in Bangladesh has alternated between Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia for three
Interfaith Figures Call For Fight against 'Religious Exclusivism'
Fatwa Global Centre: Greeting Christians on Their Festivals Is In Line With
Triple Talaq Bill Political Move by the Govt against Muslim Men, Claim Muslim
Clerics and Social Activists
Win for Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh, Opposition Seeks New Vote
a Timely Step to End Extremism, Terrorism: Moot
Revelation: No Proof Of ‘Tell The Boss, Deed Is Done’ In Khashoggi Case
Indonesia, Calls for Quran Test for Presidential Hopefuls Draw Ire
advises Muslims not to celebrate New Year
Sunni Authority Slams Grand Mufti’s Christmas Fatwa As ‘Reckless’
Army Pounds Terrorists' Movements in Demilitarized Zone in Northern Hama
Gargash criticizes Iraq for meddling in Bahrain’s internal affairs
hints at bigger role in Syria after US withdrawal
of Coptic Christmas, Egypt creates body to fight ‘sectarian incidents’
of Russian ISIS militants return home from Iraq, says Russia
allows Iraqi jets to hit Daesh militant redoubts in Syria anytime: Report
throng Egypt pyramids after bombing, but future clouded
Assad authorizes Iraqi forces to strike Daesh in Syria
Violence Attempt to Instil Fear among Muslims, Claim Human Rights Bodies
IS Module: NIA Conducts Fresh Raids In Delhi, 5 Suspects Arrested
Holds Meeting with Muslim Intellectuals
Talaq Bill: It’s not good for govt to interfere in religious practices, says
Lok Sabha deputy speaker Thambi Durai
Ajmal's Faux Pas in Triple Talaq Debate: Muslim Sectarian Divide Reaches
Mufti meets terrorist’s sister, warns Governor, police to mend their ways
Indian Army foils Pakistani BAT action, kills 2 attackers
Suspected terrorists loot 4 rifles from residence of former MLC
Facing Muslim League’s Fate after Election Debacle: Inu
Violence Kills At Least 17, Mostly From Awami League
refuse talks with Kabul in KSA
ISIS-K leader Qari Riaz killed in coalition airstrike in Nangarhar
Duty-Bound to Protect Fundamental Rights Of Citizens
procuring 600 tanks to strengthen capability along border with India:
warns PTI against ‘committing robbery on Sindh govt’
Alvi urged to find ‘lasting solution’ for missing persons
at Pak-Afghan border: A success story of Pakistan’s security forces
let India steal Pakistan’s water: CJP
army chief sees better military ties with Iran
Protests Image Of Jordanian Minister Stepping On Flag
Hodeidah residents desperate for port to reopen
Syria hold talks on long-term economic cooperation
takes part in Syria's reconstruction projects
Daesh suspects arrested in Ankara
suspected militants killed in joint French-Niger operation
lawmakers demand restoration of full Syria relations
Bashir tells police to rein in force against protesters
Republican Says Trump Vows To 'Destroy' IS Before Leaving Syria
Agreed To Re-Evaluate Syria Evacuation: Graham
military admits killing more civilians in Syria, Iraq
full-throated defence at the time, Kelly backtracks on Trump’s Muslim ban
Trump slowing down planned withdrawal from Syria says senator
mother who fought Trump travel ban says goodbye to son
In New Year Letter to Trump, Says Moscow Is Open for Dialogue
in Western Germany Vandalized With Racist Slurs
Handshake Enforces European Values on Muslims
government’s strategy of vilifying Muslims can be used against all of us
police brace for New Year’s Eve unrest
by New Age Islam News Bureau
interfaith figures call for fight against 'religious exclusivism'
(THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A number of Indonesian religious,
cultural and interfaith figures have formulated a document called the Jakarta
Treatise in response to the rising tide of religious conservatism sweeping the
treatise, which consists of five points, was produced at the end of a two-day
discussion last Friday and Saturday (Dec 28 and 29) in North Jakarta.
those who attended the event were former Constitutional Court chief justice
Mahfud MD, Catholic priests Benny Susetyo and Franz Magnis Suseno,
communications researcher Savic Ali from Indonesia's largest Muslim
organisation Nahdlatul Ulama, Liberal Islam Network (JIL) coordinator Ulil
Abshar Abdalla and activist Alissa Wahid.
first point of the treatise said that while conservatism on its own was not
necessarily a problem, it could become a "serious threat" if it
morphed into "religious exclusivism and extremism" and became a
"tool for political interests".
are concerns that the religion card will be used in Indonesia's presidential
and legislative elections on April 17.
treatise said exclusivism and extremism could lead to more groups advocating
for religious ideologies to become part of the state's ideology.
treatise also suggested five strategies to address these challenges, calling on
the government to take a more active role in bolstering religious moderation.
needs to be returned to its role as a spiritual and moral guide and not just be
focused on the ritual and formal aspects, especially those that are exclusive
in nature, in both public and governmental spheres," the treatise said.
document also urged the government to revise the controversial Blasphemy Law
that resulted in the conviction of former Jakarta governor Basuki
"Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and has been used as justification for
suppressing minority religions such as Ahmadiyah and Shi'ite Islam.
treatise was submitted to Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin,
who released an official response last Saturday, largely agreeing with the
points in the document.
the context of national and communal life in Indonesia, religion is believed to
be a source of important values that cannot be separated from daily life,"
Mr Lukman said in the statement.
contemporary religious life shows a tendency to reduce the noble values of
religion and limit them to external aspects such legal and political formalism,
while ignoring the moral and spiritual aspects of religion."
Lukman said he also agreed that "ultra-conservatism" in the form of
religious exclusivism and extremism contradicted religious values.
Center for e-Fatwa issued a statement in which it addressed the ruling of
congratulating the Christians on their festivals. The Center said, “Islam
teaches its followers values of coexistence, tolerance and respect. These are
the values that are not incompatible with one’s religious glorification and
adherence. The more a Muslim understands Islam, the more he respects
center added saying that congratulating Christians on their festivals is a part
of al-Ihsan [excellence in faith] and al-bir [righteousness] towards them, as
it is included in the chapter of good speech and gentle communication. Allah
Almighty ordered these rulings for all people without any distinction,
especially with the people of the book [ahle-kitab] whose right has been
enshrined in the Surah Mumtahina, as “Allah does not forbid you from those who
do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes -
from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah
loves those who act justly” (60:8). He Almighty also said in the Surah Baqarah,
“And speak to people good [words]” (2:83)
Centre also said, “Permissibility of congratulating the Christians on their
festivals is in line with the purposes [Maqasid] of Islamic religion, as it
highlights its eminence and moderation [Wasatiyah]. This ruling will purify the
spirit of brotherhood in the country and preserve the national cohesion. The
neighbor will reach his neighbor and the friend will participate with his
friend in the pleasant events.
passing of Triple Talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha has not gone down well among the
Muslim clerics and social activists who believe that the bill will bring no
transformation in the Muslim society as changes come from awareness, not new
laws. Merely the fear of law cannot end the crime.
believe that the move of passing the Triple Talaq Bill is politically motivated
by a Hindu government to penalise Muslim men.
to India Today on this issue, Mufti Mudassar Ali Khan Qadri said that since
Muslim marriages are governed by Islamic law, there was no reason why someone
would deviate from the Islamic law in terms of divorce, when everything
pertaining to Talaq, Triple Talaq and the conditions under which it is valid or
invalid, is all written clearly in the Quran and Hadith.
said that the Muslim community did not tolerate interference by the Supreme
Court in the Islamic law in the Shahbano case and the then Prime Minister Rajiv
Gandhi had to bring a bill in the parliament nullifying the SC orders.
even in this case, the bill will have to either withhold in the Rajya Sabha or
the upcoming government will remove the objectionable parts from it through
Welfare Society's General Secretary Mohd Arif said that the bill that has been
passed by the BJP in Lok Sabha is against the interests of Muslim women as it
has been prepared without consulting the Muslim community or the clerics.
said that the Muslim community was not taken into confidence and for the first
time in the history of independent India, a majority Hindu government passed a
law that affects only the Muslim men without consulting the Muslims at all.
Bar Council's former secretary and senior advocate Amir Ahmed said that it will
be very difficult for the Muslim women to get justice despite this bill as this
law will have to be strictly implemented.
said that even the Muslim women will not accept this law as the government
showed too much haste in bringing this bill in the parliament and did not do
Muslim Vikas Parishad Chairman Sami Aghai said that it would have been better
if the government had sent this bill to the Joint Parliamentary Committee
instead of directly tabling it in the Lok Sabha.
said that the government's focus is on the 2019 election alone and before the
elections, it wants to polarise the female Muslim voters in its favour through
Biradari Secretary Gyas Qureshi said that the Islamic law is clearly written in
Quran and Hadith and every aspect of married life is governed by the Shariyat.
the Shariyat is strictly followed, there was no reason to bring another law to
supersede the Islamic law. It remains to be seen whether this Triple Talaq Bill
remains a political stunt or it does bring some transformation in the Muslim
activist Mohd Yaseen said that the BJP does everything with a political angle
and the Triple Talaq Bill's timing is also based on politics. This is probably
the last session of the current Lok Sabha and PM Modi has no hopes of returning
to power unless a miracle turn of events propels him to the high throne again.
also said that to achieve that miracle, Modi is trying to woo the Muslim female
voters through this bill, but there is a high possibility that this bill will
get stuck in the Rajya Sabha and will not see the light of the day in the
current government's tenure.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has secured a fourth term with a
landslide victory in polls the opposition slammed as "farcical" over
claims of vote-rigging, and clashes between rival supporters that killed at
least 17 people.
ruling Awami League party and its allies won 288 seats in the 300-seat
parliament, with the main opposition securing only six seats, Election
Commission secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said.
government had mounted a crackdown on the opposition, an alliance led by the
Bangladesh National Party, which urged the country's election commission to
void the results.
are demanding that a fresh election is held under a neutral government as early
as possible," Kamal Hossain, who heads the alliance, told reporters.
violence and bitter rivalry that marred the election campaign spilled over into
voting day, even as authorities imposed tight security with 600,000 troops,
police and other security forces deployed across the country.
people were killed in clashes between Awami League and BNP supporters, police
said, while three men were shot by police who said they were protecting polling
auxiliary police member was also killed by armed opposition activists,
according to officials.
71, has been lauded for boosting economic growth in the poor South Asian nation
during her decade in power and for welcoming Rohingya refugees fleeing a
military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar.
critics accuse her of authoritarianism and crippling the opposition --
including arch-rival and BNP leader Khaleda Zia who is serving 17 years in
prison on graft charges.
opposition alliance on Sunday accused Hasina's party of using stuffed ballot
boxes and other illegal means to fix the result.
spokesman Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal told reporters there were
"irregularities" in 221 of the 300 seats contested.
are not allowed to enter booths. Especially women voters are being forced to
vote for the boat," Alal said, referring to the Awami League symbol.
Cast Your Vote'
election commission spokesman S.M. Asaduzzaman told AFP the body had
"received a few allegations of irregularities" and was investigating.
did not immediately respond to the accusations but said in the run-up to the
vote that it would be free and fair.
in the capital Dhaka was largely peaceful as convoys of soldiers and
paramilitary forces were on the streets where most traffic was banned.
voters in provincial areas reported intimidation.
voter, Atiar Rahman, said he was beaten by ruling party activists in the
central district of Narayanganj.
told me not to bother, 'We'll cast your vote on your behalf'," he told
opposition said the unrest was stirred up to deter voters, and presiding
officers reported a low turnout across the country.
deaths brought to 21 the official police toll for election violence since the
ballot was announced on November 8.
said they acted "in self-defence" when they fired on opposition
supporters who stormed a polling booth, killing one. A man was also shot by
police after he tried to steal a ballot box.
say Hasina's victory will be sullied by accusations that she hamstrung
opposition claims more than 15,000 of its activists were detained during the
campaign, crushing its ability to mobilise support.
opposition candidates were arrested over what they said were trumped-up charges
while another 17 were disqualified from running by courts, which Hasina's
opponents say are government controlled.
Rights Watch and other international groups said the crackdown created a
climate of fear which could prevent opposition supporters from casting ballots.
United States raised concerns about the credibility of the election while the
United Nations called for greater efforts to make the vote fair.
leadership of Bangladesh has alternated between Hasina and Zia,
allies-turned-foes, over the last three decades.
victory secures her third consecutive term in office, and her fourth overall.
daughter of Bangladesh's first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Hasina was
gifted victory in the 2014 election when the BNP boycotted the vote claiming it
was not free and fair.
groups have since accused her administration of stifling freedom of speech by
toughening a draconian anti-press law and the enforced disappearance of
rejects accusations of authoritarianism but analysts say she feared young
voters would support the BNP.
government was criticised this year for its heavy handling of weeks of major
student protests that brought Dhaka to a standstill.
a Timely Step To End Extremism, Terrorism: Moot
Speakers at a ceremony here on Sunday said Paigham-e-Pakistan, a national
counter-terrorism narrative launched earlier this year, will prove instrumental
in eradicating extremism and terrorism from the country and help reform people
who have lost their path due to negative propaganda by aberrant elements.
‘Paigham-e-Pakistan Conference’ organized by Tehreek-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Pakistan
here at Gaddafi Stadium was attended by a large number of intellectuals,
academicians, ulema, civil society members and students.
Pakistan Chairman Malik Pervez Akbar Saqi presided over the event. Those who
attended and spoke on the occasion included religious scholars Amjad Hussain
Chishti of Jamiat Ulema Pakistan-Niazi, Allama Muhammad Khan Laghari of Jamiat
Ulema Pakistan-Noorani, Qazi Abdul Ghafar Qadri of Markazi Jammat Ahl-e-Sunnat,
Pir Syed Habib Irfani of Darbar Sundar Sharif, Pir Moeen Mehbob Koreeja of
Darbar Baba Fareed, Allama Ziaul Mustafa Haqqani of Muslim Front Pakistan,
Mufti Shabbir Anjum of Aalmi Jammat Ahl-e-Sunnat, Pir Nazim Shah of Pakistan
People’s Party, Pir Syed Ziaullah Shah of Jammat Ahl-e-Hadith, Allama Abdul
Khabir Azad of Badshahi Mosque, Allama Shakil-ur-Rehman of Inter-Faith
Consultation Commission, Iftikhar Hussain Naqvi from Council of Islamic
Ideology, Father Francis Nadeem, Bhagat Lal Khokhar and Manohar Chandan of
National Inter-Faith Dialogue Commission, and Darbar Nankana Sahib former
president Bishen Singh.
their speeches, the speakers rejected the politics of chaos in the name of
Islam and urged the people belonging to all segments of society to play their
role for progress, prosperity and stability of the country by forging unity,
harmony, tolerance and brotherhood. They stressed the need to reconstruct an
inclusive Islamic society in Pakistan with an aim to empower and promote the
social, economic and political inclusion of all irrespective of their age, sex,
race, ethnicity, origin, religion and economic status.
speakers maintained that the role of teachers and ulema is of vital importance
in character building of students at educational institutions and madaris to
achieve lasting peace and tranquillity through elimination of extremism,
sectarianism and terrorism from the society. They said Pakistan was facing
multiple political, ethnic, social, religious and sectarian conflicts at
present, which require immediate attention and prompt redressal, adding that
peace and conflict resolution were vital preconditions for a sustainable
economic growth, democracy and development.
speakers said the young people hold tremendous potential, and, if given a
chance, can help build more equitable societies and actively counter violence
and extremism, adding that solution to violent extremism and other threats to
safety and stability of the country can be found in working with the young
people and tapping into their talents and potentials to reform and rebuild the
society. They were of the view that empowerment of women was vital to rein in
the forces of terrorism and violent extremism, adding that the women can play a
vital role in educating young people to value peace and not destruction.
said the roots of extremism and militancy lie in intolerance and in not
appreciating different points of views, which foster sectarianism by
eliminating moderation, adding that it was imperative that religious scholars,
intellectuals and all institutions of the state must be vigilant and apart from
individual efforts, should collectively work with mutual consensus to safeguard
the nation against divisiveness.
speakers also termed the gathering a unique and joyous occasion that would help
bring about inter-sect and interfaith harmony in the country. They also
stressed the need for concerted moves to foster tolerance and solidarity among
all sects and religions in Pakistan since it was extremely necessary under the
circumstances prevailing in the country.
the boss the deed is done.”
words – reported by The New York Times and then the rest of the world, linked
the entire Khashoggi affair to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
entities froze ties (before resuming contacts), sweeping statements were made,
and the US Congress at least briefly considered punitive measures against Saudi
new book has now revealed, there is no evidence on that matter, which was dealt
with as a smoking gun in the case. The newly released book – Diplomatic
Atrocity: The Dark Secrets of the Khashoggi Murder is written by Ferhat Ünlü,
Abdurrahman Şimşek and Nazif Karaman, from Turkey’s Sabah newspaper.
book presents itself as a reliable source for those who are interested in the
issue, while revealing brand new details.
per the details revealed in the book, one of the darkest cases in recent
history, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, is becoming “less mysterious thanks to
new findings” that reveal the identities of two more members of the hit squad
and more voice recordings.
of the most striking new details are the revelation of new audio recordings
that give information about both before and after the murder.
book analyzes the 7.5-minute-long voice recording of the last moments of
Khashoggi that Ankara claimed it shared with several countries and intelligence
agencies. However, there is no official confirmation on that and even states
like France and leader like US president have denied.
denies the claim that was all over the media but is actually false. According
to the book, there is no evidence of the claim related to “Mutreb’s call to
someone from the consulate saying “tell the boss the deed is done.”
book says “ Another claim that was all over the media but is actually false is
Mutreb's call to someone from the consulate saying "tell the boss the deed
is done." According to the book, there is no evidence on that matter. The
New York Times reported in November that Mutreb called a superior and told him
to "tell your boss," with media reports suggesting it was MBS, to
confirm that the "mission was carried out" and "the deed is
Dark Secrets of the Khashoggi Murder sets the record straight on several other
claims that haven’t been substantiated.
book addresses the tricky issue of the Turkish government breaching
international laws, by spying on international missions working inside its
Sabah claims that the book seeks to counter reports implying that the
information were unlawfully achieved and Turkey was deliberately listening to
added that the recordings were automatically saved, meaning that Turkey did not
deliberately listen to the consulate and save the records. “ However many
experts all over the world question these claims, asserting that Turkish
government must be accountable over breaching the spying.
traffic between Istanbul and Riyadh
to the book, there are also the recordings of the phone traffic between
Istanbul and Riyadh, starting from Sept.28.
says there is also no evidence on how Khashoggi’s body disappeared, including
any findings on dissolving the body through acid.
new revelation confirms proofs that the case was an attempt to change US policy
against Saudi Arabia and in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Qatar
supports in spite of its status as a terrorist organization with most other
security expert Jim Hanson added that Turkey had control of the narrative after
the killing as the only primary source for the media, with Qatar backing up their
a Security Studies Group research for a report on the “information operation”
led by Qatar and Turkey, after Khshoggi’s death, the organization heard from
reliable sources familiar with the investigation that documents showing wire
transfers from Qatar were found in his apartment in Turkey.
were immediately put out of reach by Turkish security services, so they did not
show the collusion between Khashoggi, Qatar, and Turkey prior to his death.
organization has published as well a new, unredacted set of findings about the
case. (You can read them here).
Dark Secrets of the Khashoggi Murder, confirms Security Studies Group
conclusion that Khashoggi was acting as a foreign agent for the interests of
Qatar and Turkey.
book says according to Omer Abdulaziz, a close friend of Khashoggi and an
activist based in Canada who gave an exclusive interview to the writers, the
journalist was more than a critique of the Saudi government. He was actually
working on a joint project named the “army of the bees” with Abdulaziz himself.
findings according to Hanson are damning to Qatar, Turkey, and the Washington
Post. The findings suggest that Khashoggi have been operating in violation of
the Foreign Agents Registration Act by doing this on behalf of Qatar.
is the same law that caused both Gen. Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort legal
jeopardy by not filing their attempts to influence the U.S. government on
behalf of a foreign entity, according to the group.
recent call for a Quran test in Aceh province for Indonesian presidential
candidates is facing strong criticism by Muslim scholars, who say the move
would undermine racial unity.
Saturday, the Council of Preachers Association in Aceh sent an invitation to
both presidential candidates in the April 2019 vote — incumbent Joko Widodo and
opponent Prabowo Subianto — to attend a Quran recitation test in the capital of
Aceh province on January 15. The chairman of that council, Marsyuddin Ishak,
told VOA that the test is important to reveal the true image of the
presidential candidates as well as continue a tradition in their province, the
only one that implement the Sharia-law in Indonesia.
recitation is a requirement to compete in local elections in Aceh.
Our leaders in here — the governor, the member of parliament and other councils
— are all tested to read the Quran. The next president will be our leader too,
so we want to know their capability in reading Quran as our local leaders in
here,” said Marsyuddin.
former president of Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta,
Dr. Komaruddin Hidayat, told VOA that the test is unnecessary and exaggerates
the importance of religion.
really regret it. Our lives must be based on a constitution. Understanding and
learning more about our religion is important, but it doesn’t mean that we fail
our live if we can’t read the Quran," he said.
never became the standard to graduate from school or to get a job. I give you
another example : if we want to test an airplane pilot, we test his knowledge
on the airplane not about his ability to read the Quran. The same case with the
adds that it’s better if any test was based on the candidates’ sensitivity to
people of different religions and how will he fight for the rights of
Rumadi Ahmad, an official with the country's largest Muslim organization
Nahdlatul Ulama, told VOA that the Quran recitation test is a clear example of
is an exaggeration of religion in politics. We don’t have to use the capability
to read the Quran as an issue in the coming election. This is a clear tendency
to politicize religion. It’s dangerous and will arouse hatred among people of
various races and religions in the country,” said Rumadi.
invitation that was sent to both presidential candidates asks them to read
Al-Fatiha (the first surah in Quran) and then another surah that will be
determined by the organizer.
to Marsyuddin Ishak, Joko Widodo's team has replied to the invitation by saying
that they will consider it and discuss it further. Prabowo has not replied.
and religious leaders in Aceh have called on Muslims in the province not to
celebrate the New Year for religious reasons.
acting governor Nova Iriansyah explained in a circular that, "When marking
the New Year, [it is recommended] that people not hold any festivities such as
fireworks, trumpet-blowing, vehicle racing or any other celebration not in
accordance with sharia, our customs and culture," Nova said as quoted by
Antara on Sunday.
Mursalin Basyah echoed the message in a sermon on Sunday before thousands of
Muslims at Al Faizin Mosque in Lampeuneurut, Aceh Besar, Aceh,
firmly prohibits people from individually or in a group celebrating the New
Year [in the Gregorian calendar]. We have to inform all generations of Muslims
of this," said Mursalin as quoted by Antara.
regions, meanwhile, have recommended that people not celebrate the New Year on
the streets, to avoid accidents, traffic jams and to respect those in mourning
due to disasters.
issued a circular advising people to ring in the New Year with religious
activities with family.
Maluku Governor Abdul Gani Kasuba asked residents to pass the last day of 2018
with religious activities. Abdul said the residents should not light fireworks
but instead pray for other regions hit by disasters.
municipality administration in North Maluku, meanwhile, held an all-night
praying event on Sunday to pray for the New Year.
regency administration in West Kalimantan and Makassar municipality in South
Sulawesi have also made a similar call.
head of the Indonesian National Youth Committee (KNPI) in Sambas, Nugra Iranta
Denashurya, said he supported the circular, especially because Indonesia was in
mourning after earthquakes and a tsunami.
Raya regency in the same province issued a similar circular on Dec. 27. Kubu
Raya administration spokesperson Elfiana Wardani urged residents not to light
urge residents not to conduct street convoys or parades to avoid traffic jams,
reduce traffic accidents and juvenile delinquency,” she said as quoted by
said the administration had ordered all local leaders, public figures and
religious leaders to remind the public not to engage in “unproductive” activities.
The regent suggested that Muslims pray in mosques, she said.
Lampung regency, which was hit by the Dec. 22 tsunami, made the same call to
residents, saying they should ring in the New Year with religious activities
instead of partying.
acting regent, Nanang Ermanto, issued a circular stating that there should be
no street convoys, Antara reported.
Sunni authority slams Grand Mufti’s Christmas fatwa as ‘reckless’
head of Iraq’s Sunni Endowment authority on Saturday condemned recent remarks
from the country's mufti, who said it was impermissible for Muslims to join
Christmas or New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Abdul latif al-Heymem labeled the statements as “offensive, irrational and
statements do not represent the Iraqi Sunni Endowment authority, which works
towards establishing national unity,” he said, noting the deep historical roots
Christians have in Iraq “through their Chaldean-Assyrian ancestors.”
Abdul-Mahdi al-Sumaidaie, a prominent Sunni religious figure and the mufti of
Iraq, said on Friday that it is haram (forbidden) for Muslims to participate in
New Year celebrations.
not join Christians in Christmas celebrations, because this means that you
believe in their doctrine,” Sumaidaie said in his Friday sermon at a Baghdad
said “such reckless and irrational statements take us back to the hatred,
incitement, sedition and rejection of other religions. It does not represent
the joint the co-existence among Iraqis of all doctrines, nationalities and
sects - whether Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen.
don’t prevent us from celebrating the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday, so why
should Christmas celebrations be forbidden?” he added.
army's artillery units, deployed near the town of Tal Bazam in Northern Hama,
pounded the movements of Tahrir al-Sham and its allies in the demilitarized
zone in the town of Morek and managed to preempt their offensive.
al-Sham and its allied terrorists suffered heavy casualties and their military
hardware sustained major damage in the artillery attack.
the meantime, the artillery attack spreaded to other positions of the
terrorists in al-Zakat, Ma'arkabah, al-Latamina and Kafr Zita in Northern Hama
artillery units, meanwhile, shelled terrorists' strongholds near the small town
of al-Sarmaniyah in Western al-Ghaab Plain, inflicting major losses on the
terrorists' refusal to implement the Sochi Agreement to establish a
demilitarized zone is pushing the army to initiate its long-waited assault on
militants in Idlib that had been put on hold due to the Sochi Agreement.
Mar'ei Hamdan, a Syrian military expert, was quoted by the Arabic-language
website of Sputnik news agency as saying last month that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at
(the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) 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
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.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash has criticized the setting
up of an office by the Bahraini opposition group, the February 14 movement,
known also as Coalition Youth of 14 February Revolution, in the Iraqi capital
a tweet on Saturday, Gargash called Iraq’s move an interference in Bahrain’s
the tweet, the UAE minister denounced the opening of the office saying this
move sets a “serious precedent in interfering in internal affairs. We stand
with Bahrain in its rejection of the legitimacy of the Coalition, which sought
through violence to undermine its security. The rule of respecting sovereignty
and refusing to meddlle in internal affairs is essential” among Arab nations.
Monday Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry summoned the deputy charge d’affaires of the
embassy of Iraq to denounce a statement by former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri
al-Maliki which Bahrain said is a clear violation and interference in the
country’s internal affairs.
prime minister said on Sunday that top security officials from Baghdad had met
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, and hinted at a bigger Iraqi role
fighting ISIS extremist group as US troops withdraw from Syria.
issue has a lot of complications,” Adel Abdul Madhi told reporters, referring
to US President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement this month that he will
withdraw US forces from Iraq’s neighbor.
any negative development takes place in Syria it will affect us. We have a 600
km (400 mile) border with Syria and Daesh (ISIS extremist group) is there,”
Abdul Mahdi said.
premier said the Iraqi delegation had visited Damascus to “gain the initiative,
not just deal with the consequences” of any future ISIS activity emboldened by
the US withdrawal. Iraqi news websites said the visit took place on Saturday.
Mahdi said Iraq sought to move beyond its current arrangement with Syria -
under which it launches air strikes against ISIS militants in Syrian territory
- but did not got into more details.
are groups operating in Syria, and Iraq is the best way to deal with this,” he
said, responding to a question about the possibility of increased involvement
of Iraqi forces in Syria.
Shi’ite Muslim paramilitary groups backed by Iran already operate inside Syrian
territory against the ISIS.
Mahdi has previously said that about 2,000 ISIS fighters are operating near the
border in Syria and trying to cross into Iraq.
president has ordered the creation of a committee to tackle “sectarian
incidents”, the official gazette said Sunday.
decision by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi follows a string of extremist
attacks targeting the country’s Coptic Christian minority.
body is to be headed by Sisi’s security and counterterrorism advisor, the
position is currently held by Egypt’s ex-Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar.
new committee, tasked with “developing a general strategy to prevent and
confront sectarian incidents”, will include representatives from security and
intelligence agencies as well as the country’s top anti-corruption body.
decision takes effect Monday, ahead of Egypt’s Coptic Christmas celebrations on
Christians make up roughly 10 percent of the country’s mostly Muslim
have long complained of discrimination, and sectarian violence intermittently
erupts, especially in rural areas in the country’s south.
embattled Christian minority has been targeted by a series of deadly attacks
over the past two years, most claimed by ISIS extremist group.
Russian children whose mothers are in Iraqi prison for belonging to the ISIS
extremist group left Baghdad on Sunday to return home, a Russian diplomatic
fathers of the children, young boys and girls between the ages of three and 10,
are believed to have been killed in combat during Iraq’s three-year war against
the extremists, the source said.
leader Ramzan Kadyrov said earlier this week that he expected the children to
arrive in Moscow on Sunday.
said 24 of them were from Dagestan, and another three were from Chechnya.
thousand Russians travelled to join the extremists in their once sprawling
“caliphate” straddling Syria and Iraq, according to estimates from the Russian
took their families with them.
last year, around 100 women and children - mostly from Russia’s Muslim-majority
Caucasus - have returned under a program championed by Kadyrov.
in mid-November, Chechen activist Kheda Saratova accused Russia’s FSB security
service of blocking attempts to bring back the remaining widows and children of
Russian ISIS militants.
to our organization, there are over 2,000 of them left in Syria and Iraq,”
Saratova, who is on Kadyrov’s human rights council, said at the time.
on Sunday Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi held talks in Baghdad with Anna
Kuznetsova, the Russian president’s envoy for the rights of children.
the meeting, Abdel Mahdi said a “distinction should be made between
humanitarian issues and terrorist crimes”, according to a statement from his
children are also victims,” he added.
than 300 people, including around 100 foreigners, have been sentenced to death
and many others to life imprisonment in Iraq for joining ISIS, the Sunni
extremist group which at its peak controlled nearly a third of the country.
President Bashar al-Assad has reportedly allowed Iraqi fighter jets to conduct
airstrikes against the positions of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the
war-ravaged country without waiting to be granted formal authorization for the
high-ranking Iraqi official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Russia's
RT Arabic television news network that Iraqi warplanes will be able to enter
the Syrian airspace and bombard Daesh sites under Assad’s directives.
Iraqi official, however, highlighted that the Syrian president has demanded the
Baghdad government to inform Syrian authorities before launching any aerial
December 12, the media bureau of Iraq's Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in
a statement that Iraqi military aircraft had carried out two separate
airstrikes against members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria’s
eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
statement noted that the fighter jets targeted a meeting of Daesh Takfiris in
al-Susah town, which lies in Abu Kamal district of the province, leaving 30
air raid destroyed a militant hideout in the same Syrian town, killing 14 Daesh
authorities have on occasions stated that they work closely with the Syrian
government to monitor and target terrorist targets based on the efforts of
intelligence and information departments of the security coordination committee
formed between Baghdad, Damascus, Tehran and Moscow years ago, as well as
coordination with the so-called US-led anti-Daesh coalition.
Crowds of tourists stared in awe at the towering pyramids of Giza near Cairo on
Saturday undaunted by a nearby bomb attack a day earlier that killed
holidaymakers from Vietnam.
roadside bombing ripped through a tourist bus killing three tourists and an
Egyptian guide on Friday, as it traveled near the world-famous attraction.
attack comes as Egypt’s vital tourism sector has begun to recover after years
of instability and militant violence that scared visitors away.
think terrorism can strike anywhere in the world,” Somand Yang from South Korea
have to be careful but it is also like luck.” Security forces guarded the
entrance to the sprawling site and Yang, 32, said she had no qualms about
never strikes twice in the same place. So I figured it will be even safer
today,” she said.
holidaymakers rode camels and queued to enter a tomb as they snapped pictures
of the Great Pyramid, the only surviving structure of the seven wonders of the
followed the tourists, doggedly trying to sell trinkets and souvenirs. Despite
the steady flow of visitors, Egyptians working at the site said they were
shaken by the attack — and concerned that it could hit their livelihoods.
knew the guide who died yesterday,” said Dalia Sadaka, as she accompanied a
group of sightseers.
completely broke down yesterday, but I had to get to work in the morning,” she
said, pointing to her visibly swollen eyes.
hit hard by a string of bloody attacks and unrest, visitor numbers to Egypt
have more recently staged a partial recovery.
October 2015, a bomb claimed by a local affiliate of Daesh killed all 224
people on board a passenger jet carrying Russian tourists over the Sinai
incident dealt a severe blow to Egypt’s tourism industry, which was still
reeling from the turmoil set off by the 2011 uprising that forced veteran
leader Hosni Mubarak from power.
official statistics agency says arrivals reached 8.2 million in 2017, up from
5.3 million the year before.
that figure was still far short of the record influx in 2010 when over 14
fear yesterday’s incident may have an impact on our source of income,” said an
elderly man who offers camel rides, declining to give his name.
Syrian President Bashar Assad authorized Iraqi forces on Sunday to attack the
Daesh group inside Syria without waiting for permission from authorities in
Damascus, the state news agency SANA said, as the two allies coordinate their
fight against extremists ahead of a planned US withdrawal from Syria.
announcement highlights the close relations between the two neighboring Arab
countries that are both allied with Iran. Daesh once controlled large parts of
both countries when it declared a caliphate in 2014.
warplanes and artillery have in the past pounded IS positions inside Syria
after getting the green light from Syrian authorities.
extremists have been defeated in Iraq but still hold a small area in Syria
close to the Iraqi border.
Saturday Assad received a letter from Iraq’s Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi calling
for both countries’ coordination in “fighting terrorism.”
Donald Trump announced earlier this month that the US will withdraw all of its
2,000 forces in Syria. The main US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces
has expressed concerns that the US plans to pull out could lead to the revival
of Daesh saying that the extremists have not been defeated yet in Syria.
Washington, Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he is going to encourage Trump
to sit down with generals and reconsider pulling troops from Syria.
this down, make sure that we get it right, make sure Daesh never comes back,”
Graham said on CNN using a different acronym to refer to Daesh. “Don’t turn
Syria over to the Iranians. That’s a nightmare for Israel.”
said that it’s possible for the US to reduce its footprint in Afghanistan, Iraq
and Syria, and that he supports the goal of having allies “do more and pay
more.” But he added that he also sees the US military playing a role in all
three countries for “a while to come.”
want to fight the war in the enemy’s backyard, not ours,” Graham said.
has been a confidant of Trump’s, but it’s unclear how much Trump will listen to
him on Syria. Still, Graham said he’s generally pleased with Trump’s foreign
I ask him to do is to make sure we don’t fumble the ball inside the 10-yard
line, sit down with the generals,” Graham said.
Tehran, Iran and Syria signed Sunday a long-term strategic and economic
agreement as the war winds down in Syria where Iran and Russia were the main
backers of Assad’s government since the crisis began nearly eight years ago.
SANA news agency quoted Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Mohammed
Samer Al-Khalil, who signed the agreement, as saying that the deal includes
“full cooperation on the financial and banking levels.” He added that this
would allow Iranian companies to be present through investments in Syria.
Syrian government has gained control of large parts of the country with the
help of Iran and Russia and some Arab countries, including the oil-rich United
Arab Emirates, have reopened their embassies in Damascus.
Syrian government estimates reconstruction of the war-torn country will cost
some $200 billion dollars and last 15 years.
said that “priority in the reconstruction of Syria will be given to Iranian
public and private companies,” according to SANA’s report.
violence attempt to instil fear among Muslims, claim human rights bodies
DELHI: The recent Bulandshahr violence that claimed the lives of a policeman
and a 20-year-old man was a "targeted attempt" to "instill
fear" in the Muslim community, an umbrella organisation of human rights
bodies claimed Sunday and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into it.
Subodh Kumar Singh and civilian Sumit Kumar of Chingrawathi village were killed
on December 3 in the mob violence that broke out in Bulandshahr's Siyana area
after cattle carcasses were found strewn outside a village.
incident happened when the election process in five states -- Madhya Pradesh,
Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Telangana -- was underway.
forces masterminded" the incident to "polarise" the voters
because of the "ongoing elections in five states", the organisation
claimed, whose members visited Bulandshahr and presented a
"fact-finding" committee's report here, and demanded a new law to
check hate crimes.
National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO) sought an immediate
ban on all groups and 'senas' which use weapons "in the name of cow protection".
the media at the Press Club here, members of the NCHRO claimed that the
violence was a "planted incident" to create unrest in the area and
elsewhere "in the name of cow".
mob, at the instigation of local Bajrang Dal and BJP Yuva Morcha leaders Yogesh
Raj and Shikhar Agrawal, gathered at the Chingrawathi police post and burnt
down many vehicles, staged a shootout and pelted stones on the police
force," it said in a statement.
"fact-finding" team member Manoj Singh, of the All India People's
Forum, claimed the way a purported video of the inspector's killing was shot
"clearly indicates" the mob received political protection.
a peaceful area like Bulandshahr, the December 3 incident was a targeted
attempt by Sangh-BJP organisations to instill fear in the Muslim
community," said Singh.
claimed that small skirmishes between local groups were used as an excuse to
start communal clashes.
are clear signs of political conspiracies at play to discourage honest members
of the administration, like Inspector Subodh, through intimidation and fear of
life," he said.
said there were also no signs of cow slaughtering at the fields outside Mahaw
village, where the carcasses were found on December 3 morning, "which
makes it clear that the mob violence... was executed through meticulous
NCHRO also highlighted that several innocent people, including two minors, were
put behind bars while the key suspect, Bajrang Dal local leader Yogesh Raj, was
still at large.
law should be made to contain mob violence and an immediate ban on all
organisations and 'senas' which use weapons and have led the country to a civil
war-like situation in the name of cow protection," the NCHRO said.
another law be made and strictly implemented to ensure a state government's
responsibility to check hate crimes and elements spreading hate crimes,"
Home Ministry should review it on regular basis and share details in every
parliamentary session on what steps it has taken to check riots and hate
crimes, said Singh.
team member, Ansar Indori, claimed that the incident was a "planned
occurrence of such a big incident in the presence of the administration proves
that it was planned affair. Police presence deterred the violence from
murder of a police officer at the hands of the mob occurred as he was executing
his duties," Indori, an advocate by profession, told reporters.
Sarfuddin, a resident of Nayabans village, who was initially arrested by the
police following a complaint by Raj, told reporters that he would move court
against his arrest.
was arrested under Indian penal Code sections 358 (assault or criminal force on
grave provocation) and 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent
to insult the religion of any class) but released after 16 days.
was put in jail for 16 days when I had done nothing. I am the president of the
village's mosque committee and I was named under a conspiracy," he said.
who runs a clothes shop in Siyana town, also alleged that he was being
threatened by a leader of a local right wing group who was opposed to the loud
speaker being installed on the mosque in 2017.
people -- two children aged 11 and 12, a non-existent man, a man living in
Faridabad for over a decade, besides Sarfuddin -- were named in the FIR for cow
slaughter on a complaint by Raj.
police recently arrested three men who were not named in the FIR for their role
in the alleged cow slaughter on December 3.
National Investigation (NIA) carried out searches at several places in Delhi
and questioned few people in connection with its probe into the new Islamic
State module of Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam, officials said.
senior NIA official said that the agency had carried out searches at few places
in east Delhi's Jafarabad area on Sunday.
official said that the agency had also questioned few suspects.
counter-terror probe agency's action comes four days after it arrested 10
people including the group head Mufti Mohammad Suhail as they were allegedly
planning terror attacks targeting some political personalities and security
establishments as well as crowded places in Delhi and the national capital
NIA had raided 17 places in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and had nabbed 10 people.
The investigative agency had termed Amroha mosque’s maulvi as the head of this
extremist group. Mufti Sohail is a resident of Amroha, UP and was staying in
per NIA, this group was preparing for a terror attack. The group named
Haqat-Ul-Herb-e-Islam was inspired by ISIS. Now, the probe agency has done a
fresh raid after a tip-off from suspected terrorist Mufti Sohail.
all has been seized?
last arrest the NIA had recovered a country-made rocket launcher, 12 pistols,
112 alarm clocks, 100 mobile phones, 135 SIM cards, many laptops and various
electronic gadgets, besides recovering 150 rounds of ammunition during the
NIA had also seized 25 kg of explosive material, such as potassium nitrate,
ammonium nitrate, sulphur, sugar material paste, mobile phone circuits,
batteries, 51 pipes, remote control car triggering switch, wireless digital
doorbell for remote switch, steel containers, electric wires, knife, sword,
IS-related literature and Rs 7.5 lakh in cash.
Suhail, the NIA arrested Saeed, 28, Raees Ahmed, Saqib Iftekar, 26 and Mohammad
Irshad from Amroha.
Delhi: According to a report published in Inquilab Urdu Daily, Congress
convened a meeting with Muslim intellectuals.
have been sent by Mr. Afzal Ayubi, Advocate of Supreme Court to 60-70 Muslim
intellectuals. The invitees include Justice Sohail Ajaz Siddiqui, former
Chairman of Minorities Educational institutions, Mr. Kamal Farooqui, Former
Chairman of Minorities Commission, New Delhi, Mr. Mohammed Adeeb, Former MP,
Dr. Zafar Mahmood, Mr. Ilyas Malik, Mr. Rizwan Qaisar, Ms. Arifa Khanam and
his invitation, Mr. Ayubi wrote that the suggestions of Muslim intellectuals
will help formulate election manifesto of Congress for 2019 election.
may be mentioned that earlier, Congress-led UPA Govt. had appointed Sachar
Committee in order to implement the development of the Muslims as a result of
it, Congress got 22 Lok Sabha seats in UP.
recommendations of Sachar Committee could not be implemented till 2014. Due to
the objections raised by BJP that Congress is resorting to appeasement of the
Muslims, Congress was terrified.
Stating that it was the duty of the AIADMK to protect the rights of the
minorities, Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambi Durai on Sunday said his party
would oppose the Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha.
is not right for the government to interfere in religious practices. It is our party’s
stand to protect the rights of the minorities. Hence, we will stoutly oppose
the Bill that will harm our Muslim brothers,” Thambi Durai told reporters at
the Chennai airport on the BJP government’s move to pass the Triple Talaq Bill.
party’s MP A Anwhar Raajhaa spoke vehemently against the Bill in the Lok Sabha
on Thursday, creating ripples within his party. He said that the Bill was
against the Muslim community and the AIADMK would oppose it.
party leadership, however, was divided over the rather strong extempore speech
of Raajhaa on the Bill. While a section of the MPs and other functionaries who
were against an alliance with BJP for the forthcoming general elections
welcomed his views and strong words, another section, who were for a BJP
tie-up, were not too happy.
Ajmal, a Member of Parliament from Assam and president of All India United
Democratic Front (AIUDF), stirred up a hornets' nest in the Islamic society by
calling Salafis 'terrorists' in Lok Sabha. Debating the Triple Talaq Bill on
Thursday, visibly unprepared Badruddin Ajmal, an adherent of Hanafi school of
thoughts, said: "You have mentioned Salafi sect, this ideology has been
held responsible for promoting terrorism. We don’t follow this sect."
facing flak, Ajmal issued an apology calling the remarks a 'slip of the
tongue', 'unintentional' and 'far from truth'. He also wrote to the Lok Sabha
secretariat to expunge the controversial parts of his speech from the
Parliament’s record. However, the damage was done. His remarks reignited the
fire of sectarian divide within the Muslim community and widened the existing
rift between the two largely followed branches of Islam.
pains Salafis and those who are trying to unite the community is very fact that
the regrettable statement came from a person who is sent to the Parliament with
a hope that he would represent the entire community. Badruddin Ajmal, a high-profile member of Darul Uloom Deoband,
Asia's largest Islamic seminary, not only humiliated Salafis in Lok Sabha, but
also let down Hanafis who had expected him to present a strong case against the
Triple Talaq Bill. Badruddin Ajmal Asked on Pre-Election Alliance Ahead of
2019, Replies: ‘Go Dogs…Will Smash Your Head’.
the debate, Ajmal admitted he came unprepared and looked distracted. Despite
being a student of Darul Uloom Deoband, he failed to answer a question about
Quran posed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi and went on giving unrelatable examples
in his desperate attempt to make a pitch against the Bill. He disappointed
Muslims, especially Hanafis, who expected compelling arguments against the Bill
from him. Adding to woes, he ended up giving fodder to anti-Muslim powers to
malign the community over terrorism.
one hand, the ruling dispensation is hell-bent on suppressing Muslims by
unleashing a spree of attacks on their constitutional rights, and smears the
community by pushing misinformation, Badruddin Ajmal, on the other hand, acted
as an ignorant Muslim who ended up becoming a pawn in the hands of
Islamophobes. After social media, where vile and offensive things are being
said by Muslims about other Muslims, the sectarian divide has reached the
Parliament. Assam: Woman Alleges Rape by AIUDF MLA Nizam Uddin Choudhury,
Legislator Terms Allegation as False.
a time when a national party, driven by hate and bias against Muslim, is
leaving no stone unturned to take political advantage of the sectarian divide
within Islam, we, Muslims are also contributing to this bigotry by either
blaming each other for our problems or by turning a blind eye to growing
sectarianism. The sects within the Muslim community have disagreements over
Islamic laws and theology since centuries.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday visited Rubina
of Petipora Pulwama, sister of a terrorist, who was allegedly thrashed by
policemen in Jammu.
meeting Rubina, Mufti said that this is an unfortunate incident and should not
is an unfortunate incident that a militant’s sister has been assaulted by the
police. If the Governor has a problem with the terrorists, then he should fight
with them. Why should their families and sisters be involved? I warn the
Governor and the police that if such a thing reoccurs, then it will not be good
for them,” she said.
also said, “How did male police personnel touch a girl? Why were there no woman
personnel? Family members of terrorists should not pay for this. This is my
last warning to the Governor.”
Friday, Mufti took to Twitter to assert that declaration of suspects as
terrorists is premature.
: The Indian Army has foiled an attempt by Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT)
to carry out an attack across the Line of Control (LoC) in Naugam sector of
Kashmir, killing two suspected Pakistani soldiers.
to statement issued by the Indian Army, a large cache of warlike stores has
also been recovered. From the recovery, it was estimated that they intended to
carry out a gruesome attack on the Indian Army forward post in Naugam sector.
attackers, who were dressed in Indian Army and BSF fatigues for deception, were
provided cover fire by the Pakistani Army post as they tried to sneak into the
Indian side, the statement said.
is a small unit generally comprising Pakistani Army personnel and terrorists
who sneak across the LoC or Internationsl Border to carry out an attack on an
intruders attempted to move by exploiting the thick jungles close to LoC and
were assisted by heavy covering fire of high calibre weapons such as Mortars
and Rocket Launchers from the Pakistani posts,” the statement said.
movement was nonetheless detected by the vigilant Indian Army troops deployed
along the LoC. The fire-fight initiated by Pakistan was given strong
retaliation by Indian Army and the exchange of fire continued the whole night,”
search operations in thick jungles and difficult terrain conditions were
conducted by the army personnel, after which elimination of two likely
Pakistani soldiers was confirmed.
search operations are still underway in the Sector to sanitise the area.
was also reported that a few other intruders managed to escape across the LoC,
taking advantage of the Pakistani firing and adverse weather and visibility
authorities applauded the courage and perseverance of the alert troops.
Indian Army’s resolve to keep a strict vigil along the LoC and defeat all such
nefarious designs of Pakistan will continue to remain firm and consistent,” the
DELHI: Suspected terrorists on Sunday looted four AK rifles from the residence
of former Congress MLC Muzaffar Parray in Srinagar's Jawahar Nagar area, police
case has been filed and an alert has been sounded in Srinagar.
policemen from the security wing and one from district police Sopore attached
with the former legislator have been summoned for questioning.
is the second such incident in Srinagar in the recent months. In September this
year, a special police officer (SPO) had decamped with seven rifles and a
licensed pistol from the residence of a PDP leader in the same locality.
information minister referred to the 1970 elections on Sunday night during a
bdnews24.com live broadcast moderated by Editor-in-Chief Toufique Imrose
Khalidi on the developments, results and analysis of the election.
Muslim League had lost control of its workers at the grassroots level despite
being the largest party in the ’70 elections. The workers had ditched the party
and sided with the nationalist struggle. That’s how the Muslim League era came
to an end,” Inu said.
this election as well, the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami alliance did politics of
violence and sold election nominations in exchange for money. It suffered lack
of confidence of the workers. As a result, they lost control of the workers on
the ground. BNP-Jamaat workers switched sides and worked together with the
Grand Alliance (led by Awami League),” he remarked.
Awami League is set to form the government for a third straight term after
winning a landslide victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
BNP and its allies managed only six seats while the Awami League secured 203 in
the 300-seat parliament, according to results for 235 seats published until
ruling party’s key ally the Jatiya Party has won 22, which raises the
possibilities of the party remaining as the main opposition in parliament.
the president of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal or JaSoD, was a staunch critic of
the Awami League’s ties ahead of the polls with the Hifazat-e Islam, a group
that drew global attention after rampaging through Dhaka’s commercial hub
Motijheel following a sit-in against government policies, especially on
religion, education and women, and atheist bloggers in May, 2013.
the win in the election, Inu said, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has not bowed
to the Hifazat’s demands even after its movement. We have forged neither any
friendship nor any political alliance with the Hifazat.”
happened happened for the sake of the Qawmi madrasas. I think it was a correct
decision to bring the Qawmi madrasas to the mainstream,” Inu said, referring to
the government recognition of the highest Qawmi madrasa degree.
take time, but the Qawmi madrasas will no longer be in the dark. They will play
a positive role in the continued stability in Bangladesh,” he added.
also said his party wants a ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami like the one on the
Nazis in Germany. The Jamaat opposed Bangladesh’s independence during the
Liberation War in 1971 and recently had five of its top leaders hanged for
committing crimes against humanity committed in collaboration with the Pakistan
Army during the war.
said the extinction of the Jamaat in Bangladesh is a “matter of time now as the
Hasina administration will adopt a secular policy in the future”.
being asked, the minister said the Grand Alliance government led by the Awamio
League will prioritise elimination of inequalities and corruption and,
establishment of good governance.
violence kills at least 17, mostly from Awami League
more are injured, but their total figure is yet to be confirmed.
40-year-old Jubo League leader Md Liakat Hossain is hacked to death outside a
voting centre at Gazipur’s Harinal around 1:30pm.
Ajijul Haque, an assistant secretary of the Jubo League at Paikol Union, is
hacked to death while handing slips to voters outside a polling centre at
Bogura’s Kahalu Upazila around 12pm.
40-year-old Modasser Ali, an Awami League activist, is beaten dead in violence
at Pachandar Union at Rajshahi.
Awami League activist Mirajul Islam stabbed to death in clashes with BNP
supporters who had allegedly tried to take control of a voting centre at
17-year-old Awami League activist shot dead in clashes as ‘unknown miscreants’
attack Grand Alliance candidate Moktadir Chowdhury at Rajghar of Brahmanbaria
23-year-old Jubo League activist Md Abdullah hacked to death in “clashes
between Awami League and BNP supporters” at Toitong of Cox’s Bazar’s Pekua
Upazila at around 11am.
Jubo League activist Dwin Mohammad was killed in an attack by alleged BNP
activists at Patia’s Guronkhain on Saturday night.
Md Basir Uddin, Jubo League’s general secretary at Ghagra Union, is killed at
Rangamati’s Kawkhali in a clash with BNP supporters around 6:30am Sunday.
55-year-old Hossain Ali, an Awami League activist and poll volunteer, is
stabbed to death by his nephew during an argument about the election at
62-year-old Tojammel Haque, a publications secretary for BNP at Lalmonirhat’s
Rajpur Union, dies after being injured in back-to-back clashes at Paglarhat
Government Primary School.
85-year-old Shamsur Rahman, a polling agent of the BNP, is beaten to death by
Awami League supporters while on his way to voting centre at Jashore’s
18-year-old BNP activist Sadek killed in clashes with Awami League activists
over attempt to take control of voting centre at Chittagong’s Patia.
35-year-old Mujibur Rahman is shot dead as police open fire on supporters of
BNP-LDP candidate Redwan Ahad who tried to storm a voting centre at Cumilla’s
Chandina around 11am.
50-year-old Bachchu Miah dies as rivals clash at Cumilla's Langolkot.
Chhatra Dal leader Ali Ahmad Sayem shot dead while trying to snatch away
ballots amid a clash at Sylhet’s Balaganj on Sunday afternoon.
45-year-old Ahmad Kabir, a Jatiya Party activist, killed in fighting among
supporters of Jamaat, Jatiya Party and police personnel on Saturday night.
Taliban have rejected Kabul’s offer of talks next month in Saudi Arabia where
they will meet US officials to further peace efforts, a Taliban leader said on
from the Taliban, the United States and regional countries met this month in
the United Arab Emirates for talks to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.
the Taliban have refused to hold formal talks with the Western-backed Afghan
will meet the US officials in Saudi Arabia in January next year and we will
start our talks that remained incomplete in Abu Dhabi,” said a member of the
Taliban’s Leadership Council. “However, we have made it clear to all the
stakeholders that we will not talk to the Afghan government.”
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also said the leaders of the group would not talk
to the Afghan government.
Taliban have insisted on first reaching an agreement with the United States,
which the group sees as the main force in Afghanistan since US-led forces
toppled the Taliban government in 2001.
efforts to resolve the conflict have intensified after Taliban representatives
started meeting US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad this year. Officials from the warring
sides have met at least three times to discuss the withdrawal of international
forces and a ceasefire in 2019.
the United States has insisted that any final settlement must be led by the
to data from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission published in November, the
government of President Ashraf Ghani has control or influence over 65 percent
of the population but only 55.5 percent of Afghanistan’s 407 districts, less
than at any time since 2001. The Taliban say they control 70 percent of the
close aide to Ghani said the government would keep trying to establish a direct
line of diplomatic communication with the Taliban.
should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned,” the aide said on condition of
anonymity. “It is important that the Taliban acknowledge this fact.”
a Pentagon report has hinted at a favourable political settlement in
Afghanistan despite challenges on multiple fronts, according to a media report
US Defence Department report released this week cited the effects of a recent
military escalation coupled with diplomatic initiatives.
current military situation inside of Afghanistan remains at an impasse. The
introduction of additional advisers and enablers in 2018 stabilized the
situation, slowing the momentum of a Taliban march that had capitalized on US
drawdowns between 2011 and 2016,” the report said.
religious, military and social pressures, enabled by the conditions-based
strategy, and buoyed by increased international engagement, have forced the
Taliban senior leadership to debate whether to enter negotiations with the
Afghan government,” the report added.
August 2017, US President Donald Trump announced his administration’s strategy
on Afghanistan and put forth a case for staying the course and not allowing the
country “to become a haven for terrorists who would once again pose a threat to
US security”. “I share the American people’s frustration. I also share their
frustration over a foreign policy that has spent too much time, energy, money
and most importantly lives, trying to rebuild countries in our own image,”
President Trump said at the time, promising to end nation-building and focus
instead on US interests.
top leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K) has been
killed in a coalition forces airstrike in eastern Nangarhar province of
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said the ISIS-K leader
Qari Riaz was killed in Chaparhar district on Friday.
to a statement released by 201st Silab Corps, Qari Riaz was responsible for
planning and coordinating major attacks in the country.
statement further added that the killing of Qari Riaz will result into the
failure of ISIS-K destructive activities and attacks which normally claimed
that the lives of the ordinary civilians.
comes as another senior ISIS-K leader Amir Aziz Azam who was in charge of the
media activities of the terror group was killed few days earlier in a similar
has been among the relatively calm provinces in the East but the ISIS-K and
Taliban militants have been attempting to expand their foothold in this
province during the recent years.
duty-bound to protect fundamental rights of citizens
Justice Mian Saqib Nisar Saturday emphasized that it is the responsibility of
the judiciary to protect fundamental rights of the citizens.
far I succeeded in fulfilling the promises I made as chief justice, I leave it
to the nation to judge,” the top judge said at the convocation ceremony of
Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS).”I made all-out efforts to
resolve public issues. My intention was based on honesty,” he said. “This is a
test whose results will come after my retirement,” he added.
chief justice said it is not the duty of the judiciary to run hospitals, nor
was it his job to visit those. “However, it is our responsibility to intervene
wherever mistakes are committed. It’s our duty to protect fundamental rights of
the people,” he said.
the apex court’s judicial activism, the chief justice explained that the
judiciary is the guardian of the fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan
by the law and thus duty-bound to ensure that the rights of the people are
protected. He also discussed the areas the top court paid special attention to
during his time in the office, which is set to conclude in January 2019.
to his suo motu notices regarding sky-high fees charged by private medical
colleges and lack of facilities at several hospitals, the chief justice said
that he was trying to end the exploitation of people. He said it was his
‘judicial duty’ to lay down a criterion for medical colleges to ensure that
they don’t exploit students and parents. “Did I exceed my jurisdiction by laying
down criteria [which ensures] that tertiary hospitals have enough number of
doctors, staff and drugs, in order to discharge the obligation of the
guardianship [imposed upon the judiciary]?” he asked.
chief justice narrated his observations during his visits to hospitals across
all four provinces and regretted that medical facilities in the country were
not satisfactory. He also talked about female doctors who abandon practice
after getting their degrees. “If you sit at home and become housewives [after
receiving medical education], you violate the oath that you swore today, which
is to help the miserable.”
said that the constitution had ended the quota system where women were allotted
lesser seats than men, so that admissions are given on the basis of merit. It
is detrimental to the society, he said, when female doctors abandon their
profession. He urged female students to convince their families to facilitate
them so they can serve as doctors and repay the resources provided to them by
incidents from his childhood, the chief justice said, “When I was eight years
old, I used to take my mother to the doctor in a horse carriage and we used to
spend hours at the clinic. My mother taught my brother and me to serve humanity
and prayed to God to protect us from all difficulties.” “Those who suffer
greatly understand the pain of others,” he said. “I began my mission with my
mother’s teachings in mind,” he continued. “My love for the country is not
one-sided by two-sided,” he added.
chief justice called for greater focus on education and stated that the secret
of the development of any country lies in education. He lamented that every
newborn in the country is in debt, while every citizen is under aRs126,000
debt. “Our resources are fast depleting while the country’s population is
increasing,” he said.
procuring 600 tanks to strengthen capability along border with India: Intelligent
DELHI: At a time when modernisation of the Army's armored corp is moving at a
"snail's pace", Pakistan has drawn up an ambitious plan to procure
close to 600 battle tanks including T-90 tanks from Russia, primarily to bolster
its combat prowess along the border with India, military and intelligence
sources said Sunday.
of the tanks Pakistan was procuring will be able to hit targets at a range of 3
to 4 km and they are set to deploy some of the tanks along the Line of Control
in Jammu and Kashmir, the sources told PTI.
from battle tanks, Pakistan Army is also procuring 245 150mm SP Mike-10 guns
from Italy out of which it has already received 120 guns.
sources said Pakistan was eyeing to buy from Russia a batch of T-90 battle
tanks- the mainstays of the armoured regiments of the Indian Army, and that the
move reflects Islamabad's intent to forge a deeper defence engagement with Moscow
which has been India's largest and most trusted defence supplier post Independence.
has been holding joint military drills with Russia in the last couple of years
besides going for defence purchases from it, triggering some concerns in New
sources said as part of the mega plan to significantly revamp its armoured
fleet by 2025, Pakistan has decided to procure at least 360 battle tanks
globally besides producing 220 tanks indigenously with help from China.
Army's move to enhance its armoured corps comes at a time when the Line of
Actual control in Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed growing hostilities in the
last one year. The Indian Army has been strongly retaliating to every
unprovoked firing by Pakistani side.
when the Indian Army is focused on counter-terror operations, the Pakistan Army
was fast reducing its gap with Indian forces in fighting a conventional war,
the intelligence sources said.
sources said modernisation of the Indian Army's armoured regiments were moving
at a "snail's pace" due to procedural delays and the issue is being
examined at a very high level of the government.
Indian Army had drawn up a mega plan to modernise its infantry and armoured
corps. However almost all the procurement projects including the Rs 60,000
crore Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) programme are stuck due to a
variety of reasons.
present, India's armoured regiments, comprising mainly T-90, T-72 and Arjuna
tanks, have much more superiority over Pakistan, but sources said Islamabad was
seriously planning to bridge the gap at the earliest.
against around 67 armoured regiments of Indian Army, the number of similar
regiments in Pakistan Army is around 51, the sources said.
present, over 70 per cent of the tanks in Pakistan's armoury have the
capability to operate during night which, they said, was a matter of concern.
eyeing to procure T-90 tanks, Pakistan Army is also in the process of inducting
Chinese VT-4 tanks as well as Oplod-P tanks from Ukrain, the sources said.
Trials for both Oplod and VT-4 tanks have already been conducted by the
present, Pakistan is learnt to have around 17 units of Chinese origin T-59 and
T69 tanks, which comprise 30 per cent of its total tank strength, the sources
also has 12 regiments of Al-Zarar tanks, which makes 20 per cent of the tank
fleet while Ukrain origin T-80-UD and T-85-UD as well as upgraded version of
T-59 tanks comprise the rest 50 per cent tank fleet, they said.
Pakistan Army is carrying out modernisation of its armoured regiments in a
calibrated and time-bound manner which is not the case in India," said an
expert, who wished not to be named.
said it was a matter of concern the way Pakistan was modernising its tank
Pakistan Peoples Party-Parliamentarians (PPP-P) information secretary MNA Dr
Nafisa Shah has accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of trying to thrust one-party
rule upon the country observing that the democratic dispensation is slowly
moving towards authoritarianism.
also accused the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) of undermining
institutions. She posed a question as to why the FIA was calling for shelving
the Asghar Khan case probe.
claimed that the opposition was being decapitated and judicial activism, born
out of reinstatement of [former chief justice of Pakistan] Iftikhar Mohammad
Chaudhry-led judiciary, was continuing.
Shah was addressing a press conference at the local club on Sunday. PPP
information secretary Aajiz Dhamra also spoke. The party’s divisional and
district level leaders including Ali Nawaz Shah Rizvi, Dost Ali Jaisar, Aftab
Khanzada and Ahsan Abro were also present.
said PPP chairman Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari in his Dec 27 speech [in Garhi Khuda
Bakhsh Bhutto] presented a dangerous scenario, and added that the country was slowly
moving towards a dictatorship. She noted that a list of 172 names was issued
following the party chief’s speech and these names were put on the exit control
list. This was done even before the joint investigation team’s report could be
taken up by the Supreme Court.
Shah said that the FIA was endeavouring to implicate the PPP leadership [in
money laundering and fake accounts cases] whereas it expressed its inability to
investigate the 25 years old Asghar Khan case. She termed the moves starting on
Dec 27 “political engineering”.
day the list was issued, the stock market crashed; the national kitty is left
with $7bn to $9bn, which is not sufficient even for two-three months,” she
is being harmed’
PTI government is harming the federation; if robbery is committed on the Sindh
government, this will weaken the federation,” the senior PPP leader warned
alluding to speculations about imposition of governor’s rule on the province.
said if the opposition leadership was paralysed, it would undermine democracy.
“Whenever the country headed towards dictatorship, PPP got alert,” she said.
Shah reminded the prime minister that PPP faced all dictators, General Ayub
Khan, General Ziaul Haq and Gen Musharraf whereas Imran Khan hardly attended
parliament sessions on two to three occasions. “It is a government where the
prime minister spends time in addressing people through television instead of
turning up at parliament,” she said.
Shah condemned federal ministers’ statements intimidating the Sindh chief
minister by asking him to resign though the entire JIT report was a “pack of
conjectures”. It is yet to go through legal scrutiny; it claims that out of 850
given a call up notice, around 750 were heard; it doesn’t reflect statements of
the present and former Sindh chief ministers whose names are now on the ECL.
She pointed out that collusion between institutions and the [federal]
government was too apparent as [adviser to the PM on accountability] Shahzad
Akbar referred to the JIT report as if he read it repeatedly or he himself
Shah also termed the Supreme Court-mandated judicial commission on water and
sanitation in Sindh “a parallel structure of governance” which, she alleged was
acting beyond its mandate. “We want each institution to work within its
constitutional limits. Supremacy of democracy must remain intact but currently
everyone including the media and civil society were getting affected, she said.
Civil society representatives have urged President Arif Alvi to set up a task
force to find a ‘workable’ solution of human rights and labour rights.
also called for establishing a commission for rights of the minorities in the
light of a Supreme Court’s recent decision.
delegation that called on President Alvi on Saturday at the Sindh Governor
House also raised issues of missing persons, curbs on media freedoms and
retrenchment of employees in media houses.
delegation also presented a memorandum of the issues being faced by the rights
society and labour rights activists from all provinces of Pakistan have urged
the president to ensure provision of fundamental human rights including labour
rights to all citizens ensured under the Constitution,” rights activist Karamat
Ali told a press conference here at the Karachi Press Club on Sunday.
Mr Ali of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler), Mohammad
Tahseen, executive director of the South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP)
Lahore,;Ali Palh, coordinator, Sindh Human Rights Defender Network, Hyderabad;
Bushra Arain, president of the Lady Health Workers Association, Lahore; Liaqat
Ali Sahi, general secretary of the State Bank Democratic Worker Union (CBA),
Karachi; Rashida Dohat, director of the Omar Asghar Khan Foundation, Islamabad;
Nasir Aziz, secretary general of the National trade Union federation, Karachi
addressed the press conference.
Ali said that the president heard the delegation members very patiently and
assured that their grievances would be addressed.
disappearance no solution to terrorism
civil society’s memorandum highlighted the violation of freedom of association,
freedom of press, right to free trial, minorities, women and children rights.
have proposed to set up a task force comprising senior government officials,
experts from private sector and civil society representatives to find a
workable solution,” he said.
civil society raised the issue of missing persons.
have urged the government to find a lasting solution for the problem. Enforced
disappearances are no solution to the issue of terrorism or anti-state
activities. Those involved in any criminal cases must be brought to courts and
dealt in accordance to the law,” Mr Ali said.
actions by the state and non-state actors in recent years have resulted in
curbs on freedom of expression and freedom of media. A recent raid on the KPC
by plain-clothes armed men is one example of harassment of journalists,” he
said, adding: “Retrenchments of media people, drastic reduction in government
ads to newspapers and TV channels, unannounced sanctions against some media
houses, surveillance and harassment of those using social media as a platform
of expression are other examples of increased hindrances in the way of the
right to expression.”
civil society, we believe that it is important to put in place appropriate
mechanisms to ensure the freedom of expression and free media in accordance to
the Constitution and international best practices,” he said.
minorities rights, Mr Ali said that the president was requested to take
practical measures to ensure implementation of the Supreme Court’s landmark
decision regarding minorities’ rights. “We have requested to establish the
Minority Rights Commission, which is the centre point of the Supreme Court decision.”
said that the government was urged to consider the guidelines issued by the
National Commission for Human Rights for adoption at all levels and take
necessary measures including required legislation for recognition and
protection of human rights defenders.
security for all’
labour issues, Mr Ali said: “We have requested the president to ask the federal
government to conduct an immediate review of all laws concerning to labour and
human rights to bring them in conformity with the international commitments and
constitutional provisions. This may follow by making appropriate institutional
arrangements to implement these laws and policies. Civil society should be
consulted in all such processes.”
Piler official said trade unions had already shrunk to the lowest ebb in
Pakistan. “Of the 65 million labourers, only about one per cent are unionised.
This is an alarming situation both for a society and democracy. There might be
multiple factors for this drastic decline of trade unions. Restrictive laws are
a major hurdle in exercise of the right to association and collective
said it was also important that the legislation and policy making process be
expedited in provinces in accordance to the provisions of the Constitution and
the International Labour Organisation’s conventions ratified by Pakistan.
have requested the president to intervene and ask the federal government to
take appropriate measures to universalise social security for all citizens.
First step may be to combine all the labour welfare institutions and
universalise social security coverage for all workers.
said a large number of rural population was landless and shelterless. While the
government had already started housing programme for shelterless and
underprivileged, “we believe that land reforms are essential to end poverty and
marginalisation”, he said.
The year 2018 has been a complete success story of Pakistan’s security forces
as through the ongoing countrywide Operation Raddul Fasaad they have not only
been able to cleanse the society of the menace of terrorism to a great extent
but have also broken the myth that fencing at the 2,611-kilometre long and
zigzag Pak-Afghan border is unmanageable.
delegation of journalists visited the Torkham Border the other day to get a firsthand
knowledge as to how successful the RUF had been in wiping out terrorists, their
sympathisers and abettors since its launch on February 22, 2017.
visit was also aimed at viewing the arduous undertaking to fence
1,403-kilometre perilous Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), since
its installation began on April 27, 2017.
on some of the most inhospitable rugged terrains, the fencing has been divided
into three phases on the basis of urgency – priority one, priority two and
fencing of the first phase (priority one area), that covers 539 kilometres, has
been completed as per schedule (at the end of December 2018),” an official
associated with the project told the journalists.
said that around 233 forts had also been built on the 1,403 kilometre-long
border, while work on 140 more forts was underway. “Fencing of the Pak-Afghan
border is a reality now. The first phase has been completed, while the next two
phases – priority two (379km) and priority three (485km) will be completed in
Torkham Border is no longer a free-for-all crossing-point. The illegal border
crossing has come to an end as only individuals with authentic documents are
able to cross it now,” he added.
fence is a dual wire trellis, 11 feet high from Pakistan side and 13 feet high
from Afghanistan side, with a six feet gap between them, which is filled with
razor wire. It is tech-meshed with a state-of-the-art surveillance system,
closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, drone cameras and other gadgets for
effective day and night monitoring of the border.
the details of the impact of fencing and close computerised monitoring system,
the official revealed that since its start, around 1,900 Afghans had been
arrested and deported, while 600 Pakistanis were also stopped from entering
as a goodwill gesture, he said that emergency patients were allowed to enter
Pakistan for treatment without documents. “Similarly, as there is a water
shortage on the other side of the border we allow them to take water to their
check posts from our side,” he said.
special cards have been issued to around 200 Afghan students, who come to
Pakistan in a school near the Torkham Border in the morning and then move back
to their homes at afternoon on daily basis,” he added.
said that cross-border infiltration, illegal trade and smuggling were becoming
impossible now. “The figure of individuals crossing the Torkham Border on valid
travelling documents has increased. Around 12,000 people cross the border
legally, besides 1,200 trucks, carrying goods cross it on daily basis. This has
turned Torkham one of the world’s busiest crossing points,” the official
Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar Sunday asked why India was stealing Pakistan’s
water, saying that it won’t be allowed to do so.
CJP was hearing a petition in the Lahore Supreme Court registry related to
river Ravi and Abbasia Link Canal.
the hearing, the CJP asked whether the Punjab government knew about the
situation and what steps could be taken in this regard.
said that it won’t be allowed that water was being stolen from Abbasia Link
top judge ordered that an operation should be conducted along with police so
that no one could be deprived of the resource.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa says his country’s cooperation
with Iran has strengthened and will continue to enhance regional security.
situation will improve in the future,” Bajwa told Balochistan Chief Minister
Jam Kamal Khan in the army’s general headquarters in the western Pakistani city
of Rawalpindi on Saturday.
am positive that security and military cooperation with Iran will improve the
situation on the common border," he added.
the past years, the border area has witnessed several attacks targeting the
countries’ security forces, with the Iranian border guards paying the highest
recently, six Pakistani soldiers were killed when a paramilitary convoy came
under attack by gunmen during a routine patrol in the mountainous district of
this year, 12 Iranian border guards were abducted near the town of Mirjaveh in
Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan province and taken into Pakistan in April. Five
of the guards have been released last month, but the rest remain in captivity,
despite Pakistan's repeated promises to have them freed.
the deadliest incident, 11 Iranian border guards were killed in an ambush
claimed by the Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group near Mirjaveh in April 2017, with
the assailants fleeing into Pakistan after the attack.
says it reserves the right to pursue such attackers back into neighboring
countries. It announced full preparedness for joint anti-terror operations with
Pakistan after terrorists killed the Pakistani troops recently.
said maintaining the province’s security was the focus of the Pakistani army,
adding that the country’s progress was linked to peace, stability, and progress
protests image of Jordanian minister stepping on flag
Foreign Ministry says its embassy in Jordan has filed a strong condemnation
with the kingdom over a picture of a Jordanian government minister stepping on
an image of the Israeli flag.
ministry said Sunday it took the incident extremely seriously and had also
summoned Jordan's acting ambassador to Israel to convey its objection.
photo published on the Jordanian website Jfranews showed Minister of State for
Media Affairs and Communications, government spokesperson Jumana Ghuneimat
stepping on a large image of the Israeli flag. Footprints were also printed on
the flag, which Israel said was displayed at a gathering of Jordan's
and Jordan signed a peace agreement in 1994, but relations have often been
frosty amid differences over Israeli policies in Jerusalem.
of the Red Sea port of Hodeidah on Sunday lamented the state of their city,
which is under the Houthi militias’ control, and expressed hope that the roads
and the harbor will be reopened.
Houthi militias said on Saturday they handed over control of the Hodeidah port
to the coast guard under the Sweden agreement, but the government denied this,
saying it was a ploy by them to maintain control.
United Nations on Sunday also cast doubt on the Houthi claims to have withdrawn
from the port, saying such steps can only be credible if all other parties can
Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said the militias also failed
to honor an agreement to open a “humanitarian” corridor between Hodeidah and
the capital, Sanaa, to deliver assistance.
Khaled al-Zubaidi said Hodeida had become “a city of ghosts.”
confidence-building measures agreed in Sweden this month, which include an
exchange of prisoners, could pave the way for a political settlement of Yemen's
4-year-old war, which pits the Iran-aligned Houthis against the legitimate
and Syria have held a session of their joint ministerial economic committee,
exchanging views on a long-term strategic cooperation agreement.
meeting, chaired by Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Mohammad Samer
al-Khalil and Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami,
convened in Tehran on Saturday.
discussed the means of developing investment cooperation between the two
countries and agreed on a long-term strategic economic cooperation deal, media
expressed hope that the agreement would be finalized. Khalil said both sides
are determined to enhance their economic ties, including investment, trade,
banking, and financial relations.
count on Iranian companies to play a major role in reconstruction in Syria,” he
President Bashar Assad estimates that his country needs $250 billion to $400
billion to rebuild after years of an all-out foreign-sponsored militancy,
according to Russian media.
officials have repeatedly voiced the Islamic Republic's readiness to help Syria
with the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.
early October, Iran signed an agreement to build a 540-megawatt (MW) gas fired
power plant in Syria’s coastal city of Latakia.
the request of Damascus, Iran has also been providing military advisory
assistance to the Syrian government forces in its fight against foreign-backed
US said this month it was no longer seeking to topple President Assad but
reiterated that it would not fund reconstruction unless the government is
of State Mike Pompeo said in October that the US would not provide “one single
dollar” for Syria’s reconstruction.
Assad has already made it clear that the West "won't be part of
reconstruction in Syria, because very simply we won't allow them to be part of
it, whether they come with money or not."
Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade has led a delegation to the Iranian
capital to discuss ways how to improve bilateral ties. The talks mainly focused
on Iran’s potential to have a greater share in the reconstruction of Syria.
Yusef Jalali reports.
Turkish security forces on Sunday arrested 30 Daesh-linked suspects, all
foreign nationals, in the capital Ankara.
operation’s timing is significant ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations, as the
suspects were allegedly plotting terror attacks.
authorities in Istanbul have stepped up security precautions in busy parts of
the city, including the iconic Taksim Square, where celebratory gatherings have
of Dec. 21, police had conducted more than 1.5 million identity checks in
Istanbul, arresting more than 4,000 people on various charges.
Daesh-linked lone gunman attacked a nightclub in Istanbul on Jan. 1, 2016,
killing many foreigners (including Saudis) as well as Turks.
another development, Australia has stripped a fighter held in Turkey of his
citizenship due to his ties to Daesh.
US announcement of its planned withdrawal from Syria has put Turkey, which
Washington expects to wipe out the remnants of Daesh in Syria, at the forefront
of the terror group’s potential targets.
Turkish military is preparing another major operation against terror groups,
including Daesh, in Syria.
Bural, a former military officer and a terrorism expert at the 21st Century
Turkey Institute, said the threat from Daesh has not been eliminated
European countries, Turkey has been hit hardest by Daesh attacks. The terror
group decides on its acts in line with regional dynamics,” Bural told Arab
say the nightclub attack was a turning point in terms of increased security
precautions by Turkish authorities against potential attacks by Daesh militants
ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations.
15 suspected militants have been killed near the Niger-Mali border by a joint
Franco-Nigerien task force, the French military high command said.
the night of December 27 (...) an air raid mounted by fighters and Tiger attack
helicopters struck" militants gathered near Tongo Tongo, in southwestern
Niger, the high command said in a tweet overnight Saturday to Sunday.
Tongo was the site of an ambush on October 4, 2017 where militants killed five
Nigerien and four US Special Forces' soldiers.
and French soldiers, backed by helicopters, took control of several key
positions in the area before mounting a 48-hour sweep.
about 15 militants were "put out of action", a term generally used by
the military to say they were killed.
the sweep, "some 20 motorbikes were recovered, along with 26 weapons,
including machine guns, and ammunition, the high command said.
Defense Minister Florence Parly praised the operation in a tweet as "an
example of a successful joint operation in western Niger".
strengthening of the G5 Sahel armies is continuing," she added, referring
to the regional force consisting of troops from Niger, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso
and Mauritania which has been set up to fight militants.
the former colonial ruler, has deployed a 4,500-member 'Barkhane' force in the
region to conduct counter-terrorism operations.
legislators have reportedly called on the Amman government to restore full
diplomatic relations with neighboring Syria amid promising signs that the
incumbent Damascus government led by President Bashar al-Assad is being
admitted back into the Arab world.
a parliamentary session on Sunday to study the government's 2019 budget, the
lawmakers asked for the improvement of Jordan-Syria ties to the level prior to
the outbreak of foreign-sponsored Syrian conflict, stressing that the relations
are beneficial to both nations, Arabic-language Rai al-Youm newspaper reported.
Khalil Attia called for the turn of the Jordanian ambassador to Damascus and
promotion of relations with Syria.
Khalid al-Fanatseh and Faisal al-Awar also highlighted that stronger
Amman-Damascus ties will serve the interests of both countries.
King Abdullah II recently hoped for the improvement of security situation in
Syria and Iraq.
willing, our relations with Syria will return to the level as it was before.
The situation is significantly improving in Iraq as well. We are always in
contact with them to open markets for our products,” he told a group of
December 28, Chargé d'Affaires of the Syrian Embassy in Amman, Ayman Aloush,
called on Jordan to raise the level of its diplomatic representation in
hope that the Jordanian Embassy in Syria will be fully staffed. So far, the
staffers are administrative personnel, who have been given the title of
diplomat during work,” Aloush told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news
then stressed the Syrian government’s eagerness to restore normal relations
with Jordan, saying it is a “popular will anchored in geography and history.”
Syrian government source, requesting anonymity, said on Friday that Kuwait’s
diplomatic mission in the Syrian capital will resume its activities within the
next 10 to 14 days, Syria's pro-government al-Masdar news agency reported.
pressure from other members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait
withdrew its diplomats from Syria in February 2012, after tensions rose in the
region over the foreign-backed crisis in Syria. A month later the Syrian
embassy in Kuwait was also closed.
development came on the same day that Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry announced in a
statement that work at the kingdom’s embassy “in the Syrian Arab Republic is
going on whilst the Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic to the Kingdom of
Bahrain is carrying out its duties and flights connecting the two countries are
operational without interruption.”
Thursday, the United Arab Emirates officially reopened its embassy in Damascus.
Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the
reopening of its embassy “reaffirms the keenness of the United Arab Emirates to
restore relations between the two friendly countries to their normal course.”
Arabic-language el-Jewahir daily newspaper, citing informed sources, reported
on Friday that President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is going to pay an official
visit to Syria early next year.
December 16, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir became the first Arab League
leader to visit Damascus.
official news agency SANA said Bashir was greeted by his Syrian counterpart
Bashar al-Assad upon arrival at Damascus International Airport, before they
both headed to the presidential palace.
two leaders discussed bilateral ties and the "situations and crises faced
by many Arab countries," the Syrian presidency said in a statement.
quoted the Sudanese leader as saying during the meeting that he hoped Syria
will recover its important role in the region as soon as possible.
also affirmed Khartoum’s readiness to provide all it can to support Syria's
President Omar al-Bashir on Sunday told police to abstain from using excessive
force against anti-government demonstrators as the UN called for a probe into
deaths during the violent protests.
least 19 people have been killed since December 19 during protests sparked by
Khartoum’s decision to hike the price of bread, according to the government.
group Amnesty International says 37 people have died.
Sunday, Bashir met top police officers in Khartoum and instructed them to
refrain from using excessive force against demonstrators.
want to maintain security and we want the police to do that by using less
force,” Bashir, dressed in a blue police uniform, said.
have rallied after the government raised the price of a loaf of bread from one
Sudanese pound to three (from about two to six US cents).
is facing an acute foreign exchange crisis and soaring inflation despite
Washington lifting an economic embargo in October 2017.
is running at 70 percent and the Sudanese pound has plunged in value, while
shortages of bread and fuel have regularly hit several cities.
admit that we have economic problems... but they can’t be solved by
destructions, lootings, and thefts,” Bashir said, referring to buildings and
ruling offices torched by protesters in several cities during the
don’t want our country to go the way other countries in the region have gone,”
Republican says Trump vows to 'destroy' IS before leaving Syria
A senior Republican senator said Sunday that President Donald Trump had
promised to stay in Syria to finish the job of destroying the Islamic State
group — just days after announcing he would be withdrawing troops immediately.
president understands the need to finish the job," Graham told reporters
outside the White House after what he described as a two-hour lunch meeting.
told me some things I didn't know that made me feel a lot better about where
we're headed in Syria," the South Carolina lawmaker said.
think the president is committed to making sure when we leave Syria that ISIS
is completely defeated and we are inside the 10-yard line," he said, using
an alternative name for the Islamic State group.
Trump tweeted on December 19 that "we have defeated ISIS in Syria,"
several military and security experts said he was overstating the case, and
warned against a hasty withdrawal.
said Trump was "thinking long and hard about Syria and how to withdraw the
forces" after ensuring that ISIS is destroyed, that US-allied Kurdish
forces are protected and that "Iran doesn't become the big winner of our
who as a member of the Armed Services committee has frequently visited US
troops in combat zones, was once a frequent critic of Trump but, reversing
course, now frequently defends him and seems to have gained privileged access
to the president's ear.
senator's remarks after the White House meeting were considerably modulated
from his tone earlier in the day, when he told ABC television's "This
Week" that "if we leave (Syria) now, the Kurds will get
going to ask the president to do something that President Obama would never do:
reconsider," he said.
said he knew Trump was "frustrated" by his limited options in Syria.
president is reconsidering how we would do this," Graham said.
get it. We're not the policemen of the world here."
added: "I'm going to ask him to sit down with his generals and reconsider
how to do this. Slow it down. Make sure we get it right."
Conway, a close Trump advisor, seemed to hint that the president might be
rethinking his withdrawal plans.
Iraq he had a closed-door meeting and he said watch what happens ... Watch what
happens because he's got plans and I won't get ahead of his announcement, but
he did want me to convey that," she said on "Fox News Sunday."
abrupt decision on Syria stunned regional players, US politicians of both
parties and military leaders, who expressed surprise that such a major decision
would be announced after apparently so little advance consultation, against the
advice of his national security advisors — and on Twitter.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned following the announcement, which came on
the same day that US officials said Trump was also planning a significant
drawdown in Afghanistan, with some reports suggesting as many as half of the
14,000 troops could leave.
warned at the time that a reduction now of US forces in war-torn Afghanistan
risked "paving the way toward a second 9/11."
prominent critic of the move was retired US army general Stanley McChrystal,
the former commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan.
Sunday, he told ABC that the dual drawdowns could seriously weaken US influence
in the region.
have a tumultuous regime or region (in Syria) that now has a Russian presence
which had been out for about 30 years," he said.
has increased influence across the region now. If you pull American influence
out, you're likely to have greater instability."
he said, Trump's planned drawdown in Afghanistan could seriously undercut
American leverage there.
when we were starting to sit down with the Taliban, just as we were starting to
begin negotiations, he basically traded away the biggest leverage point we
have," McChrystal added.
President Donald Trump has agreed to reevaluate his decision to immediately
leave Syria, says Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, noting that the 30-day
evacuation plan is now in a “pause situation.”
made the remarks after a meeting with Trump and General Joseph Dunford,
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday, where they discussed Trump’s
discussions with the president and Dunford, I never felt better about where we are
headed. I think we're slowing things down in a smart way," the South
Carolina Republican, who is a close ally of Trump, told reporters at the White
the goal has always been the same. To be able to leave Syria and make sure ISIS
never comes back," he added, using another acronym for Daesh.
think we're in a pause situation where we are reevaluating what's the best way
to achieve the president's objective of having people pay more and do
more," he said, probably referring to Trump’s assurances to some generals
that he was willing to extend the deadline.
an unexpected change of policy, Trump announced earlier this month that he was
going to return the troops back home because the Daesh terrorist group was
already defeated and there was no reason for the US to extend military presence
US has reportedly stationed about 2,000 soldiers in 18 bases across Syria since
2015. The Pentagon says the withdrawal would take between two and three months.
decision was met with criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, prompting
Defense Secretary James Mattis to resign. The decision also led Brett McGurk,
the US special envoy to the so-called anti-Daesh coalition in Syria and Iraq,
Trump doubled down on his policy by also announcing that he would cut in half
the roughly 14,000 US forces in Afghanistan.
a staunch ally of the president, said the pause did not mean that Trump had
has not reversed his decision," the senator said. "The pause is to
assess the effects of the conditions on the ground."
this month, Graham warned that a US troops drawdown in the Middle East could
pave the way for “a second 9/11.”
US military has issued a report, admitting killing additional civilians since
it started its military campaign in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
report released on Sunday shows that over 1,100 civilians were inadvertently
killed in airstrikes over the last four years, marking an increase of 15 people
monitoring groups, however, estimate that the raids have killed thousands of
Coalition conducted a total of 31,406 strikes between August 2014 and end of
November 2018. During this period, based on information available, CJTF-OIR
assesses at least 1,139 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition
strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve,” said the report.
report comes as the US has reportedly evacuated a military base in Syria, the
first step towards delivering on President Donald Trump’s recent pledge to pull
American forces out of the war-torn Arab country.
50 American soldiers had already left the base and traveled to a base in Iraq,
along with their armored vehicles and other equipment, according to local
residents of al-Malikiya, in the northeastern province of Hasakeh.
US and its allies have been bombarding what they call Daesh positions inside
Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus
government or a UN mandate.
strikes have on many occasions resulted in civilian casualties and failed to
fulfill their declared aim of countering terrorism.
full-throated defense at the time, Kelly backtracks on Trump’s Muslim ban
White House chief of staff John Kelly says he was surprised by US President
Donald Trump’s so-called Muslim ban despite his full-throated defense in the
early days of the administration.
had very little opportunity to look at them,” before the orders were announced,
Kelly acknowledged in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
issued an executive order shortly after taking office in January 2017 to
suspend the entire US refugee program for 120 days and bar travelers from seven
Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
it brought down a greater deal of thunder on the president.” said Kelly,
referencing nationwide protests held to decry Trump’s crackdown.
noted that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions's decision to impose a
"zero tolerance" immigration policy at the border was equally
surprising to him.
measure resulted in separation of children from their parents.
happened was Jeff Sessions, he was the one that instituted the zero-tolerance
process on the border that resulted in both people being detained and the
family separation," Kelly said. “He surprised us."
Trump administration has been under criticism over its “zero tolerance” towards
campaigning for the 2016 presidential election, Trump has been accused of
stoking racial, ethnic and religious tensions lurking within America.
also acknowledged that being Trump’s chief of staff for 17 months has been a
“bone-crushing hard job.”
guarded by the Secret Service. I can’t even go get a beer,” he said.
said earlier this month that Kelly would leave at the end of the year.
President Donald Trump has ordered a slowdown to the withdrawal of forces in
Syria, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said on Sunday.
think we're in a pause situation," the South Carolina Republican said
outside the White House after his lunch with the president.
Trump announced earlier this month that he was ordering the withdrawal of all
roughly 2,000 troops from war-torn Syria, with aides expecting it to take place
swiftly. The president had declared victory over the ISIS in Syria, though
pockets of fighting remain.
Graham had been an outspoken critic of Mr Trump's policy, which had drawn
bipartisan criticism. The announcement also had shocked lawmakers and American
allies, including Kurds who have fought alongside the US against ISIS and face
an expected assault by Turkey.
think we're slowing things down in a smart way," Mr Graham said, adding
that Trump was very aware of the plight of the Kurds.
had contended that the US withdrawal would embolden Iran and Russia, which have
supported the government of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad.
of the Islamic community in central California gathered around the body of
Abdullah Hassan on Saturday to say goodbye to the two-year-old.
child, wrapped in white cloth and laid in a casket, died on Friday in Oakland
in the presence of his Yemeni mother, who successfully fought the Trump
administration travel ban to be with her son.
father, 22-year-old Ali Hassan, relocated with Abdullah in the fall to get
treatment for a genetic brain disorder that was affecting his son. Abdullah's
mother, 21-year-old Shaima Swileh was separated from them due to travel
restrictions issued by President Donald Trump. The boy had been on life support
when his mother arrived last week.
are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye to our baby, the light of our
lives," the young father, a US citizen, said in a statement.
Hassan and his wife moved to Egypt after marrying in war-torn Yemen in 2016. Ms
Swileh is not an American citizen and remained in Egypt as she fought for a
visa for over a year so the family could move to the United States.
from Yemen and four other mostly Muslim countries, along with North Korea and
Venezuela, are restricted from coming to the US under Mr Trump's travel ban.
the boy's health worsened, the father went ahead to California in October to
get their son help. As the couple fought for a waiver, doctors put Abdullah on
wife is calling me every day wanting to kiss and hold her son for the one last
time," said Mr Hassan, choking up at a news conference earlier this month.
started losing hope and was considering pulling his son off life support to end
his suffering. But then a hospital social worker reached out to the Council on
American-Islamic Relations, which sued on December 16, said Basim Elkarra,
executive director of the group in Sacramento.
State Department granted Ms Swileh a waiver the next day. She was pictured
cradling her son in the hospital 10 days ago.
in New Year letter to Trump, says Moscow is open for dialogue
President Vladimir Putin, in a New Year letter to his US counterpart Donald
Trump, said on Sunday that Moscow was ready for dialogue on a “wide-ranging
agenda”, the Kremlin said.
the end of November, Trump abruptly cancelled a planned meeting with Putin on
the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina, citing tensions about Russian
forces opening fire on Ukrainian navy boats and then seizing them.
Putin stressed that the (Russia - United States) relations are the most
important factor for providing strategic stability and international security,”
a Kremlin statement said.
confirmed that Russia is open for dialogue with the USA on the most
a separate letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Putin pledged continuation
of aid to the Syrian government and people in the “fight against terrorism, in
defense of state sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
also sent New Year greetings to other world leaders including prime ministers
Theresa May of Britain and Shinzo Abe of Japan, as well as Chinese President Xi
wished “well-being and prosperity to the British people”, the Kremlin said.
embassy in London said on Friday Moscow and London had agreed to return some
staff to their respective embassies after they expelled dozens of diplomats
early this year.
expelled 23 Russian diplomats over accusations the Kremlin was behind a nerve
toxin attack in March on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in
the English city of Salisbury.
which denies any involvement in the poisoning, sent home the same number of
British embassy workers in retaliation.
in western Germany vandalized with racist slurs
under-construction mosque in western Germany's Duisburg city was attacked by
unidentified assailants who defaced the building with racist slogans, according
to a mosque official on Sunday.
attackers painted star of David -- which is the symbol of Judaism -- on the
wall of Mevlana mosque, affiliated with the Turkish-Islamic Community National
View (IGMG), head of the mosque foundation Hulusi Yuksel told Anadolu Agency.
said they informed local security authorities about the attack as police
launched an investigation into the case of vandalism.
don't know who made the attack," Yuksel said adding that the construction
of the mosque has been ongoing for one and a half year.
is no serious anti-Turkish or anti-Islamic hostility in the area except minor
reactions against the mosque construction, according to Yuksel.
a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population
in Western Europe after France. Among the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims,
3 million are of Turkish origin.
January 1, Denmark will require anyone applying for citizenship to shake hands
with the officiating dignitary at the naturalization ceremony. Those who refuse
will not be granted citizenship.
may surprise you that this law is extremely controversial. Some Muslims refuse
on religious grounds to shake hands with members of the opposite sex. The law
was set up with this in mind—aiming to excluded these Muslims from Danish
of the new law were quick to criticize it as awkward and useless. “It’s absurd
that the immigration minister thinks this is an important thing to spend time
on. Shaking hands does not show if you are integrated or not,” said Kasper
Ejsing Olesen, the mayor of the Danish town of Kerteminde.
many people oppose the new law, many others find it justified.
Henriksen, a Danish politician and a spokesman on immigration for the Danish
People’s Party, agrees with Denmark’s new handshake policy. “If you arrive in
Denmark, where it’s custom to shake hands when you greet, if you don’t do it,
it’s disrespectful,” he said. “If one can’t do something that simple and
straightforward, there’s no reason to become a Danish citizen.”
handshake policy is not the only law designed to cause Muslims to conform to
European norms. In May, Denmark passed a law forbidding Muslim women from
wearing the niqab in public. The law officially came into effect on August 1,
and it follows similar laws passed in France, Germany, Austria, Belgium and
Bulgaria. These nations partially or completely ban the niqab, a veil covering
the entire head and face, except the eyes, and the burka, which covers the body
in addition to the head and face.
least one Muslim woman in Denmark has been fined for wearing a niqab in public.
A fight broke out at a shopping center after another woman confronted her and
tried to remove her niqab. When police arrived, the Muslim woman refused to
remove her veil, choosing instead to leave the building.
fight is evidence that not all Danes are on board with permitting mass
migration: Some see it as a threat to their national identity. A poll in
September found that 52 percent of Danes disagree with the new handshake law,
but this means that almost half the population either supports it or does not
see it as a significant issue.
similar law exists in France, where an Algerian woman was denied citizenship
after refusing to shake hands with a man. She appealed to the top French
administrative court, which rendered its decision in April: Refusing the
handshake means refusing French values.
incidents have also been reported in Switzerland. Two Muslim schoolboys, sons
of a Syrian imam, refused to follow the Swiss tradition of shaking hands with
their female teachers after each class. The boys were granted an exemption,
which prompted outrage in the local community.
the moral battles over Denmark’s handshake policy and public wearing of veils,
one fact is clear: Europeans are facing an identity crisis. Look at history and
you will find that these moral, cultural questions fit into a much larger and
older controversy: the culture clash between Islam and Catholicism, the
traditional religion of Europe. The rising influence of Islam in Europe is
causing many Europeans to start pushing back.
influx of migrants is leading a new generation of leaders to assert their
Catholic identity. They are emphasizing the symbols that set Catholic Europe
apart from the influx of migrants. The German state of Bavaria now mandates
that the cross be displayed on all public buildings. Other countries have
banned people from wearing Islamic head coverings inside all public buildings.
Brubaker, a sociologist at the University of California–Los Angeles, described
the trend well in the Atlantic magazine in 2017, writing that it is a push for
“a secularized Christianity as culture.”
a matter of belonging rather than believing,” he wrote. Brubaker described it
as a Christianity that says, “We are Christians, precisely because they are
Muslims. Otherwise, we are not Christian in any substantive sense.”
this heightened sense of difference between the two groups is leading to a
clash. Some on both sides want such a clash. To some, passing laws against
migrants emphasizes their own Christianity. Meanwhile many radical Islamists
openly declare that they are in a war against Christianity—and are openly
targeting the pope in Rome.
influx of migrants into Europe is provoking a Christian backlash against Islam.
The Bible forecasts that this backlash will grow stronger.
11:40 describes a clash between a “king of the north” and a “king of the
south.” This refers to a clash between a European conglomerate, led by Germany,
and radical Islam, led by Iran. Other prophecies tell us that this European
power will be ruled by a church. This same chapter says that this European
power will respond after having been “pushed” by radical Islam.
2018 was not a story about counter-terrorism laws, they brought an
uncomfortable focus to a government that accepts no limits to its power to
cleave and quarter society at will. The final days of parliament did not
institutionalise protections, instead institutionalising fear.
government used these final days to bully, harass, intimidate and politicise
any opposition to an encryption bill allowing security agencies access to our
encrypted private messages. While it attacked those who opposed the bill or
sought greater consideration of its impact, it also proposed amendments to
extend the powers and conditions under the Australian Citizenship Amendment
(Allegiance to Australia) Act 2015 to strip dual nationals of their Australian
citizenship. It was yet additional evidence of an Australian government with
already considerable and unprecedented power in this arena, intending to give
may indeed be an exceptional set of crimes which require an exceptional set of
laws and powers, but this government is not prepared to explain, after almost
80 counter terrorism laws, why more are still required.
2011, Professor Kent Roach of the University of Toronto, in his comparative
study of antiterrorism laws across the US, UK, Canada and Australia, described
the Australian government response to terrorism as one of “legislative activism”
– in part because Australia’s response exceeded that of Canada, the UK and the
US, but also because “Australia’s hyper-legislation strained the ability of the
parliamentary opposition and civil society to keep up, let alone provide
effective opposition to, the relentless legislative output.”
2001, our failure to mount any meaningful resistance to the unforgiving
legislative agenda of the government as it gave itself and its security
services unprecedented powers has rested on the belief that those laws would
only apply to Muslims. But this view misunderstands both the threat of
terrorism and the threat of the laws themselves and what our parliament has
is hard to miss that fear and control are increasingly the defining feature of
our government and crossbench.
the litany of abuses and the raging white noise emanating from parliament about
Muslims, commencing with Liberal senator Jim Molan’s sharing of Britain First’s
anti-Muslim video, to Pauline Hanson’s numerous stop Muslim migration efforts
and her wearing of the burqa in parliament buffoonery, to Fraser Anning’s
maiden speech, to the government’s vote on it’s OK to be white – it has all
seemed that a particular type of racialised madness has taken hold of both our
houses of parliament.
vilification of Muslims and racial politicalisation of minorities as a
political strategy has not remained within the confines of federal parliament,
it also became a key feature of the Victorian state election, barely concealed
in the rhetoric of African gangs violence and white people hiding in their
homes for fear of gangs. Throughout all of this, migration has been presented
as a consistent and constant threat to our way of life. This is a picture of us
as a nation under attack from strangers within and at our borders.
tested the limits of its power to vilify and marginalise Muslims, the
government has been slowly moving to everyone else.
case in point is the government’s decision to force us to vote on marriage
equality, something it knew already had our broad support, and as 2018 ends, we
are told that the rights of religious groups must be protected from LGBTI
children attending religious schools. The halls of power, both religious and
political, have now pitted themselves against children.
the Bourke street attack, prime minister Scott Morrison called on Muslims to do
more – in fact he held Muslims partially responsible by suggesting that they
were not doing enough. As an experienced minister, he would know that the role
of Muslims in preventing terrorism is limited and that communities were already
active in that space. Since 2001, Muslim leaders, activists and professionals
have acquired a certain political acumen and, even in the face of irrationality
and farce that is now a constant feature of our parliament’s approach to
Muslims, community actors have nonetheless persevered in their work. Most of
them understood that Morrison’s message was not to Muslims but about them, and
most of them will continue to work with government, because they see their
efforts to ensure social cohesion as a moral imperative, not as a service to
cost for the Muslim community of constantly trying to placate people’s anger
and fear by justifying itself is increasingly apparent. It is rare, especially
for Victorian Muslims, to turn their back on a meeting with government. This is
a sign not of anger, but of a community that has no hope in the political
is deploying more than 147,000 security forces nationwide to gird for New
Year’s Eve unrest as yellow vest protesters prepare to join the public revelry.
Interior Ministry said in a statement issued Sunday that the heavy security
measures are needed because of a “high terrorist threat” and concerns about
in Paris say they will put a security perimeter around the Champs-Elysees, the
site of an annual New Year’s Eve light show and celebration. Anti-government
protesters angry over taxes and President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business
policies are planning to be on the famed avenue.
Interior Ministry says extra security across France will focus on popular
gathering places, public transportation, roads and shopping areas.
New Year’s Eves in France have produced burned cars and other disorder.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women
in Islam, Islamic
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism
But Mufti Menk said on youtube, “Not
Wishing Merry Christmas It Doesn't Mean Muslims Insults The Christians” youtube.com/watch?v=2LAGZJDqhis