon, this time with air strikes by Syria's ally
Russia, which has helped Assad's troops recapture swathes of territory since
attacks prompted dozens of terrified families to stream out of Daraa city.
set out in the dead of night to seek shelter in olive groves on the city
limits, AFP's correspondent there said.
on foot or by motorbike, they took refuge in small shacks or tents among the
don't know what happened. We were sleeping with the children when all of a
sudden, we heard heavy shelling," said Ahmad al-Musalima, 31.
kids started shaking in fear," he said.
and his family fled overnight, joining an estimated 20,000 people displaced by
the past week's escalating violence, according to the Observatory.
left the house and didn't know where to go. We headed towards the plain with
the kids crying and heavy shelling overhead," Musalima told AFP.
rebels hold the western half of Daraa city and most of the surrounding
province, as well most of the adjacent governorate of Quneitra to the west.
territory roughly forms a horseshoe, whose bottom curve borders Jordan and
includes a military base held by rebels since 2014.
troops meanwhile hold Daraa city's eastern half and nearly all the adjacent
province of Sweida.
had been relatively quiet for nearly a year under a "de-escalation"
deal agreed in July 2017 by Russia, the US, and Jordan.
now, the regime and its Russian allies are pursuing a divide-and-conquer
strategy against rebels.
Monday, Russian bombing raids hit the military base near the border with
Jordan, said the Observatory.
rebels from it would divide the opposition horseshoe into a western and eastern
strikes and 20 regime barrel bombs on Monday also hit the key town of Basr
al-Harir in Daraa's eastern countryside, rocked by clashes for nearly a week.
the town would allow troops to divide rebel territory to smaller pockets,"
Abdel Rahman said.
heavy strikes on Daraa's eastern countryside forced rescue workers to stop
operations in the town of Al-Laja.
civil defence teams have not been able to reach targeted areas because of the
intense bombing," the local civil defence centre said in an online
United Nations has warned that the renewed hostilities could put 750,000 lives
at risk and urged all sides to respect last year's de-escalation agreement.
humanitarian crisis in south Syria must be averted first by sparing civilians
the pains of fighting, and second, be responded to swiftly from inside and
outside Syria," said Ali al-Zaatari, UN humanitarian coordinator in Syria.
said on Sunday it could not absorb a new wave of refugees across its border.
an effort to avoid a bloody onslaught, Russia is leading negotiations with
Syria, Jordan, Israel, and the US in a bid to reach a settlement.
uptick in violence could be tied to those talks, said Sam Heller of the
International Crisis Group.
seems the air strikes have two aims: exerting pressure in order to get
negotiations, either international or local, and paving the way for a wider
attack in case the negotiations don't make progress," he told AFP.
Russian-language Svobodnaya Pressa newspaper wrote on Monday that al-Tanf base
in Eastern Syria in which the US and its allies trained militants for fight
against the Damascus government is likely to shut down operation soon.
added that the Syrian army has surrounded the regions near the base after its
recent advances in Southern Homs.
Endir Omriq, a Turkish analyst, said that the US will likely end deployment of
its forces at the base soon given the presence of the Syrian army forces in the
Americans have understood that the base has lost its value and its continued
operation will not benefit them anymore," he added.
a relevant report earlier this month, media sources reported that the US
occupying forces are attempting to open different ways to transfer terrorists
between al-Tanf, Deir Ezzur and Homs by contacting the tribes in Eastern Syria
Arabic website of Sputnik news agency quoted tribal sources in Eastern Syria as
saying that the US forces transfer the ISIL terrorists from the desert region
bordering Iraq to al-Tanf through al-Sukhneh in Homs.
one of the prominent tribal leaders in Eastern Syria revealed that Mohannad
al-Tala, a US proxy and commander of the so-called New Syrian Forces group in
the US base in al-Tanf, has contacted the Syrian tribes, calling on them to
open a passage for the terrorists to leave al-Tanf for Deir Ezzur to reach al-Omar
added that the US forces fear uprisings by the people in Eastern Syria, noting
that one of their goals to approach the tribes is to keep deployment in the
region as Washington attempts to win the cooperation of the tribes in Manbij,
Hasaka and Deir Ezzur have all failed.
the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has freed its militant inmates and
sent them to the battlefield to attack al-Tanf-Sukhneh road in Homs and open a
passageway and the Jordan road to al-Tanf.
sources said that people from all walks of life, including Arab tribes, Kurds,
Turkmen and other races have embarked on forming a popular resistance force in
Manbij to face occupiers after the US and Turkish troops' deployment and
intervention in the region.
popular resistance force declared in a statement that it will confront any
secessionist move and will never allow foreign occupiers, including Americans,
French and Turkish forces to stay in the region," the sources added.
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported last week that thousands of civilians in
Manbij took to the streets and gathered in al-Batlah square at the Eastern
entrance of the town.
news went on to say that the popular uprising further spread across the Central
parts of the town, adding that the demonstrators condemned the agreement
endorsed by the American and Turkish armies over the town.
army men fended off a heavy attack by Tahrir al-Sham and other terrorist allies
at a checkpoint in Southwestern Sweida.
the meantime, the Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted the Russian
Reconciliation Center for Syria as reporting that the army men, backed up by
the Russian Air Force, managed to repel Tahrir's attack on the towns and
settlements in de-escalation zones in Southern Syria.
center further said that a sum of 70 terrorists were killed and 17 military
vehicles were damaged in the failed attack.
Sunday, the army men, backed up by artillery units and Air Force, engaged in a
tough battle with ISIL in the depth of Eastern Badiyeh of Sweida and captured
several points 5 km East of Khirbet al-Habariyeh near Arz al-Kara'a region.
units of the army managed to advance against terrorists 2 km in Northeastern
direction of Qabr al-Sheikh near al-Zalaf Dam and liberated several regions.
security forces said on Monday they had made arrests related to the kidnapping
and holding hostage of six of their members by ISIS militants.
militants had kidnapped six men and on Saturday threatened to kill them in
three days unless the government released Sunni Muslim female prisoners.
a video released by the group, the six men identify themselves as members of
the police or the Popular Mobilization Unit militias, an umbrella grouping of
mostly Shiite Iran-backed militias that fought with government forces against
ISIS and nominally report to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
were kidnapped on the highway connecting Baghdad to Iraq’s north, a road that
has seen an uptick in attacks by the ISIS in recent weeks.
met security and intelligence leaders on Sunday and ordered the formation of a
special force to secure roads and protect travelers, the security forces said
in a statement.
force was able to arrest elements from the terrorism and crime gangs that are
related to the recent kidnapping incident on the road to Kirkuk province
recently,” it said.
vows to continue capturing Syrian territories
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to continue Turkey's military operations in
Syria and “liberate Syrian lands” after claiming victory in presidential and
parliamentary elections on Sunday.
results show we will continue to liberate Syrian lands and open the way for our
guests in our country to return home safely,” Erdogan said in an election
victory speech on Monday, referring to the Syrian refugees.
troops and their allied militants seized Syria’s western enclave of Afrin in
March before turning their attention to Manbij where the US has set up a
military base to support the Kurdish militants who control the city.
authorities have indicated to move deeper into other areas inside Syria as part
of Ankara's purported campaign to secure borders with the Arab country.
supporters outside his ruling AK party headquarters in Ankara, Erdogan vowed
that Turkey would act more decisively against terrorist organizations.
has been opening new military fronts in Syria. Earlier this year, it launched
the ongoing "Olive Branch" offensive against purported positions of
the US-backed YPG militants in Afrin.
Monday, Turkish troops reached the outskirts of Manbij after striking a deal
with the US to remove Washington-backed Kurdish militants from the area.
began its military intervention in Syria without permission from the Syrian
Sunday, President Bashar al-Assad said the Syrian army will regain control of
the country's north by force if US- and Turkey-backed militants there refuse to
was speaking after Damascus said it rejected the presence of Turkish and US
forces around Manbij, a day after soldiers of the two countries began
patrolling the area.
have chosen two paths: the first and most important one is reconciliation...
The second path is to attack terrorists if they don't surrender and refuse to
make peace," Assad said in an interview with Russian television channel
will fight with them and return control by force. It is certainly not the best
option for us, but it's the only way to get control of the country," said
Assad, responding to a question about the northern part of Syria where militant
groups backed by Turkey hold some territory.
army advances in Saada as 8 Hezbollah militant killed in battle
Arab Coalition in Yemen said operations in Saada and Hodeidah are ongoing,
adding that the Houthi militias suffered great losses in Maran in Saada.
coalition said 41 militiamen were targeted, and their vehicles and equipment
were destroyed, noting that among those killed were eight members of the
terrorist Lebanese Hezbollah militia, one commander and seven fighters.
national army forces fought fierce battles against the Houthis in some of
Hodeidah’s neighborhoods. The army is getting close to the center of Hodeidah
in the biggest attack since the operation to liberate Hodeidah was launched.
sources said there were fierce battles near the University of Hodeidah, three
kilometers west of the city’s downtown on the coastal road which links the
airport with the port.
Houthis are deploying more fighters in the city and continue to set sandbags in
Al-Rabsa street near the University of Hodeidah.
state media said early Tuesday that two Israeli missiles struck near Damascus
International Airport, without adding any details.
a report in the early hours of Tuesday, Syria's state news agency said
"two Israeli missiles came down near Damascus international airport".
head of monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel
Rahman, also told AFP that "the Israeli missiles hit arms depots for
Hezbollah near the airport".
said the air strike took place at 1:00 am local time "without causing huge
explosions" even though they hit the weapons stores.
observatory added that the Syrian air defense "failed to intercept the
has warned of a growing Iranian military presence in neighboring Syria, which
it sees as a threat to its safety.
military has been carrying out strikes on Iranian and Iran-affiliated targets
in Syria, with a US official saying it was Israeli forces that carried out a
deadly strike against an Iraqi paramilitary base in eastern Syria on June 17.
seized a large swathe of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War
and later annexed it, in a move never recognized by the international community.
has urged the international community to intervene and stop the Saudi war on
Yemen, where an ongoing offensive against the Mediterranean port of Hudaydah
has put the country on the brink of famine.
Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told reporters in Tehran Monday that Iran is
in contact with the regional and European governments in order to find a way to
send relief aid and other humanitarian assistance to Yemen.
international community should understand the Yemeni people’s difficult
conditions and the international organizations and the UN should make enough
effort to end the aggression against the oppressed Yemeni people,” he said.
is a lifeline for the majority of Yemen's population because it is where most
of the international humanitarian aid arrives for distribution, including among
about eight million people who are at risk of starvation.
Saudi war and its blockade have left 22 million people in need of humanitarian
aid. It has created the world's largest food emergency and led to a cholera
outbreak that is thought to have killed 2,290 people.
said Iran has been trying "to relay the voice of the aggrieved people and
the victims of the tragedy of the Saudi aggression" to the world and
"looking for a mechanism to stop the aggression and provide for possible
shipment of humanitarian aid" to Yemen.
Arabia and its allies have been attacking Yemen since 2015. The invasion, which
seeks to restore power to Yemen’s former Saudi-backed regime, has killed and
injured more than 600,000 people, according to Yemen’s Health Ministry.
also commented on US tariffs on European steel and aluminum, which have
prompted Europe to respond by imposing additional tariffs on more than $3
billion worth of American exports to the continent.
we are witnessing numerous complexities in the United States’ ties with other
countries and international organizations,” he said.
if the reciprocal measures had any influences on the Islamic Republic, the
official said it was yet early for the country to comment on their potential
he said, had to wait and see if the US behavior would change Europe’s relations
with other countries.
to hear Iran case against US
spokesman said the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was to hold a hearing
in October on a case launched by Iran against the United States.
June, Iran filed the lawsuit, demanding compensation over the seizure of the
country's assets by the US Supreme Court.
April 20, 2017, the court had ruled that about $2 billion in frozen Iranian
assets had to be turned over to American families of people killed in the 1983
bombing of a US Marine Corps barracks in the Lebanese capital of Beirut and
other attacks blamed on Iran.
has long rejected allegations of involvement in the Beirut bombing or any other
the hearing, we should see where the process of the complaint will lead to,”
least nine civilians, mostly women and children have lost their lives when
Saudi fighter jets carried out a string of airstrikes against a residential
area in Yemen’s northwestern province of Amran as the Riyadh regime presses
ahead with its devastating campaign against the conflict-plagued country.
Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, citing officials, said that 20
civilian also sustained injuries after Saudi warplanes bombed houses in the
al-Barid neighborhood of Amran city early on Monday.
damage was reported as Saudi jets also pounded a military barracks and
communication building in the city.
Saturday, at least six civilian were killed when Saudi Arabia conducted aerial
assaults against an educational complex in the Kitaf wa al-Boqe'e district of
Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada.
June 13, the invaders launched a major offensive to take the Houthi-held
Hudaydah, a densely-populated city and the war-torn country's most vital port,
which is the entry point for 70 percent of the impoverished country's imports.
The offensive, however, failed to achieve its goal, thanks to firm resistance
mounted by Yemeni troops and Houthi fighters in defense of the city.
Abdulsalam, a spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah, has warned the United
States and its allies against providing a cover for Saudi Arabia’s atrocities
warning came as Several Western countries, the US and the UK in particular, are
accused of being complicit in the aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime
with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and
Houthi movement, which is a significant aid to the Yemeni army in defending the
country against the invading forces, has been running state affairs in the
absence of an effective administration during the past three years.
Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 to reinstall a
former Saudi-backed regime and crush the Houthi movement.
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the
war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured until then. The war and an
accompanying blockade have also caused famine across Yemen.
President cautions against intolerance in the name of cow, Love Jihad
President M Venkaiah Naidu cautioned against practising intolerance in the name
of cow protection, Love Jihad and eating habits, saying such actions spoil the
name of the country
President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday cautioned against practising intolerance
in the name of cow protection, Love Jihad and eating habits, saying such
actions spoil the name of the country and people can't take law into their
hands."We need to guard against intolerance on the part of certain
misguided citizens. We have been occasionally witnessing such words and deeds
of intolerance by some citizens in the name of so-called cow protection, Love
Jihad, eating habits, watching films."Such incidents lead us to the point
that individual freedoms can be in full play only when every citizen respects
such freedoms of fellow citizens. Post-Emergency, the State apparatus would
think twice before riding roughshod over the liberties and freedoms of citizens.
But it is enlightened citizens who would enable fuller manifestation of such
liberties and freedoms," Naidu said.The Vice President said such actions
of individual intolerance spoil the name of the country. "You cannot take
the right to hang anyone. One has to be tolerant of the views of others while
one must also be tolerant of the verdict of the people. Dissent also has a
place. Freedom must be valued and rights of citizen should be guarded."He
also referred to the debate over nationalism and patriotism and wondered why
some people had problem with even saying "Bharat Mata ki Jai". The
expression is not merely geographical and love for the land but it is love for
all opinions, religions, communities and people.Naidu said India was secular
not because of political parties but it was in the DNA of people and added that
democracy and secularism were there in the Indian civilization through ages.He
asserted that the core Indian values and ethos have no place for intolerance
due to which all major religions of the world flourish in India.
launches blistering attack on Pakistan at UN for its comment on PoK
DELHI: No amount of "empty rhetoric" by Pakistan will change the
reality that Jammu and Kashmir is part of India, said New Delhi's
representative at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) today.
blistering attack on its belligerent neighbour came following comments earlier
this month by Pakistan on the status of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).
Pakistan had said that the reference to PoK in a recent UN report on alleged
rights violations + should in no way be construed to create a "false sense
of equivalence" with Kashmir.
today made known that if anyone was deluded about reality it is Pakistan.
delegation has yet again misused the platform to make an unwarranted reference
to the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. J&K is an integral and
inalienable part of India. No amount of empty rhetoric by Pakistan will change
this reality," said India's Sandeep Kumar Bayyapu, first secretary, while
exercising the right to reply, about Pakistan's June 14 comments.
comments about PoK came after the UN on June 14 released the first-ever report
on alleged human rights violations in both Kashmir and PoK.
called the UN report "fallacious, tendentious and motivated" and
added that it violated India's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
on the other hand, used the report to again raise the Kashmir issue on an
international forum - as is its wont - and said that the report's reference to
the Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir, including Gilgit-Baltistan,
"should in no way be construed to create a false sense of
equivalence" with rights violations in Kashmir.
has turned heat on Maldives, a country shifting its alignment at a fast pace
with China. With uncertainty growing in Maldives and President Yameen Abdul
Gayoom openly taking anti-India stance, New Delhi has decided to curtail the
supply of vegetables - potatoes, onions -- and other essential articles --
rice, flour, eggs, pulses and sugar - to the island nation in the Indian Ocean.
follows a series of face-offs between the two countries. Maldives recently
considerably reduced the number of visas to Indian workers prompting Kerala
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan raise the issue with the Centre. Maldives also
asked India to take back the two helicopters gifted to the country's disaster
management agency by India. Maldives told India to remove the helicopters from
its atolls by June end.
in the first week of June, a Maldivian ruling party MP Ahmed Nihan complained
that he was sent back from Chennai airport by Indian authorities after asking a
few questions over his diplomatic passport. Ahmed Nihan claimed that he was
visiting India for medical consultation and treatment.
shift in policy towards Maldives comes in the backdrop of growing Chinese
influence in the country. President Yameen has openly favoured China over
India. On domestic front, Maldives is facing political chaos that China seems
to relish but which has left India deeply concerned.
is back to its authoritarian days. All Opposition leaders of any considerable
influence have been either put behind the bars on various charges or forced to
flee the country. Backed by an authoritarian communist regime of China,
President Yameen Abdul Gayoom will be seeking virtual unopposed re-election in the
September general elections. Yameen has been pushing India to the margins of
Maldives affairs as China enlarges its footprints in the island nation.
those sent to jail in Maldives is President Yameen's half brother and long-time
dictator president of the country Moumoon Abdul Gayoom for attempting a coup.
Former president Mohamed Nasheed, who sought military intervention from India,
is living in exile - shuttling between Britain and Sri Lanka. Chief Justice of
Maldives Abdulla Saeed has also been sentenced to jail for obstructing justice.
British colony to Chinese satellite
got independence from Britain in 1965 and three years later, it decided to be a
republic in a referendum. Its first president Ibrahim Nasir ruled for 10 years
during which the British retreat continued which saw tourism and fish
export-based economy failing. Facing an anti-government campaign, Nasir fled to
Singapore with millions of dollars from Maldives treasury.
Gayoom became the president in 1978. He practically led a single-party
(Maldivian People's Party) rule surviving at least three coup attempts in 1980,
1983 and 1988. Indian forces saved the day for Gayoom in the last coup attempt.
That also settled the governance debate in Maldives politics for the next 20
Gayoom becoming more autocratic, Opposition parties found favours with people.
Gayoom agredd to multi-party general elections in 2008, which
journalist-turned-activist Mohamed Nasheed of Maldivian Democratic Party won.
brought widespread taxation reforms and launched a range of social welfare
schemes. But during his tenure, hardline Islamic sentiment grew in the country.
Protests were held against the government and repeated coup attempts were made.
frustrated Nasheed resigned from the office of president. His vice-president
succeeded him for a year. Nasheed was arrested and tried for various charges
including terrorism. In 2013 elections, Nasheed again won the popular vote but
the Supreme Court annulled it. In the re-rerun, Gayoom's pro-China half-brother
Yameen won the elections.
and China in Maldives
defended radical Islam in Maldives by dismissing the concerns as anti-West
campaign. He developed close ties with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan while opening
the gates for the Chinese. In April, Pakistan and not Yameen government
announced at Pakistani military would guard exclusive exonomic zone of
Maldives, which signed a free trade treaty with China in December, 2017.
2015, Maldives largely maintained a positive balance of payments with China.
But in three years' time, Maldives owes 70 per cent of its debt to China, which
is arm twisting the country to fall in its line of geostrategic game.
economy is deep in debt, which is roughly equal to 40 per cent of its GDP. The
International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that by 2021, the debt-GDP
ratio would cross 51 per cent. China views the failing economy of Maldives as
an opportunity to get hold of the country.
is currently building an eight billion dollar airport after Maldives cancelled
a deal originally signed with an Indian firm, a 4 billion bridge, a residential
colony on an inhabited island and supplying men and machines to the Indian
should India worry?
the ongoing political crisis, Maldives sent its emissaries to
"friends" Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and China before contacting India,
the traditionally most influential neighbour of the country. Only two years
ago, India had saved the country from going thirsty after receiving a late
night SOS from Male following a mega electricity failure causing acute drinking
Nasheed's anti-India stand has been more pronounced since India expressed its
dismay over subversion of democratic institutions in the country after the
Supreme Court verdict in February. The court had ordered the release and
retrial of Nasheed and other prisoners calling their sentences politically
Yameen responded by declaring a state of emergency and had Abdulla Saeed,
another Supreme Court judge, Ali Hameed, and Gayoom arrested. The remaining
three Supreme Court judges overturned their previous judgment. India and a host
of other nations expressed concerns. But China continued to support Yameen.
a dig at the Narendra Modi government, former Union Minister Arun Shourie on
Monday said that it was a "one-trick horse" with no policy either on
Kashmir or Pakistan.
is no government and no policy regarding Kashmir or Pakistan or even the banks
... What we have is a one-trick horse that only knows how to divide the Hindus
and Muslims of this country," he said at the launch of the book
"Kashmir: Glimpses of History..." penned by senior Congress leader
the Modi government as "event-oriented and election-oriented",
Shourie said that the focus was on organising events and winning elections with
little heed to policy or governance.
also took a dig at the much publicised surgical strike against Pakistan and
termed it as "farzical" (fake) strike.
on the Kashmir unrest, the former Union Minister said the situation has been
hurting the whole country and not just the Kashmiris and people should realise
the Centre's newly-declared "all out action" stance on Kashmir,
Shourie said that what he understood of it was there would be "more
aggressive target killings of individuals" but stressed that it would not
be wise to use "foolish force" against the people.
said there was no alternative to the talks and with "everyone" in the
Valley including the Hurriyat.
you say Hurriyat is being controlled by Pakistan, I think that is precisely the
reason we must talk to them. We have to wean away the Hurriyat from Pakistan
and talks are the only way to do it. So keep talking and keep talking to
everyone," Shourie said.
said that the security agencies need to identify the emerging leadership in
Hurriyat and engage them.
that the real problem with Kashmir and the northeast has been in the way the
Centre has dealt with these states, he said: "You engage a sub-contractor
and tell them, 'I give you money and keep running the semblance of the
government there'. But the money is not reaching the common man on the ground.
They are not getting the basic facilities of roads, water, hospitals, schools.
Where is the money going? It means the officials and the politicians in these
troubled states are cornering it."
the issue of Kashmiris demanding "greater autonomy", Shourie demanded
to know as to what they meant by the term.
is autonomy? Be specific. In the light of example given above of the money not
reaching the common people, I think you need greater supervision, not less of
it (in the name of autonomy)," he said.
said that a lynching of a Muslim in the Indian mainland in the name of the cow
was a "thunderclap" in Kashmir that has the effect of alienating the
Kashmiris by forcing them to think of themselves as Muslims being persecuted by
are pushing the Kashmiris to think themselves as just Musalmans, that too, of
the Wahhabi kind, which they certainly are not. The Kashmiris celebrate their
syncretic culture," he said.
also observed that falling on history would make the forward movement difficult
on the issue.
clarifying on his controversial "Independence" made recently remarks,
Soz said that things were being wrongly attributed to him and that he knows for
a fact that "azadi" was not an option.
leave the extremes and come to the middle," Soz said vis-a-vis the
solution to the Kashmir issue, adding that "small minds" in the
governments and the security apparatus have not let the Indian establishment
embrace the Kashmiris or trust them.
About Dalit Quota In Aligarh Muslim University, Asks Yogi Adityanath
KANNAUJ: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
weighed in on the debate on whether the Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia
Millia Islamia should have Dalit quota, questioning if the Banaras Hindu
University can stick to the reservation policy, why can't minority-run
institutions do the same. The Chief Minister's words come in the backdrop of
several attacks on Dalits and Congress accusations that the BJP government does
not do enough to protect the community. Several Dalit lawmakers from the BJP
have raised similar allegations.
three months ago, huge protests were held by Dalits across the country against
the BJP-led Central government. At least four people had died in Uttar Pradesh.
naming the Congress, at a public meeting in Kannauj on Sunday, Yogi Adityanath
said, "One question should be raised for all those who are saying that
Dalits are being humiliated... when would they ask for reservation for our
Dalit brothers in Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia?"
the BHU can give it (reservation) to Dalits and backwards then why not in
Aligarh Muslim University?" he said.
politically loaded AMU quota issue was raised by the BJP's ideological mentor
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ahead of the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar
Pradesh. RSS joint general secretary Krishna Gopal said the varsity was
committing a "big crime" by not implementing quota.
spokesperson Shafey Kidwai said the current policy does not allow reservation
on basis of religion. "Admissions were given on the basis of internal and
external candidates. Internal is the one who has passed Class 12 from here. And
the rest, 50%, is for external candidates... Now the case is in Supreme
Court," he said.
quota issue of Aligarh Muslim University went to the Supreme Court after an
Allahabad High Court verdict of 2005 held the university as non-minority institution.
Not just the AMU, but the Banaras Hindu University had approached the top court
seeking the restoration of 50 per cent institutional preference quota, in
post-graduate medical courses.
April 2016, the NDA government told the Supreme Court that it would withdraw
the appeal filed by the erstwhile UPA government, challenging the Allahabad
High Court order.
March this year, the Central government filed a revised affidavit in the Delhi
High Court, opposing an order of the National Commission for Minority
Educational Institutions that declared Jamia Millia Islamia as a religious
couple performs puja at Almora temple
claims that temples are generally off limits for non-Hindus to worship, on
Saturday a Muslim-Hindu couple not only visited the world famous Jageshwar
temple in Almora but also performed puja at the altar of Lord Shiva.
couple hailing from New Delhi performed the puja at the temple which was
facilitated by priest Hemant Bhatt who is also associated with Vishwa Hindu
to Bhagwan Bhatt, manager of the Jageshwar Temple Committee, Mukhtar Ali, who
works for the Rayja Sabha news channel, had come to the temple on Saturday.
“His identity was revealed only when he mentioned his name while submitting a
token money of Rs 500 for the puja, after which he was given the acknowledgment
receipt,” Bhatt told The Tribune.
Sharma, wife of Mukhtar Ali, said they have been visiting temples, gurdwaras
and churches often. “Whenever we visit these places of worship, we pray that
peace may prevail and pray for the good of humanity,” said Mahima. The couple
had gone to shoot the world famous temples as part of their work assignment.
The one-man judicial commission inquiring the encounter killing of eight SIMI
suspects on Bhopal’s outskirts on October 31, 2016, has justified the use of
force by police as “reasonable and inevitable”.
advises bringing the jails department under home department for better
coordination. The eight accused, who were facing trial in terror cases, had
broken out of Bhopal central jail on the night of October 30 after cutting the
throat of a guard.
were gunned down on a hillock on the outskirts of Bhopal eight hours later. The
government set up a judicial commission, under retired high court judge SK
Pandey, to probe the jailbreak and the encounter.
final report was tabled in the Assembly by minister Lal Singh Arya on Monday.
The probe concludes that circumstances under which the eight undertrials
escaped justified the use the force. The report says that the SIMI suspects
fired on police, who retaliated.
simmer between Myanmar's military and civilian leaders
new United Nations Special Envoy for Myanmar, Swiss diplomat Christine Schraner
Burgener, appears to have eased tensions between civilian leader Aung San Suu
Kyi and military chief Min Aung Hlaing.
has verified reports that the U.N. involvement headed-off, for the time being
at least, a further deterioration in the relationship that threatens to reach
Burgener arrived in Myanmar on June 12 for a visit that included talks with
national and community leaders as well as a trip to troubled Rakhine State as
part of a regional tour including neighboring Bangladesh.
Kyi has been privately critical of the military's handling of the ongoing
turmoil in Rakhine amid the fleeing of up to 800,000 ethnic-Rohingya Muslims to
Bangladesh since August 2017.
she has avoided making such criticism publicly despite international pressure
on her to condemn brutal military human rights' abuses.
military has for several months been mulling the case for imposition of a state
of emergency in Rakhine that would give it sweeping powers over the entire
state, including about 130,000 Rohingyas in internment camps.
Kyi and Senior General Min have had great difficulty working together under
power sharing established under a military-written 2008 Constitution.
gives the military, which for decades ruled the nation, ministerial control
over defense, police and the budget.
well, it is guaranteed at least 25 percent of all seats in the country's
national and state legislatures.
relationship between General Min and Suu Kyi, according to people familiar with
the situation, had collapsed to the point where until last week the pair had
not met for about a year.
frosty relations underscored the fragility of the nation's return to democracy
under Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) following 2015 elections.
U.N.'s Schraner Burgener, who brought General Min and Suu Kyi together as part
of her visit, brokered a deal to include a foreigner in a three-member
commission to investigate the Rakhine upheaval.
military had opposed outside involvement in the probe, but the agreed
compromise provides for an outside commission member to be a non-Muslim from
within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
U.N. envoy said credible fact-finding was needed to hold accountable those
responsible for the violence.
Burgener comes to the job with strong regional credentials.
was Switzerland's ambassador to Thailand from 2009 to 2015 and her husband,
Christoph Burgener, is a former Swiss ambassador to Myanmar.
[Schraner Burgener] is smart, charming and thinks issues through and is one of
the most impressive diplomats I have met," one former envoy to several
Southeast Asian nations told ucanews.com.
some of her predecessors, she knows Myanmar very, very well."
may take until the next generation of leaders in Myanmar, on both sides, to
resolve the military/civilian divide.
NLD held its annual conference over the June 23-24 weekend, however, Suu Kyi
and President Win Myint did not attend as they are prevented by the
Constitution from engaging in party political activities.
brought to further prominence Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, a pediatrician before
entering politics, who is the party's No. 2 vice chairman and also the Mandalay
region chief minister.
party gathering came at a time of growing discussion on who might in future
succeed 73-year-old Suu Kyi, who as State Counsellor effectively leads the
the aftermath of the conference it was Zaw who reiterated the NLD's commitment
to constitutional reform and ending debilitating internal ethnic conflicts.
to achieve peace would threaten consolidation of democracy in Myanmar, Zaw
stressed a need for constitutional change to bring the important Ministry of
Home Affairs, which has responsibility for police accused of suppressing
peaceful dissent, under direct government control.
the home affairs minister is currently appointed by the armed forces, it was
difficult to address important national tasks, Zaw said.
Afghanistan’s Taliban militant group has rejected pleas by the country’s elders
and activists for an extension of this month’s ceasefire between Kabul and the
militants, saying the requests amounted to a call for surrender to foreign
are not speaking about the occupation or the withdrawal of foreigners. Their
objective is that we lay down our weapons and accept the regime imposed by the
invaders,” said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement on Monday.
also rejected the peace “slogans” and strongly called on civil society activists
and others not to join movements he accused of playing into the hands of the
United States and other foreign countries, allied with Washington, the Taliban
seeks to drive out of the country.
June 9, Taliban announced in a statement that it had agreed to a week-long
truce deal proposed by the Afghan government, saying that foreign forces would
be excluded from the ceasefire and operations would resume against them.
militants themselves, however, announced a three-day truce of their own starting
on June 15, saying on June 17 that they would not extend it, a day after Afghan
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani announced the extension of the week-long period
of truce with the militant group until an unspecified time.
week, a relatively small group of peace marchers arrived in Kabul after
traveling a 700-kilometer trek on foot from the southern province of Helmand
earlier this month, chanting, “We want peace!” and “Stop fighting!”
elders may not be able to bring about peace and create a ceasefire to the whole
country but they can for their own districts and they will,” said Dawlat Wazir,
an elder in Jani Khil district in the eastern province of Paktia, where elders
held a meeting that drew hundreds of people at the weekend, calling on Kabul
and Taliban militants to stop fighting in their area.
are so fed up with operations by government forces in our areas that trigger
fighting for days,” said Malek Sakhto, one of the elders behind the meeting,
adding, “We're pleading with the government and the Taliban to agree on a
ceasefire and stop killing each other and civilians.”
announcing their refusal to extend the truce on June 17, Taliban militants
attacked security forces in numerous districts of eastern and southern
five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an end when
the US and its allies invaded the country on October 7, 2001 as part of
Washington’s so-called war on terror. Despite the presence of foreign troops
across the country, Taliban has been involved in widespread militancy, killing
thousands of civilians as well as Afghan security forces and displacing tens of
thousands of people across the country ever since.
strikes target ISIS-K hideouts in Nangarhar leaving at least 6 dead
US forces targeted the hideouts of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan
(ISIS-K) in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan amid ongoing operations
against the terror group in this province.
provincial government media office said the airstrikes were carried out in the
vicinity of Haska Mina district, leaving at least six militants dead.
to a statement released by the provincial government, the US forces unmanned
aerial vehicles targeted key ISIS-K compounds in Gorgori and Chongi area of the
the meantime, the Afghan forces conducted an operation in Pira Khel area of
Khogyani district and confiscated four rockets, one Dshk heavy machine gun, a
communication device set, one magnetic bomb, and some munitions and explosives.
Afghan forces also discovered and defused an improvised explosive device
planted by the militants in Bati Kot district, the provincial government said.
comes as the provincial government had earlier said that a deadly clash has
taken place among the local public uprising forces and militants affiliated
with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K) in eastern Nangarhar
province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said the clash erupted after
the local public uprising forces stormed into the hideouts of the terror group
in Morchal area.
statement further added that the clash left at least eight ISIS-K militants
dead while three others were arrested.
European Union imposed sanctions on seven senior military officials from
Myanmar on Monday, including the general in charge of an operation accused of
driving nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh.
seven face asset freezes and are banned from travelling to the EU, after the
bloc extended an arms embargo and prohibited any training of, or cooperation
with Myanmar's armed forces.
sanctions, first reported by Reuters in April, also mark a shift in diplomacy
by the EU, which suspended its restrictive measures on the Southeast Asian
country in 2012 to support its partial shift to democratic governance in recent
the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, which the United Nations denounced
as ethnic cleansing by the military, has soured relations. Yangon rejects all
accusations of wrongdoing.
December, the United States imposed sanctions in response to the crackdown on
the Rohingya minority in Rakhine. These included sanctions on Major General
Maung Maung Soe, who was transferred late last year from his post as the head
of Western Command in Rakhine, where Myanmar's military launched a sweeping
counter-insurgency operation in August.
is responsible for the atrocities and serious human rights violations committed
against (the) Rohingya population in Rakhine State by the Western Command
during that period," the EU said in a statement.
Zin Oo, the commander of the Eighth Security Police Battalion, was also
sanctioned. The EU accused him of "serious human rights violations (that)
include unlawful killings and systematic burning of Rohingya houses and
other senior military staff were named, all generals.
also sanctioned senior military officials in February, when Reuters also
reported on events in the village of Inn Din where 10 Rohingya Muslim men and
boys were hacked to death by Rakhine Buddhist villagers or shot by security
Myanmar’s military said it sacked a top general who was named in fresh EU
sanctions against security officials accused of serious rights violations in
the Rohingya crisis, including killings and sexual violence.
is accused of waging a crackdown in Rakhine state that forced 700,000 to flee
that the UN and major western powers have said amounts to “ethnic cleansing.”
leaders have come under fire for taking little punitive action against the
military, which has maintained its troops were responding to attacks by
the military said late Monday in a Facebook post that Major General Maung Maung
Soe, the former head of the western command in Rakhine, had been “purged” for
announcement came after the EU said he was among seven security officials hit
with travel bans and asset freezes, but Myanmar did not link his sacking to the
Facebook post said Maung Maung Soe was first reassigned last November, and that
his removal from his position in the western command was to “inspect his
responsibility over his weakness while working for Rakhine state stability.”
Maung Soe was also the target of US sanctions last year over the Rohingya
statement added that Lt. Gen. Aung Kyaw Zaw — commander of the bureau of
special operations and also on the EU list — was permitted to resign in May for
health reasons and “weakness in serving duty.”
said Monday it was also imposing sanctions against the same seven figures named
by the European Union.
EU said the individuals were targeted because of their “involvement in or
association with atrocities and serious human rights violations committed
against the Rohingya population in Rakhine state in the second half of 2017.”
violations include unlawful killings, sexual violence and the systematic
burning of Rohingya houses and buildings.”
Rohingya refugees have settled in squalid camps in neighboring Bangladesh and
say they are too afraid to return to Myanmar though both countries have signed
a repatriation deal.
refugees say they will not return without a basic guarantee of protection.
United Nations signed a deal with Myanmar this month to allow its agencies to
assess conditions on the ground in Rakhine state, which they say are not yet
ripe for a safe and voluntary return.
Canada sanction Myanmar military over Rohingya abuses
- Canada on Monday announced sanctions in coordination with the European Union
against seven senior Myanmar officials over the Rohingya crisis, accusing them
of human rights violations including killings and sexual violence.
the European Union and Canada have announced sanctions against some of the key
military leaders who were involved in atrocities and human rights violations in
Rakhine State, including sexual and gender-based violence,” Foreign Minister
Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.
and the international community cannot be silent. This is ethnic cleansing.
These are crimes against humanity,” she said.
Myanmar officials - five army generals, a border guard commander and a police
commander - face travel bans and asset freezes for their role in the crisis.
military has forced some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims out of Rakhine and across the
border to Bangladesh since August 2017, in a brutal crackdown which UN
officials say amounts to ethnic cleansing of the minority. The
Buddhist-majority country has branded the Rohingya as illegal immigrants.
a period of thawing relations with Myanmar after the country’s military junta
ceded power in 2011, the Rohingya crisis has seen the EU and Canada take a
harder line - with blacklisting the officials the toughest step taken so far by
Brussels and Ottawa. The EU on Monday hit seven top Myanmar security officials
with sanctions over the Rohingya crisis, accusing them of serious human rights
violations including killings and sexual violence.
700,000 members of the beleaguered Muslim minority have fled a military
crackdown in the country’s northern Rakhine state since August last year, a
process the UN and major western powers have said amounts to “ethnic
foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg hit five army generals, a border guard
commander and a police commander with travel bans and asset freezes for their
role in the crisis.
individuals subject to sanctions are Myanmar/Burma army (Tatmadaw), border
guard and police officials, listed because of their involvement in or
association with atrocities and serious human rights violations committed
against the Rohingya population in Rakhine State in the second half of 2017,”
the EU said in a statement.
a period of thawing relations with Myanmar after the country’s military junta
ceded power in 2011, the Rohingya crisis has seen the EU take a harder line and
blacklisting the officials is the toughest step taken so far by Brussels.
Myanmar’s former colonial ruler which has taken the lead in preparing EU
sanctions, said Monday’s listing would send a signal to military top brass that
the world was watching and those responsible for abuses would be held to
sanctions are a direct response to the appalling violence, including sexual
violence, that took place in Rakhine last year. The individuals listed were
responsible for units that have been identified as the perpetrators of this
violence,” junior foreign minister Mark Field said in a statement.
United States has said it stands firmly with Saudi Arabia in defending their
borders against continued threats from Houthi missiles, US State Department
Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.
United States strongly condemns yesterday’s Houthi missile launch directed at
Riyadh. These actions only exacerbate the conflict in Yemen and deepen mistrust.
We stand firmly with our Saudi partners in defending their borders against
these continued threats. We continue to urge all parties to work with UN
Special Envoy Martin Griffiths toward a political settlement and an end to the
conflict in Yemen,” a statement released by Nauert read.
calls Islamic Scholars conferences a US process
Afghanistan: The Afghan Taliban has denounced the so-called Islamic Scholars
conferences in Asia and the Middle East as an “American process” and urged
clerics to reject the gatherings.
Taliban says in a statement Tuesday the US first gathered religious scholars
for a conference in Indonesia in May, and have since organized similar
conferences in Kabul, Islamabad, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
date has been set for a conference in Saudi Arabia.
Taliban consider the conferences to be anti-Islamic and led by the US, the
group said in the statement. It says the US is using them to seek justification
for its “military occupation” of Afghanistan.
statements should disqualify Trump’s pick for U.N. migration post
a conference hall in Geneva on Friday, the world’s governments will send a
fateful message about their views of prejudice against the world’s nearly 2
billion Muslims. On that date, the International Organization for Migration
(IOM) — consisting of 169 member governments — is scheduled to elect its new
director general. The individual nominated by the Trump administration, Ken
Isaacs, has an unfortunate record of bigoted statements against Islam.
facts are not in dispute. As The Post and others have reported, Isaacs has in
recent years repeatedly posted statements online reflecting the view that Islam
is a religion that is inherently violent and inextricably linked to terrorism.
the July 2016 terrorist attack in Nice, in which a Tunisian resident of France
drove a truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day and killed 86 people,
Isaacs tweeted that “Islam is not peaceful.” In September of that year, he
tweeted that “Islam is 7th Century violence and bullying.” In a June 2017
tweet, he commented on a CNN International report quoting the bishop of
Southwark Cathedral in London after terrorists killed eight people in that
city. According to CNN, the bishop stated that the attack and the killings were
“not what the Muslim faith asks people to do.” Isaacs responded, “Bishop, if
you read the Quran you will know ‘this’ is exactly what the Muslim faith
instructs the faithful to do.” And in Twitter replies to expressions of sorrow about
the 2016 Orlando nightclub terrorist attack, he simply tweeted the hashtag
are more such tweets from Isaacs, as well as retweets of other condemnations of
Islam for acts violence and terrorism, all of which fuel prejudice against
statements are appalling by themselves, but more so given the important
position Isaacs is seeking. The director general of IOM oversees an institution
that is playing a key role in meeting the growing challenges of global
migration. With an annual budget of more than $1 billion and an international
staff, IOM provides a broad menu of critical services both to governments and
people on the move. This includes assistance to newly resettled refugees,
voluntary repatriation of vulnerable migrants to countries of origin, shelter
for individuals displaced by conflict, and programs to prevent human
trafficking, among dozens of other valuable initiatives.
concern about this issue is reinforced by my personal experiences with this
important organization. As a former National Security Council official, as U.N.
deputy envoy for tsunami recovery between 2005 and 2007, and as assistant
secretary of state for population, refugees and migration between 2009 and
2011, I witnessed firsthand critical IOM work on refugee resettlement and on an
array of international shelter, health-care and other assistance initiatives.
is very active in countries that are majority-Muslim, and Isaacs has
understandably apologized for his unfortunate statements. There is no reason to
doubt the sincerity of his apology, and we should welcome his renunciation of
such noxious comments. Moreover, Isaacs, who has already had a long career in
humanitarian service, will no doubt continue to make contributions to the
he should not be elected to lead the world’s most important international
migration agency. For that position, his regrettable statements must be
for instance, had a candidate for this position made a similar succession of
disparaging remarks about Jews, Catholics, evangelical Christians or any other
religious group. Would anyone seriously suggest that such statements should not
present a bar from assuming such an important office as director general of
IOM? Of course not, because electing such an individual would be disrespectful,
dispiriting and demoralizing to the victims of such expressions of bias.
other credible candidates, from Portugal and Costa Rica, provide real
alternatives for IOM leadership, and one or the other should be chosen.
IOM members may be concerned that defeat of the American candidate could put at
risk financial support from the United States, which provides the organization
with about one-third of its budget. Such an aid cut would be unfortunate and
disruptive, but such fears should not guide decision-making on such a
fundamental issue of principle.
Solana, a former secretary general of the NATO military alliance and foreign
policy chief of the European Union, has been refused a visa waiver to enter the
US because of his trip to Iran in 2013.
who played a central role in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program when he
was the EU’s foreign policy chief, said on Monday that his renewal application
on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) had been rejected for
the first time.
is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to
the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
Spanish-born politician and physicist had been due to speak at an event at the
Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank.
75, said that he considered the issue “to be more bureaucratic than political.”
a bit of a mean decision,” Solana told Spain’s Antena 3 TV channel. “I don’t
think it’s good because some people have to visit these countries to keep
see what I can do to fix this. It’s a computer – an algorithm – and if you’ve
been in Iran lately, they take you out of the system. It’s like you don’t exist
visa-wise, because you can’t visit the country.”
who received his US doctorate in physics in 1971 from the University of
Virginia, said he would apply for a US visa instead, a more cumbersome and
expensive process. “I need to go because I need to work there and I’m a
professor at various universities,” he said.
who has also served as Spain’s foreign minister, said he had been invited to
Iran in 2013 to attend the inauguration ceremony of Iranian President Hassan
Rouhani. Solana had no official government post at that time.
US Visa Waiver Program allows people from 38 high-income countries, namely EU
states, Australia, Japan and South Korea, to travel to the US without applying
for a visa.
in 2015, the administration of former US President Barack Obama signed a law
that would require foreign citizens eligible for the waiver program to obtain a
US visa if they had traveled to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and
Yemen after March 1, 2011.
travelers are required to go through the full vetting process required to get a
visa, including an in-person interview at a US Embassy or Consulate.
visa waivers can also be granted on a case-by-case basis for those who have
traveled to Iran as government representatives, journalists or aid workers.
rule predates US President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on five
Muslim-majority countries and North Korea.
step ups surveillance with flock of robotic doves in Muslim-majority Xinjiang:
Jun 25 (PTI) China has deployed a flock of high-tech drones disguised to look
like birds to step up surveillance levels in the troubled Muslim-majority
Xinjiang region, according to a media report.
than 30 military and government agencies have deployed the birdlike drones and
other devices in at least five provinces in recent years, Hong Kong-based South
China Morning Post reported.
drone is designed to move like a bird with flapping wings and carries on board
a small camera that will beam images back to its controllers.
part of the country that has seen the new technology used extensively is the
Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in China's far west, which borders Mongolia, Russia,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, the report
Xinjiang, bordering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Afghanistan, is on the boil
for years following unrest among Uyghur Muslims over the increasing settlements
of majority Han Chinese from other provinces.
has witnessed some of the deadliest terror attacks in recent years which also
spread to other parts of China. The attacks were officially blamed on the East
Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a banned militant group linked to the
to reports, the area is home to a large Muslim population and the Chinese
government views this area as a "hotbed of separatism". As a result,
the region and its people have been subjected to heavy surveillance from the
new 'spy birds' programme, code-named 'Dove', is being led by Song Bifeng, a
professor at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xian, capital of
northwestern China's Shaanxi province," the report said.
have told the site that the drone programme is currently still only
small-scale, but it could be developed to meet demand in both the civilian and
the military sectors.
unmanned aerial vehicles with fixed wings or rotor blades, the new drones
actually mimic the flapping action of a bird's wings to climb, dive and turn in
researcher involved in the Dove project said the aim was to develop a new
generation of drones with biologically inspired engineering that could evade
human detection and even radar.
is not alone in developing robotic birds, the report said.
2013, the US Army bought more than 30 drones from Florida-based Prioria
Robotics that were designed to look like birds of prey, it said.
likeness to raptors was only cosmetic, however, as they were propelled by
turbofans and their wings did not move. PTI AMS AKJ AMS AMS
(ANTARA News) - Indonesia is participating in the International Conference on
Moderate Islam organized by the Sunni Waqf Council of the Republic of Iraq on
June 25-27, 2018, in Iraq.
to a press release received by ANTARA here on Monday, the Indonesian delegation
left for Baghdad on Sunday (June 24).
Indonesian delegation comprised Muchlis M. Hanafi, head of the delegation,
representing Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin; Muhyiddin
Junaidi from the Indonesian Ulema Council; Ikhwanul Kiram Masyhuri, an alumni
of Al Azhar; Saiful Mustafa from the Islami State University in Malang, East
Java; Fathir H. Hambali, an academician; Auliya Khasanofa from Muhammadiyah;
and Thobib Al Asyhar from the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
represent Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin as the head of
the delegation," Hanafi noted.
to Hanafi, the Indonesian government has committed to supporting Iraq`s
rebuilding efforts, both in political and economic fields.
hope the future would be more intense, especially in developing moderate
religious understanding," he emphasized.
the conference, Hanafi will deliver a speech on a world without the armed group
to Hanafi, after the defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, several countries in
Europe, Africa, and Asia are now being haunted by the return of ISIS fighters
to their home countries.
pressed in Iraq and Syria, he believes that ISIS cells will spread to some
countries with extreme radical thinking and expertise in strategizing.
is not possible that they transfer their thoughts and expertise to extremists
at the local level," he noted.
that context, Hanafi asserted the need for international cooperation in
countering terrorism and extremism to prevent the emergence of a
cooperation should at least aim to minimize ISIS` negative impacts and limit
its spread, he added
addition, he highlighted the need to make attempts to clear misunderstandings
of some basic concepts of Islam, especially those that have been misinterpreted
to justify extremism and terrorism.
countries should strengthen relations and join hands to counter such ideologies
and fortify the younger generation not to fall into radical thinking," he
LUMPUR: A Malaysian mosque has banned tourists after a video of two female
visitors in skimpy outfits dancing in front of the Muslim holy site went viral
pair, of East Asian appearance and believed to be foreigners, were filmed doing
the dance in skimpy shorts and tops exposing their mid-riffs on a wall outside
the main mosque in the city of Kota Kinabalu, a popular site for visitors and
and local Muslim groups were incensed by the risque moves outside the holy site
on Borneo island, which is renowned for its huge blue and gold dome and ornate
outraged onlooker can be heard in the video saying: "Why don't they just
fall off the wall?"
chairman Jamal Sakaran at the weekend slammed "the unacceptable behaviour
by foreign tourists" and announced a temporary halt to any tourists
visiting the mosque in Sabah state, adding the move was to preserve the
sanctity of Islam.
nationality of the women involved was not clear.
tourism minister Christina Liew told The Star newspaper legal action would not
be taken against the pair as they were likely unaware of the severity of their
actions. But authorities wanted to track them down to explain "that
something they deemed as 'fun' was actually disrespectful and not right in
numbers of tourists -- both local and foreign -- visit the mosque, often during
a brief stop in Kota Kinabalu before heading into the jungles of Sabah to see
the jungle-clad state's abundance of wildlife.
can usually visit mosques in Muslim-majority Malaysia, where most practise a
moderate form of Islam, but are advised to wear modest clothing.
LUMPUR: Putrajaya’s top advisory council has invited at least three muftis as
well as independent Muslim scholars, academics and activists, believed to be
part of its feedback gathering process to hear views on the future of the
administration of Islam under the new government.
source close to the five-member Council of Eminent Persons said those called
include leaders of conservative Islamic groups as well as “more liberal and
left-leaning” prominent Muslims.
are academics, NGO heads, ulama and authors. They come from contrasting
backgrounds,” the source told FMT.
for reforms of Islamic institutions have been renewed in the wake of the arrest
of Siti Kasim, the human rights lawyer who is among the most vocal critics of
Islamic bureaucracy in the country.
the years, Muslim leaders have questioned state Islamic authorities as well as
the federal-controlled Department of Islamic Development or Jakim, over what is
perceived as their penchant to impose a more rigid form of Islam in the
government religious officers have also been blamed for a spate of
controversial religious rulings as well as the banning of hundreds of books
over the years on the topic of Islam.
has also come under the microscope, and leaders in both Barisan Nasional and
Pakatan Harapan (PH) have called for its dismantling, saying its powers are
against the constitutional provision that matters of Islam come under the
purview of state rulers.
this year, veteran politician and Umno presidential hopeful Tengku Razaleigh
Hamzah blamed the formation of Jakim on what he said was a race between Umno
and PAS over who was more Islamic.
JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim has
hailed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's electoral win as a
"victory for the Islamic world".
a letter congratulating Mr Erdogan on winning a second term in the presidential
election held over the weekend, Datuk Seri Anwar said Turkey's progress and its
place in the world would be more assured under Erdogan's "dynamic
am also convinced that your victory is also a victory for the Islamic world in
portraying a modern and progressive face of Islam that embraces change while
not compromising on the values of our faith and the fundamental teachings of
the Holy Prophet," he said.
Anwar, who is de-facto leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat - a member of Malaysia's
ruling alliance Pakatan Harapan - also congratulated the people of Turkey for
their peaceful participation in the democratic process.
am convinced that your commitment to democracy, the continued betterment of the
Turkish people, the promotion of peace and the eradication of subversive
elements which were key election promises by the AK party contributed greatly
to your victory this second time around," he added.
Anwar visited Mr Erdogan in Turkey last week.
Mr Erdogan, the Turkish government has either taken over or shut down media
organisations, while thousands of people have been detained since a coup
attempt in 2016.
Erdogan will assume major new powers under Turkey's new constitution, among
them the power to directly appoint top public officials and to intervene in the
critics say this would place too much power in the executive, undermining the
checks and balances needed for a properly functioning democracy.
Erdogan however argues that he needs this kind of authority to address the
country's economic woes and to defeat Kurdish rebels.
Mr Anwar said Mr Erdogan's declaration of "one nation, one flag, one
country, one state" in his victory speech is the true mark of a statesman
in bringing together opposing sides after a hard-fought election.
you know, we here in Malaysia too are going through an unprecedented chapter in
our nation's history following the victory of my coalition party for the first
ranks and uniting different factions is our first task in taking our nation
Sweden – Immigration from the Islamic world is causing a political earthquake
in Europe and threatens the political future of its chief architect, German
Chancellor Angela Merkel. Now the 'rebellion' against the European Union's
immigration policy is spreading.
than 4 in 10 Germans now want Chancellor Angela Merkel to resign. Her coalition
government could collapse if she can't get an EU agreement restricting the
number of migrants entering Germany.
Trump tweeted: "The people of Germany are turning against their
leadership" over migration.
was mocked for also tweeting that Germany's crime rate is up when official
figures show that it's at a 30 year low. But statistics show violent crime in
Germany is up and it's because of migrants.
new study says almost 1,000 Europeans have been injured or killed in terrorist
attacks involving migrants since 2014. And Germany has been targeted with
terror plots more than any other European nation, by a wide margin.
rebellion against the EU's migrant policy has now spread to Italy.
new hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini says, "If someone in Europe
thinks that Italy should continue to be a landing point and a refugee camp,
they are mistaken."
of the immigration rebels, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland,
refused to participate in an EU summit on immigration.
'rebellion' has also spread to the grassroots in Sweden, where one poll shows
the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats with a clear lead heading toward
September elections, with some asking if Sweden is about to have its
refugee policy has imported crime, terrorism, and a lot of refugees that
experts say are uneducated and unemployable. And on top of it, now Swedish
citizens have to pay for it.
security expert Magnuss Norell with the Washington Institute for Near East
Policy says, "If you live in Stockholm you never see this. You can choose
not to see it. But in smaller communities, smaller cities, you can't avoid it.
And that is where the change will come."
change is coming…to a number of nations in Europe.
group linked to France’s radical far-right have been arrested on suspicion of
planning an attack on Muslims.
people were arrested over the weekend across France, including in the region of
Paris and the island of Corsica.
potential targets included radical imams, Islamist prison inmates who had been
released or veiled women chosen at random, French daily newspaper Le Parisien
firearms were discovered during the raids and some of the suspects had made
grenades and explosives, the paper said.
suspects are reportedly aged between 32 and 69, and include a retired policeman
who is suspected of leading the ultra-right group.
source close to the investigation said the suspects had an “ill-defined plan to
commit a violent act targeting people of the Muslim faith,” the Agence France
Presse news agency reported.
said they aimed to attack “targets linked to radical Islam.”
interior minister, Gerard Collomb, thanked the country’s intelligence agency
with a tweet, saying it watched "over every day the protection of the
French against any violent action, wherever it comes from.”
Malik, director of the centre on radicalisation and terrorism at the Henry
Jackson Society, said the alleged plots appeared to have some aspects of
vigilantism, but cautioned against giving the groups any credibility.
told The Independent the reported targets appeared to have been selected
because "they are visibly Muslim in the way they dress".
made them "easy targets," she said, adding: "It seems to be
groups are often driven by conspiracy theories "muddled with random facts
they put in to put credibility to a wider narrative of white genocide and
neo-Nazism," she said.
methods used in far-right attacks often parallel those conducted by Islamist
groups, for example the use of vehicles, knives and acid, she added.
themes and grievances that extremist groups use are very common. Even though
they oppose each other, the methods they use are very common," she said.
"They use low-tech for high impact. Particularly when they're operating in
gangs, the resources at their disposal are often household resources or easy to
obtain, in order to get the most leverage and coverage on the attack.
veiled women is a very common thing that happens when we look at anti-Muslim
hatred following an Islamist terror attack."
was a similar wave of arrests in October 2017, in which the suspected targets
were believed to be refugees and mosques.
year, a far-right terrorist targeted Muslims in a van attack outside the
Finsbury Park Mosque in London, leaving one dead and 12 people injured.
far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has called on a visit to Tripoli for
processing centers to be set up south of Libya's borders as a way to block
attempts by refugees to cross the Mediterranean.
Thursday in Brussels, we will jointly support with Libyan authorities the
setting up of reception and identification centers south of Libya, on the
external border of Libya, to help Libya as well as Italy block migration,"
he said, referring to an EU summit this week.
addressing a news conference alongside Ahmed Maiteeq, deputy premier of Libya's
Government of National Accord (GNA), did not specify which African countries
should host the centers.
said Libya "categorically refuses" to set up such camps on its own
territory and that his country would invite European nations bordering the Mediterranean
to a summit on migration and refugees to be held in Tripoli in September.
also held talks on his brief visit with the GNA chief, Fayez al-Sarraj, and the
interior minister, Abdessalam Ashour.
on the frontline of Europe's refugee crisis, has turned away rescue vessels,
with its new populist government demanding greater solidarity from reluctant
fellow EU states.
who was the first member of the new government to visit Libya, on Sunday
bluntly told foreign charities to stop rescuing refugees off the North African
an interview published Monday with the newspaper La Repubblica, Libya's Maiteeq
said he hoped to work with the Italian government on the crisis.
cooperation between Italy and Libya is crucial," he said, adding that the
arrival of refugees was also "a major problem" for his country.
who bring migrants to Italy are dangerous criminal groups for us, who prevent
Libya from taking a step toward a difficult normalization."
of Europe must think of structural measures to take in African countries to
vowed on Monday to move forward in working constructively with the new
government of Turkey, following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s historic
election win on Sunday.
at a news conference in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said, they
have taken note of the preliminary results, which showed that President Erdogan
won an absolute majority in the presidential election.
are looking forward to continuing a constructive, beneficial working
relationship between German and Turkish governments," Steffen Seibert
also noted that Chancellor Merkel would congratulate Turkish President Erdogan
at an appropriate time.
Monday morning, Turkey's Supreme Election Council announced that Erdogan won an
absolute majority in the presidential election.
99.6 percent of the ballot boxes opened, Erdogan is leading with 52.58 percent
of the vote, while his closest rival Muharrem Ince lags behind at 30.64
terror attack mastermind and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit Hafiz
Saeed has openly championed the need for violence in the Kashmir Valley.
his supporters at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Hafiz said, "A new era
has begun and with God's wishes Kashmir will be an independent state, there has
been a lot of bloodshed in Kashmir, and God almighty is watching, he will
deliver his verdict, because all the decisions come from the Heaven and not
from Washington. The decisions of that come from the heaven get cemented on the
world and Kashmir will be freed".Saeed's Lashkar-e-Taiba is behind a
majority of the terror attacks in the Kashmir Valley. The outfit is also behind
provoking local Kashmiri youth to pelt stones on security forces.
as a proxy of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Saeed takes every
opportunity to praise stone-pelters and Kashmiri militants."I remember
those who have lost their lives and those spirited individuals who use stones
against the Indian Army's bullets and `Allah is watching. Even when they are
dying they still speak of the unity of Pakistan and Kashmir. This is the new
era of Kashmir, and this (Indian Prime Minister) Modi cannot stop it. Because
when it comes to the will of God, every decision and verdict will flow from the
heavens above", said Saeed in his address. Hafiz Saeed is now making an
all out effort to ensure that the Jamaat-ud-Dawa secures seats in the National
Assembly of Pakistan.
son and son-in-law are among 265 candidates fielded by Jamaat-ud-Dawa for
national and provincial assembly seats across Pakistan in the July 25 general
election, with the banned group's political wing vowing to make the country a
'citadel of Islam'. "We want to make Pakistan an independent state of
Allah, and protect all our Muslim brothers, and we are preparing that, we the
only Islamic Nuclear state in the world be capable of leading the entire Muslim
world", said Saeed in his public address.
must be united in this country, communalism must also be ended and to ensure we
stand firmly on the mission given to us by our Prophet. I want to prepare
everyone and make people more aware about different things and the harder we
work the faster the third era of the Muslim World will begin", added
Saeed, who is still roaming freely despite having several terror charges.
over country to the corrupt tantamount to committing suicide: JI
Jamaat-e-Islami chief Senator Sirajul Haq has said that handing over country to
the corrupt people knowingly is tantamount to committing suicide.
a gathering at the opening ceremony of the central election office at his
hometown in Miskini, Haq said that the country was facing threats from both
internal and external enemies. He said corrupt and dishonest people were a
great challenge to Pakistan’s solidarity and existence, adding that these
people had destroyed the national institutions, the country’s politics and the
democratic system on the behest of international forces. He said that in the
current situation, unity among the religious parties was the need of the hour.
JI chief said that KP was the worst-hit province because of lawlessness ad
terrorism but the federal government did not provide any relief to the people
there.However, he said, the people were now fully aware and they would bring
about a change through their vote.
JI chief said that only an honest and competent leadership can turn Pakistan
into a true Islamic welfare state, adding that the MMA’s election manifesto was
the best possible agenda for the purpose. He said the solution of the country’s
problemslies in the Islamic system, adding that the introduction of Shariah
laws would send a wave of satisfaction and happiness all over the country.
said after coming into power, the MMA would abolish the interest-based system
and introduce the system of Zakat and Ushr. The indirect taxes would be
abolished and instead a just system of direct taxes would be introduced under
which the poor would not be burdened with undue taxes, he added.
said the MMA would ensure equitable distribution of national resources and
provision of basic facilities of health and education to the common man at
Secretary General Liaqat Baloch said that after coming to power, the MMA would
raise the living standard of the lower sections of the society, including
government servants, industrial workers and farmers.
corner meetings in his constituency NA-130, he said that the wages of the
factory workers would be fixed in the light of the inflation level and the
industrial and farm workers would be made shareholders in the production.He
said the country’s economy was linked with agriculture but the feudal lords and
capitalists had been exploiting the farmers and had made the life of the farm
workers and peasants miserable.
Pakistan could be placed on the blacklist of countries that financially aid
terrorism, media reports said on Monday as Islamabad fielded its interim
finance minister Shamshad Akhtar to defend the country in Paris where the
Financial Action Task Force is meeting.
FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money
laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of
the international financial system.
placed on the FATF'S 'grey list', Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months
to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with
anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the FATF, a
measure that officials here fear could hurt its economy, which is already under
February, Pakistan narrowly escaped placement, but a senior official of the
FATF confirmed that it will be placed on the FATF's watch-list in June, the
Express Tribune reported.
was previously on the grey list from 2012 to 2015.
FATF will decide after a six-day meeting whether Pakistan should be placed on
the blacklist of countries that financially aid terrorism, the report said.
finance minister Akhtar arrived in Paris earlier today along with senior
officials of the financial monitoring unit to fight Pakistan's case before the
FATF, Geo TV reported.
of the July 25 general elections in Pakistan, the country is being governed by
a caretaker government led by former Pakistan Chief Justice Nasir-ul Mulk.
Pakistani delegation will inform the FATF of the action plan drafted by the
government to avoid sanctions, the report said.
increasing global pressure to move decisively against proscribed organisations,
Pakistan reviewed its new draft action plan for submission to global bodies
working on curbing money laundering and terror financing.
action plan was reviewed just two days before the filing of comments to the
observations raised by the Asia Pacific Group (APG) on money laundering, the
Express Tribune report said.
APG and the FATF's recommendations to curb money laundering and
terror-financing were first discussed in a federal Cabinet meeting. The
proposed action plan was then reviewed in a meeting chaired by Akhtar.
of the latest meeting, Pakistan took steps in keeping with FATF regulations. On
June 20, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan issued the Anti
Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Regulations 2018, in
compliance with FATF recommendations.
Newly-appointed Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States (US) Ali Jehangir
Siddiqui has emphasised the need to promote bilateral trade between the two
expressed these views while presiding over a day-long conference of Pakistan’s
Consuls General and Commercial Counsellors in the US at Washington.
related to consular facilitation, bilateral trade and investment, and outreach
to Pakistani-American community for promoting the ties were discussed.
ambassador was briefed on the recent improvement brought in the consular
services. Applauding the steps taken by the embassy and the consulates general,
Ambassador Ali Jehangir Siddiqui asked the concerned officers to further
improve areas of consular services based on the feedback received from the
directed the trade representatives to focus on untapped sectors on both sides
for enhancing commercial ties between the two countries.
In an interview with a state TV channel, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI)
chairman Imran Khan on Monday said that his party could not do well in 2013
elections due to lack of experience.
told the media that his party aims to contest 2018 elections with full preparations.
further stated that the party has issued tickets for 232 National Assembly (NA)
party chairman claimed that he always fights to end corruption, adding that
lowest rate of corruption was recorded in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province
during his tenure.
talking about PTI’s performance in KPK, Khan stated that apart from upgrading
the existing hospitals, the government established 15 new hospitals in the
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has finalised its menifesto for the upcoming
general elections, said a statemenet issued by the party.
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would announce the menifesto in a press
conference this week.
has envisaged many steps and programmes for the people of Pakistan in the
coming manifesto, the statement read.
menifesto would address the propblems of Pakistanis said Senator Mustafa Nawaz
Khokhar, a spokesman for the party chairman.
is the PPP’s 10th manifesto during the last five decades, said Khokhar adding
party founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had unveiled the first manifesto for the
general elections 1970.
clashes between Muslim cattle herders and Christian farmers in Nigeria leave
are dead after vicious weekend clashes in central Nigeria between mostly Muslim
cattle herders and Christian farmers, with one report citing police saying 86
people were killed.
growing conflict by some accounts has become deadlier than Nigeria's Boko Haram
footage from Jos showed angry people waving machetes and sticks and shouting at
passing security forces as they weaved around overturned and burning vehicles.
Smoke rose in the distance. Women and children clutching overstuffed bags piled
into the back of trucks, seeking a way out.
Muhammadu Buhari warned against reprisal attacks after the "deeply
unfortunate killings across a number of communities" in central Plateau
State as the military and police tried to end the bloodshed, saying "no
efforts will be spared" to find the attackers.
government has not announced a death toll. The independent Channels Television
cited a Plateau State police spokesman, Mathias Tyopev, as saying 86 people had
been killed, with at least 50 houses destroyed.
remain calm," said the Plateau State governor, Simon Bako Lalong, as a
helicopter whirred overhead. "It is very, very, unfortunate that an
incident is happening again like this."
deadly clashes between herders and farmers in central Nigeria are a growing
security concern in Africa's most populous country, which is roughly split
between Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.
threat from Boko Haram, which continues to carry out attacks in the northeast,
has been cited as one cause of the growing tensions as herders — also feeling
the effects of climate change — are forced south into more populated farming
communities in search of safe grazing.
widespread security issues pose a major challenge to Buhari, a Muslim former
military ruler who won office in a democratic transfer of power in 2015, as
elections approach next year.
few details emerged immediately of the latest killings, Nigerians on social
media shared a growing sense that something awful had occurred for hours on
in the day, the Plateau State governor announced a 6pm to 6am curfew after
saying he had woken up to the "shocking news" of the attacks. He said
the curfew affects the communities of Jos South, Riyom and Barkin Ladi
"and is in effect until further notice".
the curfew, observe the curfew, and I will still remind them to observe the
curfew," he said.
rubbishes Christian elders over attack on Buhari govt
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has lambasted the National Christian Elders Forum
(NCEF) under the chairmanship of Solomon Asemota.
had warned that with the spate of killings in Nigeria, there may be no
Christians in the next 25 years.
group also accused the Buhari administration of honoring Chief M. K. O. Abiola,
Baba Gana Kingibe and Chief Gani Fawehinmi “ostensibly to swell the ranks of
Muslims in the roll call of these awards.”
further alleged that, “EFCC is becoming the prosecuting arm of the Jama’atu
Nasril Islam (JNI)”; that “the 1975 coup (and other preceding coups), were jihad,
promoted for the Islamization of Nigeria for Sharia to replace democracy”; that
“the current Federal Government in Nigeria is openly pursuing an anti-Christian
agenda that has resulted in countless murders of Christians…” and that “The
present generation of Christians in Nigeria may cease to exist in 25 years from
now (2043), beginning from 2018” due to incessant killings.
in a reaction on Monday signed by the director of the organization, Professor
Ishaq Akintola, MURIC held that it could not resist laughing at these
are all baseless, unfounded and ridiculous. They exist only in the figment of
NCEF’s imagination. These allegations are symptomatic of intellectual poverty
and desertification of thinking faculty. NCEF is reliving Don Quixote. MURIC is
laughing in Latin.”
are constrained to ask if we need to conduct an all-encompassing examination of
medical fitness for religious leaders in Nigeria. How can anyone just jump to
the conclusion that the present administration which merely yielded to
persistent agitations over the June 12 saga was engaging in jihad because all
the June 12 awardees are Muslims.
has deliberately and most wickedly twisted a coincidence to whip up gymnastic
religiousity. The group also goofed by saying that Abiola was not a Sunni
Muslim. How much of Abiola’s Islam do they know? This claim amounts to
desecration of the dead.”
could there be a connection between the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and EFCC?”
It querried. “Was it not Obasanjo who established the EFCC? The last time we
checked, Obasanjo had not made up his mind to become a Muslim. NCEF’s
imagination is running wild. Nigerians should not be surprised if by tomorrow
NCEF claims that the Saudi king is plotting to become the next American president
in order to Islamise the whole West.
Nigerian Muslims have never claimed that the January 15, 1966 coup was an
attempt at Christianising the country, how can NCEF, in its rational moment
(which of course is very rare), claim that the 1975 coup was a jihad?”
argued that facts on ground also rubbish NCEF’s allegation that the Buhari
administration is pursuing an anti-Christian agenda. According to him,
“Christians have more cabinet positions in this regime. Christians and Muslims
have 18 ministers each but both the Secretary to the Government of the
Federation as well as the Head of Service are Christians. This gives Christians
20 positions while Muslims remain 18. Yet Muslims have not started complaining.
NCEF needs to check its mathematical expertise. 18 cannot be higher than 20.
NCEF’s vituperations are portraying Nigerian Christians in bad light and that
is to say the least.”
Islamic group also contends that the large number of Muslim casualties in the
ongoing killings has belied NCEF’s claim of the killing of Christians.
has been established beyond any reasonable doubt that more Muslims have fallen
victims and the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) which has risen
above 1.5 million Muslims has further cemented this position. Therefore, NCEF
is merely crying wolf where none exists with its allegation that the present
generation of Christians in Nigeria may cease to exist in 25 years from now.
of the most wicked claims of NCEF is that only Christians are being haunted and
jailed by EFCC. Col. Sambo Dasuki has been in detention for almost three years.
Did NCEF hear of any claim from JNI or from the Nigerian Supreme Council for
Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) that a Muslim is being persecuted? What of the former
governors of Niger and Jigawa states? Are they not Muslims and have they not
fallen under EFCC axe?
allegations are as ridiculous as saying that Buhari is Islamising the Green
Eagles and that was why he strategically placed Ahmed Musa in Iceland’s
eighteen to score two goals for Nigeria in the ongoing World Cup in Russia.
NCEF pontifications can also be likened to declaring that although his
predecessor returned a meager N50 million in seven years, Professor Ishaq
Oloyede as JAMB registrar returned a mind-boggling N7.8 billion naira to the
Federal Government (FG) in order to Islamise the Joint Admissions and
Matriculations Board (JAMB). Not to be left out of the Islamisation race,
Hameed Ali fetched FG a record N1 trillion from Customs in 2017 alone.”
said it could not help wondering why NCEF must demonise performers. “Why must
excellence be sacrificed on the altar of mediocrity? Who stopped Obasanjo from
Christianising Nigeria by giving us light instead of darkness for our $26
billion? Why didn’t Jonathan Christianise this country by treating stealing as
of 301 Artillery Regiment (General Support) have arrested 2 suspected Boko
Haram fuel suppliers in Nafada, Gombe State.
2 suspects are one Mohammed Adamu Zika, a driver and Bukar Adamu Haji, an
assistant station manager in one of the fuel stations in Gombe State while
another accomplice is at large.
General, Director Army Public Relations, Texas Chukwu, in a statement on
Monday, said efforts to get him arrested has been intensified by the troops.
two suspects are currently undergoing interrogation and will be handed over to
the appropriate authority for prosecution”, the statement added.
would be recalled that all fuel stations within Nafada general area were warned
against selling large quantities of fuel to motorists.
coastguards picked up 948 African migrants on inflatable boats in several
operations and also recovered 10 bodies on Sunday, officials and a witness at a
naval base said.
operations brings the number, since last week, of mainly African migrants
trying to head to Italy but brought back to Libya to almost 2,000.
western coast of Libya is the main departure point for thousands of migrants
fleeing wars and poverty and trying to reach Europe.
number of crossings has dropped sharply since July 2017 when an armed group
expelled human traffickers from a smuggling hub after an Italy-backed deal.
coastguards picked up illegal migrants in different groups. The first group is
97 on one inflatable boat and the second group is 361 migrants on two
inflatable boats,” Naval forces spokesman Ayoub Qassem told Reuters.
second group was taken to Khums town,” Qassem said, adding that the two groups
included 110 women and 70 children.
witness watching the arrival of another coastguard ship at Tripoli’s Abu Sittah
naval base said a third group included 490 migrants picked up off Qarabulli
town. Among them were 75 women and 20 children.
plunged into chaos following the NATO-backed uprising that toppled Muammar
Qaddafi in 2011, with many armed groups and two administrations vying for
migrants try to head across the Mediterranean toward Italy, hoping they will be
picked up by ships run by aid groups and taken there, although many drown
before they are rescued.
this month, Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini vowed to no longer let
charity ships offload rescued migrants in Italy, leaving one ship stranded at
sea for several days with more than 600 migrants until Spain offered them safe
strongman Khalifa Haftar’s forces announced Monday their “full control” of
Libya’s oil crescent after driving out a rival militia, as authorities said
normal exports were set to resume.
up operations for enemy holdouts” have been completed, said Khalifa al-Abidi,
spokesman for Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army.
commander General Ahmed Salem, in a video posted by the LNA, said the fields
and oil installations in eastern Libya were back under the force’s “full
LNA already announced last Thursday that it had recaptured two key oil ports, a
week after they were seized by armed groups led by militia leader Ibrahim
Jadhran, although military operations in the area were unfinished.
Sunday, a delegation from the National Oil Corporation, which said the violence
had slashed oil production by almost half and cost billions of dollars in
losses, inspected the Ras Lanuf oil terminal.
are currently determining when operations may resume and will update the Libyan
people and market in due course,” the NOC said in a statement.
the severity of the fire damage to storage tanks 2 and 12, tanks 5 and 6 were
saved thanks to the exemplary work of personnel on site.”
have said 16 LNA members were killed in clashes, but the number of dead on the
other side was unknown.
has been wracked by conflict since the 2011 ouster and killing of longtime
dictator Muammar Qaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising, with rival governments and
militias competing for authority and control of key infrastructure.
Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar will transfer control of oil ports recently
recaptured by his forces to the administration in eastern Libya he supports, a
spokesman for the field marshal said Monday.
announcement came just hours after his Libyan National Army said it had
regained “full control” of the country’s oil crescent after driving a rival militia
out of the area.
the oil installations controlled by (Haftar’s) Libyan National Army are being
handed over to the National Oil Corporation dependent on the provisional
eastern government and that is headed by Faraj Al-Hassi,” spokesman Ahmad Al-Mesmari
supports an administration based in Libya’s east that opposes the
internationally recognized government in Tripoli.
LNA already announced last Thursday that it had recaptured the Ras Lanuf and
Al-Sidra terminals, a week after they were seized by armed groups led by
militia leader Ibrahim Jadhran, although military operations in the area were
Petroleum Facilities Guard controlled the two key oil ports for years following
the 2011 NATO-backed removal of Muammar Qaddafi — but they were eventually
forced out by the LNA in September 2016.
spokesman Mesmari said oil revenues from the four terminals now under LNA
control would be handled by the administration in the east supported by Haftar.
made the decision after realizing “rival armed groups are financed by oil
revenues secured by the LNA,” Mesmari said, referring to Jadhran’s forces.
until now, the terminals have been managed by the National Oil Company tied to
Libya’s internationally recognized government based in Tripoli.
NOC is chaired by Mustafa Sanalla, who represented Libya last week at an OPEC
meeting in Vienna.
between Jadhran’s forces and the LNA in the oil crescent pushed the NOC on June
14 to suspend exports from terminals in the area, warning of billions of
dollars in losses.
visiting the Ras Lanuf terminal on Sunday, the NOC said violence had slashed
oil production by almost half and cost billions of dollars in losses.
economy relies heavily on oil, with production at 1.6 million barrels per day
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