family walks to a mosque to attend the Maghrib sunset prayer during Ramadan in
Queens, New York. Reuters
‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’ Brought India-Pak on Brink of War Twice in 20 Years
after India’s Speech at OIC, New Delhi Moderates Criticism of Kashmir
Revives Bond between Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims in Kashmir
Threatens Action against Pakistan-Based Terrorist Groups
May Withdraw Its Opposition to Proposal to Designate Azhar as Global Terrorist:
Largest Islamic Group Says Non-Muslims Shouldn’t Be Called ‘Kafir’
Is a Religion of Peace and Denounces Terror: UAE
York Muslim Community Patrol to Promote Unity and Understanding
Says Peace Talks with US Continue With 'Care and Vigilance'
on Jamaat-e-Islami Won’t Affect Affiliated Schools, Mosques, Says Govt
violates ceasefire, targets forward posts and villages along LoC in J-K’s
Than 250 Terrorists Killed In IAF Strike on Jaish Camp,’ Says Amit Shah
over Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s death amid crackdown reports
agencies trying to ascertain reports of Masood Azhar’s death: Officials
tape: 3 Kashmiri youths escape Pakistan terror camp
terrorist among 2 LeT men killed as 72-hour Kupwara gunbattle ends
cracks down on Jamaat, arrests 200, seals properties
Cong advocates dialogue between India, Pak to resolve issues
interior minister says Turkey spans from Damascus to Medina
of ties with Israel contradicts Islamic teachings: Houthi
bans senior Muslim clerics from entering al-Aqsa Mosque
closes Jerusalem consulate, demoting Palestinian mission
hits Hamas sites after ‘explosive balloons’ launched from Gaza
Israeli officer critically injured in car-ramming, 2 Palestinians shot dead
warplanes launch new airstrike on northern Gaza
Who Solves Kashmir Dispute Worthy Of Nobel Peace Prize: PM Khan
Chief: ‘Threat of War to Remain Until Resolution of Kashmir Issue’
Plans Decisive Crackdown on Militant Outfits
not F-16, used in air combat: report
urges UK, EU MPs to play role for de-escalation
attend funeral of Pakistani inmate killed in Indian jail
community lauds Pakistan’s efforts for peace
of Selangor worried over threat to Islam
using Muslim detainees for forced labour
Indonesia sign free-trade deal as elections near
prison': The growing despair of refugees stuck in Indonesia
Holds Comfortable Lead for Re-election: Roy Morgan
Top Cleric Calls Polygamy 'Injustice, ' Draws Debate
Expert: US Army Training 1000 ISIL Terrorists in Western Iraq
Dozen Ankara-Backed Militants Killed in Clashes with Kurds in Aleppo
Coalition Conducts Chemical Phosphorus Attack on Eastern Syria
takes part in first Arab meeting since 2011
Kurds set free nearly 300 ISIS-linked Syrians
ISIS militants executed by rival extremists in northwest Syria
approves new anti-terror laws
‘direct threat to world’, says Saudi minister of interior
investigating reports Pakistan used F-16s to down Indian jet in possible breach
special envoy for Syria to visit Turkey on Monday
author aims to lift veil on misjudged concept
admits failure of US policies in Syria, Iraq
warns Turkey; senator hints at NATO expulsion
returns 'lost' Myanmar soldier
Saudi Embassy official Khalaf murder convict Mamun hanged
Special Forces storm key Taliban compound in Baghlan province
commanders Mawlavi Jalal and Mullah Jindullah among 6 killed in Faryab clash
police forces repulse Taliban attack against a check post in Farah province
leave at least 350 Taliban militants dead in past one week: MoD
Leader Corbyn Attacked While Visiting London Mosque
Hunt says Yemen peace deal is now ‘in last chance saloon’
Mosques open their doors to public
foreign secretary: Yemen peace needs promises kept
Rebel Media causing anti-Muslim hate, report says
Protests Continue Despite President’s Ban
on alert for new Takfiri attacks after scores killed
largest Islamic party withdraws from polls
radical preacher denies reports of his death in video
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Jaish-e-Mohammed’s audacious terrorist strikes, part of its
‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’(Holy War Against India), have turned it into one of the most
deadly terror groups and brought India and Pakistan on the brink of war twice
in two decades, officials said.
most deadly terror strikes of the JeM in the past 20 years include attacks on
the Pathankot airbase, the Army brigade headquarters in Uri, the Badamibagh
cantonment in Srinagar and the bombing of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.
and Pakistan were almost on the brink of war in 2001 when the JeM attacked the
Indian Parliament, and again now after the February 14 suicide attack on a CRPF
bus in Pulwama, which killed 40 jawans, a security official said Sunday.
terrorist group, with close links with al-Qaida, had resolved at a conference
held in Okara district in Pakistan on November 27, 2017, that it would continue
its “Ghazwa-e-Hind” irrespective of the Indo-Pak ties, the official said citing
an intelligence report.
JeM, which had close links slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, was formed
after the release of terror mastermind Masood Azhar from an Indian jail on
December 31, 1999 after the Indian Airlines flight IC814 was hijacked on
December 24, 1999.
was released along with rouge British secret service MI6 agent Omar Shaikh, who
was responsible for the killing The Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl
in January 2002 and the funding of 9/11 terror attacks in the United States
with USD 100,000, the official said.
group carried out a series of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.
killed 30 soldiers in the Valley through a vehicle-borne improvised explosive
device (VBIED) in April 2000, killed three policemen at a bus stand at Batmaloo
in Srinagar in June 2000, bombed the J&K Assembly on October 1, 2001 in
which 31 people died, and attacked Parliament on December 13, 2001 in which
nine security personnel and officials were killed.
attack on the assembly took place just three weeks after the 9/11 attacks and
the Parliament attack happened a week after bin Laden was cornered in Tora Bora
caves in Afghanistan.
bin Laden was cornered in Tora Bora and the Pakistani army was forced to hold
one side of the cordon of these vast caves, the JeM became the conduit to bring
fighters and their families from Afghanistan into safe havens in Pakistan, run
by JeM and another deadly terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, the official said.
Sheikh Mohammed, one of the key conspirators of 9/11, housed fleeing al-Qaida
cadres in Karachi, he said.
is widely believed that to help bin Laden flee Tora Bora, JeM carried out
attack on Parliament in New Delhi, leading to a war-like situation between
India and Pakistan after Indian armed forces were mobilised along the country’s
western border, another official said.
provided a pretext to the Pakistani army to withdraw much of its forces from
its western border, which was in cordon of the Tora Bora caves, thus helping
the escape of bin Laden to Pakistan.
took 10 more deadly years to get Osama bin Laden. This is the nature and
capability of JeM. Its activities just do not impact India, but feed on
terrorism and has been a major threat to global peace and security,” the
November 2, 2005, a few hours before the swearing in of Ghulam Nabi Azad as
Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, a JeM suicide squad detonated a powerful
car bomb in the Nowgam area of Srinagar, killing 10 people and injuring 18
January 2, 2016, a heavily armed group of JeM attacked the Pathankot airbase in
which seven security personnel and a security personnel were killed.
JeM attacked the Uri brigade headquarters on September 18, 2016, killing 17
soldiers and injuring 30 others.
the Pulwama attack, the Indian Air Force carried out an aerial attack on the
biggest camp of JeM in Balakot in Pakistan, leading to another war-like
situation between the two countries.
After India’s Speech at OIC, New Delhi Moderates Criticism of Kashmir
Delhi: A day after Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj addressed the
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as ‘guest of honour’, India gave a
relatively muted criticism of resolutions on Kashmir and the peace process by
the Islamic bloc.
the first time in 50 years, Swaraj addressed the inaugural plenary of the
annual meeting of the Council of foreign ministers on March 1, on invitation of
the host – United Arab Emirates. Pakistan boycotted the 46th ministerial
meeting claiming that India had “no legal or moral grounds to be present at the
Abu dhabi declaration, released at the end of the conference, welcomed the
“positive initiative undertaken by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to
hand over the Indian pilot as a gesture of goodwill to de-escalate tensions in
the region”. There was, however, no mention of Kashmir in the main declaration
compared to last year’s in Dhaka, since the entire paragraph which expressed
solidarity with Muslim communities in the conflict zone was missing in 2019.
just like in 2018 and previous years, there were two separate political
resolutions on “The Peace Process between India and Pakistan” and “The Jammu
and Kashmir Dispute”.
resolution on the India-Pakistan peace process was identical in language to the
one issued last year.
the Kashmir resolution was slightly modified to reflect events from 2018. For
example, the 2019 resolution welcomed the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s report
on Kashmir and called for its implementation with the setting up of a
Commission of Inquiry. It also sought to end the hundreds of arrests and
“disappearances” in Kashmir. The recommendation to member states were picked up
from previous resolutions.
his official response to the OIC resolution, the external affairs ministry
spokesperson Raveesh Kumar first stated that India “deeply appreciates the
historic gesture” of inviting the Indian foreign minister to the ministerial
then went on to mention the OIC political resolutions.
regards the resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, our stand is consistent and well
known. We reaffirm that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and is
a matter strictly internal to India.”
language was a much more polite one than India’s response to similar
resolutions in previous years, when India had said that OIC had “no locus
standi” and advised it to “refrain from such references.” Indian response had
followed a similar template whether in 2018, 2017, 2016 or 2015.
observe with utmost regret as well as categorically reject the resolutions
adopted by Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) on Jammu and Kashmir at the
45th CFM session of OIC in Dhaka, Bangladesh held on 5-6 May 2018. We affirm
once again that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and the OIC
has no locus standi in matters strictly internal to India. We advise OIC to
refrain from such references.”
a press conference at the end of the OIC meeting, the UAE crown prince was
asked a question on including the Kashmir resolutions in the bundle of
look at it from the positive angle. I think the OIC has sent a very clear and
positive sign to India, to the people of India that the OIC appreciates the
relationship with India and looks forward to strengthening such a relationship
to a point where we can embrace India one day in the OIC,” said the crown
prince Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
added that it was a “historic moment” both for India and OIC to have Swaraj as
a guest of honour.
was a historic moment for India definitely, and the language that you are
referring to has been in our previous statements. The most important change in
the OIC today is having India as a guest of honour and having such a positive,
strong, dedicated speech that we heard yesterday from India,” he stated.
Indian ambassador to UAE, Navdeep Suri claimed that the comments by the crown
prince “really capture the spirit of UAE’s invitation to India to participate
in OIC foreign ministers meeting as Guest of Honour”.
sources added that the political resolutions, like the ones on Kashmir, are
based on country proposals and are not negotiated documents. These resolutions
were added during the meeting of the OIC senior officials, where Pakistan did
pointed out that the main negotiated document was the Abu Dhabi declaration.
Pakistan foreign office issued a statement which noted that OIC “reaffirms unwavering
support for the Kashmiri people”.
Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, 62, returned after performing 'Umrah' (pilgrimage to Mecca)
last month. He lives in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, but his current visit
to Jammu has a special purpose and meaning.
has brought walnuts to greet Girdharilal Daftari, his 68-year-old Kashmiri
Pandit friend who lives in Jammu after shifting out of the Valley in early 1990
after outbreak of militancy.
are traditionally offered by Muslims to their Kashmiri Pandit neighbours and friends
ahead of Shivratri.
and Daftari have been friends for over 30 years. The turbulence of time has
upset many equations in Kashmir, but the brotherhood between Kashmiri Pandits
and Muslims has somehow survived.
can I forget to be with my friend on an occasion like Shivratri. In good old
days, I would look forward to the special feast of fish and nadru (lotus stem)
at Daftari's home.
love and affection that went along the food, served on Shivratri, cannot be
expressed in words," said Bhat.
the outbreak of insurgency in Kashmir over 30 years ago, there has hardly been
a year when Bhat and Daftari haven't been together on the festival.
a way, they are like hundreds of other Kashmiri Muslim and Pandit friends. They
may not be able to visit each other on Shivratri due to geographical distance,
yet continue to share the same feelings of nostalgia.
their intertwined histories, culture and livelihood for centuries, most among
the two communities believe they will withstand the present turmoil.
you believe it? I was taught Arabic and Persian by a Pandit teacher. Isn't this
a statement that dispels the fear about the shared future of these two
communities?" said Nisar Ahmad, 69, a resident of Srinagar.
close links between the two communities were more pronounced in villages than
would ask my Muslim neighbour to bring mutton, fish, nadru and other things for
the festival. But it would take me quite a bit of time convincing him that he
must accept the money for these purchases," said Shamlal Koul, 63, who
lived in a north Kashmir village before shifting out of the Valley.
mutual trust has stood the test of time. Pandits would not eat pork and the
local Muslims would not eat beef.
was the level of faith we had between us. It cannot be denied that under the
influence of the changing times, our youth might not feel so passionately about
their Muslim neighbours.
is something nobody can deny. Children of the two communities feel betrayed.
They have not interacted with each other so often after 1990, and whenever
there has been some social media interaction between them, it has been based on
is the duty of the elders among the two communities to educate children about
the love and respect Pandits and Muslims in Kashmir had for each other.
pain of migration, leaving everything behind, is something nobody among our
community can forget. But Kashmiri Muslims have been more unfortunate because
of the lives of youth snatched by violence during this period," said
the Muslim festival of Eid and the Shivratri have to regain their historic
meaning for the two communities.
that happens, both Muslims and Pandits would lose the most glorious chapter of
their history," Daftari rued.
threatens action against Pakistan-based terrorist groups
DELHI: It is not just India that is taking action — and contemplating more —
against Pakistan for its terror proxies. In the heat of the IndiaPakistan
conflict of the past week, it skipped notice that leaders in the Iranian
government and armed forces have threatened to act against Pakistani terror
groups since the country cannot act against them.
Qassem Soleimani, the all powerful commander of the IRGC Quds Force, issued
stern warnings to the Pakistani government and its military establishment. “I
have this question for the Pakistani government: where are you heading to? You
have caused unrest along borders with all your neighbours and do you have any
other neighbour left that you want to stir insecurity for," Gen Soleimani
was quoted as saying.
you, who have atomic bombs, unable to destroy a terrorist group with several
hundred members in the region?” he asked, adding that Pakistan should not test
and Iran have enhanced their counter-terrorism cooperation in recent years.
This will top discussions between the two countries when the next round of
foreign office consultations are scheduled. Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale was
scheduled to travel to Iran over the weekend but the trip was postponed due to
the India-Pakistan crisis.
of the Iranian parliament’s foreign policy commission Heshmatollah
Falahatpisheh was also quoted as saying that Iran wanted to build a wall on its
border with Pakistan, and promised Tehran would take action inside Pakistan if
it was incapable of doing so to stop cross-border attacks into Iran.
the top aide of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Major General Yahya
Rahim Safavi, went on record to castigate Pakistan. This is significant because
it is a sign that Iran’s supreme leader wants the message to go out to
Pakistan. "These criminal outlaws were from one of the tribes of
Balochistan who had been trained on suicide operations in the neighbouring country,
and the neighbouring country and the ISI should account to the Iranian
government and nation and the IRGC for how they have crossed the borders of
that country and why this neighbouring country has turned into a safe haven and
a place for training and dispatch of these infidel terrorist grouplets (to
Iran)," he was reported as saying.
Jafari, commander of the IRGC, also warned Pakistan against supporting terror.
"Pakistan should know that it should pay the cost for the Pakistani
intelligence organisation's support for Jeish al-Zolm (as Jaish al-Adl is
called in Iran) from now on and this price will no doubt be very heavy for them,"
he said. "Undoubtedly, the Pakistani security organisation knows the
hideout of the grouplets but it has kept mum," Jafari added.
Afghanistan, Rahmatullah Nabil, former chief of its intelligence agency and a
contender in the upcoming presidential elections, said Pakistan’s ISI sheltered
and supported between 45-48 terror groups for its neighbouring countries.
“Pakistan has been using terrorism as a tool and tactic,” Nabil was quoted as
saying to an interviewer. “India should have done this (Balakot strikes) much
earlier,” he added.
hope Iran will also take action against Jaish al-Adl. Because if the US leaves
the region — and we hope they leave behind a good legacy — but if they simply
withdraw, that will give a sense of victory to all terrorist networks not just
in the region but on the other side as well,” Nabil said.
may withdraw its opposition to proposal to designate Azhar as global terrorist:
Pakistan may take "decisive action" against all proscribed organisations,
including Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM), and even withdraw its opposition to the move
to list terror outfit's chief Masood Azhar+ in the UN Security Council terror
list, according to a media report on Sunday.
US, the UK and France+ on Wednesday moved a fresh proposal in the UN Security
Council to designate Pakistan-based chief Azhar as a global terrorist, a
listing that will subject him to global travel ban, asset freeze and arms
a major policy decision, Pakistan is set to take decisive action against all proscribed
organisations as well as against the head of banned JeM, a senior security official
familiar with the development was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
is not clear what specific action would be taken against Azhar but the official
hinted that Pakistan may withdraw its opposition to the listing of JeM chief as
global terrorist by the UN Security Council.
state has to decide whether individual is important or the larger national
interest of the country," the official said when asked if Pakistan would
no more oppose the UNSC action against Azhar.
Security Council Sanctions Committee will consider within 10 days on the fresh
proposal moved by the three permanent veto-wielding members of the 15-nation
proposal is the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as
a global terrorist.
2009, India moved a proposal to designate Azhar, whose UN-proscribed JeM
claimed responsibility for the suicide attack against Indian security forces in
Pulwama on February 14 in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
personnel were killed.
2016 again, India moved the proposal with the P3 - the United States, the
United Kingdom and France in the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar,
also the mastermind of the attack on the air base in Pathankot in January,
2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again. However, on all occasions,
China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, blocked
India's proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.
official, however, insisted that the move to take action against such
individuals was taken before the Pulwama attack, the report said.
also clarified Pakistan's decision to act decisively was taken not to give any
"face saving" to India.
need to correct ourselves in our own national interests and not someone
else's," the official was quoted as saying in the report.
official further said that the Pakistani authorities had conducted
investigations into the Pulwama terror attack on CRPF personnel and found
"no evidence whatsoever of any involvement of Pakistan or any organisation
that the country's leadership was determined to take action against anyone
found involved in the Pulwama attack, he said the dossier shared by India with
Pakistan had nothing in it that suggested involvement of any Pakistani
largest Islamic group says non-Muslims shouldn’t be called ‘kafir’
Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama, has issued a call to
end the usage of the term “kafir”, or infidel, to refer to non-Muslims in state
or citizenship matters, a move that may be aimed at calming religious tensions
ahead of the presidential election.
Ulama, with around 140 million members, said at its recent National Conference
that non-Muslims shouldn’t be referred to as “kafir” as they have equal
standing in state affairs.
conference concluded non-Muslims should be referred to as “muwathin,” or
citizens with the same rights and obligations as Muslim Indonesians, according
to Ahmad Muntaha, secretary of Nahdlatul Ulama’s East Java Ulama Assembly.
said in a statement published on the group’s website on Friday that a Muslim
shouldn’t address non-Muslims as “kafir” in any social context.
conference also emphasised that as a state, Indonesia wasn’t established by
Muslims only, the statement said.
Ulama’s recommendation comes as citizens of the world’s largest Muslim-majority
country prepare for a presidential poll on Apr 17.
issues have fueled divisions between supporters of incumbent President Joko
Widodo and rival Prabowo Subianto.
known as Jokowi, has faced protests from some Muslim groups that allege he has
treated some Islamic clerics unfairly.
president’s running partner for the poll, Ma’ruf Amin, is an Islamic scholar
and head of a nationwide council of Muslim religious leaders, as well as
chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama’s advisory council.
has dismissed the claims against him as baseless.
is a religion of peace and denounces terror: UAE
Abdullah said terrorism and extremism are severely damaging Muslim countries
and their civilisational legacy.
countries need an effective mechanism to fight terrorism and extremism. They
should also combat hate speech, said Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in Abu Dhabi on
Abdullah called on member states to stop "direct or indirect support to
entities or individuals involved in terrorism and extremism, or providing safe
shelter, and harbouring, financing or assisting them" in his speech at the
46th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit.
reiterating the OIC's support for Palestinian's aspirations for an independent
state, Sheikh Abdullah said terrorism and extremism are severely damaging
Muslim countries and their civilisational legacy.
is also being pegged back by violent ideologies.
is a religion of tolerance, peace and safety which denounces extremism and
terrorism and calls for sincere work in the service of our countries."
spread of radical ideology and terrorism should be dealt with effectively
through awareness and government action, the UAE foreign minister said in his
said people who promote terror have lost human values and act under the cloak
of religion while interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
foreign minister also called on Iran to "reconsider its polices with
regard to building friendly relations with its neighbours based on
non-interference in internal affairs. "Iran should stop its efforts to
destabilise the region by spreading chaos and fuelling sectarian
disputes," said the minister.
York Muslim community patrol to promote unity and understanding
its red and white emergency lights, blue stripes and shield, the Ford Taurus
resembles a police squad car.
is not until passers-by stop for a better look that they see the bold lettering
spells out “Muslim Community Patrol”, a new effort to bring security to the
streets of Brooklyn that has attracted the anger of Islamophobic political
groups and fears of a drive to impose Sharia law.
is it?” asked a passing resident of Sunset Park, one of the neighbourhoods that
civilian volunteers plan to begin patrolling within weeks.
patrols are just the most visible part of the programme that will include
translation and counselling, mentorship and a host of other services for people
affected by crime, poverty or other types of need, according to Noor Rabah, the
31-year-old vice president of Muslim Community Patrol and Services who lives
group has already trained 60 volunteers with the help of the local police
precinct. Two cars equipped and ready for deployment. Another eight vehicles
are expected within a year.
all comes at a time of heightened anxiety for American Muslims and fears of a
growing tide of hate crimes.
is a not just a response to that,” said Mr Rabah after a banquet held to raise
funding. “Rather it is a dream of many Muslims for decades. We have always
tried to have our own community patrol because it gives a sense of unity, a
sense of better understanding, a better liaison between us and NYPD.
there are certain cases where we feel if we had been around we could have
served as a preventative service.”
is talking about the 2016 murder of an Imam and his assistant following
afternoon prayers in the Queens borough of New York. Oscar Morel was sentenced
to life in prison for the killing, but no motive was ever identified.
with President Donald Trump’s travel ban and a surge in anti-Muslim groups
reported by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which monitors hate crimes, it
means a time of fear for some minorities.
plan to station themselves close to Islamic schools in Brooklyn, keeping an eye
on pupils as they come and go, as well patrolling around mosques and bus stops
in neighbourhoods such as Bay Ridge – known for its large Syrian population.
hope to act as a deterrent. Rather than intervening directly, they can alert
police to suspicious activity.
so doing, they can work for everyone in the community regardless of ethnic or
religious background, said Mr Rabah.
that has not stopped an angry backlash among people claiming to have identified
Loomer, a hardline conservative provocateur who is banned from using Twitter,
accused the volunteers of imposing Islamic law.
job of the people driving the cars is to enforce Sharia law,” she wrote in an
Instagram post. “In case you never thought Sharia would be in America, well,
rash of videos have sprung up on YouTube with commentators condemning the
reality is the new service is simply the latest example of a community-based
joins the Brooklyn Asian Safety Patrol, founded in 2014, and the Shomrim, a
long-standing Jewish organisation that has a presence in mainly Hasidic areas
also has the backing of senior police and political leaders in the borough, who
attended the fundraising dinner.
Adams, a former police officer turned borough president, promised to dust off
his old uniform to patrol with them.
your women should be able to wear the hijab without any type of harassment.
Yes, your moms should not be assaulted as they walk the street. Yes, you should
be able to go inside your mosque and pray without having to worry about someone
desecrating your institutions,” he said.
those things are true, but there is something bigger than vehicles with
flashing lights on top.”
patrols served as a symbol that the Muslim community – like other American
groups — had the right to provide safety and security to its members, he added.
Rabah said the service would never have won the endorsement of Mr Adams or the
local police commander – who also attended – if it was a Sharia patrol.
reality is that we are not doing such a thing,” he said.
know that exists in other places in the world, we have heard bad stories, but
we are only trying to do the services that you have heard about… which are
helpful, we are not trying to force anything on anyone.”
among his 300-strong audience at the banquet dug deep to offer support.
Rahim, who arrived in New York from Guyana in 1979, said it was an important
a chance to show that we are part of the community and are just like everyone
else when there is a crime in the community,” he said.
says peace talks with US continue with 'care and vigilance'
Peace talks between the Taliban and the US are progressing on a
"step-by-step" basis, a spokesman from the militant group said
Sunday, following a bloody attack on a joint US-Afghan base claimed by the
between the two sides restarted over the weekend in Doha after a temporary halt
late last week to allow for "internal deliberations".
current round of talks in Doha are advancing on a step-by-step basis. As the
issue at hand is immensely crucial and delicate, it's progression is taking
place with that much care and vigilance," said Taliban spokesman
Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement sent to media.
spokesman added the negotiations continue to focus primarily on a potential US
troop withdrawal and a pact to prevent Afghanistan from being used as a safe
haven for terrorists.
latest meetings follow marathon talks in January that saw the US and the
Taliban walk away with a "draft framework" on the two issues.
should be mentioned that no understanding has so far been reached about any
agreement or document," Mujahid added.
US has not released a statement regarding the status of the talks.
New York Times report published Thursday hinted that US forces could leave
Afghanistan within five years under a Pentagon plan offered as part of a
potential deal with the Taliban to end the nearly 18-year war.
Taliban were quick to reject the claims, saying they were unaware of any such
proposals made during the months-long diplomatic push.
US has also pushed for a ceasefire and the opening of a dialogue between the
Taliban and the Kabul government --demands that have been repeatedly rejected
by the insurgents.
continuation of the talks follows a major attack on a joint US-Afghan base in
southwestern Afghanistan's Helmand province Friday, with at least 23 security
forces killed in the hours-long assault on one of the largest military
installations in the country.
snowfall across large swathes of Afghanistan has led to a sharp reduction in
violence this winter, but warmer weather in the country's south will likely
spark an increase in bloodshed with the arrival of the spring fighting season.
have warned that the Taliban are likely to ramp up attacks in the coming months
as they seek to maintain momentum on the battlefield and leverage at the
on Jamaat-e-Islami won’t affect affiliated schools, mosques, says govt
Jammu and Kashmir government late on Sunday clarified that Jamaat-e-Islami’
affiliated schools, mosques and orphanages have been kept outside the purview of
the ban on the organisation.
Ban# J&K Government Spokesman, Rohit Kansal @kansalrohit69 clarifies:
Schools, mosques & orphanages so far kept outside the scope of seizure,”
said a tweet by department of information and public relations, Govt of Jammu
all regional mainstream parties had expressed outrage after Centre on Thursday
banned the Jamaat-e-Islami in Jammu and Kashmir for five years on grounds that
it was “in close touch” with militant outfits and was expected to “escalate secessionist
movement” in the state.
Conference (NC), Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and Peoples Conference (PC)
have demanded revocation of the ban and also expressed concern over the fate of
schools run by the JeI.
the government may take some time to review the need to ban JeI, there is a
need to urgently review the ban on schools and the sealing of mosques,” tweeted
former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday.
is nothing to suggest sealing mosques will improve the security environment.
Sealing schools risks forcing so many young kids out on the streets rather than
studying to make a future for themselves,” he said.
are being turned away from mosques where they usually congregate for prayers.
Schools with 10’s of 1000’s of students, employing 1000s of teachers are being
sealed,” he said.
is anxiety among thousands of parents and students of hundreds of JeI-run
schools as they fear the administration may seal educational institutes as
well. According to an unofficial estimate, around 100,000 students are studying
in 300 schools run by the JeI.
Saturday, PDP leaders and activists took out a protest march against the ban in
Srinagar. The protest came as authorities in Kashmir started sealing properties
of JeI and residences of some of its activists. Bank accounts of JeI leaders
have also been frozen.
schools have been providing education to the poorest of the poor and they have
been getting positions. They are meritorious students. Where will these kids
go? The government is playing with their future. This is very bad,” said PDP
leader and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
troops Monday violated ceasefire by targeting forward posts and villages along
the Line of Control in Akhnoor sector in Jammu, breaking a two-day lull in
cross-border skirmishes, officials said. “The firing from across the border
started around 0300 hours and stopped at 0630 hours,” a defence spokesman said.
He said Pakistan initiated the unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing mortar
shells and small arms on forward posts and villages.
Army retaliated strongly and effectively,” the spokesman said adding there was
no report of any casualty on Indian side.
a two-hour cross-border firing in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district Saturday
afternoon, the guns had fallen silent all along the LoC since Friday night.
lull in the cross-border firing had come as a major relief to the border
residents, especially in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri, where
Pakistan had violated ceasefire for over 50 times, killing four persons
including three members of a family and injuring several others.
ceasefire violations by Pakistan witnessed a spurt after India’s air strike at
Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Feb
26 in a “preemptive” action following the terrorist group’s Feb 14 suicide
bombing in Pulwama in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
heightened tensions, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat visited Jammu-based White Knight
Corps on Saturday and reviewed the operational preparedness of the forces in
the Corps Zone in view of the current situation along the LoC and the
president Amit Shah on Sunday said over 250 terrorists were killed in the
airstrike carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on the “13th day of
dastardly Pulwama terror attack.”
the ‘Lakshya JITO’ program in Ahmedabad, Shah spoke about the two major terror
strikes of the last five years and outlined the central government’s response
5 years two major incidents happened...In URI and Pulwama.....after Uri attack
our army entered Pakistan and did a surgical strike and took revenge of our
Pulwama attack, everyone thought surgical strike can’t be done this time..now
what will happen?... At that time Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central
government did an airstrike on the 13th day and killed more than 250 terrorists
without any harm on our side,” Shah said.
February 28, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had asked the
government to spell out “details” of the exact place where the air raid was
carried out and the casualties inflicted, stating that international media
claimed that there was no damage in the strike.
the wee hours of February 26, the anti-terror operations carried out by the IAF
targeted camps of dreaded terror outfit—Jaish-e-Mohammad—inBalakotinPakistan’s
mounted about the status of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar on Sunday
against the backdrop of reports that the Pakistan government could be planning
a crackdown on the banned group.
reports swirled through the day about the death of Azhar, whose group claimed
responsibility for the February 14 suicide bombing at Pulwama in Jammu and
Kashmir that killed 40 troops.
has been sustained focus on Azhar since foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
confirmed his presence in Pakistan last week and said he was “unwell”. Qureshi
also said the government was in touch with the JeM, which he said has
purportedly denied involvement in the Pulwama attack.
familiar with developments in Islamabad said Azhar was alive and had recently
undergone surgery for a gall bladder ailment and kidney stones. PTI quoted an
unnamed security official as saying that Azhar had been treated at a military
officials in New Delhi too said there was no confirmation of reports of Azhar’s
reports had said Azhar was ailing from spinal cancer and was being treated at
the JeM headquarters at Bhawalpu. He was still active as he was ailing, but not
officials said the government’s focus will continue to be on counter-terrorism
efforts as they didn’t want Pakistan to resort to any ploy to reduce pressure
from the world community, especially after Pakistan after Qureshi admitted on
TV that Azhar is in Pakistan and that the authorities are in touch with JeM.
a statement issued by JeM referred to India’s air strike at a facility of the
terrorist group at Balakot and said Pakistan’s government is following in the
footsteps of former president Pervez Musharraf, who had ordered a crackdown on
Indian pilot was released and now they are planning to arrest and detain the
faithful. The government is planning to shut their religious institutions. It
is going soft on the enemies while acting tough against its own,” said the
statement in Urdu.
agencies were trying to ascertain reports on social media about the death of
Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group chief Masood Azhar in Pakistan, officials said on
Sunday. The officials said they had no information other than that Azhar was
undergoing treatment at an army hospital after suffering renal failure.
resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan’s Punjab province, Azhar formed the
Jaish-e-Mohammed in 2000.
50-year-old Azhar, who was released by the NDA government in 1999 in exchange
of hostages of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814, has been accused of
being the mastermind of the 2001 Parliament attack, suicide attack on Jammu and
Kashmir state assembly, attack on Pathankot IAF base and the latest Pulwama
media was filled with reports that Azhar had died, but there was no
confirmation as of now, the officials said. Jaish’s Balakot camp, where
training was imparted to recruits to carry out suicide attacks, was targeted by
the IAF in an air strike last week, following the Pulwama terror attack in
which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
government has claimed that it achieved a spectacular success by destroying the
an interview to CNN, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi earlier
admitted that the JeM chief is in Pakistan and is “very unwell”, but said the
government can act against him only if India presents “solid” and “inalienable”
evidence that can stand in a court of law.
Three youths from Kashmir, who had crossed over to Pakistan but made a dramatic
escape last September to return home, have made startling disclosures on how
Pakistan’s ISI is luring Kashmiri youngsters into joining a lesser-active
terror outfit called Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TuM).
videotaped interrogation of the trio by the Indian Army, accessed by TOI, reveals
that 22-year-old Mohammad Shafi Bhatt, 20-year-old Sajjad Ahmad Wani and
21-year-old Abid Ahmad Dar, all from J&K’s Bandipora, had crossed over to
Pakistan in 2017 to join a terror outfit and get arms training during the
post-Burhan Wani recruitment drive to stir violence in Kashmir.
who worked as a porter near the Jawahar post, knew the area and took his other
two friends along to cross over. They exfiltrated into Pakistan from Lossar
post, opposite Gurez sector in north Kashmir, on April 7, 2017.
were received at a terror launch pad by a commander, then blindfolded and taken
to a destination under the pretext that the place was a terror camp.
were first taken to a matchbox factory in PoK’s Muzaffarabad for five days.
There were other Kashmiris in that compound too. All of them want to return but
are trapped and forced to become jihadis and sent to different terror outfits,”
says one of them in the videotaped interrogation. “One man came and identified
himself as Ustaad. He motivated all of us to become mujahideen,” says another.
youths were then asked their preferences about which terror group they were
keen on joining. But later they were told they could join only TuM when its
chief Sheikh Jameel-ur-Rehman and recruiter Hamza Bhai visited them personally.
three youths told their interrogators that they were sent to Manshera in
Muzaffarabad for a four-month training with Hizbul Mujahideen and then to
Rawalpindi. They were given a monthly allowance of Rs2,000 and asked to do
menial jobs. Both TuM and Hizbul,however, suspected the youths to be Indian
spies for some reason. “We were tortured and that’s when we decided to run away
and return to Kashmir,” one of the youths said. They also said that they met
one Tauseef, another Kashmiri, who was given a weapon and some cash to
infiltrate into India from Pakistan but escaped like them.
was banned by the Centre on February 6 this year under Section 35 of Unlawful
Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. TuM has been involved in grenade lobbing,
weapons snatching and supporting other terror outfits, such as Jaish-e-Mohammad
(JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), in terms of financial and logistic support.
anti-terror specialist in Srinagar said TuM was clearly reviving itself. “They
use the expertise of LeT and JeM, and the overground workers’ network of
Hizbul, for big terror attacks,” he added.
The Handwara encounter ended on Sunday with the killing of both terrorists who
had engaged the security forces in a three-day gun battle.
security forces lost five men in the firefight at Babagund village in Handwara,
district Kupwara — three CRPF men and two J&K policemen. A civilian, too,
was killed, taking the total number of lives lost to eight.
police said on Sunday the two militants were affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“Both the #terrorists killed were affiliated with proscribed terror outfit
#LeT. One has been identified as #foreigner from #Pakistan. Identity of the
other is being ascertained,” the police wrote on Twitter.
to reports, eight buildings, including two cowsheds, were damaged in the nearly
72-hour gun battle. Internet services in the area remained suspended when
reports last came in.
operation posed considerable difficulties for the security forces due to the
topography of the area. The area where the militants were hiding was very
congested and civilians in adjoining houses had to be evacuated to safer places
away from the site of the encounter,” a police spokesman said.
added that the bodies of both terrorists were recovered from the site of the
gunfight. “Their identities and affiliations are being ascertained,” he said.
“Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the
site of the gunfight,” the police spokesman said.
have registered a case and the incriminating material retrieved from the
encounter site has been put in the case records for further investigation.
police spokesman said CRPF jawan Sham Narayan Singh Yadav, who was injured
earlier, succumbed to his injuries, raising the toll of CRPF dead to three.
encounter began in the intervening night of February 28 and March 1 after a
joint team launched a cordon-and-search operation. A fierce encounter started
and two terrorists were believed to have been killed. However, when the joint
search team went to retrieve the militants’ bodies amid a lull, one of the two
militants, earlier believed to be dead, stood up and opened fire. CRPF
inspector Pintu Kumar, paramilitary trooper Vinod and two policemen — Naseer
Ahmad Kholi and Ghulam Mustafa Barah —were killed and 11 uniformed men, seven
of them Army personnel, were injured in the subsequent gunfight.
The Jammu and Kashmir authorities arrested more than 200 Jamaat-e-Islami
activists and sealed properties worth crores of rupees across the state after
the Union home ministry banned the Jamaat on Thursday.
those arrested in Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Poonch, Rajouri and Jammu districts
in Jammu division of the state were three prominent local Jamaat leaders as
late-night J&K government release “made it clear that schools, mosques and
orphanages have been kept outside the scope of seizure and sealing”. The
statement from J&K government spokesman Rahul Kansal said, “Action is being
taken against offices, assets, properties and other equipment of the banned
organisation.” He added that the ban was for five years.
senior police officer confirmed the raids on the houses of Jamaat leaders, the
seizing of documents, the freezing of their bank accounts and the sealing of
all mainstream leaders, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and
Mehbooba Mufti, Sajjad Lone and state Congress leaders expressed dismay over
the Union government’s decision to ban the Jamaat-e-Islami in J&K.
late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, former CM and grandfather of Omar Abdullah, had
banned the Jamaat in the early 1980s and had dismantled their schools, or
madrassas, across the valley. The Abdullahs were staunch opponents of the
Jamaat and always accused the “PDP of having the support of Jamaat activists”.
the Jamaat in 1988 created the Falah-e-Aam Trust and ran JeI schools. The
Farooq Abdullah government in 1988 again imposed the ban on the Jamaat,
including the Falah-e-Aam Trust.
J&K was established in 1942 by Pir Said-ud-din. Initially it concentrated
on spreading the Wahhabi sect of Islam and refrained from participating in
elections. It later participated in polls wherein Hurriyat leader Syed Geelani
was its MLA for two terms in the early 1970s.
products of Jamaat schools were targeted by Pakistan’s ISI and exfiltrated the
Taliban (madrassa students) to Pakistan for arms training. They were then
infiltrated back into India to carry out subversive activities with arms and
ammunition, according to a GOI official.
1988-89, the Jamaat supported militancy indirectly, but got directly involved
under the influence of Pakistan’s secret service, the ISI, when it formed the
Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) in 1989 as its militant wing.
to reports, Mohammad Majeed Sheikh, Mohammad Iqbal Naik and Ghulam Qadir Bhat
were arrested from Kishtwar district. Another Jamaat leader, Ghulam Nabi
Gundana, was put under house arrest as he had undergone surgery recently, a police
officer said. He said two Jamaat activists detained in Doda were released after
schools run by JeI in the districts were searched during the raids on Saturday,
the officer said, adding the schools are being kept under surveillance.
state unit leader and former state minister G M Saroori said the Jamaat was not
a terrorist outfit but ran schools and provided help to hundreds of needy
people. He said the action against the religious organisation seemed
“politically motivated” in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah expressed dismay over the
banning of the JeI in J&K, saying the move would prove detrimental to the
education sector as the organisation runs a number of schools in J&K. “Our
party and JeI are poles apart ideologically. There is a stark difference in the
disposition of both parties. Having said that, JEI is one of the sociopolitical
organisations that has been contributing much towards the education sector in
Kashmir. There are a number of schools that are being run by JeI in Kashmir. As
per my knowledge, over one lakh students are currently studying in these
schools. I am of the resolve that the move will prove detrimental to the
careers of such students,” Omar Abdullah said, adding, “The move will
inadvertently affect peace-building efforts. We may disagree with the ideology
of JeI but the move will unquestionably breed more radicalisation.”
CM Mehbooba Mufti led processions in Srinagar against the ban on the
students of Falah-e-Aam Trust schools have written an open letter to the Union
government saying, “We feel compelled to write to the government of India and
the government of Jammu and Kashmir via print media that Falah-e-Aam Trust
(FAT) is a registered trust (Govt. Regd. vide no. 159/s; dated 31 July 1972)
that runs as per the constitution duly submitted to the State.”
letter added: “The objectives of the FAT as stated in article 3 of its
constitution include providing assistance to the poor and needy without
discrimination of religion, color and creed; help in the education of poor and
needy students; open education institutions to educate all without any
discrimination, and to assist other organisations in their humanitarian
Trust is non-political in nature and is dedicated to education and service in
Jammu and Kashmir, as reflects article 4 of the FAT constitution.”
The Jammu and Kashmir unit president of the Congress, G A Mir, on Sunday
advocated dialogue between India and Pakistan for resolution of political
issues through peaceful means.
also asked Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to convert his words into action
and ensure an end to terrorism in the region.
the countries (India and Pakistan) need to sit on the table and work out a
solution to the political issues politically," Mir told reporters during
his visit to forward villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch
led a party delegation to areas hit by shelling by Pakistani forces to take
stock of the situation. The delegation met the border villagers and expressed their
solidarity with them.
said the tension along the borders are resulting in avoidable fatalities.
civilians on this side and the other side of the border are getting killed,
injured and dislocated and their properties are being damaged. What is their
fault? The people on the other side are part of the state and are our own
people," Mir said.
to the recent statements by Imran Khan that his country does not support
terrorism, he said the ground realities are different.
he is sincere in his words, he should act and work with India to end terrorism
in the region. Otherwise, his good words will be considered as just a public
relations exercise," he said.
interior minister told a rally of supporters that the Turks were the grandchildren
of a great civilization, adding “we are not just Turkey,” and referring to
other cities and countries in the Arab world, as he made a campaign stop in the
southeastern Kurdish city of Diyarbakir to shore up support for the Justice and
Development Party (AK) ahead of local elections later this month.
are not only just Turkey, but also Damascus, Aleppo, Kirkuk, Jerusalem,
Palestine, Mecca, and Medina,” said Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu
during a rally in Diyarbakir city, according to a video and translation posted
on Twitter by the Nordic Monitor.
are the grandchildren of a great civilization,” the interior minister added in
his rally speech.
is the largest city in Turkey’s southeast, where Kurdish PKK militants have
fought an insurgency for more than three decades to press demands for Kurdish
autonomy. Violence has flared since a ceasefire collapsed in July 2015.
to Turkish Anadolu Agency, Soylu was speaking to supporters during a visit to
the city’s police headquarters.
the rally, Soylu also spoke on the cyber capabilities of Turkey’s police force.
cyber capabilities of the Turkish police force are second to none in the
world,” he was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.
Party officials have been increasing their campaign visits to Kurdish cities
ahead of local elections on March 31.
October, 90 people were arrested over suspected links to PKK, with the main
pro-Kurdish party decrying the arrests as a politically motivated crackdown.
autonomy-seeking PKK, deemed a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United
States and Europe, has waged an insurgency against the state since 1984.
Violence across the southeast escalated after the collapse of a ceasefire in
of 102 municipalities in Kurdish-majority cities and towns are now administered
by trustees, rather than their elected mayors. Authorities removed those
mayors, elected in the last municipal elections in 2014, in the security
crackdown that followed an attempted military coup in 2016.
leader of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has vehemently condemned attempts
by a number of Arab states and Persian Gulf kingdoms to normalize diplomatic
relations with the Israeli regime, stressing that such efforts are in blatant
contradiction to teachings of Islam.
a televised speech broadcast live from the Yemeni capital Sana’a on Sunday
afternoon, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said, “The Israeli regime is a partner to the
ongoing military aggression against Yemen. Their hostility toward Yemen is
intensely reflected in their media reports. The administration of (Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu is complicit in this onslaught.”
added, “The scandalous Warsaw Conference -- an international gathering
organized by Washington in the Polish capital on February 13-14 -- was, in
fact, a declaration of normalization and partnership with Israel.
can be no normalization and relations with the Israeli enemy unless at the
expense of the Palestinian cause and recognition of (Tel Aviv regime’s)
Ansarullah leader further pointed out that normalization of relations with the
Tel Aviv regime will pave the way for Americans and Israelis to advance their
projects in the Middle East region.
of any part of the Muslim world is a bid to target Muslims. Normalization of
ties with the Israeli enemy amounts to opposition to all those who are at odds
with the Tel Aviv regime. Such normalization runs contrary to the teachings of
Islam,” Houthi highlighted.
remarks came amid reports denoting that Israel and several Arab states have had
secret contacts for years, and the two sides have stepped up their attempts to
bring their clandestine relations out in the open.
Israeli regime recently re-launched a “virtual embassy” in a bid to “promote
dialogue” with the Persian Gulf Arab states.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late November last year visited Oman,
where he met Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said at the Bait al-Barakah Royal
Palace in the coastal city of Seeb near the capital Muscat.
Jerusalem Post daily newspaper reported that the two men had discussed ways to
advance the so-called Middle East peace process as well as other matters of
in his remarks, Houthi described the US and Israel as the main enemies of
Muslims, stating that Washington and Israel are aggressively seeking to serve
their own interests.
highlighted that the ongoing Saudi-led war on Yemen is due to Yemenis’
rejection of becoming pawns in US and Israeli schemes.
does not allow our people to be servants to (the United States of) America and
Israel. All the hatred and hostility toward Yemeni people is because of their
loyalty vis-à-vis national issues. Their problem with us is due to our free and
independent approaches and our responsible positions,” he concluded.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah.
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened
by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most
severe famine in more than 100 years.
officials have banned two high-ranking Palestinian Muslim clerics from entering
al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds amid an escalation of acts of
violence by Israeli forces and settlers against Palestinian people.
al-Dibs, spokesperson for the Islamic Waqf (Endowment) organization, which
manages the compound’s affairs, said Israeli authorities delivered an order to
Waqf Council chairman Sheikh Abdul-Athim Salhab on Sunday, banning him from
entry to the sacred site for 40 consecutive days.
had previously been banned for an entire week, following his release from
Israeli custody last week.
noted that Sheikh Najeh Bkerat, the deputy director of Muslim Endowments and
Al-Aqsa Affairs, was also banned from al-Aqsa Mosque for four months.
with other top Waqf officials, Salhab was detained by Israeli forces as a
result of playing an important role in the reopening of the al-Rahma Gate (Gate
of Mercy) prayer area.
area of the al-Rahma Gate was closed on February 25 upon an order by Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
had closed the gate that leads to the prayer space in al-Aqsa Mosque since 2003
in the face of the Second Intifada (uprising) against the regime’s occupation.
Waqf council, however, decided on February 22 to re-open the prayer space at
the Bab al-Rahma Gate in defiance of Israel’s 16-year-old ban. Hundreds of
worshipers, led by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds Sheikh Mohammad
Hussein, entered the area for the first time since 2003 for Friday prayers.
by the move, the Tel Aviv regime launched an arrest campaign against
arrests drew criticisms from Palestinians and Jordan, which is the custodian of
the holy sites in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
Islamic Waqf organizations and Palestinian institutions have insisted on
keeping the Bab al-Rahma prayer area open for Muslim worship.
have repeatedly warned of Israeli attempts to change the status quo of the
al-Aqsa compound, the third holiest site in Islam.
occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US
President Donald Trump announced his decision on December 6, 2017 to recognize
Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel
from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.
December 21, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in
favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial
recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”
an attempt to prevent the passing of the resolution, Trump threatened reprisals
against countries that backed the measure, which had earlier faced a US veto at
the UN Security Council.
The United States has officially shuttered its consulate in Jerusalem,
downgrading the status of its main diplomatic mission to the Palestinians by
folding it into the US Embassy to Israel.
decades, the consulate functioned as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians.
Now, that outreach will be handled by a Palestinian affairs unit, under the
command of the embassy.
symbolic shift hands authority over US diplomatic channels with the West Bank
and Gaza to ambassador David Friedman, a longtime supporter and fundraiser for
the West Bank settler movement and fierce critic of the Palestinian leadership.
announcement from the State Department came early Monday in Jerusalem, the
merger effective that day.
decision was driven by our global efforts to increase the efficiency and
effectiveness of our diplomatic engagements and operations,” State Department
spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement. “It does not signal a change of
US policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip.”
first announced by US Secretary Mike Pompeo in October, the move infuriated
Palestinians, fueling their suspicions that the US was recognizing Israeli
control over east Jerusalem and the West Bank, territories that Palestinians
seek for a future state.
official Saeb Erekat called the move “the final nail in the coffin” for the US
role in peacemaking.
downgrade is just the latest in a string of divisive decisions by the Trump
administration that have backed Israel and alienated the Palestinians, who say
they have lost faith in the US administration’s role as a neutral arbiter in
year the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocated its embassy
there, upending US policy toward one of the most explosive issues of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians in turn cut off most ties with
administration also has slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian
aid to the Palestinians, including assistance to hospitals and peace-building
programs. It has cut funding to the UN agency that provides aid to Palestinians
classified as refugees. Last fall, it shut down the Palestinian diplomatic
mission in Washington.
Trump administration has cited the reluctance of Palestinian leaders to enter
peace negotiations with Israel as the reason for such punitive measures,
although the US has yet to present its much-anticipated but still mysterious
“Deal of the Century” to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israeli military struck two Hamas observation points in the Gaza Strip, a
security source said Sunday, after the army reported balloons carrying an
“explosive device” were sent toward Israel.
injuries occurred from the strikes late Saturday east of Al-Bureij in the
central Gaza Strip and east of Rafah in the south of the blockaded enclave run
by Islamist movement Hamas, according to a Hamas security source.
strikes occurred after a “cluster of balloons carrying an explosive device was
launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory,” the Israeli army said
in a statement.
injuries or damage were reported,” it said.
Wednesday, Israeli aircraft targeted several militant sites in Gaza after an
“explosive balloon” launched from the Palestinian enclave damaged a house in
in Gaza have for months been sporadically launching balloons with incendiary
and explosive devices at southern Israel in parallel with weekly protests and
clashes taking place at the fence.
least 251 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 2018, the
majority shot during weekly border protests and others hit by tank fire or air
strikes in response to violence from Gaza.
Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.
Israeli military says three Palestinians drove a car into soldiers in the
occupied West Bank on Monday and critically injured an officer.
military described the incident at the entrance of Kafr N'ima village near
Ramallah as a Palestinian car-ramming attack in which two assailants were shot
dead and a third was slightly wounded.
officer was also critically injured and a soldier slightly hurt when they were
run over some 10 km northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah, it added.
carried out a wave of car-rammings in the West Bank in late 2015 and 2016, but
the frequency of such incidents has since decreased.
troops, however, have opened fire on Palestinians frequently, with the excuse
that they sought to carry out car-ramming attacks.
continue in the occupied territories following US President Donald Trump's
recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the
US embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
Gaza Strip has also been witnessing tensions since March 30, which marked the
start of the “Great March of Return” protests demanding the right to return for
the Palestinians driven out of their homeland.
tensions saw a sharp rise on May 14, marking the 70th anniversary of the Nakba
Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which this year coincided with the US embassy
than 260 Palestinians have been killed and at least 26,000 others wounded by
Israeli troops since then.
jet fighters have launched a fresh airstrike against one of the positions of
the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in the east of Beit Hanoun, a city on
the northeast of the besieged Gaza Strip.
media have not yet reported any casualties caused by the Sunday night attack.
attack came shortly after the Israeli regime’s warplanes raided another Hamas
position in Maghazi, a city in central Gaza.
on Wednesday, Israeli fighter jets and attack helicopters struck multiple
targets in the southern Gaza Strip in their latest air raids against the
to Palestinian media reports, several posts belonging to Hamas resistance
forces in the south of the coastal enclave were hit, including one in the Khan
Yunis seafront and another outside the city.
of the sites hit are believed to belong to Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the
military wing of Hamas.
Israeli military claimed the airstrikes were conducted in response to an
explosive device allegedly flown into the occupied territories from the Gaza
Strip which had reportedly detonated outside a home in the Eshkol region,
causing damage but no injuries.
Aviv’s airstrikes come as Palestinians have held weekly protests on the Gaza
border since last year over the siege on the enclave and the right for refugees
to return to their homes they were forcibly expelled from during the 1948
creation of Israel.
Israeli regime’s forces shot dead a Palestinian and injured dozens more last
Friday in mass protests along the fence separating the besieged Gaza Strip and
the Israeli-occupied territories.
than 260 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since
anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30, 2018. Over
26,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14 last year, on the eve of the 70th
anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
June 13, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution,
sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, condemning the Israeli regime for the death of
Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
who solves Kashmir dispute worthy of Nobel Peace Prize: PM Khan
Minister Imran Khan on Monday, addressing calls by people on social media and
in his government to award him a Nobel Peace Prize, said he "was not
worthy" of the award.
person worthy of this would be the one who solves the Kashmir dispute according
to the wishes of the Kashmiri people, and paves the way for peace and human
development in the subcontinent," he said.
and fans of Imran Khan started lobbying for a Nobel Peace Prize for the premier
following his announcement to release Indian Air Force (IAF) officer Wing
Commander Abhinandan, who had been captured after his MiG 21 aircraft was shot
down by a Pakistan Air Force jet Indian pilot. Addressing the joint sitting of
the parliament on Thursday, the prime minister had termed the pilot release
"a peace gesture".
after the captive pilot was handed over to the Indian authorities on Friday,
the hashtag “#NobelPeacePrizeForImranKhan” started trending in the country on
social media website Twitter. Until Sunday, more than 300,000 people had signed
online petitions calling for the award of Nobel Peace Prize to Khan.
Saturday, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry
submitted a resolution to the National Assembly Secretariat calling for Imran
Khan to be given the prestigious prize for “his contribution towards peace in
resolution said the prime minister had played a sagacious role in reducing
recent tension between Pakistan and India which was created due to warmongering
attitude of the Indian leadership.
said that the aggression manifested by the Indian leadership had brought the
two nuclear states to the brink of war, endangering lives of tens of millions
of people on both sides of the border. However, the situation was averted due
to its proactive and deft handling by the prime minister.
in view his contribution towards peace in the region, PM Imran Khan may be
given Nobel Peace Prize,” concluded the resolution.
the PPP, which had also questioned the timing of the release of the Indian
pilot, expressed its sorrow over the ongoing campaign. PPP stalwart Syed
Khursheed Shah said in a statement that the country was still in the state of
war and the information minister had started a campaign for giving Nobel Peace
Prize to the prime minister.
said that during the joint sitting of the parliament, the opposition parties
remained in the forefront with a view to give a message of unity to the world,
but the prime minister did not even meet the opposition lawmakers.
prime minister for whom you are running a campaign for Nobel Peace Prize did
not even say hello to the opposition in the parliament,” he said.
Jamaat-i-Islami chief Senator Sirajul Haq has said that the threat of war would
remain until the Kashmir issue is resolved according to the wishes of Kashmiri
people under the UN resolutions.
was addressing a meeting of party workers at Ahyaul Uloom here on Saturday
night. The JI chief also put turbans on the heads of 20 graduates of ‘Khatme
Bukhari Sharif’ on the occasion.
district chief Izazul Mulk and Maulana Hidayatullah also addressed the
Kashmiri people have been fighting for their right to self-determination,” Mr
Haq said, adding that Kashmiris could no more be enslaved at gunpoint. He said
that there would be no attacks if India stopped oppression on the innocent
people and withdrew its troops from the held Kashmir.
asked the religious leaders and students to work dedicatedly for ending
ignorance and illiteracy.
criticises govt for ‘hasty’ release of Indian pilot
Khar, Senator Sirajul Haq said on Sunday that the government freed the Indian
pilot in haste, which was beyond understanding.
condemn Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government for sending Indian pilot
Abhinandan back home as the decision was taken in haste,” said the JI chief
while addressing a public meeting here. It was attended by the party workers
and tribal elders.
Haq said that the handover of captured Indian pilot was a sensitive issue and
the government should have taken all political parties on board before making
the decision. However, he regretted that the government didn’t take any party
into confidence on the issue. He said that the decision had upset the entire
said that it would have been better if the government had kept the captured
pilot for some days to force India to resolve all the issues through dialogue.
said that it was a golden chance for Pakistan to bring India to the dialogue
table, but unfortunately the government missed the chance.
plans decisive crackdown on militant outfits
A decisive crackdown on extremist and militant organisations in the country
action would soon be visible as things progress,” a source told a group of
journalists at a background briefing on Sunday.
imminence of an action against extremist groups was confirmed by Information
Minister Fawad Chaudhry while talking in DawnNews programme Do Raaye. He said
the government had taken a firm decision that there would be a stern action
against all militant groups. This, he said, was in accordance with the
political consensus contained in the National Action Plan (NAP).
a look: FATF pressure mounts as monitoring unit reports 8,707 suspicious
transactions in 2018
information minister refused to give any timeline for the operation against
militant groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), accused of masterminding the
Pulwama attack that triggered the latest crisis with India and took both
nuclear-armed rivals close to war, and Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and its charity wing
Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF). Mr Chaudhry said the timeline was something
for the security forces to decide.
National Security Committee had in its Feb 21 meeting “decided to accelerate
action against proscribed organisations” and ordered re-imposition of ban on
JuD and FIF. Prime Minister Imran Khan had on that occasion, while emphasising
eradication of “militancy and extremism” from society, said the state could not
be allowed to “become hostage to extremists”.
source categorically denied that the action was in response to Indian pressure
after the Pulwama incident and said the decision had been taken much before the
Feb 14 attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama, although it became public
later. The dossier given by India on the Pulwama attack, he maintained,
contained nothing except an iteration of its narrative on alleged
are taking action in our national interest. We have to correct the course. We cannot
leave this mess for our next generation,” the source said, adding that the
“existing political consensus within the country was an opportunity to take
Pakistan on the positive track”.
said the action would help deal with the issues arising out of the Financial
Action Task Force (FATF) listing. Pakistan, despite making significant progress
on the initial concerns of FATF, came under renewed pressure at the Paris
plenary last month.
source said at the briefing that there could be law enforcement actions against
JeM, JuD and FIF. However, it was clear from the conversation that Pakistan
would also review its stance on the issue of listing of JeM leader Masood Azhar
by the United Nations Security Council. “No individual is more important than
Pakistan,” he said while responding to a question. “Pakistan won’t make it a
matter of ego,” he said in response to another. “We won’t test our friends
either,” he said in reference to China that has been maintaining a technical
hold on Azhar’s listing by the UNSC.
United States, Britain and France — three permanent members of the UNSC with
veto power — have again, after Pulwama, moved the Security Council for
designation of Azhar as a global terrorist.
asked why Pakistan had in the past failed in acting against the proscribed
groups, the source said the elements of NAP relating to military had been
implemented, but those pertaining of civilians lagged behind because of lack of
“capacity, capability and will”. He pointed to compulsions of certain political
leaders as one reason, but said no one could be absolved of responsibility.
was decided in NAP in 2014 that there would action against proscribed groups.
That required strategic shift and such changes take time,” he emphasised,
observing that time had now come to decisively against these groups.
about the latest confrontation with India in which ‘a strategic pause’ in
hostilities was obvious on Sunday, he said it was in the interest of Pakistan
to ‘exit’ from the face-off at this stage when it had attained “moral,
diplomatic and military ascendancy” over India. However, India’s case was
different, he argued, saying that it might be a tough decision for Prime
Minister Narendra Modi to de-escalate at this stage because of the political
cost. “That’s why they are taking time. Now that the strategic pause is there,
they would have gone back to re-evaluate their options.”
Public Relations in its update on the LoC situation on Sunday reported calm
after heavy exchanges over the past few days following use of air power by the
two countries. “After heavy exchange of fire on night 1st/2nd March there is
relative calm along LoC with intermittent fire during last night in Neza Pir,
Jandrot and Baghsar sectors,” it said.
Apparently, it was a JF-17 fighter jet that brought down an Indian warplane in
Azad Jammu and Kashmir last week, says a CNN report as an American diplomat
said Washington wanted to know if Pakistan used a US-built F-16 jet to shoot
JF-17 is a Chinese-designed fighter jet produced jointly by Pakistan and China.
may have been one of those jets that on Wednesday downed an Indian Air Force
fighter plane, leading to the capture by Pakistan of an Indian pilot”
Abhinandan Varthaman, said the CNN report released this weekend. The report
also noted that the Indian jet was a MiG-21, a Soviet-designed aircraft, which
has been in service since the 1960s. The MiG-21 “forms the backbone” of the
Indian Air Force, which has about 200 of those in its inventory.
Motwani, a visiting fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Acton,
Australia, told CNN that Indian pilots called the plane “a flying coffin”
because it had been involved in multiple accidents.
that illustrates a problem for India. While it has a massive military budget, a
significant chunk of that goes toward maintenance of existing equipment, and
salaries,” the report added.
report included a quote from a recent inquiry by an Indian parliament
committee, saying: “Modernisation gets a mere 14 per cent (of allocated funds),
which is grossly inadequate.”
spokesperson for the US Embassy in Islamabad told the Reuters news agency on
Sunday that the United States was “seeking information” on whether Pakistan
used US-built F-16 jets to down the Indian warplane, which may violate the F-16
sale agreements between Washington and Islamabad.
said it did not use F-16s in shooting down the Indian fighter jet when it
crossed the Line of Control. Islamabad also said that this was an act of
are aware of these reports and are seeking more information,” the US Embassy
spokesperson said. “We take all allegations of misuse of defence articles very
US often inserts restrictions on how its exported military hardware can be used
through so-called end-user agreements.
claimed that AIM-120C-5 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile had been fired
recently, showing that F-16 Viper fighter jets were “at least involved” in
recent strikes in the region. Pakistan rejected the Indian claim as completely
baseless. India also claimed that it shot down one of the Vipers.
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar has called upon the international community to
play its role in defusing tensions and mediating peace between Pakistan and
should prevail and differences be resolved through dialogue and negotiations,”
governor, on Sunday, has written a letter to the British and European
parliamentarians explaining Indian premier Narendra Modi’s war hysteria that
pitched the both nations’armed forces against each other.
Pakistan is already in contact with the international community to mediate
peace, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at a news conference on Saturday
lauded Governor Sarwar for his suggestion in the letters to the House of
Commons and European Union parliamentarians.
his letter titled “Pakistan India Tension”, the governor stated that Pakistan
and India’s relations had reached a critical stage after Pulwama incident that
demanded international community’s role in de-escalating the rising tension and
saving the world from a war.
stated that as a goodwill gesture and to de-escalate the situation between the
two nuclear powers, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered release of the captured
Indian pilot Abhinandan. However, he said, India was continuing escalating
tension at the Line of Control.
Indian aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
Pakistan, the governor stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan had been calling
for peace and making it clear that Indian premier Modi’s attempts to spread
regional unrest were aimed at gaining political mileage and win the upcoming
Sarwar said that Pakistan’s offer of investigations into the Pulwama incident,
if India provided any actionable evidence, was still on the table. “Pakistan’s
desire for de-escalation and peace should not be misconstrued as its weakness,”
he said and added Pakistan had developed a comprehensive National Action Plan
to deal with the terrorism threat.
former member of the British parliament, Mr Sarwar stated that the British
government as well as Pakistan’s European Union partners had always played a
key role in addressing international issues. “Britain and EU can play a pivotal
role between Pakistan, India and Kashmir,” he said. Stating that the situation
in Kashmir did not seem to be abating, he asserted that Kashmir’s struggle for
self-determination needed to be acknowledged as per the United Nations
said both countries possessed nuclear capabilities and any further escalation
could destabilise the whole region with catastrophic loss of life. “We know
from the past that it is easy to start a war, however once triggered there
could be no control over it as seen in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine etc.,” he
urge the international community to play its role in diffusing tensions and
mediating peace between Pakistan and India,” he said.
stressed that the British and European partners should rise to the occasion and
coerce India into holding talks and easing the current situation.
Shakirullah alias Mohammad Ilyas, the Pakistani prisoner who was lynched in an
Indian jail, was laid to rest in the graveyard of his native village
Jessarwala, Daska tehsil, on Sunday with official protocol.
Sahibzada Syed Iftikharul Hassan Shah, Punjab Minister for Environment Bao
Mohammad Rizwan, MPAs Mian Zeeshan Rafiq and Chaudhry Naveed Ashraf, Sialkot
Deputy Commissioner Dr Syed Bilal Haider, Gujranwala Regional Police Officer
Tariq Abbas Qureshi, PTI’s central Punjab president Umer Dar and a large number
of people, including traders, journalists, lawyers and students, attended his
What remains to be seen is how Indian govt responds to return of captured
people threw rose petals on the ambulance that was carrying Shakirullah’s
coffin wrapped in Pakistani flag as it arrived at the graveyard for burial. The
body was brought to the village from Wagah border.
to journalists at the graveyard after the burial, the family members of
Shakirullah demanded that Prime Minister Imran Khan take the case to the
International Court of Justice (ICJ).
neighbour, Ali, said: “I have known Shakirullah since his childhood and he was
not mentally stable. He was a harmless man.”
Shakirullah’s body was shifted to his village for burial, a panel of senior
doctors at the Government Allama Iqbal Memorial Hospital, Sialkot, conducted
anonymity, a senior doctor said that “almost the whole of Shakirullah’s body
was badly crushed, especially his head, ribs, arms, backbone and legs with
stones, sticks and bricks”. The doctors hardly found any part of the body that
was not tortured.
Iftikharul Shah, after attending the funeral prayers, condemned the murder of
world must take serious notice of this inhuman brutality and play an effective
role in halting India from such inhuman practices and extrajudicial killings,”
Minister for Environment Bao Rizwan said Shakirullah’s murder had raised the
curtain from the human rights situation in Indian jails. He said the whole of
the Pakistani nation strongly condemned this murder.
central leader Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan demanded that the United Nations take
notice of the brutal murder of the Pakistani prisoner.
had handed over Shakirullah’s body to Pakistan Rangers officials and his family
at the Wagah border on Saturday — 11 days after his killing in the Jaipur jail
by the infuriated Indian prisoners.
had stoned Shakirullah to death after the Pulwama attack in India-held
belonged to a Christian family. He had embraced Islam in 1997.
Indian Border Security Force had arrested him in 2003 after he had mistakenly
crossed the Working Boundary through Bajwat sector of the Sialkot.
to Indian daily The Hindu, Shakirullah was undergoing life imprisonment after
his conviction in a terror-related case in Jaipur in 2017.
Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal, while announcing the repatriation of
Shaikrullah’s body on Sunday, had said that the Indian government had not
conducted post-mortem of the deceased to determined the cause of death and a
judicial inquiry into the incident.
to protect basic human right to life of a Pakistani in prison raises questions
India must answer,” he said.
The international community is appreciating Pakistan’s efforts for peace in the
region as United Kingdom (UK), Qatar, Turkey and international media hailed
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision of releasing captured Indian Air Force
(IAF) pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
a telephonic conversation with PM Khan on Sunday, British premier Theresa May
lauded his decision of releasing the Indian pilot, whose MiG 21 Bison aircraft
was shot down by a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jet after it violated Pakistani
airspace, and stressed the need for de-escalation between both Pakistan and
India. She also told him that she was in touch with both sides in this regard.
Khan apprised his British counterpart of Pakistan’s perspective on the
developments since the Pulwama attack on February 14. He also invited the
British premier for a visit to Pakistan, who reciprocated the invitation.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in a telephone call with PM Khan
on Sunday appreciated Pakistan’s release of IAF pilot as a gesture of peace.
Office (FO) spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal, in a tweet on Sunday, said that
the emir had underscored the importance of “immediate de-escalation” in the
situation between India and Pakistan and “offered his facilitation in this
regard”. According to Qatar News Agency, both sides exchanged views on regional
and international developments, especially differences between Pakistan and
India. The emir also called for calm between the two countries, QNA said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said that Turkey is ready to do its
part to de-escalate tensions between Pakistan and India. Addressing a campaign
rally in Trabzon, he hailed Pakistan’s move in handing over an Indian pilot
downed in the recent tension, adding that he looks forward to seeing similar
steps from India. Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to Russia Venkatesh Varma said
that India will not accept any offer of mediation.
MEDIA ALL PRAISE FOR PAKISTAN:
US print and electronic media has given wide coverage to the handover of the
captive Indian fighter pilot, praising Pakistan’s peace gesture and efforts to
de-escalate tension between the two South Asian neighbours.
to a report, CNN, in a dispatch, said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s comments on the escalating crisis along the border in disputed Kashmir
were in stark contrast to PM Khan, who called for dialogue between the two
Wall Street Journal noted that India has rebuffed the offer of talks by
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
New York Times dispatch said that the release of Indian captured pilot “capped
a humiliating episode for India.
retired Indian Army Colonel, Ajai Shukla, in his comments in Financial Times,
appreciated PM Khan for showing statesmanship in the ongoing crisis. American
papers also deplored the war hysteria created by Indian media.
captured Indian pilot was released on March 1, a day after PM Khan announced
that his government had decided to return Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman
to India as a goodwill gesture and to show Pakistan’s commitment to peace.
our desire for peace, I announce that tomorrow, and as a first step to open
negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the IAF officer in our custody,” the
prime minister said while addressing a joint session of parliament. The gesture
was greeted with near unanimous support in the parliament.
desire for de-escalation should not be confused as weakness,” PM Khan stressed,
as he thanked the parliamentary opposition for the continued support amid
rising tensions with India.
only purpose of our strike was to demonstrate our capability and will,” he said
while addressing the House. “We did not want to inflict any casualty on India
as we wanted to act in a responsible manner,” he added.
Khan said he tried to call Indian PM Modi on the phone because “escalation is
neither in our interests nor in India’s”.
reached out to New Delhi after assuming charge as prime minister. I wrote to
Narendra Modi and suggested a meeting between the foreign ministers on the
sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). But we did not get a
The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, today expressed worry
over numerous threats that could defile the sanctity and noblity of Islam and
weaken Muslims in Selangor and the country.
Sharafuddin said he was informed that the Selangor Mufti Department had
identified 45 deviant teachings, up to December.
said the liberalism ideology which championed equality and bringing with it the
LGBT culture must be tackled quickly and effectively so that it would not be a
trend that would surely destroy the Muslim community in the country.
proliferation and spread of the teachings is not a small matter and cannot be
is more worrying to me, some of them take an extreme approach, which can
threaten national security.
threats are unseen and are destroying Islam and its followers from within,”
Sultan Sharafuddin said at Istana Alam Shah, here today where he handed letters
of appointment to the nazir and imam of mosques in Selangor .
present were the Raja Muda of Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin
Idris Shah, other members of the royal family, Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari and
overcome such threats, he said the study of the faith based on the sunni
teachings must be boosted at mosques so that it would continue to be the basis
of the faith of Muslims in the country.
Sharafuddin also reminded nazir, imam and mosque committees to only invite
preachers who were accredited by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS)
for ceramah at mosques and surau.
preachers, as I have said on Aug 21, 2015, are only allowed to deliver their
ceramah at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque (state mosque), Tengku
Ampuan Jemaah Mosque, Bukit Jelutong and Sultan Suleiman Mosque, Klang, that
too after a special accreditation is obtained form MAIS,” he said.
also expressed deep concern over the disunity that had occurred among Muslims
in Selangor because of political differences.
pointed out that all politicians, especially elected representatives, whether
state or Parliament, from government or opposition parties, were not allowed to
hold ceramah and deliver speeches in mosques or surau.
is because he wants all mosques and surau to be free of party politics to
prevent them from being changed from a platform for uniting Muslims to that of
also do not allow any form of defamation and dissemination of false news as it
may disgrace certain individuals. The news or information received must be
reviewed first to confirm its validity,” he said.
not be an agent that destroys the lives of the people by engaging in spreading
false news and defamation.
clearly forbids its people from spreading false news and defaming one another,”
Sharafuddin also advised all parties to make the mosque the most respected
place and the foundation to build social harmony.
also reminded mosque administrators to work hard to ensure that the institution
fulfilled its function as a comfortable Muslim place of worship and a platform
for the unity of Muslims.
sultan said he was hopeful that the mosque institution would be administered
and managed with professionalism and sincerity, without self interest.
said nazir, imam and members of mosque committees should always comply with the
Mosques and Surau Regulations (Selangor) 2017, Guidelines, Circular and
Directives issued by MAIS and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS).
stress that all mosques and surau conducting Friday prayers should read the
sermon issued by MAIS through the Selangor State Sermon Committee.
will not consent to it if any imam of a mosque or surau does not read or adds
to the sermon
prepared by the committee,” he said.
sultan also advised all nazir, imam and members of mosque committees to
understand MAIS’s aspiration and inspiration in matters related to the
management of the institution.
dealing with the disunity crisis among Muslims, he said, mosque administrators
must be creative and dynamic in mobilising community-centered activities to
build ties more effectively.
opportunity to serve in the mosque institution endowed by God to the nazir and
imam should be used as best as possible to help MAIS and JAIS guide the members
of the community.
duties and responsibilities and the trust given by MAIS and members of the
community are great trusts from God,” he said.
the ceremony, Sultan Sharafuddin consented to the appointment of 827 nazir and
imam from all mosques throughout Selangor and 1,215 mosque nazir and imam were
qualified to be commissioned for the 2019 to 2021 session. -- Bernama
- March 4, 2019
As Gulzira Auelkhan toiled stitching gloves in a factory in China’s troubled
Xinjiang region, her managers made no secret of where her production would be
told us openly that the gloves will be sold abroad, so we should do a good
job,” Auelkhan recalled of a labour stint she says was enforced by Chinese
a 39-year-old Chinese citizen of Kazakh descent, says she was part of a network
of mostly Muslim minorities in Xinjiang who pass from what China calls
“vocational training centres” to factories where they are forced to work for
far less than the local minimum wage.
says the education centres are part of its efforts to fight terrorism and
separatism in Xinjiang – a region populated by mostly Muslim minority groups –
and denies any use of forced labour.
rights groups, and former workers like Auelkhan, say the practice used against
Chinese minorities is widespread and at least one foreign company has dropped
its Chinese supplier over the concerns.
says she was transferred to the glove factory at the Jiafang industrial estate
in Xinjiang’s Yining county after spending 15 months in two different
than a million people from Muslim minorities – mostly ethnic Uighurs, but also
Kazakhs like Auelkhan, Kyrgyz and Hui – are being held in internment centres
across Xinjiang, according to a United Nations panel of experts.
has residency rights in Kazakhstan but had travelled to China to see family
when she was detained and put into a re-education centre.
said life in the camps was brutal, with residents struck over the head with
electrified batons for spending more than two minutes in the bathroom.
firm halts imports
even though they were not free to leave, it was an improvement when she and
hundreds of other camp inmates were transferred to work at the factory,
Auelkhan told AFP in Kazakhstan’s biggest city Almaty.
day we were taken to and from a dormitory three kilometres from the factory,”
she said, hugging the five-year-old daughter she didn’t see for nearly two
we were studying at the camp they told us we would be taught a trade and work
for three months,” Auelkhan said.
said she was paid only 320 yuan (US$48/42 euros) for close to two months’ work
before her time at the factory was curtailed in December and she was allowed to
return to her family in Kazakhstan.
average minimum wage ranges between 820 and 1,460 yuan per month, according to
and officials in the region have fiercely denied any connection between the
camps and underpaid labour.
representative of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region Government Press Office told
AFP by email that there was “no labour contract between Education and Training
Centers and enterprises” and “no enterprise obtains labour from training
rights groups insist the connection exists and some companies have started
January, Badger Sportswear, a firm based in the US state of North Carolina,
announced it would stop sourcing clothing from its Xinjiang supplier Hetian
Taida over concerns it was using forced labour linked to the “re-education”
believes she was only released from forced labour because of a public campaign
launched by her husband and supported by a Xinjiang-focused rights group in
re-education officials had told her and other centre residents that they would
be “at (their) disposal” for at least six months, she said.
Kazakhstan’s government is a Beijing ally that positions itself as “the buckle”
in China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road trade and investment agenda, a
strategy for infrastructure and development projects throughout Asia, Europe
diplomats have entered into a dialogue with Beijing over Xinjiang, without
publicly mentioning the re-education centres or criticising China’s policies.
December a representative of Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry said during a
briefing that China had allowed more than 2,000 ethnic Kazakhs to travel to Kazakhstan
as “a kind gesture”.
ministry refused repeated requests from AFP to clarify the remarks, which lent
hope to many in Kazakhstan that they would be able to bring Xinjiang-based
relatives over the border to safety.
most, however, this has been a crushing false dawn.
a recent visit to the Almaty office of the Ata Jurt rights group dedicated to
supporting relatives of the Xinjiang missing, AFP spoke to several Kazakhs who
claim their relatives have merely swapped “re-education” for other forms of
of them, Aibota Janibek, 34, said her sister Kunikei Janibek telephoned her
from Xinjiang in January after months without contact to confirm she had been
“assigned a job” by the state at a carpet factory in Shawan county.
Janibek has since lost touch with her sister, but heard from other relatives
that she was transferred from the carpet factory to another position.
Indonesia and Australia signed a free-trade agreement on Monday, overcoming
eight years of negotiations and 11th-hour delays in a move designed to bolster
their under-developed economic relationship.
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita and Australia’s Trade Minister Simon
Birmingham inked the deal in Jakarta on Monday.
will need to be ratified by parliaments in both nations before it comes into
nations see the pact as an opportunity to enhance trade ties, with Indonesia
only Australia’s 14th-largest trade partner despite their close proximity.
tensions and scandals have hindered ties between Australia and Southeast Asia’s
biggest economy, which is also the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
latest delay came last year when Indonesia protested over Prime Minister Scott
Morrison’s decision to consider moving Australia’s embassy in Israel to
Jerusalem, a decision that angered many Muslims.
Australian leader, who faces an election in the next few months, later put the
proposal on ice.
signing of the deal is timely for Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is
bidding for a second term in an election that will be held April 17.
has been under attack over his economic performance after Indonesia last year
posted a record trade deficit of US$8.6 billion – the widest shortfall since
1975 when the nation’s statistics agency began the regular release of data.
Lukita has previously said the deal would see both countries enjoy zero import
tariffs for many goods, and that it could significantly increase Indonesian
said it would pave the way for Indonesian car makers to export to Australia.
deal will see 99% of Australian goods exports by value be able to enter
Indonesia either duty-free or with significantly improved preferential
arrangements by 2020.
exporters will also gain automatic import permits for live cattle, frozen beef,
sheep meat, feed grains, rolled steel coil and other agricultural products.
industrial producers of steel, copper and plastics stand to benefit from the
pact, along with service industries including health, mining,
telecommunications, tourism and education.
Indonesia - Earlier this month Sajad Jacob, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan
who had been living in an Indonesian detention centre for nearly two decades,
died in the hospital. The 24-year-old had doused himself in petrol and set
himself on fire.
was a Hazara, a Shia Muslim minority that has suffered violent persecution in
tried to help as much as I can because I also care and have humanity,"
Arthur Mawikere, head of the detention centre in Manado where Jacob and his
family were living, told Al Jazeera. Mawikere said he didn't know whether
Jacob's self-immolation was deliberate.
family had fled Afghanistan when he was a child and had been in Indonesia since
2000. They had tried at least twice to be recognised as refugees by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), but had been rejected on both
occasions. The refugee agency offered to hear their case again last year but
the family refused, instead taking to social media and hunger striking to
demand immediate refugee status. Without the protection of being an asylum
seeker, they became "illegal immigrants" at risk of deportation.
wanted to help but it's the law," Mawikere said. "Illegal immigrants
cannot find work or housing."
family members remain in detention. They could not be contacted because their
phones had been confiscated.
are increasing reports of mental health problems among the 14,000 people -
asylum seekers and even those recognised as UN refugees - who now live in limbo
in Indonesia. Most exist in immigration-controlled housing in a twilight world
where they cannot work or get an education, and have little hope of
resettlement elsewhere. Just 556 refugees got to leave Indonesia to start a new
life in a third country last year.
find themselves in the archipelago as a result of Australian policies designed
to deter people from arriving in the country by boat.
2000, Australia's government has funded the International Organization for
Migration (IOM) in Indonesia, which handles relief for the UNHCR in Indonesia,
part of a campaign to discourage people from trying to get to Australia by sea
and claim asylum. Those who arrive by boat are sent to remote offshore camps on
Nauru and Manus Island for "processing" with no chance of ever being
resettled in Australia - even if they are found to be refugees.
to the UNHCR data, in 2017, Australia's financial support for the IOM in the
archipelago was more than three times its contribution to the refugee agency
now that funding is being reduced too.
reduction in IOM funding, which was used in part to provide emergency relief
and shelter for refugees, has left people stranded and destitute," said
Asher Hirsch, senior policy officer with the Refugee Council of Australia.
"This, combined with the lack of rights in Indonesia, has caused
significant mental stress for refugees stranded in Indonesia."
the UNHCR decides a person is a refugee, the IOM manages their life in
Indonesia until they can be resettled, providing them with a monthly allowance
- $90 for an adult and $36 for a child.
month, the Australian government said it would reopen its detention centre on
Christmas Island, an Australian territory just south of Indonesia, after
parliament passed a law allowing those confined to Manus and Nauru to be
brought to Australia for medical treatment if doctors said it was necessary.
move ratcheted up an already restrictive immigration environment ahead of
Australian elections due by May.
Getchell, the IOM's chief in Indonesia, said Australia's decision to cut its
assistance to the Indonesia programme could have been recognition that served
as a "pull factor" for refugees.
Australian government declined to respond to Al Jazeera's specific questions on
its policies in relation to asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia.
a statement, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs said its funding
to IOM had "successfully supported irregular migrants in Indonesia while they
pursue third country resettlement, where eligible to do so, rather than attempt
the dangerous journey to Australia by boat".
stopped accepting new refugee applicants to the programme in March last year
"to reduce the risk of irregular migrants drawn to Indonesia", the
2010, Australia has been accepting an average of about 400 refugees from
Indonesia each year, but that figure dropped to 85 in 2017-18, according to
data provided to the refugee council following a Freedom of Information
countries are also accepting fewer refugees for resettlement too, and fearful
of returning home - even with assistance from the IOM - the asylum seekers and
refugees are instead living in IOM shelters run by immigration.
2,000 people are crammed into the hostels in Makassar, the biggest number after
Medan, where rules include a 10pm curfew, no overnight stays outside the
shelter, and a ban on protests.
Joniad, a 25-year-old refugee and aspiring lawyer from Rakhine state in
Myanmar, has gathered the stories of at least 17 people he says have died as a
result of depression or a lack of medication. Jacob was the most recent entry
on his list.
many, Joniad likens life in Indonesia to an "open prison" and is
cannot tell my family the truth about here, because they are already suffering
enough," said Assadullah Amiri, 29, another Hazara refugee. "And now
after six years, we're told we're still not vulnerable enough to be
living in Makassar say they can be returned to immigration detention for
unknown lengths of time, their stipend suspended for breaking any of the rules.
Getchell said the IOM does not support such arbitrary, indefinite detention.
law governs the legal status of immigrants in Indonesia, but makes no reference
to asylum seekers or refugees," Hirsch said. "Instead, the law
focuses on criminalisation, describing any person without a visa as an 'illegal
in Makassar have resorted to social media and twice-monthly demonstrations in
front of the UNHCR and IOM offices to press their case.
Arash Sedigh, a Christian convert from Iran, has been there almost every
morning since September.
arrived in Indonesia with his wife in 2012 and after trying twice to get to
Australia has been living for the past five years in the IOM shelter.
has given up on getting a boat out of Indonesia, and says his family's
situation has become a kind of mental torture. His wife and young son rarely
venture out of the tiny room they share and he says his wife is having suicidal
Barring anything unforeseen over the next 45 days, President Joko
"Jokowi" Widodo will likely sail to a comfortable re-election next
a survey by Australian pollster Roy Morgan, about 58 percent of respondents
said they would "most likely vote" for the incumbent.
poll was conducted in January, among 1,039 Indonesians who would be eligible to
vote in the April 17 election. Roy Morgan said the approximate margin of error
for the result was around 3 percent.
pollster said support for Jokowi had risen by about five percentage points
compared with the 2014 presidential election, while support for his rival,
former Army general Prabowo Subianto, was down by about the same amount, to 42 percent.
strong performance of the Indonesian economy over the past five years and the
exceptional confidence expressed by everyday Indonesians over the past year are
certainly strong pointers to the success of President Jokowi's political
leadership heading towards the April presidential election," Roy Morgan
chief executive Michele Levine said in a statement on Friday.
enjoys strong support in rural areas, where he leads by 17 percentage points.
His advantage in urban areas is slimmer, with lead of six percentage points.
support is widespread, however, it is strongest in rural areas outside the
capital, Jakarta, including his home area of Central Java, and in East Java,
Bali, the northern provinces of Sumatra and the island of Sulawesi,"
president is trailing in Jakarta, West Java and South Sumatra, according to the
efforts by Prabowo and his running mate, Sandiaga Uno, to appeal to
"emak-emak," or housewives, Jokowi still enjoys a significant lead
among the female demographic.
also has the magic touch with Indonesian women – over 60 percent of women
support Jokowi, compared with only 39 percent that support Prabowo,"
bulk of Jokowi's supporters are aged between 25 and 49.
strong support for Jokowi buoys his party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of
Struggle (PDI-P), with more than 40 percent of respondents indicating that they
would vote for it in the legislative election, which will be concurrent with
the presidential election.
Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) would likely attract about 25 percent
of the vote. The Democratic Party, Golkar, Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and
National Mandate Party (PAN) would likely gather just enough to clear the 4
percent electoral threshold, the poll showed. These parties, except Golkar, are
in the Prabowo-led coalition.
remaining parties, including the National Awakening Party (PKB), Indonesian
Solidarity Party (PSI) and Berkarya Party, would need to double down on their
efforts to ensure any seats in the House of Representatives.
the prospect of a landslide win has not lulled Jokowi's campaign team into
complacency. The team says it deals on a daily basis with political slander and
negative campaigns that undermine the incumbent's lead. Last week, police
charged three women for spreading false information. They allegedly claimed
that Jokowi would prohibit the azan, or Islamic call to prayer, if he is
top cleric calls polygamy 'injustice, ' draws debate
Egypt's top Muslim cleric has stirred up controversy after saying that polygamy
is an "injustice" for women, but stopped short of calling for a ban
on the practice.
who say that marriage must be polygamous are all wrong. We have to read the
(Quranic) verse in full, said Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, AlAzhar's Grand Imam.
said that monogamy was the rule and polygamy a restricted exception.
is restricted in Islam and requires fairness and "if there is not fairness
it is forbidden to have more than one wife," he said.
said the practice came from "a lack of understanding of the Quran and the
tradition of the Prophet" and it is "often an injustice to women and
children." The Grand Imam also called for a broader revamp of how women's
issues are addressed.
represent half of society. If we don't care for them it's like walking on one
foot only," he said.
comments, aired Friday on state TV, sparked a heated debate on social media,
with some siding with scholars calling for a ban on the practice.
National Council for Women welcomed al-Tayeb's comments.
honors women, treats them fairly and gives them numerous rights which didn't
exist before," said Maya Morsi, the council's chairwoman.
sought on Saturday to clarify the comments, saying that al-Tayeb wasn't calling
for a ban on polygamy.
allows men to take up to four wives on the condition that they're treated
equally. Though polygamy is legal in most Arab and Islamic countries, the
practice is uncommon. Regionally, polygamy is banned in Tunisia and Turkey, and
for Arab Muslims in Israel.
Egypt, the husband must gain the consent of his current wife or wives if he
hopes to marry more.
700 to 1,000 ISIL militants are being trained by the US troops in al-Anbar
province," the Arabic-language al-Maloumeh news website quoted Manager of
Badr Organization in Al-Anbar Province Qasi al-Anbari as saying on Sunday.
pointed to the special conditions considered for the ISIL militants, and said
that the US troops have specified redlines for third parties to avoid
approaching the region.
is while the Arabic-language Arabi Post has recently disclosed that the US
troops have been intensively training the ISIL terrorists in two military bases
of Ain al-Assad and al-Habanieh in al-Anbar province under name of desert
sources said the US Army troops have equipped the ISIL terrorists with 200
military and non-military vehicles.
relevant remarks in early February, Iraqi security expert Kazim al-Haaj
disclosed that the US Army was training the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar
US Army troops are preparing and training the ISIL militants in al-Qadaf and
Wadi al-Houran regions of Al-Anbar province with the aim of carrying out
terrorist attacks and restarting insecurity in Iraq," al-Ma'aloumeh quoted
al-Haaj as saying.
noted that according to the intel obtained from Iraqi security forces in
Al-Anbar province, the US had transferred the ISIL terrorists on Apache and
Chinook helicopters to Iraq.
sum of 18 militants backed by Ankara were killed in two separate clashes in the
Northern parts of Aleppo province on Saturday night, field sources said.
militants of the National Liberation Army were killed in clashes with Kurdish
fighters near the town of Kaljabrin in Northern Aleppo, they added.
the Kurdish-language Hawar News reported that the Kurdish fighters stationed in
Izzaz region pounded two areas under the control of Ankara-backed Firqa
al-Motasem terrorists and their allied militants in the surrounding areas of
Kaljabrin village in Northern Hama.
noted that during the Kurdish forces' military operations against Turkey-backed
militants, the latter's military vehicle was destroyed and 12 of them were
killed, while three others were wounded.
a relevant development on Saturday, the Turkish Army resumed its offensive on
the Kurdish fighters' military positions in Northern Syria after reinforcing
and dispatching 70 armored vehicles to Aleppo province.
Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants heavily pounded the military positions
of Kurdish Al-Bab Military Council in the village of al-Baqouz East of the city
of Al-Bab. The Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants were stationed in the
village of Olashli West of the city of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo.
battlefield sources said that the Turkish Army has dispatched around 70
military vehicles comprising military and logistic supplies as well as a number
of soldiers to the war fronts in Northern Syria.
US-led fighter jets hit Baghouz farms in Eastern Deir Ezzur with missiles
containing white phosphorus substance," the Arabic-language SANA news
website quoted local sources in Deir Ezzur as saying.
are yet no news on the possible casualties in the attack.
the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claimed that they have advanced from several
directions to Baghouz town and taken control of seven positions.
sources also reported the Syrian Army troops engaged in heavy clashes with the
ISIL terrorists who were trying to penetrate into Syria by crossing from Euphrates
bank near Bu Kamal near the borders with Iraq, inflicting heavy losses on the
a relevant development last week, pro-militant media reports said the US has
moved hundreds of more terrorists from Eastern Euphrates to declare the end of
ISIL's presence in the region.
London-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) reported that around 110
ISIL terrorists (both Syrian and non-Syrian) had surrendered themselves to the
US-led troops and the SDF.
attended a meeting of Arab states on Sunday for the first time since its
conflict broke out in 2011, marking another step towards the country’s
political reintegration into the region.
parliament speaker, Hammouda Sabbagh, travelled to Amman to attend the 29th
Conference of the Arab Parliamentary Union.
Jordanian counterpart, Atef al-Tarawneh, called in a speech for regional countries
“to work toward a political settlement to the Syrian crisis... and for Syria to
regain its place” in the Arab world.
growing number of Arab states have voiced support for Syria’s return to the
Arab League, which suspended the country’s membership in November 2011 as the
death toll mounted in its war.
within the pan-Arab organization, however, have stalled the readmission of
Syria, which with the support of Russia and Iran has largely regained control
of its territory from rebel groups and extremists.
300 Syrians suspected of belonging to ISIS have been freed because they have
“no blood on their hands”, Kurdish authorities who were holding them said.
release was announced late Saturday by the semi-autonomous Kurdish
administration of northern Syria, which said in a statement that 283 Syrians
had been set free.
chiefs and other local officials had lobbied for their release.
statement said they were men who “have no Syrian blood on their hands”,
suggesting that they did not take part in any fighting.
had lost their way ... violated the traditions of the Syrian society and the
law, and some of them had been deceived ... but they remain our Syrian
children,” it said.
them is a gesture of “cooperation, fraternity and clemency,” said the statement
posted on the website of the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces
prisoners were released in several areas of northern Syria held by Kurds,
including the city of Raqa, which was the de facto Syrian capital of the ISIS
“caliphate”, the statement added.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said it was
not the first release of ISIS-linked prisoners by Kurdish authorities, but the
number was particularly large this time.
SDF are holding hundreds of alleged foreign extremists, as well as women and
children related to suspected ISIS members.
Kurds have long urged their home countries to take the detainees back, but
nations have been reluctant.
have played a key role in battling ISIS in Syria. The SDF have now cornered the
extremists in their last stretch of territory near the border with Iraq in a
final bid to flush them out.
ISIS militants were summarily executed in Syria’s Idlib province on Saturday by
Tahrir al-Sham, according to Ebaa News Agency, a news outlet that supports the
rival extremist alliance.
said the executions were in response to an ISIS suicide bomb attack that killed
eight people at a restaurant in Idlib a day earlier.
ISIS and the groups that make up Tahrir al-Sham, including al Qaeda’s former
affiliate the Nusra Front, subscribe to hardline extremist ideology, they have
opposed each other for years.
has virtually lost all its territory to the Syrian army, backed by Russia,
Iran, and a rival campaign by Kurdish and Arab groups in the north supported by
the United States.
quoted Anis al-Shami, a security official from Tahrir al-Sham, saying that the
executions “today at the scene of the crime are fair punishment which might
deter them and wake them from their stupor”.
published images showing masked gunmen in fatigues firing handguns at the heads
of 10 bearded men who sat in front of them on the pavement. Reuters could not
independently verify the agency’s report.
al-Sham is the main extremist group in northwest Syria, with a large armed
presence throughout Idlib, including along the Turkish border.
The Egyptian government has approved tough new laws to fight terrorism in the
wake of recent deadly attacks in the country.
of the latest key changes to the legislation will see a tightening up of
regulations surrounding the rental of property.
current rules, anyone leasing furnished real estate in Egypt does not have to
be officially registered as living there. However, in the future property
owners will be required to inform police of the identities of tenants, even for
short-term rental periods, and will face criminal penalties for failure to do
Mohammed Khalifa, a member of the legislative committee of the Egyptian Council
of Representatives, told Arab News that terrorists often took advantage of the
old regulations to rent furnished apartments and stay under the radar of the
owner of a property will now have to notify the police department in the form
of a copy of the contract between the two sides, so that Egyptian security will
have sufficient information about the citizens who rent the furnished
apartments, even if only for short periods,” said Khalifa.
said the amendment to the law was designed not to inconvenience the owners of
rented apartments but to encourage them to interact with the police.
alterations to the government’s anti-terror legislation include giving the
Egyptian Public Prosecution Office powers to temporarily close any premises
where weapons have been manufactured or designed for use in terrorist crimes.
addition, the Egyptian Parliament’s proposals and complaints committee has
approved a law blocking organizations listed as terrorist groups from
exercising their political rights.
Kamal Amer, head of the country’s National Defense and Security Committee in
the House of Representatives, said that the government was constantly reviewing
and amending laws to combat terrorism and confiscate the funds of armed
stressed that Egypt had made significant strides in its war on terror through
its legislative and security efforts. At the same time, it was working hard to
tackle the root causes of extremism.
a recent speech at the first Middle East and North Africa Regional Conference
titled “Strengthening International Cooperation in the Face of the Growing
Threat of Terrorist Financing and Money Laundering Operations,” Egyptian
Attorney General Nabil Sadiq said that his country had been focused on fighting
terrorism since the beginning of the last century.
Foreign interference especially from Iran posed one of the biggest threats to
the future stability of Arab states, a top Saudi government minister has warned.
in Tunis at the 36th meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior,
its honorary president and Saudi minister of interior, Prince Abdul Aziz bin
Saud bin Naif, said the region was facing a raft of challenges, not least of
which was the scourge of terrorism.
said the council must continue through joint action to strive toward protecting
the security of Arab countries in the face of major change.
said he was “very confident” that the council realized “the seriousness of the
situation and is working hard to prevent these dangers and threats.”
Abdul Aziz said: “Terrorism and extremism are a direct threat to the entire
world, and we must strive tirelessly to intensify efforts and coordination in
the strong and effective response to these threats, while continuing to drain
the sources of financing terrorism and extremism, including combating money
the Saudi delegation at the interior ministers’ meeting being held under the
patronage of Tunisian President Beji Kayed Sebsi, Prince Abdul Aziz noted that
illegal immigration, organized crime, border security, drug control, human
rights issues and cybersecurity, and how to deal with these issues, were the
top priorities of the council.
also pointed out that keeping up with modern technology was vital in
maintaining pace with the transformations taking place in Arab countries and
secretary-general of the Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior, Dr.
Mohammed bin Ali Koman, pointed out that the current session of the council was
being held at a time when the Arab world faced challenges that cast a dark
shadow over its security and stability.
said organized crime and the resulting drug trafficking, illegal immigration
and smuggling operations were at the forefront of these challenges, and some
regional powers were deliberately fueling the problem in order to destroy
Abdul Aziz assumed chairmanship of the 36th session of the council from the
Algerian minister of interior, Noureddine Badawi, chairman of the previous
gathering. Other Arab ministers addressed the meeting before holding a closed
United States says it is investigating reports that Pakistan has breached
mutual security agreements by using an American-made fighter jet to down an
Indian aircraft during the recent flare-up between the two nuclear neighbors.
US Embassy in Islamabad announced Sunday that it was in the process of finding
out whether Pakistan had used US-built F-16 jets to shoot down an Indian
are aware of these reports and are seeking more information,” a spokesperson
for the embassy said, according to Reuters. “We take all allegations of misuse
of defense articles very seriously.”
and India exchanged multiple airstrikes last week following tensions over a
deadly bombing attack in the Indian-controlled Kashmir that New Delhi said was
conducted by Pakistani militants.
Tuesday, India carried out air raids over the disputed Kashmir region,
targeting the Jaish-e-Mohammed group, which it accused of orchestrating the
bombing in February that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police.
Wednesday, Pakistan said it had shot down two Indian fighter jets and captured
one of their pilots. Islamabad later
returned the pilot to India.
Thursday, Indian officials put on display parts of what they said was an
air-to-air missile that could only be fired from F-16 jets, alleging they were
used to bomb the Indian side of the disputed Kashmir border a day earlier.
also said that it had downed a Pakistani F-16, a claim Islamabad denied.
military has denied reports that it used F-16 jets during the dogfight with the
Indian warplanes. Islamabad had yet to disclose what aircraft it used for the
move by Pakistani air force could amount to a violation of US agreements,
according to Reuters.
bought several batches of the Lockheed Martin F-16s from Washington before
relations between the two sides soured over the fight against the Taliban and
then US President Barack Obama cut off subsidized sales to Islamabad in 2016.
was not clear what restrictions were imposed on Pakistan's use of the aircraft
in its so-called “end-user agreements” with the US.
US government does not comment on or confirm pending investigations of this
nature,” the US embassy said.
U.S. special envoy for Syria will arrive in capital Ankara on Monday.
Jeffrey will hold meetings with a delegation of Turkish Foreign Ministry and
military officials in his two-day visit.
U.S. pullout from Syria, and Manbij roadmap will top the agenda during the
line with the Manbij roadmap, joint investigations by Turkey and the U.S. are
ongoing for the restructuring of civil and military councils in northern Syrian
town of Manbij. The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the
withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region, which
is located in the northern part of Syria’s Aleppo province.
last meeting of a bilateral Turkish-U.S. group to coordinate the American troop
withdrawal from Syria took place in Ankara on Feb. 28-March 1.
U.S. currently has more than 2,000 troops deployed in Syria, but announced last
December that they were leaving, then revised to say some 200-400 would stay.
small room was packed with children and adults listening attentively.
had come to the children’s section of the Takoma Park Maryland Library to
attend a book reading.
makes jokes with her patient as she peers in his ears and his throat. Her
bright pink hijab looks so cheerful tucked into her tidy white coat.
our fearless troop leader. She makes us the gooiest s’mores! Her hijab is
topped with a sun hat whenever we hike the outdoors.”
Khan, an award-winning Muslim American writer born and raised in Maryland, uses
her book Under My Hijab to tell the story of a young Muslim girl who observes
the women in her life and the unique ways they wear the head covering as a
reflection of their personality, character and fashion sense.
of the things I was very conscious of was the fact that Muslim women are in no
way limited by wearing the hijab. They are capable of doing everything and
anything they want to. They are modern and independent and educated and strong.
They are American,” Khan told Anadolu Agency.
is one of the first American authors to bring Muslim characters to the fore in
the hijab is commonly known as the head veil worn by Muslim women around the
world, the definition of the word has much broader implications.
Arabic, "hijab" means barrier or partition. In Islam, however, it is
a principle of modesty and defines how both women and men should behave, speak
Pakistani-American author wrote the book with two audiences in mind: people of
the Islamic faith, who are underrepresented in literature, and the wider
American community, so they can see a positive representation of Muslim women.
of the inspiration behind the book came from all the questions people would ask
Khan’s friends and family who wear the hijab, such as ‘Do you sleep with that?”
or ‘How do you shower with that?’
sister-in-law often worked with young children, and she was telling me how very
young kids would ask her if she had hair, or if she had ears, because they
never saw them,” Khan said. “And that sort of sparked the initial idea for a
Islam continues to spread in the U.S., the number of Muslims currently totals
3.45 million, or 1.1 percent of the country’s population, according to the Pew
Americans have not seen or interacted with a Muslim in their lives, and
sometimes their perception of the faith comes from second-hand sources. Some
Americans see Islam and Muslims as a foreign threat.
Pew study found that in 2017, 50 percent of Americans polled said Islam is not
a part of “mainstream American society”.
a tendency to confuse women who wear the hijab with being foreign or an immigrant
only, or maybe not speaking English,” Khan said.
feel like there's a tendency for people who aren't familiar with women wearing
the hijab to speak to them very slowly, or be surprised that they speak English
does not wear the hijab herself, and she was able to write the story through
the lens of an outsider, which was necessary to enable people outside the faith
to read it.
someone who doesn't wear it, this was the type of book that I felt like I could
write where it is from the perspective of an observer admiring the women and
girls in her life who wear it, which is much like my perspective,” she said.
has published over a dozen books and has a few in the works as well. Her
previous books include the widely acclaimed “It’s Ramadan, Curious George,”
where she took the famed fictional children’s character George, a curious
little monkey, on a journey celebrating the Islamic holy month through fasting
and helping the needy, culminating in the celebration of the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
president on Saturday criticized his country's foreign policies in Iraq and
Syria, saying that his administration will focus on fixing up America's
infrastructure rather than fighting "endless wars".
his two-hour speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC),
Donald Trump said that Daesh will be defeated "hundred percent" in a
day or two and reiterated his administration's firmness to pull American
will leave a small group of guys and gals [soldiers] but we want to bring our
people back home. It is time," Trump said in the annual event in National
would be in Syria for 4 months but we ended up 5 years. Just funny."
slammed the Middle East policies of former U.S. governments, recalling his
first-time visit to Iraq in 2017 when they had to turn off all the lights at
the military plane before landing for security purposes.
of this. We spent seven trillion dollars in the Middle East and we can't land a
plane with lights on, 20 years later. How bad is that!" Trump said.
also criticized his former defense secretary James Mattis and other generals in
Syria and Iraq for being too slow in finishing Daesh and said that he learns
more about what is going on from the soldiers than generals.
Pentagon chief Pat Shanahan has warned Turkey over plans to buy a Russian
missile defense system, while a US senator has asked whether Ankara is seeking
to leave NATO.
has rejected a US proposal to deliver one Patriot missile defense system by the
end of 2019 provided that Ankara abandons a deal to buy the S-400 missile
defense system from Russia.
warned that the purchase would imperil prospects to sell the NATO ally the
next-generation F-35 jet Turkey is helping to build.
position is that the S-400 and F-35 are incompatible – meaning that they don't
go together," Bloomberg quoted him as saying in an interview in his
signed a contract worth $2.5 billion in December 2017 for the purchase of the
S-400 missile defense system, ignoring objections from its NATO allies.
Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday said that Turkey bought the Russian-made
system, as it could not buy a similar one from its Western allies.
purchase reflects a broader political shift as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
finds himself increasingly at odds with the US.
Donald Trump has raised tariffs on Turkey, declined to extradite a Turkish
cleric whom Erdogan blames for a failed coup in 2016 and infuriated Ankara over
US support for Kurdish militants in Syria.
did not say what action the US would take if Turkey went ahead with the
purchase of the sophisticated defense system.
cross that bridge when we get there, but we are talking about making sure they
have" US-made Patriot air defenses, he said.
Pentagon chief said he has spoken with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar five
times since becoming the acting defense secretary on January 1.
a strategic partner and I think at the end of the day, they'll remain a
strategic partner," Shanahan said.
F-35 is the US's costliest weapons system and Turkey is a crucial participant
in the program.
companies are reportedly set to produce about $12 billion in parts for the
fighter jet, including key components such as the center fuselage and some
to an unclassified summary of a Pentagon report sent to Congress in November,
Turkey risks expulsion from the F-35 program if its government takes delivery
of the Russian system.
Saturday, a US Senator called on Trump to cancel the sale of F-35 fighter
planes to Turkey if the latter retains the S-400 purchase deal with Russia.
Senator Chris Van Hollen said the US should not allow Turkey to jeopardize the
safety of US pilots and the security of NATO by using F-35 jets and S-400
missile systems at the same time.
officials are concerned that sensitive F-35 technology designed to evade such a
system could be compromised and used to improve Russia's air defense system if
Turkey ends up with both systems.
senator also questioned Ankara’s commitment to NATO.
needs to make it crystal clear: If Turkey purchases the Russian S-400 system
from Putin, it will not receive the F-35. Period. Turkey must not be allowed to
compromise the safety of our pilots and the security of NATO. Do they want to
quit NATO? https://t.co/pp0DuSFTG8
Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) March 2, 2019
BAZAR: Bangladesh forces handed back on Sunday a Myanmar soldier more than two
months after he strayed across the border into a jungle in the Muslim-majority
nation, a senior official said.
Bo Bo Thein, 30, was detained by Bangladeshi security forces on January 24 near
the southern town of Naikhongchhari, Brigadier General Sajedur Rahman told AFP.
crossed the border and was found in a jungle. Today we have handed him over to
Myanmar border police through a flag meeting," said Rahman, border guard
between Bangladesh and Myanmar have soured since about 740,000 Rohingya Muslims
fled the Buddhist-majority country in 2017 following a military clampdown in
restive Rakhine state.
had already been hosting another 300,000 Rohingya who took refuge in squalid
camps in Bangladesh's southeastern Cox's Bazar district after previous bouts of
and Myanmar signed an agreement in November 2017 for the repatriation of the
Rohingya, but the persecuted Muslim minority has refused to go back unless they
are granted citizenship and other rights.
week Bangladesh told the UN Security Council that it will no longer be able to
take in refugees from Myanmar.
Secretary Shahidul Haque told a Council meeting that the crisis over the
repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya sheltering in his country had
gone from "bad to worse" and urged the council to take
said Rohingya arrivals from Myanmar have almost stopped, with none arriving in
the past few weeks.
in recent months has stepped up security near the border to curb smuggling of
Yaba -- a popular methamphetamine pill -- across the border from Myanmar, he
Ambassador Hau Do Suan insisted his government was taking steps and appealed
Islam Mamun, convict in the murder of Saudi Embassy official Khalaf Al Ali in
2012, was on Sunday executed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The convict was hanged at
the Kashimpur high-security Central Prison in Gazipur at 10:01 pm, jail
superintendent Md Shahjahan told to media.
Islam Mamun, son of late Abdul Motaleb Hawlader of Khontakta area in Bagerhat's
Sharonkhola Upazila, was in the Kashimpur Central Prison since January 4, 2013.
Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner (Crime) Md Sharifur Rahman said that
the Additional District Magistrate Md Moshiur Rahman and District Civil Surgeon
Syed Md Manjurul Haque were also present during the execution of Saiful.
embassy official Khalaf Al Ali (45) was shot outside his residence in Dhaka's
Gulshan at midnight on March 5, 2012.
days after the murder, police filed a case in Gulshan police station. After
four and a half months, four people including Saiful Islam were arrested, who
were given identity as 'hijackers'.
the end of the investigation, the Detective Branch of police (DB) filed the
chargesheet on September 20, 2012 and named five people as accused including
Special Forces of the Afghan Intelligence stormed a key compound of the Taliban
group in northern Baghlan province leaving at two members of the group dead.
National Directorate of Security in a statement said the operation was
conducted against the compound of Taliban group leader Qari Janat Gul alias
Shaheen in the vicinity of Mulayan Village which is located along Pul-e-Khumri
and Samangan highway.
statement further added that two members of the group were killed during the
operation and a large quantity of weapons and munitions were confiscated.
to National Directorate of Security, Qari Janat Gul is leading a group of 15
militants in Dand-e-Shahabuddin area of the Baghlan who are mainly involved in
destructive activities besides harassing and terrorizing people on Pul-e-Khumri
and Mazar highway.
two members of the group who were killed during the operation have been identified
as Adam Khan son of Shah Gul and Mohammad son of Afzal, the National
Directorate of Security said, adding that a 82mm rocket launcher, a PKM machine
gun, a Ak-47 rifle, a grenade launcher, a Taliban flag, and some other military
kits were confiscated by the security forces.
least six Taliban group members including two of their commanders were killed
during a clash with the security forces in northern Faryab province of
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the
clash between the security forces and Taliban militants took place on Saturday
night in the vicinity of Dawlatabad district.
statement further added that six Taliban group members including their two
commanders Mawlavi Jalal and Mullah Jindullah were killed during the clash and
four others were wounded.
to 209th Shaheen Corps, the local residents and security forces have not
suffered casualties during the clash.
Afghan National Police repulsed a Taliban attack against a security check post
in western Farah province of Afghanistan.
to the local security officials, the Afghan National Police repulsed a Taliban
attack on a checkpoint in Pur Chaman district early this morning killing
several Taliban fighters and their commander, Mullah Noor Ahmad.
insurgents attempted to attack check posts in Nawbara village and were repulsed
by the brave ANP forces and the enemy fled from the area after sustaining casulties,” spokesman for the
Farah Police Headquarters.
security forces around the country are working hard to ensure security of the
bases so they can provide security for the people of Afghanistan,” the
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the report so far.
Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan has claimed that the airstrikes have left at
least 450 Taliban militants dead in past one week.
to a statement released by the Ministry of Defense “Despite unsuitable weather
condition and heavy snowfall, over the past week, Afghan Air Forces carried out
airstrikes on the enemies’ havens in order to ensure security.”
statement further added “These air operations were launched in Sangen district
of Helmand, Sancharak district of Sarepul, Dashte-Qala district of Takhar,
Qarabagh, Dehyak and Andar districts of Ghazni, Hesarak district of Nangarhar,
Zurmat district of Paktia, Shulgara district of Balkh, Shahwalikut district of
Kandahar and vicinity of Trenkut city. As a result, 350 terrorists including
Shafiqullah, Mullah Zanjer, Mullah Noor Ahmad known as Khalid, Abdullah, Zahidullah,
Yousuf, Badruddin, Mullah Faizullah, Mawlai Nematullah, Mawlawi Muhammadi,
Mullah Noorulhaq and Mullah Temoor Shah, Local commanders were killed. Tens of
their fighting positions, hideouts and depots destroyed as well.”
enemy commanders had played active role in planning suicide attacks, placing
IEDs and conducting offensives in their respective areas,” MoD said, adding
that the Afghan Air Forces alongside other Afghan National Defense and Security
Forces are ready to defend the country under any circumstance and will not
spare any effort in fighting terrorism and destroying enemy havens.
leader Corbyn attacked while visiting London mosque
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been attacked by suspected Islamophobes outside
a mosque in north London where he was attending an event meant to tackle
negative stigma around Muslims in Britain.
Metropolitan Police said on Sunday that Corbyn was unhurt after the attack,
which took place after a man assaulted the opposition leader with an egg
outside Muslim Welfare Centre in Finsbury Park.
Met said the attacker, a 41-year-old man, was arrested quickly following the
British media outlets described the attacker as a pro-Brexit activist who was
willing to show his opposition to Corbyn’s announcement that he and the Labour
would back a second referendum on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
Sky News, citing its correspondent at the scene, said Corbyn was hit by the egg
thrown by the suspected pro-Brexit campaigner.
he was here in an upstairs room, a protester - a pro-Brexit protester we
understand, according to eyewitnesses - placed an egg on his head,” said Jon
Craig, who works for the news channel.
has long been a target of hate attacks by anti-Muslim figures and groups in
Britain, specially due to his support for the Palestinian cause and his
opposition to Israel and Zionism which many say is being wrongly depicted as an
was in Finsbury Park Mosque to attend the fifth annual Visit My Mosque day. The
event, organized by Muslim Council of Britain, is an opportunity for Muslim
places of worship across the UK to open their doors to the public.
said Corbyn had enjoyed a warm welcome by Muslims during the visit to the
mosque. Labour’s Diane Abbott, the shadow secretary, accompanied Corbyn in the
The Stockholm Agreement is now in “last chance saloon,” British Foreign
Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement during a visit to Yemen on
process could be dead within weeks if we do not see both sides sticking to
their commitments in Stockholm."
British foreign secretary held talks with his Yemeni counterpart in
government-held Aden on Sunday, in the first visit by a western foreign
minister to the war-torn country in years.
am here because this is really the last chance for peace," Hunt said from
Aden, in a video uploaded to his Twitter account.
discussed an agreement on a ceasefire and prisoner exchange between the warring
sides, brokered by the United Nations at talks in Sweden in December, the state
news agency Saba said.
visit to Yemen is part of his trip to the Gulf region to urge the immediate
implementation of the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement.
foreign secretary added that a peace process in Yemen’s main port city “could
be dead within weeks” without more committed effort from both sides.
agreement to implement a troop withdrawal in Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions
facing famine, by Jan. 7 was intended to clear the way for wider negotiations
to end the four-year war but progress has been slow.
Saturday, the foreign secretary met with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign
Affairs Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel
Al-Jubeir in Riyadh.
said that he and Al-Jubeir agreed that progress on the agreement was “overdue,”
and that it is “vital for Hodeidah to be cleared of militia urgently” so that a
humanitarian corridor can be opened.
across the U.K. have opened their doors to the public on Sunday as part of an
annual national event that aims to build closer relations between the British
Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
250 mosques participated in ‘Visit My Mosque’ event which saw people being
welcomed into their local mosques and partake in activities aiming to broaden
their knowledge on Islam, Muslims and the purposes of mosques.
those who continue to fund hatred and sow division in our society, Muslims
across the U.K. have shown today that regardless we will continue to do the
opposite by building bridges and bring communities together” said Harun Khan,
secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.
you to everyone who took part today” he added.
year's ‘Visit My Mosque’ event was held amid a stark rise in Islamophobia and
anti-Muslim hate crimes with the right-wing extremists attacking the mosques
and Muslim communities across the U.K. Community and faith leaders have hailed
this year's initiative as a success and an example of tolerance and acceptance
between Britain’s Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
Muslim Association in south-west London is one of the mosques that opened its
doors to its local community and held a variety of activities including a
mosque tour and an exhibition of Islamic art and religious texts.
attend the open day every year and every year I learn something new” said
Jeremy, a local resident and community worker who actively engages with the
Muslim community. “And every year I see more and more people visit the mosque
and engage with the [Muslim] community and as a proponent of multiculturalism
this makes me incredibly happy” he added.
sends a message to the Islamophobes and those who are against unity that
Britain will remain an open and an inclusive society that not only welcomes
peoples of different faiths but actively engages with them so that they may
know about one another” Jeremy said.
the fifth anniversary of the initiative, British mosques also promoted the
‘Great British Spring Clean’, a campaign that aims to improve the environment and
help communities across U.K. keep clean and environmentally friendly.
the publis, MPs also took the opportunity to visit their Muslim constituents
and voice their support for the Britain’s large and influential Muslim
year Muslim communities across the country open their doors to people of all
faiths and none on #VisitMyMosque Day,” said Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the
opposition Labour Party. “It's a fantastic opportunity to build understanding
across communities and educate ourselves about our diverse communities. Let's
build bridges not walls” he added.
this week, Muslim faith leaders from across the U.K. visited churches,
synagogues, Hindu and Sikh temples as a gesture of solidarity and to convey a
message that regardless of their faith, communities should remain united.
Muslim Council of Britain is the U.K.’s largest Muslim umbrella organisation,
representing more than 500 institutions and mosques and holds annual events
such as Visit My Mosque Day that aim to unite communities across the U.K.
the last three years, there has been a sharp rise in Islamophobia and
anti-Muslim hate crime in the U.K. with 2017 having a record number of attacks
against Muslims. In 2018 there were over 1,200 reports of Islamophobic attacks,
a 26 percent surge from the previous year.
the commitments by both sides in the Yemen conflict are not fulfilled, the
peace process “could be dead in weeks,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
warned on Sunday.
are now in last-chance saloon for the Stockholm peace process,” Hunt warned,
speaking in war-torn Yemen.
port of Hodeidah [Al-Hudaydah] was supposed to cleared of militia and left
under neutral control by the beginning of January,” he said, referring to a
port providing entry for nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s food imports.
process could be dead within weeks if we do not see both sides sticking to
their commitments in Stockholm.”
visited Aden today on the first visit to Yemen by a Western foreign minister
since the start of the conflict in 2015, and the first by a British foreign
secretary since 1996.
Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Saeed al-Khanbashi and Foreign Minister
Khaled al-Yamani "in a display of the U.K.’s support to the government of
Yemen and for UN efforts to secure peace," Hunt discussed the humanitarian
response in the port of Aden with aid workers and representatives of the Aden
Office of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),
according to a government statement.
in Yemen are on the brink of starvation and none of the parties really want a return
to hostilities -- so now is the time to take a deep breath, put aside the anger
and mistrust after four years of terrible fighting, and take the risks that are
always necessary at the start of any peace process,” Hunt said.
Friday, Hunt has met with Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and Houthi
spokesman Mohamed Abdel Salem in Riyadh and Muscat, respectively.
visit to Aden was part of a “Yemen-focused Gulf tour” during which he also
engaged regional leaders including Sultan Qaboos in Oman, Foreign Minister
Ibrahim al-Assaf in Saudi Arabia, and Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed in
the UAE, “as part of a sustained U.K. diplomatic campaign to support the UN-led
foreign secretary previously attended the UN’s Stockholm talks in December, and
the Quad (Saudi, UAE, U.S., U.K.) ministerial discussions in Warsaw in
U.K. is one of the largest Western aid contributors to the Yemen crisis with a
humanitarian contribution of £770 million ($1 billion) since 2015, according to
the U.K. government statement.
December, Yemeni government representatives and Houthi rebel leaders held a
round of UN-brokered talks in Sweden, which yielded a cease-fire agreement in
the Red Sea province.
of the warring parties, however, have yet to fully withdraw from Al-Hudaydah
amid tit-for-tat accusations of truce violations and sporadic clashes in other
parts of the country.
has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran
much of the country, including Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a
Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at
rolling back Houthi territorial gains.
Rebel Media is an online platform that allows white nationalists to promote
division and anti-Muslim sentiment, the UK charity group Faith Matters says.
recent report by the charity says Rebel Media has “tapped into a wellspring of
discontent and unease” by claiming white people are facing rapid decline
because of migration, particularly by Muslims.
its 1.1 million YouTube subscribers and 169,000 Facebook followers, Rebel Media
allowed far-right commentators to publicise their anti-Muslim, anti-refugee and
anti-migrant views, the report said.
figures included Tommy Robinson, Lauren Southern, Katie Hopkins and Paul Joseph
to Rebel Media's message is the platforming of far-right ideology with slants
that seek to portray a world view of 'them and us', with Muslims in Europe
being viewed as 'them',” Faith Matters said.
Media was founded in 2015 and is often referred to as US far-right website
Breitbart’s "Canadian cousin".
more work needs to be done to counter the fake news around Muslims and the
insinuation that building mosques or having halal-certified food amounts to a
Muslim takeover," said the report's author, Rabbil Sikdar.
who buy into this false narrative are then more likely to protest against
Islamic institutions such as mosques and faith schools, or call for fewer
Muslims or even support authoritarian measures against them.
Media is essentially existing as a platform for the spread of fear and hate,
and all of its contributors work on this line. They have essentially globalised
hate and we should be really concerned by that."
report focuses on three tenets: white nationalism, political correctness and
focal message of Rebel Media is that the modern world is oppressing white
people and what they stand for. It also supports a revolt against the
establishment, which is seen to be a "hegemonic force, culturally and
Media regards the elite as a bundle of institutions dedicated to subordinating
the interests of ordinary people to their liberal agenda,” the report says.
protests continue despite president’s ban
protesters are marching toward courthouses in different cities across the
country, including in the capital Khartoum.
the latest in two-and-a-half months of protests that call for the overthrow of
autocratic President Omar al-Bashir.
marches were called for by the Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella
group of independent professional unions that has been spearheading the
has banned unauthorized public gatherings and granted sweeping powers to the
police after imposing a state of emergency last month.
the measure failed to deter protesters who have kept demonstrating.
current wave of unrest erupted in December, initially over rising prices and
shortages but quickly turned to calls for the ouster of al-Bashir, who seized
power in a 1989 coup.
heavy security crackdown has killed scores.
has strengthened security across the capital, Mogadishu amid new threats by the
al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militant group which killed scores of people on
least 36 people, mostly civilians, were killed and over 60 wounded after a
bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into the Hotel Maka al-Mukarama and
nearby buildings in Mogadishu.
Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said the assault had targeted civilians. "There
is only one option for us all - defeating the enemy of peace,” he told
are now in the process of strengthening our armed forces - equipping them and
providing logistical support. I assure you all that we will defeat
al-Shabaab," he added.
was the latest in a series of high-profile assaults in East Africa by
al-Shabaab. It came after the US stepped up airstrikes in the Horn of Africa
acknowledged that it had targeted a "luxury hotel inhabited by government
officials and security service officers" -- also a popular choice for
Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who had vowed to end al-Shabaab's insurgency within
two years, is facing a huge insecurity challenge.
al-Qaeda-linked militant outfit, which has long sought to topple Somalia’s
Western-backed government, was forced out of Mogadishu with the help of African
Union forces in 2011.
however, still wields control in large parts of the countryside, and every now
and then carries out deadly attacks against government, military, and civilian
targets in the capital as well as regional towns.
Movement of Society for Peace, Algeria’s largest Islamic party, threatened on
Sunday to withdraw from next month's presidential election if President
Abdelaziz Bouteflika seeks a fifth term in office.
its support for popular protests against Bouteflika standing again, a movement
statement called on the nation's political authority to respond to the demands
of the people and in particular to forestall Bouteflika’s fifth term.
Sunday, 145 members of the movement's Shura Council voted in favor of a
decision to pull out from the race while 97 voted against, local media said.
of the withdrawal argue that the move was taken "in tandem with the desire
of the people, who have gone out in the millions against the nomination of
incumbent President Bouteflika."
National Liberation Front leader Ali Benflis also announced his withdrawal from
presidential elections in his party meeting, saying “the current political
condition in the country does not allow” him to participate.
Ghani Mahdi, an independent candidate, said on social media that he officially
withdrew from elections due to “bureaucratic reasons” and “lack of necessary
according to Swiss daily La Tribune de Geneve, there is no indication that
Bouteflika, who has been undergoing treatment in a Swiss hospital for a week,
is close to leaving.
Swiss daily said the plane the Algerian president took to Switzerland last
Sunday returned the same day to Algeria, with no announcement of its expected
return, informed sources told the Swiss paper Sunday.
same paper reported that there is no private Algerian plane scheduled to land
at the Geneva airport.
month, Algeria’s ruling National Liberation Front nominated the 81-year-old
Bouteflika -- who has ruled Algeria since 1999 -- to run for a fifth term.
months after the announcement of the death one of Mali's top radical preachers,
a video on Friday appeared to show him alive.
and Malian authorities in November last year said Amadou Koufa had died of
injuries in the Wagadou forest following a raid led by French forces.
"confirm the death of the jihadist Amadou Koufa in the Wagadou
forest," General Abdoulaye Cisse said last year. "He died of his
the military operation the terrorist Koufa was seriously injured and taken away
by his supporters before he died," another military official said.
preacher was accused of stoking sectarian conflict and several violent attacks
in central Mali.
and French authorities are verifying the authenticity of the video in which the
preacher can be seen sitting behind a table without any obvious signs of
injury, denying reports of his death and responding to questions in Arabic.
are in progress," a military source in Bamako told Agence France-Presse,
which obtained a copy of the footage.
are verifying the authenticity of the video," added French army spokesman
Patrik Steiger in Paris.
the time of his reported death, Koufa was regarded as one the top deputies to
Iyad Ag Ghali, the leader of the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM),
which has repeatedly struck military and civilian targets in Mali and
neighbouring Burkina Faso.
Mauritanian news agency Al-Akhbar said it had received the video from GSIM's
helped Malian forces stave off an insurgency that took control of large parts
of the north in 2012, but large swathes of the country remain out of the
former colonial ruler has deployed the 4,500-member Barkhane force in the
region in a bid to repel attacks and stem the insurgency. But militant groups
have continued operating in Mali and neighbouring countries.
month French forces said they killed a top terrorist leader in Mali, following
an air and ground ambush. Djamel Okacha was accused of masterminding the
kidnapping of Westerners in the Sahel region.
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