terror monitoring centre has expressed concerns about the spread of Saudi- and
Gulf-backed fundamentalist Islam in the country’s mosques
Alarm over Spread of Saudi-Backed Hardline Islam
A Hungary Mayor Bans Muslim Face Veil, Islamic
“Muslim Terrorist” Is Wrong, Says Buddhist Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama
Pamphlets in Pakistan Border Areas Try to Create Panic
Shocked Europeans Oppose Mass Muslim Migration
rules out placing Ennahda on terrorist list
Louvre attack suspect 'acted alone'
A German-Born Soccer Star Of Muslim Descent Had To Choose Between His Faith And
attack suspect ‘did not act on orders from IS group
me before you judge me: Muslim's invitiation to his neighbours
Muslim Clerics Preaches Tolerance, Patriotism as Way out In Nigeria
Memo: Designating Muslim Brotherhood Could ‘Fuel Extremism’
al Shabaab kill four in hotel attack in Puntland region: official
African Republic Violence Leaves at Least 5 Dead
Immigration Ban a New Hurdle for Anti-Terrorism Campaign
call for religious tolerance among Nigerians
81,000 Muslims Lodged In Jails in 2015 across the Country: NCRB Data
Pradesh ATS busts ISI's simbox gang spying on army units, four held
lessons learnt from Pathankot attack: Panel
probes Islamic State ‘kill-list’ of I-T engineers who tracked group online, 70
village that has its own Partition museum — a monument of harmony
Ittehad Council for Military Alliance of 57 Muslim Countries
Yakjehti Council to Launch Agitation for Release of Hafiz Saeed
education compulsory for Muslims till higher secondary level in Punjab
that initiates project should get to inaugurate it: PM
Afghanistan need to be cautious of malicious elements: Mamnoon
To Approve Weapons Packages to Saudi Arabia
Forces Killed 11 Al Qaeda Operatives in Two Air Strikes in Syria -Pentagon
Army Inches Closer to ISIL-Held Al-Bab in Eastern Aleppo
Syria Turned into Graveyard for Turkish Army Soldiers
Infighting Intensifying amongst Nusra, Rival Terrorists in Idlib
Top Commanders Killed in Syrian Airstrikes in Deir Ezzur
Army Repels Terrorists' Attacks in Eastern Damascus
Army Preempts ISIL's Attack on Airbase South of Deir Ezzur
Gov't Troops Inch Closer to Lifting Deir Ezzur Airbase Siege
ISIL Withdraws from More Strategic Positions in Eastern Homs
House Weighs Terrorist Designation for Muslim Brotherhood
Questions Whether US Travel Ban Is a Shut-Out for Muslims
Muslim Jewish Council Praises Trump on Civil Rights
Canadian Denied Entry To U.S. After Questions about Religion
changes could stunt budding US-India ties under Trump
groups push Canada to fight Islamophobia
Move US Embassy to Jerusalem, Bishops Ask Secretary Of State
Groups Challenge Israel's New Settlements Law in Court
Trump agree joint action against IS in Syria
army, Syrian rebels escalate assault on ISIS-held city
killed in Saudi push to take Yemeni port
Palestinians killed, 5 injured in Israeli airstrike in Gaza
Saudi servicemen killed in Yemeni retaliatory attack
1,000 Rohingyas ‘Killed’ In Myanmar: UN Officials
grants scholarships to 3,000 Afghan students
Red Cross staff killed in Afghanistan
and displacement overwhelms Afghanistan
Red Cross workers killed, 2 missing in northern Afghanistan
Says Penang Promoting ‘Liberal Islam’
Malaysian Court Agrees To Hear Bid by Three Muslim Converts Seeking Return to
greet Malaysia aid ship for Myanmar’s Rohingya
to say Muslims ‘not that smart’, group says in paintbrush row
by New Age Islam News Bureau
alarm over spread of Saudi-backed hardline Islam
Belgium’s terror monitoring centre has expressed concerns about the spread of
Saudi- and Gulf-backed fundamentalist Islam in the country’s mosques, according
to an official report published in local media Wednesday.
OCAM national crisis centre said the austere Sunni doctrine of Wahhabism
preached in an increasing number of Belgian mosques was getting financial
support from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, according to the report quoted
in Flemish-language daily De Standaard.
has been on high alert since three suicide bombers attacked Zaventem Airport
and the Brussels metro system in March 2016, killing 32 people.
believe that a growing number of mosques and Islamic centres in Belgium, like
the rest of Europe, are under the influence of Wahhabism, the Salafist
missionary apparatus,” the centre said.
also note that the imams of these mosques are regularly being ‘salafised’ or
are already ‘salafised’,” it added.
Arabia is the cradle of Wahhabism, which has been accused of inspiring
extremist ideologies across the Muslim world.
Belgian official report said Saudi authorities had set up a “generous” bursary
scheme for Muslim students from other countries.
are strongly encouraged to become imams in their Belgian mosques or be active
in proselytising in Belgium or more widely in French-speaking or Dutch-speaking
areas,” it said, as cited by De Standaard daily.
Saudi authorities and the Wahhabist establishment have clearly settled on this
method to reinforce the influence of the doctrine and practice of Wahhabism in
Muslim communities in Europe,” it said.
has a long-running problem with radicalisation, producing what officials say is
the highest number of jihadists going to fight in Syria and Iraq in proportion
to its population of any EU country.
arrested 11 people in house raids in Brussels on Wednesday in connection with
jihadists returning from Syria, prosecutors said.
migrant crisis at its peak, the mayor had last year warned migrants from
entering Hungary illegally
mayor in Hungary has banned Muslims from covering their face with hijab (veil)
and the Islamic call to prayer in what he describes as a 'war against Muslim
an interview with the BBC, Laszlo Toroczkai was quoted saying, "We
primarily welcome people from Western Europe - people who wouldn't like to live
in a multicultural society. We wouldn't like to attract Muslims to the
his move, he hopes to attract Christian Europeans who object to
multiculturalism in their own countries to migrate to Ásotthalo, a remote
village in the Hungarian plains, situated around two hours from Budapest.
very important for the village to preserve its traditions. If large numbers of
Muslims arrived here, they would not be able to integrate into the Christian
community. We can see large Muslim communities in Western Europe that haven't
been able to integrate - and we don't want to have the same experience
here," he further said in his BBC interview.
bluntly adds, "I'd like Europe to belong to Europeans, Asia to belong to
Asians and Africa to belong to Africans. Simple as that."
migrant crisis at its peak, as many as 10,000 people crossed the border to move
from Serbia into Hungary. The Hungarian mayor has expressed his concerns and
introduced the strict measures.
is what the Mayor had to say last year about illegal border crossings -
“Muslim terrorist” is wrong, says Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama
out at the “totalitarian” government in China for “immoral” curbs on free
speech and the press, the Dalai Lama today said people of the Communist nation
will be able to tell right from wrong once they are aware of the “reality”.
Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, however, batted for closer Sino-India ties
at the people-to-people level and went on to invoke the spirit of
about the perception of growing intolerance in India, he said a few individuals
and politicians do not represent the entire population of the country and that
India was the “most stable” country in the region.
also advised against associating Islam with terrorism and stressed on the need
to reach out even to the hardline elements.
at an event organised by the Vivekananda International Foundation here, he
reaffirmed that Tibet was not seeking independence from China but freedom
mainly in the sphere of culture and language.
(Chinese) government is unfortunately totalitarian …no freedom of speech,
freedom of religion. Once Chinese people know the reality they will able to
judge what is wrong and what is right. Censorship is immoral,” he said.
that things were “changing” in China, he said the country should must open up
in its own interest.
of truth was stronger than the power of gun, he said, alluding to allegations
of Chinese repression in Tibet.
should invite (from China) people from areas such as medicine and education…in
areas where it has an advantage,” the Dalai Lama said, stressing on the need
for enhanced people to people contact.
to a question on radical Islam, he said the very term “Muslim terrorist” was
wrong and anyone practising Islam and indulging in terror ceases to be a
Muslim countries are isolated, without any contact with the outside world.
There comes the concept of one religion and one truth,” he said, stressing on
the need to reach out to even hardline elements of Islam.
said the use of force by the United States post September 11, 2001 attacks
“hardened” many. Reaching out to Osama Bin Laden would have made the west
safer, he said.
Dalai Lama said secularism and non-violence, the highlights of the ancient
Indian tradition, were “very relevant” in contemporary times, and lauded the
country’s religious harmony.
trouble are understandabale. But India is the only country in the world where
all the major religious traditions are present,” he said.
Dalai Lama, who has made India his home after fleeing Tibet in 1959, also
praised India’s tradition of respecting all religions as well as non-believers
as part of its secular values.
ISMAIL KHAN, PAKISTAN —
group Islamic State has threatened to target Shi’ites living in certain northern
areas of Pakistan.
of pamphlets containing threats have allegedly been distributed by IS in the
Kurram agency on the Pakistani side of the Durand Line with Afghanistan,
threatening attacks in specific tribal areas.
have achieved our goals in Afghanistan and are now ready to confront Shia
renouncers in Pakistani's tribal areas," the IS pamphlet said in the local
distributed in Sunni majority areas too, the pamphlet threatens to target
Shi’ites in the semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), as
well as in Dera Ismail Khan and Hangu cities in the northwestern Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa province. The areas mentioned in the pamphlet are home to a
considerable Shi’ite population.
could not independently confirm the authenticity of the pamphlet.
local government official acknowledged, on the condition of anonymity, that
pamphlets were distributed, but said the government is investigating whether
these came from IS or others. He said the areas mentioned in the pamphlets are
under government control.
are on the front line of the war against militancy and, therefore, our security
is tight," the official added.
military has been carrying out an operation to clear out militants in the
region since 2014. The government is demanding local tribes in the region
surrender their weapons to decrease militancy. The weapons surrender is part of
Hussain, an elder of a Shi’ite tribe called Tori, expressed concern that the
government is demanding Shi’ites in the region surrender their weapons while
facing such threats.
would not have bought these weapons if we had no threat," Hussain told
VOA's Deewa service. "I have told my tribe living on the border that they
have to defend themselves."
Tori tribe recently faced a suicide attack claimed by a splinter group of the
Pakistani Taliban, which reportedly is supporting IS. Islamic State reportedly
is attempting to establish a footprint in the Kurram agency and has been
recruiting local men into its ranks.
Pakistani government says it will take action against those involved in
distributing the pamphlets.
government is going to take strict measures if IS has distributed pamphlets in
Kurram agency and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa," lawmaker Tahir
Iqbal, who is a member of the ruling Muslim League party, told VOA. "The
government will not spare anyone involved in printing or spreading hate
material or pamphlets."
terror group has also been active in parts of neighboring Afghanistan for the
past two years. Kabul has said many of the IS fighters in Afghanistan belong to
the Orokzai tribe in Pakistan.
say the military operation in the tribal areas of Pakistan has cleared out the
top layer of militancy, but the sleeper cells and sympathizers still exist and
have the capacity to plan and attack.
is almost impossible to fully prevent the spread of the group in the current
circumstances," security analyst Said Nazir Mohmand, who is associated with
the Islamabad-based Institute of Policy Studies, told VOA. "Such groups
can easily be eliminated if there is peace in Afghanistan."
foreign ministry officials from Russia, China and Pakistan met in Moscow in
December to discuss what they said was a "gradually growing" threat
to their frontiers posed by Islamic State extremists in Afghanistan.
Wednesday morning, CNBC reported with utter shock the results of a European
survey which revealed strong, Europe-wide opposition to Muslim migration.
everyone in Europe is welcoming Muslim migrants with open arms,” a narrator says
on a video embedded in the online article about the survey. “A surprising
number of Europeans are in favor of a Muslim immigration ban,” states CNBC’s
Facebook post containing the report.
should be of little surprise that a majority of Europeans are unhappy with the
massive influx of unassimilated Muslim migrants that has brought with it a
marked increase in violent and sexual crimes, social disunity, welfare
obligations, and radical Islamic terrorist attacks
survey of 10 European countries, carried out by the Royal Institute of
International Affairs (also known as Chatham House), asked if “all further
migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped.”
average of 55 percent of respondents across the 10 countries agreed. Only one
in five respondents said they wanted Muslim migration to continue.
the globalist activists posing as journalists in the mainstream media ever
bothered to cover the Muslim migrant crisis in Europe honestly, these survey
results wouldn’t come as a shock.
on Sunday, five German girls between the ages of 12 and 14 were molested by two
Muslim asylum seekers, aged 23 and 34, in the town of Bad Oldesloe. The police
report on the incident, released Monday, said that the victims were “touched
crimes committed by Muslim migrants in swimming pools have become so widespread
in countries like Germany and Sweden that it can accurately described as an
epidemic, and have led some pools to institute extra security and even
sex-segregation in some instances.
March, 2016, Gatestone Institute researcher Ingrid Carlqvist identified at
least 28 instances of rape or sexual assault at Swedish public swimming pools
in 2015 and the first two months of 2016.
attack at a public pool in Germany is the third such attack in Germany this
year, and follows attacks in pools at Düsseldorf and Krefeld. In 2016, there
were over 200 reported sexual assaults or rapes at public pools perpetrated by
Muslim migrants in Germany and Austria.
is to say nothing of the hundreds of sexual assaults and rapes carried out by
unassimilated migrants in Europe outside of public pools.
the average American who relies on the mainstream media to report on these
crimes doesn’t know about these shocking details, because the mainstream media
dare not report them.
the last 12 months, CNBC has published only 17 articles focusing on the Muslim
migrant crisis. Not a single one of those articles details the shockingly high
number of violent and sexual crimes committed by Muslim migrants in Europe.
brief search was unable to find a single article on CNN or MSNBC detailing the
shocking extent of Muslim migrant crime in Europe. Dedication to the
multicultural dream is so strong among the globalist elite and media that these
crimes are vastly underreported even in the countries in which they take place.
suffocating culture of silence about the true nature of unfettered, mass Muslim
migration is practically paralyzing police forces. A minor national row
occurred in Sweden over the weekend after a police officer could no longer take
the culture of denial and took to Facebook to vent.
we go; this is what I've handled from Monday-Friday this week: rape, rape,
robbery, aggravated assault, rape-assault and rape, extortion, blackmail, assault,
violence against police, threats to police, drug crime, drugs, crime, felony,
attempted murder, rape again, extortion again and ill-treatment," wrote
perpetrators; Ali Mohammed, Mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed Ali, again, again,
again. Christopher … what, is it true? Yes, a Swedish name snuck in on the
edges of a drug crime. Mohammed, Mahmod Ali, again and again," Springare
you can't discuss the problem of crime among immigrants without somebody
attributing it to racist propaganda, we are in deep trouble," Springare
wrote. "The problem is that nobody wants to talk about this."
one yet knows what specific measures the Trump administration will take to
designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group in what is believed to be
a wider crackdown on Islamic organisations. The political elite in Washington
is deeply divided over the classification of the movement as a “terrorist”
organisation and the disastrous consequences that this could have for
Washington. Recent reports by intelligence agencies have called for its
offshoots in Tunisia and Morocco to be excluded from whatever action is decided
Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, US intelligence services have been
analysing the situation in Arab countries, particularly those parties and
organisations considered to be an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood. The
focus has been on Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar and Libya, as well as
Sudan, Mauritania and Algeria.
believe that if Washington goes ahead with this designation, it may end up
losing most of its allies in the region, as Islamic political parties linked to
the Brotherhood exist in Indonesia, Pakistan, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Iraq,
Kuwait, Yemen and even Turkey. They stress that the decision might result in
serious damage, with negative consequences detrimental to US interests.
parties in Tunisia and Morocco regard Trump’s bigoted and crude statements —
which seek to tackle Islam under the guise of fighting terrorism — as
inapplicable to them, given their growing role in combatting terrorist
ideology. The Ennahda Movement in Tunisia, for example, always stresses that it
is the biggest victim of terrorism and, in the words of its president, that
democratic Islam is the best solution for combatting the terrorists.
has become a key player for the US in the fight against terrorism in North
Africa, particularly in the aftermath of the Arab revolutions that swept
through the Middle EastandNorth Africa (MENA) region, leaving behind many
collapsed states and the emergence of jihadi groups. Foremost among these is
the “Islamic State”, which represents a real threat to world peace.
to the Morocco’s Al-Masaa newspaper, US intelligence has excluded both Tunisia
and Morocco from the possible designation because of the role played by Islamic
parties – namely the Justice and Development Party (PJD) in Morocco and Ennahda
in Tunisia — in the democratic transition in both countries and their
participation in government. CIA reports reveal that the reason for their
non-inclusion on the terrorist list is the fear that doing so would push
religious youth towards violence and extremism, targeting the West in general
and the US in particular.
Fayed, an Egyptian researcher on Islamic groups, has pointed out that Ennahda
and the PJD are not the only parties which condemn terrorism; all Islamic
parties, he explained, have condemned terrorism and deny any affiliation with
any organisation outside their country. Fayed suggests that a move to designate
the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group would have no effect on most other
Islamic parties. In Morocco and Tunisia and elsewhere, these are official
parties that do not carry the “Muslim Brotherhood” label and are engaged fully
in mainstream political life; he cited Libya, Jordan, Kuwait and Algeria as
seems that the positions of Islamic parties in condemning terrorism, as well as
their Full report at:
29-year-old Egyptian arrested after a machete attack at the Louvre in Paris
last week has said he acted on his own and was not under orders from ISIS, a
source close to the probe said Wednesday.
have confirmed him as Abdallah El-Hamahmy, a sales manager resident in Dubai,
who has denied being guided by the extremist group during interrogations.
said that he “acted on his own will” and planned only to damage artworks as a
symbolic assault on France, the source said, asking not to be named.
his backpack contained spray paint which could have been used to deface
artwork, investigators believe he appears to have “a certain sympathy for the
ideas of IS,” the source said, referring to ISIS using a different acronym.
Friday’s attack at the world’s busiest museum, Hamahmy was shot after lunging
at four soldiers with machetes in the underground ticketing area while shouting
“Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest).
who is recovering in hospital, is likely be charged once medical staff say he
is well enough to appear before a judge.
son of a retired policeman entered France legally on January 26 on a flight
from Dubai and was staying in an apartment rented by the week in an expensive
Paris district near the Champs-Elysees, sources say.
are examining a Twitter account thought to his which sent out a dozen messages
in Arabic between 9:27 am and 9:34 am, just minutes before the attack.
the name of Allah... for our brothers in Syria and fighters across the world,”
post asked: “Why are they afraid of the creation of a state for Islam? Because
the state of Islam defends its resources and the honor of Muslims.”
father Reda El-Hamahmy, a retired police officer, had previously given media
interviews – including with Al Arabiya – saying his son was innocent.
speaking in Cairo he told AFP that his son had shown no sign of having been
TURKEY: He broke out of his tough Berlin
neighborhood in a pair of cleats, reaching the top tier of professional soccer.
The German army held a photo op when the famous son of Tunisian immigrants
signed up for his military service. At an award event in his honor, he
hobnobbed with members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet.
was their role model for Muslim integration," said Anis Ben-Hatira, 28,
who, until last month, was signed to the German pro team Darmstadt.
in a Western world fast embracing a darker view of Islam, Germany's onetime
sports hero has suddenly fallen from heights it took a lifetime to achieve. His
story about being pushed off his team and driven to self-imposed exile poses a
question being asked on both sides of the Atlantic. In fast-changing times,
what makes a Muslim "radical?"
the election of President Donald Trump and a spat of terrorist attacks in
Europe, Islam - particularly conservative Islam - is under a new microscope.
The genuine risk of terrorism is partly fueling such scrutiny. But the search
for extremism behind every Koran also is testing once high bars of religious
is true even in Germany - a country that took in more than 1 million mostly
Muslim asylum seekers and that Trump has called naive about the risk of radical
Islam. Facing a potentially tougher-than-expected reelection bid and a public
backlash over security, Merkel is calling for a new ban on full Muslim face
coverings and has begun more openly wielding the term "Islamist
the current climate, the taint of extremismextremist can spread to even the
most vaulted of idols.
chasing us out," Ben-Hatira said in his first extensive interview since
the showdown with his team.
are the new Jews."
a friendly match against a Belorussian club with his new Turkish team,
Gaziantepspor, Ben-Hatira sprinted down the field. A rival stepped on his
cleats, and his shoe came off.
you seeing this?" he yelled in German at a noncomprehending referee. A few
minutes later, he got a call - this one a foul against him.
habe ich jetzt getan?" he yelled. What did I do now?
has not been a good year for Anis Ben-Hatira.
son of a Tunisian cook who landed a job in the old French sector of West Berlin
in the 1970s, Ben-Hatira is used to being "the other." He grew up
hearing kids, and even their parents, call him "kanake" - a German
slur generally hurled against ethnic Turks and Arabs.
develop a thick skin," he said.
fought back with soccer, becoming a teenage star. He hopped between pro clubs
in Berlin, Hamburg and the Frankfurt area. He signed with Darmstadt last year,
as the team propelled itself to the top levels of professional soccer - the
good works with poor kids in Berlin earned him national awards and heightened
celebrity. At hospitals, he visited pediatric cancer wards. He became one face
in a video celebrating national diversity titled, "I am also
Ben-Hatira - who still describes himself as being "not really a big
Muslim" - money and fame nevertheless triggered a return to faith. He also
dipped his toes in the waters of controversy, getting public blowback after
speaking out against Israeli treatment of Palestinians during the 2014 conflict
in the Gaza Strip.
he wanted to do more charitable work, he reached out to Ansaar International, a
conservative Muslim organization founded by the German rapper-turned-convert
Joel Kayser. The group is deeply religious. Women who work there are mostly
veiled. Men tend to have religious beards.
lured him to the group, Ben-Hatira said, was its "transparency" and
the fact that it operates with a small staff so that more of its donations can
be spent on charity. Most important, it labors in places where other charities
fear to tread. Somalia. Syria. Last summer, Ben-Hatira helped finance Ansaar's
effort to build a water treatment plant in the Gaza Strip. In December, he made
a publicity trip with the group to Ghana.
he did not know was that his involvement would cost him his job.
was not shy about his work with the charity, posting his support for Ansaar on
social media. Criticism quickly followed.
and local politicians questioned how a Muslim role model could align himself
with such a conservative group. German media began quoting intelligence sources
who said the charity had funded militants. Following lawsuits filed by the
charity for libel, the outlets that printed those allegations had to retract
them. There was no evidence that Ansaar had ever financed terrorism.
it had done other things. More than two years ago, the organization held
fundraising events where a cast of Salafists - an ultraconservative brand of
Islam - had preached. They included Pierre Vogel, a polemic German convert who
called for a public funeral prayer service for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden
after he was killed in Pakistan.
they 'hate preachers'?" Ben-Hatira said. "That depends on how you
define hate. But anyway, they stopped it. They didn't hold events with them
conversations with German security services, Ansaar voluntarily ceased those
fundraisers. But to many Germans - including the intelligence services - the
group had shown its true face.
German intelligence officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to
discuss classified information say they have no evidence that Ansaar has ever
promoted violence. But they nevertheless describe the charity as
"extremist," citing its relatively strict brand of Islam.
Furthermore, officials say they are deeply suspicious of its
"contacts" in the war zones where it operates.
the extent of the evidence against it remains unclear, and Ansaar is a legal
charity in Germany. No charges against it are pending, officials say.
services say that one of the most damning claims against the group - that it
maintains a health clinic in Idlib, Syria, where al-Qaida affiliates hold sway
- was based on information they found "on the Internet" and could not
independently corroborate. Ansaar denies that it operates a clinic there. It
also insists that it does not cooperate with militants.
Africa, it has built orphanages for both Muslim and Christian victims of Boko
Haram and it funds a hospital in devastated Aleppo, where they have cooperated
with the White Helmets, said Kayser, Ansaar's director. It has brought fresh
water and food distribution networks to hard-hit zones. In Somalia, it says, it
has worked with U.S.-backed groups to distribute aid.
radicals hate us," Kayser said. A recent German intelligence report on the
group from the domestic intelligence service in the state of North
Rhine-Westphalia noted that Ansaar helps build mosques in some of the
communities it aids. The charity decries that as a double standard.
if Christians help build a church, then no one says a word. But if Muslims do
it, it ends up in an intelligence report?" Kayser said.
critics call Ben-Hatira's connection to the charity morally wrong, given his
status as a role model. As the controversy built, his Facebook page buzzed with
supporters and haters. In one exchange, a critic called a young Muslim who
backed Ben-Hatira "a jihadist." The young man responded by calling
the critic "a Zionist pig."
of Ben-Hatira's Facebook administrators "liked" the retort -
something the player calls "an accident." It was quickly unliked. But
the offended user captured an image and circulated it online, calling
Ben-Hatira an anti-Semite.
incident fanned the controversy over his work with Ansaar. Politicians -
including the mayor of Darmstadt - spoke out against him. Three weeks ago,
anonymous critics began distributing fliers at Darmstadt games decrying
Ben-Hatira's links to the "extremist" charity.
club's sponsors, according to an official with direct knowledge of the
situation, called up its management, demanding explanations. The club reacted
by publicly criticizing Ansaar and suggesting that Ben-Hatira work with a
different charity, while also suggesting that it was "a private
matter." But during a final meeting on Jan. 24, team officials gave him an
ultimatum: He should break with the charity or walk.
he walked, citing his right to religious freedom and the lack of evidence
club declined a request for comment, but German politicians praised its swift
cannot let a professional footballer such as Ben Hatira get away with associating
with extremist organizations that are being monitored by the intelligence
services," Peter Beuth, interior minister of the German state of Hessen,
said in a statement. Beuth added that "top athletes carry a particular
responsibility. They are role models, especially to young people, who often
identify with their hero."
cancellation of Ben-Hatira's contract rippled through the Muslim community in
Germany. For the most part, mainstream Muslim bodies stayed silent, apparently
lacking an appetite to dive into a debate over fundamentalism at a sticky time.
But famous rappers, mainly of Arab and Turkish descent, publicly backed him.
For many of Ben-Hatira's young Muslim fans, it provided further evidence of
what they saw as discrimination.
main suspect in last week’s machete attack on four soldiers at the Louvre
Museum in Paris told authorities he had acted alone, sources close to the
investigation said on Wednesday.
man, a 29-year-old Egyptian national identified as Abdallah El-Hamahmy, broke
his silence over the incident earlier this week after initially refusing to
speak to investigators.
said that he went to the Louvre last Friday morning with the intention of
committing a symbolic attack against France by defacing one of the museum’s
masterpieces with spray paint found in his backpack, and did not mean to
assault the four soldiers, sources close to the investigation told AFP. He said
that he acted alone, denying he was under orders from the Islamic State (IS)
account differs sharply from the official version given by police, who say he
was armed with a machete in each hand when he charged at the four soldiers,
shouting “Allahu Akbar” (or “God is Greatest”). After a brief struggle, one of
the troops opened fire, shooting El-Hamahmy four times.
is currently in critical condition at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in Paris.
legally entered France on January 26 from Dubai, where he was a resident. He is
believed to have stayed in an apartment near the famed Champs-Elysées in Paris’s
8th arrondissement (or district), where police found €900 in cash, an iPad and
several pre-paid cards in a search last week.
the days after his arrival, El-Hamahmy is thought to have rented a vehicle
before buying two machetes at a store in the French capital’s eastern 12th
combing for clues have focused their attention on a Twitter account that
El-Hamahmy is suspected to have used to post dozens of messages in Arabic just
minutes before the attack.
a cup of coffee can make the difference between ignorance and knowledge.
imam and missionary Mustenser Qamar has extended an invitation to his Lower
Hutt community: come over for a cuppa and a chat.
idea behind it is for people to get to know a Muslim.
was encouraged to do it by what is going on in the world – the proposed Muslim
ban [in the United States]. I thought it was really important that I reach out
to my neighbours," he said.
originally made a post on Neighbourly.co.nz inviting people to meet up with
him, and said he was surprised by the reaction.
don't think I'd seen that sort of response on a post before. I actually
encouraged a few of my friends in Auckland and New Plymouth to do the same
making the post more than a week ago, he has met about six people face-to-face,
and is busy organising times to meet more.
has talked to atheists about his belief, and what it means to him, but he has
also had more casual chats with young families, bonding over childraising.
Qamar's first child, Bashir, was born on January 27.
newborn son was another motivator for him to reach out.
child is going to grow up [in New Zealand]. I don't want him to grow up where
he will be judged on the actions of a few."
has been in New Zealand for 18 months, after moving from Britain. He spent
seven years studying Islam and comparative religion, and is open to frank
discussions about his beliefs.
Muslim Clerics Preaches Tolerance, Patriotism as Way Out In Nigeria
from the two dominant religions in the country, Christianity and Islam on
Wednesday, called for religious tolerance among the various religious groups in
Nigeria, while also urging Nigerians to pray for the country and her leaders.
was the resolution reached by participants at the end of a joint session of
Christian/Muslim Intellectual Forum (CMIF) organized by the Centre for Social
Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJECT) in Abuja.
a Communiqué issued at the end of the conference, the participants agreed to
hold an inter faith praise concert to celebrate the achievements of President
Muhammadu Buhari over some of the hydra headed monsters such as terrorism and
corruption which confronted the nation before his ascension to power.
also agreed to hold a prayer session for the quick recoveries of Mr. President
to enable him continue his good works of rebuilding the nation.
Communiqué was jointly signed by Rev. Steven Onwun Chairman, Communiqué
Drafting Committee and Alhaji Garba Shehu Secretary and Patriot Dan Enyi
Communiqué Drafting Committee.
seminar witnessed participants and guest speakers painstakingly dissecting the
concept of religion and its applicability in the context of Nigeria and
resolved on a series of actions and measures to douse the unnecessary tensions
and conflicts the practice of religion often impose in the country.
CMIF said patriotism should instead become the new religion, emphasizing that
henceforth; state interests and goals should be placed above religious
inclinations of individuals.
to the communiqué, the forum recognized the Constitutional freedom of Nigerians
to the right of conscience and to subscribe to any religion of their choice and
the participants bemoaned the frequent abuse of this liberty by some clerics
and adherents and sued for restraint.
communiqué reads in part, “The forum also reviewed and described as unhealthy
the sustained frosty relationship between followers of different faiths and the
need for internal soul-searching by adherents of the various faiths to evolve
positive measures that would stimulate cordial and friendly inter-faith
interface for peace, unity and harmonious co-existence in Nigeria.
young intellectuals of both faiths accepted and elected upon themselves to
become vanguards and crusaders of mutual inter-faith relations in their
respective communities and places of worship through enlightenment campaigns
and conduct opposed to the exacerbation of religious issues/tensions throughout
youths of Christianity and Islam in Nigeria agreed to start action to begin a
joint annual national religious feast/carnival where worshippers of both faiths
would intermingle to collectively beseech God Almighty in prayers, songs and
dances for the peace and development of Nigeria.
gathering will also offer a platform for interactions, dialogues and discussions
of issues/problems afflicting the practice of both religions and proffer
solutions. With time, the scope could be expanded to include quarterly joint
conferences and seminars to discuss emerging religious issues, affairs or
Muslim and Christian youths reached a consensus that henceforth matters of
religion shall not reflect in our social interactions, workplace, homes and
anywhere Nigerians converge. And that the practice of religion shall be
perceived more as something very personal to the believer or worshipper and
shall never be reason for strained relationships, unnecessary politicization
and incitement to anarchy.
forum also condemned in strong terms the penchant of some clerics for hate
speeches; inflammatory or inciting sermons and resolved from now onwards not to
tolerate preachments. Instead, preachers who undermine the essence of love,
peace and unity, which are the cardinal values of all religions shall be
seminar drew participants and discussants from various Faith Based
Organizations (FBOs), NGOs and CSOs. It also had six guest speakers invited
from various Nigerian Universities who extensively discussed the negative
effects of hate speeches and religious intolerance.
administration officials pushing to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a
foreign terrorist organization face at least one significant obstacle: analysts
at the Central Intelligence Agency.
experts have warned that so labeling the decades-old Islamist group “may fuel
extremism” and damage relations with America's allies, according to a summary
of a finished intelligence report for the intelligence community and
policymakers that was shared with POLITICO by a U.S. official.
document, published internally on Jan. 31, notes that the Brotherhood—which
boasts millions of followers around the Arab world—has “rejected violence as a
matter of official policy and opposed al-Qa’ida and ISIS.”
acknowledges that “a minority of MB [Muslim Brotherhood] members have engaged
in violence, most often in response to harsh regime repression, perceived
foreign occupation, or civil conflicts.” Noting that there are branches of the
group in countries such as Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco and Tunisia, it cautions
that some of America’s allies in the region “probably worry that such a step
could destabilize their internal politics, feed extremist narratives, and anger
groups enjoy widespread support across the Near East-North Africa region and
many Arabs and Muslims worldwide would view an MB designation as an affront to
their core religious and societal values,” the document continues. “Moreover, a
US designation would probably weaken MB leaders’ arguments against violence and
provide ISIS and al-Qa’ida additional grist for propaganda to win followers and
support, particularly for attacks against US interests.”
CIA declined to comment, and the White House did not respond to a request for
comment. But the document threatens to pit the agency against a president who
has dismissed its intelligence assessments and angered many in the intelligence
community when he appeared before the agency’s Memorial Wall and exaggerated
the size of the crowd at his inaugural address.
it would seem to put the agency’s analysts at odds with its new director, Mike
Pompeo, who as a member of Congress co-sponsored a bill to ban the Brotherhood
and once warned in a radio appearance that Islamist groups were infiltrating
the United States. “There are organizations and networks here in the United
States tied to radical Islam in deep and fundamental ways,” Pompeo told host
Frank Gaffney, who heads the Center for Security Policy and often promotes a
conspiratorial view of Muslims. “They’re not just in places like Libya and
Syria and Iraq, but in places like Coldwater, Kansas, and small towns all
before President Donald Trump took office, outside groups like Gaffney’s and
some members of Congress had been pressuring his team to make the designation,
a process that usually takes months and requires teams of analysts sifting
through reams of intelligence reports to determine whether an organization fits
the legal definition of a terrorist organization.
January, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)
re-introduced twin bills that would require the State Department to inform
Congress “whether the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for designation as
a foreign terrorist organization” and, if not, explain why not. Days before
Trump’s inauguration, an anti-Islamist coalition called Faith Leaders for
America held a news event in which speakers repeatedly urged the incoming
president to make the designation.
then, news outlets have tracked a growing debate within the administration over
whether Trump should pull the trigger, possibly in the form of an executive
order directing the State Department to evaluate whether the Brotherhood meets
the necessary legal standard. A State Department source said the White House
had contacted the department’s legal officials, as well as multiple bureaus,
about what would be involved. But momentum seems to have stalled in recent
they wanted to know if an executive order would be enough or if there was a
process that had to be followed,” the source said. “It received a great deal of
pushback, and it looks like the White House team actually looked at the legal
requirements to designate a foreign terrorist organization. It’s still lurking,
but I haven't heard it’s on the front burner again.”
U.S. officials and experts on the Muslim Brotherhood are highly skeptical that
the Trump administration could meet that bar, and scoff at the basic wisdom of
think it would be an incredibly stupid thing to do,” said Daniel Benjamin, who
served as the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism under
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “The top reason being that it’s not a
the group would also pose serious complications for U.S. diplomacy throughout
the Middle East. The Muslim Brotherhood has loosely affiliated branches
throughout the Arab world, and some of them even hold positions of power in
certain countries. The head of the government of Morocco, for instance, is a
member of a party aligned with the Brotherhood. Ennahdha, a popular Islamist
party affiliated with the Brotherhood, is part of the ruling coalition in
Tunisia. Depending on how a designation was structured, “We could not meet with
the Tunisian government going forward,” said Tom Malinowski, who recently
stepped down as assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and
labor in the Obama administration. Malinowski also noted that many of the local
councils the United States works with in Syria have ties to the Brotherhood,
long one of the only sources of organized opposition to the rule of President
Bashar Assad. And a designation could damage relations with Turkey, a NATO ally
whose volatile Islamist president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is an avid backer of
Brotherhood offshoots around the region.
not well thought through,” said Will McCants, a former State Department senior
adviser for countering violent extremism, who called designating the
Brotherhood a “fringe idea that I guess has now made its way into the
despite otherwise evincing little interest in foreign affairs before launching
his presidential bid, has been critical of the Brotherhood in the past,
blasting then-President Barack Obama repeatedly in 2012 for hosting Egyptian
President and Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi, who was elected after mass
protests ousted longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak.
budget funds the ‘Arab Spring’ with $800B and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt
$1.3B in military aid. He loves radical Islam,” Trump tweeted in February 2012.
“Obama now wants to give another $450M to the Muslim Brotherhood. Money we
don't have going to people that hate us. Moronic,” he wrote later in October,
one of two dozen tweets on the subject over the course of 2012 and 2013.
was ousted amid a fresh wave of demonstrations backed by the Egyptian military,
which helped installed one of its own, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as the
country’s new president. Trump and Sisi have hit it off: The Egyptian strongman
was the first foreign leader to congratulate Trump on his election, which came
weeks after the two men met in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General
Assembly. “There was good chemistry there,” Trump said after their encounter.
“He’s a fantastic guy.” Trump also hailed Sisi, who presided over a brutal
crackdown on the Brotherhood that killed or injured thousands, for
consolidating power after Morsi’s tumultuous short tenure. “He took control of
Egypt,” Trump gushed. “And he really took control of it.”
outlawed the Brotherhood in December 2013, labeling it a terrorist
organization, as did other U.S. allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates. Those governments have been pressing the United
States for years to make a similar designation, but found little traction until
Trump’s victory ushered into office a group of advisers who see Islamist groups
like the Brotherhood as a threat to Western civilization itself, and make
little distinction between mere ideologues and violent extremists.
security adviser Michael Flynn, for instance, has described Islam itself as a
“cancer” and a “political ideology” rather than a religion. “Fear of Muslims is
RATIONAL,” he once wrote on Twitter (his account has since been deleted).
Bannon, the president’s chief strategist and the former head of Breitbart News,
has often promoted anti-Muslim activists such as Gaffney, who has accused
former President Barack Obama of being a secret Muslim and is one of the
leading advocates for cracking down on alleged Brotherhood front groups inside
the United States. According to the Washington Post, a 2007 summary of one of
Bannon’s film projects described the Brotherhood as “the foundation of modern
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in his confirmation hearing, associated the
Brotherhood with more radical groups like Al Qaeda and “certain elements within
Iran,” likely an allusion to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
former officials fear that autocratic Arab states like Egypt could use a
terrorist designation to lure the United States into endorsing violent
crackdowns on their internal critics. “If there’s no pushback from leadership,
I worry that we could be manipulated by countries that are just trying to
enlist us in their campaigns against their political opponents,” Malinowski
thinks there’s little chance that career officials inside the Treasury and
State Departments would find that the Brotherhood, whose leadership in Egypt
renounced violence in the 1970s, is a terrorist group. “Professionals will look
at it and say this doesn’t meet our criteria,” Benjamin said. “With the system
as it is currently configured, this would not pass muster.”
problem is that it’s hard to define what the Brotherhood is, given its loose
structure and culture of secrecy. “What you have is a disparate network of
groups that may or may not meet criteria,” said Jonathan Schanzer, a former
Treasury Department analyst now with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Schanzer thinks the Muslim Brotherhood’s “mothership” in Egypt wouldn’t
qualify, but other parts of the movement, such as the Islah party in Yemen,
might if the Trump administration took a more targeted approach. Otherwise,
“it’s trying to hit a grand slam and it’s probably going to lead to a
strikeout,” he said.
I’d say it’s closest to being a hate group,” said Eric Trager, an analyst at
the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who believes the Trump
administration is right to be concerned about the Brotherhood. “These are not
good guys. These are not moderate politicians. They support, on an ideological
level, terrorism. They cooperate with terrorists. They give a platform for
terrorists. But there is not sufficient evidence to show they send their own
members to commit terrorism, and that is the standard for a designation.”
al Shabaab militants stormed a hotel in the capital of the semi-autonomous
Puntland region, Bosasso, on Wednesday, killing four guards, while two of the
attackers also died, a senior official said.
al Shabaab fighters stormed the International Village Hotel this morning. Four
guards and two of the attackers died in the fighting," Yusuf Mohamed, the
governor of Bari region, told Reuters.
hotel in the port city of Bosasso, which is also the capital of Bari region, is
popular with foreigners.
the attackers did not enter the rooms. The fighting took place inside the
compound. A third fighter escaped and we are pursuing him. All the people in
the hotel are safe," Mohamed said.
2011, the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab controlled most of Somalia including the
the past two years, African Union and Somali government forces have forced al
Shabaab out of important urban strongholds but it remains active from bases in
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC —
members stormed a health center in the Central African Republic's capital
seeking to kill the wounded after renewed violence left at least five people
dead, including a pastor, authorities said Wednesday.
fighting centered Tuesday on Bangui's PK5 neighborhood, long a flashpoint for
tensions between Muslim and Christian fighters, even as security has improved
in recent months.
than two dozen wounded were brought to a local health facility, according to
Dr. Michel Yao, acting U.N. humanitarian coordinator in the country and the
World Health Organization representative.
elements forcefully entered into the facility with the intention to kill some
of the injured," he said Wednesday.
violence was sparked by a military operation in which U.N. and Central African
forces sought to interrogate local militia leader Youssouf Sy, also known as
Big Man. Security forces said they were fired upon and returned fire, killing
Sy and one of his associates.
least two churches were set ablaze in retaliation by Sy's followers. Among the
victims was a pastor, Jean Paul Sankagui, according to Awadal Karim Mahamat,
imam of the Ali Babolo mosque in PK5.
President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily barring citizens of
Somalia, Sudan and five other Muslim-majority countries from entering the US
has left the region in limbo, complicating counter-terrorism efforts while also
putting in doubt the resettlement of refugees.
order did not escape the attention of State Department officials who circulated
a draft memo criticising President Trump's executive order on immigration.
policy would be counterproductive especially on the gains we have made in the
fight against terror. The arrangements that these countries set up to provide
information on individual applicants is farfetched as in some cases, these
countries may not have the ability or capacity, or be wholly incapable of
providing such," said the dissent memo, through which dissenting views are
sent by US diplomats from across the world to the Secretary of State and other
top department officials.
biggest concern for regional countries, especially Kenya will be Somalia, where
the US move is deemed counterproductive, as it seeks to help the Somali
military fight Al Shabaab.
is already playing host to more than 350,000 refugees some of whom are awaiting
relocation to the US, having met the strict vetting process that spans over
from the UN Population Division shows that at least 150,000 Somali nationals
have been resettled in the US under the programme since 1991, with 11,000 of
them in 2015, mostly drawn from the Dadaab Refugee camp in Kenya. Of this, only
272 permanent residency cards and 299 non-immigrant visas were awarded, US
State Department data shows.
the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) centre, hundreds of Somali
nationals on transit to the US under the resettlement programme, are now stuck
after Mr Trump signed the executive order on immigration that effectively bars
citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, from entering the US for the next
90 days, and a ban on the admission of all refugees for 120 days.
a joint statement, IOM and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
agency (UNHCR) said that the resettlement places provided by every country were
vital and they remained committed to working with the US Administration to
ensure safe and secure resettlement and immigration programmes.
hope that the US will continue its strong leadership role and long tradition of
protecting those who are fleeing conflict and persecution. We strongly believe
that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and
opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or
race," the two agencies said.
travel restriction will complicate US security co-operation in the region. They
will be a big boon for al-Shabaab recruiting efforts," Rashid Abdi, regional
director for the International Crisis Group said.
sentiments confirms the US diplomats' fears that the ban will "increase an
anti-American sentiment' in the Muslim world, further complicating the goodwill
the US has gained in fighting terrorism.
of building bridges in these countries, we are sending a message that we
consider all nationals of these countries to be a security risk. Almost
one-third of the combined population of these countries are children. There
isn't any question that their perception of the US will be coloured by this
ban," the diplomats protested.
like Sudan, which was fresh from trade sanctions that were lifted barely a
fortnight ago summoned the US top diplomat in Khartoum in protest to the move,
terming it ill timed.
January 13, Washington through former president Barack Obama lifted a Khartoum
trade embargo, unfroze assets, and removed financial sanctions citing the
latter's progress to confront terrorism.
ban marred recent progress in relations between the two countries and it is a
negative signal on the bilateral relations between the two countries,"
Sudan Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, Abdel-Ghani al-Na'im told US diplomat
leaked cable from the US embassy in Khartoum showed the worry from Sudanese
businessmen community over their ability to attract US business to Sudan in the
wake of the lifting of US sanctions.
African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told African leaders at
the start of the AU summit in Addis Ababa that the continent was now entering
into 'very turbulent times'.
from the two dominant religions in the country, Christianity and Islam have
called for tolerance among the various religious groups in Nigeria.
resolution was reached by participants at the end of a joint session of
Christian/Muslim Intellectual Forum (CMIF) organised by the Centre for Social
Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJECT) in Abuja on Wednesday, February 8,
a Communiqué issued at the end of the conference, the participants agreed to
hold an interfaith praise concert to celebrate the achievements of President
Muhammadu Buhari over some of the "hydra-headed monsters" such as
terrorism and corruption which confronted the nation before his ascension to
READ: Group urges T.B Joshua, Father Mbaka to avoid hate sermons
communiqué which was jointly signed by Rev Steven Onwun, Alhaji Garba Shehu and
Dan Enyi reads in part:
forum also reviewed and described as unhealthy the sustained frosty
relationship between followers of different faiths and the need for internal
soul-searching by adherents of the various faiths to evolve positive measures
that would stimulate cordial and friendly inter-faith interface for peace,
unity and harmonious co-existence in Nigeria.
young intellectuals of both faiths accepted and elected upon themselves to
become vanguards and crusaders of mutual inter-faith relations in their
respective communities and places of worship through enlightenment campaigns
and conduct opposed to the exacerbation of religious issues/tensions throughout
youths of Christianity and Islam in Nigeria agreed to start action to begin a
joint annual national religious feast/carnival where worshippers of both faiths
would intermingle to collectively beseech God Almighty in prayers, songs and
dances for the peace and development of Nigeria.
81,000 Muslims lodged in jails in 2015 across the country: NCRB data
81,000 Muslims were lodged in jails across the country, as per the latest data
presented by the government in Rajya Sabha today.
to a question about the details of “innocent” Muslims languishing in various
jails, Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said, “Only
convicts, undertrials and detenues are lodged in jails. The National Crime
Records Bureau data shows that 81,306 Muslim inmates were lodged in jails at
the end of 2015.”
a query over mechanism being worked out to avoid “harassment” of Muslims, he said
the question of “harassment” does not arise in view of “in the view of above”.
In a major breakthrough Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) have busted
an international call racket that allegedly helped Pakistan-ISI agents to spy
on India's military operations.
people, including a BJP leader's brother, have been arrested from Bhopal,
Gwalior and Satna so far. Officials say more people would be arrested soon.
accused have been charged under various sections of the Indian Telegraph Act
and for waging war against the country," said sources. MPATS chief Sanjeev
Shami led the operation.
were running a parallel telecom exchange enabling ISI spies to call up military
personnel posted in Jammu and Kashmir posing as senior Army officers and dig
out details of operations, deployment and installations in the region",
said an officer privy to the information.
officials have seized several Chinese equipments and SIM-boxes (machine that
houses sim cards) mobile phones, prepaid SIM cards of different telecom companies,
laptops and data cards.
made via internet are sent to SIM-boxes which redirect this illegal VoIP
traffic onto mobile networks.
involved, were bypassing the interconnect toll charging points to exploit the
difference between the high interconnect rates and the low retail price for
on-network calls, therefore avoiding payment of the official call termination
fee of an Operator.
had been helped by the TERM (Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring) cell
of the union telecom ministry in understanding technicalities such as call
spoofing and SIM box-aided call transfers that these accused employed.
"exchanges" were earning lakhs by routing international calls
bypassing legal gateways. They used to help callers based in Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh eavesdrops on military operations using
'interconnect bypass fraud.'
January UPATS had arrested 11 people who were running a similar exchange. Those
arrested from MP are closely associated with those arrested by UP, said
sources. Gulshan Sen a resident of Delhi's Mehrauli who was arrested by UPATS
last month is said to be a common link between gangs of the two states. Modus
operandi was same.
to our Lucknow bureau, UPATS had acted on an input provided by the Jammu and
Kashmir Military Intelligence unit two months back, and was asked to probe two
dozen internet call logs.
DELHI: A Parliamentary committee has come down heavily on the government for
its alleged failure to prevent terror attacks on security installations, saying
lessons have not been learnt from Pathankot attack and that there was something
"seriously wrong" with the counter-terror establishment.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home in its report, which was tabled in the
Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, took stock of overall performance of Ministry of Home
several steps reportedly taken by the government to strengthen security
measures, it has "comprehensively failed" to prevent recurrence of
such subsequent attacks in Jammu and Kashmir's Pampore, Uri, Baramula, Handwara
and Nagrota, it said.
probes Islamic State ‘kill-list’ of I-T engineers who tracked group online, 70 from
National Investigation Agency (NIA) has obtained what it calls a “kill list”
prepared by handlers of the Islamic State targeting “ethical hackers, software
managers” — computer professionals, some of whom are said to have helped
security agencies track down ISIS members and potential recruits.
list has names from across the world and details of over 150 such professionals
across Maharashtra, nearly 70 from Mumbai.
Operates Bank Accounts In Pakistan Under Fictitious Names
security agencies are analysing the list and have even contacted some of those
named, they also suspect it could be a “red herring” floated by the outfit to
divert attention of investigators from the “real targets.”
list was found on a laptop belonging to alleged IS recruit Nasir Bin Yafi
Chaus, a youth from Parbhani in Maharashtra, who has been arrested. This list
was shared by his handler identified as Syria-based Shafi Armar alias Yusuf
alias Farooque. The “kill list,” sources said, specifies names, designations,
companies and email addresses of the “targets.”
| IS suspect Areeb Majeed won’t be charged for being member of terror outfit
has revealed that this list was shared by Yusuf who wanted the module to target
these professionals who they see as threat to their ideology. Many of these
professionals are ethical hackers and some of them are also associated with
various security agencies in curbing the IS menace,” a senior security official
aware of the case told The Indian Express. “We have visited a few of them and
found nothing that they do or have done which could be constituted as anti-IS.
However, the list, clearly, has been diligently prepared,” said the official.
isn’t the such first kill-list. In June, last year the pro-ISIS United Cyber
Caliphate hacker group released a list of 8,318 people, including their
addresses and email details, on a Telegram. Those listed are mostly military or
government workers or people in the public eye, like royalty or celebrities.
pro-ISIS hacker group has been sharing such lists on app-based messenger
services like Telegram which are difficult to track by counter-terrorism
agencies. The US list also had details such as insurance types of targets,
their home phone, work phone and cell numbers,” said an official. “The list is
shared with the sympathizer and if the target is someone in his neighbourhood,
he is egged to carry out an attack to prove his allegiance towards IS,”
explained the official. “However, there have been no reported incidents in
which an IS recruit has carried out an attack on any individual appearing on
these lists,” said the official.
is a small village spread over 91 hectares in the sub-mountainous Kandi area in
Hoshiarpur district and has a population of less than a thousand. Like all
other villages and towns of Punjab, it too was witness to the tragedies of
communal strife at the time of Partition. What sets this hamlet apart is that
it has taken a lead in building a memorial gate and restoring monuments that
were sites for the discord.
has a long tradition of building gates to commemorate events and heroes. There
are several gates named after the patriots of the Ghadar movement and others.
Going past the village, one may just take it to be another of those gates but
it is the name that strikes a bell among the minds of those who are in touch
with Punjabi literature. It is called ‘Darwaza Amar Katha’ and ‘Amar Katha’ is
the name of a Partition story by writer Gulzar Singh Sandhu, which along with
his story ‘Shaheed’, are accounts of the killings and loss of 1947 as seen
through the eyes of a 12-year-old.
writer Gulzar Singh Sandhu at his ancestral village Sunni in Hoshiarpur
district. (HT Photo)
celebrated writer, Gulzar is best known for these two stories that touched the
heart with their brutal honesty. The collection of his stories named ‘Amar
Katha’ was given the Sahitya Akademi award in 1982.
Brahmdeep Singh Sandhu, 48, who worked for years as a prison officer in England
and has been living at his farm in Sunni for the past four years, what does he
feel about this memorial to the Partition and his reply is: “These memories are
undoubtedly very sad but are nevertheless a part of the village history and heritage.
They also remind us of times when different faiths lived in harmony and give a
message to the village to keep up its tradition.”
sarpanch Ramandeep Singh Sandhu, who is nephew of the writer, says: “The maseet
(mosque) in the village was renovated as well as the memorials of our
forefathers (Sandhus) who established this village. This sends a message of
co-existence and peace to the region.”
(82), who penned the pain of the village, says “I was a just a 12-year-old and
those incidents left a terrible impression on me. I saw my best friend Noora
being killed in front of me and his sister with whom I was infatuated being
abducted by marauders from outside.
Ittehad Council for military alliance of 57 Muslim countries
(Daily Dunya) - Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) Chairman Hamid Raza on Monday said
appointment of former Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif (Retd) as head
of 39-member Islamic Military Alliance (IMA) without formal consent of
parliament is going to bring harm to the Pakistan’s policy of strict
terming it as ‘alliance based on sectarianism’, Raza said IMA lacks supports of
all Muslim countries and he stressed on an alliance comprising all 57 Muslim
states after inclusion Iraq, Syria and Iran.
Gen (R ) Raheel Sharif had also set three conditions before Saudi Defence
Minister which includes inclusion of Iran in IMA.
Arabia has accepted all three conditions.
to Lt Gen (r) Amjad Shoaib, Saudi Defence Minister had visited Prime Minister
(PM) Nawaz Sharif to express Saudi government’s desire to have General (r)
Raheel Sharif as the head of the 39-country coalition led by Saudi Arabia.
Shoaib said that he had talked to Raheel Sharif and discussed in detail the
conditions he had laid down before the Saudi government to join the coalition.
According to Amjad Shoaib, the conditions were as follows:
- Raheel Sharif would be the commander or
in-charge of such a force and there would be no command above him.
- Iran must be invited and added into the
- Raheel Sharif will have the authority to
mediate between any two member countries in case of some disagreement or
Shoaib said that the conditions were accepted by Saudi government and he joined
it only afterwards.
Raheel Sharif told me that Saudi Defence Minister had shared the proposal with
PM Nawaz Sharif and PM had conveyed it to him. He told PM that it would be an
honour for him but possible only if his demands were accepted”.
formal proposal in this regard will be sent to Pakistan in the coming March.
Yakjehti Council to launch agitation for release of Hafiz Saeed
Around 25 religious parties and groups that form Milli Yakjehti Council on Wednesday
decided to launch a protest movement for release of Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz
Saeed and protection of Islamic laws in the country.
decision was taken in a meeting of the alliance’s central executive council. It
also decided to observe a week of protest, starting from Friday (tomorrow)
during which country-wide rallies would be taken out for the both causes.
also announced a rally on Sunday, from Nasser Bagh to the Punjab Assembly.
council demanded Hafiz Saeed should be set free, without delay and the
government must apologise for detaining him. It also demanded release of all
JuD workers, besides withdrawing cases against them.
council also warned against making any changes to blasphemy law and vowed to
protect it in its present form at “every cost”. By letting blasphemy suspects
“off the hook”, the government was itself fanning sectarianism, it said.
council decided to convene a media conference on the issue and protection of
(Daily Dunya) – Punjab government has decided to make education of Quran-e-Pak
with Urdu translation for the Muslim students mendatory from first class to
to details, the education would be given in phase starting from Nazra Quran at
primary level, comprehensive details of Islamic incidents at secondary level
whereas Quranic verses with Urdu translations would be studied at higher
secondary level. While chairing a session at Lahore’s Children Library,
provincial leader Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan directed the authorities to mull the
Responding to a jibe political rival Imran Khan had made about how the prime
minister had inaugurated the incomplete Karachi-Hyderabad motorway, Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday that the political party that initiated
a project had the right to inaugurate it.
glad to see that [our] hard work is bearing fruit. If we don’t cut the ribbon
now, when will we?” the prime minister said during his visit to the Bhikki
thermal power plant, some 40km north west from here.
advised his political opponents to join hands with the government to develop
the country instead of hatching conspiracies, and counselled them, “to
patiently endure the inauguration of various development projects”.
about the completion of several power generation and infrastructure development
projects, the prime minister said it was time to reap the rewards of hard work.
opponents advised to join hands with the government to develop the country
instead of hatching conspiracies
world had accepted that Pakistan would soon become a global economic power, the
prime minister said, adding that this would benefit everyone regardless of
whether they were in the opposition or the government.
Sharif claimed that his government was better than previous ones which were
only interested in getting kickbacks or launching expensive projects.
people need to see the difference in our approach...and decide who is actually
premier said his government was also working hard to turn around the national
economy. He said when he took the oath of office in 2013 he was aware of the
challenges ahead and knew he would have to take difficult decisions to turn
back the downward spiral.
was about to be declared a failed state in 2013 when its economy was on the
verge of collapse. In a short span of three years, the entire situation has
said he had never lied to the nation, nor had he ever made false promises.
people of Pakistan would bear witness that his promises of ending loadshedding
and completing road networks had been fulfilled.
government’s work isn’t limited to building motorways. Instead, we’ve built
airports...the Orange Train is being constructed, while work on the Green Line
Project is under way in Karachi,” he said.
President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday said Pakistan and Afghanistan should
keep a close eye on negative elements that fuel tension and spread
misunderstandings with malicious intent towards achieving ulterior motives.
said this while addressing a ceremony for Afghan national students under HEC's
project "Award of 3000 Scholarships for Afghanistan" at Pak-China
Friendships Centre in Islamabad.
President said Pakistan had complete confidence in the wisdom of the Afghan
leadership and the people with a belief that they would play an important role
in the journey towards progress and prosperity in the region, particularly in
both countries, by thwarting internal and external conspiracies. He said
Pakistan was keen to include Afghanistan in all opportunities for progress and
prosperity with an open heart and expressed confidence that Afghan leadership,
people and particularly the youth would play a historic role in sync with the
President said Pakistan and Afghanistan were not only linked by geographical
proximity but the two nations were bound by mutual ties of blood, culture,
history and belief. He mentioned that the ancestors of two countries enjoyed
close and warm relations standing on this common bedrock.
to approve weapons packages to Saudi Arabia
President Donald Trump’s administration is set to green-light a major weapons
packages for Saudi Arabia, US officials and congressional sources told the
Washington Times on Tuesday.
$300 million precision-guided missile technology package for Riyadh and a
multibillion-dollar F-16 deal for Bahrain are now in the pipeline ready for
clearance from the new administration,” the news site reported.
official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that “these are significant
sales for key allies in the Gulf who are facing the threat from Iran and who
can contribute to the fight against the Islamic State,” in a reference to ISIS.
the Obama administration held back on these, they’re now in the new
administration’s court for a decision — and I would anticipate the decision
will be to move forward,” the official added.
forces killed 11 al Qaeda operatives in two air strikes in Syria -Pentagon
forces killed 11 al Qaeda operatives in two air strikes near Idlib, Syria, this
month, including a member with links to the late Osama bin Laden and other top
leaders of the group, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
said a Feb. 4 strike killed Abu Hani al-Masri, who it said oversaw the creation
and operation of many al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan in the 1980s and
1990s, where he "recruited, indoctrinated, trained and equipped thousands
had ties to bin Laden and al Qaeda's current leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, the
Pentagon said in a statement.
army men engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL in the village of Ma'eizileh and
managed to take control over the village.
army soldiers had seized control over al-Hawareh hill and al-Majbal region
the meantime, the army troops targeted ISIL's positions in Southeastern Aleppo,
and also engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL in Jabal (mount) al-Shabith East
of the town of Khanasser.
Tuesday, the army soldiers clashed with ISIL to the South of al-Bab, pushing
them back from the region of al-Majbal and al-Hawareh hills West of the
newly-liberated al-Oweishiyeh hills.
army men also fended off ISIL's attack with bomb-laden suicide vehicles on the
government forces' positions in the village of al-Oweishiyeh.
to army reports, ISIL suffered heavy casualties in al-Bab battlefields.
army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL after liberating the town of
al-Oweishiyeh and managed to take control of the al-Oweishiyeh hill Southeast
of al-Bab, deploying forces in the nearest positions to the terrorist-held
sources said that the Syrian army soldiers killed over 30 ISIL terrorists in
their Tuesday operation and took control over several strategic positions,
while the Turkish soldiers and their allied militants have been faced with
serious problems after ISIL carried out a counterattack against them and seized
control of the town of al-Baza'ah Northeast of al-Bab.
military expert said that al-Baza'ah has been turned into scarecrow for the
Turks that are not able to penetrate it two weeks after ISIL captured it.
expert added that events in al-Baza'ah prove that the Turkish army has not
enough experience in street-battle against ISIL to maintain its control over
al-Baza'ah and prevent its fall to ISIL.
expert underlined that the Turkish army's artillery units and aircraft targeted
heavily al-Baza'ah and al-Bab and killed a large number of civilians without
making remarkable achievements.
Sunday, the Euphrates Shield Operation forces withdrew from a key town near
al-Bab in Northern Aleppo after their positions came under heavy attack by
engaged in several-hour-long clashes with the Turkish army in the town of
al-Baza'ah and managed to capture the town, inflicting heavy casualties on the
Turkish soldiers and their allied militants.
group of terrorists affiliated to the newly-formed Ahrar al-Sham Hay'at (the
Levant Liberation Board) entered a government hospital in the town of Ma'arat
al-Nu'aman in Idlib province, using force, and took several guards of the
medical center that were members of Ahrar al-Sham hostages.
sources affiliated to terrorist groups said that fighters of Ahrar al-Sham
Hay'at arrested Ahrar's guards of the hospital on charges of assassinating the
al-Nusra and Faylaq al-Sham agreed to exclude the hospital in Ma'arat
al-Nu'aman from their differences and set up their military centers far away
from the medical center, allowing Nusra forces to guard the hospital.
after Jeish al-Sonah joined the al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and Soqour al-Sham
battalions launched heavy attacks on Jeish al-Sonah's positions in the village
of Tarmla in the Southeastern countryside of Idlib and seized most of their
positions and arms depots, forcing them to leave the village .
late January, al-Nusra Front and several militant groups declared that they
decided to form a new coalition named Tahrir Al-Sham Hay'at to narrow down
widening rifts amongst their commanders and members.
Al-Nusra Front, Nouralddeen al-Zinki Movement, Jeish al-Sonah, Jabhat
Ansaraldeen and Liwa al-Haq announced that they would act under a united
coalition named the Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at.
Syrian General said that at least 15 members of the ISIL, including Field
Commander Abu Mohammad al-Adnani and Libyan Commander Abu Walid Terablosi, were
killed in the air assault near Deir Ezzur city.
said the army has launched fresh attacks on ISIL's defense lines in Deir
Ezzur's cemetery in the Southern outskirts of the city in recent days and
managed to advance 3km deep into the ISIL occupied territories.
said earlier today that the army troops in a preemptive move targeted the
gatherings and movements of the ISIL terrorists in the Southern countryside of
Deir Ezzur, preventing their move towards the city's military airport.
source said that terrorist groups had planned to prevail over the government
forces' positions in a surprise attack and through a tunnel that runs to the
governor's building Northwest of the town of Arbin, but the army men led them
into a trap and engaged in fierce clashes with them.
army aircraft bombed terrorists' movements several times simultaneous with the
army clashes with the terrorists in Arbin, destroying their positions.
large number of terrorists were killed and the rest of them fled the
battlefield in the failed operation.
the meantime, terrorists failed to break through the army's positions in a
region between al-Meida'ani and Harazma and lost a number of forces in clashes
with the army soldiers.
National Reconciliation Minister Mohammad al-Omri declared on Tuesday that the
Syrian government established a new corridor in Eastern Damascus to pave the
way for the militants and civilians to leave the region.
said that the government set up new humanitarian corridor in Douma region to
help civilians arrested by the terrorists to leave the region.
further added that any amnesty to the militants should be granted after
captives are set free.
army soldiers stormed ISIL's concentration centers and movements near Deir
Ezzur airbase and foiled the terrorists' plans for an imminent offensive,
killing at least nine terrorists, including several non-Syrians.
ISIL pulled the remaining pockets of its forces back from the battlefield to
evade more casualties.
relevant developments in the province on Tuesday, ISIL suffered a heavy death
toll and its military hardware sustained major damage after the Syrian Army
troops and Air Force intensified attacks on their gatherings and concentration
centers near and inside the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur.
army's artillery units opened heavy fire at ISIL's movement near Deir Ezzur
city, killing and wounding a number of militants.
long-range aircraft played an important role in undermining the combat
capability and demoralization of Daesh [ISIL] troops in the area of the city of
Deir Ezzur. Tu-22M3 aircraft conducted 36 sorties, during which 34 terrorist
facilities were destroyed," Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, chief of the Russian
General Staff Main Operational Directorate, said, adding that "with the
active support of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the garrison of government troops
in the besieged city of Deir Ezzur has significantly improved its
ISIL terrorists drove a wedge along the government-controlled regions
mid-January after capturing Deir Ezzur's cemetery and the road connecting the
city to the airbase. 14,000 ISIL terrorists launched a massive attack on army
positions South of Deir Ezzur city, cutting off the strategic road connecting
the city to a military airport.
several rounds of heavy offensives against the Syrian Army positions that all
failed, 14,000 ISIL militants and tens of suicide attackers and bomb-laden
vehicles, managed to advance against government forces on the road connecting
Deir Ezzur airbase to the city, dividing army-controlled regions in Deir Ezzur
into two parts.
sources disclosed that the ISIL's current round of attacks is the heaviest and
largest operation the terrorist group has ever conducted in Deir Ezzur city and
its military airport.
to reports, the ISIL has gathered a large number of its forces from Raqqa, Deir
Ezzur countryside and even from Mosul in Iraq to take part in the offensive.
The ISIL also has a large number of suicide attackers and bomb-laden vehicles
involved in the offensive in Deir Ezzur.
army soldiers stormed ISIL's defense lines along the road to al-Maher oilfield
and seized a strategic hill in the region after hours of clashes and inflicting
a number of casualties on the militants.
army men also engaged in heavy fighting with ISIL and took back mountains to
the West of Jahar station.
army's artillery and missile units and warplanes pounded ISIL's positions in
al-Bayarat region, Jahar and Jazal as well.
army troops could also advance against ISIL to the South of the village of
al-Beidheh al-Sharqi in al-Bayarat.
fighter jets also bombed ISIL's concentration centers several time in Eastern
Homs, destroying one of their main bases in the village of al-Msheirefeh
army troops and Air Force also hit the positions of ISIL and Al-Nusra Front
(recently renamed to Fatah al-Sham Front) in Eastern and Northern Homs on
Tuesday, killing and wounding a number of terrorists.
army units targeted the concentration centers of al-Nusra in the villages of
Tir Ma'ala and Ezzeddeen in Northern Homs, Killing at least six terrorists and
wounding 12 more.
House weighs Terrorist designation for Muslim Brotherhood
: President Trump’s advisers are debating an order intended to designate the
Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, targeting the oldest
and perhaps most influential Islamist group in the Middle East, The New York
Times reported Wednesday.
political and social organization with millions of followers, the Brotherhood
officially renounced violence decades ago and won elections in Egypt after the
fall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Affiliated groups have joined the
political systems in places like Tunisia and Turkey, and President Barack Obama
long resisted pressure to declare it a terrorist organization.
designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization would roil American
relations in the Middle East. The leaders of some American allies — like Egypt,
where the military forced the Brotherhood from power in 2013, and the United
Arab Emirates — have pressed Mr. Trump to do so to quash internal enemies, but
the group remains a pillar of society in parts of the region.
proposal to declare it a terrorist organization has been paired with a plan to
similarly designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, according to
current and former officials briefed on the deliberations. Leaders of the corps
and its Quds Force unit have already been put on a government terrorist list,
but Republicans have advocated adding the corps itself to send a message to
Iran part of the plan has strong support within the White House, but momentum
behind the Muslim Brotherhood proposal seems to have slowed in recent days amid
objections from career officials at the State Department and the National
Security Council, who argue that there is no legal basis for it and that it
could alienate allies in the region. Former officials said that they had been
told the order would be signed on Monday, but that it had now been put off at
least until next week.
delay may reflect a broader desire by the White House to take more time with
executive actions after the chaos associated with hastily issued orders, like
the temporary ban on visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries. But it
also underscored the complex dynamics involving the Muslim Brotherhood, whose
chapters have only loose relationships across national lines.
questions whether US travel ban is a shut-out for Muslims
FRANCISCO : An appeals court has questioned whether President Donald Trump's
travel ban discriminates against Muslims.
executive order temporarily banned entry for all refugees and visitors from
seven mainly Muslim countries, until it was halted last week.
Richard Clifton asked whether it could be discriminatory if it affected only
15% of the world's Muslims.He is one of three judges on the appeals court in
San Francisco, which will make its ruling later this week.
was an hour of oral arguments from both sides on Tuesday. Whatever the 9th US
Circuit Court of Appeals decides, the case will probably end up in the Supreme
Justice Department was first to make its case, urging the appeal judges to
reinstate the banning order. Lawyer August Flentje said Congress had authorised
the president to control who can enter the country.
asked to point to evidence that the seven countries affected - Iran, Iraq,
Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - present a risk to the US, he said a
number of Somalis in the US had been connected to the al-Shabab group.
a lawyer representing Washington state told the court that halting the
executive order had not harmed the US government.
General Noah Purcell said the ban had affected thousands of residents of the
state, with students delayed as they tried to come to Washington and others
prevented from visiting family abroad.
member of a new U.S. coalition of prominent American Jews and Muslims says
President Donald Trump’s administration has expressed a strong commitment to
fight hate crimes against religious minorities, a pledge that earned the
president rare praise from leaders of the two minority groups.
Advisory Council (MJAC) member Robert Silverman, who is Jewish, told VOA
Persian’s NewsHour show that his group received assurances of the civil rights
commitment from a “very senior” member of the new U.S. administration at a
meeting in Washington February 1.
38-member MJAC, formed last November, aims to coordinate a strategy to fight
anti-Muslim bigotry and anti-Semitism in the United States and to protect the
rights of the country’s other religious minorities. The body comprises 19
American Muslim and 19 American Jewish community and religious leaders, business
executives and former U.S. lawmakers.
council members held their closed-door meeting with the Trump administration
official as part of their first Washington advocacy day, which also included
talks with current members of Congress from both the Republican and Democratic
parties. The council’s main priority was to seek federal action to reverse an
increase in U.S. hate crimes against Jews and Muslims — action that it says
should include federal prosecutions of such crimes.
measures rise in hate crimes
latest Federal Bureau of Investigation data on U.S. hate crimes, released in
November, showed that anti-Muslim crimes rose 67 percent, to 257 incidents,
from 2014 to 2015; anti-Jewish crimes rose 9 percent to 664 incidents during
the same period.
a follow-up telephone interview with VOA Persian, Silverman, who also serves as
director of Muslim-Jewish Relations for the American Jewish Committee, said he
was “extremely reassured” by the council’s recent meeting with the Trump
was an important signal by the new administration of a commitment to work with
religious minority groups like MJAC, and a commitment to enforce U.S. civil
rights laws,” he said. “We welcomed it, and [the official] got a complete round
of applause from the Muslim and Jewish council members.”
council’s Muslim co-chair Farooq Kathwari, CEO of American furniture
manufacturer and retailer Ethan Allen, echoed that sentiment in remarks to The
went very well,” Kathwari said of the talks with the Trump administration.
“They said that their objective is to make sure people are treated fairly, and
that they wouldn’t do anything based on religion. So it was promising.”
group stands apart
MJAC members’ praise for the new U.S. administration contrasts with major
Jewish and Muslim-American organizations’ criticism and condemnation of the
White House in recent weeks, in particular for the president’s January 27
executive order to suspend the entry of refugees into America and pause immigration
from seven Muslim-majority nations considered sources of terrorism. A U.S.
federal judge lifted the travel ban temporarily February 3, in response to
legal challenges from critics, who called it unconstitutional. An appellate
court is reviewing the issue.
critics include the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has
denounced Trump’s executive order as a “Muslim ban.” Leaders of the Reform and
Conservative American Jewish movements have issued similar denunciations of the
presidential order. The White House has denied targeting Muslims and pointed to
dozens of Muslim-majority nations whose citizens were not affected by the
has expressed support for Trump’s critics, saying in an open letter to Congress
that it shares their concern “with any bar on refugee or other immigration to
the United States based on one’s religion.” However, the council has declined
to publicly express opposition to the travel ban.
work together, Americans of good will’
are not a protest group,” said Silverman, whose fellow council members include
Republicans and Democrats. “We have concerns [with the Trump administration],
but we have ways to address them without standing on our heads and turning
purple.” He also said MJAC is not operating on an assumption that its relations
with the new U.S. administration will go badly. “I think that’s a partisan
approach. Rather, we are going to work together, Americans of good will, to
live up to our common ideals.”
outreach drew criticism from the Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP), a
U.S.-based research group that challenges Islamist interpretations of Islam.
an interview with VOA Persian, CIP executive director Stephen Suleyman Schwartz
said MJAC has to take a clear position on the travel ban, which he opposes.
Canadian Denied Entry To U.S. After Questions About Religion
Muslim Canadian woman says she was turned away at the United States border
after a lengthy interrogation on her religion and thoughts on President Donald
felt humiliated, treated as if I was less than nothing,” Fadwa Alaoui told CBC
News on Wednesday.
was travelling to Burlington, Vt. to do some shopping with her cousin and two
children. The Canadian citizen was born in Morocco and has been in Quebec for
20 years, according to La Presse.
agents took Alaoui and her cousin’s cellphones and asked for the passwords. She
was asked questions almost exclusively about her Islamic practice, as well as
whether she knew any victims killed in the deadly shooting spree at a Quebec
has been some confusion in recent weeks about which Canadians are allowed to
travel to the U.S. An executive order signed by President Trump banned
travellers from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the country at
it was reported that the ban would apply to Canadian dual citizens, but the
Canadian government later clarified that it would not.
is not from any of the countries on the list.
week, a Seattle federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to block the
president’s controversial travel ban.
border agents asked what she thought of Trump, Alaoui said she responded that
he can do what he wants in his own country.
group was fingerprinted and sent on their way after four hours.
not the first time Canadians have been turned away from the border after being
questioned about their beliefs.
US and India seem like a natural fit in the Trump era: rambunctious
democracies, led by populists, focused on economic growth and fighting radical
Islam. It’s a budding partnership that could be set back by a nuts-and-bolts
dispute over employment visas. As President Donald Trump looks to help American
workers, his administration is considering a broad review of a visa programme
used heavily by India’s massive technology and outsourcing industries to send
programmers and other computer specialists to the United States.
about tougher rules on so-called H-1B visas sent tech stocks tumbling in India
last week, and compounded concerns about the protectionist direction of US
policy after Trump temporarily suspended immigration from seven Muslim-majority
technology sector is vital for India’s economy and creating jobs for a
fast-growing, young workforce, a top priority for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
is the main customer: It accounted for more than 60 per cent of India’s USD 108
billion in foreign tech and outsourcing sales last year, according to the
National Association of Software and Service Companies, an Indian industry
is a general sense of anxiety in the industry,” said Dipen Shah, an IT analyst
at Kotak Securities in India. He said it seemed likely that the cost of hiring
people on H-1B visas would increase, hurting tech companies’ bottom lines.
draft executive order prepared by Trump’s team is short on specifics. It calls
for a report within nine months on the injury caused to US workers by several
working visa categories, including H-1B, and a re-consideration of how to
allocate the visas to ensure they go to “the best and the brightest.”
US government grants up to 85,000 of these visas each year. They’re open to a
broad range of occupations and recipients who can stay in the country for up to
Lady Melania Trump, who comes from Slovenia, had one as a fashion model in the
Canada – Muslim community groups across Canada have joined forces to encourage
the government to take steps to combat Islamophobia in the aftermath of a
deadly attack at a Quebec mosque.
organisations called on the Canadian parliament to designate 29 January the
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia, in honour of the six
men who were killed late last month at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec.
Thabti, Abdelkrim Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Ibrahima
Barry and Azzedine Soufiane were killed as they prayed on 29 January in Quebec
do we move on from this heartbreaking event and ensure that we learn lessons
from this tragedy? How can we work harder to stamp out hate – against anyone,
for any reason – in our communities?” the organisations said in an open letter
released on Wednesday.
National Council of Canadian Muslims, Quebec Muslims Association, the Canadian
Council of Imams, the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, and the mosque where
the attack took place are among the signatories.
is the time to take meaningful steps forward in order to combat Islamophobia
collectively,” they wrote.
at all levels of government
several demands, they want municipalities across Canada to receive training on
hate crimes and “bias-neutral” policing, and release an annual report on hate
crimes in their area.
the provincial level, the groups want education ministries to create a
mandatory high school course on systemic racism, including Islamophobia,
anti-Semitism, xenophobia and anti-black racism.
also want each province to implement an Anti-Racism Directorate to evaluate
systemic racism at the government level, and promote anti-racism public
members have also been urged to support a motion in the House of Commons that
would push the federal government to study how to stem systemic racism and
seen recently that Quebecers went out into the streets… to say enough is
enough,” said Haroun Bouazzi, of Montreal human rights group AMAL-Québec, one
of the letter’s signatories.
think it’s the time to work together,” he said during a news conference in
Ottawa on Wednesday.
said that while Islamophobia is not more of a problem in Quebec than elsewhere
in Canada, it manifests itself differently in the French-speaking province,
largely because of Quebec’s unique history.
absolutely have to give our students the tools to understand what is essential
– what racism is, what decolonisation is, what sexism is – what all these very
important concepts are, in order to create good citizens,” Bouazzi said.
week, Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, was charged with six counts of murder, and
five counts of attempted murder, in the shooting at the Centre Culturel
Islamique, also known as the Grand Mosque of Quebec.
in solidarity with the victims were organised across Canada to mourn the men
who were killed, and public funerals drew thousands to Montreal and Quebec City
to pay their respects.
a march condemning Islamophobia drew thousands of protesters to downtown
Toronto on Saturday, and interfaith and other community groups joined hands to
form “rings of peace” around mosques in the city last Friday in a show of
support for local Muslim communities.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the shooting as “a terrorist attack” in
which “a group of innocents [were] targeted for practising their faith”.
no formal terrorism or hate crime charges have been added to Bissonnette’s list
of alleged crimes to date.
is something that Amira Elghawaby, spokesperson for the National Council of Canadian
Muslims, said is critically important if concrete solutions to Islamophobia are
to be found.
we've seen are murder charges, so I think everyone is waiting to hear from the
investigators as to what it is. At the bare minimum, it's a hate crime,”
Elghawaby told Middle East Eye late last week.
critically important to name the acts of violence and to make it very clear as
to what we're dealing with here because if we don't name the problem, then
we're not going to be able to solve it.”
debate on accommodation
communities in Quebec are also bracing for an upcoming debate on a proposed
law, Bill 62, which officially aims “to foster adherence to State religious
practise, the law would force public sector employees to have their faces
uncovered at work, and it would apply to anyone working in government agencies,
school boards, and public institutions that provide health and social services.
really, it would affect only a very small minority of Muslim women who choose
to cover their faces.
Premier Philippe Couillard, whose Liberal Party put forward the bill, said this
week that the tragedy in Quebec City should not take away from the secularism
debate in the province.
“it will take more than a tragedy to recast the accommodation debate along
lines more respectful of minority rights,” Quebec political affairs columnist
Chantal Hébert wrote in The Toronto Star last week.
62 “is the latest legislative proposal designed to bring closure to the
religious accommodation debate,” Hébert wrote, but “it will do anything but
question of state secularism has bubbled to the surface many times in more than
a decade in Quebec, as has the extent to which the province should provide
“reasonable accommodation” for religious minorities and new immigrants.
radio hosts, whose shows are referred to as “trash radio,” or radio poubelle,
and alarmist newspaper columnists have been accused of promoting hate that
targets Muslim communities.
have also been guilty of stoking the flames, with Parti Québécois leader
Jean-Francois Lisée proposing in September for Quebec to ban the burqa and the
niqab in public places.
Coalition Avenir Québec, meanwhile, has advocated for values testing for new
immigrants, and to join some cities in France in banning the “burkini,” the
full-body swimsuit worn by some Muslim women.
Muslims have long complained of being treated like second-class citizens, so
there's definitely a climate in Quebec. And there is a climate in the rest of
the country,” Elghawaby said.
the 2015 federal election, the Conservative Party staked its campaign on
banning new Canadian citizens from being allowed to take their oath of
citizenship while wearing a niqab, a full face covering.
MPs also proposed a “Barbaric Cultural Practices” tip line, a thinly veiled
attempt to get Canadians to report on the activities of their Muslim
November 2015, about a month after the election, a mosque in Peterborough was
set on fire in a suspected hate crime.
2012 and 2014, anti-Muslim hate crimes doubled across Canada as a whole.
those statistics only tell “part of the story,” Elghawaby said, “because up to
two-thirds of hate crimes are not reported”.
move US embassy to Jerusalem, bishops ask Secretary of State
D.C., Feb 7, 2017 / 06:23 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Israeli-Palestinian conflict
requires wise U.S. engagement to build a better future for both peoples, and
this future could be endangered by an embassy relocation, the U.S. Catholic
bishops told the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
Oscar Cantu, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and
Peace, said that resolving the conflict will require “critical, continued
engagement” to overcome 50 years of conflict and its “egregious injustices and
random acts of violence.”
U.S. bishops have long backed a two-state solution, as has Pope Francis. The
bishops implored the Secretary of State to keep the U.S. Embassy to Israel in
Tel-Aviv, rather than move it to Jerusalem as President Donald Trump has advocated.
the embassy to Jerusalem is tantamount to recognizing Jerusalem as the
undivided capital of Israel,” Bishop Cantu wrote Feb. 1. He noted that the
international community has determined that Jerusalem’s status must be
determined in mutual agreements between Israel and Palestine.
the embassy would undermine U.S. commitment to a two-state solution, the bishop
added that the U.S. has always provided “leadership and support” to the peace
continue to profess hope for a diplomatic solution that respects the human
dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians and advances justice and peace for
all,” Bishop Cantu continued.
year 2017 would be an important year, marking “the fiftieth anniversary of a
crippling occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, crippling for
both peoples,” he said.
cited Pope Francis’ call to those in authority “to leave no stone unturned in
the search for equitable solutions to complex problems, so that Israelis and
Palestinians may live in peace.”
path of dialogue, reconciliation and peace must constantly be taken up anew,
courageously and tirelessly,” the Pope said in his May 2014 visit to Israel.
Cantu said some Israeli actions undermine both peace and the Christian presence
in the occupied Palestinian Territories. He pointed to the Bethlehem-area
Cremisan Valley, where 58 Christian families live near a Salesian monastery, a
convent and a school.
bishop objected that the Israeli barrier wall in the valley constricts
residents’ movement and their access to their lands, splits them from Christian
institutions, and encourages them to emigrate.
Cremisan Valley is emblematic of the alarming number of Palestinians who have
lost their homes and livelihoods,” he said. “Settlement expansion, confiscation
of lands and the building of the Separation Wall on Palestinian lands violate
international law and undermine a diplomatic solution.”
groups challenge Israel's new settlements law in court
- Rights groups petitioned Israel's Supreme Court on Wednesday to annul a heavily
criticised law that retroactively legalised some 4,000 settler homes built on
privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.
law, approved by parliament on Monday, has drawn condemnation from Europe and
the United Nations and has been described by Israel's attorney general as
on behalf of 17 Palestinian villages and towns, The Legal Center for Arab
Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah), and the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human
Rights Center also asked the court for an injunction in order to stop any
registration of the plots as under settler ownership.The Supreme Court has in
the past supported Palestinian property rights and annulled laws it deemed
unconstitutional. The legal process in some of those cases took months, though
the court usually rules on injunction requests within days. Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas called the law an aggression against the Palestinian
people and threatened to suspend security cooperation with Israel if its
ramp-up of Israeli settlements continued. On Tuesday Federica Mogherini, the
European Union's foreign policy chief, said that if implemented, the measure
would cross a new and dangerous threshold. UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres said the action went against international law, while French President
Francois Hollande said it paved the way for the annexation of territory
Palestinians want as part of a future state.
- Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump agreed in an
overnight phone call on joint action against Islamic State in the Syrian towns
of Raqqa and al-Bab, both held by the militants, Turkish presidency sources
said on Wednesday.
Syria's justice ministry has dismissed as "completely false" an
Amnesty International report alleging up to 13,000 people were hanged over five
years in a Syrian government prison. The ministry said the Amnesty report was
"completely untrue and intended to harm Syria's reputation in
international forums," the official SANA news agency reported.
differences during former President Barack Obama's administration impeded the
US-led campaign against Islamic State, and closer coordination could mean
faster progress towards freeing swathes of northern Syria from IS.
now hopes that relations with Washington, strained by the presence in the
United States of a cleric he blames for an attempted military coup last year
and by US support for Kurdish militia in Syria, can be reset under Trump.
has the second largest army in the NATO alliance and is key to any success in
rolling back and eventually neutralising IS in Syria and Iraq where IS declared
a cross-border caliphate after lightning advances in 2014. Turkey has presented
a detailed plan to oust Islamic State from its Raqqa urban stronghold in
northeastern Syria and strategy discussions with the Trump administration are
under way, according to Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin.
operational details were not discussed on this call ... Now detailed planning
will be conducted in coordination," he told Turkish broadcaster NTV in an
interview. Ankara believes recent IS attacks in Turkey, including a New Year's
Day shooting in an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people, have been steered
from al-Bab and Raqqa, and regards a clear-out of the towns as a national
government and Syrian rebel sources said on Wednesday insurgents backed by
Turkey's military had taken the outskirts of al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo. If
al-Bab falls, Ankara would strengthen its sway over an area of northern Syria
where it has created a de facto buffer zone. Syrian government forces have also
advanced on al-Bab from the south, bringing them into close proximity with
their Turkish and rebel enemies in one of the most complex battlefields of
Syria's six-year-old civil war. But Turkey said international coordination was
under way to prevent clashes with Syrian forces.
White House said that in the phone call, Trump spoke about the two countries'
"shared commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms" and
welcomed Turkish contributions to the fight against Islamic State. But it gave
in Erdogan's office said the two leaders had touched on issues including a
"safe zone", as well as the regional migrant crisis and the fight
against terrorism. Turkey has long advocated a secure zone for displaced
civilians in Syria threatened by the militants or forces fighting for Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad.
also said Erdogan had urged the United States not to support the Syrian Kurdish
YPG militia and that new CIA Director Mike Pompeo would be in Turkey on
Thursday to discuss that and other issues with Turkish counterparts.
was no immediate confirmation from Washington of Pompeo's visit. But the
offices of both leaders said Trump had reiterated US support for Turkey
"as a strategic partner and NATO ally" during Tuesday's phone call.
has long urged world powers to help create a safe zone, which it also sees as a
way to purge its border of Islamic State and Kurdish militia fighters, and stem
a wave of migration that has caused tensions with Europe.
and US allies balked at the idea, saying it would entail significant ground
forces and planes to patrol a "no-fly zone", a dicey commitment in
such a crowded and messy conflict.
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of US-backed militias, launched a
new phase of its campaign against Islamic State in Raqqa on Saturday.
has repeatedly said it wants to be part of the US-led operation to retake Raqqa
from the ultra-hardline Sunni militant Islamic State, but does not want the
YPG, which is part of the SDF alliance, to be involved.
between Erdogan and Obama soured over US support for the YPG, which Ankara
regards as a terrorist group and an extension of Kurdish insurgents fighting
Turkish army and Syrian rebel groups it supports have been fighting IS in a
separate campaign around al-Bab, northeast of the city of Aleppo. Ankara has
complained in the past about a lack of US support for that campaign.
rebel forces supported by Turkish armed forces have seized control of
strategically important hills around the ISIS-controlled town of al-Bab,
Turkey’s military said on Wednesday.
said in a statement that 58 ISIS militants were killed in air strikes,
artillery fire and clashes. Two Turkish soldiers had been killed and 15
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the operations had made important
progress and the next target would be the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto
capital of ISIS.
battle for al-Bab has raised the prospect of confrontation between the Turkish
military and the Syrian army, which has pushed to within a few kilometres of
the city’s southern outskirts.
Syrian rebel official and a monitoring organization said the advancing forces
had captured the western outskirts of al-Bab, some 30 km (20 miles) south of
the Turkish border.
last night’s assault, ISIS’s defences have been broken through and the advance
is now continuing,” said the official, speaking from the Turkish city of
Gaziantep. Turkish military reinforcements had been sent to the area about a
the rebel added.
has been a major target of a Turkish offensive launched in northern Syria last
August to drive ISIS away from the border and prevent further gains by
US-backed Kurdish militia that are also fighting the militantgroup.
government forces and allied militia have mounted their own rapid advance
towards al-Bab in the last few weeks. The city was encircled earlier this week
when Syrian government forces cut the last way into the city. The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organization that reports on the war,
said the Turkish forces and their Free Syrian Army rebel allies had captured a
hill on the western periphery of the city.
don’t know if Daesh (ISIS) will be able to recover it, or if it is in a state
of collapse,” Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman said.
a video sent by the rebel official, three Syrian rebel fighters with the Sultan
Murad faction said they were speaking from inside al-Bab. It was not possible
to confirm the authenticity of the footage.
am in Bab now but not at the centre. We are on the outskirts. Thank God, we
have reached this place,” said one of the rebels. Blasts were heard in the
Observatory said at least six people had been killed and 12 more wounded in the
latest shelling of al-Bab.
three dozen people have been killed after Houthi fighters and militias loyal to
resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi clashed for the control of a
strategic coastal city in Ta'izz province.
clashes took place in the Red Sea port city of Mokha on Wednesday in which at
least eight Saudi mercenaries were killed, medical sources said.
militia forces backed by the Saudi air force began a major offensive on January
7 to recapture Mokha which overlooks the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait that connects
the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden from Ansarullah fighters.
troops on Wednesday also shot down a Saudi unmanned aerial vehicle in the
northwestern province of Sa’ada.
photo provided by the media bureau of Yemen’s Joint Operations Command shows a
targeted Saudi reconnaissance drone in the Baqim district of Yemen’s
northwestern province of Sa’ada on February 8, 2017.
military source said the reconnaissance drone was struck while collecting
information on the positions and movements of Yemeni forces and their allies in
the Baqim district of the province.
high-ranking Saudi officers and several soldiers were killed when a powerful
explosion ripped through their vehicle northeast of the al-Hathera district in
Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region of Jizan.
military sources said Major Abdullah Bin Shaiban Hassan Hamdi was among those
least two Palestinians have lost their lives when the Israeli military carried
out an airstrike against an area on the border between Egypt's troubled Sinai
Peninsula and the besieged Gaza Strip.
sources said the attack targeted a tunnel which Gazans use to bring basic needs
into the coastal enclave in the border town of Rafah early on Thursday, leaving
two Palestinians dead and five others injured.
sources identified the deceased as 24-year-old Hessam Hamid al-Soufi and
38-year-old Mohammad Anwar al-Aqra’, both residents of Gaza City. Two of the
injured are in critical condition.
victims have reportedly been taken to the Youssef al-Najjar hospital in Rafah to
receive treatment, Arabic-language Palestine al-Yawm news agency reported.
airstrike came shortly after the Israeli military claimed that it had
intercepted several rockets fired from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula at the southern
resort town of Eilat. The projectiles did not cause any casualties.
Monday, two Palestinians were injured when Israeli warplanes struck a farming
land in the center of Khan Yunis city, located about 25 kilometers south of
Palestinian fisherman was also injured after two Israeli airstrikes struck an
open area and a Hamas position west of the city of Beit Lahia, located about
five kilometers north of Gaza City.
of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and allied army units have carried out an
attack on military positions in the south of Saudi Arabia, killing two high-ranking
said in a Wednesday report on their website that the two officers were killed
in an ambush by Yemeni forces in al-Hathirah region of Jizan province.
report said the vehicle carrying the two officers, one of them a colonel and
the other a lieutenant, was targeted by a rocket attack by the Yemeni forces.
News, a website advocating the Houthis, confirmed that one of the slain Saudi
military officials was identified as Abdullha Bin Sheiban Hassan Hamdi. An
image of the officer’s identity card was also published in the report.
nearly two years, Yemenis have carried out attacks against Saudi military
positions to compensate the kingdom’s relentless bombardment of residential
areas across Yemen. The Saudi campaign, which is meant to reinstall ousted
President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, has claimed the lives of more than 11,400
people, most of them civilians.
reports by al-Masirah had said at least 20 Saudi soldiers and officers had been
killed in retaliatory attacks by Yemenis since the start of 2017. Estimates
show that hundreds more, including servicemen from Arab states of the Persian
Gulf region, have been killed since the start of the Saudi aggression in March
1,000 Rohingyas ‘killed’ in Myanmar: UN officials
BAZAR, Bangladesh - More than 1,000 Rohingya Muslims may have been killed in a
Myanmar army crackdown, according to two senior United Nations officials
dealing with refugees fleeing the violence, suggesting the death toll has been
a far greater than previously reported.
officials, from two separate UN agencies working in Bangladesh, where nearly
70,000 Rohingya have fled in recent months, said they were concerned the
outside world had not fully grasped the severity of the crisis unfolding in
Myanmar's Rakhine State.
talk until now has been of hundreds of deaths. This is probably an
underestimation - we could be looking at thousands," said one of the
officials, speaking on condition of anonymity. Both officials, in separate
interviews, cited the weight of testimony gathered by their agencies from
refugees over the past four months for concluding the death toll likely
exceeded 1,000.Myanmar's presidential spokesman, Zaw Htay, said the latest
reports from military commanders were that fewer than 100 people have been
killed in a counterinsurgency operation against Rohingya militants who attacked
police border posts in October.
about the UN officials' comments that the dead could number more than 1,000, he
said: "Their number is much greater than our figure. We have to check on
1.1 million Rohingya Muslims live in apartheid-like conditions in northwestern
Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship. Many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar
regard them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
addition to the information the two UN officials gave Reuters, a report
released by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on
Friday gave accounts of mass killings and gang rapes by troops in northwestern
Myanmar in recent months, which it said probably constituted crimes against
humanity. Bangladesh on Wednesday rebuked Myanmar for opening fire on a boat in
the Naf river that marks their border and killing one fisherman, describing it
as an "act of unprovoked aggression".
was the second time that Myanmar forces had fired on Bangladeshi fishermen.
foreign ministry expressed "deep concern" at the latest shooting on
Monday, which also seriously injured another crewman aboard the trawler.
ministry urges the government of Myanmar to ensure that Myanmar desist from
repeating such an act of aggression," a statement said.
government led by Aung San Suu Kyi said last week it would investigate the
allegations in the report. It has previously denied almost all accusations of
killings, rapes and arson.
mounting evidence of atrocities by the army puts Suu Kyi, who has no control
over the armed forces under a constitution written by the previous military
government, in a difficult position, Myanmar-based diplomats say.
Nobel peace prize winner has been criticised in the West for her silence on the
issue, undermining the goodwill she built up as a democracy champion under
years of junta rule and threatening international support. Challenging the
generals, however, could put Myanmar's democratic transition at risk.
verification of what has been happening in Myanmar is extremely difficult as
the military has cut off access to northwestern Rakhine.
OHCHR report cited supporting evidence including bullet and knife wounds
sustained by refugees and satellite imagery showing destruction of villages.
second senior UN official, from a different agency in Bangladesh, told Reuters
that the report only described "the tip of the iceberg".
OHCHR report was based on interviews with 220 people, the majority of whom said
they knew of people who had been killed or disappeared.
also has reviewed a separate, internal UN analysis using a much larger sample
this unpublished report, based on interviews with families comprising more than
1,750 refugees, there were 182 reports of killings of people just in the interviewee's
home village, and 186 reports of people from their village disappearing, more
than 10 percent in both cases.
document acknowledges the actual number in both categories was likely lower as
interviewees from the same village may have separately described the same
UN says 69,000 people have crossed the border since October, so if the
proportion reporting people killed or missing among all the refugees was
consistent with those in the report the total number would run into the thousands.
to refugees' accounts provided to Reuters in camps in Bangladesh over the past
two weeks, the army intensified its offensive in northern Rakhine in
mid-November, unleashing what the OHCHR report described as a "calculated
policy of terror" after an incident in which several hundred Rohingya
attacked an outnumbered group of soldiers, killing an officer.
OHCHR report details deaths in random firings, including from helicopters and
grenades; targeted killings of imams and teachers, slitting of throats with
knives and locking people inside burning houses.
reporters have heard similar accounts from refugees in the camps in Bangladesh.
Hazera, a 35-year-old woman from the village of Kya Guang Taung, told Reuters
that soldiers shot her husband, a teacher at the village madrassa, as he was
returning from school with his students.
shot him and then turned the body upside down, dragged it, put a sword inside
it and took pictures," she said. Her elderly parents-in-law, interviewed
separately, gave similar accounts.
could not independently confirm these accounts.
spokesman Zaw Htay said the authorities "will try to verify" such
reports, adding: "If it's true we need to find out the reason and the
background data about the incident."
OHCHR report says that the vast majority of the new Rohingya refugees were
women and children, raising questions about the fate of the men left behind, UN
and men between the age of 17 and 45 were particularly targeted, as they are
considered to be strong and seen as a potential threat to the army and
authorities," it said, adding that many accounts describe men of that age
being rounded up and taken away with their hands tied behind their backs or
Htay said the police and army were doing their jobs in making arrests.
authorities have given little information about how many may have been
detained, although prison officials told a UN human rights envoy last month
that they were holding about 450 people.
you look at the new arrivals - the majority are women - so many of them talk
about a killed husband, a slaughtered uncle or a missing brother. Where are all
the men?" said the first UN official.
The government has launched a programme for capacity building of universities
in war-torn Afghanistan and awarded 3,000 scholarships to Afghan students
studying in Pakistan.
the programme, another 3,000 scholarships for graduation to PhD level studies
will be awarded to Afghans soon.
Mamnoon Hussain granted documents of scholarships to the Afghan students under
a project of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) at a ceremony held at the
Pak-China Centre here on Wednesday.
said the purpose of the programme was to provide Afghan students with the same
educational opportunities as enjoyed by Pakistani students. He expressed the
hope that the Afghan students would play a role in enhancing goodwill between
the two countries. He urged Muslim countries to shun differences, resolve
issues amicably, extend cooperation to each other, exchange expertise in
different fields, focus on science and technology and collectively address
issues being confronted by Muslim Ummat.
Minister for Higher Education Farida Mohmand, HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and
Ms Samina and Syed Abdullah Qasmi, two Afghan students, also addressed the
to Dawn after the function, the HEC chairman said Afghanistan had asked
Pakistan for capacity building of universities. The Prime Minister’s Adviser
on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, during a recent visit to Kabul, announced a
$500 million support package for Afghanistan, including funds for
scholarships and upgrade of Afghan universities. He said at present 156
universities were being run in Afghanistan — 36 in the public sector and 120 in
the private sector.
Ahmed said 3,000 Afghan students had been awarded scholarships for graduation
level studies in different disciplines, including biology, agriculture,
business administration, information technology, chemistry and economics.
the function, a document of understanding (DoU) was signed between the HEC and
the government of Afghanistan with an aim to devise a legal framework for
collaboration in the higher education sector.
HEC chairman and the Afghan minister signed the DoU under which the two sides
will devise a future line of action to expand collaboration in higher education
Afghan minister was accompanied by Omar Zakhilwal, Afghan ambassador to
Pakistan, and some professors from her country.
speaking at the ceremony, President Hussain said Pakistan and Afghanistan
should keep an eye on negative elements that fuelled tension and spread
misunderstandings with malicious intentions.
has confidence in the wisdom of the Afghan leadership and people and believes
that they will play an important role in the journey to progress and prosperity
in the region, particularly in the two countries, by thwarting internal and
external conspiracies,” he said.
Hussain said Pakistan was keen to include Afghanistan in all opportunities for
progress and prosperity with an open heart. He expressed confidence that the
Afghan leadership and people, particularly youth, would play a historic role in
sync with changed circumstances.
- Six Red Cross workers have been killed
and two others are missing in northern Afghanistan, the international charity
said Wednesday, underscoring the growing dangers faced by aid workers in the
were killed in the volatile province of Jowzjan, the charity added, without
revealing their nationalities or who was behind the incident.
can confirm that six of our colleagues were killed and two are unaccounted for
in Jowjzan province,” a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red
Cross told AFP, adding that a statement would be released later Wednesday. “We
are shocked and devastated,” he added.
killings come after a Spanish employee of the ICRC was abducted on December 19
when workers from the charity were travelling between the northern city of
Mazar-e-Sharif and the neighbouring volatile Taliban hotbed of Kunduz.
was released nearly a month later, but ICRC and local officials did not say how
he was freed or who was behind the abduction. “Devastated by this news out of
#Afghanistan,” ICRC president Peter Maurer said on Twitter about the latest
incident. “My deepest condolences to the families of those killed - and those
still unaccounted for.”
workers in Afghanistan have increasingly become casualties of a surge in
militant violence in recent years.
April 2015 the bullet-riddled bodies of five Afghan workers for Save the
Children were found after they were abducted in the strife-torn
officials said the Red Cross workers were carrying supplies to the north of the
country to areas hit by deadly snow storms.
aid workers were in a convoy carrying supplies to areas hit by avalanches when
they were attacked by suspected Islamic State gunmen, Lotfullah Azizi, the
Jowzjan provincial governor, told Reuters.
is very active in that area,” he said, using an alternate name for Islamic
State, which has made limited inroads in Afghanistan but has carried out
increasingly deadly attacks.
police chief Rahmatullah Turkistani said the workers’ bodies had been brought
to the provincial capital and a search operation launched to find the two
missing ICRC employees.
spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said his group was not involved in the attack and
promised that Taliban members would “put all their efforts into finding the
month, a Spanish ICRC employee was released less than a month after he was
kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in northern Afghanistan.
staff member was travelling with three Afghan colleagues between Mazar-i-Sharif
and Kunduz on Dec 19 when gunmen stopped the vehicles. The other Afghan ICRC
staff were immediately released. In a recent summary of its work in Afghanistan
last year, the ICRC said increasing insecurity had made it difficult to provide
aid to many parts of the country.
it all, the ICRC has remained true to its commitment to the people of
Afghanistan, as it has throughout the last 30 years of its continuous presence
in the country,” the statement said.
CHOPRA - Marooned in a tent billowing in the winter wind, Gul Pari's family is
among thousands of war-displaced Afghans crammed into settlements alongside a
flood of returning refugees, in a double-pronged humanitarian crisis engulfing
Afghanistan is struggling to reabsorb large masses of refugees and failed
asylum seekers being sent back from Pakistan, Europe and Iran, joining more
than half a million others uprooted by war.
meagre household possessions, often with small children in tow, unprecedented
numbers like Gul Pari seek refuge in crowded cities such as eastern Jalalabad,
straining public resources that are already near breaking point.
are praying our tent does not fall down in the winter rain," the
mother-of-four said, as her children huddled around a kettle inside the fragile
shelter cobbled together from rags.
Pari's family was forced to flee the badlands of Pachiragram district in
Nangarhar, bordering Pakistan, where the Islamic State group has ushered in a new
age of barbarity with beheadings, arson attacks, and by blowing up some enemies
with explosives buried beneath them.
horrifying, Gul Pari said, was their diktat in some areas to families with
unmarried daughters or widows to raise white flags over their houses, marking
the women as wives for new IS recruits. "It is better to live in misery
like this than to become a victim of Daesh," Gul Pari said, using the
Arabic acronym for IS which is common in the area. Officials say IS is on the retreat
owing to a sustained campaign of US airstrikes, but the UN has documented an
alarming increase in attacks by the groups on civilians, perhaps evident in the
steady number of people fleeing areas with their presence.
violence spiked last year across Afghanistan, about 1,700 people were displaced
every day from their homes, hitting a record annual figure of more than
600,000, according to the United Nations.
of thousands of refugees separately have returned from Iran and, particularly,
Pakistan, a regional nemesis cracking down on undocumented Afghan refugees.
Many of them are stuck in limbo as their home districts are torn by insecurity.
a perfect storm, the European Union last year signed an agreement with Kabul to
return Afghans whose asylum appeals are rejected, which could result in tens of
thousands of repatriations.
was a record year for both displacement and returns, and together these
challenges are having a serious impact on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan,"
said Matt Graydon, spokesman of the International Organization for Migration
addition, there is the compounded challenge of returnees becoming IDPs
(internally displaced persons) because they are unable to go back to their area
of origin due to fighting."
numbers are expected to rise this year, forcing the UN to appeal for $550
million in emergency aid, though after decades of war and the competing crisis
in Syria, donor fatigue has set in.
staggering 9.3 million people, or a third of the population, will need
humanitarian assistance this year, a 13 percent increase from 2016.
Afghan government, heavily reliant on foreign aid, has promised refugees
parcels of land and cash grants, but is struggling to deliver.
growing influx of people has sent living costs soaring and daily wages falling
in many areas.
Red Cross workers were killed and two others were missing in northern
Afghanistan, the international charity said Wednesday, underscoring the growing
dangers faced by aid workers in the war-battered country.
says Penang promoting ‘liberal Islam’
PAS today said the DAP-led Penang government is using the Penang Institute to
spread what it called “liberal Islam”.
PAS chief Muhammad Fauzi Yusof said the state-owned think tank was promoting
teachings contrary to Sunni Islam, adding that a state fatwa had declared such
teachings as haram.
singled out Penang Institute executive director Zairil Khir Johari, saying the
DAP MP was promoting “liberalism” in the state government publication, Buletin
Mutiara, published twice monthly.
has undermined the institution of the mufti and the authority of the Fatwa
Committee by his failure to present an explanation for his statements (in
Buletin Mutiara) before the committee, despite repeated summonses by the state
mufti,” he told reporters at the PAS centre in Pongsu Seribu, Kepala Batas,
said Buletin Mutiara was propagating liberal Islam while religious authorities
were trying to curb its spread.
said he was worried because the publication is also read by students in
committees and suraus throughout the state are trying to stop the spread of
liberal Islam but it appears that the state government is not bothered.”
said this proved that the state did not care about Malays and Muslims.
said DAP and PKR were only focusing on the material needs of Muslims while
ignoring spiritual development.
is the same method employed by BN – and a shortsighted one – to win the
election and retain power,” he added.
Zairil told FMT that his writings in Buletin Mutiara were objective and based
points of view are part and parcel of discourse and debate. Most importantly,
they have to have substance.
have quoted Islamic scholars and it is up to the people to believe it or not.
In fact, they may write back and rebut my points,” he said.
Bukit Bendera MP said he could not appear before the state Fatwa Committee as
he had to attend to the Kampung Mutiara eviction issue in Batu Ferringhi.
was last minute. Despite explaining to them, they chose to ridicule me,” Zairil
February 9 ― The Federal Court agreed today to a full hearing for three
Sarawakian Muslim converts who face state-level challenges in their wish to
revert to their original religion.
Peter alias Nur Mudzdhalifah Abdullah, Mohd Syafiq Abdullah alias Tiong Choo
Ting and Selina Jau Abdullah had asked if the Sarawak Shariah Court has
jurisdiction over apostasy matters or conversion out Islam when the Sarawak
Syariah Court Ordinance 2001 has no provision concerning conversion into Islam.
Court judge Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, who chaired a three-men panel, said
the question of law posed by the three applicants required an answer as there
have been similar cases nationwide.
Sarawak Syariah Court Ordinance is a serious matter and if the legislation does
nothing, what about the ordinary people?” the judge said.
with Suriyadi were Federal Court judges Tan Sri
Belia Yusof Wahi and Tan Sri Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.
three applicants, represented by lawyer Baru Bian, are suing the Sarawak Islamic
Religious Department, the Islamic Affairs Council, the National Registration
Department (NRD) and the state government to be allowed to revert to
also asked the court for an order to compel the NRD director-general to change
their Muslim names to their original names and their religion from Islam to
Christianity in their official records.
High Court, in 2015, had ruled that it had no jurisdiction to hear apostasy
August, the Court of Appeal rejected their application for a judicial review to
compel the four respondents to issue a letter of release to them as they are no
longer practising Muslims.
four respondents were represented by state Deputy Attorney-General Saferi Ali
and Shamsul Bolhassan.
Feb 9 ― Anti-Rohingya protesters gathered at a Yangon port today to meet a
Malaysian ship carrying aid for thousands of refugees from the persecuted
Muslim minority fleeing a bloody military crackdown.
of Buddhist monks and demonstrators waving national flags and signs reading “No
Rohingya” congregated at the Thilawa port waiting for the ship to dock.
of Rohingya are thought to have been killed in a brutal four-month campaign by
security forces that the UN says may amount to ethnic cleansing.
of thousands have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh bringing harrowing tales of
murder and rape.
want to let them know that we have no Rohingya here,” a Buddhist monk named
Thuseitta, from the Yangon chapter of the Patriotic Myanmar Monks Union, told
AFP at the docks.
denies citizenship to the million-strong Rohingya, despite many of them living
on its soil for generations.
nationalist groups are especially strong in their vitriol, portraying them as
illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
treatment of the Rohingya has sparked criticism from Muslim-majority Malaysia,
in a rare spat between Southeast Asian neighbours.
Nautical Aliya set off from Malaysia last week carrying 2,200 tonnes of rice,
medical aid and clothing along with hundreds of health workers and activists.
of the aid will be unloaded in Yangon and transported overland to the north of
Rakhine state, site of the military crackdown.
rest will be taken to Teknaf port in southern Bangladesh, where almost 70,000
Rohingya have fled since October to escape the violence.
initially refused to allow the ship into its waters and has barred it from
sailing to Rakhine's state capital Sittwe.
government has also demanded that the aid be distributed to both Rohingya and
Buddhist ethnic Rakhines.
delivery comes days after a blistering report from the UN accused Myanmar's
security forces of carrying out a campaign of rape, torture and mass killings
against the Rohingya.
on interviews with hundreds of escapees in Bangladesh, investigators said the
military's “calculated policy of terror” very likely amounted to ethnic
months Myanmar has dismissed similar testimony gathered by foreign media and
rights groups as “fake news” and curtailed access to the region.
UN's top official on preventing genocide, Adama Dieng, said this week that a
government commission tasked with investigating allegations of abuse was “not a
LUMPUR, Feb 9 — It is a disgrace to label Muslim consumers as “not that smart”
in identifying goods made with pig derivatives, Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
chairman Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa said today.
was asked to comment on Muslim Consumer Association of Malaysia (PPIM) chief
activist Datuk Nadzim Johan’s call for a logo to inform some Muslims who are
“not that smart” in differentiating an item with pig-derived parts.
an insult to the intelligence of the Muslims,” he said when contacted.
to the Malaysiakini news portal, Nadzim claimed that there were also food
items, clothes, kitchen utensils and more that were made with pig derivatives
that did not clearly indicate that they contain such parts considered haram to
further claimed that the introduction of such a logo would open businesses to
government action when they knowingly sell items that contain pig parts without
proposal was pursuant to the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism
Ministry’s (KPDNKK) seizures of paint brushes made with pig bristles.
a citation by scholar Ibnu Taimiyyah, Farouk said the most accurate view on the
matter was that all kinds of hair are pure, including the hair of dogs and the
bristles of pigs.
also pointed that religious author A. Hassan Bandung had written that the only
thing that is forbidden in the Quran was consuming the flesh of swine, and not
the skin or bristles.
is really a sorry state of Malay Muslims that they became obsessed with such
trivial issues but neglected some grand corruption scandal in front of their
own eyes,” Farouk said, without specifically stating any of such cases.
drawing mixed reactions from the move, KPDNKK Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah
Zainudin ordered enforcement officials to stop raiding premises to seize
products made from pig parts.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia
News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim
News, Womens in Islam, Islamic
Feminism, Arab Women, Womens
In Arab, Islamphobia in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism, Moderate Islam, Moderate Muslims, Progressive Islam, Progressive Muslims, Liberal Islam