Zubailah. (Photo/Supplied): “I never thought this would be happening here in my
hometown,” said Zubailah
Passes Muslim-Focused Law Requiring Handshakes with Members of the Opposite Sex
Opposition Website Shut Down Ahead Of Polls
to Overhaul Malaysia's Schools, Saying Too Much Focus On Islamic Studies Now
State Fears Resurface as NIA Probes J&K Outfit’s Afghanistan Links
Saudi Mission Deletes Tweet Promoting Pro-Democracy Protests
Or Music? Jeddah Duo Finds Freedom In Both
President to Dissolve Parliament, Hamas Irate
Muslim Group ‘Exerted Decisive Influence’ on Govt ‘Islamophobia’ Report
Muslim Leader Calls for Islamic Representation in Italy
attacker Cherif Chekatt pledged allegiance to ISIS
grants funds to Pakistan in return for death sentences: Report
Militants Killed During The Joint Operations In Past 24 Hours: Mod
policeman shot dead in northern Rakhine state
strike target militants in Farah province
arrest police officer affiliated with Taliban in Farah province
Muslims stage rally in support of Uighurs
Muslim Nations Remain Silent As China Sends Ethnic Minorities To Re-Education
I Was Chased Out Of Ningxia By Chinese Men In Black For Reporting On Muslim
ruler disappointed with high number of Muslims involved in crime
Perak, Malay groups demand Dr M resigns as well over Adib's death
40 people killed, nearly 600 injured in Indonesia tsunami
Pakistan Wades Into Row, Naseeruddin Shah Says Take Care Of Own Country
more cross-border 'love story' ends as Pakistan's Imran Warsi will be deported
denies gas supply to India's residential complex in Islamabad
terrorists linked to al-Qaida killed
waits for Donald Trump’s clarification on US cut-back in Afghanistan
Has Reached Scary Proportions: Naseeruddin Shah
envoy to anti-IS coalition resigns after Trump's Syria decision
spy chief accuses Russia, Iran, China of attempted midterm poll meddling
weapons cache with US munitions uncovered in Syria’s Dara’a
Army Sets up Military Airport in Iraq's Kurdistan Region
Militia Likely to Hand over Manbij to Syrian Army
bolsters troops in Kurdish areas of northern Syria
envoy to anti-ISIS coalition quits over Trump’s Syria move
says almost 300,000 Syrians have gone home
vows support for Syria militants amid US pullout
jets kill dozens in Syria after Trump announces pullout
Erdogan, occupier of northern Cyprus, should not preach to Israel
Houthis violated Hodeidah ceasefire 14 times in the past 24 hours
investigates over terrorism ex-Gul advisor, author of book on AKP
US troops ‘wrong from start, source of tension’
Army Backs Peace Efforts, “Fight Against Hunger, Disease And Illiteracy, Then
To Fight Against Each Other”
Being Freed Of Blasphemy Charges, Asia Bibi To Spend Christmas In Custody
Camps: Why Pakistan Is Silent About Plight of Fellow Muslims in China
'show Modi govt how to treat minorities', says Pakistan PM Imran Khan
war helped Pakistan keep nuclear option: US papers
committed to reducing CAD, poverty alleviation: Imran
withdrawal from Afghanistan will help further peace process, says Qureshi
boosts security for Christmas celebrations
A Dozen Killed In Al-Shabab Attacks In Somalia
Blast Kills At Least 16 Near Presidential Palace
300 migrants rescued off Libya: Aid group
daily rates Erdogan muslim personality of 2018
national security head says citizens have right to protest, without violence
by New Age Islam News Bureau
has passed a law stating individuals who take citizenship tests must shake
hands during ceremonies, in a move seen as deliberately targeting religiously
law, approved on Thursday by the country’s right-wing coalition, states that
from January 1, would-be citizens undergoing Denmark's naturalization process
must perform the contact gesture with the presiding dignitary, such as the
local mayor. Those who refuse would be denied citizenship.
measure has been met with anger, with campaigners arguing it discriminates
against conservative Muslims who do not shake hands with members of the
opposite sex for religious reasons. Instead, such Muslims may prefer to place
their hand on their chest. Some conservative Jewish people also follow a
which some Muslim women wear to conceal their skin, are also prohibited at
citizenship ceremonies by the new law.
Henriksen, the spokesman on immigration for the nationalist Danish People’s
Party who is an outspoken critic of Islam told The New York Times he hoped the
law would create a domino-effect, leading to a ban on women wearing veils at
you arrive in Denmark, where it’s custom to shake hands when you greet, if you
don’t do it it’s disrespectful,” he told the newspaper.
one can’t do something that simple and straightforward, there’s no reason to
become a Danish citizen."
law was met with opposition since it was put forward in June. One opinion poll
published in September showed 52 percent disagreed with the rule, The Guardian
reported. And a number of mayors said they were refuse to enforce it.
Kasper Ejsing Olesen of the Danish town of Kerteminde told The Guardian in
September: “It’s absurd that the immigration minister thinks this is an
important thing to spend time on.
hands does not show if you are integrated or not. I think I will probably find
an excuse and the deputy mayor will come to work that day.”
decision is the latest to target Muslim populations in Denmark, as lawmakers
ramp up anti-immigration rhetoric in a number of European nations.
August, Denmark adopted a law similar to those in Belgium, Germany, Austria and
France banning garments which cover the face in public. Shortly after, a
28-year-old woman subsequently became the first in the country to be fined for
wearing a veil. Opponents have regarded such laws as an attack on the rights of
the intention of this law was to protect women’s rights, it fails abjectly,”
Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Europe, told
Reuters when the law was introduced.
the law criminalizes women for their choice of clothing, making a mockery of
the freedoms Denmark purports to uphold.”
opposition website shut down ahead of polls
Bangladesh’s main opposition website has been shut down, the party said on
Saturday, amid accusation the government is muzzling dissent ahead of next
week’s general election.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said authorities had closed the site since
last week when they shut 54 news portals and websites for what they claimed
were security reasons.
written to the Election Commission to open the website. But it has not been
opened yet,” BNP spokesman Nazrul Islam Khan said.
shutdown has hit the party’s election campaign just days before the December 30
polls. “We cannot communicate with our supporters,” he said.
BNP is part of the opposition National Unity Front alliance, which is
contesting the polls after boycotting the 2014 election. It has emerged as the
main challenger to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s bid for record fourth term in
government has been accused by civil society and rights groups of drifting
towards authoritarianism, silencing dissent and the press by using an onerous
least six people have been killed in election campaign clashes between
supporters of Hasina’s ruling Awami League and the BNP, whose incarcerated
veteran leader Khaleda Zia was last month handed another stiff jail term.
Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission could not confirm whether
the BNP website was among the 54 sites it blocked last week.
commission chairman Jahurul Haque accused the website of bad taste. “It is
obscene and indecent,” he said.
an email to the Election Commission, the BTRC, however, said the website was
closed following orders from two intelligence agencies for containing
“outlawed” materials, according to a report by the online edition of the mass
circulation Bengali daily Jugantor.
spokesman Khan rejected allegations that the website contained obscene
To Overhaul Malaysia's Schools, Saying Too Much Focus On Islamic Studies Now
LUMPUR - Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia's national school
curriculum will be overhauled, as Islamic subjects are given heavy emphasis now
rather than getting students to master subjects, such as the English language,
that could land them good jobs later.
are all learning about the religion of Islam and not learning anything
else," he said late on Friday (Dec 21) at a dinner event.
a result, those who pass in schools are not very conversant with subjects that
are useful for them to get jobs, but they are very good ulama (Muslim
when you have too many ulama, they always differ from each other, and they
mislead their followers and they quarrel with each other," he added,
according to MalayMail.com news site.
plan could prove controversial in a country that has seen a sharp rise in the
number of conservative Malay Muslims , with the previous government running a
popular Islamic TV channel featuring conservative clerics.
with Tun Dr Mahathir's Pakatan Harapan (PH) government only winning about 30
per cent of Malay votes at the May general election, his plan could be a hard
sell to Malaysia's majority ethnic group.
Mahathir detailed what he plans to do to better equip students for working
life, in a speech at the Friday dinner of his alma mater Sultan Abdul Hamid
College, located in his home state of Kedah.
primary school system is divided into national schools attended by mostly Malay
Muslims, while most ethnic Chinese and Indians attend Chinese and Tamil
are also hundreds of Islamic schools called tahfiz and madrasah that attract
Mahathir said he wants to reduce the teaching of subjects linked to Islam in
the national schools.
are going to change the timetable and curriculum in the schools, we will still
study religion, but not all periods in one day, maybe one or two periods in a
week," he said.
added: "If we want to progress, Malaysians must be well-educated, not only
in reciting Quran, but also in other languages. If we don't, we are going to be
Mahathir's keen attention on education can be seen when, in appointing his
Cabinet soon after the May polls, he made himself Education Minister.
took the post because there are so many people who are uneducated," Dr
Mahathir quipped when asked about the move. "The system that we have now
is outdated," he added.
he dropped the idea a day later after being told the PH election manifesto
pledged that the prime minister will not take a second portfolio to prevent
concentrating too much power on the leader.
his speech, Dr Mahathir, a 93-year old former medical doctor, said: "I
would like to remind everybody, English is not only for the people of England,
it is a universal language. A language of knowledge. To acquire knowledge, you
must know English."
added, as quoted by The Sun newspaper: "To learn science and medicine, we
need to have a good grasp of English."
Mahathir had already directed all senior civil servants to converse in English,
especially when briefing him, according to media reports.
August, Malaysia's police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the force would be
using English in their daily briefings, and that he had started conducting
security briefings in the language to Dr Mahathir.
men in blue saw their first 30 officers taking an English-proficiency writing
test in August.
State fears resurface as NIA probes J&K outfit’s Afghanistan links
National Investigation Agency (NIA) has reportedly found evidence indicating
that members of the Islamic State in Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK) may have links
with operatives of the outfit in Afghanistan and some of them may even be
getting directions from there. ISJK operatives were until now considered
self-appointed with no links to the parent organisation.
its probe into alleged IS recruits from Hyderabad and suspected ISJK members
from Delhi, the NIA has reportedly found that they were being handled by a man
now, the Home Ministry has brushed aside fears of the IS presence in Kashmir,
especially its Afghanistan chapter. In June this year, after four militants
were gunned down in Khiram Srigufara in South Kashmir and identified by then
J&K DG SP Vaid as ISJK militants, the Home Ministry had said these were
self-appointed operatives and that the organisation had no footprints in the
August this year, the NIA had raided seven locations in Hyderabad and arrested
two youths — one of them identified as Abdullah Basith — for allegedly being
part of the IS. A month later, the Delhi Police had arrested two Kashmiri
youths, Parvez Lone and Jamshed Paul, with weapons and said they were planning
to carry out ISJK activities in Delhi. Officials claim to have now found that
the two groups were connected and among the common links was an online entity
giving directions to both.
entity we suspect is an IS recruiter based in Afghanistan. He was in touch with
Jamshed as well as Basith. Basith had been phsishing online for contacts to
join the IS, and came in touch with this handler. The handler told Basith to
get in touch with Jamshed who would help him join the ISJK. Jamshed was also in
touch with the handler,” an NIA investigator said.
NIA probe has reportedly also found that Jamshed had helped Basith get a place
to stay in Delhi in 2014 when he was trying to join the IS.
agency reportedly also has evidence that the two groups were in “preparation
mode” and awaiting instructions to carry out some IS activity. Electronic
chatter with regard to procurement of weapons and explosives has reportedly
been recovered regarding the suspects.
agency would now investigate Basith further to get more details on the alleged
conspiracy and the handler.
IS propaganda channel specially focused on Kashmir is already in operation in
the Valley for some time now. Called Al Qarrar, the channel has been spreading
Kashmir-centric motivational literature and claiming hand in attacks. A few
months back it had claimed that two militants killed in an encounter, Fidoos
and Sameer, were IS martyrs.
its various posts on Telegram channels, through articles and videos, Al Qarrar
has not only declared allegiance to the IS but also called Hurriyat leaders
“kafirs” for supporting democracy and calling Shias Muslims. It has asked
Kashmiris to fight both Indian and Pakistan armies, and called upon Zakir
Musa’s Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind to join hands with the IS.
Qarrar is opposed to both the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, and has
severely criticised the Pakistan army for supporting the Afghan Taliban, which
makes security agencies suspect it to be an offshoot of the IS in Afghanistan,
which is part of the IS Khorasan.
had figured in the IS crosshairs way back in 2014 when a Khorasan map by the
outfit had shown Kashmir and Gujarat as part of Islamic State dominion. Among
the first few people to join the IS in Syria was a Kashmiri — a youth from
Jawahar Nagar in Srinagar studying in Australia, who had joined the outfit in
2013. In February 2016, IS Khorasan had announced expansion into Kashmir “to
fight the cow-worshipping Hindus and the apostates from factions allied to the
idol-worshippers of Pakistan, such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba”.
IS flags waived by locals in protest rallies in 2015-16 were brushed aside by
security agencies as merely a way of rankling security forces and not a sign of
youth getting attracted to IS ideology.
to the NIA, Basith was part of a group of four men from Hyderabad who tried to
leave for Syria via Bangladesh in 2014 but were apprehended in Malda. He made a
second attempt to leave in December 2015, along with his cousin Syed Hussaini
and an associate. The group was apprehended at Nagpur airport while trying to
leave for Srinagar, from where they planned to go to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
and onto Afghanistan. They were arrested by the Hyderabad police.
said Basith had been in touch with key IS recruiter Adnan Hassan Damudi, who
had been deported from Dubai in 2016. According to sources, Damudi had sent Rs
54,000 to Basith to help him and his associates leave India for Syria.
Saudi mission deletes tweet promoting pro-democracy protests
US embassy in Saudi Arabia has deleted a video posted on its Twitter account
promoting peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations against oppressive regimes.
which had been produced by the US State Department, was shared on Twitter by
the American mission in Riyadh earlier this week.
archival photos of famous protest movements with Arabic subtitles, the video
promoted peaceful demonstrations for “positive social and political changes,”
and nonviolent civil disobedience as a means “to guarantee a truly civil
in oppressive, authoritarian conditions, protesters can tailor their campaigns
to succeed,” said a voiceover on the video.
large, nonviolent groups of people organize concentrated methods like protests,
along with dispersed methods like boycotts or strikes, even the most brutal
regimes have trouble stifling the movements indefinitely.”
Friday, the Middle East Eye (MEE) news portal asked Washington whether the
embassy in Riyadh was encouraging the Saudis to hold anti-regime protests.
the post was deleted, with a State Department official saying that the video
portrayed historical events as part of the "ShareAmerica" series.
post was not an incitement or call to protest," the official added.
Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North
African division, said that the tweet had apparently "slipped through the
rights for Saudis, Egyptians, Palestinians, and Bahrainis? Not so much. This
deleted tweet debacle is a perfect illustration of America’s absurd hypocrisy.
It just doesn’t work to selectively promote human rights," she said.
Riedel, an ex-CIA officer and scholar at the Brookings Institution, told MEE,
"It’s very odd. The kingdom is more repressive under Crown Prince Mohammed
Bin Salman than ever before: no dissent or protest is tolerated. It’s baffling
what the State Department was thinking."
journalist Hani al-Abndi described the deleted tweet as a "political joke
that the US embassy have said," noting, "They encourage Saudi
citizens to protest peacefully. But Saudi citizens are scared to protest
because they fear of being arrested and killed."
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, has been involved in an
aggressive push to purge royals and businessmen critical of his policies under
the banner of an “anti-corruption campaign.”
Salman's crackdown on critics came to light following the brutal murder of
journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside Riyadh’s Istanbul consulate.
CIA assessment concluded that it was probably bin Salman who had ordered
Khashoggi’s assassination. Additionally, the US Senate unanimously adopted a
resolution that assigned responsibility to the heir to the Saudi throne for the
President Donald Trump, however, avoided rebuking Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's
murder and vowed to stand with its ally, citing lucrative arms deals among the
reasons for his support.
in August, the Canadian embassy in Riyadh expressed grave concerns over a spike
in the arrests of human rights campaigners in Saudi Arabia and called for their
criticism infuriated Saudi authorities and led to the expulsion of Canadian
Ambassador Dennis Horak.
on the recent tweet by the US mission, Horak told MEE that he was surprised by
the video promoting protests in Saudi Arabia.
had the Senate resolution last week, holding MbS accountable for the murder,
and then the Saudis reacted quite negatively to that, but said that they value
the relationship," he said on Friday. "It's a complete contrast to
the massive overreaction they had with us this summer, but they are the United
States and we're not."
Jeddah-based music duo Statues of Sinking Men are known for their stirring live
performances — an irony since the band makes every effort to stay out of the
idea is for the audience to notice us as little as possible,” said Abdullah
Babrouk, who produces art and visuals to accompany Abdulmalik Zubailah’s beats
and vocals. “The focus is meant to be on the music.”
of Sinking Men celebrated the release of their debut album on Friday night with
a rooftop launch party. The self-titled album is the first offering from the
band since their formation in 2017, and has been in development since October
music is only part of the duo’s show, with Babrouk’s mesmerizing visuals the
main focal point.
little more than a synthesizer and a microphone, Zubailah manages to create
music that is both complex and catchy, with soulful lyrics that express a
variety of emotions.
of Sinking Men is an outlet for me to express everything I could never say with
words alone,” said Zubailah. “The good, the bad and everything in between, with
uses a computer program to create visual effects live and in time with the
music — a demanding process that requires intense concentration. The combined
effect of music and art is ethereal, as much live art performance as musical
launch party was hosted by Mnassa and held on the roof of their office in
Al-Zahraa. Admission was free, and a sizeable crowd showed up to support the
musicians on a cool December night, accompanied by a full moon and a winter
musician GHADA opened the show with her haunting, powerful vocals.
she told Arab News that she was delighted to have been asked to perform at the
event. “I never thought that I would actually be doing this. I’m still
processing everything that’s happening. But I’m glad it is happening.”
of Sinking Men performed their latest album, with visual accompaniments
projected on to a wall behind the stage.
stepped on stage in a custom-made sea captain’s jacket, styling himself “The
Deceased Captain Bartholomew Bellik.” With Babrouk as his seafaring companion
“Xabris Black,” the performers told the story of a failed sea voyage, an
untimely death and, ultimately, a rebirth.
was on the sea with them when I listened to the music,” one concertgoer said
after the show. “I heard the waves in it. I felt the salt spray. It was
bizarre, but it was interesting. I loved it. I can’t wait to attend another
band also had a few surprises for the crowd. While performing “Criminal,”
audience members were invited to “be criminals with them” as Babrouk handed
over a PlayStation controller, which audience members could use to deliver the
PlayStation classic “Hotline Miami” in accompaniment to the song.
the show, Babrouk and Zubailah said they were exhausted, but immensely happy at
the success of the event.
never thought this would be happening here in my hometown,” said Zubailah.
“It’s so liberating.”
if he had anything else to add, Zubailah replied with a grin: “Come to one of
our shows and embrace the stage of sentimental night.”
of Sinking Men can be found on Twitter and Instagram, and their music is
available on all major music streaming and purchasing providers.
president to dissolve parliament, Hamas irate
President Mahmoud Abbas pledged on Saturday to implement a court ruling and
dissolve the parliament controlled by his rival Hamas movement, triggering
warnings of chaos from the Islamic militant group.
announcement is the latest in a series of bitter splits and rivalries between
his Fatah party and Hamas, which began in 2007 when Hamas routed his forces and
took over Gaza, keeping his rule limited to parts of the Israeli-occupied West
then, the Palestinian Legislative Council, where Hamas holds a majority after a
2006 landslide victory against Fatah, has been largely disabled. If done,
breaking up the legislature would remain symbolic, maintaining the already
entrenched political divide between Gaza and the West Bank.”We resorted to the
Constitutional Court and the court decided to dissolve the PLC and called for
parliamentary elections in six months and we have to execute this (decision)
immediately,” Abbas told a Palestinian Liberation Organization meeting in
accused Hamas of blocking Egyptian efforts to restore Palestinian unity, a
charge Hamas vehemently denies. Abbas says the dissolution of the parliament
aims to pressure Hamas into accepting proposals for national reconciliation.
has brokered numerous deals to end the Palestinian split, but none has been
fully implemented, with Hamas and Fatah trading blame over their failure.
Gaza, Hamas lawmakers meet at the PLC, but most of independent members and
other parliamentary blocs like Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine boycott the sessions to protest the disunity. The laws issued by
Hamas legislators are limited to Gaza.
Moussa, a Hamas lawmaker, warned that ending the PLC “destroys the political
system and opens the door to chaos in the Palestinian arena.”
is a ready-made recipe for chaos,” he told The Associated Press by phone.
is likely to ignore the court order, insisting that the PLC expires
automatically when a new one is formed following general elections.
Muslim lobby group MEND, which has been accused of promoting extremism, has
“exerted decisive intellectual influence” in Britain’s first Islamophobia
report, according to a think tank research note.
John Jenkins, the former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, made the
conclusions in a research paper for Policy Exchange after analysing the
All-Party Parliamentary Group’s (APPG) report Islamophobia Defined: The Inquiry
into a Working Definition of Islamophobia, which calls for the Government to
establish a working definition of Islamophobia as “rooted in racism” and “a
type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”
John found that “despite being mentioned only once in the main body of the
report… It is clear that MEND [Muslim Engagement and Development], an
organisation with a tarnished reputation in Government circles, has exerted an
important intellectual influence on the APPG.”
John, who co-authored the British Government’s 2015 review of the Muslim
Brotherhood which found that the Egypt-founded Islamic supremacist group had
links to the influential Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), goes on to outline
that “MEND has long been surrounded by controversy.
this year, a senior MEND representative asserted that Muslims in the UK face a
situation analogous to that of Jews in Nazi Germany before the Holocaust.
former director of engagement, Azad Ali, is reported to have said in March 2017
that that month’s attack on Parliament, which killed five people, was ‘not
year a report by The Henry Jackson Society, an anti-extremism think tank which
promotes liberal democracy, stated that the Muslim advocacy group, which has
worked with police and politicians, promoted extremism, sharia law, and Muslim
that MEND has been working for the same expansion of the definition of
Islamophobia as the APPG, Sir John continued: “The connection between the APPG
report and the MEND agenda is not simply intellectual,” and outlined the deep
connections between the group and those who prepared the report.
Dr Antonio Perra, an academic based at King’s College London, “was a senior
policy analyst at MEND (until July 2018).”
report states that his ‘considerable support to the secretariat in the
preparation of this report has been immensely valuable… [his] personal LinkedIn
profile goes further and says he ‘co-edited’ the report.”
Perra was, until recently, also a member of MEND but no mention is made of this
affiliation,” the research note adds.
a similar vein, the APPG makes reference to evidence it took from the
‘Islamophobia Response Unit’ (IRU). But it fails to mention that the IRU was
created in April 2017 by MEND.”
research paper also exposed the use of written evidence submitted by Professor
David Miller of University of Bristol.
is a conspiracy theorist recorded as having defended the comments which led to
Ken Livingstone quitting the Labour Party (about Hitler supporting a Jewish
also called the concept of Israel a ‘racist endeavour’,” Sir John wrote.
former diplomat criticised the APPG’s report for failing to mention Islamism
and the manner in which Islamists use the term Islamophobia “to shield themselves
also warned of the effect this definition could have on freedom of the press
and that those who seek to “weaponise this definition” could use it to
undermine the Government’s anti-extremism strategy Prevent.
of Italy’s most prominent Muslim leaders has challenged interior minister
Matteo Salvini to find a way to give Muslims “democratic representation” in
Piccardo, who famously argued that “polygamy is our civil right,” wrote this
week to Mr Salvini asking him to “establish an electoral process leading to the
election of a democratic representation of Italian Muslims.”
the founder of the Union of Italian Islamic communities (UCOII), Piccardo urged
Italians in 2016 not to “undervalue polygamy’s demographic effect,” which would
help “rebalance” Italy’s low birthrate and the consequent need for foreign
also argued that although a minority position, polygamy had as much historical
claim to being a civil right as gay marriage.
Mr Piccardo is calling on the Italian government to bring Islam into dialogue
with Italy’s political establishment.
the government organize a consultation that can bring order to Italian Islam,
we are fed up with this anarchy,” said Piccardo, who has translated the Qu’ran
though the competent party for relations with religious communities is at
Palazzo Chigi,” Piccardo wrote, referring to the headquarters of Italy’s Prime
Minister, “I want to address the Minister of the Interior [Matteo Salvini],
because ever since 2005 this is where communication, albeit sterile, has taken
place between the government and the Muslims of Italy.”
problem, Piccardo noted, is that “none of the organizations present in the
territory significantly represents the soon to be three million Muslims in
Italy, one million of whom are Italian citizens.”
man who shot dead five people and wounded 11 others at a famed Christmas market
in the eastern French city of Strasbourg had pledged allegiance to ISIS in a
video, a judicial source said Saturday.
video was found in a USB key belonging to Cherif Chekatt, 29, who was shot and
killed by police after a two-day manhunt in the city following the December 11
claimed Chekatt was one of their “fighters”, but this was dismissed by French
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.
father, Abdelkrim, had said his son believed the Islamic State “fought for a
always told him they were criminals,” his father added.
of the five people killed in the attack were foreigners or born abroad. They
included a Thai tourist, a Franco-Afghan garage owner, an Italian journalist
and a former Pole who had lived in Strasbourg for the past 20 years.
funds to Pakistan in return for death sentences: Report
taxpayers are paying for a boom in capital punishment in Pakistan, a new report
has shown, amid claims that London is forcing Islamabad to increase its
executions of alleged terrorism suspects without international standards being
Observer said in a report published on Saturday that Britain’s Foreign Office
has been granting financial support to civilian courts in Pakistan in return
for their increased use of capital punishment against suspected terrorists.
report said more than 10 million pounds have been spent on a program called
Capri, which stands for Counter Terrorism Associated Prosecutorial Reforms
Initiative, and focuses on Pakistan’s legal ability to deal with terrorism.
Most of the funds have been allocated to Pakistani civilian courts that
prosecute terrorist suspects, said the report.
to a parliamentary report issued last week, the aim of the project, which began
in 2016, has been “to increase Pakistan’s civilian capacity to investigate,
detain, prosecute and try terrorists in line with international standards and
human rights norms”.
rights campaigners are concerned that courts in Pakistan have failed to observe
the international standards in their UK-sponsored trails against terrorism
suspects. They say many of the courts, in fact, have imposed death sentences on
offences that do not deserve execution. That raises suspicions that the courts
merely aim to receive the financial support from the UK.
working for Reprieve, a UK legal charity, said courts in Pakistan have issued
death sentences for kidnappers despite bans in the international law which
stipulate that only murder should be compensated with execution.
have criticized the courts in Pakistan for ignoring due-process safeguards for
issuing death sentences that are required by international law.
United Nations Human Rights Committee has also slammed Pakistan’s “broad
definition of terrorism” which imposes death penalty on any crime or threat
designed to create a “sense of fear or insecurity in society”.
militants killed during the joint operations in past 24 hours: MoD
Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan (MoD) has claimed that 54 militants have
been killed during separate operations conducted jointly by the Afghan National
Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in the past 24 hours.
to a statement released by MoD, the operations were conducted with the help of
the close air support of the coalition forces based in Afghanistan.
statement further added that the operations were conducted in Nangarhar,
Paktika, Ghazni, Daikudni, Zabul, Farah, Balkh, Faryab, and Helmand provinces.
least 29 of the militants were killed in Qarabagh district of Ghazni province
and 9 others were wounded, MoD said, adding that 19 militants were killed and 7
others were wounded during the operations while 2 motorcycles were destroyed in
Pashtun Kot and Sherin Tagab districts of Faryab province.
Afghan forces also killed 6 militants in Posht Rod district of Farah province
and two others were wounded in Shajoi district of Zabul and Washir district of
Helmand province, MoD added in its statement.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the operational update of the Ministry of Defense so far.
bullet-riddled body of a Myanmar policeman has been found in northern Rakhine
state, government media said, as tensions rise in the hotspot where the
Rohingya crisis erupted last year.
western territory is a tinderbox of ethnic and religious divisions and security
forces have clashed with both Rohingya insurgents and much better armed Rakhine
fighters from the mostly Buddhist Arakan Army.
Aung Kyaw Thet went missing in action after an ambush last week by unknown
assailants in Maungdaw township near the border with Bangladesh.
body was found two days ago with “gunshot wounds in his face, arm and leg near
a hill inside the other country,” according to government-backed Global New
Light of Myanmar newspaper on Sunday.
ambush happened on the day two ethnic Rakhine Buddhist men disappeared while
fishing in the same township and were later found with their throats slit,
prompting the army to launch local “clearance operations” and raising fears of
renewed large-scale violence.
report in Global New Light did not identify the alleged perpetrators of the
shooting but said authorities found foxholes near the scene, bullet casings and
biscuits manufactured in Bangladesh.
than 720,000 Rohingya fled northern Rakhine to Bangladesh after Myanmar
launched a crackdown on the Muslim minority in August 2017.
investigators want senior Myanmar generals to be prosecuted for genocide but
the army says it was responding to attacks on border guard posts by Rohingya
insurgents that killed around a dozen security forces.
army this week called a rare ceasefire against ethnic armed groups in the northeast
of the country but Rakhine state was not included.
least four militants were killed in a drone strike in western Farah province of
Afghanistan, the Afghan Military in the West said late on Saturday.
to a statement released y 207th Zafar Corps of the Afghan Military in the West,
the drone strike was carried out in the vicinity of Bakwa district.
statement further added that four militants were killed in the airstrike and
vehicle, a PKM machine gun, a sniper rifle, and 3 Ak-47 rifles were destroyed.
207th Zafar Corps also added that three militants were killed during a separate
operation in Nawbahar Village of Posht-e-Rod district.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the killing of the militants so far.
Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan (MoI) on Saturday informed regarding the
arrest of a police officer affiliated with the Taliban militants in western
Farah province of Afghanistan.
to a statement released by MoI, a police officer who was serving in police
ranks in Farah police commandment was arrested by the Criminal Investigation
Department operatives of the ministry.
statement further added that the police officer was involved in facilitating an
attack on police forces on 11th November which resulted into the martyrdom of
22 policemen and officers in Farah province.
detained police officer has confessed to the charges against him, MoI said,
adding that the suspect has been handed over to the National Directorate of
Security for further investigations.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the affiliation of the detained police officer with the group so far.
of people from several Islamic organizations held a #SaveMuslimUighur rally in
front of the Chinese Consulate in Medan, North Sumatra, on Friday, condemning
the alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
brothers [Uighur Muslims] are a minority,” Acong, a protester who is of Chinese
descent, said in his speech during the rally.
protesters carried several critical banners calling on the Chinese government
to immediately stop violence against Uighur Muslims.
urge the [Chinese] government take action against the violence on Uighur
Muslims,” the leader of the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema
Councils Fatwa in North Sumatra, Heriansyah, said.
protestors also tried to blockade the consulate because there was no Chinese
Consulate representative willing to meet them. However, the police stopped them
from blockading the office.
also demand the Chinese consulate general be expelled from Indonesia,” he said.
South Jakarta, a group calling themselves the 212 Rally Alumni also held a
rally in front of the Chinese Embassy in Mega Kuningan.
need to stop the Chinese government from abusing our brothers, the Uighur
Muslims,” a protestor, Dedi Suwardadi, said as quoted by tribunnews.com.
have emerged in Indonesia following reports on the detention of Uighur Muslims
in Xinjiang and allegations that they had been put to forced labor.
the Indonesian Ulema Council had condemned China over reports of the crackdown,
saying it was not in line with the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights that guarantees religious freedom for every human around the
world. China signed the covenant in 1998 but has yet to ratify it.
President Jusuf Kalla reiterated that Indonesia would not interfere in China’s
handling of Uighur Muslims amid pressure for the government to step in.
course we reject or [want to] prevent any human rights violations. However, we
don’t want to intervene in the domestic affairs of another country,” Kalla
the Foreign Ministry had summoned Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xiao Qian on
Monday to convey the concerns of Indonesian Muslims about Uighur Muslims.
Chinese Embassy spokesman said in a statement on Thursday that the Chinese government
was facing the threat of religious extremism in Xinjiang, which is home to
about 14 million Muslims.
Xinjiang residents, it said, had struggled to find jobs because of their poor
command of the nation’s official language and lack of skills.
has made them vulnerable to the instigation and coercion of terrorism and
extremism,” it said.
light of the situation, Xinjiang has established professional vocational
training institutions as the platform, providing courses on China’s common language,
legal knowledge, vocational skills, along with deradicalization education for
citizens influenced by extremist ideas.” (ggq)
Muslim nations remain silent as China sends ethnic minorities to re-education
crackdown on its ethnic Muslim-minority Uyghurs has been met with international
condemnation, however some very significant voices have remained silent — those
of Muslim nations.
United Nations estimates that up to 1 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other
minorities have allegedly been detained in China's far-western Xinjiang
province since 2017.
say Muslim nations cannot be lumped into one category, however, there are a
number of key similarities behind much of their silence — political, economic
and foreign policy considerations.
policy expert Michael Clarke, from the Australian National University, told the
ABC that China's economic power and the fear of retaliation was a big factor in
ultimately a very unfortunate situation the Uyghur people find themselves
contrast, countries including Australia and the United States have publicly
denounced Beijing's actions in the region.
Turkic-speaking ethnic minorities have been detained in 're-education' camps
and subjected to political indoctrination, including being forced to learn a
different language and give up their faith.
research reveals that the 28 detention facilities have expanded by more than 2
million square metres since the beginning of last year and detainees have been
forced to sew clothes for export to a US sportswear company.
of Muslim-majority nations including Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and
Indonesia have avoided raising the matter publicly.
has gone even further by defending China, saying the reporting on the Uyghurs'
situation has been "sensationalised" by Western media.
Indonesian Government has remained quiet on the topic until last week when the
issue was brought up in parliament.
we don't want to intervene in the domestic affairs of another country," he
statement is in stark contrast to the stance of Indonesia on other Muslim
issues such as the Israel-Palestine conflict and the plight of the ethnic
minority Rohingya in Myanmar.
the Foreign Ministry has now conveyed its concerns to China's ambassador to
Indonesia, amid growing pressure by domestic Islamic groups.
Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Malaysia and others have also repeatedly condemned the
persecution of Rohingya Muslims and Israel's treatment of Palestinians.
Clarke said China's economy is 180 times bigger than that of a country such as
Myanmar, making the latter a far safer target for criticism.
Myanmar, you're dealing with a much weaker regional state which is much more
open to pressure and international criticism," he said.
investments and contracts in the Middle East and North Africa from 2005 until
this year amount to $144.8 billion.
Malaysia and Indonesia, it is $121.6 billion over the same period, according to
think tank American Enterprise Institute.
has heavily invested in state-owned oil and gas industries in Saudi Arabia and Iraq,
and promises continued investments across Asia, Africa and the Middle East with
its Belt and Road initiative.
treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim groups has not deterred Muslim tourists
from travelling to China.
travellers spent more than $US8 billion ($11.3 billion) in China this year, a
figure that is expected to increase by $US1 billion ($1.4 billion) annually,
according to a recent report from market research company Salam Standard.
policy of "non-intervention", whereby it avoids becoming involved in
the domestic affairs of other nations, has long been a key part of its foreign
analysts say it is now paying off with Muslim countries reciprocating the
has gone as so far as to repeatedly abstain from votes or use its veto power in
UN security council meetings on many international interventions, such as
proposed sanctions in Syria and in Myanmar.
[Muslim nations] have their own internal issues whether its religious or ethnic
minorities … so they are very loathe to criticise Beijing for its handling of
its own problems given they have their own problems to deal with," Dr
case can be made for Turkey, which has spoken out against China on Xinjiang — a
move Beijing has not forgotten.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the events in the restive province as
"a kind of genocide" while Turkey also provided asylum for Uyghurs
fleeing the region.
I was chased out of Ningxia by Chinese men in black for reporting on Muslim
begin with it was subtle. A security official who had stopped by at my hotel
for a "chat" appeared to be the only thing coming between me and the
mosques I wanted to see dotted around the dusty plains of Ningxia province.
by the time my trip to investigate China's latest government crackdown on
Muslims was drawing to a close, attempts by the state to block me off at every
turn were verging on the ridiculous.
swelling gang of nameless men in black had stopped trying to hide the fact they
were tailing me, driving bumper-to-bumper down winding rural roads and pulling
over on deserted highways whenever I stopped.
rise of a police state in neighbouring Xinjiang, another Chinese province,...
PILAH: The Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku
Munawir today expressed his disappointment with the high number of Muslims
involved in social problems and crime in the state.
said based on statistics, more than 90% of arrests for drug-related offences
involved Muslims, especially in the Felda area in Jempol.
said as for rape cases, 64 of the 83 suspects arrested were Muslims. For incest
cases, he said, nine out of 10 cases reported this year involved Muslims
teenagers in Malaysia are also known for illegal motorcycle racing and they are
known as Mat Rempit.
Daesh (Islamic State) militant movement recruits Muslims who misinterpret the
values in Islam to fight in the name of the religion,” he said at the
accreditation of members of the Negeri Sembilan Administrative and Legal
Institution here today.
ceremony was also attended by Tunku Besar Seri Menanti Tunku Ali Redhauddin
Tuanku Muhriz and Undang Luak Johol Muhammed Abdullah.
Muhriz expressed his confidence in the capabilities of the police and other
enforcement agencies in addressing the problem.
have to plan now even if the implementation of the programme will only be effective
10 years from now.
nothing is done, the bad characters in society will not change forever,” he
also called on the relevant departments to look into other needs that could
improve the administration and management of Islam, including construction of
new buildings and increasing the number of judges and officers for shariah
courts in the state.
Perak, Malay groups demand Dr M resign as well over Adib's death
Dec 22 — After calls for minister P. Waytha Moorthy to resign over the death of
firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, several Malay groups here have now
demanded for even Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to step down.
of members from a number of Malay groups, including the incendiary Jaringan
Melayu Malaysia (JMM) and Gagasan 3, held a gathering at the Padang Ipoh here
wearing mostly black.
his speech, frequent critic of Dr Mahathir, JMM president Datuk Azwanddin
Hamzah said the prime minister should resign if he cannot fulfill the request
of some Malays demanding to sack the minister in charge of national unity and
don’t want to mention the name, but the ‘pariah’ minister should resign
immediately. If he doesn’t want to resign, then Mahathir should sack him,” he
said, in a veiled reference to Waytha.
Mahathir can’t do that, then he should step down as the prime minister. We will
continue to gather until our demands are fulfilled.”
also urged action against developer One City Development Sdn Bhd and their
lawyers. The firm has since denied its involvement in the riots.
no action has been taken on them until today? They are also responsible for the
death of Adib,” he claimed.
also repeated the calls for Putrajaya to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry to
probe the case.
a coalition of Perak Malay-Muslim groups called Jalinan Bersatu Sahabat Perak
(Jabat) had also made the same call.
month, Azwanddin and Gagasan 3’s chairman Ragvinder Singh Jess and deputy
chairman Amran Ahmad Nor were among those investigated by the police following
reports of allegedly incendiary speeches made by them.
least 43 people have been killed and nearly 600 injured in a tsunami triggered
by the eruption of an island volcano in Indonesia, officials said.
the Sunda Strait 40 people have died, 584 people were injured and two people
are missing," Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement. Another three people were killed in
nearby Serang, he added. Nugroho tweeted on his verified account that 430
houses and nine hotels were heavily damaged, indicating the tsunami hit
residential and tourist areas.
from Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics agency said it could have been
caused by undersea landslides from the eruption of Anak Krakatau, a volcanic
island formed over years from the nearby Krakatau volcano. They also cited
tidal waves caused by the full moon.
Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra connects the Java Sea to
the Indian Ocean.
deaths were reported in the Pandeglang, South Lampung and Serang regions.
worst affected area was the Pandeglang region of Banten province in Java, which
encompasses the Ujung Kulon National Park and popular beaches, the disaster
agency said. Of the deaths, 33 were in Pandeglang.
the city of Bandar Lampung on southern Sumatra, hundreds of residents took
refuge at the governor’s office.
disaster management agency warned that the death toll is likely to rise
further, adding that high seas as a result of the full moon may also have
contributed to the strength of the waves.
has been hit by a series of natural disasters in recent weeks, including a
powerful earthquake that hit the island of Sulawesi on September 28. In the
towns of Baleroa and Petobo, rivers of soil swept away entire neighborhoods in
the aftermath of the magnitude-7.5 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
death toll from the quake is nearly 2,000.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan waded into the controversy over Naseeruddin
Shah’s remarks, comparing them to what Mohammad Ali Jinnah had once said, the
acclaimed actor told him to stay away from “issues that don’t concern him”.
at a public function in Lahore, Khan drew a parallel between Shah’s remarks
about feeling scared for his children because of the impunity of lawless mobs
in India and what Jinnah had said about not wanting to live in an India where
Muslims would not be equal citizens.
a sharp retort to him, Shah told The Sunday Express, “I think Mr Khan should be
walking the talk in his own country instead of commenting on issues that don’t
concern him. We have been a democracy for 70 years and we know how to look
to the Bulandshahr violence where a policeman had lost his life to mob fury
over alleged cow slaughter earlier this month, the 68-year-old actor had
expressed concern over how “the death of a cow has more significance than that
of a police officer” and how he doesn’t see “the situation improving anytime
soon”. The actor added, “I feel anxious for my children because tomorrow if a
mob surrounds them and asks ‘Are you a Hindu or a Muslim?’, they will have no
said the “lesson” Pakistan needed to draw from this was to ensure that “all
people get equal rights, irrespective of their faith”. He cited “the famous
speech by Qaid e Azam in 1948 where he said all Pakistanis would have equal
rights” as also “the Constitution of Medina” where Prophet Mohammed promised
Christians protection and safety. He added, “We have to prove in Pakistan that
all minorities are equal citizens… Narendra Modi’s India must be shown how we
remarks have been met with protests, with some groups agitating outside the
venue where he was supposed to deliver the keynote address at the fifth edition
of a three-day literature festival in Ajmer. Raas Bihari Gaur, the coordinator
of the festival, said, “Shah was scheduled to inaugurate the festival but he
did not come because of protests by some locals.”
was also scheduled to launch his book at the opening session, but this too was
several people pointing out that this had happened under a Congress government,
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted on Saturday evening that what had
happened was “unfortunate”.
is very unfortunate that organiser of Ajmer Literature Fest asks Mr
#NaseeruddinShah to avoid his inaugural appearance amidst some news of protest.
Administration was fully prepared to hold festival peacefully. Our govt
respects all rights & liberties of each & every citizen.”
to Shah’s remarks, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Saturday that the
veteran actor’s children need not feel scared as “tolerance was in the DNA of
the country”. “I think his emotions may have been right, but his words were
probably misconstrued and a mountain was made out of a molehill. India is a
tolerant country. Tolerance and harmony are in the DNA of the country, and despite
the circumstances, nobody has succeeded in destroying that strong legacy,”
Naqvi told PTI in Mumbai.
Md Imran Warsi, arrested in Bhopal in 2008 on suspicion of being an ISI agent,
will be deported home to Pakistan on Wednesday. Warsi says his account is no
different from what is known of the cross-border love story of Hamid Nehal
Ansari who was repatriated to India earlier this week after six years in a
Pakistan jail. Similar to Ansari's stealing into Pakistan, Warsi says he
travelled from Karachi to Kolkata in 2004 to marry the girl he loved, a distant
unlike Ansari, Warsi married and lived in Kolkata for four years before being
arrested in Bhopal."My fellow prisoners contributed Rs 8,000 for my
release. I was overwhelmed, no words to express my gratitude," Warsi said.
DELHI: India and Pakistan are yet again faced with diplomatic harassment that
marred ties between the two countries earlier this year.
Pakistan has denied gas to the newly constructed Indian residential complex in
Islamabad, the Indian government earlier this month denied permission to
Pakistan high commissioner Sohail Mahmood to visit Kolkata.
sides were quiet on why Mahmood was prevented from visiting but, as official
sources said, Pakistan had been late in seeking approval for the visit. Both
Indian and Pakistan high commissioners are required to seek approval from local
authorities for any visit outside the capital.
development came around the time Indian officials were raising with Pakistan
the issue of delay in supply of gas to India's newly constructed residential
complex in Islamabad. Sources said that the issue had been repeatedly raised
for over a month both here with the Pakistan high commission and with MoFA in
note verbale have been issued but to no avail,'' said an official source. The
complex was at the centre of the dispute between India and Pakistan over
harassment of diplomats in both capitals. A group of men was said to have
raided the complex under construction then and disconnected water and electricity
supply triggering diplomatic hostility which lasted for over a month.
complex is now home to several Indian diplomats and other staff. According to
sources here, the supply of gas has not started, despite pipelines having been
laid, because the same is yet to be approved by Pakistan government authorities
including MoFA. The cold weather has made it worse for residents of the complex
as gas is required for activating the heating system.
government has also raised with Pakistan the issue of abrupt blackouts in the
homes of Indian diplomats. While these have not lasted very long, the power
disruption has apparently taken place in the middle of formal receptions. In
one instance recently, which was brought to Pakistan's attention, an
unidentified man tried to break open into the home of an Indian diplomat when
he was not at home.
Six terrorists of the Zakir Musa-led Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind outfit, including
its deputy chief, were killed in a brief encounter in Tral area of Awantipora
in south Kashmir's Pulwama district on Saturday morning. Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind
is the Kashmir wing of al-Qaida.
encounter began after a joint team of 42 Rashtriya Rifles, Special Operations
Group and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation after receiving
intelligence inputs about the presence of terrorists at Arampora hamlet, said S
P Pani, IG-Kashmir range. The security forces fired a few warning shots, to
which the terrorists retaliated, triggering a gunfight.
forces recovered the bodies and a huge cache of arms and ammunition from the
deputy chief was identified as Soliha Mohammad Akhoon, alias Rehaan Khan, while
the others as Rasiq Mir, Umer Ramzan, Nadeem Sofi, Faisal Javid Khanday and
Rouf Mir,” the IG said, adding that they were linked to Zakir Musa, a former Hizbul
Mujahideen leader who founded the Kashmir chapter of al-Qaida. All of them were
active in Pulwama and wanted in several terror cases, including attacks on
security personnel and civilians.
of the six terrorists killed were wanted for triggering hand-grenade blasts at
the Maqsudan police station in Jalandhar on September 14, Punjab police said.
police commissioner Gurpreet Bhullar said the case was solved with the arrest
of two college students, identified as Shahid Qayoom (22) and Fazil Bashir
(23), both associated with Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind. Besides these two, Rouf Mir
and Umer Ramzan, killed in Saturday’s encounter, were also involved in the
blast, he added. Bhullar said Umer and Rouf had flown from Srinagar to
Chandigarh on September 13 with the sole purpose of carrying out the attacks.
Thereafter, they had been on the run.
after the killing of the terrorists, clashes between security forces and
civilians broke out in Armpora Tral area of Pulwama.
has been prepared for a long time now for an “eventual” pullout of American
troops from Afghanistan but surprised by the Trump administration’s sudden
decision, as the rest of the world, it wants to know more about the nature and
the time-frame of the cut-back to assess implications for its involvement.
are concerned about the security of four consulates — Jalalabad (in the east),
Herat (west), Mazar-e-Sharif (north) and Kandahar (in the south) — and the
embassy in Kabul, personnel manning them and the projects India is running
there as part of the reconstruction effort, as a top partner.
has been no communication from the United States to India yet about the
impending pullout, and it’s been noted in New Delhi. But,people in the know
said, assuming the Trump administration had indeed taken a call — “there has
been no tweet or announcement as about the Syrian pullout” — they want to see
which troops are being pulled out, those involved in counter-terrorism or those
advising Afghanistan combat troops, or both.
also wants to know about the time-frame of the cut back and whether American
troops, marked for pullout, leave before the upcoming Afghan elections or
after. “Leaving before could determine the nature of the elections — whether
they will be free and fair — which, in turn, could determine their legitimacy
and the outcome,” said a person familiar with the deliberations.
two factors are critical to assessing the repercussion for India — “whether the
troop-cut would be hugely consequential or one that can be managed”.
presidential elections are due next April, and Indian officials dealing with
South Asia fear most a US drawdown in the first quarter of 2019, which they
have considered more as a possibility.
US President Trump has been keen to pullout
of Afghanistan, as was his predecessor Barack Obama, but has sought to base it
on conditions and an arbitrarily drawn timeline as preferred by his
predecessor. But the move to cut the troops presence has not been explained that whether it’s
linked to improvement in condition or tied to peace talks.
allies such as Germany and the United Kingdom who have large troops presence in
Afghanistan were not consulted.
presence of American and NATO forces has been critical for the security
situation, and Afghanistan and New Delhi would be following developments
arising out of the Trump administration’s decision closely. “Not only do we
have four consulates and an embassy there in Afghanistan, but also a large
number of ongoing development projects,” said a person familiar with India’s
thinking on the matter.
has invested heavily in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and from much before,
the Trump administration sought to accord India a larger role there.
helped the central bank of Afghanistan find its feet, starting just days after
the Taliban were chased out of the country in late 2001 — with the help of
government bankers from Indian staying four to a room in a Kabul property —-
rebuild schools (former president Hamid Karzai’s school, to begin with), get
the transportation system running — with the help of the Tata company — and
resurrect Kabul’s main hospital, quietly and without fanfare.
has reached scary proportions: Naseeruddin Shah
army of trolls and their abuse and threats on the web may not have affected
veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah but he stated in an exclusive e-mail interview
to The Hindu that it was definitely not comforting to hear chants of “Shoot the
traitor!” directed at him. “The vicious jingoism masquerading as love for the
country has reached truly scary proportions and so has the constant
whataboutery in response to almost everything. ‘The earlier rulers did this,
what’s wrong if we do it too?’ ‘The Aussies dish out abuse, what’s wrong if we
do it too?’” he stated.
Shah has been at the receiving end of extreme outrage and hatred over an
interview in which he had expressed anxiety over mob violence and lynching and
concern for the future and well being of his children. “The poison has already
spread. It will be very difficult to capture this djinn back in the bottle.
There is complete impunity for those who take law into their own hands. In many
areas we are witnessing that the death of a cow has more significance than that
of a police officer. I feel anxious thinking about my children. Because they
don’t have a religion… tomorrow if a mob surrounds them and asks ‘are you a
Hindu or a Muslim?’ they will have no answer. It worries me because I don’t see
the situation improving anytime soon. These matters don’t scare me, they make
me angry…” he had said.
Friday he was prevented from inaugurating the Ajmer Literature Festival (ALF)
following protests by BJP Yuva Morcha members. A session with him titled
“Naseer Ki Nazar” was also cancelled.
Shah stated that he can only speculate at whose bidding all this would have
happened but whoever was exhorting those goons did not realise that they
actually ended up endorsing what he had said in the Karwaan-e-Mohabbat
told The Hindu that he was not surprised at the reactions to what he said and
he does not feel defeated at the turn of events. He confessed being a bit
saddened but more angered. “It does seem that for the moderate Indian staying
silent is not a choice any more,” he said.
to him no one in his family experienced discrimination at any point in their
lives: “My Dad served in the PCS, two uncles in the police force, a cousin and
a brother in the army and all of them not only did well but never felt that
being a Muslim was a disqualification for us. We never really discussed or
said that in case what he has said now is misconstrued as the “insecurity of a
Muslim living in India” he wanted to make it clear that though he gave the
example of his children, he was not speaking only of himself and his family.
“The Dalits or the farmers or the Christian community or students or
anti-traditionalists or citizens from India’s North-East are no less insecure
in their own country and that fact, instead of being a matter of shame for us
all, invites accusations of sedition if solidarity with any of them is shown,”
the matter of religion he stated that religion has nothing to do with goodness
and neither he nor anyone else in his family participate in religious rituals
of any kind. “In fact the amount of harm that a rabid sense of faith has done
to the world through the centuries is unequalled by anything else. What we have
faith in and what we believe in is entirely our own business,” he stated.
about the recent instances of artists being targeted for speaking out their
minds, he said that power hungry leaders have through history been circumspect,
if not downright suspicious, of artists because artists speak the truth in ways
they (leaders) consider insidious. “The influence of art is not hammer and
tongs but works by entering your veins and altering your system; besides
artists talk about peace and love all the time and that does not always suit
the powers that be--their agendas are different,” he said.
Shah clarified that if he “didn’t speak up when the Sikhs were massacred, when
the Kashmiri Pandits had to flee?” it was because he had no voice, no standing,
no face value then. “Who’d listen to an unemployed actor mouthing off?” he
said that the accusation that he was paid by the Congress to defame the country
and, by association the ruling party, was so dumb that he won’t even bother to
set the record straight. “By that reasoning I was probably paid by the Aussies
to diss Virat Kohli!” he stated, adding, “It testifies to the dictum that you
see everything in your own image; you see your own tendencies reflected in
everyone--the cheating husband suspecting his wife of infidelities kind of
Brett McGurk, the US special envoy to the anti-Islamic State group coalition,
has resigned, a State Department official said Saturday, capping a chaotic week
that saw the departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Donald Trump's
stunning decision to pull troops from Syria.
resignation, effective December 31, comes on the heels of Mattis's decision to
quit the Trump administration over key disagreements with the US president,
notably the Syria withdrawal.
last week McGurk, a Barack Obama appointee whom Trump kept on, said
"nobody is declaring a mission accomplished" in the battle against IS
— just days before the president blindsided politicians and allies with his
announcement of victory against the jihadist movement.
on Saturday said that the jihadist group "is largely defeated."
I became President, ISIS was going wild," the president tweeted. "Now
ISIS is largely defeated and other local countries, including Turkey, should be
able to easily take care of whatever remains. We're coming home!"
later took aim at McGurk on Twitter, referring to him as a
"grandstander" who was quitting just before his time was up.
45, was set to leave his position in February, but reportedly felt he could no
longer continue in the job after Trump's declaration and on Friday evening
informed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of his intention to wrap up at year's
conclusion mirrored that of Mattis, who was seen as a voice of moderation in
the mercurial Trump White House and quit after telling the president he could
not go along with the Syria decision.
has served as the US envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, an acronym
for the jihadist group, since 2015.
also served as the deputy assistant secretary of state for Iraq and Iran, and
worked under Republican George W. Bush as a senior official on Iraq and
the US role in Syria this month, he had told journalists that "it would be
reckless if we were just to say, 'Well, the physical caliphate is defeated, so
we can just leave now.'"
think anyone who's looked at a conflict like this would agree with that."
called Trump's move to leave Syria "a shock" and "a complete
reversal of policy that was articulated to us," in an email announcing his
decision to colleagues that was obtained by The New York Times.
left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners
bewildered," he said, according to the newspaper.
worked this week to help manage some of the fallout but — as many of you heard
in my meetings and phone calls — I ultimately concluded that I could not carry
out these new instructions and maintain my integrity."
after announcing his Syria decision, Trump again confounded international
partners with plans to slash troop numbers in Afghanistan.
momentous reversal of years of US foreign policy will leave the war-torn regions
at risk of continued and potentially heightened bloodshed.
typical fashion, Trump said Saturday that the media was treating him unfairly
over the Syria withdrawal decision.
anybody but your favorite President, Donald J Trump, announced that, after
decimating ISIS in Syria, we were going to bring our troops back home (happy
& healthy), that person would be the most popular hero in America," he
me, hit hard instead by the Fake News Media. Crazy!"
troop pullout will leave thousands of Kurdish fighters — which the Pentagon
spent years training and arming against IS — vulnerable to Turkish attack.
Saturday, a senior Kurdish official called on the United States to prevent a
potential Turkish offensive against areas in northern Syria inhabited by Kurds,
calling it America's "duty to prevent any attack and to put an end to
US has for years supported the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in
the fight against IS in Syria.
Khalil, a key player in establishing Syria's semi-autonomous Kurdish region in
2013, said the US and its partners "must honor their commitments."
adviser Mattis — a decorated Marine general who was often referred to as
"the last adult in the room" — made clear in his resignation letter
that pulling out of Syria crossed the line.
departures of Mattis and now McGurk follow those of national security advisor
H.R. McMaster and White House chief of staff John Kelly — leaving Trump, who
has no political, diplomatic or military experience, increasingly alone.
top US intelligence official has accused Russia, China and Iran of running
election meddling campaign during American mid-term polls last November in an
official report to the White House but insisted that no election systems were
and other foreign countries, including China and Iran, conducted influence
activities and messaging campaigns targeted at the United States to promote
their strategic interests” during the 2018 midterm elections, Director of
National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats wrote in a report to the White House
unveiled late Friday.
President Donald Trump had ordered Coats’s office – under executive order 13848
-- to conduct a review within 45 days of the November 6, 2018 election amid
political pressures calling on him to respond more forcefully to alleged
Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential campaign.
declared in September that such interference constituted a national emergency,
and said there would be sanctions imposed against individuals and governments
found to have meddled in the midterm polls. Coats’s letter, however, contained
no recommendation for such sanctions.
to the report by the spy chief, the US intelligence community did not find
evidence that the election infrastructure had been breached in a way “that
would have prevented voting, changed vote counts or disrupted the ability to
the US Justice and Homeland Security departments have 45 days under the
executive order to review the findings by DNI and respond with recommendations.
is while mainstream media reports in the US portrayed Coats’s letter as
confirmation of Russian election meddling, even though US intelligence agencies
did not assess any impact of what they claimed as influence activities and
messaging campaigns of foreign nations targeting US midterm elections, in which
the ruling Republican Party lost its control of the Senate.
government forces have discovered US-made weapons as well as a considerable
amount of Israeli-made medicine and medical supplies from a position of
foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants in the country's southwestern province of
informed source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Syria’s official news
agency SANA that security forces had carried out a clean-up operation on
Saturday, and found a big weapons depot left behind by members of the Daesh and
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, Takfiri terrorist
source added that the ammunition included American BGM-71 TOW anti-tank
missiles, assault rifles, mortars, satellite communications devices besides
discovery came less than a week after Syrian army troopers discovered a
remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) along with a considerable
amount of munitions at a former militant stronghold in the Dara’a al-Balad area
of Dara’a province.
reported that the weapons included PK general-purpose machine guns, assault
rifles, rocket launchers, many shells, rocket-propelled grenades, thermal night
vision cameras and satellite communication devices.
December 11, Syrian government forces discovered considerable amounts of
munitions, as well as US-built anti-tank missiles at weapons depots of Takfiri
terrorist groups near Nasib village, which lies about 12 kilometers southeast
munitions included 14.5mm heavy machine guns, mortars, tank shells, American
BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive
devices, detonators, automatic assault rifles as well as infantry combat
army forces inflict losses on Takfiri militants in Hama
the Syrian army launched a salvo of artillery rounds and surface-to-surface
missiles at the positions of the so-called Jaysh al-Izza (Army of Glory)
militant group in Hasraya town of the west-central province of Hama, killing
and wound a large number of the Takfiris in the process.
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumah news website quoted a well-informed source as
disclosing that the US army has built a military airport in Arbat region in
Sulaymaniyah province in Iraq's Kurdistan Region.
went on to say that the US spent almost $8mln to build the base that will
solely work on monitoring movement and traffic of the US forces.
further said that the airport has a very large runway which is suitable for the
landing and take off of military and non-military planes, adding that the US
army has claimed that the airport has been built for agricultural purposes.
takes almost 35 minutes of flying from the new airport to Sulaymaniyah airport.
sources reported last week that the US military was trying hard to transfer
Kurdish Pishmarga fighters from Iraq to deploy them at Syria's Northern border
with Turkey amid Ankara prepares to launch a major offensive on the Kurds on
the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River.
sources in Qamishli in Northern Hasaka reported that a 50-member military
delegation, including Kurdish Pishmarga commanders accompanied by US army
officers, arrived in Northeastern Hasaka from Iraq on Sunday via Simalka border
sources further said that the delegation arrived in Romeilan region in Hasaka,
adding that the move is aimed at holding a meeting with the Kurdish militia
under the supervision of the US forces over the deployment of Pishmarga gunmen
at Syria's border with Turkey.
the meantime, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR)
reported that the US-led coalition is attempting hard to justify the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) to agree with the deployment of Iraq's Pishmarga
fighters at Syria's border with Turkey.
Bas News Website, affiliated to Kurdish militia, reported that the US' attempts
to deploy Pishmarga fighters at Syria's border with Turkey came after the SDF
threatened to withdraw gunmen from contact lines with the ISIL in Southeastern
SDF rejected reports on the deployment of Barzani's Pishmarga in Northern
sources said that the Syrian Army dispatched hundreds of forces along with tens
of military vehicles to the village of Tal Aswad Southern of Manbij in
sources further pointed to several meetings between the SDF and the Syrian Army
commanders, and said that the Damascus forces will likely enter the SDF-held
town and region according to the coordination made between the two sides.
sources went on to say that the US army has dispatched a new convoy, including
18 military and armored vehicles to the South of Manbij after revelations about
the Damascus forces' deployment in the region.
the meantime, Jeihan Ahmad, a Spokesman for the SDF, claimed that the SDF
forces do not oppose hoisting Syrian Army's flag on government centers and
buildings in Manbij.
Thursday night, the Syrian Army soldiers entered 2 small but key towns in
Northern Aleppo after the SDF) pulled gunmen out of the towns.
army men entered the towns of Harbal and Um Vohoush in Northern Aleppo after
the SDF withdrew from the towns.
towns are located South of the town of Mare'a, which is controlled by
Ankara-backed militants, including the Free Army.
al-Arabi al-Jadid news website reported that the SDF militia held several
rounds of meetings with the Syrian Army commanders and concluded an agreement
to hand over some of the SDF-held regions to the Damascus forces.
on Saturday sent military reinforcements to northern Syria near an area
controlled by Kurdish forces as Ankara threatens to carry out a fresh offensive
to wipe them out, a war monitor said.
move comes after US President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement on Wednesday
of the withdrawal of American troops stationed in northeastern Syria alongside
Kurdish fighters, a long-time enemy of Turkey.
has for years supported the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the
fight against ISIS in Syria, as part of an international anti-extremist
coalition dominated by the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
on Wednesday Trump said he was ordering a withdrawal of the estimated 2,000 US
troops in Syria because ISIS had been defeated, an assessment rubbished by
35 tanks and other heavy weapons, carried aboard tank carriers, crossed the
Jarablos border crossing in the early evening,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of
the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.
headed for an area near the Sajour River, between Jarablos and Manbij, not far
from the front lines where Kurdish fighters of the Minbaj Military Council are
stationed,” he added.
accuses the YPG of being a “terrorist offshoot” of the outlawed Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK) which has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish
state since 1984.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday vowed to drive both the YPG and ISIS
fears a Kurdish state could be established on its borders, which it believes
could reinforce separatist ambitions of the Kurdish minority in Turkey.
Kurdish community accounts for 15 percent of Syria’s population and controls
around 30 percent of the country, as a federal region declared in 2016.
the past two years Turkey has conducted two offensives into northern Syria. In
2016 it launched an operation against ISIS, which also aimed to block the YPG
from joining up the territory it held in northern Syria.
McGurk, the US envoy to the global coalition fighting ISIS, has resigned in
protest to President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw US troops from
joins Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in an exodus of experienced national
11 days ago, McGurk had said it’d be “reckless” to consider IS defeated and
therefore would be unwise to bring American forces home. He decided to speed up
his plan to leave in mid-February.
resignation letter, submitted Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was
described to The Associated Press on Saturday by an official familiar with its
contents. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter before
the letter was released and spoke on condition of anonymity.
300,000 Syrian refugees have returned home since two Turkish military
operations in the war-ravaged nation, the Turkish interior minister said
Saturday after Ankara warned yet another offensive was being planned.
number of our Syrian brothers and sisters who have returned to their country is
291,790” since the first two operations took place, Suleyman Soylu said during
a speech in the northwestern province of Edirne.
August 2016, Ankara supported Syrian opposition fighters who regained territory
in northern Syria from ISIS in an operation dubbed “Euphrates Shield”.
January and March 2017, rebels backed by Turkish forces seized the northwestern
enclave of Afrin from a US-backed Kurdish militia viewed by Ankara as
“terrorists” linked to Kurdish insurgents inside Turkey.
week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened a new operation against
Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in northern Syria within a “few
after US counterpart Donald Trump decided this week to withdraw 2,000 US troops
from Syria, Erdogan said that action against the YPG and IS would take place “in
the coming months”.
hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, including 3.5 million
Syrians who fled there since the civil war broke out in 2011, and up to 300,000
has also faced a higher number of Afghans coming into the country illegally
this year. Soylu said that to date, 96,000 Afghans had arrived in Turkey, of
which 30,000 were sent back.
French official says his country has pledged backing for the so-called Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed anti-Damascus alliance of mainly Kurdish
militants, amid the planned withdrawal of American troops from the Arab
Elysee Palace official said that advisers to French President Emmanuel Macron
had assured SDF of their support in a meeting with the group's figures,
including co-chairs Ilham Ahmed and Riad Darrar, in Paris on Friday.
advisers passed on a message of support and solidarity and explained to them
the talks France had with US authorities to continue the fight against
Daesh," the official added.
remarks came two days after President Donald Trump unexpectedly announced that
the US would be pulling all its 2,000 forces out of Syria. He also claimed
victory over the Daesh Takfiri terror outfit in the war-torn state.
France, a leading member of the US-led coalition, purportedly fighting Daesh in
Syria, said that it would keep troops in Syria.
now of course we remain in Syria," France's European Affairs Minister
Nathalie Loiseau said on CNews television, noting "the fight against
terrorism is not over."
the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Paris had started talks
with Washington on the timeframe and conditions for the US's Syria withdrawal.
Turkey, which has opposed American support for the SDF because it believes they
are the same group as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), stressed
that it would take over the fight against Daesh in Syria.
a speech in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would
mobilize to fight the remaining Daesh elements and temporarily delay plans to
attack Kurdish militants in Syria's northeast.
and Turkish officials told The Associated Press that Trump had made the
decision for the Syria pullout during the December 14 telephone conversation
Thursday, Turkish Defense Minister General Hulusi Akar warned that Kurdish
militants operating east of the Euphrates River would be "buried in the
ditches" they dig.
we have Manbij and the east of the Euphrates in front of us. We are working
intensively on this subject," he was quoted as saying by Anadolu news
now it is being said that some ditches, tunnels were dug in Manbij and to the
east of the Euphrates. They can dig tunnels or ditches if they want, they can
go underground if they want, when the time and place comes, they will buried in
the ditches they dug. No one should doubt this."
soothes Iraq concerns
another development on Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Iraqi
Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi that Washington would continue operations in
the Arab country despite the Syria exit.
US and its allies have conducted air raids on Syria’s eastern Dayr al-Zawr
province, killing more than two dozen people, including eight children.
so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the deadly strikes
hit the village of al-Sha'afa, situated on the eastern bank of the Euphrates
River, on Friday.
least 27 people were killed this morning in al-Sha'afa," SOHR head Rami
Abdel Rahman said, adding that several people were seriously injured in the
US-led coalition attacks.
further noted that eight children were among the civilian victims of the
and Hajin are the two main villages in the last pocket of territory still
occupied by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Dayr al-Zawr near the Iraqi
Syrian army managed to liberate Dayr Al-Zawr city from the grip of Daesh in
US and its allies have been bombarding what they call Daesh positions inside
Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus
government or a UN mandate.
aerial assaults have failed to fulfill their declared aim of countering
terrorism, but destroyed much of Syria's infrastructure and left many civilian
fresh US air raids came two days after President Donald Trump announced an
abrupt decision to pull out American troops from Syria after claiming victory
over Daesh there.
Pentagon also confirmed that it had started the process of withdrawing all
2,000 American troops from Syria
announcement, however, raised concerns among Washington's European and regional
allies, which have long been supporting a myriad of anti-Damascus militants.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had some harsh words for Turkey’s president
on Saturday, saying Recep Tayyip “Erdogan – the occupier of northern Cyprus,
whose army massacres women and children in Kurdish villages, inside and outside
Turkey – should not preach to Israel”.
Arab Coalition supporting legitimacy in Yemen has said that the Houthi militias
have violated the ongoing ceasefire in Hodeidah at least 14 times during the
past 24 hours.
violations included shooting with all types of weapons such as ballistic
missiles, mortar, RPG and Katyusha rockets,” a statement read.
Houthi terrorist militia continues to violate the ceasefire in Hodeidah. Those
violations took place on the areas of Hodeidah as well as the districts of Ad
Durayhimi, At Tuhayta, Hays,” it added.
Houthi violations have continued and are concurrent with the arrival of the
head of a UN mission monitoring a ceasefire in Yemen’s Hodeidah in Aden airport
Turkish prosecutor in Istanbul started an investigation against an advisor to
former Turkish President Abdullah Gul over charges of being a member of a
terrorist organization, T24 news site reported on Friday.
prosecutor did not give more information against the former advisor, Ahmet
Sever, T24 said.
outlet added that, three weeks ago, prosecutors have also filed four separate
lawsuits against Sever for his book about tensions inside the ruling Justice
and Development Party (AKP) titled “My testimony.”
said that Sever previously published another book titled “12 Years with
Abdullah Gul,” in which he covered the conflict between Gul and Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
says the US military presence in the region has been "wrong and a source
of tension” after President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw troops
from Syria and Afghanistan.
the start, the entry and presence of American forces in the region has been a
mistake, illogical and a source of tension and inflammation, and a main cause
of instability and insecurity," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi
a reversal from previously stated US policy, President Trump on Wednesday
ordered a “full” and “rapid” withdrawal of US troops from Syria as he vowed the
United States would no longer be the "policeman of the Middle East".
Friday, the US president was reported to have ordered the start of withdrawing
some 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, about half of the total number of American
boots on the ground in the war-torn country.
United States currently has around 2,000 forces deployed in Syria in two areas
along the Turkish and Iraqi borders.
Afghanistan, the US currently has a contingent of roughly 14,000 troops,
besides 16,000 NATO and allied forces.
detailed study of the history of the region's developments over the past
decades also shows that the presence of an external element under various
excuses in this sensitive and important area has had no result except tension,
insecurity, and escalation of differences,” Qassemi said.
US has repeatedly come under criticism from the regional governments for
targeting civilians and destroying their infrastructure.
troops have been deployed to Syria without the country’s consent and a UN
came under the US invasion in 2011 with the purported aim of toppling the
Taliban but the militant group is now stronger than even and engaged in peace
talks with the Americans.
In its take on Pakistan’s peace overtures to India, the army on Saturday showed
its support to resolve all issues with the neighbouring country on the table,
seeing new government’s utmost sincerity in taking the initiative that it said
should not be taken as its weakness.
resolve came from the top military command as Chief of the Army Staff (COAS)
General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his address to a passing-out parade also
called for “fight against hunger, disease and illiteracy, then to fight against
addressing the passing-out parade of 110th Midshipmen and 19th Short Service
Course at Naval Academy, the COAS touched upon key issues related to the
country’s defence and modern technology transforming the nature of warfare and
warned that the “unannounced war against us” was yet to be over.
is a peace-loving country and believes in peace within and peace without,” the
army chief said.
bring death, destruction and misery for the people. Ultimately, all issues are
resolved on the table through negotiations that is why we are trying very hard
to help bring a lasting peace in Afghanistan by supporting Afghan-led and
Afghan-owned peace plan. Similarly, our new government has extended a hand of
peace and friendship towards India with utmost sincerity but it should not be
taken as our weakness. Peace benefits everybody. It is time to fight against
hunger, disease and illiteracy, then to fight against each other.”
sharing his thoughts about relations with the neighbouring countries, Gen Bajwa
narrated the armed forces’ sacrifices to restore peace to the country and
warned the young naval personnel about the challenges ahead. “Please remember,
we are yet to get out from terrorism or sabotage phase of an unannounced war
against us that the subversion phase has also started,” he said.
the terrorists before, the protagonists of the new threats are, at times, our
own people. Mostly misguided by ambitions, blinded by hate, ethnicity or
religion or simply overawed by social media onslaught, some of our own boys and
girls readily fall victim to such dangerous or hostile narratives.”
response to such onslaughts or threats could not always be kinetic in nature,
he said, suggesting the armed forces to deal with them in cognitive domain by
producing or propagating a superior narrative. “But this can only happen if you
have developed the ability to handle unwarranted criticism with patience and
possess better intellectual skills to respond to such threats with logic and
reasoning. You will be required to lead your troops, who rank amongst the
finest in the world, into the battlefield with full zeal and confidence,” he
COAS highlighted the need for adopting technologies amid growing advancement in
science and technology, fast-changing faces of war threats and long-lasting
impact of modernisation. “Modern technology has transformed the nature of
warfare and has tilted the balance squarely, in favour of those nations that
have embraced the change readily,” he said.
Bajwa told the young navy men to keep themselves “abreast with the latest
developments in the field of science, technology and warfare. But frankly
speaking, even that will not be sufficient as the ever-increasing threat of
hybrid war, to which we are subjected to, will need a totally new approach and
change of traditional mindset.
you have to prepare and enable yourself to read the environment, gauge the
enemies’ latest moves and be ready to respond, even when a surgical strike
exists only in cognitive domain or media or even when the attack comes, not in
the battlefield but in cyber space, or against country’s ideological
being freed of blasphemy charges, Asia Bibi to spend Christmas in custody
Christian Asia Bibi will celebrate Christmas under guard, despite being cleared
of the blasphemy charges that kept her in jail since 2010.
-- a former labourer who was on death row for eight years -- remains a prime
target in conservative Muslim-majority Pakistan, with extremists calling for
her blood and the government refusing to reveal her location out of fear for
too dangerous... People want to kill her,” said Yousaf Hadayat, a resident from
one of Islamabad’s impoverished Christian ghettos, littered this week by a
smattering of Santa hats and Christmas trees.
this Christmas, like many before it, will be tight with the government set to
deploy armed forces to the Christian colonies.
say they feel more uneasy than ever during the religious holiday while Bibi’s
fate continues to loom large.
afraid,” said Pastor Munawar Inayat at Holy of Holies Church in Islamabad. “We
can’t speak against anyone.”
Supreme Court overturned Bibi’s death sentence for blasphemy in October, and she
has legally been a free woman ever since.
the ruling ignited days of violent demonstrations that paralysed large swathes
of the country, with enraged Islamists calling for her beheading, mutiny within
the powerful military and the assassination of the country’s top judges.
government has since launched a crackdown on the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan
(TLP) party -- the Islamist group driving the violent protests -- charging its
leaders with sedition and terrorism.
authorities also struck a deal with the protesters to end the violence, forming
an agreement which included allowing a final review of the Supreme Court’s
who is seeking asylum abroad, is believed to be in protective custody inside
Pakistan as the review continues.
there is no clear timeline for when it will be completed.
government spokesman refused to comment on its status, saying only that the
matter is with the court.
Fasi Zaka warned that the longer Bibi remains in limbo, the greater the danger.
“For some elements if they don’t have access to Asia Bibi they’ll find
stand-ins for their vengeance,” he told AFP.
‘Lightning rod’ -
continues to be a massively inflammatory issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan,
where even unproven accusations of insulting Islam can spark lynchings.
cases see Muslims accusing Muslims. But rights activists have warned that
minorities -- particularly Christians -- are often caught in the crossfire,
with blasphemy charges used to settle personal scores.
is a lighting rod issue that affects a whole community,” said Zaka.
allegations against Bibi date back to 2009, when a fight erupted between her
and fellow Muslim labourers, who later accused Bibi of blasphemy. She was
convicted under Pakistan’s controversial anti-blasphemy laws and in 2010
sentenced to death.
her acquittal speculation has been rife that an asylum deal with a European or
North American country may be in the works.
residents of the 100 Quarters Colony in Islamabad cautioned against Bibi’s
release, saying her safety would only be guaranteed once she was granted asylum
in a foreign country.
no. She cannot stay,” said resident Hadayat.
campaign worker Shahnaz Arif argued against Bibi’s ongoing custody. “We should
get the same freedom that others enjoy,” she said.
so she admitted she was afraid, citing Pakistan’s long history of political
assassinations, including some over blasphemy.
is not enough security for our leaders -- we are just poor citizens,” she
-- who make up around two percent of the population -- occupy one of the lowest
rungs in class-obsessed Pakistani society, largely living in slums and working
menial jobs as street sweepers, cleaners and cooks.
tension comes as Washington added Pakistan this month to a blacklist of
countries that it says wantonly violate religious freedom, citing the country’s
high number of blasphemy convictions and failure to hold perpetrators targeting
religious minorities to account.
later dismissed the US move as politically motivated.
in the 100 Quarters Colony, residents said their thoughts were with a mother
who has already spent many Christmases in solitary confinement.
is celebrated with near and dear ones, and not in custody,” said Christmas
decoration seller Amjab Burgkat.
camps: Why Pakistan is silent about plight of fellow Muslims in China
Hundreds of Muslims held a rally outside the Chinese embassy in the Indonesian
capital, Jakarta, on Friday to protest against the treatment of members of the
mostly Muslim ethnic Uighur minority in China's far western Xinjiang region.
to 1 million ethnic Muslims in China's Xinjiang region are estimated to be
detained in camps where they are subjected to political indoctrination and
pressured to give up their religion.
United Nations called for the immediate release of those detained on the
"pretext of countering terrorism".
says Xinjiang faces a threat from Islamist militants and separatists. It
rejects all accusations of mistreatment and denies mass internment, although
Chinese officials have said some citizens guilty of minor offences were being
sent to vocational centres to work.
worries that Uighurs, who speak a Turkic language, have gone to places like
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq to fight for militants.
describes the sites as vocational centers and says the trainees work
Pakistan defends China over detention camps A day before Indonesian protests,
Pakistan defended China against a growing outcry over Muslims who are being
detained by Chinese authorities, saying the issue was being
"sensationalised" by foreign media.
faction of foreign media are trying to sensationalise the matter by spreading
false information," Mohammad Faisal, spokesman for Pakistans ministry of
foreign affairs, told reporters at a weekly press briefing in Islamabad on
often rally loudly in defense of Islam and Muslims whenever they are perceived
offended around the world — most recently over cartoons depicting the Prophet
Muhammad. In 1989, protests spread from Pakistan elsewhere, leading to the fatwa
by Iran's Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini against author Salman Rushdie for his
depiction of Islam in his book Satanic Verses.
political and economic factors, including concerns about losing out on vast
Chinese investments, have kept Pakistan and other Muslim countries silent about
the plight in China of fellow Muslims, the Uighurs.
hard interests will always carry the day" in international relations, said
Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Washington-based
Muslim world's deafening silence about China's treatment of Muslims can be
attributed to its strong interest in maintaining close relations with the
world's next superpower," he added.
is financing major development projects in cash-strapped Pakistan. Islamabad
says the $75 billion development project known as the China-Pakistan Economic
Corridor — part of an effort to reconstruct the historic Silk Road linking
China to all corners of Asia — will bring new prosperity to Pakistan, where the
average citizen lives on just $125 a month.
Hussain, chairman of Pakistan's Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, said the
cardinal principle of Pakistan-China relations is to refrain from commenting on
anything to do with the other's domestic issues.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said he will "show"
the Narendra Modi government "how to treat minorities", amidst a controversy
over Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah's remarks on mob violence in India.
finds himself at the centre of a major controversy over his remarks on the
spate of mob lynching cases in India following the killing of a policeman in
Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district earlier this month.
an event to highlight the 100-day achievements of the Punjab government in
Lahore, Khan asserted that his government is taking steps to ensure that
religious minorities in Pakistan get their due rights, which was also a vision
of the country's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
said his government will make it sure that the minorities feel safe, protected
and have equal rights in 'New Pakistan'.
will show the Modi government how to treat minorities...Even in India, people
are saying that minorities are not being treated as equal citizens," he
said referring to Shah's statement.
a video interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat India, the veteran actor said the
death of a cow was being given importance over killing of a policeman in India.
said the "poison has already spread" and it will be now difficult to
will be very difficult to capture this djinn back into the bottle again. There
is complete impunity for those who take law into their own hands...I feel
anxious for my children because tomorrow if a mob surrounds them and asks, 'Are
you a Hindu or a Muslim?' they will have no answer. It worries me that I don't
see the situation improving anytime soon," Shah added.
Pakistani premier said if justice is not given to the weak then it will only
lead to uprising.
an example, he said, "The people of East Pakistan were not given their
rights which was the main reason behind the creation of Bangladesh."
Torn between preventing Pakistan from going nuclear and fighting the Soviets in
Afghanistan, the United States appears to have decided that pushing the
Russians out of Kabul was more important, shows a set of documents released by
the US State Department.
US memos and letter — released under an arrangement to make public official
documents after 30 years — show that Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (in office
from 1978 to 1989) also played a key role in convincing Washington to continue
to support Islamabad despite its nuclear programme.
History of US-Pakistan relations
confidential State Department report, dated Aug 20, 1984, shows that by 1984
Washington knew Islamabad had acquired the capability to build nuclear weapons.
public and private assurances by President Zia (ul Haq) that Pakistan has
neither the intention, means, nor capability to acquire nuclear explosives, we
have extensive and convincing intelligence that the Pakistanis are pressing
forward to perfect the design of a nuclear weapon, fabricate nuclear weapon
components, and acquire the necessary nuclear material for such a device,” the
progress in Pakistan’s uranium enrichment programme may … soon create a
situation in which we could not rule out the possibility that Pakistan was
taking all of the steps required to assemble a nuclear device, or even to
stockpile nuclear weapons.”
document notes that the development forced Washington to make “a stark choice”
between: (1) Acquiescing in Pakistan’s nuclear activities and thus incurring
almost certain Congressional action against US security assistance to Pakistan,
the possibility of an Indian pre-emptive strike against the Pakistani nuclear
facilities, and seriously undermining the credibility of US global
non-proliferation policy. (2) Terminating the US-Pakistan security
relationship, thereby imperilling the Afghan resistance to Soviet occupation,
doing grave and long-term harm to US political and security interests in
Southwest Asia and with China, and convincing Pakistan it had nothing further
to lose by building nuclear weapons or even conducting a nuclear test.
outcome would constitute a serious foreign policy defeat,” the report warns.
notes that Washington concluded a $3.2 billion, six-year security and
development assistance package with Pakistan to obtain its restraint in the
nuclear area. Washington also hoped that a security relationship with the US
would “eventually convince Pakistan, that it could forego a nuclear weapons option”.
documents show that Deng Xiaoping not only convinced Washington to tolerate
Pakistan’s nuclear programme but also persuaded it to start giving more
military and financial aid to Islamabad.
worked closely with Zia to convince the then Jimmy Carter administration that
India under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi would be pro-Soviet.
are limits on our ability to aid Pakistan because of their nuclear explosive
programme. Although we still object to their doing so, we will now set that
aside for the time being, to facilitate strengthening Pakistan against
potential Soviet action,” the then US Defence Secretary Harold Brown said in a
Jan 8, 1980 meeting with Deng.
documents show that the Chinese leader called this “a very good approach”, telling
Washington that “Pakistan has its own reasons for developing a nuclear
points out that India started the nuclear race in South Asia, causing Pakistan
to start its own programme.
has its own arguments, i.e., India has exploded a nuclear device but the world
has not seemed to complain about this,” Deng told Brown.
now you have decided to put this aside and solve the question of military and
economic aid to Pakistan. We applaud this decision,” said Deng.
also convinced the US not to equate India and Pakistan when it comes to giving
may recall that I raised the question of aid to Pakistan with President Carter.
He said the US will give aid in proportion to the population of the two
countries. I said this was not feasible.”
explained to Brown why he thought it was a bad idea.
of each other
Pakistanis and Indians are afraid of each other. If the population ratio
formula should be used, Pakistan will be in an increasingly inferior position.
We hope that since the United States decided to give aid to Pakistan, it will
really satisfy Pakistan’s requirements. We hope your aid to Pakistan will not
be affected too much by India’s reaction,” he said.
regard to question of South Asia, there is no other way except giving aid to
Pakistan. It has always been our view that the US policy giving more attention
to India than Pakistan is not an appropriate policy.”
argues that India was not a stabilising factor. Perhaps you already know the
general election results,” he said. The elections brought Indira Gandhi to
after Pakistan has been strengthened, India will become a more stabilising
factor. What one should try to achieve is to make Pakistan a genuine
stabilising factor in South Asia,” he argued.
the United States to “give earnest and sincere thought” to this question,” Deng
says, “If one does not keep this clear in one’s mind, then one’s attitude
toward India will make one vacillate in one’s position toward Pakistan.”
notes that in the past the US had refrained from, perhaps under Indian
influence. “Since you now have decided to aid Pakistan, I am sure India will
send you one note after another, strongly objecting,” he added.
memo of a Jan 14, 1980, meeting between Zia and the then US ambassador to
Pakistan, shows the general urging Washington to ignore its nuclear programme
because Pakistan was playing a key role in the Afghan war.
Carter’s statement of Jan 4 “gives impression that nuclear issue need not be an
obstacle, and Pakistan needs to know precisely what America proposes to do to
help Pakistan,” Zia was quoted as saying in a readout of the meeting.
The government is committed to providing the industry an enabling environment
for wealth creation to progress, reduce the current account deficit (CAD),
alleviate poverty and add to respect of the country in comity of nations, Prime
Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday.
the members of business community at the office of Pakistan Textile Mills
Association (Aptma), the prime minister said his commitment to improving industry
in Pakistan is two pronged: it can generate wealth and reduce CAD which is
hurting the economy.
somehow, developed a mindset in the 70s that all wealth creation is a bad thing
and it still persists in the bureaucratic and political circles, hindering
growth. We tend to confuse profit making and profiteering. The former is
legitimate and later is bad. Two big leaders – Mahatir Muhammad of Malaysia and
Sheikh Muhammad of the UAE – told me the same thing: let people make money and
the country would grow. The Chinese, who had taken 700 million people out of
poverty in three decades, also praised virtues of wealth creation in their
numerous presentations to us. That is what the PTI government now wants,” he
told his audience.
this, the government would ensure that the industry stays competitive in the
world. If industry in other countries gets subsidised gas and electricity, so
would the industry in Pakistan. If it is facing rebates and refunds issues,
that would be solved. The government is currently facing some fiscal crunch and
may not be able to solve all these issues in one go. However, it stays
committed to solve all these problems for the industry,” PM Khan assured the
world sees Pakistan and its potential differently. They see 220 million people
as wealth and also know that once Pakistan is able to improve its governance
system, it has immense potential. For that potential, friends are ready to help
us, and they doing as well. But such financial help should, and can, only be a
one-time activity because it fringes upon our sovereignty. Luckily, there are
no strings attached to the money received by Pakistan because it came from
friends: it rather helped Pakistan improve its image by being cast into a role
of a peacemaker. Recently, we helped the USA by arranging a historic meeting
with Taliban. It has helped in Saudi-Yemen crisis and now plans to concentrate
on Saudi-Iranian troubled relations. It was only because of friends, otherwise
seeking such financial aid is a bad omen for a country. That is where PTI
government needs help of the industry,” he said.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday welcomed US President Donald
Trump’s decision regarding the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and
reiterated Pakistan’s desire for peace in the region.
to journalists, the foreign minister said the decision [of US troops
withdrawal] will help further the ongoing peace talks being held in UAE between
the Afghan Taliban and the US.
US has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan working either with a NATO mission to
support Afghan forces or in separate counter-terrorism operations.
Wall Street Journal reported that more than 7,000 troops would be returning
said Pakistan has also released some [Afghan Taliban] prisoners so that “an
enabling environment” conducive to the talks can be created.
asserted that Pakistan will continue to play whatever role it can play to
support the Afghan peace process.
the worsening of the situation in occupied Kashmir, the foreign minister said
Pakistan had raised the issue with the United Nations about the use of
excessive force by Indian troops and the violation of human rights in the
days ago, Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to the UN secretary general and urged
him to play his role and investigate the matter,” said Qureshi.
was a growing sense of alienation among the people [of Kashmir] and things were
not getting any easier, he added.
achieving success was possible with the use of force, it would have been
attained by now. But the use of force [by India] is only worsening the
situation in occupied Kashmir,” he maintained.
foreign minister dismissed the idea that talks were underway to secure the
release of Dr Shakeel Afridi in exchange for Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
asked to express his views regarding the fact that Nawaz Sharif might celebrate
his birthday in jail, following the Supreme Court verdict due on Monday,
Qureshi said: “I am of the view that there is a legal process through which
they [the Sharifs] have presented their stance. They were given complete chance
[to defend themselves] in the Supreme Court, before the JIT, and then the
accountability court. Furthermore, their lawyers appeared before the court,
submitted all documentation, and arguments were presented.”
in Pakistan are increasing security measures to protect Christians attending
in the Punjab city of Lahore — where churches have been targeted by suicide
bombers in the past — have been assured by police they will be provided extra
security during Christmas.
Captain retd. Mustansir Feroz told church officials at a meeting in Lahore last
week that police are focusing on sensitive areas.
with patrols and search operations, we will do mock exercises at churches declared
sensitive and at entertainment parks," Feroz said.
said CCTV cameras were being installed at specific entrance points to monitor
any suspicious activity.
parking areas for people going to church will be at least 100 meters away from
the church itself," he said in describing other security precautions.
2015, fifteen people were killed and more than 70 injured when two Taliban
suicide bombers attacked churches during Sunday services in Lahore. Islamic
terrorists targeted Christians at a Lahore park during Easter, 2017. At least
72 people were killed in the bomb attack.
than 1,500 police will be deployed in the twin cities of Islamabad-Rawalpindi
also in northern Punjab to provide extra security for Christians during the
Qaisar Feroz, executive secretary of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops' Conference,
told ucanews.com that local Catholics appreciate police efforts during this
and New Year Prayer meetings attracts three times as many people than
usual," Father Feroz said. "My parish is preparing to host more than
1,000 people for Christmas Midnight Mass," he said.
Naveed, a Catholic and a member of the Sindh provincial assembly, is working
with government and police officials in the southeastern province to ensure
proper security arrangements are in place for Christmas.
the concerns of church leaders the police have organized training for young men
to serve as security officials during the Christmas prayer services,"
Naveed told ucanews.com.
a dozen killed in al-Shabab attacks in Somalia
al-Shabab militants have claimed two deadly attacks close to the presidential
palace in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
police officials said the first explosion took place at a checkpoint outside
Mogadishu’s national theater, some 500 meters from the president's heavily
fortified residence, sending a plume of smoke into air.
second blast, more powerful and described as “very big” by witnesses, came
minutes later at a nearby crossroads. At least 13 people were killed in the
first suicide car bomb at the checkpoint killed five people mostly security
soldiers. Four others were injured. Death toll may rise. It is too early to
have details of second blast," Major Mohamed Hussein told Reuters.
said a lawmaker, a deputy mayor of Mogadishu, and a colonel are among those
witness at the scene of the second blast said he saw at least two dead bodies,
with al-Shabab Takfiri terrorist group announcing that the attack was aimed at
targeting those who had responded to the first.
have confirmed seven people died in the two blasts and more than ten others
wounded," local police spokesman Ibrahim Mohamed said. "The security
forces have cordoned off the area and an investigation is ongoing."
London-based Universal TV said three of its staff were among the fatalities in
the Saturday twin blasts.
al-Qaeda-linked militant outfit, which has long sought to topple Somalia’s
Western-backed government, was forced out of Mogadishu by African Union forces
militants have stepped up their attacks in the past months, launching attacks
on civilian and government targets and killing and injuring many people.
terrorist group has fought successive Somali governments as well as neighboring
governments in Kenya and Uganda.
Union forces have helped Somali government forces push the Takfiri terrorists
out of the capital, Mogadishu, and large parts of the south and central
Somalia. However, al-Shabab continues deadly attacks across the country.
blast kills at least 16 near presidential palace
explosives-packed vehicle detonated at a military checkpoint near Somalia’s
presidential palace, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 20
others, police said. The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab extremist group, which
often targets Mogadishu, claimed responsibility for the attack.
killed include three staffers from the London-based Universal TV station,
including prominent journalist Awil Dahir Salad, said police Capt. Mohamed
Hussein, who gave the toll of dead and wounded.
bomber targeted the checkpoint near the rear entrance of the heavily fortified
palace, Hussein said. A lawmaker and a deputy mayor of Mogadishu were among
those wounded, he said.
also were among the dead, Col. Ahmed Mohamud said.
blast and a second, smaller one nearby appeared to target those heading to work
on what was a business day in the Horn of Africa nation.
plume of smoke rose over the capital as ambulances rushed to the scene.
first I saw a vehicle driving to and fro, then we tried to stop people walking
here and there, and then in the blink of an eye the vehicle exploded, causing
havoc,” traffic police officer Mohamed Harun told The Associated Press.
the most active Islamic extremist group in sub-Saharan Africa, was pushed out
of Mogadishu years ago but continues to control large parts of rural southern
and central Somalia.
A migrant group said Friday it had rescued nearly 300 migrants off the coast of
Libya over the previous 24 hours.
than 300 people safe on board the #OpenArms,” the Proactiva Open Arms
organization added that it had rescued people on board three vessels in
difficulty in a single day.
vessel started patrolling the Mediterranean with two other boats run by migrant
aid groups off the Libyan coast in late November.
area of the Mediterranean has been the most deadly for migrants attempting the
crossing to Europe.
than 1,300 migrants have perished trying to reach Italy or Malta since the
beginning of the year, according to the International Organization for
groups have been sending rescue vessels into these waters despite vocal
opposition from Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.
the groups of acting as a “taxi service” for migrants, he has denied them
access to the country’s ports. Malta too, has been increasingly unwilling to
host rescue vessels.
aid group meanwhile, Sea-Eye from Germany, announced Friday that one of its
vessels was setting off from the southern Spanish port of Algeciras.
18-strong crew includes former volunteers who were on board the Aquarius, a
rescue boat run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and SOS Mediterranee.
Nigerian Islamic newspaper rated Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan 'Global
Muslim Personality of 2018', praising the leader for standing up for the rights
of Muslims worldwide
Abubakar, the publisher of the Muslim News Nigeria, said the choice of Erdogan
as the winner of the Global Muslim Personality award was
"undisputable" going by the influence and power he wields - both
within the Muslim world and in the international community.
also has a large number of supporters among Nigerian Muslims, Abubakar added.
is famously referred to as the Amir-ul-Mu'mineen (the Leader of the Believers)
for his consistent advocacy for the voiceless and defenseless Muslims all over
the world, despite the campaign of calumny by distractors in the global
media," Abubakar said.
said Erdogan took the initiative and accused Israel of "willful
murder" of Palestinians despite the entire Muslim world kept silent.
same man has on several occasions called on the Muslim world to protect the
Rohingya and Uighur Muslims against the government of their countries in
Myanmar and China.
didn't just talk or shout to cover-up, he walked the talk by providing
humanitarian assistance for millions of oppressed Muslims," he added.
said the criteria for picking the winners include their overall positive
campaign on the rights of Muslims worldwide.
on Saturday spread to the western Sudanese city of Al-Rahad. Protesters set
fire to the headquarters of the ruling party while Sudanese authorities warned
protesters against resorting to violence and sabotage.
comes as the head of the Sudanese national security and intelligence service,
Salah Qosh, admitted the existence of harsh living circumstances suffered by
citizens, stressing the right of citizens to refuse, and express it, stating at
the same time that violence and vandalism will not be tolerated.
told reporters that the police used live ammunition agaionst the demonstrators
after they tried to enter the police headquarters. He also stressed that the
government will not lift subsidies on flour and fuel, while covering up the
crises that resulted from problems in management and distribution.
least one protester was killed in the northern Sudanese city of Atbara on
Friday, the security chief said, as people took to the streets across the
country for a third day against price rises and corruption.
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