Photo: In this file photo, Islamic religious
students take mid-term exams at Jamia Binoria, a seminary in Karachi, on Jan.
26, 2017. (AFP)
scholars question PM Khan’s plans to reform madrassas
Court stays Uttarakhand HC order barring fatwas
contemplate a civil war in France
military court sentences 17 people to death over church bombings
reverting to insurgency after losing ‘caliphate’
interior minister slams ‘media lies’ on ‘orders to kill Khashoggi’
forces arrest suspected members of Daesh funding network
Syrians rescued at sea off Lebanon, attempting to reach Cyprus
renews threat of another Syria incursion as Kurdish militia still in Manbij
Arabia’s firm stance on Palestinian issue highlighted
Charity Langar Aid Feeds Thousands Of War-Torn Refugees In Iraq And Syria
welcome US special envoy’s peace initiative
rally in Pakistan for death sentence for Christian
hails Pakistan’s achievements in war against terror
slams Pakistan for failing to plug terror funding
to review Chinese debt before decision on Pakistan’s loan request
polling stations categorised as ‘highly sensitive’ for Oct 14 by-polls
takes notice of alleged encroachment of land belonging to Sindh's Hindu
to construct cancer hospital in Quetta: Imran Khan
commends Pak’s security, counter-terrorism measures
militants killed in Kashmir this year
Orders Can be Issued For Triple Talaq, Then Why Not on Ram Temple, Asks Sena
shoot policeman dead in J&K's Baramulla
Mujahideen terrorist ignored appeals to return home'
against Rohingya should not be seen through prism of human rights: Rajnath
students face sedition charge after funeral prayer bid for militant killed in
Cooperation Organisation meet: No thaw in India-Pak freeze, Sushma Swaraj
underlines terror threat
court orders attachment of four properties of Zakir Naik
contemplate a civil war in France
refuses to take back British ISIS fighters detained in Syria
imam fired for anti-Saudi comments
a Muslim day’ hoaxer who also threatened Queen in hate spree faces jail
Sfeir: French-Lebanese scholar and writer who critiqued political Islam
trying to create ‘quasi-state’ in Syria: Russia
‘awaiting explanation’ from Iran on who ordered France bomb plot
forces kill six Palestinians during Gaza protests
using Iranophobia to sell American munitions to Arab states: Nasrallah
orders immediate halt to Gaza fuel deliveries
army advances in Saada, launches coordinated attacks on Houthis
Yemen Bahai figure disappears amid Houthi crackdown
militants, civilians suffer heavy casualties in a premature car bomb explosion
constituency: Long-standing coalitions might collapse in six-way fight for seat
are not the thin end of Islamic wedge
met with the SG of Islamic Military Counter-terrorism Coalition
intellectuals have failed in changing the Malay mindset
Alleged Leaders Of Banned Islamic Group Arrested In Tatarstan
has just made it legal to isolate its Uighur Muslim minority from society for
Teo Chee Hean, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli to lead delegations to Middle East
exhibition on the haj showcases Kampong Glam's past as centre for Muslim
insists on Oktoberfest ban, claims offensive to Muslims
camp slams Prabowo's 'Make Indonesia Great Again' slogan
soldiers killed, scores missing in latest Boko Haram invasion of Nigerian
FETO terror group afloat with German support
Muslim Mission holds maiden peace conference
minors released from armed group in Nigeria
Affiliate Reportedly Using Iran As Transit Point For Banned Exports
voices concern on human rights in S.Arabia
urges Turkey to release remaining detained Americans
senators: US-Saudi relationship ‘on the line’
of US cleric: Brunson to leave Turkey
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Kara Fox and Muhammad Darwish
Egyptian military court sentenced 17 people to death on Thursday over their
involvement in the 2016 and 2017 bombings of three churches and a police
checkpoint that killed more than 80 people, according to Ahram, an English
language news site affiliated with state run daily Al-Ahram.
others were sentenced to life in prison for the attacks, Ahram reported.
claimed responsibility for the April 2017 bombing of two Coptic Christian
churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria. At least 45 people were killed
in the strikes, which targeted the minority group on the first day of the
faith’s Holy Week leading up to Easter.
December 2016, another attack at a Coptic church in Cairo killed 25 people.
ISIS also claimed responsibility for that attack.
acknowledging the attacks were “utterly reprehensible,” human rights group
Amnesty International criticized the verdict of the “unfair military trial,”
saying it “will not deter further sectarian attacks.”
accused of involvement in these heinous crimes must be retried in a civilian
court in proceedings that comply with international human rights law and fair
trial standards,” Amnesty’s North Africa Campaigns Director Najia Bounaim said.
Christians face persecution and discrimination that has spiked since the toppling
of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in 2011.
churches and homes have been set on fire, members of the Coptic minority have
been physically attacked and their property has been looted, Amnesty
International reported last year.
is also little Christian representation in Egypt’s government.
Christians make up about 10% of Egypt’s 91 million residents. They base their
theology on the teachings of the apostle Mark, who introduced Christianity to
Egypt, according to St. Takla Church in Alexandria, the capital of Coptic
Upset over the previous governments’ lackadaisical attitude, Pakistan’s
religious scholars said that while Prime Minister Imran Khan shows promise in
making religious schools a part of the mainstream educational framework, it’s
unlikely his plans will be brought to fruition.
has repeatedly called for reforms in the education system to bring the
seminaries, also known as madrassas, in line with the modern education system.
week, during a meeting with the delegation of the
Ittehad-e-Tanzeemat-e-Madaris-e-Deeniya Pakistan, an alliance of religious
schools in the country, Khan had said that uniformity in the basic educational
system was imperative to work toward nation building. The delegation was headed
by Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman and comprised heads of all madrassa boards, while the
premier was accompanied by federal ministers of education, religious affairs
and a coterie of other officials.
Zafar, head of the Wafaqul Madaris Al Salfia — the board of religious
seminaries representing the Salafi school of thought — told Arab News that
Khan’s government and past leaders, including former Prime Ministers Nawaz
Sharif, Benazir Bhutto “were also sincere in their efforts to mainstream the
seminaries,” adding that the madrassas never opposed the plans either.
the bureaucracy, which hampers the process by raising objections to the key
demand of registration of the board,” Zafar said, adding that he feared Khan’s
plans would meet a similar fate.
Tauseen, former chairman of the Pakistan Madrassa Education Board, agrees that
when it comes to meeting the demands of clerics, specifically granting them the
status of official education boards, the bureaucracy has always raised various
objections, treating religious schools as unequal or as a hotbed for terrorism.
“Since they are educated through the modern system, they have a specific
mentality and consider the religious schools backward,” he said.
cognizance of the issues discussed, Khan said: “It was unjust to ignore the
contributions of madaris (seminaries) and associate them with terrorism.”
Hanif Jalandhari, chief of Wafaqul Madaris Al-Arabia Pakistan (the board of
Arabic religious seminaries of Pakistan), said that in the meeting with the
prime minister, it was decided that all measures agreed upon with the previous
governments would be implemented.
added that Khan had formed a committee comprising ministers of education and
religious affairs which, “after consultation with the madrassa leadership would
draft the recommendations”.
the limitations of including the seminaries in the mainstream educational
framework, Jalandhari said: “To us, the madaris are already mainstreamed as
they’re imparting Islamic education in a country, which was carved out of
(pre-partition) India for implementation of Islamic teachings. For the
government, however, the mainstreaming is that graduates of madrassas should be
able to work in other fields of life. For this, the madrassas will have to
start teaching English language, science, mathematics and social studies. In
return, the government will have to recognize our degrees.”
solution to the problem could be if “the basic education in schools and
madrassas is the same till grade 10,” he said, adding that: “The religious
seminaries should teach modern subjects whereas modern schools should
incorporate religious subject in their syllabus.”
said the timeline of efforts for mainstreaming madrassas dates backs to the
1970s when an educational commission headed by Air Marshal Noor Khan
recommended introducing modern subjects in religious seminaries.
1974, after the recommendations failed to see the light of day, all five boards
were accredited by the University Grant Commission of Pakistan, which accepted
the highest madrasa degree of “Shahadat Aalia” as equal to a Master of Arts
(MA), Tauseen said.
every government formed a commission in this regard but in vain. In 1999,
Mahmood Ahmed Ghazi recommended the establishment of a Pakistan Madrassa
Education Board, which was setup in 2001. This board was aimed at mainstreaming
the madrassas but all five boards rejected the proposal,” he said.
who took charge of the board in August 2014, said that it remained
dysfunctional for 11 years primarily due to the “adverse attitude of the Religious
of the madrassas in the mainstream became a part of the National Action Plan,
which was formulated in the aftermath of the December 2014 attack on the
Peshawar Army Public School. “Several meetings of different committees,
education ministry, National Anti-Terrorism Authority and Interior Ministry
were held and I, being head of the Pakistan Madrasa Board, was part of all of
them. Several recommendations were prepared; however, with a change of
government none were implemented,” he said.
a lack of coordination and understanding as the main reasons for the delay in
the implementation of plans, Tauseen suggested that madrassas should first have
the complete data on hand, which should be shared with the government, as the
first step toward mainstreaming. This could be followed up with the
introduction of a uniform syllabus in the second phase.
are three types of seminaries: Maktabs (schools for day scholars), madrassas
(seminaries with boarding and lodging) and darul uloom (seminaries for higher
studies). Together, they are responsible for more than 37,000 institutions,
with nearly 4 million students acquiring education from them.
said that around 30,000 madrassas are registered with the five boards representing
various schools of thought in Islam. Abdul Kabir Qazi, home secretary of the
Sindh province, said there are a total of 10,033 madrassas in Sindh out of
which 7,724 are operational while 2,309 were shut down after the geo-tagging
exercise. “We have registered all the seminaries in Sindh province,” Qazi told
Arab News. “All the madrassas in the province have been geo-tagged,” he added.
Ahmed Khan, former secretary of religious affairs, refutes the allegations and
instead blames the ‘inconsistency of policies’ of the succeeding governments
for hampering the development of the madrassas.
mainstreaming madrassas, modern disciplines should be taught and religious
education should be an additional focus,” the former secretary told Arab News.
a comparison with the religious seminaries in the UK, he said: “They are
accredited with the UK education boards on their terms and simultaneously to
their branches in Pakistan… they have accepted this mainstreaming happily.”
DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Uttarakhand HC direction barring
all religious outfits from issuing 'fatwas' and issued notice to the state government
on a plea challenging the validity of its order.
to hear the plea of Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind which challenged
the HC's August 30 order, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta
sought response from the state government.
HC, while declaring 'fatwas' unconstitutional and illegal, had passed the order
after taking cognisance of a media report of a panchayat issuing 'fatwa' for
banishing a rape survivor's family from a village in Roorkee district. "In
Uttarakhand, all religious bodies, statutory panchayats, and any other groups
of people are banned from issuing fatwas, since they infringe upon statutory
rights, fundamental rights, dignity, status, honour and obligation of
individuals," the high court had said.
the HC order, the petitioner contended that the order banning issuance of
'fatwa' by religious outfits was illegal and unsustainable as the issue had
been adjudicated by the SC in 2014 and legality of 'fatwa' upheld. It has said
that "only authorised and well qualified person is competent to issue
fatwa i.e. Darul Ifta (fatwa council) or Muftis are jurists qualified to give
authoritative opinion as per Shariat law known as fatwas."
candidate is conferred the degree of Mufti after he successfully completed the
comprehensive course in Islamic jurisprudence which takes 8 to 10 years, "
the petition said. It said a fatwa is only an opinion and not binding on the
court, state or individual. "The HC has erred in passing the impugned
order in haste only on the basis of the news item on same day without summoning
the officials concerned and without testing the veracity of the news item where
the word 'fatwa' is not printed but 'farman' of so-called panchayat is
printed," the petition said.
escalating violence in French media continues to worsen every day. I am surprised
that my fellow citizens are encouraging a possible civil war in France with
calmness and serenity, as if it were a normal scenario we should anticipate in
the short or long term. How can it be? How can French people and intellectuals
easily debate a "war against Islam" without feeling shame or sense
any trouble? Yes, we are used to reoccurring debates about the "war on
Islamic terror" and "assimilation problems" in French media, but
now journalists and politicians are coldly discussing a "war against
Islam" and a civil war. Their claim is explicit, straightforward and
unequivocal: Islam and Muslims as a whole are a national threat, and France
should tackle it.
Sept. 15, the polemicist Eric Zemmour warned France of a coming "civil war
against Islam and its French collaborators" on the public radio station
France Inter. On Sept. 27, journalists Zineb El Rhazoui and Jean-Claude Dassier
respectively claimed, "Women wearing headscarves belong to and manifest an
ideology of radical Islam that leads to terrorism" and "we are in
armed conflict against Islam," on the popular C News TV channel. On Oct.
3, former French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb claimed in his resignation
speech, "Today we live side-by-side … I am afraid that tomorrow we will
live face-to-face," portraying implicitly French Muslims and French
non-Muslims as enemies. The list is desperately long, and we could find many
more examples of such statements.
seems that for those French journalists and demagogues, any display of
affiliation to Islam, such as headscarves, halal food or prayers, constitutes a
rejection of French values, isolation from the rest of the society and finally,
a call for terror attacks. In other words, they intrinsically link the way of
life of millions of French Muslims with the terrible terror attacks that took
place in the last years in France. As a result, every Muslim has become the
target, the national enemy, the impure and the ones we should neutralize.
can we explain this dangerous semantic shift?
is true that a far-right minority has always attributed all French problems to
Arab or Muslim communities and advocated extreme solutions. Yet, open and
blatant hate speech toward Muslims has become the new norm in mainstream media.
One may argue that this semantic shift reflects the high degree of violence
submerging French society after every Daesh terror attack. For sure, no one may
euphemize the deep consequences of these terror attacks upon French society.
They led to more resentment among French people in general and stigmatization
of French Muslims in particular. On June 2018, French police even arrested 10
far-right members of a shadowy cell that plotted to attack Muslims, including
attacks on veiled women, imams, mosques and halal grocery stores.
we should also recognize that hate speech against Islam and Muslims has deeper
roots than Daesh attacks alone. There has been a structural approach to Islam
since the colonization that systematically refers to Islam as inferior,
barbaric and reactionary. We know for instance that French colonial authorities
organized human zoos as well as anti-headscarf campaigns in North African
colonies. Many sociological studies have already related the old French
colonial policy of Islam and the post-colonial dispositive toward North African
workers and families established in France. I mean, here a range of segregating
discourses materialized in law, urbanism and symbols that led to relegate
Muslim populations to subaltern jobs, to the city's suburbs, to limited social rights
and to poor civic participation.
hate speech can have terrible consequences
allusions to civil war not only represent the normalization of anti-Muslim
discourse but also the legitimization of hate attacks toward individuals. These
statements are irresponsible since similar rhetoric has led to mass
deportation, massacres and genocides in the past. Is this really the
alternative we want to oppose the Daesh threat? Is it not time to tackle French
challenges through rational deliberation and thoughtful speech? Is it not time
for all of us to be responsible?
a period of economic and social crisis, it has become very difficult to
advocate pragmatic and reasonable approaches. Yet, there are some facts no one
can deny. There are around 6 million Muslims in France, most of them born and
raised in the country; 6 million Muslims who work, study, vote and simply live
in France. We have no choice but to live together, whether we like it or not.
We have no choice but to find solutions to our common problems if we do not
want to face the worst-case scenario. It is simple: There is no other plan but
to renew respectful dialogue and common understanding; otherwise, we will be
condemned to watch our society sink into the bloody abyss of hatred, just a few
decades after the end of World War II and the Algerian War.
After being nearly defeated on the battlefields of its would-be caliphate,
Daesh has reverted to what it was before its spectacular conquests in 2014,
analysts say — a shadowy insurgent network that targets civilian populations
with guerrilla-style attacks and exploits state weaknesses to incite sectarian
Iraq and Syria, hardly a week goes by without the group staging an attack on a
town or village, keeping its opponents on edge even as it fights US-backed
forces advancing on the last remaining slice of territory under its control
near the countries’ shared border.
Al-Hashimi, a Daesh expert who advises the Iraqi government, said the group now
operates like it did in 2010, before its rise in Iraq, which culminated four
years later with the militants seizing one of Iraq’s biggest cities, Mosul, and
also claiming the city of Raqqa in Syria and declaring a “caliphate” across
large areas of both countries.
said the world’s most dangerous insurgent group is trying to prove that despite
losing its territorial hold, “it still has long arms to strike.”
it fends off attacks on its remaining pockets in Syria, a recent surge in false
claims of responsibility for attacks also signals that the group is struggling
to stay relevant after losing its proto-state and its dominance on the
international news agenda. The main figures behind the group’s once sleek
propaganda machine have mostly been killed. Raqqa fell a year ago this month,
and the group has lost all but 2 percent of the territory it held in Iraq and
are concerns, however, that while Daesh may never be able to recreate the kind
of territorial hold it once had, it is trying to latch on to new territory.
of the group’s deadliest attacks since the collapse of the supposed caliphate
came in late July, when dozens of masked Daesh fighters stormed the southern
city of Sweida and nearby villages inhabited by members of Syria’s Druze
minority, gunning down more than 200 people and kidnapping about 30, mostly
women and children.
ambush shook the community, which had stayed on the sidelines of Syria’s
seven-year civil war and took many by surprise, raising fears that as the
militants are on the retreat, they will try to regroup in remote pockets of
territory like this once quiet corner of the country.
month, Daesh fighters stormed the northern Iraqi village of Gharib, killing
three villagers and wounding nine after residents refused to collaborate with
them and give them supplies such as food and ammunition. Last week, Daesh
attacked the village of Saadiyeh, south of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul,
killing three and abducting one.
group regularly stages attacks in villages in the provinces of Diyala,
Salahuddin and Kirkuk and elsewhere, targeting local officials or police
because they work for the state.
military spokesman Big. Gen. Yahya Rasoul said this week that security forces
have begun a broad operation in the western province of Anbar that borders
Syria to take out Daesh sleeper cells.
warn that this could be the beginning of a new resurgence of the group similar
to the one that preceded their rise in 2010, after many thought the group’s
predecessor had been defeated during the US surge there in 2007.
Hassan, senior research fellow at George Washington University’s Program on
Extremism, wrote in a recent article that Daesh has been able to undergo an
orderly transition from caliphate to insurgency without fracturing.
month, US-backed Syrian fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces began a final
push to retake Hajjin, the last pocket held by Daesh on the eastern banks of
the Euphrates River near the Iraq border. They have had to advance slowly as
the extremists rely on mines, snipers fire and suicide attacks in defending
this week in the Syrian village of Sousah left more than two dozen fighters on
both sides dead as Daesh fighters took advantage of a sandstorm and bad
visibility to attack SDF positions.
not clear how many militants are still fighting with Daesh. A UN report
released in August said Daesh has up to 30,000 members distributed roughly
equally between Syria and Iraq, and said its global network increasingly poses
UN report said that despite the defeat of Daesh in Iraq and most of Syria, it
is likely that a reduced “covert version” of the militant group’s “core” will
survive in both countries, with significant affiliated supporters in
Afghanistan, Libya, Southeast Asia and West Africa.
Arabia’s Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz
affirmed on Saturday the kingdom’s condemnation and denunciation of false
accusations circulated in some media over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.
also stressed that what has been circulating about “orders to kill” Khashoggi
are “lies and baseless allegations against the Saudi government, which is
committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with
international laws and conventions,” according to Saudi Press Agency.
praised the cooperation with Turkish authorities through the Joint
Investigation Commission and other official channels, stressing it was important
that the media play a role in relaying facts, without affecting the
investigation and judicial proceedings.
Iraq: A joint task force of US coalition and Iraqi special forces has arrested
10 suspected members of a network that provided funding for Daesh in Baghdad
and the northern city of Irbil, the coalition said on Thursday.
task force conducted raids from Oct. 7-9 and arrested suspected members of the
Rawi financial network, which operated as a “financial facilitation group” for
the militants, the coalition said in a statement.
arrests deal a major blow to ISIS’ (Daesh) capacity to threaten and terrorize
civilians,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick B. Roberson, commander of Special Operation
Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve.
demonstrates that those who assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material
or technological support to ISIS will face severe consequences.”
declared victory over the militant group in December after retaking swathes of
territory it held but its fighters have since then waged a campaign of
kidnappings and killings.
an army officer was killed and three soldiers were captured in western Iraq
after militants attacked their vehicle, security sources said on Thursday.
attack took place late on Wednesday in the town of Akaz, 5 km from the Qaim
district of Anbar province. The unit was delivering food to other troops, the
sources told Reuters.
group has claimed responsibility for the attack but Daesh militants are active
in the area.
militants kill soldiers and take officers captive whom they view as higher
value targets, the sources said, but the reverse happened on Wednesday night.
least eight people were killed and 12 wounded in a suicide car-bomb attack on a
security checkpoint in the same area last August.
forces retook Qaim, which lies 300 km west of Baghdad in the Sunni province of
Anbar, on the border with Syria, in November. It was one of the last remaining
territories in Iraq held by Daesh.
group’s fighters have since then waged a campaign of killings and abductions.
another development, Iraq’s government has named Oil Minister Jabar Al-Luaibi
as head of a new National Oil Company which will serve as an umbrella
organization for state oil firms, an Oil Ministry spokesman told Reuters on
voted in March to establish the company, which is meant to manage Iraq’s
upstream operations, freeing up the ministry to set plans and strategies for
developing the sector.
decision was voted on unanimously in Cabinet last week, spokesman Asim Jihad
said. The positions of oil minister and National Oil Company chief are not
related, he added.
appointment decision was made for many reasons, including the experience Luaibi
has,” Jihad said. Luaibi will also remain as oil minister in Prime Minister
Haider Abadi’s outgoing government, he said.
President Barham Salih named former Oil Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi as prime
minister-designate earlier this month and tasked him with forming a new
government. It is unclear if Luaibi will remain after that.
issue of selection of a new minister is the responsibility of the prime
minister-designate. Anything is possible, we will wait and see,” said Jihad.
Lebanese navy and a UN force have rescued 32 Syrian refugees whose boat broke
down as they attempted to reach Cyprus, the navy said Friday.
United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, said it found the craft
on Thursday morning after receiving reports of a missing boat.
“small white boat”, carrying 19 men, six women and seven children, was stranded
at sea northwest of Beirut, it said.
boat was out of fuel and the passengers had been without food and water for
four days,” it said in a statement.
said Lebanese navy vessels arrived and transported the passengers to Beirut on
Lebanese military said 32 Syrians and a Lebanese citizen were aboard the craft,
and were attempting to reach the eastern Mediterranean island “illegally”.
United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR) has registered nearly one million Syrian
refugees in Lebanon.
representatives and government officials say the number is likely much higher,
since many Syrians who have fled to Lebanon are not officially registered with
the United Nations.
September, EU member Cyprus announced it was looking to broker a repatriation
agreement with Beirut because of an increased influx of migrants from Lebanon.
The Turkish president is suggesting that Turkey’s military could soon launch a
new operation across the border into northern Syria, in zones held by Syrian
Tayyip Erdogan’s statement is renewing a threat to expand Turkey’s military
operations into areas east of the Euphrates River held by US-backed Syrian
considers the Syrian Kurdish militia as terrorist and part of a Kurdish insurgency
says: “God willing, very soon ... we will leave the terror nests east of the
Euphrates in disarray.” He spoke on Friday at a military ceremony honoring
Turkish commando soldiers.
launched incursion into Syria in 2016 and 2018, into areas west of the
Euphrates, pushing Daesh militants as well as Syrian Kurdish fighters from the
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that the Kurdish YPG militia has
not left the northern Syrian town of Manbij, contrary to a US-Turkish
agreement, and Turkey will do what is necessary.
are now digging trenches in Manbij. What does this mean? It means ‘we’ve
prepared the graves, come and bury us’,” Erdogan said at a rally in southern
Turkey. “They said they would abandon the area in 90 days, but they haven’t. We
will do what is necessary.”
residents of Syria’s Afrin region say they are suffering a litany of abuses at
the hands of Turkish-backed fighters.
say the fear of harassment has kept them shuttered inside their homes since
Ankara and its Arab opposition allies overran the then overwhelmingly Kurdish
city in March after a two-month air and ground offensive.
testimonies, given under pseudonyms because of fear of retribution, paint a picture
of a chaotic city with little protection for civilians. “They robbed my son’s
house and didn’t leave a thing — not even the clothes,” says 55-year-old
own motorcycle and 20 gas canisters were seized by opposition fighters, who also
looted his family’s liquor store.
Turkish troops and pro-Ankara Arab fighters captured the city from the Kurdish
People’s Protection Units (YPG), the UN and human rights groups, including
Amnesty International, have documented widespread abuses.
of the enclave’s 320,000 residents fled, according to a recent report by the UN
Commission of Inquiry, and most are unable to return.
who have often found their homes occupied by fighters or by Arab civilians
displaced from other parts of Syria, the UN said.
returned to homes “stripped of furniture, electrical appliances and all decor,”
in large-scale looting.
and his family fled the fighting but came back recently to scenes of
devastation with their property looted and their hometown barely recognizable.
“When we came back, not even our tractor was left,” he said. “They don’t even
let us sleep at night, with all the shooting.”
has denied allegations of abuses, and fighters say proven offenders are
residents say not enough is done to curb violations. And it is not only Kurds
who have fallen victim to the lawlessness.
an Arab student in Afrin, says she has been permanently scarred by her father’s
brutal killing by armed men trying to steal their family car. “The first time
they tried, my father kicked them out of the house. They came back a second
time for revenge and killed him,” she recounts. Fighters investigated, but “the
killer went to jail for just one month,” she said.
The UN’s World Food Program is preparing for a vast new wave of refugees likely
to flee to Turkey if a looming conflict breaks out in Syria’s flash point Idlib
region, WFP Executive Director David Beasley said Friday.
said the agency is “pre-positioning rations for short term, middle range, along
the Turkish border.”
Saudi Arabia’s Education Minister Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa highlighted
the remarkable development and achievements of the Islamic Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization, as he led his country’s delegation at the
organization’s 13th General Conference in Morocco on Oct. 11 and 12.
added that its performance and successes have strengthened its position and
helped to support joint Islamic action, and that it will continue to develop
and posper with the support of member states.
initiatives and projects, in its current and future plans, are one of the
cornerstones of creating a bright and prosperous future for the Islamic world,”
Al-Issa said, affirming the importance of the ongoing efforts to support the
Palestinian people against Israeli aggression. He also stressed Saudi Arabia’s
firm stance on the Palestinian issue and its importance to the Muslim world.
Salman clarified, during the Arab Summit held recently in Saudi Arabia, that
the Palestinian cause is our first issue and will remain so until the
Palestinian people have all their legitimate rights,” he said, highlighting the
Kingdom’s $50 million donation to the Islamic Waqf Support Program in Al-Quds,
and a $150 million donation to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
emphasized the right of Palestinian children and youths to education, which he
said is a humane and legitimate right, noting that skills are increasingly
becoming the basis for the labor market.
Sikh charity is setting up bakeries to feed thousands of hungry refugees in the
war-torn regions surrounding Syria and Iraq.
Aid – an extension of the UK-based NGO Khalsa Aid – has provided free bread and
water to those fleeing the conflicts from a base in northern Iraq since the
start of the year.
set up a bakery in the Pesh Harbour area around 35km from the Kurdish city of
Duhok and 10kms from the Syrian border, which continues to operate today.
charity will send a fact-finding mission back to Iraq next week with a mind to
open a further bakery even closer to the Syrian border in the coming months.
idea was borne because fighters from Islamic State (IS) also know as ISIS or
ISIL, were destroying food coming in for Yazidi refugees.
is the term used in Sikhism for a common canteen or kitchen where food is
served to all visitors for free.
BBC explains: “There are no rituals observed and in the langar everyone eats
together. All the food is vegetarian so that no religious group is offended.
Nanak Dev Ji established the langar because he rejected the Hindu caste system
where people of different castes do not eat together.”
and staff with the charity face challenges however.
Aid CEO Ravinder Singh Sidhu told Huffington Post UK he is often mistaken for
an IS militant because of his turban and beard.
explained he wears bright coloured clothing and turbans to distinguish himself
from members of the terror groups, who favour black.
added: “I have to be careful about how people perceive me. Sadly our turbans
and beards are being hijacked by IS and Al Qaeda.”
to IBTimes, he said: “We provided food and aid to many Assyrian Christians in
Erbil and to Yazidis in the Kurdish region near the Syria border, both of whom
had been persecuted by IS.
would show us photos of girls who were abducted by IS and family members who
were killed. We heard very raw, emotional tales of suffering.”
Afghan Taliban will respond positively to suggestion by top American peace
envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, about the formation of a team for talks with the
United Sates, Taliban leader Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim said on Friday.
US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, had urged the Taliban
and the Afghan government to form an authorised team of negotiators for peace
talks during his visit to Kabul this week.
High Peace Council (HPC), responsible for peace process, says it will form
inclusive negotiating team, according to reports.
who once headed the Taliban political committee, argues that the Taliban are
likely to include senior officials and members from the powerful leadership
council in the negotiation team for formal talks with the US.
US and Taliban officials met in Qatar in July and had agreed to continue the
process. Khalilzad is likely to oversee the dialogue process with the Taliban.
the US has now opened direct meetings with the Taliban to find out a political
solution to the Afghan conflict and Khalilzad has suggested the Taliban and the
Afghan government to form teams for dialogue, the Taliban will also form a team
as they also favour political solution,” Mutasim told Daily Times from Kabul.
who had been a close confidant of Mullah Omar, added: “The Taliban’s real
problem is with the Americans and that is the presence of foreign forces. The
Taliban give top priority to this issue. They also want removal of the names of
their leaders from the sanctions list and this is also related to the Americans
as the Kabul administration has no powers in these issues.”
went on to say that the Taliban had not started this war rather it was imposed
on them. “If the US intends to end the war, I am confident both (US and
Taliban) can reach an understanding to end the conflict in direct talks,”
if the Afghan government would endorse the Taliban-US direct talks, the Taliban
leader said all Afghans wanted to put an end to the war.
political leaders, former Mujahideen leaders, political parties, elders and the
public are eager to see peace and they will support any deal between the
Taliban and the US,” he said.
asked about the reports that the Afghan officials have met the Taliban leaders
in Saudi Arabia over security of the upcoming parliamentary elections, he said
that the reports were false. “Taliban have respect for Saudi Arabia and
recognise the kingdom’s role and if there are talks in Saudi Arabia that will
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Khalilzad in Riyadh and
reviewed bilateral relations between the two friendly countries as well as
efforts exerted on the Afghan arena,” Saudi Press Agency reported.
meeting was attended by a number of officials, including Saudi Foreign Minister
US envoy, who earlier held talks in Islamabad on his peace mission this week,
is on his first visit to five countries to explore options for political
solution to the problem.
a question about the Taliban contacts with Russia and Iran, Mutasim did not
rule out Taliban contacts with both countries but said that the “US-imposed war
had forced the Taliban to develop relations with all those who are anti-US”.
think Taliban neither have friendship with Russia and Iran nor they want but
options are open to establish contacts with any country,” he said.
Oct 12 (AP) Hundreds of supporters from an extremist Islamist party have
rallied in the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore to pressure judges to uphold a
death sentence for a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy.
Bibi has been on death row since 2010 after she was convicted of insulting
Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
“Hang infidel Asia,” activists from the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party also rallied in
other cities Friday, threatening nationwide protests if authorities free the
Supreme Court earlier this week postponed ruling on her final appeal and her
lawyers are hopeful of an acquittal arguing she was falsely accused.
has angered Islamists who want her to be publicly hanged.
United Kingdom (UK) has acknowledged Pakistan’s achievements in the ongoing war
against terrorism as well as its efforts towards regional peace and stability.
leadership was unanimous in acknowledging Pakistan’s extraordinary achievements
in counter terrorism and commended the improved security situation in Pakistan
and its positive efforts towards regional peace and stability,” according to a
press statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) following
the meetings of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa with senior
military officials in London.
his visit to UK, General Bajwa met Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Sir
Nicholson Carter. The meeting was followed by delegation-level talks on
security environment and bilateral cooperation. Later, the COAS called on
Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson, Prime Minister’s Special
Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Gareth Bayley and National Security
Adviser Mark Sedwill.
impressed with Pakistan’s efforts to combat terror financing, a delegation of
the Financial Action Task Force has asked it to do more to strengthen its legal
framework to avoid being blacklisted by the watchdog, a media report said on
Thursday. Dawn reported that FATF’s Asia Pacific Group delegation was not
impressed with the progress made by Pakistan so far as it found the legal
framework insufficient, and the institutional arrangements weak.
The United States said that it will examine closely Pakistan request for a loan
from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), adding that “part of the reason
that Pakistan found itself in this situation is Chinese debt”.
at a Thursday news briefing how would the United States deal with Pakistan’s
request, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said: “In all cases, we
examine that closely from all angles of it, including Pakistan’s debt position,
in evaluating any type of loan programme”.
Nauert also blamed Pakistan’s loan arrangement with China for the country’s
think part of the reason that Pakistan found itself in this situation is
Chinese debt and the fact that there is debt that governments have incurred that
they maybe thought wouldn’t be so tough to bail themselves out of, but has
become increasingly tough,” she said.
Tuesday, IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld urged Pakistan to review the
loans it was receiving from China and avoid “excessive debts which cannot be
a bipartisan group of 16 US senators claimed in a joint statement that China’s
Belt and Road Initiative, which also funds projects in Pakistan, was a
debt-trap. The recipients often found themselves deeply in debt to China and
were forced to make painful concessions, they warned.
an interview to a US television network CNBC in July, Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo said that the United States would not allow Pakistan to use the US
taxpayers’ dollars to repay China.
no mistake: We will be watching what the IMF does,” he said.
officials reject this argument, pointing out that their indebtedness to China
is much smaller than imagined.
an official statement issued in August, Islamabad pointed out that “China
stepped forward to support Pakistan’s development at a time when foreign
investment had dried up and economic activity was being crippled by energy
shortages and infrastructure gaps”.
United States is the largest contributor to the IMF and has 17.68 per cent of
voting rights in major decisions. China is third, behind Japan, and controls
6.49 per cent of the vote.
As many as 1,727 polling stations out of the total 7,489, set up for by-polls
being held in 35 constituencies of national and provincial assemblies on
Sunday, have been categorised as ‘highly sensitive’.
to details shared by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 848 out of
total 5,193 polling stations in Punjab, 544 of total 1,555 in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 201 of total 544 in Sindh and 134 of total 197 in Balochistan
have been classified as ‘highly sensitive’
proportion of most sensitive polling stations is highest in Balochistan (68.02
per cent), followed by KP (34.98pc), Sindh (20.20pc) and Punjab (16.32pc).
official of the ECP said that security cameras had been installed at all the
sensitive polling stations which would be guarded by army troops. He said
deployment of troops was started on Friday and that the troops would remain
deployed there till Oct 15, a day after the polling.
designated in-charges of army personnel deployed in and outside the polling
stations will enjoy the powers of a magistrate first class during the entire
period of their deployment and will be empowered to summarily try those found
involved in impersonation, capturing of polling stations or violation of other
relevant provisions of the law.
returning officers and returning officers for the by-elections have also been
given powers of magistrate first class.
the total 11 National Assembly’s constituencies for which by-polls will be
held, nine are in Punjab and one each in Sindh and KP.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s candidates have already been elected unopposed from
Punjab Assembly’s constituencies PP-87 (Mianwali) and PP-296 (Rajanpur),
by-polls will now be held for 24 provincial assemblies’ constituencies — 11 in
Punjab, two in Sindh, nine in KP and two in Balochistan.
of these seats had been vacated by those who were elected on more than one seat
in the July general elections. Among them was also Prime Minister Imran Khan
who won elections from all the five NA constituencies he contested.
Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar took a suo motu notice of
"alleged illegal encroachments" on properties owned by the Hindu
community in Sindh, DawnNewsTV reported on Friday.
notification issued by the Supreme Court (SC) Registrar's office today stated
that the CJP had taken notice of the issue on a video released by Bhagwan Devi,
a retired professor, in which she claimed that the Hindu community in Sindh was
the victim of "the worst lawlessness and mismanagement".
the video, that came to light last week, she said that the land mafia was
taking over properties owned by Hindus in Sindh, especially Larkana, on the
basis of "false power of attorney". Devi added that affected members
of the community were also being threatened into silence.
Hindus of Larkana have sold their properties and are ready to leave [the
country]," she regretted, adding that many have already left.
also claimed that a "situation similar to that of Native Americans was
being created for the local Hindus". She accused Sindhi nationalists and
the authorities for remaining silent.
said that she had been protesting before the Larkana Press Club for the past 15
days with husband Bhagwan Das, a paediatrician and a professor. She appealed to
the "CJP and 205 countries" to take notice of the Hindu community's
Prime Minister Imran Khan says the government will construct a cancer hospital
in Quetta in collaboration with the Pakistan Army.
to a group of students from Balochistan that called on him in Islamabad on
Friday, the Prime Minister said that like other parts of the country, an
effective local government system will also be introduced in Balochistan.
said the government is also working on water projects in Balochistan.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa met the United Kingdom
(UK) Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Sir Nicholson Carter in London on
Friday wherein the British leadership commended the security situation in
Pakistan, according to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release.
also called on Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson, Prime
Minister’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SREP) Gareth
Bayley, and National Security Advisor (NSA) Mark Sedwill.
arrival, Gen Bajwa was presented with a guard of honour.
meeting was followed by delegation level talks on the security environment and
discussions ranged from the bilateral bond created by sizeable Pakistani
diaspora in Britain as well as shared interests in evolving global geopolitical
and geo-economic environment.
British leadership was unanimous in acknowledging Pakistan’s extraordinary
achievements in counter-terrorism and commended the improved security situation
in Pakistan and its positive efforts towards regional peace and stability,”
ISPR said about the meetings.
is moving steadily towards enhanced stability and is ready to take Pakistan-UK
bilateral security relationship to the next level for mutual benefit and in other
fields of common interests,” the COAS was quoted as saying.
army chief is in London on an official visit during which he will meet the
United Kingdom’s civil and military leadership.
the elimination of top Hizb commander Manan Wani and his associate Ashiq
Hussain in Kupwara district of north Kashmir, the total number of millitants
killed since January this year has reached 163.
encounters broke out in south Kashmir Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian districts
where 89 millitants were killed and in north Kashmir 39 millitants eliminated.
The other millitants were killed in central Kashmir.
2016, 150 millitants were killed. A total of 213 millitants were eliminated in
launching 'operation all out' by security forces against millitants in the
middle of 2017, most top commanders were struck down by joint operations of the
Army, CRPF and JKP. Security forces succeeded in eliminating A and A++ category
millitants which include Abu Dujana and Bashir Lashkari of LeT; Sabzar Bhat,
Abu Haris, Manan Wani and Yasin Itoo of Hizbul Mujahideen.
there was a lull in 'operation all out' during the month of Ramzan which
started from May 17, the suspension of counter insurgency operations was aimed
at providing a chance to peace but millitants did not follow truce and carried
out several attacks on security forces.
forces maintained restraint, but millitants carried out several attacks during
that period in which eminent journalist Shujat Bukhari was assassinated.
Security forces resumed the operation on 17 June of and since then almost on a
regular basis, security forces have launched CSO's checking and search
operations in different towns and villages of Kashmir valley to hunt down
Musa of Gazwat ul Hind, Riyaz Naikoo of Hizbul Mujahideen and Zeenat ul Islam
of LeT are on the top hit list categorised as A++. These millitants are
involved in many cases of attack on security forces, killings of policemen and
challenge on the other hand for the Army is to stop infiltration as winters are
ahead and most peaks will get covered with snow. Due to western disturbance,
winter season started earlier this year and most peaks of the valley will
Delhi: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on
Friday said that a triple talaq-like ordinance should be passed by the Narendra
Modi-led government for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
2019, Ram Mandir matter should be settled and construction work must start.
Today, BJP is ruling at Centre and state. Law should be made to build Ram
Temple. If orders can be issued for triple talaq,for SC/ST, then why not on Ram
Temple,” asked Raut, while toughening stand on the issue of Ayodhya dispute.
Sena, which has resolved to go solo in the future elections, has often targeted
the BJP for “delaying” the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya despite having
Tuesday, the Sena had said that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would be termed a
“liar” if the Ram temple is not built in
Ayodhya. “Lord Ram brought “achche din” (good days) for the BJP, but the party
failed to fulfil the promise of building a temple dedicated to him at Ayodhya
in Uttar Pradesh,” the saffron party had said.
a delegation of saints associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had
called on President Kovind to press for their demands of immediate construction
of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
complete saint fraternity believes that Ram Mandir should be made immediately
by passing an ordinance. We met the President of India today and requested him
to do the needful in this regard. At this time there is ‘Rambhakt’ nationalist
government at most places in the country which can work in this direction.”
Terrorists shot dead a policeman in his house in Sopore township of Jammu and
Kashmir's Baramulla district, police said on Saturday.
terrorists barged inside the house of Javid Ahmad Lone at Warpora in the
outskirts of the town in north Kashmir district late Friday night and fired
upon him, a police official said.
said Lone suffered critical injuries and later died.
was working as a follower in the police department, the official said, adding a
case was registered.
DELHI: Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Mannan Wani, who was a research scholar at
Aligarh Muslim University before taking up the gun, had ignored repeated
appeals from his family and friends to return to the mainstream. According to
sources in the security establishment, he chose instead to use his ability to
articulate views better, thanks to his high education and Wahabi leanings, to
convince young Kashmiris to join terror ranks.
appeals were made to Wani after he went missing from AMU and his image wielding
a gun as a Hizbul Mujahideen recruit surfaced on social media. However, he
remained firm on his decision. Being highly educated and well read, he was
better at articulating views justifying violence as a means to achieve
‘azaadi’. His articulation of Wahabism was seen as a major pull factor for
Kashmiris keen to join militancy,” said an officer of the Central security
was killed on Thursday in a gunfight with the security forces at Kupwara.
that Wani, notwithstanding his brief stint in Hizbul Mujahideen, had turned
into somewhat of a ‘mastermind’ for local recruitment, an officer commented:
“Despite being highly educated, he chose to wield the gun. A terrorist who
picks up the gun either kills or gets killed. In his case, the latter has
turned out to be true. Terrorists like Wani are more dangerous than those
involved in actual attacks, as they lend their mind and thought process to sell
militancy to Kashmiris and push up local recruitment into militancy”.
per an estimate, over 130 locals have been recruited so far this year by terror
outfits in J&K.
said that with sustained anti-terror operations depleting the number of
terrorists J&K hinterland, there is a conscious effort by terror outfits to
maintain the minimum strength of their operatives in the Valley at 300. As per
reports, around 160 of the 300 terrorists now active in J&K are locals
while the remaining are foreign terrorists. However, with anti-terror
encounters happening regularly, intelligence officers say their overall
strength sometimes threatens to dip below 300, which could put them at a
disadvantage as they would no longer have presence in all areas of Kashmir.
“So, the effort by groups like Hizbul Mujahideen is to get more educated
recruits into its ranks. This is bound to add to the appeal of militancy, thus
encouraging more Kashmiri youths to take up the gun,” said an officer.
DELHI: Home minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that action against the
Rohingya and other illegal immigrants should not be viewed through the prism of
human rights as India has never ill-treated foreigners.
the silver jubilee foundation day event of the National Human Rights Commission
in New Delhi, Singh said India is a secular country and the human rights are not
based on any religion.
believe there is no place for inhuman actions in the name of strict action.
it is also my firm belief that actions taken in the national and societal interest
should not be seen from the viewpoint of human rights violation," he said,
in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chief guest at the function.
home minister said on many occasions, some people express concern over the
human rights of criminals or terrorists.
want to ask when such a criminal or terrorist not only violates the human
rights of others but also takes away their right to live, in such a situation
how we can raise the issue of human rights of such criminals," he said.
said action against illegal immigrants in India should not be seen from the
point of view of human rights. "There was no inhuman behaviour towards
them. I am happy to note that the Supreme Court's recent decision was in favour
of deportation of seven Rohingyas (from Assam), he said.
home minister said human rights should be seen in proper perspective as human
rights means everyone has a right to a dignified life.
this direction, our government has implemented many significant schemes for the
benefit of crores of people and provided them food, housing, health and education
for girl children," he said.
also emphasised the importance of women's safety in India.
said the NHRC, since its inception 25 years ago, has achieved many milestones
and secured a place for itself in the institutional framework of the country.
in Aligarh have invoked several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including
one related to sedition, in their FIR against two named and several
unidentified Kashmiri students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) who allegedly
tried to conduct namaz-e-janaza (funeral prayers) on the campus following the
killing of PhD student-turned-militant Mannan Bashir Wani in north Kashmir
resident of Kupwara in J&K, Wani was expelled from AMU in January this year
after he appeared in a photograph on social media with a message claiming he
had joined militant organisation Hizbul Mujahideen. Aligarh Civil Lines SHO
Vinod Kumar said: “FIR has been filed on a complaint of police sub-inspector
Israr Ahmed who collected information about yesterday’s incident through his
source. The two Kashmiri students, who are named in the FIR, are Waseem Ayub
Malik and Abdul Hafeez Meer. Other unnamed students are also from Kashmir. As
per FIR, Kashmiri students of AMU on Thursday raised slogans of ‘azadi, azadi’
on the campus. They also raised slogans against the country while showing
support to a terrorist.”
to the SHO, the FIR has been filed under IPC sections including 147 (rioting),
124A (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of
religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts
prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 153-B (imputations, assertions
prejudicial to national integration).
are presently in coordination with AMU administration and will also seek
footage of CCTVs installed on the campus to identify the other accused. So far,
no one has been arrested and an investigation into the case has begun,” the SHO
the AMU Friday issued notice to nine Kashmiri students for allegedly trying to
conduct namaz-e-janaza on the campus. A three-member committee, including two
assistant proctors and a deputy proctor, has been formed to submit a report.
action has been initiated against nine Kashmiri students by issuing notices to
them. So far, nine Kashmiri students have been identified and the committee is
presently examining footage of CCTV installed at the AMU campus to identify
other students who attempted to take out the namaz-e-janaza,” said AMU public
relation in-charge M Shafey Kidwai.
being in the same room, Foreign ministers of India and Pakistan did not meet at
the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Tajikistan capital Dushanbe.
This was the second time in a fortnight when External Affairs Minister Sushma
Swaraj and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi were attending a
were in New York on September 27 at the SAARC foreign ministers’ meeting, but
Swaraj had walked out of the meeting after delivering her speech, citing other
commitments. India had last month cancelled a scheduled meeting in New York,
accusing Pakistan of terrorist attacks on security personnel and glorification
of terrorists. Pakistan denied the charges, saying that they were mere excuses
given by Delhi, and had blamed the Indian leadership for vacillating on the
Tajikistan’s capital to attend the two-day conclave of Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation’s (SCO) Council of Heads of Government (CHG), Swaraj said on
Friday: “Terrorism remains the most overwhelming threat to our common goals of
development and prosperity.”
the footprint of terrorism expands, governments must assume their national
responsibility and cooperate with each other, she said in the presence of
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Qureshi.
an apparent reference to the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
(CPEC), Swaraj said all connectivity initiatives must be based on the
principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, consultations,
good governance, transparency, viability and sustainability.
has opposed the CPEC projects and protested to China as it is being laid
through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
has actively supported the SCO Qingdao Summit Leaders’ “Appeal to Youth”
against radicalisation of youth, she said and congratulated all her colleagues
on the successful completion of the ‘SCO Peace Mission 2018’. It was the first
time India participated in these counter-terrorism exercises.
said India stands committed to a peace process which is Afghan-led,
Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled that can help Afghanistan emerge as a
peaceful, secure, stable, inclusive and economically vibrant nation. “In this
context, we welcome the signing of the Protocol of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact
Group on the sidelines of the Qingdao Summit. We would be happy to co-host with
Afghanistan, the next meeting of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group in India,”
is the second CHG meeting since India became a full member of the SCO in June
2017. India was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally
participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus
mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
became a full member of the grouping last year and New Delhi’s entry into it is
expected to increase the bloc’s heft in regional geo-politics and trade
negotiations besides giving it a pan-Asian hue. Along with India, Pakistan was
also granted membership of the SCO last year.
special NIA court here has ordered the attachment of four properties in Mumbai
belonging to absconding Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, booked under an
anti-terror law. Charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)
two years ago, Naik was declared a proclaimed offender by the court in June
the same, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had attached two flats and a
commercial establishment in the city belonging to the 52- year-old
televangelist. The central agency’s application seeking permission to attach
four properties in the Mazgaon area that were owned by Naik was allowed
Thursday by the special court.
court accepted the plea after the NIA submitted that Naik, staying overseas,
was trying to sell these properties since his funding from various sources has
been stopped after the central agency filed a case against him. Advocate Anand
Sukhdev, who appeared for the NIA, told the court that Naik was trying to
obtain citizenship in several foreign nations and therefore, was trying to raise
money for the same by selling these Mazgaon properties.
United Kingdom is refusing to take back at least nine Britons held in Syria
with links to ISIS, which include two members of the so-called Beatles cell as
well as two unidentified women and their children, according to The Telegraph.
newspaper reported that the British government wants Syria to deport El Shafee
Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, the two members of ISIS's execution squad, to the
an attempt to find out more about the two men arrested by the Kurdish internal
security forces, Al Arabiya English reached out to a Kurdish senior official in
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qamishli. However, he refused to disclose
any information. The Kurdish official stressed that “security requirements”
prevent the disclosure of additional information on the detainees.
of the detainees are dual nationals and have both British and Canadian
citizenship,” Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of the Foreign Relations Commission in
north Syria, told Al Arabiya English.
and Kotey have had their British passports revoked, however the other held
fighters all have British passports. Meanwhile, some of the children are
thought to have been born in ISIS camps in Syria and are therefore considered
Telegraph reported that the British government admitted to the difficulty it
faces bringing foreign fighters to justice, but denied blocking their return.
arrested include members of the “Jihadi John” organization, known for killing
and torturing foreign hostages and executing Western journalists in Syria and
of the detained ISIS fighters, Jack Letts’ parents are being tried for three
charges of funding terrorism after they had sent money to their son.
countries refuse to accept their detained citizens because they pose a threat
to [their countries],” Omar said.
military advisers and experts are investigating the detainees held by the
internal security forces in northern Kurdish areas.
British Imam has been fired from a Saudi-financed London mosque after he
criticized the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and the country's royal
Ajmal Masroor was fired from the Fitzrovia Mosque, also known as Goodge Street
mosque in central London, which is run by the Saudi-funded Muslim World League.
firing took place just days after he used his personal Facebook page to post a
video which described the Saudi royal family as "corrupt, despotic and
another post, the imam also criticised Mohammed bin Salman for arresting
opposition activists and Islamic scholars.
am 100 percent sure that they fired me because of my comments about Mohammad
bin Salman where I said he was not a reformer but a conformer," said
Masroor."When I asked why they were firing me, I was told that it was an
order that had come from the top. Which means the Saudi government wanted me
said the mosque management had previously reprimanded him for his vocal
criticism of the Saudi royal family, stating that he was permitted to criticise
Saudi Arabia online, but not inside Goodge Street mosque.
the last five years, I was reprimanded at least five times by the management
for my comments about Saudi Arabia," Masroor told the media. "They
would ask me not to speak about the king or the Saudi regime. I had several
heated arguments with the current director on this issue. In the end, we agreed
that I would not criticise Saudi Arabia in my sermons, but I was allowed to
post my views online, which I regularly do."
a statement released online, the Muslim World League said it had "no
option" but to fire Masroor from his position at the mosque.
was agreed with him that the mosque pulpit is not the place to attack people,
governments, groups or sectors to express certain political views," said
the Regional Director of the Muslim World League. "He continued provoking
public opinion against the individuals, governments, causing a stir in the
society, shaming and accusing falsely, so no option was left but to stop
dealing with him in any way."
League also distanced itself from claims made by Masroor that the mosque had
only given space to Saudi projects.
biggest concern is that Saudi Arabia is not only now interfering with its own
citizens but those in the UK" said Masroor.
Arabia is currently facing a growing chorus of criticism global leaders over
the disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside
Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul last week.
white supremacist has admitted to devising a hate campaign that included
“punish a Muslim day” and sending hoax letters to the Queen, Theresa May and
her predecessor David Cameron.
Parnham sent hundreds of vicious notes to Muslims and mosques, many containing
white powders that sparked full-scale security alerts.
35-year-old also targeted high-profile figures with poison pen letters
threatening violence during his two-year hate campaign.
now faces jail after pleading guilty at London's Old Bailey to 15 offences,
including soliciting murder, making bomb hoaxes and sending letters with intent
to cause distress.
letters to Asian MPs and mosques he included white supremacist imagery, wrote
“P*ki filth”, and signed himself off as “Muslim Slayer”, prosecutors said.
first letters, sent in June 2016, contained a white powder intended to look
like poison such as anthrax.
message to the then-prime minister Mr Cameron said: “Allah is great.”
his home in Lincoln, Parnham then sent another wave of white powder letters,
including ones addressed to the Queen and Theresa May, then home secretary.
envelope prompted a chemical attack alert at a Royal Mail sorting office.
letter to a mosque in Hull warned people they would be "slaughtered very
admitted devising the “punish a Muslim day” letters that caused widespread
alarm earlier this year, and suggested Muslims be “exterminated”.
letters offered £100 for each murder.
read: “Your brains will be splattered all over the walls. A good Muslim is a
dead Muslim. Killin Muslims is awesome.”
was an avowed fan of white supremacist Dylann Roof, who in 2015 shot dead nine
black worshippers at a church in South Carolina.
even wrote to the convicted mass murderer in an American prison, saying: “My
main reason for disgust is Muslims. I hate these animals with a passion. I sent
letters with white powder to some mosques in London they had to close down
parliament because of it.”
experts caught him four months ago after extensive investigations including
collecting his DNA and fingerprints from some of the letters.
was remanded in custody until 23 November, when he will be sentenced.
Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, head of Counterterrorism Policing North
East, said: “This case has affected a substantial number of victims across the
country and beyond. The abusive, racist and threatening language used in the
letters has caused major distress.
intermediary between the east and west is a trite expression but one that
perfectly encapsulates Antoine Sfeir, who has died aged 69.
was the founder and editor of Les Cahiers de l’Orient (“Notebooks from the
East”), a French quarterly devoted to the study and reflection of the Arab and
Muslim world, from Morocco to Indonesia.
French-Lebanese scholar, author and journalist was a sought-after commentator
on Middle Eastern affairs in the French media.
in Beirut in 1948 to a Maronite Christian family, Sfeir began his career as a
journalist in 1968 at Lebanon’s most widely read Francophone daily newspaper
L’Orient-Le Jour, which was established in 1971 and “partisan to a liberal,
Christian leaning line,” according the Arab Press Network.
war broke out in Lebanon in 1975 and the following year a 27-year-old Sfeir was
kidnapped and tortured by a militia affiliated with the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), reportedly on the orders of the Syrian regime
who believed he was a spy of Israel. He was held by his captors for a week, and
later recounted the ordeal, which left him with scars on his face in his book
Le jour ou ma vie s’est arrêtée (“The day my life stopped”), published in 2012.
decided to leave then-war-torn Lebanon for France where, during the mid-1980s,
he worked at newspapers La Croix (The Cross) and then Le Pèlerin (The Pilgrim).
It was from Paris in 1985 that he founded Les Cahiers. He continued to publish
essays and articles in many of France’s other esteemed press institutions and
soon gained himself the stature of a recognised and respectable expert on the
views in the early 2000s warned against the dangers of Islamic radicalism, well
before it became one of the media’s most ubiquitous and critical topics, as it
is today. In 2004, he said fundamentalist foreign imams were finding an eager
audience in France’s deprived suburbs of large immigrant populations. “The kids
there already watch Arab stations on satellite TV, with their bloodthirsty
slogans and anti-western propaganda,” he told The Guardian. “They’ve already
been totally radicalised.”
of his most notable interventions was a 2002 article published in Lyon Mag, in
which Sfeir took aim at the influential Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan, a
leading advocate of political Islam and grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder
Hassan al-Banna, as “a specialist in double-speak”. Sfeir claimed that
Ramadan’s influence on impressionable Muslim youths was more dangerous than
that of violent Islamists.
tried unsuccessfully to sue him for defamation. Sfeir emboldened critics of the
relatively moderate thinker on political Islam and bridge-builder between
Islamic orthodoxy and secular democracy. They accuse him of being two-faced,
adjusting his position according to his (religious or secular) audience,
supporting the oppression of women and waging a clandestine jihad on the
liberal West. (Ramadan is currently fighting rape charges in France.)
further illustration of Sfeir’s disagreement with religious influences was his
co-founding in 2005 of the Observatoire de la Laïcité, a study group aimed at
strengthening the principle of secularism as an integral part of France’s
republic and democracy.
most controversial academic offering was perhaps his book Tunisie, terre de
paradoxes published in 2006, for which he was accused of supporting the regime
of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the former president ousted during the Arab Spring
(who in 2012, after fleeing to Saudi Arabia, was sentenced in absentia to life
imprisonment on charges of theft, inciting violence and repression of
the book, Sfeir denies the existence of a police state in Tunisia, saying, “it
is no more a police state than the United States, Great Britain, or even
France,” and was accused by many of colluding with Tunisia’s authoritarian
regime. At the time, he replied that he always considered “the Tunisian people
as an example for the whole region” in terms of education, modernisation and
regional integration, as well as in the fight against religious fundamentalism.
However, after the Tunisian revolution of 2011, Sfeir conceded to having been
“heavily deceived” on Tunisia and the Ben Ali regime.
was the director of the Centre for Study and Reflection on the Middle East, the
president of the School of International Relations at Paris-Sorbonne University
and a former professor of international relations at the Sorbonne’s
communication and journalism school.
2009, Sfeir was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour. His latest book
published in 2012, L’islam contre l’Islam: l’interminable guerre des sunnites
et des chiites (Islam vs. Islam: The Endless War of Sunnis and Shiites) lays
out the origins of the historic Sunni and Shiite schism, arguing that this
irreconcilable doctrinal divergence is integral to understanding the current
geopolitical situation in the Middle East, earned him the French city of
Nancy’s Book and Human Rights Prize in 2013.
final blog post is dated 10 May 2018. It is titled Trump et le nucléaire
iranien, ou comment se tirer une balle dans le pied (“Trump and the Iran
nuclear deal, or how to shoot yourself in the foot”), and was dedicated and
critical of the US president’s decision to withdraw from the historic agreement.
to Bérénice Murgue-Khattar, former assistant and contributor at Les Cahiers who
knew him well, Sfeir had also been critical of France’s approach to foreign
policy in the Middle East in recent years. “He considered that we must not
ignore the lines of power in the Middle East, such as the confrontational
relationship between Shiites and Sunnis, and he insisted that the Middle East
is an ethnic and confessional mosaic,” she said.
reportedly continued his daily rituals until the day he died, enjoying the
pastries of his native Lebanon and his Gitanes. “From the beginning of his
illness a few years ago, Antoine had accepted it with a lot of philosophy. As a
believer, death, he said, is part of life,” Murgue-Khattar said.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the US is seeking to use its allies in
Syria, especially the Kurds, in order to establish a quasi-state east of the
Euphrates River and create illegal structures there.
Syrian territory there are vast lands east of the Euphrates where absolutely
unacceptable things are taking place,” Lavrov said in a Friday interview with
the French website of Russia's state-run RT channel, along with France's Paris
Match and Le Figaro.
US is trying to use these lands through their Syrian allies – above all,
through the Kurds – in order to establish a quasi-state there,” he went on to
the US is by all means illegally seeking to establish a quasi-state on this
territory, trying to do everything there to create conditions for a normal way
of living for their subordinates, creating a structure of authority which is an
alternative to those legitimate [structures] of the Syrian Arabic Republic,”
the top Russian diplomat noted.
stressed that the US is encouraging the resettlement of refugees in the
territories under their control, undermining the peace process in the country.
question is why they, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River which is
controlled by the US and their local allies, do not have to wait until the
beginning of a credible political process,” he asked.
said the US "planned to establish a territory that would be a kind of a
prototype of a new state or it will be another round of the most dangerous game
with Iraqi Kurdistan, the idea of the so-called unified Kurdistan."
regretted that the US is trying to “catch the fish they want” in such “muddy
waters”, adding that such kind of strategies "never ended up well".
Russian minister’s remarks echoed concerns earlier raised by Turkey over US
massing of heavy weapons in support of Kurdish militants on the eastern side of
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said recently that "the biggest threat to
Syria's future lies in the nests of terror to the east of the Euphrates,"
citing the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Union
Party (PYD) which are supported by the US.
said last month that “the main danger to Syria’s territorial integrity
originates from the eastern bank of the Euphrates, where independent and
autonomous structures are created under the direct control of the United
couple of weeks ago, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem also took a swipe
at the US for a collapse of talks between the Syrian government and the Kurdish
forces who are allegedly encouraged by the US to push for further autonomy.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday it was not clear whether a
foiled attack on a Paris-based Iranian opposition group was ordered by the
higher echelons of authorities in Tehran.
you know Iran is sometimes divided into different factions and tensions, and so
I can’t say today whether the order came from the top or from this (security)
service or that division,” he told France 24 television in an interview.
foreign ministry said on Oct. 2 there was no doubt the Iranian intelligence
ministry was behind the June plot and froze assets belonging to Tehran’s
intelligence services and two Iranian nationals.
plot targeted a meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
outside Paris. US President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and several
former European and Arab ministers attended the rally.
charged an Iranian diplomat and three other individuals on Oct. 10 with
planning to bomb the meeting. Two of the suspects were intercepted by Belgian
senior French official told Reuters the plot is likely to have been hatched by
hard-liners looking to undermine President Hassan Rouhani, who has tried to
improve Iran’s relations with the outside world.
said he was still awaiting explanations, but that Rouhani had not given him any
during two exchanges he had with the Iranian president.
hardening of relations between Paris and Tehran could have far-reaching
consequences for Rouhani’s government, which is looking to European capitals to
salvage a 2015 nuclear deal after the United States pulled out and reimposed
“I’ve never been naive with Iran or thought it
would be easy,” Macron said.
Six Palestinian proterters were killed and 140 others were wounded by Israeli
forces on Friday during protests along Gaza’s border, Gaza health officials
said its troops had shot and killed a group of Gazans who broke through the
fence with a bomb and attacked an army post.
the latest deaths, the number of Gazans killed since the border protests began
on March 30 has reached 200, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
security personnel have been deployed in large numbers around the Palestinian
village of Khan al-Ahmar, sources said. The Bedouin village is said to be
slated for demolition and Palestinian villagers have been protesting against
the imminent move. The Israeli military said that the demonstrators, numbering
around 14,000, had been “hurling rocks, explosive devices, firebombs and
grenades” at Israeli troops and at the fence.
military spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus tweeted that one group had “detonated
a bomb on the Israel-Gaza border fence”, allowing around 20 people to climb
through the hole.
said around five members of the group then launched an organised attack against
a military post inside Israel and all of them were killed by Israeli troops.
Palestinian protesters are demanding an end to an Israeli and Egyptian blockade
on the narrow coastal strip, which is home to around two million Gazans. They
also seek the right to return to lands that Palestinians were forced to leave
accuses Hamas, which controls Gaza, of orchestrating the protests along the
border fence to provide cover for attacks and to distract from Gazas economic
denies the allegations.
Israeli military has been criticised by the Palestinians as well as several
international human rights groups for its lethal response to the protests.
says its troops have used “riot dispersal means” and have fired “in accordance
with standard operating procedures”.
Israeli soldier has been killed by a Palestinian sniper during the weekly
protests, and tracts of Israeli land have been scorched by incendiary kites and
had seized control of Gaza from Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas in 2007 and has since fought three wars with Israel, most recently in
chief Ismail Haniyeh said on a visit to Istanbul on Friday that his group was
talking to several parties, including Qatar, Egypt and the United Nations, and
he hoped that the talks “could lead to calm in return for breaking the siege”.
secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement says US President
Donald Trump knows no limits in his efforts to blackmail Arab states of the
Middle East region through the Iranophobic language.
his supporters via a televised speech broadcast live from the Lebanese capital
city of Beirut on Friday evening, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Trump’s latest
remarks that Iran planned to take control of the Middle East in just “12
minutes” were meant to lure regional rulers into paying him exorbitant sums of
money in return for preserving their regimes.
(the late founder of Iran's Islamic Revolution) Imam Khomeini said the US
government is an administration of thieves. It is a regime of theft. Former US
presidents were also thieves but did not perpetrate their misdeeds blatantly.
The incumbent one, however, robs Arab leaders and humiliates them at the same
time,” Nasrallah pointed out.
shows no respect for ethics, human rights and justice in his remarks. We are
witness to a US regime, which does not shy away from using the language of
contempt and humiliating anyone, albeit it might be their friend and ally,” he
Hezbollah chief further noted that Trump views the Islamic Republic of Iran as
a great and strong establishment, while considers all Arab states buying billions
of dollars worth of weapons from him as fairly feeble that cannot last on their
legs for more than 12 minutes without his support.
is making use of the anti-Iran rhetoric in a bid to sell billions of dollars
worth of American munitions and military hardware to Arab rulers,” he
then advised Arab leaders to reconsider their reliance on American statesmen,
saying, “The United States is the same country, which denied the deposed Shah
of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a visa for cancer treatment. This came despite
the fact that he used to be a long-time US ally in the region.”
leaders would better allocate the billions of dollars that they are paying
Trump to solving their own nations’ problems,” the Hezbollah secretary general
also scoffed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allegations about
Hezbollah’s secret weapons sites, stressing that his movement’s policy is to
maintain vigilance and not to respond to such trumped-up charges.
of Israeli allegations would be a free favor to the Tel Aviv regime,” Nasrallah
in his remarks, the Hezbollah chief stated that he has on occasions demanded
the quick formation of a new unity government in Lebanon.
Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday ordered an “immediate” halt to
deliveries of fuel to the Gaza Strip after violent clashes with Palestinians on
the Gaza-Israel border.
the serious incidents in the Gaza Strip, the defense ministry orders the
immediate halt to the delivery of fuel” to the area, he said in a statement.
fuel funded by Qatar and had been transferred this week from Israel into power
plants in Gaza.
Palestinian Authority, run by Fatah in the West Bank, accused Qatar of defying
the Palestinian government by paying for the diesel fuel needed to keep power
plants in Gaza running.
Palestinian official and member of Fatah, Ahmad Majdalani, said the party
remains suspicious of the Qatari role in meddling in the affairs of the Gaza
Strip, controlled by Hamas.
has defied the government in Ramallah by sending trucks of fuel to Gaza, he
said in statements to the Palestinian News Agency.
Yemeni army backed by the Arab coalition, continues advancing in several
districts of the governorate of Saada, taking control of new posts which were
under the control of the pro-Iranian Houthi militia, particularly in the
districts of Zaher, Baqim and Kataf.
sources confirmed to Al Arabiya news channel that the Yemeni army launched a
successful attack on a post controlled by the Houthis in the directorate of
Zaher, killing more than nine members of the militia, while others managed to
Baqim district, the Yemeni army launched coordinated attacks, allowing its
forces to advance to the center of the district, following support from
coalition aircraft that destroyed reinforcements of the Houthis in the area.
Friends of the spokesman for Yemen’s Bahai religious minority say he has been
detained by Houthi militias who control the country’s north.
friends of Abdullah Yahia Al-Ayolofi said Friday that unidentified men snatched
Al-Ayolofi from a market in a district called Al-Jarraf in Sanaa on Thursday.
His whereabouts remain unknown, they said.
security official tells The Associated Press that Houthi militiamen seized
Al-Ayolofi earlier in the week.
a convert to Bahaism, has been outspoken about Houthi abuses against Bahai
spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.
least nineteen, people including Taliban militants and ordinary civilians, were
killed or wounded in a premature car bomb explosion in northern Faryab province
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the
incident has taken place in the vicinity of Khwaja Namosi Bazar, leaving at
least ten militants and five civilians dead.
statement further added that the Taliban militants were looking to detonate the
car bomb in Maimana city to target security forces or the electoral campaigns.
the 209th Shaheen Corps said the car bomb went prematurely as the militants
were transporting it to the city, leaving ten militants dead and four others
to the 209th Shaheen Corps, at least five civilians also lost their lives in
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the incident so far.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in North of Afghanistan where the
Taliban militants are actively operating in some of its districts and often
carry out terrorist related activities.
League expects victory, but BNP and many Islamist parties also in the running
Sylhet-5 seat currently held by the chief whip of HM Ershad’s Jatiya Party has
traditionally been governed by time-honoured coalitions, but these could all
fall apart as the two main parties eye a slice of the action at the upcoming
Uddin was elected unopposed for JaPa at the 10th national election after the
Awami League candidate, Masuk Uddin Ahmed, withdrew his nomination in support
of Ershad’s party.
unwilling to let Jatiya Party lead the constituency, several grassroots level
leaders of Awami League have started campaigning heavily ahead of the 11th
a similar manner, BNP candidates withdrew their nominations in favour of their
coalition partner, Jamaat-e-Islami, in the eighth and ninth national elections.
This time, with the cancelation of Jamaat's registration, BNP leaders have
actively started campaigning in the Kanaighat and Zakiganj upazilas.
Party leaders have also started campaigning, while several Jamaat leaders are
running as independent candidates, lending energy to the race in this
between the Kanaighat and Zakiganj upazilas near the banks of the Surma and
Kushiara Rivers, the main problems facing the 321,651 registered voters of
Sylhet-5 are land erosion, flooding, and other natural disasters.
gain their support, hopeful candidates have focused on arranging meetings and
seminars, increasing messaging over mass communication, and participating in
different social events.
the same time, they have increased contact with top central leaders in Dhaka
with the hopes of clinching a nomination.
total, there are five propsective candidates from Awami League, three from BNP,
four from Jatiya Party, three from Jamiaat e Ulama, one from Khilafat Majlish,
and one from Anjumane Al Islah.
League expects victory
from Sylhet Awami League Vice-President Masuk Uddin Ahmed, a number of other
Awami League leaders are hopeful of securing a nomination.
hopeful is Dr Ahmed Al Kabir, the former chairman of Rupali Bank who hopes to
get a nomination through his good connections to Finance Minister Abdul Mal
Abul Muhith and Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, and from being a
presidium member of central Jubo League.
have good relationships with Awami League leaders (and) I have been working
with the local communities closely in the hope of securing a nomination,"
said Kabir, who is also the main sponsor of private volunteering organization
the education sector will be my priority if I am elected.“
aspiring candidate is the councillor of Dhaka North City Corporation and the
former general secretary of Ramna-Shahbagh police station Awami League, Foyzul
Munir Chowdhury. He has been attending different social programs in the region
since last year in support of his bid.
Mumin Chowdhury, an advisor to central Farmers' League, has also expressed his
hopes of becoming an MP from Sylhet-5 constituency.
than that, the former general secretary of Sylhet district Chhatra League and
Supreme Court lawyer Mostak Ahmed has also continued campaign activities in the
hopes of getting a nomination.
candidate Mawlana Farid Uddin Chowdhury has a proud history in the Sylhet-5
constituency. He won the seat in the eighth national election under the banner
of the BNP-led coalition, and he was also nominated in the ninth national
BNP is unwilling to let the seat go this time around. The president of BNP
Kanaighat upazila, Mamunur Rashid, has announced his desire to reclaim the seat
from Jamaat, and has started campaign activities to that end.
though BNP has previously withdrawn their nominations from the constituency in
favour of Jamaat, this time the party is hopeful of nominating its own
candidate,” said Mamunur, who is also the general secretary of district Jubo
hoping for the BNP nomination are the vice-president of district BNP and
chairman of Kanaighat upazila parishad, Ashique Chowdhury; and the former MP Abdul
BNP participates in the election under the directive of BNP Chairperson Khaleda
Zia, I will ask for the nomination,” Ashique Chowdhury said.
have an active presence on the election scene. I will run for election if I can
secure a nomination.”
Party hopes to retain constituency
Secretary of central Jatiya Party and former Chairman of Zakiganj upazila
parishad, Sabbir Ahmed, was selected as the party’s candidate in the 10th
central Joint General Secretary Selim Uddin hails from the nearby upazila of
Bianibazar, he filed a nomination as an independent candidate in the 10th
national election. Later, he won the uncontested seat after Sabbir withdrew his
nomination upon the party’s decision.
is hopeful of clinching a nomination this year as well, but Sabbir will not
step down. “As part of my electoral activities, I visited the election area
last Tuesday,” Selim told the reporters.
than those two, members of central Jatiya Party Saifuddin Khaled and M Zakir
Hossain also expect to get a nomination.
Islamist parties will run candidates for the Sylhet-5 constituency.
include the joint secretary of UK Khilafat Majlish, Enamul Hasan, and the
organizational secretary of central Jamiaat e Ulama, Islam Obaidullah Faruq,
hoping to stand are Europe Jamiaat leader Abdul Hafiz, and Sylhet metropolitan
city Jamiaat leader Abdur Rahman Siddiqui. Both are on the list of candidates
awaiting Jamiaat’s nomination.
are also rife that the president of Anjumane Al Islah, Huchchamuddin Chowdhury,
might also stand for the election.
newspaper photograph of seven Rohingya men whom the Indian government recently
deported to Myanmar made me wonder if they would have been treated differently
if they had not been Muslim. Religion may or may not be “the opium of the
people” but it is certainly the single strongest determinant of individual as
well as collective behaviour throughout Asia. When race is added, it makes a
powerful brew. That explains the harsh political reasoning of the Tatmadaw
(Myanmar’s ruling military junta) which knows it can count on public support
when it denies Rohingyas citizenship under the 1982 nationality law and insists
they cannot be recognised as one of the country’s eight “national indigenous
pocket of Muslim South Asians would sit ill on a Mongolian Buddhist nation that
sees itself in terms of Thailand and Cambodia. It’s a cruel situation but not
of India’s making and in no way the responsibility of either the people or
government of today’s India. India has more mouths than it can feed, and more
socio-political problems than it can cope with. The Muslim factor compounds
challenges even when this country is at its most secular. The Hindutva bias of
Narendra Modi’s government cannot be accused of setting a new trend in the
matter of refugees. It has always been implicitly accepted that while Indians
must make people of all faiths feel at home, India’s dominant culture is Hindu.
had an unintended bearing on the illicit movement of people from erstwhile East
Pakistan to West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya. The cost of a “jungle passport”
in those days depended in practice on whether the migrant was Hindu or Muslim.
Hindus paid more to the East Pakistan border guards and less to the Indian,
rates being reversed for Muslims. Reportedly, Hindu refugees were treated more
sympathetically at the Indian border. Amit Shah’s “termite” jibe singled out
Bangladeshi Muslims. The logic is that Hindus have nowhere to go save India
unless Bangladesh transforms itself into a truly secular society which is not
likely to happen. The late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto went to the heart of the matter
in 1971 when he said that if what he called “Muslim Bangla” was more Muslim
than Bangla, it should remain in Pakistan. If it was more Bangla than Muslim,
it should merge with West Bengal. Similarly, if Rohingyas are Myanmarese, they
must stay where they are and international pressure must be brought to bear on
Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s capital and administrative headquarters, to come to an
amicable arrangement that no longer endangers Rohingya lives and property. It
has been done in Kosovo and Iraqi Kurdistan by translating the world
community’s generous expressions of sympathy and support into positive action.
solution on similar lines would not only save hapless Rohingyas from threatened
extinction but would provide tremendous encouragement to other beleaguered
minorities like the Chakmas, Chechens and Basques, to say nothing of various
Indian groups that feel isolated or marginalised. But if Rohingyas are Bengali
and Muslim — the order doesn’t matter — their natural refuge is Bangladesh
where they originated, despite claims of Mughal, Arab and Portuguese lineage.
At one time, the British Raj treated Arakan as part of Bengal Presidency.
Moreover, movement was free during all those decades when Burma was a province
of British India so that western Burma became almost an extension of east
Bengal. The community knows this too, and sought merger with the proposed East
Pakistan before Partition. Rohingyas have taken several steps since then to
emphasise their Muslim identity. One such was the militant Arakan Rohingya
Salvation Army with suggestions of Pakistani, Saudi Arabian, Malaysian and
Afghan links and funds from Islamic sympathisers in Australia. As recorded
before in this column, the ARSA insurgency simmered all through 2016 and the
first half of 2017.
began as the even more fundamentalist-sounding Harakah al-Yaqin movement led by
Attullah Abu Ammar Jununi, who was born in Pakistan and raised in Saudi Arabia
before he returned home to lead the struggle against Tatmadaw-sponsored
Buddhist vigilantes and the official repression that began formally in 1978
when the junta launched a military crackdown codenamed Operation King Dragon.
The challenge now for India, Bangladesh and the United Nations is to find an
equitable and pragmatic solution that does not affect the security or social
stability of any country. Myanmar, of course, is in total denial, claiming not
only that far from being victims of atrocities, Rohingyas are actually the
perpetrators of violence. In Myanmarese eyes, they are illegal immigrants who
have stayed longer in their country than the Indian labourers, rickshaw
pullers, lawyers, clerks and judges who were sent packing in 1948, but are no
more welcome because of that. This national conviction might explain what is
globally deplored as Aung San Suu Kyi’s enigmatic silence. Maurice Collis of
the Indian Civil Service, who spent 22 years in Burma and courageously risked
both British wrath and Burmese anger, has left behind vivid accounts of how the
Burmese proletariat hunted down and butchered Indians while their social
superiors watched in approving silence.
may have a moral role in the controversy as the world’s biggest and Asia’s only
parliamentary democracy, but no direct legal liability. It is difficult to
disagree with the admittedly unsympathetic response of the minister of state
for home, Kiren Rijiju, when the question was raised last year. “As far as we
are concerned, they are all illegal immigrants,” he said. “They have no basis
to live here. Anybody who is an illegal migrant will be deported.” Responding
to another question, he said state governments had been instructed to set up
district level task forces to identify and deport “the illegally staying
foreign nationals” while India discussed “illegal immigration” with
neighbouring countries. The fact that the seven deported men were in or
travelling to Kerala is bound to raise suspicion. The Rohingya language and
culture could not be farther removed from the Malayali lifestyle. The only
commonality could be that of religion, since 27 per cent of Keralans are
Muslim. Strengthening this bond would also inevitably lead to increased fear
and misgiving to the detriment of minority security and an increasingy fragile
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Thursday met with the Secretary General of the Islamic
Military Counter Terrorism Coalition Gen. Abdulelah al-Saleh.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said the meeting was
organized in Gul Khana Palace of the Presidential Palace before noon today.
statement further added that the delegation of the Islamic Military Counter
Terrorism Coalition led by Gen. al-Saleh was received by President Mohammad
Ashraf where the two sides held talks regarding the fight against terrorism and
extremism, preventing financial support to terror groups, military cooperation,
and Afghan-led peace process.
Saleh reaffirmed the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition’s all-out
support to the Afghan government and the Afghan nation in the fight against
terrorism as he called the menace of terrorism a joint threat to all.
recently attended a forum featuring high-profile Malay academics and
intellectuals at UKM. The forum was about how to change the Malay mindset in
the new Malaysia. It was attended by an all-Malay audience, as far as I could
tell without looking at the registration book. It was organised by Atma or
Institut Alam dan Tamdun Melayu, an important institute at UKM which seeks to
document and develop many branches of knowledge within the Malay civilisation.
As I understand, it also includes non-Malay sources that have their origin
within the geographical, temporal and political boundaries of the Malay world.
first, I was excited about getting a glimpse of the world of Malay
intellectuals at a university purported to be the centre of excellence in the
Malay language, research and discourse. But after two hours of listening to
deliberations centred on Islamic issues, administrative concerns of the
university leadership and a blame-game on politicians, I left feeling rather
disappointed and extremely worried.
came specifically to hear about four important things which I thought would
change the discourse on new Malay values and responsibilities in
nation-building, but my concerns were either dismissed or not addressed.
first concern was the definition of “failure” in Malay society. Because the
discourse was about changing the Malay mindset, I assumed the race had failed
in some things. The panellists did mention “kegagalan Melayu” but stopped short
of explaining what these failures were.
order to progress, we must know where and what we have failed at. I recommend
that future Malay discourses organised by such important institutions as Atma
list clearly the failures of the Malay elite in providing the appropriate
narrative, attitude and value system for a democratic and multiracial Malaysia.
Malay intellectuals should also consider stating aloud the failures of the
Malay leadership in politics, civil administration, education, economics and
Anwar Ibrahim was stripped of his Malay decency and his dignity of citizenry,
the Malay intellectuals were silent. When Jamal Yunos and the Red Shirts
hooligans shouted obscenities at other races, again, they were completely
quiet. When some Malay leaders now facing corruption charges robbed the country
blind, they were still silent. They sat demurely on the sidelines, even when
Ibrahim Ali threatened to burn the Bible.
does all this silence mean? Does it mean the Malay intellectuals are afraid of
authority? Does it mean they consider these events which violated
constitutional rights, religious tolerance and basic human decency too trivial
for professors and prestigious research universities to deliberate on? Or
worse, do they actually “agree” with many of the extremist acts in this country
under the banner of Islamic and Malay supremacy?
the Malay intellectuals do not acknowledge these failures of the Malay
institutions, administration and religious authorities, what hope is there of
changing the less educated or even the well-educated rakyat? I hope the Malay
intellectuals are not in denial mode.
second concern was the issue of racial, religious and historical inclusiveness.
Throughout the whole two hours plus of discourse, the Malay intellectuals went
round and round about Islam and political governance. The entire discourse was
devoid of any discussion of learning habits, behaviours or values of other
should have included a serious discussion of what perpetrated and inflamed the
narrative of “Malays are good and others in Malaysia or the world are bad”. It
should also have dealt with the hatred of Malays of parties such as DAP.
own writings have been ignored, ridiculed and objected to, just because I used
to be a DAP member. People can attest to the fact that while I was a member, my
writings always dealt academically with the issue at hand. I never engaged in
what is construed as propaganda in writing or speaking. I even wrote against
Penang’s P Ramasamy on the Rayani Air issue.
doesn’t Atma invite Liew Chin Tong, Lim Guan Eng, Zairil Khir Johari and Dr
Ariffin or Aziz Bari to a free-for-all dialogue at UKM or UiTM? Discussions on
new Malay values, thoughts and narrative constructs should take into account
the best practices, values and thoughts of the different minority groups in
Malaysia. If not, then I would say that the Malay discourse is not comprehensive,
inclusive or open.
Malay intellectuals must also engage with civil society and discover for
themselves the real issues and problems within specific social groups. I don’t
understand how Malays more than 2,000 years ago wrote in Sanskrit, probably with
Palava letters and words, and discussed various social and spiritual issues
within the Hindu-Buddhist framework, yet now identify only Islam within a
framework that I deem shallow, narrow and restrictive.
like the development of words, needs exposure to many forms of thought, actions
and beliefs. Classic Malay literary works such as Hang Tuah were told in a
language that claimed its origins from more than 10 different civilisations.
How restricted the Malay people have become.
third concern was about academic and media engagement. In the forum, I raised
the issue of academics needing to take the social, religious and political
narratives away from politicians like Tajuddin Abdul Rahman or worse, Jamal
Yunos, and reclaim them under the rationality and morality of Malay-Islam. One
of the panellists, who is from the same public university I was at prior to my
retirement in 2015, dismissed my concerns by implying that the media panders
only to their readership.
had to put up with this kind of dismissive attitude from three other professors
from the same university two decades ago. I remember asking the deputy
vice-chancellor about writing in the media to educate the people, and the
person rubbished it by saying the Malays only like to listen to stories about
hantus and puaka.
another occasion, I engaged in a heated debate about media writing as one of
the important promotion criteria in academia. The professor concerned wanted to
take that criteria out because he thought that the writings were worthless as
they are read by simple folk and not evaluated by serious academics. Another
time, another professor, also from the same university, dismissed my ideas
about writing books and media articles to educate the public. He said some
disciplines, like architecture, may be easier to explain and understand, but
not physics or the hard sciences.
my mind, all these academics must have no knowledge of people like Michio Kaku,
Stephen Hawking and Mario Salvadori who wrote many books on physics and engineering
in order to educate the public. Some even write children’s books. These
academics know that the more the public can appreciate their concerns, the more
grants and funding they are likely to obtain from philanthropists and
billionaires like Robert Kuok.
of public universities, to my mind, are used to royal treatment at ministries
and from policymakers from whom all of their funding comes. They simply do not
care what Tok Mat, Ah Lek and Muthusamy who sell goreng pisang, chicken rice and
putu mayam think about what is important for the nation’s growth. These
academics fail to understand the sacred responsibility of democracy where the
people get to elect their representatives to make changes in policies. What if
Tok Mat, Ah Lek and Muthusamy got elected to Parliament? How would they respond
to the many social, religious, economic and sustainability concerns of this
nation? Impossible? I have heard enough nonsense from Umno MPs to accept the
idea that any one of these lay people can be elected into public office because
the simplistic narrative of race, religion and money politics controls the
floor. If the Malay intellectuals do not claim centre stage in reforming the
narrative of social, economic and environmental sustainability, then the
narrative will be hijacked by the likes of Isa Samad or worse, Saiful Bukhari.
Perhaps the public university professors would then accept Saiful as our ninth
I was hoping that the discourse might touch on the issue of the Malay vs
non-Malay narrative, the Islam vs non-Islam narrative and a changed perspective
of history. How long are Malays going to be fed with the same bland narrative
that Malaysia is Tanah Melayu and Malays have special privileges? The special
privileges should be on a needs-based framework, not a racial one anymore.
there is the embarrassing narrative of the Malays being better than other
cultures because of Islam and some unique feature of that particular race. I
think every race would have a similar narrative and if its members don’t get
over that self-delusion, that race will not go very far in global
competitiveness and self-development.
most dangerous of all narratives is the idea that Islam is for the Malays and
that others of different faiths are “enemies” never to be trusted. I find this
narrative very strong in PAS and Umno, and among Islamic officials and even
Muslim NGOs. If the Malay intellectuals do not deal with changing these three
narratives, our race relations will deteriorate further than what Prof Dr
Syamsul says: that Malaysians are in a state of “stable tension”.
Malay intellectuals also have to rewrite historical perspectives to produce one
which blames equally every race in a tragedy such as May 13 and shares all the
accolades in success stories such as independence in 1957. History is simply a
jumble of facts that can be constructed to produce a narrative which can help
us in the present. Since there is no such thing as an “absolute history” where
everything about the past is “truthfully” understood, we can and should create
a much fairer story to tell our children.
would like to go on record to applaud Atma for its effort to reignite the fire
of rethinking the Malay mindset. My one and only advice is, please be inclusive
in the framework and social variables. Without such inclusiveness, the Malays,
destined to lead this country, can only be the leaders of a privileged few.
alleged leaders of the Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamic group have been arrested in
Russia's Tatarstan region.
Vakhitov district court in the Tatar capital, Kazan, on October 12 ordered that
Rais Gimadiyev and Ildar Akmetzyanov must be placed in pretrial detention.
two men were detained on October 11 on suspicion of leading a Hizb ut-Tahrir'
cell in Tatarstan, which was allegedly propagating extremist ideas.
ut-Tahrir is a global organization based in London that seeks to unite all
Muslim countries into an Islamic caliphate.
Supreme Court banned the group in 2003, branding its supporters 'extremists.'
of Hizb ut-Tahrir insist the group is peaceful.
reporting by TASS, Interfax, and Tatar-Inform RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service
country’s far-west Xinjiang has just revised its legislation to allow local
governments to detain those it believes to be influenced by religious
revised laws effectively give the government power to imprison people in
propaganda camps for patriotic “re-education”.
facilities have drawn an international outcry, with allegations of torture and
authoritarian force used against the country’s minority one million Uighur
IS THE NEW LAW?
to the new Article 33 of Xinjiang’s regulations against extremism: “Educational
transformation institutions such as vocational skill education and training
centres shall teach the national common language, laws and regulations, and
goes on: “The centres should organise and carry out anti-extremist ideological
education, psychological correction, and behaviour correction to transform the
thinking of the trainees so as to help them return to society, and to their
is vastly different to the previous law, which advised “concentrated education”
and “behaviour correction” against extremism, which was defined as inciting
hatred, discrimination, and violence.
did not imply that subjects would be separated from their families, as the new
new law also suggests the Chinese government is no longer denying the brutality
of the camps, by acknowledging “psychological correction” and that those detained
will be isolated from society and their families.
GOING ON IN XINJIANG?
is a large autonomous region in the country’s northwest bordering the former
Soviet Central Asian republics, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs — a Turkic ethnic group primarily based
in Xinjiang — have been subjected to arbitrary detention and torture here for
we speak, over a million Muslims in China’s northwest region of Xinjiang are
allegedly being held in prison-like camps disguised as “re-education
facilities”, according to human rights organisations, US officials and
are also reports of Muslim inmates forced to eat pork and drink alcohol, which
are forbidden in their religion.
Chinese government has not previously denied the existence of the camps, but
claimed the institutions are just re-education facilities that teach Chinese
language and Chinese laws on Islam and political activity.
official Chinese Communist Party recording compared Islam to an “infectious
recording, obtained by Radio Free Asia, said: “Members of the public who have
been chosen for re-education have been infected by an ideological illness.
infected by religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology and not seeking
treatment is like being infected by a disease that has not been treated in
time, or like taking toxic drugs … There is no guarantee that it will not
trigger and affect you in the future.”
inmates have described disturbing indoctrination programs that can last several
months, in which they’re forced to renounce their religion and pledge
allegiance to the state.
the past decade, the region has transformed into an occupied surveillance
state, where the people, including their movements and beliefs, are controlled
by the government.
all started in 2009, when thousands took to the streets in a mass demonstration
in the region’s capital, Urumqi.
were protesting the recent killing of Uighur migrant workers in Guangdong, in
the country’s south.
were smashed, stones were thrown through shop windows and passers-by were
assaulted, according to media reports. They set vehicles on fire, with riot
squads brought in to restore order with tear gas and armoured vehicles.
were 197 fatalities, and almost 2000 injuries before order was restored.
any country’s standards, such a protest would be heavy-handed, but in
authoritarian China — where protests are neither allowed nor tolerated by the
Communist government — it was next-level, and armed police were brought in to
contain the violence.
Party officials responded by effectively creating a surveillance state.
a Black Mirror-style system, every resident of the region was given a label:
“Safe”, “Normal” or “Unsafe”, which was determined by their age, faith,
religion, foreign contacts and overseas travel. Those in the “Unsafe” category
were sent to internment camps.
to US officials, they installed facial recognition cameras, mobile phone scans,
conducted DNA collections, and increased an intrusive police presence.
Chinese government claims the institutions are just re-education facilities
that teach Chinese language and Chinese laws on Islam and political activity.
But those who have lived through them beg to differ.
MUSLIM INTERNMENT CAMPS
detentions of Uighurs are reported to have started early last year. Citizens
might simply disappear in the middle of the night, or upon disembarking a
returning flight to the region.
who came from a middle-class Uighur family, studied in the United States and
elsewhere in China.
he came back to Xinjiang, he was detained upon arrival, despite breezing
through interrogators’ questions and having nothing incriminating on his person.
was later taken to a prison-like internment house, where his
meticulously-structured days would consist of re-education films and workshops
in which he was taught to reinterpret Islam. The light in the bedroom, which he
shared with two dozen other men, was never turned off.
17 days of hell, the guards released him with a chilling warning: “I’m sure you
may have had some ideological changes because of your unpleasant experience but
remember: Whatever you say or do in North America, your family is still here
and so are we.”
now, he was part of Xinjiang’s intrusive surveillance database — his “criminal”
status forbade him from entering shopping centres, boarding public transport
and setting foot in public buildings.
inmate, a Kazakh Muslim named Bekali, had an even more difficult experience.
said if he refused to follow orders each day, he was forced to stand at a wall
for five hours at a time. Then, he was sent to solitary confinement and
deprived of food for 24 hours straight. After 20 days in the camp, he wanted to
psychological pressure is enormous, when you have to criticise yourself,
denounce your thinking — your own ethnic group,” Bekali told Associated Press
in tears. “I still think about it every night, until the sun rises. I can’t
sleep. The thoughts are with me all the time.”
a torturous interrogation program, in which he was hung by his wrists and mined
for information, he was taken to a re-education camp.
said inmates would wake up together before dawn, sing the Chinese national
anthem, and raise the Chinese flag at 7.30am. They gathered back inside large
classrooms to learn “red songs” like “Without the Communist Party, there is no
New China,” and study Chinese language and history.
meals of vegetable soup and buns, the inmates would be ordered to chant: “Thank
the Party! Thank the Motherland! Thank President Xi!”
was kept in a locked room almost around the clock with eight other internees,
who shared beds and a wretched toilet. Cameras were installed in toilets and
were forced to criticise themselves and their religion in front of each other,
and apologise for wearing Islamic clothing and teaching the Qu’ran. Praying, of
course, was strictly forbidden.
unknown how many prisoners may be held in the camps, but a Human Rights Watch
report estimates that up to 800,000 of the region’s 22 million population may
have been in them.
outside of the camps, all aspects of life are controlled for the minority
to a Buzzfeed News report, growing a beard or naming your child Muhammad or
Medina can get you reported to police.
are reportedly banned from wearing burqas and veils in Xinjiang. Residents are
no longer allowed to fast. And as of 2016, millions of residents were made to
surrender their passports and seek permission from the government in order to
Teo Chee Hean, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli to
lead delegations to Middle East
- Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo
Chee Hean will visit Oman from Oct 12 to 14, as part of Singapore's ongoing
engagement with countries in the Middle East.
Oman, Mr Teo will meet Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers
Sayyid Fahd Bin Mahmoud Al Said. Mr Teo will be hosted to a meal by the
secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sayyid Badr Bin Hamad Bin
Hamood Al Busaidi. He will also meet senior Omani businessmen, and attend a
dinner reception for the Singaporean community in Oman.
Teo will be accompanied by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources
Masagos Zulkifli, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade
and Industry Tan Wu Meng, and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and other agencies.
trip is Mr Masagos' first to the Middle East as the new Minister-in-charge of
Masagos will also visit Jordan and Egypt from Oct 14 to 16. He will be
accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry of Culture, Community and
Youth and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), including its
deputy chief executive, Dr Albakri Ahmad.
in Jordan, Mr Masagos and members of the delegation will meet the
recently-appointed president of University of Jordan, Professor Abdel-Karim
Al-Qudah, and other senior officials as well as tour the university's Sharia
Masagos will also be engaging Singaporean students in a dialogue.
Cairo, Egypt, Mr Masagos will be the guest of honour at the Al-Azhar
University's annual graduation ceremony for Singaporean students where he is
expected to deliver a speech to the graduating class. He will attend a
reception and a dialogue with Singaporean students from Al-Azhar University.
- For nearly a century, thousands of Muslim pilgrims from the region would
flock to Kampong Glam before they boarded steamships to the holy city of Mecca
in Saudi Arabia - more than 7,000km away.
help travellers prepare for their haj and the 14- to 18-day steamship journey
in the 1950s and 1960s, the district became a hive of activity, with services
such as pilgrim brokers, boarding houses and shops selling sundry goods.
the 1970s, cheaper air travel meant that pilgrims no longer needed to transit
through Kampong Glam, but traces of this past can still be found in the area.
new exhibition at the Malay Heritage Centre highlights Singapore's historical
role as the first stop of the haj from the late 19th century to the 1970s.
to the gallery can learn more about the millennia-long tradition through personal
accounts of pilgrims who have made this spiritual journey.
Friday (Oct 12), President Halimah Yacob will launch the exhibition as well as
the annual Malay CultureFest at the Malay Heritage Centre in Kampong Glam.
exhibition is titled Undangan ke Baitullah: Pilgrims' Stories from the Malay
World to Makkah.
opens on Friday and will last till June 23 next year. Admission is free.
haj is a religious obligation for Muslims who are physically and financially
able to make the trip to Saudi Arabia.
Suhaili Osman, the centre's curator, said the exhibition and festival provide a
platform to share this part of the Malay-Muslim culture with people outside the
sharing stories of the haj, our exhibition hopes to provide visitors with
another layer of understanding of Singapore, and our links to neighbours in the
region and the rest of the world over the larger course of history," she
cultural festival will span three weekends starting from Friday.
will feature workshops, dance and theatre performances, including a
contemporary dance troupe from Padang, Indonesia.
LUMPUR, Oct 13 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang criticised the
government for not prohibiting Oktoberfest celebrations this year, saying the
Bavarian festival was against Muslim culture.
claiming non-Muslims are free to celebrate any events that are not against
their religious principles, he said such events must be reconciled with Muslim
sensitivities and respect of Islam.
acknowledge that Malaysia is a multi-racial country so non-Muslims are free to
celebrate what they want, but at the same time, any actions that can cause
‘harm’ must be prohibited.
should respect the sensitivity of each other’s religion to maintain the harmony
in the country,” he was quoted as saying in Kuala Terengganu yesterday by PAS
Marang MP said the event, which he claimed caused public anxiety, is also seen
as an attempt to “invite” Muslims to participate in activities that are frowned
upon in Islam.
dog-whistling politics is typical of the party that couches its religious
conservatism in the guise of wanting to preserve “multicultural” harmony.
iterations of Oktoberfest were banned following complaints by PAS, coinciding
with Umno’s overtures for cooperation with the Islamist party.
new Pakatan Harapan government has removed such restrictions, with authorities
now saying such events may proceed so long as they are not ostentatious and
remained clearly prohibited to Muslims.
such Oktoberfest celebration was opened in the MidValley area here on Thursday
after meeting guidelines set by City Hall.
Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad previously said such festivals may take
place as long as the organiser abides by set guidelines such as holding the
event indoors and securing the relevant local authorities’ approval.
Joko "Jokowi" Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin camp has criticized Prabowo
Subianto's "Make Indonesia Great Again" speech, an obvious reference
to United State President Donald Trump's Make America Great Again slogan.
Politicians in Jokowi's camp are concerned that Prabowo would follow in Trump's
footsteps by igniting bigoted and racist sentiments.
is the purpose [of the slogan]? Does Prabowo want [certain] races or religions
to be supreme here [in Indonesia]?" said Raja Juli Antoni, the
Jokowi-Ma'ruf campaign team’s deputy secretary, on Friday.
ideology is based on Pancasila, we are united and live with the principle of
gotong royong [mutual cooperation]," said Abdul Kadir Karding, the
campaign team’s deputy chairman.
delivered his speech during an Indonesian Islam Propagation Institute (LDII)
national working meeting in Jakarta on Thursday.
wonder why Indonesians are afraid of saying ‘Indonesia First: Make Indonesia
Great Again’ to their people?” Prabowo said as quoted by tempo.co.
are there no leaders who have the courage to say that what is important is to
provide jobs for Indonesians,” he added.
political communication expert from Paramadina University, Hendri Satrio, said
Prabowo was testing the waters when he quoted Trump.
seems like both presidential election candidates are still exploring strategies
that suits them. Jokowi, for example, is still seeing if he can raise the
infrastructure issues, while Prabowo is testing the waters by using Trump’s
slogan because the US president’s exposure among urbanites are quite high,”
Hendri told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
military sources have separately confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that a Boko Haram
gunfire which erupted at a base of Nigerian soldiers in Borno State on Monday
was far greater in severity than the military publicly admitted.
least eighteen soldiers were confirmed killed, eight battling to survive at the
hospital after being critically wounded and about 157 feared missing when
insurgents raided an outpost of 157 Battalion in North-eastern Nigerian village
of Metele, military sources said.
missing comprised 151 soldiers and six officers. The wounded were evacuated
about 115 kilometres from Metele to the 7 Division Medical Services and
Hospital, as well as the remains of the 18 killed in action, sources said.
military equipment including at least two T-72 tanks, two armoured personnel
carriers and two gun trucks were either set ablaze or rendered “unserviceable”
by the insurgents, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
Nigerian Army acknowledged the attack on Twitter late Monday, saying the heavy
firefight was ongoing even though it appeared to have ended at that time having
been on for about seven hours before the tweet was posted, according to
an update on Wednesday, the army confirmed also on Twitter that soldiers
sustained losses, but put the casualties at seven for troops and seventy six
for the insurgents. It also said sixteen soldiers were wounded.
the army did not acknowledge that scores of soldiers remained unaccounted for,
and their commanders already feared they had gone missing in action. The
commanders also confirmed that 18 soldiers were killed, contrary to only seven
which the army publicly owned up to.
the attack, at least 15 officers and 470 soldiers were on ground at the base in
Metele, a strength that was significantly depleted in the aftermath.
Dikko, the theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, visited the Kinnasara
Cantonment to rally the troops on Tuesday, informing them about what transpired
in Metele before visiting the wounded at the hospital.
was not immediately clear how military authorities are treating the case of the
157 missing soldiers. The chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai, warned a few
weeks ago that there would be harsh consequences for any soldiers who abandoned
their position in the face of firepower from Boko Haram.
warning followed weeks of heavy military losses in a war President Muhammadu
Buhari and military chiefs had long proclaimed victory. Scores of soldiers have
been killed or wounded in action and hundreds missing in a string of
insurgents’ assaults on military bases since July.
Flash: Troops Engaging Boko Haram Terrorists In Metele: Troops of 157 Battalion
Metele in Northern Borno are presently engaging BHTs in a fierce gun battle.
The BHT have been repelled and reinforcement of men and materiel have been
mobilized from Kangarwa and Arege.
Nigerian Army (@HQNigerianArmy) October 8, 2018
the NA lost 7 soldiers while 16 were wounded in action. The #COAS Lt Gen TY
Buratai has commiserated with the families of the deceased and directed that
the wounded be given adequate medical attention. Details later.
Nigerian Army (@HQNigerianArmy) October 10, 2018
Boko Haram insurgency has caused the death of about 100,000 people since 2009,
according to the Borno State Government, whose state is most affected by the
to the efforts of the military and other security agencies, the terror attacks
have been largely limited to Adamawa, Borno and Yobe since 2016. Before then,
attacks were carried out in many Northern Nigerian states including Kano,
Nasarawa and Abuja.
the efforts of the military, however, the latest attacks show the terrorists
are still able to carry out attacks on civilian and military targets.
official letter obtained by Anadolu Agency has revealed that Germany has
officially been supporting operations of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization
(FETO) in Ethiopia.
letter written and officially sealed by the German Embassy in Addis Ababa in
May 2017 vouches for the FETO-linked investment group named Kaynak.
then Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn had directed relevant authorities,
including trade and education ministries as well as the country's investment
commission, to revoke the license of Kaynak due to its ties to the terror
office also directed the Education Ministry to transfer six schools owned by
the FETO to Turkey’s Maarif Foundation.
schools were not transferred to the foundation.
letter which was signed by diplomat Jutta Luig stresses that Kaynak -- which
also manages FETO schools in Ethopia -- promotes investments by German
companies and businesses in the country and asks Ethiopian officials to provide
all necessary convenience to them.
citizens have recently purchased a company called Kaynak Educational and
Medical Services based in Addis Ababa. We kindly ask all involved authorities
to support our investors wherever possible,” the letter reads.
group strips schools for cash
former employees of Ethiopian FETO-linked schools filed a complaint against
school administrators and teachers on allegations including the theft of aid
money, embezzlement, and tax evasion.
year, shortly after the Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome said the FETO-linked
schools -- renamed as Intellectual Schools -- would be handed to the Turkish
government, the schools were sold to a German citizen, whom they claimed was an
and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July
15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the
state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, including the military,
police, and education.
12 , 2018
Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana has held its maiden international Peace
Conference to inspire concerted efforts for lasting global peace and justice
through the teachings of Islam.
conference which was themed: “Peace and Global Justice”, was attended by
participants from different Ghanaian and international organisations.
included clergymen from other African countries, diplomats, legislators,
academicians, security servicemen and traditional rulers.
Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadzrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad,
whose message was read by the Ameer and Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim
Mission in Ghana, Maulvi Muhammad Noor Bin Salih, said the advancement of new
technologies despite connecting people had affected world peace by brewing
tension among different groups.
tensions, he observed, were visible in the increased polarisation of societies
that had often led to violence and bloody civil wars in some countries.
risks to civilisation are increasing. Weapons are being manufactured and
stockpiled at an alarming rate. And this is unquestionably due to new
technologies,” he said.
called on world leaders to seek peace by acting with justice which would
require showing regard for one another and fulfilling one another’s right.
appeal to them to look at the long-term future of the world rather than to be
blinded by short-term and narrow self-interests,” he added.
Consul General of Tuvalu in London, Sir Dr Iftikhar Ahmad Ayaz, encouraged
leaders to shun corruption, promote rule of law, show sensitivity to the cause
of the people and also allow religion to take it rightful place as a unifying
force in establishing a society of brotherliness and mutual affection.
he said, were the catalysts for the realisation of peace and justice that
correlate with good governance, eradication of poverty and economic progress.
further advocated women empowerment through education and the abandonment of
cruel and primitive practices which tended to disfavour the poor and
marginalised in the society.
his part, the Dean of Academic Affairs at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and
Staff College, Dr Vladimir Antwi Danso, chastised the current international
systemic order for being the cause of destabilisation around the globe.
to him, the search for peace by the international order had at different phases
led to the laying down of rules through policies on how states should be
that had oftentimes led to chaos where one state interfered with the governance
process of other states without any reprimand or repercussion from
international bodies, which by extension had created a vacuum for other
terrorist groups to emerge. He called on global institutions to be more
independent and firm in ensuring that members who flouted the laws were dealt
Ahmadiyya Africa Peace Prize, which is an award presented to an individual or
organisation for the advancement of peace, was given to the Archbishop of
Abuja, Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyeka.
least 833 minors have been released from the ranks of a local vigilante
movement involved in the fight against Boko Haram in Nigeria’s northeast,
representing a huge step towards ending the use of child soldiers in armed
Shehu, a leader of the government-backed Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), told
Anadolu Agency Friday morning that the decommissioning of the children followed
a recent commitment to remove all underage people from their ranks.
children don't really carry arms but they help either as spies to spot and
neutralize Boko Haram terrorists or serve for errands,” said Shehu. “The
exercise [of removing them from the vigilante force] is an ongoing thing.”
praised the initiative in a statement on Friday, calling it the first formal
step in the vigilante group's commitment to end and prevent the recruitment and
use of children.
September 2017, the group signed an action plan aiming to put measures in place
to end and prevent child recruitment.
release of these children from CJTF shows commitment to implement the
provisions of the Action Plan and to uphold international humanitarian law,
human rights laws as well as other regional and national legislations,
protecting children’s rights,” the statement quoted Pernille Ironside, deputy representative
of UNICEF Nigeria and the co-chair of the UN Country Task Force on Monitoring
and Reporting on grave child rights violations (CTFMR), as saying.
is a significant milestone in ending the recruitment and use of children, but
many more children remain in the ranks of other armed groups in either combat
or support roles. We call on all parties to stop recruiting children and let
children be children.”
said a total of 1,469 children (1,175 boys and 294 girls) associated with the
CJTF have been identified within the city of Maiduguri as at Friday.
Al-Qaeda-linked militant group is using Iran as its main transit point for
illegal charcoal exports from Somalia, enabling the group to earn millions of
dollars in profits, a report to the UN Security Council seen by media says.
to a report cited by AFP and Reuters on October 12, since March, the main
destination for the illegal shipments has been ports in Iran, where the
charcoal is packaged into white bags labelled "Product of Iran."
United Nations has banned Somali charcoal imports since 2012 to cut sources of
revenue for Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate that generates revenues for its
Islamist insurgency by levying taxes on charcoal production in the regions it
UN estimates that, despite UN sanctions banning such exports, Somalia produced
some 3.6 million bags of charcoal in 2017 for export, generating some $7.5
million in revenue for Al-Shabaab.
report called Iran a "weak link" in implementing the UN's charcoal
ban, and also cast blame on countries such as Ghana and the Ivory Coast for
allowing charcoal traffickers to "exploit weaknesses" in their
illegal shipments that arrive in Iran usually carry certificates that falsely
state that the Somali charcoal originated in Comoros, Cote d'Ivoire, or Ghana,
the unpublished UN report says.
document identifies Iranian ports in the Kish and Qeshm free zones as the main
destinations of the Somali charcoal shipments since March 2018.
there, the charcoal is sent on "Iran-flagged dhows" to ports in the
United Arab Emirates, Oman, Dubai, and elsewhere, where it is mainly used for
cooking and smoking shisha water pipes, the report says.
Iranian mission to the UN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
report says Iran became a transit point for the illegal Somali shipments after
Oman tightened its customs procedures.
report provided to the UN council was drafted by a UN group of experts tasked
with monitoring sanctions on the Somali militants.
militants have vowed to overthrow the Somali government, which is backed by the
UN and a 20,000-strong force from the African Union stationed in the country.
Al-Shabaab was pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011 and lost many of other bastions,
they still control vast rural areas in the country.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said that his country will stay
"clear and strong" on human rights issues in Saudi Arabia.
have been extremely active both in private and in public over many years now
around our concern for human rights in Saudi Arabia, and we will continue to be
clear and strong in speaking up for human rights around the world regardless of
with whom,” Trudeau told reporters at the biennial Francophone summit in
the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Canadian
prime minister said that there is "a lot more to uncover" on the
columnist for the Washington Post, Khashoggi has not been heard from since Oct.
2, when he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
particular case is of course of concern and we join with our allies around the
world in expressing serious issues with these reports. Obviously, there’s a lot
more to uncover on what happened here,” he said.
Khashoggi went missing, speculation has mounted that he was killed at the
behest of the Saudi authorities, who have yet to provide a convincing
explanation for his disappearance.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged Turkey to quickly release other
Americans in detention after it freed a pastor at the center of a crisis in
(Andrew) Brunson is finally coming home to America, following a long ordeal for
the pastor and his family. We hope that the Turkish government will quickly
release our other detained US citizens and State Department locally employed
staff,” Pompeo tweeted.
Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 12, 2018
world should know that (President Donald Trump) and the State Department
continue to work hard to bring home all American hostages and those wrongfully
imprisoned and detained,” he tweeted.
United States had imposed tariffs and sanctioned senior government officials to
pressure Turkey on Brunson, whose two-year detention had particularly outraged
Trump's conservative Christian base.
two Turkish employees of US diplomatic missions remain in jail. One of them,
former Adana consulate staffer Hamza Ulucay, was Friday denied release in a
separate court hearing.
Senators have warned President Donald Trump that ramping up pressure on the
Saudi royal family over the disappearance of US-based journalist Jamal
Khashoggi could endanger relations between Washington and Riyadh.
a Virginia-based critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies,
has been unaccounted for since October 2 when he visited the Saudi diplomatic
mission in Istanbul to get paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancée.
in Turkey believe he died there at the hands of a "murder squad"
flown from Riyadh to kill him and dispose of his body. His body was smuggled
out, they say, perhaps in a diplomatic car.
Republican senators expressed hope on Thursday that the Trump administration
would heed their warning and act on the Senate’s request for the White House to
conduct a statutorily required investigation into Khashoggi’s case or whether
punitive measures, including sanctions, against the Saudi regime were needed.
think the burden of proof is now on the Saudis to demonstrate that they were
not participants in any way in harming, killing or kidnapping Mr. Khashoggi,”
said Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations
burden of proof is on them. They got to show it, and if they don’t show it, I
think it will fundamentally change the nature of the relationship,” he added.
– who favors a particularly close relationship with Saudi Arabia – expressed
concern earlier in the day about Khashoggi’s fate and pledged to find out what
have investigators over there and we're working with Turkey, and, frankly,
we're working with Saudi Arabia," Trump said on Fox News. "We want to
find out what happened. He went in, and it doesn't look like he came out. It
certainly doesn't look like he's around."
who visited Riyadh in his first trip abroad as president and announced plans to
sell the $110 billion in weapons to the Saudis, also dismissed in his
Thursday’s remarks the idea of abandoning the arms deal over the suspected
murder of the prominent Saudi journalist at the hands of the Riyadh regime’s
death squads in Turkey.
don’t like it, and we don’t like it even a little bit,” Trump told reporters in
the Oval Office about Khashoggi’s disappearance. “But as to whether or not we
should stop $110 billion from being spent in this country … that would not be
acceptable to me.”
good does that do us?” Trump asked, speaking to reporters. “This took place in
Turkey and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States
citizen,” Trump added, brushing aside the fact that the journalist lived in the
members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent Trump a letter on
Wednesday night, calling on him to conduct an investigation under the Global
Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
law stipulates that the president must conduct an investigation if requested by
the leaders of the Foreign Relations Committee, and then report back to the
panel on whether the US will levy sanctions.
Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who signed the letter, described the
request for a Magnitsky investigation as a “pretty strong step” that would
force Trump to take action.
will be under immense pressure, immense pressure if it’s determined that Saudi
Arabia was involved to sanction pretty severely the people who have been
involved in this,” Corker said of the US administration in Washington.
an interview on Thursday, Corker told reporters that “everything indicates” the
Saudis murdered Khashoggi.
Saudi dissident’s fate remains shrouded in mystery, with several reports
indicating that he has been either killed or kidnapped at the consulate by 15
Saudi operatives – among them bin Salman’s elite close protection unit – who
had arrived in Istanbul on the same day only to leave Turkish soil hours later.
Washington Post cited several of Khashoggi’s friends as saying that the
prominent journalist had over the past months had been asked by senior Saudi
officials close to return back home from the US, offering him “protection” and
“even a high-level job.”
had, however, voiced distrust of the Saudi officials, and said they were
unlikely to keep their words.
pastor Andrew Craig Brunson will leave Turkey after completing legal
procedures, his lawyers said, after a court released him on Friday.
Izmir court sentenced the pastor to three years and 45 days in prison, but he
will not serve the time in jail.
court credited his time spent in detention, and ended his house arrest and
to reporters after the court's decision, Ismail Cem Halavurt said: "My
client will leave the country. There are a couple of procedures to remove the
provisions of judicial control. It will not take long."
cleric was arrested on Dec. 9, 2016 on charges of being member of Fetullah
Terrorist Organization (FETO). On July 25, citing Brunson's health problems, an
Izmir court ordered him moved from jail to house arrest.
charges include spying for the PKK -- listed as a terrorist group by both the
U.S. and Turkey -- and FETO, the group behind the defeated coup attempt in
Turkey of July 2016.
and the U.S. have faced rocky relations following Washington’s imposition of
sanctions over Brunson's detention.
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