Hadiya (in red) converted to Islam and married Shafin Jahan, but her marriage
was annulled by the Kerala high court on the basis of a petition filed by her
father; the Supreme Court set aside the high court order.(HT File Photo)
ends Kerala probe, says there’s love but no jihad
Recruiting Children to Counter Syrian Army in North, Northwest
urges religious scholars to promote teachings of Islam
Hasina gifts 1.5 bigha land to biggest hindu temple in Bangladesh
shadow judge among a dozen militants killed in Nangarhar operations
reported among Afghan forces, militants in Balkh, Sari Pul provinces
and the limits of pan-Islamism
woos Saudi entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh
bomb destroyed, several militants killed in NDS raid in Nangarhar
claims responsibility for the explosion in Qahraman’s office in Helmand
refugees in Bangladesh sold into forced labor: UN
businessman funds Durga temple
Students Defer Decision To Leave AMU En Masse
Three terrorists, policeman killed in encounter in Srinagar
Army Launches Fresh Attacks on ISIL after Terrorists Violate Agreement in South
Army Sends Fresh Military Convoy to Manbij amid Turkey's Threats
Terrorists Including Commanders Killed by Unknown Raiders, Blast in
Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura to step down next month
sanctions on Iraq-based money exchange for ISIS ties
year after Daesh defeat, Syria’s Raqqa still in fear
says some withdrawal of militants from Syria’s Idlib -pool report
ex-lawmaker goes missing, may have been detained
holds conference on challenges to Muslim societies
keep exerting pressure on Pak until change in Afghan policy: US
Taliban kill parliamentary candidate in attack on election office
must stay in Afghanistan until peace is achieved: army
says 'active' efforts underway to recover Iran troops
founder sought to buy influence with Sharifs, says WSJ
close aide refuses to become his special assistant
Bajwa meets Italian defence minister, army chief
closes Muslim Shia center on grounds of terrorism
should impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia: Labour Party
of British people wrongly believe there are Muslim ‘no-go areas’ in UK governed
by sharia law
children deported from Europe left to fend for themselves in war-torn country
back campaign to put Muslim heroine on British bank note
says Muslim internment camps meant to bring minorities into "modern,
court bars unilateral child conversions
religious leaders campaign for new Muslim region
It's Just Religion: Feby Indirani's 'Magical Islamism'
Questions Australian Leader's Announcement on Jerusalem Embassy Move
Defends 'Anti-Extremism' Measures in Xinjiang as Scrutiny Mounts
Saudi investigators enter consul's residence in Istanbul as Khashoggi remains
prosecutor ‘alarmed’ by Gaza violence
army, Arab Coalition block Houthi attempt to open Sanaa, Hodeidah route
Saudi army chiefs meet in Washington: Report
to deliver aid to Syrians trapped near Jordan border
of Syrian 'White Helmets' leave for West: Jordan
appoints new peace envoy to South Sudan
Ahmadiyaa Muslim Mission Commended for Promoting Peace
airstrike wiped out al-Shabaab camp, intel officials say
US needs Saudi Arabia in fight against terrorism
sentenced to 24 years for Texas mosque burning
Saudi Arabia has been a very important ally of ours in the Middle East
Erdogan confirms Saudis cooperating into Khashoggi probe
House, Saudis working to make up story on missing journalist’s fate: Brennan
retreating from MidEast front amid Khashoggi crisis: Sources
slams US 'addiction to sanctions' after new bans target key banks
pastor Brunson's lawyer challenges Turkish jail sentence
by New Age Islam News Bureau
DELHI: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gifted about one and a half
bigha land to a temple in Dhaka on the occasion of Durga Puja this week, reinforcing
her image as a champion of minority rights in the country where Islam is the
visited Bangladesh’s biggest temple, Dhakeshwari Temple, on Monday and announced
gifting of adjacent land, valued at nearly 50 crore taka (Rs 43 crore), to the temple
authorities. In the process, she fulfilled a six-decade old demand to help
restore to its old glory the temple after which Dhaka is named.
minority Hindu community in Bangladesh has been a staunch supporter of the
ruling Awami League since the formation of the party. The next parliamentary
polls in Bangladesh are due in December. Over the years the temple lost a lot
of its property to land grabbing, but recently, under Hasina's directions the
government mediated an agreement to hand over the land to the temple
authorities at a discounted price of 10 crore taka and decided to increase the
corpus of funds of the Hindu Kalian Trust to 100 crore taka from 21crore taka.
is no doubt that during the last 10 years of the Awami League government,
Bangladesh has seen constant economic development and witnessed a period of
stability, something that was absent in the early years of this century,” a
Bangladesh government official told ET on condition of anonymity.
growth and stability has also resulted in an improved security situation that
has had a positive impact not only on the security of religious minorities but
on Bangladeshis as a whole,” he said. The Hasina government’s slogan ‘Dhormo
JaarJaar, Utsob Shobar’ (religion is individual right but festivities belong to
all) is being implemented on the ground, as can be seen from the fact that in
2017, more than 30,000 Durga Puja celebrations were organised peacefully across
year, the number has increased to 31,272. While the opposition BNP and its
partner Jamaat-e-Islami accuse the government of not doing enough for the
Hindus, and raise this issue at international platforms, Bangladesh is
witnessing a homecoming of its traditional liberal Bangla ethos, the foundation
on which the country was formed in 1971, said the official.
this continues, the country will emerge as a shining example on the world’s
stage of an Islamic nation that is secular, inclusive and democratic — a
complete contrast of what Pakistan, the country it separated from, has become,”
said the official.
National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) “examination” of interfaith marriages in
Kerala has not unearthed any evidence of coercion that can result in
prosecution in these cases, officials familiar with the matter said. One of
them added that while there may have been efforts to facilitate the conversion
of either the man or the woman involved, there was no evidence of a larger
NIA is not supposed to file any further report in this regard in the Supreme
Court. As far as the NIA is concerned, the matter stands closed as the agency
has not found any evidence to suggest that in any of these cases either the man
or the woman was coerced to convert,” said a senior agency official who spoke on
condition of anonymity.
agency picked 11 cases of interfaith marriages in Kerala for examination as
part of its probe into so-called cases of “love jihad” at the instance of the
11 cases were picked up from a list of 89 interfaith marriages that were
already before law enforcement authorities (usually because of complaints by
parents) and which were referred to the federal anti-terrorism agency by the
investigation happened in the context of the celebrated Hadiya case.
converted to Islam and married Shafin Jahan, but her marriage was annulled by
the Kerala high court on the basis of a petition filed by her father; the
Supreme Court set aside the high court order.
least one among the 11 marriages under examination was purely a matter of
relationship gone sour. In most of the other cases we found that a similar set
of people and organisations associated with Popular Front of India (PFI) were
involved in helping either the man or the woman involved in a relationship to
convert to Islam, but we didn’t find any prosecutable evidence to bring formal
charges against these persons under any of the scheduled offences of the NIA,
like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” added the official.
official said the Constitution of India had provided freedom to practice and
promote religion in a peaceful manner to all citizens as a fundamental right.
“Conversion is not a crime in Kerala and also helping these men and women
convert is also within the ambit of the Constitution of the country.”
legal advisor KP Muhammer Shareef labelled the concept of love jihad a
“sinister design cooked up by right wing forces” to “target the Muslim
community at large” and claimed the effort was aimed at portraying the Front and
(its political arm), the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), as conduit
pipes for love jihad.
investigations and enquiries conducted by various agencies have now found the
allegation of love jihad is obnoxious, fictitious and without any scintilla of
evidence,” said Shareef.
the results of this investigation should not be construed as a “clean chit” for
PFI, the NIA official said.
are separate criminal cases of serious charges of murder going on against the
alleged cadres of PFI. Those matters are being dealt (with) separately.”
the 11 cases examined by the NIA, there were at least four cases of interfaith
marriages where Hindu men embraced Islam or where efforts were made to convert
them to Islam. In the rest of the cases examined by NIA, Hindu women married
NIA probe found that in at least three cases, efforts at conversion failed,”
said a second NIA official who asked not to be named.
Al Youm news website reported that Tahrir al-Sham and its allied terrorists,
deployed in Northern and Northwestern Syria, have recruited hundreds of
children to train them and use them in battle against the army and its popular
allies as Tahrir al-Sham has rejected to retreat from the demilitarized zone in
Northeastern Lattakia, Southern Idlib and Western Aleppo on October 15.
further said that the terrorists have persuaded the children to join them in
return for a very low payment, adding that hundreds of children have been
recruited by terrorists in this way.
news website said that the terrorists' move to recruit children has enraged
Syrian field commander claimed on Tuesday that the Syrian government troops
were preparing for military operation against terrorists in Northern and
Northwestern Syria after terrorists refused to comply with the Sochi Agreement.
Ali al-Haj Ali, a military commander and a member of the Syrian Parliament,
told the Arabic-language website of Sputnik that based on reports from Idlib,
only a part of heavy weapons of the terrorists and almost 1,000 militants have
been withdrawn from the demilitarized zone, adding that tens of thousands of
terrorists are still in the zone.
news agency further reported that the Turkish side is showing off its
compliance with the Sochi Agreement, adding that the Syrian Army has been
preparing to kick off the liberation of occupied lands after the deadline.
Ali told Sputnik that the army is planning to launch its operation from Western
Aleppo where the terrorists of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at have been conducting
missile attacks on residential neighborhoods.
further said that Idlib is a highly populated province, enabling the terrorists
to use people as human shield, adding that the army will use new weapons and
elite forces to counter the terrorists with the least number of human
quoted the commander as saying that should the army prevails over the first
line of terrorists' positions in Idlib the remaining lines of their positions
will be conquered automatically.
Masood Khan, president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir urged the religious leaders to
play their role to rid the country of the violent extremism by spreading the
true message of Islam. Speaking at ‘Paigham Pakistan Conference’ organizing by
Ulema and Mushaikh here on Wednesday, Sardar Masood Khan said Islam is
universal religion and Prophet (PBUH) was sent to all peoples of the world, regardless
of their race, colour, culture and geographical location.
universality makes it a religion that is acceptable to all people in this world
and that was the very reason that over one billion human being are now in the
fold of this true religion,” President Masood said. Describing peace,
tranquility, mercy and compassion as foundations of the religion of Islam, the
president called upon the Ulema and religious scholars to demonstrate respect
to all human beings to create a space for further expansion of their religion.
tendencies of violent extremism and radicalization in the country as a serious
challenge for the nation, he said our enemies on one hand want to destabilize
Pakistan by dividing us in different sects and groups and on the other they are
attempting to deprive the people of Pakistan from the basic ideology of
Pakistan. He said that people of Pakistan, particularly Ulema and Mushaikh are
united and they would never allow anti Islam and anti-Pakistan forces to
materialize their evil designs. Urging religious scholars and intellectuals to
promote the true teachings of Quran and Sunnah, President Masood said that
rivalries on the basis of petty and insignificant differences among the
followers of different sects is detrimental to the social fabric of our
the declaration of Paigham Pakistan (Message of Pakistan) signed by the
religious scholars from all schools of thought as right step at right time,
President Masood commended the efforts of Ulema and Mushaikh for bringing and
maintaining peace and harmony in the society.
key leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K) was among
at at least a dozen militants killed during the operations of the Afghan
National Defense and Security Forces in eastern Nangarhar province of
provincial government media office in a statement said the Special Operations
Forces of the Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS),
conducted operations in Jamal Khel, Deewana Baba, Kandar, and Chenar Kali areas
of Achin, leaving at least 12 militants dead.
statement further added that four hideouts of the terror group were also
destroyed during the same operations.
to the governor’s office, a key leader of the terror group who was operating as
the shadow judge of ISIS-K, Waliullah Mansor who was also famous as Yasir, was
among those killed.
heavy and light weapons belonging to the militants of the terror group were
destroyed, the statement said, adding that the security forces and the local
residents have not suffered casualties during the operations.
Afghan Military in the North says at least twenty five militants have been
killed or wounded during separate clashes in northern Balkh and Sari Pul
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said at
least three militants were killed and six others were wounded during a clash in
Tarbalaq area in the provincial capital of Sari Pul province.
statement further added that the clash broke out at around 4:30am local time on
Tuesday morning and as a result five motorcycles of the militants were also
least 4 militants were killed and 12 others were wounded during a separate
clash in Qashqar village in Chemtal district of northern Balkh province, the
209th Shaheen Corps added in its statement.
Myanmar’s latest bout of violence against the Rohingya began in 2012, there has
been a slow uptick of outrage in the Muslim world. But it was only recently,
once international observers described what was happening there as an ethnic
cleansing, that Muslim concern became more vocal than protests in Europe or the
U.S. In the past, Muslim-majority countries such as Bangladesh and Malaysia, at
the receiving end of refugee flows from Myanmar numbering in the tens and even
hundreds of thousands, have acted forcefully to prevent the Rohingya from
entering their territories.
last year everything changed, with Bangladesh, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and
Pakistan at the forefront of international demands to stop the flight of
refugees from Myanmar and alleviate their suffering. Behind this change lay a
number of causes, from the humanitarian, political and economic emergency
created by the influx of refugees among Myanmar’s neighbours, to growing Muslim
protests around the world at the treatment of the Rohingya. The crisis also
presented an opportunity for politicians to claim leadership in an otherwise fragmented
Muslim world by demanding relief and justice for the Rohingya.
President made strong statements about the crisis, putting it at the top of the
agenda at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. His wife made a highly
publicised trip to Bangladesh to be filmed and photographed in Rohingya camps,
while donating and promising more Turkish aid. Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia
also competed to deliver assistance in Rakhine state while engaging the Myanmar
government in talks. The Bangladesh Prime Minister spoke about the plight of
the refugees at the UN and demanded safe zones for the Rohingya in Myanmar.
both Turkey’s President and the Bangladesh Prime Minister use the same
accusations of Islamic terrorism against their domestic opponents as are
levelled against the Rohingya in Mynamar. And they do so for the same reason,
in order to de-legitimise suspect minority groups and political opposition in
their own countries. Like Myanmar, these states are all heirs to the ‘War on
Terror’, deploying its language and practices to forge a new politics. What we
are seeing is not disagreement between Muslim and non-Muslim states on the
subject of the Rohingya, but instead fundamental agreement on a narrative of
counter-terrorism that has been globalised beyond American control.
Rohingya cause represents the return of states to leadership roles within the
Muslim world, and it has made Islamic unity possible for the first time since
the sectarian bloodletting of the Syrian war, to say nothing of the divide
between Saudi-led and pro-Iranian movements across West Asia. All over the
world, bar Afghanistan and Somalia, states are triumphing over their religious
critics to champion Islamic causes long held by the latter. By suppressing such
groups in the name of counter-terrorism, however, these states have also
adopted their narrative of Muslim victimisation.
groups had been among the first to promote a narrative of Muslim victimisation,
with jihadis as much as liberals drawing from a familiar humanitarian
repertoire in which suffering demands an immediate and therefore violent
response. But this storyline only dates back to the aftermath of the Cold War,
beginning with Muslim mobilisations over the fate of the Bosnians during the breakup
of Yugoslavia. International Muslim causes had earlier been political rather
than humanitarian. They called for the establishment of certain kinds of
states, rather than emergency measures to guarantee a people’s survival.
the ideologically defined conflicts of the Cold War, groups like the
Palestinians emerged as political heroes rather than simply humanitarian
victims. But nowadays they, too, are seen by their supporters as representing a
humanitarian cause. This is due to their loss of an institutionalised political
identity with the creation of the Palestinian Authority as an Israeli partner
and the sequestration of Gaza. It is therefore their Israeli enemies who
ironically are the only ones to grant Palestinians a political existence, by
considering them actors motivated by ideas freely adopted rather than by purely
today is premised upon a distrust of politics, which is blamed for every crisis
humanitarians seek to resolve. This means that any relief or intervention
deemed to be political is condemned as hypocritical. Indeed, hypocrisy has
become the gravest charge in the lexicon of liberals and militants alike. And
it is the humanitarian or anti-political character of Muslim outrage that has
allowed states such as Bangladesh and Turkey to appropriate it, just as
al-Qaeda and the Islamic State had done before them for very different reasons.
is not simply state violence that has muffled the voice of non-state actors in
mobilising Muslims globally. Their outrage over Rohingya suffering has been
viewed with suspicion among Muslims more widely. Pakistani newspapers have
levelled accusations of hypocrisy against the religious and militant groups
that specialised in charging others with it. And so Islamists outraged by the
treatment of the Rohingya are reproached for their own violence against
non-Muslim or sectarian minorities. Signalling the decline of such actors, this
mistrustful response illustrates the internal shifts in Muslim opinion and
narrative of Muslim victimisation is arbitrary in its application.
Palestinians, Bosnians and now the Rohingya might enjoy global attention as
victims of this kind, but not Uighurs, Somalis, Yemenis or Chechens. The lack
of Muslim solidarity in these cases cannot be attributed to politics understood
as hypocrisy. Neither are they explained by the economic interests that are
often thought to underlie such hypocrisy. They must instead be understood in
terms of familiar storylines. Only a crisis that can be attributed to western
imperialism, or Zionism understood as its surrogate, is a candidate for global
outrage over the persecution of the Rohingya follows a familiar script. Like
all such global mobilisations, whether prompted by the victimisation of fellow
believers or Islam itself in alleged insults to its prophet, these
demonstrations of solidarity are midwifed in the West. This was the case with
the first global mobilisation of Muslims in 1989, against Salman Rushdie’s novel
The Satanic Verses. It is only books, cartoons, speeches or desecrations in
Europe and America that give rise to Muslim protests globally, with similar
publications or events in other places possessing merely local significance.
Similarly, it is only those wars and humanitarian crises receiving either
positive or negative attention in the West that end up as Muslim causes
trajectory illustrates the consequences of Western political and economic
dominance. Since colonial times, Asians, Africans and Latin Americans have had
to relate to each other through Europe and America. But such mediation also
suggests the intimate way in which Islam’s globalisation is linked to a West
often seen as its enemy. As Myanmar but also Bosnia and Kosovo demonstrate,
global forms of Muslim solidarity are not only prompted by calls for
humanitarian relief in the West, but also favour the kind of military
intervention whose deployment by western powers Muslims otherwise criticise.
mentioned that Bangladesh has earmarked 2,000 acres of land in one of the
Exclusive Economic Zones for Saudi Arabian investors, which can be developed
and operated according to their own requirements
Minister Sheikh Hasina has invited Saudi entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh
for mutual benefit, as both the countries lag behind exploiting full potential
of trade and investment opportunities.
Prime Minister said on Wednesday: "We can join hands in our journey of
shared profit and prosperity. I assure you of my government's full support and
was speaking at a meeting with the Saudi business community, including leaders
of the Council of Saudi Chamber (CSC) and Riyadh Chamber of Commerce,at King
Saud Palace, reports UNB.
Hasina said Bangladesh is implementing 10 growth and employment-generating mega
projects as is ready to take up more projects in diversified areas of
infrastructure, connectivity and high-tech, tourism, health and education for a
sustainable double-digit growth.
welcome Saudi entrepreneurs to invest in our emerging sectors like the capital
market, power, energy, telecommunications and IT, petrochemicals,
pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, agro-processing,light engineering, blue
economy,Research and Development (R&D) and technology innovation,water and
marine and other infrastructure projects,and services sectors like, banking and
finance, logistics, and human resource development," she said.
mentioned that Bangladesh has earmarked 2,000 acres of land in one of the
Exclusive Economic Zones for Saudi Arabian investors, which can be developed
and operated according to their own requirements.
prime minister further said: “The advantages of Bangladesh for the foreign
investors, including Saudis' are -a young, committed and an easily trainable
workforce with highly competitive wages, cheaper cost of setting us businesses,
and access to large duty,quota-free markets that include the EU, Australia,
Canada, India, Japan and New Zealand.
also has low-cost electricity and water, good credit rating, minimum risk
factors, and fast technology adaptability. All these facilities combined
together, Bangladesh gives the maximum return and dividend to investors."
Prime minister also mentioned that Bangladesh has the most liberal investment
policy in South Asia with most attractive incentives that return the highest
profit rate. It includes the protection of Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) by
law, incentives like generous tax holiday, concessionary duty on import of
machinery, duty-free import of raw materials, remittances on royalty, 100%
foreign equity, unrestricted exit policy, and full repatriation of dividend and
capital on exit.
said:“Bangladesh's strategic location is making it an emerging hub for regional
connectivity, foreign investments and global outsourcing. We've eight fully
operational “Export Processing Zones” (EPZs) exclusively for 100%
export-oriented industries.In addition, we are developing 100 Economic Zones to
ensure resilient and sustainable industrialization for new industries and
investment at both public and private sectors."
prime minister also added:“Bangladesh wants to connect and transform those by
introducing smart, next-generation logistic networks so that these Zones become
part of dynamic global supply chains.Two dozens of high-tech parks are also
there in place.
and Saudi Arabia have been enjoying excellent bilateral relation which is based
on common faith, culture, values and aspirations.”
relations between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia dates back to the seventh century
when Arab traders first set foot in the port city of Chittagong.Both countries
have reached an increasing level of bilateral trade in recent years crossing
the $1 billion mark in 2017-18 fiscal year. But,we are far behind in exploiting
full potential of trade and investment opportunities," she added.
mentioned that Saudi investment in Bangladesh now stands at $5 billion in 25
projects and it is primarily focused on the agro-based industry, food and
processed food, textiles and garments, leather, petro-chemical,engineering and
service sector products.
Prime Minister further said: “Bangladesh is now the 32nd largest economy in the
world in terms of purchasing power parity.Poverty rate has fallen to 21.8% in
2018 from 41.5% in 2006.”
March 2018, the United Nations declared Bangladesh eligible for graduation from
Least Developing Countries(LDC) group to a developing country.
year, Bangladesh's economy was among the top-10 fastest-growing economies of
the world. Despite the global economic turmoil, it maintained a sustained GDP
growth of over 7% during the last 10 years reaching 7.86% this year,” she
expecting to reach8.25% GDP growth next year.At the same time,inflation has
decreased to 5.4%. Foreign currency reserve has grown more than nine times
since 2008-2009, to $33billion in 2018," she said.
Chairman Dr Sami A Alabadi, Secretary General Dr Saud A Almashari and Saudi
Ambassador to Bangladesh Abdullah HM Al-Mutairi also spoke at the program.
Bangladesh delegation included Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali,
prime minister’s Private Sector Development Affairs Adviser Salman F Rahman,
Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority Kazi Md Aminul Islam,
Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque andBangladesh Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device was destroyed and several militants
were killed during a raid of the Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of
Security (NDS), operatives in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said the said raid was
conducted in the vicinity of Sherzad district.
statement further added that the NDS Special Forces stormed a hideout of the
militants in Marak Khel area of the district late on Monday night and as a
result a car bomb which was prepared for an attack was destroyed and several
militants were killed. The raid was conducted with an aim to arrest key Taliban
group members Ehsanullah who is also famous as Sajid, Omar Tangiwal, and Abdul
Raziq also famous as Khalid.
the named militants had escaped from the area before the operations were
launched but several of their comrades were killed during the raid, the
Taliban militants group in Afghanistan has claimed responsibility for the
explosion in parliamentary candidate Abdul Jabar Qahraman’s office in
Lashkargah city, the provincial capital of Helmand province.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi in a statement claimed that the candidate
has been killed along with his three colleagues in the tactical explosion.
police source confirms that the parliamentary candidate Abdul Jabar Qahraman
has lost his life in the explosion which was triggered by an explosive device
planted in his office.
governor’s spokesman Omar Zwak had earlier said at least eight people have
sustained injuries in the explosion, including parliamentary candidate Abdul
United Nations (UN) says mostly female Rohingya Muslim refugees are being sold
into forced labor to make income for desperate families living in squalid
border camps in Bangladesh.
UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement that it
had identified 99 cases of human trafficking since September 2017, further
cautioning that realistic figures are probably much higher, Reuters reported
stories we commonly hear are of vulnerable people being approached by
traffickers with false promises of work and a better life,” IOM spokeswoman
Dina Parmer said in a statement, noting that some refugees were not aware of
may be aware it is dangerous, but feel their situation is so desperate that
they are willing to take extreme measures, perhaps sacrificing one family
member for the sake of the rest of the family,” the statement said.
to the IOM’s report, 35 of the victims were girls and 31 others were women.
Victims also included 25 adult men and eight boys.
bars refugees from leaving the camps, or holding jobs other than participating
in small-scale cash-for-work programs run by humanitarian agencies, the IOM
statement further revealed that five women and four girls ended up in
situations of sexual exploitation.
to the report, a Bangladeshi charity group known as Young Power in Social
Action (YPSA) is currently engaged in raising awareness among the Muslim
refugees forced out of Myanmar about the risks of human trafficking, and has
been compiling reports from Rohingya community leaders, as well as local and
than 1,000 have been identified as victims of human trafficking,” said Jishu
Barua of the YPSA. “They are desperate to get out of the camps to make some
insists that traffickers prey on the refugees, in desperate situations,
offering them transportation and work opportunities.
the cases documented by the IOM is a woman who was forced to work “extremely
long hours for very little pay in the fish processing industry” while other
girls and young women were used as domestic maids.
agency, however, did not elaborate on the locations where the refugees were
being forced into labor and which countries they were potentially being
to UN figures, more than 900,000 Rohingya Muslims that were forced to flee
their homes in Myanmar currently live in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district —
most of them in camps.
of thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or
raped by Myanmarese soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and
August 2017, when many of the surviving members of the community started
fleeing to Bangladesh en masse.
Muslim businessman donated Rs 11 lakh to help finish a Durga temple in
Murshidabad’s Suti whose construction had been stalled for three years for lack
Islam inaugurated the temple in Bamuha on Sasthi (October 15), giving the
village 5km from Suti the opportunity to hold its first puja. “Allah has given
me generously. I spend Rs 20-25 lakh a year on social causes. So, I decided to
help them with Rs 11 lakh,” Islam said.
is home to around 3,000 villagers. Nearly all are Hindu, except for a single
Muslim locality of 300. The villagers are mostly small farmers and labourers.
residents had collected Rs 4 lakh from among themselves in 2015. Construction
began that year. The money collected was spent on purchasing the four-cottah
land, building the foundation and other minor constructions.
then realised that Rs 10 to 12 lakh would be needed. As a result, the
construction was stalled since the villagers had no other ways to raise money.
the next few years, members of the temple committee started looking for donors.
secretary of the Durga Mandir Committee, Atul Pramanik, said they had heard
about Islam and his philanthropy and contacted him in April this year.
a contractor from Suti now settled in Durgapur town, is well-known across the
district for making donations to build mosques.
temple committee approached Islam and asked him to have a look at its
construction plans. In June, Islam visited the site himself and asked the
committee members for a detailed layout and how much money it would take to
finish the 45ftx30ft temple. The cost was estimated at Rs 11 lakh, including
Kashmiri students at the Aligarh Muslim University have deferred their decision
to surrender their degrees and leave the campus en masse Wednesday following
revocation of the suspension order of the two students by the varsity.
suspension order was revoked Tuesday night after a three-member enquiry panel
set up by the varsity exonerated Waseem
Ayyub Malik and Abdul Haseeb Mir, saying "no credible evidence" of
their participation in any "unlawful assembly" in the varsity campus
was found, AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai said.
were suspended Friday for allegedly participating in an prayer meeting in the
university campus for a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Manan Bashir Wani.
the students, besides one unknown person, were charged by police on sedition
charges for allegedly raising "anti-India" slogans.
president of AMU Students' Union Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani told reporters that the
decision to revoke the suspension order of the two Kashmiri students was a
"welcome step" and will have salutary effect not only in the AMU, but
also in the Kashmir Valley.
are strongly opposed to any anti-national act and we will never allow any such
incident to take place at the campus. However, we are strongly opposed to any
attempt to harass any student, be it from Kashmir or from any other part of the
feel that slapping of a sedition case against the two Kashmiri students by
police was hasty, ill conceived and based on flimsy evidence," Mr Usmani
said if the police fails to withdraw the cases, the Kashmiri students have
decided to re-launch their protest and go ahead with their peaceful resistance
by leaving the campus en masse.
vice president of AMU Students' Union Sajjad Subhan Rather, who hails from
Kashmir and led a silent protest Tuesday at the venue of the All India AMU
Alumni Meet, demanded justice for the Kashmiri students.
have come to the AMU to build our careers. Please do not snatch away the 'pens'
from our hands," he said.
former Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju, who is currently abroad,
has made an emotional appeal to the Kashmiri students studying at the AMU,
urging them not to be "carried away by emotions and abandon their promising
wish to send my greetings to Kashmiri students since my DNA is same as theirs.
They must not get disheartened by the recent unfortunate turn of events,"
Katju told PTI.
assured the Kashmiri students that if they ever needed his help, he will always
be available for them in a just cause.
to AMU officials, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik is playing a key
role in resolving the ongoing crisis at the AMU.
Three terrorists, including a wanted Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander involved
in several killings, and a policeman were killed during an encounter between
ultras and security forces in the city on Wednesday.
district administration has closed all schools and educational institution in
the city as a precautionary measure and mobile internet services have also been
assisted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) launched a cordon and
search operation in Fateh Kadal in downtown area of the city following a
specific intelligence input about the presence of terrorists there, a senior
police official said.
was laid in the early hours following specific intelligence input. Three
terrorists, including Mehrajuddin Bangroo, were killed in the encounter,"
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Swayam Prakash Pani said.
other two terrorists have been identified as Fahad Waza and over ground worker
Rayees, son of the house owner where the encounter took place.
IGP said Bangroo was involved in several killings in Srinagar and was the key
coordinator for the Lashkar in the city.
elimination is an important achievement for security forces," Pani added.
& Kashmir: Three terrorists have been eliminated and one Jammu &
Kashmir police personnel has lost his
ANI (@ANI) 1539745656000
details of the operation, police officials said a siege was laid around the
house where the terrorists were hiding.
soon as the police barged inside the house, the policemen came under a heavy
barrage of firing from the terrorists, resulting in injuries to one jawan, who
succumbed later," the officials said.
said the security forces responded to the firing of terrorists in equal measure
and in the heavy exchange of fire, the house, where the ultras were hiding, got
terrorists managed to run out of the house and tried to enter into an adjacent
house, but were killed in the street," they added.
policeman killed during the operation was identified as constable Kamal
wreath-laying ceremony was held for the slain policeman at the District Police
Line here before his mortal remains were sent to his native place.
Wreath laying ceremony of Kamal Kishore, policeman of Special Operations Group
(SOG) of J&K police,
ANI (@ANI) 1539758054000
army's artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at ISIL's strongholds in
Toloul al-Safa in the Eastern desert of Sweida.
the army's aircraft pounded ISIL's positions in the region, imposing major
losses on the terrorists.
army attacks came after the ISIL violated an agreement with the government and
Russian army that could make the way for their surrender to the army and let
the hostages release.
ISIL attacked the army positions after rejecting complying with the agreement.
Syrian army troops have, thus far, liberated 3,000 square kmeters of land in
their operation in Sweida desert and have now laid siege on the remaining
pockets of the terrorists in Toloul al-Safa rugged terrain.
trapped in Toloul al-Safa, have no way but to surrender, army officers said.
Sunday, the Syrian Army resumed its large-scale offensive against the ISIL in
Toloul al-Safa region in the Eastern desert of Sweida.
by the elite 4th Division, the Syrian army kicked off a heavy assault this
morning by storming the ISIL’s positions from three different flanks, including
the Qabr Sheikh Hossein front.
4th Division reportedly scored a new advance at the Qabr Sheikh Hussein front
after an intense battle with the ISIL this morning.
to a military source in Sweida city, the army managed to kill over ten ISIL
terrorists, while also destroying several trenches and position in Toloul
Syrian Arab Army is now working to surround one of the highest peaks in Toloul
al-Safa region before they make a major push to liberate this key hilltop in
US Army sent a convoy, including several vehicles, to Manbij from its base in
Ein Issa in Northern Raqqa, the sources said, adding that the Manbij Military
Council has kept its gunmen on alert and banned traffick of motorcycles in the
region after tensions intensified in the town in recent days.
US army sent the convoy to Manbij after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
threatened that if the US army does not adhere to its commitments to remove the
YPG from its positions in Manbij in a 90-day deadline, the Ankara forces will
launch military operation in the region.
a relevant development earlier this month, the Kurdish-led People’s Protection
Units (YPG) were preparing for a major showdown with the Turkish military in
to local activists, the YPG was seen raising trenches and building new
positions in Western Manbij amid reports of a possible military operation by
the Turkish Army.
the YPG brought in reinforcements in order to strengthen their forces around
Turkey's recent comments about the presence of Kurdish fighters inside Manbij
raised a lot of red flags for the YPG, as it appears Ankara was preparing to
launch a new operation to expel the group from the city.
of the field commanders of Horas al-Deen along with a number of his forces were
killed after a bomb went off near the village of Kabani in Jabal al-Akrad in
sources said that the bomb went off when the terrorists were detecting Syrian
army positions in the region.
the meantime, al-Syaq, a commander of Horas al-Deen was gunned down by unknown
raiders near the village of Kansafrah Northwest of the small town of Kafr Nubl
in Southern Idlib.
two terrorists from Ahrar al-Sham, affiliated to the National Liberation Front,
were killed after unknown assailants opened fire at a positon of the group in
Jisr Beit in al-Ghaab Plain in Northwestern Hama.
local sources in Idlib city reported that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant
Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) attacked one of the bases of the ISIL
in the province that imposed several casualties on both warring sides.
sources reported on Sunday that tensions were rising among various groups of
militants in Northern and Northwestern Syria over the Sochi Agreement as the
deadline for its implementation was looming.
sources said that violent feuds erupted among terrorists over Tahrir al-Sham
Hay'at retreat from the demilitarized zone in Northern and Northwestern Syria
and start of a so-called Salvation Government in the region.
the meantime, a commander of Free Syrian Army (FSA) said that one of the most
difficult phases of implementing the Sochi Agreement is withdrawal of militants
that are enlisted as terrorists from the demilitarized zone and then relocation
of the terrorist groups in other regions in Idlib without their dissolution.
FSA commander further said that another serious difference over the Sochi
Agreement pertains to the administration of those territories remaining under
terrorists' occupation in Northern and Northwestern Syria in the presence of a
salvation government and the interim government in the region.
United Nations Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announced on Wednesday he
will step down at the end of November after more than four years in the key
post, setting back UN efforts to end the seven-year war in Syria.
will myself be moving on as of the last week of November,” de Mistura told the
UN Security Council during a meeting on the crisis in Syria.
Italian-Swedish diplomat, who became the UN’s third Syria envoy in July 2014,
said he was leaving for “purely personal reasons” and had discussed his plans
to leave with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
am not laying down the charge until the last hour of the last day of my
mandate,” he said.
Mistura will be traveling to Damascus next week to push for the creation of a
committee to agree on a post-war constitution for Syria.
is resisting the UN-led effort to set up the constitutional committee that will
be comprised of government officials, opposition members and representatives of
Mistura was appointed UN envoy for Syria in July 2014 after veteran Algerian
diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi resigned following the failure of peace talks in
spent two years in the position, stepping in after former UN chief Kofi Annan
quit just six months into the role.
imposes sanctions on Iraq-based money exchange for ISIS ties
US Treasury imposed sanctions on Wednesday on an Iraq-based money services
business, Afaq Dubai, believed to be moving funds for ISIS extremist group.
Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added the business to its list of
specially designated global terrorists for “assisting in, sponsoring or
providing financial, material or technical support” for ISIS, the department
said in a statement.
Treasury action followed a Pentagon decision on October, 11 targeting a
financial group supporting ISIS.
Treasury said the moves are part of a broader US effort to target a network of
money services businesses that enable ISIS to carry out operations across the
September, the Treasury took action against ISIS financial facilitators with
ties in the Caribbean and the Middle East. It took action against a money
exchange group in Syria in December 2016.
Treasury said Afaq Dubai is located in Iraq and does not have branches in the
United Arab Emirates, despite its name.
Syria: A year after a US-backed alliance of Syrian fighters drove the Daesh
group from the northern city of Raqqa, traumatized civilians still live in fear
of near-daily bombings.
day we wake up to the sound of an explosion,” said resident Khaled Al-Darwish.
scared to send our children to school ... there’s no security,” he added.
militants’ brutal rule in Raqqa was brought to an end in October 2017 after a
months-long ground offensive by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces
supported by air strikes from a US-led coalition.
despite manning roadblocks at every street corner, the SDF and the city’s newly
created Internal Security Forces are struggling to stem infiltration by Daesh
Raqqa’s entrance, soldiers verify drivers’ identity papers and carefully sift
through lorry cargoes.
the city, there are regular foot patrols and armored vehicles sit at strategic
wearing the niqab are asked to show their faces to female security members
before entering public buildings.
there wasn’t fear about a return of Daesh, there wouldn’t be this increased military
presence,” said Darwish, a father of two, speaking near the infamous Paradise
was here that Daesh carried out decapitations and other brutal punishments,
earning the intersection a new name — “the roundabout of hell.”
the nightmare of militant rule may be gone, most of the city still lies in
ruins and there are near daily attacks on checkpoints and military vehicles,
according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
a series of stinging defeats have cut Daesh’s so-called caliphate down to
desert hideouts, the militants still manage to hit beyond the patches of ground
they overtly control.
Raqqa residents say the city’s new security forces lack the expertise to cope.
are exhausted. Every day we don’t know if we will die in a bomb explosion or if
we will go home safe and sound,” said Abu Younes, sitting in his supermarket
near a roundabout not far from Paradise Square.
is no security — (the new security forces) on the roadblocks are not qualified
and there is a lot of negligence,” he complained.
are faults that enable Daesh to infiltrate the city easily and carry out
despite the continued attacks, a semblance of normal life has returned to the
have reopened and traffic has returned to major roads — albeit choked by the
a public garden, children climb up a multi-colored slide and onto dilapidated
swings as their mothers sit on nearby benches carefully keeping watch.
are set amidst an apocalyptic backdrop of twisted metal and splayed balconies —
the remnants of buildings torn apart by US-led coalition air raids.
Ahmed Al-Mohammed pauses as he listens to music on his phone. Like others, he
does not hide his disquiet.
scared because of the presence of Daesh members in the city,” the 28-year-old
security forces need to tighten their grip.”
Khalaf, who commands Raqqa’s Internal Security Forces, defended the work of his
men and claimed successes against the militants.
said patrols are highly organized and that a “joint operation cell” had
recently been established with coalition forces to monitor the city’s security.
we arrested four (militants) — it was a cell that took part in attacks that
terrorized the city,” said Khalaf, sporting plain green fatigues.
are continuing our investigation to uncover the other cells,” he added.
goal is to destroy the country and to not let anyone live in safety,” he said.
and stability are what Najla Al-Ahmed wants most for her children.
“The war has worn us out. Us and our children.
It has destroyed our future,” she said.
There has been some withdrawal of militants from the demilitarization zone in
Idlib following the Russia-Turkey deal on the northwestern Syrian region, the
US special representative for Syria engagement told reporters in Ankara.
two countries reached a deal to set up a buffer zone running 15-20 km (9-13
miles) deep into rebel territory and evacuated of all heavy weapons and all
militants by Monday. Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), a militant alliance
spearheaded by Al-Qaeda’s former Syrian affiliate, is the most powerful
militant alliance in Idlib.
withdrawal of heavy weapons is complete by all accounts,” James Jeffrey said.
“There is some question as to whether everybody from (Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham) has
The wife of a former Egyptian lawmaker says he went missing nearly three weeks
ago and may have been detained by security forces.
Afifi says Mustafa El-Nagar went missing on September 27 while traveling to the
southern city of Aswan. She has sent a request to prosecutors asking for
information about his whereabouts.
says an unknown person informed her by telephone last week that police arrested
her husband but gave her no further details.
appeals court on Monday upheld El-Nagar’s conviction and three-year prison
sentence for insulting the judiciary. He had been out on appeal.
Interior Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
Islamic Studies Department of National University of Modern Languages (NUML)
organised forth two-day international conference on ‘Contemporary Ideological
and Moral Challenges to Muslims Societies and their Solutions from Islamic
Perspective,’ says a press release.
Minister for Religious Affairs Dr. Noor ul Haq Qadri was the chief guest of the
inaugural session while NUML Rector Major General (r) Zia Ud Din Najam, Dr.
Masoom Yasin Zai, ex-rector International Islamic University, NUML Director
General Brig Muhammad Ibrahim, scholars from the various universities of
Pakistan and abroad, deans, directors and students attended the inaugural
on the inaugural session federal minister Dr. Noorul Haq Qadri said that Muslim
Ummah has splendid past which was full of knowledge, equality, justice, morality
but today we have lost everything. He said that there is only one key to regain
that success and hounour is to act on the Sunnah of Holy Prophet Muhammad
(Peace Be Upon Him) and follow His teachings.
said that present government is committed to transform the homeland into the
state of Madina of that times and every possible step will be taken in this
said that declaring prime minister house as an educational institute tells the
priorities of the government. “Prime Minister Imran Khan committed to bring
educational revolution in the country”, minister said.
NUML rector in his welcome address said that this conference must bring forth
the suggestions to address the issue. He thanked the chief guest and guests for
participating in the conference. The conference will conclude today (Thursday).
Officials within the United States (US) Department of State said on Wednesday
night that Donald Trump’s administration would continue to exert diplomatic
pressure on Pakistan until it changes its policy towards regional peace and
stability in Afghanistan.
addressing an event at the Wilson Centre, Henry Ensher, Acting Deputy Assistant
Secretary for Pakistan for the State Department, said that negotiations on
Afghanistan were a major area of policy divergence with Pakistan despite the
significance of bilateral linkage with shared interests.
long as that continues, we will continue to colour and take centre stage in
[the] bilateral relationship,” he said.
reality, we have seen some action but we have not seen the decisive steps from
Pakistan that could demonstrate commitment, ensuring their territory cannot be
used by the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and other groups that were so violent
and bring instability in the region,” he stressed.
also argued that the Trump administration’s decision to withhold security
assistance and coalition support fund (CSF) payments to Pakistan drew from its
concerns over Islamabad’s consistently “counter-productive policies”.
the US State representative added that Washington had pinned hopes on the new
civilian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, claiming
that it had the opportunity to “fix bilateral relations” as well as to “bring
peace and stability to Afghanistan and Pakistan by partnering with the US”.
so will enable more mutually beneficial relationship,” he noted, adding that
the US was committed to forming productive diplomatic relations with Pakistan
but not much could be done until Pakistan took reformative action.
future course of our relationship, and indeed the trajectory of Pakistan’s
development, rest in the hands of Pakistani leaders,” he said.
addressed common criticisms of US policies in Pakistan. Firstly, that
US-Pakistan relations had too strong a focus on Afghanistan, and secondly that
the US exerted pressure on the country to manipulate Pakistan’s regional
justified that diplomatic relations were such because the US had directly been
engaged with the conflict for 17 years, though it did not occur in its own
has more than 15,000 troops on the ground, spent more than $900 billion so far,
and endured more than 2200 deaths,” He added.
official agreed that the Trump administration was more than willing to continue
applying pressure to advance US national interests.
will continue to do so in South Asia as well as elsewhere, but it should not
disguise the fact that we genuinely believe that a shift in Pakistan policy in
aligning with our strategy is very much in Pakistan’s own interests as well.”
warned Pakistan that its policies in Kabul don’t serve “its own interests” as
the militant group Daesh threatens peace in the region, as well as the
possibility of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) using Afghan territory as a
platform for attacks in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s support for ending the conflict through a negotiated settlements by
bringing the Taliban to table.
know that Pakistan can’t deliver a deal by itself, but Pakistan can play a
constructive role. We welcome additional measures that Pakistan government
could take to increase the willingness of the Taliban leadership to negotiate,”
reminded how long-standing proxy policies and contentious regional
relationships have cost Pakistan in the past.
has a potential to be a leader in the region — economically and politically —
but its policies have instead fed instability and division both in South Asia
as well as in the country itself,” he said.
on Pakistan-India relations, he added that Washington hoped bilateral
discussions between the two countries could move forward, however, the presence
of terrorist groups on Pakistani soil could limit the potential for a positive
outcome from such a dialogue.
Just two days ahead of the elections in Afghanistan, an influential
parliamentary candidate, Abdul Qaharman, was killed in a bomb blast in southern
Helmand province on Wednesday.
claimed responsibility in a statement posted online. Abdul Qaharman was killed
in the blast in his election office in Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand, Omar
Zwak, spokesman for the Helmand’s governor confirmed.
Kabul, interior ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said three supporters of
Qaharman were also killed in the blast while seven other people were injured in
who had threatened to disrupt the elections this week, said they were behind
the attack on Qaharman, who was also a former lawmaker and retired general. The
deceased had served on different military positions during the Communist regime.
Ashraf Ghani’s office condemned the attack, praised the slain leader and
ordered investigation into the incident.
is the second attack on an election candidate in Helmand this month. National
Assembly candidate Saleh Muhammad Achakzai and his 8 supporters were killed in
a bomb attack on October 9. No group claimed responsibility of the deadly
attack on Achakzai.
a suicide explosion on October 3, at least 16 people were killed in Kama
district of eastern Nangarhar province. The Taliban claimed the attack days
after they called upon the people to completely boycott the elections and not
to participate by ‘denying its value and credibility.’
Taliban statement had also urged the candidates to refrain from participating
in this process as they consider the elections as “fake and a conspiracy of
deceiving the people for achieving the malicious interests of foreigners.”
Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor Tuesday
said Pakistan wants US forces to stay in Afghanistan until complete peace is
achieved in the war-torn country.
in Afghanistan is imperative for lasting peace in Pakistan and the whole
region,” the ISPR chief, who arrived in United Kingdom last week as part of a
military delegation headed by Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa,
said in his address at the University of Warwick here. The world would not have
been able to defeat al Qaeda without Pakistan’s support, he said, adding that
the international community must thank Pakistan for elimination of terrorism.
Gen Ghafoor said Pakistan has rendered numerous sacrifices for achieving peace
in the region. He noted that terror activities had marginally decreased
following Pakistan Army’s operations against terrorists. He said the terrorists
who were against women’s education had targeted Nobel laureate Malala
Yousafzai. The DG ISPR told Pakistani students to be proud of their country for
the contributions it has made to the world peace. He asked the students to come
to Pakistan after completing their studies and play role in the development of
Pakistan on Wednesday informed Iran that it had launched "active"
efforts to locate 11 Iranian security personnel, including Revolutionary Guards
intelligence officers, who were abducted near the countries' shared border.
Guards blamed "terrorist groups that are guided and supported by foreign
forces" for the abductions on Tuesday on the southeastern border with
foreign ministry said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met his Iranian
counterpart Javad Zarif in Islamabad and briefed him "about the active
efforts launched by the Pakistan law enforcement agencies to ascertain the
whereabouts of the missing Iranian guards, in coordination with the Iranian
military and intelligence counterparts".
blamed the kidnapping on "our common enemies unhappy with the existing
close, friendly relations between Pakistan and Iran", the foreign ministry
said in a statement.
group kidnapped was involved in "a security operation" and included
two members of the elite Revolutionary Guards intelligence unit and seven Basij
militiamen as well as regular border guards, said the Young Journalists' Club
(YJC), an Iranian state-owned news website, in an article that was later
abduction took place around the Sistan-Baluchistan province, which has long
been a flashpoint, with Pakistan-based Balochi separatists and jihadists
carrying out regular cross-border raids against Iranian security posts.
Arif Naqvi, the embattled founder of Dubai-based Abraaj Group, allegedly paid
$20 million to businessman Navaid Malik for his assistance in securing
cooperation of Sharif brothers for K-Electric sale, claims an article published
in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Tuesday.
article alleges Malik was tasked with securing cooperation from Nawaz Sharif —
former prime minister — and Shahbaz Sharif – former chief minister Punjab — to
help Naqvi sell Abraaj’s stake in K-Electric. The Government of Pakistan owns a
24.6 per cent stake in the Karachi-based power utility.
reviewing company documents and emails, WSJ claims that Omar Lodhi — partner at
Abraaj — in October 2015 informed Naqvi of Malik’s assurance that former chief
minister Shahbaz Sharif was “willing to give a strong endorsement” of the
K-Electric deal to Chinese bidders.
email also attributes the businessman saying it is “important for him to share
every detail with the brothers and get their blessings as well as their
instructions as to how this money [$20 million] should be distributed,” such as
“a portion to charity” or “a portion to the election fund kitty”.
undoing began in February when an article from WSJ reported that investors were
questioning the use of their investments destined for company’s healthcare
fund. Naqvi set up a healthcare fund by securing commitments from Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation and other Western Institutions. The fund’s investments
include Islamabad Diagnostic Centre in Pakistan and hospital chain Quality Care
article claims that, “documents from liquidators, auditors and investors show
that Abraaj moved investor money meant for hospitals and companies into
accounts that paid its own expenses, salaries and loans. Abraaj founder Arif
Naqvi denies any wrongdoing and says the transfers were appropriate.”
article which highlights some of the known details of the fund’s collapse
include using investor’s money to pay for its own expenses, borrowing money
against its own stakes in its funds and a highly unstable business model. The
article alleges that, “Abraaj has defaulted on more than $1 billion of debt.”
firm also allegedly cooked its books when Gates Foundation asked Abraaj for
bank statements of the accounts that held money for the healthcare fund.
Following the request on Nov 30, 2017, Abraaj borrowed $140m from Air Arabia
and transferred $29m from its own treasury in to the healthcare fund’s account
on Dec 5, 2017. However, after providing investors with a letter from
Commercial Bank of Dubai confirming the presence of funds [$170m] in healthcare
account, the company repaid $140m to Air Arabia and transferred $10m into
Abraaj Treasury on Dec 13, 2017.
investigations conducted in 2018, “lawyers for investors in the fund wrote to
Abraaj stating that the balance of the fund had been just $16,186 on Dec 1,
2017 and $9.98m on Dec 15 and that Abraaj’s transfer of the Air Arabia money to
the fund was ‘plainly improper.
firm was able to attract massive investments for its use of private capital to
solve social problems in the emerging markets but has damaged the trust in the
entire movement after the fallout. The undoing of the fund has also raised
questions on Dubai’s regulatory environment.
article also alleges that Naqvi transferred more than $200m to his personal
accounts, companies linked to him, his family and his former assistant.
denies WSJ allegations
however claims that, he was “perfectly entitled to direct” funds from Abraaj
and claims that there was nothing untoward about those transfers to his
personal accounts or his family. Payments were recorded as his personal
liability to the company, Naqvi said.
his statement, Naqvi said that he denies being part of any conversation that
involved a payment to anyone in political office to facilitate the sale of
K-Electric. He said Malik was an Abraaj adviser on a variety of activities and
that the contract was part of a lengthy discussion about the terms of that
role. He said the final agreement “ensured that no conflict of interest would
occur.” He said he called it “explosive” due to a reference to the potential
sale of K-Electric, which was confidential at the time.
said he was entitled to draw down funds from Abraaj, including for his sons and
The Modist, an online luxury-clothing retailer started by his former assistant
Ghizlan Guenez. No payments were made directly to Ms Guenez, he said. His sons
declined to comment. The Modist said Naqvi is a personal investor in the
Prime Minister Imran Khan got a setback on Wednesday when one of his close
aides refused to become his special assistant.
to a notification issued a couple of days ago by the Cabinet Division, the
prime minister had appointed Sahibzada Amir Jahangir as a special assistant on
notification said that Mr Jahangir’s term as the prime minister’s special
assistant had begun on Oct 11.
Jahangir had been serving as a senior adviser to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)
chairman on foreign trade, investment and development. He is also head of the
PTI’s chapters for Britain and Europe.
on Wednesday Mr Jahangir expressed regrets and announced that he would not
be assisting the prime minister owing to the severe criticism levelled at him
by opposition parties and other people active on social media.
a tweet, he said: “To work to attract foreign investments. I cannot permit any
controversy and problems for my prime minister. Therefore I have decided to
voluntarily withdraw from the assignment, though in my private capacity I will
continue to bring foreign investments to Pakistan.”
am honoured as the prime minister trusted in me by appointing me as special
adviser for foreign investments. It is an honorary assignment. I decided not to
[take] salary or benefits. However, fake allegations and media propaganda to
malign my character and dignity could affect my performance,” he added.
a prominent educationist from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Amir Muhammad Khan
Jogezai, had refused to accept the position of Balochistan governor that was
offered to him by Mr Khan in August.
adviser to the prime minister on parliamentary affairs, Babar Awan, had to step
down from the post because the National Accountability Bureau had filed a
reference against him for his alleged involvement in an inordinate delay in the
construction of the Nandipur power plant.
former inspector general of police Nasir Khan Durrani, who was appointed as
chief of a task force formed to suggest reforms in Punjab police, resigned last
week amid media reports that he had developed differences with the PTI
Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has called on the Italian defence
minister, army chief and secretary general of defence and discussed with them
enhancement in bilateral defence and security cooperation, including potential
Italian leadership was highly appreciative of the role played by Pakistan in
regional stability and also towards global security, said a press release
issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations on Wednesday.
maintained that Pakistan was well on its way towards a prosperous future and
that Italy and Pakistan would benefit by building on the existing relationship
between the two countries.
about the success formula in the war against terrorism, Gen Bajwa said that it
was due to the spirit of sacrifice and support of the nation, especially the
people of tribal areas and the families of Shuhada and Ghazis.
army chief said that although the fight was still on, Pakistan had emerged
stronger from the tribulations.
said that today’s Pakistan was open to the world and the government was looking
for peace within and peace without to provide its people the prosperity they
deserved after the difficult times.
the visit, the army chief was also presented demonstrations of Italian defence
capabilities both for land and amphibious operations.
– 18 October 2018: French authorities issued Wednesday an Official decree to
close the Shia Muslim center “Zahra France”, located in Grande-Synthe north of
France, and freeze its assets for six months.
decree was preceded by a police raid on the organization premises on October 2,
where 11 members of the organization were detained and questioned. The raid
took place on the grounds that the organization supports terrorist groups such
as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine.
French police departments issued a statement then explaining the reasons behind
the security raids on the Shia center, accusing the group of promoting ideas
and ideologies against the French Republic’s values, besides supporting
France center was founded in 2005, its activities focused on social and
religious aspects, However the founder of the center, Yahia Gouasmi, started a
political party in 2009 which ran for the European elections then, the party
was accused of adopting anti-Semitic ideas by other French parties.
opposition Labour Party in the UK says the conservative-led government should
consider imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia over its alleged role in the murder
and disappearance of a prominent critic and journalist.
McDonnell, the second in command of Labour and its finance spokesman, said on
Wednesday that London should have plans for slapping Riyadh with sanctions if
it failed to answer questions about Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance in the
Kingdom’s consulate in Turkey.
we are not getting the legitimate answers that you would expect, we have got to
be one of those countries ... that leads in the reaction to it,” said McDonnell
while speaking to reporters in the parliament.
has been unaccounted for since he entered the Saudi diplomatic mission in
Istanbul on October 2 to collect documents for his forthcoming marriage.
police believes the journalist, who had been living in exile in the United
States since last year, was killed inside the Saudi consulate and his body was
removed. Riyadh has denied the allegations.
Labour had earlier criticized Prime Minister Theresa May’s response to
Party said earlier this week that it would impose a ban on arms sale to Saudi
Arabia if it was in power. Sources in May’s government have said that a ban on
Saudi arms sale would enable rivals like Russia and china to fill the gap.
said sanctions on Saudi Arabia should go beyond mere diplomatic measures and
the kingdom should be punished economically. He said that Saudi Arabia should
feel the tide because of the special relationship it has with London.
(our response) does mean, yes, diplomatic isolation but it also means economic
sanctions,” said McDonnell.
a third of British people now believe the myth that there are “no-go zones”
where non-Muslims cannot enter, according to a report warning of mounting
by Hope Not Hate found that economic inequality was driving hostility towards
Muslims, immigration and multiculturalism, particularly in post-industrial and
areas also voted strongly for Leave in the referendum and, ironically, may well
suffer most under a hard Brexit – making them a ripe target for the far and
populist right,” the group said.
effect, two Britains have emerged, with a more confident, diverse, liberal
population now concentrated in our cities. The implications of this for Brexit,
for the Labour Party, for politics in general, and potentially aiding the rise
of a far-right movement, could all be profound.”
research comes following an increase street protests by far-right groups
including the anti-Islam Democratic Football Lads Alliance and supporters of
English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson.
2018 YouGov survey of more than 10,300 people showed that attitudes towards
Muslims had been hardening in Britain in the wake of Isis-inspired terror
attacks and grooming scandals where the majority of suspects have been of
found that the perception of Islam as a threat was moving into the mainstream,
with 32 per cent of respondents believing that there are “no-go areas in
Britain where sharia law dominates and non-Muslims cannot enter”.
view was shared by almost half of people who voted Leave in the EU referendum,
and 47 per cent of Conservative voters.
"no-go zones" theory, which is spread by global far-right pundits
online has been widely debunked and where there have been isolated incidents of
"Muslim patrols", suspects have been arrested and condemned by local
most infamous group, called the Sharia Project, was headed by Siddhartha Dhar,
an acolyte of Anjem Choudary who later joined Isis in Syria.
the YouGov poll, a small majority felt that there was an increasing amount of
tension between the different political and demographic groups in the UK.
a third thought Islamist terrorists “reflected a widespread hostility to
Britain from among the Muslim community”, including two thirds of Leave voters.
Not Hate’s research mapped data from the YouGov poll across parliamentary
constituencies to create a heat map of different attitudes.
it showed that liberal attitudes are most concentrated in areas like major
cities where diversity is a normal part of everyday life, and the population
tends to be better educated, younger and enjoying greater opportunities.
the greatest concern about immigration and Islam was found particularly in
post-industrial towns and coastal areas, where populations are less diverse.
documented a “halo effect” where cities with large Muslim populations are
surrounded by predominantly white British areas with more hostile views.
non-Muslims live, work and socialise with Muslims, these interactions are
likely to reduce prejudice,” the report said. “But if people witness rather
than experience super diversity, existing prejudices can be reinforced.”
Lowles, chief executive of Hope Not Hate, warned of a growing cultural divide
between increasingly educated, diverse and multicultural metropolitan
populations and those living in smaller towns.
with the greatest anxiety to immigration and multiculturalism are also the ones
which has lost most through industrial decline,” Mr Lowles said.
communities had failed to see any benefit in globalisation and were, if
anything, going backwards … the Brexit vote was, in the eyes of many, those in
the left behind communities getting their revenge.
are hardening and the target of their anger is increasingly Muslims, Islam and
the political establishment.”
said a sense of loss of hope and abandonment by the government was translating
into hostility towards the political system.
parties will not reduce anxiety or even hostility to immigration and
multiculturalism by cracking down on immigration alone,” Mr Lowles added.
is about rebuilding these communities, equipping their young people with the
skills that will enable them to compete more effectively in the modern global
world and – fundamentally – giving them a sense of hope in the future.
means genuinely empathising with them, ensuring that people like them are at
the heart of the party and in decision making and it is about showing through
action that they care.
this will require money and political will, but if we are to genuinely reduce
anxiety about immigration and now growing hostility to British Muslims and
Islam more generally, which could have seriously bad consequences, then we have
to address the underlying issues which give rise of these attitudes.”
were found to be heavily influenced by age, social deprivation and education.
100 areas where people were found to be the most hostile towards immigration
and multiculturalism were in towns or on the outskirts of cities, with 93 in
the Midlands or north of England.
the 100 areas most associated with “confident multicultural” populations were
in central city areas and close to universities.
people were less likely to be concerned with immigration, oppose diversity or
believe that Muslims were “hostile to Britain” than over-65s.
quarters of people with university degrees thought that having a wide variety
of backgrounds and cultures is part of British culture, and that immigration
has been good for the country, compared to just 45 per cent of people educated
to GCSE level.
Carter, who led a public engagement exercise for the research, said: “To fight
fascism, we understand the need to take the economic link seriously.
children seeking asylum in the European continent are repeatedly being returned
to the war-ravaged country with no safeguard or support on the ground, a report
commissioned by Save the Children found.
2017, nearly 44,000 Afghans filed for asylum in Europe. The exact number of
children repatriated from Europe to Afghanistan is unknown, but evidence
collected by the Samuel Hall – a social enterprise that authored the report,
titled “From Europe to Afghanistan: the Experience of Child Returnees” –
suggests the experience is a harrowing one.
of 57 interviewed child returnees, nearly three-quarters did not feel safe
during the returns process. Over half reported instances of violence and
coercion and nearly half arrived in Afghanistan alone or were escorted by
three children interviewed received a specific reintegration plan and
assistance once in Afghanistan.
19-year-old boy, who was 17 when he was deported from Norway, recounted how he
was forcefully deported from Norway after joining his sister, who had been
granted asylum in the country.
sister was separated from us in Turkey, forced by the smugglers. After one-and
a-half, two years, we found out that she is in Norway. During this time, we
were in Greece, we had to sleep in parks, it was a difficult life there,” he
said, according to the report.
arrived to Norway when he was 12 thanks to the family reunion program. Five
years later, at the age of 17, he was deported together with the rest of his
family. “The day of my brother’s birthday, my sister came to celebrate. Around
midnight, around 15 police officers came and surrounded the house. They told us
we had to pack our things and go back to Afghanistan. We were all shocked, we
were crying,” he said.
recounted being so depressed that he “could not think” and attempting to take
his life the day before repatriation.
boy is one of eight children – out of the 57 interviewed – who were born in
Iran or Pakistan and had never been to Afghanistan. Return and (re-)integration
have different meanings for these children as they prepare to set off to a
country that has never been home, the report found.
family of Afghani origin had suffered threats and discrimination in Iran, which
prompted the decision to emigrate to Europe. Norway is not part of the European
Union, but it is associated with the Union through its membership in the
European Economic Area (EEA), which grants Norway access to the single market.
cases involving children deported from EU member states, including Austria,
Bulgaria and Sweden, were also documented.
the 53 interviewed children, only ten neither wished nor expected to re-migrate
in the next year, which suggests that the support necessary to ensure
sustainable returns for children are not in place.
45 children had attended school in Europe, only 16 were attending school in
rights organizations have denounced the return of Afghan refugees, claiming
that the institutions remain “wilfully blind” to the plight of Afghan
politicians have thrown their weight behind a campaign to make a Muslim spy who
resisted the Nazis the new face of the £50 note.
just 29, Noor Inayat Khan was parachuted into occupied France to serve as a
radio operator behind enemy lines during the Second World War. She helped run
the Prosper network of resistance communications in Paris, an Special
Operations Executive established by Winston Churchill in order to “set Europe
mass arrests by the Gestapo stifled the allies’ communications networks across
France, Khan refused to leave her French colleagues and single-handedly ran a
cell of agents in Paris for 3 months. However, she was eventually betrayed and
captured by the Nazis, eventually perishing in Dachau concentration camp.
to a wealthy American mother, and an Indian Muslim father in Moscow, the Sufi
operative began her career as a children’s writer in Paris before joining the
war effort. A bust of her was unveiled in London in 2012 by Princess Anne.
campaign has gathered support from senior MPs including Nusrat Ghani, Transport
and Maritime Minister, as well as Tom Tugendhat, Chairman of the Foreign
Affairs Select Committee.
Zaidi, who is helping lead the campaign, told The Telegraph: “Noor Inayat Khan
was an inspirational and complex woman who was a Brit, a soldier, a writer, a
Muslim, an Indian independence supporter, a Sufi, a fighter against fascism and
a heroine to all. She navigated complex identities and has so much resonance in
the world we live in today.”
Tugendhat said: "She was murdered in Dachau concentration camp and
posthumously awarded the George Cross for her extraordinary courage fighting
must be pretty unusual if not absolutely unique - it's nothing to do with her
race, religion or sex - this is a woman who had everything, who came from a
life of great privilege.
-- China on Tuesday characterized its mass internment of Muslims as a push to
bring into the "modern, civilized" world a destitute people who are easily
led astray -- a depiction that analysts said bore troubling colonial overtones.
The report is the ruling Communist Party's latest effort to defend its
extrajudicial detention of Central Asian Muslim minorities against mounting
resistance to Western pressure over the camps highlights its growing confidence
under President Xi Jinping, who has offered Beijing's authoritarian system as a
model for other countries.
1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other minorities have been arbitrarily detained
in mass internment camps in China's far west Xinjiang region, according to
estimates by a U.N. panel. Former detainees say they were forced to disavow
their Islamic beliefs in the camps, while children of detainees are being
placed in dozens of orphanages across the region.
report by the official Xinhua News Agency indicated that key to the party's
vision in Xinjiang is the assimilation of the indigenous Central Asian ethnic
minorities into Han Chinese society -- and in turn, a "modern" lifestyle.
Gov. Shohrat Zakir said the authorities were providing people with lessons on
Mandarin, Chinese history and laws. Such training would steer them away from
extremism and onto the path toward a "modern life" in which they
would feel "confident about the future," he said.
become a general trend for them to expect and pursue a modern, civilized
life," Zakir said, referring to the trainees. He said the measures are
part of a broader policy to build a "foundation for completely solving the
deeply-rooted problems" in the region.
has long viewed the country's ethnic minorities as backward, said James Leibold
an expert on Chinese ethnic polices at Melbourne's La Trobe University.
described Beijing's perspective on minorities as: "They're superstitious,
they're deviant, they're potentially dangerous. The role of the party-state is
to bring them into the light of civilization, to transform them."
growing alarm from the U.S. and the United Nations, China has maintained that
Xinjiang's vast dragnet of police surveillance is necessary for countering
latent extremism and preserving stability.
Turkic-speaking Uighurs have long resented restrictions placed on their
religious practices. They say they experience widespread discrimination in jobs
and access to passports.
the Xinhua report, Zakir said authorities provide free vocational training in
skills geared toward manufacturing, food and service industries. Zakir said
"trainees" are paid a basic income during the training, in which free
food and accommodations are provided.
report appeared aimed at disputing accounts provided by former detainees, who
have said they were held in political indoctrination camps where they were
forced to denounce Islam and profess loyalty to the party.
Uighurs and Kazakhs have told The Associated Press that ostensibly innocuous
acts such as praying regularly, viewing a foreign website or taking phone calls
from relatives abroad could land one in a camp.
said the training centers were for people "who are influenced by terrorism
and extremism, and those suspected of minor criminal offenses" who could
be exempted from criminal punishment.
did not say whether such individuals were ever formally charged with any crime
or provided a chance to defend themselves against the allegations. The report
also did not say if attendance was mandatory, though former detainees have said
they were forcibly held in centers policed by armed guards.
Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, said the system deprived
detainees of basic legal protections such as access to lawyers.
authorities' attempts to justify the camps "illustrate what the 'rule of
law' in China means - that the party bends it to its will and uses it as a
weapon against perceived political enemies," Wang said in an email.
did not say how many people were in such courses, but said some would be able
to complete their courses this year.
seemed to try to counter reports of poor living conditions within the camps,
saying that "trainees" were immersed in athletic and cultural
activities. The centers' cafeterias provide "nutritious, free diets,"
and dormitories are fully equipped with TVs, air conditioning and showers, he
Bekali, a Xinjiang-born Kazakh citizen, said he was kept in a cell with 40
people inside a heavily guarded facility.
said he was kept in a locked room with eight other internees. They shared beds
and a wretched toilet. Baths were rare.
meals, they were told to chant "Thank the party! Thank the
motherland!" During daily mandatory classes, they were told that their
people were backward before being "liberated" by the party in the
idea that one's beliefs can be transformed through indoctrination dates back to
the Mao Zedong era, when self-criticisms and public humiliation were routinely
employed to stir up ideological fervor.
program's philosophies can be traced even further back to the late imperial
era, when Xinjiang's "natives" were seen as requiring education in
the Confucian way, according to Michael Clarke, a Xinjiang expert at Australian
International called the Xinhua report an insult to detainees and the families
of people who have gone missing in the crackdown.
amount of spin can hide the fact that the Chinese authorities are undertaking a
campaign of systematic repression," the human rights group said.
Malaysian court has reaffirmed that the conversions of minors to Islam can only
be made with the consent of both parents and not just a single parent.
ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Oct. 16 was seen as testing the
precedent set by the landmark ruling in January by the country's supreme court
that overturned the conversion to Islam of three children of Indira Gandhi, a
Hindu mother, by her estranged husband.
the latest case, the first similar case since the landmark verdict, justice
Azizah Nawawi said she was bound by the federal court's decision and ruled in
favor of the Buddhist father who had challenged the unilateral conversion of
his two children by his Muslim convert ex-wife.
ruling invalidates the certificates of conversion of his two children, who were
born in a civil marriage when his now ex-wife was still a Buddhist, issued by
Malaysia's Islamic authorities in 2016.
Azizah noted in her ruling that it was not in dispute that the children were
converted without the consent of both parents and therefore the court was
"bound by the decision in Indira Gandhi case."
ruling compels the state's powerful Islamic authorities to immediately cancel
the children's registration as Muslim converts in their records or Muslim
converts' register, a crucial requirement to protect the children from any
intrusion in their lives by Islamic authorities.
court also rejected a request by their mother for a stay to quash the children's
conversion to Islam. The two children are currently under the father's custody.
two children, then aged eight and three, were converted to Islam on May 11,
2016 without their father's knowledge and consent. That was also the day that
he had filed a fresh application for divorce at the high court.
the Buddhist father and Muslim convert mother have been locked in court
disputes over the custody of the two children. On Sept. 13, the court of appeal
decided that the father would have sole guardianship, custody of the two
children, reversing a lower court ruling.
father was reunited with his children who he had been separated from since
court order bars the media from naming the family members. The elder child is
now aged 10, while the younger child is now 6 years old.
lawsuit, which was filed on June 14, 2016, was against five respondents, namely
the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department director-general, the
Federal Territories Registrar of Muslim Converts, the education ministry
director-general, the government of Malaysia and the Muslim convert mother.
Ayob, the counsel in Attorney General's Chambers' representing the government
respondents, said she would be seeking instructions on whether to appeal the decision.
the landmark decision in Jan. 29, Indira Gandhi, a Hindu mother, had filed a
similar judicial review application to challenge her Muslim convert
ex-husband's unilateral conversion of their three children — then aged 11, 10
and with the youngest just over 11 months old — to Islam without her or the
children's knowledge or consent.
the more recent case, the children were born into a civil marriage to a couple
who were initially non-Muslims, but were converted to Islam unilaterally by one
of the parents who became a Muslim. Both cases also involve court disputes over
custody of the children.
federal court's five-man panel in Indira Gandhi's case had unanimously declared
it was unlawful to unilaterally convert children to Islam and that the consent
of both parents is required before a child born in a civil marriage can be
converted to Islam.
the rulings, Malaysian laws on children's rights and protections in place
government had proposed a ban on unilateral child conversions by amending the
Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, but dropped the initiative
following pressure from certain Islamic groups.
the waters is a previous federal court ruling that interpreted the word
"parent" in the federal constitution as a single parent, and not
the Indira ruling, former prime minister Najib Razak had pledged to consider
re-introducing a legal amendment to ban unilateral child conversions to Islam,
but nothing was tabled in the last parliamentary session before his coalition's
defeat in the May 9 election.
and Muslim religious leaders in the southern Philippines have vowed to work for
the ratification of a proposed law that will create an autonomous Muslim region
new region, which will be called the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao, will be bigger than the current entity and will have fiscal autonomy
and its own justice system.
will go all out to win the hearts and minds of the electorate," said Dr.
Hamid Barra of the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines.
plebiscite to ratify the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law is scheduled on Jan.
21, 2019, across Mindanao.
called it a "milestone towards the realization of self-determination for
the Bangsamoro (local Muslims), as well as peace and development for all people
Clifford Baira, social action director of Cotabato Archdiocese, said the group
Christians for Peace would also conduct an information awareness campaign on
key points of the law.
said Christians in Mindanao have already come up with a 17-point
"Christian Settlers' Peace and Development Agenda" for the proposed
Rodrigo Duterte signed in July the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which is anchored to
a peace agreement signed by the government and the rebel Moro Islamic
Liberation Front in 2014.
week, the international donor community reiterated its support for the Mindanao
peace process during a meeting with top government and rebel leaders,
Almgren, resident coordinator of the United Nations in the Philippines,
stressed the need for synergy among international donor agencies in the
implementation of programs and projects.
must be an alignment of our plans with those of the Bangsamoro," said the
a statement, Jesus Dureza, Duterte's peace adviser, underscored the role of
foreign partners in implementing the peace process.
from the people are very high. There is still a lot of work that needs to be
done," he said.
Published last year, Feby Indirani's book "Bukan Perawan Maria" or
"Not Virgin Mary" is filled with stories about Indonesian Muslims
finding themselves caught in strange, surrealistic circumstances.
suicide bomber, anticipating a heaven full of angels, is stuck in the
afterlife’s waiting room.
corpse, who had spent her lifetime learning Arabic so she could pass her
mandatory interrogation in the grave with flying colors, gets a shock of her
(after)life when she's questioned by an angel speaking in her mother tongue,
pig, an animal considered najis ("dirty") and whose meat is haram
("forbidden") to be consumed by Muslims, wants to convert into Islam.
told the Jakarta Globe in a recent interview that her book belongs to a new
genre of her own invention, called "Magical Islamism."
things in this life and beyond are magical. The afterlife, supernatural beings,
all those are magic," the writer and journalist said.
said her book presents narratives written from multiple points of view with
dabs of dark humor.
pours out questions about Islam that she's waited to ask all her life, and
tries to make readers empathize with people who might have different
interpretations of the religion.
characters [in my book] believe everything they are taught, but can you be sure
what’s going to happen in the hereafter? Everything comes back to our interpretations
of the [Quranic] tenets. Every time we talk about religion, we should ask
ourselves this question: are we talking about the religion itself or our
interpretations of it?" Feby said.
author herself comes from a Muslim family, just like "many moderate Muslim
families out there."
family encouraged her and her siblings to pursue formal education.
were allowed to read whatever books they want and ask all the questions they
wanted to ask.
in Indonesia makes you unable to shake off religion no matter how un-religious
you may feel. Every one hundred meters or so, you'll find a mosque or other
places of worship. You simply can't separate religion from our life," she
has written about the problems of religion in both fiction and non-fiction.
of her essays, "Rangkul Dia, Perempuan yang Membuka Jilbabnya"
("Hug Her, That Woman Who Takes Off Her Hijab"), calls for people not
to judge female Muslims who choose to take off their headscarves.
essay made it into a collection of essays published by feminist online magazine
Magdalene, titled "Menjadi Perempuan" ("Becoming a Woman").
Feby was working as a journalist for Tempo magazine, she traveled to
Tasikmalaya to interview members of the persecuted Islamic sect Ahmadiyah.
trip resulted in a book titled "Ahmadiyah: Keyakinan yang Digugat"
("Ahmadiyah: A Faith Accused").
said her family didn’t have a problem with her interviewing a group that many
Muslims in Indonesia think of as blasphemous.
family is that open-minded. But still, one question remained for me. Who has
the right to determine which Islam is right or wrong? The Syiah and Ahmadiyah
communities here are marginalized because people say they practice the wrong
kind of Islam. Who has the authority to say which is the right Islam and which
are the wrong ones? Writing is my way to bring that question to the
public," said the author, who participated in the Australia-Indonesia
Muslim Exchange in 2006.
said she was worried her book Bukan Perawan Maria would attract negative
reactions, even abuse, but that didn’t stop her from publishing it.
a while though, she couldn't find any publisher willing to take the risk.
tension in Indonesia was at an all-time high during the divisive Jakarta
gubernatorial election when Feby completed the manuscript, so mainstream
publishers were hesitant to publish it.
the end, Feby decided to partner with cultural organization Pabrikultur,
founded by film critic Hikmat Darmawan, to put the book out.
of the stories in Bukan Perawan Maria had already been published in magazines
Ingin Masuk Islam" ("Baby Wants to Convert" – the word for
"pig" in Indonesian is "babi," phonetically close to
"baby") was first published on Qureta in November 2016, the same
month when the first anti-Ahok rally by hardline Muslim groups took place in
story garnered thousands of clicks, and surprisingly, hardly any negative
that, a report on her book launch and a short story called "Rencana
Pembunuhan Sang Muazin" ("A Plot to Kill the Muezzin"), which
also ends up in Bukan Perawan Maria, were published on detik.com.
responses were starkly different.
the article, many commenters called out Feby for offending Islam, but the short
story's comment box was filled with praises.
interesting to see how people often just read the headline and get angry
immediately. But when they read fiction, it's almost impossible to jump into
conclusions. They have to read it first, digest the content. They have to
postpone their response. That’s crucial. They actually have to read what it’s
all about first before they comment," she said.
Perawan Maria has been translated into English, and is in the process of being
translated into Italian.
from western countries like Australia and the United States are saying that
conservatism is rising in Indonesia, that it's no longer a tolerant place. To
me, it's important that this book is translated into English to show the world
that we’re not that bad. The fact that Bukan Perawan Maria exists shows that
Indonesia has not become totally conservative, and hopefully we won’t reach
that point because there are many people fighting for diversity here," she
It’s Just Religion
took her time to figure out a way to present the book to the public in an
the challenges included the perception that only religious leaders should be
allowed to talk about religion.
what's wrong if artists talk about it? We rarely talk about religion per se,
but our personal experiences are always bound together with it. The thing is,
art can be interpreted in many ways. We can enjoy art together even if we don’t
share the same opinion," Feby said.
was the thinking behind Feby's "Relaksasi Beragama" ("Relax,
It’s Just Religion") exhibition, which was held on July 15-25 in Jakarta.
the exhibition, seven artists offered their own interpretations of Feby’s
goal of the exhibition, Feby said, was to start conversations around religion
that aren’t polarizing and "don’t always revolve around right and wrong,
the existence of hell, calling out a person as kafir [nonbelievers] or onta
['camel,' an offensive nickname for conservatives]."
exhibition pulled in around 1,000 visitors and many of them suggested the
exhibition should be taken on a tour around the country.
then applied for the Cipta Media Ekspresi grant for women in the arts and won
Rp 200 million ($13,000) that she will use to host the exhibition in Bandung
(West Java) and Mataram and Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara).
chose the above cities for a reason.
to a Setara Institute report released in 2015, Bandung was one of the most
intolerant cities in Indonesia.
made it to the same list last year.
Bandung exhibition was held last month.
of the massive earthquake in Lombok in July, the exhibition there that was
initially planned for August had to be postponed to the 27th of this month.
of the local artists who were going to take part in the exhibition in Lombok
also pulled out because they still had to cope with the aftermath of the
these exhibitions feature training sessions for the public to teach them a more
relaxed way of discussing and practicing religion.
works with local female artists in each city.
from fostering dialogues on religion, the exhibitions are also meant to empower
religious figures are men, so female voices are rarely heard. And these aren’t
just women, but also artists. They might not be the accepted authority to speak
about religion. But as individuals, are we not allowed to respond to religious
issues in our own way?" Feby said.
who is going to appear at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival later this
month, said she is writing another short story collection as part of her Relax,
It’s Just Religion campaign, set for release in 2019.
Indonesia raised concern on Tuesday over Australian Prime Minister Scott
Morrison's recent announcement that he was open to moving his country's embassy
in Israel to Jerusalem.
is concerned about this matter and questions the merit of the
announcement," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said during a joint press
conference with Palestinian Foreign Minister Rayid al-Maliki, who is currently
on a visit to Jakarta.
proposal follows a similar announcement by United States President Donald Trump
in December last year.
recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sparked international
condemnation, with Indonesia being one of the most vocal in its opposition. The
country rallied support for Palestine through different platforms, including
the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
this, the United States proceeded with its plan by relocating its embassy from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May.
described the announcement as "sad news" and said Australia would be
violating several United Nations Security Council Resolution, including No. 478
resolution condemns Israel's attempt to annex East Jerusalem and states that
the Security Council will not recognize Israel's declaration of Jerusalem as
reiterated the importance of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict this week.
has asked Australia and other countries to continue their support for peace in
Palestine and Israel, according to international law, and to refrain from
taking steps that could threaten peace, stability and security in the
world," Retno said.
and Australia concluded talks on a bilateral trade deal in August, after years
of negotiations. The two neighbors are due to sign the agreement by the end of
Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said Jakarta was not considering putting the
agreement on hold, despite Australia's new stance on Israel, Reuters reported.
Vocational training is being used "to the greatest extent" in China's
far-western Xinjiang region to ensure militant activities are "eliminated
before they occur," a senior Communist Party official said.
state media interview with Shohrat Zakir, the number two party official and
most senior ethnic Uighur in Xinjiang, is China's most detailed defense yet of
its policies in the region, which is home to a large Muslim population.
of mass detentions and strict surveillance of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims
have prompted the United States to consider sanctions against officials and
companies linked to allegations of human rights abuses.
initially issuing blanket denials, Chinese officials have in recent weeks said
they were not enforcing arbitrary detention and political re-education across a
network of secret camps, but rather some citizens guilty of minor offences were
sent to vocational centers to provide employment opportunities.
measures had helped to prevent violent militant attacks in Xinjiang for the
past 21 months, Zakir said in an interview published by the Xinhua news agency.
signed "education agreements" to receive "concentrated
training" and undergo "live-in study," Zakir said.
received Chinese language lessons and lectures on the country's constitution
and laws, he said, without specifying how many people were receiving such
training. Skills training included food processing, assembling electronic
products, hairdressing, clothes making and e-commerce.
vocational training, most trainees have been able to reflect on their mistakes
and see clearly the essence and harm of terrorism and religious
extremism," Zakir was quoted as saying.
have also been able to better tell right from wrong and resist the infiltration
of extremist thought," he said.
has faced an outcry from activists, scholars, foreign governments and UN rights
experts over what they say are mass detentions and strict surveillance of the
mostly Muslim Uighur minority and other Muslim groups who call Xinjiang home.
rights groups and former detainees have said that conditions in the camps are
poor, with inmates subject to psychological and physical abuse. They said
detainees did not receive any vocational training.
response, Beijing has mounted a sophisticated counterattack to criticism of its
policies in Xinjiang, courting foreign media and running opinion pieces abroad
as its seeks to spin a more positive message.
says Xinjiang faces a threat from Islamist militants and separatists. It
rejects all accusations of mistreatment in an area where hundreds have been
killed in unrest between Uighurs and members of the ethnic Han Chinese
interview with Zakir comes a week after Xinjiang inserted into its
anti-extremism regulations new clauses that prescribe the use of
"vocational training centers" to "educate and transform"
people influenced by extremism.
Leibold, a Xinjiang expert at La Trobe University in Melbourne, said China was
increasingly seeking to deflect international criticism by attempting to
retrospectively justify the mass detention camps.
Arabia and Turkey have reportedly sent investigative teams to inspect the Saudi
consul general's residence in the Turkish city of Istanbul, as the kingdom
struggles to convince the world that it had nothing to do with the mysterious
disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
a dozen police officers and prosecutors, including forensic experts, entered
the compound of Mohammed al-Otaibi on Wednesday, a day after he returned to
and Saudi investigators are working together to find out what exactly happened
to Khashoggi, who is believed to have been murdered after entering the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
has criticized Riyadh's lack of enthusiasm to get to the bottom of the
incident. It took Saudis two full weeks before allowing Turkish investigators
into the consulate on Monday.
National Intelligence Organization says it is in possession of secret audio
recordings that incriminate Otaibi and other Saudi officials in the case.
details of the 11-minute recording published by Turkish media on Tuesday and
Wednesday pointed to the gruesome “torture and murder” of Khashoggi inside the
consulate. According to some reports, the journalist was slowly dismembered by
an assassination squad as Saudi diplomats calmly listened to music.
Turkish law enforcement sources, Al Jazeera, reported that Saudi intelligence
elements had “verbally abused and used profanity to address Khashoggi, in
addition to torturing him during the first four minutes after he entered the
officials have reportedly informed their American counterparts that they had
audio and video recordings pointing to Khashoggi’s death inside the consulate,
according to The Washington Post, to which Kahshoggi was a contributor.
US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he had asked Turkish officials to hand
in their evidence.
entered the Saudi mission to obtain the required paperwork for marrying his
fiancée, who claims she waited outside the consulate for 11 hours but did not
see him come out.
authorities, on the other hand, insist that Khashoggi left the building on the
FM, IMF chief cancel trips to Saudi Arabia
suspected murder and Saudi Arabia's lackluster efforts to solve the case has
negatively affected Riyadh's economic reform drive, chasing away investors and
foreign officials alike.
Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass called off his scheduled visit to
Riyadh and asked Saudi officials to “fully cooperate” in the investigation.
my travel plans […] we were actually considering a visit as part of our
dialogue with Saudi Arabia. Now we would wait and see,” he told reporters.
in the day, Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), also announced that she would skip a high-profile Saudi
economic event next week.
far, major businesses such as Uber Technologies, Viacom, JP Morgan and Ford
have boycotted the three-day event, dubbed “Davos in the Desert.”
the Financial Times, The New York Times, CNBC, Bloomberg and other major media
outlets have also pulled out.
International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says she is
“alarmed” by violence at the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and the
Israeli-occupied territories, threatening to take an action.
warning comes on the heels of Israeli aerial assaults on Gaza that killed a
Israeli military claimed that its fresh air raids came “in response to the
rockets fired from Gaza” onto occupied territories overnight. The claim was,
however, rejected in a joint statement by Gaza-based Palestinian resistance
Hague-based court has been conducting a preliminary probe into crimes in the
Palestinian territories since 2015.
probe covers Tel Aviv’s actions during the regime's full-scale war of 2014
against the Gaza Strip.
said in a statement on Wednesday that she was "alarmed by the continued
violence, perpetrated by actors on both sides, at the Gaza border with
prosecutor seized of the situation in Palestine, I therefore feel compelled to
remind all parties that the situation remains under preliminary examination by
my office," she added.
continue to keep a close eye on the developments on the ground and will not
hesitate to take any appropriate action."
have been running high along the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and the
occupied territories since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests
dubbed “The Great March of Return.” Palestinian protesters demand the right to
return for those driven out of their homeland.
clashes in Gaza reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year with
Washington's relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem
than 190 Palestinians have so far been killed and over 20,000 others wounded in
the renewed Gaza clashes, according to the latest figures released by the Gaza
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline in living
standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
Yemeni army, with support from the Arab Coalition supporting legitimacy,
blocked an attempt by the Houthi militias to open routes between Hodeidah and
sources added that Houthi militias had sent reinforcements to attack army posts
but suffered severe losses, and failed to infiltrate the road to Hodeidah from
Sanaa from the Kilo 10 area.
army’s media center said that 70 Houthis were killed during violent battles
where the Arab Coalitions’ vigorous air raids caused severe losses on the
militias’ fronts in Hodeidah.
said that the air raids targeted Houthi gatherings and bases killing dozens,
and destroying an armed vehicle.
media reports suggest the regime’s military chief Gadi Eizenkot has held talks
with his Saudi counterpart, major General Fayyad bin Hamid Raqed al-Ruwaili, in
Washington as Tel Aviv moves to make its secret ties with Persian Gulf Arab
Kan public broadcaster reported that the two sides had discussed several
regional issues, including Iran, during their meeting that took place on the
sidelines of the Counter–Violent Extremist Organizations conference for
military commanders, in the US on Tuesday.
to Ruwaili, Eizenkot also met with his counterparts from several Arab states on
the sidelines of the same event without mentioning which countries they were,
the report added.
meeting between Eizenkot and Ruwaili was the first publicized talks between the
two military chiefs.
his first participation in the event, Eizenkot made a rare interview with the
Saudi-owned Elaph online newspaper last November, during which he expressed Tel
Aviv’s readiness to share intelligence with Riyadh to help boost their joint
efforts to confront Tehran.
are ready to exchange experiences with Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab
countries and exchange intelligence to confront Iran,” he said, adding, “There
are many shared interests between us and Saudi Arabia.”
and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations, but are widely believed to have
secret liaisons. Based on latest reports, the two regimes are even working
behind the scenes to establish formal contact.
say Saudi Arabia’s flirtation with Israel would undermine global efforts to
isolate Tel Aviv and harm the Palestinian cause.
say Riyadh has gone too far in its cooperation with Tel Aviv as a way of
deterring Tehran as a regional rival.
UN said Wednesday it was organizing a joint aid convoy with the Syrian Arab Red
Crescent to tens of thousands of Syrians stranded in the desert near the
world body said the convoy would deliver “humanitarian assistance to an
estimated 50,000 women, children and men who are stranded at the Rukban camp in
southeast Syria near the Iraqi and Jordanian border”.
overall humanitarian situation inside the Rukban camp is at a critical stage,”
said Ali al-Za’tari, the UN’s top official in Damascus.
Tom, a spokeswoman for the UN’s humanitarian coordination office, OCHA, told
AFP the world body was “deeply concerned over the deteriorating humanitarian
situation” at the camp.
suicide bombing claimed by ISIS extremist group in June 2016 killed seven
Jordanian soldiers in no-man’s land near the nearby Rukban crossing.
afterwards, the army declared Jordan’s desert regions that stretch northeast to
Syria and east to Iraq “closed military zones”.
kingdom, part of the US-led coalition fighting ISIS, has allowed several
humanitarian aid deliveries to the area following UN requests, but the borders
camp, home to displaced people from across Syria, also lies close to the
Al-Tanf base used by the US-led coalition fighting ISIS.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the camp suffers from a severe lack of
food and medicines, compounded by its remote desert location, the closure of
the Jordanian border and regime forces cutting off all roads to it.
last delivery of UN aid to Rukban took place in January 2018 through Jordan.
UN children’s agency UNICEF last week urged warring parties in Syria to allow
basic health service deliveries to the camp, saying two babies without access
to hospitals had died there within 48 hours.
300 members of the US-backed White Helmets “aid group,” which stands accused of
working with Takfiri terrorists and launching false-flag gas attacks in Syria,
have now left for resettlement in Western countries.
Jordanian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that about 300
Syrian “White Helmet” workers fled Syria for Jordan three months ago.
July, the White Helmets, fleeing advancing Syrian government troops, slipped
over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights frontier and into Jordan with the help
of Israeli soldiers and Western powers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time he had helped the evacuation
at the request of US President Donald Trump and other Western leaders.
had accepted them after getting guarantees that their stay would be temporary
and they would be given asylum in Canada, Germany and Britain.
White Helmets have operated in militant-held areas in recent years.
Russian Defense Ministry said on October 10 that chlorine canisters had fallen
in the hands of Daesh Takfiri terrorists after they attacked the headquarters
of the White Helmets and al-Nusra Front militants in northern Syria.
says the so-called volunteer group staged the suspected chemical attack in the
town of Douma in Syria's Eastern Ghouta on April 7. Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad has also described the White Helmets as “a branch of the al-Qaeda and
al-Nusra" militant groups and a “PR stunt” by the United States, Britain
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
army troops, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, have
recently made major territorial gains in battles against Daesh and other
foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorist groups, almost capturing the entire
southern part of the country after securing the capital Damascus and other key
major militant stronghold remains in the northwestern province of Idlib, where
government forces were preparing to launch a full-scale military operation.
terrorists aimed to stage the chemical attacks and lay the blame on the Syrian
government to provoke a western attack as the Assad government was planning to
launch a full-scale offensive to retake the militant-held Idlib province.
Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir on Wednesday appointed a peace envoy to South
Sudan, mired in conflict since it won independence from its northern neighbor
ambassador to Juba, Jamal Al-Sheikh, was put in charge of “following the
implementation” of the peace deal signed last month by warring South Sudanese
parties, Bashir told a gathering of Sudanese diplomats.
in Sudan cannot be separated from peace in the region, and achieving peace in
South Sudan is a big step toward a comprehensive peace,” he said.
war in the world’s youngest country erupted in December 2013, killing tens of
thousands, displacing millions and triggering a regional refugee crisis.
Sudanese arch-foes President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar signed
their latest peace deal on September 12 in Ethiopia after talks hosted by
Sudan gained independence under a peace deal ending a 22-year civil war pitting
rebel groups against Khartoum.
the Darfur region and the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, close to
oil-rich South Sudan, have continued to see deadly conflict pitting rebel
groups against the Sudanese government.
accuses Juba of supporting insurgents against it.
former Supreme Court (SC) Judge, Justice William Atuguba, has commended the
Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission and other faith-based organisations for their
contribution towards peace building in the country.
to him, the contributions of various religious organisations in the maintenance
of the country's fragile peace could not be down-played.
thank God that the Islamic community in Ghana has always been at peace with
other religious faith and this conference will put a seal to that state of
affairs," Justice Atuguba said.
former SC Judge made these observations at a farewell dinner organised for the
Consul-General of Tuvalu in the United Kingdom (UK), Sir Dr Iftikhar Ahmed
Atuguba said the quest for peace would continue to elude the world unless
people imbibe the fear of the most high, stressing that "The personality
of the Amir exudes peace and fear of the Lord most High, and these are most
important ingredients that can propel any human community forward."
said if Ghanaians committed themselves to the Supremacy of Allah above all
other considerations and in all our undertakings, including; politics, business
and social activities, the country would be great.
his part, Sir Ayaz re-echoed the need for peace in the world stressing that
"We cannot have peace unless we have true and most importantly, divine
therefore, called on Ghana to lead in the crusade to attain peace not only on
the continent, but the world at large.
Ayaz said it was important that people continued to dispense justice, even if
they were denied same by others, adding that attaining peace and justice was a
long journey but the outcome was always greater.
commended Ghana for working hard to ensure peaceful coexistence among its
citizens irrespective of their religion, creed, tribe and their educational
Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, Mualvi Mohammed Bin Salih, said
no nation could sit idle and watch for a third world war to take place.
explained that "the weapons available have the capacity to annihilate
everybody on the earth surface as a result, we must all work in a concerted
effort to ensure world peace."
intelligence officials say the largest US military airstrike against al-Shabaab
extremists in Somalia in nearly a year largely destroyed a training camp where
recruits were preparing to graduate and killed more fighters than the US
officials tell The Associated Press that several missiles were fired on Friday
by two unmanned US drones.
of the freshly trained al-Shabaab recruits were "burnt beyond
recognition" and the death toll exceeds 75, one official said. The US
Africa Command on Tuesday said about 60 extremists had been killed.
US said the strike was meant to deny the al-Qaeda-linked extremist group, the
deadliest in sub-Saharan Africa, the ability to reconsolidate. Al-Shabaab has
several thousands of fighters and has proven to be resilient over the years,
carrying out suicide bombings on high-profile targets in the capital,
Mogadishu, and other cities as well as more conventional attacks against Somali,
US and African Union forces.
of the al-Shabaab fighters killed in the US airstrike, who had gone through
months of training, were being prepared to carry out suicide bombings on Somali
and AU bases while others were foot soldiers meant for complex attacks across
central and southern Somalia, one of the Somali intelligence officials said.
officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to
speak to reporters.
US airstrike outside the al-Shabaab-controlled seaside community of Harardere
in Mudug province in Somalia's central region was the deadliest since one on
November 21, 2017, against a camp killed about 100 al-Shabaab fighters.
Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the US needs Saudi Arabia in the fight
against terrorism and that he did not want to walk away from the Kingdom.
comments came after US Secretary of Sate Mike Pompeo met the Turkish president,
Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks about the disappearance of Saudi journalist
made clear that Saudi Arabia is cooperating in the investigation, Pompeo said,
the day after he met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in
know we need Saudi Arabia in terms of our fight against all of the terrorism,
everything that's happening in Iran and other places,” Trump told Fox Business
in response to questions about the Khashoggi case.
US president said he did not want to walk away from Saudi Arabia.
have a tremendous order, $110 billion,” he said, in reference to US arms sales
to the Kingdom.
said later on Wednesday the US had asked Turkey for any audio or video evidence
it may have related to the case but was not sure whether any such evidence
have asked for it, if it exists ... I'm not sure yet that it exists,"
Trump said at the White House. "I'll have a full report on that from Mike
(Pompeo) when he comes back."
Tuesday, Trump criticized global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi’s
disappearance, warning of a rush to judgment and echoing the Kingdom’s request
who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate
in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
Arabia, which denies any involvement in the kidnapping or killing of Khashoggi,
has set up a joint team to investigate the disappearance with Turkey.
he returned to the US from Turkey, Pompeo said President Erdogan “made clear
that the Saudis had cooperated with the investigation that the Turks are
engaged in and they are going to share information.”
have been a couple of delays but they seemed pretty confident that the Saudis
would permit them to do the things they need to do to complete their thorough
and complete investigation,” he said.
added that the US must be mindful of the important business and government ties
with the Kingdom, once the facts of the case have been determined.
An arsonist convicted of burning down a Texas mosque last year was sentenced
Wednesday to more than 24 years in prison for a crime prosecutors said was
motivated by hate.
Perez had been found guilty in July of a hate crime and felony arson in the
January 2017 burning of the Victoria Islamic Centre in Southeast Texas.
26-year-old had broken into the mosque a week before the arson in order to
conduct reconnaissance, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a statement
citing trial testimony.
witness testified that on the night of the crime Perez used a lighter to set
papers on fire, and described “how excited Perez was upon seeing the mosque in
flames just minutes later,” DoJ said.
witness testified that Perez wanted to “send a message,” it said, adding that
others gave testimony about the suspect’s use of anti-Muslim slurs.
Perez sought to provoke terror,” FBI Agent Edward Michel said in a statement.
one in this country should feel afraid to openly practice their religion or
express their beliefs.”
crime elicited an outpouring of support from around the world for the Islamic
community in the city of Victoria, Texas.
online GoFundMe campaign raised more than US$1 million (RM4.15 million) from
donors in 90 countries to rebuild the mosque. It reopened in September.
States President Donald Trump has said that he does not want to walk away from
Saudi Arabia when asked by Fox Business Network regarding the ongoing probe
into the Khashoggi case.
also said that Washington needed Saudi Arabia in the fight against terrorism.
"Saudi Arabia has been a very important ally of ours in the Middle East.
We are stopping Iran. We're not trying to stop, we're stopping Iran,"
comes after he criticized rapidly mounting global condemnation of Saudi Arabia
over the mystery of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, warning of a rush to
judgment and echoing the Saudis’ request for patience.
States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has confirmed that Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan made clear in talks that Saudi Arabia is cooperating in
probe into missing Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi.
made clear that the Saudis had cooperated with the investigation that the Turks
are engaged in and that they’re going to share information that they learn with
the Saudis as well,” Pompeo told reporters aboard his plan after left Turkey.
CIA Director John Brennan says the United States government is working with
Saudi Arabia to “concoct a story” about the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, an
anti-Riyadh journalist who is believed to have been murdered after entering the
Saudi consulate in Turkey’s Istanbul earlier this month.
to MSNBC on Wednesday, Brennan said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and
the White House of President Donald Trump
knew what happened to Khashoggi.
also seems now we’re in this surreal and morally horrific situation in which
the White House and the Saudis seem to be trying to sort of figure out what
story they can come up with that they can both have plausibility for Mohammad
bin Salman,” said Brennan, a firm Trump critic who was director of the CIA
under former President Barack Obama.
former spymaster said Washington and Riyadh might be looking for scapegoats
inside Saudi Arabia but no matter what they do to make it look like MBS had
nothing to do with the incident, their story “is going to fall apart.”
also called on the CIA and other US intelligence agencies to hand in their
evidence to Congress so that lawmakers could scrutinize the White House over
its role in the alleged cover-up.
why it’s so important for the intelligence agencies, and CIA, to fully brief
the intelligence committees on the Hill so that they have full insight into
what happened there and they can then hold the administration’s feet to the
fire,” he explained.
who was also a US green card holder, entered the Saudi mission on October 2 in
order to obtain the necessary paperwork for marrying his fiancée. That was the
last time he was seen.
to Washington Post, to which Khashoggi was a contributor, US intelligence
intercepts already prove that he was killed and dismembered by Saudi agents in
a hit job directly ordered by bin Salman.
officials say they are in possession of audio and video recordings that prove
the murder and incriminate Saudi diplomats.
leaked details of the audio recordings picture a gruesome scene where Khashoggi
is tortured, killed and dismembered by a Saudi assassination squad in cold
has so far rejected growing calls inside and outside the US to pressure Riyadh
over the issue.
said Wednesday that he had asked Turkish officials to hand in their evidence.
However, the president is probably on Riyadh’s side, as he has already
indicated that while he would “punish” the perpetrators of the alleged murder,
he would not go as far as risking the current financially profitable ties with
President Donald Trump’s son-in law and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
are communicating through Whatsapp amid the crisis arising over the mysterious
disappearance of a dissident journalist at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
Kushner, who has been appointed by his father-in-law to handle the Middle East,
has therefore retreated from the front, CNN reported Wednesday citing unnamed
powerful Jewish figure at the Trump administration is “quietly leveraging his
close relationship” with bin Salman as the two states engage in crisis
management and “retreating to the sidelines when necessary.”
part, Ivanka Trump’s husband is being cautious not to overstep the realm of
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a former CIA chief who has just visited top
Saudi officials and allegedly received $100 million.
administration officials said Kushner's close relationship with bin Salman was
an early cause for concern among career national security staffers, who worried
off-the-books conversations with the young prince could lead to
misunderstandings or worse,” read the report.
has downplayed Kushner's close ties to the prince saying last week that,
"We have a lot of very close relationships with a lot of countries."
intercepts show that Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi
mission in Istanbul on October 2, was murdered on bin Salman’s direct order.
United States is becoming increasingly addicted to sanctions, Iranian Foreign
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned, after Washington imposed fresh
sanctions on a number of Iranian entities.
addiction to sanctions is out of control," Zarif wrote in a tweet on
Wednesday. "Iranian private bank key to food/medicine import is designated
because of alleged EIGHT degrees of separation w/ another arbitrary target. In
comparison, all humans on planet are connected by SIX degrees of separation.
You do the math."
another tweet, the Iranian foreign minister said the new sanctions violate a
recent International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling and amount to "utter
disregard" for the rule of law and human rights of "an entire
Tuesday, the US Treasury announced fresh sanctions on Iranian banks, including
Bank Mellat and Mehr Eqtesad Bank.
included on the list were Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company, Esfahan’s
Mobarakeh Steel Company, and other companies linked to investment, commodities
US Treasury's sanctions further targeted what it called a multibillion-dollar
financial network that supported the Basij Resistance Force affiliated with
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
President Donald Trump announced in May that he was pulling out of the 2015
Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of
deal, signed between Iran and six world powers -- the US, Britain, France,
Russia, China and Germany -- lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in
exchange for restrictions on its peaceful nuclear program.
Trump's decision to stop implementing the deal, Washington reinstated sanctions
removed under the agreement while imposing new ones against the Islamic
first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's
access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto
sector. A second round, forthcoming on November 4, will be targeting Iran's
energy sector and financial transactions.
lawyer for US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson has appealed to a Turkish court
to challenge the jail sentence his client received last week.
lawyer said Wednesday that the verdict "contravened the law and
procedures," according to a copy of the application seen by Reuters.
the prosecutor in Brunson’s case challenged the verdict, citing the same
reason, a copy of that application showed.
documents showed that detailed appeals will be prepared once the court verdict
are delivered in writing.
was sentenced to more than three years for helping terrorist organizations, but
was allowed to return to the United States and met President Donald Trump.
50-year-old man was indicted by a Turkish court on charges of having links with
the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group and the movement of the
US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having
masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Brunson had denied the charges as “shameful.”
threatened to impose "large sanctions" on Turkey in July over the
detention of Brunson and demanded his immediate release by Ankara.
United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time
detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and
wonderful human being,” Trump tweeted at the time. “He is suffering greatly.
This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”
before Trump’s tweet in July, US Vice President Mike Pence also leveled a
similar threat directly at Turkey’s president.
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