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Islamic World News (16 Apr 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)


Ulema from All Sects Should Unanimously Condemn Misuse of Blasphemy Law: Mufti Naeem














Photo: Blasphemy law is being misused, says Mufti Naeem

 

Justice Should Be Done To Muslim Women, Says PM Narendra Modi on Triple Talaq

We Have 'Constitutional' Right to Implement Muslim Personal Law: AIMPLB

Islamic State Holding More Than 3400 Yazidis since 2014: Kurdish Official

Young Muslims in Jordan Volunteer To Protect Christians As They Pray

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Pakistan

Ulema from All Sects Should Unanimously Condemn Misuse of Blasphemy Law: Mufti Naeem

'There Is a Mashal In Every Home': Father of Mardan Student Calls for Unity, Tolerance

Wife of 'terrorist' killed in Lahore encounter 'joined IS': CTD sources

Four Pakistani militants also killed in Nangarhar

After 'blasphemy' lynching in Pakistan, fear of fake Facebook pages being created increases

China delivers third maritime patrol ship to Pakistan

We cherish President Xi's unfailing love for us, says Nawaz Sharif launching Urdu version of Xi's book

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India

Justice Should Be Done To Muslim Women, Says PM Narendra Modi on Triple Talaq

We Have 'Constitutional' Right to Implement Muslim Personal Law: AIMPLB

Need More Inclusiveness For Backward Among Muslims: Modi at BJP National Meet

Those misusing triple talaq will face social boycott, says Muslim board

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Arab World

Islamic State Holding More Than 3400 Yazidis since 2014: Kurdish Official

ISIS Launches Chlorine Gas Attacks in Western Mosul

Syrian Commander: Terrorists Using Chemical Weapons In Hama Battles

Terrorist Group Plotting to Carry out Chemical Attack on Syrian Army in Eastern Damascus

Yemeni troops kill four Saudi soldiers

Yemeni army launches missile strikes at Saudi troops in Jizan

Tens of Turkey-Backed Militants Killed, Wounded in Intensified Infighting in Northern Aleppo

Al-Nusra Command Post in Dara'a city Destroyed in Syrian Army Artillery Attack

Shia civilians the majority among at least 43 dead in Syrian bus attack

ISIS' official Mufti killed in Mosul airstrike

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Mideast

Young Muslims in Jordan Volunteer To Protect Christians As They Pray

Palestinian Official: White House Inhabited by Israeli Settlers

Alizz Islamic Bank helps families teach their children the value of saving

Deputy Top Commander: Iranian Army to Give Crushing Response to Aggressors

Sharjah Islamic Bank’s net profit rises by 5.9% for the 1st Quarter 2017

Gaza thrown into darkness as Hamas-Fatah spat worsens

Scholars, NGOs review Islamic human rights model in Tehran

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South Asia

ISIS Suicide Bombers and Car Bomb Eliminated In East of Afghanistan

MOAB Strike’s Message to Neighbours ‘Take ISIS Presence Seriously’: Gen. Murad

2 militants killed while planting a bomb in a seminary in Logar

Abdullah fires adviser for remarks regarding US airstrike on ISIS

Karzai met Russian Ambassador after declaring a hard stance against US

10 rockets seized before being fired on Kabul city

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Southeast Asia

Jokowi Inaugurates New Grand Mosque, Hopes It Will Spread Message of Tolerance

Philippine army plans all-Muslim units amid insurgeny

Afghan President to Visit Indonesia Next Week, Strengthen Peace-Building Collaboration

Headstones from 19th Century Will Be On Display at KL Jamek Mosque Gallery

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Africa

Begging Has No Place in Islam – Sultan of Sokoto, Alhajisa’ad Abubakar

Kano indigenes disagree on Emir Sanusi’s public comments on Islamic, family issues

Mimouna in Morocco: Jews Who Trust Their Muslim Neighbours

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Europe

'Islamic' Kindergartens Cause a Stir in Austria

The UK Has Bombed Syria And Iraq On More Than Two-Thirds Of Days This Year

Maltese split on teaching of Islam in state schools

Burslem mosque allowed to remain open after winning retrospective planning permission

IS militant linked to Charlie Hebdo attack could still be alive: Iraq

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North America

Teacher at Muslim School Says Student Called Boston Bombers ‘Jews’

UN condemns terrorist attack on Kefraya, al-Fouaa evacuees

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau


URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/ulema-from-all-sects-should-unanimously-condemn-misuse-of-blasphemy-law--mufti-naeem/d/110782

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Ulema from all sects should unanimously condemn misuse of blasphemy law: Mufti Naeem

Apr 16, 2017

Mufti Naeem, head of JamiaBinoria, on Saturday said ulema from all sects in the country should unanimously condemn acts of violence originating from the misuse of the blasphemy law.

He also said the ulema should issue a statement stating that killing an individual over blasphemy allegations is "against the Shariah as well as the law of Pakistan".

He said this while speaking on a DawnNews programme regarding the murder of Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old journalism student who was stripped, shot, thrown from the second floor of the hostel and brutally beaten to death by an angry mob in Mardan over allegations of blasphemy.

Examine: Blasphemy and the death penalty: Misconceptions explained

Incidents of violence over blasphemy allegations are becoming common in Pakistan, the religious scholar said. "The blasphemy law is being misused in the country."

"People are losing the value of this (blasphemy) law," the mufti added, saying that religious extremism could only be eliminated if the judicial system in the country is strengthened.

Naeem said if an individual is found guilty, punish them rather than dragging the case for years in court, and if they are innocent, let them go free.

The scholar further said the media needs to stop playing the ulema from different sects against each other.

"The [media] make them fight like parrots," he added, saying unless there is unity among the religious scholars, such incidents will continue to happen.

Earlier, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Mohammad Yousaf said that though blasphemy by anyone cannot be condoned, no one will be allowed to take laws into their own hands.

The minister further said the government would ensure that the blasphemy law was not misused and those doing so were brought to justice.

At least 65 people have been murdered over blasphemy allegations since 1990, according to figures from a Center for Research and Security Studies report and local media, and dozens more convicted of the crime are currently on death row in local jails.

In March, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued an order for the removal of blasphemous content online, and said anyone who posted such content should face “strict punishment under the law”.

dawn.com/news/1327170/ulema-from-all-sects-should-unanimously-condemn-misuse-of-blasphemy-law-mufti-naeem

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Justice Should Be Done To Muslim Women, Says PM Narendra Modi on Triple Talaq

BY PTI | UPDATED: APR 16, 2017, 06.36 PM ISTPost a Comment

Bhubaneshwar: Raising the ‘triple talaq’ issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said justice should be done to Muslim women.

The Prime Minister said if there are social evils, the society should be woken up and efforts made to provide justice to the victims.

In his address to the BJP national executive here, he said there should not be any “conflict” in the Muslim community over this issue.

“He (Modi) talked about social justice. He said our Muslim sisters should also get justice. Injustice should not be done with them. Nobody should be exploited.

“We do not want that there is conflict within the Muslim community over this issue. What we have to do is that if there are any scial evils, we have to wake up the society and make efforts to provide justice to them (Muslim women). That was the Prime Minister’s spirit,” Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said while briefing reporters.

thehindu.com/news/national/justice-should-be-done-to-muslim-women-says-pm-on-triple-talaq/article18071517.ece

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Islamic State holding more than 3400 Yazidis since 2014: Kurdish official

By  MohamedMostafa

Apr 16, 2017

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The Islamic State is still holding more than 3400 people from Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority since 2014, according to a Kurdish official.

DPA quoted KhairyBozani, Kurdistan endowments ministry official in charge of Yazidis affairs, saying that IS militants had kidnapped 6417 Yazidis, including 3547 women, from Sinjar region in 2014.

He added that those who were set free from captivity stood at 2963, including 1070 women and 1571 children.

Those who are still in IS grip are 3454, according to Bozani, who pointed that the total of Yazidis in Iraq had stood at 550.000, 360.000 of whom have been displaced and 1293 killed.

A total of 30 mass graves containing the relics of Yazidi victims currently standsa 30, while hundreds of individual graves were found, according to Bozani. He said 68 holy Yazidi shrines were detonated by IS militants.

Thousands of Yazidi Kurds fled Sanjar, a Mosul region on the borders with Syria, to nearby mountain areas following its fall to Islamic State militants in August 2014. The Kurdish-speaking community came to the spotlight when Islamic State militants, taking over large parts of Iraq, victimized its members, committing massacres and subjecting them to forced conversions, sexual slavery and other reported atrocities.

The U.S.-backed Iraqi command fighting IS in Mosul since October has said IS currently controls less than seven percent of Iraq. The war in Mosul has displaced more than 500.000 people, according to the government.

iraqinews.com/iraq-war/islamic-state-holding-3400-yazidis-since-2014-kurdish-official/

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Young Muslims in Jordan volunteer to protect Christians as they pray

Published April 16th, 2017

After the attacks on two churches in Egypt last week, Muslim Jordanian youth launched an initiative to protect churches all over the Kingdom on Easter Sunday, in an act of solidarity, they said.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attacks on two Coptic churches in Egypt’s Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday, which killed around 44 and injured more than 100 worshippers, many of whom were children.

KazemKharabsheh wrote: “On Sunday, our Christian brothers and sisters will be in churches [performing] religious [rituals], [and] extremists [are] threatening our national security… My Muslim friends and I will be in Balqa Governorate, protecting its churches and people.”

There have been no direct threats by terrorists to attack churches in Jordan, although Daesh has been repeatedly issuing statements of threats against the Kingdom’s security.

Another Balqa resident, Fayez Ruqeidi, added the vigilante act is meant to “underline the unity of Jordanians and to give everyone the freedom to practise their religion without restraints or fear”.

In Madaba, Hazem Al Fouqaha said many Muslim residents will stand as guards in front of churches to ensure the safety of Christians inside.

Saleh Abu Mahfoud from Zarqa Governorate, some 19km east of Amman, announced his willingness to protect churches in the area, along with other activists to show solidarity with Christians celebrating Easter.

Activists in Ajloun voiced a similar stand to “show the world the harmony and conviviality in Jordan” and to present a model of a fight against extremism, xenophobia, and radicalism.

“We are always proud to say Jordan is made up of harmonious pieces of mosaics; it’s truly sad to see such security measures taken out of necessity in Jordan. We live in a small country and we know everyone here,” Amman resident HalaSaadi told The Jordan Times.

Several security checkpoints were installed on the gates of some churches around the country, as a way to ensure protection of worshippers.

Father Rifat Bader from the Amman-based Catholic Centre for Studies and Media said installing checkpoints at church gates is only a normal measure “to help the security personnel, who are always present on every religious occasion”.

Palm Sunday in Jordan was trouble free.

albawaba.com/editorchoice/young-muslims-jordan-volunteer-protect-christians-they-pray-963326

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Pakistan

Ulema from all sects should unanimously condemn misuse of blasphemy law: Mufti Naeem

Apr 16, 2017

Mufti Naeem, head of JamiaBinoria, on Saturday said ulema from all sects in the country should unanimously condemn acts of violence originating from the misuse of the blasphemy law.

He also said the ulema should issue a statement stating that killing an individual over blasphemy allegations is "against the Shariah as well as the law of Pakistan".

He said this while speaking on a DawnNews programme regarding the murder of Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old journalism student who was stripped, shot, thrown from the second floor of the hostel and brutally beaten to death by an angry mob in Mardan over allegations of blasphemy.

Examine: Blasphemy and the death penalty: Misconceptions explained

Incidents of violence over blasphemy allegations are becoming common in Pakistan, the religious scholar said. "The blasphemy law is being misused in the country."

"People are losing the value of this (blasphemy) law," the mufti added, saying that religious extremism could only be eliminated if the judicial system in the country is strengthened.

Naeem said if an individual is found guilty, punish them rather than dragging the case for years in court, and if they are innocent, let them go free.

The scholar further said the media needs to stop playing the ulema from different sects against each other.

"The [media] make them fight like parrots," he added, saying unless there is unity among the religious scholars, such incidents will continue to happen.

Earlier, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Mohammad Yousaf said that though blasphemy by anyone cannot be condoned, no one will be allowed to take laws into their own hands.

The minister further said the government would ensure that the blasphemy law was not misused and those doing so were brought to justice.

At least 65 people have been murdered over blasphemy allegations since 1990, according to figures from a Center for Research and Security Studies report and local media, and dozens more convicted of the crime are currently on death row in local jails.

In March, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued an order for the removal of blasphemous content online, and said anyone who posted such content should face “strict punishment under the law”.

dawn.com/news/1327170/ulema-from-all-sects-should-unanimously-condemn-misuse-of-blasphemy-law-mufti-naeem

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'There is a Mashal in every home': Father of Mardan student calls for unity, tolerance

April 16th, 2017

Iqbal Jan, the father of a university student in Mardan who was lynched by a vigilante mob earlier this week over allegations of blasphemy called for unity and tolerance in an appearance on DawnNews.

"My message is for people to unite. On the path to peace and love, we will have to bring people together," Jan said on DawnNews' programme 'Do Raaye' Saturday night.

Jan's son, Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old student of Abdul Wali Khan University was attacked and killed by a mob, incited by rumours, that grew to several hundred people.

"Mashal was brutally killed. But he can never die, he is alive," Jan said. "In every house, there is a mashal (torch) of education. We have to protect them," he added.

Jan said that in order to tackle intolerance in the country, "poisonous elements that teach conflict will have to be removed from [university] curriculum."

"We should respect everyone, no matter what religion they belong to. We as Muslims should be respected and those who are not Muslims should also be respected. These are the things they should include in the curriculum" Jan said.

Remembering his son's childhood, Jan said Mashal had never troubled anyone, either at home or in the neighbourhood.

"He would just watch some cricket on TV," Jan said, explaining that his son had a keen interest in education.

"Mashal was very passionate about his studies. He would study for 15 hours a day. He believed education could become a source of great strength," Jan said, adding that Mashal would encourage his brothers and sister to study as well.

"He was a peaceful, tolerant person."

Jan explained that Mashal had studied engineering in Russia for one year.

However, unable to pursue his education abroad due to the family's limited financial resources, Mashal had returned to Pakistan where he began his studies in journalism.

When asked his views on the judicial inquiry ordered by the government in the aftermath of the incident that took his son's life, Jan said that he believed that justice could only be expected when the government was pressured by rights groups and society.

"The judicial inquiry is a good thing, the Supreme Court's suomotu action is also a good thing. But when will we be able to expect justice from the government?" he asked.

"If our civil society organisations, organisations for justice, professors and human rights activists pressure the government, then maybe something will happen," he said.

Jan called those who took his sons life "pioneers of darkness".

"They drown out the light. How long will they do this for? The light should be able to shine through."

He added that they, however, "are also the children of this country", and therefore, the only way to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future is by bringing change in society.

"They are people of this society. We will have to bring change. Bring change in yourself," Jan asserted.

He called on people to raise their voices to protect other children like Mashal.

"There is a Mashal in every home," he said.

Mashal was laid to rest on Friday in his village in Swabi district.

dawn.com/news/1327346/there-is-a-mashal-in-every-home-father-of-mardan-student-calls-for-unity-tolerance

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Wife of 'terrorist' killed in Lahore encounter 'joined IS': CTD sources

April 16th, 2017

The wife of a suspected militant killed in an encounter in Lahore, NaureenLeghari, allegedly went missing from her family home in February this year, according to her brother.

Sources in the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed that the woman identified as NaureenLeghari was a student of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences in Jamshoro, Sindh.

She had disappeared from there a few months ago ‘to join the militant Islamic State group’, the sources said.

A CTD spokesman claimed that a joint team of CTD and intelligence agency men carried out a search operation in the Punjab Housing Society on Friday at around 10pm.

The raiding team was attacked from one of the houses in the locality. The team fired back and an encounter ensued. When the firing stopped, the raiding team entered the house and found Ali Tariq, 32, dead.

CTD sources claimed Naureen had come to Lahore and married Tariq. They added that the woman had physically taken part in the encounter and had engaged police personnel for about an hour.

AfzalLeghari, Naureen's brother, while speaking to DawnNews, confirmed that his sister had been taken into custody by police following a raid conducted by law enforcement agencies in Lahore's Factory Area on Friday night.

He claimed his sister went missing on Feb 10, 2017, and the family had informed the police of her disappearance.

Police informed the family six days later that Naureen had joined the militant Islamic State group, but the family had dismissed the claims as baseless, as they had no reason to believe this to be the case, Afzal said.

dawn.com/news/1327352/wife-of-terrorist-killed-in-lahore-encounter-joined-is-ctd-sources

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Four Pakistani militants also killed in Nangarhar

April 16th, 2017

WASHINGTON: Four ‘senior commanders’ of the groups that have moved to Afghanistan from Pakistan were among the 94 suspected militants killed by a US bomb dropped at a hideout in Nangarhar this week, official sources told Dawn.

On Thursday, the United States dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb at a tunnel complex of the militant group Islamic State of Khorasan (ISK). Known as the ‘mother of all bombs’, the weapon is officially called the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) and carries 22,000 pounds of explosives.

Afghan army officials said earlier that at least 36 militants were killed in the attack but on Saturday they increased the number to 94, adding that all belonged to the ISK.

MajSherinAqa, head of public affairs for the 201st Corps of the Afghan security force in Nangarhar province, where the GBU-43B was detonated, told a US military newspaper, Stars and Stripes, that “four main commanders are among the 94 killed” in the attack.

He did not identify them but official sources in Washington said they were from the groups that previously operated from Pakistan but had moved to Afghanistan when Islamabad launched a series of military offensives against them. Most of those killed in the bombing were also from similar groups, the sources added.

Gen John Nicholson, commander of the US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, told a congressional hearing in February that most ISK fighters were former members of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP). The TTP carried out dozens of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, including the December 2014 assault on the Army Public School in Peshawar, which killed 148 people, mostly children.

The TTP now maintains several bases inside Afghanistan and uses them for carrying out attacks in Pakistan.

Thursday’s bombing annoyed former Afghan president Hamid Karzai who urged the government in Kabul to stop Americans from using its territory for launching such assaults but his successor, Ashraf Ghani, said he had approved the bombing because it would help clear the militants from the area.

Gen Nicholson also defended the bombing, saying that the GBU-43 bomb was the “right weapon” to use against the tunnel complex as Afghan and US ground troops were finding it difficult to do so.

But ZalmayKhalilzad, who served as the US ambassador to the United Nations and Afghanistan in the Bush administration, urged Washington to launch similar strikes at alleged militant sanctuaries in Pakistan as well.

He claimed that attacks on US and Nato forces in Afghanistan were launched from those sanctuaries and “if we are attacked from those places… They would be legitimate targets for a response.”

Mr Khalilzad, who was speaking at a seminar at a Washington think-tank, the Hudson Institute on Friday, also called for changing the balance on the ground from the one of stalemate that had favoured the Taliban to one that favoured the Afghan government and the coalition forces.

Robin Raphel, a former assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, however, opposed the idea of an “all-out war” against Pakistan. “In my view, at the end of the day there has to be a negotiated political solution in Afghanistan, which would undoubtedly include some of the conservative elements including the Taliban in the government,” she said.

HussainHaqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the US and the director, South and Central Asia, at the institute, who moderated the discussion, said the Taliban were irreconcilable.

dawn.com/news/1327262/four-pakistani-militants-also-killed-in-nangarhar

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After 'blasphemy' lynching in Pakistan, fear of fake Facebook pages being created increases

ShailajaNeelakantan | Updated: Apr 16, 2017

NEW DELHI: Following the mob-lynching of an allegedly 'blaspheming' student in Pakistan+ , social media users there are panicked that someone will create fake Facebook (FB) profiles of them, The Express Tribune reported today.

"I don't have another Facebook account and if someone sends you a request with my ID and display picture, please report to me," is the status message that has started trending on local Facebook in Pakistan.

That's because Mashaal Khan, the 23-year-old student murdered last week over online 'blasphemy', had said on FB in December that someone had made a fake profile in his name to malign him.

Crimes related to blasphemy are a serious offence in Pakistan, and penalties range from small fines to the death sentence. While some politicians have condemned the student's murder, not many religious or political heads have called for repealing the 'blasphemy law' in the country.

Here's Mashaal's FB status message from December 23:

"Somebody has made a fake account with my name. And the person seems to be amongst our friends who is trying to send fake texts from the id with my name to His another fake id which is on a girl's name and is trying to blackmail me with that. Watch out friends. Someone is trying to show my image negative."

That December FB status of Mashaal's is also trending on FB in Pakistan.

Last Thursday, the 23-year-old journalism student was murdered by a screaming lynch mob on his university premises at the Abdul Wali Khan University in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The mob believed Mashaal has posted 'blasphemous'

Not only did the lynch mob beat to a pulp and then shoot dead Mashaal, it then continued to pound the boy's lifeless body with sticks - all of this in the clear light of day. The alleged participants in Mashaal's murder were allegedly fellow students and "thousands of students reportedly participated in the lynching", according to the Tribune.

The video of the murder has reportedly been widely shared and watched, and has panicked FB users in Pakistan.

A senior security official told the Tribune they investigated Mashaal's cell phone communication and his social media pages and did not find any "offensive content".

Still, at Mashaal's funeral, the imam at the local mosque refused to lead the last rites, Reuters reported. "A technician who was asked to do so in the cleric's place was confronted by several people afterwards," reported Reuters.

At least 65 people have been murdered over blasphemy allegations since 1990, according to figures from a Centre for Research and Security Studies report and local media, and dozens more convicted of the crime are currently on death row in Pakistani jails, Reuters reported.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/after-blasphemy-lynching-in-pakistan-fear-of-fake-facebook-pages-being-created-increases/articleshow/58203735.cms

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China delivers third maritime patrol ship to Pakistan

PTI | Apr 15, 2017, 06.30 PM IST

BEIJING: China has handed over to Pakistan a 600-tonne patrol ship, the third of its kind, to safeguard the country's maritime interests at a time when both nations are pushing forward with the CPEC project.

The ship which was handed over to Pakistan's maritime safety authority in Guangzhou, Guangdong province is the third of its kind, was built by China Shipbuilding Trading Company Ltd (CSTC) and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) Xijiang Shipbuilding Co Ltd.

Previous two ships have already demonstrated their reliability and excellent performance during visits and exchanges, joint drills, maritime rescue and other missions in Pakistan, state-run People's Daily reported.

Pakistan's maritime safety authority expressed great appreciation for the quality of the ships and for sound cooperation with Chinese ship manufactures, who have promised to provide after-sale services, it said.

The ships are key to consolidating close relations between China-Pakistan, protecting Pakistan's sea transportation and pushing forward the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Belt and Road Initiative, it said.

The CPEC project will link the Pakistani city of Gwadar to China's Xinjiang via a vast network of highways and railways. The project was launched in 2015 with USD 46 billion but later the investment increased to USD 55 billion.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/china-delivers-third-maritime-patrol-ship-to-pakistan/articleshow/58195798.cms

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We cherish President Xi's unfailing love for us, says Nawaz Sharif launching Urdu version of Xi's book

SaibalDasgupta | TNN | Updated: Apr 15, 2017

BEIJING: An Urdu version of Chinese president Xi Jinping's book, 'The governance of China', was released in Pakistan on Friday, according to state media in Beijing.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was present at the book launch, said, "We cherish President Xi's unfailing love and affection for Pakistan, which he [has] showed when he visited Pakistan two years ago and also on many other occasions".

The book is expected to build on China's influence in Pakistan which has been generated due to high expectations thrown up by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

At the same time, it is surprising that it took a long time for the Urdu version to be produced since December 2014 when the book was first released in English. It has since been published in several languages with Thai and Cambodian versions coming out early this month.

The book contains 79 speeches, talks, interviews, notes and letters by president Xi between November 2012 and June 2014.

"From this book, we learn how China has transformed itself in the last four decades," Sharif said.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Sun Weidong, said the book opens a new window for the people of Pakistan to understand and access China, and it tells stories of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation between China and its neighbours.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/we-cherish-president-xis-unfailing-love-for-us-says-nawaz-sharif-launching-urdu-version-of-xis-book/articleshow/58197952.cms

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India

Justice Should Be Done To Muslim Women, Says PM Narendra Modi on Triple Talaq

BY PTI | UPDATED: APR 16, 2017, 06.36 PM ISTPost a Comment

Bhubaneshwar: Raising the ‘triple talaq’ issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said justice should be done to Muslim women.

The Prime Minister said if there are social evils, the society should be woken up and efforts made to provide justice to the victims.

In his address to the BJP national executive here, he said there should not be any “conflict” in the Muslim community over this issue.

“He (Modi) talked about social justice. He said our Muslim sisters should also get justice. Injustice should not be done with them. Nobody should be exploited.

“We do not want that there is conflict within the Muslim community over this issue. What we have to do is that if there are any scial evils, we have to wake up the society and make efforts to provide justice to them (Muslim women). That was the Prime Minister’s spirit,” Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said while briefing reporters.

thehindu.com/news/national/justice-should-be-done-to-muslim-women-says-pm-on-triple-talaq/article18071517.ece

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We Have 'Constitutional' Right to Implement Muslim Personal Law: AIMPLB

Sun, 16 Apr 2017

Striking a defiant posture on the contentious issue of triple talaq, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today asserted that it had the "constitutional" right to implement Muslim personal law.

On the Babri Masjid issue, AIMPLB General Secretary MaulanaWaliRehmani said the board would accept the Supreme Court's decision on the matter while stressing that "no outside settlement was acceptable".

On the talaq issue, he said that the board has decided to issue a code of conduct and warned that those who give talaq (divorce) without 'Sharia' (Islamic law) reasons will face social boycott.

"A code of conduct for talaq is being issued. With its help, the real picture of Shariat directives will be brought out on the talaq issue. If talaq is given without Shariat reasons, those involved will be socially boycotted," Rehmani told reporters here.

The board is issuing appeals to all maulanas and imams of mosques to read out the code of conduct during Friday 'namaz' and emphasise on its implementation, he said.

The Board has made it clear that it will not tolerate any interference in the Shariat laws, and claimed that majority of the Muslims in the country do not want any change in their personal law.

Rehmani had earlier said that in the recent signature campaign initiated by the AIMPLB across the country, both men and women have said that the Constitution of India guarantees them the provision to practice their own religion.

He had also urged that no roadblocks should be put in the implementation of the personal laws.

The Union government had on October 7 last year opposed in the Supreme Court the practice of triple talaq, 'nikahhalala' and polygamy among Muslims and favoured a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.

The Ministry of Law and Justice, in its affidavit, had referred to constitutional principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital law prevalent in various Islamic countries to advocate that the practice of triple talaq and polygamy needed to be adjudicated upon afresh by the apex court.

outlookindia.com/newswire/story/we-have-constitutional-right-to-implement-muslim-personal-law-aimplb/968189

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Need more inclusiveness for backward among muslims: Modi at BJP national meet

Published Apr 16, 2017

Bhubaneshwar: Two resolutions have been passed in the BharatiyaJanata Party (BJP) national executive meet in Bhubaneswar on Sunday, the second day of the conclave.

A resolution was passed thanking Prime Minister NarendraModi for the commission of the OBC Bill and it was seconded by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister DharmendraPradhan and Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das.

Prime Minister NarendraModi earlier made an intervention on a discussion about the backward commission, saying that more inclusiveness is necessary for backward Muslims.

He made the comment at the BharatiyaJanata Party’s national executive meet during a strategy session regarding the new bill which sought to give constitutional recognition to the backward commission. The centre had planned to replace the National Commission for Backward Classes with a constitutional entity. The commission for backward classes was set up by a 1993 law.

The new bill allows the Parliament to include any community as a backward community. While the bill was passed in the LokSabha, it has been stuck at the RajyaSabha.

Another resolution also condemned the manner in which Congress and other parties are playing politics in this connection and stalling the bill.

The national executive meeting focused on the government schemes for poor and party should only be working towards the poor.

The two-day BJP national executive meeting is expected to underline strategy for a big saffron push in states like Odisha, Kerala, West Bengal where it has traditionally been weak.

Party president Amit Shah on Saturday said the BJP's golden era will begin only when it had chief ministers in every state and held power from the Panchayats to the parliament.

deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/160417/need-more-inclusiveness-for-backward-among-muslims-modi-at-bjp-national-meet.html

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Muslim Reservation Bill passed in Telangana Assembly, BJP MLA's suspended

Apr 16 2017

Telangana Reservation Bill aimed at enhancing the quota for backward sections in Muslims under BC-E category from existing 4 to 12 percent and Scheduled Tribes from 6 to 10 percent taking the total reservations to 62 percent has been passed unanimously here on Sunday during a special one day session.

While Congress, Majlis and the Left supported the Bill, five members of BJP have been suspended from the session for protesting in the well of the house.

Assuring the house that the state government will take all necessary steps to get Centre's nod, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao who introduced the reservation bill in the house said that care has been taken to replicate the Tamilnadu reservation hike bill word to word to escape legal scrutiny. “Centre will have to give assent as 69 per cent quota is already under implementation in Tamil Nadu,” KCR stated.

However Congress differed with KCR, arguing that the increased reservations incorporated in the 9th Schedule of Constitution was specific to Tamilnadu and can’t be applied to Telangana. “The government very well knows that its claim holds no water, but this is only to divert the attention of Muslims in the state who are highly backward in education and employment,” Congress MLA Jeevan Reddy said.

BJP Floor leader Kishan Reddy terming the Bill communal said that the Bill is against spirit of Indian constitution. “Even Dr Ambedkar said that there should be reservations when there is discrimination among castes, in the case of Muslims there is no such caste system,” Kishan Reddy argued. BJP said that the fate of the present bill will be similar to that of earlier Bills in the court of law and the party would seek legal recourse.

The Assembly also passed two more bills, the state specific GST Bill and Heritage Bill incorporating heritage status to for all the structures in the state, not just Hyderabad which was covered by the earlier legislation.

deccanherald.com/content/606668/muslim-quota-hike-bill-passed.html

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Arab World

Islamic State holding more than 3400 Yazidis since 2014: Kurdish official

By  MohamedMostafa

Apr 16, 2017

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The Islamic State is still holding more than 3400 people from Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority since 2014, according to a Kurdish official.

DPA quoted KhairyBozani, Kurdistan endowments ministry official in charge of Yazidis affairs, saying that IS militants had kidnapped 6417 Yazidis, including 3547 women, from Sinjar region in 2014.

He added that those who were set free from captivity stood at 2963, including 1070 women and 1571 children.

Those who are still in IS grip are 3454, according to Bozani, who pointed that the total of Yazidis in Iraq had stood at 550.000, 360.000 of whom have been displaced and 1293 killed.

A total of 30 mass graves containing the relics of Yazidi victims currently standsa 30, while hundreds of individual graves were found, according to Bozani. He said 68 holy Yazidi shrines were detonated by IS militants.

Thousands of Yazidi Kurds fled Sanjar, a Mosul region on the borders with Syria, to nearby mountain areas following its fall to Islamic State militants in August 2014. The Kurdish-speaking community came to the spotlight when Islamic State militants, taking over large parts of Iraq, victimized its members, committing massacres and subjecting them to forced conversions, sexual slavery and other reported atrocities.

The U.S.-backed Iraqi command fighting IS in Mosul since October has said IS currently controls less than seven percent of Iraq. The war in Mosul has displaced more than 500.000 people, according to the government.

iraqinews.com/iraq-war/islamic-state-holding-3400-yazidis-since-2014-kurdish-official/

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ISIS launches chlorine gas attacks in western Mosul

April 16, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - An Iraqi military officer says ISIS militants have launched a gas attack in a newly-liberated area in western Mosul.

The officer with the anti-terrorism forces said Saturday that the attack occurred the night before in the al-Abarneighborhood, when ISIS fired a rocked loaded with chlorine. He said seven soldiers suffered breathing problems and were treated in a nearby field clinic.

The officer spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to release information.

Iraqi forces are currently battling ISIS militants in the more densely-populated western half of Mosul. Iraqi officials say more than half of western Mosul has been retaken. The extremists were driven out of the eastern half of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in January.

en.abna24.com/news/middle-east/isis-launches-chlorine-gas-attacks-in-western-mosul_824119.html

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Syrian Commander: Terrorists Using Chemical Weapons in Hama Battles

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior commander of Syria's Baath battalions revealed that the terrorist groups have used chemical weapons against the army in Hama, noting that the ISIL and al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) launch gas attacks against the government forces whenever they are losing their ground.

"After liberation and cleansing operations in the village of al-Majdal in Hama province, we witnessed use of chemical weapons by the terrorists," Mohannad al-Haj Ali, also a member of the Syrian parliament, said on Sunday.

Stressing that Jeish al-Izza terrorist group has used chemical weapons, including the use of chlorine gas, he said, "Most members of the group are foreigners and since they have more knowledge about such weapons compared with other groups, they have been supplied with them."

Expressing regret that this is not the first time such dangerous weapons are being used by Jeish al-Izza terrorist group, al-Haj Ali said that the current battles in Hama are aimed at making the army busy and deviate its focus from the battles in Aleppo and Homs.

In a relevant development today, the Syrian Army's artillery and missile units along with the country's warplanes targeted the defense lines and movements of Al-Nusra Front in six different regions in Northern Hama, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

The artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at the strongholds of Al-Nusra in the towns of Souran, Taybat al-Imam, Atshan, Tal (hill) Bazam and Tal Skeik in Northern Hama, killing or wounding a number of terrorists and destroying their military vehicles and equipment.

In the meantime, the army aircraft carried out several combat flights over the Al-Nusra positions in al-Latamina, Taybat al-Imam, and areas near Souran in Northern Hama, killing a number of terrorists.

Relevant reports said on Saturday that the Russian fighter jets launched massive air raids on terrorists' positions and gathering centers in Northwestern Hama, inflicting major losses on the militants.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960127001105

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Terrorist Group Plotting to Carry out Chemical Attack on Syrian Army in Eastern Damascus

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Arab media outlets reported that terrorists in Eastern Ghouta are preparing to use chemical weapons against the Syrian Army troops.

The Arabic-language Al-Mayadeen TV channel quoted local sources in Eastern Ghouta as saying that the terrorist groups are getting ready to use chemical and poisonous gases against Damascus.

Al-Mayadeen further added that the terrorist groups have deployed a large number of gas masks among their members and their families in Eastern Ghouta.

Last Tuesday Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow has data that new provocations are planned in Syria with the goal of putting the blame on Damascus for allegedly using chemical weapons.

Russian President made the comments after talks with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella on Tuesday, TASS reported.

"We have information from different sources that these provocations, I cannot call them otherwise, are being prepared in other regions of Syria, including in the southern suburbs of Damascus where there are plans to throw some substance and accuse the official Syrian authorities," Putin said.

Putin believes that supporting US strikes on Syria, European countries seek to establish relations with the administration of Donald Trump, whom they criticized during the election campaign on the advice from the then President Barack Obama.

‘They want to restore relations with the Western community after many European countries had taken anti-Trump position during the election campaign in the US due to the former US administration," Putin said.

"A very good platform for consolidating, Syria, Russia, there is a common enemy," he noted. "Wonderful. We are ready to be patient. But we hope that this will get at a certain point to some positive trend of cooperation," he added.

Putin went on to say that US missile strike on Syria reminds of its attack against Iraq in 2003 that led to the emergence of the ISIL.

"This the US strike on Syria strongly reminds of the 2003 events when US representatives in the UN Security Council showed allegedly chemical weapons found in Iraq," the Russian president said.

"After that, a military campaign started in Iraq and it ended with the destruction of the country, the growth of the terrorist threat and the emergence of the ISIL on the international scene, no more and no less," Putin said.

"The same is happening now," the Russian president said.

"We believe that any incident of this kind should be officially investigated," Putin said. "We plan to turn to the United Nations bodies in The Hague and call on the global community to thoroughly investigate into this incident and make balanced decisions based on the investigation’s outcome," the Russian leader added.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960127000641

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Yemeni troops kill four Saudi soldiers

April 16, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Yemeni soldiers and allied Houthi fighters have killed four Saudi troops in sniper fire in the kingdom’s extreme southwest in retaliation for new attacks on the impoverished nation.

The allied forces gunned down one Saudi trooper at the al-Mo’annaq military outpost in the kingdom’s Jizan region on Saturday, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported. Separately, Yemeni sharpshooters killed three more Saudi troops in a blitz against military bases in Najran.

A Saudi military vehicle was also destroyed while traveling in the Midi Desert in Jizan.

Al-Masirah published a video, released by Yemen’s War Media, showing mercenaries fleeing the al-Qavieh base in Jizan on board two vehicles, leaving behind their equipment. A Yemeni army unit then goes there and takes away some of the accoutrement.

Yemeni forces have been responding to Saudi Arabia’s more than two years of invasion launched in support of a former government. Thousands of civilians have been killed in the war which has also destroyed Yemen's infrastructure and put the country on the brink of a famine.

The Yemenis have stepped up their retaliatory strikes against Saudi mercenaries, who have been trying to push deeper into the impoverished country after occupying the Red Sea port of Aden.

On Saturday, loyalist forces backed by Saudi Arabia launched an assault to seize the KhaledIbn al-Walid base from Houthi fighters and their allies near Yemen's west coast.

At least 25 loyalists of former president AbdRabbuh Mansur Hadi and Houthi fighters were killed in clashes around the key military located 30 kilometers from the Red Sea town of Mokha which pro-Saudi forces captured in February.

Military and medical sources told the French news agency AFP that Saudi warplanes had bombed Houthi positions as they tried to push back the advancing mercenaries.

Nine Houthi fighters were killed and two others wounded in twin Saudi airstrikes targeting three vehicles bringing reinforcements to the camp, the report said. A further 12 Houthis and four Hadi loyalists were killed in fighting overnight, it added.

The camp, one of the biggest in Yemen, sits on a key road linking Mokha to the Houthi-controlled port city of Hudaydah and Ta’izz.

en.abna24.com/news/middle-east/yemeni-troops-kill-four-saudi-soldiers_824114.html

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Yemeni army launches missile strikes at Saudi troops in Jizan

April 15, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Yemeni army's missile units targeted the movements of a large number of Saudi-led troops along the al-Khazra corridor in the kingdom's Jizan province with Zelzal-2 missiles.

The home-grown Zelzal-2 missiles hit the convoys of the Saudi vehicles and inflicted heavy damage and casualties on the kingdom's army and allied forces.

The reports said the Yemeni ground troops then pounded the passage with several rounds of Katyusha and artillery fire, inflicting several casualties on the Saudi-led troops.

A senior commander of Yemen's army underlined earlier this week that his country will be among the region's most powerful states in manufacturing advanced missiles.

"Enjoying a wise leader and relying on its young people's scientific power, Yemen will turn into one of the superior missile powers in the region in 10 years," AbdolmalekIssa said on Monday.

"Missile is the only deterrence power possessed by the army and the popular committees at the strategic level which has inflicted the most severe blows to the aggressive enemy and its mercenaries," he added.

The Yemeni defense ministry last month unveiled a new missile named 'Asif 1' that it said would be used in the war against Saudi Arabia.

Al-Masirah news website reported that the missile was test-fired in action after it hit a military base in Saudi Arabia's Najran province.

"The missile units of the army targeted Rajla military base in Saudi Arabia’s Southwestern border region of Najran with three Asif 1 missiles and the missiles precisely hit the target," a Yemeni military source said.

In relevant remarks in March, the official spokesman of the Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General SharqLuqman, underlined that the country is in possession of advanced missiles which can hit the Saudi capital.

"We have been able to develop our weapons and make progress so that they can hit the Saudi capital," Luqman told al-Mayadeen news channel.

Noting that Borkan-2 missile was the first missile which could target King Salman airbase, he said that new missiles are underway.

Luqman said that after hitting Riyadh, the war in Yemen will enter a new stage and all equations will change.

Reports said earlier this month that Yemen's popular forces and their allies in the country's army fired a long-range ballistic missile at an airbase in the Saudi capital Riyadh, marking the second such attack on the city.

The Borkan-2 missile accurately struck King Salman Air Base.

In a statement carried by Yemen's official Saba news agency, a Yemeni military official close to the Ansarullah group said the missile attack came in retaliation for the criminal Saudi war on Yemen.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni army pledged that missiles would target the Saudi territory until the regime’s bombing campaign stops.

It further announced that 108 ballistic missiles have been fired at positions held by Saudi invaders inside and outside Yemen so far.

Separately, Yemeni popular fighters targeted with a Zelzal-1 missile a gathering place of Saudi mercenaries in the al-Ramzah district in the kingdom’s SouthwesternJizan region.

They also launched a missile attack against positions held by the mercenaries in al-Maton district of Yemen’s Northern Jawf province.

en.abna24.com/news/middle-east/yemeni-army-launches-missile-strikes-at-saudi-troops-in-jizan_823971.html

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Tens of Turkey-Backed Militants Killed, Wounded in Intensified Infighting in Northern Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A local source in Northern Aleppo confirmed that over 90 militants have been killed or wounded in clashes between the Ankara-backed gunmen of al-Shamiyeh Front and Suleiman Shah fighters near a border town.

The source from al-Shahba region reported that three days ago after the Turkish army appointed Abu Hatem al-Dayeri as the commander of al-Shamiyeh Front, clashes restarted between al-Shamiyeh and members of Suleiman Shah in al-Shahba region West of the border town of Jarabulus in Northern Aleppo.

The source further added that the clashes between the rival terrorists expanded up to the Central part of al-Qandoureh region West of Jarabulus, adding that 40 militants have been killed and over 50 others have been wounded from both sides.

The source pointed out that the clashes are still underway.

A militant commander in Northern Syria disclosed on Saturday that Ankara initiated a plan to purchase large swathes of land in Northern Aleppo to annex them to Turkey.

The commander revealed that Turkish officials formed a committee, that also includes several local people, to satisfy and persuade civilians to sell their buildings in return for a large amount of cash.

The committee was duty bound to persuade the owners of the lands in Northern town of al-Bab that the buyers would only own the buildings and the lands would remain under their ownership.

The committee promised to give residential buildings in al-Rai region at Turkey-Syria border to those people who would sell their buildings to Turkish buyers, the terrorist commander further disclosed.

He further added that Turkey had a detailed plan to annex vast parts of Northern Syria to its soil, adding that Ankara intends to divide the regions under the control of its affiliated forces into two regions affiliated to Turkey's Kilis and Gaziantep regions to monitor and run tasks and affairs in Northern Syria.

And in a later stage, the annexed regions would start developing economic links with Turkey and would start using Turkish lira in their trade transactions.  

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960127000923

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Al-Nusra Command Post in Dara'a city Destroyed in Syrian Army Artillery Attack

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army's artillery and missile units pounded the positions of Al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) in different neighborhood of the Southern city of Dara'a, destroying a main command post of the terrorists and killing 10 of them.

The artillery and missile units pounded the concentration centers and positions of Al-Nusra South of al-Manshiyehneighborhood, near Katakit building, al-Masri square, Tariq al-Saad (way to dam) neighborhood and North of Seida carpet company in Dara'a city, killing and wounding over 10 militants and destroying a main command post, a mortar launcher, a cannon and a military vehicle.   

Reports said on Thursday that the Syrian army warded off an attack by the Al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) against several military points in Dara'a, inflicting heavy casualties on the terrorists.

The Syrian army units engaged in fierce clashes with al-Nusra terrorists who had attacked a number of military positions near al-Manshiyeh district in Dara'a from the direction of al-Khansa school and al-Bajabejeh district, and repulsed their offensive.

During the clashes, the army soldiers also blew up 2 TOW missile bases of the terrorists, 2 tanks and a military vehicle and killed and wounded a large number of militants.

Meantime, the Syrian army units launched heavy artillery and missile attacks on al-Nusra Front bases in al-Sad district, al-Talabiyeh square, the Southern parts of Basari square and areas near the refugees camp in Dara'a, inflicting several losses on the militants and smashing their weapons and ammunition.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960127001091

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Shia civilians the majority among at least 43 dead in Syrian bus attack

Published April 16th, 2017

At least 43 people were killed on Saturday in a car bombing targeting a convoy of evacuees from two pro-regime villages in northern Syria, a monitoring group reported.

Dozens of others were injured in the blast near buses being used for the evacuation outside the northern city of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added.

So far, there has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Abdel Rahman Hassan, a spokesman of the White Helmet Civil Defence group, put the death toll at 100. He told dpa that another 55 people were injured.

Syria's state news agency SANA said that scores of civilians, mostly women and children, were killed and injured in the car bombing.

The agency said that "terrorists" – a reference to rebels - had loaded the booby-trapped car with food items for children and parked it near the evacuation buses in Aleppo's suburb of al-Rashedeen.

Photos published by SANA showed heavily damaged buses with black smoke coming out of some of them, with some bodies lying on the ground.

The operation to transfer the evacuees resumed after a brief halt, the observatory said.

Buses transporting people evacuated the day before from the rebel-besieged villages of Foua and Kefraya in Idlib in north-western Syria headed into Aleppo, which is controlled by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

Simultaneously, buses carrying evacuees from the government-encircled towns of Madaya and al-Zabadani near Damascus were on their way to Idlib, which is mostly controlled by the rebels, the observatory said.

SANA reported that buses carrying people from Foua and Kefraya had already begun arriving in Aleppo's Jebrin area, where the government has set up a temporary housing centre for them.

Earlier Saturday, thousands of evacuees were stranded in Aleppo due to a dispute between the government and Islamist rebels over a swap deal that came into effect on Friday, the watchdog reported.

It was not immediately clear how the dispute had been resolved.

The evacuation deal, brokered by Iran and Qatar, aims to move government opponents, mostly Sunnis, from Madaya and al-Zabadani to Idlib.

In return, government supporters - mainly Shiites - who live in Foua and Kefraya would be moved to government-held areas.

Both convoys had been stuck a few kilometres apart at bus stations in Aleppo after the al-Qaeda-linked alliance, the Levant Liberation Body, demanded the return of 100 civilians already evacuated from Foua and Kefraya and their replacement with 100 pro-government fighters, according to the observatory.

Under the deal, at least 4,000 people will be evacuated from Foua and Kefraya, where some 20,000 people are estimated to be living under a rebel siege.

Over 25,000 people are estimated to be living in Madaya and al-Zabadani, which have been under siege by government forces and allies from the Lebanese Hezbollah movement since 2015.

The Syrian opposition has described the swap deal as forced displacement and a demographic change in the war-torn country.

In February, the United Nations said around 4.7 million people live in hard-to-reach locations across the country, including more than 640,000 in besieged locations.

Syria's conflict began in 2011 with demonstrations against al-Assad's government and spiralled into a multilateral civil war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced about half the pre-war population of 22 million.

Khalil Hamlo and WeedahHamzah

albawaba.com/news/shia-civilians-majority-among-least-43-dead-syrian-bus-attack-963224

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ISIS' official Mufti killed in Mosul airstrike

April 15, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Iraqi Army’s Central Command said on Friday that an airstrike on the ISIS headquarters in Mosul killed one of the group’s prominent officials.

“An airstrike on the neighborhood of al-Rifai on the right side of Mosul has destroyed ISIS headquarters and killed the group’s Mufti Abdullah al-Badrani,” the Iraqi command said in a statement.

Al-Badrani was the head of the ISIS Sharia institution, named as the group’s Mufti.

The strike also killed ISIS member Abdul Rahman al-Talib, known as Abu Obaida and is of Arab origins.

Ibrahim Awni al-Hayali, known as Abu Baraq, who is ISIS leader in al-Rifaineighborhood was also killed.

It is worth noting that the Iraq security forces are fighting to liberate the right side of Mosul.

en.abna24.com/news/middle-east/isis-official-mufti-killed-in-mosul-airstrike_823952.html

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Mideast

Young Muslims in Jordan volunteer to protect Christians as they pray

Published April 16th, 2017

After the attacks on two churches in Egypt last week, Muslim Jordanian youth launched an initiative to protect churches all over the Kingdom on Easter Sunday, in an act of solidarity, they said.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attacks on two Coptic churches in Egypt’s Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday, which killed around 44 and injured more than 100 worshippers, many of whom were children.

KazemKharabsheh wrote: “On Sunday, our Christian brothers and sisters will be in churches [performing] religious [rituals], [and] extremists [are] threatening our national security… My Muslim friends and I will be in Balqa Governorate, protecting its churches and people.”

There have been no direct threats by terrorists to attack churches in Jordan, although Daesh has been repeatedly issuing statements of threats against the Kingdom’s security.

Another Balqa resident, Fayez Ruqeidi, added the vigilante act is meant to “underline the unity of Jordanians and to give everyone the freedom to practise their religion without restraints or fear”.

In Madaba, Hazem Al Fouqaha said many Muslim residents will stand as guards in front of churches to ensure the safety of Christians inside.

Saleh Abu Mahfoud from Zarqa Governorate, some 19km east of Amman, announced his willingness to protect churches in the area, along with other activists to show solidarity with Christians celebrating Easter.

Activists in Ajloun voiced a similar stand to “show the world the harmony and conviviality in Jordan” and to present a model of a fight against extremism, xenophobia, and radicalism.

“We are always proud to say Jordan is made up of harmonious pieces of mosaics; it’s truly sad to see such security measures taken out of necessity in Jordan. We live in a small country and we know everyone here,” Amman resident HalaSaadi told The Jordan Times.

Several security checkpoints were installed on the gates of some churches around the country, as a way to ensure protection of worshippers.

Father Rifat Bader from the Amman-based Catholic Centre for Studies and Media said installing checkpoints at church gates is only a normal measure “to help the security personnel, who are always present on every religious occasion”.

Palm Sunday in Jordan was trouble free.

albawaba.com/editorchoice/young-muslims-jordan-volunteer-protect-christians-they-pray-963326

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Palestinian Official: White House Inhabited by Israeli Settlers

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has denounced the pro-Israeli policy adopted by the administration of US President Donald Trump, saying the White House is now inhabited by Israeli settlers.

HananAshrawi, a PLO executive committee member, said on Saturday that Israel’s far-right stance dominates the US government, Al Manar reported.

“We used to say there were settlers in the Israeli coalition borne of the far right that detests Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims. But today we say there are settlers inside the White House,” she said.

Trump’s administration “has adopted the extreme Israeli position to the right of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and which supports the settlements,” she added.

The remarks came amid reports that a delegation of Palestinian Authority officials will visit Washington later this month, in preparation for a meeting between Trump and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“The main goal here is to reach understandings that would make the president’s visit a success and that it will come out with positive results that would serve the Palestinian cause,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said earlier this month.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960127001384

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Alizz Islamic Bank helps families teach their children the value of saving

April 16, 2017

Muscat - Alizz Islamic Bank continues to provide innovative Shari’a compliant products and services and its latest product, Hasalti Children's Savings Account has been received well by the public.

The Hasalti Children’s Savings Account is based on the Shari’a principle of Mudaraba and the bank aims to educate children about the value of saving and planning ahead for the future in methods that are Shari’a compliant. Accordingly, Alizz Islamic Bank invests the funds deposited in the Hasalti Children’s Savings Account in Shari’a compliant investment activities to create the best possible returns.

A minimum of 50 Omani Rials must be deposited to the account every month to make the account eligible for the various special offers and benefits. The Hasalti Children’s Savings Account is opened in the name of the child along with his/her guardian's name until the child reaches puberty, i.e. 18 years of age and 21 years of age for a child who has a legal guardian.

Maintaining an average balance of 50 Omani Rials in the Hasalti Children’s Savings Account ensures that the account holder will be entered in the monthly draw giving them an opportunity to be one of 5 monthly winners of a prize of 100 Omani Rials each as (hiba) gift from the shareholders' funds. The winners of the monthly draw are then announced via the bank’s social media channels. The prize amount of 100 Omani Rials is deposited into the account of each winner within two working days.

Further to the financial prize, the account holder will receive a free Hasalti membership card when opening the account and this can be used to avail special offers and discounts across Oman, all of which are listed on the bank’s corporate website.

Additionally, the primary account holder (the guardian) will receive free Life Takaful equal to two times the average of the monthly balance available in the account, with a maximum cover of 20,000 Omani Rials (for example, if the average of the monthly balance is 5,000 Omani Rials then the Takaful cover will be 10,000 Omani Rials, and if it is 20,000 Omani Rials then the Takaful cover will be 20,000 Omani Rials). Alizz Islamic Bank will bear the contribution of the Takaful cover and it will not be a burden to the account holder. Hasalti Children’s Savings Account customers will also be eligible for a preferential rate on Education Finance when the account holder turns 18.

Highlighting the features of the Hasalti Children’s Savings Account, Mohammed Al Ghassani, head of retail distribution and wealth management at Alizz Islamic Bank said “At Alizz Islamic Bank, we always strive to promote the culture of saving amongst children and adults; and we are proud that with the launch of the Children’s Savings Account this can be taught in the very early stages of childhood. Good habits are best instilled when young and we believe in encouraging the development of our children to be the best that they can be.

Amongst the many benefits that our young clients will receive from their Hasalti Children’s Savings Account is that they will receive monthly payments of the generated profits in addition to a preferential rate for Education Finance when the account holder turns 18 years old. This is alongside the amazing discounts and special offers at various merchants.”

muscatdaily.com/Archive/Oman/Alizz-Islamic-Bank-helps-families-teach-their-children-the-value-of-saving-4zzp#ixzz4ePdoFjzP

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Deputy Top Commander: Iranian Army to Give Crushing Response to Aggressors

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Army Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan downplayed the US officials' military threats, and said the Iranian Army and other Armed Forces will give a crushing response to any possible enemy aggression.

"The Iranian Army and Armed Forces are so capable and strong that the enemies (even) don’t think of aggression but if they make a mistake, the Army will give them a very decisive and crushing response which deserves the Islamic Republic of Iran's name," General Pourdastan said in an interview with the state-run TV on Saturday night.

Stressing that all foreign vessels sailing in the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Caspian Sea are monitored by the Iranian Armed Forces, he added, "Also, We have designed proper defensive plans to give a crushing response to the aggressors based on our defense doctrine."

In relevant remarks earlier this month, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad HosseinBaqeri underlined that the country's Armed Forces are prepared to give a rigid response to any possible aggressive act by the enemies.

"We are ready to take speedy reaction against enemy's possible threats and deepening intelligence superiority over enemy's movements is our top priority," General Baqeri said.

He reiterated that Iran's missile strength is admirable.

Also, in February, General Pourdastan underlined that the country's Armed Forces are always ready to give a crushing response to the aggressors, adding that nothing can surprise them.

"Given the preparedness of the Army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and other Armed Forces, they cannot be surprised in any conditions and if any threat emerges, certainly the threatening force will regret its action," General Pourdastan told reporters in the Southern province of Khuzestan.

Referring to different drills held and underway in Iran by the Iranian Armed Forces, he said, "The objective of such wargames is warning those who have the illusion of aggression against Iran."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960127000723

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Sharjah Islamic Bank’s net profit rises by 5.9% for the 1st Quarter 2017

April 16th, 2017

Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) posted a net profit of AED 139.1 million for the first quarter of 2017 compared to AED 131.4 million for the same period last year, a 5.9 % increase. Total assets reached AED 34.6 billion at the end of the 1st Quarter 2017 compared to AED 33.5 billion at the end of 2016.

Liquid assets reached AED 8.1 billion or 23.5% of the Balance Sheet at the end of the 1st  Quarter 2017 compared to AED 7.8 billion or 23.4% at the end of 2016, reflecting the strong liquidity position of the Bank and the strength of its financial position. Net customer receivables of the bank amounted to AED 17.6 billion at the end of the 1st Quarter 2017, an increase of 2.9% or AED 490.8 million compared to the yearend 2016.

Investment securities increase by 8.5% to reach AED 4.5 billion at the end of the 1st Quarter 2017 compared to AED 4.1 billion at the end of December 2016.

Sharjah Islamic Bank was successful in attracting more deposits during the 1st quarter of the year as the total customer deposits reached AED 19.7 billion by the end of the 1st   Quarter 2017, growing by 1.4 billion or 7.6% compared to AED 18.3 billion at the year end of 2016.

On the Bank’s statement of profit or loss, net Operating Income reached AED 237.8 million compared to AED 219.2 million in the same period 2016, an increase of 8.5%.

Return (annualized) on Average Shareholders’ Equity (ROAE) reached 11.28% by the end of the 1st Quarter  2017 compared to 9.68% at the end of December 2016, while Return (annualized) on Average Assets (ROAA) was 1.63% by the end of the 1st  Quarter 2017 compared to 1.46% at  the end of December 2016.

Sharjah Islamic Bank is strongly capitalized. Total shareholders’ equity reached AED 5.0 billion or 14.5% of total assets by the end of the 1st Quarter 2017., and maintain a strong capital adequacy ratio of 21.04% by the end of the 1st Quarter 2017.

albawaba.com/business/pr/sharjah-islamic-bank%E2%80%99s-net-profit-rises-59-1st-quarter-2017-963434

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Gaza thrown into darkness as Hamas-Fatah spat worsens

April 16th, 2017

Palestinian youths at a demonstration against the Palestinian President in Rafah, Gaza, April 14 2017 (AFP/Said Khatib)Palestinian youths at a demonstration against the Palestinian President in Rafah, Gaza, April 14 2017 (AFP/Said Khatib)

Follow > Adel al-Mashwakhi, Fatah, Gaza, Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas, Pennsylvania, The PA, to Ma’an News Agency, United Nations, West Bank

Gaza was plunged into darkness late Friday as the territory's Hamas-run power authority cut electricity across the besieged enclave in protest against the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas, who control Gaza, and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, have for years blamed each other for an electricity crisis in the besieged coastal enclave.

Gaza's power alternates on eight-hour cycles, with those who can afford it using generators in the down times.

On Friday, Gaza's power authority cut electricity in the coastal territory from 7 pm until 11 pm in protest against the PA's recent decision to cut public sector salaries for Gaza employees and tax disputes over the import of fuel.

The PA responded by saying Hamas was attempting to create a "new crisis" in Gaza, according to Ma’an News Agency.

Earlier in April, a decision by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority to impose pay cuts on its civil servants in Gaza sparked widespread anger.

Tens of thousands took to the streets in Gaza to protest the 30-percent pay cut, with demonstrators calling on PA president Mahmoud Abbas to sack his government.

The PA says it was forced into the move because its budget has been hit by falling foreign aid. PA salaries in the West Bank, however, remained untouched.

Gaza's sole power plant is on the verge of shutting down as Qatari and Turkish fuel supplies run out. Gazan authorities have no other choice than to buy additional fuel from the PA, but say recent tax hikes make it unaffordable.

In January, thousands of Gazans took the streets to protest chronic power shortages in one of the largest unauthorised protests in Gaza since Hamas took power in 2007.

Hamas security forces quickly suppressed the demonstration and blocked journalists from filming.

A day earlier, a local comedian was arrested for making a satirical video criticising power cuts. "There is no work, no (border) crossing points, no food, no water and also no electricity," Adel al-Mashwakhi said in the video clip, which amassed over 250,000 views.

Gaza has been under a suffocating Israeli-Egyptian blockade for over 10 years, severely damaging the enclave’s economy.

In 2015, the United Nations warned that Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020 if current political and economic trends caused by Israeli policies continue.

albawaba.com/news/gaza-thrown-darkness-hamas-fatah-spat-worsens-963350

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Scholars, NGOs review Islamic human rights model in Tehran

Tehran, April 16

The International Islamic Human Rights Conference which was aimed to present an Islamic model for human rights wrapped up its work at the University of Tehran on April 15.

The day-long international gathering was also aimed at preparing an academic ground for eliminating the hegemony of Western human rights concepts and distancing from inaction in the face of this reality.

Three major themes including Foundations, Concepts, Distinctive features and Priorities of Islamic human rights were discussed during the international event.

Addressing the gathering Dean of Faculty of World Studies of the University of Tehran Saeid Reza Ameli underlined the human rights is considered as a global rule for the life of all human beings and has no border or limitation.

Ameli described war as the most inhuman measure which is occurring most frequently.

Meanwhile, professor of philosophy and theology at Baqir al-Olum University Ahmad Vaezi said clearly understanding the Islamic image of human freedom requires paying attention to principles and teachings from a rational framework based on which the Islamic interpretation of freedom is shaped.

Vaezi said freedom is primarily a “natural right” dedicated to human beings as a result of incorporating choice and liberty and free will.

Addressing the conference, elected imam of the Islamic Center of Washington, member of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic School of Thought, Tehran and member of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) Mohammad H. Asi said the absence of justice and not the absence of “human rights” is what is the root of the problems in many countries around the world whose governments come out sugar-coating and disguising their self-centric policies by raising the issue of human rights.

Asi noted that the attitude of racism and the policies of racism which is one of those central issues of human rights springs from the fact that racists and bigots are incapable of honoring God’s will when HE decrees that some infants are born in a certain color, ethnicity, race, nationality, etc…

In his address, Malaysian Director of Citizens International Mohideen Abdul Kader said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) has become an instrument for attacking, defaming and demonizing Islam and Muslims, and for subverting Islam’s values and the culture it produced.

Abdul Kader said the West claims that its concepts on human rights are universal and should be adopted by every other society.

He noted the US is the greatest violator of human rights, committing aggression against sovereign nations, killing thousands of civilians and imposing cruel sanctions.

Faculty member at Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at university of Tehran and special assistant to the President in Civil Rights Affairs ElhamAminzadeh noted that right of freedom is mentioned in Islam as the first and foremost human right.

Aminzadeh underscored that freedom of thought is guaranteed through the rule that prohibits imposing ideas over others because, according to this rule this kind of imposition is neither possible, nor correct.

She added in Islamic law, citizenship rights are referred to as what is public’s rights, and nation’s rights. “Of course, Islamic law does not possess a merely materialistic and horizontal approach; rather, it also attends to the vertical zenith of human beings.”

Another speaker, the Spokesman of Guardians Council and Professor at Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at University of Tehran AbbasaliKadkhodazadeh addressed the conference; his remarks focused on “Precaution; A Conventional Principle in the European Union?”.

*IRNA English News Staff Writer

irna.ir/en/News/82494755/

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South Asia

ISIS suicide bombers and car bomb eliminated in East of Afghanistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Apr 16 2017

Two suicide bombers and a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) were eliminated in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial police commandment said the suicide bombers were looking to target the police commandment of Achin district.

The suicide bombers and the VBIED were eliminated in an airstrike conducted by the US forces based in Afghanistan, the police commandment said.

It also added that the local residents and security personnel did not suffer any casualties in the airstrike.

Nangarhar is among the relatively calm provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased their insurgency activities in some parts of the province during the recent years.

This comes as the Afghan forces conducted counter-terrorism operations in the restive districts of Nangarhar under the Hamza operations launched nearly two weeks ago.

The United States on Thursday launched a major airstrike against the terror group using the Mother of All Bombs, GBU-43 bomb to destroy the tunnels network and other hideouts of the terror group in Achin district.

The provincial government said Saturday that 94 ISIS militants including four leaders of the terror group were killed in the airstrike and no casualties were incurred to the local residents.

khaama.com/isis-suicide-bombers-and-car-bomb-eliminated-in-east-of-afghanistan-02578

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MOAB strike’s message to neighbors ‘Take ISIS presence seriously’: Gen. Murad

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Apr 16 2017

The use of GBU-43 bomb also known as the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) was a requirement and the message delivered with the strike to the neighbors is that the threat posed with the presence of ISIS terrorist group should be taken seriously.

General Murad Ali Murad, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Afghan National Army made the remarks during a press conference in Kabul today.

He said the MOAB strike in MohmandDara was a serious requirement and the militants of ISIS offshoot, ISIS-K, have suffered heavy casualties in the strike.

According to Gen. Murad, the operation against the terrorist group still continues in the vicinity of Achin district.

Gen. Murad further added that the death of at least 95 militants have been confirmed so far as clearance operations are underway.

He said the number of the deaths is far more as the security forces are busy clearing the area and the exact number will be released later.

The airstrike has resulted into the elimination of the strategic hideout of the terrorist group in Nangarhar, Gen. Muad said, adding that the civilians did not suffer any casualties.

The bomb was dropped around 7:30 pm local time on Thursday, a move which was widely welcomed by the local residents and tribal elders of Nangarhar.

A number of the tribal elders appeared in a gathering after the airstrike was conducted on Friday and urged for further strikes to clear the province from the presence of ISIS militants.

khaama.com/moab-strikes-message-to-neighbors-take-isis-presence-seriously-gen-murad-02577

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2 militants killed while planting a bomb in a seminary in Logar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Apr 16 2017

At least two militants were killed as they were planting an Improvised Explosive Device in a seminary in Logar province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the incident took place in the vicinity of qala-e-Wazir area of Logar.

The Ministry further added that the explosives device went off prematurely as the two insurgents were planting the bomb, leaving two insurgents dead.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

The Taliban insurgents and militant belonging to other militant groups frequently use IEDs as the weapon of their choice to target the Afghan security forces and government officials.

However, in majority of such incidents the ordinary civilians are targeted besides the security forces and government officials are killed.

The UN mission said it documented 11,418 civilian casualties between 1st January 2016 to 31st December, 2016.

According to the report, 61 percent of all civilian casualties were incurred through attacks by the anti-government elements which includes a total of 6,994 civilian casualties (2,131 deaths and 4,863 injured).

khaama.com/2-militants-killed-while-planting-a-bomb-in-a-mosque-in-logar-02576

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Abdullah fires adviser for remarks regarding US airstrike on ISIS

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Apr 16 2017

The adviser of the Chief Executive has been fired for his remarks regarding the US airstrike involving the massive GBU-43 bomb on ISIS militants in eastern Nangarhar province.

The Office of the Chief Executive in a statement said DaudAsas has been fired for his irresponsible remarks regarding the airstrike on ISIS militants in Nangarhar.

The statement further added that Asas was fired based on a decree issued by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, emphasizing that the government will fight against all terrorist groups without any distinction.

At least 94 militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group offshoot were killed after the US forces dropped the massive GBU-43 bomb also called as Mother of All Bombs on ISIS targets in Achin district on Thursday evening.

An important hideout of the terror group and large cache of weapons, ammunition, and explosives were also destroyed during the operations, local officials in Nangarhar said, adding that the ISIS leaders killed during the operations have been identified as Hamza Abu Bakar, Mohammad Ibrani, Hamid Kunari, and Walkin the brother of Hafiz Saeed are among those killed during the operations.

khaama.com/abdullah-fires-adviser-for-remarks-regarding-us-airstrike-on-isis-02575

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Karzai met Russian Ambassador after declaring a hard stance against US

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Apr 16 2017

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with the Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan on Saturday evening in his office, hours after taking a hard stance against the US military for the use of massive bomb against the ISIS militants.

The Office of the Former President in a statement said the Russian Ambassador briefed Karzai regarding the latest regional summit hosted by Moscow regarding the Afghan peace process.

Karzai emphasized that the only way to ensure peace and stability in the country would be through Afghan-led negotiations.

Hailing the Moscow for its initiative regarding the Afghan peace process, Karzai said war and use of weapons will be in the loss of the Afghan people.

He expressed hopes that Moscow will continue to its efforts bring peace and stability in the country.

Earlier in the day, Karzai had vowed to step up efforts in a bid to oust the US military from the country following the massive airstrike in AchinNangarhar against ISIS terrorists involving the non-nuclear GBU-43 bomb.

He slammed the government for allowing the US forces to carry out the strike and insisted that the move would be a national treason if the government had approved the use of the massive bomb.

He also raised questions regarding the increased US airstrikes against ISIS, saying ‘Why the US waited for two years to start bombing Daesh?’

khaama.com/karzai-met-russian-ambassador-after-declaring-a-hard-stance-against-us-02574

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10 rockets seized before being fired on Kabul city

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Apr 16 2017

At least ten rockets were seized by the Afghan security forces before the militants manage to fire them on Kabul city.

The Kabul police commandment said the rockets were placed and were prepared for the attack in Khak-e-Jabar district.

The rockets were transferred to Hesarak district of Nangarhar to Khak-e-Jabar for the attack, the police commandment said, adding that the rockets were of BM1 type.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report so far.

This comes as the militant groups are attempting to increase their insurgency as the weather gets warm across the country, specifically in capital Kabul.

A suicide attack rocked Kabul city last week leaving at least six people dead and around five others wounded.

The incident took place in the vicinity of the second police district of the city close to the ministry of defense compound after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a vehicle carrying the government workers.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group’s offshoot operating under the name of ISIS-Khurasan in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

khaama.com/10-rockets-seized-before-being-fired-on-kabul-city-02579

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Southeast Asia

Jokowi Inaugurates New Grand Mosque, Hopes It Will Spread Message of Tolerance

April 16th, 2017

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo inaugurated a grand mosque on DaanMogot Road in West Jakarta on Saturday (15/04), expressing his hope that the place of worship will strengthen and promote the spirit of moderate and tolerant Islam.

Named after Indonesian ulamaHasyimAsy'ari, founder of the world's biggest Muslim organization, the NahdlatulUlama (NU), the 17,000-square-meter mosque can accommodate 12,500 people.

The HasyimAsy'ari Grand Mosque is the first one founded by the Jakarta government, which allocated Rp 170 billion ($12.8 million) to its construction.

"Not without a reason the mosque is called the Kiai Haji HasyimAsy'ari Grand Mosque. He is our national hero, who loved the republic with all his heart," the president said.

President Joko'Jokowi'  Widodo with Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, right, Jakarta City Council speaker Prasetyo Edi Marsudi, second right, and HasyimAsy'ari's descendants examine the new mosque. (Antara Photo/PuspaPerwitasari) President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo with Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, right, Jakarta City Council speaker Prasetyo Edi Marsudi, second right, and HasyimAsy'ari's descendants examine the new mosque. (Antara Photo/PuspaPerwitasari)

Jokowi added that by founding the NU in 1916, Hasyim had strengthened Indonesia's tolerant and inclusive Islam.

The president was welcomed by acting Jakarta Governor Soemarsono.

In attendance were Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, Presidential Chief of Staff  TetenMasduki and high-profile NahdlatulUlama figures such as Hasyim's family members Solahuddin Wahid and Yenny Wahid, and the local government officials.

Earlier, the inauguration was scheduled for Sunday, but, according to Sumarsono, the date had to be adjusted to the president's schedule. He added that the change of the date had no political links. On Sunday, however, Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" TjahajaPurnama returns to the office after taking obligatory leave preceding Wednesday's gubernatorial election.

Ahok launched the mosque's construction in June 2013.

There are two more grand mosques in Jakarta — the Istiqlal Mosque and SundaKelapa Mosque, both in the city center.

jakartaglobe.id/news/jokowi-inaugurates-new-grand-mosque-hopes-will-spread-message-tolerance/

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Philippine army plans all-Muslim units amid insurgeny

AFP | Published — Saturday 15 April 2017

MANILA: The Philippine military announced plans to create all-Muslim fighting units on Saturday, with quotas from the Catholic country’s largest religious minority, as it looks to bolster efforts to tackle Islamic insurgents.

Five percent of all new applications will be allocated for Muslims under the new order, military spokesman Col. EdgardArevalo said in a statement, adding the eventual aim was to have a dedicated brigade or division to be deployed in the country’s troubled south.

The Philippines is battling Muslim extremist militants in lawless southern regions, some of whom have pledged allegiance to the Daesh group.

Arevalo said the Muslim quota, which roughly reflects the proportion of the religious minority in the population, would help the army operate in areas where it has been previously viewed with suspicion by local people.

“Most of our Muslim brothers and sisters perceive the deployment of almost 100 percent Christian soldiers in their communities as invading or occupational forces,” he said, adding that fellow Muslims would be more aware of religious or cultural “sensitivities.”

The statement did not give details of the existing numbers of Muslims in the military.

The southern region of Mindanao, the ancestral homeland of the Philippines’ Muslim minority, has been locked in a separatist insurgency since the 1970s, with the conflict claiming more than 120,000 lives.

While the major rebel organizations have for years observed a cease-fire with the government as part of peace efforts, there are breakaway factions opposed to compromise and other gangs that have declared allegiance to the IS.

Earlier this week, security forces clashed with suspected Islamic militants from the Abu Sayyaf kidnap group on a popular resort island, the first attack on a key Philippine tourist destination in recent years.

arabnews.com/node/1085406/world

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Afghan President to Visit Indonesia Next Week, Strengthen Peace-Building Collaboration

April 16th, 2017

Jakarta. Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is scheduled to visit Indonesia next week, where he will meet with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to discuss peace-building efforts in Afghanistan, a Foreign Affairs Ministry official said on Thursday (30/03).

Ghani's first official visit to Indonesia on April 5-6 is expected to strengthen relations between the two countries, FerdyPiay, director general for South and Central Asia at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said.

"The Afghan president wants to see Indonesia’s experience in conflict resolution as an example of 'best practice' that can be applied to current troubles in Afghanistan, in the hopes that our input might support reconciliation processes there," Ferdy said during a press briefing in Jakarta.

He added that Indonesia is eager to continue its ongoing support for peace-building processes in Afghanistan by enhancing programs meant to strengthen national institutions.

Ferdy cited collaboration in police and anti-money laundering training as essential to supporting peace-building in that country.

Ghani is also expected to learn about Indonesia’s counter-terrorism efforts and deradicalization programs in the hopes of applying new techniques to his own country's programs.

In regards to future economic links between the two Muslim-majority nations, there is reason to be hopeful.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman ArrmanathaNasir said that although trade between Indonesia and Afghanistan is limited – annual trade measured only $16 million in 2016 – the Central Asian country is a potential market for Indonesian exports.

Ferdy said Afghanistan’s position as a landlocked nation has made monitoring trade more difficult, as most of Indonesia’s export goods are forced to travel through a third country, such as Pakistan or Iran, before they can reach Afghanistan.

He also cited banking transactions as another factor slowing trade with Afghanistan.

However, trade-related issues are expected to be addressed at a business forum, scheduled for April 6, between the Afghan delegation and their Indonesian counterparts.

Ghani is also expected to sign four memoranda of understanding with Jokowi on collaborations in education, agriculture, statistics and public administration sectors.

The Afghan leader will also hold a meeting with religious scholars from Indonesia's two largest Islamic associations – NahdlatulUlama and Muhammadiyah – at the Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta during his visit, Ferdy added.

According to Ferdy, scholars from some of Indonesia's smaller Islamic organizations are expected to attend.

Ghani’s visit to Jakarta is part of an international tour to the region, including stops in Australia and Singapore.

jakartaglobe.id/news/afghan-president-visit-indonesia-next-week-strengthen-peace-building-collaboration/

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Headstones From 19th Century Will Be On Display At KL Jamek Mosque Gallery

April 16th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 (Bernama) -- A total of 63 headstones from the 19th century which were found embedded in the construction site of the fountain in the compound of the Kuala Lumpur Jamek Mosque (KLJM) in April last year, will be put on display for public viewing at the mosque s gallery.

KLJM head of management Mohd Faisal Tan Mutalib said the mosque was currently undergoing renovation to create space for the gallery.

The headstones with names and dates written in Jawi script were found by the contractor of the 'River of Life' (ROL) project, a National Transformation Programme aimed at transforming eight rivers located in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area, since the restoration work along the Klang and Gombak rivers commenced in 2015

bernama.com/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1348036

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Africa

Begging has no place in Islam – Sultan of Sokoto, AlhajiSa’adAbubakar

April 16, 2017

The Sultan of Sokoto, AlhajiSa’adAbubakar, said on Saturday that begging has no basis in Islam and challenged those engaging in the act to find legitimate means of earning a living.

Abubakar made the remark in Sokoto at the graduation of 2000 women trained in various skills by the Wife of Sokoto State Governor HajiyaMairoTambuwal.

The training was conducted in collaboration with Sokoto State Zakkat and Endowment Commission to empower the women drawn from the 86 districts of the state.

The Sultan said, “our women should always desist from street begging, as it has no base in Islam and it only generates more harm than good among the society.

“Women have always been the pillars for any societal development, so we need to do more in encouraging and supporting their living standard in order to yield a better society.

“Moreover empowering women is one of the positive base to a better, secured and productive society.”

He commended Mrs Tambuwal for initiating the programme and admonished the beneficiaries to utilize the opportunity to enhace their livelihood.

Earlier, the governor’s wife had expressed appreciation to the Sultanate Council, the state government and Zakkat commission for supporting the initiative.

She said that the skills training was principally to make women in the state self reliant.

Mrs Tambuwal, who was represented by HajiyaHauwa Muhammad, called on the beneficiaries to apply the new skills they acquired to uplift their economic status and contribute to the overall development of the state.

The Overseer of the Zakat commission, MalamLawalMaidoki, said that the 2000 women were carefully selected and empowered to live above the poverty line.

thebreakingtimes.com/begging-has-no-place-in-islam-sultan-of-sokoto-alhaji-saad-abubakar/

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Kano indigenes disagree on Emir Sanusi’s public comments on Islamic, family issues

April 16, 2017

Some indigenes of Kano State have reacted to some statements by the Emir of Kano, MuhammaduSanusi II, with some describing them as critical and inflammatory comments on religious and family issues.

Mr.Sanusi, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, recently called for the regulation of marriage to second wives. He warned men who could not cater for their family not to marry more than one wife.

The foremost traditional ruler also criticised conservative northern leaders who discouraged attitudes and activities that, he said, would have developed the region.

He also criticised Governor AbdulazizYari of Zamfara State for saying the outbreak of meningitis in his state was God’s punishment for peoples’ sins, insisting “That is not an Islamically correct statement to make.”

Mr.Sanusi had also called on governors of northern states to use mosques as primary schools, especially in the villages.

In separate interviews with PREMIUM TIMES, the Kano residents asked the traditional ruler to stop making statements, some of which they said were critical of Islamic teachings. 

A former presidential aspirant on the ticket of the Labour Party, Isa Tijjani, asked Mr.Sanusi to moderate his public utterances so as not to send wrong signals to people.

“I give it to you that you are educationally sound in both the western education and our religious (Islamic) education,” he said.

“Your Highness, I want to say that education must be accompanied with wisdom to achieve a desired goal which in this case I understand it to mean your genuine concern for the deplorable state of affairs in the north.”

Responding to Mr.Sanusi’s claim that the northwest and northeast geo-political zones were the poorest in the country, Mr.Tijjani, an activist, said the emir’s definition and understanding of poverty might be different from his own because he (emir) was an economist.

“In this world where basic survival is the greatest challenge, if a society is able to feed itself without intervention from any donor organisation, it cannot be classified as poor.

“In any case, 90 per cent of our people do not aspire to lead an elite’s life if that is the yardstick of measuring poverty.”

On the Kano rail project, Mr.Tijjani cautioned Mr.Sanusi against condemning policies and programmes of the state government at public fora, saying it was dangerous no matter how the foremost traditional ruler felt about such policies.

LawanGamsuwa, a security officer, said Islam had a position on the issue of marriage and therefore by his comment, the emir was promoting divorce.

He said, “Don’t forget the same person was crying against rampant divorces but at the same time he is saying a wife should slap back her husband whenever he slaps her. What do you think this would cause? Indeed, rampant break of more marriages.

“So, the family bond that allows for intervention whenever there is misunderstanding between couples has been clearly spelt out in the Holy Quran.”

On Mr.Sanusi’s position on education and poverty, Mr.Gamsuwa claimed that the emir had merely supported the position of southern Nigerians against the north.

According to him, the south had always believed that the north was a parasite and the traditional ruler’s comments seemed to have supported that position.

“He (Sanusi) exaggerated the situation by linking our Islamic religion to the whole problem as responsible of our predicaments,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.

“Remember the south was talking only on the poverty and probably education but had never attacked our religion because they know the sensitivity of that.”

Mr.Gamsuwa argued that Mr.Sanusi had forgotten that Nigeria never witnessed the Type C meningitis before now and therefore no governor in the country could have prepared for the new disease.

A teacher, Umar Labu, described as “unfair” Mr.Sanusi’s critical stance on state governors over the outbreak of meningitis, saying they (governors) were not prepared for the type of disease that broke out. 

He, however, said the governors should not be totally absolved of blame because they ought to have established laboratories that would frequently conduct tests on various diseases with a view to identifying the new ones.

Mr.Labu also said though the issue of Almajiri was a social problem that exposed the north’s economic backwardness, the region had been a hub of commercial activities and produces some essential commodities for the country.

“So, I think the emir should help provide the means of how the problems of Almajiri would be solved so that we will stop being portrayed as being beggarly,” he said.

He also advised the emir to help reform Islamic teachings which for hundreds of years clearly gave a position on family issues. He called on Islamic faithful to stick to the teachings, warning that “any move by the emir to change that will not be accepted.”

However, a businessman, SaniAbdullahi, defended Mr.Sanusi’s positions on the various issues, saying he did not see anything wrong in what the traditional ruler said.

Mr.Abdullahi told this newspaper that the elected leaders had for a long time disappointed the electorate and therefore critics like Mr.Sanusi should speak up.

He wondered why a governor would allow over 300 people in his state, including children to be killed by a disease and went ahead to blame it on punishment from God.

“I salute Emir Sanusi, our revered leader, for being bold in attacking these people,” Mr.Abdullahi said.

On Mr.Sanusi’s comment on poverty and education in the north, Mr.Abdullahi said, “What is the lie about the position of the Emir? Is it not true that the north is suffering from all angles of poverty, lack of education?

“What have these elected persons done for all these years they ruled us? Where is the money they have been allocated? So why shouldn’t a leader in Emir Sanusi stand up to say the truth?”

He also backed the emir’s position on some family issues, saying marriage should be a partnership.

“I stand with the emir because there should be a deviation from the old barbaric way we live with our families, with the husband feeling he is all and all, while even the religion clearly stated that marriage is a partnership. So, why should a partner subject his other half to severe punishment?

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Northern Elders Council, NEC, TankoYakasai, challenged Mr.Sanusi and other traditional rulers in the north to contribute five per cent of any funds allocated to them to address the region’s education backwardness.

“The traditional rulers who are receiving substantial amount of money from the public coffers need to come in here to address the problems of backwardness in terms of western education,” Mr.Yakasai, a former presidential aide, said.

premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/228893-kano-indigenes-disagree-emir-sanusis-public-comments-islamic-family-issues.html

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Mimouna in Morocco: Jews Who Trust Their Muslim Neighbors

April 16, 2017

New York – The vast majority of people in the Christian and Muslim world know little, or nothing at all, about the history of the Jewish communities in the Muslim world. The only thing most Jews know about this fourteen-hundred-year history, is that Jews in North Africa and the Middle East were not persecuted as much in Muslim countries as they were in European Christian countries.

It would be a major mistake to  judge from the Palestinian-Israeli political conflict in the 20th century that Jewish-Muslim relations have usually been poor. The opposite is true. Prior to the rise of secular political nationalism in the last half of the 19th century, and the rise of politicized religion within Judaism and Islam in the last half century; Jewish-Muslim relations were usually characterized by neighborliness and amity. Yes amity; as witnessed by the North African Jewish celebration of Mimouna (pronounced Meemouna) shows.

The North African Jewish festival of Mimouna, a 24-hour food centered celebration, begins right after the week of Passover ends. For many centuries Moroccan Jewish homes were emptied of leavened bread and flour during the week of Passover. At the end of the week of Passover, Jews could eat leavened bread and pastry again, but they had no ordinary flour at all in their homes to bake with.

Ashdod resident Shaul Ben-Simhon, who immigrated to Israel in 1948 at age 18, said that in Morocco the holiday brought Jews and Muslims together each year. “Our home was open to everyone, including Arabs,” he said. Ben-Simhon recalled the tradition of Arab neighbors bringing flour to his home, so his mother and grandmother could make baked goods.

Often this was the same flour that Jews had given to their Muslim neighbors a day prior to the start of Passover, so Jews could rid their homes of all leavened flour, prior to Passover. When, after the end of Passover, Muslims came to Jewish homes to return the flour, they were always invited to stay for a few hours and enjoy the soon to be baked goodies.

Thus, Jewish homes were filled with neighbors, friends and family exchanging traditional Arabic blessings of good luck and success; while awaiting the laden trays of delicious Mimouna baked goods.

The celebration often was repeated the next day with even  more pastry and joy. According to ElishevaChetrit, a historian of Moroccan Jewry, in Morocco the yearly celebration began with the Jews eating  nuts, dates and dried fruit, just as Muslims did when braking the daily fast during the month of Ramadan. Then their Arabs neighbors would arrive with the flour needed to prepare bread and pastry and the celebration would begin.

In Israel unfortunately, for the first two decades of statehood, the festival was hardly observed at all. “In the early days of the state, we Moroccans were busy with absorption and working hard, often in construction. We didn’t have the energy or self-confidence to celebrate Mimouna,” said Shaul Ben-Simhon.

That changed in 1968, when Ben-Simhon, at age 38 and a high-ranking official at the Histadrut, Israel’s trade union alliance, organized a Mimouna celebration in Lod in a bid to help the integration of Moroccan immigrants into Israeli society.

Ben-Sinhon’s effort to raise the community’s morale attracted 300 participants. The next year, Ben-Simhon moved the celebration to Jerusalem, got then-mayor Teddy Kollek’s support, and managed to draw a crowd of 5,000. This grew into a major celebration in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park that today draws over 100, 000 people. This event inspired the revival of Mimouna all across Israel.

Now throughout the state of Israel, Moroccan Jews and Israelis of all ethnic backgrounds flock to smaller public and private celebrations. A special law even requires bosses to grant employees unpaid leave on the day of Mimouna if they want to carry on celebrations from the previous evening. Since the Torah states that a Jewish home must not contain any leavened bread during the week of Passover; many Jews “sold” their regular household flour to a non-Jewish friend or neighbor; who then “sold” it back after Passover.

Unfortunately, the Orthodox Rabbinical bureaucracy has arraigned for the formal “sale” of all the leavened flour in Jewish homes throughout the State of Israel to a few Arab Muslims or Christians, so the much more personal, private transfer to one’s Arab neighbors rarely takes place today in Israel. Perhaps, a restoration of this part of the Passover tradition would help bring Jews and Arabs in Israel closer together. Ben-Simhon believes that Mimouna promotes unity between families and neighbors. In Morocco, it was a day when people would visit each other to bury grudges.

There are several theories regarding how the celebration got the name Mimouna. I think it comes from the Arabic word Amina and the Turkish word Emina that both sound similar to the Hebrew word Emunah. Indeed,  Emin, Emina and Ahmina are names in Turkish and Arabic, meaning a faithful or trusted one.

Jews trusted their Muslim neighbors to guard the flour faithfully during the week of Passover from becoming impure, and their Muslim neighbors always did so.

Perhaps the revival of the Jewish-Muslim celebration of Mimouna in Israel, could stimulate Muslims and Jews in other parts of the world, to reach out to each other and share traditional pastries made from both leaven and unleavened flour. Passover starts on the evening of April 10, 2017 and ends after sundown on April 17 for all Jews in Israel and for Reform Jews worldwide, and on April 18 for Orthodox and Conservative Jews outside of Israel.

It would be wonderful if Jewish and Muslim groups or individuals invited each other to this “Celebration of Muslim-Jewish Amity”.

Jews and Christians in premodern Europe never shared food because so much of the Christian foods, even baked and fried pastry goods, were prepared with pork lard. In Muslim lands, Jews and Muslims knew that they could trust each others baked goods 51 weeks a year. During the week of Passover, that trust extended to the very flour itself. I pray this custom may help bring Jews and Muslims closer to the neighborliness and amity we shared together in past centuries.

moroccoworldnews.com/2017/04/214145/mimouna-morocco-jews-trust-muslim-neighbors/

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Europe

'Islamic' kindergartens cause a stir in Austria

April 16, 2017

VIENNA (AFP) - A debate is raging in Austria after a study suggested that Islamic kindergartens in Vienna were helping to create "parallel societies" or even produce the dangerous homegrown radicals of the future.

According to its author, EdnanAslan, a Turkish-born Austrian professor at Vienna University, some 10,000 children aged two to six attend around 150 Muslim preschools, teaching the Koran much like Christian ones do with Bible studies.

At least a quarter are backed by groups propagating arch conservative strains of Islam like Salafism, or organisations that see religion not just as a private matter but integral to politics and society, Aslan believes.

Parents are sending their kids to establishments that ensure they are in a Muslim setting and learn a few suras (chapters from the Koran)," Aslan, a respected researcher into Islamic education, told AFP.

"But they are unaware that they are shutting them off from a multicultural society," he said.

The study, published last year, has been jumped on by critics of immigration -- not least the far-right Freedom Party -- in the wake of attacks such as Paris and Brussels perpetrated by Muslims who grew up in Europe.

- Undercover -

But many reject Aslan's findings, questioning its methodology.

The magazine Biber, which writes for and about minorities, sent a veiled Muslim reporter undercover posing as a mother looking for a place for her son at 14 Muslim kindergartens.

She found no evidence to back up Aslan's suggestions that they were churning out "little Salafists" or that things like the children singing -- frowned upon by ultra-strict Muslims -- were banned.

But around a third were according to the magazine "problematic", "cutting off or isolating children" from mainstream society. It also voiced concerns about the "openness" of some staff and the level of German spoken.

Vienna City Hall has since sought to calm the situation by commissioning an in-depth study involving a six-strong research team which will be published later this year.

But the first problem is establishing how many Islamic kindergartens there are. Vienna has 842 registered kindergartens, 100 of them Catholic-run and 13 Protestant, but the number of Muslim ones is not known.

Part of the reason is that there has been an explosion in the number that are privately run, stretching the ability of the authorities to keep tabs and allowing some to operate under the radar.

- City of immigrants -

Vienna is home to 1.8 million people, half of whom have a parent born abroad or who were born abroad themselves. Ever since it was the capital of a vast empire, it has been a magnet for outsiders, not all of them always welcome.

"But what is new in recent years has been the religious aspect of the debate about integration," said Thomas Schmidinger, political scientist and Islam specialist at Vienna University.

Austria, a nation of 8.7 million people, has received more than 130,000 asylum applications since 2015 following the onset of the European Union's biggest migration crisis since World War II.

T Freedom Party is riding high in the polls. Surveys suggest that public attitudes to Muslims have hardened. Attacks on migrant shelters soared last year.

The ruling centrist coalition has moved to the right with plans to ban full-face veils in public and oblige migrants to sign an "integration contract".

Organisations representing Austria's 700,000-strong Muslim population say that in this context, Aslan's flawed report has only fanned the flames.

"This study feeds populism and forces Muslims to justify themselves constantly," said Murat Gurol from newly created pressure group the Muslim Civil Society Network.

The 45-year-old IT worker said he sent his own son to a Muslim kindergarten in order to learn "the values of solidarity, humanity and responsibility".

As a child he went to a Christian preschool, and "I don't see why that should be allowed for one religion and not for another", he told AFP.

france24.com/en/20170416-islamic-kindergartens-cause-stir-austria

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The UK has bombed Syria and Iraq on more than two-thirds of days this year

April 16th, 2017

The UK bombed Iraq and Syria 69 out of 99 days in 2017 up until April 9 as part of military operations targeting the Islamic State [Daesh].

The British parliament authorised airstrikes against IS in Iraq in September 2014, and just over a year later, backed airstrikes against IS in Syria.

The Ministry of Defence releases weekly updates of military operations, but not statistics on bombings.

An analysis of those updates by the BBC shows that British forces dropped 216 bombs and missiles in 2017, although that number is likely much higher as the MoD does not specify how many bombs are used in each strike.

The UK has carried out over 1,200 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria as part of its role in a Global Coalition committed to defeating IS, more than any other country expect the United States. In 2016, the US dropped 12,192 bombs on Syria and 12,095 in Iraq.

The most common weapon used by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) is the Paveway IV, a precision guided bomb, according to the BBC. At least 129 were dropped in Syria and Iraq in 2017, at a cost of £22,000 each.

Thirty-seven Hellfire missiles, 20 Brimstone missiles, and 30 unspecified bombs were also used. Brimstone missiles cost more than £100,000 each.

The focus of operations in Iraq at present is the fight against IS for control of Mosul. In Syria, the RAF has been supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their battle against IS.

On Thursday, a misdirected airstrike by the US-led coalition killed 18 fighters from the SDF, its ally. The coalition aircraft were given the wrong coordinates by partner forces, the US central command said.

Last September, the UK admitted to taking part in US-led airstrikes that mistakenly killed up to 90 Syria soldiers and threatened to scupper a fragile ceasefire.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International said that US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria had killed over 300 civilians, although other estimates put the number of deaths as high as 1,000.

Last year, the British government said the coalition air campaign against IS was the most "precise" in the history of warfare.

albawaba.com/news/uk-has-bombed-syria-and-iraq-more-two-thirds-days-year-963380

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Maltese split on teaching of Islam in state schools

jamesJamesDebono 16 April 2017

The Maltese are split in half on the teaching of Islam in state schools but the majority disagrees with teaching of Islam in church schools, would not vote for a Muslim or atheist candidate in a general election and want to uphold Roman Catholicism as Malta’s official religion. These views are shared by both churchgoers and by non-churchgoers.

This is the picture emerging from MaltaToday’s Easter survey based on a sample of 450 respondents contacted by telephone last week.

Respondents were asked whether Muslim students attending state schools should be given the opportunity to attend classes on Islam during the same time allocated to the teaching of Catholic religion to other students.  

The survey also shows a relative majority of respondents (48%) agreeing to making the teaching of ethics compulsory. The subject, which helps students recognise right from wrong from a perspective based on universal values, is currently, only offered to students whose parents exempt their children from learning religion. Most of these (40%) still want children to learn religion as a separate subject.

87% want Catholicism enshrined in constitution

Despite indications on various front that Malta is becoming a more secular society, the survey also shows strong support for retaining Roman Catholicism as Malta’s official religion among all age groups and levels of education. This may suggest a tension between the more open Catholicism preached by Pope Francis and Archbishop Charles Scicluna and a resurgent traditionalism, which may accept more civil liberties but defends symbols of identity.

While 87% of the general population supports retaining the Roman Catholic religion as Malta’s official one, support is also strong among those who do not attend Sunday mass (82%) and is lowest among under 34 year olds (74%).

google.co.in/search?q=malta&rlz=1C1CHZL_enIN720IN720&oq=malta&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i61j69i59j69i60l3.607j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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Burslem mosque allowed to remain open after winning retrospective planning permission

By hparker1  |  Posted: April 16, 2017

A small-scale mosque has been allowed to continue welcoming worshippers.

The mosque on the first floor of a building in Waterloo Road, Burslem, is used by Stoke-on-Trent's Kurdish community for prayers.

Now it has been granted retrospective planning permission from Stoke-on-Trent City Council to continue after the building was previously used for storage.

In a statement, Alisha Adams said on behalf of the KI Centre which runs the mosque: "No external amplification is proposed and the prayer is not 'noise intensive' like Sunday congregational worship with hymns."

stokesentinel.co.uk/burslem-mosque-allowed-to-remain-open-after-winning-retrospective-planning-permission/story-30272585-detail/story.html#Vw2GyqCcFABzzwPu.99

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IS militant linked to Charlie Hebdo attack could still be alive: Iraq

Reuters | Apr 15, 2017

BAGHDAD: An Islamic State militant linked to the deadly 2015 attack on French weekly Charlie Hebdo could be still be alive, the Iraqi military said on Saturday.

Boubaker el-Hakim was reported by American defence officials to have been killed in November, in a US drone strike in Raqqa, Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria.

Iraqi intelligence supplied information to the Syrian airforce to carry out a series of strikes on Islamic State headquarters and hideouts in Syria, including one believed to belong to el-Hakim, an Iraqi military statement said.

Aircraft from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's airforce targeted several locations in Raqqa and Albu Kamal, near the Iraqi border, said the statement, without indicating the location of el-Hakim's headquarters or the date of the raids.

An Iraqi military spokesman told Reuters el-Hakim's headquarters were destroyed but it wasn't clear if he was killed.

In 2015, Iraq and Syria established a joint committee with Russia and Iran, Assad's main foreign backers, to share intelligence about Islamic State.

El-Hakim was believed to have been involved in planning the January 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, a weekly known for its satirical covers ridiculing political and religious leaders.

Two Islamist militants broke into an editorial meeting of the weekly, raking it with bullets, killing 17 people. Another militant later killed a policewoman and took hostages at a supermarket, killing four before police shot him dead.

Islamic State declared a "caliphate" spanning parts of Iraq and Syria after it captured the Iraqi city of Mosul in mid-2014.

The hardline Sunni group has since lost most cities it captured in Iraq and its fighters are now surrounded in parts of Mosul by U.S.-backed Iraqi government forces.

A US-backed offensive is also under way to capture Raqqa, involving a Syrian Kurdish-Arab militia alliance.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/is-militant-linked-to-charlie-hebdo-attack-could-still-be-alive-iraq/articleshow/58197628.cms

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North America

Teacher at Muslim school says student called Boston bombers ‘Jews’

By Susan Edelman April 16, 2017

A public teacher working in a private Queens Muslim school was shocked when kids called the Boston Marathon bombers Jews.

Nina Kossman, who taught English at the Razi School in Woodside, once asked her students: “Do you know what happens when people start hating each other for their differences?”

One student answered, “My parents said they [the Boston bombers] were bad people. They were Jews.”

“I was shocked,” said Koss­man, who was removed from Razi last month after she told students the Adam and Eve story is a myth.

nypost.com/2017/04/16/teacher-at-muslim-school-says-student-called-boston-bombers-jews/

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UN condemns terrorist attack on Kefraya, al-Fouaa evacuees

April 16, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The United Nations Saturday condemned the attack on 5,000 evacuees traveling to government-controlled areas in Syria on the same day.

"We condemn the attack today in Rashideen, west Aleppo, on 5,000 evacuees traveling from the towns of Foah and Kefraya to government-controlled areas," said StephaneDujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a statement.

"We express our condolences to the families of the victims of the incident and wish those injured a speedy recovery," he said.

The evacuations were being conducted in accordance with the Four Towns Agreement covering Foah, Kefraya, Madaya and Zabadani, said Dujarric.

"We call on the parties to ensure the safety and security of those waiting to be evacuated," he said, adding that "those responsible for today's attack must be brought to justice."

At least 70 people were killed and 128 others wounded in a blast on Saturday targeting the gathering point of buses transporting Shiites evacuating from two pro-government towns in northern Syria.

The blast, carried out by a suicide bomber driving a booby-trapped potato truck, rocked the Rashideen area in Aleppo province.

en.abna24.com/news/middle-east/un-condemns-terrorist-attack-on-kefraya-al-fouaa-evacuees_824122.html

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/ulema-from-all-sects-should-unanimously-condemn-misuse-of-blasphemy-law--mufti-naeem/d/110782





TOTAL COMMENTS:-   1


  • "Ulema from all sects should unanimously condemn misuse of blasphemy law."

    There is no good use of blasphemy laws. They should be abolished.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/16/2017 1:13:02 PM



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