aim of the tour mosques is to demystify any misconceptions they may be having
about Islamic and Arabic culture.
Mosque Tours in Dubai to Teach More about Islamic Culture
Wants To Annihilate Our Islamic Identity: Maulana Fazlur Rehman
Says No Plan to Extradite Turkish Preacher Fethullah Gulen to Turkey
Fund Hardline British TV Station the Islam Channel
Seers Assure Muslims, Offer Shelter in Temples
Civilians Killed By Anti-ISIS Coalition Strikes In East Syria
forces seize last IS pocket in southern Syria
Official: Khashoggi's Head in Riyadh
State loses holdout in south Syria, faces deadly air raids in east
Withdraws from More Positions in Sweida Desert under Syrian Army Attacks
Intensify Attacks on Syrian Army in Demilitarized Zone
two dozen Daesh remnants slain in Iraqi army airstrikes, ground operations
6,000 US-backed militants residing in Syrian refugee camp
Iraq, bloody tribal custom now classed as ‘terrorism’
Urges Ulema to Highlight True Essence of Islam
SaysWon’t Allow Exhumation of Sami’s Body
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Saudi assistance to reach SBP tomorrow, says Umar
enforcers see sub-nationalist groups behind Quaidabad blast
to consult ulema regarding blasphemy laws: President Alvi
Has Made No 'Final Conclusion' On Khashoggi Killing
Ambassador to the US disputes Washington Post account of Khashoggi murder
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Is Locking Up Its Muslim Minorities, And Pushing Islamophobia to Get Europe to
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Dunford says Taliban ‘are not losing’ in Afghanistan
official: Taliban target police checkpoint, killing 5
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
aim of the tour is to demystify any misconceptions they may be having about
Islamic and Arabic culture.
you ever wondered what Muslims do at the mosque or what a mosque is?
an initiative for both tourists and residents, the Islamic Information Centre
(IIC) has launched a free-for-all 'mosque experience' where they are inviting
people of all faiths and nationalities to attend their weekly tours of one of
the most beautiful mosques in Dubai. The aim of the tour is to demystify any
misconceptions they may be having about Islamic and Arabic culture.
free mosque tour is conducted at the Masjid Mohammad Bin Ahmed Al Mulla in
Dubai Marina every Monday from 10am to 11am. Tuesdays are set for bookings from
schools, giving students a chance to learn and know more about the Islamic
culture, prayers and mosque etiquettes. Visitors can book their slot for the
tour simply by registering for free on www.islamicic.com/mosque.
a Sri Lankan resident, said: "Even though I have been living here in Dubai
for five years now, today was the first time I ever understood the concept of
Islam and saw a mosque from inside."
of the visitors even wore traditional dresses - abaya and kandoora - to get a
more immersive experience of the culture.
Bullock, head of cultural communications at the IIC, Dubai (part of Dar Al Ber
Society) who led the tour at the mosque, said: "We have had a very good
response for this initiative that is now in its fifth week. Although a lot of
people may have visited various mosques and gotten a chance to admire its
architectural beauty, we at the IIC aim to go a bit deeper and explain to
people what exactly we Muslims do in the mosque, the etiquettes of a mosque,
and how we pray."
in store for visitors
tour started with one of the volunteers demonstrating how Muslims complete
their ablution. The visitors were then shown the architectural beauty of the
mosque before sitting down for a brief talk on Islam and its precepts.
of the questions asked by the visitors included what is the right age of
children to start their prayers in Islam; why women wear hijab; is the call of
prayers same across the world; why is there a separate section for men and
women in the mosque; and what is the importance of Friday prayers.
nationals Paul and Ruth, who were on a visit to the UAE, said they were
"delighted at their first ever mosque experience".
the traditional dress, Paul said: "We learned how pure this beautiful
religion Islam is, which is often not presented in the right way especially by
the Western media. We will always cherish this special experience that has
totally changed our perception of Islam."
LAHORE: The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) chief
Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said after Sindh, the people of Punjab have also
given their verdict against any amendment in the blasphemy law.
said this while congratulating the various parties and workers who participated
in the million march led by Fazl, who is also ameer of his eponymous Jamiat
who participated in the march out of love of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) should be
congratulated,” he said adding that international powers cannot remove this
love from the hearts of Muslims.
Muslim could tolerate everything but cannot accept even the slightest
disrespect towards the Holy Prophet (PBUH),” he said adding the world powers
want to annihilate the Islamic identity of Pakistan.
parties have shown faith in me, says Fazl
main goal is to get Islamic clauses abolished from the Constitution of Pakistan
and are now increasing pressure to achieve that.” He alleged that the current government
was giving in to this pressure rather than defying it.
JUI-F chief also said nation would not allow any change in blasphemy laws
adding: “Protection of the doctrine of finality of prophet-hood and Islamic
clauses in the Constitution is an essential part of our struggle”.
said his party will continue its peaceful struggle for the implementation of
Islamic system in the country, which, he said, is the only way to solve
problems faced by the nation.
Says No Plan to Extradite Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen to Turkey
President Donald Trump said Saturday that he had no plans to extradite Turkish
preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Ankara of orchestrating a failed
2016 coup attempt.
not under consideration,” Trump told reporters shortly before departing on a
daylong trip to California to meet with officials and victims, as well as
firefighters battling the deadly wildfires there.
are doing very well with Turkey,” Trump said. “I get along very well with the
president (Recep Tayyip Erdogan). He’s a friend of mine. He’s a strong man, a
tough man and a smart man, so whatever we can do, we’ll do... but at this
relations have recently been strained, but they warmed up after Ankara’s
release in October of American pastor Andrew Brunson.
fate of Gulen, who has denied any involvement in the attempted coup in Turkey
and whom Washington has repeatedly refused to extradite, remains a central
point of tension between the countries.
teachings inspired the growth of a moderate, pro-Western Islamic movement that
includes scores of schools, hospitals and businesses worldwide.
left Turkey for the US in the 1990s after being accused of calling for the
overthrow of the government.
has denied the charges, and lives with supporters in a rural compound in
Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert had earlier rejected the NBC report that
the White House was seeking a way to extradite Gulen, who reportedly has a US
fund hardline British TV station the Islam Channel
broadcasting regulator Ofcom is investigating a Muslim television station that
is accused of promoting divisive and hardline views in Britain. Ofcom said it
was “conducting an assessment of content on Islam Channel to determine whether
it complies with the broadcasting code”.
station, which claims it has 1m viewers daily, reaches 59% of British Muslims,
according to government research reported in 2008. There are no recent
move comes as a Sunday Times investigation shows that the channel has been
supported by Saudi money. The Ofcom probe follows routine monitoring of its
output. The regulator has censured the channel in the past for political bias,
advocating violence against women and supporting marital rape.
presenters include Haitham al- Haddad, a preacher described…
Reacting to reports of Muslims of Ayodhya feeling unsafe due to gathering of
VHP activists for Dharm Sabha on November 25, the seers and temple mahants have
assured support and security to Muslims and said that Muslims can take shelter
in temples if they feel any insecurity.
Muslims of their security, Hindu seers said that the doors of temples are open
for Muslims to take shelter in case they feel any threat or insecurity.
Dharam Das, a litigant of Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case, said
Muslims should not feel insecure in any situation and the sadhus will ensure
Raj Kumar Das, priest of Ram Ballabha Kunj temple, said, "Muslim brothers
need not worry. Ayodhya-Faizabad are cities of Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb, so no one
will be harmed. And my temple is open for Muslims any time."
mayor Rishikesh Upadhyay also assured safety to Muslims and said, "The
doors of my house are open for Muslims.
are welcome to my house if they feel any insecurity."
1992, after Babri Masjid demolition, many temples in Ayodhya had given shelter
to Muslims," said Mahant Jugal Kishore Sharan Shastri, priest of Saryu
civilians killed by anti-ISIS coalition strikes in east Syria
strikes by the US-led coalition Saturday killed 43 people, mostly civilians, in
a holdout of the ISIS extremist group in eastern Syria, a Britain-based monitor
children were among 36 ISIS family members killed in Abu Husn village of Deir
Ezzor province near the Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
seven victims had not yet been identified as either civilians or ISIS fighters,
US-led coalition has been backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance called the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting to expel the extremist from the pocket around
the highest death toll in coalition air strikes since the SDF launched its
attack against the ISIS pocket” in September, Observatory chief Rami Abdel
coalition has repeatedly said it does its utmost to prevent civilian casualties.
avoidance of civilian casualties is our highest priority when conducting
strikes against legitimate military targets with precision munitions,”
spokesman Sean Ryan told AFP this week.
overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a
“caliphate” in land it controlled.
the extremist group has since lost most of it to various offensives in both
Syria, the group has seen its presence reduced to parts of the vast Badia
desert and the pocket in Deir Ezzor.
coalition has since 2014 acknowledged direct responsibility for over 1,100
civilian deaths in Syria and Iraq, but rights groups put the number killed much
another military development, Russia has threatened the Syrian opposition
forces after they failed to meet a deadline set up by Russian and Turkish
troops to enforce a new demilitarized zone in the city of Idlib.
buffer zone required the withdrawal and separation of extremists from moderate
Syrian regime forces on Saturday took back control of the militant Islamic
State (IS) group’s last holdout in southern Syria after months of fighting, a
war monitor said.
another IS pocket in eastern Syria, meanwhile, air strikes by the US-led
coalition killed 43 people, mostly civilians, the monitor said.
forces retook Tulul al-Safa, between the provinces of Damascus and Sweida,
“after IS fighters withdrew from it and headed east into the Badia desert”, the
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
forces have been fighting the militants in the area since a deadly July attack
on the Druze minority in Sweida province.
recent weeks, air strikes on the Tulul al-Safa pocket had increased and
hundreds of regime fighters were sent as reinforcements, the Syrian Observatory
jihadists’ withdrawal was likely “under a deal with the regime forces” after
weeks of encirclement and air raids, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
news agency SANA reported the Syrian forces had made “a great advance in Tulul
al-Safa” and said they were combing the area for any remaining militants.
the July 25 attack, IS killed more than 250 people, most of them civilians, in
a wave of suicide bombings, shootings, and stabbings across Sweida province.
jihadists also kidnapped around 30 people — mostly women and children — during
the deadliest assault on Syria’s Druze community in the seven-year civil war.
of the hostages have since returned home, while the remainder appear to have
died or been executed by the militants.
children were among 36 IS family members killed in the village of Abu Husn in
Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border, the Observatory said.
seven bodies had not yet been identified as either civilians or IS fighters, it
US-led coalition has been backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance called the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting to expel the militants from the pocket around
the highest death toll in coalition air strikes since the SDF launched its attack
against the IS pocket” in September, the Observatory chief said.
coalition has repeatedly said it does its utmost to prevent civilian
avoidance of civilian casualties is our highest priority when conducting
strikes against legitimate military targets with precision munitions,”
spokesman Sean Ryan said this week.
overran large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a
“caliphate” in land it controlled. But the jihadist group has since lost most
of it to various offensives in both countries.
SDF in September announced an assault to oust the militants from the eastern
pocket, which includes the town of Hajin and the village of Al-Shaafa.
alliance made slow advances until last month when tough militant resistance
pushed the SDF out of the whole of the IS pocket.
the setback, hundreds of Kurdish fighters were deployed to the area’s outskirts
as reinforcements. But the SDF then put the offensive on hold to protest
Turkish shelling of Kurdish militia positions in northern Syria.
considers the Kurdish militia leading the SDF to be “terrorists”, while its
Nato ally the United States has depended on them to fight IS in Syria.
Sunday, the SDF said it was resuming its offensive against IS after “intensive
contacts” with the coalition and “strong diplomatic activity” to defuse the
2014, the coalition has acknowledged direct responsibility for over 1,100
civilian deaths in Syria and Iraq, but rights groups put the number killed much
Arabic-language Khalij Online newspaper quoted an unnamed Turkish official as
saying on Saturday that Khashoggi was beheaded and his head was sent to Riyadh
and other parts of his dismembered body are in Turkey.
killing and dismembering Khashoggi's body by the Saudi team, it is not yet
clear how his head was transferred to Riyadh, either via plane or via road or
sea," it added.
Turkish official referred to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's special
bodyguard Mahir Mutrib, saying that he was one of the main culprits behind the
crime and his luggage was not checked at Turkey's airport as he has diplomatic
passport and his private plane was not inspected due to diplomatic impunity.
a frequent contributor to The Washington Post, was killed on October 2 inside
the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
weeks of denying involvement, the Kingdom admitted Khashoggi had been killed
inside the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge
of any plot to murder the journalist.
far, 18 people --- including security officers --- have been arrested in Saudi
Arabia in connection with the murder.
Syrian regime forces retook control of the last southern holdout of the Islamic
State militant group on Saturday (Nov 17), as a monitor said air strikes killed
dozens in a remaining militant pocket in the country's east.
than seven years into Syria's grinding civil war, multiple forces are battling
to push IS out of its remaining scraps of territory in the country.
Saturday, regime forces retook the southern area of Tulul al-Safa as the
jihadists pulled back into the desert after months of fighting, the
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
fighters regained control of the volcanic plateau between the provinces of
Damascus and Sweida "after IS fighters withdrew from it and headed east
into the Badia desert", Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
withdrawal likely came "under a deal with the regime forces" after
weeks of encirclement and air raids, he said.
recent weeks, air strikes on the Tulul al-Safa pocket had increased and
hundreds of regime fighters were sent as reinforcements, the Observatory said.
news agency SANA reported regime forces had made "a great advance in Tulul
al-Safa" and said they were combing the area for any remaining militants.
victory has whittled down the militant group's territorial control to a single
pocket in the east of the country, where it faces a separate assault by
KILLED IN FAR EAST?
Kurdish-Arab alliance supported by a US-led coalition has been fighting to
expel IS from that far eastern patch near the Iraqi border since September.
Observatory said coalition air strikes early Saturday on the village of Abu
al-Husn in Deir Ezzor province killed 43 people, including 36 family members of
the highest death toll in coalition air strikes since the Syrian Democratic
Forces (SDF) launched its attack against the IS pocket" in September,
Abdel Rahman said.
of those killed were children, he said, while seven of the dead remained
spokesman for the US-led coalition confirmed strikes in the area of Abu Husn,
but said they had not harmed any non-combattants.
civilian casualties are associated with the strikes in question,"
spokesman Sean Ryan told AFP.
coalition takes great measures to identify and strike appropriate ISIS targets
in order to avoid non-combatant casualties," he said, using another
acronym for IS.
Observatory says coalition air raids have killed 234 civilians including 82
children since Sep 10, when the SDF launched the offensive on the eastern IS
says 625 militants have been killed in strikes and clashes in the area during
the same period.
SDF assault was slowed by a fierce militant fightback, and then briefly put on
hold to protest Turkish shelling of Kurdish militia positions in northern
commander Redur Khalil said Saturday that operations were ongoing.
has been an advance on the ground in the past days but it is a careful advance
due to fields of landmines, trenches, tunnels and barricades set up by
IS," he told AFP.
overran large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a
"caliphate" in land it controlled.
the militant group has since lost most of it to various offensives in both
forces had been fighting IS in Tulul al-Safa since a deadly militant attack in
fighting has killed 240 regime fighters and 420 IS militants, the Observatory
the Jul 25 attack, IS killed more than 260 people, most of them civilians, in a
wave of suicide bombings, shootings, and stabbings across Sweida province in
the bloodiest assault on the Druze minority of the war.
of a secretive offshoot of Islam, the Druze are considered heretics by the
Sunni extremists of IS.
war has killed more than 360,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the
brutal repression of anti-government protests.
army forces, backed up by the artillery and missile units, engaged in heavy
fighting with ISIL in several flanks in the Eastern desert of Sweida and
managed to advance 2 km against the terrorists Northeast of Toloul al-Safa.
the meantime, other units of the army drove ISIL out of several key positions
in Qabr Sheikh Hossein region, West of Toloul al-Safa.
the army men exchanged heavy fire with the ISIL and managed to seize military
control over Tal al-Marati region in the Eastern desert of Sweida.
army officer said more than a dozen terrorists were killed and dozens more wounded
and their positions and military hardware were damaged in the army
today, the army forces engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL in several flanks in
the Eastern desert of Sweida and captured more areas in Toloul al-Safa.
the meantime, the army's artillery and missile units pounded the movements and
positions of the ISIL in Toloul al-Safa, killing almost 20 terrorists and
wounding several more.
army's artillery and missile units, deployed in the small town of Bazam in
Northern Hama, opened heavy fire at a group of terrorists near the town of
Morek, inflicting major losses on the militants.
army's artillery attack came after the terrorist group's snipers targeted the
units of the army engaged in heavy fighting with another group of terrorists
and repelled their attack in al-Sarminiyah in Northwestern Hama.
terrorists suffered a number of casualties and failed to prevail over the army
the meantime, other army soldiers targeted terrorists' movements in the village
of Abu Ra'eidah and in the towns of Hasraya, al-Latamina, al-Zakat, Ma'arkabah,
Tal al-Sakhar, and al-Hamimiat, inflicting major losses on them.
a Syrian military source pointed to the terrorists' intensifying attacks from
the demilitarized zone and Ankara's failure in forcing the terrorists to leave
the zone, and said the Syrian Army has no other option but to wage a major
assault on the terrorists in the Northern and Northwestern parts of the
Mar'ei Hamdan, a Syrian military expert, was quoted by the Arabic-language
website of Sputnik news agency as saying on Monday that Tahrir al-Sham is in
control of nearly 70% of towns and villages in Idlib province and makes
provocative moves against the Syrian army, adding that the army's commitment to
decrease tensions is not lasting forever.
added that the Syrian army has so far repelled all attacks by terrorists
against its positions and inflicted heavy damages on them, noting that the army
is now necessitated to come out of the defensive mood to retake control of
said that Tahrir al-Sham will resort to a full-scale military operation against
the Syrian and Russian armies soon, after rejecting the Sochi agreement last
October, which leaves no room for ceasefire or disarmament anymore, and
underlined that the Syrian army's battle against Tahrir al-Sham is inevitable.
the Turkey-backed Ahrar al-Sham and National Liberation Front (NLF) terrorist
groups has also dismissed the Russian-Turkish Sochi agreement and is preparing
for military operations against the army in Northern Syria, calling for a
coalition with Tahrir al-Sham.
al-Sham and other allied terrorist groups have not left the demilitarized zone
two months after the Sochi agreement and have instead reinvigorated their
strongholds and targeted the army positions every day.
reports said last Sunday that the Turkey-backed NLF had put its gunmen on alert
to launch a heavy offensive against the Syrian army in the demilitarized zone
in Idlib province.
Arabic-language al-Watan reported that the Turkey-backed NLF had kept its
fighters in and outside the demilitarized zone, envisioned in the Sochi
Agreement, on alert for imminent war against the army.
than two dozen members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group have been killed as
Iraqi air forces and government troops launched separate counter-terrorism
operations across the crisis-hit Arab country to flush out the last remnants of
the extremist outfit.
Alaa al-Saadi from Diyala Operations Command said four Daesh Takfiris were
killed when Iraqi military aircraft targeted a militant hideout in Hamrin
basin, situated 90 kilometers north of Baqubah.
added that Iraqi forces were continuing their surveillance operations across
the area to track remaining Daesh militants and destroy their positions.
a security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the independent
Arabic-language National Iraqi News Agency that members of the Federal Police
force, backed by Iraqi Air Force jets, carried out numerous operations in the
Badush and Hatra districts of the northern province of Nineveh, killing over 20
Daesh terrorists in the process.
source warned that sleeper cells of the extremist group were still active in
some parts of Nineveh.
Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations
against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, he formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which
served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in Iraq.
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of
fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
Russian Defense Ministry official says the US is to be held responsible for the
dire humanitarian situation in Syria's Rukban camp, warning that about 6,000
US-backed militants are currently residing besides civilian refugees at the
Tarasov, the Russian representative to the Geneva-based task forces on
ceasefire and humanitarian issues, made the remarks at a Friday conference
about issues relating to the return of Syrian refugees.
said Washington had occupied a region on the Syrian-Jordanian border where the
refugee camp was situated.
camp lies within a 55-kilometer zone controlled by the US around its military
base in the Syrian town of At-Tanf.
whole responsibility for the outrageous situation in Rukban rests with the
United States, as it occupies the territory illegally and it uses the
humanitarian problems of the refugee camp to legitimize its military presence
in the south of Syria," Tarasov said.
further expressed Moscow's readiness to cooperate with international
organizations on resolving the Rukban humanitarian crisis and evacuating the
refugees willing to leave the shelter.
of today, one of the most urgent problems is the situation in the Rukban
refugee camp, which is in an extremely difficult humanitarian situation. I want
to note that the total number of temporarily displaced people in it is about
50,000 people, of which about 6,000 are militants of the Maghawir al-Thawra
group controlled by the United States," he added.
Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of the Russian National Defense
Control Center, told the conference that the situation in the Syrian refugee
camp reminds one of the "World War II concentration camps."
also complained about the silence of the international community and the media
blackout regarding the Rukban situation.
have this become possible in the modern world?… Why does the global community,
so much concerned about human rights, stubbornly keeps silent about the
humanitarian catastrophe of the Rukban camp residents, while they are in fact
hostages?" he asked.
Russian Health Ministry spokesman Sergey Grabchak raised concerns about a
"high mortality rate" caused by infectious diseases as well as the
absence of medical assistance at the Syrian refugee camp.
the past month alone, more than 100 people died in Rukban. I confirm the
difficult, disastrous situation in Rukban," he said.
the past few months, Syrian troops, backed by the Russian air force and Iranian
military advisors, have made sweeping gains against Takfiri elements who have
been wreaking havoc in the Arab country since 2011.
A bloody, age-old custom used by Iraq’s powerful tribes to mete out justice has
come under fire, with authorities classifying it as a “terrorist act”
punishable by death.
centuries, Iraqi clans have used their own system to resolve disputes, with
tribal dignitaries bringing together opposing sides to mediate in de facto
one side failed to attend such a meeting, the rival clan would fire on the
absentee’s home or that of fellow tribesmen, a practice known as the “degga
ashairiya” or “tribal warning.”
in an age when Iraq’s vast rural areas and built-up cities alike are flooded
with weapons outside state control, the “degga” may be deadlier than ever.
recent dispute between two young men in a teashop in the capital’s eastern
district of Sadr City escalated to near-fatal proportions, leaving a
40-year-old policeman with a broken hip and severely damaged abdomen.
cousin Abu Tayba said the policeman was “wounded in a stray bullet during a
‘degga’ on a nearby home.”
after the incident, he’s still in the hospital, hovering between life and
death,” Tayba told AFP.
in Baghdad, disputes often involve machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades,
the city’s military command warned a top Iraqi court recently.
body, the country’s Superior Magistrate Council, issued a decision last week
classifying “deggas” as “terrorist acts” — and therefore warranting the death
penalty — because of their impact on public safety.
few days later, it announced it would take legal action against three people
accused of targeting a home in Al-Adhamiyah, north of Baghdad, with the deadly
Iraq, a country of 39 million people, clan origin and family name can carry
weight in securing a job, finding romance, and gathering political support.
can also interfere in the work of the state, as tribal structures in some areas
can be more powerful than government institutions.
year, Iraq’s tribes and the ministries of interior and justice pledged to work
closer together to impose the law, but “deggas” seem to have hindered such
Al-Fraiji, the head of a tribal council in the southern province of Basra, told
AFP the warnings have become commonplace.
happens every day. Yesterday it happened twice. The day before, three times,”
months ago, a domestic dispute between a husband and wife turned into an armed
attack on the husband’s home. The exchange of fire killed one person and
said tribal influence and practices were growing because the state was seen as
an Iraqi citizen, the law has become weak. Meanwhile, tribes impose themselves
is like a jungle — so a citizen will turn to a tribe to find solutions to their
country has been ravaged by years of conflict since the US-led invasion in 2003
that removed strongman Saddam Hussein and led to the rise of militias.
decade later, the Daesh group overran much of Iraq and was only ousted from its
urban strongholds across the country late last year.
of instability have left many of Iraq’s communities flush with weapons and
largely out of the state’s reach, contributing to a preference for tribal
government is responsible for the increase in tribal conflict and of ‘degga’
cases,” said Adnan Al-Khazaali, a tribal leader in Baghdad’s Sadr City.
of the young men today are armed and even the security forces cannot stand in
leaders and government officials alike are clinging to the hope that the new
ruling could change things.
incidents are continually happening, and are often causing casualties,” interior
ministry spokesman Saad Maan told AFP.
rulings and their implementation,” Maan said, could be the only way to secure
in Basra, the head of the local human rights commission estimated around a
dozen people were wounded or killed in “deggas” last year.
incidents threatens social peace,” said Mahdi Al-Tamimi.
sad and worrying, and cannot be eliminated without a solid and effective law.”
Fraiji, known in Basra for his relatively progressive views, feared the court’s
ruling would not be enough to take on Iraq’s powerful clans.
urges Ulema to highlight true essence of Islam
(Web Desk) – President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday urged Ulema to highlight true
essence of Islam by projecting its polite and peaceful aspects.
to a delegation of Ulema representing different sects at Governor House in
Lahore on Saturday, he reiterated the Government s determination to protect
said that the government will consult Ulema to play their effective role for
ensuring that Tahafuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat and Blasphemy Laws are not misused.
urged the Ulema to fully cooperate with the government to ensure that sacred
notions are not misused to create conflicts, aggression and destruction of
peace in the country.
President said the government was not considering any change in Clause 295 C of
Blasphemy Laws, nor was it considering any proposal to recognize Israel.
said the process of registration of Mosques and madaras will be smoothened and
facilitated as per laws so that their registration process gets completed soon.
Ayub Safdar on behalf of Ulema s delegation assured that Ulema will extend all
possible help to ensure peace in the country. He said they will cooperate
effectively to make Pakistan a welfare Islamic state.
Punjab Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan hosted a lunch in honor of Dr Arif Alvi
at his residence which was also attended by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and
the newly elected Senator Seemi Eizdi.
Aleem welcomed President on his first tour to Lahore and apprised him about the
new local bodies system in the province.
also discussed Prime Minister s 100-days plan and success achieved in the
encroachment drive in the province.
Dr Arif Alvi thanked the Senior Minister for his traditional hospitality.
Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar was also present on the occasion.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) on Saturday said it would not allow
exhumation of the body of Maulana Samiul Haq for a postmortem as police had got
permission from a sessions judge of Rawalpindi in this regard.
have not yet received any official or court order regarding exhumation of the
body of Shaheed Maulana Samiul Haq, but why will we allow the postmortem today
which was refused yesterday (immediately after the incident),” said JUI-S
provincial chief Maulana Yousaf Shah.
said that they had not received any notice regarding postmortem, adding it was
the right of heirs of a family to allow police to conduct it or not. He said
that in this connection the decision of Shariat Court was also available that
the government could not force a family for the postmortem.
JUI-S leader said that the history showed that the government had never
arrested any culprit on the basis of postmortems. He said that the government
had failed to arrest the killers so far and now was trying to hide its failure
on the pretext of postmortem.
At least two people were killed and 10 others injured as a bomb exploded near a
flyover in Pakistan's port city of Karachi on Friday. Some vendors were selling
fruit and other items of daily use near the flyover at Quaidabad locality of
the city when the bomb went off, damaging buildings and triggering panic in the
densely populated area, police said.
investigating the blast said that at least 500 grams of explosives were used in
the home-made explosive device, the Express Tribune reported.
blast killed two teenagers, aged 18 and 16, and injured 10 others, officials
after the blast, Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) officials reached the site of the
incident and defused a second bomb, with at least two kilograms of explosives.
officials said that the blast was pre-planned and the objective was to draw
first responders and people to the blast site after the first bomb exploded and
then detonate the second bomb.
the second explosion had happened, the losses would have been much
higher," an official said.
10 injured have been shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for
Amid hopes of reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
on a basic economic policy framework programme, Pakistan is likely to receive
the first tranche of $1 billion under the balance of payments support from the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within the next couple of days, boosting the country’s
plummeting foreign currency reserves.
money would hopefully reach the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) by Monday, Finance
Minister Asad Umar told Dawn in an exclusive talk. He said, “My Saudi Arabian
counterpart has given me an assurance in this regard.”
second and third tranche will be received over the next two months.
month Saudi Arabia had agreed to provide a $6bn package to Pakistan to support
its ailing economy. The package included $3bn balance of payments support and
another $3bn in deferred payments on oil import.
Umar said the facility of deferred payment on oil import would mature by next
month. However, the finance minister, who sounded very confident that an
immediate balance of payments crisis had been overcome with the help of
bilateral assistance from Saudi Arabia and China, did not give any figure.
“This will be an unprecedented help from China,” the minister said, adding that
he had committed not to disclose details before it was finalised. “I will not
divulge the details at this moment,” he reiterated.
claimed that the only reason of going to the IMF was to accelerate the pace of
economic growth and not to seek loan to fill any gap. He explained that he was
not negotiating terms of a loan but of a ‘broader economic reforms package’.
available IMF funding quota for Pakistan is approximately $6-6.5 billion.
government had taken several steps including reduction in expenditures to bring
drastic cut in the current account deficit. “We will reduce the current account
deficit to $12bn by the end of June 2019, almost $7bn reduction,” the minister
declared, explaining that this was the government target for the first year.
said the IMF package would play a small part in filling the balance of payments
gap directly though it would pave the way for getting loans from multilateral
donors and commercial creditors.
was negotiating the basic economic policy framework agreement with the IMF, he
said. “This will be our basic achievement which we are hoping to reach by Nov
20,” he said, adding that details could be negotiated later.
said there was no difference of opinion about putting economy on the right
course with the IMF support. The only issues that could come up during the
talks were related to ‘pace of adjustments’ and ‘pace of burden’.
direction is very clear that we will place burden only on higher income
individuals,” he said. It was common understanding that IMF would ask for more
revenue to reduce fiscal deficit, reducing line losses in gas and power sector
and increase it further, he said. But it would be the government decision
whether to pass on the burden, he added.
will not hide behind IMF if I believe that certain measures are required to fix
economic issues,” he said, claiming that both sides had already reached an
agreement on basic facts and also exchanged the frameworks.
Monday, the minister said that he would be in a better position to see whether
there was a larger agreement or gaps still existed in the negotiations. He
clarified that it would be the government decision how to reduce the fiscal
Umar admitted that increase in revenue was one of the major areas of
discussion. He made it clear that the shape and quantum of total additional
revenue would be decided by the government and not the IMF.
privatisation, he said Pakistan and IMF had no differences on structural
reforms, as his government had identified seven companies for privatisation out
of 50 to 60 state-owned enterprises placed on active privatisation list for
many years. Even if LNG company was privatised, its cumulative impact would be
more than the whole five years privatisation progamme of the previous
government, he claimed.
Police have launched investigations into the Quaidabad bomb blast, which killed
two teenage boys and wounded 12 other persons on Friday night, and law
enforcers said that their assessment suggested involvement of sub-nationalist
groups in the deadly incident, it emerged on Saturday.
teenagers were killed and 12 other persons, mostly vendors, sustained injuries
when a bomb planted under a pushcart went off on Friday night near the
dead and wounded were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.
of the injured persons were discharged after first aid, said Dr Seemin Jamali,
executive director of the JPMC.
seriously injured persons were admitted for treatment. One of them had
sustained injuries in the head, but his condition was improving. Another
injured person’s leg was amputated to save his life. He was badly injured in
the blast and was shifted to the intensive care unit of the hospital, added Dr
funeral of one of the dead teenagers, Ali Hasan, was held in the city on
Saturday, which was attended by politicians and officials. He was stated to be the
only brother of seven sisters.
Counter-Terrorism Department has taken over investigations from the local
police and launched their own probe into it.
familiar with the preliminary investigations of the case told Dawn that the modus
operandi and type of explosive material indicated the involvement of
sub-nationalist groups, who may be belonging to Sindh or Balochistan.
a possible motive for the blast, a security official on condition of anonymity
told Dawn that it had been observed that the Sindhi or Baloch sub-nationalist
groups tended to carry out terror acts “to make their presence felt” whenever
an important day or event was expected to arrive.
sources said that it was a remote-controlled device, weighing around two
law enforcers found another improvised explosive device at the crime scene,
which was defused by the police’s Bomb Disposal Squad officials. It also
weighed around two kilograms and was also a remote-controlled device.
security official said they suspected that another bomb was planted to cause
maximum damage to human life when law enforcers were supposed to arrive there
to inspect the place, but it was defused on time by the bomb experts.
conspiracy to sabotage peace’
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday visited the JPMC and inquired
about the health of the persons injured in the Quaidabad blast. He directed the
hospital administration to provide proper health facilities to the wounded.
to the media on the occasion, Mr Shah said such incidents were a conspiracy to
disturb the peace. He said he had sought an immediate report from Inspector
General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam.
a question about lack of proper forensic laboratory in Sindh, Mr Shah said he
hoped that such a forensic lab would be established here soon.
said the Sindh government was assessing why Punjab’s forensic lab leaked
information to the media about findings of the samples collected from the home
of two minor brothers who died from eating “poisonous food” in the city last
said at this stage, it would be premature to comment on the death of two minor
brothers till a complete report is received.
CM expressed his concern about the prime minister’s reported statement of taking
U-turns and apprehended that it might adversely affect foreign investment in
IGP Imam praised the 12 BDS and CTD officials who defused another bomb near the
Quaidabad flyover on Friday night and announced Rs50,000 for each official.
President Dr Arif Alvi met a delegation of ulemas representing different sects
at the Governor House Lahore where he announced that the Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government will consult the religious scholars regarding
the country’s blasphemy laws.
Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar was also present at the meeting. The
president stressed the need to highlight the true essence of Islam while
projecting Islam’s inherited positive, polite and peaceful aspects.
Alvi stated that the federal government was the determined guardian to protect
government will consult ulemas to play their effective role so that
Tahafuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat and blasphemy Laws are not misused. Ulemas should
fully cooperate with the government to ensure that sacred notions are not
misused to create conflicts, aggression and destruction of peace in the
country,” the president, according to a press statement, making it clear that
the government has no plans of reviewing the clause-295-C of the blasphemy
Ayub Safdar, on behalf of the ulema delegation, assured that they will extend
all possible help to ensure peace of the country and will cooperate effectively
to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state.
president further said that the government is not considering any proposal to
accept Israel as a state. The president further said that the process to
register mosques and madaras will be smoothened and facilitated as per laws so
that the registration process is completed soon.
has made no 'final conclusion' on Khashoggi killing
US government has not reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi,
the State Department said Saturday following reports that the CIA had held the
Saudi Crown Prince responsible.
reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are
inaccurate," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a
remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr.
Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts,"
the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations
to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi."
added that Washington had already taken "decisive measures".
will continue to explore additional measures to hold those accountable who
planned, led and were connected to the murder. And, we will do that while
maintaining the important strategic relationship between the United States and
remarks followed reports that the Central Intelligence Agency had determined
Saudi Arabia ordered the killing of Khashoggi.
a Post columnist, had gone to the consulate to obtain documents necessary to
marry his Turkish fiancee.
Arabia’s US ambassador on Friday dismissed a report by The Washington Post (WP)
claiming that that CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman ordered the assassination of Mr Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in
Istanbul last month.
Arabia’s US ambassador has denied a report claiming that the CIA has concluded
the Saudi Crown Prince was involved in the killing of journalist Jamal
Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last month.
report on Friday by The Washington Post was written almost entirely using
anonymous sources, including an unidentified US official.
newspaper claimed there had been a phone call between the prince’s brother and
Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Khalid bin Salman, and Khashoggi, who was a
contributing columnist to the paper.
said Prince Khalid told Khashoggi that “he should go to the Saudi consulate in
Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be
safe to do so”, and claimed the call was made at the direction of Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman.
Khalid took to Twitter on Friday to dispute the report.
we told The Washington Post the last contact I had with Mr Khashoggi was via
text on Oct 26, 2017. I never talked to him by phone and certainly never
suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release
any information regarding this claim,” he said. “This is a serious accusation
and should not be left to anonymous sources.”
Khalid also said that the newspaper did not publish the full response sent to
it by a Saudi embassy spokesperson in response to inquiries about the CIA’s
full version, which he posted on Twitter, reiterates that he had never
discussed “anything related to going to Turkey with Jamal”.
Ambassador met Jamal once in late September 2017 in person for a cordial
discussion, and they communicated via text after the meeting,” the statement
Khalid bin Salman has never had any phone conversations with him. You are
welcome to check the phone records and cell phone content to corroborate this,
in which case, you would have to request it from Turkish authorities; as our
Public Prosecutor has numerous times to no avail.”
statement described the purported CIA assessment as false, and said that there
was no concrete evidence to support these “speculations”.
on Thursday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir said Saudi Arabia's Crown
Prince had "absolutely" nothing to do with Khashoggi's killing.
comments came after Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor accused a rogue band of
Saudi operatives of the murder.
a statement on Thursday, the public prosecutor’s office said a team who were
sent to Istanbul to return Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia, “forcibly restrained him
and injected him with a large amount of a drug resulting in an overdose that
led to his death.
the murder, the victim’s body was dismembered by the individuals that have
committed the murder and was transferred outside the consulate building,” the
public prosecutor Shaalan told reporters in Riyadh on Thursday that 11 out of
21 suspects detained on suspicion of involvement had been charged with murder.
pilot embraces Islam while flying plane
video of Brazilian pilot is going viral in which he is seen embracing Islam
aboard a passenger aircraft.
are here with pilot Amalo from Brazil. He will say the text of the Shahada
during our flight to Taluka,” a man sitting in the cockpit can be heard
to Russian TV, Captain Amaolo was flying the plane above Saudi Arabia when he
converted to Islam.
the Video, he is reciting the Shahada, repeating after the man who is not visible in the footage.
report said the he recited the Islamic creed approximately 18000 feet in the
of people from Middle East alone has seen the video, according to the RT.
descriptions of how CIA and FBI agents tortured their captives -- caught for
alleged links to terrorism in the US government’s so-called ‘war on terror’
effort following the Sept. 11, 2001 incidents – have been read aloud during a
trial of prisoners held at the infamous Guantanamo military prison.
alleged plot mastermind was taken nude from interrogation to a medical officer,
who put fluids up his rectum then returned him nude to interrogation. Some captives
were kept like "cowering dogs," subjected to standing sleep
deprivation, abdominal and facial slaps, in what one CIA agent called a
"nightmare”,” US-based daily Miami Herald reported Friday, quoting
statements made in the military court by 9/11 Prosecutor Jeffrey Groharing.
to the daily, Groharing read the descriptions from various material his team
had provided defense lawyers in a bid to prompt a new 9/11 trial judge, Marine
Col. Keith Parrella, to restore the FBI interrogations of the alleged plotters
that Parrella's predecessor had excluded from the trial.
military judge tried to suppress torture evidence
original trial judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, had suppressed the information
about the interrogations by FBI agents in August because prosecutors had
blocked defense attorneys from speaking to CIA witnesses.
court-appointed lawyers defending the Gitmo prisoners, however, insisted on
obtaining a graphic description of torture and abuse carried out in CIA’s
overseas black-site prisons in a bid to argue that the 2007 FBI interrogations
at Guantanamo were tainted by the earlier torture.
had found that without an independent probe by the defense-team, the defense
lawyers would not have enough evidence to argue exclusion of the interrogations
of alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, and four
other defendants at Guantanamo in 2007. So he suppressed them. Then Pohl handed
off the case to Parrella and retired from 38 years in the military.
CIA is not on trial," Groharing told Parrella on Thursday as quoted by the
daily. He further insisted that this is the trial of the five men accused of
plotting the mass murder by hijacking of nearly 3,000 people in New York,
Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
CIA held the five suspects incommunicado and subjected them to cruel treatment
from 2002 and 2003 to their transfer to Guantanamo in September 2006. They were
then arraigned on May 5, 2012 under an Obama-era format for military
commissions that prohibited the use of tortured or coerced interrogations from
the military commissions.
to the report, the case has been in pretrial hearings, often arguing over
access to evidence, ever since. No trial date has been set.
really not a secret what happened to the accused in CIA custody. It's a matter
of how it's shaded or flavored, if you will," the 9/11 prosecutor further
admitted, arguing that defense attorneys have enough prosecution-furnished, CIA
and judicially approved summaries of what occurred in the black site prison
network to defend the suspects in the death-penalty case.
the report emphasized, offered “the most lurid, detailed descriptions of what
was inflicted upon the captive, known as KSM, yet uttered in the war court.”
lawyers shed light into depth of CIA cruelty
daily noted, however, that Mohammed's death-penalty defender, David Nevin,
insisted that the prosecution-picked details about the abusive treatment of the
men were insufficient for a fair trial.
further challenged the prosecutor’s argument, pointing out that the government
had condensed a description of a 15-hour interrogation into a page-and-a-half
instance, he added, the prosecution provided evidence that Mohammed was
"rectally rehydrated," but does not describe how it was done.
"Does somebody hold his legs apart? Is he naked? Was lubrication involved?
How did they do it?"
lacks moral authority to execute 9/11 suspects’
lawyers for the men who went missing in CIA detention from 2002 and 2003 to
2006 want even more exacting eyewitness testimony. They want to argue that the
United States has lost the moral authority to execute the alleged 9/11
conspirators, if convicted.
imagination fails when it comes to how badly these men were treated ... in this
dungeon they created," said attorney Jay Connell, representing Mohammed's
nephew Ammar al Baluchi. He further emphasized that it was unimaginable, before
this week's revelation that CIA agents considered using “truth serum” in their
secret prison network.
also underlined that the so-called vivid descriptions offered by the
prosecution were woefully insufficient and shouldn't substitute for evidence
provided by actual eyewitnesses and original CIA cables.
did they hit him? In the head? In the stomach? In the scrotum? What kind of
sounds does he make? Does he flinch? Does he wince? Does he cough? Does he
beg?," Connell said. "Is he gaunt? Is he starving? Is steam coming of
his body when they douse him in cold water?
does it look like when a person is so humiliated? Do they cry? Do they whimper?
That's the kind of information that is a rich and vivid account."
prosecutor had earlier invoked quotes from anonymous CIA black-site
eyewitnesses who said they were "ashamed," saw a
"nightmare" and observed detainees held at in one overseas prison
like "cowering dogs."
Muslim youth the dominant group seeking isolation from society
Muslims between the ages of 15 and 30 form the main group seeking isolation
from society and rejecting its vaunted values of freedom, equality and
fraternity, says a senior Catholic figure with knowledge of Islamic affairs.
Vincent Feroldi, director of the French Catholic church’s service for relations
with Muslims, says an active minority has adopted a separatist outlook with “a
strong communitarianism inspired by Salafism”.
Feroldi told The National that 75 per cent of an estimated five million Muslims
among France’s 67 million population had French nationality. “Most are under 30
and a large majority want to integrate into French society and adopt French
culture, as long as they can keep their religious traditions,” he said.
minority of dissenters, he said, showed respect for French laws, if only to
avoid prosecution, imprisonment or – if foreign – deportation. But as well as
distancing themselves from the population as a whole, some held negative
opinions about non-Muslims. “Others will exert strong pressure on their fellow
Muslims to follow Salafist Islam,” he said.
Feroldi leads a team that regularly meets Muslims in France and abroad and
seeks partnerships on joint projects.
also helps Catholic dioceses to develop relations with Muslims and updates the
church hierarchy of developments and events affecting the lives of Muslims in
France and abroad.
asked whether he believed a majority of French Muslims supported the principle
of mutual tolerance, Fr Feroldi said: “In 2018, after years marked by the
economic crisis and deadly attacks in France, Europe and worldwide, Christians,
Muslims and Jews wish to live their faith in France peacefully, in accordance
with the laws of the republic and in a context of vivre ensemble [living
faced with the issue of immigration and the rise of populism, everyone searches
could lead to tensions, which usually disappeared when representatives of
different faiths worked together.
Feroldi welcomed the case studies of Ecquevilly, recognising “the great merit
of allowing the public to discover the complexity and better understand Salafism”.
exposure, he said, challenged French President Emmanuel Macron and his
government to forge clear policies to resist practices that threaten France’s
“great values of equality, fraternity, freedom and solidarity”.
all, he said, there was an urgent need to “foster a life together where we all
enrich one other”.
perhaps the biggest gamble of his risk-taking French presidency, Emmanuel
Macron is considering a bold constitutional change affecting Muslims as part of
his strategy to combat extremism.
Macron’s initiative to formally organise Islam in France was originally
promised in the first half of the year. After repeated delays, driven by the
deep sensitivities of the task he has set himself, it is now expected in the
in the country’s media suggest it may include a proposal to amend a cornerstone
of French society: the 1905 law separating church and state; a distinction
cherished in the country’s secular republican tradition.
would enable assistance for religious institutions from public funds, which is
not permitted under the law as it stands. The aim of this approach would be to
end the reliance on overseas funding for new mosques, their upkeep and the
training of imams, facilitating a more structured system, even in relatively poor
areas where Muslim leaders find matters of funding and organisation to be
secularism is so rooted in France, a principle that unites natural enemies on
the left and right, such a step would arouse fierce opposition across the
is already among the most unpopular French presidents of recent times. Given
how unhappy the French electorate became with Francois Hollande, Nicolas
Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac, that is saying a lot. Many who last year welcomed
the election victory of the youngest president in French history now dismiss it
as, above all, a vote against his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen.
by the left as a “president for the rich”, Macron has also been the target of
two far-right assassination plots. The latest involved a foiled plan to stab
him with a ceramic knife during ceremonies marking 100 years since the end of
the 1914-1918 war.
of the reason for his broader unpopularity – one recent poll put his approval
rating as low as 21 per cent − is his commitment to changes in social and
economic policy that he believes are essential to France’s future. The French
tend to nod in approval when presidents promise reform, only to recoil in
horror once it threatens to affect them.
Macron has confronted powerful groups, including militant railway workers
accustomed to getting their own way. Teachers, pensioners and motorists hit by
cuts and soaring fuel prices have protested, and ministers have departed in
despair. But the president has generally shown a strikingly non-French resolve
to tough it out.
France and Islam, the Elysee Palace insists that the president’s deliberations
remain incomplete. But the magazine L’Opinion claims to have seen a preliminary
draft of what Mr Macron will say when he finally outlines his vision for the
way France’s largest religion after Catholicism should be structured.
is widely accepted, by a number of Muslim observers as well as mainstream
political figures, that the present organisation of Islam in France is
fragmented and often dependent on foreign benefactors. However, many Muslims
are suspicious of state interference that excludes them from consultation
processes. The country’s biggest representative body, the French Muslim
Council, bitterly complains that this is exactly what has happened.
other suggestions the president has considered is the idea of a “halal tax” − a
small levy, collected by Muslims themselves, on halal products, pilgrimages and
idea was floated in a report for the Montaigne Institute, a leading French
think tank, and submitted to Mr Macron by Hakim El Karoui, a French
banker-turned-academic whose uncle, Hamed Karoui, served as Tunisian prime
minister for 10 years.
El Karoui said the proceeds could fund mosques, the training and remuneration
of imams, and projects to oppose both anti-Muslim xenophobia and what he
controversially described as “the anti-Semitism shown by some Muslims”.
Reaction, on all sides, was mixed.
Mr Macron’s approach has not been without contradictions. He talks of wanting a
“dispassionate” debate about secularism. Yet, he also said that his proposed
new initiative was intended to ensure that Islam is “practiced everywhere in
accordance with the laws of the republic”. And his current open-mindedness
about changing the 1905 law seems at odds with a formal pre-election
declaration that an amendment would not be justified.
than anything, the evolution of his thinking demonstrates the mental acrobatics
French political figures perform when trying to grapple with the complexities
of achieving “vivre ensemble” − living together in harmony – with Europe’s
largest Muslim population.
Macron knows he is not the first holder of high French office to flirt with the
notion of fundamental change.
in 2004, Nicolas Sarkozy was an interior minister committed to moving Islam
from makeshift prayer rooms in garages and tower block basements – isolated,
rundown places, where he believed that extremism could flourish − he wrote that
with modification of the law, all French towns might have adequate, well-run
mosques of their own. After drawing howls of protest from fellow conservatives,
he allowed presidential ambition to prevail.
Indian nationals held in Saudi for taking pictures with tri-colour, released
after MEA intervention
Indian nationals from Vadodara were detained by the Saudi Arabia police Friday
for posing and taking pictures with the Indian Flag inside the Haram in Mecca.
While 12-year-old Uzair Ali was released immediately after the intervention of
the Consulate General of India in Jeddah, his father Imitiaz Ali Saiyed (45)
was freed on Saturday.
a manager at an optical shop at Old Padra Road, is a resident of Tandalja area
of the city. He had left for Mecca along with his wife and two children on
Monday. On Friday, he was detained by the Saudi Arabia police for taking a
picture of his son along with the Indian tri-colour.
Consulate General in Jeddah in a tweet stated, “Please note it is banned to
display flags in Haram area. Our official has already met Mr Imitiaz Ali and
son Mr Uzair Ali at Haram Police station. After our intervention, Uzair Ali has
been released. We are following the case and all help being extended for early
release of Mr Imitiaz as well.”
brother Faiyaz Ali said, “My cousin who lives in Saudi informed us about the
detention. We were informed that today in the evening the police will make a
final decision regarding the case. We are yet to hear from them. They had taken
the flag along with them but did not know that posing with it and taking
pictures was an offence.”
Goplani, National Executive Council member of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-
Mushawrat’s, Gujarat Chapter in a series of tweets to the External Affairs
Minister Sushma Swaraj, Gujarat Chief Minister’s Office, Prime Minister’s
office and the Consulate General for India in Jeddah, had apprised them of the
situation and sought their help and intervention into the matter.
Archaeological Survey of India's (ASI) office in Agra has increased vigil to
prevent the local residents from offering namaz at the Taj Mahal on World
Heritage Day, which will be celebrated on Monday (November 19) with free entry
to all historical monuments of the city.
decision has been taken in view of the outbursts by Muslim groups against the
organisation's recent move to ban namaz at the mosque on Taj Mahal premises on
ASI officials claimed that the decision was taken in compliance of a July order
of the Supreme Court. The apex court upheld the local administration's order
which had barred all but the Agra residents from offering Friday prayers in the
mosque on Taj premises on the security grounds.
senior ASI official told India Today that to prevent namaz being offered at the
royal mosque by the locals on Monday, extra ASI and CISF personnel will be
deployed at the mosque and the 'wazu' tank. This will stop any Muslim from
attempting to offer namaz at the mosque in contravention to the Supreme Court
orders which only allow the royal Mosque to be used for Namaz during Ramzan,
Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Juha and on Fridays.
this end, the chairman of the Bharatiya Muslim Parishad, Sami Aghai, said that
the ASI was working on the Bharatiya Janaya Party's (BJP) agenda and wanted to
dispossess the Muslims of another mosque, just like what happened in case of
the Babri masjid. He said, "The royal mosque was built by Shahjahan, the
descendant of Emperor Babar and by royal firman, the mosque even had a royal
Imam appointed there."
added that the ASI accepted the existence of the royal mosque in the Taj Mahal
and even paid a salary of Rs 15 per month to the royal Imam, which strengthened
the claim of the Muslims on the mosque.
Congress leader Shabbir Abbas told India Today that if necessary, the Muslims
will knock the doors of the Supreme Court in this matter.
the Muslims were dispossessed of their traditional livelihood of making marble
handicrafts by imposing demonetisation and GST on them, and now the same
government is snatching away the royal mosque from Muslims, which will not be
tolerated," he said, adding, "If the Congress party returns to power
in 2019, all such blatantly communal decisions of the BJP government will be
Biradari Vice-President Vishal Sharma said, "Agra is a land of Sulh-e-Kul,
where secular poets like Amir Khusrau, Mir, Nazir, and Ghalib were born and the
world's first 'secular religion' Deen-e-Ilahi was formulated by Emperor Akbar.
In such a city, the growing feeling of mistrust and animosity between the Hindu
and Muslim communities is not a good sign."
added that Sulh-e-Kul can be retraced from an early Sufi mystic principle
aiming at a peaceful and harmonious relationship among different religions,
which was introduced by Amir Khusrau, the beloved disciple of Hazrat Nizamuddin
Aulia. "It was this Sul-e-Kul, which became the keystone of Akbar's
Deen-e-Ilahi," he said.
concept of Sulh-e-Kul implies not just tolerance but also the spirit of
balance, civility, respect and compromise required to maintain harmony among a
diverse population of interfaith affiliations. The essence of pluralism in
Sulh-e-Kul was an antidote to religious radicalisation, divide, and conflict.
Long back, in Delhi, Silh-e-Kul platforms were set up for maintaining a
syncretic culture, out of which one Sulh-e-Kul temple was located in Palam, New
Delhi, Nov 17: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and many other affiliate
organisation have started built up in temple town Ayodhya and even ritualistic
14-Koshi Parikrama also started in the city with many Muslim organisations too
are coming out in support of the construction Ram Temple to end animosity
between the two community.
Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi has written a letter
requesting chief of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Rabe Hasan
Nadavi. He suggested in his letter that a compromise should be arrived at and
the entire city should be left for the Hindu community for the construction of
Ram Temple. Compromise should not be looked down upon as a defeat.
further writes, "There have been many compromises in Islam as well. It is
not wise to put lives of 20 crore Muslims in danger for a small tract of land.
If we take a few steps back leaving this small piece of land for Hindus to
built a Ram Temple there, we will be able to win over hearts of 99 people of
the country. This will be in the interest of the country and Muslims. Moreover
hatred against Muslims and Hindus will to minimized. I hope you will take up
this proposal in the next meeting of AIMPLB and consider the matter there to
arrive at some prudent decision on the matter."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi among his audience, President Ibrahim Mohamed
Solih of the Maldives said Saturday that he would strengthen bilateral
relations with India and other neighbouring countries, and would work to ensure
stability in the Indian Ocean.
who was seated between former Maldives presidents Mohamed Nasheed and Maumoon
Abdul Gayoom, met Solih and hugged him after the new President was sworn in.
This was the first time that Modi had attended the swearing-in of any foreign
and Solih, who had a bilateral meeting just after the swearing-in, “agreed on
the importance of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean and being
mindful of each other’s concerns and aspirations for the stability of the
region”, a joint statement said.
is aimed at addressing concerns stemming from China’s assertive activities in
the Indian Ocean region. Three Chinese naval ships had docked in Male in August
last year. Solih briefed Modi on the dire economic situation facing his
country, and the two leaders discussed ways in which India could continue the
development partnership, particularly to help the new government meet its
pledges to the people of the Maldives.
particular, President Solih highlighted the pressing need for increased housing
and infrastructure development as well as for establishing water and sewerage
systems in the outlying islands,” the joint statement said.
two leaders also decided that the Maldives foreign minister would visit India
on November 26, and would take forward discussions pertaining to the economic
assured Solih of India’s firm commitment in assisting the Maldives to achieve
sustainable social and economic development. He also conveyed India’s readiness
to extend help in every possible way, and suggested that both sides should meet
at the earliest to work out details as per the requirements of the Maldives.
former President Abdulla Yameen had claimed unprecedented infrastructure development
in the island nation, it was largely perceived as being part of China’s “debt
for leverage” model, which can used by Beijing to get access to the country’s
natural resources as well as for strategic reasons. Experts say Chinese loans
for projects already account for around 70 per cent of the Maldives’ national
for the Indian footprint to be expanded, Modi welcomed the “expanding
opportunities for Indian companies to invest in the Maldives in different
sectors for the mutual benefit of both countries”.
that nationals of both countries travel extensively between the two countries,
the leaders also agreed on the need for facilitating easier visa procedures,”
the joint statement said. Indian workers and professionals in the Maldives had
been facing issues regarding visas and work permits as ties deteriorated.
and Solih also expressed their “unwavering commitment and support for increased
cooperation in combating terrorism both within the region and elsewhere”.
Maldives has faced a rising tide of Islamist fundamentalism in the last few
years. It is said to have supplied between 50 and 200 fighters to the ISIS, and
Maldivian civil society has witnessed an increase in religious intolerance and
official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar
tweeted, “PM attended the inaugural ceremony & congratulated President
@ibusolih. The visit reflects India’s commitment to assist the Government &
people of #Maldives in their endeavour to build a peaceful, democratic &
spokesperson tweeted pictures of the inaugural ceremony, saying: “Being part of
a special moment. Maldives President Solih in his address to the People’s
Majlis: We will endeavour to fortify existing ties with India. Maldives will
hereupon bolster its shared role to retain enduring peace & harmony of the
Delhi had heaved a sigh of relief after Solih’s victory in the presidential
elections in September this year, as relations between India and Maldives had
deteriorated in the last few years with Yameen in power. Yameen’s trampling of
democratic processes and his veering towards China had caused considerable
concern in New Delhi.
high-handed approach had prompted former Presidents Nasheed and Gayoom, arch
rivals, to join hands and form a joint opposition, and they had fielded Solih
as their presidential candidate. Sources said it was only befitting that Modi
was seated between Gayoom and Nasheed, as these two leaders are perceived to be
the powers behind President Solih.
who has been accused of siphoning off funds, is likely to face charges. In his
inaugural address, Solih said, “As I assume office, billions of Rufiyaa is
missing from the state, we do not even know the exact amount missing. We need
foreign assistance in recovering these funds.”
arrived Saturday to attend the swearing-in ceremony, in what is his first visit
to the Maldives as Prime Minister. The last visit by an Indian Prime Minister
to the Indian Ocean island nation was by Manmohan Singh in 2011. Modi was
scheduled to visit the Maldives in March 2015, but political turmoil in the
country had forced the cancellation of the visit.
Saturday, Modi conveyed his greetings to the people and the government of
Maldives on “consolidation of democracy, which is essential for peace,
prosperity and stability”, the joint statement said after the meeting.
two leaders, while noting the resilience of the relations between India and the
Maldives, expressed confidence in the renewal of the close bonds of cooperation
and friendship with the election of Mr Solih as the President of the Maldives,”
of the visit, Modi had said, “I will convey to the new Maldivian government of
Mr Solih the desire of the Indian government to work closely for realisation of
their developmental priorities, especially in areas of infrastructure, health
care, connectivity & human resource development.”
had said the recent elections in the Maldives represented the collective
aspirations of the people for democracy, rule of law and a prosperous future.
in India strongly desire to see a stable, democratic, prosperous and peaceful
Republic of Maldives,” he said.
congratulated Solih and wished him “the very best for his tenure”. “India and
the Maldives share a strong partnership rooted in history, strong bonds between
our peoples, and their shared aspiration for peace and prosperity. My
government’s vision of inclusive development ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’
extends to all our neighbours too,” he said.
day after a civilian was killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on
suspicion of being an Army informer, militants on Saturday abducted and killed
a 19-year-old in Shopian, PTI reported. The incident took place even as
panchayat polls are underway in the state.
Saturday killed a civilian in a brutal act of terror in Shopian district after
he was kidnapped earlier in the day from Saidpora area,” a police official was
quoted as saying by PTI. A throat-slit body was found from an orchard area in
Hermain village of the south Kashmir district, he added.
deceased has been identified as Huzaif Ashraf (19), a resident of Manzgam area
of the neighbouring Kulgam district. “Huzaif’s body was handed over to his
family after completion of the medico-legal formalities,” the official said.
case under relevant sections of law has been registered and the investigation
has been initiated in the matter.
Thursday night, militants had abducted and later killed Nadeem Manzoor, a
resident of Safanagri area, police had said. Police said that the youth’s
bullet-riddled body was found in Pulwama’s Niklora village.
youth’s family members said that a group of gunmen entered their house on
Thursday night when Nadeem was not at home. “When he came back, we told him
that some people were looking for him. He again went out and was kidnapped.
Later, we came to know that he has been killed and his body has been found,”
Nadeem’s cousin told The Indian Express.
Friday evening, an unauthenticated video went viral in the Valley, showing
unknown gunmen firing at a man at an undisclosed location. Some reports have
identified the man as Nadeem.
officers said they are verifying the video. “I have just seen it (the video).
We are verifying it. I cannot comment on it unless we verify the content,”
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Law and Order and Security, Munir
Ahmad Khan told The Indian Express.
an audio message, also circulated on Friday evening, Hizbul Mujahideen’s
operations’ chief Riyaz Naikoo said that their “do or die squad” found the
informer of the encounter (in Safanagri).
is locking up its Muslim minorities, and pushing Islamophobia to get Europe to
do it too
is trying to stoke Islamophobia among Europeans to justify, and even export,
its model of locking up their Muslim minorities as the troubling crackdown
continues to grab global attention.
is waging an unprecedented crackdown on the Uighurs, a majority-Muslim ethnic
minority, in the western region of Xinjiang. Many Uighurs refer to the region
as East Turkestan.
are placed under intense surveillance in their hometowns, with up to 1 million
of them reportedly imprisoned in detention centers or re-education camps, where
many are reportedly psychologically and mentally tortured.
sees its crackdown on Uighurs as a counterterrorism measure, and claimed the
camps were "free vocational training" that make life
and international organizations are increasing pressure on China to stop these
practices. But Beijing is not only ignoring their critics - it's even trying to
get them to follow their lead.
the past few weeks, China has, through official statements and editorials in
state media, cited Islamic terror attacks in Europe to justify and promote its
Maybe Europe should learn from us
week the country's state-run Global Times tabloid ran an editorial accusing
Europe of hypocrisy in their criticism of China's human rights record.
even suggested that European countries "discuss with China" how it
can learn from Beijing's model of suppressing Muslim minorities.
writer, Ai Jun, said Europe "may have overlooked its own troubles,"
and singled out Britain, France, and Germany as countries with large Muslim
populations and which were - according to Ai - vulnerable to terrorist and
of judging China condescendingly, Europe might need to sit down and discuss
with China how to figure out their common challenges," Ai said.
September, Li Xiaojun, a spokesman for China's state council information
office, also cited terror attacks in Brussels and Paris carried out by Islamic
extremists over the past three years to hit back at Western critics.
to detention centers, Li said according to Reuters: "If you do not say
it's the best way, maybe it's the necessary way to deal with Islamic or
religious extremism. Because the West has failed in doing so, in dealing with
religious Islamic extremism."
at Belgium, look at Paris, look at some other European countries. You have
Irwin, a project manager at the World Uyghur Congress in Munich, told Business
Insider: "I think China's tapping into Islamophobia that does certainly
exist in the West, but what we're witnessing in China isn't merely
Islamophobia. It's the forced assimilation of an entire ethnic group based on
historic notions of Chinese superiority."
only uses Islamophobic rhetoric retroactively as a means of gaining support
from its own domestic population," he added.
Rauhala, The Washington Post's former China correspondent, dismissed the Global
Times' criticism of European critics as "Twitter trolling," but
warned that its policy of detaining Muslims to counter terror "is the
actual position of the Chinese government right now."
policy of attacking countries that criticized its own human rights issues is
not new, and it doesn't seem to be working, either. In fact, Western countries
are ramping up their actions against China over the Uighur issue.
week alone, Reuters reported that 15 Western ambassadors in Beijing were
seeking a meeting with Chen Quanguo - the Chinese official believed to have
masterminded the Xinjiang crackdown - to demand an explanation over China's
Wednesday, US lawmakers drafted a bipartisan bill urging the White House to
punish China, by way of possible export bans and financial sanctions, over its
persecution of the Uighurs.
on Monday, UN experts in Geneva sent a scathing letter to the Chinese
government, seen by Business Insider, describing China's Xinjiang policies as
"incompatible with China's obligations under international human rights
month the European Parliament also issued a motion calling on China to
"immediately end the mass arbitrary detention" of Uighurs, close all
the camps, and allow "free, unhindered access for journalists and
international observers to Xinjiang province."
told Business Insider: "China's consistent refrain in response to
allegations of human rights abuses has been to point the finger back at its
accusers and remind them that they, too, have their own problems."
line of argumentation isn't at all convincing. Although it is true that rights
abuses exist the world over, you can't paper over your own record through
returned accusations," Irwin added. "If this were the case, all
states would accept bad behavior and nothing would change."
and Indonesia are bucking the global trend on democracy
October, Latin America's most populous nation, Brazil, elected as president
Jair Bolsonaro, a former military man and historically fringe, far-right
senator known for his pro-gun, pro-torture views. In 1999, he told Brazilian
television, "Elections won't change anything in this country. It will only
change on the day that we break out in civil war here and do the job that the
military regime didn't do: killing 30,000. If some innocent people die, that's
fine. In every war, innocent people die."
in the world, Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Recep Erdogan, Viktor
Orban and Rodrigo Duterte are some of the names that have dominated headlines
as leaders who are spearheading the world's reported march towards
authoritarianism. In January, the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index
for 2018 reported that electoral democracy was continuing its "disturbing
retreat" the world over. The TIME magazine recently declared that "a
new archetype of leader has emerged. We're now in the strongman era."
this is true of Brazil, the United States, China, Russia, Turkey and even the
Philippines, it is not so in the Malay Archipelago.
May, Malaysian politics was changed irrevocably with the election of its
opposition for the first time in 60 years of independence. Accountability,
openness and democratic progress appear to be finally within reach.
many Western observers continue to argue that Islam is incompatible with
democracy - Indonesia and Malaysia beg to differ. With the former already the
strongest electoral democracy in Southeast Asia and the latter an unlikely late
bloomer, the two countries are leading the charge for democratic politics in
their immediate region, and perhaps the world.
Malaysia went to the polls in May, Indonesia was celebrating 20 years of
Reformasi - a word in both Malay and Indonesian which means reform,
specifically of the democratic kind. Protests from a broad civil society
coalition of students, Muslim groups and women in 1998 saw Indonesia's
outrageously corrupt dictator of more than three decades, Soeharto, step down.
has since seen the unshackling of its media; the emergence of non-traditional
political actors including trade unionists, rights activists and feminists as
well as a forceful re-emergence of Islamists; and the establishment of a range
of anti-corruption and human rights protection institutions.
wildly popular if somewhat goofy President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has
been accused of authoritarian tendencies, particularly after the outlawing of
the Hizbut Tahrir group, which campaigns for Indonesia to adopt Islamic law and
become a caliphate, under a controversial presidential decree in July 2017.
unlike most heads of state in the region, he is less about smearing the media
and threatening NGOs than he is about shoring up support through building rural
infrastructure and giving land rights to indigenous groups. He likes groovy
jackets and giving away push bikes to kids.
smaller, richer cousin Malaysia had lagged behind in its own Reformasi. But
come May 2018, Prime Minister Najib Razak was turfed out by the electorate
despite incessant gerrymandering and a rigged voting system. His demise came
largely due to accusations he stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the
sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad or 1MDB and the return to politics
of now-PM Mahathir Mohamad.
in power between 1981 and 2003, Mahathir was known for his intolerance of critics
and has since admitted to serving as a "dictator". Shortly after
being elected in May, however, the 93-year-old took to Twitter to chastise
authorities for arresting a man who had allegedly slandered him and Islam on
Facebook. "I don't agree with the action taken against those who criticise
me," he said.
democracy is not everything. Democracy is typically understood as requiring
strong separation of powers and the protection of human rights. Like their
Southeast Asian neighbours, both Indonesia and Malaysia have checkered human
rights records. Law enforcement and the legal systems of both countries remain
corrupt and inadequately independent.
year 1965 saw the massacre of up to a million leftists in Indonesia - one of
the worst mass killings of the 20th century for which the perpetrators are yet
to face any consequences. Malaysia still organises its society along the lines
of race and class, providing benefits to the Malay-Muslim majority in a system
that elsewhere would be described as apartheid. In both countries, anti-LGBT
sentiment has grown in recent years, sparked by growing Islamic conservatism
and pushes for same-sex marriage and other LGBT equality struggles in the West.
both states were the only in ASEAN to criticise Myanmar in a timely manner for
the atrocities carried out against its Rohingya population, sending more than
700,000 people into neighbouring Bangladesh since August last year.
civil society organisations routinely criticise the government on a range of
rights issues and stage public protests. Rapid domestic change is also afoot in
Malaysia. Last month, the government announced it would bring in a moratorium
on the death penalty with the view of abolishing it. The government has also
said it will remove a "pink tax" on menstrual products.
importantly, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is finally able to do its
work unobstructed. Authorities have raided former prime minister Najib Razak's
properties, seizing jewellery and luxury handbags worth millions of dollars. In
September, he was arrested for alleged abuse of power, while his wife Rosmah
Mansor was detained last month over money-laundering accusations.
it faces ongoing political threats, Indonesia's Corruption Eradication
Commission (KPK) remains one of the most important, independent institutions of
the democratic era. Just this April, it took down the speaker of the house,
Setya Novanto, jailed for 15 years for corruption, sending a strong message to
the nation's political class.
Samuel Huntington famously proclaiming in 1993 that "Islam has bloody
borders", neither Malaysia nor Indonesia has fought a full-scale,
international war since the Bornean Confrontation of the 1960s, in which
Indonesia fought against colonial powers to oppose the formation of Malaysia.
Neighbouring Australia, meanwhile, which then sent troops to repel the
Indonesians, has fought in the Vietnam, Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and
has joined the coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant
(ISIL) in the Middle East.
leadership within ASEAN has ensured decades of peace. None of the member states
has fought each other since the 1980s. Former diplomat and dean of the Lee Kuan
Yew School in Singapore, Kishore Mahbubani, has even argued that the bloc
deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.
democrats in ASEAN are Muslim
pundits in the West have long argued that Islam is incompatible with democracy.
But since 2004, Indonesia has held competitive elections deemed free and fair
by international observers.
the 1990s was a decade of reform and political transformation in Southeast
Asia, then the first two decades of the twenty-first century have seen
disappointing dividends," concluded former editor of the Far Eastern
Economic Review, Michael Vatikiotis, in his 2017 book Blood and Silk. Across
the Mekong region, most ASEAN states have increasingly adopted the People's
Republic of China's mode of autocratic capitalist development.
different story, however, is playing out in the Malay part of archipelagic
Southeast Asia. Having campaigned on the issue, Malaysia's new government has
cancelled several projects it deemed threatening to state sovereignty, while
the Indonesian opposition has vowed to review China's Belt and Road project if
elected in the 2019 presidential elections. Both countries are careful to
maintain good relations with the West and India, as well as their trading
partners in the Middle East.
of the world may be having its doubts about democracy. Even in the Asia
Pacific's veteran democracy Australia, a recent poll showed that a third of the
population favoured an authoritarian or "strongman" type leader. But
in the Muslim Malay world, it looks like democracy is here to stay.
LUMPUR, Nov 18 ― Former inspector-general of police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan
has questioned non-Muslims for allegedly contesting the affairs and lifestyle
controversial retired police officer also suggested that non-Muslims as being disrespectful
are there so many non-Muslims who dispute issues linked with Islamic affairs
and Muslim lifestyle lately?” he asked on his Twitter account @TSMusaHassan
there a universal rule for them where they do not need to respect others’
Muslims so weak that we have to compromise?” he added.
had earlier on his account criticised liberalism, pluralism, and secularism.
are concepts brought by the West, allegedly for human rights and freedom.
Islamist gathering set to take place at the Az Zikra Mosque in Sentul, Bogor
regency, West Java, was canceled on Saturday, but nearly 1,000 personnel from
the Bogor Police and Indonesian Military (TNI) remained to stand guard over the
were deployed to maintain security on Friday.
event, called Indonesia: The Starting Point for the Rise of Islam in the World,
was canceled because organizers had failed to obtain a permit from the Bogor
Police, who claimed the gathering was part of the Islamic caliphate movement
that aims to replace the country’s political system.
mass organizations and university student groups have also opposed the event.
Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Andi Mochamad Dicky cited residents’ rejection as
the basis of police’s decision to withhold a permit.
Salam, a local cleric who chairs the gathering, said organizers had decided to
cancel the event after it had to secure permission from the police.
urge participants to remain calm and present good manners,” he said in a
statement on Friday.
also urged participants from various regions who had arrived in Jakarta to
visit local mosques and perform I’tikaf (seclusion in a mosque).
GAJAH, Nov 18 — Perak PAS commissioner Razman Zakaria sought to pit DAP and the
Malay rulers against each other last night, during a protest against the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Islamist politician claimed the Pakatan Harapan (PH) component is allegedly
challenging the sovereignty of the Malay rulers, with DAP secretary-general Lim
Guan Eng advising party members against accept honorific titles such as
very rude for them to turn down the recognition given by the Rulers. This shows
that they are against the sovereignty of the Malay rulers.
is one of the reasons why Malays and Muslims oppose the ICERD,” Razman said in
a protest organised by the Perak chapter of Malay-Muslim coalition Ummah.
month, Lim had chided party members who accepted state or federal awards that
confer them with titles, like “Datuk”, in order for party members to show
integrity and prove they were not after such forms of recognition or positions
while in public service.
also claimed that the recent incident in Penang where foreigners were arrested
for distributing materials on Christianity was so-called proof that Islam will
be harmed under PH.
what happens now? After just six months taking over the government, they
distributed Christian brochures in the schools in the north.
the convention will bring more harm to Muslims and Islam,” he claimed.
is among the 14 countries in the world yet to accede to the ICERD, which has
been ratified by numerous Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia, Saudi
Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Jordan.
JAYA: Top leaders from PAS and Umno have agreed to hold a joint rally on Dec 8
to protest plans in ratifying an international convention on ending racial
decision was announced at a programme in Pasir Salak last night attended by
Abdul Hadi Awang and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the PAS and Umno presidents.
will hold a peaceful rally. The majority have the right to voice out,” Hadi
told some 30,000 PAS and Umno members, as quoted by PAS mouthpiece
government’s announcement that it was considering ratifying the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, or ICERD,
has been met with opposition from Malay and Muslim groups.
is among a handful of countries that have neither signed nor ratified the
treaty provides individuals worldwide with a mechanism for complaints over
issues of racial discrimination, among others, and is enforceable against
it obliges parties to eliminate racial discrimination in all forms including in
public institutions as well as in government policies, the issue at the heart
of the opposition from Malay groups.
groups say ratifying ICERD will undermine the special position of the Malays,
including provisions to allow quotas in public institutions, as spelt out in
Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
are also opposed to the ICERD’s timeline on member countries to end affirmative
action programmes, which they say would be a death knell for Malaysia’s
decades-old Bumiputera policy.
the event last night, a donation drive was launched to help fund the Dec 8
rally to protest ICERD.
his speech, Hadi said PAS and Umno had many times come together to fight on
issues involving Muslims and Malays.
said the late Tunku Abdul Rahman and Burhanuddin al-Helmy, two past presidents
of Umno and PAS, had once shared the stage in Melaka to demand independence.
said both parties had also come together in the wake of the racial riots of
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) has spoken up to support Baiq Nuril Maknun, a resident of
Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, who is facing jail time for defaming a man that
allegedly harassed her.
legal division head Robikin Emhas said the largest Muslim organization hoped
that the Supreme Court would release the 37-year-old after deliberating a case
review she planned to file.
hope the reputation and dignity of Baiq Nuril Maknun can be restored in the
case review verdict, just like the Mataram District Court [that had acquitted
her],” he said in a statement as quoted by Antara.
was sentenced to six months in jail and fined Rp 500 million (US$33,749) after
the Supreme Court found her guilty of defaming her alleged harasser, Muslim,
the principal of the school where she worked, by spreading a recording of a
phone conversation between the two.
said she recorded the conversation after he shared stories about his affairs
with another woman multiple times. He had also asked her to meet in a hotel
room for a tryst. The recording later spread to the school circle and local
education agency, prompting Muslim's removal from his post. He then reported
Nuril to the police for defamation.
have received the court order to jail her next week. If she refuses to
surrender herself within a month, she will be arrested.
at a roundtable yesterday apprehended that attacks on minority communities may
increase centring on the December 30 parliamentary election, due to the
patronisation of Islamic communal forces by major political parties.
blamed two major political parties -- Awami League and BNP -- for patronising
Qawmi and Jamaat men respectively, who “perpetrated attacks on minority
communities” in many places in the country.
urged countrymen not to cast vote for any candidate involved in torturing
Samaj, a platform of citizens, organised the roundtable on “National parliament
election: question of minority communities' security” at the capital's Cirdap
at the roundtable, Khalequzzaman, general secretary of the Socialist Party of
Bangladesh (SPB), said the party (AL) which is colluding with Allama Shafi
(ameer of Qawmi madrasa-based platform Hefazat-e Islam) centring on the
elections cannot claim themselves to be a pro-Liberation War force.
social activist Khushi Kabir alleged that “Islam as state religion” and
“Secularism in the basic principle” cannot run together in the constitution.
during 1971 and AL in 2018 are not same; the party has to prove that they are
patronising ideology of the Liberation War through their initiatives, to build
up a non-communal state,” she said.
individuals who opposed the country's independence are now joining AL-led
alliance, while some freedom fighters are joining the BNP-led alliance.
Therefore, not the [electoral] symbol but activities are more important in the
upcoming election to choose candidate [for voters],” she added
rights activist Sultana Kamal said incidents of violence on minority
communities will not be eliminated unless neutrality of law enforcers and
administration are established.
invited representatives of different political parties including the home
minister [to the event] but they are absent. It proves that they are unwilling
to address the problem, so we should give our answer through our vote; probably
then they will pay heed to protecting minorities' rights,” she said.
alleged that the government is negligent in introducing the minority
commission. Rather, it arrests innocent people who raise voice against the
the need to form a political party for minorities, Bhorer Kagoj Editor Shyamal
Dutta said, “We feel insecure during election, as we have no political party
which can bargain to protect our rights by making alliance with the big
delivering a keynote paper, Shamsul Huda, executive director of Association for
Land Reform and Development (ALRD), alleged that terrible attacks on minorities
were carried out in 1990, 2001, 2010, 2012 and centring on the election of
2014, the culprits of which are yet to be punished.
per directive of the High Court, the Sahabuddin Commission submitted a report
on attack on minorities in 2012, but the government didn't take initiatives to
punish culprits,” he added.
Rosario, president of Bangladesh Christian Oikya Parishad, alleged that the
land belonging to Hindu communities in Thakurgaon-2 were grabbed by the local
lawmaker and his son.
urged all to resist such public representatives in the upcoming polls.
Christian Oikya Parishad General Secretary Rana Dasgupta, Centre for Women
Journalists President Nasimun Ara Haque Minu and Oikya NAP (National Awami
Party) President Pankaj Bhattacharjee also spoke.
militants suffer heavy casualties in Ghazni airstrikes
least twenty five Taliban militants were killed or wounded during the
airstrikes conducted in southeastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan, the Afghan
Military said Saturday.
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast in a statement said
the Afghan Air Force carried out airstrikes against the Taliban militants in
Moshaki and Jarkano area of Qarabagha district, leaving at least 21 militants
statement further added that the airstrikes also left at least four militants
the meantime, the Afghan armed forces discovered and defused two improvised
explosive devices during Thunder-6 operations, the 203rd Thunder Corps said,
adding that a suspected militant was also arrested during the same operation.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the airstrikes and Thunder-6 operations so far.
least seven Taliban militants including two of their key commanders were
detained during a Special Operation of the Afghan Army Commando forces in
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the
Afghan Commandos conducted Special Operations in Qara Hindu and Qalbaras
villages located in the outskirts of the provincial capital of Takhar.
statement further added that the Commando forces arrested at least seven
Taliban militants during the operations, including two of their key commanders.
to 209th Shaheen Corps, the key Taliban commanders arrested during the
operation, have been identified as Mawlavi Azim who is also famous as Kakai and
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
the meantime, the 209th Shaheen Corps said at least three Taliban militants
were killed and three others were wounded during Toofan-20 operations in
Chaghat Payin village in Ishkamish district.
Chairman of the JointChiefs of Staff of the U.S. Military General Joseph
Dunford has said that the Taliban ‘are not losing’ in Afghanistan.
Joseph Dunford has reportedly made the remarks in a security forum in Halifax,
that much more needs to be done to bring peace to the war-torn country, Gen.
Dunford has said “They are not losing right now, I think that is fair to say.”
Dunford further added “We used the term stalemate a year ago and, relatively
speaking, it has not changed much.”
also added that there would never be a “military solution” on its own to bring
peace to Afghanistan, the United States and its Nato partners are working to
leverage military, political and economic pressure to convince the Taliban it
is in their interest to negotiate a political solution to the crisis with the
government in Kabul.
Dunford has said “Without going into detail here, we do believe the Taliban
know that at some point they do have to reconcile. The key to success is to
combine all that pressure to incentivize the Taliban” to negotiate.
Afghan official says that at least five police officers have been killed when
their checkpoint came under attack by insurgents in the northwestern Badghis
Aziz Beg, head of the provincial council, says three other police were wounded
and another detained by the Taliban early Saturday morning in the Qadis
said the gun battle lasted about an hour with casualties among Taliban too, but
did not provide an exact figure.
insurgents claimed the attack in Qadis, saying they seized ammunition from the
sources admit Hamas possesses game-changing missiles
Israeli website known for its close links to the regime’s military intelligence
services has admitted that the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas is now
possessing “game-changing” missiles that could hit targets in Israel with
considerable ease and precision.
Debka file said in a report on Saturday that its sources had identified the
type of modern missiles used by Hamas in recent attacks on the Israeli-occupied
territories that inflicted considerable damage and casualties on the regime and
forced the Israeli government to accept a ceasefire with the Palestinians.
said the missiles were of the 333mm-caliber type and had a medium range of 11
kilometers. The report added that the missiles were capable of destroying
Israel’s “artillery emplacements, Iron Dome batteries, armored force
concentrations – whether over ground or in trenches, as well as combat
engineering equipment and command centers”.
is not launched from stationary batteries, but from any combat 4×4 vehicle or
jeep, each of which carries two rockets,” said the report, adding that the main
advantage of the missiles was its mobility which allowed Hamas to fire them
from any area in the Gaza Strip without Israeli radars noticing them.
report came days after Israelis signed into a ceasefire with Hamas after a
barrage of resistance missile attacks on southern occupied territories killed
one and injured more than 80 Israelis.
Israeli government decision to accept the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, prompted
its minister for military affairs Avigdor Lieberman to resign. Hamas called the
resignation, which could bring about early elections in the occupied lands, as
“an admission of defeat” and a “political victory” for the Palestinian
said after resigning from the Israeli cabinet that Hamas was on its way to
become a serious threat to Israel, saying in a year time, the group and its
partner in Gaza, the Islamic Jihad Movement, would reach the military prowess
of Hezbollah, the dominant resistance movement in Lebanon which has
successfully defended the small country against Israeli aggression in the past.
Debka file report about Hamas missiles also came hours after Hamas leader in
Gaza Yahya Sinwar warned Israel not to test the resistance group again.
advise Israel not to try and test us again. This time you did not have a lot of
casualties and you managed to rescue your special forces,” said Sinwar at a
memorial service for the Palestinians killed in recent clashes.
tests Gaza will find only death and poison. Our missiles are more precise, have
a greater range and carry more explosives than in the past,” said Sinwar,
adding, “Our hands are on the trigger and our eyes are open.”
says ready to fight terror on Pakistani soil
says it is prepared to carry out anti-terror operations on Pakistani soil under
the interior minister and the person responsible for the country’s internal
security, I announce that we are prepared to conduct operations in areas where
terrorists are present in Pakistan, under the Pakistani side’s supervision and
with their permission,” Interior Minister Abdol-Reza Rahmani-Fazli said on
said such operations would take place “if the need arises, and they (the
Pakistani side) would not possess the readiness to operate for any reason.”
we have refused to operate on the other side of the border so far, it has been
merely because we wanted to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty,” the minister said.
said the countries could carry out joint border operations, and enjoy much
said efforts invested so far by Iranian security and law enforcement
organizations, and especially the country’s Foreign Ministry, had led to the
release of five Iranian forces, who were kidnapped by terrorists near the
Pakistani border alongside seven others last month.
country was pursuing the release of the rest, he said, adding that Pakistan had
offered good cooperation over the release of abducted Iranian border guards.
expect Pakistan to complement the cooperation and also to enhance security
cooperation in border areas,” Rahmani-Fazli noted.
forces were abducted in mid-October by elements of the so-called Jaish ul-Adl
terrorist group near the town of Mirjaveh in the southeastern Iranian province
of Sistan and Baluchestan, and then spirited away into Pakistan.
border guards have repeatedly come under attack by terror outfits active on the
Arab Coalition has confirmed that forces have intercepted and destroyed three
ballistic missiles launched by the Houthi militias on Marib.
said that the sound of violent explosions shook some neighborhoods of the city
as defense forces intercepted the missiles launched by the Houthi coup militias
targeting residential neighborhoods in the city of Marib.
coalition's air defenses last week intercepted two ballistic missiles fired by
the militias toward the coalition headquarters in the same province.
Houthi coup militias in Sanaa stormed on Saturday, the houses of Othman Mujali,
the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation in the Yemeni legitimate government.
who is also a member of the negotiating delegation in all rounds of
consultations held since the start of the Yemeni war, told Al Arabiya English
that: “The armed elements of the Houthi militias stormed on Saturday his houses
in Sanaa and broke and looted their contents.”
minister said the raid is a clear message from the militias- as a member of the
government’s negotiating delegation- that the pro-Iranian militias pay no
attention to peace endeavors and political solutions.
addition, Mujali linked the continuous defeats of the Houthi militias on
various military fronts, with the hysteria they are experiencing, and is
expressed by the arrests against the population in Hodeidah port city and by
the storming of its opponents’ houses in Sanaa, and the attacks on property and
Friday night, the Houthi militias targeted a number of facilities in Yemen's
senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic has not become completely
disappointed with Europe to help offset sanctions imposed by the United States
on Tehran but it has devised several mechanisms for any possible scenario.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi, who is in Madrid
for talks with senior Spanish officials, made the remarks in an exclusive
interview with IRNA on Saturday.
this month, the administration of US President Donald Trump announced the
re-imposition of the “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran's banking and
energy sectors with the aim of cutting off the country's oil sales and crucial
exports. The announcement came after Washington withdrew in May from the
landmark Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive
Plan of Action (JCPOA), and decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against
the deal, reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries - the US,
Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - in 2015, Iran undertook to put
limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related
first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's
access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto
response to a question about Iran's possible moves in case the Europeans
succumb to US pressure, Araqchi said Tehran had devised all necessary preparations
in different sectors and would carry out required measures in due time.
noted that Iranian economic working groups were studying all ideas and ways to
counter the US sanctions.
senior Iranian diplomat said the Americans were threatening Europe that it
would face sanctions if it cooperated with Iran in countering the US sanctions.
is against European countries' sovereignty and I think that the Europeans must
decide whether they will adopt measures to safeguard their sovereignty and credibility
or not," Araqchi pointed out.
Washington's withdrawal, Iran has not left the landmark nuclear deal yet, but
stressed that the remaining signatories to the agreement have to work to offset
the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they wanted Tehran to remain
other parties to the JCPOA have repeatedly announced that the deal is working
and should stay in place.
said on Friday that the US sanctions primarily violated Europe’s sovereignty,
security and credibility rather than target Iran's economy.
are waiting to see how Europe will defend its sovereignty against Washington's
pressure," he added.
in a meeting with Director General for Political Affairs at the Dutch Ministry
of Foreign Affairs Andre Haspels in Tehran on Tuesday, Araqchi warned that the
possible collapse of the historic nuclear agreement would certainly add to
political complications in the Middle East.
of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has slammed foreign
meddling in Iraq, saying the Arab country must stand firm against its enemies.
way to overcome problems and counter ill-wishers' plots is to preserve national
unity in Iraq, properly recognize friends from foes, stand up to the brazen
enemy, rely on youths and maintain and strengthen links with the [clerical]
sources [of emulation]," the Leader said in a meeting with Iraqi President
Barham Salih and his accompanying delegation in Tehran on Saturday.
Khamenei hailed the recent successful parliamentary vote in Iraq and the
election of a president and a prime minister as well as the establishment of
stability in the country.
Khamenei said the Iranian and Iraqi nations have deep-rooted, historical and
remarkable bonds and hailed the Iraqi government and people's hospitality
towards Iranians during Arba’een commemoration, which marks the 40th day since
the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam.
Leader pointed to the suffering of the Iraqi people in the past and said
"some ill-wishing governments and countries" now seek to deprive
Iraqis of the sweet taste of their great achievement of gaining independence
and prevent the restoration of peace in Iraq and the entire region.
only way to counter such plots is to maintain and strengthen unity among Iraqi
groups, including Arabs, Kurds, Shia and Sunni [Muslims]," Ayatollah
Leader stressed the importance of properly recognizing friends from foes in
foreign policy and said some countries in the region and abroad bear a bitter
grudge against Islam and Shia and Sunni Muslims in Iraq.
are interfering in Iraq's internal affairs, Ayatollah Khamenei said, stressing
the importance of strongly resisting against them without any consideration.
Leader also emphasized that Iran and Iraq should improve relations and said,
"Officials of the Islamic Republic are very determined and firm to boost
cooperation with Iraq and I also deeply believe in this issue."
Khamenei noted that the two countries have great potential to strengthen
cooperation and added that a "strong, independent and advanced" Iraq
is very useful for Iran.
the meeting, which was also attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Salih said he carries a clear message
that nothing can change factors linking the two nations.
Iraqi president added that Baghdad seeks to expand relations with Tehran in all
sectors in line with common interests.
said Iraq would never forget Iran’s help in the fight against Takfiri
least five Saudi-paid Sudanese soldiers have lost their lives when Yemeni army
troops and fighters from allied Popular Committees launched an attack in the
country’s strategic western province of Hudaydah.
military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Saudi mercenaries
were traveling on board two military vehicles in al-Tuhayat district on
Saturday, when they came under attack.
this month, the spokesman for Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement, Mohammed
Abdul-Salam, referred to the deaths of several Sudanese mercenaries in
Hudaydah, saying they were "victims of their government being on the
payroll in a cruel and senseless war."
all respect for the Sudanese nation, we hope the Sudanese regime will change
its position regarding its participation in the aggression against Yemen. The
Sudanese government will achieve nothing but defeat and destruction from this
futile war," he added.
warned that Yemen would turn into a "graveyard" for invaders.
on Saturday, Yemeni soldiers and their allies targeted the positions of
Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur in
an area of Yemen’s southwestern province of Dhale.
troopers and Popular Committees fighters also fired four domestically-developed
Zelzal-2 (Earthquake-2) ballistic missiles at the strongholds of Saudi soldiers
and mercenaries in the kingdom’s border region of Jizan. There were no
immediate reports of casualties or damage though.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million
threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering
from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
police on Saturday freed eight academics and activists detained the day earlier
in hugely controversial raids on suspects allegedly linked to a prominent
financier of civil society activities jailed for the past year.
United States and EU had expressed concern over Friday’s detentions, which
targeted academics and activists deemed to have ties to the philanthropist and
businessman Osman Kavala.
prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 20 people, with 14 suspects rounded up
in the raids.
eight of those detained were freed on Saturday after giving testimony to police
while six were still being questioned, the DHA news agency reported.
did not give the identities of those released.
they included the prominent mathematician Professor Betul Tanbay of Bogazici
University, according to the European Mathematical Society which had recently
elected her as vice president.
Turgut Tarhanli, Professor of Law and Human Rights at private Bilgi University,
was also among those released, NTV television said.
is chairman of the Anadolu Kultur (Anatolian Culture) foundation which aims to
overcome differences within Turkish society through culture and the arts, has
sought to reach out to neighboring Armenia.
suspects, including those released, remain accused of “creating chaos and
mayhem” and “seeking to overthrow the government” in 2013 anti-government
protests triggered by the planned development of Istanbul’s Gezi Park.
worked closely with foreign missions on civil society projects and his jailing
has alarmed Turkey’s Western allies as well raising concerns of a clampdown on
freedom of expression under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Washington was “very
concerned” by the arrests and urged Turkey to release all those held
rule of law, and freedom of expression and association are fundamental elements
of every healthy democracy,” she said in a statement.
foreign affairs spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic described the detentions as
“alarming”, adding that the “widespread pressure on civil society representatives”
flew in the face of Turkey’s declared commitment to human rights,
operation also targeted Anadolu Kultur executives, including deputy chairman
Yigit Ekmekci, board member Ali Hakan Altinay, coordinator Asena Gunal, and
consultants Meltem Aslan and Cigdem Mater.
who is regularly compared by pro-government Turkish media to liberal US
billionaire George Soros was arrested on October 18, 2017. He was remanded in
custody of seeking to overthrow the constitutional order.
Muslim-Muslim ticket remains major hurdle for el-Rufai in Kaduna
the fact that the electorate will determine who governs them in Kaduna State in
2019, a lot of interest is generated by the choice of Hadiza Balarabe as
running mate to Governor Nasir el-Rufai. The reason is that Balarabe, like
el-Rufai is a Muslim. By the peculiar nature of Kaduna State, the choice of
backgrounds of political actors has capacity to enhance or diminish overall
presentation of a party in the eyes of a perceptive audience.
the ethno-religious configuration of the state, notable political platforms
that underwent primaries recently, invested immensely in choice of candidates
and their flag bearers. This was to ensure that the overall interest of the
majority was a crucial part of that determination.
State has three senatorial zones – Kaduna North, predominantly populated by
Muslims; South, principally made up of Christians and the Central, which is 60
per cent Muslims and 40 percent Christians. But the North and Central zones
have largely produced governors for the state, while the position of deputy is
reserved for the South.
the choice of governor and deputy therefore, it is expected of a party to weigh
all the options and be guided by an unwritten guide of equity. But el-Rufai, in
his choice seems to want to change this old order, even though Balarabe is from
Sanga LGA in southern Kaduna. She is a Muslim.
el-Rufai announced his replacement for incumbent Deputy Governor, Bala Barnabas
Bantex, who has opted not to join him in the race for 2019, preferring to
represent his people at the Senate on the platform of the same party.
defending his choice, the Governor who chose Balarabe on the basis of her
competence, is also acting on the basis that he may not need too many votes
from the South, if he could secure just 20 per cent from there to add to his 60
or more from the other two zones.
receiving in audience people of Sanga Local Council at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim
Government House, Kaduna, on a thank you visit for picking their daughter, he
said: “The people that have criticised me most on this (Muslim-Muslim ticket)
are people who never voted me in the first place. So, are they not supposed to
be celebrating it?
in their own opinion, I have made a wrong choice, then, why are they mourning?
From the beginning, I had told my team that I will never choose or deny anyone
appointment because of religion or ethnicity. The Government House is not a
place for worship but where people work. Muslim-Muslim ticket is not a
religious ticket, but a competence and performance ticket.”
matter how elegantly or arrogantly the matter is presented, there are
stakeholders who still think the decision to field a Muslim-Muslim ticket in a
place like Kaduna is unwise. They say el-Rufai’s action may further fragment
the state and promote disunity in a state that is constantly on the edge.
Coalition of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has said the governor’s decision
would surely overheat the state.
things stand, calculations point at a tendency that votes from Kaduna North and
Central may be divided on the ratio of 45/55 between the All Progressives
Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Central zone is comprised
of seven councils, of which Chikun and Kaduna South are predominantly
Christians, especially the Chikuns, who already have an impression of the
Ashiru, candidate of the PDP for 2019 came second in the APC gubernatorial
primary that threw up el-Rufai in 2014. He is not a small fry, but a notable
grassroots mobiliser. This is the political battle awaiting el-Rufai.
Muslims have once again waged protest rally in the capital of Abuja to demand
the release of top Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
for justice for the 65-year-old cleric, who was beaten and arrested in 2015
along with his wife on trumped-up allegations, the protesters chanted slogans
in support of Zakzaky on Saturday and insisting on his immediate release from
leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has been held since December 2015
following a deadly raid by the Nigerian army troops on his residence in the
country’s northern Kaduna State. He and his wife as well as a large number of
his followers have been kept in custody ever since.
the raid, Zakzaky’s wife sustained serious wounds too and more than 300 of his
followers and three of his sons were killed.
was officially charged with unlawful assembly, disruption of public peace,
allegations vehemently denied by his group, known as the Islamic Movement of
2016, Nigeria’s federal high court ordered his unconditional release from jail
following a trial, but the government has so far refused to set him free.
latest protest rally for Zakzaky’s freedom came after a court in the city of
Kaduna ruled earlier this month against his immediate release on bail due to
his deteriorating health that requires urgent medical care.
court refused to grant him bail," Zakzaky’s lawyer Maxwell Kyon said on
are disappointed with the court's decision," added IMN spokesman Ibrahim
Musa, emphasizing that Zakzaky should have been granted bail due to poor
health. "We will keep on with our protests in Abuja and other
hearing came after several peaceful protest rallies held by IMN supporters last
month to demand Zakzaky’s release. Last month, Nigerian security forces opened
fire on IMN members in the capital Abuja, leaving 47 people killed.
judicial inquiry after the 2015 brutal raid concluded that the military had
killed 347 IMN members in Zaria. Soldiers buried the bodies in mass graves.
spokesman of Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist movement has been killed in a
military operation in the country's northeastern Borno state, the army said
available reveal that one Sale Ahmad Sale a. k. a. Baban Hassan the leader of
Al-Barnawi Media group, a faction of Boko Haram was killed by a joint operation
conducted by the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Airforce,” according to the
statement said the spokesman was in the camp of Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, factional
leader of the Boko Haram officially affiliated to Daesh.
killing of the media leader is indicative of efforts by the Nigerian Army to
eliminate key members of the sect. It is worthy to note that the sect is
directly affiliated to the Islamic State and has carried out several attacks
against own troops and innocent civilians in the past.
the death of the group’s media leader shows that the leadership is being
targeted successfully and soon other key members would be apprehended or
neutralized, thus decimating the group and its activities,” it added.
week the Nigerian military said two top Boko Haram commanders were killed in a
military offensive in Borno state.
has been battling Boko Haram insurgency since 2009 when the group turned
violent following the death of its former leader Mohamed Yusuf in police
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