is set to spike in Indonesia after Islamic clerics declared the MR vaccine
sinful due to it containing pork gelatine. This has caused vaccination rates
against measles and rubella to plummet from the recommended 95 per cent to as
low as just eight per cent (stock)
Drive: Thousands of Indian Muslims Return Millions to Bride Families
Muslim Clerics Declare the Measles Vaccination 'Sinful', It Contains Pork
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
man in India has launched a massive campaign against dowry, one of the biggest
social evils claiming hundreds of lives every year in the country. Such is the
impact of the campaign that close to 1,000 Muslim families have now returned
dowry to the bride families, expressing regret over their conduct in public and
vowing not to repeat it in future.
credit to this unique campaign straightway goes to Haji Mumtaz Ali who has launched
the campaign in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. The success of the
campaign is underlined from the fact that villages after villages are joining
it every day, openly taking an oath not to accept dowry in future.
the campaign was started in Palamu district but now it has gone beyond its
boundary and spread to several others districts as well. But what’s further
fascinating about it is that the campaign is not limited to any particular
community only as the Hindus too have lent a wholehearted support to this
campaign, joining the anti-dowry rallies in large numbers.
am happy to inform you that what started as a silent campaign against this
social evil two years back has now turned out to be the mass movement. Now it’s
not limited to any particular area or the community only but Hindus too are
joining us in large numbers,” said Ali who happens to be the brainchild of the
60 million returned
peak of the campaign was when the Muslim villagers began returning dowries years
after they had taken them at the time of their son’s wedding. According to Ali,
close to 1,000 Muslim families have returned dowries worth Rs 60 million to the
brides’ families so far, impressed by his appeals to give up dowry.
of them was Nizamuddin Ansari who returned Rs 40,000 to the bride families. “I
regret about taking dowry from my daughter-in-law’s families but feel proud to
return it now,” Ansari told an anti-dowry meeting held in Palamu recently.
the campaign didn’t reach at this level all of a sudden. Ali had to work hard,
day and nights for months during which he held more than 100 such meetings and
rallies in entire Palamu division to convince his community members not to take
dowry, braving sweltering heat and chilling winter.
what compelled him to launch the campaign? “I saw many families getting
destroyed under the impact of dowry although it was not initially prevalent in
Muslim families. I came across many poor families selling their ancestral
properties or taking loans on high interest to arrange money to solemnize
wedding of their daughters”.
was terrible this money was being wasted on arranging decoration, DJ, orchestra
and various types of dishes; it was not being used for important works! So I
decided to launch a campaign in the society, sooner the better,” Ali said, in a
telephonic interview on Thursday.
was aware of the economic status of my co-villagers. I knew their financial
background just wouldn’t permit them for lavish wedding. They were doing so
just because they had taken dowry from the brides’ families. So it was
necessary to alert them,” he said.
Ali launched the campaign in April 2016 but got encouraged to focus on it after
seeing huge crowds of villagers attending his each rally and meeting.
told the Muslim villagers to fear from the almighty and swear in the name of
Allah not to take dowry in future and this ultimately clicked,” Ali revealed,
describing his campaign as a “huge success”. Recently, Ali was honored by
Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das for his campaign against dowry.
is happy to tell that villagers are now opting for “dowry-less” marriages.
“Now, the general masses have taken over my campaign. This indicates the
success of my campaign, Ali remarked, with his voice exhibiting satisfaction
has been claimed hundreds of lives every year in India. As per an official
report, a total of 24,771 dowry deaths were reported in India in between 2012
and 2014 with Uttar Pradesh taking the lead with a maximum of 7,048 deaths.
This information was given to the Lok Sabha in a written reply by federal
minister for Women and Child Development Ministry Maneka Gandhi in April 2016.
minister further told the House that India recorded 348,000 cases of cruelty by
husband or his relatives during this period with the West Bengal topping the
chart with 61,259 such cases, followed by Rajasthan (44,3111) and Andhra
Pradesh (34,835), as per the National Crime Records Bureau data.
and rubella vaccination rates have plummeted in Indonesia after Islamic clerics
declared the jab is sinful due to it containing pork gelatine.
in the Southeast Asian country have dropped from the recommended 95 per cent to
as low as just eight per cent in some areas.
experts fear the world's largest Muslim country may suffer an outbreak of
either disease. Rubella can cause birth defects if pregnant women catch the
virus, while one in 15 cases of measles can turn life-threatening.
is added as a stabiliser to many vaccines and medicines to prevent them
degrading during transportation.
recently, Indonesia had one of the highest rates of measles in the world,
according to the World Health Organization.
it produced its own jab against the infection as part of its childhood
vaccination scheme, administration of the vaccine was patchy.
Southeast Asian country switched to a combined MR jab last year as part of the
WHO-led plan to eliminate measles and rubella globally by 2020.
ministry of health aimed to play 'catch-up' by vaccinating 67million children
aged between nine months and 15 years old against both conditions.
campaign started on the island of Java, where 95 per cent vaccine coverage was
achieved, which caused rubella rates to drop by more than 90 per cent.
the roll-out to the rest of the country, scheduled for August or September, was
put on hold when the Islamic body Indonesian Ulama Council stated it had not
certified the jab as halal.
were immediately put off, with just six out of 38 students at a primary school
in the province of North Sumatra receiving the MR jab.
parents even gathered outside the school to ensure their youngsters were not
vaccinated, with some claiming their children had to miss out on the jab due to
them being 'ill' at home.
parents being put off, Indonesia's health ministry lobbied for the Indonesian
Ulama Council to rule 'fatwa' on the vaccine, which would declare it as halal
(permissible by Islamic law), last August.
the council declared it haram, or sinful, due to the jab containing gelatin
from pigs' skin as a stabiliser.
vaccine also has the pig protein trypsin, which prevents the components of the
jab from sticking to its glass container while it is being manufactured.
Indonesian Ulama Council stressed it was not blocking the vaccination campaign,
with parents having the choice to vaccinate their children if they wish.
message put out by the body at a public consultation on September 18 read: 'Trusted
experts have explained the dangers posed by not being immunized.'
the damage was already done with just 68 per cent of children being vaccinated
on islands surrounding Java to date, according to the health ministry.
in Aceh, which is ruled by Islamic law, vaccination rates are just eight per
spokesperson for the WHO's office in the capital Jakarta stated vaccination
rates are poor in many countries.
the fatwa 'has caused some confusion at local levels, it is in fact clear in
its directive and ultimately supportive' of vaccination, a spokesperson said.
WHO remains positive about its plans to immunize 95 per cent of children in
Indonesia and has extended the deadline to December.
Jane Soepardi, an independent public health expert, told Science 'we can't
play' with vaccinating children against measles or rubella.
Soepardi, who was director of disease surveillance and quarantine at
Indonesia's health ministry until January, warned low vaccination rates 'could
mean a boomerang for us'.
is no certified halal alternative to the MR vaccine.
many Muslim clerics argue pork products in jabs are chemically purified, which
makes them acceptable under Islamic law.
in 2013, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore declared a rotavirus
vaccine, which protects against childhood diarrhoea, halal - despite the use of
ruled the enzyme was made pure by dilution and the addition of other pure
groups have previously said the use of gelatine in medicines does not violate
their religious beliefs because it is not ingested.
parents still refuse to vaccinate their children, manufacturing a halal jab may
be the only option, according to Art Reingold, an epidemiologist at the
University of California, Berkeley.
gelatine has been suggested as an alternative, however, studies proving its
safety and effectiveness may take up to 10 years.
response to the development of halal vaccines, the WHO said: 'WHO works with
regulatory authorities and manufacturers to ensure vaccines have the highest
standards of safety and efficacy.
don't assess vaccines on other criteria.'
comes after vegetarians claimed last month that the use of pork gelatine in
vaccines and medicines is putting people off using them.
Elliot, chief executive of the Vegetarian Society, said it was 'disappointing'
so many still contain animal ingredients.
vaccination rates are currently poor in the UK, which has been blamed on the
disgraced gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield's discredited claims that the jab
causes autism and bowel disease.
91.9 per cent of children were vaccinated against measles between 2015 and 2016
compared to 94.2 per cent in 2014/2015 and 94.3 per cent in 2013/2014,
according to NHS immunisation statistics.
killed for disclosing Saudi funding of anti-Iran TV channel: Guardian
dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed on October 2 in the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul, might have lost his life for disclosing Riyadh’s funding
of an anti-Iran UK-based TV channel, the British daily Guardian suggests.
a report on Oct. 2, the Guardian cited a source close to the Saudi government
as saying that the anti-Iran London-based TV channel Iran International
received an estimated $250m (£192m) from the Saudi royal court each year.
the Guardian correspondent, in a Friday tweet, has revealed that his source was
Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was assassinated on the same day
as the report was published in a premeditated murder in Turkey blamed on Saudi
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also known as MBS.
Guardian later quoted the same source as saying that the Iran International was
being funded through a secretive offshore entity and a company whose director
was a Saudi Arabian businessman with close links to bin Salman.
source told the Guardian that Saud al-Qahtani, who served as media adviser to
MBS and was among several senior officials removed in connection with
Khashoggi’s murder, was involved in the funding of Iran International.
is money coming from the royal court,” the source – now revealed to be
Khashoggi – said, when speaking about the Saudi crown prince.
this summer, the station came under fire for praising a terrorist attack in
Iran’s Ahvaz and broadcasting live coverage of a rally by the anti-Iran
terrorist group Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO).
an outspoken critic of bin Salman, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on
Oct. 2, but never came back.
Saudi kingdom, after denying the murder for several days, finally admitted that
Khashoggi had been murdered in the consulate during an interrogation by rogue
operatives that had gone wrong after diplomatic pressure grew tremendously on
Riyadh to give an account on the mysterious fate of its national.
Saudi Arabia said that it did not know the whereabouts of the body, which is
widely believed to have been dismembered.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later announced the assassination had been
ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government.
study has revealed that the so-called US war on terror has killed about half a
million people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan over the past 17 years.
United States -- under Republican George W. Bush’s presidency – launched the
war on terror by invading Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 following the
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people in New
officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists
but many experts have raised questions about the official account. They believe
that rogue elements within the US government, such as former Vice President Dick
Cheney, orchestrated the 9/11 attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine
and advance the Zionist agenda.
the 9/11 attacks, the US and its allies invaded and occupied Afghanistan, and
Washington also started intermittent drone strikes inside neighboring Pakistan.
In early 2003, the US invaded Iraq under the pretext that the regime of Saddam
Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons, however, were
ever found in Iraq.
to the study by Brown University's Watson Institute for International and
Public Affairs, the war on terrorism has killed about 507,000 people in Iraq,
Afghanistan and Pakistan.
study, released on Thursday, stated that many of the victims have been
civilians. It added that the actual death toll is likely higher.
study said the new toll has shown an 110,000 increase compared with the last
count which was carried out in 2016.
death toll in Afghanistan, as of October 2018, stood at about 147,000 people,
including Afghan security forces, civilians and Taliban fighters. The figure
also included the 6,334 American fatalities.
war on terrorism also left 65,000 people dead in Pakistan, including 90
American contractors, nearly 9,000 local security personnel and more than
23,000 civilians. The rest of the casualties were militants, according to the
268,000 to 295,000 people died in Iraq following the US-led invasion and
occupation, the study said.
the war on terror is often overlooked by the American public, press and lawmakers,
the increased body count signals that, far from diminishing, this war remains
intense," the report said.
update just scratches the surface of the human consequences of 17 years of
war," the study concluded.
tourism still on agenda as India allows Pak pilgrims to visit Punjab
DELHI: Despite the bitterness in ties, which saw the government recently
calling off a proposed meeting between the foreign ministers, India seeks to
keep religious tourism going with Pakistan. The government on Thursday issued
visas to 170 Pakistan pilgrims, allowing them to visit Punjab later this month.
had in 2015 agreed to promote religious tourism as one of the ways of improving
relations with Pakistan.
pilgrims will visit Sirhind in Punjab for the 3-day Rouza Sharif urs which is
held annually at the tomb of Sufi saint Sheikh Farooqi.
has in fact also released Pakistan prisoners after it cancelled the meeting
between foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistan counterpart Shah
Mehmood Qureshi. Despite the nasty exchanges which followed the cancellation,
the two countries seem keen on addressing humanitarian issues and focusing on
of the issues which Swaraj and Qureshi were expected to address in their
aborted meeting on the sidelines of UNGA was the opening of the Kartarpur
corridor. The Sikhs in India's Punjab are keen that Pakistan allow them to
visit Darbar Sahib in the Pakistani town of Kartarpur.
the Imran Khan government had said that it was considering opening the
corridor, Indian officials say this was never communicated officially by
Islamabad to any Indian authority.
know our position on the issue. They've to first inform us if they are
genuinely interested in facilitating Darbar Sahib visit," said a source
sees opening of the Kartarpur border as a major concession to India and is
unlikely to open the gate for Sikh pilgrims in the present circumstances when
there is practically no engagement between the countries.
is currently also considering visa applications from the Pakistan National
hockey team for the World Cup starting November 28 in Bhubaneswar. Official
sources said visas will most likely be given keeping in mind the importance of
Pakistan team had last played in India in 2014.
in sporting events has been another area of contention between the two
has on several occasions accused India of delaying, if not denying altogether,
visas to Pakistani athletes. It could not participate in the junior hockey
world cup in 2016 over similar issues. On that occasion though, the
international hockey federation had made it clear that the Pakistani team had
applied for visas well after the official deadline.
on Thursday said it would participate, at a “non-official level”, in the Moscow
format meeting on Afghanistan, which will be attended by a Taliban delegation.
While the Afghan Foreign Ministry won’t participate in the meeting on Friday,
the Afghan High Peace Council — a government-appointed body tasked to talk to
Taliban on the reconciliation process — will be there. This is a significant development, and a
major departure, since New Delhi has not participated in a multilateral meeting
involving Taliban in the past. At the last meeting on Afghanistan hosted by
Russia, India had sent Deepak Mittal, Joint Secretary in charge of Pakistan,
Afghanistan and Iran. But that meeting was not attended by Taliban
are aware that the Russian Federation is hosting a meeting in Moscow on
November 9 on Afghanistan… Our participation at the meeting will be at the
non-official level,” Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson,
Raveesh Kumar, said.
New Delhi has taken a considered decision to join the meeting, it will not send
a government official. Sources told The Indian Express that former Indian
Ambassador to Afghanistan, Amar Sinha, and former Indian High Commissioner to
Pakistan, T C A Raghavan, will attend the meeting as India’s representatives.
Sinha and Raghavan, who are associated with government-funded think-tanks, have
expertise and experience in dealing with the region. Sinha is a fellow with the
Research and Information System for Developing Countries (a think-tank funded
by MEA), and Raghavan is the director general of the Indian Council of World
Affairs (another MEA-funded think-tank). Raghavan has also served as Joint
said the Indian government took the decision to send former diplomats in
consultation with the Afghan government. According to sources, India has
participated in the multilateral meetings on Afghanistan in the past, aimed at
providing security and stability in the conflict-torn country.
has said that the aim of the upcoming meeting is to help narrow the gaps in the
approaches taken by the Afghan government and the Taliban to holding a direct
that India supports “Afghan-led” reconciliation process, the MEA spokesperson
said, “India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan
that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability and
prosperity to the country. India’s consistent policy has been that such efforts
should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled, and with the
participation of the government of Afghanistan.”
a five-member Taliban delegation led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, head of
the Taliban’s political council in Qatar, will attend the meeting, the US has
also confirmed its participation. Regional players like Pakistan, China and
Iran are among the participants of the meeting hosted by Russia.
first round of the Moscow format was held on April 14 last year, when India was
represented by Mittal, along with deputy foreign ministers and senior officials
from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The US had declined to attend the
to the Russian foreign ministry, the main issue on the agenda is the
coordination of regional efforts to assist the process of national
reconciliation, in the interest of restoring peace in Afghanistan. This format
has given Moscow a leadership position in the Afghanistan situation, at a time
when the US is ceding the space.
second round, which was to be held on September 4 this year, was postponed.
After the Afghan government cancelled its participation, India too followed
suit on the pretext that it would be untenable for New Delhi’s representatives
to share the table with a Taliban delegation — when Afghanistan’s
democratically-elected government would be staying away. New Delhi has always
maintained that it will engage with the elected government of Afghanistan, and
participating in the meeting would have given legitimacy to the Taliban.
(ANTARA News) - Acts of terrorism are absolutely a foe of Islam, and they have
nothing to do with the religion, currently embraced by more than two billion
people across the globe, Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu stated.
of terrorists do not represent Islam at all. Islam is not like that. Instead,
what they do have is indeed tarnished the image of Islam. Hence, they are
actually the real enemy of Islam," he emphasized here on Thursday.
to journalists on the sidelines of a seminar titled "Ensuring Regional
Stability Through Cooperation on Counter Terrorism" held as part of the
2018 Indo Defense and Forum, he noted that Islam is "rahmatan lil
alamin," or blessing for the universe.
halting the spread of terrorism and countering the threats of this crime
against humanity, multilateral cooperation and collaboration involving all
elements of community members within a nation are deemed necessary, Ryacudu
in connection with the ideology and acts of terrorism, General President of the
Grand Mosque in Mecca and Prophet`s Mosque in Medina Sheikh Abdurrahman
As-Sudais stressed that they run contrary to the teachings of Islam that
promote compassion and tolerance.
has no religion and culture. However, several parties are attempting to change
the image of Islam," Sheikh As-Sudais noted in a recent statement via a
short message service received by Antara.
has become the target of attacks by terrorists since 2000, and the spread of
radicalism and terrorism continue to threaten the country until now.
noted that last May, a church in the East Java city of Surabaya was attacked.
Two years ago, the ISIS supporters in Indonesia had launched a suicide bombing
and shooting attack in Jakarta on January 14, 2016, which led to the deaths of
eight people, including three innocent civilians.
incident has added to the list of deadly assaults carried out by terrorist
cells in Indonesia. From 2000 to 2012, more than a dozen attacks took place in
the capital city, including the Australian embassy bombing on September 9,
2004, and the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel bombings on July 17, 2009.
of the best ways to free Indonesia from the vicious circle of radicalism and
terrorism is empowering women in the country, as they can actively contribute
to the rescue of Indonesian children from being misled by terrorist recruiters.
between Islamic civil society organisations, the Human Rights Commission of
Malaysia (Suhakam) and other stakeholders on the International Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) have reached one
conclusion: to not let it affect what is enshrined in the federal constitution.
in the Prime Minister’s Department Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the discussions
went on “harmoniously”, and no party touched on the rights of Malays and
rulers, and the special position of Islam.
Nov 9 — Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah advised proponents of racial and religious
politics to pick better arenas to burnish their “Malay hero” credentials than
to act gung-ho in the field of human rights.
foreign affairs minister said last night Putrajaya will no longer act as a
“village champion”, but instead will play a more pro-active role in its bid to
become a respected name in human rights globally.
you really want to protect the interest of Malays, the arena is not here. The
arena is to strengthen the institutions and systems that can develop areas
where the Malays are weak, that is education, economy,” he said at a viewing
session of Malaysia’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of human rights in Wisma
you want to be a Malay hero, this is not the place. You be a Malay hero by
increasing the performance of Malay children’s education, increasing their
entrepreneurship, economic productivity, then you’ll be a Malay hero.
are elements of Malay, Islam and the Constitution in human rights. We are
confident we will bring this to a higher stage,” he added.
previously lamented that segments of society either opposed to the promotion or
implementation of human rights were hypocritical about discrimination and held
a siege mentality that propagated undue fear of human rights.
accusations that the Malays’ “special position” would be lost if Putrajaya
ratifies international human rights conventions, Saifuddin said the argument is
used by some, such as Opposition party Umno, in a bid to remain relevant.
take the opportunity to defend themselves. Umno has failed to take care of the
Malays’ special rights in the economy. So, this is their last chance to prove
their relevance,” he said.
minister said Malaysia has much to offer the world in terms of ideas and
opinions when it comes human rights, democracy and freedoms.
playing in the international arena for world peace and prosperity We have to
jump and play in the arena, not shouting outside, including human rights
issues. We must ratify the international conventions and other matters,” he
we play football, we play to become World Cup champions. Not just as merely
village champions. That is the same with human rights We have to play a role,
and pro-actively with wisdom, taking care of culture and religion. But not
doing it is not the way.”
Arabian security authorities have questioned Rizieq Shihab, a firebrand cleric
who has been on the run in the country, over reports of the installation of an
Islamist flag at his house in Mecca, the Foreign Ministry has said.
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Agus Maftuh Abegebriel said he received a report on
the detention of the cleric on Monday.
staff eventually informed that Mecca police went to Rizieq’s house on Monday
morning to investigate the allegation of the installation of a black flag that
resembles the flag of Islamist extremist groups, on the rear side of his
house,” Agus said in a statement on Wednesday.
that afternoon, Mecca Police and Saudi Arabia’s General Investigation
Directorate took Rizieq in for questioning at a nearby police station, where he
was eventually detained.
representative office in Jeddah dispatched staff to provide legal assistance to
Rizieq. Saudi authorities released Rizieq on bail at around 8 p.m. local time
Arabia has been banning the installation of flags and other materials
resembling those used by extremist groups, including the Islamic State group.
firebrand cleric and leader of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) has been in
Saudi Arabia for more than a year. In September, the Indonesian Embassy in
Riyadh said Rizieq had overstayed his visa in the country, according to a statement
issued responding to complaints from his supporters who claimed that
restrictions had been imposed on the activities of the FPI leader in Mecca.
with Sunni MPs key to formation of Lebanese govt.: Hezbollah
Hezbollah resistance movement has urged Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to
start dialog with Sunni lawmakers in order to remove remaining barriers to the
formation of a new government in the Arab country.
months after a parliamentary election in Lebanon, a row over Sunni
representation has obstructed the formation of a national unity government that
is expected to group most of Lebanon's political parties.
believe that the key to the solution is in the hands of the prime minister
designate," said Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem.
is the one who can accomplish the government tomorrow, and he is the one who
can postpone the government to another time," he said in comments
broadcast by al-Manar TV.
deal looked close last week when the Christian Lebanese Forces Party ceded
ground to President Michel Aoun and his Free Patriotic Movement, sparking a row
over Christian representation that had been seen as the main obstacle.
PM-designate has yet to resolve a row over the Sunni representation.
is in dire need of a government able to implement the economic reforms that the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) says are needed to put its public debt on a
sustainable path. Lebanon has the world's third largest public debt as a
proportion of the economy, and growth is stagnant.
first parliamentary vote in nine years was held on May 6, with over 500
candidates vying for seats. Turnout was 49.2 percent, according to officials.
and its political allies secured over half the seats.
as well as groups and individuals affiliated to it won at least 67 seats,
according to the results cited by politicians and campaigns and reported in
allies include the Amal Movement led by Nabih Berri and the Christian Free
Patriotic Movement founded by Aoun.
sum of 130 SDF militants defected en mass the Kurdish-dominated militia group
in al-Houl town in Southeastern Hasaka," the Arabic-language al-Manar news
activists also said that the SDF military patrols are looking for the defected
members in Eastern Hasaka.
the Kurdish-language Hawar news reported the Turkish army pounded the two
villages of Jagherli and Salib Koran in Kobani region North-East of Aleppo
the village of Susk to the West of Tal Abyadh city came under heavy machine-gun
attack by the Turkish army.
SDF military positions in Hasaka, Raqqa and Aleppo provinces have come under
attack by the Turkish army over the past week as reports a growing number of
reports are surfacing the media on Turkey's preparations for starting battle
with the Kurds in Eastern Euphrates.
a relevant development, the US and Kurdish forces patrolled Syria's regions
bordering Turkey, including Hasaka and Aleppo.
the Turkish army's troops launched mortar attacks on Tal Jeyhan village in
Torbeh Sibeh region East of Qameshli.
Turkish army troops also attacked al-Mahta district of Ra'as al-Ain border town
in Hasaka province.
media outlet reported on Monday that the Turkish warplanes were carrying out an
increasing number of flights over the border with Syria's Hasaka as Ankara
ground troops were preparing to launch a large-scale operation against Kurds on
the Eastern banks of the Euphrates River.
Arabic-language al-Manar TV Channel reported that the Turkish fighter jets were
flying in large numbers over the border region with Hasaka province in
further said that the US-led coalition forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces
(SDF) held joint patrol along Syria-Turkey border between the two small towns
of al-Darbasiyah in Northern Hasaka, and Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka.
TV channel went on to say that a large number of Turkish troops and
Ankara-backed militants have been put on alert along the contact lines with the
SDF in Northern Syria to be used in a military operation on the Eastern banks
of the Euphrates River.
SDF forwarded long convoys of militants and equipment to the village of Tayb
al-Fal East of Deir Ezzur province.
SDF also sent another military convoy from its base in Hasaka province to the
village of al-Takihi as well as towns of al-Shahil and Ziban in the
Southeastern parts of Deir Ezzur province.
field sources said that the SDF deployed its military equipment in five schools
that they had formerly declared as military zones, and underlined that the
deployment of the equipment has taken place after unrests in the region and
intensified attacks by unknown assailants on SDF military positions.
sources noted that an SDF militant has been killed by an unknown assailant in
the village of al-Jameh in Southeastern Deir Ezzur, adding that a new wave of
arrests has started in the town of Zabian.
residents of Hamar al-Ala village in Northwestern Deir Ezzur staged protest
against corruption of the local council of the SDF in the village.
a relevant development last month, a large convoy of US supplied military
vehicles made their way to the Southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzur province,
the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.
to the SOHR report, more than 50 armored vehicles of the US-led Coalition
entered Southeastern Deir Ezzur, the AMN reported.
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that infighting among terrorists of Ahrar
al-Sharqiyeh and other elements of Jeish al-Islam intensified in al-Sanaeh
district and Kaveh square in central Afrin in Western Aleppo when they
disagreed over their share of people's plundered properties.
of terrorists have been killed and wounded from both sides, the news outlet
news also reported heavy clashes among Ankara-backed militants on the road to
Amara village in Mubata region and Joqeh village in the Center of Afrin as well
as clashes on Qatal Jundo road.
all shops and businesses were closes and people refrained from leaving their
Turkish army and their allied militants have occupied Afrin for several months
now and infighting among them over the share of people's seized properties has
a relevant development on Wednesday, heavy clashes erupted among terrorists of
Jeish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh in Afrin region in Western Aleppo,
leaving a large number of militants dead and many more injured from both sides.
al-Islam terrorists and militants of Ahrar al-Sharqieh heavily clashed near
Kaveh al-Hadad in Afrin in Western Aleppo, local sources reported.
sources noted that fierce clashes left many terrorists dead and many others
wounded form both sides. Meantime, several civilians were also killed in the
infighting between the two terrorist groups.
clashes took place over the deployment of the militants in the region, while
the militants' so-called Police Forces were sent to the region to put an end to
the clashes," the local sources said.
a relevant development on Sunday, Ankara-backed terrorists engaged in fresh
round of clashes in the towns of Azaz and Afrin in Northern and Northwestern
of Liwa al-Shamal and their rival terrorists known as Police Forces, both
backed up by the Turkish army, engaged in heavy fighting in the town of Azaz in
infighting came after the Police Forces arrested 2 Liwa al-Shamal militants.
infighting inflicted several casualties on both sides.
sources, meantime, said that al-Shamiyah Front sent its gunmen from Afrin to
Azaz following the infighting.
sources in Afrin reported that militants of Sultan Murad clashed fiercely with
other rival militants in the village of Kafr Janah in Afrin, adding that
several terrorists were killed and at least 10 more were wounded in the
infighting between the two Ankara-backed militant groups.
Kurdish-language Hawar News reported on Thursday that Ferqat al-Hamzeh, Sultan
Murad, Faylaq al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham and other terrorist groups in Afrin cut the
forest trees in the villages and jungles.
added that a large number of the trees were sent to Turkey, while several other
cargoes were sold to the Syrian dealers.
terrorists also cut off and stole olive trees in different parts of Afrin after
to the report, militants started imposing their rule over new regions in Afrin,
including Tal Haloubiyeh in Shara region and a hill between the village of
Marateh and Bablit in Central Afrin, starting measures to extract artifacts and
militants have intensified plundering historical artifact in occupied Afrin
sources said that the Syrian army dispatched hundreds of soldiers, tens of
military and armored vehicles and heavy equipment from Hazar town in Quneitra
province to the surrounding areas of Toloul al-Safa region in the Eastern
desert of Sweida.
sources noted that a large number of Syrian army's units and military equipment
have been dispatched to Toloul al-Safa in the past week.
Syrian Army's Special Forces who have participated in different battles of
Damascus, Quneitra and Dara'a are also taking part in the anti-ISIL military
operation in Sweida.
month, the army, led by their elite 4th Armored Division and 5th Corps, began
their push up the steep cliffs of Toloul al-Safa region, striking several sites
controlled by the ISIL terrorists.
long after launching their large-scale assault, the Syrian Army found
themselves involved in a tough battle with the ISIL terrorists at one of
several rocky cliffs in Toloul al-Safa region.
to a military source in the provincial capital of Sweida, the Syrian army
managed to advance up one of the highest peak in Toloul al-Safa region, leaving
them only a short distance from imposing fire control over much of the area.
military source said that the Syrian army did suffer over ten casualties trying
to make this advance; they would also inflict heavy losses in the ISIL ranks.
Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced 65 suspected ISIS extremist group members
to between five years and life in prison for setting up a “terrorist cell”, a
court official said.
alleged cell had members in various parts of impoverished Upper Egypt and was
led by an “emir” Mostafa Ahmed Abdelaal
militants, charged in 2017, had “set up a terrorist cell in Upper Egypt which
declared allegiance to (ISIS leader) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi”, the court official
court sentenced 18 of the defendants to life terms (25 years) and another 41 to
15-year prison terms. It also handed six minors five years each in jail and
acquitted two suspects.
sentences can be appealed.
2014, the government and security forces have cracked down hard on extremists.
Egyptian branch of ISIS has led an insurgency in North Sinai and carried out
attacks across the country.
army launched a major offensive in February dubbed “Sinai 2018” to dislodge the
insurgents from the peninsula.
than 450 suspected extremists and around 30 Egyptian soldiers have been killed
since the offensive began, the army said in October.
attacks in recent years have killed hundreds of police, soldiers and civilians.
claimed responsibility for an attack last week against Egyptian Christians in
Minya province, which killed six Copts and one Anglican.
least three people have been killed and a dozen others wounded Thursday after a
car bomb exploded near a restaurant in the Iraqi city of Mosul in a rare
terrorist attack since Daesh militants were flushed out last year.
car bomb went off around dinner time at a restaurant in Iraq's second biggest
city, Iraq's security services said in a statement.
is not yet clear whether the victims were civilians or combatants, but
witnesses in Mosul said the restaurant is known to be frequented by security
was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but Daesh terrorists
have continued to wage guerrilla-like attacks across Iraq after losing their
control over large swathes of lands in the Arab country.
2017, then Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, formally declared victory
over Daesh in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
Bolsonaro says embassy move to al-Quds ‘not decided yet’
far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro has hinted he may not go ahead with
his controversial plan to move his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the
occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, saying such a transfer “hasn’t yet been decided
apparent wavering came in remarks on Tuesday, during his first visit to the
capital Brasilia since his election victory late last month, and in response to
a reporter’s question about Egypt’s decision to postpone a planned visit to the
African country by Brazil’s Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes apparently over the
what I know, it’s due to a calendar problem,” Bolsonaro claimed. “It would be
premature for a country to take retaliatory measures against something that
hasn’t yet been decided.”
— who is due to take office on January 1, 2019 after winning Brazil’s
presidential election on October 28 — reiterated a campaign pledge last week to
follow the lead of US President Donald Trump in moving his country’s embassy to
remark triggered anger across the Muslim world. A senior Palestinian Authority
official blasted the plan as “provocative and illegal” and a spokesman for the
Hamas resistance movement described it as “hostile.”
Brazil’s president-elect does decide to act on the election promise, it will
potentially prove costly for the country, since it is a major exporter of halal
meat to the Muslim world.
will also make the largest Latin American state the third nation — after the US
and its client state of Guatemala — to make the controversial transfer.
regime forces occupied Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967 in a move never recognized by
the international community. The Palestinians want the city as the capital of a
future state for themselves.
have been running high in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Gaza
Strip — administered by Hamas but blockaded by Israel — since last December,
when Trump decided to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s
“capital” and relocate Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.
December 21 last year, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted
in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to reverse its controversial
the vote, the US went ahead with the embassy transfer on May 14.
of Islam leader warns Trump not to trigger war in Middle East 'at the insistence
United Arab Emirates — Minister Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of
Islam, warned President Donald Trump not to pull “the trigger of war in the
Middle East at the insistence of Israel,” speaking Thursday while on a visit to
85-year-old Farrakhan, long known for provocative comments widely considered
anti-Semitic, criticized the economic sanctions levelled by Trump against Iran
after America’s pullout from the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
told journalists in Tehran that he is “begging our president and the government
that supports him to be very, very careful.”
war will trigger another kind of war which will bring China, Russia, all of the
nations into a war,” he said. “The war will end America as you know it.”
leads the Nation of Islam, a black separatist religious movement. The Nation
has been largely closed off to outsiders, making it impossible even for those
who follow the movement closely to gauge its strength.
Farrakhan, the height of his prominence came when he organized the 1995 Million
Man March in Washington, a symbol of black pride and empowerment.
on his trip to Iran, state television published a short video clip of Farrakhan
trying to say “Death to Israel” in Farsi, a common chant at rallies in the
decades after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. He began to repeat it, but the
crowd at Tehran University sitting at Farrakhan’s event then substituted
“America” for “Israel,” drawing laughter.
the video clip spread online, Farrakhan issued a statement saying: “I never led
a chant calling for death to America.”
asked a question about how to pronounce the chant in Farsi during my meeting
with Iranian students and an examination of the video shows just that,” he
Thursday, Farrakhan reacted angrily to an Iranian state television’s request to
repeat the chant. However, he kept his harshest words for Trump.
of the US-based Nation of Islam Movement Louis Farrakhan has warned that
President Donald Trump’s policies may result in the death of America.
in a Thursday press conference held at Press TV headquarters in Tehran,
Farrakhan said Trump’s policies are eroding trust in the US across the world.
warned that the Trump administration's policies, including its new sanctions on
the Iranian nation, will “bring about the death” of the United States.
policies of our government would bring about a war in the Middle East that
would be a trigger to the greatest war that has ever been; the war of
Armageddon spoken of in the Bible,” Farrakhan said, quoting his “teacher”
Elijah Muhammad, the former leader of the Nation of Islam.
the trigger of war in the Middle East is pulled by you using your surrogates at
the insistence of Israel, then the war will trigger another kind of war, which
will bring China, Russia, all of the nations into a war," Farrakhan said,
war will end America as you know it,” he said, adding “if you do not heed the
warning and correct your path, death will come.”
lashed out at the Trump administration for reimposing sanctions on Iran, saying
the bans are "hurting the people of Iran,” not the Iranian government, as
claimed by American officials.
said Iran fulfilled what it had signed to do on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of
Action (JCPOA), but America did not.
America they said that they gave Iran billions of dollars, but they never said
that they were holding over 150 billion dollars of Iranian money and they were
supposed to give it back during the treaty arrangement."
Muslim leader pointed to the "Death to America" slogan chanted by
Iranian people to condemn hostile US policies, and argued that "they have
a right to chant it."
also blasted Trump’s policies in the Middle East, saying the US is trying to
create further division between Shias and Sunnis in the region.
Trump … asked Saudi King Salman to call all the Sunni nations to gather in
Riyadh and he would come and address them. And when Trump went to Riyadh, I saw
him with pictures of new jet fighter planes, showing them to the king, and then
they announced a $110 billion sale of weapons to Saudi, [and] the UAE; billions
of dollars for weapons."
if you listen carefully to his speech, he was making … division between Sunni
and Shia, and aiming those weapons subtly toward Iran, and then openly saying
to all those nations they should reject their brother Iran,” he said.
condemned US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which are being used to slaughter the
innocent people of Yemen, saying, “What is going on in Yemen is a crime against
humanity with American planes, American bombs used.”
city of Troy discriminated against a Muslim community group by rejecting plans
to build an Islamic centre, according to a federal court lawsuit filed
non-profit Adam Community Center sued the city council, planning commission and
members of Troy's zoning board of appeals. The group has tried unsuccessfully
to build a community center in Troy, which has approximately 53 places of
worship within its 33.6-square-mile border but not one for Muslims, according
to the Michigan chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations.
lawsuit alleges Troy officials purposely and unconstitutionally tried to block
the Muslim community from building a mosque along Rochester Road, north of Big
Beaver Road, by unfairly and illegally applying zoning ordinances.
Community Center sued five months after the Troy Zoning Board of Appeals
indicated there was no acceptable place in the city left for the group to build
a mosque. The decision prompted a Justice Department investigation into the
city's zoning board of appeals practices, which is ongoing, according to the
Council on American-Islamic Relations.
of religion is a benchmark of American civil rights and is a beacon of freedom
that shines across the globe,” Amy Doukoure, staff attorney for the Council on
American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement Thursday. "When public
officials are apparently guided by Islamophobia in their decision-making, we
have an obligation to fight back to preserve our religious freedoms."
officials "will aggressively defend this lawsuit," City Attorney Lori
Grigg Bluhm wrote in an email to The News.
city articulated several reasons for its denial of Adam’s multiple and
significant variance requests for a retrofit of an existing building on
Rochester Road that abuts residential properties," she wrote.
center could not have been built without parking and other variances, Grigg
of these requested variances were significant," she wrote. "Through
the variance process, (Adam) was required to demonstrate that they could not
develop the property in accordance with Troy’s zoning ordinances because of
hardships that related to the land itself."
lawsuit is the latest legal fight involving a Metro Detroit municipality and Muslim
groups trying to build places of worship.
Islamic council and the Justice Department settled a similar case in 2016 after
Pittsfield Township denied zoning for an Islamic school. Last year, the city of
Sterling Heights paid a financial settlement to the Muslim community stemming
from a zoning denial for an Islamic center.
President Urges Need To Understand Real Spirit Of Islam
Dr Arif Alvi Thursday called for understanding the real spirit of Islam and
practically following in the footsteps of Islam by emulating teachings of
peace, harmony and forgiveness for a tolerant and cohesive society.
the inaugural session of a Sufi Conference here at the Bahauddin Zakariya
University, he said the challenges being faced by the country could only be
addressed by pursuing a policy of tolerance and understanding.
president expressed confidence that the new government would fulfil its pledge
to end poverty from the country and ensure provision of shelter for all.
said it would be the real service to the people of Pakistan and help them stand
on their own feet by providing them the basic necessities of life.
said during the forthcoming month of Rabbiul Awwal, Aiwan-e-Sadr would welcome
Ulema and Mashaikh and said a special Mehfil-e-Milad would be held and attended
by children from the orphanages.
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, addressing the conference, called for
mainstreaming of the madaris – schools dedicated to religious teaching, so that
their students could attain knowledge in all spheres of life. He said there was
a need to learn from Sufism.
said Sufis were the flag-bearers in spreading Islam in the sub-continent and
there was a need to emulate their examples of tolerance, to counter the threats
of extremism and terrorism.
said the Sufis had always spread a message of peace and love, aimed at building
a stronger society.
said Pakistan was at a critical stage and required cohesion and unity amongst
all ranks and files. He also stressed the need for interfaith harmony and said
its importance had risen all the more in a polarized world.
said the Bahauddin Zakariya University was playing a key role in bringing
people from all over Pakistan together and building harmony and
Pakistan on Thursday said the Afghan Taliban's former deputy chief Mullah Abdul
Ghani Baradar was released from jail at the request of the US as part of
efforts to pursue a political settlement in war-torn Afghanistan.
was released to provide impetus to the peace and reconciliation efforts in
Afghanistan. Pakistan will continue to pursue reconciliatory efforts to
expedite and facilitate the process to our fullest ability," said
Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal.
release was facilitated by Pakistan at the US request in order to move forward
on the shared objective of pursuing a political settlement in Afghanistan, he
Taliban leader was in custody for the last many years after his capture by
Pakistani authorities in a search operation.
decision was taken following the visit of the US Special Envoy on Afghan
Reconciliation, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to the region and his meetings with
Taliban representatives in Doha," Faisal said.
recent months, the Trump administration has increased pressure on Pakistan to
limit the freedom of Taliban leaders, forcing them to join Afghan peace talks.
month, senior American diplomat Khalilzad, tasked with helping find a way to
end the war in Afghanistan, met with Taliban representatives in Qatar.
one of the four top commanders who formed the Afghan Taliban in 1994, was
captured by Pakistani security agencies in Karachi in 2010.
was finally released from jail on the solicitation of the government of Qatar,
a Pakistani media report said last month.
who is in his 50s, is believed to be the highest ranking Afghan Taliban
prisoner freed so far.
had held several senior positions in Afghanistan's Taliban government before
its fall in 2001. He was once considered the most influential Taliban leader
after Mullah Muhammad Omar.
in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, Baradar fought in the war to expel
Soviet troops from Afghanistan in the 1980s. When the Taliban came to power in
1996, Baradar became deputy defence minister.
the Taliban regime was toppled by US-led forces in 2001, hundreds of Taliban
hardliners fled over the border to Pakistan.
was among them.
a high-level delegation from Qatar also visited Islamabad and met the senior
Pakistani leadership, the report said.
did not give any details of Baradar's whereabouts after his release. It was
also not clear whether he was handed over to Afghanistan or stayed in Pakistan.
was reported a few times that Baradar had been released in Pakistan to
negotiate with the Afghan Taliban but he could not be freed due to unacceptable
conditions imposed by the Afghanistan government, the report said.
said Pakistan has always been emphasising the need for seeking a negotiated
settlement of the Afghan issue with the participation of all stakeholders.
to a question about the proposed peace talks in Moscow on Afghan peace efforts,
the spokesperson said a Pakistani delegation led by an additional secretary
will attend the dialogue.
said a trilateral meeting of Pak-China-Afghan foreign ministers will be held in
Kabul. "We expect that the meeting can be a step towards lasting peace and
stability in Afghanistan," he said.
Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi on Thursday said that activists
of some political parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N),
were behind the incidents of violence across the country during the recent
three-day protest against acquittal of Christian woman Aasia Bibi in a
in the Senate, he said Shahbaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and other leaders
of opposition parties had suggested that force should not be used against the
protesters, but regretted that workers of the parties giving such advice were
involved in violence.
Afridi said investigations were under way and made it clear that those who had
taken the law into their own hands and were involved in damaging and torching
public and private properties would not be spared and a strict action would be
taken against them. He said there would be no compromise with the people who
challenged the writ of the state.
showed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) the footage of the people being violent
on the streets and they disowned them,” he said, adding that he would shortly
brief Prime Minister Imran Khan on the meeting with the TLP leadership.
the agreement between the government and the TLP leadership to end the protest
against Aasia’s acquittal by the Supreme Court, Mr Afridi said the state had
signed the document because ‘Naya Pakistan’ did not believe in bloodshed.
after the apex court’s verdict on Oct 31, the TLP had blocked roads in major
cities of the country for three days, condemning the prime minister, the army
chief and the judges who had acquitted Aasia Bibi.
TLP had called off the protests after striking a deal with the government.
Under the five-point agreement, the government said it would not object to the
review petition filed against the acquittal of the woman.
that not a single drop of blood was spilled during the protests, Mr Afridi said
the state would not use the stick against the TLP leadership but embrace and
engage them in dialogue.
chided those criticising the TLP leaders for using derogatory language against
the judiciary, military and government and said they had apologised for it in
the agreement. It was the right of every citizen to move a review petition
against a court verdict, he added.
called for drawing red lines for lawmakers as well, saying that national
interest should not be damaged at any cost. “God forbid, if Pakistan is placed
on the FATF blacklist on the grounds of the violence footage and the speeches
made in parliament, who will be responsible?” he asked. He said no one should
act in a manner that damaged the country’s interests and made it a laughing
for Science and Technology Azam Swati defended the Supreme Court judgement in
the Aasia Bibi case, saying the FIR in the case had been lodged five days after
the incident and the eyewitnesses did not record their statements. He said
there were contradictions in the statements about the basis for quarrel between
Aasia and other women, as well as the number of persons present in the jirga
where the Christian woman was said to have confessed to committing blasphemy.
Swati was on his feet when PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan pointed out lack of
Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, who appears to have his own rules to follow, ordered
quorum bells to be rung for three minutes, instead of five minutes as mentioned
in Rule 5 of Rules of the Procedure and Conduct of Business in Senate 2012. A
count was made again after the bells stopped ringing and after finding that
less than one-fourth members were present in the house, the chairman read out
the prorogation order.
the outset of proceedings, the opposition protested and staged a walkout from
the house against the absence of ministers. When Leader of the House in the
Senate Syed Shibli Faraz said they were attending a cabinet meeting, Chairman
Sanjrani observed that the house proceedings were more important than the
Mir Hasil Bizenjo of the National Party said that the remarks made during the
recent TLP sit-in were a challenge not only for the government, but also for
the state. He regretted that a group had taken control of the federal capital.
The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal staged a huge rally on Shahrah-i-Quaideen on
Thursday where leaders of the five-party alliance vowed to continue their
struggle across the country for the “protection of the blasphemy law”.
of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rahman,
who is the MMA president, criticised the Supreme Court’s verdict to acquit
Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case, saying that the decision was taken “only under
pressure of international forces”. He, however, took the opportunity to target
more the government of his rival Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for the final verdict
in the Aasia Bibi case.
incumbent rulers were brought in power under a set agenda,” he said. “They have
been brought to power to weaken Pakistan’s sovereignty and ideological
identity. But we are here to counter every such move which is against Islamic
guidance and the ideology of Pakistan. We are not afraid of any state action
and would continue our struggle to achieve our target.”
naming any individual or organisation, he said “the agents of Jews” had brought
a planned agenda, but warned that he and his party would never let anyone
“hoist Israeli flag in Pakistan”. The MMA chief also announced that they would
hold rallies and protest demonstrations across the country on Friday [today]
against the release of Aasia Bibi and gave a roadmap of activities from the
platform of the alliance for the next few weeks.
this successful rally, we would be gathering in Lahore on Nov 15 for a million
march and then on Nov 25, the MMA would organise a Khatm-i-Nubuwwat conference
in Sukkur. We would not compromise when it comes to respect of Prophet Muhammad
[PBUH] and use our every legal and constitutional right for peaceful protests,”
added the maulana.
rally was also addressed by Karachi chief of the Jamaat-i-Islami and MMA Hafiz
Naeemur Rahman, who warned that the people of Pakistan would not accept Aasia
Bibi’s flight from the country and the government would have to pay a heavy
price for any such move.
US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, will visit
Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar from November 8
to 20 to push for peace negotiations with the Afghan Taliban, the State
Department said on Thursday.
met Taliban leaders in Qatar last month as part of efforts to find a way to end
the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan, according to the Islamist group that was
ousted from power by US-led forces in 2001.
his last trip to the region in October, Special Representative Khalilzad called
on the Afghan Government and the Taliban to organize authoritative negotiating
teams, and has been encouraged to see that both parties are taking steps in
that direction,” the State Department said in a statement.
United States remains committed to a political settlement that results in an
end to the war and to the terrorist threat posed to the United States and the
Taliban are fighting the US-backed Kabul government to re-impose strict Islamic
law and have stepped up attacks in strategic provinces.
senior Taliban official said after last month’s talks that Khalilzad had asked
the Taliban leadership, based in the Qatari capital Doha, to declare a
ceasefire in Afghanistan for six months.
exchange, the Taliban want the Afghan government to release fighters from jails
and the swift removal of foreign forces fighting alongside Afghan troops.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan can achieve a respectable
place among the comity of nations by understanding the concept of “Shaheen” and
philosophy of “Khudi” enunciated in the works of Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal and
adopting the same in practical life.
Iqbal’s vision is the need of the hour to enlighten the world through our deeds
and introduce Pakistan as a developed and Islamic welfare state,” the prime
minister said in his message on the Iqbal Day, being observed across the
said Iqbal guided Muslims of the Indian Sub-Continent at a time when they had
lost their destination in the darkness of slavery. “Iqbal’s thoughts
illuminated a candle of hope that not only identified the destination, but also
the way of life for the Muslims of the sub-continent.
Khan said the creation of Pakistan was the realisation of Iqbal’s dream and his
poetry was read and taught in the entire world.
[Iqbal] always advised the Muslims to remain united and be practical. It was farsightedness of the Poet of the East
that he predicted problems of today’s world decades ago.”
prime minister said that Iqbal’s approach on sectarianism, ideological
extremism and creation of new communal groups was a guiding light for us and
added that it was need of the hour to understand not only his philosophy but
also apply it to make Pakistan the state Iqbal envisioned.
prime minister said that keeping in view the importance of the day, he had
directed to arrange special programmes at government-level to highlight the vision
of the great philosopher instead of announcing a public holiday.
fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh camps by boat, evoking memories of 2015 tragedy
of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Bangladesh have boarded boats to try to
reach Malaysia, officials and aid workers said on Thursday, raising fears of a
fresh wave of such dangerous voyages after a 2015 crackdown on human smugglers.
boat attempted to set sail from the southern coast of Bangladesh on Wednesday,
the coast guard said, while several vessels left Rakhine state in western
Myanmar, according to Rohingya leaders, aid workers and a monitoring group.
detained 33 Rohingya and six Bangladeshis aboard a fishing boat bound for
Malaysia in the southeastern part of the Bay of Bengal, said Foyezul Islam
Mondol, the head of the coast guard in the southeastern county, or upazila, of
Myanmar government spokesman could not be reached for comment. Kyaw Swar Tun,
deputy director of the Rakhine state government, said he was unaware of any
than 700,000 Rohingya, members of a persecuted Muslim minority, fled Rakhine
following an army-led crackdown in August last year, settling in sprawling
Bangladeshi refugee camps, according to UN agency figures, while hundreds of
thousands remain inside the country in internal displacement camps and villages.
said soldiers and local Buddhists carried out mass killings and rape during the
violence last year, while the UN has accused the military of “genocidal
intent.” Myanmar has denied almost all the allegations.
years, Rohingya on both sides of the Myanmar-Bangladesh border have boarded
boats organized by smugglers in the dry months between November and March, when
the sea is calm. The perilous journey to Thailand and Malaysia, often
undertaken in overcrowded, rickety vessels, has taken many lives.
cracked down on the trade after discovering a series of mass graves in 2015,
leading to a crisis when smugglers abandoned their human cargo and left boats
adrift in the Andaman Sea.
new departures come as Myanmar prepares to take some of the refugees back after
agreeing with Bangladesh to start repatriation on Nov. 15, despite widespread
opposition from Rohingya, who say they will not return without guarantees of
basic rights, including citizenship and freedom of movement.
UN has said conditions in Rakhine, where Buddhists have protested against the
repatriation, are not conducive for returns and the special envoy on human
rights, Yanghee Lee, on Thursday urged a halt to the “rushed plans.”
Lewa, director of the Arakan Project, which has a network of sources across
Rohingya communities, said the threat of being sent back to Myanmar could be
pushing refugees to turn to smugglers.
Rohingya are trapped,” she said when contacted by Reuters over the phone. “They
have nowhere to go. No one wants them and now they face, on top of that, the
threat of repatriation.”
the other side of the border in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine, tens of
thousands of Rohingya have been languishing in internal-displacement camps
since a previous wave of violence in 2012.
of how many boats had left Myanmar differed. A high level of secrecy surrounds
the smuggling operations.
aid worker in Sittwe said they had received information that at least four
boats had departed since the start of October, and some of them had already
arrived in Malaysia. Some of those boarding the boats were women and children
joining other family members, the aid worker said.
living conditions in the camp are very bad and there’s not enough food to
survive,” said Kyaw Hla, a Rohingya leader from the Thae Chaung camp outside
Sittwe, where he said one boat carrying approximately 80 people left last week.
are not able to stand against all these troubles, so they are deciding to
leave,” he said. “There’s no hope for us here.”
silent on Canadian offer to take Rohingya refugees: Officials
did not accept an offer by Canada to take in Rohingya refugees, including women
who were raped, Canadian officials said, as the South Asian country pushes
ahead with controversial plans to repatriate the displaced to neighbouring
requests for comment were made to government officials in Bangladesh. A foreign
affairs ministry spokesman and the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner
declined to comment.
offered to take in a limited number of vulnerable refugees, including victims
of sexual violence, in May when Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland visited
Bangladesh, according to Canadian officials, adding that the proposal still
said Canada was willing to discuss cases with Bangladesh,” a Canadian official
involved in the response to the Rohingya crisis, speaking anonymously due to
the sensitivity of the issue, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Prime Minister) sheik Hasina said officials would look into it,” he said,
adding that discussions between the two government were ongoing, facilitated by
the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR).
U.N. human rights investigator on Myanmar urged Bangladesh on Tuesday to drop
plans to start repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to
Rakhine state this month, warning they would face a “high risk of persecution”.
than 700,000 Muslim Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh from Buddhist-majority
Myanmar, U.N. agencies say, after Rohingya insurgent attacks on Myanmar
security forces in August 2017 were followed by a sweeping military response.
working to protect Rohingya refugees said traumatized women who had been raped
by Myanmar soldiers – some of whom have been ostracized after giving birth in
the sprawling Bangladesh camps – would benefit from resettlement in Canada.
is the humanitarian thing to do,” said Laetitia van den Assum, a former Dutch
diplomat who served on an international panel headed by former U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan to advise on the crisis in Rakhine state.
limited resettlement opportunities are available for this particular group,
Bangladesh should think again and issue exit visas.”
U.N. has documented a “frenzy of sexual violence” by Myanmar soldiers against
Rohingya women and mass killings, calling for senior generals to face genocide
charges. Myanmar rejected the findings as “one-sided”.
is home to the world’s largest refugee settlement, providing sanctuary to about
900,000 Rohingya, U.N. figures show, some of whom fled earlier waves of
military violence in Myanmar in 1978, 1991 and 1992.
has consistently pursued repatriation, rather than permanent settlement in
Bangladesh or third countries, undertaking large-scale returns whose
“voluntariness was seriously questioned”, UNHCR said in a 2011 report.
Minister Hasina said in September that the Rohingya must return to their own
country because Bangladesh does not have any policy of local integration. She
also called on Myanmar to abolish laws that discriminate against the minority.
does not consider the Rohingya a native ethnic group, with many calling the
Rohingya “Bengalis”, suggesting they belong in Bangladesh.
was one of the top providers of asylum to Rohingya refugees until Bangladesh
stopped the program, saying it could encourage more people from Myanmar to
leave their homes to seek asylum in the West.
resettled more than 300 people from camps in Bangladesh between 2006 and 2010,
Shannon Ker, a spokeswoman for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada,
has not issued exit permits for the resettlement of Rohingya refugees to other
countries since 2010, she said.
UNHCR asked Bangladesh in February to allow it to negotiate with Canada, the
United States and some European countries to resettle around 1,000 Rohingya
Berube, a spokesman for Canada’s foreign affairs ministry, confirmed that “the
offer was made” to accept a number of Rohingya refugees, but declined to
comment on Bangladesh’s response as it was “confidential”.
Fenelon, a spokeswoman for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, said
Canada’s latest Rohingya plan was similar to a 2017 initiative to resettle
1,200 Iraqi Yazidis – particularly rape victims – targeted by Islamic State, or
we did with the resettlement of survivors of Daesh, our intent is not to
resettle large portions of these communities, but rather to focus on the small
number of people for whom resettlement is the best option,” she said.
Bangladesh “is not issuing exit permits”, she said.
refugees are still arriving in Bangladesh and rape survivors are a priority for
overseas resettlement, said UNHCR spokeswoman Caroline Gluck.
or permanence in the country of asylum may result in additional risk and
further traumatization,” she said.
Taliban militants and Afghan army soldiers suffered heavy casualties during a
clash in Northeastern Takhar province of Afghanistan.
to the local security officials, the incident took place late on Wednesday
night in the vicinity of Khwajah Ghar district, between Takhar and Kunduz
officials further added that a group of Taliban militants launched a
coordinated attack on an army base, leaving at least twelve soldiers and eight
provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Rashid Bashir confirmed the incident and
casualties toll of the Afghan soldiers.
another security source says at least fourteen army soldiers lost their lives
in the attack and at least seven more sustained injuries.
the meantime, Gen. Bashir said at least twenty Taliban militants were also
killed or wounded during the clash with the armed forces.
Afghan National Police (ANP) forces thwarted militants bid to detonate a large
oil tanker in Kabul city, the Kabul Security Commandment said.
to a statement released by Kabul Police Commandment, the police discovered and
defused a magnetic bomb planted in an oil tanker in the vicinity of the 9th
police district of the city.
statement further added that the oil tanker was carrying 30 tons of fuel and
the militants were looking to detonate it using the magnetic bomb with an aim
to inflict massive casualties and losses on ordinary civilians of Kabul.
the Security Commandment said the explosives were defused by the Explosives
Ordnance Disposal team of the police forces before the militants manage to
execute their plan.
Afghan officials say Taliban attacks have killed at least 10 soldiers and seven
northern Takhar province, provincial police chief Abdul Rashid Bashir says the
Taliban targeted an army outpost in Khwaja Ghar district early on Friday,
triggering an hours-long gunbattle before they were repulsed.
says at least 10 soldiers were killed and 12 were wounded. He says the Taliban
suffered “heavy casualties” but didn’t elaborate.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for that attack.
western Farah province, the Taliban targeted police forces in the provincial
capital, Farah city, late on Thursday. Provincial council member, Abdul Samad
Salehi, says seven policemen died and three were wounded there.
BNP, Jamaat men held, 79 sued across country
than 23 BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami men were arrested and 79 were sued in several
districts across the country on Wednesday night and Thursday
Rahman Swapan, Barisal, Tajul Isal Reza, Gaibandha, Abdullah Al Numan, Tangail,
Suman Sikder, Barguna, Dulal Abdullah, Rajshahi, Nazmul Huda Nasim, Bogra
than 23 BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami men were arrested and 79 were sued in several
districts across the country on Wednesday night and Thursday.
Barisal, the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) Government Barisal College unit
president and central committee member Musfiqul Hassan and his associate Sabuj
Islam Shaheen were arrested on Wednesday night.
were picked up by the Detective Branch of police at night from Muslim Gorsthan
Road of Barisal city.
also recovered 257 bottles of phensedyl.
both were sent to Jail.
Gaibandha, in a drive on Wednesday night, police arrested the Nakaihat Union
Parishad unit Jamaat Vice-President Professor Anisur Rahman for vandalism.
police station Officer-in-Charge AKM Mehedi Hasan said Anisur was wanted in
three cases including vandalism.
Tangail, police arrested three BNP leaders in the Basail upazila of the
district on Thursday morning.
arrested are the upazila unit Jubo Dal General Secretary Arzu Khan Uzil, Kashil
Union Parishad Jubo Dal Secretary Abdur Rouf and local BNP leader Ainal Haque.
–Inspector Sekander Hossain of the Basail police station said a case of vandalism
was filed against the accused on October 13.
arrested were sent to jail, he said.
Barguna, at least 11 BNP men were arrested in several areas of the district on
Superintendent of Police Maruf Hasan said police arrested two BNP men from the
Barguna Sadar, three from Amtoli, two from Patharghata, and three from Bamna
and one from the Betagi upazila.
were accused of several cases, he added.
Rajshahi, a leader of Jamaat-e-Islami was arrested in a sabotage case from his
house at the Mumdumala market in the Tanor upazila of Rajshahi on Wednesday
arrested is Anisur Rahman, 45, Amir of Mumdumala municipal Jamaat unit of the
the other hand, police arrested four BNP leaders in the Bagha upazila of Rajshahi
on Thursday evening and sent to jail.
are the upazila BNP leader Jewel Rana, Anisur Rahman, Mukul and Abdus Salam.
police station Officer-in-Charge Mohosin Ali said the accused were wanted in
several cases including vandalism.
police also arrested Godagari municipality’s ward councilor Mamun Rashid on
leader and Rajshahi city's former mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu alleged police had
been conducting drives at the houses of BNP leaders without any notice and,
meanwhile arrested innumerable leaders and activists.
Bogra, a case has been filed against 79 BNP leaders and activists over a bomb
attack in the Sariakandi upazila Awami League office on Wednesday night.
to Awami League office sources, a group of people hurled 5-6 bombs at Awami
League office chanting slogans in favor of Khaleda Zia at 10pm.
family will not give up keys to iconic Jerusalem church despite pressure
Jerusalem family that holds the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is
resisting community and political pressure to relinquish them. Adeeb Joudeh
al-Husseini, who says his family was granted the keys in the 12th century, told
Al-Monitor there is no reason he should give them up. The key holder says his
family's custodianship dates back to the time of Saladin, the Muslim leader who
ran a long article late in 2017 explaining that the key was given to the Joudeh
family after the city was liberated from the Crusaders in 1187. Another of the
city’s oldest Muslim families, the Nusseibehs, was entrusted with the duty of
opening and closing the church doors, a task they perform to this day.
if local Palestinian politicians have their way, the keys will be stripped from
Adeeb and given to another member of the Joudeh family. Minister of Jerusalem
Affairs in the Palestinian government Adnan Husseini told Al-Monitor that
considering problems involving Adeeb's home, it would be best if the symbolic
keys to the church were no longer with him. “What happened with his family home
can't be ignored,” he said.
whose family home in the Old City of Jerusalem ended up in the hands of the
extremist Jewish organization Attert Cohanim Oct. 3, told Al-Monitor that he
should not be blamed for it.
55, said he was honored to have received the keys from previous generations of
his family and would never give them up. “My father had the keys and his father
before him, and I will gladly turn over the keys to my oldest son in due time,
as has been the tradition in our family.”
at the same time, Adeeb is adamant about his innocence of the accusations
leveled against him, saying, “I sold our family home to a respected Palestinian
businessman who was recommended by officials from the Palestinian Authority and
do in fact show that the house was sold to a Palestinian banker named Khaled
Attari who has since disappeared, but it is unclear how the house ended up in
the hands of the extremist Jewish group. Palestinian Prime Minister Rami
Hamdallah has set up a committee to look into what happened.
Issa, the head of the Islamic-Christian Commission in Support of Jerusalem and
Holy Sites, told Al-Monitor that he would prefer if the keys of the holy church
were transferred to another member of the Joudeh family but he doesn’t agree to
any change in the status quo, in which the current understandings of who owns
or administers these holy sites continue as they have been for decades.
Hanania, who is the director general of the Palestinian government's Higher
Committee for Church Affairs, told Al-Monitor that the issue of transferring
Palestinian homes to settlers is very worrisome. “While we don’t want to change
the status quo regarding holy places in Jerusalem, we can't sit idle as these
issues happen in the Old City. The public is very angry about what happened to
the Joudeh home.”
petition signed by 15 members of the Joudeh tribe Oct. 28 called for the
transfer of the keys to another member, Loai Said Joudeh.
Adeeb's brother Sari Joudeh, a systems analyst working in Qatar, said that the
petition comes from a Jaffa-based family who has the same name but is not
related to his. Speaking to Al-Monitor by phone, Sari explained that his family
comes from the Ghadieh tribe of Joudehs. “The Joudeh Ghadieh family supports
Adeeb and we will not accept any change to who possesses the keys to the church.”
added that the other family has coveted the historic key for years and is using
the current circumstances to try to get possession of it. “But we have
documents and fermans [an Ottoman term for official edicts] that prove that our
particular family is the proud owners of the key which we have the honor to
have made much of the fact that a Muslim family has the keys to the Christian
church and see the situation as reflective of the churches' trust in their
fellow Jerusalem Muslims.
praised Adeeb when, in December 2017, he refused to open the Church of the Holy
Sepulcher in Jerusalem for US Vice President Mike Pence after the United States
moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
current controversy over the key to the Christian church betrays the lack of
political leadership in Jerusalem and the absence of a real Palestinian
strategy for the holy city that Palestinians want to become their capital.
Israeli apathy and the absence of any executive power on the ground have left
the 330,000 Palestinians in this important holy city political orphans without
any unifying leadership.
considers designating Yemen’s Houthi militias as terrorist group
an effort to place pressure on Yemen’s Houthi militias, which are aligned with
Iran, the US is considering designating them as a terrorist organization,
sources close to the matter told The Washington Post.
sources spoke to the newspaper on the condition of anonymity, and added that
lesser punishments were discussed with regard to the Houthis at the White
House, but no decision has been made yet.
newspaper reported that many individuals stated that the issue was discussed
several times since 2016, but was revisited in recent months at the White House
as tougher sanctions on Iran take place, and as the US prioritizes a tougher
stance on Tehran and militias linked to it in the region.
International had accused Yemen’s Houthis on Thursday of “deliberate
militarization of hospitals” in the battleground city of Hodeidah and called
for the protection of civilians.
human rights group said the Houthi militias recently stationed militiamen on
the roof of a hospital in the May 22 district of the Red Sea port city, calling
the action a “stomach-churning development”.
internationally recognized Yemeni government had repeatedly reported human
rights violations committed by the Houthis in Yemen, including the intentional
blocking of aid and supplies, and firing Iranian-made ballistic missiles at
International accused Yemen’s Houthis on Thursday of “deliberate militarization
of hospitals” in the battleground city of Hodeidah and called for the
protection of civilians.
said the move risked “devastating consequences” for the hospital’s staff and
patients as it puts them in direct danger.
presence of Houthi fighters on the hospital’s roof violates international
humanitarian law,” Samah Hadid, Amnesty’s Middle East campaigns director Samah
attacking a hospital under these conditions risks responsibility for war
medical source told AFP on Wednesday that the militiamen had forced medical
staff out of the May 22 Hospital -- one of Hodeidah’s main medical facilities
-- and posted snipers on the roof.
forces pressed closer to the heart of Hodeidah, whose port serves as the entry
point for nearly 80 per cent of commercial imports and nearly all UN-supervised
Yemeni army had taken control of the May 22 Hospital in Hodeidah and recaptured
surrounding areas amid fierce clashes as the Houthi militias continue to lose
ground in the strategic port city.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States should be held
responsible for “crimes against humanity” it is committing against the Iranians
as well as the Yemenis.
US is to be held accountable for crimes against humanity re Iran & Yemen,”
Zarif tweeted on Thursday. He was referring to America's sanctions against Iran
and its support for the Saudi Arabia-led war on Yemen.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier told BBC Persian, “We have provided,
we have accommodated the Iranian people with our sanctions, and it’s now the
Iranian government’s responsibility to make sure that they do the right
thing…It’s their job to do the right thing for their people.”
his interview with BBC Persian, Pompeo had claimed that “the challenge in Yemen
is in large part the responsibility of the Iranian leadership,” repeating
Washington’s allegation against Tehran of arming Yemen’s popular fighters,
which the Islamic Republic roundly denies.
Arabia and its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, invaded Yemen in
2015 with the support of the US and its major European allies.
to Yemen’s Health Ministry, more than 15,000 have died since the onset of the
warfare. However, Patrick Cockburn, an award-winning columnist for The
Independent, recently cited a toll of 56,000 by a nonprofit conflict-research
as with Yemen, Secretary Pompeo blames Iran for unlawful US sanctions
preventing Iranians’ access to financial services for food and medicine,” Zarif
said, adding, “Naturally, we will provide them for our people in spite of US
had, however, claimed that none of US sanctions prevented humanitarian
assistance to the Iranian people.
about Saudi Arabia’s role in causing thousands of casualties in the
impoverished country, Pompeo had alleged, “The Saudis have provided millions
and millions of dollars of humanitarian relief.”
you no shame?’
reacted by ironically tweeting, “You know what Secretary Pompeo? It's the
Yemenis themselves who're responsible for famine they're facing. They should've
simply allowed your butcher clients -- who spend billions on bombing school
buses & "millions to mitigate this risk"-- to annihilate them
August 9, a Saudi air raid hit a school bus as it drove through a market in the
town of Dhahyan in the northwestern Yemeni Sa’ada Province, killing a total of
51 people, among them 40 children, and injuring 79 others, mostly kids.
forces have shot dead a Palestinian during clashes with protesters
participating in anti-occupation rallies along the fence between the besieged
Gaza Strip and Israeli-occupied territories.
spokesman from the Gaza Ministry of Health said in a statement on Thursday that the shooting took place east
of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza. The ministry named the victim as 'Alaa Abu
Sherbin, a teenage boy.
and local residents said that three others also sustained injuries as
heavily-armed Israeli soldiers used live ammunition to disperse the peaceful
Wednesday evening, a Palestinian youth succumbed to the injuries he had
sustained when Israeli military forces opened fire on an anti-occupation
protest near the fence separating Gaza from the Israeli-occupied territories.
Khaled al-Najjar, 21, from the Gazan city of Khan Younis died at the Ahli
hospital in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).
have been running high near the fence 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.
least 219 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since late March. Nearly
22,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
crackdown in Gaza left over 60 protesters dead in the impoverished coastal
enclave on that day alone.
by Trump’s move, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas boycotted his
administration, saying Washington is no longer qualified to serve as the sole
mediator in the decades-long conflict with Israel, and that an international
mechanism should be devised to replace the US in the so-called peace process.
Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has
caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of
unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Israeli regime denies about 1.8 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such
as freedom of movement, jobs with proper wages as well as adequate healthcare
least six civilians have been killed when Saudi military aircraft carried out
airstrikes against a residential area in Yemen’s strategic western province of
Hudaydah as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its atrocious bombardment
campaign against its southern neighbor.
fighter jets conducted aerial assaults against al-Jabaliyah area in al-Tuhayat
district on Thursday afternoon, an unnamed local source told Yemen’s
Arabic-language al-Masirah television network.
source added that the airstrikes claimed the lives of a father and his five
in the day, Yemeni army soldiers and allied fighters from Popular Committees
targeted the positions of Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's former
president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the al-Matun district of the northern
Yemeni province of al-Jawf, killing and injuring tens of them.
soldiers and their allies also managed to take control of a number of areas in
Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region of Jizan, where Saudi mercenaries had
unnamed Yemeni military source said a domestically-manufactured Zelzal-1
(Earthquake-1) ballistic missile was also fired at the mercenaries, which left
more than 20 of them, including commanders, dead.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million
threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering
from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
U.S. Willing to Lift Sudan From Terror Blacklist If Further Reforms
United States said Wednesday it was willing to remove Sudan from its blacklist
of state sponsors of terrorism if the country undertakes further reforms.
a statement after talks in Washington, the State Department offered the
prospect of a formal process to delist Sudan as it called for further
anti-terrorism cooperation and improvements in human rights.
Donald Trump's administration lifted decades-old sanctions on Sudan last year
but investment is still blocked by the terror designation, which carries legal
ramifications in the United States.
Secretary of State John Sullivan discussed items of concern during the talks
Tuesday with Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed, the State Department
United States welcomes Sudan's commitment to making progress in key
areas," a State Department statement said.
part of this process, the United States is prepared to initiate the process of
rescinding Sudan's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism if the
determination is made that all of the relevant statutory criteria have been
met, and if Sudan makes progress in addressing each of the six key areas of
mutual concern," it said.
counterterrorism cooperation and human rights, the United States asked Sudan to
move forward in resolving its myriad internal conflicts -- including by giving
better access to humanitarian workers.
United States also wants Sudan to act on outstanding claims related to
terrorism, the State Department said.
United States is ready to cooperate with Sudan and to monitor progress as we
seek meaningful developments for the benefit of the Sudanese people and the
region," it said.
uneasy relations, Sudan has increasingly been seen as working with the United
States in key areas including containing the turbulence in neighboring Libya.
repercussions from listing
as a state sponsor of terrorism severely curtails access to international
financing and makes it difficult for US citizens to do business with the
has also used the terror blacklist as his basis for a controversial order to
deny entry into the United States of ordinary people from the mostly Muslim
a recent interview in Khartoum, the head of the Dal Group, Sudan's biggest
conglomerate, said there were "lots of funds looking for good projects to
support" but that they were restricted due to the US designation.
three other countries are on the blacklist -- Iran, North Korea and Syria.
United States placed Sudan on the list in 1993 when Al-Qaeda and its chief
Osama bin Laden found refuge in the country, whose longtime ruler Omar
al-Bashir had embraced a hardline brand of political Islam.
Al-Qaeda blew up US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the United States
responded with a cruise missile strike inside Sudan on a pharmaceutical
factory, whose link to Al-Qaeda turned out to be shaky.
relationship further deteriorated when the government in 2003 began to put down
a rebellion in the western region of Darfur, in a ruthless campaign that the
United States characterized as genocide.
relations began to improve under former president Barack Obama, whose
administration welcomed Khartoum's acceptance of the independence of South
Sudan in 2011 after a decades of devastating war.
Haram insurgents have invaded Katarko community in the Gujba Local Government
Area of Yobe State, and attacked a base of the Nigerian Army, belonging to the
correspondent learnt that the troops of the battalion, who are also on
Operation Lafiya Dole, had several hours of gun battle with the insurgents, who
reportedly escaped into bushes with injuries while some were reportedly killed.
terrorists, said to be loyal to the Islamic State fighters, have a culture of
attacking military bases and stealing ammunition. They had on Tuesday attacked
a military base in Kukawa in the Lake Chad area of Borno State.
the Kukawa attack, 16 soldiers were reported missing.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Texas Chukwu, confirmed the attack in
Katarko, Yobe, saying the troops were making efforts to arrest fleeing members
of the group, while normalcy in the community had been restored.
army spokesman said, “The situation has been brought under control by the
troops who are currently embarking on clearance patrol. Residents of Katarko
and Yobe State in general are advised to go about their legitimate business and
to report any suspicious activity or movement in their area to the law
enforcement agents for prompt action.”
told our correspondent that he had yet to get any information on the missing
soldiers after the Boko Haram attack on Kukawa.
car bombing in the Somali capital killed two people, including a lawmaker, and
wounded another on Thursday, officials said.
bombing near London Gate restaurant in Hamarwayne district of Mogadishu killed
Abdiweli Ibrahim Mohamed, a local parliamentarian.
Hassan, a police officer, told Anadolu Agency over the phone: "The
lawmaker and other person were killed after a bomb planted under his car
exploded near London Gate."
wounded civilian has been rushed to the hospital and an investigation into the
incident is underway, he added.
insurgent group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
President Beji Caid Essebsi said on Thursday he was ready to swear in ten new
ministers named in a reshuffle that he had originally rejected, easing a
high-level political standoff that has alarmed donors.
Minister Youssef Chahed announced the reshuffle on Monday- but Essebsi quickly
rejected it, saying he had not been consulted.
Thursday, he relented and told reporters he would swear in the ministers if
parliament approved the changes. “I have no problem with the prime minister but
I dislike the handling of his reshuffle,” he said.
also stressed that there is no personal dispute between him and the Prime
Minister, adding, “I am the head of state and he has to respect the position.”
prime minister has to inform the head of state of his decisions, but what
happened on the issue of the government’s reshuffle was not the case.”
dispute highlighted tensions at the highest levels of Tunisian politics that
have been exacerbated by an economic crisis.
leads a government dominated by the ruling Nidaa Tounes party and backed by
the prime minister has been caught up in a dispute with the leader of the
party, Hafedh Caid Essebsi, who is also the president’s son and has accused
Chahed of failing to tackle high inflation, unemployment and other problems.
political wrangling has alarmed donors which have kept the country afloat with
loans granted in exchange for a promise of reforms such as cutting a bloated
economy has been in crisis since the North African state kicked off the Muslim
World’s “Arab Spring” uprisings by toppling autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in
reshuffle announced on Monday is the 10th major cabinet overhaul since then. He
said it would “make the work of government more effective and to put an end to
the political and economic crisis”.
kept the leadership of finance, foreign and the interior ministries unchanged.
named Jewish businessman Rene Trabelsi as minister of tourism in the Muslim
Arab country, just the third member of the small minority to enter the cabinet
since Tunisia’s independence
should start the process to hold a national vote in spring 2019 after a
national conference to discuss the country’s conflict, the UN Libya envoy said
powers and the United Nations had originally hoped to hold national elections
on Dec. 10 but violence and a deadlock between rival administrations had made
that goal unrealistic.
National Conference is to be held in the first weeks of 2019. The subsequent
electoral process should commence in the spring of 2019,” Ghassan Salame told
the UN Security Council, without being more specific.
Jordan said on Thursday it was in talks with Washington and Moscow to empty a
desert camp used by 50,000 displaced Syrians, a move aimed at defusing security
tensions near a potential military flashpoint on its northeast border with
foreign ministry said the kingdom backed a Russian plan to arrange the
voluntary return of the inhabitants of Rukban camp to their home areas in
eastern Syria following their recapture by the Syrian government from Daesh.
talks have begun with the aim of finding a fundamental solution to Rukban by
ensuring the right conditions of their voluntary return to their cities and
towns,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed al Qatarneh said.
supports the Russian plan to create the conditions that allow the emptying of
the camp,” he said in a statement.
did not elaborate.
sources say the Russian plan entails negotiating with Syrian tribal leaders and
former Western-backed rebels sheltering in the camp area to provide safe
passage for returnees to go to opposition areas in northern Syria, and to help
those who want to go their homes in state-held areas.
camp inhabitants are not ready to go back to homes in state-held areas for fear
of being drafted for conscription, tribal figures in the camp say.
at Rukban are watched closely around the region because it is near a US
garrison in southeastern Syria at Tanf on the Iraq-Syria border. The camp falls
within a so-called deconfliction zone set up by the Pentagon to try to shield
the Tanf garrison from attacks by pro-government forces.
says the US forces are occupying Syrian territory and providing a safe-haven in
that area for rebels it deems terrorists.
officials have repeatedly said they suspect the camp is infiltrated with Daesh
sleeper cells, a security nightmare that has haunted Amman since a Daesh
militant in 2016 drove a car bomb into a Jordanian military border post,
killing seven guards.
the last three years, tens of thousands of Syrians trekked to the camp where
the borders of Syria, Jordan and Iraq meet. They fled expanded Russian and
US-led coalition air strikes against Daesh-held areas in central and eastern
sources say a siege of the camp last month by the Syrian army that depleted
food stores in the compound and raised the spectre of starvation was aimed at
piling pressure on Washington.
defense ministry in August repeated an accusation that Washington has been
harboring Daesh militants within the zone.
however responded to growing Russian pressure by conducting rare military
exercises in the base last month, and General Joseph Votel, head of US Central
Command, made an unannounced visit to Tanf.
has defended inviting a notorious Islamist preacher to appear at a party event,
claiming that collaboration with “faith groups” is an “essential part of the
fight against the scourge of racism”.
Begg was listed as a speaker along with two of the party’s MPs, Janet Daby and
Vicky Foxcroft at a Lewisham Labour Against Racism event Tuesday night, where
activists discussed plans to “oppose Islamophobia and anti-Semitism”, “stop
Tommy Robinson”, and to “challenge” government policies which make it harder
for illegal immigrants to thrive in Britain.
imam at the Lewisham Islamic Centre, which was attended by the terrorist
killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby, Begg lost a libel case against the BBC in 2016
when a judge ruled he “clearly promotes and encourages violence in support of
Islam and espouses a series of extremist Islamic positions”.
had sought damages from the public broadcaster for describing him as an
extremist during a Sunday Politics episode presented by Andrew Neil, who
informed viewers that the Lewisham preacher had “hailed jihad as ‘the greatest
of deeds’” while speaking at the East London Mosque.
to Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, Begg is a “Jekyll and Hyde character” who “appears
to present one face to the general, local and inter-faith community and another
to particular Muslim and other receptive audiences”.
former face is benign, tolerant and ecumenical; the latter face is
ideologically extreme and intolerant.,” he said of the imam, who according to
the court documents “works closely with police … [as a member of] the Independent
Advisory Group to Lewisham Police which advises the police on local issues,
especially those relating to the Muslim community. He represents the LIC in the
Safer Neighbourhood Team and the Hate Crime Working Group.”
of the meeting, which was reportedly attended by a large number of prominent
south London Labour officials, anti-extremist experts had warned the party
there would be “no excuse” for giving Begg a platform at the event given the
imam’s history of extremist views.
is no debate to be had — Shakeel Begg was found in the High Court to be an
Islamic extremist,” asserted the Henry Jackson Society’s Tom Wilson, adding:
“There can be no excuse for any political party working with Begg.”
Toube of the Quilliam anti-extremism think tank told The Sun that “the presence
of a Labour MP on a platform which includes a cleric who has been found by a
British court to be an extremist plays into the hands of anti-Muslim bigots.”
spokesman for the party told the newspaper: “Communities and faith groups
coming together is an essential part of the fight against the scourge of
in Xinjiang face repression: German parliament
and opposition lawmakers urged China on Thursday to end repressive policies
against Uighur Muslims in northwestern Xinjiang, an autonomous region of the
opposition Green Party accused Chinese authorities of severe human rights violations,
forced political indoctrination and massive surveillance in the region.
estimated one million people have been arbitrarily detained in internment camps
in China's northwestern Xinjiang region,” Green lawmaker Margarete Bause said
during a parliamentary debate on the human rights situation in Xinjiang.
heavily criticized authorities for their clampdown on freedom of religion.
is prohibited, mosques are demolished. The goal of all these measures is to
systematically eliminate the culture and identity of the Muslim minority in
Xinjiang,” she said.
Liebich from the opposition Left Party said the detention of around one million
people in internment camps in Xinjiang was “unacceptable”.
acknowledged that China’s concerns over stability and the threat of terrorism
these cannot justify mass surveillance, spying, internment camps and torture,”
Brand, a senior lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic
Union, promised that the government would continue to raise human rights issues
in talks with Chinese officials.
the pretext of the fight against terrorism, brutal repression and human rights
violations continue in Xinjiang,” he said.
criticized Chinese authorities for claiming that the internment camps were in
fact “vocational education centers” and stressed that such explanations were
far from being plausible.
Merkel’s coalition partner the Social Democrat Party (SPD) backed calls on
China to close the camps.
we read the reports of Human Rights Watch, we get the impression that Xinjiang
has become an open-air prison,” SPD lawmaker Frank Schwabe said.
Foreign Policy Chief on Thursday met with Palestinian foreign minister in
Brussels for bilateral and regional talks, according to an EU statement.
Mogherini and Riyad al-Maliki exchanged views on relations between the EU and
the Palestinian Authority as well as the current political and humanitarian
situation in Gaza.
reiterated the EU’s continued support to the Palestinians and to the UN Relief
and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
also stressed the “unwavering commitment of the EU to a negotiated two-state
solution as the only viable and realistic way to end the Israeli-Palestinian
EU foreign policy chief recalled the EU's “firm support to the efforts of the
United Nations and Egypt and encouraged the Palestinian Authority to continue
to engage towards improving the humanitarian situation of the people in Gaza,
preventing renewed escalation and reuniting Gaza and the West Bank under one
single and legitimate Palestinian Authority.”
also held talks with Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs
Minister Didier Reynders.
intelligence agencies, both the MI6 and the MI5, were aware that a captured
member of al-Qaeda was tortured and placed inside a sealed coffin at a US-run
prison in Afghanistan.
a close analysis of redacted official documents, the Middle East Eye website
established that an MI6 officer was aware that CIA staff had placed Ibn
al-Sheikh al-Libi inside a coffin before being loaded onto a truck and driven
to an aircraft that was waiting to fly to Egypt.
an incident report sent to MI6 headquarters in London, the officer and his
colleagues reported that “we were tempted to speak out” at the treatment of
Libi, but did not.
event reinforced the uneasy feeling of operating in a legal wilderness,” they
Mohamed Abdul Aziz al-Fakheri was a Libyan national captured in Afghanistan in
November 2001 after the fall of the Taliban. He was interrogated by the
American and Egyptian forces.
being aware that Libi had been flown to Egypt inside a coffin, and despite that
country’s well-documented record of human rights abuses, both MI6 and MI5
decided to allow questions to be put to him and continued to receive reports
about what he was saying.
information he gave under torture to Egyptian authorities was cited by the
government of former US President George W. Bush in the months preceding its
2003 invasion of Iraq as evidence of a connection between Saddam Hussein and
information was frequently repeated by members of the Bush administration,
although reports from both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) strongly questioned its credibility,
suggesting that al-Libi was “intentionally misleading” interrogators.
torture, Libi told his Egyptian interrogators that there were links between
al-Qaeda and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program. Three
members of the militant organization had been sent to Iraq for training, he
his eventual transfer back into CIA custody, Libi said that he had fabricated
the account in order to avoid further torture.
that time, however, his statements had been used to justify the invasion of
had been included in a speech that former US Secretary of State Colin Powell
gave to the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003, just weeks
before the US-led invasion, while on the same day, the then British Prime
Minister Tony Blair told parliament that there were “unquestionably” links
between al-Qaeda and Iraq.
would be wrong to say that there is no evidence of any links between al-Qaeda
and the Iraqi regime,” Blair said.
is evidence of such links. Exactly how far they go is uncertain. However… there
is intelligence coming through to us the entire time about this,” Blair said.
former British premier added that the case for war against Iraq was not based
upon the links with al-Qaeda, but Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction
believe that our case on weapons of mass destruction is very clear indeed. It
is perfectly obvious that Saddam has them,” Blair had said at the time.
the invasion of Iraq, it was soon obvious that Saddam’s WMD program had long
been dismantled. It also became clear that there had been no link between Iraq
shipbuilder Luerssen has put on hold the production of coastguard vessels
ordered by Saudi Arabia due to the uncertainty surrounding the future of
Berlin’s arms deals with Riyadh.
Chancellor Angela Merkel announced last month that Berlin would no longer issue
weapons exports licenses until Riyadh comes up with satisfactory explanation
about dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khasoggi’s murder at the kingdom’s
consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
decision affected Luerssen, a privately-owned firm commissioned five years ago
to build coastal patrol vessels for Saudi Arabia.
company announced Thursday that construction at its Peene Shipyard had been
brought to a halt nearly two years into the project and nearly all of the
shipyard’s 300 workers had been put on short hours.
construction and cutting working hours as a direct consequence is a heavy blow
to us,” shipyard official Harald Jaekel said in a statement.
uncertainty made production planning impossible, the company said.
Arabia has been one of the major buyers of German weapons and military
year alone, Berlin has approved 400 million euros of exports to the oil-rich
country which makes Saudi Arabia the second-biggest purchaser of German arms
makes $1bn bid for S Africa military partnership
was also reported Thursday that Saudi Arabia had made a $1 billion bid for a
broad partnership with South African state-owned defense group Denel.
deal would include acquisition of a minority stake in a joint venture with
Germany’s Rheinmetall. Unnamed sources told Reuters that Saudi Arabia was
targeting Denel’s 49-percent stake in Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM).
in 2008, RDM specializes in the development, design and manufacture of medium
and large-caliber ammunition including artillery shells.
offer also allows Saudi Arabia to invest in Denel Dynamics, which develops
tactical missiles and precision guided weapons.
bid is part of Saudi Arabia’s plans to develop its own domestic defense
industry with the goal of localizing half of its military spending by 2030. The
country is currently the world’s third largest military spender.
begins joint warship production with Spain
this week, Saudi Arabia and Spain signed an agreement to launch a joint venture
to produce five Avante 2200 corvettes complete with Combat Management System
for the Saudi military.
$2.2 billion deal was signed during Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman’s
visit to Spain in April last year, where he met with the Spanish Defense
Minister Margarita Robles.
has continued military ties with the Riyadh regime in the wake of Khashoggi’s
in September, however, Madrid said it was halting a 2015 deal to sell 400
laser-guided precision bombs to Saudi Arabia due to Riyadh’s role in the Yemen
war, which has killed tens of thousands of Yemenis since its beginning in 2015.
move enraged Saudi officials, who reportedly threatened to scrap the corvette
deal with the Spanish state-owned military shipbuilder Navantia, endangering as
many as 6,000 jobs in a country with one of Europe’s highest unemployment
backed off as a result, saying that it will proceed to deliver the bombs.
United States wants Russia to allow Israeli warplanes to continue attacking
Iranian advisors in Syria, as Israel fears it can no longer enter the Arab
country’s airspace after Moscow supplied Damascus with advanced S-300 air
has been permissive, in consultation with the Israelis, about Israeli strikes
against Iranian targets inside Syria. We certainly hope that that permissive
approach will continue,” James Jeffrey, Washington’s special representative to
Syria said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.
Iran and Russia have been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s
government purging foreign-backed terrorist groups from the country.
however, views the Islamic republic’s advisors in Syria as a threat and has
openly pledged to target them out until they leave the country.
Israeli air force has staged repeated air raids against Syrian military bases
that it claims are used by Iranian military advisors.
has an existential interest in blocking Iran from deploying long-range power
projection systems ... inside Syria to be used against Israel. We understand
the existential interest and we support Israel,” Jeffrey said.
October, Moscow equipped Damascus with the advanced S-300 surface-to-air
missiles, days after Israeli fighter jets attacking Syrian targets used a
Russian surveillance plane flying nearby as a shield and misled the Syrian air
defenses to shoot it down. The incident in September strained ties between
Russia and Israel. According to some reports, Moscow has repeatedly turned down
requests by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a meeting with
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
immediate effort is to try to calm that situation down and then move on to a
long-term solution,” the US envoy said with regards to the fallout between
Moscow and Tel Aviv.
diplomat said Washington was working to ensure that all Iranian military
advisors leave Syria.
Russians, having been there before, would not in fact withdraw, but you’ve got
four other outside military forces - the Israelis, the Turkish, the Iranian and
the American - all operating inside Syria right now. It’s a dangerous
situation,” Jeffrey said.
has staged two incursions into northern Syria since 2016 with a declared aim of
curbing Kurdish militant groups. Jeffery said Washington took Ankara’s concerns
has made it clear that it would stay in Syria as long as Damascus requests.
least 25 inmates and two security officers have been killed when a riot broke
out overnight at a high-security prison in Tajikistan's northern city of
Khujand, security sources say.
to an Interior Ministry official, who was speaking on the condition of
anonymity, the riot began late on Wednesday when one inmate regarded by the
authorities as a member of the Takfiri Desh terrorist group attacked a prison
guard and seized his assault rifle.
unnamed security official said police restored order hours later with the help
prison in Khujand, which lies around 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of the Tajik
capital Dushanbe, is known for housing people convicted of extremism.
two sources said at least 25 inmates were killed, as well as one warder and one
policeman. The third source, also a security official, said three guards were
officials confirmed there had been a riot, but provided no other information.
residents, however, said gunshots were heard from the prison area. They said
police cordoned off all roads and highways connecting the city with neighboring
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Khujand directorate for penitentiary services denied that firearms were
discharged in the prison but confirmed the extraordinary situation.
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