and Islamic Countries Symposium Discusses Islam’s Message Of Moderation
Mats Designed To Teach Drinkers about Islam Spark Criticism In Germany
Islamic Food Banks Helping British Muslims, And Non-Muslims, Survive Poverty
Muslims Become Flag-Bearers of Islam in South Korea via Social Media
Children about All Religions, Says Malaysian Youth Council
Army Rulers Say Talks to Resume As Islamists Stage Demonstration
There Will Be No War As No Country Has ‘Illusion’ It Could Confront Iran
Offers Sri Lanka Full Support to Fight 'Jihadi Terrorism'
State Is Focusing On Subcontinent and India In Particular
Muslim Body Serves Iftar to 2,500 People Every Day in Dubai
Muslim Man Braves Odds during Curfew to Save Hindu Woman’s Life, Hailed
threat still looms over village body chiefs in J-K
quotes Hindu, Islamic scripts at every rally; won’t help says BJP
Aurangzeb’s killer among 4 terrorists killed in 2 Kashmir encounters
history behind the ban on SIMI, and why the tribunal is reviewing it
Al-Sham's Ringleader Issues Distress Call to Terrorist Groups in Aleppo
Army's Air Defence Downs Israel’s Drone Near Damascus
Declared in Northern Syria after Terrorists' Heavy Defeat from Army
We are coordinating with Saudi Arabia to confront regional threats
asks its citizens in Iran, Iraq to leave immediately on safety concerns
Arabia not looking for war but will respond to any threat: Adel al-Jubeir
will remain part of 'axis of resistance' despite foreign plots: Nujaba leader
ruling party dealing with loads of Islamophobic complaints
Mail restores Iran services: Tehran’s envoy to UK
seeks dialog with Iran, rejects provocation: German FM
dialogue key to overcoming hateful trends’
law-abiding to keep model of unity, says Muhyiddin
featuring local church sparks debate in Malaysia
calls out ‘hypocrisy’ in action against Shia group
MP denies giving speech in mosque after Johor royal rebuke
Uncover Plot to Detonate Bombs Among Crowd Outside KPU Offices Next Week
commander says democratic elections are his goal
dead in Libya attack claimed by ISIS
arms in Libya before 'vast operation' to break siege
guards killed in suspected Daesh attack outside Libya oilfield
dispatched 600 militiamen, mostly minors, to Yemen in April: Report
army opens fire on protesters demanding release of Zakzaky
in Sudan: Iftar with the ‘flavor of revolution’
officials: Militants kill 3 troops at LNA checkpoint
Arab States Approved US Deployment In Persian Gulf: Report
foreign minister calls for US restraint on trade, Iran
CIA chief Brennan to brief Dems on Iran
envoy says peace and polls a must for Afghanistan
all have a responsibility for Palestine's future: Palestinian foreign minister
stops 84 Rohingyas from perilous sea journey
planning must go forwarded amid peace efforts: Khalilzad
commander blown up by own bomb in Kunar province
Army, Special Forces kill 10 Taliban militants in Kunduz, Kandahar provinces
Bomb blast in western Afghanistan kills 2
Destroy Christian Graves In Pak Punjab
plans anti-govt movement after Eid
calls ex-CJP incompetent judge, seeks accountability
Assembly revives Musharraf-era Police Order amid opposition walkout
teachers asked to donate for out-of-school children
ready for any ‘unforeseen eventuality’ amid Afghan peace push, says Gen Bajwa
peace talks may lead to Imran-Trump meeting
Soldiers Arrest Dutch Politician In Jerusalem Al-Quds
fired from Israeli-held territory, says Syrian state media
chief: US will collapse with one strike just like the World Trade Center
of Palestinian who died in Turkish jail waiting for new autopsy, report
commander: US anti-Iran pressure sign of idiocy
army retakes key district from Houthis
by New Age Islam News Bureau
State is focusing on subcontinent and India in particular
Indian subcontinent is obviously high on the Islamic State (IS) agenda. Ever
since the Sri Lanka suicide bombings, IS statements, some genuine and others
probably false, are focusing much on the subcontinent and India in particular.
it makes a lot of sense to a strategic observer; the Indo-centric nature of the
subcontinent does ensure that nations on the periphery are linked socially and
economically. Besides, that IS hopes to exploit the presence of Muslims across
the length and breadth of the country through attempts at radicalisation. Its
initial efforts at drawing recruits from India largely failed.
Rohingya issue in Myanmar and Bangladesh is looked upon as one with great
trigger potential. It is something the IS has not been able to exploit. Little
realised is also the fact that South Asia is the home to almost 500 million
followers of Islam, the biggest regional entity the faith has anywhere in the
world. Syria and Iraq had the emotive appeal for the so-called Caliphate due to
proximity to the main Islamic shrines, with money and territory available by
different means. Similarly, it should be the Indian subcontinent that should
attract the next priority simply on the basis of religious affiliation and
large strength of Muslims within the subcontinent.
attempts to penetrate Pakistan and Afghanistan failed due to the lack of space
and none of the other radical extremist groups willing to yield ground. The IS
obviously has succeeded in ensuring trust deficit with other radical groups
affiliated to Islam. It now appears to have changed its strategy of a direct
entry to the heart of the subcontinent and possibly decided to enter it in
right earnest through the periphery; Sri Lanka’s territory and vulnerable
minority Muslim population facilitate this entry to the southern region of
India. Indian intelligence agencies have been warning for some time that areas
in Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been witnessing increasing radicalisation. The IS
was also probably keeping its eyes and ears open particularly due to the large
footprint of expatriates in the Gulf.
Sri Lanka as the peripheral area seems to have been fully borne out because the
relative ease with which the IS managed its operations. However, a lot of
thought probably went into the selection of locations and the modus operandi.
It was probably aware that the focus of Sri Lanka’s intelligence and security
services was entirely on the Tamil and Sinhala threats; the Muslim issue was a
sideshow which emerged once in a while with the eight per cent (less than two
million) Muslims of the island.
Sri Lanka intelligence services were fed enough intelligence, of the impending
action, by India and the US but they could not get their act together.
Political and bureaucratic rivalries may have contributed to that but there is
no doubt that it was the IS innovative modus operandi which also made the
difference to its success. With intelligence bias focused on Tamils and
Sinhala, a Sri Lanka Muslim network with
Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath (TNTJ) remained under the radar; the National
Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) of Sri Lanka is the chief suspect for the entire carnage.
Even more than that, the system of radicalisation and networking was nothing
short of brilliant. The IS returnees had set up cells which were based upon a
few families instead of spreading them wide with a large array of individuals.
Efforts were focused upon radicalising a whole family so that chances of
information leakage were minimised. In January 2019, police had discovered a
cache of explosives and detonators in Colombo and could not link it with
anything. The phenomenon of radicalising families to take on bombings was also
witnessed in Indonesia.
selection of suicide bombers as weapons of destruction rather than simply
placing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at target locations was a
deliberate choice. The social impact of suicide bombers on a society being
addressed for greater radicalisation is much higher.
choice of targets was made for maximum impact. High profile hotels in Colombo’s
central district would mean foreign tourists, especially at breakfast time on a
holiday, Easter. Congregations were simultaneously gathering at churches which
were the other targets elsewhere; that made coordination so much easier.
Foreign tourists in body bags meant an international furore and message of IS
capability to hit at will.
Lanka is a developing country with divided politics and weak institutions. The
same has happened in countless countries, many of them wealthy and with highly
skilled intelligence services”, wrote the New York Times in an elaborate
post-event report, referring to the inability of the Sri Lankan intelligence
services to prevent the carnage despite adequate intelligence. Why is this important for us in India? The
arrests that have taken place in Sri Lanka, some genuine and some on mere
suspicion do not reflect the busting of the network which perpetrated the
suicide blasts. Handlers and potential suicide bombers appear to be yet on the
loose considering the assessment of the numbers. In India’s southern region
where the support base exists for the networks in Sri Lanka, the authorities
have arrested Rias Abu Bakr who allegedly was planning suicide attacks in
Kerala. The mindless politics of Kerala and the extent of radical penetration
in the southern region should worry India’s intelligence services who have had
a creditable record in the anti-terror domain particularly since 26/11. The
long drawn general election period of 2019 in India has taken its toll on
intelligence and police services which have been stretched.
the IS really has the intent of penetration into India it would have exploited
this period and would be planning several decoys. One among them is the focus
it has managed to draw to the southern region while something devious could be
under planning for potential targets elsewhere in the country. One of the major
challenges for the next government at the Centre would be the dilution of
divisiveness a phenomenon promoting potential IS effectiveness. The political
community does not realise the immense harm it is doing to the internal
security and laying an open invite to devious entities such as IS to exploit.
And Islamic Countries Symposium Discusses Islam’s Message Of Moderation
The moderate nature of Islam was highlighted during a two-day symposium held at
the King Salman International Conference Center under the patronage of King
from Arab and Islamic countries presented 29 studies and working papers during
the event, which was titled “Religious efforts exerted at the Prophet’s Mosque
during the Saudi era.”
speakers highlighted Islam’s moderation in the different axes of their studies.
They stressed the important role of the Prophet’s Mosque in caring for
Qur’an-related sciences and the Arabic language,” said Dr. Abdulrahman
Al-Sudais, the president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two
Holy Mosques, which organized the event in partnership with the Naif bin Abdul
Aziz Al-Saud International Prize for the Prophetic Sunnah and Contemporary
comes as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to develop and serve the Two Holy
Mosques and their visitors. The care provided by the Kingdom is not limited to
sensory care but it also includes moral care that seeks to promote beneficial
sciences and true knowledge.”
added that the symposium was noble in its objectives, blessed in its message,
outstanding in its research and great in its recommendations. He also thanked
the king and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support.
mats designed to teach drinkers about Islam spark criticism in Germany
project to promote better understanding of Islam in Germany by printing
information about the religion on beer mats has been criticised.
the scheme, pubs and restaurants have been provided with specially-created
coasters asking questions about Islam. On the flip side of each is a web link
and QR code to the answer.
what was he like?” wonders one in a deliberately informal tone. “What is it
with Muslims and pork?” ponders another.
now, despite the scheme running for three years and being approved by the
Germany’s Central Council of Muslims, it has run into controversy.
Foreigners’ Advisory Council in the central town of Maintal – where the
cardboard mats have just been introduced – has said it is an inappropriate way
to educate people about a religion which forbids alcohol.
could have used postcards, or adverts on the side of a bus. Why did it have to
be the pub?” Salih Tasdirek, head of the council, told Der Spiegel magazine.
also questioned if it was right for the coasters to include a symbol of a cider
jug, despite it being a historic emblem for the region.
Network, the small German NGO which runs the project as part of its work
promoting interfaith understanding, defended the scheme.
Kluger, from the organisation, said: “We wanted to give answers in local
language to the questions that our members, mostly Islamic scholars, are always
is not our intention to associate alcohol with Islam.”
questions and answers were all drawn up by Muslims and checked by Germany’s
Central Council of Muslims, he added, while also saying that tens of thousands
of mats had previously been sent out across different areas of Germany with no
Islamic food banks helping British Muslims, and non-Muslims, survive poverty
Hameed lost his mother 22 years ago when he was just 17 years old. She never
let anyone go without food, he remembers, nor would she let someone in need go
would often go on holiday to Pakistan, not to see her own family but to visit
hospitals and listen to patients' concerns. It was in her name, as sadaqah
jariyah (a form of giving that extends past a person’s lifetime and helps those
in the future), that Hameed set up the UK’s only 24/7 emergency food bank.
hit upon the inspiration on the 27th night of Ramadan in 2016, commonly known
as Laylat Al Qadr, the Night of Power, when it is said that angels descend from
heaven and the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Mohammed some 1,410
years ago. In the three years since his inspired night, Salma Food Bank has
delivered 40,000 food parcels to doorsteps and donated 420 tonnes of food in
the West Midlands, an area surrounding Birmingham, Britain’s "second
city" about 160 kilometres from London.
a Muslim, and my religion teaches me that I’m not a believer if I don’t feed
you when you’re hungry, regardless of who you are. It’s an integral part of my
faith. Doesn’t matter if it’s 2 o’clock in the morning, an emergency is an
works on the ethos inspired by a Hadith emblazoned on a banner that greets all
outside the Salma Food Bank: “The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said he
is not a Muslim that goes to bed satisfied while his neighbour goes
Hameed doesn’t just serve Muslims. About 95 per cent of his food parcel
recipients are non-Muslims living in the local area. He has 150 volunteer
drivers ready to respond at any given notice 24 hours of the day – and 80 per
cent of the food bank’s volunteers are non-Muslim.
is “proudly British and proudly Muslim”, and is adamant that charity starts at
put us here in Britain and gave us good fortune here for a reason, and
thereafter gave us people in need for a reason. He is the bigger planner. I’m
all for people giving money away across the world, but look at home first. And
for me, home is here in Britain.”
million people in Britain live in poverty despite having jobs. In total, 14
million people – a fifth of the population – live in poverty and 1.5 million
cannot afford basic essentials.
bank use has soared 19 per cent in the past year, with more than 1.6 million
three-day emergency food parcels being handed out between April 2018 and March
2019, says food poverty charity the Trussell Trust. Those in need include
Muslims fasting for Ramadan.
is where the Bearded Broz, a humorous name for Hameed's all-hours operation to
help the needy, step in. Wearing high-visibility vests and up working when
others would be sleeping at noon while fasting, Hameed and his volunteers toil
away at packing special Ramadan food parcels containing everything from cooking
oil and ghee to chickpeas and flour – the essentials of any iftar.
and ready to go in a van, the Bearded Broz team deliver a round of Ramadan food
parcels packed with beans, rice, flour, cooking oil and a bag of rice big
enough for a family. Moving around the streets of Birmingham, one drop-off is
for a family of seven, asylum seekers from the Middle East, who have a budget
of £25 (Dh117) a week and are barred from finding work, with one child
paralysed from the waist down.
later, a parcel is dropped off to a British-Asian single mother on £70 a week.
She finds her money is spent on food and commuting, with the only luxury being
swimming lessons for her daughter. Another Muslim woman who receives her
Ramadan emergency food parcel is thought to be a domestic violence victim.
and his team are on the front line, often called by police and local
authorities as the last resort to tackle social inequality.
says that many recipients are victims of a revised welfare system, known as
universal credit, that has left families and individuals unable to manage on
monthly payments that used to be given fortnightly.
is more poverty than we think there is and it’s right on our doorstep, whether
that be the UAE or Britain," he says.
also brings in a greater number of donations to food banks, says Zahra Hussain
of London’s Sufra food bank and kitchen.
get a lot more people, just individuals coming and donating,” she says. ”We
also have a lot more mosques that get in touch with us.”
heightened in their spirituality which means that they want to give more.”
team at Sufra aren’t just passively accepting donations. As part of an ongoing
project to assist Syrian refugees resettled in the UK, they are holding a
charitable iftar to raise money and help their 80 charges make new friends in
the community. The food bank has also devised a downloadable giving calendar to
encourage children to donate during the fasting period and their community
garden manager, an Irish Catholic, is fasting over Ramadan to raise money for
is a huge issue with the refugees who arrive in England,” says Sufra’s refugee
resettlement officer Ibrahim Mohammed.
has always been a good point for [the refugees] to integrate with other
Muslims become flag-bearers of Islam in South Korea via social media
On a sunny afternoon in the second week of Ramadan, hundreds of Muslims
gathered at the Seoul Central Mosque in the district of Itaewon for their
weekly Friday prayer.
who could not fit inside the mosque sat on their prayer mats outside the main
prayer hall. Most of the worshippers were immigrants from Southeast and Central
was travelling an hour from Ansan (southwest of Seoul) by train and bus to
perform a prayer along with my two children,” Ahn, a Korean Muslim, told Arab
a ritual to come here every Friday afternoon, and the past two weeks have been
special as we’ve entered Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic religion.”
as a Muslim in South Korea has been tough, and is getting tougher due to
Islamophobia, said Ahn, who converted to Islam a decade ago after marrying a
of incidents occur allegedly in connection with Islamist extremists and terror
groups, and many Korean people just think all Muslims could be associated with
them,” she added. “Hatred and prejudice against Muslims still prevail here.”
Si-eun, 36, who converted to Islam in 2010, said: “Even some of my family
members feel inconvenienced being with me just because I’m Muslim. There are a
lot of challenges for Muslims in Korea, and even more for Korean Muslims.
Nevertheless, I feel there have been some changes in the public perception of
Islam, slowly but surely.”
has a very small presence in South Korea, where Protestantism is dominant.
According to the Korea Muslim Federation, the number of Muslims in the country
stands at about 150,000, some 0.3 percent of the population. Of them, Korean
Muslims account for 35,000.
are at least 30,000 Protestant churches in the country but only eight mosques,
including the Seoul Central Mosque, which was built in 1976 with the help of a
large monetary contribution from Saudi Arabia and other Islamic nations.
Lee Ju-hwa, imam at the Seoul Central Mosque, said despite widespread
misunderstanding and ignorance about Islam, there is a slow but steady change
2007 hostage crisis in Afghanistan was a major turning point in the history of
Islam in South Korea,” he told Arab News, referring to the kidnapping of 23
South Korean missionaries by members of the Taliban, who executed two of the
incident had many more South Korean people think negatively about Islam. But on
the other side, many people were beginning to be curious about the religion and
wanted to know it better,” he said.
number of Muslims in the country is stagnant, but the public perception and
understanding of Islam are getting better, slowly but surely,” he added.
increasing number of students visit the Seoul Central Mosque to attend lectures
and study the Muslim culture.”
number of visitors to the mosque peaked at 2,500 last year, a 10-fold increase
from a decade ago, he said.
a visit by Arab News on May 8, a group of middle-school students was touring
came here for a cultural study class to help students understand different
cultures and religions,” said Lee Eun-il, a teacher at Shindong Middle School
particular, Islam wasn’t familiar to students and misunderstood by many people.
That’s why we came here, to understand it better.”
imam said: “Social media is an effective tool for providing accurate
information on Islam. Wrong information spreads so fast online, but that
information can be fixed instantly on social media.”
Dong-shin, a South Korean Muslim, runs two YouTube channels — one for the
Arabic language and the other for Islam. They have about 10,000 and 50,000
viewers, respectively. He also has a Facebook account with approximately
started running YouTube channels in 2011 with the goal of providing accurate
information on Islam, and they’ve gained popularity fast in recent years thanks
to the YouTube boom,” Park, who converted in 2009, told Arab News.
of the viewers post malicious comments insulting Islam and Muslims, but I feel
that’s a very normal process of a new culture being mixed in a society. It’s a
process of people learning a new culture and religion,” he said.
super surprised to see a number of Christians join my channels to get to know
Islam better, not criticizing Islam,” added Park, who studied the Arabic
language and Muslim theology at the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi
Arabia, and subsequently majored in Shariah law at Al-Azhar University in
Kang Na-yeon, a female manager at the Seoul Central Mosque, is an Instagram
user with nearly 50,000 followers.
converted in 2015, she posts photos and videos of Islamic food, fashion and
cultural events, which she said help bridge the gap between Korean and Muslim
cultures in a more effective way.
in South Korea show a big interest in hijab fashion and halal food,” she said.
“I also post photos related to South Korean culture, such as hanbok,
traditional Korean clothing. That helps Muslims understand Korea well.”
the 1990s, an increasing number of migrant workers from Muslim countries have
been settling in South Korea.
image of most Muslim migrants has been improved to an extent due to their hard
work and faithfulness,” said Safiya Kang.
children with multicultural backgrounds are growing up, and they’ll be able to
play a role in finding a common denominator with Korean people.”
tourism has become a key growth area for South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest
economy, since the number of Chinese travelers declined in the aftermath of a
diplomatic row over the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Air Defense
(THAAD) system in 2017.
South Korean government has laid out a tourism initiative aimed at attracting
1.2 million Muslim visitors annually.
year, 971,649 Muslim tourists visited the country, an 11 percent increase from
865,910 in 2017, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.
efforts to increase halal restaurants, 34 percent of Muslim visitors said food
was their biggest inconvenience in South Korea, whose people enjoy pork and
alcohol, according to a 2018 survey conducted by the tourism organization.
government should address the lack of infrastructure for Muslim tourists, such
as halal restaurants, prayer rooms and other Muslim-friendly facilities, which
could attract many more Muslim visitors and boost the national economy,” Imam
South Korean Muslims pride themselves on keeping their faith in the face of
Islam is such a difficult mission in this country, where our religion is
marginalized in many cases,” Safiya Kang said.
another sense, I’m proud of keeping the faith in this most challenging of
environments. I find peace in Islam.”
LUMPUR: The Malaysian Youth Council has recommended that a special subject be
introduced in schools and universities for students to learn about other
religions to further enhance and strengthen inter-faith understanding and
president Jufitri Joha said the Islamic studies currently being taught in
schools, while commendable, were focused on only one religion.
said his proposal did not mean that the country would practice religious
equality, but learning about various religions would “foster unity and promote
religious sensitivity for cultures different from our own”.
see that this idea will be able to bring the different races closer together if
introduced at the school and university levels.
it is not through the introduction of a new subject, perhaps include the study
of other religions as a subject matter in the existing syllabus,” he told
Bernama after a roundtable discussion on religious affairs among people of
different faiths here today.
one-day workshop organised by MBM, the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement and
National Unity Department under the Prime Minister’s Department gathered
representatives of various religious youth associations in the country to
discuss ways to improve national unity and integration.
army rulers say talks to resume as Islamists stage demonstration
Talks between Sudan's ruling military council and protesters are set to resume,
army rulers announced Saturday, as Islamic movements rallied for the inclusion
of sharia in the country's roadmap.
resumption of talks with the Alliance for Freedom and Change, the umbrella
protest movement that brought down longtime leader Omar alBashir last month,
comes following pressure from key world powers to get back to the table.
ruling military council announced "the resumption of negotiations with the
Alliance for Freedom and Change on Sunday".
generals and protest leaders had been expected to come to an agreement on
Wednesday on the thorniest issue – the make-up of a new body to govern Sudan
for three years that would replace the existing military council that took
power after ousting Bashir.
that meeting never took place and on Thursday the head of the military council,
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, confirmed talks were suspended for 72 hours.
subsequently spent hours meeting Burhan's demand to dismantle roadblocks which
had paralysed parts of the capital.
powers on Friday urged the generals to resume the talks.
from the United States, the United Nation, African Union and European powers
called on both sides to "reach an agreement ASAP on an interim government
that is truly civilian-led and reflects the will of the Sudanese people,"
Tibor Nagy, the US assistant secretary of state for Africa, tweeted on Friday.
generals have allowed protesters to maintain their sit-in outside Khartoum's
army headquarters, where thousands remain camped out to demand a rapid
transition to democracy.
to suspending the talks the two sides had agreed on several key issues,
including a three year transition period and the creation of a 300-member
parliament, with two thirds of lawmakers from the Alliance of Freedom and
of talks resuming, Sudanese Islamist movements held their own demonstration
Saturday outside the presidential palace in downtown Khartoum.
of protesters took part in the demonstration, the first by Islamist groups
since Bashir's ouster in April.
main reason for the mobilisation is that the alliance is ignoring the
application of sharia in its deal," said Al-Tayieb Mustafa, who heads a
coalition of about 20 Islamic groups.
is irresponsible and if that deal is done, it is going to open the door of hell
for Sudan," he told AFP ahead of the rally.
came to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989 and Sudanese legislation has
since been underpinned by Islamic law but activists say that during his regime
sharia was applied inconsistently.
the years this led to thousands of women being flogged for "indecent
behaviour", women's rights activists said.
protest movement has so far remained silent on whether sharia has a place in
Sudan's future, arguing that its main concern now is installing a civilian
protest movement brings together a wide range of political, social and also
rebel groups from the country's conflict zones, which some say triggered
perceptions that it is pushing for building a new secular Sudan.
is part and parcel of the identity of the majority of the people of
Sudan," Sadeq al-Mahdi, Sudan's main opposition leader and an ex-premier
told AFP in a recent interview.
said it was a "great mistake" for some members of the opposition to
"talk about secularism".
of worshippers on Friday staged spontaneous demonstrations in Khartoum after
the weekly Muslim prayer and criticised the protest movement.
Alliance for Freedom and Change wants... to build what they call a new Sudan, a
Sudan without religion, a secular Sudan," said hardline cleric Abdelhai
Yusef in his Friday sermon, according to a video posted on his Facebook page.
why we say no, a thousand times no to this deal. We want a Sudan that is for
There will be no war as no country has ‘illusion’ it could confront Iran
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday he did not believe a war
would break out in the region as Tehran did not want a conflict and no country
had the “illusion it could confront Iran”, the state news agency IRNA reported.
have escalated in recent days, with growing concerns about a potential US-Iran
conflict. Earlier this week the United States pulled some diplomatic staff from
its embassy in Baghdad following weekend attacks on four oil tankers in the
will be no war because neither we want a war, nor has anyone the idea or
illusion that it can confront Iran in the region,” Zarif told IRNA before
ending his visit to Beijing.
offers Sri Lanka full support to fight 'Jihadi terrorism'
India has offered full support to Sri Lanka in dealing with the common threat
of "Jihadi terrorism" following the deadly Easter Sunday suicide
bombings that killed nearly 260 people, including 11 Indians.
High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu on Friday also discussed
the prevailing security situation during his recent meeting with two
top-ranking Buddhist monks at Sri Dalada Maligawa or the temple of the Sacred
Tooth Relic in Kandy, Indian Embassy here said in a statement.
Commissioner....discussed the prevailing security situation with the Most
Venerable Mahanayake theros and offered India's full support to Sri Lanka in
dealing with the common threat of Jihadi terrorism," the statement said.
High Commissioner also paid respects at Sri Dalada Maligawa and received the
blessings of the Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera of
the Malwatu Chapter and the Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana
Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter in Kandy, it said.
the Mahanayake Theros deeply appreciated India's unconditional and strong
support for Sri Lanka, including in the security sphere, the statement said.
also conveyed greetings on the auspicious occasion of Vesak to the Most
Venerable Mahanayake Theros and recalled the visit of Prime Minister Narendra
Modi to Sri Lanka for the International Vesak Day celebration in 2017 and the
sacred Sarnath Relics in Sri Lanka in 2018.
Lanka has declared two days of holidays for nation-wide celebrations of Vesak,
or the commemoration of the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the
the Mahanayake Theras deeply appreciated India's unconditional and strong
support for Sri Lanka including in the security sphere, it said.
authorities shared intelligence with Sri Lanka before the serial blasts rocked
the neighbouring country. However, Sri Lankan authorities failed to act on the
suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts
that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels, killing 258 people
and injuring over 500 others.
earlier said they believed a little-known local militant Islamist group known
as National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ) was behind the attack. However, the NTJ has
not claimed responsibility for the attacks, Sri Lanka's worst.
Islamic State terror group said it had carried out the attacks, and released
video of men it says were the bombers.
the envoy also reviewed the progress of the Kandyan Dancing School being
constructed with India's assistance of some Rs150 million at the Sri Lanka
International Buddhist Academy (SIBA) campus in Pallekele, Kandy, according to
the statement .
Muslim Body Serves Iftar To 2,500 People Every Day In Dubai
A Kerala Muslim centre in Dubai is serving Iftar meal every day to more than
2,500 people from all walks of life, according to a media report.
is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramzan fast at sunset.
There are 210 volunteers, divided into seven groups, who ensure smooth and
clean distribution of Iftar meals, Gulf News reported.
of the volunteers are drivers, A/C maintenance workers, office assistants and
people who do other routine jobs. But, we also have businessmen and
professional executives who have been volunteering with us," Ebrahim
Elettil, president of the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre's (KMCC) said.
we started the community Iftar in 2012, we were serving only 1,500 people. Over
the years, the number of people coming to have iftar increased. On average we
serve 2,550 Iftar meals. Our volunteers are the pillars of this success,"
E lettil said.
people with disabilities are part of the team. The preparation for the
volunteering team, who also fast, begins a month before Ramzan. "The
registration of new members and renewal of old members is done and they are
assigned duties in rotation. They are also trained by hygiene officers from
some hotels. Every day we have about 150 volunteers present," Ebrahim
Iritty, chairman of the volunteers' wing, was quoted as saying.
volunteers arrive several hours before the Iftar time to take care of all the
necessary arrangements. Lieutenant Colonel Khalifa Ali Rashid, assistant
director at the al-Muraqqabat police station said that the KMCC volunteers were
doing an amazing job by serving such a large number of people from all walks of
Rubon Das was at his wit’s end when his wife Nandita was writhing in labour
pain and there was no ambulance or other vehicles to take her to a
government-run hospital, located 10 km away from their Rajyeshwarpur Part I
village in Southern Assam’s Hailakandi where curfew was imposed following
was then that Maqbool Hussain Laskar, a 32-year-old cab driver who is an
acquaintance of Das, appeared like a Messiah. He volunteered to take the woman
to the SK Roy Civil Hospital in Hailakandi in his car by putting his life at
aged 22, delivered a healthy baby boy just minutes after reaching the hospital.
The family has named the infant “Shanti”.
orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were clamped in Hailakandi on May 11
following a communal violence that left one person dead and over a dozen others
injured. The situation was tense and people were afraid of venturing out of
May 12, everything had come to a standstill in Hailakandi and its adjoining
areas due to the curfew. I had frantically called up the 108 ambulance service
and others I know for a vehicle to take my wife to the hospital. However, they
declined my requests fearing trouble on the way. I was at a loss. Soon, Laskar,
the Good Samaritan, arrived with his car. We immediately left for the hospital
and the baby was born soon after we had reached there,” Das told Express.
said everyone in the hospital was surprised to see them given the volatile
situation that prevailed then.
have no words to express my gratitude to him (Laskar). The worst was possibly
in store but God sent him to us,” Das said, adding, “We named the baby Shanti
despite knowing that it is a girl’s name. Shanti denotes peace and we want the
return of durable peace to Hailakandi”.
the saviour, said he considered saving the lives of the woman and the baby in
her womb was more important than putting his life at peril.
soon as I learnt about the agonies of the family from a local in my village, I
left for the house. I won’t say I was not scared to drive the distance but my
fear was overpowered by the thought that I should be able to take her to the
hospital before it is too late,” Laskar said.
said he was happy that everything passed off well.
Deputy Commissioner (District Magistrate), Keerthi Jalli, praised both Laskar
and Das for their courage and communal brotherhood. She paid a visit to the
residence of Das on Tuesday where Laskar was also present.
hugged Laskar and thanked him for coming out to help them in their hour of
distress and giving his wife a new lease of life. Laskar, in turn, asked Das to
thank God for coming to their rescue.
(Laskar) had volunteered to take the woman to the hospital at great personal
risk. As the baby has been named Shanti, we hope that the society will come
back to peace,” Jalli said.
30, contested the local bodies’ elections in Jammu and Kashmir last year hoping
to do his bit in developing his village — Sagam in Anantnag district. He
entered the fray despite threats to his life in the militancy-hit South Kashmir
district. Many like Islam hoped the situation would get better to allow them to
fulfil the promises they had made to their voters. But the situation has gone
from bad to worse, so much so that Islam has been unable to even visit his
family in Sagam.
am living in a rented room in the town [Anantnag] along with my wife and two
children since I became a sarpanch,” he said.
is not alone. Hundreds of elected sarpanches have been unable to visit their
families since getting elected in the Panchayat polls held in November-December
last year. The elections were held under the shadow of militant threats. In
August 2018, Hizb-ul-Mujhadeen (HM) commander Riyaz Naikoo issued a video
message threatening acid attacks against the participants.
elections were held without any major violence. But militant violence has
escalated in South Kashmir over the last six months. On May 4, suspected
militants killed Bharatiya Janata Party functionary Ghulam Mohammed Mir, 55, in
Anantnag. The attack on Mir was the latest in militant assaults in south
Kashmir, which has become a militant hub since the killing of HM militant Burhan Wani in 2016.
said they face a double whammy as they were hardly getting their salaries, not
to mention a lack of developmental funds. “We thought we would at least help
rebuild lanes and by-lanes in my village...but since getting elected, I am
literally homeless. Many of us got government accommodation for the initial few
months, but were later told to vacate them.”
who refused to give his second name fearing reprisals, was forced to quit even
before takling his oath in the face of specific threats. He said gunmen came to
kill him a week after he was elected as sarpanch in Shopian. He, too, has not
returned home despite quitting. “I am afraid to go back.” These sarpanches say
their pleas for help have fallen on deaf ears even as they have threatened
hunger strikes and mass resignations.
police officer in Srinagar said following Mir’s killing they have now been
directed to reassess the security of sarpanches and panches facing threats. “After
threat assessment of these people, security will be provided to them,” the
like Irshad Ahmad said they were elected unopposed but are yet to get funds
since their election has not been notified officially.
Nazir Sheikh, the director of Panchayats, said a sarpanch needed the backing of
one-third of panches to get notified under the previous Panchayat Raj Act. He
said 230 sarpanches are yet to be notified since they do not have any Panches
to back them.
41.3% turnout was recorded in the panchayat polls in Kashmir while it was 83.5%
in the state’s Jammu region. Across South Kashmir’s Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam
and Anantnag districts, there was no polling in the absence of candidates in a
majority of the villages. As a result, of the 1,560 sarpanches elected, only
1,330 could be notified since at least 11,236 panch posts remain vacant.
blame the poll boycott of the state’s main parties like the National Conference
(NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in protest against alleged attempts to
dilute the state’s special status for the situation.
Rajya Sabha member, Nazir Ahmad Laway, blamed the Centre for making the elected
local bodies members “scapegoats” by insisting on conducting the elections.
Farman Ali, a political analyst, said the boycott “gave a way to rogue elements
to contest”. “The boycott turned out to be fatal... apart from militant threats
they are now facing public resentment too.”
Minister Mamata Banerjee wrapped up her last Lok Sabha campaign address in
Diamond Harbour last Thursday by reciting select lines of the Chandi, the
700-verse Devi Mahamaya text in Sanskrit, which describes the Goddess as the
supreme power and creator, along with some from the ‘shahada’, Islam’s most
constituency, where Banerjee’s nephew Abhisekh is contesting again, has both
Hindu and Muslim voters in large numbers.
her 69-day election campaign, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief outdid
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and Congress president Rahul Gandhi by addressing more than 100 rallies across
Bengal. But irrespective of the composition of the electorate and at every
rally, Banerjee made it a point to recite a few lines from the Chandi, that are
chanted during prayers to deities Durga, Jagatdhatri, Basanti and Annapurna.
also invoked the ‘shahada’ by uttering “Iaa ilaahah illa allaah muhammadur
rasool ullaah.” (None has the right to be worshipped except Allah and Prophet
Mohammed is the only messenger of Allah). And in a bid to reach out to
Christians, Mamata never failed to add ‘God is great, God is good’, to her
campaign speeches too.
politicians and observers said that blending religion with electoral politics
in this manner is unprecedented in Bengal and exposes the polarisation that may
have emerged as the principal influencer on voters in many districts.
commentator and columnist Suvashis Maitra said, “Since Independence, no
mainstream politician in Bengal chanted religious scripts so extensively.
Banerjee did it because her opponents projected her as an appeaser of Muslims.
She must have sensed that Hindu voters, who comprise the bigger chunk of the
vote bank, may turn their back on her.”
don’t think her counter-strategy will work. Voters made up their mind long ago.
Casting votes was only a formality,” Maitra said.
Banerjee, senior TMC leader and minister Jyoti Priya Mallick said, “By chanting
from religious scriptures she has established her secular credentials. People
have faith in her because of this.”
they have suffered electorally ever since the BJP started rising in Bengal, the
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders allege that Banerjee is following
the BJP’s path. “After coming to power, Banerjee introduced stipends for Imams.
Later, she started inviting Hindu priests to her meetings. There was never any
religious divide in our society, not even during the Bangladesh War, solely
because of Bengal’s social reformers, poets and intellectuals from the 19th
century,” outgoing MP from Raigunj and CPI (M) politburo member Md Salim, said.
matter how many times she chants from the Chandi or names Allah, nothing can
help her. Banerjee has been exposed,” said Rahul Sinha, BJP’s national
secretary who is contesting the crucial Kolkata North seat that goes to polls
is Bengal’s biggest anti-Hindu leader. Since 2011, there have been riots,
deaths and infiltration from Bangladesh. The damage she has done in seven years
cannot be rectified in decades,” said Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) south
Bengal secretary, Jishnu Basu.
religion divides people. By reciting the Shahada, she is talking of one God,”
said Pirzada Jiauddin Siddiqui of Hooghly’s Furfura Sharif mazar which Muslims
consider to be one of the holiest shrines in Bengal.
The killer of rifleman Aurangzeb was among four Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists
gunned down in two encounters in Kashmir Valley on Saturday. Aurangzeb, a
soldier of 44-RR, was kidnapped and shot dead by terrorists on June 14 last
year when he was on his way from Shadipora in Shopian district to his village
in Poonch in a private vehicle to attend a family function.
three of the terrorists, including the killer of the soldier, were gunned down
at Panzgam in Awantipora of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the fourth one
was killed at Hathlangoo in north Kashmir’s Sopore.
SSP Tahir Saleem said the three terrorists killed at Panzgam have been
identified as Showkat Ahmad Dar of Panzgam, Irfan Ahmad of Sopore and Muzzafar
Ahmad of Tahab Pulwama, all affiliated to Hizbul Mujahideen.
said Showkat Dar was “directly involved” in the killing of Aurangzeb, who was
part of a team that had killed Hizbul commander Sameer Tiger on May 1 last
Panzgam encounter broke out in the wee hours of Saturday. An official said a
joint team of forces, including Army’s 55-RR and SOG, cordoned off Bonpora
Panzgam after credible inputs about the presence of some terrorists in the
area. As the forces closed in on the suspected hideout of the terrorists, they
were fired upon. The forces retaliated, leading to the encounter and subsequent
killing of the three terrorists.
second encounter took place after security forces cordoned off Hathlangoo on
Saturday afternoon after getting information about the presence of terrorists
there. “During the search operation, the hiding terrorists fired on the search
fire was retaliated, leading to an encounter in which one terrorist was
killed,” a police spokesman said.
body of the slain terrorist, identified as Waseem Ahmad Naik of Udipora village
in Pulwama district, was retrieved from the encounter site. Naik too belonged
to the Hizbul Mujahideen. Search operation in the area continues,” he said,
adding that it was a clean operation and no collateral damage took place during
the exchange of fire.
tribunal, headed by Delhi High Court judge Justice Mukta Gupta, is conducting
hearings in different cities to ascertain whether there was sufficient evidence
to ban the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
this month, the tribunal had held hearings in Pune. On Friday and Saturday, it
had sittings in Aurangabad.
ban on SIMI
an Islamic fundamentalist organisation, which seeks ‘liberation of India’
through conversion of the country into an Islamic land, was founded in Aligarh
in April 1977 as the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. It later spread
its network in various states, including Maharashtra.
to the alleged involvement of SIMI members in several terror cases in the
country, a ban was imposed on the organisation in 2001 under the Prevention of
Terrorism Act (POTA). SIMI was declared an unlawful group under section 3 of
the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1963.
about the constitution of the tribunal was published in newspapers across the
country. It had invited organisations, government agencies and general public
to file affidavits with relevant information. Several affidavits have been
filed before the tribunal by police and public.
or organisations arguing against the ban are given an opportunity to submit
their say and cross-examine those who have filed affidavits supporting the ban.
About 50 affidavits have so far been filed before the tribunal, of which only
two came from the public, including one from a former general secretary of SIMI
in Uttar Pradesh and another by Pune-based Anjum Inamdar of Mulnivasi Muslim
tribunal has been conducting hearings on the affidavits in various cities.
Advocate Rajesh Ranjan, a lawyer representing the Ministry of Home Affairs
before the tribunal, said that so far,hearings had taken place in Delhi, Tamil
Nadu, Telangana and Maharashtra. Hearings will be conducted in other states as
close to the terrorists reported that Jolani has on Friday called on the
so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) to attack the Syrian army in Aleppo to reduce
pressure on militants in Hama and Idlib, saying that his militants might
experience a major defeat otherwise.
terrorist ringleader also said that he will not permit Aleppo to collapse like
Eastern Ghouta of Damascus, stressing continued battle against the Syrian army.
despite the 72-hour ceasefire in Lattakia, Hama and Idlib, the terrorists
stationed in Idlib and Northern Lattakia launched rocket attacks on the towns
of al-Sharashir and al-Hawiz, killing and wounding a number of civilians.
Syrian army forces, in response, targeted the terrorists' positions with
artillery and missile fire, destroying a number of their platforms for
had also on Tuesday asked for terrorist groups' help to save his last remaining
bases in Northern Hama as the Syrian Army continued rapid advances in the
Syrian Army troopers backed by artillery and air force units engaged in heavy
clashes with Tahrir al-Sham terrorists in Northwestern Hana, taking control of
the villages of al-Tobeh, Sheikh Idriss, Jab Suleiman and Rasm al-Ahmar Farms,
Wadi Tal Havash to West of Kafar Naboudeh town.
Arabic-language Al-Watan newspaper, meantime, reported that as the Syrian Army
continues advances in Northern Hama, Al-Jolani called on all terrorists to go
to contact lines with the Syrian Army in Northern Hama to defend Tahrir
al-Sham's remaining bases there.
Syrian Army's air defense systems downed an Israeli regime’s drone near
Damascus on Friday night, SANA news agency quoted a military source as saying.
source noted that the Syrian air defense detected hostile targets coming from
the direction of Quneitra and intercepted them.
a relevant development earlier, SANA reported that aerial defenses targeted
luminous objects coming from the occupied territories, shooting down a number
the Arabic-language version of Russian Sputnik News Agency quoted a Syrian
security source as saying that the Syrian Army's air defense systems downed an
Israeli drone that had entered Syria from Southwestern Damascus.
source pointed to firing surface-to-air missiles at offending targets in
Southwestern Damascus near Syria-Lebanon-Golan triangle, and said that the
Syrian Army's air defense systems had confronted six targets and downed a
number of them.
Declared in Northern Syria After Terrorists' Heavy Defeat from Army
Arabic-language version of the Russian Sputnik News Agency quoted a battlefield
commander as saying that truce has been announced in battlefronts of Idlib,
Hama and Lattakia for the next three days.
no further details of the reasons and the manner of implementing the truce have
the meantime, the Syrian Army troops warded off attacks by Tahrir al-Sham
al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists on the
towns of al-Masaseneh, al-Sahrieh and al-Amiqeh in Northwestern Hama, forcing
them to retreat after killing a large number of the militants.
the Syrian Army took full control of most vital military bases in Northern Hama
after inflicting heavy losses on a large number of battlefield commanders.
a relevant development on Thursday, the Syrian Army's fresh soldiers and
military equipment arrived in Lattakia to capture a strategic region as other
units of the army are in operation in the Northeastern part of the province.
Syrian Army has recently dispatched a large number of its special forces
together with military hardware to Kabane region in Northeastern Lattakia.
Syrian Army plans to impose control over the Strategic Kabane region. The
army's artillery units have pounded the military positions of Tahrir al-Sham
al-Hay'at in Kabane region and its surrounding hilltops over the past two days,
destroying several of their positions and tunnels.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reiterated the strong relations between Egypt
and Saudi Arabia and said that current challenges necessitate close
coordination in order to confront all threats aimed at regional security and
asserted Egypt’s solidarity with the government and people of Saudi Arabia
against all attempts seeking to undermine the Kingdom’s security and stability
during his meeting on Saturday with Saudi Ambassador to Egypt Osama al- Nugali.
Radi, the spokesman for the Egyptian Presidency, said that the Saudi Ambassador
conveyed the greetings of the Saudi King and Crown Prince. The Ambassador also
passed on an invitation to Sisi to take part in the upcoming 14th session of
the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Summit, scheduled for the end of May in
Bahrain warned its citizens on Saturday against travel to Iraq and Iran and
asked those already there to return “immediately” for their safety, state news
agency BNA said.
Bahrain foreign ministry cited, “unstable regional circumstances, dangerous
developments and potential threats,” according to BNA.
warning comes amid simmering tensions between the United States and Iran.
Arabia wants to avert war in the region but stands ready to respond with
"all strength and determination" following last week's attacks on
Saudi oil assets, the Kingdom's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel
al-Jubeir said in a press conference on Sunday.
has threatened the world’s economic interest through threatening to close the
maritime routes, and has conducted terrorist operations in Saudi and the
region,” he said.
accused Iran of seeking to destabilize the region and urged the international
community to take responsibility to stop the Islamic republic from doing so.
will issue a statement on the attack near the UAE coast,” he said. “The GCC
countries are working with the US to ensure the security of the region.”
said that the world “perceives the IRGC as a terrorist organization.”
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not want a war in the region nor does it seek
that," al-Jubeir told a news conference.
will do what it can to prevent this war and at the same time it reaffirms that
in the event the other side chooses war, the kingdom will respond with all
force and determination, and it will defend itself and its interests."
has accused Tehran of ordering Tuesday's drone strikes on two oil pumping
stations in the Kingdom, claimed by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi militias. The
attack came two days after four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were
sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.
Harakat al-Nujaba Secretary General Akram al-Kaabi says Iraq will remain part
of the "axis of resistance" despite foreign-backed attempts to detach
the Iraqi society from the regional developments.
enemies want Iraq to be an apathetic society and not react to what is happening
in our region. This goes against our beliefs," said al-Kaabi.
stressed that based on Islamic beliefs, Iraq can’t be separated from the
greater Muslim world and the regional "resistance axis".
organizations affiliated with the Zionists, the United States and the Saudis
are managing a media war against the resistance and are seeking to target our
youth and our moral values,” he added.
popular resistance force chief added that it was unfortunate that some of
“Iraq’s elite and leaders” had been influenced by this foreign-backed trend.
our positions are based on the enemy’s media objectives, this will surely
deviate us,” he said.
Harakat al-Nujaba leader made the statements as the United States has recently
ratcheted up pressure seeking to hamper efforts of a unified front countering
foreign intervention and terrorism in the region.
week, during an unannounced visit to the Iraqi capital Baghdad, US Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo called on the Iraqi government to restrain the country’s
popular mobilization and anti-terror forces, saying that they posed a “threat”
to US interests. Washington has also notified Iraqi officials that US may even
directly attack the groups without coordinating with Baghdad if it perceived
to reporters on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi dismissed the
comments, saying that Iraq had not observed “movements that constitute a threat
to any side.”
has commonly described the popular Iraqi forces as being “Iran-backed proxies”,
despite being formally funded and incorporated into Iraq’s security forces.
such as the Harakat al-Nujaba are part of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units
(PMU), a combination of some 40 groups formed shortly after the emergence of
the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq in 2014.
the early days of the Daesh’s reign of terror, the PMU-aligned forces have
played a major role in reinforcing the Iraqi army, which had suffered heavy
setbacks in the face of initial lightning advances of the terrorists.
has currently been effectively vanquished in Iraq and Syria, with only few
remaining cells operating in isolated desert areas.
demise in the past years has prompted many Iraqi politicians to question the
US’ continued military presence in the country which was initially permitted
under the pretext of supporting and training Iraqi forces against the
have also been raised about Washington's direct or indirect support for the
terrorist group in the past years.
accounts have emerged alleging US forces conducting airlifts, weapon airdrops
and aerial support for the terror group, especially as its strength gradually
diminished in the region.
figures have also expressed concern that the US seeks to use the country’s
territory to exert pressure on Iran.
has in the past described the US’ mission in Iraq as a bid to “watch Iran”,
drawing the condemnation of Iraqi figures from across the country’s varying
political landscape and leading to calls to ban US forces from the country.
ruling Conservative Party is investigating a record number of cases related to
anti-Islam activity within its ranks as campaigners insist the party is beset
by an “institutional” problem of Islamophobia.
ITV News reported on a leaked dossier on Friday which showed that the Tory
party had received at least 110 complaints against its members involving
Islamophobia and other forms of racism.
the cases are comments made by Conservative Party members claiming that Islam a
“cult” which is being allowed to “take over” Britain. Others have called
Muslims in the UK as “infestation” who can cause “mayhem wherever they decide
plan is to turn this country into an Islamic state,” said one of the quotes in
the cases, according to the report which also said that the Tory party
authorities had not reported on 19 of the 110 cases in previous statements.
new revelations come against the backdrop of increasing reports suggesting that
senior Conservative Party politicians, including those with current or previous
jobs in the government, have tried to target the Muslims in Britain in a bid to
attract the support of the far-right and anti-immigrant voters.
trend surged last summer when former foreign minister Boris Johnson, who has a
high chance of becoming the next UK prime minister, helped hate attacks against
Muslim women with burqas increase in the country after he likened them to
“bank-robbers” and “letterboxes”.
officials in the Conservative Party have denied accusations the party is
comes as the main opposition Labour Party has been the target of a massive
media campaign over the past two years for the alleged anti-Semitic comments
made by its leadership.
ambassador to the United Kingdom Hamid Baeidinejad has said that Britain’s top
posting service company the Royal Mail has restored its operations to the
destination of Iran.
said in a tweet on Saturday that a Royal Mail cargo had reached Iran earlier in
the day and the company would announce the full restoration of its services to
the country in the near future.
postal cargo of the company arrived in Iran today. The full normalization of
the Royal Mail activities (in Iran) will be announced soon,” read part of
Baeidinejad’s post on Twitter.
envoy said the company had agreed as part of consultations last week to send
the existing cargos to the Iran destination and then begin to restore all
activities in the country.
announcement comes more than a month after the Royal Mail said it had halted
its Iran operation due to sanctions imposed by the United States. The company
said that any remaining parcel in Britain destined for Iran would be returned
to the original sender.
authorities said at the time that they would pursue the case until it is fully
resolved. Baeidinejad said Britain’s foreign ministry and other officials in
the government had expressed their shock at the decision when they received
Iran’s letter of complaint about the issue.
embassy in London said after royal mail announcement that it would envision a
channel to deliver parcels to Iran free of charge until the issue is resolved
with the British courier.
has been subject to sanctions by the United States since Washington
unilaterally withdrew from an international deal on Tehran’s nuclear activities
in May last year.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said that the European Union will continue to
reject “rhetorical provocation” against Iran as it seeks dialog with the
country to resolve a dispute on its nuclear agreement with international
a Saturday interview with German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse, Maas said that
Germany was still bemused by a US decision last year to withdraw from a 2015
international agreement on Iran’s nuclear activities.
still remains incomprehensible for us that the Americans have unilaterally
pulled out of this agreement,” said Maas.
top German diplomat said that the EU parties to Iran nuclear agreement, namely
Germany, France and Britain, believed that US strategy of imposing maximum
pressure on Tehran would go nowhere.
Europeans firmly believe that the strategy of maximum pressure on Iran won’t
help. We emphasize dialog rather than rhetorical provocation,” said Maas.
also warned against “unforeseen events” that could lead to a conflict between
Iran and the United States.
reiterated his country’s position on Iran’s recent announcement to suspend
parts of its commitments under the nuclear deal, known as the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He said Iran was supposed to observe its
full responsibilities under the JCPOA without cutting back on any of its
comments came less than two weeks after Iran announced it would halt selling
its excess enriched uranium and heavy water, as stipulated in the JCPOA, in a
bid to force parties to the agreement to respect their obligations and try to
salvage the agreement in the face of increasing US sanctions on Tehran.
inclusiveness, dialogue and a comprehensive strategic vision are the only ways
to overcome rising trends of xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism across
the globe, Turkey’s foreign minister said Friday.
attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka as well as the recent attack against a
mosque in the U.S. and many similar ones in Europe remind us of the severity of
the threat,” said Mevlut Cavusoglu.
was speaking at the 129th Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council
of Europe in Helsinki, Finland.
April 21, terrorist attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka’s capital of
Colombo left 250 people dead on Easter.
least 50 Muslim worshippers were massacred and as many injured when a white
supremacist terrorist attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on
share the [Council of Europe] secretary general’s appeal to address increased
inequality and to strengthen anti-discrimination and equality policies in
Europe, including the fight against rising xenophobia, Islamophobia,
anti-Semitism, Christianophobia, hate speech and populism,” said Cavusoglu.
democracies are at risk in the face of these trends. Attacks against places of
worship are becoming commonplace.
can only tackle these challenges with unity, inclusiveness, dialogue and a
comprehensive strategic vision,” he stressed.
thanked Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, for his
presentation and final report, which Cavusoglu said “will be remembered as his
also thank him for his sincere engagement and solidarity with Turkey during
difficult times,” he said.
support the secretary general’s position on the need to avoid creating a new
dividing line in Europe. The emphasis on equal rights and obligations of member
states is the right approach to overcome the current impasse.
and exclusion will only undermine what we have achieved in the last seven
decades,” Cavusoglu said.
weaknesses should also be addressed, he said.
objective and non-politicized use of the existing monitoring and advisory
mechanisms is essential. Political approaches undermine their credibility.
May 18 — The people should continue to abide by the laws and constitution of
the country to ensure it remains a model of unity, said Home Minister Tan Sri
needs to remain a peaceful and prosperous country, and we should not let
anything undermine our harmonious living,” he said when speaking at a programme
to inculcate noble values at Masjid Dato’ Hj Abd Ghani, Sagil Parit 2, Tangkak
here tonight. Also present was Home Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Seri Alwi
said Malaysia had succeeded in preserving its peace and harmony although the
people are of different races and religions.
the people continue to adhere to this principle, Malaysia will go on developing
to scale greater heights, he said.
said as such Muslims should draw a lesson from Ramadan to increase their
efforts as commanded by Islam to make them successful and exemplary people.
we are aware that the government is facing various challenges, including how to
enhance cooperation in the spirit of brotherhood and unity among ourselves.
should not be disputes and there should not be disunity caused by differences
in ideology and views among ourselves,” he added. — Bernama
LUMPUR • A controversy has broken out in Malaysia over postage stamps bearing a
famous local church, amid a tussle between the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government
and Malay groups.
rights group Isma, or Malaysia Muslim Solidarity group, said the issuing of a
new stamp bearing a Christian symbol was "another example of Muslims being
bullied" since PH won power in May last year.
president Aminuddin Yahaya said on Facebook: "So, if outsiders label
Malaysia as a Christian nation, we should not be angered because we have been
portrayed as such."
the post office, Pos Malaysia, said stamps showing prominent places of worship
in the country - a mosque, Hindu and Buddhist temples, a Sikh gurdwara and a
church - were first issued in November 2016. This was well before PH came to
power. The new series of five stamps was issued on May 11.
stamp features a landmark building of one of the five main religions in
Malaysia, including the St George's Church in Penang, which was singled out by
the Isma chief.
rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan wrote on Twitter: "According to Aminuddin
Yahaya, the president of Isma, Islam is being bullied because now there is a
stamp with a church. But in 2016, (Malaysia) was under Barisan Nasional. Isma
kept quiet then.
2016. Was Islam also bullied in the BN era?"
tussle is part of a wider fight between Malay and Muslim groups which back the
Umno-led BN and Parti Islam SeMalaysia. The groups are trying to weaken PH's
image among Malay voters.
groups are pushing the narrative that Malaysia's majority race - the Malay
Muslims who form some 60 per cent of the country's 32 million population - is
being sidelined and "bullied" since PH came to power. Also according
to this narrative, too much support is being given to the minorities -
comprising non-Muslim Chinese, Indians and other races.
Aminuddin has since deleted his post.
de facto Islamic Affairs Minister, Mr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, has urged the Muslim
community to stand up against the "corrupt narratives" of certain
groups or individuals, as such thinking does not promote Islam.
whole Muslim society must stand up against these thoughts which will lead
Muslims and Malays into backwardness," Mr Mujahid said in Penang last
Friday evening, as quoted by the Malaysiakini news site.
push by these groups against PH started when the government appointed
non-Muslims as the chief justice, attorney-general and de facto law minister
soon after it came to power, raising concerns that the moves would weaken Malay
and Muslim rights.
Mr Richard Malanjum retired as Chief Justice, he was replaced this month by a
Muslim, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, the first woman in the post. But the
appointment was largely ignored by these critics.
JAYA: A political scientist has called out government hypocrisy in its action
against a Shia group, and questioned if the Islamic principle of Rahmatan lil
‘Alamin, or “mercy to all” applied to all Muslims even if some have different
the principle only mean mercy to some kinds of Muslims, and not others, said
Ahmad Fauzi Abd Hamid of Universiti Sains Malaysia. The principle was
introduced by Minister in charge of Religious Affairs in the Prime Minister’s
department Mujahid Rawa.
Fauzi’s remarks was made in response to action taken against a supposed Shia
group distributing leaflets entitled “Who is Hussain”, referring to the
grandson of Prophet Muhammad, and the central figure in Shia Islam.
Inspector-General of Police, Abdul Hamid Bador, said recently that police would
work with religious authorities to stop the group which has been seen as
promoting Shia Islam. “This is irresponsible and goes against Sunni Islam,”
Fauzi said this stance had reflected the “inconsistency and hypocrisy” in the
governance and fatwa in the country.
do I say this? There’s a national fatwa discouraging the dissemination of
Salafi-Wahabism which is considered ‘unsuitable’ to Malaysia. Yet, many
Salafi-Wahabi preachers are given the free hand in Malaysia Baru,” he said.
even some within the PH government, had been known to honour controversial
televangelist Zakir Naik as a celebrity figure. Mujahid had shown support for
Naik, by having a meeting with Naik at the Federal Territories Islamic
Department office in Kuala Lumpur in March. In a posting on Facebook, Mujahid
had described Naik’s work as “inspiring”.
has been heavy criticism of Naik. Among those who have called for his
deportation has been the Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.
BARU, May 16 — Labis MP Pang Hok Liong today denied that he gave a political
speech at a mosque in his constituency recently that had earned him a rebuke
from Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
Ibrahim had earlier in a statement said he had received complaints from the
community there who were uneasy that Pang had reportedly given a speech in the
was despite repeated reminders from him and the Johor Islamic Religious
Department for mosque administrators to bar politicians from using such venues
for political activities, he said.
DAP lawmaker told Malay Mail that he was invited by Tenang assemblyman Mohd
Solihan Badri, who is also the Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation
Committee chairman, to attend the handing over of allocation for a mosque on
only gave a speech thanking the mosque committee for hosting me and also an
announcement of my RM1,000 allocation to the mosque as it is in my Labis
constituency,” said Pang when contacted.
comment came after a picture of him speaking at a mosque in Labis went viral on
a known anti-Pakatan Harapan Facebook page yesterday, where he was degraded.
said as the elected parliamentary representative he had pledged to give out
RM1,000 to mosques and RM500 to all suraus in Labis.
did I gave a political speech in the mosque at that time,” he said.
also said he was unhappy with how the incident that was sparked by posting the
Facebook page ended up with him being insulted as a dog in a mosque.
said he will lodge a police report on Saturday over the alleged insult.
Ibrahim described Pang’s act was a serious infringement of the sanctity of the
mosque, and threatened the position of Islam in the state.
Police have uncovered an alleged plot by members of an Islamic State-affiliated
group to detonate bombs in front of the offices of the General Elections
Commission, or KPU, in Central Jakarta on May 22.
Police spokesman Insp. Gen. M. Iqbal said at a press conference in Jakarta on
Friday that the militants, who are members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD),
want to use the momentum of a planned mass protest by supporters of
presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto against the KPU's announcement of the
official results of the April 17 presidential and legislative elections.
urged members of the public to avoid the area.
Friday's press conference, police presented eight suspected terrorists who
allegedly assembled several bombs to detonate by remote control among the crowd
on the day, if the planned protest materialized.
National Police's elite anti-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, has arrested 29
suspected terrorists in a series of raids in West Java, Central Java, East Java
and Lampung so far this month. One suspected terrorist detonated an explosive
device, killing himself, when police tried to arrest him.
those are seven returnees from Syria, who were arrested in raids in Central and
East Java earlier this week.
don't want there to be a crowd of people [outside the KPU offices]. Imagine if
there are just 100, how many victims there would be. We cannot underestimate
[the members of JAD]. We keep working. We cannot give any assurances whether
all members of the group have been arrested, or whether some are still out
there. Detachment 88 is continuing its work," Iqbal said.
as the National Police spokesman, urge people to not stage [the planned protest
rally] on May 22," he emphasized.
a police video seen by the Jakarta Globe, a terror suspect makes a clear
statement on the planned attack.
name is Dede Yusuf, a.k.a Jondi, a.k.a Bondan. I lead several fellow Muslim
brothers to conduct an amaliah [charity activity] on May 22 by using bombs that
I have assembled [and which will be] detonated by remote control. We all know a
crowd of people will gather [in front of the KPU offices] on that day, which I
think will be a perfect moment to conduct an amaliah [an attack], because there
will be 'parties of democracy' there, which, based on my religious perspective,
is considered a major shirk that could jeopardize one's faith as a Muslim. And
it would be a gift from Allah to me if I can be freed from such shirk,"
the suspect says in the 59-second video.
police's anti-terrorism unit has arrested 68 terror suspects in a series of
raids in Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Kalimantan since the start of this year.
Eight were killed, including a woman who blew herself and her two children up
in Sibolga, North Sumatra, in March to avoid arrest.
the suspects are affiliated with JAD, which the government has labeled a
discovered several homemade bombs containing highly explosive triaceton
triperoxide, colloquially known as "Mother of Satan," during raids in
Bekasi, West Java, in May. Five bombs have been prepared so far to be detonated
on May 22.
have also seized bows and arrows, firearms and various materials used for
deputy leader of Sudan’s military council voiced his enthusiasm for democratic
elections in front of an audience of tribal leaders and senior diplomats on
Saturday, while seeking to deflect blame for violence in Khartoum this week.
clashes threatened to derail the council’s talks with an alliance of protest
and opposition groups pushing for a swift transition to civilian rule after the
fall of former President Omar al-Bashir last month.
Hamdan Dagalo, the youthful leader of Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces
(RSF), has emerged as the most prominent member of the Transitional Military
Council (TMC) that ousted and arrested Bashir following months of protests.
widely known as Hemedti, has considerable power. His RSF are deployed across
Khartoum, and he is close to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which
between them pledged $3 billion in aid to Sudan late last month.
Saturday he spoke for nearly 20 minutes after breaking the Ramadan fast to an
audience including the top official in the US embassy and the Saudi ambassador,
as well as local and international media.
is consultation ... that’s it, we want real democracy,” he said, in a speech
punctuated by applause and laughter. “We want a man who comes in through the
ballot box ... We want free and fair elections.”
of those present were from Sudan’s western Darfur region. Human rights groups
accused militias that Hemedti commanded of genocide in the war that began there
in 2003, allegations Bashir’s government denied.
Monday and Wednesday, violence broke out in areas of Khartoum where security
forces had been trying to clear barricades erected by protesters, including
around a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry that started on April 6.
are pushing for civilian rule, and for justice over the deaths of dozens of
demonstrators since December.
accused the RSF of shooting at demonstrations last week, and witnesses saw
troops in RSF marked vehicles opening fire.
said those responsible had been found inside Khartoum University and the
people have been arrested and confessed on camera,” he said, adding that they
would be presented to the public later.
least four people were killed on Monday and dozens wounded. After at least nine
more people were wounded on Wednesday, the TMC said it was suspending the talks
for 72 hours.
are due to resume on Sunday evening. The two sides have agreed to a transition
lasting three years before elections, with a legislative council on which
opposition and protest groups would have two-thirds of the seats.
they have been split over the balance of a mixed military-civilian sovereign
council that would hold ultimate power.
along with senior allies is being held in prison in Khartoum. Hemedti said
officials from Bashir’s regime who had fled abroad would be brought back to
cannot arrest the entire National Congress Party. There is no prison that would
contain it with its seven million members,” he added, referring to Bashir’s
guards loyal to Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army were killed in an attack
Saturday claimed by ISIS, an LNA source said.
guards were also kidnapped in the attack on a checkpoint in the central region
of Zella, the same source said.
said in a brief statement that it had targeted “Haftar’s militias”.
media arm of Haftar’s LNA said in a statement a “terrorist attack” had been
repelled, but did not give any details.
raid in Zella, close to an oilfield some 800 kilometers (500 miles) southeast
of the capital Tripoli, is the third ISIS attack targeting Haftar's forces in
least nine people were killed in a May 4 attack in the southern city of Sebha,
then five days later gunmen killed two civilians in Ghodwa in southern Libya.
LNA launched an operation in January to purge southern Libya “of terrorist
groups and criminals”.
securing support from local tribes, it seized several towns.
then launched an offensive on April 4 against Tripoli, the seat of the
internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
LNA made initial gains but pro-GNA forces launched a counter-offensive,
resulting in a stalemate on the southern outskirts of the city.
fighting around Tripoli between Libya’s two main factions has created fears
that ISIS could re-emerge in the country.
extremists were pushed out of their stronghold Sirte by forces loyal to the GNA
in December 2016.
despite losing its main territory, east of Tripoli, ISIS has repeatedly shown
itself capable of launching deadly attacks.
forces loyal to the government based in Tripoli say they have received new
weapons and armored vehicles to fight off an offensive backed by the UAE, Egypt
and Saudi Arabia to seize the capital.
loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) published pictures on their
official Facebook page of what appeared to be Turkish-made Kirpi combat
are currently battling military strongman Khalifa Haftar's fighters who
launched an offensive on April 4 to take the Libyan capital and topple the GNA
government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
forces have been held back from the city center, with fighting continuing on
the outskirts of Tripoli and particularly in the southern suburbs.
a statement, the GNA said the new weaponry had been supplied “in preparation
for a vast operation to annihilate the rebels of the war criminal, the rebel
is supported by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. His forces
have deployed precision-guided Blue Arrow 7 missiles known to have been
provided to the UAE.
turn, the renegade general has accused Turkey and Qatar of supplying weapons to
GNA spokesman had told reporters earlier in May that Turkey and other countries
would be delivering military and humanitarian assistance.
United Nations has warned that Haftar's offensive risks thrusting Libya into a
full-blown civil war as foreign backers of the warring sides send arms
shipments despite a UN arms embargo on the North African state.
least 400 people have been killed in the offensive which Haftar had predicted
to lead to a quick victory in the capital.
the offensive ground to a halt on the outskirts of Tripoli, the UN has called
for a ceasefire but officials say neither side is prepared for a truce.
close to Haftar have said his so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) would be
willing to accept a ceasefire without withdrawing its forces from the outskirts
of Tripoli, something PM Sarraj has rejected.
United Nations has characterized Haftar’s push to seize Tripoli as an attempted
has denounced Haftar as an “aspiring military dictator”, saying his US-allied
backers were turning Libya into a proxy battleground, risking a war with global
implications and further mass migration to Europe.
President Donald Trump, in a phone call with the renegade general last month,
"recognized Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism
and securing Libya's oil resources."
disclosure of the call prompted thousands of people in Tripoli to hold a
protest against the United States and its meddling in their country.
European countries, such as France and Italy, have also supported Haftar.
Earlier this month, the general met Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and
was expected to meet French President Emmanuel Macron.
LNA has almost two-thirds of the country and all of its oilfields under
control, and some observers see the West's urge to court Haftar driven by their
thirst for Libya's oil.
has been the scene of fighting between rival groups since the ouster of
long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 after a popular revolt and a Western
guards were killed and four others were kidnapped early on Saturday in a
suspected Daesh attack targeting Libya's Zella oilfield, a security source
attackers struck at an entrance gate to the field, which lies near the town of
Zella about 760 km (470 miles) southwest of the capital, Tripoli. They killed
the two guards before fleeing, the source and local residents asking not to be
named told Reuters.
claimed responsibility for the attack through its Aamaq news agency later on
Zella field belongs to Zueitina Oil Company, which pumped 19,000 barrels per
day on average in the last quarter of 2018 across all its fields.
engineer told Reuters workers at the field were safe and facilities had not
National Oil Corporation (NOC) chief said on Saturday continued instability in
the country could cause it to lose 95 percent of oil production.
in Saudi Arabia ahead of a ministerial panel gathering on Sunday of top OPEC
and non-OPEC producers, Mustafa Sanalla also confirmed the Zella attack.
has been active in Libya in the turmoil since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi
in 2011. The militant group took control of the coastal city of Sirte in 2015
but lost it late in 2016 to local forces backed by US air strikes.
the last two years, the group has targeted three state institutions in Tripoli,
home of UN-backed government of national accord led by Prime Minister Fayez
has dispatched scores of militiamen, most of them under the age of 18, to fight
alongside Saudi-led military forces against Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah fighters,
a report says.
Arabic-language Sout al-Hamish daily newspaper, citing an unnamed informed
source, reported on Saturday that 600 Sudanese fighters had been flown late
last month from Nyala Airport in southwestern Sudan to Yemen.
source added that the Sudanese fighters had received training for only four
months at the Dumaya camp in Nyala, the paratrooper training camp in the
capital Khartoum as well as the al-Jili camp north of Khartoum before being
sent to battle fronts in Yemen.
though Sudan's long-time President Omar al-Bashir was toppled in April after
months of public protests, the military council that runs the country follows
suit and continues to dispatch soldiers to fight at the front line of war in
all the Sudanese fighters appear to come from the battle-scarred and
impoverished region of Darfur, where some 300,000 people were apparently killed
and 1.2 million displaced during a dozen years of conflict over diminishing
arable land and other scarce resources.
of the militia belong to paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, a tribal militia
previously known as the Janjaweed.
are reports that Sudanese fighters are sent to battles in the Midi Desert of
the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajjah, the Khalid bin Walid camp in
Ta’izz, or around Aden and Hudaydah.
of those interviewed by foreign media outlets confirm that they have fought in
Yemen only for money, as they were paid in Saudi riyals. Payments to the
mercenaries are said to be deposited directly into the Faisal Islamic Bank of
Sudan, which is partly owned by Saudis.
November, the spokesman for Yemen's Ansarullah movement, Mohammed Abdul-Salam,
referred to the deaths of several Sudanese mercenaries in the strategic western
Yemeni province of Hudaydah, saying they were "victims of their government
being on the payroll in a cruel and senseless war."
warned that Yemen would turn into a "graveyard" for invaders.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah
to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project
(ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has
claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
Nigerian army has opened fire on protesters demanding the release of top Muslim
cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been held for four years on trumped-up
people were seriously injured after being shot by soldiers at the rally on Friday
protesters were calling for justice for the leader of Islamic Movement in
Nigeria (IMN), who has been held since December 2015 following a deadly raid by
the Nigerian army troops on his residence in the country’s northern Kaduna
Zakzaky, who is in his mid-sixties, lost his left eyesight in the raid. His
wife also sustained serious wounds while more than 300 of his followers and
three of his sons were killed in the violence.
cleric has been kept in custody along his wife and a large number of his
followers ever since.
in 2016, Nigeria’s federal high court ordered his unconditional release from
jail following a trial but the government has so far refused to set him free.
legal team has long called for his release, saying he is suffering from health
issues that require urgent medical care abroad but the state high court in
Kaduna has denied the request.
group of medical experts and consultants, who conducted health assessments on
Zakzaky and his wife earlier this month, suggested that the two need to be
taken abroad without further delay for treatments.
cleric and his wife were unable to attend a court hearing back in March this
year, due to dire health conditions, according to their lawyer Femi Falana SAN.
Over the past 30 years, the Sudanese people have lived under the repressive
regime of Omar Al-Bashir. But, since the surge of protests that began in the
city of Atbara on Dec. 19, in what was to become the start of the Sudanese
revolution, citizens hoped that this Ramadan might be the first for many years,
and for some, of their entire lives, without the president.
that dream has been realized.
Bashir’s rule, poverty stalked the country, but despite the increase in
destitution, the values of solidarity and compassion remained strong throughout
Sudanese society. Now, as the revolution enters its next phase, those traits
sit-in in front of the General Command of the Sudanese Armed Forces represents
the largest manifestation yet of solidarity and compassion among the general
public, who have made this latest protest a symbol of their desire to form a
civil government, and turn the country toward the path of democracy and
of Sudanese have marched to the rallies, with families arriving hand-in-hand,
including their young children in tow, carrying food and drink to prepare for
iftar in the courtyard.
turnout includes hundreds of Sudanese from voluntary organizations providing
Ramadan meals to the fasting protesters, and even the soldiers guarding the
building, painting a colorful picture of the true spirit of the holy month.
most prominent charity leader in Sudan, Fares Al-Nour, who was arrested before
the overthrow of the Bashir regime, says two centers have been established
within the sit-in to supply protesters and soldiers alike for iftar.
Eddin Sulaiman, an activist, told Arab News that this year’s Ramadan came with
the “flavor of the revolution” and that the Sudanese people were expressing joy
that the holy month had arrived with Bashir and his regime forced to go.
Libya: Libyan officials say Daesh militants have killed at least three troops
in an attack on a checkpoint in a desert town.
statement by the self-styled Libyan National Army said the militants captured
four soldiers in the attack at the town of Zallah Saturday, but troops were
able to free three of them.
Daesh group claimed the attack.
extremist group expanded its reach in Libya after the country was plunged into
chaos following the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed Muammar Qaddafi.
Arab states approved US deployment in Persian Gulf: Report
Arabia and Persian Gulf states reportedly gave the green light to the US
deploying its troops and warships to the region to counter what it describes as
“imminent threat” from Tehran.
announcement came Wednesday through the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, citing
unnamed senior diplomatic sources.
deployment of its aircraft carrier strike group was agreed “on the basis of
bilateral deals between the US and Arab countries of the Persian Gulf,” it
in the day, several unnamed senior US officials were cited as saying that
President Donald Trump was not seeking a military clash with the Iran.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has called for an emergency
meeting of [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) member states amid
escalation of pressure against Iran by the United States.
comments came after reports suggested the White House planned to send more than
120,000 troops to the Middle East for a potential war with Iran, an allegation
later denied by the US president.
has been at odds with the US European allies but supported by the Saudis and
Israelis ever since he pulled out last year of an international agreement on
Iran’s nuclear energy.
US president has reportedly ordered his administration to avoid a military
confrontation with Iran.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday
that recent US words and actions had harmed the interests of China and its
enterprises, and that Washington should show restraint, China’s foreign
to Pompeo by telephone, Wang said the United States should not go “too far” in
the current trade dispute between the two sides, adding that China was still
willing to resolve differences through negotiations, but they should be on an
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement that Pompeo
spoke with Wang and discussed bilateral issues and US concerns about Iran, but
gave no other details.
between Washington and Tehran have increased in recent days, raising concerns
about a potential US-Iran conflict. Earlier this week the United States pulled
some diplomatic staff from its Baghdad embassy following attacks on oil tankers
in the Gulf.
struck a more aggressive tone in its trade war with the United States on
Friday, suggesting a resumption of talks between the world’s two largest
economies would be meaningless unless Washington changed course.
tough talk capped a week that saw Beijing unveil fresh retaliatory tariffs, US
officials accuse China of backtracking on promises made during months of talks,
and the Trump administration level a potentially crippling blow against one of
China’s biggest and most successful companies.
United States announced on Thursday it was putting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd,
the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker, on a blacklist that could make it
extremely hard to do business with US companies.
US Commerce Department then said on Friday it may soon scale back restrictions
on Huawei. It said it was considering issuing a temporary general license to
“prevent the interruption of existing network operations and equipment.”
beneficiaries of this license could, for example, include telecoms providers in
thinly populated parts of US states such as Wyoming and Oregon that purchased
network equipment from Huawei in recent years.
House Democrats will hear from former CIA director John Brennan about the
situation in Iran, inviting him to speak next week amid heightened concerns
over the Trump administration’s sudden moves in the region.
an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, is scheduled to talk to House
Democrats at a private weekly caucus meeting Tuesday, according to a Democratic
aide and another person familiar with the private meeting. Both were granted
anonymity to discuss the meeting.
invitation to Brennan and Wendy Sherman, the former State Department official
and top negotiator of the Iran nuclear deal, offers counterprogramming to the
Trump administration’s closed-door briefing for lawmakers also planned for
Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Democratic lawmakers are likely to attend both
Trump administration recently sent an aircraft carrier and other military
resources to the Arabian Gulf region, and withdrew nonessential personnel from
Iraq, raising alarm among Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill over
the possibility of a confrontation with Iran.
in recent days downplayed any potential for conflict. But questions remain
about what prompted the actions and many lawmakers have demanded more information.
and Brennan have clashed openly, particularly over the issues surrounding the
special counsel’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Brennan
stepped down from the CIA in 2017.
president last year said he was revoking the former spy chief’s security
credentials after Brennan was critical of Trump’s interactions with Russian
President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Helsinki. Top national security
officials often retain their clearance after they have left an agency as a way
to provide counsel to their successors. It’s unclear if Brennan actually lost
Afghans deserve to have peace and presidential polls, the US special envoy to
the country said on Saturday.
Khalilzad, who is the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation,
previously indicated that the election needed to be held after the successful
conclusion of peace talks with the Taliban.
he said that preparations for the polls must go ahead even as he attempted to
reach a negotiated political settlement with the militant group.
recent days, a few commentators have raised questions about our priorities in
#Afghanistan. A peace process that delivers a political settlement is the
priority. Afghans want #peace above all,” Khalilzad tweeted. “But wanting peace
does not preclude Afghans from demanding preparations for a credible
presidential election. Election planning must go forward as we pursue the peace
standing against the incumbent Ashraf Ghani are concerned about the
government’s ability to hold the polls, especially since the results of a
parliamentary election in October were announced months later and there was no
voting in one province due to it being under Taliban control.
presidential election is due to be held on Sept. 28. It has been delayed twice.
Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells said last week there needed to be free
and timely presidential elections, while on Friday the US Ambassador to
Afghanistan John R. Bass urged the election commission “to prepare for
presidential elections quickly and efficiently.”
analysts say the insistence on presidential elections, in particular from
Khalilzad, show that the US is losing hope about a successful outcome with the
Americans have reached the conclusion that their talks with the Taliban will
not quickly produce a result and that if elections cannot be held then that
will show the total failure of the US in Afghanistan,” Waheed Mozhdah told Arab
they now insist on holding the elections. But, from the other side, they want
to pass on a message to the Taliban that we have returned to the past and now
want elections and he (Khalilzad) wants to put pressure on the Taliban this way
said the US-Taliban talks ended without success because Khalilzad wanted to
keep some US troops in Afghanistan, while the Taliban was demanding a total
Amarkhail, a retired general, said the US had become fed up with the lack of
progress over the foreign troop issue.
they (Americans) now want the elections so there is a government in place when
they have lost hope in the talks with the Taliban,” he told Arab News.
Friday, the Palestinian foreign minister Riyad Al Maliki made a last-minute
plea to US President Donald Trump to reconsider the so-called Middle East peace
plan devised by his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Speaking at Chatham House in
London, Mr Al Maliki urged European countries to support Palestinians in their
efforts to alter the terms of the deal. He also revealed that at a secret
retreat, held in Dublin in February, European and Arab envoys had drawn up a
letter to the US president. The message, which was sent by the Irish foreign
minister Simon Coveney, aimed to persuade the US to review its current
approach, which, according to Mr Al Maliki, promises to give a “stamp of
approval to Israel’s colonial policies”.
the content of Mr Trump’s much-touted “deal of the century” will be revealed
next month. Given the president’s close ties to Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu and the US administration’s record of pro-Israel policies, there is
little chance that the plan will bring peace to the region. In the past
year-and-a-half, Mr Trump has taken a series of unilateral decisions that have
been detrimental to Palestinians. These include the decision to move the US
embassy to Jerusalem, declaring the divided city Israel’s capital, slashing
hundreds of millions of dollars in funds to the United Nations Relief and Works
Agency, and recognising the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli. After narrowly
winning an election in April, Mr Netanyahu presides over the most right-wing
government in Israeli history. Mr Trump’s plan is expected to legitimise
further Israel’s aggressive settlement of Palestinian land and its brutal
oppression of the Palestinian people. Many believe it will be the final nail in
the coffin of Palestinian statehood – a prospect that threatens to destabilise
the entire region.
authorities prevented 84 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar from attempting a
perilous boat journey to Malaysia, officials said Saturday.
in Pekua said 67 Rohingya Muslims from Kutupalong -- the largest refugee
settlement in the world -- were stopped as they waited to board a fishing
trawler. They included 31 women and 15 children.
Saint Martin's, a small Bangladesh island in the Bay of Bengal, the country's
coast guard stopped 17 other Rohingya and five Bangladeshi traffickers before
they could board a rickety fishing boat.
Islam Mondol, the regional coast guard commander, said they were acting on a
740,000 Muslim minority Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since a
brutal military crackdown began in August 2017.
joined another 300,000 Rohingya already living in overcrowded camps in the
Cox's Bazar area following previous bouts of violence.
of refugees attempt to flee the camps each year in pursuit of better
opportunities in countries such as Malaysia and Thailand.
frequently spend their life savings to embark on dangerous boat journeys they
believe will improve their lives, but many fall prey to international human
attempt the journey before March, when the sea is calm before the monsoon
season sets in, but experts say traffickers are now convincing the refugees to
attempt the crossing even in rough waters.
is a very alarming situation," Jishu Barua, an aid worker specialising in
trafficking, told AFP.
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay
Khalilzad has said election planning must go forward amid peace efforts.
recent days, a few commentators have raised questions about our priorities in
#Afghanistan. A peace process that delivers a political settlement is THE
priority. Afghans want #peace above all else,” Ambassador Khalilzad said in a
he emphasized “But wanting peace does not preclude Afghans from demanding
preparations for a credible presidential election. Election planning must go
forward as we pursue the peace Afghans deserve.”
Presidential elections are scheduled for 28th of September this year, according
to Independent Election Commission.
U.S. Embassy in Kabul had earlier urged the authorities to turn their attention
to preparing for the September presidential elections while welcoming the
finalization of Kabul parliamentary election results.
urge the IEC to turn its attention to preparing for the September presidential
election, including putting forward a budget request aligned with an
appropriate operational plan, hiring and training sufficient staff to complete
voter registration and preparations, and coordinating with the security
ministries,” the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in a statement.
Afghan military in the East says an explosion in eastern Kunar province has
killed a local Taliban commander.
201st Silab Corps said the incident took place in Dangdam district on Saturday.
201st Silab Corps said the Taliban commander who was killed in the explosion
has been identified as Bilal.
was involved in roadside bombings and other terrorist related activities in
Dangam district, the 201st Silab Corps said, adding that explosion also wounded
Afghan National Army and Special Operations forces carried out separate
operations in the past 24 hours leaving at least ten Taliban militants dead.
military sources said Saturday that the Army and Special Operations forces
conducted the operations in northern Kunduz and southern Kandahar provinces.
Special Forces conducted a raid in Khan Abad district of Kunduz province
killing 5 Taliban fighters and destroying 4 rocket propelled grenades,” the sources
military officials also added that the 205th Corps conducted an operation in
Khakrez district of Kandahar province killing at least 5 Taliban fighters.
An Afghan official says that a bomb blast in the western province of Herat has
killed at least two people, including a child.
Farhad, a spokesman for the province’s governor, says that 14 people were
wounded in Saturday morning’s attack in the Obe area, including the district
said that a remotely controlled bomb went off when the district chief’s vehicle
was passing by the area’s main market.
one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
destroy Christian graves in Pak Punjab
In an act of wanton violence against Christian symbols, unknown miscreants have
attacked a cemetery in Okara district of Punjab province, destroying over 30
graves and defacing crosses fixed on others.
vandalism took place on May 12 and was discovered by catechist Samson Masih and
other locals when they visited the graveyard following Sunday prayer service.
the desecration, a complaint against unknown individuals was registered with
police. Most of the Christian graves and crosses in the graveyard are made of
precious stones, wood and bricks.
is very sad to see that some people attacked our cemetery. They broke crosses
and damaged graves. It is an offence to our faith and our religious feelings
have been hurt. The guilty must be arrested,” said James Bahadur, the priest of
Saint Anthony Church in Okara.
action of vandalism has spread terror in the city and our people are afraid. It
is an act carried out by fundamentalists to sow hatred among people of various
faiths,” the priest said, adding that the cemetery was more than 100 years old
and the oldest tomb there dated back to 1903.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl central naib emir Maulana Fazal Ali on Saturday said
the time had come for launching a full-fledged campaign against Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf government over its wrong policies.
to Dawn here, he said JUI-F, Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz were expected to launch a joint campaign after Eidul Fitr because
not only economy but the entire system was in danger.
is ripe for launching a campaign against the government and once we reach
Islamabad we won’t return till overthrow of the government,” he declared. Mr
Ali said there was difference between running the government affairs and making
high and hollow pledges and slogans.
country’s economy is in turmoil despite the fact that the government managed
about $8 billion from UAE, Saudi Arabia and China, said Maulana Ali.
said the prices of essential commodities would be increased further after the
new budget because IMF had called for imposition of new taxes to get its money
JUI-F leader said the oil and gas prices had increased; inflation was highest
in the last five years, electricity rates had jumped, and life of middle class
had become miserable.
claimed that the opposition parties would launch a full-fledged campaign
against the government to save the country and poverty-stricken people who had
attached great expectations with the PTI.
Minister Imran Khan and his clique won’t be allowed to play with the fate of
the country and its people any further,” he remarked.
Ali, who was provincial education minister during Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal
government, said upcoming federal budget would further push the poor against
talking to reporters in Nowshera, leaders of opposition parties hinted at
starting an agitation movement against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government
for its ‘failed’ policies.
Peoples Party leader Khan Pervez Khan said the party would launch a movement
against the government after Eidul Fitr as people were hit by sky rocketing
prices of commodities. He said the government had destroyed the economy through
ill-planning. Pakistan Muslim League-N, Nowshera general secretary, Masheetur
Rehman said the government was trying to suppress the opposition parties
through NAB and FIA. He said the government had multiplied miseries of people
instead of resolving them.
criticised the initiation of a corruption case against the son of party’s
provincial president Ameer Muqam. He said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif
had put the country on the path of progress.
said the ‘selected’ prime minister was talking about accountability of
opposition leaders, but had avoided mentioning the corruption in Malam Jabba
and BRT projects.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has said that judges
like former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry should also go
through the process of accountability.
a tweet posted on Saturday, the minister wrote: “As a result of two verdicts of
the former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry and giving $100 million
to lawyers as their fees, the country now faces a fine of $1.4 billion.”
incompetent judge can be very problematic. A change is needed in the process
through which judges are appointed,” he added.
to Dawn, the minister said that the topic had come under discussion in the last
cabinet meeting. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has formed a committee comprising
the attorney general and law ministry officials to suggest accountability
measures for judges,” he said.
Tuesday, the federal cabinet was informed that the country had paid over $100m
in international litigation during the last three years of the government led
by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Prime Minister Khan had taken
cognizance of spending huge amounts on international legal proceedings and
formed a committee headed by the law minister to review them so as to avoid
such expenditure in future.
2018, Fawad Chaudhry on behalf of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had asked
the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to launch an investigation against the
ex-CJP and his family for allegedly receiving benefits in the scam of a failed
private housing scheme, Eden Housing, in Lahore.
a letter, Fawad Chaudhry had requested the NAB chairman to take action against
Iftikhar Chaudhry, otherwise questions would be raised about the impartiality
should be taken against Iftikhar Chaudhry, his daughter, son-in-law and the
father of his son-in-law for allegedly cheating innocent people who had
invested their hard-earned money in the Eden Housing Scheme,” he had stated.
The Sindh Assembly on Saturday revived the Police Order, 2002 by repealing the
colonial-era Police Act, 1861, prompting a walkout by the three major
opposition parties that were part of a select committee to examine the draft
several other structural changes, establishment of public safety commissions at
district and provincial levels are said to be the most significant part of the
Sindh (Repeal of the Police Act, 1861 and Revival of Police Order, 2002)
Amendment Act, 2019, was moved in the house with five of the 15 members of the
select committee refusing to sign it.
Police Order, 2002 was first enforced by the former military dictator retired
Gen Pervez Musharraf.
abstains from voting
members from the treasury benches, including committee’s convener Ismail Rahu,
and two representatives from smaller opposition parties — the Muttahida
Majlis-i-Amal and the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan — had duly signed the draft.
of the Opposition Firdous Shamim Naqvi of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and his
parliamentary party leader Haleem Adil Shaikh, Khwaja Izharul Hasan and
Mohammad Hussain of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and Shaharyar Mahar
of the Grand Democratic Alliance did not sign the document.
when the draft law was moved in the house, the members of the PTI, MQM-P and
GDA began protesting against what they called the “improper” way it had been
written without properly listening to the opposition members.
parliamentary leaders and other members of those opposition parties gathered
close in front of the speaker’s rostrum and began shouting slogans.
Agha Siraj Durrani said the same members’ conduct brought “humiliation” to the
provincial legislature. “They don’t come here for the betterment of the people
of Sindh, but only to spoil the time of this august house,” he remarked.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla began reading the bill
clause by clause as the opposition members kept chanting slogans.
a while, they walked out of the house while the three members of the MMA and
the TLP stayed in the house.
bill was later passed unanimously in the absence of the opposition.
GDA’s Mahar came and sat for a while before his party colleagues came. Later, a
number of members of the PTI and MQM-P also returned.
house was informed that the Police Order 2002 was revived as it stood on July
13, 2011 with amendments “to define the role of police, its duties and
responsibilities and in the public interest”.
passage of the bill, Mr Rahu appreciated the opposition for their inputs in the
new law. GDA’s Mahar said he wanted to congratulate the house for restoring a
law which was the brainchild of a dictator. He said the opposition was busy in
writing its vote of dissent, but the government moved it without waiting for
the opposition’s input.
govt can sack IGP before completion of term
law will give operational and administrative autonomy to the police while
simultaneously establishing a mechanism for oversight on powers, assignments
and function of police by the government and public safety commissions and for
redressal of public complaints,” the house was told.
the new law, the tenure of the inspector general of police will be three years;
and the provincial government “may repatriate, or the federal government may,
on its own accord recall, an IGP”.
the provincial public safety commission would recommend to the government for
repatriation of IGP before completion of tenure of three years for
“unsatisfactory performance of duties”.
provincial safety commission’s recommendation for the IGP’s repatriation should
not be before given a proper hearing to the person holding the top post.
the duties of police, it could apprehend a person on legal grounds but it is
bound to inform about the arrest to a person of the detainee’s choice.
can “enter and inspect without a warrant on reliable information any public
place, shop or gaming-house where alcoholic drinks or narcotics are sold or
weapons are legally stored and other public places of resort of loose and
safety bodies to be set up across province
to the new law, a Provincial Public Safety and Police Complaints Commission
would be established for oversight of the police department and redressing
public complaints against it.
commission would be composed of 12 members and ex-officio chairperson. Half of
its members would be nominated by the speaker of the provincial assembly from
amongst its members — four from the treasury and two from the opposition. Such
members, however, should not be members of the standing committee of the Sindh
Assembly on home affairs.
other half, with at least two women, would comprise of independent members who
will be appointed by the government on the recommendation of the selection
panel. Home minister would be chairperson of the commission.
selection panel for independent panel would be headed by the chief secretary
while one member each would be nominated by the chief minister and the leader
of the opposition.
other functions ie oversight of the department and formulation of future
strategies for better policing, it will also coordinate with and guide such
commissions running at district levels.
district public safety and police complaints commission would be established.
Chairperson of a district commission would be elected by the members among
themselves for three years.
district commission would approve an annual district policing plan prepared by
the senior superintendent of police, while entertaining public complaints would
be among its key functions.
kids among 550 tested HIV positive in Larkana alone PTI’s Shaikh spoke over the
burning issue vis-à-vis incidence of HIV in the province.
Minister Azra Pechuho said tests of 15 children of Larkana who had earlier been
confirmed as patients of HIV showed that five of them were HIV positive while
another three returned negative signs. One of those children had died while the
whereabouts of the remaining children could not be found.
Teachers of the model as well as federal government (FG) colleges have been
directed by their principals to donate up to Rs2,000 for about 5,000
out-of-school children who were recently enrolled in different schools in the
children lack uniforms, schoolbags and other items.
up to Basic Pay Scale (BPS) 16 will have to pay Rs1,000 each and those in BPS
17 and above Rs2,000 as each principal has been directed by the education
ministry to arrange Rs200,000. As principals have made it mandatory to donate
and lists have been prepared, we have no option but to pay,” a teacher of a
model college told Dawn requesting anonymity.
said if there was a government policy to collect money from teachers for the
children, the government should directly deduct it from their salaries.
are already facing severe financial issues but are being forced to donate in
cash. How the amount received in cash would be audited and how we would be satisfied
that the money would not end up in pockets of bureaucrats,” he asked.
contacted, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood told Dawn that during a meeting
held on Friday (May 17) he had directed the principals that contribution would
be collected on a voluntarily basis.
teachers should file a complaint with me if any principal forces them to pay
donations,” he said.
I have donated Rs25,000 and some officers of the ministry have donated up to
Rs5,000 each. The principals have been advised to ask their employees if they
want to donate but no teacher should be forced,” he said.
minister said out-of-school children were in miserable conditions and they
lacked uniforms, schoolbags and other items.
is why it was decided to collect donations for them.
principals are forcing teachers to pay donations, the teachers should lodge a
complaint with me and I will take strict action as no one should be forced to
donate,” Mr Mahmood said.
a teacher said initially principals of 34 model and federal government colleges
had been directed to pool in Rs200,000 each but the principals sought a
direction in writing to avoid audit objections as the amount had to be paid
from the students’ fund. As a result, the proposal could not be materialised.
they were directed to collect donations and hand over the amount to Area
Education Officer Hafiz Ehsan. We are already suffering and cannot afford to
pay,” he said.
representative of the Federal Government College Teachers Association, requesting
not to be quoted, said out-of-school children campaign was abrupt and
various parameters, this was started in order to attract the media. The
population of Islamabad is increasing. There is no increase in the number of
government schools for the last over six years. The government should focus on
quality, not quantity,” he said.
official of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) said efforts had been
made to address the issue of out-of-school children for the last a few years.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was approached and on its
recommendations a model was devised under which out-of-school children would be
divided into four groups. Children from five to seven years would be admitted
to class one, from eight to nine and 10 to 12 years to the advanced accelerated
quality learning programme and within one year they would be taught to appear
in primary school exam. Moreover, children in the age group of 13 to 15 years
would be given vocational training,” he said.
many as 2,500 teachers, 50 from each union council, were shortlisted for
training and a number of non-government organisations were contacted to provide
uniforms, schoolbags. The NGOs had agreed. However, the model was not
implemented due to which NGOs did not provide funds. Now over 5,000
out-of-school children have been enrolled but they lack uniforms, schoolbags
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday said that
besides playing a positive role towards success of Afghan reconciliation
process and peace in the region, Pakistan is ready for any ‘unforeseen
this Pakistan is solidifying border through fencing, construction of new forts
and posts and increase in strength of FC troops to effectively manage the
border,” he said while visiting troops on forward posts along
Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Dawatoi in North Waziristan.
we continue to maintain required state of alertness and preparedness on our
Eastern Border,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) quoted him as
are still challenges facing Pakistan but not as much as we have passed through
in recent past. To continue the journey towards ultimate success we need to
stay patient, determined and united,” Gen Qamar maintained.
the COAS was briefed about progress on border fencing, sanitisation operation,
socio-economic development projects and rehabilitation of TDPs. This was the
area where due to cross border terrorist attack from Afghanistan on fencing
party had resulted into martyrdom of three Pakistan Army soldiers on May 1.
the United States and Afghan Taliban eye 7th round of peace talks, Pakistan
hopes a breakthrough in the dialogue could lead to a meeting between Prime
Minister Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump.
an interview with Urdu News, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said
progress in Doha talks will establish a ground for a meeting between Imran and
Trump, ushering a new era of bilateral ties between the two countries.
the minister said the meeting between the two premiers was not dependent on
peace talks, but it will be favourable [for Pakistan] if the talks move
Imran and President Trump are important personalities, he said, adding that
both countries were deeply interested in establishing peace and stability in the
sixth round of peace talks between the US negotiators and Taliban members ended
in Doha on May 9. According to the statement issued after the meeting, both
sides discussed issues they agreed in draft in their fifth round of talks and
that developments were made on some of them, not all the issues.
key issues under debate were foreign forces withdrawal, ceasefire,
counterterrorism assurances and intra-Afghan dialogue. The two sides agreed in draft on
counterterrorism assurances and foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan in
the fifth round of the talks in mid-March.
said the sixth round of the talks were “constructive and productive”. “The
sixth round of talks, in total, were positive and both sides patiently heard
each other’s views,” the statement read.
statement said both sides will discuss the issues on which developments have
been made and also on the issues no progress was made and then will start
another round of talks.
who had earlier claimed that terrorists were using Iranian soil to conduct
attacks in Pakistan, said that “some powers keep trying to create
misunderstandings between Pakistan and Iran in order to fulfil their own
attempts are made [to create misunderstandings between the two sides], Pakistan
and Iran defuse them through bilateral talks on the level of security and
intelligence agencies,” he said. He, without specifying, said there were
“powers” consider Iran a threat to the region.
to security threats being faced by Saudi Arabia, Qureshi said, “Pakistan had
stood by the kingdom whenever it was threatened and will continue to do so”.
foreign minister further said that a Pakistani delegation is currently in China
to brief the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) affiliate Asia-Pacific Group
over the steps taken by Pakistan to curb terror financing and money laundering.
expressed hope that the body will remove Pakistan from its ‘grey list’ when the
FATF meeting will be held in June.
soldiers arrest Dutch politician in Jerusalem al-Quds
Dutch politician, carrying a Palestinian flag, has been arrested by Israeli
security forces after Friday prayers in the occupied Old City of East Jerusalem
soldiers arrested Tunahan Kuzu, the leader of Dutch political party DENK and a
parliamentarian, as he was walking toward the al-Aqsa Mosque with a Palestinian
flag in his hand.
Israeli security forces also seized the Palestinian flag.
DENK party said Kuzu, who is of Turkish descent, had been taken by a large
group of heavily armed soldiers after Friday prayers and during a working visit
to Jerusalem al-Quds.
held some meetings with civil society representatives to discuss recent
developments in the region and took part in the 71st anniversary of the
Palestinian Nakba Day on Wednesday during his business trip to the occupied
city, the statement added.
commemorate May 15 as a day of Nakba or catastrophe. The event marks the forced
expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland,
following the creation of Israel in 1948 and their scattering across refugee
camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring countries.
have been running high near the fence, separating Gaza from the occupied
territories, since March which marked the start of a series of protests called
“The Great March of Return.” Palestinian protesters demand the right to return
for those driven out of their homeland.
than 300 Palestinians have been killed since then, and over 17,300 have been
designates BDS as anti-Semitic
on Friday, the German parliament voted to condemn as “anti-Semitic” a
Palestinian movement that calls for economic pressure on Israel to end the
occupation of Palestine’s territories.
a move welcomed by the Tel Aviv regime, the majority of German lawmakers in the
Bundestag voted in favor of a motion that accuses the international Boycott,
Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement of using anti-Semitic tactics to fulfill
its political goals.
argumentation patterns and methods used by the BDS movement are anti-Semitic,”
read the motion submitted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives,
their Social Democrat coalition partners as well as the Greens and Free
vote was denounced by the BDS as anti-Palestinian.
German establishment is entrenching its complicity in Israel’s crimes of
military occupation, ethnic cleansing, siege and apartheid, while desperately
trying to shield it from accountability to international law,” the BDS said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the motion in a statement on
Twitter, saying, “I hope that this decision will bring about concrete steps and
I call upon other countries to adopt similar legislation.”
BDS movement was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations and
later turned international. It is meant to initiate “various forms of boycott
against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law” and end
its occupation of Palestinian lands.
and its allies in Washington have long railed against the BDS, which calls for
people and groups across the world to cut economic, cultural and academic ties
to Tel Aviv.
year, Israel published a list of 20 organizations whose activists would be
barred from entering the occupied territories due to their support for boycott
strategic affairs ministry has been allocated $36m to combat the BDS movement.
air defenses targeted projectiles fired from the direction of Israel for the
second night in a row, Syrian state media said on Saturday.
projectiles came from “occupied territory” into the airspace in southern Syria,
state news agency SANA said, referring to territory held by Israel.
was no immediate comment from Israel, which has been more open in recent months
about targeting sites inside Syria that it says belong to Iran and its Lebanese
ally Hezbollah, both of which have forces aiding President Bashar al-Assad.
said loud blasts echoed across Damascus late on Friday, as Syrian state media
reported “enemy targets” coming from neighboring Israel.
deems Iran its biggest enemy and the heavily armed Hezbollah as the main threat
on its borders.
officials, alarmed by Tehran’s expanding clout next door, have acknowledged
carrying out scores of strikes during the eight-year conflict in Syria. Iran
and Hezbollah have played a key role in helping Assad’s army defeat rebels and
head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that his country is in a
full intelligence war with the United States and “enemies of the Islamic
Republic” which includes cyber and military operations.
are in a full intelligence war with the United States and the enemies of the
Islamic Republic. This war is a combination of psychological warfare, cyber
operations, military operations, diplomacy, fear, and intimidation,” Major
General Hossein Salami, who was named head of the force last month, was quoted
as saying by Fars news agency.
also said that the Americans are facing great risks now.
has lost its power, and even though they look powerful, they are frail,” he
said while adding: “In reality America’s story is the same as the story of the
World Trade Center that collapsed suddenly with one strike.
family of a Palestinian who died while in Turkish custody said they are still
waiting for a new medical report and autopsy to be performed before they
consent to transfer his body from Cairo to Gaza.
month, Turkey said that Zaki Mubarak, one of two Palestinian men arrested on
alleged espionage charges in April, died while in custody and called his death
a suicide. His family said Mubarak’s body showed signs of torture and have
demanded an international investigation into the case.
from a planned autopsy, Mubarak’s brother Zakaria said that they were also
waiting for a medical team’s report from the Palestinian embassy which observed
the body without performing an autopsy.
want the report so that we can take it to the International Criminal Court, the
Hague Tribunal or any other international court since it has been proven that
my brother was killed,” said Zakaria Mubarak.
to one of Mubarak’s cousins, the family has seen a lack of effort from
Palestinian authorities to monitor and follow-up on the case from the
officially demand from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian
public prosecutor to submit a report to form a judicial committee to
investigate this failure,” said Abs Mubarak.
family’s lawyer told Al Arabiya that the family is also waiting for a response
from the Egyptian Attorney General’s office to their request for an autopsy and
a new medical report.
Iraqi commander says the United States’ increased pressure and threats aimed at
Iran indicate Washington’s “new idiocy” and confusion.
al-Jazairi, a senior commander of Iraq’s Shia-majority military group known as
Hashd al-Sha’abi, made the remarks to IRNA on Saturday.
to the US's ongoing military deployments in the Persian Gulf region, Jazairi
said, “America’s new idiocy in the region shows they (the Americans) are yet to
learn from past experiences and from history and think... that Iran is a quarry
that’s happening,” he added, “shows the obvious chaos in American policies.”
who is also a member of the Political Office of Iraq’s Kata’eb Hezbollah, an
anti-terror group, was referring to the US deployment of an aircraft carrier, a
bomber task force, and an assault ship to the Persian Gulf under the pretext
that Iran poses an increased threat to the US.
is while Iran has said it has been exercising utmost restraint in the face of
the US President Donald Trump administration’s policy of “maximum pressure”
a travel advisory issued on Wednesday, the US State Department ordered
“non-emergency US government employees” in Iraq to leave its embassy in Baghdad
and its consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan
officials have reacted strongly to the provocations and advised the US against
seeking further escalation.
said things would proceed in Iran’s favor because the country enjoyed not only
domestic unity but also regional allegiances.
national army recaptured a key district from the Houthi militia in the southern
province of Dhale, the official site of the Defence Ministry reported on
the support of the Security Belt forces, the army liberated several villages in
the province, including the key district of Qataba.
Col. Abdo Ali Al-Qadi, an officer of the 83th Brigade, told September Net that
army forces launched their attack at dawn on Friday in Qataba, causing the
militia to flee in the direction of Ibb province in the west.
least 80 Houthi militiamen were killed in the clashes, including Houthi
Commander Mohammed Al-Senhani.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women
in Islam, Islamic
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism