Nuril Arifin Husein, with sunglasses, the founder of the Jakarta Soko Tunggal
Islamic Boarding School says presidential candidates visit Islamic boarding
schools to get moral ---support, not to form political alliances. (Photo by
Islamic Schools Electoral Campaign Magnet
Not Govt, Will Decide Putting Aasia Bibi’s Name on No-Fly List: Minister
Secretary: 12 Islamist Parties Extend Support to PM Sheikh Hasina
School Children Only Allowed Religious Education: Islamists
of Muslims Formed Human 'Rings Of Peace' To Protect Synagogues in Canada
Pakistan Troops Exchange Sweets along LoC in J&K's Poonch
Do Not Disturb the Royal Institution, Islam, Malay Language
Still Visiting Thai Mosque Where 32 Muslims Were Killed 14 Years Ago
China's Muslim camp spending 'revealed'
Muslim rebellion has army living in 'constant fear'
needs a Tony Blair to fight the Thatcher that is Mahathir, says Zaid
comics tread fine line between humor, blasphemy
Senators Put Govt on the Mat over Labbaik Deal
chief visits families of workers killed during sit-in
claims crackdown halted, workers released
to maintain strategic balance with India, says NCA Adviser
Nisar takes notice of vandalism during TLP protests
Minister Imran Khan briefed on TLP’s sit-ins, arrests
ties renewal under way, says Qureshi
Says It Will Help Aasia Leave Pakistan
name put on ECL on ISI’s suggestion, govt tells IHC
progress lies in peace and rule of law: NSC
US agree to promote regional peace and stability
War Crimes: Tribunal Sentences Liakat, Aminul To Death
Police Say Top Islamic Extremist, Khorshed Alam, Shot Dead
kill 20 Afghan troops in attack on post near Iran border
to attend Moscow meeting on Afghan peace: spokesman
official urges Bangladesh to halt Rohingya returns
among 6 dead, wounded in a clash between Taliban factions in Nangarhar
SG calls on Taliban to stop killing fellow Afghans and join peace talks
civilians killed, wounded during the parliamentary elections in Afghanistan
used to incite violence in Myanmar: Report
attacks kill 8 police in western Farah province
Least 16 Nigeria Troops Missing After Boko Haram Attack
Haram: Nigerian Army, Customs join forces against insurgents in Northeast
soldiers reportedly killed as Boko Haram attack military formation in Yobe
of Islamic State 'Covert' Insurgency Could Take Years, Pentagon IG Says
envoy hopeful of Jair Bolsonaro embassy U-turn
Pompeo was asked about differences between Saudi Arabia and Iran
expresses regret at US anti-Iran sanctions
Fields Pro-Triple Talaq Leader, Faces Protest
Hizbul terrorists, including Army deserter killed in Shopian encounter
Tampered with Consulate’s CCTV Security Cameras after Khashoggi Killing: Report
Salman Embarks On Domestic Tour amid Khashoggi Crisis
Army Pre-empts Terrorist Groups' Offensives in Northern Hama
of Terrorists, White Helmets Members Arrested over Leakage of Chemical Cargos
Planning to Heliborne ISIL from Syria to Iraq
to Utilize Jeish Al-Islam Terrorists in Battle against Kurds in Northern Syria
Army Targets Kurdish Militias in Northern Syria Again
Al-Sham Retreats after Clashes with Rival Terrorists in Northwestern Syria
Iraqi Popular Forces Ready to Hunt ISIL Terrorists in Syria
Sisi says army will defend Gulf Arabs in case of direct threat
of Islamic Cooperation seminar to highlight KSA’s success against terror,
Lawmakers to Debate Death Penalty Bill for Palestinian ‘Terrorists’
Threatens Syria’s Kurds: A Headache for the US?
says US sanctions on Iran ‘wrong,’ says Turkey won’t abide by them
will take US bounty on senior PKK leaders cautiously: Presidential spox
forces shoot down Saudi-led reconnaissance drone over Sa'ada
police detain 13 suspects over affiliation to Gulen movement
rejects joint US-Kurdish patrols near Syria border
British Islamophobe Escapes Terror Charges
Can Help British Muslims Feel Less Excluded
Muslim heroes of Great War immortalised in London exhibition
Charles opposed Iraq invasion, is sympathetic to Palestinians, says new book
terror rioters attack Council of Europe in France
US sanctions would strengthen radicals in Iran
urges Saudi cooperation with Turkish Khashoggi probe
All behind Khashoggi murder should be punished
by New Age Islam News Bureau
President Joko Widodo at the end of October visited Islamic 'pesantren'
boarding schools in populous East Java province as part of his presidential
vice-presidential running mate, Ma'ruf Amin, who is a former chairman of
Indonesia's influential Islamic Ulema Council, visited other boarding schools
in the province.
rival presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto toured several boarding schools
in Central Java ahead of the April election showdown.
before, Prabowo's vice-presidential pair, Sandiaga Solahudin Uno, travelled to
boarding schools in West Java province.
the campaign officially kicked off Sept. 23, such Islamic schools have received
a great deal of attention from aspiring candidates.
election supervision officials have warned against campaigning in educational
institutions, candidates argued that they were simply undertaking friendly
visits rather than campaigning as such.
to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, there are 28,961 Islamic boarding schools
across Indonesia accommodating more than four million students, known as
are run by Islamic teachers affiliated with Nahdatul Ulama and Muhamadiyah, the
largest Muslim organizations in Indonesia.
many of the students are too young to vote, political observers consider their
influence to be significant, including on parents and other family members,
said Ujang Komarudin, executive director of the Indonesia Political Review.
said candidates clearly fathomed the electoral potential of the boarding
schools' alumni network.
schools' alumni have a stronger emotional bond than other types of educational
institutions as they have lived together in the dormitory system for a long
time," he said.
is a real mass base in politics."
Ahyar, executive director of the pollster Populi Center, said boarding schools
are seen as symbols of traditional Islamic society.
approaching them, candidates want to associate themselves closely to
Islam," he said.
added that exploiting school links was a way of candidates blunting accusations
by political opponents that they are anti-Muslim and/or pro-communist.
who is often accused of being anti-Islam and hostile to ulemas, has pledged to
establish job training centers in boarding schools.
running-mate Amin, who previously founded a boarding school, has promised to
set up a new department to oversee all Islamic boarding schools.
boarding schools, there are mixed reactions to the candidates' presence.
Nuril Arifin Husein, 59, founder of the Jakarta Soko Tunggal Islamic Boarding
School, said that visiting such schools was common.
added that on these occasions, Muslim scholars had an opportunity to give
advice on how politicians should lead according to moral Islamic principles.
Maulana Budi Harjono, 55, founder of a boarding school in Central Java, said
politicians dropping into such institutions to cement ties was welcome, but
students should be left to make their own choices about who to vote for.
Lukman Nurdin, from a boarding school in West Java, said schools should
distance themselves from partisan politics.
Komarudin, from the Indonesia Political Review, said it was no secret that
various schools backed particular candidates.
only difference is that some people state it explicitly, while others do
not," he said.
gave an example of how some 400 Islamic teachers in September declared support
for the Widodo-Amin election ticket.
candidates view boarding schools as potential vote winners.
are vote base camps that we must protect," said Hasto Kristiyanto,
secretary of Widodo's campaign team.
Budi Santoso, from the Subianto-Uno campaign team, acknowledged having a
of our main goals is to get support from the pesantren," he said.
not govt, will decide putting Aasia Bibi’s name on no-fly list: minister
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri on Tuesday said that
the court would decide on the matter of placing Christian blasphemy convict
Aasia Bibi’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL).
government and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) had on Friday reached an
agreement after which the latter ended its three-day-long nationwide protests
against the Supreme Court’s acquittal last week of Aasia Bibi who had been
sentenced to death in 2010 for alleged blasphemy.
to the agreement, the government had promised TLP to “initiate the legal
process” to place Aasia Bibi’s name on the no-fly list.
asked whether her name had been placed on the ECL, Qadri said: “If you read the
agreement, you’ll see it says that legal process will be undertaken to place
her on the ECL.”
there are cases in the Supreme Court and high court, the court itself says that
so-and-so should be placed on the ECL. So we will follow that process.”
TLP also said that some miscreants used their platform to damage public property
and had behaved inappropriately. The State will take action against them,” he
stand by the agreement, and it will be acted upon,” Qadri said.
asked whether the TLP would be banned, the minister said that there was no plan
to ban the TLP.
if someone’s intentions or designs are in conflict with the national narrative
and policies, then hopefully steps will be taken against them,” he added.
minister said that the government was formulating strategies in anticipation of
similar situations in the future.
General Secretary: 12 Islamist Parties Extend Support to PM Sheikh Hasina
of the Islamist parties highly appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the
way she ran the country for the last 10 years
Islamist parties have extended their support to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina so
she could return to power.
Islamic parties have categorically said they will extend all-out cooperation so
that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina could come back to power,” Awami League
General Secretary Obaidul Quader told reporters emerging from a dialogue
between the 14-party alliance and the 12 Islamist parties at Ganabhaban on
Tuesday evening, reports BSS.
said the leaders of the 12 prominent Islamist parties extended this support in
the dialogue and the talks continued for nearly two hours.
delegation of Islamist parties and coalitions held a dialogue with Prime
Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, and leaders of the ruling
alliance. The dialogue kicked-off at 2:45pm after the 52-member delegation
entered the prime minister’s official residence Ganabhaban at 1:30pm.
party has expressed its own opinion and raised some demands. But they clearly
expressed their common views on upholding the spirit of the Liberation War and
ideology of independence,” Quader told reporters outside Ganabhaban after the
said there was no disagreement on any issue during the dialogue between the two
sides. He, however, said Khelafat Andolan demanded renaming a road in Dhaka
after their late leader “Maulana Hafezzi Hujur.”
also the road transport and bridges minister, said all leaders of the Islamist
parties have extended their support to holding the election as per
said they will be a partner of the election, along with extending their
said leaders of the Islamist parties highly appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina for the way she ran the country for the last 10 years.
said their party will start distribution of nomination forms on Friday ahead of
the 11th national election.
forms will be distributed from the Awami League president’s Dhanmondi office
from Friday and it will continue until further directives,” he said.
to a question about the outcome of the dialogue, Quader said Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina will talk in detail about its outcome and inform her decisions in
this regard through a press conference on November 8.
parties included Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ), Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan,
Bangladesh Muslim League, Bangladesh Jalali Party, Ashekine Awalia Oikya
Parishad Bangladesh, Zaker Party, Bangladesh Jatiya Islami Jote (BNIA),
Bangladesh Sammilito Islami Jote and Islamic Democratic Alliance.
school children only allowed religious education: Islamists
2,000 children in Mali have stopped going to school after suspected Islamists
warned they would only allow religious education, teachers and local officials
jihadists arrived in our village last week by motorcycle," said a teacher
in the village of Toubakoro, about 140 kilometres northeast of the capital
told everyone to gather in a mosque. They told us to close all schools where
French is taught, and to teach only the Koran instead," the source said,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
threatened to punish anyone who broke the new rule." Mali is struggling
with a jihadist insurgency that began with an uprising by Tuareg separatists in
the north of the country in 2012.
extremists were largely driven out in a French-led military operation launched
in January 2013.
large stretches of Mali remain out of the control of Malian, French and UN
forces, which are frequent targets of attacks.
of Muslims formed human 'rings of peace' to protect synagogues in Canada
a deadly attack last year on a mosque in Quebec, Christians and Jews formed
human "rings of peace" around mosques across Canada to help Muslim
worshippers feel safer on their way in.
past weekend, Muslims did the same for six synagogues in Toronto.
hundred people, arriving in busloads from different mosques, stood shoulder to
shoulder around the synagogues with one very clear message.
here for you," Fatima Sajan said.
was one of the organizers with the National Council of Canadian Muslims for
last weekend's "Rings of Peace." A dozen organizations got together
days after the October 27 attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue to plan how they
could best show their support for the Jewish community.
human rings of supporters -- which included people of many faiths -- may have
been an act of love and support; but they were also a sign of strength.
were symbolic," Sajan said. "In order to get to the synagogue you
have to go through us first."
Hamid Slimi, chairman at the Canadian Centre for Deen Studies, and other
Muslims visited four synagogues on Saturday morning, among them Beth Sholom and
proud of our community who stands strong against #Antisemitism the same way as
#islamophobia & all forms of #bigotry," he tweeted.
Congregation, a synagogue in Mississauga, saw more than 250 people from all
faiths lining its garden.
mosque was targeted last year
said the Pittsburgh shooting, in which 11 people were killed, hit close to home
for the Muslim community.
January 2017, a gunman opened fire in a crowed of men, women and children
inside the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center during Sunday evening prayers. Six
people were killed.
been seeing over the past two years that hate crimes have been increasing, and
the severity of these attacks has been increasing," Sajan said. "It's
not just about one community -- we're all facing one common hate and one common
said Muslims are determined to stand together with their Jewish neighbors.
not just up to the Jewish community to solve anti-Semitism," she told CNN.
"We have to recognize that these issues are common forms of hatred. And
we'll be working together to address the hate."
Pakistan troops exchange sweets along LoC in J&K's Poonch
The Indian and the Pakistan armies exchanged sweets and festive wishes Tuesday
on the eve of Diwali along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of
Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
the occasion of Diwali, as a confidence building measure, sweets were exchanged
between Indian Army and Pakistan Army at Poonch and Mendhar on November
6," the Jammu-based White Knight Corps said in a tweet.
armies exchanged greetings and pleasantries along with the sweets, it said.
a defence spokesman said General Officer Commanding, Fire and Fury Corps, Lt
Gen Y K Joshi interacted with the troops deployed in zero degree temperatures
in the rugged and mountainous locations of western Ladakh on the eve of the festival
Gen Joshi conveyed his greetings to the troops and their families, the
spokesman said. He said the GOC complimented the troops for their service to
the nation in such remote and inhospitable terrain and weather conditions.
in the day, Lt Gen Joshi paid homage to martyrs at the Kargil War Memorial in
Drass and interacted with troops, the spokesman said.
Do not disturb the royal institution, Islam, Malay language
Nov 6 — Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today reminded all
parties not to disturb the Federal Constitution including the position of Islam
and that of Bahasa Melayu (Malay language) as the national language.
Zahid also stressed that Umno strongly opposed Malaysia’s ratification of the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
not disturb what is in the Constitution, do not disturb the Muslims or equate
Islam with the other religions, do not disturb the Malay Rulers, do not disturb
Bahasa Melayu as the national language.
do not want to be racists or religious extremists, we (just) want the rights in
the Constitution be preserved,” he said in his speech at the “With Umno
President” gathering here today.
said he did not prevent others from practising their religions or their right
to use their own languages, but he would defend what is already in the
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy had said
the Pakatan Harapan government was committed to ratify six treaties including
ICERD in the first quarter of next year.
said this was not a commitment from him alone but also from Minister in the
Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mujahid Yusof. — Bernama
still visiting Thai mosque where 32 Muslims were killed 14 years ago
Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah
BARU: The Kresek mosque in Pattani, Thailand, where 32 Muslim men were killed
in a brutal attack 14 years ago, continues to receive visitors from Malaysia.
mosque’s imam, Zakaria Mat Sin, said Malaysians, especially those from East
Coast states like Kelantan and Terengganu, travelled all the way to the area to
see bullet holes and other damage left from the attack.
from countries like Malaysia and Singapore are still visiting the mosque to see
the damage done in the attack.
and my assistant, Ahmad Daud, 52, are here all the time to tell the story to
the visitors while showing them the damage,” said the 64-year-old imam, who
added that visitors also performed the daily prayers with them.
visitors told us that they pray to God that such incidents will not happen
again and that the oldest mosque can be maintained.”
the incident, Zakaria said he was waiting to perform the Subuh prayer with the
32 men when the attack happened.
was waiting outside the mosque when suddenly I heard loud sounds coming from
saw many soldiers outside and inside the mosque. I only went inside with other
villagers when the attack had ended,” he said.
April 28, 2004, the Thai army surrounded the mosque where it was said 32 Malay
Muslim separatists were holed up.
men were among more than 100 who, the militray said, had attacked a dozen
police stations and checkpoints across the south earlier in the day.
massively increased security spending in 2017 in the far-western region of
Xinjiang, where hundreds of thousands of Muslims are alleged to have been
detained, a new report says.
in areas "that explain nearly all security-related facility
construction" rose by 213% between 2016 and 2017, said the US-based
data shows a spike in new security facilities in 2017.
says they are training centres.
according to budget data reviewed by German academic Adrian Zenz for the
report, spending on vocational training in Xinjiang actually decreased by 7% in
on security-related construction, meanwhile, increased by nearly 20bn yuan
budget figures "reflect patterns of spending consistent with the
construction and operation of highly secure political re-education camps
designed to imprison hundreds of thousands of [Uighurs] with minimal due
process," Mr Zenz said.
Zenz has previously suggested, based on local government tendering documents,
that at least several hundred thousand and perhaps over a million Uighurs and
other Muslim minorities could have been detained in Xinjiang.
estimates were also quoted at a UN human rights panel earlier this year. China
denies the facilities are internment camps.
top official in the region has instead said that a "vocational education
and training programme" helps people to "reflect on their mistakes
and see clearly the essence and harm of terrorism and religious
to regional officials, classes are given on Chinese history, language and
Uighur detainees now living overseas have told the BBC that they had to sing
Communist Party songs in the camps, and recite laws accurately or face
beatings. One man said he was detained in 2015 after police found a picture of
a woman wearing a face veil on his phone.
Zenz, an anthropologist and expert on Chinese ethnic policy at the European
School of Culture and Theology in Germany, also found the camps were built by
the same organisation that oversaw China's now-abolished labour re-education
on Tuesday, China's human rights record was reviewed at the UN Human Rights
Council in Geneva.
response to British, French, German and US concerns about the suspected mass
detentions, Chinese representative Le Yucheng said his country "will not
accept politically-driven accusations from a few countries that are fraught
insisted that China must be free to "choose its own path" when it came
to human rights.
US has said it would consider sanctioning China over its policies, which Human
Rights Watch says violate the rights to freedom of expression, religion and
Uighurs are ethnically Turkic Muslims mostly based in Xinjiang. They make up
about 45% of the population there.
see themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations, and
their language is similar to Turkish.
recent decades, large numbers of Han Chinese (China's ethnic majority) have
migrated to Xinjiang, and the Uighurs feel their culture and livelihoods are
a border checkpoint crossing into southern Thailand's conflict zone, a police
officer rushed quickly from his wooden guard post toward a reporter who had
been snapping a few pictures.
the guard realized that the journalists were working on a report covering
unrest in the region, he calmed down, adjusted his brown uniform, straightened
his glasses and vented his frustration.
hard for me to find words that describe the permanent atrocities committed the
rebels commit," he said, while pointing to pictures of wanted separatists
that hang at every checkpoint.
a short while after the death of the king [in October 2016] things quieted
down," he said. "But now the entire tragedy is starting all over
the past few months, isolated explosions and shootouts have been occurring
almost daily. Soldiers and security personnel are the primary targets of
NGO Deep South Watch, which observes the unrest in southern Thailand, has
measured an increase in victims over recent months.
Yala and Narathiwat are three provinces in what locals refer to as Thailand's
"deep south" on the border with Malaysia. The region is home to a
Muslim, Malay majority in predominantly Buddhist Thailand.
nearly two decades, separatists have been demanding that Bangkok grant them
local autonomy, and the Thai military has come down hard to eradicate
separatist terror cells.
2004, attacks began to occur regularly, and since then, conflict between
separatists and the Thai government has claimed over 7,000 victims, with nearly
double that number injured. Even though violence in the region has declined
over recent years, a solution to end the conflict is not in sight.
Pathan is an adviser for international organizations in Thailand who works with
security and development issues. He has been watching the waves of conflict in
southern Thailand for many years. He considers the latest upswing in violence
to be a bloody backlash by the rebellion.
Thai military claimed that the decreased attacks during the mourning period of
King Bhumipol was a victory for them," Pathan told DW, adding that the
Muslim separatists answered this provocation with a series of attacks.
in 'constant fear'
deep south consists of lowlands that are dotted with military bases. Heavily
armed military vehicles creep along the roadsides manned by masked soldiers
from the Royal Thai Army.
a kilometer goes by without a control checkpoint. Muslim civilians are under
constant observation by the Thai military. A military officer showed DW's
reporters his outpost, located not far from the provincial capital, Pattani.
Birds chirped in ornately decorated cages hanging above the protective sandbag
more: Bombing in Thailand's restive south injures more than 50
live here in constant fear," the officer said. "The worst is not
knowing when and where the rebels will attack next. Unlike us, the insurgents
don't wear any identifiable symbols and it is very difficult to filter them out
of the civilian population."
years, the Thai army has been following a strategy of "de-escalation
through strength." Former general Piyawat Nakwanich, who commanded armies
in the south until he was ousted, tried to suppress unrest with a massive
military presence. Shortly before he stepped down in August, Piyawat sent 1,000
soldiers to problem areas in Nong Chik district in Pattani province.
their deployment, two soldiers were killed by gunmen and four were injured.
According to critics, this show of military power only served to widen the
divide between the state and Muslims.
ousted general and his heavy-handed strategy only left a pile of ruins that his
successor will have to clean up," said Pathan.
command takes a softer tone
October, General Pornsak Poonsawas took over command of Thai military
operations in the south and has started a charm offensive. In one of his first
actions as commander, he presented a fruit basket, a symbol of building a new
and healthy relationship, to Muslim religious leader Aziz Phitakkumpon.
also said that drugs rather than religion are the main contributor to tensions
in southern Thailand. He told local reporters that drugs were being sold on the
street, with the help of government officials. The general didn't offer any
evidence for his claims.
said that this "new strategy" is little more than window dressing by
are a national problem in Thailand and this is in no way limited to the
south," said Pathan. "But it is still a good chess move from him. By
calling out problems that affect everyone, Poonsawas is trying to win over the
solution in sight
a former hardline army commander, Udomchai Thammasarorat, was named as the
chief negotiator for peace talks between the Thai government and Muslim rebels,
with Malaysia playing a role as mediator. Up to now, these negotiations have
not seen results.
more: Thailand on its way back to democracy?
has a reputation as an unscrupulous hunter of rebels. He was the regional chief
of an army base that made international headlines for its deadly torture
tactics. Despite evidence presented by local activists, he continues to deny
JAYA: Former minister Zaid Ibrahim has offered tips to Umno on how to
rejuvenate itself in the wake of its fall from power, reminding party leaders
that it is not difficult to counter the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government whose
manifesto he described as a work of “idealists and economists” that “promised
said Umno leaders were still groping in the dark to galvanise support with
issues such as whether to ask its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to step down
pending the outcome of his corruption trial, instead of coming up with a new
philosophy to challenge decades-old policies including those institutionalised
during the 22-year administration of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
is the Margaret Thatcher of Malaysia, so to win against him you need a Tony
Blair in Umno,” Zaid, who is known for his maverick views on politicians from
both sides of the divide, said in a blog post today.
former Kota Bharu MP said Umno’s struggle to emerge from its doldrums would
fail if its leaders chose to stick with “raw firebrand politics” that continued
to use Malay rights and Islam to garner Malay support.
said such a policy was a vestige of the old Umno dominated by Mahathir, but the
present Umno must be “modern and progressive” in pushing the Malays up the
economic and educational ladder.
said in doing this, the party need not lose sight of its Malay roots, but
should instead come up with an economic thrust that would not abandon some form
of welfare for the community.
the economic thrust of Umno has to be skewed towards a controlled socialist
state, with some room for private activities. This is the opposite of
Mahathirs’s economic policies.
be credible, Umno must oppose Mahathir’s laissez-faire economics. They must
oppose his privatisation plans, and the selling of state assets,” said Zaid.
said one of PH’s weaknesses was its failure to fulfil the promise of various
problem is that the real decision makers in the PH government are not
socialists or supporters of the welfare system,” said Zaid.
are billionaires and towkays who are close to, and are in line with, Mahathir’s
economic thinking. Obviously they like selling assets and are in favour of
creating more wealthy businessmen. They believe this will have a trickle-down
effect, and everybody will be happy and satisfied.”
said Umno leaders still could not understand what the present Malays want, and
many were content with continuing old policies under which they had benefitted
and become rich.
greed set in deep and it finally led to the loss in May because those policies
could no longer satisfy the Malays,” he wrote, adding that the party’s
objection to the ratification of the International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination was an example of the party
having no clue about Malay needs.
there were “a few bright ones in the third liners” of the Umno leadership, Zaid
said they should champion positive education, morality and good conduct.
next leader must be able to talk to taxi drivers about his plans without
banning Grab. He must be able to tell the Malays how he plans to cut out greed
and curb crookedness in the way power is exercised.
Oct. 20, up-and-coming comedian Tretan Muslim uploaded the latest episode of
his comedic cooking series “Last Hope Kitchen” onto YouTube.
days later, after accusations of blasphemy, widespread criticism and numerous
death threats, Tretan and fellow comedian Coki Pardede announced that they were
resigning from comedy group Majelis Lucu Indonesia and the Indonesian
entertainment scene in general.
video was meant to be funny. Some Muslims, however, failed to get the joke and
were more insulted than amused.
the video, Tretan, a Muslim, teamed up with Coki, a Christian, to cook pork
with date syrup and honey at the series’ usual setting of a building rooftop at
joked that he could hear the pork saying “Hell, hell, the fires of hell!” and
the two speculated about whether adding dates, which Muslims are encouraged to
consume when breaking the fast, would reduce the haram level of the pork, or
turn pork tapeworms to mualaf (converts to Islam).
pair later remarked that they perhaps should have also gotten some Zamzam
water, which is considered holy in Islam, to add to the dish as well.
video went viral after popular preacher Derry Sulaiman posted a short clip of
it on his Instagram account with a message condemning the two comics and
implying that the video was “blasphemous” and “insulted Islam.”
and Coki, who eventually apologized for the video, escaped blasphemy charges,
but they learned the hard way that joking about religion in Indonesia today is
no trifling matter.
also: Muslim, Christian comedians get death threats over video about cooking
blasphemy law was introduced in 1965, but was only used to prosecute around 10
people between 1965 and 1998.
the Reform era, on the other hand, over 100 people have been convicted under
the law, with 17 imprisoned in 2017 and 2018 alone, including former Jakarta
governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, according to data from Amnesty
and Coki joined eccentric Islamic preacher Gus Miftah and former magician Deddy
Corbuzier in a video uploaded to Deddy’s YouTube channel on Monday, to further
explain the thinking behind the pork video.
did not mean [to insult religion], but rather show that we can still make fun
of each other in a tolerant way,” Coki said.
Miftah, who came under the spotlight in September because of a sermon he gave
at a Bali nightclub, said that while Tretan and Coki may have been looking to
satirize how some people overly revere religious symbols, their audience may
have not understood that.
the context is Indonesia, and Indonesia is a Muslim-majority country, such a
message will always result in problems,” he said. “So even if your opinion was
not wrong, maybe the place was wrong.”
of Indonesia (UI) communications expert Devie Rahmawati agreed that context was
important, saying the rise of the internet was a factor in the apparent
increase in “societal friction” on the matter.
I make a joke to my friends about their race or religion, they might find it
funny, but if that joke reaches a larger audience that does not have an
emotional connection with me, they might be offended.”
media, however, is not the only factor. Stand-up comic Iyam Renzia said he felt
that audiences had become increasingly sensitive to topics such as religion and
race, and therefore, he rarely made religion-related jokes in highly-publicized
careful about when and where I make the jokes; I look at the location and the
situation first,” he said, adding that at the off-air charity stand-up show for
the victims of the Central Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami, “The audience
members were asked not to record the show so I felt safe in making the jokes.”
he did make religious jokes, he said he made sure to stick to topics on which
there was a general consensus.
example, I once made a joke about how NU [Nahdlatul Ulama] and Muhammadiyah
followers used to argue about whether they should perform the qunut
[supplication] during dawn prayer,” he said. “The punchline was: Now they don’t
argue anymore because no one performs dawn prayers.”
comedian Sakdiyah Maruf, who often uses religion-related material in her
stand-up act, including jokes about terrorism, gender roles within Islam and
her Arabic descent, said she used that material because religious practices and
religious people had many flaws that were good targets for “introspection
are so many things that are interesting to observe, for example how many people
are quicker to believe sermons that are spread through WhatsApp groups over
more authoritative books or clerics,” she said. “That’s funny!”
said that for her, the difference between religious comedy and blasphemy was
the target of the jokes.
senators put govt on the mat over Labbaik deal
Senators belonging to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Tuesday criticised
the government for “surrendering” to religious activists protesting against the
Supreme Court’s acquittal of Aasia Bibi in the blasphemy case against her.
the debate formally began in the Upper House, Minister of Information
Technology Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui filed a motion to withdraw proposed
amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act on behalf of the
government, which was approved by the House. The minister argued that the bill
had been authored on the directives of deposed Islamabad High Court judge
Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and it was therefore proper that the government
after, the opposition pushed for a debate on the nationwide protests launched
by the hardline Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
the floor of the House, PPP’s parliamentary leader Sherry Rehman said we do not
want the state and constitution to be sullied like this.
entire nation was at a standstill for three days. If we start to examine [what
happened], they [the government] will say ‘This was also done before; the state
entered a similar agreement last year as well,” she continued. “[But] what
happened this time is a grave tragedy. We are not here to taunt and challenge
the government — enough of that was done on the streets for [those] three days.
Our army chief was called out by name. The judiciary, the state and the army
were dragged [into the mess]: what kind of message is being sent with these actions?”
government was all talk and no action. This was the first time we’ve heard the
state challenged like this. How can this challenge be ignored?”
will not politic on this: the PPP has always toed the patriotic line in times
like these. [However,] we will demand that the state provide protection to
state ought to protect the judges. Whether they give right decisions or wrong
ones, the state should be behind them. Those who are openly rebelling against
the law and constitution should be dealt with. This is a trying time for
Pakistan: the government should not try to bypass parliament,” she said, also
seeking answers from the government over loans secured from foreign governments
and foreign policy.
parliament was not taken into confidence on [foreign] loans,” she said. “We
have also promised to mediate the Yemen-Saudi Arabia dispute: on what terms
will this mediation be done? We should tackle our own wars first,” she said.
Sherry, PPP’s Senator Raza Rabbani took the floor, regretting that the country
was shut down for three days and constitutional institutions were attacked.
said the Senate ought to address a matter of this nature but his demand was
ignored, prompting him to register a protest.
parliament itself cannot address a challenge to the [supremacy of the]
Constitution, who will?” he asked. “It is incumbent upon us to defend the
Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) criticised the
Supreme Court for a judgement that he described as “the murder of justice”.
us], did America or the west interfere [in the judicial process]? What took the
Supreme Court so long to decide the case,” he said.
chief justice claims to love the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and then lets
the person who insulted him go,” he said.
remarks were swiftly expunged by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.
can be no debate over the conduct of judges,” he said. “All personal remarks
against judges and their judgements should be expunged from the day’s
proceedings,” he ruled.
Tahir Bizenjo said that action should be taken against those who challenged the
writ of the state. He said that curbing extremism is vital to take the country
forward on the path of peace and stability.
Sabir Shah said that the champions of human rights should take notice of the
blasphemous material being published in Europe. He suggested that blasphemy
should be criminalised at an international level.
the line taken by the opposition, Minister for Communication Murad Saeed said:
“I had come here expecting some good suggestions to come out of this debate.”
constitution accords the right to peaceful protest to every citizen,” he noted.
“Every party had said we do not want a repeat of Lal Masjid or the Model Town
tragedy,” he reminded the opposition parties, addressing criticism of the
government not having done enough to address the protests.
to the points of the opposition on the current economic situation, the minister
said that the previous governments are responsible for the current mess. He
said that the previous governments destroyed all institutions including
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan Railways and Water and Power
Development Authority (WAPDA).
the circular debt has soared to twelve hundred billion rupees,” he said while
adding that corrupt elements will be behind bars soon.
the Saudi economic package, the minister said that Saudi Arabia has always
supported Pakistan in difficult times. He said that relations with Saudi Arabia
and China have further improved under the current democratic set up.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will be made a successful model
and its timely completion will be ensured by the government,” he stated.
Asad Ali Junejo criticised the government’s economic policy, terming it
responsible for the recent price hikes. He said that the government should take
the opposition parties on board in matters pertaining to economy and foreign
the Senate unanimously passed a resolution expressing grief and sorrow over the
assassination of the prominent religious scholar and former Senator, Jamiat
Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) Chief Maulana Samiul Haq. The house offered fateha
for his departed soul and also for the security officers martyred in recent
acts of terrorism.
Chief of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan Khadim Hussain Rizvi arrived in the city on
Tuesday and visited the families of two workers of his party who were killed
during last week’s sit-in in New Karachi.
statement issued by the TLP said that Mr Rizvi also visited a hospital on
Stadium Road where workers injured in the incident were being treated.
statement said that in the evening he held a meeting with a well-known cleric
and chief of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, at his
two clerics discussed issues of mutual interest and shared thoughts about
recent challenges being faced by the Muslims world,” said the statement, adding
that Mr Rizvi announced that Iqbal Day would be observed on Nov 9 across the
country. The TLP would organise several activities to highlight the message of
After the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) threatened to restart its movement,
the Punjab government, in a late night meeting, assured the party that it would
not only stop arresting workers but start releasing already arrested ones, says
TLP spokesman Peer Zubair Ahmed.
Punjab government, however, says it was more of a “follow-up meeting” and that
the authorities were very clear about whom they were arresting.
to Dawn, the TLP spokesman said the party had allowed the Punjab government to
arrest miscreants because they did not belong to the Tehreek.
TLP never allowed any kind of violence. However, in the garb of arresting
miscreants, the Punjab government started arresting its workers,” he explains.
arrests, he said, were in total violation of the agreement signed by the
federal and Punjab governments on Friday night, leaving the TLP with no choice
but to issue a call for protest and blockages and it was about to do so when
the Punjab government invited them to a marathon meeting, lasting around four
said Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Raja Muhammad Basharat and
Additional Inspector General (police) Azhar Hameed represented the government.
to the government side, says Zubair, it had already stopped arresting people
since Monday afternoon and it was ready to release all of them, along with
those arrested during the three-day protest within next 24 hours.
per fresh agreement, the Punjab government was supposed to release all of them
by Tuesday evening. We are in the process of collecting information how many of
them have been released so far. According to information from Sheikhupura, 90
workers, out of total 110 arrested, have already been released. Once we collect
information from the entire province, we would return to the government to
release them all, if anyone is still left,” he said.
to the TLP information, children of eight to 10 years old were arrested in
Lahore. In certain cases, houses were ransacked and women folk insulted.
view of the situation, the TLP was readying for fresh call when the Punjab
government jumped in to preempt the situation and refreshed its commitment to
the original agreement and promised to stick to it in letter and spirit. The
party is waiting for the government to fulfill its promise.”
the meeting, Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan said it was
more of a “follow-up meeting,” after the Friday agreement between the TLP and
Punjab government is very clear about whom it was arresting and whom it was
not. It has only been arresting the people it has some kind of evidence with it
— television or mobile clips or any other kind of solid evidence.”
Adviser to the National Command Authority (NCA) retired Lt Gen Khalid Kidwai on
Tuesday said Pakistan would not follow India’s suit in developing a defence
system against ballistic missiles because it found little value in such
systems, but would continue to seek to redress the imbalances caused by Indian
remains unfazed and as before, we have adequate response options which will
disallow any disturbance of the strategic balance or strategic stability. That
fundamental policy will prevail,” Gen Kidwai told a conference on ‘Nuclear
Deterrence and Strategic Stability in South Asia’ hosted by the Strategic
Vision Institute (SVI).
was speaking in the context of India-Russia deal for S-400 missile systems.
India had been working on the development of a multi-layer ballistic missile
defence system for over a decade now. Besides the S-400 deal, India has
large-scale cooperation with Israel for BMD development.
hype has been created around this particular technology induction and some have
gone to the extent of calling it a game changer for South Asia,” he said,
adding that this was wrong.
history of our strategic force development clearly indicates that Pakistan has
never allowed this (strategic) balance to be disturbed to our disadvantage; we
have always found effective solutions to redress induced imbalances from time
to time,” Gen Kidwai said.
said Pakistan had already possessed “cost-effective solutions” to take care of
India’s BMD in the shape of MIRV capability and four categories of cruise
missiles. He said India’s BMD only had symbolic value and “Pakistan’s answer
[to it] is available today”.
NCA adviser said Pakistan had long ago taken “conscious decision” of not
developing an anti-ballistic missile system because of reasons that remain
valid even today.
maintained that Pakistan’s response to India’s nuclear-powered ballistic
missile submarine INS Arihant too could be found in Full Spectrum Deterrence
which implied possession of a full array of strategic, tactical and operational
weapons, having appropriate weapons yield, coverage and numbers, and liberty to
president Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said India was looking for space for fighting a
limited war with Pakistan, whereas the latter was trying to deprive the former
of that opportunity by coming up with responses like tactical deterrence. “This
is our contribution to peace,” he added.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday took notice of
vandalism during the protests called by Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) after
Aasiya Bibi’s acquittal in a blasphemy case by the Supreme Court (SC).
also directed the federal and the provincial governments to submit a report on
the destruction of public and private property during the protests.
to a spokesperson of the top court, CJP Nisar sought a report about the damages
in order to compensate those who suffered the loss of valuables and lives.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was presented with a report regarding action being
taken against individuals involved in the TLP protests.
to the report, cases have been registered against as many as 5,000 violent
protesters and all resources are being mobilised, and the federal government
will also contact the provincial governments, defence ministry and other state
institutions for their help in the matter.
Khan was also informed that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan
Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is taking action against those engaged in
cybercrime. Pictures and videos are also being used to aid the investigation
against the miscreants.
chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s Twitter account was blocked on Sunday.
interior ministry on Monday released photographs of several individuals who
damaged public property as a crackdown continues against those involved in
rioting during a nationwide protest last week.
The Interior Ministry on Tuesday has comprehensively briefed the Prime Minister
Imran Khan about the criminal proceedings, crackdown on vandalism and violence
activities during the three-day-sit-ins of Tehreek-e-Labbike Pakistan (TLP)
report has been submitted to the Prime Minister Imran Khan after his return
from his official visit to China.
Interior Ministry In its report stated that federal government is in constant
contact with all provincial governments whereas all resources have been
utilized to snitch troublemakers who disrupted peace and destroyed public and
reported stated that as many as 1800 rioters have been apprehended by the Law
Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) across country. An action was also underway in
Lahore where eight miscreants have been remanded in police custody for 14 days.
the other hand, the TLP on Tuesday threatened that religiopolitical party would
once again resort to street agitation within two days if authorities don’t halt
apprehension of its workers.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that the renewal of
Pakistan-US ties was under way and that the two countries would be increasing
their engagement in the coming days.
are indications of opening up. We must remember that the bilateral ties had
come to an impasse,” he told journalists at the Foreign Office.
foreign minister was responding to questions about the visit of Principal
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian
Affairs Alice Wells.
Wells met Finance Minister Asad Umar and held delegation-level talks at the
Foreign Office, which were also attended by officials from the ministries of
interior and defence.
Qureshi said the inter-ministerial session at the FO went well and Ms Wells
informed the Pakistani side that senior US officials would be visiting Pakistan
for talks on promoting trade and energy cooperation.
foreign minister said that although Afghanistan still remained a major issue,
the focus was gradually returning to bilateral aspects of the relationship. He
said Ms Wells did discuss the Afghan reconciliation efforts and told the
Pakistani side that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had constituted an advisory
council to reach out to the Taliban.
FO, meanwhile, in a statement said that the two sides during the meeting took
stock of the understanding reached between Foreign Minister Qureshi and
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to rebuild the relationship based on mutual
trust and respect. The Pakistani side, it said, emphasised the need to
diversify the relationship with particular focus on enhanced economic and trade
cooperation and people to people contacts.
says it will help Aasia leave Pakistan
Italy said on Tuesday it would help a Pakistani Christian woman, Aasia Bibi,
leave her country because her life was in danger following charges of blasphemy
that put her on death row for eight years.
Supreme Court had acquitted Aasia Bibi last month, but the decision sparked
mass protests and her husband, Ashiq Masih, says they could be killed by those
opposing her acquittal. Authorities have indicated they may bar Aasia from
want women and children whose lives are at risk to be able to have a secure
future, in our country or in other Western countries, so I will do everything
humanly possible to guarantee that [for Aasia],” Deputy Prime Minister Matteo
Salvini said. “It is not permissible that in 2018 someone can risk losing their
life for a ... hypothesis of blasphemy,” said Salvini, who is also interior
is working discreetly on the case with other countries, he told an Italian
the international Catholic agency Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) quoted Ashiq
Masih as saying in a telephone call: “I appeal to the Italian government to
help me and my family leave Pakistan. We are extremely worried because our
lives are in danger. We don’t even have enough to eat because we can’t go out
to buy food.”
the interview with the radio station, Salvini was asked to respond to Aasia’s
case has prompted groups such as ACN, which has close ties to the Vatican, to
demand protection for Christians in countries where they are a minority.
after the Supreme Court verdict, the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) blocked
roads in major cities of the country for three days, condemning the judges who
acquitted Aasia Bibi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and the army chief.
TLP called off the protests after striking a deal with the government that
could bar Aasia from leaving the country and open a review of the judgement.
lawyer Saiful Mulook fled to the Netherlands because of fears for his safety.
prominent Pakistani politicians who spoke out in Aasia’s defence were
assassinated in 2011.
Prime Minister Salvini said Italy had nothing against the Pakistani government.
“The enemy is violence, extremism and fanaticism,” he added.
Masih and one of the couple’s two daughters met Pope Francis at the Vatican in
February and participated in a demonstration organised by the ACN in which
Rome’s Coliseum was lit in red to bring attention to the woman’s plight.
The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC)
that the name of human rights activist Gulalai Ismail had been placed on the
Exit Control List (ECL) on the recommendation of the Inter-Services Intelligence
deputy attorney general representing the federal government told the court that
the spy agency recommended putting Ms Ismail’s name on the ECL for her alleged
anti-state activities abroad.
court was hearing a petition filed by Ms Ismail seeking removal of her name
from the ECL.
the hearing, Ms Ismail’s counsel argued that even though she was not named in
the first information report (FIR) registered against some other Pakhtun
activists she was apprehended upon her arrival from the United Kingdom.
judge remarked that this fact could be ascertained after examining the relevant
her petition, Ms Ismail sought retrieval of her passport and travel documents
which the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had confiscated upon her arrival
in Pakistan on Oct 12 when she was also briefly detained at the FIA’s office in
Sector G-13 of Islamabad.
to the petition, Ms Ismail is the chairperson of non-governmental organisation
“Aware Girls”. She has received national and international acclaim for her work
for empowering women in Pakistan.
petition said that the FIA on Oct 12 detained her upon her return from the UK
in connection with her alleged association with the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement
and for allegedly “delivering anti-state speeches”.
petitioner, however, claimed that she was a patriotic woman and never indulged
in anti-state activities.
meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) headed by Prime Minister Imran
Khan Tuesday reiterated that progress and prosperity of Pakistan lies in peace,
stability and rule of law.
meeting reviewed security situation of the country. The prime minister also
apprised the participants of his recent visit to China.
meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence
Minister Pervez Khattak, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, State Minister for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi,
Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief
of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and senior officials.
US diplomat Alice Wells on Tuesday held discussions with senior officials of
the Foreign Office and reviewed progress on bilateral relations.
the US principal deputy assistant secretary of state for south and central
Asia, was led the American delegation while the Pakistani side was headed by FO
Additional Secretary Aftab Khokher.
meeting took stock of the understanding reached between Foreign Minister Shah
Mehmood Qureshi and Secretary Mike Pompeo to rebuild the relationship based on
mutual trust and respect,” FO spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said in a statement.
during the meeting stressed the need to increase commercial and economic
cooperation and people-to-people contacts in order to diversity bilateral
US-Pakistan relations, the handout said.
evolving regional situation and peace and stability in Afghanistan were also
discussed during the meeting.
US delegation appreciated the need to strengthen the bilateral relationship
with Pakistan which is an important country of the region,” the statement
two sides agreed to continue efforts to promote the shared objectives of peace
and stability in the region and to diversify their bilateral relationship.
a separate meeting with Finance Minister Asad Umar, the present state of
Pakistan-US ties – with an emphasis on economic cooperation – and the overall
security situation in the region came under discussion, a Ministry of Finance
pertaining to international cooperation to curb terror financing were also
discussed,” the statement said.
finance minister was quoted as saying during the meeting that Pakistan had made
strides in the war against terrorism in recent years and “it will continue to
take all possible steps to root out terror financing and money laundering”.
shared the government’s vision to reform the country’s economy with the
diplomat, who informed the minister about the US efforts for regional security.
finance minister said “such visits contribute to enhancing understanding of
each other’s point of view on issues of bilateral significance”.
Wells had arrived in Pakistan earlier in the day on a one-day visit. The
government had announced that Wells would discuss “Pakistan-US ties, regional
situation and Afghan peace process”.
war crimes: tribunal sentences Liakat, Aminul to death
International Crimes Tribunal has sentenced fugitives Md Liakat Ali from
Habiganj and Aminul Islam alias Rajab from Kishoreganj to death for crimes
against humanity, including murder and genocide during the 1971 Liberation War.
three-member bench led by Justice Shahinur Islam declared the verdict in the
war crimes case on Monday.
to the prosecution, Liakat was an activist of the Muslim League prior to 1971
while Aminul was a member of its student organisation.
was a former president of the Lakhai wing of Awami League from 2003 to 2013. He
was accused of war crimes in 2010.
trials of accused Liakat Ali and Aminul Islam began on Nov 1, 2016 after the
tribunal pressed charges against them in 2015. The court began to take
testimonies on Dec 4,” Public Prosecutor Rezia Sultana told bdnews24.com.
court said in its decision that the prosecution had proved all seven
allegations against the accused. The court then ordered them to be hung by the
neck until dead.
suspects will be able to appeal the decision with the Supreme Court within a
month, but will have to turn themselves in to do so.
the 85 suspects in the 35 cases brought before the International Crimes
Tribunal thus far, five have died outside of custody. A total of 80 have been
convicted, while 53 received death sentences for war crimes.
to the probe report, both accused committed several crimes in Lakhai Upazila in
Habiganj, Nasirnagar Upazila in Brahmanbaria and Austagram Upazila in
Kishoreganj during the Liberation War.
tribunal had issued arrest warrants for two of them on May 18, 2016. A notice
was also published in newspaper as the accused could not be arrested. Finally,
the court decided to continue the trials in their absence.
and Rajab, supported by Pakistani soldiers, committed mass killings and looting
in Krishnapur village under Lakhai Upazila in Habiganj on Sept 18, 1971.
persons from the Hindu community were shot dead during their raid, according to
charges cited by the prosecutors.
to the prosecution, Liakat was a student of Brahmanbaria College in 1971. As a
member of the anti-liberation Muslim League, he joined the Pakistani militia
Razakar and led it in Fandauk union.
had gone into a hiding after independence. He joined the Awami League after he
resurfaced and subsequently became the president of the party’s Lakhai Upazila
Ali, hailing from Alinagar village in Austagram, became the president of the
Bhairab Haji Asmat Ali College unit of the Islami Chhatra Sangha in 1970.
to the prosecution, Rajab received arms training at the Pakistani Army camp in
Bhairab and later formed the local unit of Al-Badr militia once he returned to
is reported that freedom fighters caught Rajab after independence and he was
jailed for life in three cases filed under the Collaborators Act 1972.
in 1981, Rajab authored a book on Al-Badr Bolchhi.
prosecution pointed that Rajab’s statements in the book proved the war crime
charges against him.
Bangladesh police said Tuesday they had killed the chief of Jamayetul
Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), an extremist group accused of murdering secular
activists and inspiring a cafe siege that killed 22 people.
Alam, described as the "emir" of Bangladesh's deadliest Islamist outfit,
was gunned down early Tuesday morning in the northern town of Shibganj, police
spokesman Sonaton Chokraborty said.
died before we could bring him to hospital," Chokraborty told AFP of the
say Alam emerged after JMB's old guard was weakened by the execution of its
former commander Shaikh Abdur Rahman, and five other top chiefs, in March 2007.
is accused of masterminding a number of attacks across Muslim-majority
Bangladesh, including most recently the murder of atheist writer and publisher
Shahzahan Bachchu in the central district of Munshiganj in June.
also spearheaded a daring ambush on a prison van in 2014 that allowed two
senior JMB foot soldiers to escape, police said.
recent years, a splinter faction inspired by JMB's earlier leadership grabbed
headlines after five of its young members stormed an upmarket Dhaka cafe in
July 2016 and murdered 22 people, including 18 foreigners.
police launched a massive crackdown on extremists since the cafe siege, killing
more than 80 suspected Islamists and arresting hundreds more.
included the alleged commanders of the new JMB faction.
was founded by Bangladeshi radicals hardened from fighting in the Afghan civil
war during the 1990s.
Taliban militants attacked a border outpost in western Afghanistan on Tuesday,
killing 20 Afghan soldiers in the latest assault likely to compound fears that
security forces are facing an unsustainable casualty toll.
Farah, on the border with Iran, has seen months of heavy fighting, with
hundreds of policemen and soldiers killed. The Taliban threatened to seize the
provincial capital in May.
the latest violence in the province, the insurgents assaulted the border post
manned by about 50 Afghan soldiers before dawn, officials in the area said.
least 20 soldiers were known to have been killed, several wounded and the
others were missing, said a senior military officer who declined to be
identified as he is not authorised to speak to media.
after the attack, we lost contact with the base and we still do not know
whereabouts of the remaining soldiers,” the officer said.
Taliban, fighting to oust foreign forces and overthrow the Kabul government,
claimed responsibility saying they had captured the base, killed 30 soldiers
and seized weapons and ammunition.
officials in Farah have accused Iran, which the United States says is trying to
extend its influence in western Afghanistan, of providing the insurgents with
money and weapons. Iran denies the allegation.
attack underlined the struggle Afghan security forces face in confronting the
insurgents, who have steadily extended their control in the countryside, even
though the government holds all provincial centres.
Monday, the militants captured an important security post outside the central
city of Ghazni, killing 13 members of government forces and underscoring their
vulnerability even in areas where defences have been bolstered.
than 17 years after US-led forces toppled the Taliban regime, Afghan forces are
dying in record numbers with Afghan and US officials warning that the casualty
rate is not sustainable.
September alone, more than 500 Afghan soldiers were killed and hundreds
wounded, the Defence Ministry said.
steps towards peace talks between the Taliban and the United States have had no
impact on the level of attacks.
Afghan Taliban on Tuesday said their political representatives would attend the
upcoming meeting of the representatives of regional countries in Russia on
peace in Afghanistan on November 9.
political envoys will attend the meeting but the participation does not mean
they will hold talks with anyone. This is a meeting to debate the current
situation in Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
meeting will discuss the end of American invasion, identify problems and
deliberate on regional peace,” Mujahid said in a brief statement.
political sources said Sher Abbas Stanekzai, head of the Taliban Qatar office,
would lead the delegation.
Russian Foreign Ministry had sent invitations for the event to Afghanistan,
India, Iran, China, Pakistan, the US and some other countries, TASS news agency
President Ashraf Ghani had also decided to send a delegation of the High Peace
Council to the meeting.
Moscow-format consultations were earlier scheduled for September 4, but were
postponed after Afghan government refused to attend on the plea that all
meetings on Afghanistan should be Afghan-led. The US had also announced to stay
away from the September meeting.
sources said Russia had extended invitation to US Special Representative for
Afghan Reconciliation Zamaly Khalizad to attend the meeting.
participation in the Moscow-format consultations is important as they will be
viewed as a political entity in a very important meeting being attended by at
least 11 countries. Taliban participation will also provide an opportunity for
the Afghan peace council’s members to interact with them informally.
sources told Daily Times on Sunday that there was no specific agenda and all
participants would be requested to share their views about political solution
to the Afghan conflict.
Secretary at the Foreign Office Muhammad Aejaz will lead Pakistani delegation,
has long been insisting that it will take part in all events, which can help
bring peace in Afghanistan and is joining the Moscow-format consultations as
part of the same strategy.
launched the Moscow-format consultations in 2017 as part of its diplomatic
efforts to press for political solution to the Afghan problem.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said on October 25 that the main
objective of these contacts was to ensure the safety of Russian nationals in
Afghanistan and contribute to the national reconciliation process.
also rejected claim by the US that Russia was providing support to the Taliban,
adding that the US and some other nations also have ‘regular contacts’ with the
Taliban. The Moscow-format meeting has assumed importance as it takes place at
a time when the Taliban and the US officials have already held two meetings in
Qatar. The Russian initiative could evolve a regional consensus on the
political solution to the problem.
UN human rights official has implored Bangladesh to shelve its plans to start
the repatriation of Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar this month, fearing they may
face violence or abuse.
have not seen any evidence of the Government of Myanmar taking concrete and
visible measures to create an environment where the Rohingya can return to
their place of origin and live there safely with their fundamental rights
guaranteed," Yanghee Lee, the special rapporteur on human rights in
Myanmar, said in a statement on the UN website on Tuesday.
said she fears the Rohingya may face suffering, violence, or abuse as Myanmar
has failed to take any tangible measures for the Rohingya's return to the
border state of Rakhine in November.
only did the Rohingya face horrific violence at the hands of security forces in
2016 and 2017 with no accountability, they have been subjected to decades-long
systematic discrimination and persecution in Myanmar," Lee said, urging both
Bangladesh and Myanmar to call off the repatriation.
urge the Governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar to halt these rushed plans for
repatriation, to ensure the protection of the Rohingya refugees and to adhere
to their international human rights and refugee law obligations to ensure any
returns are safe, sustainable, voluntary and dignified," she added.
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced
heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya:
The Untold Experience."
18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and
over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children,
and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into neighboring Bangladesh after Myanmar
forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
broke out between two fictions of the Taliban group in eastern Nangarhar
province of Afghanistan, leaving at least six dead or wounded, including
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East in a statement said the
incident has taken place in the vicinity of Ghani Khel district.
statement further added that the militants of the main Taliban group clashed
with the militants of Tehrik-e-Taliban in 28th Canal of joi Village, leaving
two dead, including two civilians.
to 201st Silab Corps, at least two militants affiliated with the main Taliban
group were also wounded during the clash.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the incident so far.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Taliban and other insurgent
groups to stop killing their fellow Afghans and participate in peace talks,
emphasizing that the potential for peace is greater now than it has been
made the remarks during a press conference with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani
in Kabul today.
call on the Taliban and other insurgents to stop killing their fellow Afghans.
The Taliban must understand that continuing the fight is pointless and
counterproductive,” the NATO Secretary Genreal said, adding that “They must sit
down at the negotiating table.”
further added “The potential for peace is greater now than it has been in many
years. So we need an Afghan-owned and led peace process. And it must be
also called on regional countries to play a constructive role in Afghanistan
and ‘deny safe haven to extremist groups’.
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released its latest
report regarding the casualties inflicted on civilians during the two days of
parliamentary elections on 20th and 21st of October.
to UNAMA, the mission has recorded 435 civilian casualties during the two days
of elections, including 56 people who were killed and 379 who were wounded.
report by UNAMA revealed the majority of the casualties were inflicted during
the first day of elections, on October 20th, during which 52 deaths and 339
injuries were reported.
is the highest level of civilian harm compared to the four previous elections
held in Afghanistan, UNAMA said, adding that the level of civilian harm linked
to parliamentary elections is particularly high compared to previous election
cycles when factoring into account the deaths and injuries resulting from
electoral-related violence experienced over the preceding months during the
voter registration and campaigning periods.
report documents grave concerns over the numerous attacks by Anti-Government
Elements, mainly Taliban, directed at civilian objects and populated civilian
areas during the elections, including attacks against schools used as polling
to UNAMA, these attacks were mainly carried out using indirect-fire systems
such as rockets, grenades and mortars, as well as improvised explosive devices
(IEDs), all of which have indiscriminate effects.
has admitted that its social media platform did not do enough to prevent
incitement of violence and hate speech in Myanmar amid ongoing violence against
Rohingya Muslims in the Southeast Asian country.
62-page independent report from non-profit organization Business for Social
Responsibility (BSR) found that in Myanmar “Facebook has become a means for
those seeking to spread hate and cause harm, and posts have been linked to
report added that Facebook had "created an enabling environment for the
ongoing endorsement and proliferation of human rights abuse in Myanmar."
had been done in various ways, including character assassinations,
rumor-spreading, and hate speech against minority individuals, it added.
to the report, a large proportion of this hate speech has been directed towards
the Rohingya in Rakhine state.
to the report, Alex Warofka, Facebook's product policy manager, said in a
statement that the company had been working on the issue but had "more to
report comes against the backdrop of widespread violence against the Rohingya
minority, which the United Nations has said may amount to genocide.
April, the Guardian reported that hate speech on Facebook in Myanmar had
exploded during the Rohingya crisis, which was caused by a crackdown by the
military in Rahkine in August 2017.
recent UN fact-finding mission to Myanmar specifically singled out the role of
Facebook in fanning the flames of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence. In
September, the UN published a report that criticized Facebook's "slow and
ineffective" response to its platform's involvement in the situation.
government has faced international condemnation for failing to halt the brutal
persecution of Rohingya Muslims by military forces and Buddhist extremists.
year, extremist Buddhist monks rushed to help Myanmar’s military, when it
intensified its crackdown.
campaign against the Rohingya, which the UN described as a textbook example of
ethnic cleansing, has seen mass killings, torture, and gang rape of the Muslims
as well as arson attacks against their homes and farms in Rakhine.
of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been living for more than a year in
cramped refugee camps in Cox's Bazar district in southeastern Bangladesh after
fleeing violence in Rakhine at the hands of the Myanmar military.
Afghanistan: An Afghan official says the Taliban have killed eight police and
wounded three others in new attacks on security posts in western Farah
insurgent attack on an Afghan border base in Pusht Koh in Farah on Monday
killed 20 troops while 20 others were abducted.
member of the provincial council, Dadullah Qani, says the latest attack on
Tuesday night triggered an hourslong battle in which the Taliban were beaten
resurgent Taliban now hold nearly half of Afghanistan and carry out near-daily
attacks on Afghan security forces, inflicting heavy casualties. The Taliban
view the US-backed government in Kabul as a dysfunctional Western puppet and
have refused repeated offers to negotiate with it.
least 16 Nigeria troops missing after Boko Haram attack
least 16 Nigerian soldiers are missing following clashes with Boko Haram
jihadists in the Lake Chad area, military and militia sources told AFP on
Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) group, a faction of the Boko Haram,
claimed responsibility for the attack in which it said 15 soldiers were killed,
according to SITE, which tracks the online activities of terrorist
incident began when gunmen in several trucks attacked a military base and a local
market in the town of Kukawa late on Monday, briefly forcing troops out of the
soldiers engaged the terrorists in a fierce battle following the attack,"
a military officer told AFP from Maiduguri, the regional capital which lies
about 180km to the south.
far, 16 soldiers are missing but search teams are combing the general area to
locate them," said the officer, speaking on condition of anonymity.
were no immediate official reports of casualties on either side but a civilian
militia group confirmed that 16 soldiers were missing and also said one
civilian had been killed in the crossfire.
attack came hours after Boko Haram jihadists attacked soldiers in Kumshe
village near the border with Cameroon.
month two Nigerian soldiers were killed when troops on foot patrol stepped on a
mine around Kumshe.
Haram has intensified its attacks on military targets in the northeastern
states of Borno and Yobe in recent months.
nine-year jihadist conflict which has spilt into Niger, Cameroon and Chad, has
killed 27,000 people and left some 1.8 million homeless in Nigeria alone.
Nigerian Army has resolved to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service for
optimal performance in its quest to ending the Boko Haram crises in the
Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division Brigadier General Abdulmalik
Bulama Biu, disclosed this yesterday during an operational study tour of
participants of senior course 2 of the Nigeria Customs’ Command and Staff
College Gwagwalada Abuja, to Headquarters 7 Division Maimalari Cantonment
informed the team that the Division was the eye of the Army in the fight
against insurgency in the North East, stressing that customs had a
long-standing mutual working relationship with the Division and is committed to
maintaining the ties.
Biu noted the fight against insurgency was not the sole responsibility of one
service alone since the war is multidimensional and dynamic in nature.
therefore, urged the participants to make use of the information provided
during the study tour in the production of good research work that will enhance
the optimal performance of personnel deployed within the theatre of operations.
the leader of the delegation and Deputy Commandant Adewale Bashir Adeniyi
stated that, the students’ tour of the Division is to afford them an
understanding of the operational strategies applied by the Division in
combating Boko Haram and the challenges associated with asymmetric warfare.
soldiers were reported killed on Thursday last week by suspected Boko Haram
insurgents at Azare village in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State, DAILY
to a reliable source who pleaded anonymity, the attack on the troops followed
the arrest of three suspected Boko Haram terrorists who went to the village to
charge their mobile phones by the troops of 27 Task Force Brigade stationed in
suspected insurgents came to Azare village to charge their cell phones and the
dwellers informed the soldiers stationed in the village and they were arrested.
in the day, the terrorists mobilized and attacked the troops thereby killing
six soldiers and carted their rifles”. The source revealed.
source noted that, troops and members of vigilante group quickly mobilized and trailed
the attackers and succeeded in locating the terrorists’ camp, hence neutralized
the inhabitants of the camp and destroyed their hideouts.
incident has now led to a temporary closure of Buni-Yadi- Magza-Biu road.
when contacted via mobile phone, the spokesman of the 27 Task Force Brigade,
Buni Yadi, Major Alimi has denied the report, saying that there was no attack
on the troops.
said, “There was nothing like an attack on the troops, maybe somebody is
misleading you. As I am talking to you right now, I am in Buni Yadi.
it being there was something like that, I would have confirmed to you,” Major
of Islamic State 'covert' insurgency could take years, Pentagon IG says
Islamic State may have lost the vast majority of physical territory it once
held in Syria and Iraq, but fully defeating the terrorist group and rooting out
sleeper cells that have spread across the Middle East and Africa could take
years, the Defense Department’s inspector general said in a sweeping and at
times critical review Monday that suggests final victory remains distant.
report said that a “reduced, covert version” of the Islamic State — also known
as ISIS — maintains a presence not just in Iraq and Syria but also in
Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Islamic State, the report concluded, has
evolved “from a land-holding terrorist entity to an insurgency” that operates
numerous clandestine cells around the world.
a time when the Trump administration has sent mixed signals about the
commitment of U.S. troops to the fights, “clearing terrorists from remote and
largely ungoverned terrain is a low and difficult process, and eliminating ISIS
from rural Iraq and Syria could take years,” the report says.
Pentagon in recent months has put forward two separate narratives in describing
the fight against Islamic State, which began in 2014 under President Obama.
When the U.S.-led international operation began, Islamic State held vast swaths
of territory across Iraq and Syria, controlled a “capital city” in Raqqa,
Syria, and boasted a sizable fighting force.
Department officials say Islamic State now has been “territorially defeated”
and has lost nearly all of the land it once used as a base of operations.
officials also have said that the transformation of the Islamic State into an
underground terrorist group presents challenges of its own. The inspector
general described the recapture of Islamic State-held territory — the result of
a relentless U.S.-led bombing campaign and ground operations inside Iraq and
Syria — as just one phase of the mission.
are significant challenges to developing capable and self-sufficient security
forces in Iraq and Syria, and questions remain about the length of time it will
take to train forces capable of preventing an ISIS resurgence,” the report
says. “There are also significant challenges to U.S. efforts to address
non-military issues, such as the promotion of democratic governance and civil
society and the stabilization of liberated areas. These issues can also affect
the ability of security forces to defeat Islamic State. Ongoing political
uncertainty in Iraq and civil war in Syria also complicate efforts to confront
an ISIS insurgency.”
Iraq specifically, deep-rooted issues with the Iraqi Security Forces make it
difficult to eradicate the pockets of Islamic State fighters that remain across
the country, and will likely require a long-term Pentagon commitment. Islamic
State fighters driven from Syria are increasingly finding sanctuary across the
border in Iraq, the inspector general’s report said.
ISF continues to suffer from poor management of intelligence; corruption and …
overlapping command arrangements with conflicting chains of command;
micromanagement; and inefficient and inadequate systems for planning and
transmitting orders,” the report said.
State still has an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 fighters, both foreign and local,
scattered across the region. Even before the release of Monday’s report, top
U.S. military officials stressed that it was far too early to declare the group
dead and buried.
recent successes against ISIS and positive trends, we know there’s actually
much work to be done,” Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, said last month. “ISIS is far from defeated and has a presence in
countries from West Africa to Southeast Asia. Its ideology continues to inspire
homegrown violent extremists in many of our countries.”
Palestinian envoy to Brazil said Monday he hoped president-elect Jair
Bolsonaro's pledge to relocate Brasilia's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem was
simply campaign talk and would lobby the new government against the move.
hope it's a campaign announcement. We are hoping that [the incoming government]
will maintain Brazil's traditional position, respectful of the United Nations
resolutions on the issue," Ibrahim Alzeben said.
Palestinians consider the Israeli-annexed eastern part of Jerusalem the capital
of their future state and have condemned the move from Tel Aviv as provocative,
saying it would destabilise security in the region.
Mr Alzeben – the Palestinian ambassador in Brazil since 2008 – dismissed as
"premature" any notion of hardening the Palestinian tone with the
incoming far-right government.
Alzeben said from this week – when Mr Bolsonaro begins his transition to power
– the Palestinian mission will intensify efforts to dissuade the new government
from breaking with years of diplomatic tradition.
Alzeben believes the decision can be reversed before Mr Bolsonaro is sworn in.
have two months for diplomacy to do its job," he said, adding that his
side was in touch with Bolsonaro's team over what he considered a "very
doubt that the elected government does not want peace for that region," he
Bolsonaro, who takes office on January 1, has yet to make the key announcement
of who his foreign minister will be. But the former army captain announced the
embassy relocation plan during his election campaign, following the lead of the
United States. On Thursday Mr Bolsonaro tweeted that "as previously stated
during our campaign, we intend to transfer the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv
is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that," he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the move as "historic".
formally recognised the Palestinian state in 2010, during the term of leftist
president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
accusing Iran of “destabilizing” behavior in Middle East, US Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo, was asked about the difference between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
is how Pompeo responded to the question: “Let me just go through the list. (Iran)
underwriting Lebanese Hezbollah, which presents a threat to United States of
America and Israel, underwriting the Houthis in Yemen, causing an enormous
conflict to take place in that country, the efforts in Iraq to undermine the
Iraqi government, funding the Shia militias that are not in the best interest
of the Iraqi people, their efforts in Syria. The list goes on”.
powers have issued a joint statement expressing regret at the US decision to
impose new sanctions against Iran. The statement also vowed to preserve and
maintain effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran’s
export of oil and gas. Press TV’s Robert Carter reports.
Congress on Tuesday faced protests by its workers over nomination of executive
member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Arif Masood, who opposed
ban on triple Talaq mooted by the Centre, for Bhopal Central Assembly
Masood, a former Samajwadi Party leader, has figured in the third list of 13
candidates declared by Congress late on Monday night.
this, the Congress has announced candidates for 184 out of total 230 Assembly
constituencies in MP in three phases.
workers staged noisy demonstration in front of the state headquarters here on
Tuesday in protest against Mr Masood’s nomination from Bhopal Central seat,
calling him as a “parachute” candidate who joined Congress from SP.
Two terrorists, including a former soldier of Indian Army, were killed in a
gunfight with security forces at Safanagri in south Kashmir’s Shopian district
early on Tuesday morning.
to police, the gunfight broke out after a joint team of Army and SOG personnel
launched a cordon-and-search operation at Safanagri following specific inputs
about the presence of some militants there.
the security forces were carrying out the search operation, terrorists hiding
in the area opened fire. The forces retaliated, leading to an encounter, police
militants were killed in the gunfight. They have been identified as Mohd Idrees
Sultan alias Chota Abrar of Safanagri and Amir Hussain Rather alias Abu Sobaan
of Awneera Shopian. They were affiliated to militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen
and were involved in terror attacks on security establishments. They were also
responsible for many civilian atrocities in the area. No collateral damage took
place during the operation,” a police spokesman said.
to the spokesman, Idrees was a former Army soldier. He had deserted J&K
Light Infantry unit in Bihar in April this year and joined Hizbul.
tampered with consulate’s CCTV security cameras after Khashoggi killing: Report
at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul tried to dismantle
closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) of the premises in an attempt to help
cover up the gruesome murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
inside the diplomatic mission last month, a report says.
to a report published by Turkey’s pro-government Sabah newspaper on Tuesday,
the staff tried to rip out the camera inside the diplomatic mission in Istanbul
on October 2, the day Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate.
added that Saudis also had tried to tamper with cameras at the police security
booth outside the building.
59, an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman, disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in the Turkish
city to complete some paperwork for his forthcoming marriage.
as diplomatic pressure grew tremendously on Riyadh to give an account on the
mysterious fate of its national, in an unexpected statement last month, Saudi
Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb admitted that Khashoggi had been killed
in a “premeditated” attack in the consulate.
authorities have so far said that they do not know the whereabouts of the
journo’s body, which is widely believed to be dismembered or dissolved in acid,
Chief Public Prosecutor Irfan Fidan said last week that the ill-fated
journalist had been strangled upon his arrival in the consulate, and then his
body was dismembered and destroyed.
remarks bolstered Turkish investigators’ line of thought that the remains could
have been disposed of at the nearby consul general’s house, dissolved in acid
or dumped in a well on the property.
gruesome crime has already caused an international uproar against Saudi Arabia,
prompted a number of member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council
on Monday to grill Saudi delegation, led by Bandar al-Aiban, head of the Human
Rights Commission of the Arab kingdom, over the murder.
on Monday, Sabah published a report, saying that Saudis had sent a two-man
“clean-up” team to Istanbul to remove any evidence of Khashoggi killing.
identified the men as chemicals expert Ahmad Abdulaziz al-Janobi and toxicology
expert Khaled Yahya al-Zahrani, tasked with erasing evidence before Turkish
investigators were given access to the Saudi consulate and consul’s residence.
on Monday, a Turkish senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity,
confirmed the report in a brief interview with Reuters.
to share more evidence with public
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reiterated that it was “obvious” that
the so-called hit squad had been sent to Istanbul to murder Khashoggi.
authorities believe that a 15-person “hit squad” was sent from Saudi Arabia to
Istanbul to kill the journo.
have to find out who gave these instructions. This is the simple question that
we have put to the Saudis as well. We made it very public. It's an ongoing
investigation,” Cavusoglu said, adding, “"Saudis proposed to have a joint
working group and we accepted that but this working group should be a result-oriented
went on to say that Ankara had further evidence about the journo’s killing that
it had yet to share with the public, adding that those details of the case
would continue to be reported to the public until the probe was complete.
week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the order to slay
Khashoggi had been issued from “the highest levels” of the Saudi government,
while he stressed that he did “not believe for a second” that Saudi King Salman
had ordered such a gruesome crime.
media have pointed the finger at the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
with analysts saying that the Turkish government is keen to have the ambitious
heir sidelined from the nexus of power in the Arab kingdom.
the Turkish president has yet to directly accuse the young crown prince, who
has already condemned the murder as “a repulsive incident.”
Salman embarks on domestic tour amid Khashoggi crisis
Saudi King Salman embarked on an unprecedented domestic tour on Tuesday, an
official said, as the country grapples with an international crisis over the
murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
82-year-old monarch arrived in the central province of Qassim, an official
close to his entourage told AFP, as he started what Saudi media said was a tour
of “several regions” in the kingdom.
king was also set to visit the northern region of Hail, in his first such tour
since he ascended to the most powerful throne in the Middle East in 2015, the
pro-government Sabq newspaper reported.
Qassim, the king would launch health, education and infrastructure projects as
well as check on “the conditions of citizens and get acquainted with their
needs”, Saudi Gazette newspaper said.
tour comes as Saudi Arabia faces growing international outrage over Khashoggi’s
murder on Oct 2 in its consulate in Istanbul. It is widely seen as the worst
diplomatic crisis facing the kingdom since the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
on the United States.
rulers appear to be shoring up support domestically, including within the royal
family, following the crisis.
Salman last month ordered the resumption of annual bonus payments to all
government workers from the beginning of next year. The bonuses had been
suspended under austerity measures in 2016 amid low oil prices.
army's artillery units targeted the movements of a terrorist group South of the
village of al-Zakat and repelled their attack on the government forces'
positions in the village of Shilout in Marhadah region in Northern Hama.
number of terrorists were killed or wounded in the artillery attack and the
remaining pockets of the terrorists retreated from the region.
the meantime, other units of the army targeted terrorists' movements in the
village of Tal al-Sakhar, preventing them from prevailing over government
forces' positions in Northern Hama.
other artillery units shelled terrorists' movements in the village of Khirbet
al-Naqous in Northwestern Hama, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
terrorists have still deployed in demilitarized zone in spite of Turkey's
attempts to expel them.
Saturday, terrorist groups sent more military hardware to Southeastern Idlib in
defiance of the terms of the Sochi Agreement that calls for a demilitarized
groups dispatched more arms and ammunition to Skeik, al-Taah and Jarjanaz in
Southeastern Idlib to boost their defense-combat capabilities.
terrorists' move came after their attack on the Syrian Army near Abu al-Dhohour
that caused the army's artillery units to shell terrorists' positions in the
the meantime, a filed commander said that the terrorists' attacks on the army
prove that Turkey has failed to expel terrorists from the demilitarized zone.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted unnamed sources as disclosing that
Tahrir al-Sham and Jeish al-Izzah terrorists arrested 29 of their own members
and also 5 members of the White Helmets, accusing them of involvement in
disclosing information about chemical weapons and poisonous gases, including their
storage locations and transfer of them to new locations.
al-Sham and Jeish al-Izzah set up a joint committee 3 days ago to investigate
and find those behind the leak of chemical information.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted another source as disclosing on
Saturday that Tahrir al-Sham and Jeish al-Izzah terrorists launched vast
investigations to fine sources behind leaking information about the transfer of
the chemical material cargos to different regions in Idlib province.
further said that Tahrir al-Sham's move came after terrorist groups held a
meeting in Khan Sheikhoun in Southwestern Idlib to set up an investigation
Arabic Sputnik went on to say that the committee is responsible for questioning
the terrorists and members of the pro-militant White Helmets Organization over
the leaked information.
Arab media outlets have released reports about chemical activities of the
terrorist groups in Idlib in recent months.
Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumah news website quoted Ahamd al-Sahrifi, an Iraqi
security expert, as disclosing that the US intends to heliborne ISIL terrorists
from Syria-Iraq border to regions behind Iraqi forces' positions near border
further said that the US plan to heliborne ISIL to Iraq came after the Iraqi
forces deployed at border with Syria and close off any infiltration by
terrorists into Iraq.
further said that ISIL has not only been supported financially and militarily
in the battlefield but also received logistic and diplomatic backup in regional
and international arenas.
Saturday, Iraqi troops, including Hashd al-Sha’abi paramilitary forces, were
dispatched to the Syrian frontier as fears grow that ISIL terrorists could
repeat the 2014 offensive.
border build-up came as ISIL elements recently captured some territory from the
so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed coalition of mainly
Kurdish militants, around the city of Hajin in Syria's Eastern Deir Ezzur
Iraqi military said that two Iraqi army brigades, each with 3,000 to 5,000
troops, had been dispatched to border areas in a bid to prevent terrorists
al-Sha’abi also announced the deployment of 20,000 fighters “to provide border
security after some Syrian villages fell under the control of ISIL.”
Lieutenant Colonel Abbas Mohammad, the head of an Iraqi border unit, confirmed
beefed-up presence along the Syrian frontier.
measures have been taken: we have control towers, observation posts, dirt berms
and trenches," he said. "The SDF's retreat will not be a threat to
an AFP video journalist reported that in addition to soldiers, Iraq had sent
military vehicles, helicopters and armored cars to the border region.
General Qassem al-Mohammadi, who heads counter-terrorism operations in Iraq's
western Anbar Province, warned that ISIL militants were just "five or six
kilometers away, inside Syria."
unleashed a campaign of death and destruction in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast
swathes in lightning attacks. Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters then
launched operations to eliminate the terror outfit and retake lost territory.
is a close relation between Jeish al-Islam and Turkey after the terrorist
group, a former ally of Riyadh, was expelled from Damascus' Eastern Ghouta.
Arabic-language al-Watan daily quoted militant-affiliated sources as reporting
that Turkey is planning to use Jeish al-Islam in its operation against Kurds on
Syria's soil on the Eastern banks of the Euphrates River, adding that Jeish
al-Islam had been backed up by the َAnkara forces after the Saudis
ended their military support for the terrorist group.
daily went on to say that a large number of Jeish al-Islam fighters have been
deployed in the town of al-Bab in Northeastern Aleppo that is under the control
of Turkish forces and their militant allies, adding that Jeish al-Islam is in
control of large territories near the town of Sosiyan.
daily further said that Jeish al-Islam has been recruiting fresh fighters in
Northern Aleppo via paying a hefty amount of money to boost its influence in
Lebanese media outlet reported on Monday that the Turkish warplanes were
carrying out an increasing number of flights over the border with Syria's
Hasaka as Ankara ground troops were preparing to launch a large-scale operation
against Kurds on the Eastern banks of the Euphrates River.
Arabic-language al-Manar TV Channel reported that the Turkish fighter jets were
flying in large numbers over the border region with Hasaka province in
further said that the US-led coalition forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces
(SDF) held joint patrol along Syria-Turkey border between the two small towns
of al-Darbasiyah in Northern Hasaka, and Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka.
tv channel went on to say that a large number of Turkish troops and
Ankara-backed militants have been put on alert along the contact lines with the
SDF in Northern Syria to be used in a military operation on the Eastern banks
of the Euphrates River.
Turkish soldiers launched machinegun attacks on the positions and a base of the
Kurds in the village of Susek near the town of Tal Abyadh in Northern Raqqa.
the meantime, Turkish sources said that Tal Abyadh will be one of the first
targets of Ankara forces' operation against the Kurds on the Eastern bank of
the Euphrates River.
the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are planting bombs and landmines in several
trenches around the border town of Tal Abyadh to prevent the Turkish troops and
allied militants from advancing in the region.
further said that the US-led coalition forces and the SDF held joint patrol
along Syria-Turkey border between the two small towns of al-Darbasiyah in
Northern Hasaka, and Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka.
al-Deen and Tahrir al-Sham engaged in a tough battle North of the town of
Saraqib in Eastern Idlib.
al-Deen managed to push Tahrir al-Sham back from one of their key positions.
clashes inflicted a number of casualties on both sides.
warring sides have kept their fighters on alert that has caused civilians in
the region to worry about.
are underway between the warring sides as Tahrir al-Sham is trying hard to
recapture the lost land.
Saturday, two notorious commanders of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at and National
Liberation Front (NLF) were killed in a bomb and gun fire attacks by
unidentified raiders in Southern Idlib.
al-Azo, a field commander of NLF, was killed in a bomb blast along a road
connecting Dayer Sharqi to Ein Qari'a in Southern Idlib.
the meantime, Abu Osama al-Terablosi, a notorious commander of Tahrir al-Sham,
was gunned down by unknown raiders near the town of Ma'arat al-Nu'aman in
a number of NLF fighters were killed or injured after a bomb went off near
their base in the town of al-Artab in Western Aleppo.
Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumah news website quoted Hashem al-Mousavi, a
commander of Hashd al-Shaabi, as saying that Hashd units are ready to enter
Syria and hunt the remaining pockets of ISIL terrorists if Damascus and Baghdad
strike a relevant agreement.
website went on to say that Hashd's operation inside Syria depends on the order
of Chief Commander of Iraqi Armed Forces Adel Abdul Mehdi and an agreement
between Damascus and Baghdad.
further said that the Hashd forces are ready to kick off anti-ISIL operation
any place and any time to purge Syria of the terrorists.
further was quoted by the website as saying that Hashd forces have launched
several missile attacks on the ISIL's bases, killing several commanders.
the meantime, a high-ranking security commander in Anbar province said on
Saturday that the Iraqi forces are waiting for Abdul Mehdi's order to storm
ISIL in Syria.
Saturday, Iraqi troops, including Hashd al-Sha’abi paramilitary forces, were
dispatched to the Syrian frontier as fears grow that ISIL terrorists could repeat
the 2014 offensive.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the army will come to the defense of Gulf
Arabs if they face any direct threats, a pro-government newspaper said on
newspaper also quoted Sisi as saying in response to a question on US sanctions
on Iran: “Instability affects us all and any state that has instability affects
all of us.”
Egypt is aligned with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, joining their
boycott of Qatar last year and opposing Iran’s regional influence.
Arab peoples must remain aware and have true consciousness of what the region
is going through,” Youm7 quoted Sisi as saying.
stand by our brothers in the Gulf wholeheartedly and if Gulf security is
directly threatened by anyone, the Egyptian people, even before their
leadership, will not accept that and will mobilize forces to protect their
The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC),
represented by the Sawt Al-Hikma (Voice of Wisdom) Center for Dialogue, Peace
and Understanding, will hold a seminar on Thursday in which Saudi Arabia will
review its experience in combating terrorism and violent extremism.
Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen said Saudi Arabia, under the
leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has successful
experience against those who issue misleading religious edicts and propagate
Kingdom has adopted an integrated approach and established specialized centers
in this regard, namely the Intellectual Warfare Center, the Global Center for
Combating Extremism, and the Prince Khaled Al-Faisal Center for Moderation,
Al-Hikma is carrying out a series of initiatives within a project through which
the OIC will highlight members states’ efforts against violent extremism and
terrorism committed in the name of Islam, he said. Sawt Al-Hikma is working to
unify those efforts, he added.
the seminar, Saudi Arabia will review its efforts to combat the roots of
extremism and terrorism through the Intellectual Warfare Center and the Prince
Khaled Al-Faisal Center for Moderation.
lawmakers to debate death penalty bill for Palestinian ‘terrorists’
parliament will renew debate next week on a bill that would make it easier to
sentence Palestinian attackers to death, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman
said Tuesday while vowing to have it passed.
over three years of a stubborn struggle, the death penalty for terrorists law
will finally be brought to the law committee next Wednesday (November 14), and
then for its first reading in the Knesset plenum,” Lieberman said on Twitter.
won’t relent or stop until completing the mission.”
bill, which passed a preliminary vote by the full parliament in January, would
ease the requirements military courts in the occupied West Bank must meet to
sentence Palestinians convicted of “terrorist” crimes to death.
the law stands now, a panel of three military judges must unanimously approve
any death penalty in military courts.
new bill, planned by members of Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party at his
behest, would change the requirement to a majority instead of unanimity.
has not carried out any executions since 1962, when Nazi war criminal Adolf
Eichmann was hanged.
abolished the use of capital punishment for murder in civil courts in 1954,
though it can still in theory be applied for war crimes, crimes against
humanity, genocide, treason and crimes against the Jewish people.
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed support for the death penalty in certain
a senior member of Netanyahu’s party said Tuesday that he would object to the
bill since the Israeli security establishment opposed it.
won’t support imposing the death penalty before there’s a serious debate and
decision in the government and security cabinet,” Energy Minister Yuval
Steinitz wrote on Twitter.
to the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), Shin Bet (internal security service) and
all the security establishment not only would (the death penalty) not help the
fight against terror, it would cause great damage,” he said.
law to sentence “terrorists” to death was one of Lieberman’s election promises
in 2015, and government support for it was a condition for Yisrael Beitenu
joining Netanyahu’s coalition.
elections are expected to be called in the coming months and politicians have
been ramping up campaign rhetoric.
Palestinian government on Tuesday said the bill was “a public invitation to
commit murder, and execution, and carry out massacres against our Palestinian people.”
is a clear breach of laws, international and humanitarian,” a statement from
the Palestinian government said.
threatens Syria’s Kurds: A headache for the US?
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has renewed his threats to crush Syria’s Kurds,
this time in northeastern areas of the war-torn country where US forces are present.
shelling has hit positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), as
Ankara warns of a new offensive to clear the militia from its border.
United States has scrambled to contain the tensions, as it seeks to retain the
YPG as a key partner in its battle against a resilient Islamic State group.
serious are threats?
2016, Turkey has carried out two operations against Kurdish forces in Syria,
the last of which saw Ankara-backed Syrian rebels seize the northwestern
enclave of Afrin in March.
has since repeatedly threatened to march east into more Kurdish-held territory,
but analysts say the timing adds weight to the latest warnings.
brokered a deal with Russia in September to stave off a regime attack on the northwestern
rebel bastion of Idlib, thus freeing it up to set its sights on Kurdish-held
territory further east.
the world stage, Ankara is feeling emboldened and seeks to score diplomatic
points as Saudi Arabia, a rival regional heavyweight, grapples with global
outrage over the murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul of journalist Jamal
Turkey has seen its relationship with NATO ally Washington improve after it
freed American pastor Andrew Brunson from detention last month.
shelling east of the Euphrates River, analysts say Erdogan is testing the
waters, specifically to see how the United States will react.
will not abide by the United States' sanctions on Iran, President Tayyip
Erdogan said on Tuesday, describing Washington's move as aimed at unbalancing
comments to reporters in Ankara came a day after Washington reimposed
sanctions, abandoning a 2015 deal between
powers and Iran over its nuclear programme, while temporarily allowing major
customers including Turkey to keep buying crude from the Islamic Republic.
Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has described the US State Department's
decision to offer rewards in exchange for information on three key figures of
the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group as a “late” move that the
Ankara government will take “cautiously.”
(Americans) say they are making a distinction between the PKK, and the People's
Protection Units (YPG) and Democratic Union Party (PYD). But they cannot fool
us. We have told them many times that the organic link between them [the PKK
and YPG/PYD] is not [purely] instrumental,” Kalin said on Tuesday.
will take this cautiously. It is a late decision,” the senior Turkish official
went on to say that if Washington's intention is to obscure its ongoing support
to the YPG, the truth will soon come out.
in the day, the US Department of State's Rewards for Justice program authorized
up to $12 million of rewards for information leading to the identification or
location of PKK's acting leader Murat Karayilan, founding member Cemil Bayik,
and senior leader Duran Kalkan.
US Embassy in Ankara announced in a statement that a bounty of up to $5 million
had been approved for Karayilan, $4 million for Bayik and $3 million for
has been the PKK's acting leader ever since the militant group's founder and
leader, Abdullah Ocalan, was captured by Turkish security forces in 1999.
is a member of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an alliance of
pro-Kurdish groups. He is also the mastermind of a car bomb attack at Ankara's
central Kizilay Square in March 2016. At least 35 people lost their lives in
is responsible for an attack that killed seven Turkish soldiers in December
Kurdish PKK terrorist 'neutralized' in southeastern Turkey
Turkish government forces have "neutralized" a high-ranking PKK
militant during a counter-terrorism operation in the country’s southeastern
province of Sirnak.
Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that Bedirhan Abo, better known
by the nom de guerre Masiro, was neutralized during an operation supported by
military aircraft in the mountainous Cudi area of the province.
statement added that the militant had a bounty of 4 million Turkish lira
($746,000) on his head, and was in the red category of the ministry's wanted
Turkish military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that
the militants were killed, captured or surrendered.
militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast
of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.
along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a
terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an
autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.
shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July
2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.
the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out
operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and
Yemeni army has shot down a Saudi unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as it was on a
reconnaissance mission in Yemen’s northern province of Sa'ada.
Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network, citing a military source,
reported that the drone was shot down on Tuesday as it was flying in the skies
of al-Hisama neighborhood of the city of Dhahir west of the province.
by allied fighters from Popular Committees and those of the Houthi Ansarullah
movement, the Yemeni army also managed to shoot down two such drones last week,
one over Yemen’s western coastal province of Hudaydah and the other over Saudi
Arabia’s southwestern region of Jizan.
on Tuesday, Yemeni troops managed to kill more than 30 Saudi-led mercenaries
and wound dozens more in the Midi Desert in Yemen's northwestern Hajjah
province. They also destroyed as many as 11 military vehicles of the invaders.
in Hudaydah province, Yemeni forces killed some 25 Saudi-led Sudanese mercenaries
in the vicinity of Hudaydah city.
a coalition of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and
Sudan, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall a
former Riyadh-friendly regime, which had resigned amid popular discontent, and
to crush the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, which has played a
significant role, alongside the Yemeni army, in defending the nation and has
been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government.
aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled
with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen. According
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, a
nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed
the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food. According to the world
body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
security forces have arrested more than a dozen people on suspicion of
affiliation to a movement led by US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen,
whom the Ankara government accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup
attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the suspects were detained in
10 provinces across the country.
apparently used encrypted messaging application ByLock, which the Turkish
government claims to be the top communication tool among members of the Gulen
sources added that the arrests came after the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office
in Istanbul issued arrest warrants for 26 suspects.
the 2016 botched putsch, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had
seized control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in
charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.
has since accused Gulen of having orchestrated the coup. The opposition figure
is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to topple the
government via infiltrating the country’s institutions, particularly the army,
police and the judiciary.
has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
against me related to the coup attempt are baseless and politically-motivated
slanders,” he said in a statement.
77-year-old cleric has also called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his
followers, a move he says is aimed at “weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to
President Erdogan and his regime.”
officials have frequently called on their US counterparts to extradite Gulen,
but their demands have not been taken heed of.
which remains in a state of emergency since the coup, has been engaged in
suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to have played a role in
the failed coup.
of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having
links to Gulen and the failed coup. More than 110,000 others, including
military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended
from work over the same accusations.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that joint US-Kurdish
patrols just over the Turkish border with Syria were unacceptable and he
expected US President Donald Trump to stop them.
set to meet Trump in Paris this weekend, told reporters he would discuss the
patrols that he said were being carried out inside Syria by the US and allied
Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
believe when we speak with Trump, they will probably stop this process,” he
SDF said on Friday that US troops had started patrolling the border in a bid to
defuse tensions with Ankara — though it did not say whether its own forces had
joined in. The US-led coalition in Syria said there had been no increase in
concerns underlined the complex web of allegiance and enmity along the border
that has been exacerbated by the civil war over the frontier in Syria.
US has backed and armed the SDF, describing them as allies in its fight against
Daesh militants in Syria.
US-Kurdish alliance has alarmed Turkey — which says that Kurdish YPG fighters
inside the SDF coalition are an offshoot of an outlawed militant group inside
its own territory.
military advances into northern Syria over the past two years have put US
forces directly in the path of advancing troops from Turkey, Washington’s main
Muslim NATO ally.
another sign of the complex situation, the US and Turkey began separate joint
patrols in northern Syria on Thursday with the aim of averting clashes between
Turkey and Washington’s Kurdish allies.
Ankara pressed on with a new offensive nearby on the Kurdish forces that
Washington trains and arms.
week, Turkish forces shelled positions in northern Syria under SDF control.
British Islamophobe escapes terror charges
in Britain have decided to downplay threats posed by a senior Islamophobic
figure who touted attacks against Muslims and immigrants, saying evidence
against the man, who allegedly built explosive devices in his home for a
planned attack on Muslims, was “insufficient” to charge him with terror-related
Independent newspaper said in a report on its website on Tuesday that Matthew
Glynn, 37, had not been charged with terror offences because the prosecution
did not allege that Glynn was planning to use the homemade bombs in an attack.
there has been sufficient evidence from Glynn’s activity online suggesting that
he was in fact planning a fatal attack on Muslims, especially in Bristol, where
independent said Glynn’s Facebook posts had indicated anti-Muslim and extreme
right-wing views while he shared numerous videos from the anti-Islam Britain
First, an extremist group which is now banned and its leaders have been jailed.
of Glynn’s posts liked in the social media were devoted to weapons and military
memorabilia like an ax manufacturer, the report said, while the Islamophobic
figure also followed pages on Facebook like “World Against Islamism”, “Stop
Islamification Wake Up World” and “Exposing Islam”.
was arrested in July after police found the explosive devices in his home. He
is due to be sentenced next month by the Bristol Crown Court.
has seen a surge in Islamophobic activity over the past years while authorities
have been accused of not doing enough to contain notable figures who openly
call for attacks on Muslims and immigrants.
Robinson, the top Islamophobe in Britain and founder of the English Defense
League, has managed to escape convictions for contempt of the court charges.
The man, which is believed to be very close to the Islamophobic camp in the
United States, have also staged rallies in major cities like London calling for
an outright ban on the arrival of Muslims into Britain.
can help British Muslims feel less excluded
Islamic prayer mat and a secret Muslim tragic-hero uttering “Ya Akbar” aren’t
typically associated with Shakespeare, but Othello has been given a dramatic
twist in a new touring production that illustrates the complexities of identity
in modern Britain. A co-production involving English Touring Theatre, Oxford
Playhouse and Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, the play is on tour across
the UK including in some of its more deprived areas, such as Oldham and
Huddersfield. At a time when fictional portrayals of Muslims often suffer from
reductionist stereotypes – as in the BBC’s Bodyguard, which had a Muslim woman
as a jihadi terrorist – this new interpretation offers a powerfully nuanced
message of belonging, and takes account of the centuries-long history of
relations between England and the Muslim world.
Moor of Venice was first produced in 1604, a year after Elizabeth I’s reign
ended. She had sought an alliance with the Ottoman empire against Catholic
Spain – opening up diplomatic, political, economic and cultural exchange – with
ambassadors from Morocco visiting the Elizabethan court. So the play’s timing could
not have been pure coincidence. Professor Jerry Brotton, in his book This
Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World notes: “This story is
part of the heritage of Christians, Muslims and any others who call themselves
yet a recent poll commissioned by Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend)
showed that nearly half of British adults (48%) agree that prejudice against
Islam makes it difficult to be a Muslim in Britain. No matter how “integrated”
Muslims are, they are still regarded by a large number of people as outsiders.
According to another report from the Muslim Council of Britain, 62% of Britons
think rising numbers of Muslims in the UK “weaken”’ the national identity.
attitudes this ambivalent, Shakespeare’s play could feel chillingly
prophetic.When the contemporary backdrop is one of rising nationalism and
populism, tensions over immigration, struggling religious minorities, and such
movements as Black Lives Matter, Othello, from a certain perspective, holds
startling parallels. In this new production, Othello is a black Muslim general,
hiding his faith to assimilate, and fighting on behalf of the white colonial
Christian state whose citizens regard him with conflicting views (“devil”;
“valiant Moor”). This mirrors the modern notion that even the “good” or
“worthy” immigrant can never wholly belong.
there is Iago, the villain who deceives Othello about his wife Desdemona’s
fidelity and brings about a psychological downfall built on paranoia. Read:
Iago is the fake news that feeds racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia –
infiltrating minds and turning us on our own humanity.
play’s identity politics, cultural assimilation and Muslim dimension are not
just concocted to look woke, these themes have been in Shakespeare all along.
Richard Twyman, the production’s artistic director, says he was struck by the
word “Moor”, which, in Shakespeare’s day, was synonomous with “Muslim”. “It
urges you to view the play with a certain lens – it makes us aware of many of
the issues we see in society today reflected back to us through Shakespeare’s
is crucial to remember is that the relationship between Islam and Britain,
although complex, goes much further back than modern history. How uplifting
that Twyman wants Muslims to see themselves in Shakespeare. We can only hope
that this unique and arguably more authentic approach to Shakespeare may serve
to help Muslims to feel less isolated.
scrawny Arabic handwriting of a young, desperate soldier reeks of despair.
live in caves like hedgehogs. Allah has forsaken this place,” reads one line.
This is not a wail from the desert of the Sahara nor from the tunnels of
Aleppo, but a carefully preserved letter from the trenches of Europe during the
First World War.
handwritten letter is just a small part of a London-based exhibition attempting
to remind visitors of the millions of Muslims who fought and died in the Great
as Europe approaches the 100th anniversary of the armistice agreement that
silenced the guns of the conflict, efforts are underway to shed light on the
involvement of troops from the region and Asia.
ground floor of a vacant office building in Hammersmith on a Sunday is perhaps
not the sort of place one might expect to find this battle of narratives but
Luc Ferrier, a former aviation executive from Belgium, is doing what he can to
spread awareness of the Muslim contribution to the First World War.
was prompted to delve into the sacrifices given by the many Muslims who fought
during the conflict after reading some of his grandfather’s notes from the
of the exhibition is based on the contents of a book put together by Mr Ferrier
titled The Unknown Fallen. It’s a coffee table volume, which uses portraits and
translations of letters to depict the reality of life for the Muslims who found
themselves in the trenches - a powerful visual reminder that this chapter of
history wasn't solely European.
not a writer, I didn’t want to write a book that would sit on the shelves of
another academic,” he said.
also touches on the realities of staying true to one’s faith in war.
didn’t just have a physical fight, but one for identity,” said Mr Ferrier. “How
do I stay a good Muslim in the trenches?”
exhibition has anecdotes of Indian soldiers frustrating their officers by
sharing rations with prisoners, something many deemed an obligation of their
faith. Other letters document soldiers' concern over whether their rations were
halal or not.
number of Muslims who fought in the First World War is vast and though the
exact figure is contested, Mr Ferrier says 4.5 million is historically
defendable. “That includes more than a million from Russia, 400,0000 from North
Africa,” he adds.
exhibition brings to light a rarely acknowledged aspect of the Great War, one
in which soldiers of all creeds and religions fought side by side, fighting and
sacrificing for one another, regardless of belief.
is almost no evidence of racism or intolerance – they [the soldiers] couldn’t
care less about that,” said Mr Ferrier.
stresses the exhibition is not about glamorising war, nor is it about putting
anyone on trial. “It’s a wonderful story about empathy and about brotherhood
organisation Mr Ferrier now runs – The Forgotten Heroes Foundation – has had
success in getting their story to the most unlikely of places. Hayyan Bhaba, Mr
Ferrier’s partner in the venture, recalls pitching their work to Ivan Humble, a
former senior member of the English Defence League.
was shocked and amazed,” he chuckles. They now consider him a supporter of the
wall of the exhibition is plastered with letters of gratitude and commendation
from government and military officials.
wider effort to further recognise the contributions of Muslims and other
minorities who served during both world wars is underway. Last week British
Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to wear a Khadi poppy, in remembrance of the
contribution of Indians to the war effort. British India then included
modern-day Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
weeks, a campaign to see Second World War intelligence heroine Noor Inayat Khan
put on a UK bank note has also gathered significant attention. She helped run
British radio communications behind enemy lines before being killed in a Nazi
concentration camp in 1944.
Ferrier points to a canvas that depicts Muslim and Christian soldiers praying
just metres apart. “I don’t know what happened the day before or the day after,
but I know what happened in that moment – it’s beautiful,” he said. “Enjoy that
is also keen to stress that although this is an exhibition about a conflict
that ended almost a century ago, it is as much about the present and the future
as it is the past.
emotions you see here are the same as were there in the Second World War...I
hope people come to the exhibition, listen, read and then take it back with
Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen was published in a British newspaper in 1914,
he might not have known that a single stanza would become the ode through which
much of the western world remembers perhaps the most devastating conflict of
the 20th century.
the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them,” reads the
tribute. Its familiarity in Britain and across Europe is near universal.
- Prince Charles, the future king of the United Kingdom, believes that the
Israel-Palestine conflict is “the fundamental reason for the hostility and all
the 'pent-up poison’ throughout the Islamic world”, according to a new book.
"Charles At Seventy: Thoughts, Hopes and Dreams", writer Robert
Jobson sets out what the prince, the second-most senior member of the British
royal family, thinks about the Middle East and the West’s relationship with
include that the heir to the throne
the Iraq war
with the burqas and niqab bans in European nations
told ministers that he refuses any longer to be used to sell arms to the Middle
the Quran and signs letters to regional leaders in Arabic
that Christianity can learn from Islam
Jobson writes, is “determined to use his personal relationships with the Arab
leaders in the Gulf to the greater good”.
300-page volume, published in the same month as Prince Charles marks his 70th
birthday, is the most in-depth study of his beliefs since Jonathan Dimbleby’s
book “Prince of Wales: A Biography” in 1994.
significant because, although not an official biography, it was written with
the cooperation of Clarence House, the prince’s office.
who has met Prince Charles on many occasions, has commented extensively about
the royal family for UK media as well as NBC and the 7 Network. In 2005 he was
the first to break the news that Prince Charles was to marry Camilla Parker
book, Jobson says, spoke to “a number of sources close to the prince who have
never spoken before” and reveals more than any previous volume about his
relationship with the Arab world.
explores the prince’s character, beliefs and thoughts about religion and
politics in order to try and uncover what he will be like when he ascends the
was 'asked to act as a peace envoy'
book says that Charles believes that a political solution for Palestinians is
crucial to halting the problem of international terrorism. Robson writes that
the prince's strong views on this subject “probably disqualified him from the
role of peacemaker”.
the book, Jobson says a courtier told him: “I have heard him [Charles] say time
and again: 'Remove the poison and you remove the cause of so much of the
terrorism. It is the prince's core belief on the issue.”
strong feelings towards the Middle East may be why his son Prince William, and
not he himself, carried out the first royal visit to Israel in June 2018.
his tour William met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also visited
Ramallah in the West Bank, where he spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud
was also “asked to act as a peace envoy when Israel’s president asked him to
take a message to the Palestinian premier”.
British officials “immediately stepped in and insisted that was not William’s
role”, banning him from becoming “drawn into the complex politics of the
'criticised' Blair in Iraq run-up
British royal family are constitutionally obliged to stay out of political
issues. Freedom of Information requests by The Guardian have revealed that he
has voiced opinions in the past to government ministers about farming, funding
for the armed forces and alternative health among others.
his thoughts on major foreign policy issues relating to the Middle East have
never been known.
writes that Charles was a passionate opponent of the 2003 US-led invasion of
Iraq, and that “in private he would undoubtedly have voiced ‘his strongest
possible objections’ on the war’ to Tony Blair, the prime minister at the
prince, Jobson writes, was plunged into despair by Blair’s support for the
invasion - and might have tried to argue against it had he been king.
“his advice to Blair would have been to heed the warnings of Arab leaders in
the region, men with whom Charles had built up good working relations over the
the prince believed that during the crisis there was a fundamental lack of
understanding of Arabic culture, which was ultimately “crucial to understand”.
the prince grew “increasingly frustrated with the Iraq issue”, he could not
understand why the government of the day did not see the Middle East as “a
region dominated by tribal loyalties” and that “marching in carrying a banner
for Western-style democracy was both foolhardy and futile,” Jobson writes.
the Prince of Wales cast serious doubt on the government's 2002 intelligence
dossier long before the BBC report in May 2003 that it had been “sexed up”.
repeatedly told friends that Blair should have listened to Arab leaders about
how to act over Iraq.
administration was 'terrifying'
writes that the prince was especially critical of support given by the Blair
government to the White House in the runup to the invasion.
prince’s opposition to the Iraq War, Jobson insists, “did not come with
hindsight. Charles made his no-nonsense position clear to those in power at the
told political figures and those in his trusted circle that he regarded the
Bush administration as 'terrifying' and pilloried what he believes was Blair's
lack of perspicacity. He believed Blair had behaved like Bush's 'poodle' and
to Jobson, one of his circle revealed: “Whenever he followed in the wake of the
prime minister on an overseas visit he would quote a phrase dryly, 'Thou shalt
go behind the rear of the Lord to declare his song.' It would always get a
rulers, Jobson writes, told the prince again and again how uneasy they were
about Blair becoming so closely aligned with Bush and how “bewildered and
saddened” they were by the UK's position in being “tied to the USA's
coat-tails” over Iraq.
writes: “The prince, according to sources, maintained it was 'absolutely
extraordinary' that neither the Americans nor those in authority in the UK ever
seemed to listen to the Arab perspective or consider their knowledge of Iraq
and its religious and tribal complexities when seeking post-war solutions
their perspective, the prince felt, was fatal and had led to what he described
as 'the bewildering mess we are facing now at home and abroad'.”
says that “one former member of the prince's household divulged that Charles
was completely baffled by Bush and his stance in totally ignoring the advice of
prince could not understand the sense in America's position,' the source said,
'which was a need to revisit the 'crazy' de-Baathifican policy [sacking
professionals who were members of Saddam Hussein's B'aath party] that had led
to the exclusion of so many badly needed professional people throughout Iraqi
society and turned so many people against the coalition.'
the source said, was particularly derogatory about Bush's secretary of state,
Condoleezza Rice - the first black woman to hold that post - and the extent of
what he deemed US ignorance of the Middle East. The prince couldn't fathom why
Ms Rice resisted all requests to visit the area.”
still harbours distrust towards the current US administration, according to
is not only critical of their lack of a coherent Middle East policy, but deeply
concerned by their refusal to sign up to any international convention on
climate change - a stance made even worse by the current incumbent in the White
House, President Donald Trump.”
says prince reads the Quran
US is not the only UK ally to face royal criticism towards the Middle East,
according to Jobson.
writes that Charles disagreed with the bans imposed in France and Belgium on
Muslim women covering their faces with burqas and niqabs in public, and regards
them as “an infringement of human rights”, which criminalise women.
prince has also told ministers that he no longer wants to use his excellent
Gulf connections to sell arms on behalf of British companies in the Middle
the book casts an extraordinary light on the prince’s views of Islam and the
Arabic world, showing that his interest in Islam goes deeper than hitherto
prince, Jobson writes, is a keen student of Islam who has read the Quran and
also discloses that the prince always signs off his letters to Gulf leaders by
personally writing his name in Arabic, “another small nod to respecting the
to Jobson, the future head of the Church of England “thinks Islam can teach us
all a way of understanding and living in the world, which sadly, he believes,
Christianity is poorer for having lost”.
prince has also studied Judaism and is close to the former chief rabbi,
Jonathan Sachs. He believes that both Judaism and Islam have “a great deal in
common” with Christianity and that the "the future surely lies in
rediscovering the universal truths that dwell at the heart of these
writes that Charles has good working relations with contacts in the region and
is well respected in the Gulf states and the Middle East.
police in Strasbourg arrested 14 supporters of the terrorist PKK on Tuesday for
rioting, attacking the police, and other unlawful behavior.
sources told Anadolu Agency that during a protest rally, the terrorist group
supporters tried to break into the Council of Europe and European Court of
Human Rights (ECHR) buildings, damaging them in the process.
group of people near the buildings attacked the police by throwing stones and
sticks, injuring seven gendarmes, and the police used tear gas and clubs and
arrested 14 people in response.
rally was reportedly meant to protest the prison conditions of Abdullah Ocalan,
the terrorist group’s convicted leader.
terrorist PKK supporters came from France, Germany, Switzerland, and other
PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU.
on Tuesday criticized new U.S. sanctions against Iran, warning that they may
lead to “destabilization” and strengthen “radical forces” in the country.
think that this step is wrong,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told a news
conference in Berlin, adding that Germany would take appropriate measures,
together with its EU partners, to keep the nuclear agreement with Iran alive.
are taking necessary measures so that the Iranian economy would not collapse
fully, and lead to a destabilization situation that would actually support the
radical forces in Iran,” he said.
top diplomat also warned that new sanctions on Iran may further escalate
tensions in the Middle East and become a threat to Europe’s security.
underlined that the agreement signed with Iran in 2015 was the most effective way
to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear technology for military purposes.
are now working to forge new instruments within the European Union, such as the
special purpose vehicle, to make sure that business can still be done with
Iran,” he said.
powers agreed in 2015 to lift economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return for
the latter agreeing to limit its nuclear activity to peaceful and civilian
in May, U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear
agreement, accusing Tehran of cheating on the agreement, also known as the
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
European Commission on Tuesday called on Saudi Arabia to collaborate with
Turkish authorities on investigating the killing last month of a journalist at
the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
expect Saudi institutions to provide all the information they have about the
case and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. This needs to be
done in full collaboration with the Turkish authorities," commission
spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told a press briefing in Brussels.
the very beginning we have been asking Saudi Arabia to shed light on the
killing of Jamal Khashoggi through a full credible, transparent and prompt
investigation," she added.
a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2.
weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted that Khashoggi had been
killed at the Saudi Consulate but claimed that the Saudi royal family had no
prior knowledge of a plot to murder him.
foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini earlier said: "We expect a
thorough investigation and full transparency from the Saudi authorities on what
a non-binding resolution on Oct. 25, the European Parliament condemned “in the
strongest possible terms” the reported torture and killing of the journalist.
EP urged an "independent and impartial" international probe of the
killing, also warning that targeted sanctions could be imposed if Saudi agents
are found guilty in his death.
week, Turkish prosecutors announced their preliminary findings, saying
Khashoggi was strangled to death in a premeditated killing soon after he
entered the consulate.
Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said Khashoggi's body was disposed of
after being dismembered.
urged Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to support Turkey’s investigation into the murder
of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and bring the perpetrators and their superiors
at a news conference in Berlin, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stressed that
Germany expects a “full investigation” into the killing of Khashoggi at the
Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
have supported the investigation done by the Turkish authorities. And we also
think that the Saudi authorities should have supported the investigation more
than they did. Many questions remain open,” he said.
stressed that all those responsible for the murder should be brought to justice
expect that those responsible for this crime will be held responsible. Not just
the perpetrators, but also those who ordered this murder, if indeed there were
such people,” he added.
a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2
inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted that Khashoggi had been
killed at the consulate but claimed that the Saudi royal family had no prior
knowledge of a plot to murder him.
far, 18 people, including security officers, have been arrested in Saudi Arabia
in connection with the murder.
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