Islam': Can A State-Led Project Succeed With A New Interpretation Of Religion?
of Suspects by NAB, Other LEAs un-Islamic, Says Council of Islamic Ideology
Muslims Can Set an Example of Religious Harmony for World, Says Dalai Lama
Indonesia's Controversial Training Seminars Preparing Muslims for Polygamous
Muslim Values in Public Schools Rejected in California
Grand Mufti Urges Public to Fight Haftar Forces
Francis Says God Only ‘Permits’ Islam to Exist
Messages On Facebook Lead To Charge Of Lying To FBI
open to the return of ISIS militant’s orphaned children
orders psych test for Christchurch shooting suspect
seeks accountability for Syria chemical attacks
children have the right to study the Bible, Lahore activists say
trouble with being Hazara in Pakistan's Quetta city
would have protested against PPP’s corruption: Fawad
US hold talks on Afghan peace process
of Pakistan's F-16 Jets Accounted For By US Personnel, Contradicting Indian
GDP Growth to Fall behind Nepal, Maldives This Year: UN
of accused can’t delay treason trial: SC
Remain Unaddressed’: MEA on Kartarpur Corridor Talks With Pakistan
of scrapping Article 370 is to attack Muslim character of J&K: Mehbooba
candidates bear brunt of division of votes
bust terrorist hideout in Kishtwar; Pak army rifle found
Focuses on Terror Prevention, Peacekeeping as Non-Permanent UN Security Council
accused of insulting Islam claim assaulted in prison
Americans Confident 'Terror Watchlist' Will Soon Be Ruled Unconstitutional
envoy wraps up Afghan visit, vows inclusivity in talks
passes resolution to withdraw US support in Yemen
Libyan Commander Haftar Orders His Troops to Move On Tripoli
bomb explodes at restaurant near police academy in Somali capital
forces in Libya seize town south of Tripoli, UN chief voices deep concern
at risk of ‘sliding back into chaos’, Qatar warns
Faso: 62 people killed in northern town
The Escalation in Relations Between Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen and the Islamic
Issue Nowhere to Be Found in Israel’s Election
halts work in Yemen’s militia-held Aden after patient abducted, killed
settlers, soldiers seize Palestinian land in northern West Bank
Palestinian children killed by Israel since January, says rights group
FM says Europe incapable of bypassing US sanctions
Commissioner: Bangladesh A Developing Giant on World Stage
kills dozens in Afghanistan’s Badghis
officials: Taliban kill at least 20 troops, policemen
forces arrest alleged Daesh online recruiters
killed as Myanmar military chopper attacks Rohingya Muslims
wants to create ‘safe zones’ for Rohingya
ISIS media activists arrested in Kabul city
Special Forces kill 13 ISIS militants in Nangarhar province
Taliban militants killed in an airstrike of the Afghan Air Force in Balkh
Militants Continue Detention of Civilians, Looting Historical Sites in Afrin
Repels ISIL Attack near Iraqi Borders, Reinvigorates Positions in Eastern Syria
Sources: Over 10,000 US Forces Deployed in Al-Anbar
a boost to bilateral relations, Saudi Arabia opens new Baghdad consulate
victims of Daesh leadership deserve justice: UN
government forces’ shelling kills 22: war monitor
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Francis walked back an earlier statement Wednesday on God “willing” a plurality
of religions, saying that in reality God only permits the existence of many
a joint statement with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, Pope Francis
said in February that the plurality and diversity of religions “are willed by
God in His wisdom,” just as God wills a plurality of colors, sexes, races, and
Abu Dhabi declaration elicited a wave of criticism from Catholic theologians,
who insisted that such a statement seemed to suggest that either God actively
wills error, or that all religions are equally valid paths to God. The
existence of a variety of colors, races, and languages in humanity is very
different from a variety of contradictory claims about God’s identity and way
Thomas Weinandy, for instance, the former head of the U.S. bishops’ doctrinal
office, said he found the statement disturbing for its apparent reduction of
Jesus Christ to just another guru or religious leader.
I find very sad and scandalously troubling” Father Weinandy told Lifesite News,
“is that, in the midst of it all, Jesus is being insulted. He is reduced to the
level of Buddha or Mohammed when in fact he is the Father’s beloved Messianic
Son, the one in whom the Father is well pleased.”
only religions that God positively willed are Judaism and Christianity for he
himself founded these religions through his own positive divine actions and
revelation,” Weinandy said.
to many scholars, Islam, for example, was born as a Christian heresy — a
perversion of Christianity — and it would be odd if God directly willed for
heresy to be proclaimed.
a series of unscripted remarks Wednesday, the pope attempted to clarify that
what God really wills is fraternity among all peoples, while he only permits a
plurality of religions.
someone may wonder: why does the Pope go visit the Muslims and not just
Catholics? Why are there so many religions? How is it that there are so many
religions?” Francis said.
the Muslims we are descendants of the same Father, Abraham. Why does God allow
there to be so many religions? God wanted to allow this. Scholastic theologians
referred to God’s voluntas permissiva [permissive will]. He wanted to allow
this reality: that there are so many religions,” he said.
are born from culture, but they always look at heaven, they look at God,” he
said. “But what God wills is brotherhood among us and in a special way – and
this is the reason for this journey – with the Muslims, our brothers and
sisters, children of Abraham.”
must not be frightened by the difference: God allowed this,” the pope
continued. “We should be frightened if we do not work in brotherhood, to walk
together in life.”
this clarification is undoubtedly helpful, Father Weinandy suggested, it does
not go far enough.
problem is that, more than likely, the vast majority of the media and many
other theologians and bishops will continue to interpret the original document
in the manner that, as God willed Judaism and Christianity, so he also willed
other religions – full stop,” he said.
2017, Father Weinandy published a forceful letter he had written to Pope
Francis, criticizing the pontiff’s “intentionally ambiguous” teaching, scorn of
conservatives, and resistance to constructive criticism.
made the letter public, he said, because it “expresses the concerns of many
more people than just me, ordinary people who’ve come to me with their
questions and apprehensions.”
his letter, Father Weinandy listed five points that illustrate the “chronic confusion”
that seems to mark the Francis pontificate, namely, intentional ambiguity,
disdain for doctrine, the appointment of heterodox bishops, sowing division in
the Church, and vindictiveness in the face of criticism.
Islam': Can a state-led project succeed with a new interpretation of religion?
late November the German Islam Conference was held in Berlin. The project
triggered many controversies and heating debates in Germany and beyond.
the programme was launched in 2006 by the German Federal Ministry of the
Interior, it was mainly initiated to promote dialogue between representatives
of the German government and the country's Muslim community, it significantly
transformed over the years. Even though it was originally designed as a
mechanism of communication and dialogue between the German state and Muslims
living in Germany, the conference added a completely new dimension to its
programme: redefining Islam.
initiative to redefine and adjust Islam to German values combined with efforts
to stimulate the integration of Muslims into German society is not an entirely
new idea. In early 2000's former Interior Minister Otto Schily for example,
raised this issue when saying that Muslims had to be assimilated and be
prepared to adopt a "European Islam".
German Islam Conference seems to continue this approach. It has been also
interpreted as a governmental identity-building project through an initiative
to create a German version of Islam. But while integration of 4.6 million
strong Muslim community into the German society is welcomed and necessary goal
of every responsible state, the current approach conducted by the German
authorities have been debatable.
the 'German Islam'
have expressed serious scepticism whether state-imposed or state-led project of
a new interpretation of religion can succeed and whether it will be adopted by
a wider Muslim community. Traditional circles fear that such project aimed to
transform religious identity by promoting "secular and enlightened"
version of new "German" Islam is completely unacceptable and
to them, there cannot be multiple versions of Islam based on nationality. On
the other hand, religion and life practices may differ from culture to culture,
while at the same time observing Islamic norms.
Dr Dr h.c. Mathias Rohe, M.A., Director of The Erlangen Centre for Islam and
Law in Europe (EZIRE) observes that many Muslims would reject the idea of an
established regional Islam but would at the same time condone the idea of their
religious life and their convictions how to be a good Muslim being influenced
by their regional and social environment.
to Dr Yasemin El-Menouar, Senior Expert at the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the term
"German Islam" is misleading and sparked a critical debate in Germany
at that time. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer then specified that the
issue is "an Islam for Germany, an Islam of the Germans."
while a normative definition of "German Islam" is highly disputed,
the factual description is virtually uncontested, Prof Dr Rohe added. He
explained that the term of a "German Islam" aims at defining the scope
and limits for religious life in the country. The German president has recently
said that millions of Muslims are living their everyday life in the country in
a way that "belongs to Germany".
means that concrete needs and creeds of Muslim citizens and immigrants to
Germany should be tackled, rather than mixing them up with traditionalist and
extremist movements and political systems abroad, which are inimical to the
standards of democracy and the rule of law governing the country," he told
The New Arab.
Dr El-Menouar noted that the topic is less about a new identity-building
project and more about the recognition of the reality that Islam has arrived in
Germany and has become native, from both the side of the German majority
population and the side of the Islamic associations.
Monitor" series of studies, conducted by the Bertelsmann Stiftung show
empirically that the 4.6 million Muslims in Germany have found independent,
pragmatic ways to reconcile their religiosity with their living in German
secular society. They are meanwhile strongly guided by the fundamental values
of German society. For example, 96 percent of the interviewed Muslims feel
closely connected to Germany; 90 percent are committed to democracy, 93 percent
to openness toward other religions, and 83 percent to gender equality.
very tactful approach
although the integration of migrants is necessary in order to prevent
ghettoisation, German officials have often acted like an elephant in a
porcelain store when dealing with this sensitive issue. This is especially true
for the statement given by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who also chairs
the German Islam Conference when said that Islam "doesn't belong in
Germany." His deputy latter responded that, "If there is to be an
Islam that belongs to Germany, German Muslims must define it as 'German
Islam." Such strong and imperative language caused nothing but great
disappointment and annoyance within the Muslim community.
the most grotesque was certainly a scandal that made the world headlines, when
the organisers from the Ministry served a blutwurst – or "blood
sausage" – which is made of ingredients including pig's blood, pork, and
bacon. An incident, which completely overshadowed the Islamic conference
meeting has been viewed as a deliberate provocation by controversial Interior
Minister Horst Seehofer, rising the suspicions about true intentions and
goodwill of German authorities when dealing with Muslim issue. Stop to foreign
influence and funding?
of the latest scandal, the conference addressed other important issues that
sparked heated debate in the country. However, the issues such as the role of
Islamic theology in German universities, training of imams and question of
funding Muslim organisations, have been met with great suspicion by some.
conservative and traditional circles especially those from large Turkish
community believe that the true aim of the authority efforts is to diminish the
role of traditional Muslim/Turkish organisations which are believed to be
directly influenced by official Ankara.
current efforts of German state are therefore seen as a creation of an
institutional mechanism that would keep the Muslim community under control and
surveillance either by offering financial incentives or taxing mosques while
cutting the funding (and influence) from foreign sponsors.
political elite perceives countries like Turkey, Iran or Saudi Arabia as
promoters the radical interpretation of Islam, which is "in violation of
series of violent attacks in Eastern Germany last year, Markus Kerber a State
Secretary at the Interior Ministry, said that government will tighten control
over foreign influence of its Muslim community, calling into question the
future role and existence of well-established and traditional institutions such
as the Turkish Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB).
to Prof Dr Rohe, there is no doubt that the German Islam Conference was at
least in part a consequence of 9/11. The government expressed its vivid
interest in fostering Muslim self-organisation and cooperation with the state
for security reasons. But this was not the sole motivation.
is uniting Muslims of all Islamic faiths from different countries of origin. In
the past, a patchwork of very different Islamic organisations has been created,
each representing only a minority of Muslims.
German Islam Conference tries to bring together all these organisations, but
also non-organised Muslims, in order to negotiate a form of cooperation with
the German state. Prof Dr Rohe, who has been involved in all stages of the
German Islam Conference from the very beginning, have noticed that
"remarkable shift from strong state-directed procedures to a dialogue on
equal footing and to the reduction of the state representatives to the role of
a moderator between different Muslim organisations and stakeholders. If the
Conference were a simple instrument of exercising control, Muslim
representatives would have rejected to participate, which is obviously not the
vs new actors
debate about the aims of the conference and the role of the Muslim
organisations in the country has also divided the Muslim community. Some
conservative and their traditional organisations who reject "German
Islam" project and favour foreign funding like that of DITIB, have clashed
with Germany's more liberal-minded Muslims, who appear willing to embrace
the German state focuses on the cooperation with the various religious
communities, several prominent Muslim individuals and unorganised groups were
also invited at the conference causing a great deal of disagreement among
traditional groups which have been the only invitees so far. The presence of new groups and individuals
has been understood as an attempt to impose a state-designed brand of religion.
also: Islam and the European Reformation
of such groups, the Initiative Secular Islam, was founded shortly before the
start of the 4th Islam Conference in November 2018 and attracted a lot of media
attention. However, Dr El-Menouar said that the initiative is currently
supported by only about 2,500 Muslims and non-Muslims is neither financially
nor otherwise supported by the state. It is merely a legitimate voice of civil
many Muslim organisations are unable in terms of staff/members and financial
means to organise their work without cooperation with the state on all levels,
be it local, regional or on the federal level. Thus, according to Prof Dr Rohe,
most of them welcome the ability to discuss their needs and projects and to get
the latter supported within the legal framework (e.g. for financing social and
cultural activities). Most Muslims have perceived the state initiatives as
being part of a "policy of recognition" from the very beginning.
"as long as the state initiatives respect the right of Muslim
self-determination, and interact with Muslims on equal footing, this can be
considered as a major contribution for preventing Muslim radicalisation and
disintegration," he added.
problems in everyday life of Muslims in Germany very often are not rooted in
their religion, but in socio-cultural circumstances and in distrust in
"Islam as such" among large parts of the population, which
nevertheless supports a peaceful and respectful living together with the
Muslims living in the country.
of suspects by NAB, other LEAs un-Islamic, says Council of Islamic Ideology
The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) declared on Thursday that handcuffing of
suspects by the National Accountability Bureau and law enforcement agencies as
well as insulting them on the media before conviction was against Islamic
principles and violated human dignity.
the same time, the council continued its tradition of taking up issues related
to women and expressed concern over what it termed “advances” implied in
several slogans during Women’s Day rallies.
chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz told the media after the two-day council meeting that a
committee had been formed under the supervision of retired Justice Raza Khan, a
member of the council, to analyse the National Accountability Ordinance.
committee will review as to which sections of the law are in violation of
Islamic laws,” Mr Ayaz said.
when asked about handcuffing of suspects by police and other law enforcement
agencies, he said that it was an un-Islamic act.
Ayaz declined to further elaborate but said, “Handcuffing can be allowed only
when there is threat of violence by the accused”.
the CII had come up similar reservations in 2002 along with a set of rights to
be followed by the authorities for treatment of suspects and prisoners.
CII’s latest meeting also observed that “unethical and immoral” slogans were
heard at the rallies held on March 8.
have noted that it was due to the decaying family system in the country and the
council will try to determine the reasons for disintegration of the family
system,” Dr Ayaz said, adding that it was the responsibility of the council
under its mandate to suggest ways and measures for the Muslims of the country
to live their lives according to principles of the Quran and Sunnat.
behaviour cannot be changed with charged slogans and rhetoric. There is a need
to determine the reasons and environment leading to such actions (by
participants of the Aurat march),” the CII chairman said.
meeting also discussed the murder of Associate Professor Khalid Hameed, the
head of the English department at the Government Sadiq Egerton College,
Bahawalpur. “We have noted that the education system in the country needs an
overhauling as there is lack of coordination and informal contacts between
students and teachers. Besides healthy activities including extracurricular
activities have almost died down,” Dr Ayaz said. “The [government’s education]
policies are teacher-centric — about their salaries etc — but not
student-centric and the youth of the country is under serious psychological
pressures,” he added.
the alleged forced conversion of two Hindu girls, the CII chairman said that
their case was in the Islamabad High Court, adding that forced conversion was
incorrect. However marriage of one’s free will outside one’s religion was
another issue, he added.
[the council meeting] also took up the sale of liquor in the name of religions
other than Islam. The CII will approach religious personalities of other
religions to seek their opinion on liquor as the liquor sale permits are issued
on the basis of other religions,” he added.
said that the CII expressed concern over attacks on Christchurch mosques, and
paid tribute to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her actions and
decisions following the attack.
Muslims can set an example of religious harmony for world, says Dalai Lama
spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Thursday said Indian Muslims could set an
example of religious harmony before the world.
a press conference here, Lama said: "I have never heard a problem between
Shia and Sunni in India, while in Muslim countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia,
they are fighting against each other."
is a country with religious harmony despite so much diversity. I have suggested
the government to do an international religious conference here," he
said.The Tibetan spiritual leader said, "If an international Buddhist
conference, headed by former President of India Dr Radhakrishnan, can happen
here in the past, then why not an international conference on all religions be
on Gurugram incident where a Muslim family was beaten up by some Hindus over an
argument regarding a cricket match, Lama said: "There are misguided people
in all religions."
some Buddhists are also misguided, but these people cannot symbolise the whole
religion. We must think seriously to make 21st century peaceful and India can
make a significant impression on the world."
also praised New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for the manner in which
she handled the situation after terror attacks in Christchurch on March 15 that
caused 50 lives.
the speculation that succession of Dalai Lama will be in China, he said,
"How long will I live? Suppose I live for the next 15 years, I think in
that case the Chinese government will change by that time."
I die next year, then China will have to show to the world that my
reincarnation is born there. My rebirth cannot be at one particular place. It
can be anywhere. I will take rebirth as long as the suffering remains, as long
as space remains." he said. On the question of his exile in India, he said
"I am not a separatist which the Chinese government thinks I am. We are
not seeking independence from anyone.
Indonesia's controversial training seminars preparing Muslims for polygamous
club dedicated to promoting polygamy in Indonesia is actively touting "a
quick way to have four wives" through classes across the country that cost
hundreds of dollars.
experts say most Indonesians find the idea of polygamous marriage
objectionable, there is strong support for the practice in some sections of
Indonesian Polygamy Forum (FP Indonesia) is capitalising on interest among
conservative Muslim men in taking multiple wives by offering one-day seminars
that claim to prepare their clients for polygamous marriage.
organisation said it even provides a same-day marriage service for seminar
attendees deemed ready to enter into a polygamous marriage.
Abu Syamil, a 32-year-old male who facilitates the workshops, said male
participants are charged 3,500,000 rupiah each (roughly $350) to attend.
for women who attend
sizes are limited to 20 people — most of them men — with a 50 per cent discount
being offered to female attendees in an attempt to attract more women.
covered include how to begin and maintain a polygamous marriage, how to acquire
four wives within a short period of time, and how to avoid a divorce.
Abu Syamil said he became a polygamist when he was 24 years old, and now has
married my first wife in 2006 and my second one in 2011. It was a long process
to actually reach that big decision based on mutual understanding," he
Abu Syamil said he was able to persuade his first wife based on "knowledge
that came from heaven and was delivered by the messenger", referring to
club, which was established in 2017, holds sessions that are attended by
Muslims around Indonesia, with the next one scheduled for Jakarta in mid-April.
one in a million men will refuse polygamy'
man touting the appeal of polygamy is Fadil Muzakki Syah, the son of a
charismatic cleric, who has become infamous in Indonesia for living openly with
three wives in Jember, East Java.
participants in an Indonesia Polygamy Forum class
The Indonesian Polygamy Forum said these women participated in one of its classes.
(Supplied: Indonesian Polygamy Forum)
believe an old saying that among a million women, only one is willing to accept
polygamy," Mr Muzaki Syah told local media outlet Jawapos.
the other hand, only one in a million men will refuse polygamy."
has praised his first wife for not only letting him marry again but also being
actively involved in "coaching" the second wife into their family.
When he met another woman, a young widow, both his other wives were heavily
involved in the preparations for the marriage.
men who promote the practice tend to paint a picture of marital harmony, most
wives in polygamous marriages suffer detrimental effects to their wellbeing,
both "psychologically and economically", according to Nina Nurmila, a
commissioner on Indonesia's National Commission of Violence Against Women
Muslim man who wants to take on secondary wives — an option not afforded to
women — must prove his first wife is sick, disabled, or cannot have children,
and that he has the means to care for all of his spouses and children equally.
'at a disadvantage'
Ms Nurmila, whose PhD research at the University of Melbourne focuses on
polygamous marriages in Indonesia, said the existing spouses she interviewed
described being emotionally and financially sidelined.
wives, she said, were often at a disadvantage as their marriages are rarely
registered, meaning they had no legal recourse in the event of a dispute.
critics say domestic violence is also more likely to take hold in polygamous
rare in Indonesia — former president Suharto frowned upon polygamy and banned
civil servants from the practice during his three-decades dictatorial rule — a
return to democracy has brought a niche but flourishing resurgence.
local media reported that just 897 polygamous marriages were registered in
2018, but with most avoiding official registration, Ms Nurmila estimated that
up to 5 per cent of people in Indonesia could be practicing polygamy.
Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the country's peak body for Muslim
organisations, said it had not received any complaints about the polygamy
classes and nor does it plan to formally discourage the practice.
is not mandatory, recommended, reprehensible or forbidden, however it could be
haram or forbidden if it would create damage to the family," the MUI's
Aminuddin Yaqub told the ABC.
Nurmila predicted that the practice was unlikely to be outlawed any time soon,
with male politicians unmotivated to address the issue.
struggle to outlaw polygamy I don't think will be successful in the next 10 to
20 years, until women can be represented [equally] in the legislature."
terrorism-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations recently suffered a rare
defeat in its long-running push to mainstream Muslim values in U.S. schools,
when a federal lawsuit was settled. The group agreed to end its program in San
Diego schools, which critics say pressured students to accept Islam or risk
being labeled “Islamophobic.”
was named an unindicted co-conspirator in 2007 in an alleged criminal
conspiracy to support both Hamas and the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and
Development. In 2014, the United Arab Emirates designated CAIR a terrorist
which touts itself as a Muslim civil-rights organization, claimed with scant
proof that President Donald Trump’s election caused a wave of attacks on Muslim
students in San Diego schools and throughout the country. The radical Southern
Poverty Law Center, which made similar assertions, dubbed it “The Trump Effect.”
May 2017, the Rancho Santa Fe, California-based Freedom of Conscience Defense
Fund (FCDF) sued on behalf of five families. The legal complaint asserted that
the San Diego Unified School District’s “anti-Islamophobia initiative,”
launched to fight purported anti-Muslim bullying, was unconstitutional.
Charles LiMandri of FCDF said that, in reality, it was non-Muslims who ended up
being the victims of discrimination in the school district.
insinuation that there are hordes of MAGA hat-wearing students prowling the
schools and terrorizing Muslim students is a study in mass deception,” LiMandri
the guise of promoting inclusivity, CAIR had unfettered power to target
conservative Christian students and smear them as ‘Islamophobic’ if they don’t
accept Islam. More broadly, the liberal school board ran roughshod over the
First Amendment by empowering CAIR to indoctrinate impressionable children. We
applaud our clients for standing up and fighting back.”
school district’s own data, presented at a court hearing in July 2018, showed
only two incidents in 2016 in which Muslim students were bullied, compared to
11 incidents for Jewish students, KPBS reported at the time.
the paucity of evidence, district lawyer Michael Sullivan said the schools
nonetheless needed to take precautions to safeguard students.
don’t have to wait until a kid is run over by a bus to address issues with the
crosswalk,” he said, adding problems could ensue if the district were to sever
ties with CAIR. “It would be inappropriate for the district to exclude CAIR, or
any other organization, based on its religious beliefs.”
and its allies have been remarkably successful in promoting Islam in schools.
the overwhelmingly Christian state of Tennessee, CAIR has demanded that public
school students be taught that the Islamic prophet Muhammad is the one and only
true messenger of God. CAIR and similar groups are pushing public school
systems across the United States to promote pro-Islamic messages in their
of the nation’s education establishment has already adopted the agenda of CAIR,
providing resources to combat “Islamophobia.”
of programs include the Bridge Initiative at the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal
Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University; the
Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the University of
California–Berkeley; and the University of Pittsburgh-based three-state
Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies (CERIS). A teacher’s
guide, “Islam in Asia: People, Practices, Tradition,” was put out jointly by
the University of Washington and the Seattle Times.
remains very active in the Golden State, with its California branch sponsoring
“Muslim Day at the Capitol” in Sacramento on April 22, which the organization
describes as “the nation’s largest Muslim civic engagement event.” Participants
are encouraged to urge state lawmakers to pass Assembly Bill 331, a bill that
would require high schools, including charter schools, to be instructed in
so-called ethnic studies, a radical discipline that looks at America through
the eyes of supposedly oppressed minorities.
very fabric of America is under attack ...
freedoms, our republic, and our constitutional rights have become contested
terrain. The Epoch Times, a media committed to truthful, responsible
journalism, is a rare bastion of hope and stability in these testing times.
other media may twist the facts to serve political agendas, we deliver stories
while upholding our responsibility to society.
reported truthfully on the current U.S. administration from the start. We
reported on the real possibility of a Trump victory in 2016. We’ve led
reporting on the Chinese communist threat since 2000; we have been exposing
communist thought in our government, schools, universities, popular culture,
and media; and we, like no other media, are rigorously investigating and
exposing the unscrupulous agents working to subvert our society.
with us in advancing a truly independent and truthful media—the way a free
press was intended to be, as a cornerstone of the Republic. Your contribution
allows us to continue piercing through the surface narratives of mainstream
media, and provide you with a full picture.
Grand Mufti urges public to fight Haftar forces
highest religious authority called on the public Thursday to take to the
streets against military commander Khalifa Haftar’s campaign aimed at capturing
Libyan people should resist and fight against Haftar’s forces in Tripoli in
order not to see crimes against humanity committed in [the eastern cities of]
Derna and Benghazi,” said Grand Mufti Sadiq Al-Ghariani, speaking to Al-Jazeera
Mubasher television based in Qatar
is no longer a secret that the UN mission in the country cooperates with
Haftar,” said Al-Ghariani, referring to the UN Support Mission in Libya
added that the UN mission was deployed in the country not to resolve problems
but to exacerbate them.
Wednesday, Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Tripoli-based government, ordered
security forces to “prepare for and respond to any threats aimed at
destabilizing the region”.
that day, Haftar, who is affiliated with a rival government based in the
eastern city of Al-Bayda, reportedly ordered his forces to deploy to western
parts of the country with a view to “purging the region of terrorist groups and
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising
led to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in
then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of
power: one in Al-Bayda, to which Haftar is linked, and another in Tripoli.
messages on facebook lead to charge of lying to FBI
New Zealand flag hangs on a fence as part of a makeshift memorial to the
victims of the Christchurch mass shooting, in front of the Linwood Mosque, in
Christchurch, New Zealand. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)
by Liam Stack
New York man who discussed an American re-enactment of the New Zealand mosque
massacre with white supremacist friends on Facebook was charged Thursday with
lying to FBI agents, law enforcement officials said.
to the criminal complaint, Thomas Alonzo Bolin, 22, was charged on Wednesday
with lying to federal agents in an interview last week about whether he owned
firearms, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York
said. He was already in custody on state charges filed Saturday.
office said the FBI had been investigating Bolin, who lives in the Rochester
suburb of Greece, New York, for possible violations of federal civil rights and
was not clear on Thursday whether Bolin had made any specific plans for
violence. But in Facebook messages he had praised the March 15 mass killing of
50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, according to the
criminal complaint. He also discussed his desire to commit acts of violence in
the messages, which were intercepted by law enforcement officials.
FBI said Bolin used the alias Peter Vincent to share video of the Christchurch
attack, which was livestreamed by the shooter on Facebook and spread to
Twitter, Reddit and YouTube. Bolin also used that alias to be active in white
supremacist Facebook groups and discuss potential violence with his cousin,
Austin Witkowski, the agency said.
law enforcement official said Witkowski, who used the Facebook alias Ragnar
Odinson, had not been arrested. The official said his whereabouts was unknown.
FBI used Facebook messages to map out weeks of racist conversations between the
two men, who appeared to share a specific hostile fixation on Muslims,
according to the complaint.
the day of the Christchurch attack, the two men also talked to each other about
the manifesto published by the gunman and shared their hope that a similar
massacre would happen in the United States.
FBI said Bolin talked to his cousin about the New Zealand gunman, telling him,
“Brugh dude killed 40 muslims.” Witkowski responded with a heart emoji and the
men talked to other Facebook users about the Christchurch attack, the FBI said,
and their desire to emulate it in the United States, although those other users
are not identified in the criminal complaint.
about the shooting with one of those unidentified Facebook users, Brolin said
“there is a war brewing” and “realistically this was a small piece of a bigger
picture now we wait for the retaliation.”
criminal complaint alleges Witkowski made more specific threats. Speaking to an
unidentified Facebook user, Witkowski said he wanted to see the Christchurch
attacks copied in the United States and then said he was willing to “do
something as of next week” in Baltimore.
complaint said Witkowski told the other Facebook user to buy firearms,
ammunition and food, and said that he would travel to meet him the next week.
The complaint does not say if the meeting ever happened.
day after the shooting, Bolin and Witkowski expressed frustration to each other
that they had not been able to carry out an attack. According to the complaint,
Bolin said he had broken his arm in a car accident.
an expletive, Witkowski responded that the broken arm would complicate an
unspecified plan they had made. Bolin then reassured him, saying it only “takes
one arm to flue a Glock.”
wrote back saying he would carry out their plan himself. “I’m not waiting
months and months or a week,” he said. “It was supposed to be done by
that day, Witkowski wrote to his cousin: “Words aren’t going to help. Violence
is the key.” The FBI said Bolin then cautioned his cousin not to say anything
more on Facebook.
chill,” he wrote. “Not on the fed book.” Witkowski replied that he did not
the Peter Vincent alias, Bolin managed a Facebook group called Odin’s Warriors,
which did not appear to be active on Thursday. The FBI said Bolin and his
cousin were members of a neopagan religious group called “Folk Odinism” that
worships the gods of Norse mythology and limits its membership to white
criminal complaint said investigators linked Bolin to the Peter Vincent account
by combing through Facebook messages, where Vincent once told someone that his
“real name is Thomas Bolin, Peter Vincent is a character from a horror movie.”
(That was most likely the 1985 vampire movie “Fright Night,” or the 2011
provided the FBI with Bolin’s messages on March 21 as part of a “voluntary
emergency disclosure of subscriber and content information,” the agency said.
Representatives for Facebook, which has taken steps to ban white supremacist
content on its site, did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Minister Scott Morrison said Friday he was open to allowing the return of
orphaned children of an Australian militant in a Syrian refugee camp following
their desperate plea for help.
said his government was working with the Red Cross so the children could leave
the Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria and Australian officials could assess
they might be in a position to return to Australia, we will cooperate with that
process,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
there are Australians who are caught up in this situation, particularly as
innocent children, we will do what I think Australians would expect us to do on
PM added that he would not put “any Australian life at risk to extract people
from these conflict zones”, a stance he has taken in recent weeks despite pleas
from their grandmother Karen Nettleton.
comments came as Hoda Sharrouf – the 16-year-old daughter of Australian ISIS
militant Khaled Sharrouf – said she was worried about her siblings’ health,
including 17-year-old sister Zaynab who is seven months pregnant and “very
about the children? What about the people that didn’t want to come here? What
about the people that are stuck here and never wanted to be here in the first
place? They don’t deserve this kind of treatment,” she told The Sydney Morning
Herald from the camp.
Australians too. Australia needs to do something about it. They need to step
up,” she said in an interview published Friday.
Sydney Morning Herald said there were five children in the family seeking help
– Hoda, Zaynab, their eight-year-old brother Hamzeh, and Zaynab’s two young
children – Ayesha, 3, and Fatima, 2.
– the first Australian to have his citizenship stripped under anti-terrorism
laws – left the country for Syria in 2013 with his wife Tara Nettleton, two
daughters and three sons.
made international headlines in 2014 when he posted an image on Twitter of
another son holding a severed head. He is believed to have died in a 2017
American air strike alongside his then pre-teen sons, while Nettleton
reportedly died in 2015.
fate of foreign fighters and their families has become a significant problem
for governments as the conflict against ISIS draws to a close. Foreigners at
the camp are from some 30 to 40 countries.
New Zealand judge on Friday ordered the accused Christchurch mosque gunman to
undergo a mental health assessment to determine if he is fit to face trial for
the murder of 50 Muslim worshipers.
attacker Brenton Tarrant is facing 50 murder and 39 attempted murder charges
over the March 15 attacks on two mosques, which shocked the world and rattled
normally peaceful New Zealand.
28-year-old Australian will be seen by two health assessors to determine
“whether he is fit to stand trial or insane”, High Court judge Cameron Mander
ruled during a brief hearing in Christchurch.
appeared by audio-visual link from Auckland, where he is being held in
isolation in a maximum-security prison following the deadliest massacre in
modern New Zealand history.
suspect, a self-avowed white supremacist, sat motionless throughout the
hearing. He was not required to enter a plea.
relatives of victims were in the court getting their first glimpse of the man
charged with the massacre.
just want to see what he has to say, what sort of feeling he’s got, (his)
emotion, to see what his reaction is, good or bad,” Yama Nabi, whose
71-year-old father was killed, told Radio New Zealand outside the court.
was remanded in custody until his next court appearance on June 14.
of the shooting, Tarrant posted a 74-page manifesto on social media in which he
identified himself by name and described himself as a white supremacist out to
avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.
live-streamed himself as he opened fire in the packed Al Noor mosque during
Friday prayers and then travelled across town to continue the carnage in the
suburban Linwood mosque.
was initially charged with one murder count as a holding measure when he made
his first court appearance a day after the killings.
the charges were updated Friday to include the names of all 50 who died in the
attack and 39 others who were wounded.
had sacked a court-appointed lawyer after his first court appearance, raising
fears he wanted to represent himself and attempt to use any trial as a
two Auckland lawyers, Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson, appeared in court on his
called for stronger efforts to hold accountable all those responsible for the
use of chemical attacks in Syria.
Assad regime has committed war crimes time and again, including with the use of
chemical weapons against civilians,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in
a statement on Thursday, marking the anniversaries of attacks in the Khan
Shaykhun town of Idlib, northwestern Syria, on April 4, 2017 and Duma on April
underlined the important role of the UN and the Organization for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in identifying the perpetrators of these
responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable for their
crimes. Together with many partners, we have managed to ensure that the
independent experts of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
can now identify the perpetrators of these attacks,” he stressed.
also called on Russia to wield its influence on the Syrian regime over the use
of chemical weapons.
(AsiaNews) – For the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) in Lahore, Christian
children have the right to study the Bible, Hindu children have the right to
study the Bhagavat Gita and Buddhist children have the right to study the
with the People’s Commission for Minorities Rights (PCMR), the CSJ held a
conference on 29 March in which they adopted a resolution entitled ‘Right to
education without discrimination’ demanding the right of minorities to teach
their own religion in schools, as guaranteed by Article 22 of the Pakistani
Constitution. Currently, only Islam is taught in schools.
unanimous resolution is addressed to Pakistan’s federal and provincial
governments. According to the two groups, Pakistan’s educational system is full
of hate material against minorities.
this reason, they want all biased references to be removed from the curricula,
that quotas be reserved for minorities in higher education institutions, that
the study of religions be included in the curricula, and that minority students
be guaranteed the right to enhance the knowledge of their faith.
constitution guarantees all students the right study the basics of their
religion. However, most minority students are forced to study Islam. The law in
fact provides only for the study of ethics as an alternative to the Qurʾān; however, the former is basically a
course on Islam, so students have no choice.
to the CSJ and the PCMR, religious courses based on minority faiths should be
offered to minority students. Instead the current curriculum continues to
violate the fundamental rights of minorities, even though they are citizens of
education in the South Asian region is largely driven by political economic
considerations and often has very little to do with promotion of principles of
humanity,” said Baela Raza Jamil, CEO of Idaara-e-Taleemo-Agahi.
CSJ executive director Peter Jacob, there is a need to develop sustainable
action strategies aimed at creating a pluralistic, open-minded and tolerant
society where members of different faith-based communities can co-exist and
flourish in peace.
September 3 2010, at around 3pm, Mariam (who does not want to reveal her last
name), sat down in disbelief, crying, at home in Islamabad, Pakistan.
few hundred miles away, her hometown, Quetta, was yet again under attack by
militants targeting the ethnic Hazara minority, to which she belongs. News
channels were reporting that it was a suicide attack and early updates said
that at least 50 were killed. This figure also included one of Mariam’s close
she lamented his loss, Quetta, already shaken by the impact of the suicide
bombing, echoed with the cries of grieving Hazara families who had lost their
loved ones in the blast.
of a string of many attacks against Hazaras of Balochistan province, the
explosion occurred during an al Quds day procession, which is organised by Shia
Muslims on the last Friday of every Ramadan to express solidarity with
was painful,” Mariam says. But the worst was yet to come.
younger brother, Mujtaba was spending his summer break at their residence in
Quetta. She tried to reach him by phone as a Hazara is more likely to land into
trouble than any regular Pakistani.
phone call went through and Mujtaba told her he was at Meezan chowk – the site
of the blast.
told him to immediately go home," Mariam tells TRT World.
few minutes later she called him again to find out if he was home. Several
calls went unanswered until one of Mujtaba’s friends received one telling her
brother had been shot.
don't remember what happened afterwards,” she says.
later learned that Mujtaba had left home telling their mother he was going to
donate blood to the blast victims. He and his two friends first stopped by the
blast site to help the wounded victims and send corpses to morgue. An exchange
of gunfire broke out between the militants and police, in which Mujtaba lost
who follow the tenets of Shia Islam, have a longstanding history of being
subjected to sectarian violence by the Taliban and other Sunni extremist groups
in Balochistan. A report released by the National Commission for Human Rights
last year stated that 509 members of the Hazara community were killed and 627
injured in various incidents of terrorism in Quetta from 2013 to 2017.
to Mohammad Jibran Nasir, a Pakistani human rights activist: “The main reason
behind violence against Hazaras is sectarian dispute.” He also points out that
Hazaras are more vulnerable to being attacked than others Shias, their typical
Mongolian features disclosing their identity and making them easily
to statistics issued by the United Nations, militant groups working under the
patronage of the Taliban have killed more than 1,500 Hazara Shias in Pakistan
in the past decade. Continual violence perpetrated against Hazaras, in the form
of suicide attacks, targeted killings and bombings, has forced them to live in
restricted areas, which has further led to economic difficulties for the
who leaves for work, leaves under the fear that he or she might not
return," Mariam says. "Scores of Hazara men and women have left
Pakistan for good because employment opportunities [in Pakistan] were extremely
limited and the available ones were never safe”.
rights activist Nasir says whenever Hazaras face violence from militant groups,
it's common to see non-Hazara people being invited to TV studios where they
make sweeping remarks and judgements on the persecuted community.
don’t even get to talk about their grievances themselves on the media,” he
says. “They are not considered important enough to be given a platform, so when
they die no one cares.”
Mujtaba's death, Mariam and her family changed drastically. Her parents are
ageing fast and she struggles to find peace and happiness.
time I have been happy, I have wept too,” she says. “We lost our baby – the
youngest member of our household – the centre of all our hopes and dreams,” she
Mariam deals with the trauma of her brother's perpetual absence, she also feels
that the tragedy defines who she is and what she stands for.
once told me how he was shot. I chose to forget that. Call it denial, but
that’s how I have survived all these years,” she says.
and her family settled down in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, and except for
the anniversary of Mujtaba's death they barely visit their relatives in Quetta.
only memory Mariam holds on to is the last few moments she spent with her
brother when he was taken to hospital after being shot.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday
said if Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto were alive
today, he would have announced a protest march against the corruption of the
present day PPP.
a rejoinder to the speeches of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at
Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, he said that if PPP respected the courts, then why and
against whom they had announced to launch a protest. He advised the PPP
leadership to protest against their own corruption.
said that when the “corruption addicts” are treated, they resist the move. He
also said that today’s PPP was as much related to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as was
Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawa (PML-N) linked with Quaid-e-Azam
Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
questioned that for how long would the PPP leadership use the names of Zulfikar
Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto for personal gains. Fawad made it clear that
speeches, hue and cry and threats could not save them from the accountability
said that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had not asked the PPP leaders to commit
corruption, then why they were shying away from accountability using Bhutto’s
the PPP leaders would take to the streets, the nation would hold them
accountable,” he said, adding that the recent “Save the Daddy” train march had
the people’s lack of interest in the protest, they named it Karwan-e-Bhutto, he
Talks between Pakistan and United States have begun at the Foreign Office in
Islamabad to discuss progress on Afghan reconciliation process.
Pakistani delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua while US
delegation is being headed by United States Special Representative for
Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad.
United States Special Representative for Afghanistan reconciliation will also
have separate meetings with the civil and military leadership during his visit
to the country.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad
called on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad.
of Pakistan's F-16 jets accounted for by US personnel, contradicting Indian
States (US) officials did a count of Islamabad's F-16 jets recently and found
that none were missing, contradicting India's claims that it shot down a
Pakistani fighter jet amid heightened tensions between both countries after the
Pulwama attack, a Foreign Policy report quoting two senior US defence officials
said on Friday.
the conflict between the two countries in February, India had claimed that the
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had used the F-16 to target Indian military
installations after crossing the Line of Control. As "proof", a piece
of an apparent missile was shown, which Indian media said could only have been
fired by an F-16.
more: 2 Indian aircraft violating Pakistani airspace shot down; pilot arrested
also claimed that before an Indian plane was shot down and its pilot captured
by Pakistani forces, an Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG Bison had shot down a PAF
F-16 aircraft. Pakistan had denied the Indian claims.
Delhi had also insisted that Pakistan’s alleged use of F-16 against India meant
that Islamabad stood in violation of a sales agreement with the US. The US
State Department had refused to take a position on India's complaint against
Pakistan over using F-16s in the air battle.
more: Foreign journalists find holes in Indian narrative on F-16 usage, Balakot
to the report, one of the unnamed senior US defence officials "with direct
knowledge of the count" had told Foreign Policy that Pakistan had invited
the US to count its F-16 planes after the incident "as part of an end-user
agreement signed when the foreign military sale was finalised", the report
Policy added that Washington generally requires countries it strikes such
agreements with to allow US officials to inspect equipment on a regular basis
and to ensure that it is accounted for and safe.
official explained that some of the aircraft were not immediately available for
inspection after the Pak-India back-and-forth, so it took US personnel a few
weeks to account for all the jets.
out more: Villagers near Balakot say nobody killed or injured by Indian
associate professor of political science at MIT, Vipin Narang, told FP that
although the news likely won't affect Indian voters, it may affect Delhi's
dealings with Pakistan in the future.
The annual Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2019 titled
‘Ambitions beyond Growth’, released by the United Nations Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on Thursday, forecast Pakistan’s
GDP to remain lowest in the region at 4.2 per cent in 2019 and 4pc in 2020
compared to Bangladesh’s 7.3pc, India 7.5pc, Maldives and Nepal 6.5pc each in
survey revealed that overall economic conditions in the region are stable with
the projected 5-5.1 per cent GDP growth in 2019 and 2020 respectively. However,
export-oriented sectors face headwinds from weaker demand in Europe and
possibly in US, and looming uncertainty over ongoing US-China trade war.
economy is experiencing severe balance of payment difficulties amid large
fiscal and current account deficits and mounting pressures on the currency, the
in the developing Asia-Pacific region is forecast to increase moderately in
2019 to 4.2pc before dropping to 3.8pc in 2020. However, potentially higher
tariffs against the backdrop of trade tensions and rising uncertainties,
currency depreciation and unfavourable weather could push up consumer and food
to the survey, the region’s medium-to-long term prospects depend on structural
transformation and broad-based productivity growth. The report cautions against
countries shifting from an agriculture-based economy to one in which services
play a dominant role, bypassing manufacturing sector.
frontier technologies may reduce the scope for industrialisation in “late entrant”
developing countries, while high-value-added services require skilled workers.
This calls for investment in people and enabling infrastructure, the survey
that the next phase of structural transformation in the region must be environment-friendly,
the survey illustrates that investments to speed up transition to more
resource-efficient systems of production and consumption would not only reduce
carbon emissions by a tenth, but deliver high economic returns and over time
can reduce net financial costs to zero.
2019 survey points out that achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030
would require an annual additional investment of $1.5 trillion for Asia-Pacific
developing countries — equivalent to 5pc of their combined GDP in 2018.
The Supreme Court has asserted there cannot be a more grave offence than high
treason and more solemn a proceeding than a trial for high treason before a
treason is a constitutional offence,” deplored Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in
a five-page order he wrote about the April 1 hearing on the high treason trial
of former president retired General Pervez Musharraf.
bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa is seized
with a petition filed by a former president of the Lahore High Court Bar
Association, Taufiq Asif, and Sheikh Ehsanuddin that seeks intervention of the
apex court as Mr Musharraf’s trial has been stalled.
the order, Justice Shah explained that Article 6 of the Constitution provides
that if “a person abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance or
attempts or conspires to abrogate the Constitution by use of force or show of
force or by any other unconstitutional means”, he/she is guilty of high
Constitution is the fundamental law of the land which the people of Pakistan,
through their representatives in the National Assembly, have adopted, enacted
and given to themselves,” he observed, adding that obedience to the
Constitution under its Article 5 was the inviolable obligation of every citizen
wherever he/she might be.
Shah regretted that a report of the special court’s registrar had painted a
“sorry picture” regarding long delays in the trial, pointing out that the
complaint against the accused was filed on Dec 12, 2013 before the court, the
charge was framed on March 13, 2014 and since then the matter was dragging on
due to the general’s absence.
significance, gravity and solemnity of the proceedings before the special court
could not be undermined by delaying the trial due to non-appearance of the
accused, the judge wrote.
also referred to a parliamentary debate on the bill about the Criminal Law
(Special Court) Act 1976, which suggested that when the accused was charged
with serious offences involving security and sovereignty of the state, it was
in Mr Musharraf’s best interest that the case be decided as quickly as
possible, particularly if he was innocent.
to Section 9 of the Act, Justice Shah said it envisaged that once the trial
began it would not be adjourned by reason of absence of any accused on account
section also mandated that the special court would proceed with the trial after
taking necessary steps to appoint an advocate to defend any accused person; the
provision was therefore an extension of the procedure for trial provided under
Section 6 of the Act and supported the purpose of the special law, the judge
the scope of the Act, if the accused voluntarily chose not to exercise his
right to appear it did not infringe on the fairness of the trial, nor did it
violate the right to fair trial under Article 10A of the Constitution, Justice
to stop further proceedings in this situation would amount to putting a premium
on the fault of the absconder, he observed, adding that control over the proceedings
could not be allowed to vest in the accused.
the present circumstances of the case, the accused was not merely absenting
himself from attending the proceedings, he had also been declared a proclaimed
offender on July 12, 2016.
a fugitive from the law, the accused loses his/her right to audience and as a
consequence loses the right to have an advocate appointed to defend him/her
unless and until he/she surrenders before the court.
Shah said that while Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) enabled
the accused to explain any circumstances appearing against him in the evidence,
in the context of the Act if he voluntarily chose not to appear or join the
proceedings he would lose his right to such an explanation.
being a proclaimed offender he had lost his right to audience and had forfeited
his right to put up a defence.
for these reasons, the special court would proceed with the trial on the next
date of hearing. In case the accused appeared before the special court, he
would be entitled to record his statement under Section 342 of the CrPC and
lead any other defence under the law.
remain unaddressed’: MEA on Kartarpur corridor talks with Pakistan
on Thursday said Pakistan has not addressed the concerns it raised with the
country over Kartarpur corridor. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson
Raveesh Kumar said India has “sought clarification from Pakistan” on certain
issues but Islamabad is yet to satisfy New Delhi on the matter.
important to remember we remain committed to realise aspirations of people.
Aspirations which flow out of pending demand of Indian pilgrims to visit
Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor,” Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency
ANI in response to a query if there has been any communication from Pakistan
side over Kartarpur corridor.
said, “At the same time, there are certain things which came to our notice, we
had sought clarifications from Pakistan on a number of issues. They remain
unaddressed by Pakistan.”
had also shared our concerns on reports that controversial elements have been
appointed by Pakistan to a committee which was to be associated with Kartarpur
corridor. We are yet to receive a response from Pakistan. That’s why we decided
to postpone meeting,” said Kumar, according to ANI.
meeting between India and Pakistan scheduled for April 2 to discuss the
Kartarpur Corridor details could not take place over the concerns raised by New
Delhi. India has objected to Pakistan’s decision to appoint a pro-Khalistani
leader to a committee to help Indian pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in
from Pakistan suggested that minister for information Chaudhry Fawad Hussain
had in March announced a ten-member committee with pro-Khalistani leader Gopal
Singh Chawla onboard.
is a Pakistan-backed separatist leader who is demanding a separate homeland for
the Sikhs. He is reported to be the general secretary of the Pakistan Sikh
Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
name had cropped up during investigations into the grenade attack on the
Nirankari Bhawan in Amritsar last year. Three people were killed in the
incident. Chawla is said to have prevented Indian diplomats from visiting a
gurdwara in Lahore.
officials from India and Pakistan held first round of meeting to discuss the
proposed corridor to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in March. The 4
km-corridor will facilitate pilgrimage from Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur
on the Indian side to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan.
her attack on the BJP-led Central government, former Jammu and Kashmir chief
minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said Article 370 is a “matter
of death and life for every Kashmiri”, and that “the whole point behind (talk
of) scrapping Article 370 is to attack the Muslim character of the state, (and)
to change the state’s demography”.
they (Centre) revoke Article 370, which is the foundation of our relation with
India, then this relation becomes illegitimate and illegal. If they do so, then
it would be as good as an occupational force here in J&K,” Mufti told
mediapersons after a rally in North Kashmir on Thursday.
that, she had stated at a party workers’ meet that if guarantees provided for
the state under the Constitution are removed, it will “force us to reconsider
whether we would like to continue with you (India)”.
latest statements come in reaction to BJP president Amit Shah’s remarks last
week that Article 35A, which gives special rights to J&K, may be abrogated
CM and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, state Congress president G A
Mir Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone are among leaders of other non-BJP
mainstream political parties in J&K who have criticised Shah’s statement.
the rally, Mufti said, “Amit Shah-sahib, Mehbooba Mufti is telling you that the
day you will revoke Article 370.you will be an occupational force in Jammu and
Kashmir. You will have no right in J&K.” Pointing out that J&K is a
Muslim-majority state, Mufti said every Kashmiri will fight until the end to
fight for Constitutional right.
many as 882 Muslim candidates had contested either as an Independent or on the
ticket of political parties in 2014 and only 23 managed to win. As per data,
they managed to get vote share of 10.69 per cent. In 2009, 819 Muslim
candidates contested and only 28 won their seats.
most cases, Muslim candidates lost because of division of votes since the
“so-called secular” parties have a tendency to field Muslim candidates from
these seats, much to advantage of the BJP.
the fact, there are 145 Lok Sabha seats in the country where Muslims account
for 20 per cent of the overall vote share on each seat. There are 46 seats
where Muslims have a vote share of 30 per cent and above. There are 35 seats in
which out of every 3 votes is a Muslim vote.
Pradesh has maximum 28 such constituencies, West Bengal has 20, Jammu &
Kashmir has five, Kerala has six, Assam and Bihar has four each and Andhra
Pradesh has two. The Lakshadweep seat is yet another Muslim-majority
to Census 2001, Muslims in India comprise 13.4 per cent of the total
population. Based on this the ideal number of MPs in Lok Sabha should be 73. In
the 2014 elections, the BJP came to power without a single elected Muslim MP —
in any case it had fielded only seven Muslims (5 in J&K and Bengal alone)
out of a total of 482 candidates. The total Muslim representation in Parliament
fell to 4 per cent, the lowest since 1957.
by and large, have voted for non-BJP parties, or anti-BJP parties in States
where BJP has been an important player for long. In States like UP, Bihar and
West Bengal where there has been more than one ‘secular’ option, Muslims have
adopted ‘tactical voting’, where they vote for the best possible candidate who
can defeat BJP.
scholar Maroof Khan said that the Muslim identity on the ground is highly
fragmented based on various religious denominations, linguistic differences,
caste divisions, and class hierarchy. “For instance, in a State with a bipolar
contest, the Congress wins most of the Muslim votes if the BJP is its only
competitor. And if a strong regional player is present in the State, then the
Congress has to fight hard to win the support among Muslims. In some cases,
regional parties garner maximum votes from the community. For example, the
Muslim vote in Jammu & Kashmir is divided among the National Conference
(NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), among the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and
the Left Front in West Bengal, among the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan
Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh,” Khan said.
report “Vision 2025 Socio Economic Inequalities, Why does India’s economic
growth need an inclusive agenda”, authored by economist Amir Ullah Khan and
historian Abdul Azim Akhtar points out that Muslim votes usually split into the
different favourite political parties in their concentrated seats.
voters get confused between SP, BSP, Congress in UP and RJD, JD(U) and Congress
in Bihar. These parties are known to having the vote bank among Muslim and
generally give the ticket to Muslim candidates in their concentrated seats.
Such confusion within the favourite parties leads to splitting their votes and
makes the election three to four cornered,” the report said. The report further
stated that Muslims are considered as a vote bank only by mainstream political
to data compiled by The Pioneer, Bijnor (39.33%), Amroha (37.50%), Moradabad
(44.78%), Rampur (49.14%), Meerut (30.86%), Muzaffarnagar (36.94%), Kairana
(38.53%), Saharanpur (39.11%), Sambhal (45.54%), Nagina (41.71), Bahraich
(34.83%), Bareilly (33.89%) and Shrawasti (31.34%) are among the 28 seats in UP
where Muslim dominates 30 per cent and above.
are 11 seat among the 20 minority-dominated seat which include Raiganj
(47.36%), Malda North (49.73%), Malda South (53.46) Jangipur (63.67%),
Murshidabad (58.31%), Baharampur (63.67%), Diamond Harbour (33.24%), Birbhum
(35.08%) , Jadavpur (33.24%), Joynagar (33.24%) and Mathurapur (33.24%) have 30
per cent and above Muslim population.
Kerala Kasaragod (32.54), Kozhikode (37.47), Mallapuram (68.53%), Ponnani (64%)
Wayanad (57.98%) and Vadakara (34.70%) are Muslim dominated. Bihar four seats
include Araria, (41.14%), Kishanganj (56.66%), Katihar (42.53%) and Purnia
(37.65%); Jammu & Kashmir seats include Baramulla (97%), Srinagar (90%),
Anantnag (95%), Ladakh (46%) and Udhampur (31%); Assam’s four seat include
Karimganj, (45%), Dhubri (56%), Barpeta (39%) and Nagaon (33%). Andhra
Pradesh’s two seats Hyderabad (41.17%)%) and Secundrabad (41.17%) are Muslim
study finds that 89 per cent of Muslims face challenges as a minority
community. A whopping 86 per cent of the respondents were not aware of the
Government schemes. Around 44 per cent of the respondents were not aware of the
Sachar Committee report.
Police Thursday busted a terrorist hideout and found a rifle, which is used by
the Pakistani army, in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar district, officials in
a specific information, police launched a search operation in MarwahDacchan
area of Kishtwar district and busted a hideout in Drungai forest area, SSP
Kishtwar Shakti Pathak said.
Kishtwar: We received information that there are a few hide-outs
Marwah area. We went there & found few weap…https://t.co/Baz7sEpLRb
ANI (@ANI) 1554386237000
7.62mm Heckler and Koch G3A3 rifle, used by the Pakistani army, was found at
the site, he said.
Indonesia has been focusing on the prevention and eradication of terrorism
funding, and conflict resolution in the Middle East since assuming its seat as
a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in January, a government
official said last week.
have been in the Security Council since Jan. 1, 2019… in the first three months
we discussed terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, New Zealand, Afghanistan, the
Philippines and Iran," Febrian A. Ruddyard, director general of
multilateral cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in Jakarta on
said Indonesia also ensures that the council attends to all acts of terrorism
of Indonesia's achievements as non-permanent member so far is the drafting of a
resolution on extending the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in
Afghanistan, or Unama.
is our first ever resolution we ever drafted; this is Indonesia's
achievement," Febri said.
Eastern conflict, including Palestine, were also addressed in the forum. He
said Indonesia would continue to support Palestine by promoting the
"two-state solution" to end the conflict.
two-state solution is the most reasonable solution and we also talked about
humanitarian crisis management in Gaza," Febri said.
added that Indonesia has succeeded to show within the Security Council that the
United States is the only country hampering peace between Israel and Palestine.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi visited a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan
during March last year to deliver the Indonesian government's commitment of $1
million in humanitarian aid.
will assume the rotating presidency of the Security Council in May, which
according to Febri, will see UN peacekeeping efforts topping the agenda.
would like to strengthen UN peacekeeping and the role of women in peacekeeping
activities," he explained.
enforce this commitment, Indonesia will convene assemblies on peacekeeping
operations and protection of civilians in armed conflicts.
its council presidency, Indonesia will also head the sanctions committee on
Islamic State, Al Qaida, the Taliban and nuclear weapons, the foreign ministry
for New Resolution
ministry meanwhile also said in a press release on Tuesday that Indonesia
supported a UN General Assembly resolution on combating acts of terrorism and
religiously motivated violence, following the recent attack by a gunman on two
mosques in New Zealand.
country is free from racism, intolerance and hatred…there is a demand for joint
actions to encourage global dialogue, promoting tolerance and peace,"
Retno told the General Assembly, as quoted in the statement.
the session, Indonesia stated its readiness to share its experiences as a
country that has succeeded in maintaining peace and harmony, despite
significant cultural, religious and racial diversity.
was one of the co-sponsors of the UN resolution condemning the New Zealand
attacks, which claimed the lives of 50 people, including an Indonesian citizen.
LUMPUR: A senior citizen who was accused of insulting Prophet Muhammad on
Facebook today claimed he was assaulted while in detention.
Foo Sing claimed he was beaten up in the Sungai Buloh prison where he was taken
after failing to settle his RM20,000 bail. His family only managed to post bail
for him on March 13.
68-year-old claimed trial on Feb 27 to two charges under Section 298A (1)(a) of
the Penal Code and Section 233 (1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act of
insulting the Prophet.
lawyer, Gerald Lazarus, told the Sessions Court of his claim when his case came
up for mention today. He added that Wai’s daughter lodged a police report at
the Klang Selatan police station on March 15.
is also under mental observation, and we have a medical report to confirm his
injuries,” he said.
Court judge MM Edwin Paramjothy noted Wai’s claim and fixed June 17 and 18 for
hearing after deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Asyraf Md Kamal said the
prosecution had given the trial documents to Wai’s lawyer.
also told the court they would send a representation to the prosecution to seek
a reduced charge for Wai.
the same court, another man charged with a similar offence also claimed he was
assaulted in the Sungai Buloh prison.
Mun Fai was slapped with eight counts under Section 505(c) of the Penal Code on
March 8 for making, publishing or circulating a statement, rumour or report
with the intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, a person or persons to
commit an offence against another person or persons.
claimed he was beaten up while in detention, and that his spectacles were
told Chow he should lodge a police report on the matter.
said he would assist Chow and another man, Danny Anak Antoni, to get
representation from the National Legal Aid Foundation.
Americans confident 'terror watchlist' will soon be ruled unconstitutional
advocates are confident that a US federal judge will soon rule in their favour
in a lawsuit they filed in 2016 challenging the constitutionality of the FBI's
hearing was held in the case on 4 April in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of
the US capital Washington.
Shibly, executive director of the Florida chapter of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations and one of 23 Muslim-American plaintiffs in the
lawsuit, said he expected the judge to deliver a decision soon.
up as an American Muslim, unfortunately, I felt I have been treated as a
second-class citizen at the hands of my government since I was a
teenager," Shibly said during a news conference after the hearing.
US government's watchlist counts more than one million names, both US citizens
and foreigners, who are considered to be "known or suspected
terrorists", according to the court filings.
justifies its use of the watchlist on the basis of national security.
civil rights advocates and other groups say it constitutes an unconstitutional
breach of due process and unfairly targets Muslim Americans in particular.
said being on the watchlist has been tantamount to being treated as a
"criminal" when travelling. He said he can be questioned for hours
and sometimes even detained when leaving and entering the US, all because his
name is on the list.
overly broad list ultimately makes us less safe and less free, and in order to
protect our country's safety, security and liberty, we are challenging the
watchlist together," Shibly said.
and others, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have filed
various lawsuits around the country challenging the constitutionality of the
federal government's watchlist system.
was not immediately clear when the judge will deliver a final ruling in the
to the ACLU, Americans are put on the list as terrorism suspects based "on
vague, overbroad standards and secret evidence".
consequences can be devastating, from repeated questioning and harassment by
law enforcement officials to an indefinite ban on air travel," the ACLU
says on its website.
make matters worse, the network of watchlists has been found to be riddled with
errors, and watchlisted individuals don't have a meaningful way to correct
errors and clear their names."
Thursday's news conference, Lena Masri, legal director for CAIR's Michigan
chapter, shared detailed personal stories of the plaintiffs named in the
couple has not being able to get spousal immigration papers approved for a
decade, Masri said, while one man decided to move to Europe after being intimidated
and threatened at gunpoint during a US border crossing.
are being destroyed by this watchlist," Masri said.
watchlist is an attack on the Muslim community and we are confident the judge
will see the watchlist for what it is and declare it unconstitutional for
violating due process rights for thousands of Muslims," she added.
on the watchlist have had their bank accounts closed without warning, have been
denied the ability to make wire transfers, they suffer delays and interrogations
at airports and other border crossings, and cannot work certain jobs.
watchlist, established in 2003, is maintained by the US government's Terrorist
Screening Centre, a division of the national security branch of the FBI.
The US envoy tasked with forging a peace deal with the Taliban met with
officials in Pakistan on Friday, after telling leaders and various groups in
Afghanistan they would be included in future talks.
Khalilzad was in Islamabad after spending five days in Afghanistan amid strains
between Washington and President Ashraf Ghani’s administration, which has
complained bitterly of being sidelined in peace talks.
dialogue should be comprehensive and inclusive with representatives from the
#Afghan government, women, young people, and civil society,” Khalilzad said on
Twitter at the start of his five-day visit.
Taliban has until now refused to meet with the Kabul government, accusing it of
being a puppet regime.
diplomatic spat between Washington and Kabul came to a head last month when
Afghanistan’s national security adviser Hamdullah Mohib accused Khalilzad of a
lack of “transparency,” even suggesting the Afghan-born envoy wanted to be
“viceroy” of his native country.
reacted furiously, with US officials reportedly refusing to attend meetings in
which Mohib was present. The outspoken adviser visited eastern provinces when
Khalilzad was in Kabul.
those Khalilzad met with was a group of seven women from the Afghan Women
the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Sharia law, women were stripped of all
basic rights and were sometimes executed for alleged adultery.
should not be forgotten in the talks, and our rights should not be trampled,”
Robina Hamdard, an advocacy manager at the network, told AFP.
want everything — women’s rights to education and social activities — to be
guaranteed during the talks... We want a lasting peace, not a shaky peace.”
schedule in Islamabad has not been announced, but he had already met with
officials including Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi early Friday,
according to the foreign ministry.
says it supports an Afghan-led peace process and is helping to facilitate the
talks. Washington and Kabul have long held Pakistan’s shadowy intelligence
services responsible for supporting and training the Taliban.
an interview with a US-funded radio network, Khalilzad said he hoped 2019 would
be the “year of peace.”
are tired of the war. So, too, is the world. The war has raged for a long
time,” he told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
talks in February, Khalilzad announced a “draft framework” for a peace deal,
though he warned major hurdles remain.
in Afghanistan, originally slated for April 20, have been postponed until
September to allow space for the peace talks.
new round of talks between the Taliban and Afghan officials is expected later
this month in Doha, with further US-Taliban talks possible after that.
House of Representatives passed a resolution Thursday to end American support
for the war in Yemen, offering another rebuke to U.S. President Donald Trump's
measure passed by a 247-175 vote with bipartisan support but is likely to be
vetoed by Trump.
if [Trump] doesn't sign it, it's still an extraordinary statement. And there
are steps that his administration can take to put pressure on the Saudis to
lift the blockade," Congressman Ro Khanna said at a press conference
following the vote.
Saudi blockade on Yemen has stopped medicine and other humanitarian supplies
from entering the country.
legislation was originally introduced in the Senate, co-sponsored by
presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, invoking the War Powers
resolution, a federal law that gives Congress the power to check the president
when committing the U.S. to an armed conflict.
resolution will be sent to Trump's desk, and it will be the first time in U.S.
history that a president will be presented with such a resolution.
House passed a similar resolution on Yemen in February but it was not able to
reach the Senate due to a procedural issue.
we took a clear stand against war and famine and for Congress’ war powers by
voting to end our complicity in the war in Yemen," Sanders said on
Twitter. "This is just the beginning of a national debate over when and
where we go to war and Congress’ authority over those interventions."
similar resolution previously passed in the previous Senate session in
December, serving as a rebuke to Trump for his continued support for the
Saudi-led coalition's efforts in Yemen.
Arabia has been leading a coalition against Yemen's Houthi rebels since 2015,
when Riyadh and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at
rolling back Houthi gains that began in 2014.
campaign has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including its health and
sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe it as one of the worst
humanitarian disasters of modern times.
bill also served as a sharp criticism of the Trump administration's stance on
the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was killed shortly after he
entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Arabia initially denied any knowledge of his whereabouts, but following a
rising number of contradictions in its narrative sought to blame the
journalist's death on a botched rendition operation being carried out by rogue
Libyan commander Haftar orders his troops to move on Tripoli
Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar ordered his troops on Thursday to march on the
capital Tripoli, taking his conflict with the internationally recognized
government to a dangerous new level.
posted his order in a video online hours after his forces took full control of
Gharyan, a town about 100 km south of the capital.
forces have arrived in the area of al-Heira, a spokesman for the force said.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is in Tripoli trying to push an
international peace deal, and was due to make a statement. He earlier called
for restraint from all sides.
our army which is stationed at the outskirts of Tripoli. Today we complete our
march ... We are going to start shortly,” Haftar said in the video titled
'Operation to liberate Tripoli'.
we will shake the land under the feet of their suppressors,” he added.
capture of Gharyan after skirmishes on Wednesday with forces allied to
Tripoli-based Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj followed a rapid thrust westwards
by Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) from his eastern stronghold of Benghazi.
developments mark a dramatic escalation of a power tussle that has dragged on
in Libya since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
country has been divided between the Western-backed government in Tripoli and a
parallel administration allied to Haftar since Gaddafi's downfall.
car bomb exploded at a restaurant near the police academy in the Somali capital
on Thursday evening, police said, the latest in a string of attacks in the
car bomb parked at a restaurant exploded. The restaurant is behind the police
academy. So far we do not know the casualties,” Major Mohamed Hussein, a police
officer, told Reuters.
of the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Libya’s strongman Khalifa
Haftar, say they have managed to seize full control of a town south of the
capital Tripoli in their westward advancement.
development brings their conflict with the North African nation’s
internationally recognized government in the capital to a potentially dangerous
fully control Gharyan and right now as we speak I’m driving through the town,”
Abdelsalam al-Hassi, commander of the operation to secure western Libya, said
on Thursday. The town is located about 100 kilometers south of Tripoli.
has been the scene of increasing violence since 2011, when former dictator
Muammar Gaddafi was toppled from power after an uprising and a NATO military
ouster created a huge power vacuum, leading to chaos and the emergence of
numerous militant outfits, including the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
is now divided between two rival governments —the House of Representatives,
based in the eastern city of Tobruk, and the internationally-recognized
government of Fayez al-Sarraj, or the Tripoli-based unity Government of
National Accord (GNA). Haftar is presumably loyal to the one in the east.
had been allied to the GNA although some Haftar supporters were also based
there. The two sides reportedly entered into brief clashes but according to the
town’s mayor earlier on Thursday the clashes had ceased.
town now is under control of the army who came from the east and I can see
their vehicles with their Libyan National Army logo,” a town resident told
video posted online showed LNA vehicles, including pickups mounted with heavy
machineguns, marching through Gharyan.
Wednesday, the LNA claimed in a statement that the advance on the country’s
west was meant to root out what it called “terrorist groups” in the restive
LNA office also published a video showing a convoy of armored vehicles and
pickup trucks with heavy guns mounted on them on a road, which appeared to be
on the coastline along the eastern city of Benghazi.
GNA quickly responded by declaring a “general alert” to all Libyan army and
Tripoli government denounced the move as an “escalation” and called on Haftar’s
forces to “stop using the language of threats.”
January, the LNA started a military campaign to take control of Libya’s south
and its oilfields.
advance order came less than a month after he met with Sarraj in the United
Arab Emirates, where they agreed on ending military operations, peacefully
ending transitional phases, and going to elections.
on Thursday, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed his
deep concern over the risk of possible confrontation in the North African
country after forces loyal to Haftar announced they were preparing to advance
am deeply concerned by the military movement taking place in Libya and the risk
of confrontation,” the visiting Guterres tweeted from Tripoli, adding that
there is no military solution.
faces the risk of “sliding back into chaos and insecurity”, Qatar’s Foreign
Ministry warned Thursday amid reports of fresh military escalations in the
troubled North African country.
ministry issued the warning in a statement released shortly after Libya’s
UN-backed unity government claimed to have spotted forces loyal to military
commander Khalifa Haftar near capital Tripoli.
is affiliated with a rival Libyan government based in the eastern city of
is following with great concern recent military escalations in Libya and warns
against a further slide into chaos and insecurity in the west of the country
[near Tripoli],” the ministry statement read.
went on to warn that the escalations -- if confirmed -- threaten to derail a
planned national dialogue conference slated for April 14 in the western city of
by the UN, the three-day event is ostensibly aimed at devising a “roadmap” for
Libya’s political future.
Wednesday, Fayez al-Sarraj, head of Libya’s Tripoli-based government, ordered
the government’s security forces to “prepare for -- and respond to -- any
threats aimed at destabilizing the region”.
the same day, Haftar reportedly ordered his forces to deploy to western parts
of the country with a view to “purging the region of terrorist groups and
move has prompted speculation that pro-Haftar forces plan to march on Tripoli,
where the fragile unity government is headquartered.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising
led to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in
people were killed this week in terrorist attacks and subsequent inter-communal
clashes in northern Burkina Faso, a minister said late Wednesday.
a statement, Territorial Administration Minister Simeon Sawadogo said there
were 62 deaths – 32 by terrorists and 30 due to community conflicts -- in the
town of Arbinda near the Mali border.
people were also taken hostage by militants.
inter-communal clashes occurred following the assassination of a religious
leader, his eldest son and brother last week, Sawadogo said.
Faso has been threatened by terrorist attacks since 2015.
Dec. 27, a terrorist attack on security forces in Sourou State in northwestern
Burkina Faso left 10 gendarmes dead.
December 2018, Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen, Al-Qaeda's branch in Somalia, published
an 18-page document calling for battle against members of the Islamic State in
Somalia for the crimes it claimed the organization committed in Somalia.
between the Islamic State in Somalia and Al-Shabab are nothing new and began
back in 2015 when some members of Al-Shabab defected from the ranks of the
organization and swore allegiance to the Islamic State.
main group of the Islamic State in Somalia operates under the leadership of Abd
al-Qadir Mumin, a former Al-Shabab official who appeared in many of the
organization's video clips before he defected to join the ranks of the Islamic
State in October 2016. However, it appears that while the conflict between
Al-Shabab and Mumin's group focused mainly on assassinations by Al-Shabab of
members who defected to the ranks of the Islamic State, Al-Shabab declared an
all-out war against the Islamic State in Somalia in a document presented below.
should be noted that Al-Shabab's activities against the Islamic State in
Somalia in the three years that have passed since then have prevented the
latter from spreading, but have not succeeded in completely eradicating the Islamic
to various reports, the Islamic State carried out 96 attacks inside Somalia
since April 2016. There is also various evidence that the Islamic State inside
Somalia maintains contact with the broad network of the Islamic State.
seems that, despite the small number of Mumin's fighters compared to the number
of Al-Shabab fighters, the former succeeded in attracting to its ranks several
foreign fighters from Al-Shabab, which led to a battle between a group of
foreign fighters belonging to the Islamic State and those remaining loyal to
example, violent internal clashes took place within Al-Shabab in November 2018
when the organization's fighters killed one of its foreign fighters, claiming
that he had left Al-Shabab and defected to the Islamic State. A similar
incident took place in southern Somalia in the beginning.
issue nowhere to be found in Israel’s election
a charged election campaign that has been heavy on insults and short on
substance, Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians has been notably absent from
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party has offered no plan for what
many believe is the country’s most existential problem.
main challenger in the April 9 vote speaks vaguely of “separation,” while
Netanyahu’s hardline partners speak openly of the once unthinkable idea of
annexing all or parts of the West Bank.
of a Palestinian state, the international community’s preferred solution for
the past two decades, is non-existent. It is a far cry from past elections,
when peace with the Palestinians was the central issue for voters.
apparent lack of interest reflects widespread disillusionment in Israel over
years of failed peace efforts. But it also is a testament to Netanyahu’s
success in sidelining the issue.
on internal Palestinian divisions and promoting sometimes contradictory
policies, Netanyahu has succeeded in managing the conflict without addressing
the bigger issue of how two intertwined peoples will live together in the
future. Strong backing from the Trump administration has given him an extra
peace track is currently in a coma,” said Shmuel Rosner, a senior fellow at the
Jewish People Policy Institute. “There’s not much hope for a viable solution to
be revived in the near future, so people can just keep pushing it aside until
someday it comes back to haunt them.”
took office in early 2009 and under heavy pressure from then-President Barack
Obama reluctantly stated his support for an independent Palestinian state,
albeit with many conditions, which were rejected. Things quickly went downhill,
and serious peace talks never took place during Obama’s time in office.
his tenure, Netanyahu has repeatedly cast blame on the Palestinians, accusing
President Mahmoud Abbas, who seeks a negotiated settlement with Israel, of
incitement and promoting “terror.”
the same time, he has maintained behind-the-scenes security cooperation with
Abbas’ forces in the West Bank in a joint struggle against the Hamas militant
the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, Netanyahu has engaged in frequent rounds of
fighting, but is also conducting behind-the-scenes negotiations with his bitter
enemy in hopes of maintaining calm.
Trump administration has further sidelined the Palestinians by cutting hundreds
of millions of dollars in aid and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,
prompting the Palestinians to sever ties with the US.
long-promised peace plan, which the White House says will be released after the
election, faces dim prospects, if it is even released. With the peace process
in a deep freeze, it is perhaps no surprise that none of the major Israeli
parties are talking about the Palestinians.
Palestinian cause is totally absent in the Israeli elections, and when it
comes, it comes only in a negative context,” said Ahmed Majdalani, a senior
Palestinian official. “This is worrisome, because it tells us that we are going
from bad to worse.”
Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip – areas captured
by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war – for an independent state. The so-called
two-state solution is widely backed internationally as the best way to end the
Israel continues to rule over millions of Palestinians, the thinking goes, the
Palestinians will eventually abandon their dream of statehood and instead
demand Israeli citizenship and full equality. In such a scenario, Israel would
no longer be able to be both Jewish and democratic.
accuse the Palestinians of rejecting generous peace offers, most recently in
late 2008, a narrative the Palestinians reject. The Israelis also point to the
2005 withdrawal from Gaza, which cleared the way for Hamas to seize power from
Abbas’ forces two years later.
of the election, several religious and nationalist parties, along with
individual members of Netanyahu’s Likud party, have openly called for annexing
parts or all of the West Bank. These plans include a range of proposals for the
Palestinians, including non-voting residency rights, possible citizenship or
financial incentives to emigrate.
remains unclear how hard these parties, all potential coalition partners for
Netanyahu, will push, though Trump’s recent recognition of Israel’s annexation
of the occupied Golan Heights has led to stepped-up calls for annexing West
spokesman Eli Hazan said he does not expect annexation to be on the agenda. He
said the party “strongly believes” in the status quo. “We are against the
one-state solution and two-state solution. Both ways may lead to the end of
Israel as a Jewish and democratic country,” he said.
Plesner, president of the Israeli Democracy Institute and a former lawmaker,
said he did not think Netanyahu would give in to the annexation calls. “At the
end of the day, West Bank annexation is the prerogative of the prime minister,”
main challenger, former military chief Benny Gantz, has given Israel’s “peace
camp” some dim hope.
Blue and White party’s platform devotes just a few sentences to the
Palestinians, promising “an open horizon for political settlement” and pledging
to work with Arab neighbors to find a way to “deepen the separation.”
makes no mention of Palestinian statehood, and says Israel will continue to
maintain control of parts of the West Bank and never divide Jerusalem.
Khatib, a former Palestinian negotiator, said the lack of interest on the
Israeli side is harmful to the Palestinians in the short term but much worse
for Israel in the long term. “It means the end of the two-state solution,” he
alternative will be an apartheid system, and this will cause huge damage to
Israeli democracy and the image of Israel.”
Beilin, one of the chief architects of Israel’s historic 1993 interim peace
agreement with the Palestinians, said Netanyahu’s policies have been
“devastating” for peace prospects.
he remains confident the two-state solution will one day be adopted due to a
lack of alternatives, and even believes that Gantz “for sure” will pursue a
peace deal if elected.
Trump’s peace plan, if released, may force Netanyahu’s hand, Beilin said. If
elected, Netanyahu will have a hard time resisting his close friend’s proposal
while his hardline coalition partners oppose any concessions to the
impact of the plan might be very interesting,” Beilin said.
medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has stopped admitting patients to
its hospital in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, after a group of armed
assailants stormed the medical facility, threatened staff there and kidnapped
and killed a patient.
Geneva-based humanitarian non-governmental organization said on Thursday that
the unknown gunmen had raided its emergency trauma hospital in Aden and
terrorized guards as well as medics at the medical facility.
is controlled by Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president
Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
went on to say that the armed men then kidnapped a patient, who had been
admitted the day before. The patient was found dead on a street in the al-
Mansurah district of the city.
this incident, we have no choice but to suspend the admission of patients until
further notice,” Caroline Seguin, MSF's program manager for Yemen, said.
Yemeni police commander, requesting anonymity, said the patient had been
wounded in a battle between rival armed groups and hospitalized at the MSF clinic.
three women and a man lost their lives when Saudi-backed militiamen targeted
their residential building in an area of al-Hawak district in Yemen’s western
coastal province of Hudaydah. A civilian sustained injuries in the incident as
four people were killed when Saudi military aircraft struck a water tanker in
the al-Sawadiyah district of the central Yemeni province of al-Bayda.
Yemeni snipers, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, managed to
kill and injure some 30 Saudi-paid militiamen during operations in Saudi
Arabia’s southern border areas of Najran and Jizan.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Hadi
back to power and crushing Ansarullah.
to a report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a
nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed
the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
number of Israeli settlers escorted by troops have confiscated a large area of
private Palestinian land and razed agricultural property in the northern part
of the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian media reports said that several bulldozers belonging to settlers
under the heavy protection of Israeli soldiers entered a village in the West
Bank district of Nablus on Thursday morning.
Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official in charge of monitoring Israel's
settlement expansion activities, confirmed that extremist settlers from the
Yitzhar settlement stormed the Karm Abu Salim area in the Burin village and
seized lands planted with fruitful trees.
illegal Israeli land grab in the occupied West Bank is a regular occurrence by
extremist settlers and the Israeli military.
recent years, Israeli settlers have been frequently caught on camera
vandalizing Palestinian farms in the occupied West Bank and stealing their
say the thefts and vandalism occur mainly on Palestinian land near settlements
that they can only reach by coordinating ahead of time with the Israeli
of the attacks carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their
property are met with impunity, with those guilty rarely facing consequences
for such actions.
groups, including Yesh Din and B’Tselem, have on several occasions slammed the
regime in Tel Aviv for failing to protect Palestinians from settler violence or
new report last month said that Israel had so far occupied more than 85 percent
or some 27,000 square kilometers of historical territories of Palestine in an
expropriation process which still continues unabated.
occupied the entire West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, during
full-frontal military operations in 1967.
the 1967 war, the law was applied to East al-Quds to enable Tel Aviv to
confiscate homes of the Palestinians who are not "absent" or
"missing" but live in so-called adversarial territories.
than half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds. Built on
occupied land, the settlements are internationally condemned as illegal.
want the West Bank as part of their future independent state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories has been a major
sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian talks, which have stalled since 2014.
bulldozers level Palestinian lands
a separate development on Thursday, a fleet of Israeli bulldozers and military
vehicles crossed the separation fence into the besieged Gaza Strip and
flattened private Palestinian lands.
least four Israeli-armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozers, accompanied by a number
of tanks, advanced scores of meters into the Khan Younis in the southern Gaza
number of Israeli surveillance aircraft were also reported to have flown at low
altitude over the area while the bulldozers were busy leveling the lands.
Israeli regime has long been conducting daily incursions into Gaza and in the
vicinity of the so-called buffer zone, which lies on both land and sea sides of
forces often fire at those Palestinians who work in the vicinity of the zone.
Tel Aviv has not yet made clear the exact demarcation of the designated zone.
The practice has in effect devastated much of the agricultural and fishing
sectors of the besieged coastal enclave.
forces also often attack Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip.
least 263 Palestinians have been killed and about 26,000 others injured by
Israeli forces ever since the Great March of Return protest rallies began in
the Gaza Strip on March 30, 2018.
has been under the Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in
international children’s rights NGO says Israeli military troopers have shot
and killed 11 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and the besieged
Gaza Strip since January.
for Children International - Palestine (DCI-P) reported on Thursday that the
fatalities included two minors, whom were shot during anti-occupation protests
along the fence separating the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories on March
30, as well as a volunteer medic killed in the town of Bethlehem, located some
10 kilometers south of the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds, last week.
NGO said Israeli soldiers had shot 17-year-old Bilal Najjar in the abdomen
during anti-occupation protest rallies in the Gaza Strip, adding that the
teenager later succumbed to his gunshot wounds in hospital.
the same day, 17-year-old Adham Nidal Sakr Amara was shot in the head with live
DCI-P investigation, citing medical sources, said that “Adham was likely struck
with an exploding bullet,” and “the object that struck Adham appeared to have
detonated on the lower half of his face.”
Israeli military forces shot dead another Palestinian teen, identified as Sajed
Abdul Hakim Helmi Mizher, a volunteer medic, during a raid in Duhayshah refugee
camp on March 27.
DCI-P noted that two 14-year-old Palestinian boys were fatally shot at the
hands of Israeli forces on February 22 and March 6.
al-Deen Imad Nasser Abu Zaid was killed by live ammunition on March 6 as he was
taking part in a protest outside Gaza City.
forces are killing Palestinian children with live ammunition at alarming
rates,” Ayed Abu Eqtaish, the director of DCI-P’s Accountability Program, said.
added, “UN investigators recently found that Israeli forces intentionally targeted
child protesters in Gaza, a conduct that amounts to war crime, yet the
international community stands by as Palestinian children are killed with
impunity. We need action.”
the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a report published
on Thursday that the number of Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in
2018 had increased sharply from the previous year, and reached 57 compared to
15 in 2017.
PCBS report added that based on data provided by the DCI-P, among the 57
children killed in 2018 five aged up to 12 years, 29 aged 13 to 15 years, and
23 children were in the age group of 16 to 17 years.
PCBS also stated that according to data released by the Commission of Detainees
and Ex-Detainees Affairs, 1,063 children were among around 6,500 detention
cases in 2018, and out of about 6,000 Palestinian detainees by end of 2018, 250
were children under 18 years of age.
Palestinian minors incarcerated in Israeli prisons: NGO
a Palestinian non-governmental and civil organization says the Tel Aviv regime
is keeping 250 Palestinian minors behind bars in prisons and detention
facilities across the occupied territories.
Palestinian Detainees’ Committee, in a statement released on Thursday,
announced that Israeli military forces had abducted and imprisoned nearly
10,000 Palestinian children ever since the Second Palestinian Intifada erupted
in September 2000.
added that hundreds of detained children had reached adulthood while in prison,
including many who served extended prison terms.
committee further noted that the children were being held in Ofer, Megiddo and
Addamoun prisons, and most of them were subject to physical and psychological
torture and denied basic rights.
highlighted that Israeli soldiers and interrogators tended to hurl insults at
detained Palestinian children, and frequently threatened to inflict more harm
on them. They also threatened to harm children’s families “if they do not
confess” to whatever the army is accusing them of.
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Wednesday European powers were incapable
of bypassing sanctions imposed on Tehran by the US after it withdrew from the
Iran nuclear deal.
and six world powers agreed on a deal in 2015 that severely restricted Tehran’s
nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief and economic incentives.
President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the deal - technically called
the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - last May, re-imposing
punishing sanctions on the Islamic republic.
other parties to the nuclear deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia
along with the European Union - however insist they remain committed to making
the deal work.
Europeans at first viewed the JCPOA (nuclear deal) as an achievement, but maybe
they were not prepared to, and certainly they were not capable of standing up
against US sanctions,” Zarif said in an interview with Khamenei.ir, the
official website of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
will continue pressing the Europeans to implement their commitments. Europe
must know that they cannot shy away from their responsibilities with a few
statements and some unaccomplished plans,” he added.
who was his country’s chief negotiator in the negotiations leading to the deal,
said that Iran would continue to pressure the Europeans to act on their
obligations within the deal but added that “we never had any hopes” in them.
high commissioner: Bangladesh a developing giant on world stage
political relationship has huge potential as Bangladesh assumes its rightful
place as a developing giant on the world stage'
Bangladesh as a developing giant on the world stage, British High Commissioner
Robert Chatterton Dickson on Thursday said the UK wants a stronger political
partnership with the South Asian nation.
political relationship has huge potential as Bangladesh assumes its rightful
place as a developing giant on the world stage," he said at Cosmos
Dialogue at a city hotel.
said the two countries can work together to tackle global challenges and
deliver global opportunities, reports UNB.
are keen to broaden the UK-Bangladesh relationship, building on Bangladesh's
economic success story," the high commissioner said.
said Britain will be looking towards the fast-growing economies of South Asia,
including Bangladesh, for new partnerships after Brexit.
pointed out that a more balanced UK-Bangladesh trade relationship will be a
good thing for both sides.
high commissioner said the UK and Bangladesh can work together at the UN and
within the Commonwealth on issues such as climate change and support open and
free international trade.
Foundation organized "Bangladesh-UK Relations: Prognosis for the
Future" symposium as part of the second edition of its Ambassador Lecture
Foundation Chairman Enayetullah Khan delivered the welcome address at the event
held with Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, Principal Research Fellow, Institute of
South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, in the chair.
are bound by cricket and culture, language and literature, common visions, and
values that complement our political and economic relations," said Khan
highlighting the deep emotional ties Britain and Bangladesh share.
said Bangladesh is now viewed as a rising economic powerhouse and that its
potentials, not just in the blue economy but also in the Indo-pacific maritime
milieu, are burgeoning.
Commissioner Dickson said the UK will be working alongside the Bangladeshi High
Commission in London to highlight the opportunities in Bangladesh for British
country with 165 million potential consumers growing 8% per year ought to be an
attractive proposition for business, he noted.
efforts to address the issues making business in Bangladesh difficult will be a
good way to attract private capital involvement that the Bangladesh economy is
going to need as it matures and becomes a larger player on the world
stage," he said.
Bangladesh is set to achieve middle-income status in the next few years,
Dickson said the UK's assistance is likely to evolve from helping basic
development to technical assistance with the economic and governance reform
needed to continue progress.
be highlighting the partnership and the UK's unique role here during the
celebration of Bangladesh's 50th birthday in 2021. That's the future trajectory
as the high commission sees it, helping Bangladesh deliver on the 2021 agenda
and entering the next 50 years as a global economic force," he added.
problem made in Myanmar'
said the Rohingya issue is something that Bangladesh had nothing to do with but
the country has been "unbelievably generous."
a problem made in Myanmar," he said, where Rohingyas, left out of the
citizenship law, suffer a "basic injustice."
is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas. Over 700,000 of them fled
here since August 2017 after the Myanmar military launched a brutal offensive
targeting the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority.
high commissioner said Myanmar has participated in ethnic cleansing. "It's
a problem for the Rohingyas...[and] obviously for Bangladesh... [and] also for
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed repatriation deals, there has been very little
said the UK has a role and that the Department for International Development
(DFID) has provided 130 million pounds worth of humanitarian support and
promised to provide more.
having conversations about ways in which we can help everybody resolve this
very difficult problem, which is just as bad for everybody, including, we'd
argue strongly, the government of Myanmar," the high commissioner said.
foreign affairs experts and businesspersons, including Inam Ahmed Chowdhury,
Prof Selina Mohsin, Lt Gen (retd) ATM Zahirul Alam, AK Khan Foundation Trustee
Secretary Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Advanced Chemical Industries Limited Director
Juned Ahmed Choudhury, Mohammadi Group Managing Director Rubana Huq, Dhaka
University's Honorary Professor Dr Shakhawat Ali Khan, and other former
diplomats spoke on the occasion.
focused on security, defence, and education cooperation between the two
and current global issues, including the Rohingya crisis and climate change,
were also part of the discussions.
of Taliban militants stormed a district in Afghanistan's western Badghis
province, with both Afghan government forces and the militant group suffering
dozens of casualties, provincial officials said.
district of Bala Murghab has been a recurring hotspot of fighting in the past
two months, and officials have previously warned that it could fall to the
Taliban without reinforcements.
in Afghanistan has escalated ahead of the usual spring season, as both sides
seek to increase leverage in talks on a peace settlement.
Taliban killed 36 members of the government forces and captured several security
checkpoints in attacks that began on Wednesday night, Waris Sherzad, district
governor of Bala Murghab, said late on Thursday. Fighting was ongoing, he said.
than 30 Taliban were also killed, said Jamshed Shahabi spokesman for Badghis'
spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said it attacked from four directions, capturing
defense ministry, in a series of tweets, said its forces chose to
"tactically retreat" from the checkpoints to prevent civilian
casualties. The ministry said it called in multiple air strikes on Taliban
Friday, the defense ministry said Afghan forces had forced the Taliban to
retreat from some checkpoints and that all key areas remained under its
conflict in Badghis has been particularly intense along with northern Kunduz
province and Helmand province in the south in recent weeks. Both sides took
heavy casualties in Badghis last month, and at one point 50 members of Afghan
security forces surrendered to the Taliban.
between militant groups has also intensified. The United Nations Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Thursday
that Daesh attacks on Taliban positions on March 23 resulted in 21,000 people
being displaced in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces.
latest round of peace talks between US and Taliban officials wrapped up last
month, with both sides citing progress.
Afghan provincial officials say a Taliban attack on a government compound in
western Badghis province has killed at least 20 troops and policemen.
Nasir Nazari, a provincial councilmember, says the “massive attack” took place
before dawn on Thursday, and that it targeted the government headquarters in
the district of Balal Murgab.
says the Taliban stormed all the security posts around the compound under the
cover of darkness. He says that the lives of some 600 members of the security
forces deployed there are under threat.
Shahabhi, spokesman for the Badgis’ governor, says intense fighting in the
district is still underway. He says he fears more casualties by the government.
Afghan security forces have arrested six alleged members of the Daesh militant
group and accused them of using hundreds of fake accounts on Facebook and other
social media to find recruits, authorities said on Thursday.
men, arrested in the capital, Kabul, also used Twitter, Instagram and Telegram
for fake accounts recruiting fighters and promoting Daesh, Afghanistan’s
National Directorate of Security (NDS) said.
agency said the men had confessed, but have not yet been charged. They were
among 16 arrests it said were connected to Daesh.
arrests come as Facebook and Twitter have been separately sucked into an
information war between India and Pakistan.
Afghan affiliate of Daesh, sometimes known as Islamic State Khorasan (Daesh-K)
after an old name for the region that includes Afghanistan, has recruited many
fighters from around the world, including Western countries.
group, also known as Daesh, has been active in Afghanistan since 2015, fighting
the Taliban as well as Afghan and US forces.
a separate operation in the eastern province of Nangarhar, the NDS arrested 10
suspects over involvement in assassinations and transporting weapons,
ammunition and explosives, it said in the statement.
emerged in Nangarhar on the porous border with Pakistan to become one of
Afghanistan’s most dangerous militant groups for its bombing and complex
is difficult to say how many Daesh fighters are in Afghanistan because they
frequently switch allegiances, but the US military estimates there are about
least five people have been killed and more than a dozen others wounded after a
military helicopter attacked a group of Rohingya Muslims gathering bamboo in
Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state.
Kir Ahmed, a community leader, told media outlets on Thursday that the aerial
raid occurred in a valley in Buthidaung township near a village that was home
to Rohingya Muslim families.
military airstrike killed five people, including one of our villagers, at
around 4 pm yesterday,” said Ahmed from Kin Taung village. “People in the
village don’t dare to go out and are frightened.”
Kyaw Zan, a local lawmaker, said some of the wounded were brought to Buthidaung
town but several died before they reached the hospital, adding five bodies had
I talked to the wounded people they said the shooting came from the air, there
were no clashes on the ground,” the lawmaker said.
Ahmed, a laborer, said his elder brother, uncle and nephew had been shot while
they were working at Sai Din valley. “A helicopter attacked them while they
were working there, cutting and collecting bamboo.”
other villagers also said a helicopter had attacked the group.
Sakalian, head of delegation in Myanmar at the International Committee of the
Red Cross, confirmed that teams from the organization had visited Buthidaung
Hospital where 13 people were being treated for wounds, some of them in “urgent
need of surgery”.
military spokesman declined to comment on the latest deadly incident, but
Major-General Tun Tun Nyi, vice chairman of the Myanmar military's information
committee, said the army would release “true news” about the alleged incident
western Rakhine state came to global attention in 2017, when the army drove
thousands of ethnic Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh. Myanmar is
facing growing international calls for accountability over the Rakhine
year, a UN fact-finding mission, said the campaign against the Rohingya was
orchestrated with "genocidal intent." It urged charging the army
chief and five other generals with the "gravest crimes under international
law." The International Criminal Court (ICC) has already opened a
preliminary examination into the violence.
army said last month a military court in Myanmar would investigate the
military's conduct during the crackdown. A previous military investigation had
exonerated security forces of any crimes.
800,000 Rohingya Muslims are living in camps in Bangladesh after they were
driven out of Rakhine during the deadly campaign in 2017, which the United
Nations has described as ethnic cleansing.
has been the scene of communal violence since 2012. Many Muslims have been
killed while tens of thousands have been forced to flee as a result of attacks
by Buddhists. The refugees largely live in camps in dire conditions.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) wants to play a leading role in
the repatriation of Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh, a minister said
is the current chair of ASEAN. They are willing to take a leading role in the
Rohingya repatriation process,” Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen
said at a press briefing following a meeting with his Thai counterpart Don
Pramudwinai in Dhaka, local media reported.
had informed Bangladesh authorities that Thailand had sent a delegation to
visit villages in Rakhine, but Momen accused Myanmar authorities of taking
foreign delegations to villages that were not damaged during atrocities, the
daily New Age newspaper reported.
to a question by a journalist on Bangladesh’s proposal to create a ‘safe zone’
in Rakhine for Rohingya, Momen said Pramudwinai agreed with the idea but wanted
to use different words as ‘safe zone’ carries certain connotations and some
quarters were unwilling to agree with that, the report added.
Thai minister did not attend the press briefing.
said ASEAN wanted to create such an environment in Myanmar where Rohingya might
feel safe to go back, Momen noted.
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced
heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and
children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces
launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The
18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and
over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it
UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and
young children – and brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar
group of six media activists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have
been arrested in Kabul city, the Afghan Intelligence announced Thursday.
spokesman of the National Directorate of Security Haris Jebran said the media
activists of ISIS group were arrested during a special operation of Afghan
further added that the detained individuals were involved in pro-ISIS
activities in social media networks, mainly spreading propagandas in Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram.
also added that the Afghan intelligence operatives arrested 10 other ISIS
facilitators during a separate operation in Nangarhar province.
to Jebran, the detained individuals were involved in arms smuggling,
assassinatons, explosives and munitions smuggling, and transportation of the
family members of ISIS loyalists.
least thirteen militants affiliated with ISIS Khurasan, the offshoot of the
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Afghanistan, were killed during the
operations of the Afghan Special Forces in eastern Nangarhar province.
military sources said Thursday that the operations were conducted in Bar
Sengani area of the province.
sources further added that 5 defensive positions and 13 compounds of the terror
group were also destroyed during the same operations.
anti-government armed militants including ISIS loyalists have not commented
regarding the operations so far.
least eight Taliban militants were killed in an airstrike conducted by the
Afghan Air Force in northern Balkh province.
secuirty source said the airstrike was carried out earlier today in the
vicinity of Koh-e-Alburz in Chemtal district, leaving eight militants dead.
source further added that a key commander of the Taliban group was also among
Afghan ground forces and local residents did not suffer casualties in the
airstrike, the source added.
was among the relatively calm provinces in North of Afghanistan but the
security situation of the province has deteriorated during the recent months.
Kurdish-language Hawar News quoted sources in the village of Simalka in Mobata
region in Afrin as saying on Thursday that the terrorists affiliated to Ankara
excavated the regions near historical monuments in Hasiyeh hill in the Western
parts of the village with heavy vehicles to find artifacts.
the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that over
2,680 civilians in Afrin have been detained by the Turkish army and affiliated
militants, adding that they receive over 10mln Syrian lira for releasing the
field sources in Afrin said that the local people are angry with the Turkish
army and affiliated militants' measures in the region, adding that nearly 100
residents of the village of Marimin gathered near one of the military bases in
the village and prevented the Turkish army's drilling operations to develop the
a relevant development late last month, people in Northern Aleppo demanded the
occupying Turkish forces to leave the region as tensions and insecurities had
sorely increased in the region.
News reported that people in Northwestern Aleppo, specially Jarablus, al-Bab,
A'azaz and Afrin regions, were growingly calling for the withdrawal of
report said people were printing graffiti on walls and hold sporadic protest
rallies to call for the Turkish army's retreat.
added that the local people were furious with exacerbating security conditions
resulting from increasing infighting among the Turkish army and their
affiliated militants as well as their attempts to blackmail the civilians.
the SOHR reported that the Ankara-affiliated militants fighting under the
Euphrates Shield operations are dissatisfied with their low salaries paid by
Repels ISIL Attack Near Iraqi Borders, Reinvigorates Positions in Eastern Syria
Syrian army forces on Wednesday engaged in heavy clashes with a group of
terrorists near the town of Bu Kamal in Eastern Deir Ezzur who intended to
infiltrate from Baqouz region in Eastern Euphrates into the army-controlled
large number of militants were killed and wounded during the several-hour
clashes and others were forced to flee.
field sources in Eastern Syria also reported that the Syrian army has
strengthened its positions in Bu Kamal in recent days by sending tens of fresh
forces and new military equipment.
on Wednesday, the ISIL was heavily suppressed by the Syrian army in the Eastern
Badiyeh (Desert) of Homs province.
Syrian army units engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL militants in regions
near the T2 Station in Eastern Homs, killing a number of them.
the artillery units of the Syrian army targeted the positions and movements of
terrorists in areas near the clashes region, destroying several of their
strongholds and military equipment and inflicting tolls on them.
Arabic-language al-Ma'alomeh news website quoted the head of Badr
Organization's office in al-Anbar province as saying that the number of US
forces deployed in Ein al-Assad and al-Habaniyeh bases has increased to 10,000,
adding that they have been supplied with the state-of-the-art weapons and
official said that the two bases also host the US marines who have been
transferred recently from Syria to the region, noting that 90% of the US soldiers
in Iraq are combat forces and are not considered as military advisors.
reports said last month that the American forces had established two military
bases in al-Anbar province on Iraq's international road close to the borders
with Syria and Jordan as political groups and politicians are trying to expel
the US military troops from their country.
Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper reported early March that the US forces had
built up the first base on Baghdad-Damascus international road, formerly known
as H3, while a second military center have been established to the South of the
first base and South of the Baghdad-Amman international road, in addition to 13
other US bases spread across the country.
noted that the first base had practically started operation, but the second one
was being equipped, adding that the Americans had also set up two other new
bases in al-Ratbah region which might be intended to serve as new air bases.
about establishment of new bases in the region came as different political
groups in Iraq were endeavoring to approve a bill in the parliament to expel
the foreign forces from the country.
Saudi consulate in Baghdad was opened on Thursday with the raising of the
Kingdom’s flag at the consulate building in the presence of senior Saudi
ministers visiting the Iraqi capital as part of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination
high-level Saudi delegation, which includes seven ministers, representatives of
other government ministries and major private companies arrived in Iraq on
Wednesday on a two-day official visit.
opening ceremony took place in the presence of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination
Council, headed by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majid
bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi. The Iraqi side was headed by Iraqi Foreign Minister
Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim, and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and
Minister of Oil Thamir Al-Ghadhban.
more consulates will soon to be opened in other Iraqi cities, according to Dr.
a press statement, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said that opening of the consulate
reflects the keenness of the two countries to facilitate consular services and
provide facilities for those who want to visit the holy sites in the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia or perform Hajj and Umrah, and, further more, to facilitate the
labor movement and trade exchange between the two countries.
Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council concluded its second session on Thursday in
Majid Al-Qasabi, chaired his country’s side to the meeting while Iraqi Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister of Oil Thamir Al-Ghadhban led the other side, in
the presence of a number of senior Saudi officials.
meeting reviewed the latest developments regarding the outputs of the Council
committees and discussed the priorities of the next phase, its implementation
plan and topics of the Council’s agenda.
underscored the importance of enhancing the joint cooperation between the two
sides in important international and regional affairs, developing the
partnership between the two countries in the private sector and allowing
businessmen to explore the trade and investment opportunities.
Iraqi President Barham Salih received Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi and the accompanying
delegation, on the sidelines of the Second meeting of the Saudi-Iraqi
Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi also met the Saudi economic delegation. During
the meeting, they reviewed ways of enhancing and supporting bilateral relations
between the two countries and a number of issues of mutual interest.
Minister of Culture visits cultural, historical landmarks
Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Minister of Culture, accompanied by Iraqi
Minister of Culture and Tourism Dr. Abdul Amir Al-Hamdani visited historic and
cultural landmarks in Baghdad on Thursday.
Saudi Minister of Culture toured several areas including Mutanabbi Street,
Qishla, Abbasid palace, and a number of historical places.
Iraq must ensure that Daesh leadership faces justice for alleged war crimes and
genocide against civilians, not just charges of belonging to a terrorist group,
a UN human rights investigator said on Thursday.
men, two Iraqi and two Syrians, were sentenced to death by a Baghdad court on
Oct. 30 on charges of membership of Daesh, a banned terrorist organization,
Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary
identity has not been revealed but she described them in a statement as “four
senior affiliates of the ISIL leadership,” using a widespread acronym for the
trial should have shed light on the inner workings of ISIL and created a
crucial judicial record of ISIL crimes against people.”
militant group, which took large swathes of Iraq and Syria from 2014, declared
a “caliphate” and imposed a reign of terror with public beheadings and sexual
enslavement of women and girls including from the Iraqi Yazidi sect. It lost
its last territorial stronghold in Syria last month.
Government of Iraq should take appropriate steps to prosecute the crimes
perpetrated against the Iraqi people, including alleged genocide, crimes
against humanity and war crimes,” Callamard said.
the very least, the Iraqi prosecutors should have brought additional charges
from the Iraqi penal code, such as charges of murder, torture or disappearance,
against the defendants, for the purpose of accountability,” she said.
standards guaranteeing a fair trial appear not to have been met at the “hasty”
criminal proceedings, during which the men were denied access to legal counsel,
widespread violations, no victims or their families participated in the trial
at Karkh criminal court or presented testimony, she said.
who made recommendations about criminal accountability after a visit to Iraq in
2017, said on Thursday that the right to truth about gross human rights
violations is an inalienable right.
is no justice delivered in secrecy,” she said.
Heavy bombardment by Syrian regime troops of the extremist-controlled Idlib
region has killed 22 civilians, a monitor said on Thursday, the latest violence
to theaten a seven-month-old truce.
cease-fire was brokered by the main foreign backers of the warring parties in
September to head off a government offensive that prompted UN warnings of
humanitarian disaster for the region’s 3 million residents.
since the region was overrun by the Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham alliance led by former
Al-Qaeda militants in January, the fragile truce has come under mounting
Muallem, foreign minister of the Assad regime, accused Turkey, which signed the
September deal on behalf of the rebels, of failing to honor its commitments and
warned that his government’s patience was running out.
UN humanitarian affairs office said the escalating violence threatened aid
deliveries to some 2.7 million people in need.
the latest flare-up, army artillery and rocket fire on the Idlib towns of
Kafrnabel and Maaret Al-Noman killed 13 people on Thursday, the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said.
came after shelling of adjacent extremist-held areas of Hama and Aleppo
provinces killed nine people late on Wednesday, the Britain-based watchdog
UN humanitarian office said that the ecalating violence had already killed 90
civilians in the Idlib region in March, nearly half of them children.
than 86,500 people fled their homes in February and March as a result of the
escalation, it added.
UN expressed concern over “increased shelling along front lines, an
intensification of air strikes and a growing number of attacks involving
improvised explosive devices in urban areas.”
foreign minister said his regime was growing impatient to recapture Idlib, the
last region outside its control apart from the Kurdish-held north and northeast
where Washington retains a troop presence.
said Turkey had failed to ensure the withdrawal of extremist forces from a
planned buffer zone along the front line as stipulated by the truce agreed in
the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
is known that Turkey is responsible for a delay in implementing” the deal, he
said at a joint press conference with his Venezuelan counterpart Jorge Arreaza.
we are still waiting for the Sochi deal to be implemented but our patience has
its limits and we must liberate this land.
are losing patience,” he warned.
than half of the population of the Idlib region have already fled regime
offensives on other militant-held regions of Syria.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women
in Islam, Islamic
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism