remarkably well-preserved remains of the Caliphate city of Medina Azahara, a
medieval Arab Muslim town near the Spanish city of Cordoba, was added to
UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites on Sunday.
Media Reveal S. Arabia, UAE's Attempts to Open State Office in Jerusalem
Spain's Forgotten City Is Now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List
Tourism Back On Agenda as India, Pakistan Focus on Positives
Tehreek Fields 14 Women Candidates in Elections
Turkey’s New Islamist-Nationalist Alliance Means for the World
Egypt’s Salafi TV Shows Are Preaching Islam through Ronaldo and Messi
Attempting to Annex Occupied Lands in Northern Syria
State’s Baghdadi returns to Iraq, likely to be in western desert: Source
World League chief wins international award
State member, who recruits militants, others arrested in Nineveh
Islamic State members killed in airstrike, west of Anbar
Army Repels another Heavy Offensive of Terrorists in Northern Hama
Sixty Percent of Dara'a Province under Syrian Army's Control
Muslim Immigrants Are Treated As the ‘Ghetto’ Population In Denmark
Mounting As France Prepares To Release Jailed Islamist, Mentor To ‘Hypercacher’
Muslim Businessman to Donate Land, Cash for 51 Temples
India Are Victims of Terror from Same Source', Says Afghan Envoy To India
Virsa to Organise Muzakra Regarding Sufism in the 21st Century
Modi Directs Security Agencies and State Govts to Step up Countermeasures
against Extremism, Growing Radicalisation
Polls: Islamic Hard-Line Party Vows to Bring ‘Surprising Results’
secures Milli Muslim League's support for its chief
Abbasi condemns arrest of Qamar-ul-Islam by NAB
election: Islamic hardline party vows to bring 'surprising results'
women among 260 MML candidates
security personnel martyred in Awaran rocket attack
Stresses Crucial Role of Palestinian Cause to Islamic World
Joint Meeting Parties Welcomes Malaysia’s Withdrawal From Saudi-Led Coalition
Administration Considering Labelling Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps A
Air Force Target Large Taliban Gathering in Faryab Leaving Several Dead
Has No Excuse for The Continuation Of War, Says President Ghani
State claims responsibility for attack on Sikhs, Hindus in Jalalabad
Qaisari’s arrest could spark chaos, warns Gen. Dostum
suffer casualties in Logar suicide car bomb attack
Opposition to Seek Coalition with Islamic Party
forces to blame for Papua killings: Amnesty
ends search for dozens of victims of ferry sinking
on Rampage in Mali Force Schools to Close in Boko Haram-Style Campaign
leaders pledge to defeat Islamic extremism as Macron visits
Al-Qaida Affiliate Claims Responsibility for Mali Attack
Immigrant children face steep fees to reach their parents
Muslim Plot To Murder Children At A 4th Of July Parade
administration: 'We will not hesitate' to punish offenders; Initial sanctions
on Iran will effect
who subjected pupils to over 100 physical assaults at a mosque in Rochdale has
Court’s Decision Affirms Trump’s Animus Toward Muslims
immigration to US from all Muslim-majority countries on track to fall
Democracy Depends on Normalizing Islamist Parties
any other name: Why the ‘travel ban’ really is a Muslim ban
by New Age Islam News Bureau
(FNA)- A Palestinian media outlet disclosed joint efforts by Riyadh and Abu
Dhabi to inaugurate a joint state office in Jerusalem al-Quds near the al-Aqsa
shows UAE's attempts to purchase the building near al-Aqsa mosque was aimed at
inauguration of a joint Saudi-UAE office in al-Quds city," Palestine Today
newspaper quoted informed sources as saying on Monday.
added that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are attempting to increase presence in occupied
Quds city to rival Jordan that is in charge of the guardianship of al-Aqsa
mosque and other holy Islamic places in Quds city.
reports also said that an Emirati businessman close to the Crown Prince of Abu
Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed, is trying to buy Palestinian houses and properties
in Jerusalem (al-Quds), specially those which are close to al-Aqsa Mosque.
to the report by the Middle East Monitor, it is said that he is doing this
through a businessman from Jerusalem who’s affiliated with exiled former Fatah
leader Mohammed Dahlan.
Khatib, a former deputy leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, warned in a
statement on June 6 that the businessman offered $5 million to a local
Palestinian to buy his house adjacent to Al-Aqsa.
house owner, apparently, declined, even when the initial offer was raised to
$20m. Khatib warned that such efforts are similar to those in 2014, when
“Mohammed Bin Zayed’s regime” bought houses in Silwan and Wadi Hilwa in
occupied East Jerusalem in order to sell them to Israeli settler organizations.
Spain's forgotten city is now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List
new World Heritage sites, in order of inscription, are:
industrial city of the 20th century (Italy) – The industrial city of Ivrea is
located in the Piedmont region and developed as the testing ground for
Olivetti, manufacturer of typewriters, mechanical calculators and office
computers. It comprises a large factory and buildings designed to serve the
administration and social services, as well as residential units. Designed by
leading Italian urban planners and architects, mostly between 1930 and the
1960s, this architectural ensemble reflects the ideas of the Community Movement
(Movimento Comunità). A model social project, Ivrea expresses a modern vision
of the relationship between industrial production and architecture.
City of Medina Azahara (Spain) – The Caliphate city of Medina Azahara is an
archaeological site of a city built in the mid-10th century CE by the Umayyad
dynasty as the seat of the Caliphate of Cordoba. After prospering for several
years, it was laid to waste during the civil war that put an end to the Caliphate
in 1009-10. The remains of the city were forgotten for almost 1,000 years until
their rediscovery in the early 20th century. This complete urban ensemble
features infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water systems, buildings,
decorative elements and everyday objects. It provides in-depth knowledge of the
now vanished Western Islamic civilization of Al-Andalus, at the height of its
DELHI: Over 160 Pakistan pilgrims are likely to arrive in India on Tuesday for
the urs (death anniversary) of Amir Khusro in a sign of religious tourism being
back on India's agenda with Islamabad.
government had in the recent past said no to similar visits by Pakistan
zaireens (pilgrims) mainly because of the dispute over alleged Indian spy
Kulbhushan Jadhav who continues to be in Pakistan's custody.
sources here confirmed that visas have been issued to the pilgrims. The
decision to promote religious tourism was an important takeaway from PM
Narendra Modi's meeting with his then counterpart Nawaz Sharif in a bilateral
meeting in Russia's Ufa in 2015.
had in March this year denied visas to more than 500 Pakistani pilgrims, who
wanted to visit the shrine of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, saying that
such visits could not take place "in view of the prevailing
circumstances". Visits from pilgrims from either side take place under the
1974 Pakistan-India Protocol on Visit to Religious Shrines.
recurring diplomatic hostility, as evident from incidents of harassment
reported from both Delhi and Islamabad, the two countries have maintained
enough contact, even if unobtrusively, to ensure there's no breakdown of ties
only last week hosted a Pakistan delegation in Mumbai for a multilateral event.
The delegation was headed by Secretary of Pakistan's Economic Affairs Division
(EAD) Syed Abbas Jilani.
most significant engagement though continues to be on humanitarian issues
resulting in attempts by both sides to facilitate early release and
repatriation of prisoners and fishermen in custody.
foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had suggested to Pakistan High Commissioner
Sohail Mahmood that India and Pakistan work for the release and repatriation of
prisoners over 70 years of age and also women prisoners, Islamabad has
proposed, sources here said, that prisoners below 18 and those in the age group
of 60-70 also be released. India, which released six Pakistani prisoners last
month, is considering the proposal.
despite frequently reporting alleged cases of harassment of diplomats, both
Indian and Pakistani missions have made sincere attempts to ensure progress on
humanitarian issues. "The relationship is passing through a difficult
phase and while there is no possibility soon of any formal resumption of
dialogue, it's important to ensure that we don't lose contact," said a
diplomatic source recalled how the list of engagements in the past few months
included reaffirmation of the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding on the LoC by the
two DGMOs on May 29, and also the talks between Indian Coast Guard and Pakistan
Maritime Security agency. The two sides also allowed the resumption of track II
Neemrana Dialogue which saw an Indian delegation visiting Pakistan.
two countries had in March, agreed to resume the visits of the Joint Judicial
Committee which looks into the issues of fishermen and prisoners in each
other’s custody. The last visit by the Committee to India was in October 2013.
had said in a statement on July 1, while exchanging the lists of prisoners with
Pakistan, that it had already shared the details of the reconstituted Joint
Judicial Committee and that of the Indian medical experts team to visit
Pakistan to meet the mentally unsound prisoners.
has also been requested to allow the visit of a group of fishermen representatives
to facilitate the repatriation of Indian fishing boats, presently held in
Pakistan's custody, at the earliest," it said.
Tehreek fields 14 women candidates in elections
Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek (AAT), which enjoys the backing of Milli Muslim League
(MML), has fielded 14 women candidates for the 2018 general elections,
according to an English daily.
AAT was formed after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) refused to
register the MML, a political face of the Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaatud Dawa (JuD),
which was put on the special list of global terrorists by the United States in
AAT has awarded tickets to 14 “highly educated women” to contest the upcoming
elections from different constituencies. Some of these women were formerly
associated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party
these 14 candidates, three have been nominated for reserved seats and one for
minority seats, according to the party sources.
of the candidates, Advocate Iffat Tahira Soomro, had been the covering
candidate for PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen in NA-161 (Lodhran) in the
2013 elections. She had also led the women’s wing for the election campaign of
Iffat, who holds a master’s degree in law, was one of the founding members of
PTI’s South Punjab chapter. She has actively been involved in politics since
2007. She is also the in-charge of Punjab Commission for Women and has a grip
on women’s issues.
AAT has nominated Benazir Fatima Qureshi, a former PPP politician, for NA-181
(Muzaffargarh). Besides being an active PPP political worker, Qureshi has also
served as coordinator for Benazir Income Support Program in Muzaffargarh
district. Benezir, who belongs to the influential Qureshi family, enjoys the
support of several other communities and families in her constituency.
Dr Sanam Laghari, from the Golarachi area of Badin district of Sindh, will also
be contesting the election from the AAT platform. Dr Sanam Laghari is expected
to face stiff opposition from Sindhi nationalist parties, but she is determined
to face them in the elections.
sources have confirmed that the AAT has nominated Iqra Muzammil for NA-251
(Karachi), Rabia Mukhtar for NA-107 (Faisalabad), Iffat Tahira Soomro for
NA-161 (Lodharan) and Benazir Fatima Qureshi for NA-181 (Muzaffargarh). And for
provincial seats, Shazia Saeed has been nominated for PP-14, Shazia Kausar for
PP-83, Saira Bano for PP-149, Syeda Tahira Sheerazi for PP-151, Begum Abida
Nazeer for PP-229, and Dr Sanam Laghari for PS-74.
Bano is said to be a paternal cousin of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, the ailing wife of
former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. She hails from a notable Pehlwaan family of
Lahore and enjoys widespread support.
the politico-religious party, which has been allotted Chair as election symbol,
has nominated Humera Nausheen and Farhat Naeem for seats reserved for women in
the Punjab Assembly, while Samuel Masih has been named for a minority seat.
by Burak Bekdil
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters from the balcony of his
ruling AK Party headquarters in Ankara, June 25, 2018. Photo: Kayhan Ozer /
Presidential Palace / Handout via
decades after they emerged as marginal parties in the 1970s, Turkey’s militant
Islamists and ultra-nationalists won a combined 53.6% of the national vote and
57% of parliamentary seats in last week’s election. President Recep Tayyip
Erdoğan has said in the past that he would make foreign policy “in line with
what my nation demands,” highlighting the Islamist sensitivities of his voter
base. He will now add nationalist sensitivities to that foreign policy
calculus. This will likely mean confrontations with nations both inside and
outside Turkey’s sphere of influence.
presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 sent messages on many
wavelengths. But the election also marked the official birth of an
Islamist-nationalist alliance that will recalibrate Turkey’s foreign policy
calculus, in line with the strong wave of religious and nativist nationalism
that brought this alliance to power.
easily won the presidential race with 53.6% of the national vote in the first
round (any number beyond the 50% mark would have sufficed). But his ruling
Justice and Development Party (AKP) won only 42.5% of the parliamentary vote,
down seven percentage points from its result in the elections of November 2015.
The AKP won 293 seats in Turkey’s 600-seat house, falling short of a simple
majority of 301.
this been a previous election, the AKP would have been unable to form a
single-party government. But legislative changes that followed Erdoğan’s April
2017 referendum now allow political parties to enter the parliamentary race in
alliance with other parties. Erdoğan chose as his ally the Nationalist Movement
Party (MHP), which has its ideological roots in the militantly
ultra-nationalist, pan-Turkic ideology of the 1970s. On June 24, the MHP won
11.1% of the national vote and 50 seats, bringing up the “allied” (i.e., the
governing) seats to 343 — which gives the AKP-MHP alliance a comfortable parliamentary
Have Jewish Refugees From the Arab World Been Forgotten?
recently watched a television reporter interviewing participants in an Al-Quds
Day rally held in Toronto on June 9, 2018. (This...
new ruling ideology will, first of all, make it practically impossible for the
government to return to the negotiating table for peace with the Kurds. This is
an MHP red line that Erdoğan will prefer not to cross. MHP’s militaristic
posture will also boost Ankara’s desire to show more muscle in Kurdish-related
disputes in northern Syria and northern Iraq. (MHP’s only solution to the
Kurdish dispute is military action.)
ramifications of this new alliance will also be felt far outside Turkey.
decades-long, obsessive foreign policy goals include making Jerusalem the
capital of the Palestinian state, asserting an ideological kinship with Hamas,
stoking sectarian hostilities against Syrian President Bashar Assad, and making
threats about drilling off the shores of the divided island of Cyprus. To these
will probably be added an “Uighur cause,” a subject about which the MHP is
AKP’s election manifesto stated an intention to “overcome problems and improve
bilateral relations with the United States.” But the manifesto also said Turkey
would make an effort to “improve bilateral relations with Russia.” It said, “We
will continue our close coordination with Russia on regional subjects,
especially on Syria.”
practice, Erdogan’s balancing act between Russia and the US resembles Brazilian
dictator Getulio Vargas’s “pendulum policy” during World War II. Vargas offered
support to Hitler and Mussolini at times, but ended up siding with the Allies.
involvement in government policy will be totally irrelevant when it comes to
operating the modern-day Turkish pendulum.
relations with the US are ideologically hostile but de facto transactional.
They will remain so. His relations with Russia are largely transactional and
will probably gain further ground, politically as well as militarily, as the
discrepancy between Turkish and Western democratic cultures widens. Erdoğan
ideologically belong to the strongmen’s club.
Turkey’s gross democratic deficit, largely created under Erdoğan’s governance,
is blended with MHP’s notoriously isolationist, xenophobic ideology, Turkey’s
theoretical goal of accession into the European Union (EU) will gradually
become null and void. Erdoğan will likely soon announce plans to shut down the
ministry dealing with accession negotiations with the EU and turn it into “a
department of the Foreign Ministry.” And this should not surprise anyone.
Bekdil is an Ankara-based columnist. He regularly writes for the Gatestone
Institute and Defense News and is a fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is also
a founder of, and associate editor at, the Ankara-based think tank Sigma.
Center Perspectives Papers, such as this one, are published through the
generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family.
series of TV shows airing on Egypt-based religious channels have recently
linked the success of certain footballers to Islam, using their coverage of the
sport to promote religion.
of these channels, Al Daeya, broadcasted a program named Remontada, which
featured Salafi advocate and media presenter Hazem Shoman using matches and
players, including international stars Messi and Ronaldo, to explain a number
of Islamic issues.
one of the episodes, Shoman celebrated Egypt's World Cup qualification as part
of his discussion on Islam’s interpretations of the Day of Judgement.
another episode, Shoman said: “Harry Kane, the Tottenham Hotspur striker, is
valued at 194.7 million euros. Messi, the Barcelona star, is worth 202.4
million euros. England’s Liverpool club values Mohammed Salah at 222 million
euros, competing with Neymar as the world’s most expensive striker,” implying
Salah’s success because he is Muslim.
the program’s controversial episodes, Shoman used the term “scorer,” to explain
to the audience the opportunities of being “scorers” in Islam.
presenter’s predecessor, Sameh Abdel Hamid Hamouda, has praised the program. He
sees it as a serious effort to reach youth and speak their language in order to
bring them closer to God and “prevent them from walking the path of the devil.”
another religious TV show on the Salafi-themed Al Rahma channel in Egypt used
football to preach Islam, despite a large number of Salafi sheikhs who have
previously forbid the clash of faith and football.
owner of the channel, Sheikh Mohamed Hassan, described footballs in an old
fatwa (religious edict) as “silly pieces of leather that the Jews glorified
across many nations.”
added that he believed people waste their time while watching football, saying:
“You do not worry about religion when your only concern is football.”
sources said that the Ankara-backed forces were making industrious efforts to
issue Turkish identity cards for the residents of the occupied town of Afrin.
sources further said that residents of Afrin were referred as refugees in these
identity cards, adding that the residents of Afrin were not allowed to use
their Syrian identity cards for now.
sources went on to say that the Ankara forces embarked on erecting checkpoint
at the entrances of Afrin to register identity details of Arabs and Kurds to
issue new Turkish identity cards for them.
Ankara forces threatened to burn the houses of all those who refuse to
cooperate with them in this new ID plan.
the meantime, Spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry Hami Aksoy claimed
that the Turkish forces would continue their presence in Afrin on a temporary
Syrian Army resumed its massive assault in the Southern province of Dara'a and
managed to take control over more points on Monday after a Syrian-Russian
reconciliation offer to the terrorists failed to end up in success.
army men engaged in a tough battle with terrorists West of Dara'a city and
managed to impose control over several neighborhoods.
the meantime, the army's artillery and missile units pounded the positions and
movements of the terrorists in the small towns of Seida and al-Tayebeh in
Eastern Dara'a, inflicting major losses on the militants.
fighting was reported between the army soldiers and terrorists in al-Tayebeh, a
local source reported.
source further said that other units of the army stormed terrorists' bases
after the latter refused to join the peace agreement with the army in Tafas
settlement and decided to join ISIL terrorists.
the meantime, the Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted Ali Maqsoud, a
Syrian military expert, as reporting that the army seized back the Old Customs and
Tal Sakar regions between Jabib and Um Walad settlements in the Southern
countryside of Dara'a city, and deployed forces only 1,200 meters away from the
main border-crossing with Jordan.
further said that other units of the army managed to take control of the
strategic Tal al-Zamitiyeh and al-Jamileh regions West of the town of Ibta
North of Dara'a city and a key military road, adding that terrorists in the
towns of al-Tayibah, Sour, Seida and Um Mayadhin as well as Nasib township laid
down arms and surrendered.
further said that 99 percent of the people in Southern Syria supported the army
and called for expulsion of the terrorists from their region, adding that the
terrorists' military power has drastically decreased after the US forces left
the militants alone in the war against the Syrian government forces.
the Arabic Sputnik quoted Syrian military expert Colonel Ali Maqsoud as saying
that the army plans to launch a major attack in Western and Southwestern Dara'a
after government forces managed to liberate over 1,800 sq-km of land in Dara'a
province in recent days.
Eastern borders of Bravo Line that is a buffer region between the Syrian army
and Israeli forces are in Western Dara'a.
report went on to say that the army is planning to free Hawz Yarmouk, Hith,
Tasil, Azwan, Nafe'eh, al-Shajara, al-Harra regions and the strategic town of
Kafr Shams that links Southern Quneitra to Northwestern Dara'a in its upcoming
further said that 99 percent of the people in Dara'a, Sweida and Golan are
calling for the expulsion of the terrorists from their regions, and quoted
local sources as reporting that residents of the town of Nawa and Kafr Shams
are expecting the army's arrival and exit of militants any time soon.
on Monday, commanders of the terrorist groups left the new round of
reconciliation talks with the Russian-Syrian delegation and kept gunmen on
the meantime, the army men, backed up by artillery units, stormed terrorists'
positions in the town of Tafas in Western Dara'a and captured several strategic
other artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at terrorists' movements
and positions near the Old Customs area and the town of al-Na'eimeh and its
nearby regions, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
army was tightening siege on the terrorists from the direction of al-Tabelin
road East of Tafas, and from Tal al-Saman in the North.
sources, meantime, reported that the army cut off the main supply line of the terrorists
connecting Western and Eastern Dara'a.
sources said on Monday that a Russian delegation, representing the Damascus
government, entered Dara'a city to start a fresh round of reconciliation talks
with militant commanders.
in the provincial capital informed that the militants may hand over their
regions between the towns of al-Tayibeh and Busra al-Sham near the border with
Jordan to the Syrian army without a fight.
then, Nasib, Seida and the entire regions near the International Highway
between the Nasib border-crossing and Khirbet al-Qazaleh will later join the
peace plan," they added.
talks are underway amid the army's rapid advances against the terrorists in
Dara'a and towards border with Jordan in the South.
last round of Russian-Syrian delegation talks with the militants failed to end
up in success on Saturday.
AMN reported on Monday that Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi will be
traveling to Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Southwest Syria, a
media outlet reported.
will be traveling to Moscow to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov
about the current situation in Southwest Syria.
look forward to a frank discussion to discuss how to arrive at a ceasefire as
soon as possible,” Safadi said.
members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces were killed or wounded after
unidentified assailants opened fire at an SDF base in Eastern Raqqa on Monday.
SDF militias were killed and several more were wounded in the attack on their
checkpoint in Karama township in Eastern Raqqa.
SDF has put all its gunmen on alert and declared curfew after the attack.
the meantime, the SDF broke into the villages of Ratla, Kasrah Faraj and Kasrah
Joma'ah in the Southern countryside of Raqqa city and arrested tens of
among members of the SDF and also between the US-backed militias and civilians
has recently increased in Northeastern Syria.
Arab media outlet reported on Monday that Kurdish militia groups were showing
strong signs in their talks with Damascus authorities of their desire to give
up their quest for autonomy and surrender the Kurdish-ruled territories to the
Central government in return for insignificant demands.
Arabic-language al-Watan daily reported that several meetings have been held
between senior officials of Damascus government and the Kurdish militias in the
town of Qamishli in Northern Syria and also in Damascus.
an agreement held by the two sides, the Kurdish groups have agreed to take a
number of actions that also include collecting the entire images of Abdullah
Ocalan, one of the founding members of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party,
as well as the Kurdish militias' official signs and flags from all their terroritories,"
the report continued.
went on to say that retreat of all Kurdish militias to Hasaka province and
erecting joint checkpoints to be run by the Kurds and the government forces
across Hasaka province are also among other terms of the agreement.
sources said that the agreement endorsed by the Kurds and the army entails
several more paragraphs that include the presence of the Kurdish militias among
the ranks of the Syrian army, surrender of Tal Kojar and Simalka
border-crossing with Iraq and al-Darbasiyeh and Ra'as al-Ein border-crossing
with Turkey to the Damascus army and delivering control over oil and gas fields
to the Syrian Oil Ministry.
sources further said that, in return, the Kurds have asked for the start of
Kurdish-language courses in the educational program in Kurdish regions and
appointment of a Kurdish official to a high post in the Syrian oil ministry.
went on to say that the Kurdish units have already embarked on collecting PYD
flags and the photos of its leader from streets in Qamishli and Hasaka city.
the meantime, other Syrian media outlets said that the Syrian Democratic
forces' decision to hand over Raqqa city to the army will be the first
confidence-building measure between the two sides.
President Bashar Al-Assad had earlier warned that the Kurdish militias would
face the tough option if they prove to be unwilling to resolve their
differences with Damascus through talks.
a relevant development but in Aleppo province in March, the Kurdish combatants
were to hand over the villages of Kimar, al-Ziyarah, Borj al-Qas, Bashmara,
Basoufan, Deir al-Jamal, Tal Raf'at, Kafr Naya, Ming airport and the village of
Ming in Northern Aleppo to the Syrian Army troops after an agreement with
sources said that the Kurdish-held villages were handed over to the army.
coordinator of the Turkish mission in Afrin said on Monday that the Turkish
military commenced the transition of order control functions in the Northern
Syrian town of Afrin to the local police backed by Ankara.
of now, 2,000 local police officers are working in Afrin and 2,000 more are
undergoing the training. So, the process of the transition of these functions
to the local police has already begun. Within a week the military will begin
the transition of order control in Afrin to the local police," the
coordinator told Sputnik.
January 20, Turkey and the Free Syrian Army militants launched Operation Olive
Branch in Afrin.
goal of the operation was to clear Turkey's Syrian border of the Kurdish
People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which
Turkey believes to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Both YPG
and PKK are considered terrorist organizations by Ankara. In late March, Ankara
announced that the district was under complete Turkish control.
media outlet reported on Monday that the first group of Syrian refugees
returned from Lebanon to the suburbs of Syrian capital of Damascus.
a month, the second group of 173 refugees will get back from Lebanon and then
one more group of over thousand people will return their homeland, Sputnik
the beginning of the Syrian military conflict in 2011, millions of Syrians have
fled the country to other states, including neighboring Lebanon.
situation around Syrian refugees in Lebanon has recently escalated in a wake of
the authorities' claims that the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR had been discouraging
those displaced by the Syrian war from returning to their home country.
Syrian Army repelled terrorists' heavy offensive in the Northern countryside of
Aleppo city on Monday, inflicting major losses on the militants.
army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists that tried to
prevail over the government forces' positions in Jam'iyat al-Zahra district
North-West of Aleppo city and managed to ward off the militants' heavy attack.
the meantime, the terrorists opened heavy fire at residential areas in Anadan,
Bayanoun, Jam'iyat al-Zahra districts and regions and the small towns of Nubl
army's artillery and missile units pounded terrorists' movements and positions
near Anadan, Bayanoun and Nasibeen, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
local sources reported that other artillery and missile units shelled heavily
terrorists' positions and movements in Khan Touman and Jam'iyat al-Mohandeseen
in the Southwestern countryside of Aleppo city, killing and wounding several
militants and destroying their equipment.
large number of Ankara-backed militants from Uzbekistan, Chechnya and China's
Turkistan are fighting in Northern Aleppo.
more US army convoys arrived in the town of Manbij in Northeastern Syria on
convoys of the US army, including 12 military vehicles, arrived in the
outskirts of the town of Manbij and deployed in the two villages of al-Sa'eidah
and Awn al-Dadat West and North of the town, respectively.
US convoys went through the regions ruled by the Syrian Democratic Forces on
the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River and in Raqqa and arrived in Manbij on
by Nehal Mostafa
(IraqiNews.com) Islamic State’s supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has
returned back to Iraq, an informed security source said adding that he is
likely to be in the western desert.
to the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, the source said “Baghdadi moved
to Syria before end of the liberation battles in Nineveh. He settled to Raqqa
in Syria, before moving to Qaim in Iraq.”
Iraqi intelligence, according to the source, who preferred anonymity, “receives
information about places to which Baghdadi heads. However, his exact location
is not identified.”
“moved to Syria once again before liberating Qaim then returned back to western
Iraq in the wake of heated battles in Syria and losing most of the cities that
the group was controling.”
source also added that “Baghdadi cannot move freely between the two countries
like he used to.”
Iraqi and U.S.-led Coalition jets “tried to target him more than once, without
locating his place well,” the source said. “The Iraqi intelligence located the
house, where Baghdadi supposedly existed in Mosul, and carried out an airstrike
but it was revealed later that the house was for camouflage.”
Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa
has won the Galileo International Award 2018 in Florence, Italy.
Galileo Foundation said Al-Issa received the award for his excellence in
Islamic works and international achievements, praising his leading roles in
promoting civilizational peace and harmony.
his speech at the awards ceremony, Al-Issa said it had been his pleasure to
meet a distinguished elite of clergy, politicians and intellectuals in
Florence, the birthplace of the European Renaissance, pointing to the
importance of adhering to the common denominators that unite people despite the
diversity among nations.
MWL chief highlighted the negative effects of private ambitions and political
and material interests on overall peace and harmony, and the threat they pose
to the fence that protects rights and freedoms and the resulting brutal
conflict. He stressed the real victory for each cause lies in its soft power
and moral logic.
noted that those who have a just cause are eligible to conquer, provided their
victory is civilized, because materialism does not recognize the logic of
ethics and values. Al-Issa said that human barbarism should not be overlooked
by the international community, spiritual leaders, or the general opinion
leaders of different groups, pointing to the seriousness of religious, sectarian
and political extremism.
called for investment in awareness by educating future generations about common
values starting from the early stages of life.
thanked Alfonso de Vergils, Marco Giorgetta and all the other members of the
award committee for the award which, he said, puts more responsibilities on his
Galileo Award is named after the Italian reformist, mathematician, and
physicist Galileo Galilei, who was sentenced to death by the Inquisition in
1616 for religious heresy. In March 2008, the Vatican went some way to amending
its mistakes toward Galileo by placing a statue of him inside the Vatican
walls. The award is granted this year for leadership in thought.
(IraqiNews.com) An Islamic State member, who recruits other militants, west of
Mosul, as well as two other militants, have been arrested, Iraqi authorities
announced on Monday.
a statement, Maj. Gen. Saad Maan, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, said
counter-terrorism troops in Tal Afar arrested an IS member, against whom an
arrest warrant was issued.”
according to the statement, “arrested the terrorist, possessing a recruitment
form for the new members who joined the group, while it was controlling Mosul.”
the Security Media Center announced arresting two militants and seizing two
tunnels in Nineveh.
Gen. Yahia Rasool, spokesperson for the center, said in a statement that
“Nineveh Operations Command managed to arrest a terrorist in Shuqaira region.
Two tunnels were found in al-Zarka village.”
according to Rasool, “arrested an IS member, depending on accurate intelligence
information, in al-Aamel al-Oula district.”
of Islamic State militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the
government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition was
launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group, which declared a
self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014. Many suspects were arrested
over links with Islamic State, since the city was recaptured from the group in
(IraqiNews.com) Three Islamic State members were killed in an airstrike by the
Iraqi fighter jets, a source was quoted saying on Monday.
jets shelled a vehicle for Islamic State while trying to reach to Kubaisa
region in Heet town, leaving three militants killed,” the source told
information, according to the source, “enabled the jets to target the vehicle
after military units noticed it.”
State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against troops. Security
reports indicate that the militant group still poses threat against stability
in the country.
Friday, a soldier was killed, while two others were profoundly injured as a
bomb, from remnants of war against Islamic State, went off, west of Anbar, as
army forces were carrying out an operation at regions at Rutba, near the
borders between Iraq and Syria.
of Islamic State militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the
government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition was
launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group, which declared a self-styled
“caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014.
army men engaged in fierce clashes with the non-Syrian terrorists of Horas
al-Din and Tahrir al-Sham that had attacked Tal Bazam region North of the town
of Souran in Northern Hama and repelled their offensive.
the army's artillery and missile units pounded terrorists' movements in Souran
and near the town of Morek in Northern Hama and in Khan Sheikhoun in Southern
Idlib, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
terrorists used suicide attackers in their offensive against the army in Northern
Hama, but the army killed a large number of terrorists and forced the remaining
of them to retreat.
terrorists' attack on the army in Northern Hama was aimed at disturbing the
army's concentration on its operation in Southern Syria.
week, the army's artillery and missile units launched a heavy shelling on
Tahrir al-Sham's positions and movements in al-Latamina, Kafr Zita and al-Zakah
regions in Northern Hama, killing and wounding a number of terrorists and
destroying several strongholds and a large volume of their military hardware.
sources said that the terrorists tried to open new fronts against the army in
Northern regions to decrease the army's military pressure on their comrades in
Southern Syria but the army opened heavy fire and preempted the offensive.
the meantime, the terrorists launched artillery attack on the army in Halfaya,
Zalaqiyat, Zalin and al-Masaseneh region.
source said the army men continued to storm terrorists' positions in Western
Dara'a and arrived at the entrance of Tafas township.
the army's artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at terrorists'
movements in Seida and al-Tayibah townships, inflicting major losses on the
militants, the source added.
the meantime, other units of the army restored security to al-Moseirefeh
township in Eastern Dara'a, the source further said.
source went on to say that the army has tightened noose on the terrorists West
of Dara'a, adding that the army has gained control over 58 percent of territory
in Dara'a province.
of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) in
Dara'a Abu Jaber al-Shami announced that his fighters will never quit battle
with the army in the Southern province.
Monday, commanders of the terrorist groups left the new round of reconciliation
talks with the Russian-Syrian delegation and kept gunmen on alert.
army is tightening siege on the terrorists from the direction of al-Tabelin
road East of Tafas, and from Tal al-Saman in the North.
Muslim immigrants are treated as the ‘ghetto’ population in Denmark
immigrant neighborhoods in Copenhagen and other cities in Denmark are
considered “ghettos” by the government and kids as young as 1 there are forced
to take “Danish values” classes away from their parents.
“ghetto parents” and “ghetto children” who live in these areas are
overwhelmingly Muslim migrants, according to The New York Times. And by the
time these children turn 1-year-old, their “assimilation” into Danish culture
government is currently pushing to add a new series of laws labeled the “ghetto
package” to be imposed on this group – which lives in some 25 areas across the
country. The Danes believe that if those families don’t integrate on their own
volition, they should be forced under the law.
12-months-old, kids are detached from their parents’ sides for 25 hours a week
when they’re expected to attend “Danish values” classes on the national
language and religious holidays like Christmas and Easter. If the parents
refuse, they face the possibility of being kicked off social welfare benefits.
compare, the average Danish child living outside the “ghetto” doesn’t
necessarily have to enroll in school until the age of six.
contrast is in line with the Danish government’s increasingly sub-human
vernacular used to describe Muslim immigrants.
January, Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen suggested that those living in the
ghettos might “reach out their tentacles onto the streets” and spread violence.
In the same speech, he blamed them for the supposed “cracks” that “have
appeared on the map of Denmark” thanks to the ghettos.
“package” of new rules consists of 22 in total, The Times reported, which were
first unveiled in March. Some still need to come to a vote but the majority of
rejected proposal, deemed too radical, suggested that all “ghetto children” should
have to stay in their homes after 8 p.m. – a law that would be enforced via
ankle bracelets around the leg of each child.
others currently under consideration include the banning of “re-education
trips.” This would prevent immigrant parents from having their kids return to
their country of origin for long periods of time, effectively hindering the
kids’ new “schooling, language and well-being,” according to the Danish
government. The punishment for any rule-breaking parent could carry a four-year
are also trying to win the ability to fine and imprison immigrants at double
the standard rate for common crimes if the offense is committed by someone who
lives in one of the 25 ghettos, if the person has no or low-income, or if he or
she is uneducated or considered someone of a “non-Western background.”
will wail and say, ‘We’re not equal before the law in this country,’ and
‘Certain groups are punished harder,’” justice minister Soren Pape Poulsen said
at a political gathering, according to The Times, “but that’s nonsense.
me this is about, no matter who lives in these areas and who they believe in,
they have to profess to the values required to have a good life in Denmark.”
not everyone in the Danish government is on-board with this othering rhetoric.
A Social Democrat whose electorate includes a neighborhood called Tingbjerg – a
ghetto in the eyes of her colleagues – sees the anesthetized attitude towards
this community as dangerous and echoing Nazi sentiments.
call them ‘ghetto children, ghetto parents,’ it’s so crazy,” parliament member
Yildiz Akdogan told The Times. “It is becoming a mainstream word, which is so
dangerous. People who know a little about history, our European not-so-nice
period, we know what the word ‘ghetto’ is associated with.”
Mounting as France Prepares to Release Jailed Islamist, Mentor to ‘Hypercacher’
by Ben Cohen
the French government prepares for the imminent release of a leading Al Qaeda
terror strategist and ideologue, concern is mounting over where he will be
located once out of jail.
Beghal, 52, is set to be released from Vezin prison in northwestern France by
August 5. The Algerian national — whose terrorist connections included Amedy
Coulibaly, the gunman who shot dead four Jewish hostages during an armed siege
at a Hypercacher supermarket in Paris on Jan, 9, 2015 — has been active in Islamist
circles in Europe since the 1990s.
is coming to the end of a prison sentence that began in 2005, with a ten-year
conviction for plotting bomb attacks against targets including the US Embassy
in Paris. In 2013, Beghal received an additional ten years for his part in the
attempted escape from prison of Smaïn Aït Ali Belkacem, a leader of Algeria’s
notoriously brutal Armed Islamic Group (GIA) who is serving a life sentence in
his time in the Fleury-Mérogis prison near Paris, Beghal mentored Chérif
Kouachi, the terrorist who went on to carry out, with his brother Said, the
deadly terrorist attack against the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo
satirical magazine on Jan. 5, 2015. Through Chérif Kouachi, Beghal came into
contact with Amedy Coulibaly, whose armed siege at the Hypercacher market
completed the week of terror around the French capital launched by the Kouachi
Court Forces Apology From Israeli-Born Antisemitic Activist for Libeling of
of Britain's most vocal antisemites was handed a humiliating court defeat in
London on Monday. Gilad Atzmon, an Israeli-born jazz...
who was killed by French armed police following a siege that lasted several
hours, had been known to the French authorities for some time. Arrested in
2010, he told interrogators on that occasion that he knew and respected Beghal,
describing the Algerian as someone who had made a deep impression on him during
an earlier term in prison. In the days after the January 2015 attacks, Beghal’s
role as principal guide and adviser to the Kouachis and Coulibaly was
extensively highlighted by a stunned French media.
is regarded as among the most dangerous of the 450 Islamist terrorists who will
be released from French prisons by the end of 2019. Beghal is also banned from
entering the United Kingdom, where his wife and four children still live after
the family moved there in 1997. It was during his residency in the English city
of Leicester that Beghal emerged as a key Al Qaeda recruiter in Europe, at one
point traveling to Afghanistan for a meeting with the late Al Qaeda leader
Osama Bin Laden.
French Justice Ministry plans to deport Beghal to Algeria, although it has yet
to secure the agreement of the North African country’s government. Last month,
French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said that Beghal would remain under
house arrest in France if Algeria refuses to take him. “What’s important is
that these people are under constant surveillance,” Belloubet said.
President Emmanuel Macron famously declared in an August 2017 policy speech
that combating Islamist terrorism remained his country’s chief international
Muslim Businessman To Donate Land, Cash For 51 Temples
A Muslim businessman in Lucknow has announced that he would donate land and
money needed for construction of 51 temples at different locations in UP and
businessman is Rashid Naseem, director of Shine group of companies, and he said
that his announcement is aimed at preserving secular beliefs in society and
preserving communal harmony.
a Muslim does not stop me from working towards betterment of other religions. I
think this is a step towards communal harmony and an attempt to convey the
message of brotherhood and peace to the society. It is simply an example of the
Ganga-Jamuni’ culture of the region”, he
Rashid Naseem said that the first temple built by him is nearing completion on
the Allahabad-Varanasi highway and will be inaugurated in the Hindu month of
plan to complete the construction of 21 temples by the end of this year. And
will complete our target of 51 temples by the end of 2019”, he said.
realtor who considers PM Narendra Modi as his inspiration, claims that he
travels approximately 50,000 km every month to check on his different business
Naseem belongs to Allahabad and launched his business in 2013. He has now
ventured into travel and tourism and water purifiers.
India Are Victims Of Terror From Same Source', Says Afghan Envoy To India
DELHI: 'Afghanistan and India are victims of terror from the same
source...across the border', said Afghan envoy to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali,
leaving no doubt that he was referring to Pakistan.
was referring to Sunday's horrific suicide bombing in Afghanistan's Jalalabad,
which targeted, and killed, mostly Sikhs and Hindus.
claimed the attack, but other credible news agencies said it was the Pakistani
Taliban with the complicity of Pakistani intelligence agency Inter-Services
Afghan envoy is pretty certain it was an attack orchestrated by elements from
Pakistan - specifically the Pakistani Taliban. To be sure, the raison d'etre of
some other Pakistani terror groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed, is
terror attacks on India.
what Afghanistan's Abdali emphasized.
has been claimed by Daish but fact is terrorism in Afghanistan is mostly coming
from across border....Afghanistan and India are victims of terrorism from the
same sources and that's why they have to stand together with rest of the world
to fight terrorism in order for the two of us to be freed from menace of
terrorism attacking both nations," he said.
is set for elections in October and among those killed in Jalalabad yesterday
was Avtar Singh Khalsa, who had planned to stand in in the parliamentary
elections. Of the 19 killed, 17 were Sikhs and Hindus.
Sikhs and Hindus killed in Afghanistan terror attack01:2317 Sikhs and Hindus
killed in Afghanistan terror attack
shocking... It is an attack on Afghan democracy, attack on Afghan values,
freedom of religion, faith and attack on our diversity," said Abdali about
the targeted killing.
yesterday, a top Donald Trump aide rapped Pakistan, again, for not bringing the
Taliban within its borders to heel.
now, it's the Taliban leaders…who aren't residing in Afghanistan, who are the
obstacle to a negotiated political settlement," said Alice Wells,
principal deputy assistant secretary for the State Department's Bureau of South
and Central Asian Affairs, to reporters in Kabul, reported AP.
she said, has taken no action.
Virsa to organise muzakra regarding Sufism in the 21st century
The National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) has decided
to organise a muzakra on July 4 regarding “the Sufi Route in the 21st Century”.
discussion will also be followed by a Mehfil-E-Samaa.
Lok Virsa official said, “We resume the Muzakra series with an effort to look
at Sufism in 21st Century.”
Modi Directs Security Agencies and State Govts to Step up Countermeasures against
Extremism, Growing Radicalisation
Delhi: With growing concerns over indoctrination through social media,
end-to-end encrypted apps and audio-video clips on the dark web, the government
is laying the groundwork with the help of states to mount a grand offensive
against multifaceted radicalisation threats, in a bid to neutralise potential
sources advocating violent extremism.
sources in the government said the move to involve various agencies as well as
state governments to counter violent extremist ideologies and to promote a
message of peace came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concerns
over 'sermons' being spread through multimedia platforms and suggested that
security agencies map the areas to identify the locations as well as mediums
involved in spreading indoctrination materials.
in a meeting told the top security brass to use advance technology to detect
the origin of the content so that it can be suitably addressed. Countering
violent extremism has not been an easy task for many countries and it requires
careful planning at various levels, while engaging and empowering the community
facing such threats.
encryption in messenger apps has always been a serious challenge with law
enforcement agencies seeking back door access for a very long time. Modi is
learnt to have also suggested that the officials take initiative for training
people and production of inspirational films for the purpose of
the concerned stakeholders have been asked to initiate action in a time bound
manner and communicate the progress to the Centre. The focus is cultivating
community collaboration for counter-radicalisation and de-radicalisation. The
state's police and intelligence unit's role is essential in identifying
potential threats and developing level of trusts with people by engaging
community elders. The idea is to prevent the youngsters from embracing
extremist ideologies and to ensure they don't feel alienated," sources in
the know said.
senior intelligence officer claimed police forces in several states have
successfully pre-empted plans of radicalised youths indoctrinated through
materials available on websites and prevented terror actions. He, however,
cautioned that the fight against such elements would need to continue in view
of the prevailing circumstances.
is no doubt serious concern on the increasing role of social media and internet
in spreading hatred, rumour mongering and radicalising youths and a larger
network with investment in modern technology would be required to counter the
emerging multi-pronged challenges. There is also a suggestion that state police
could set up district level social media laboratories with the assistance of
the National Technical Research Organisation, which could improve policing on
the ground," the intelligence officer said.
Ministry of Home Affairs has recently started a separate division for
counter-terrorism and counter radicalisation. Besides monitoring of activities
of fundamentalist organisations, the division housed at North Block also
focuses on launching policies and strategies to combat radicalisation and to
generate short-term as well as long-term measures for de-radicalisation.
security and intelligence agencies have emphasised the need to keep a watch
over Wahhabi-Salafi linked broadcast on internet and social media as well as
activities of fringe Hindu elements.
the efforts mounted by the government, Islamic preacher Zakir Naik continues to
release sermons through his Peace TV and podcasts on social media platforms.
Naik was granted permanent resident status by Malaysia since he fled India in
2016 after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) charged him under the
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for funding terrorist activities and
indoctrinating gullible youths to take up jihad.
Peace TV has recently released a video on the issue of conversion, suggesting
measures to convince non-Muslims to accept Islam. The propaganda arms of Naik
is being operated through a maze of a companies floated in Britain with
Universal Broadcasting Corporation Limited handling the media venture with help
of other companies such as Lord Production Inc Limited, Club TV Limited and
Islamic Research Foundation International.
has resigned as director of Universal Broadcasting in May 2018, however, he
remains on the board of Lord Production and Islamic Research Foundation
International – both the companies operate from Birmingham. Islamic Research
Foundation is banned in India after the government had argued that Naik was
using the platform to radicalise youths and was also responsible for
influencing and indoctrinating impressionable minds of youths to convert to
NIA had suggested that 24 youths migrated from Kerala to Afghanistan to join
the Islamic State (IS) were regular visitor of Islamic Research Foundation
office at Dongri and attended meetings with its functionaries. An office bearer
was tasked to process the documents of conversion to Islam and agencies had
seized 78 such affidavits in a search operation at Mumbai.
security agencies are also keeping a watch over massive propaganda launched for
several Sikh organisations based in Britain, Canada and the US for Khalistan
referendum 2020 and materials being circulated for 12 August London Declaration
at Trafalgar square.
intelligence note reviewed by Firstpost suggests that Pakistan backed elements
operating from West Asia are involved in the radicalisation of vulnerable
segments and on the eastern frontier, Bangladesh based elements like
Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) is indoctrinating and mobilising youths.
note further said that there has been significant growth of South India based
elements linked to West Asia and immense increase has been detected in
membership of certain organisations, particularly vocal in espousal of Jihad.
It said there was ample cross-border movement of radical groups looking to
expand their networks, talent spotting, recruitment, brainwashing and
undertaking reconnaissance for identification of suitable targets.
officer coordinating with the states on the issue said continued efforts by
central and state security agencies on the front of radicalisation would be
imperative to counter support from Pakistan.
in a wheelchair, Mr. Rizvi, whose legs are paralysed, said his party’s
manifesto is same as that of Islam’s teachings to create a truly Islamic
welfare state in Pakistan.
Pakistan is all set to go to polls on July 25, a newly-launched Islamic
hardline party led by a radical cleric has expressed confidence to bring
“surprising results” as it aimed at making inroads into the existing power
matrix by stirring up the religious sentiments of the voters. The
Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TLP) Pakistan chief, Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who
launched the election campaign from Karachi yesterday night said he saw no
competition to his party candidates in the elections.
in a wheelchair, Mr. Rizvi, whose legs are paralysed, said his party’s manifesto
is same as that of Islam’s teachings to create a truly Islamic welfare state in
are confident that those who believe in Khatm-i-Nabuwwat (the finality of the
prophethood) would vote for us and you will see surprising results in the elections,
Mr. Rizvi said.
party has fielded candidates on all the national assembly and provincial
assembly seats from the city.
traffic jams were witnessed in and around the airport area as the TLP leader
travelled in a convoy surrounded by thousands of supporters from the airport to
little known TLP came into prominence in November last year when its followers
led by Mr. Rizvi converged at Islamabad and Rawalpindi and staged a sit-in
demanding sacking of the then Law Minister Zahid Hamid and strict action
against those behind the amendment to the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath in the
Elections Act 2017.
amendment had changed the wordings of a clause relating to a candidate’s belief
in the finality of the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad, which is submitted at
the time of election by candidates, turning it into a declaration form instead
of an affidavit, which puts a candidate under oath.
Hamid resigned after violent clashes broke out between the TLP supporters and
security forces which had left several people dead and hundreds injured in
Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
amendment was later deemed a ‘clerical error’ and was rectified by the PML-N
government which restored the Khatm-e-Nabuwat declaration to its original form.
After making a seat adjustment with the Pakistan Peoples Party for a National
Assembly constituency in Hyderabad, the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP) –
Noorani has also won the support of the Milli Muslim League (MML) in the
a press conference in Hyderabad, JUP chief Sahibzada Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair
and MML provincial leader Faisal Nadeem announced that the two parties have
agreed to the seat adjustment.
MML, which is a political wing of Jamaatud Dawa, is registered with the
Election Commission of Pakistan as Allah-0-Akbar Tehreek.
the agreement, the MML will support the JUP in Hyderabad city-based NA-227 from
where the latter’s chief is contesting the elections. In exchange, the JUP will
support the MML candidate, Nadeem, in Latifabad-based NA-226. Nadeem had filed
his nominations for both NA-226 and 227.
the PPP also withdrew its candidate Irfan Gul Magsi from NA-227 in favour of
the JUP chief on June 28.
in nationalist camp may benefit PPP in Qasimabad
JUP will also support MML’s Sheeraz Ahmed Shoro in PS-63, which comprises rural
areas of Hyderabad district and Latifabad-based PS-64.
we will fight the elements who want to provoke sectarian and ethnic strife in
Pakistan,” Zubair said, adding that the JUP’s seat adjustment with the PPP was
a part of his efforts to curb the element of ethnic racism in politics. The JUP
chief contended that enemies of Pakistan wanted to exploit both the sectarian
and ethnic sentiments during the elections.
- Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday said that National
Accountability Bureau (NAB) has arrested PML-N candidate Engineer Qamar Ul
Islam Raja despite the fact he is innocent and there is no case registered
against him in the country.
said that NAB is interrogating Qamar Ul Islam without having any solid evidence
against him that could prove his involvement in corruption scam.
“If PML-N candidate from NA-59 and PP-10
Engineer Qamar Ul Islam Raja faces defeat in general elections 2018, he will
still be considered a winner morally from the constituency,” ex-PM Shahid
Khaqan Abbasi said.
expressed these views while addressing a mammoth public gathering held at
Election Office of Engineer Qamar Ul Islam Raja at Chowk Pindori in Kallar
Syedan. Earlier, former premier inaugurated Election Office of the detained
Uswa Islam Raja and Muhammad Salaar Islam Raja (siblings of detained political
leader), PML-N local leaders, public elected representatives and a large
numbers of voters and supporters of N league were also present on the occasion.
Khaqan Abbasi , while addressing the public rally, said former military
dictator General (retd) Pervaiz Musharraf created NAB to eliminate PML-N from
Pakistan. He added that the anti-corruption body has no substantial evidence to
prove Qamar guilty. He said NAB had not contacted Qamar Ul Islam earlier but
handcuffed him after the party fielded him in NA-59 and PP-10. “All the NAB
cases are bogus as all the politicians are being unfairly targeted” he said. He
said a politician had been arrested by NAB from Balochistan with recovery of Rs
1 billion from his possession but action was not taken against him.
claimed that unknown quarters are harassing the candidates of PML-N in a bid to
change their loyalties and contest upcoming general elections as independent
candidates. “Such negative tactics and shameful incidents are making upcoming
elections 2018 controversial,” he said asking NAB, Election Commission of
Pakistan, caretaker government and Supreme Court of Pakistan to play their
vital role for holding free and fair elections.
claimed he had released funds of billion of rupees for development projects
during his presence in Office of PM in 10 months. Lashing out at PPP and
Mush-led PML-Q, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said both the parties did nothing for
betterment of people of Pakistan.
said N league had put Pakistan on track of development and prosperity by
building roads, motorways, CPEC and other projects. He said N league is
enjoying support of youth and would win general elections 2018 with great
Khaqan Abbasi also predicted Qamar Ul Islam’s win from the both constituencies
on July 25.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was accorded a rosy welcome by the supporters of N league
upon his arrival in Kalar Syedan who waved party flags, and held portraits of
Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, and Maryam Nawaz and detained Qamar Ul Islam.
the participants, Uswa Raja and Muhammad Salaar Raja thanked Shahid Khaqan
Abbasi and others for attending inaugural ceremony of the election office.
As Pakistan is all set to go to polls on July 25, a newly-launched Islamic
hardline party led by a radical cleric has expressed confidence to bring
"surprising results" as it aimed at making inroads into the existing
power matrix by stirring up the religious sentiments of the voters.
Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TLP) Pakistan chief, Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who
launched the election campaign from Karachi yesterday night said he saw no
competition to his party candidates in the elections.
in a wheelchair, Rizvi, whose legs are paralysed, said his party's manifesto is
same as that of Islam's teachings to create a truly Islamic welfare state in
are confident that those who believe in Khatm-i-Nabuwwat (the finality of the
prophethood) would vote for us and you will see surprising results in the
elections," Rizvi said.
little known TLP came into prominence in November last year when its followers
led by Rizvi converged at Islamabad and Rawalpindi and staged a sit-in
demanding sacking of the then Law Minister Zahid Hamid and strict action
against those behind the amendment to the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath in the
Elections Act 2017.
amendment had changed the wordings of a clause relating to a candidate's belief
in the finality of the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad, which is submitted at
the time of election by candidates, turning it into a declaration form instead
of an affidavit, which puts a candidate under oath.
resigned after violent clashes broke out between the TLP supporters and
security forces which had left several people dead and hundreds injured in
Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
The Milli Muslim League (MML), political branch of the banned Jamaatud Dawa
(JuD), on Monday fielded 260 candidates under the umbrella of Allah-o-Akbar
final list has 79 candidates for the National Assembly and 181 for four
provincial assemblies. It includes the names of Hafiz Talha Saeed, son of Hafiz
Muhammad Saeed, (for NA-91). Hafiz Saeed’s son-in-law, Khalid Waleed, is a
candidate in PP-167. These candidates are contesting under the Allah-o-Akbar
Tehreek banner because the ECP denied registration to the MML.
the list has 10 female candidates for general seats along with three for
spokesman, Ahmed Nadeem Awan, explains that apart from 5 per cent quota for
female candidates made mandatory by the Election Act, the party has given
tickets to women out of conviction, not compulsion.
party could have granted tickets to housewives and satisfied the ECP
condition,” Awan said in a talk with Dawn.
we have given tickets to candidates considering their political background and
fighting spirit. They include lawyers, doctors and professionals from other
fields who have been office-bearers in other parties and have recently joined
party has fielded 36 National Assembly candidates from the Punjab, 29 from
Sindh, 28 from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 14 from Balochistan and eight from Fata.
It has put up five candidates in Karachi and four in Lahore.
MML seems to have carefully chosen constituencies for female candidates – all
of them have been fielded in major cities (Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi and
Faisalabad) – in order to dilute its far-right image and make it attractive to
the urban middle class.
to the list, Shazia Saeed will contest from PP-14 (Rawalpindi), Shazia Kauser
is fielded in PP-83 (Khushab), Saira Bano in PP-149 (Lahore), Syeda Tahira
Shirazi in PP-151 (Lahore), Begum Abida Nazir PP-229 (Vehari), Dr. Saman
Leghari in PS-74 (Badin), Iqra Muzamil in NA-251 (Karachi), Rabia Mukhtar in
NA-107 (Faisalabad), Advocate Iffat Tahira Somroo in NA-161 (Lodhran) and
Benazir Fatima in NA-181 (Muzaffarghar). No female candidate is put up in KP,
Fata and Balochistan.
candidates for the reserved seats include Humaira Nosheen, Humaira Khaled and
to the party spokesman, the women wing of the party would be in the forefront
of the election campaign because they have access to homes. “Soon, a series of
women conventions will be held at the district, town and UC levels to ensure
female mobilisation at grassroots levels.”
of the candidates, Iffat Tahira Somroo for NA-161 from Lodhran evokes
particular interest as she says she was the covering candidate for Jehangir
Khan Tareen of the PTI in 2015 by-elections and claims to have helped him win.
An old member, she says she “was a sure bet for the PT ticket but the party
preferred paratroopers over old workers.”
least six security personnel were martyred and two others injured on Monday
evening in a rocket attack by unidentified armed men in Awaran district.
sources told The Express Tribune that a bomb disposal team
searching the Kure area, located 30 kilometres from Tehsil Mashkay area of
Awaran, when unidentified armed men fired a rocket from the nearby mountains
that landed and exploded near the team.
soldier martyred in Army helicopter crash near Quetta
result of the explosion, six security personnel died on the spot and two others
sustained injuries. Security forces rushed to the
of the attack and threw a cordon around the area.
and the injured personnel were later shifted to a nearby health facility.
six martyred security personnel have been identified as Hawaldar Shabbir, Sepoy
Sheraz, Sepoy Bashir, Sepoy Sharaj, Sepoy
Nawaz and Sepoy Abid. Two injured include Sepoy Ehsan and
said security forces have launched a search operation to trace the men involved
in targeting the bomb disposal team in Awaran district. No further details were
civilians, Levies personnel martyred in Quetta gun attack
stresses crucial role of Palestinian cause to Islamic world
State of Qatar has stressed the importance for the Israeli entity to understand
that the Palestinian cause is central not only for the Arab and Islamic worlds,
but for all free people in the world, adding that the cause and the rights of
the Palestinian people shall not be waived for any biased deals which serve
Israel solely, instead of promoting the efforts for reaching a just,
comprehensive and lasting solution.
message came yesterday in the statement of the State of Qatar delivered by HE
the Qatar’s Permanent Representative of the State to the United Nations in
Geneva Ambassador Ali Khalfan al-Mansouri, in the general debate on the human
rights situation in Palestine and in other occupied Arab territories within the
38th session of the UN Human Rights Council, being held in Geneva from June 18
to July 6.
al-Mansouri expressed Qatar’s dissatisfaction with the attempts at
marginalising or abolishing item 7 on the Council’s agenda as a major item on
the agenda of the Human Rights Council, stressing that such attempts have
encouraged Israel to continue committing crimes against the Palestinians.
strongly deplored continued activities of Israeli settlers, the blockade of the
Gaza Strip, the collective punishment of Palestinians, and attacks on Muslim
worshippers that has led to a catastrophic humanitarian situation in the
occupied Palestinian territories.
ambassador also voiced Qatar’s condemnation of the violations of the human
rights of the Palestinian people, which included the indiscriminate use of
force, arbitrary detention, torture, degrading treatment and the construction
of the separation.
conclusion, al-Mansouri welcomed the UN General Assembly adoption of the
Arab-Islamic draft resolution on the protection of the Palestinian civilians,
calling for its full implementation.
reiterated Qatar’s full solidarity with the Palestinian people and its support
for international efforts aimed at achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace
in the Middle East.
Joint Meeting Parties welcomes Malaysia’s withdrawal from Saudi-led coalition
Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) on Tuesday appreciated the Malaysian government’s
decision to withdraw its troops from the Saudi-led aggression coalition on
News Agency) - Yemen’s Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) on Tuesday appreciated the
Malaysian government’s decision to withdraw its troops from the Saudi-led
aggression coalition on Yemen.
statement said that the decision would enhance the strength and depth of the
historical relations between the Yemeni and Malaysian peoples.
extend our hands for a peace and support a comprehensive peaceful political
solution to end the coalition war and lift the siege on the Yemeni people.” The
Diana Stancy Correll
Trump administration is considering designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps, a branch of Iran’s military, as a foreign terrorist organization,
according to a new report.
move is controversial among senior Cabinet officials, as some caution it could
jeopardize U.S. personnel and installations overseas, CNN reports. For example,
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned that the new label could
present challenges to U.S. forces.
former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke out against dubbing the group as
a terrorist organization during a press briefing in October.
are particular risks and complexities to designating an entire army, so to
speak, of a country where that then puts in place certain requirements ... that
then triggers certain actions that we think are not appropriate and not
necessarily in the best interests of our military," he said.
claim the new designation would mean the White House could then freeze the
group's assets, implement travel bans, and collect criminal penalties.
decision falls officially under the State Department, and Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo, who replaced Tillerson, has backed the new label, sources told
lots of things that are being discussed, things that will prove, we believe,
very effective at the end goal, which is at the end of the day what matters,
right?” Pompeo recently told CNN. “The end goal is to convince the Islamic
Republic of Iran to be a normal country.”
report comes as the Trump administration has sought to exert additional
pressure on Tehran, and after the Trump administration withdrew from the Iran
nuclear deal, which put restraints on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for
relief from crippling sanctions.
Air Force target large Taliban gathering in Faryab leaving several dead
Afghan Air Force carried out airstrikes on a large gathering of the Taliban
insurgents in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan, inflicting heavy
casualties on the group’s fighters.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North said the airstrikes
were carried out in the vicinity of Pashtun Kot district.
Corps further added that the airstrikes left at least 24 Taliban militants dead
while at least 31 others sustained injuries.
to Shaheen Corps, the military commission chief of the Taliban group Makhdoom Alam
is also among those wounded during the airstrikes.
least three vehicles, including two Fielder type SUVs and thirteen motorcycles
were also destroyed during the airstrikes, Shaheen Corps added.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the report so far.
comes as the Afghan national defense and security forces have resumed
operations against the militant groups after the extended ceasefire period
ended on Friday night.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Saturday said that the Afghan forces are authorized to
target the militant groups acrosss the country.
has no excuse for the continuation of war, says President Ghani
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani says the Taliban group has no excuse to offer for the
continuation of war and to refrain from peace talks.
with the religious scholars in Laghman province, President Ghani said he is
prepared to hold talks with the Taliban group in any place they want.
said if the declaration of ceasefire for three days has no issue from a
religious point of view then why it cannot be extended and what is the reason
for the continuation of war.
Ghani said the religious scholars are his envoys and must ask Taliban regarding
the reasons to continue the war.
also promised to pave the way for work opportunities and training opportunities
for the religious scholars and urged them to offer support in the fight against
corruption and other misdeeds.
comes as the Taliban group has so far refrained to respond positively to the
ongoing peace efforts despite the Afghan government extended the ceasefire
originally declared from 27th of Ramadan to 5th day of Eid.
the meantime, President Ghani says that certain developments have been made in
the ongoing peace efforts with the Taliban group.
to a gathering of people in Nangarhar province on Sunday, President Ghani said
developments have been made in peace sector as he expressed hopes regarding the
return of a lasting peace in the country.
did not disclose further information in this regard but emphasized that one of
his main duties is to ensure the end of war in Afghanistan.
Islamic State(IS) group has claimed responsibility for the attack which killed
19 people mostly Sikhs and Hindus in Jalalabad on Sunday.
IS was not part of the Afghanistan government's 18-day ceasefire with the
Taliban that expired last Friday.
least 17 Sikhs were among those killed in the suicide attack in Afghanistan's
eastern city. On Monday, mourners carried out the funeral for all those who had
passed away in the attack, among those killed was Avtar Singh, an Afghan Sikh
attack has killed many of our elders, those who loved their country more than
anything else," Narendar Singh told AFP as he took the body of his father,
Avtar Singh, from the hospital.
group of Sikhs and Hindus were attacked as they were preparing to meet
President Ashraf Ghani who was in the city as part of a two-day visit to the
First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum has warned of dire
consequences over the arrest of a top commander of Junbish Milli party.
a statement posted online, Gen. Dostum claimed that Commander Nizamuddin
Qaisari has been arrested based on incorrect tip off.
Dostum further added that Commander Qaisari has become a victim of conspiracies
and warned that his arrest would result into the collapse of the frontline
against the enemies of the country in Faryab.
the government to take immediate steps for the release of Commander Qaisari,
Gen. Dostum said the situation in Faryab province would fall into chaos and all
government plans including peace efforts would be disrupted if Commander
Qaisari is not released.
local government and military officials confirmed that Commander Nizamuddin
Qaisari was arrested following a scuffle in a military compound on Monday
provincial council member of Faryab Tahir Rahmani confirmed that Commander
Qaisari has been arrested by the Special Forces of the Afghan Military.
said Commander Qaisari started verbal clash with the participants of a security
meeting in Maimana city which resulted into a armed clash.
least five civilians were killed or wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in
central Logar province of Afghanistan, the local security officials said.
incident took place on Monday evening in the vicinity of Puli Alam district,
the provincial capital of Logar province.
in Logar’s security commandment said at least two civilians including a woman
and a child were killed and three others were wounded in the attack.
officials further added that the target of the attack apparently was the convoy
of the foreign who were leaving an Afghan army compound.
Taliban group has claimed responsibility behind the attack.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in Central parts of Afghanistan
where security related incidents occasionally take place.
opposition to seek coalition with Islamic party
TAN, Nikkei staff writer
LUMPUR -- Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the newly elected leader of Malaysia's biggest
opposition party, is expected to seek an alliance with the country's main
Islamic party ahead of a new parliament session.
former deputy prime minister was elected president of the United Malays
National Organization on Saturday, after incumbent Najib Razak declined to
contest. Najib is under investigation for alleged corruption linked to state
fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
was until recently the country's main political force, having governed since
independence in 1957 through the Barisan Nasional, or National Front,
coalition. The alliance consistently promoted the rights of the majority-Malay
population through government policy. In the May 9 election, it won 79 out of
222 parliament seats, handing power to the Mahathir Mohamad-led Alliance of
Barisan Nasional has since been deserted by a number of parties, leaving UMNO
with 51 seats. With the new parliamentary session set to begin on July 16, it
has been forced to turn to former rival the Malaysian Islamic party in the hope
of bringing its 18 lawmakers into an opposition alliance.
told the local press that the first issue to negotiate with the PAS would be
the appointment of a parliamentary leader. Conventionally, this would be the
president of the largest party, but Zahid is himself under investigation for
alleged mismanagement of funds in a private welfare foundation and the
corruption scandals linked to 1MDB.
authorities have so far frozen 408 bank accounts containing an estimated 1.1
billion ringgit ($273 million) belonging to 81 individuals and 55 companies for
receiving funds from 1MDB. Accounts belonging to UMNO and several political
parties have also been barred from transaction pending investigation.
has not been named as one of the account holders, but was questioned by the
anti-graft body on Monday regarding the transfer of $681 million to an account
held by Najib.
former prime minister claims the money was a donation from a member of the
Saudi royal family, who was also known to Zahid. Investigators in Malaysia and
several other countries allege that it was part of billions of dollars that
were misappropriated from 1MDB.
these allegations seemed of little concern to the roughly three million UMNO
members. Zahid was backed by 93 of UMNO's 191 divisions, comfortably beating
two challengers who had campaigned for reforms to rid the party of money
victory represents the "old politics of money, warlord pressure,
insularity, entitlement, racial rhetoric and unquestioned loyalty to the
leader" that UMNO is known for, said Bridget Welsh, a political scientist
at John Cabot University in Italy.
a pre-election poll by Merdeka Center for Opinion Research, 83% of UMNO members
agreed that the party had to dispel its culture of patronage. In the same
survey, 77% said UMNO should collaborate with the PAS rather than its
traditional partners, the Malaysian Chinese Association and the Malaysian
an agreement can be reached with the PAS, the UMNO-led opposition would likely
pursue a conservative Islamic line under Zahid, potentially alienating itself from
the majority who voted for change on May 9.
sort of approach will only undermine UMNO further, as it cannot attest to any
moral high ground with its current leaders," said Welsh.
Indonesian security forces are behind the unlawful killing of at least 95
people in Papua since 2010, with most perpetrators never held to account,
Amnesty International said in a new report on Monday.
on the western half of New Guinea island, has been the scene of a simmering
independence insurgency since it was annexed by Indonesia in the late 1960s.
activists and demonstrators peacefully protesting the government were among
those killed in recent violence, as well as residents involved in non-political
gatherings in Indonesia's easternmost province, the rights group said.
one case has been subject to an independent criminal investigation, according
to Amnesty, which said it spent two years interviewing victims' families,
witnesses, rights organisations, political activists and church-based community
is one of Indonesia's black holes for human rights. This is a region where
security forces have for years been allowed to kill women, men and children,
with no prospects of being held to account," Amnesty Indonesia executive
director Usman Hamid said in a statement.
culture of impunity within the security forces must change, and those
responsible for past deaths held to account."
government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
said 39 deaths were linked to peaceful political activities including raising
the Morning Star, Papua's banned flag.
56 killings involved excessive use of force by the army or police and were
unrelated to calls for independence.
of the violence has been centred on protests against a huge gold and copper
mine owned by US-based firm Freeport McMoRan — a frequent flashpoint in the
local struggle for independence and a bigger share of the region's rich
Joko Widodo promised to improve human rights in Papua after taking office in
2014, but Amnesty says he has not lived up to his pledge.
Indonesia on Tuesday stopped searching in one of the world's deepest lakes for
the bodies of dozens of victims of a ferry sinking two weeks ago.
said after "intense" discussions with the families of victims, the end
of the search effort was marked with prayers, the scattering of flowers on Lake
Toba and a groundbreaking ceremony for a monument.
wooden ferry, five times above its passenger limit and also carrying dozens of
motorcycles, sank in the volcanic crater lake on Sumatra in rough weather on
full scale of the tragedy took days to unfold as the boat didn't have a
passenger manifest. Officials at one point said more than 190 people were
missing. Their official toll Tuesday was 21 survivors including the boat's
captain, 3 bodies found and 164 people missing, presumed drowned.
has pinpointed the ferry at a depth of 450 meters (1,476 feet). A remotely
operated underwater vehicle last week captured images of bodies and motorcycles
on the lake bed.
in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, said they're finalizing
criminal charges against five people including the captain and 4 transportation
knew the capacity of the ferry Sinar Bangun was only about 40," North
Sumatra police chief Paulus Waterpau said Monday. `"Moreover, as a wooden
boat it should not have been allowed to carry motorcycles," he said.
on rampage in Mali force schools to close in Boko Haram-style campaign
the men on motorbikes arrived, Sekou, a teacher at the village school, was
preparing for the next day’s lessons. He hid as they took down the national
flag and then opened fire on the school walls, spraying them with bullets.
“They shouted if we wanted to live we should get out,” he recalls. “They said
there should be no education but Islam.”
is five years since French troops turned back the march of the jihadists that
captured the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu and imposed Islamic law there
before turning their sights south towards the capital.
Mali’s jihadists are back, threatening to carve out a new terrorist sanctuary
in the Sahel, the southern shore of the Sahara, where drug traffickers and
Mauritania: African heads of state have pledged to coordinate efforts to
improve the continent's security and defeat jihadist groups, particularly in
Nigeria and the Sahel region, during talks at the 31st African Union summit
held in Mauritania's capital.
President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Nouakchott on Monday to talk battle
against Islamic extremism and ways to finance counter-terrorism and
peacekeeping operations with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
left : Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Abdel aziz, France's Emmanuel Macron,
Tchad's Idriss Deby, Burkina Faso's Roch Marc Christian Kabore, Niger's
Mahamadou Issoufou and Mali's Ibrahim Boubacar Keita meet in Nouakchott,
Mauritania, on Monday.
meeting comes as al-Qaeda's Mali branch claimed responsibility for three
attacks in three days in Mali. The first was on Friday at the G5 Sahel military
headquarters. Then on Saturday Malian soldiers were attacked by land mines, and
on Sunday a suicide bomb aimed at French soldiers, killed four civilians. Both
presidents condemned the attacks.
said that relations between Mauritania and France have made "significant
progress in several vital areas such as defense and security, energy and health
member of the Army stand guard at the entrance of the headquarters of a new
five-nation West African counter-terror force, in Mali.
member of the Army stand guard at the entrance of the headquarters of a new
five-nation West African counter-terror force, in Mali.
said Macron has supported the newly formed G5 Sahel regional force that has
become an important framework for coordinating efforts to promote development
and to fight against extremism, organized crime and illicit trafficking.
was to meet with the presidents of the G5 Sahel group formed last year, which
includes Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Chad and Burkina Faso.
exchange will be an opportunity for me to mark my commitment to renew the link
between France and the African continent, between Africa and Europe but also to
rethink this link in a concrete way, as we are doing between others on issues
of security, counter-terrorism and education," said Macron.
said that concrete decisions would be made during Monday's meetings about the
redeployment of forces and their positioning for the comings months.
on Sunday said that Africa urgently needs a comprehensive approach to deal with
extremist attacks that takes into account the cultural and economic issues that
are the root causes of the violence.
African Union summit, on Sunday and Monday, was set up to address the issue of
corruption and to discuss a mechanism to return stolen money, which is largely
placed in tax havens abroad. The AU says approximately 70 per cent of income
from Africa's resources are squandered or diverted.
group al-Qaida's affiliate in Mali claimed responsibility Monday for an attack
that left four civilians dead a day earlier, according to U.S.-based
intelligence group SITE.
al-Islam wal Muslimeen, known by the acronym JNIM, said it carried out the
attack Sunday in Gao, declaring it a message to French President Emmanuel
Macron ahead of the African Union summit in Mauritania.
attack targeted a French and Malian patrol in Gao, leaving four civilians dead
and over a dozen others, including four French soldiers, wounded.
spokesman for the French military said there were no deaths among French troops
when a car bomb was detonated in the northern city of Gao.
confirm that it was a car bomb that drove into a joint Barkhane/Malian army
patrol," Mali Defense Ministry spokesman Boubacar Diallo said, referring
to Operation Barkhane, the nearly 4,000 French troops stationed in its former
colonies in the Sahel region.
News Agency) - The US government is refusing to release children who have been
separated from their parents as part of President Donald Trump’s
“zero-tolerance” policy on immigration unless the families pay steep transport
fees, according to a report.
and relatives have been forced to pay hundreds and in some cases thousands of
dollars to cover transportation after children were separated at the US border
with Mexico and sent to detention facilities around the country, The New York
Times reported on Sunday.
fees include a one-way plane ticket for the child and a return ticket for an
Times report describes a Guatemalan immigrant paying $2,500 to fly two teenage
relatives from Texas to New York, a California man paying $1,400 to transport
his nephew from Texas to Los Angeles, and a Salvadoran woman being asked to pay
$4,000 to fly her niece and nephew and an escort from Texas to California.
recent separation of migrant families has meant that parents themselves are
often in detention. The cost is therefore being shifted to relatives to use
their savings or rely on donations to have the children released into their
a massive backlash, Trump signed an executive order last week to end the
separation practice, but that has not ended the suffering of the more than
2,000 children who have been ripped from their parents in recent months.
District Judge Dana Sabraw issued a ruling on Tuesday barring the
administration from separating more families and ordering immigration
authorities to reunite the families within 30 days.
administration is arguing that the court order preventing family separation
gives it the legal power to detain immigrant families indefinably.
federal court on Friday night, the Justice Department filed an announcement
that it would keep border crossers in detention while their cases are
processed. That could mean months of detention for some asylum seekers, experts
of Americans have staged demonstrations across the country to protest against
Trump’s policy on immigration and separation of families at the US-Mexico
Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an
investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic
wicked Catholics, Jews all of them,” Abdur Raheem Rafeeq ranted, as he scouted
had a worthless degree from a culinary school that had gone out of business, a
criminal record encompassing everything from domestic violence to aggravated
robbery, and a deep love of Allah.
on disability in what news reports describe as a Dayton, Ohio Job Corps
facility, Abdur, who had formerly been known as Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts and
would soon demand to be called Saladin Osama Waleed, after the two famous
Muslim leaders he worshiped, loved Allah and hated America.
John’s Cathedral, whose bells can be heard throughout downtown, drew the
Muslim's ire. On the video, which would later be recovered from the terrorist's
phone, he spoke of taking it “off the map.”
Abdur didn’t limit the scope of his plots to Catholics and Jews. He also
considered hitting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Other targets included the Coast Guard
Station, the Anthony J. Celebreeze Federal Building, and Cleveland Harbor. The
Muslim terrorist was having a good time narrating his terror plots in the
traditional Al Qaeda style that had almost gone out of fashion. After years of
impotently railing against America, he had finally found a helpful collaborator
to help realize his terror dreams.
plan for removing St. John’s or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from Cleveland’s
map was detonating a bomb in a van. That plan, like the rest of Abdur’s
horrific plotting, never came to fruition.
for Abdur, his new Muslim terrorist friend was actually an FBI informant.
first message, which helped begin the FBI investigation, was sent to a San
Diego business show whose title, The American Dream, may have caught his
attention. "USA Will Be Destroy. Allahu Akbar."
must kill all Kafiruns (non-Muslims) destroy, annihilate them," he later
declared in his pledge video.
thought that his pledge videos, in which the criminal murderously boasts about
his plots, would be circulated by Al Qaeda or ISIS around the world. Instead
the only place they’re going, like the culinary school graduate who in reality
never seems to have gotten past food service, is a court of law.
the middle of June, the culinary terrorist formerly known as Demetrius was
boasting about chopping up Marines and President Trump.
take the head," Abdur fantasized. “You send it straight to ‘em. The
person’s head and his two hands."
was a style of mutilation favored in Islam. Apologists may insist that
beheading, like all the other forms of Islamic terrorism, had nothing to do
with Islam, but Mohammed’s prized sword, Zulfiqar, meaning, ‘Spine-Splitter’
and the popularity of the practice in Islamic law to this day, testify
how I would send Donald Trump back. Head, hand, hand,” Abdur went on ranting.
aren’t that easy to come by in Cleveland, so Abdur rhapsodized over machetes,
the current favorite blade of devout Muslim and MS-13 killers. “I can’t wait
‘til I get me the right machete cause the first day I, how I’m gonna clean it
is cutting a person’s head off,” he boasted.
proposed beheading a Marine by distracting him and asking him to point out a
place on a map. But his first and final love was still the bomb. Driving past a
Marine Corps flag on a house, Abdur urged planting explosives in the house.
Then he suggested bombing a bar outside a base.
the final plot he would settle on was murdering children at a Fourth of July
Muslim terrorist detoured to Philly to check out the possibility of bombing the
city he called his hometown. “We gonna hit the Bicentennial city, Philadephia,
now that’ll really open their eyes.”
pondered ‘hitting’ Philly’s toweringly baroque City Hall whose clocks put Big
Ben to shame, encrusted below with sculpted representatives of all the races of
man and topped at the height of what had briefly been the world’s tallest
building with a 37 foot statue of William Penn. Abdur might have dreamed of
toppling William Penn for Allah, but his murderous heart lay back in the state
he had already terrorized.
had built up his criminal record in Ohio and had built his terror plots around
Cleveland targets. The final climax of
his terror was to be in downtown Cleveland on the Fourth of July.
would hit in the core?" he asked. "Have a bomb to blow up the 4th of
the Marines were marching through the front gate and all the bands were
playing, that's when the bombs were meant to go off. "That's when you
wanna take them bastards out."
gotta wait 'til the parade starts, where it gets into motion,” Abdur sketched
out his plans.
settled on remote control cars with C-4 explosive and BBs inside. Inside, the
Muslim terrorist wanted to add shrapnel. "if BB’s hit you, you can still
live, but if shrapnel hits you— it will tear you up.”
cars would have little American flags on them. “Ain’t nobody gonna pay
attention ‘cause it’s got the little flags on it and everything. Everybody
gonna be like aw, aw….BOOM!”
the deranged monster managed to top his horrific visions with a new level of
evil. He wanted to give remote controlled toy cars to the children of military
personnel as gifts. Some would blow up at the parade. Others would be brought
home to kill their parents.
at that point, the FBI had enough.
was arrested. And though he never got to kill anybody, at least one of his
wishes did come true.
want it to make the news," the Muslim terrorist had insisted to the
informant. And now he has. He’s on the local news in Philly, in Dayton and
across the two states where he plotted his wicked slaughter.
another of his wishes never will.
just wanna leave my name. Marked on this earth so they never forget it,” he had
atrocity will mark Abdur’s name. He will not be remembered as Abdur, as
Demetrius or as Saladin. There will be no mourning families who will recall,
decades from now, a terrible day or night of terror. Not even the Al Qaeda
terrorists whom he worshiped and sought to emulate will remember him.
proved to be as much a failure at killing Americans as he was at tossing salads
and searing steaks. While he languishes in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, St. John’s Cathedral and Philadelphia City Hall
will remain where they are taunting the Jihadist with his failure.
Islamic evil lurked in Cleveland. Its monstrous plot was aimed at innocence and
freedom. It failed.
who might have been maimed for life will run laughing home on the Fourth; never
knowing the horror that nearly touched them. Their parents will look up as the
sky fills with the lights of freedom.
will pass and as he rots in jail, the failed chef and failed terrorist will be
forgotten. But the children whom he nearly killed will not. They will grow up.
Some will become the Marines whom Abdur hated.
News Agency) - United States Department of State announced on Monday initial
round of sanctions against Iran would come back into effect on Aug. 4,
targeting the Iranian automotive sector as well as trade in gold and other key
Nov. 4, further sanctions will snap back, including those hammering Iran’s
energy sector and the Iranian central bank.
Trump administration has said more than 50 international companies have
indicated they will withdraw from Iran, as Washington attempts to maximise
global pressure on Tehran.
Trump administration "will not hesitate” to punish foreign companies that
don't comply with sanctions set to be reimposed on Iran in the coming months, a
senior State Department official said Monday.
imam who subjected his young pupils to over 100 physical assaults at a mosque
in Rochdale has been jailed for 17 months.
Rauf, 51, was said to have displayed ‘Dickensian’ methods of teaching at a
mosque on Crawford Street, where he bullied and tormented children.
of Sussex Street, Rochdale, was sentenced at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown
Court on Monday after earlier pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual
bodily harm and 20 offences of common assault.
court heard that the father-of-five would slap, kick and push the boys he was
scale of the imam’s offending was not revealed until one of the victims told a
teacher at his school that he and another boy had been assaulted at his local
40 hours of CCTV was reviewed by Greater Manchester Police officers and the
footage revealed 109 assaults perpetrated by Rauf.
of the victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed the imam had
called him a ‘gay boy’ before taking off his sock and slapping him round the
head with it.
boy said that on another occasion, the imam kicked and slapped him - causing
him to fall against a pillar.
footage showed Rauf assaulting a number of pupils at the mosque - but only two
ever pressed charges against him. The exact number of victims is not known, police
said after the case.
Michael Duck described the imam’s offending as ‘humiliating’ and ‘degrading’ as
he sentenced Rauf to immediate custody.
said: “These young men were expecting to be nurtured in the ways of Islam and
the way in which you behaved is in no way acceptable to the ethics of your
were given a high level of respect and trust by your community and those
children came to that mosque to be taught by you.
is an element of you believing that you were untouchable within that
subjected these children to petulance and violence, smacking or hitting a child
if they did not comply with your will.
- if it ever belonged to an era - belonged to a very different one.”
defence lawyer, Ahmed Nadim, said his client had since been ostracised by the
local community after the extent of his offending became clear.
said: “The defendant displayed Dickensian attitudes towards teaching and feels
a level of corporal punishment is appropriate.
is to do with his understanding of how appropriate teaching may be engaged in.
is not to do with the victims’ young age or vulnerability, but a failure on his
part about what appropriate teaching methods may be employed.”
must serve half of his sentence before being considered for release.
the sentencing hearing, Inspector Phil Key from GMP’s Rochdale borough said:
“Abdul Rauf is a nasty, bully of a man who beat the children in his classes
until it became normalised.
children were left cowering and holding onto their ears, their arms and their
legs after he repeatedly used violence as a punishment.
parents of the children had no idea that they were leaving their children in
the care of a man who would leave them writhing in pain and covered in marks
Street Crown Court
left the children intimidated and afraid to tell their parents about his
dread to think how many children’s lives he has affected over the years, we are
doing all we can to support those children and their families that we know
are working with Rochdale Council, the Council of Mosques and other partners to
ensure that this type of behaviour is never repeated and our children are safe
with those that we put our children in the care of.
would like to commend the bravery of those who came forward and spoke to
police, I understand how difficult that must have been. Rauf will never be able
to hurt another child in his care, and that is all thanks to those who spoke
out against him.
who has been affected, should contact police with any concerns.”
the hearing, an NSPCC spokesman said: “This was a complete betrayal of trust by
Rauf and it is right that he has been sentenced for his wickedness against
children in a place of worship.
poor children had every right to the proper care expected from their religious
leader but instead were met with violence and brutality.
Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision this past Tuesday to uphold President Trump’s
proclamation banning citizens of seven countries from entering the United
States yet again affirms Trump’s animus toward Muslims. But for millions of
Muslims, who have already seen and heard Donald Trump as a candidate and as
president vilify their faith and their countries, the Court’s decision does not
plough new ground. It only adds insult to injury.
legal “vindication” the Court gave Trump regarding Islam and Muslim countries
will in the long run harm America’s interests and threaten the safety of
American personnel in many Muslim countries. It also signals a foreboding sense
of Islamophobia in the Trump world, especially toward Muslim Americans, and
deepens the belief among Islamic radicals and mainstream Muslim peoples alike
overseas that Trump’s America is an “enemy” of Islam and must be confronted.
extremism and Trumpism are now two sides of the same coin. They both abhor a
dialogue with the “other” and view engagement as an existential and a
previous administrations, President Trump has taken for granted the supportive
attitudes of “friendly” Muslim leaders—most of whom are unbridled dictators—and
views them as a genuine expression of Islamic views toward the United States.
Dictators’ claims that they represent their peoples in no way reflect the
worldview of Muslim youth in the “Muslim-Arab Street.” The recent
“anti-terrorist” draconian laws that regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain,
and the United Arab Emirates have promulgated restricting their people’s access
to the social media reveal the huge schism between Arab regimes and their
long as Arab Muslim autocrats are excluded from the list of banned countries,
and as long as they remain in Trump’s good graces, they’ll keep silent about
his frequent anti-Muslim harangues. Nor is it surprising that they have not
criticized the latest Court decision banning potentially millions of Muslims
from entering the United States.
be clear, the third iteration of Trump’s three bans, which the Court approved,
is nothing more than an attack on selected Muslim countries and a license to
prevent adherents of a particular faith (Islam) from coming to America. It
codifies an inhumane policy to prevent some of the most vulnerable and
destitute Muslims from ever reaching American shores, whether as refugees or
asylum seekers. In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the Court
decision “erodes the principles of religious tolerance.” Venezuela and North
Korea were included in the proclamation, which the Court ruled to be within the
“scope of Presidential authority,” as a ruse to hide Trump’s truly dark
intentions to target Muslims and demean them as human beings.
the five Muslim majority countries in the ban—Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and
Somalia—four have Sunni majorities. By including Iran, the largest Shia country
in the world, Trump has once more shown, after his abandoning the P5+1 nuclear
deal, a visceral hatred for that country and a determination to destroy it and
its regime. He, his National Security Advisor John Bolton, his attorney Rudy
Giuliani, and his hardline Israeli government supporters, including Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have already called for regime change in Iran.
Yemen, Libya, and Somalia are mostly failed states whose citizens are in dire
need of a better life in the West. Syria is under the thumb of its butcher
Bashar al-Assad. Yemen is witnessing a horrific human tragedy created largely
by the Saudi-led and American-supported war. Libya is a territory of armed
militias with regional governments, some of them also armed by the United
States. Somalia is a conglomeration of armed camps fighting for power and
control with no regard for innocent civilians. Some of these camps are also
supported by the United States.
of thousands of desperate citizens from these four countries are in refugee
camps in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Djibouti, other parts of the Horn of Africa,
and elsewhere. They are waiting for an opportunity to seek better opportunities
in other countries, including Europe and America. The Court’s decision, with
Trump’s blessing, has dashed their hopes and condemned them to a life of
World Engagement As Antidote to Terrorism
the two previous administrations, President Trump does not view engaging the
millions of mainstream Muslims across the globe as a useful strategy to
undermine radicalism and extremism and to drain the swamp of terrorism. Whereas
Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama believed that reaching out to
mainstream Muslims would undercut the radical message and protect American
national security, President Trump came into office brandishing Islamophobia
and demonizing Muslims. He seemed to encourage painting all Muslims with a
broad brush of terrorism and anti-Americanism.
invoking the names of radical Salafi clerics and thinkers to justify their
campaign against Shia Iran, Trump and other Iranophobes are throwing a
lifeline—inadvertently or otherwise—to radical Sunni Islam, which definitely
benefits al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS or IS). Such a dangerous and
ill-guided policy is upending the entire American counterterrorism policy since
9/11. By informing the Arab Sunni potentates of the Persian Gulf, including
Saudi Arabia, that America stands on their side against Shia Iran, Trump in
effect has become a partisan in the wars within Islam. If recent history is any
guide, he is bound to lose this sectarian war, and American security is bound
the horrible attacks on 9/11, my government colleagues and I focused heavily on
trying to understand the drivers of terrorism and the root causes of
radicalization. Among other things, we assessed that generally four broad
factors contributed to radicalization and terrorism:
Sunni Salaf-Wahhabi ideology that goes back to the fourteenth-century Sunni
activist Ibn Taymiyya and the eighteenth-century Arabian Peninsula religious
thinker Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab.
corruption, and poor economic policies, which autocratic regimes use to
maintain their hold on power.
anti-Islamic policies—including wars on Muslim countries, Islamophobia, and
discrimination against Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries.
grievances and ensuing radicalization and revenge—whether in Palestine, Iraq,
Afghanistan, China, or the Caucuses.
Pew and Gallup polls in dozens of Muslim countries in the decade following 9/11
have confirmed several of the four broad factors that drove terrorism during
that period. These factors in part gave rise to al-Qaeda and IS. Presidents
Bush and Obama for the most part accepted the results of these polls and the
concurring briefings by government analysts. They both declared that the war on
terror was not a war on Islam and put in place robust programs for Muslim world
of engagement and inclusion, President Trump preached demonization and
exclusion. He often declared in policy pronouncements and tweets that
democracy, political participation, ideological moderation, and human and civil
rights are not worthy goals to pursue in Muslim lands. He deliberately
torpedoed his predecessors’ policies of trying to undermine the radical
paradigm. He intentionally ignored the ugly historical truth that the Sunni
Salafi-Wahhabi radical ideology that spread across the Middle East, East and
West Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Balkans, the
Caucuses, and elsewhere emanated from Saudi Arabia and was funded by many
wealthy Sunni individuals, groups, and businesses in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the
UAE, and other Gulf Sunni states.
of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia. How did they come to the
United States and who provided them with assistance and funding? More recently,
where did thousands of al-Qaeda and IS “jihadists” come from? If there is any
logic to the insanity of the travel ban, Saudi Arabia should have topped the
list of banned Muslim countries.
addition to ignoring these questions, Trump officials and their Israeli friends
are invoking the same radical Sunni thinkers, especially Ibn Taymiyya, to
justify their campaign against Shia Iran. They will soon discover that
Salafi-Wahhabi radical ideology is ineffective in their crusade against Iran.
Apart from supporting the radical ideology, Trump has also embraced the
repressive and corrupt policies of Arab dictators and has ignored the demands
of their peoples. Furthermore, his hateful rhetoric against Muslims during the
presidential campaign and since assuming office has alienated Muslim peoples
worldwide. The favorability of Trump’s America in most Muslim countries last
year was noticeably lower than in previous years, according to the Pew poll of
selected Muslim countries. Nor has the Trump administration addressed the
simmering conflicts that have given rise to locally radicalized youth—for
example, in Palestine, Afghanistan, East Africa, the Sahel countries, and
long-term security of the United States and the safety of American diplomatic
and military personnel in Muslim countries cannot be achieved by anti-Muslim
rhetoric. Relying on pliant Islamic dictators and potentates, kings, and emirs
is not a long-term solution. The factors that have contributed to the rise and
resilience of terrorism are not difficult to discern. They have been well
documented. Trump’s decision to ignore these factors has negative consequences
for the United States and could be sowing the seeds for another terrorist
organization or a rebranded al-Qaeda or IS.
July 3 (APP):”Legal immigration from all Muslim-majority countries is on track
to fall by nearly a third, a latest news report said on Monday, while Pakistan
and India are among the countries which have posted decline in grant of
is among the top most issues that have divided the US in recent months, but the
Trump administration has also made “inroad” into reducing even legal
immigration, an analysis by the Washington Post showed.
number of those receiving visas to permanently move to the United States is on
track to fall 12 percent in the first two years of President Trump, with the
Muslim-majority countries on the President’s travel ban list being the most
Supreme Court last month handed over the President one of his major victories
by upholding his executive order that sought to ban travel of citizens from
Yemen, Syria, Iran, Libya and Somalia. According to the report arrivals from
these countries was heading toward an 81 percent drop by Sept. 30.
the report said legal immigration from all Muslim-majority countries was on
track to fall by nearly a third.
report quoted unnamed public officials and immigration experts as expressing
concerns that the administration’s approach targets certain nationalities,
discriminating against those from poorer and nonwhite countries.
it was not only the countries targeted by the Trump’s travel ban that had been
affected as nearly half of the countries that typically receive the largest
number of immigrant visas from the United States have also posted decline.
number of immigrant visas granted to people from Mexico, the Dominican
Republic, the Philippines, China, India, Vietnam, Haiti, Bangladesh, Jamaica,
Pakistan and Afghanistan has also declined,” the report said.
against it, the flow of legal immigrants from Europe has increased slightly,
though the total number of visas is much smaller than that from Africa, Asia
and Latin America.
was not clear whether the drop in immigrant visas was in part due to the
declining interest in immigrating to the United States as the US State
Department did not release visa application data, saying it doesn’t publish
shift in legal immigration is a reversal of the trend under President Barack
Obama. During Obama’s time in office, immigrant visas increased by 33 percent,
surging to 617,752 in fiscal 2016, the highest level in decades,” the report
Ghannouchi, head of the Ennahda party, casts his vote at a polling station for
the municipal election in Tunis, Tunisia, May 6, 2018. ZOUBEIR SOUISSI /
perennial question of whether democracy can work in the Middle East isn’t
always easy to answer. Generally, it hasn’t worked. But amid civil war in
Yemen, Libya, and Syria, authoritarian resurgence in Saudi Arabia and Egypt,
and economic instability in Jordan, there are at least three cases that
challenge the notion that it can’t happen here. Tunisia, which held its first
post-revolution municipal elections in May, continues to be a (relative) bright
spot. Then there are the more unlikely cases of Iraq as well as
Lebanon—probably the world’s most successful failed state. All three share two
related features: Largely without controversy, they include Islamist parties in
their democratic processes; and, second, they feature some degree of
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Lebanon, these arrangements are deeply flawed, chaotic, and responsible for
entrenching sectarianism. Parliamentary seats are still apportioned by
religious affiliation. At the same time, as the Carnegie Endowment’s Joseph
Bahout has noted: “There are typically no winners and no vanquished [entities]
emerging from crises in Lebanon … Many Lebanese seem to believe their system is
the least bad option compared with neighbors.” The Lebanese writer Michael
Young has argued that while each sectarian grouping is illiberal and insular,
by interacting, “they tend to cancel each other out, creating spaces that allow
individuals to function with relative freedom.”
President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech in tribute to late Auschwitz
survivor and French health minister Simone Veil and her late husband Antoine
Veil during a national tribute.
like Lebanon, saw lower turnout in its recent election. But as the Brookings
Institution’s Tamara Wittes testified to Congress, both polls offered an
important lesson. “If Lebanon and Iraq can pull off free elections,” she wrote,
“it’s harder for strongmen in other Arab states to argue that they can’t afford
the risk to stability of allowing their own peoples a choice in who governs
very presence of Islamist parties can be inherently polarizing, particularly
when they represent large, powerful, and conservative constituencies. Through
successive administrations, the United States has regarded too much Islamist
representation—or any Islamist representation—as a risky prospect. Yet it was
the George W. Bush administration that, despite its discomfort with Islamism,
ironically paved the way for Islamists to take power through democratic
elections in Lebanon—a first in the Arab world. After its January 2005
elections, Ibrahim al-Jaafari of the Shia Islamist Dawa party assumed the prime
ministership. Interestingly, Iraqi Muslim Brotherhood members served in various
cabinet positions, including as ministers of higher education and planning. In
Lebanon, Hezbollah—however much the United States and Saudi Arabia oppose
it—has become a fixture of coalition governments. The point here isn’t that
these groups are good (Hezbollah is a designated terrorist organization as well
as an active participant in the Syrian regime’s mass killing of civilians), but
rather that Arab democracy, in practice, often coincides with the normalization
of Islamist parties.
in Tunisia, where Islamists aren’t yet normalized since the democratic
experience is still young, there are similar takeaways. The country’s
transition since the ouster of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 offers a
reminder that democracy can not only survive but thrive—but only if Islamist
parties are incorporated into the process. From 2011 to 2014, the Islamist
Ennahda-led government and constituent assembly, in partnership with two
secular parties, ushered in what the Project on Middle East Democracy called
“the most progressive and democratic legal framework for civil society in the
Arab World.” These included some of the strongest associational freedoms and
human-rights protections in the region. Surprisingly—or perhaps unsurprisingly,
depending on your perspective—these gains are in danger of being undermined
under the current secular-led government.
like analyst Ibrahim al-Assil, might argue that Tunisia is exceptional because
Ennahda is exceptional—an Islamist party that has diluted its Islamism, shed
the “Islamist” label, and reconciled itself to a secular state. In my book
Islamic Exceptionalism, I argued that these shifts are more the product of an
imperative to survive, a fear of repression, and a determined pragmatism than
they are the result of some deep ideological epiphany.
the case of Tunisia, the irony is that Islamists’ willingness to play
nice—something that would generally seem quite positive—has contributed to a
troubling trend of democratic backsliding on things like police reform, an
overly securitized counterterrorism strategy, and the lack of accountability
for the crimes and corruption of old regime figures. As the largest party in
parliament, Ennahda potentially has considerable power to challenge Prime
Minister Youssef Chahed and President Beji Caid Essebsi Essebsi’s priorities.
Instead, they have emphasized caution, consensus, and stability, fearing that
doing otherwise might summon the old days of polarization and repression.
Embracing their role as junior partner in the government, they have, in effect,
gained protected status. But this also means that Tunisia is deprived of a
cohesive bloc that could serve as an effective lobby for strengthening the
democratic transition. The desire for compromise, unchecked, can come at a
— Before the Supreme Court ruled last week that President Trump’s executive
order banning travel to the U.S. by citizens from majority-Muslim nations was
not discriminatorily aimed at Muslims, the argument had already been won in an
unlikely place: the mainstream media.
becoming president, Trump has gone out of his way to fulfill a central campaign
promise: to bar Muslim immigrants and refugees from entering the country. To
improve the chances of this policy passing legal muster, the Trump
administration has insisted on framing the executive order as a “travel ban”
rather than a “Muslim ban.”
and his supporters have had plenty of help in this endeavor from journalists
who continue to describe Trump’s policy of barring various Muslim populations
from the U.S. as a “travel ban.” A common assumption at work is that this
language is an impartial way to describe Trump’s immigration policy on select
let’s be clear: The phrase “travel ban” is neither neutral nor objective. It’s
a euphemism, meant to distract the nation from the underlying anti-Muslim
bigotry driving the ban. When journalists repeat this language, they become
potentially complicit in amplifying Trump’s propaganda and in inscribing
anti-Muslim prejudice into federal immigration policy. Neither of these tasks
is befitting of the journalistic profession.
doesn’t help that the Supreme Court, in upholding the ban, has now effectively
encouraged both the White House and the media to double down on this language.
In what will go down as one of the most troubling decisions in the modern
history of the Supreme Court, a majority of justices determined in Trump v.
Hawaii that the ban reflects a neutral policy.
for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts argued that Trump’s campaign call for
“a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the country,” along with
Trump’s many anti-Muslim statements and tweets, were of no consequence in
determining whether the ban itself violates the principles of religious liberty
enshrined in the First Amendment.
long as the president says he is acting out of national security concerns and
doesn’t explicitly call out Muslims in his executive order, he gets a pass on
accusations that he is violating the Constitution, not to mention prejudicial
statements he’s made in the past. Intent doesn’t matter.
was left to Justice Sonia Sotomayor to call out Roberts and her other
colleagues on the hypocrisy in justifying this policy as neutral or as a mere
travel ban. She noted how these same justices had no qualms about focusing on
intent in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In that
case, the court ruled in favor of a Christian owner of a bakery who refused to
serve a same-sex couple.
court’s majority insisted that the civil rights commission that handled the
couple’s complaint had demonstrated bias toward the religious beliefs of the
owner. But when it came to a case involving Muslims, the question of bias
seemingly became irrelevant.
gave a thorough account of the many anti-Muslim statements that Trump made
during his campaign, in addition to his promise for a “total and complete
shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” She pointed to his insistence
that “Islam hates us” and that “(w)e’re having problems with Muslims coming
into the country.”
noted that Trump asked one of his advisers, Rudy Giuliani, to find a legal way
to enact the ban on Muslims. And when Trump was given opportunities as
president to disavow these past statements, Sotomayor pointed out that Trump
observations about Trump’s intent arose from the administration’s efforts to
adjust the ban each time the federal courts raised roadblocks. To take one
example, neither North Korea nor Venezuela was listed in the first two
executive orders. The administration added them to the last iteration only to
circumvent the legal obstacles presented by the courts, particularly in regards
to First Amendment concerns. The addition of two non-Muslim-majority countries
to the third ban was arguably window dressing.
all the relevant evidence together,” wrote Sotomayor, “a reasonable observer
would conclude that the Proclamation was driven primarily by anti-Muslim
animus, rather than the Government’s asserted national-security
justifications.” In other words, by ignoring the obvious intent behind the ban,
the court abandoned both reason and the Constitution in order to put the stamp
of neutrality onto a bigoted policy.
matters, as do the words journalists use to describe policies emanating from
the White House. When journalists repeat the language of “travel ban” without
raising critical questions about where this language comes from and how it
sanitizes a policy with clear origins in bigotry, they risk serving as a
mouthpiece for White House propaganda and repeating the mistakes made by the
Supreme Court majority in Trump v. Hawaii.
time has come to raise the bar for how the ban is discussed and debated.
Measured by intent, this is a Muslim ban. If some journalists decide to push
back and scrutinize this designation, I think that’s fair. They will find many
of us are willing and ready to have this debate.
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