The remains of a suicide car
bombing on Monday in a bustling outdoor market in Baghdad’s eastern Sadr City
district. Credit Karim Kadim/Associated Press
Playing Chess Is More Sinful Than Gambling: Turkish
Mexico Store Displays Racist Window Signs About Muslims,
British Security Minister Warns Of ‘Mass Casualty’
Chemical Attacks By ISIS
Boko Haram - ‘The Battle Is Just Beginning’ Threatens
Leader in Chilling New Video
Arab Analyst: Turkey Moving Towards Bloody Quagmire of
Lack of Spirituality, Divine Values Blight on Western
HRW worried over increase of Israel’s shoot-to-kill
Turkish police detain 63 ISIL suspects in three days before
Bombing, air strikes kill 25 in Yemen
Turkish PM to visit Iraq this week to discuss fight
Yemeni army, resistance forces advance in Saada
Houthi attempt to smuggle missiles between Aden, Sanaa
Israel demolishes 11 Palestinian structures in West Bank,
makes 87 homeless
GTA-Based Helpline for Muslim Youth Overwhelmed By U.S.
Donald Trump Won't Tolerate 'Dual Role' From India's
Neighbours, Says US's Republican Hindu Coalition
Syrian Refugee Who Asked ISIS for €180,000 for Bombings
in Europe Detained In Germany
Syrian held for planning truck attack in Germany
Tajikistan probing alleged Russia support to Taliban via
Cardinal who could be next Pope warns not to judge Donald
Trump - but blasts Brexit
French jihadist back from Syria sentenced to 10 years in
Stop using other marginalised groups as an excuse to
Libya Deputy PM Quits, Saying He Has ‘Failed’
Suicide bombers attack peacekeepers' Somali HQ
Suicide car bomber outside Mogadishu airport kills 3:
Police deny knowledge of Boko Haram’s attack in Niger
Nigerian official held over alleged ties to Boko Haram
Suicide Bombing Kills At Least 36 in Baghdad
Over 20 Terrorists Killed in Syrian Army Attack on Nusra
Bus at Border with Turkey
Militants Living in Fear after Assassination of
Commanders in Idlib
Saudi Arabia: ‘War crimes’ were committed in Aleppo
ISIL's Centers in Northern Syria Hit Hard in Russian,
Turkish Joint Air Raids
Syria: Russia Sets up Military Post in Northern Districts
of Aleppo City
Syrian Army Engages in Fierce Clashes with ISIL, Inflicts
Major Losses on Militants in Deir Ezzur
Can ISIS Strike India From East? Jamaat-u-Mujahideen
Bangladesh Terrorist Revealed Plans, Say Sources
India’s Top Court Bars Campaigns Based on Religion,
Caste, Community or Language
‘Stop the Firing, There’s A Funeral,’ Mosque at Line of
Control Told Pakistan
Istanbul terror attack: Plan in place to bring back
J-K: Encounter ends in Baramulla, one terrorist killed,
IS video claims Modi, Obama, Turkey’s Erdogan working
against Muslims’ interests
Pakistan: Muslims Demand Shaan Taseer Be Killed for
Anti-Blasphemy Post on Facebook
Christian Cry out Police Action Supporting Land Mafia to
Occupy Church Property in Sukkur
Govt decides to review NAB Ordinance after growing
criticism on plea bargain law
Pakistani nationals reportedly abducted in Turkey,
families seek govt's help
Pakistanis without visa barred from entering Afghanistan
Myanmar to Investigate Abuse of Rohingya Muslims by
Key Taliban commanders among 21 killed in Logar
Afghan minister suspended over phone tax investigation
Myanmar detains police over Rohingya abuse video
Nangarhar police receive M16 rifles as part of
Russia blocking removal of Hekmatyar’s name from UN
Another Call to Restore Sabah’s Rights and Religious
Malaysian Aid Flotilla Bound For Arakan ‘Not Coming To
Pope calls on world bishops to protect children from
those who kill or exploit them
Muslim Scientists to Set Up Online Hub to Spur Science
and Technology Cooperation
Six witnesses to testify against Ahok: Lawyer
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Turkish televangelist Ahmet Mahmut Ünlü, popularly known
as “Cübbeli” Ahmet Hoca (Robed Ahmet Hoca), has raised eyebrows by claiming
that playing chess is more sinful than gambling, daily Hürriyet reported on
Ünlü said chess players were “cursed” and claimed that
“most people who played chess are liars.”
“Playing chess is worse than gambling and eating pork ...
People who play chess are more prone to lying than others. People who play
chess may not say the shahada [declaration of Islamic belief] while they are
dying,” he said.
“People who play chess are cursed ... You should count
your prayer beads instead of playing games like this,” he added.
Ünlü had hit headlines on Nov. 14 in 2014 by condemning
the European Space Agency’s (ESA) successful landing of the Philae probe on the
comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, describing the mission as “maniacal.”
More recently, he waded into a debate on the religious
permissiveness of oral sex, slamming a colleague for describing it as
religiously forbidden and saying there is no such ban in Islam.
Mexico store displays racist window signs about Muslims,
Jan 3, 2017
A convenience store in New Mexico has faced growing calls
to take down controversial window signs that target US President Barack Obama,
Muslims, Hillary Clinton and Colin Kaepernick.
The Mayhill Convenience Store has reportedly displayed
these signs for years and has even sold them to customers.
One of the signs reads “Kill Obama” and another says
“Obama & Muslims not welcome here.” The posters also include
racially-tinged epithets with one reading “2012 No Re-nig.”
Marlon McWilliams, the former store employee, told KOB 4
that the signs have been there for a long time. He added that the owner also
sells toilet paper with Obama’s face on it.
Another sign aimed at NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who protested
at police brutality against black people, called him an “overpaid half-breed”
and asked him to go back to Africa.
“If you go in there and offend him, you can’t go back
again. He turns a lot of people away,” McWilliams added. Some of the signs, including
the ones that said “all lives natter”, were offensive and no longer went into
Social media users have been criticising the racist
posters but no one has made a complaint. Community members have urged others to
write negative reviews for the store.
The store is up for sale at over $350,000.
One Facebook user wrote a review for the store’s Facebook
page saying that the owner does not have the right to discriminate against
people in the name of free speech.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the
largest Muslim civil rights advocacy group, issued a statement on Saturday
based on the offensive signs. “While everyone has the right to free speech, we
urge the store’s owner to remove the sign in the interest of our nation’s unity
at a time of increasing divisions,” said Ibrahim Hooper, national
communications director of CAIR.
CAIR added that there were more than 900 anti-Muslim
incidents in the month after Donald Trump was elected, including Muslim women
being targeted and mosques being threatened.
January 2, 2017
The British minister for security has warned that the
Islamic State seeks to carry out a “mass casualty” attack in Britain using
“They have no moral objection to using chemical weapons
against populations, and if they could, they would in this country,” Ben
Wallace said in a recent interview with The Sunday Times. “The casualty figures
that could be involved would be everybody’s worst fear.”
According to security officials, Islamic militants
possess the ability to produce their own mustard gas and have already begun
using them in Iraq and Syria, where troops have reportedly experienced blisters
on their skin and badly damaged lungs.
The terror group’s goal, the security minister
maintained, is to import these attacks directly into European countries such as
“While no specific chemical plot has been identified, the
ambition of IS or Daesh is definitely mass-casualty attacks,” he added. “They
want to harm as many people as possible and terrorize as many people as
To make matters worse, the threat looms not just from
outside of Britain but from its own citizens as well.
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“We know there are a significant number of [Britons]
fighting for IS in Syria,” Wallace said. “They will probably want to come home
[if Mosul collapses] … There will also be those people who wanted to go out
there but no longer can get there. Their frustration may boil over.”
Moreover, the frustration among some British people —
particularly Muslims — extends beyond just concerns over the situation in Syria.
A poll conducted by the market research firm ComRes last
year found that a startling 27 percent of British Muslims felt some grade of
sympathy for the attackers behind the 2015 Charlie Hebdo terror attack in
Paris, which left 12 innocent Parisians dead.
Speaking last year against the nation’s attempts to clamp
down on terrorism, Jahangir Mohammed, director of the Center for Muslim
Affairs, added that Muslims were “very angry and frustrated.”
“They are very angry and frustrated with the current
climate and policies, which target the Muslim community, and want their voices
heard,” he said.
Combined, these frustrations have turned Britain into a
boiling pot where scorching water can at any minute pour over the sides.
As of the start of 2017, Britain has not suffered any
major terror attack, though this could very easily change if security is not
maintained, some argue.
What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.
Boko Haram - ‘The battle is just beginning’ threatens
leader in chilling new video
Jan 2, 2017
A man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau
appeared in the video urging his followers to "kill, chop, kidnap and
detonate bombs everywhere”.
The footage comes as the Nigerian government says the
Islamist military group has been pushed out of its stronghold in the Sambisa
In a 25-minute rant, the man claiming to be Shekau, says:
"I'm here, alive and well”.
Speaking in the Hausa language and Arabic, he said:
"We are safe. We have not been flushed out of anywhere.
"If you indeed crushed us, how can you see me like
this? How many times have you killed us in your bogus death?"
The Nigerian army has in recent years said it has killed
or wounded Shekau on multiple occasions.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said Boko Haram's
last enclave in the forest, a former game reserve in northeastern Nigeria, had
been captured in the "final crushing" of the group.
Reuters has been unable to independently verify that the
area was captured.
Statements, such as those made by President Buhari have
often swiftly been followed by video denials by someone who says he is Shekau,
but poor footage makes it hard to confirm if the person is the same man as in
Army spokesman Sani Usman said "spurious
claims" were made in the latest video.
Mr Usman said: "The Nigerian army wishes to
reiterate that it has captured and occupied the last known stronghold of the
terrorist group in the Sambisa forest.”
"This video is nothing but mere terrorist propaganda
aimed at creating fear in the mind of people and to remain relevant.”
Boko Haram has killed about 15,000 people and displaced
more than 2 million in a seven-year insurgency aimed at creating a state
adhering to strict Islamic laws in the northeast of Africa's most populous
In early 2015, it controlled an area about the size of
Belgium. But it has been pushed out of most of that territory over the past
year by Nigeria's army and troops from neighbouring countries, moving to a base
in the Sambisa.
Security analysts say the group's ability to carry out
attacks in neighbouring Niger, Cameroon and Chad suggests it has multiple
They also say the group split this year, with one faction
led by Shekau operating from the Sambisa and the other, allied to Islamic State
and led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi, based in the Lake Chad region.
Arab Analyst: Turkey Moving towards Bloody Quagmire of
Jan 02, 2017
Atwan pointed to the recent terrorist attack in Turkey in
which 40 people were killed and over 70 others were wounded, and said the
terrorist who carried out the attack has escaped and is still at large.
"This situation shows that the attack against the
night club had been carefully plotted by not one person but by a large
organization," he added.
"What we understand from the recent rapid
developments is that Turkey is moving towards the bloody quagmire of terrorism
due to its hasty policies and positions, losing the compass of leadership and
creating the largest number of enemies for itself all throughout the history,
specially among the neighbors," Atwan said.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Sunday
that at least 39 people were killed in the gun attack on an Istanbul club
during New Year festivities.
Soylu said in televised comments that of 21 victims who
have been identified so far, 16 are foreigners and five are Turks. Another 69
people are being treated in hospital for their wounds.
Indicating that the attacker was still at large, Soylu
said, "The search for the terrorist continues... I hope the assailant will
be captured quickly, God willing."
An assailant believed to have been dressed in a Santa
Claus costume opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’s
celebrations. The province’s governor described it as a terror attack.
Gov. Vasip Sahin said the attacker, armed with a
long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian outside the club before
entering and firing on people partying inside. He did not say who may have
carried out the attack.
“Unfortunately he rained bullets in a very cruel and
merciless way on innocent people who were there to celebrate New Year’s and
have fun,” Sahin told reporters.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali
Khamenei says the lack of spirituality and divine values is behind the rifts,
shortcomings and frailties of the Western civilization despite its great
Addressing a meeting with a group of top Iranian students
in Tehran on Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei underscored the importance of
commitment to religious values and the Islamic Revolution’s ideals alongside
Scientific progress by itself will fail to bring
prosperity to a country and nation but scientific advances must be accompanied
by supreme spiritual values in order to prepare the ground for managing the
country’s affairs and turning it into a model for the region, the Muslim
community and the world at large, the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei cited moral, intellectual and
practical deviations, the collapse of family institution, increasing violence,
moral corruption, suicides in Western societies, particularly in the US, as
results of the dearth of spirituality and divine values.
The Leader noted that some American scholars and
intellectuals explicitly admit that these immoral acts and afflictions are
rampant in their country.
The Leader stated that serious attention to religious and
divine ideals and commitment to the values of the Islamic Revolution are
necessary for a real progress in Iran.
The Leader also pointed to increasing violence and deadly
shootings in the United States and stated that murder and the spread of arms
use have turned into a “serious problem” in the country.
This problem can be solved through the prohibition of the
use of firearms by the citizens of the country, the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei added that American officials,
however, do not dare outlaw the use of guns due to the high influence of
firearms manufacturing companies inside the country.
Human Rights Watch has voiced its deep concerns over the
increasing number of senior Israeli officials encouraging forces to kill
Palestinians even when they are not a threat.
The internationally-recognized rights group released a
report on Monday documenting numerous statements by Israeli officials calling
on police and military to use lethal force since October 2015.
“It’s not just about potentially rogue soldiers, but also
about senior Israeli officials who publicly tell forces to unlawfully shoot to
kill,” said Sari Bashi, the the Israel/Palestine advocacy director at Human
“Whatever the results of trials of individual soldiers,
Israel should issue clear directives to use force only in accordance with
international law,” she added.
Israeli security forces aim their weapons towards
Palestinian protestors during clashes following the weekly demonstration
against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the occupied West
Bank, on November 18, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
The report noted that since October 2015, there has been
over 150 confirmed instances of Israeli forces lethally shooting Palestinian
children and adults allegedly suspected of trying to attack Israelis, while
other reports put the toll close to 300.
In one incident when police shot and killed a 16-year-old
Palestinian, East Jerusalem al-Quds police commander Moshe Edri hailed the
In another case documented in the report, a high ranking
Rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, used religious interpretation to promote the shoot-to-kill
“‘Whoever comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.’
… let them afterward take you to the High Court of Justice or bring some
military chief of staff who will say something else … As soon as an attacker
knows that if he comes with a knife, he won’t return alive, it will deter them.
That’s why it’s a religious commandment to kill him,” he said.
Israeli police officers and emergency personnel inspect
the bodies of two Palestinians killed following an alleged attack at Damascus
Gate, a main entrance to the Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds on February 3,
2016. (Photo by AFP)
Amnesty International, the Palestinian human rights group
Al Haq, and several other human rights groups have also called on Israeli
officials to stop promoting the use of unnecessary lethal force.
Full report at:
Turkish police detain 63 ISIL suspects in three days
before Istanbul attack
The National Intelligence Agency (MIT) received
intelligence on possible New Year’s Eve attacks planned by the Islamic State of
Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Dec. 19 and conducted operations against ISIL
suspects between Dec. 28 and 31.
An ISIL militant staged an armed attack on a famous
upscale Istanbul nightclub Reina in the early hours of Jan. 1, killing 39
people and injuring 65 others.
The intelligence indicated that ISIL was planning to
stage bomb, suicide bomb or armed attacks on nightclubs, celebration spots and
crowded places in the capital Ankara, Istanbul, and the southern provinces of
Adana, Antalya and Mersin.
Operations were carried out in Istanbul, Ankara, the
western province of Izmir, the southeastern province of Adiyaman, and the
southern provinces of Hatay, Adana and Mersin, and a total of 63 ISIL militants
were detained. Most of the detained militants were from foreign countries,
according to the police report.
According to intelligence gathered, the militant who
carried out the attack could be from the same ISIL cell that attacked Atatürk
Airport on July 28, 2016, claiming a total of 45 lives.
Meanwhile, a total of 147 ISIL suspects have been
detained in operations across Turkey over the past week, the Interior Ministry
stated on Dec. 2, one day after a gunman of the jihadist group staged an attack
targeting New Year’s revelers at a popular nightclub in Istanbul.
During security forces’ operations targeting ISIL
militants conducted between Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, some 25 of the detained 147
were later arrested for their links to the jihadist group, the ministry said in
ADEN : Eleven civilians, including five members of one
family, and 14 Huthi rebels have been killed in shelling and air strikes in
Yemen in two days, military and rebel sources said Monday.
An air strike by the pro-government Saudi-led coalition
killed five Shiite rebels on Monday when it targeted a convoy of three vehicles
in Marees, in the southern province of Daleh, a military official said.
One of the vehicles was transporting weapons, the
official said, adding three other rebels were wounded in the strike. Six other
insurgents were killed in a similar raid on two vehicles in Al-Makhdara, in the
central province of Marib, another military official said. Shelling by
government forces killed three more rebels in the same area of Marib. The Arab
coalition started an air campaign against the Iran-backed rebels in March 2015
after the insurgents closed in on President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in his
refuge in the southern city of Aden.
Rebel media accused the coalition of conducting air
strikes on Monday across several regions in Yemen, killing two civilians in the
western province of Hodeida.
ANKARA: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will be
visiting Iraq this week to discuss the fight against terrorism and the future
of Iraq, the government's spokesman said on Monday.
"The Prime Minister will be traveling to Iraq on
Thursday to start a new era with the Iraqi central government," Deputy
Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told a news conference.
"A new peace perspective in Iraq is just around the
corner," Kurtulmus added. Yildirim's office said in a statement he would
be visiting both Baghdad and Erbil.
2 January 2017
Yemen’s army and resistance forces are quickly advancing
toward Saada after gaining control of several strategic areas nearby.
Factions from the army and resistance forces were able to
regain control on Monday the command center of Brigade 101, the al-Thar and
Saada has been under siege from Houthi militias and was
the city where a missile was launched targeting holy city of Mecca in Saudi
Arabia last October.
Meanwhile, coalition airstrikes targeted Houthi positions
in the districts of Bani Amir and Maqbana in Taiz province amid reports of
heaving fighting on the front of Nihm.
Coalition planes also bombarded telecommunication towers
and two weapons-laden trucks of the militias south of Amran city and Lahij
According to local sources, Houthi leader in Bayhan Ahmed
Abdul Kader al-Haj al-Sayid was killed as the result of injuries he suffered in
the battle o regain control of the town, which was recaptured by the
An attempt to smuggle missiles and weapons by Houthi
militias between Aden and Sanaa were foiled despite a United Nations and
international treaty ban.
Weapons used by Houthi militias are usually smuggled by
sea and come from Iranian sources, but those captured on Monday were on land
from Aden on its way to Sanaa.
Yemeni Popular Resistance forces were able to stop a
truck-load of weapons – including rockets – in the city of Hubail al-Reed in
This comes on the same day as Yemen’s army and resistance
forces quickly advanced toward Saada after gaining control of several strategic
Israeli forces have demolished eleven more Palestinian
structures in the occupied West Bank as the Tel Aviv regime goes ahead with its
land expropriation and illegal settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian
Dawood al-Jahalin, a spokesperson for the Abu Nuwwar
Bedouin community, said Israeli bulldozers escorted by military forces
demolished the residential structures in the village of Khan al-Ahmar on Monday
He added that the dwellers were not allowed to evacuate
personal belongings and furniture.
Jahalin noted that Israeli forces imposed a siege on the
area during the demolitions, which left 87 Palestinians, most of them women and
children, without a roof over their head.
Israeli forces had razed eight Palestinian homes in the
same West Bank village in October 2016.
Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said at the time that
the demolitions had affected more than two dozen Palestinians, leaving 28
people, including 18 minors, homeless.
A recent report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) showed that Israeli authorities have demolished
or seized 1,089 Palestinian-owned structures since the start of last year up
until December 28. The demolitions have left some 1,593 Palestinians homeless
and affected the lives of another 7,101, according to the report released on
December 29, 2016.
GTA-based helpline for Muslim youth overwhelmed by U.S.
By NOOR JAVED
Mon., Jan. 2, 2017
For every phone call that gets answered, Yaseen Poonah
can’t help but think about the thousands that don’t.
Poonah, founder and president of Naseeha, a GTA-based
volunteer helpline for Muslim youth, started the service nearly a decade ago
with the aim of giving teens across North America a free and confidential place
to call for support.
Staffed with counsellors for only three hours on weekday
evenings, the service has long struggled to meet the demand of teens calling
from as far away as Hawaii, New Mexico and California to talk and seek
spiritual guidance, on issues common to all teens. But then came the U.S.
Over the past year, Naseeha (which means advice in
Arabic) saw its call volume increase by more than 300 per cent over 2015,
according to Poonah.
“Now it’s a different ball game,” he said. In 2015,
Naseeha received more than 4,000 calls. But between January and December of
2016, the service received more than 16,000 calls — many of which went
unanswered simply because of a lack of staff, he said.
The concerns of Muslim youth are largely the same as
those of all youth, Poonah added: “Depression, mental health, bullying,
suicide, LGBT and questioning gender identity are the big ones.”
But there are some culturally specific ones:
intergenerational cultural clashes, marital problems and, more often these
days, discrimination. “Youth are struggling with the sentiment that they don’t
belong and that is manifesting itself in unhealthy behaviours,” he said. Most
of the calls Naseeha gets come from the U.S.
“We had a number of mainstream organizations in the U.S.
asking us if we had enough resources available in light of a Trump presidency,”
Poonah said. “Admittedly, we are a little concerned about what will happen
after Inauguration Day.”
The service has been receiving calls not only from youth,
but also from their parents about how to deal with the effect of Donald Trump’s
presidency, he said. “It’s getting a little bit out of our scope.”
Poonah believes the boost in call numbers could also be
due to word of mouth and Google searches. The non-profit, which recently
received charitable status, is also listed as a crisis resource by the Toronto
District School Board and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; it most
recently collaborated with Kids Help Phone.
There are times when the organization has been approached
by authorities, including the RCMP, Poonah said. “In the case of so-called
honour killings, local authorities will sometimes ask us if we got calls from
the victims,” he said.
“And when it comes down to radicalization, it’s the same.
We would report it if it came up.”
On its website, Naseeha states that all calls are
confidential, unless there is concern about harm to oneself or someone else, if
there is suspected child abuse, or if information is subpoenaed by a court.
Dr. Gursharan Virdee, a researcher at the Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health who has done work with Muslim and Sikh youth, says
that the discreet nature of Naseeha — which operates chat and email services in
addition to a phone line — takes away many of the barriers that traditionally
exist for these communities to get support.
She said that in her work with youth, many have said they
wanted faith and spirituality to be a part of their counselling — something
that has been missing when they access mainstream services. “If there is a lot
of distance between the therapist and the client, there are some schools of
thought that say that therapy might not be as effective as it could be,” she
said. So Naseeha fills a large void.
She said it is possible that the recent spike in calls is
due to general adolescent difficulties being compounded by heightened incidence
of racism and Islamophobia.
“All of this can affect one’s sense of self, identity and
mental health,” she said. It’s also why a youth may call Naseeha, “because they
expect there will already be some understanding of this environment on the
The service accepts calls from anyone, but for youth who
identify as Muslim, the religious advice provided by the counsellors is meant
to be supportive and comforting, never preachy or proselytizing, Poonah said.
“One of the reasons the youth call us, as opposed to a
different phone line, is that they are looking for someone who understands
their faith, their religion or cultural context,” he said. “We never talk about
heaven or hell, or sin.
“We want to be the first line of contact, without really
giving any Islamic message, but we understand that they are calling us to hear
that kind of advice gradually,” he said.
In one call log Naseeha shared with the Star (where all
identifying information was removed), a female caller talks about relationship
problems with her boyfriend, and his abusive behaviour toward her. In another
call, a female discusses her confusion about her gender and desire to be a
male. There is limited discussion about religion from the counsellors, unless
the youth themselves bring it up.
These complex discussions can sometimes go as long as an
hour, said Poonah.
“Out of the 16,000 phone calls, we are only answering
less than 20 per cent of those phone calls, because of hours of operation or
our lines are occupied,” he said, adding that the average call is now 54
minutes, up from 27 minutes the year before.
Currently, the service has about 25 counsellors from
around the GTA, between the ages of 18 and 35. The phone lines and live chat
are open Monday to Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with two counsellors on duty.
In addition to calls, the service gets emails and messages on social media, and
senders are then encouraged to call in. Advice is never given over email.
Poonah has big plans for the organization, including
increasing its hours of operation, doubling the number of counsellors to 50 and
establishing a centralized hub or call centre. Broader plans include
counselling in different languages, call centres in different countries and a
round-the-clock answering service. But expansion dreams require money. Poonah
estimates $8,000 a month could help make some of the items on the wish list
“We always need money, but it’s never been our focus,” he
said, noting that for the past few years the organization has grown with a
budget of just a few hundred dollars a month. “But now, the demand is
unsustainable. We need to grow.”
Donald Trump won't tolerate 'dual role' from India's
neighbours, says US's Republican Hindu Coalition
NEW DELHI: US President-elect Donald Trump reportedly
made it clear to a US Republican Hindu group that he's "not going to
tolerate a dual role from India's neighbours."
Shalabh Kumar, an Indian-American businessman and founder
of the Republican Hindu Coalition+ told ANI that this was the message Trump
conveyed in his meetings with him. Kumar is part of Trump's transition team.
"The US President-elect made that policy very, very
clear, that he is not going to tolerate a dual role from India's
neighbours," said Kumar referring to Pakistan.
"You need good defence cooperation among friends,
which is happening but is going to accelerate dramatically in the common fight
against terrorism+ ," Kumar added, according to ANI.
Kumar is reportedly closely associated with the BJP and
the RSS, according to The Economic Times. He held a rally for Trump in New
Jersey, in the final leg of the Presidential campaign, and donated a whopping
$898,000 (approximately Rs 6 crore) towards Trump's campaign.
Another of Kumar's goals - and Trump's, according to him
- is to increase trade between India and the US in one year to $300 billion
from the current $100 billion. "That will be a win-win for both sides as
both will gain millions of jobs," Kumar said.
Kumar and his daughter Manasvi Mamgai , a former Miss
India, also revealed there will be Bollywood celebrities performing at Trump's
inauguration as President on January 20.
"You will see Bollywood biggies, Bollywood
entertainment and all the 'jhatkas' and 'matkas'," Mamgai said.
Syrian refugee who asked ISIS for €180,000 for bombings
in Europe detained in Germany
2 Jan, 2017
A Syrian asylum seeker has been detained in Germany on
suspicion of asking ISIS for money to buy and booby trap cars to kill a large
number of "non-Muslim" people in “Germany, France, Belgium and the
Netherlands,” German authorities say.
The 38-year old man was detained early Saturday by German
special forces in his flat in the city of Saarbrucken in the Federal State of
Saarland. Official confirmation of the operation and further details emerged
only on Monday. The Syrian refugee was arrested after Saarland police received
a tip off from the Federal Criminal police.
According to the Prosecutor’s office, the man in custody
is suspected of having reached out to an Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)
terrorist group’s contact person in December “who he knew was in a position to
obtain IS money for terror financing.” The asylum seeker apparently “asked him
[IS contact person] to provide €180,000 so he [the suspect] can use the money
to buy vehicles, which he planned to bobby trap with explosives,” a statement
by the Prosecutor’s office reads.
The Syrian asylum seeker allegedly planned to buy eight
cars - €22,500 each - booby trap the vehicles and drive them into the crowds to
“kill a large number of non-Muslim people.” He reportedly said 400 to 500
kilograms (882 to 1,100 pounds) of explosives would be placed in each car.
The Prosecutor’s office announced that the reasons for
its assumptions are based on a chat in the online messenger Telegram, which was
found in the telephone of the suspect during a search of his flat. “So far the
investigation has found no evidence that the suspect had already prepared
[booby trapped] cars to carry out the attacks,” authorities noted though.
According to a separate statement by police in Saarland,
the suspect allegedly asked for the IS money to finance an “unspecified
terrorist attack” in “Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.”
Hugo Muller, Deputy Commissioner for the Saarland police
said that the Syrian man planned to repaint the vehicles as police cars.
"In his respective communications with contacts linked to IS, he [the
suspect] offered or suggested to repaint cars to make them look similar to
police cars, load them with explosives, position them in a crowd of people and
then detonate them," Muller said.
The 38-year old entered Germany in 2014 and after
applying for asylum and was a granted a temporary residence permit. He
acknowledged contacting the IS representative, yet insists he did not plan any
terrorist acts, the prosecutor’s office said.
Earlier, Der Spiegel reported that during interrogation,
the suspect allegedly said he wanted to use the IS money to support his family
in Syria. There is no official confirmation on that so far, with the
investigation into the case underway.
BERLIN: A Syrian migrant who arrived in Germany two years
ago has been arrested on suspicion of seeking funds from Islamic State to drive
truck bombs into a crowd, a German state prosecutor’s office said on Monday.
The arrest follows an attack two weeks ago when a
Tunisian whose asylum request had been rejected rammed a truck into a Berlin
Christmas market, killing 12 people. The man, Anis Amri, 24, was later shot
dead by Italian police.
In the latest case, the prosecutor in the western city of
Saarbruecken said the 38-year-old Syrian was detained on Saturday and a formal
arrest warrant was issued on Sunday on suspicion that he was trying to raise
180,000 euros ($189,000) to fund an attack.
Prosecutor Christoph Rebmann said the man, whom he did
not name, was suspected of seeking the money from Islamic State in Syria to buy
trucks and load 400-500 kg (880-1,100 pounds) of explosives into each of them.
“He is suspected of ... requesting 180,000 euros from a
contact person in Syria on his cell phone from Saarbruecken in December, 2016
so that he could acquire vehicles to pack with explosives and drive them into a
crowd,” Rebmann said in a statement.
The man has admitted making contact with Islamic State,
which is also know as ISIS, but denied he had any plans to stage an attack.
“He said he wanted the money from ISIS to support his
family back in Syria,” Rebmann told Reuters, adding that the Syrian had said he
wanted to fool the militant group into sending him the money.
The Syrian is from the city of Raqqa, Islamic State’s
main stronghold in the country. The prosecutor’s office in Saarbruecken, near
the French border, had been alerted to his activities by the BKA federal crime
The Syrian came to Germany on Dec. 5, 2014, just before a
wave of more than 1.1 million asylum-seekers arrived from the Middle East,
Africa and Asia in 2015. He was given permission to stay in Germany on Jan. 12,
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who made the now-controversial
decision to open the country’s borders to refugees in September, 2015,
described Islamist terrorism on New Year’s Eve as the greatest test facing
Jan 02 2017
The authorities in Tajikistan are saying that an
investigation is underway to ascertain claims made by the former Afghan
officials suggesting the Taliban weapons are being repaired by the Russian
experts inside the Tajik soil.
A spokesman for Tajikistan’s border guard agency,
Muhammadjon Ulughkhojaev, has said the allegations by the former Afghan
officials are baseless.
However, he did not rule out the possibility as he vowed
to probe the allegations.
Ulughkhojaev quoted in a report by RFE/RL said the border
guard agency “has been looking into the claim.”
He said the authorities will study the Afghan media
reports, and will report on the results of their investigation.
The former provincial governor of Kunduz Mohammad Omar
Safi claimed late last year that the vehicles and weapons had been repaired by
Russian military engineers based in Tajikistan before being returned to the
Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn has become known for his
controversial comments, after warning of an Islamic invasion of Europe and
demanding migrants “return to their homeland.”
Now the 71-year-old Archbishop of Vienna has looked back
on a turbulent year that saw the UK vote to quit the European Union while
Americans took to the polls to send Donald Trump to the White House.
Schoenborn said: "I do not know if Ms Clinton really
would have been the better solution and I do not know whether Mr Trump is the
“Many also shook their heads when Ronald Reagan was
elected: For God's sake, an actor from California!
"But Reagan was certainly one of the best Presidents
the US ever had. So you should not be too quick to judge."
The anti-Islam and anti-migration cardinal also said he
hoped the Middle East could become Christian again, but warned Europeans must
fight to stop the spread of Islam.
He claims he sees European cohesion as something
"incomparably better than the European antagonism we have suffered for
But he acknowledge fears over migration - a subject he
has previously spoken at length on - may have been the driving force behind the
Last year, the outspoken cardinal warned that Muslims
wanted to eradicate Christians and conquer Europe, and said that "we are
in danger of forfeiting our Christian heritage."
Schoenborn said: "Turkey was once completely
Christian before it was conquered by the Turks.
A Paris court on Monday sentenced Nicolas Moreau, a convicted
French jihadist who returned from Syria, to 10 years in prison for criminal
association with a terrorist organisation.
The 32-year-old Frenchman was not present at the Paris
correctional court since he refused to leave the prison where he is being held
for the hearing.
Prosecutors had argued that Moreau presented an
"extremely dangerous threat" and warned that he risked returning to
his "jihadist commitment" once released.
A former fisherman from Nantes, Moreau fell into a life
of petty crime before he was radicalised in prison and left France to join the
ranks of the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq. He stayed in the
region for nearly a year and a half, according to prosecutors, and even ran a
restaurant in the IS group’s de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria, during the last
At a hearing on December 14, 2016, Moreau warned the
court that if he was sentenced to more than 18 months in jail he would “return
to armed combat”.
Two brothers radicalise in jail
Born in South Korea and adopted by a French family at the
age of four, Moreau lived in the western French city of Nantes and fell into
delinquency after his adoptive parents divorced. He was sentenced to five years
in jail for violent robbery and converted to Islam while in prison.
It was a trajectory of radicalisation similar to his
younger brother, Flavien Moreau, who became the first French jihadist to be
tried upon his return from Syria. In November 2014, Flavien was sentenced to
seven years in prison.
Both the brothers were born in South Korea before they
were adopted as infants. But Flavien, the younger brother, spent only a few
weeks in IS group-held territory since he was unable to cope with the jihadist
group’s no-smoking policy. He entered Syria in November 2012, but returned to
France weeks later to pick up an electronic cigarette. He was arrested in
Turkey on his way back to Syria. Flavien is currently serving a seven-year
The cause of LGBT rights has found an unlikely champion
in the form of The Sun newspaper. It has found no problem in arguably
encouraging Islamophobia by calling on gay rights charities such as Stonewall
to “fight Islam”. Yes, that is the headline they used.
This, it’s worth remembering, is from the same newspaper
which launched the “Eastbenders” campaign to remove the BBC soap’s first gay
characters, and which ran the headline “Straight sex cannot give you Aids –
official”, which I would suggest whipped up hatred towards gay people living
Never mind the apparent hypocrisy, this is an example of
how important social issues such as gay rights can be used to stoke up bigotry
elsewhere. This is how Islamophobia has become normalised within our society,
where 37 per cent now say they would be likely to support a political party
that promised to reduce the number of Muslims in Britain, and where more than
30 per cent of young children think Muslims are “taking over” England.
Another example of this tactic is women’s rights:
consider Trevor Kavanagh, who normally does not discuss feminist issues in his
column in the equality-loving Sun. Yet here he makes an exception. He calls on
feminists to fight for Muslim women and to stand up against the veil.
Or what about animal rights? Katie Hopkins, a staunch
defender of fox hunting, shows her strong belief in animal rights as she rails
against halal slaughter. Rod Liddle goes on a rampage against halal slaughter
without stunning (15 per cent of all halal meat in the UK) but chooses to
entirely ignore kosher slaughter (100 per cent of which is without stunning).
We would be hard-pressed to call these columnists
passionate activists for gay rights, women’s rights or animal rights – yet they
are using these issues to create a semblance of moral and ethical righteousness
with which to mask their bigotry. The result is clear and undeniable: the bully
pulpit stokes hatred and turns marginalised groups against each other. It
foments an anti-Muslim narrative and strengthens the far right by allowing them
a mainstream source for their anti-Muslim hatred.
Libya deputy PM quits, saying he has ‘failed’
One of three deputy premiers in Libya’s UN-backed
Government of National Accord resigned on Monday, saying he had failed in his
Moussa al-Kouni told a press conference in the capital of
the chaos-ridden North African country that he could no longer stay in the
“I’m resigning because I have failed,” said a visibly
moved Kouni, who is originally from southern Libya and represents the Tuareg
minority in the GNA.
“We (in the GNA) are responsible because we accepted this
“We take responsibility for everything that has happened
in the past year: dramas, violence, murder, rape, invasion, the squandering of
public funds... Regardless of the extent of the crimes, we are responsible,” he
Libya has been mired in chaos since the 2011 downfall of
longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
In March last year, the internationally backed GNA was
formed, intended to replace two rival administrations, one in Tripoli and one
in the country’s far east.
It is also the centrepiece of Western hopes to stem an
upsurge of extremism in Libya and halt people trafficking across the
Mediterranean that has led to thousands of drownings.
Extremists of ISIS have been chased from their North
African stronghold in Sirte 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of Tripoli after
eight months of deadly fighting.
Despite this success, the GNA has failed to assert its
authority fully over the whole country.
Prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj has not yet been
able to secure a vote of confidence in the Libyan parliament based in Tobruk in
the east, where the military leader of the parallel authorities, Marshal
Khalifa Haftar, is also based.
“The inability to meet people’s expectations leads me to
resign... I pledged to alleviate their suffering but I did not succeed,” Kouni
also wrote on his Twitter account.
MOGADISHU : Suicide bombers attacked the main
peacekeeping base in Somalia's capital on Monday, killing at least three Somali
security officers, police said.
Islamist al Shabaab militants, who want to topple the
Western-backed government, said they carried out the assault near Mogadishu's
main airport, an area used by several embassies, aid groups and telecoms
One bomber drove a car into a checkpoint outside the
headquarters of the African Union peacekeeping force AMISOM, killing three
Somali officers stationed there, police officer Mohamed Ahmed said. Another
vehicle then drove through towards the base's main gates but came under fire
"It exploded about 200 metres from the gate.
Civilian buildings were damaged," AMISOM said on its Twitter feed.
The powerful blasts damaged the front of the nearby Hotel
Peace, though there were no immediate reports of casualties there.
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - A suicide bomber detonated an
explosives-laden vehicle at a security checkpoint near Mogadishu's
international airport Monday, killing at least three people, a Somali police
Capt. Mohamed Hussein said the bomb detonated as security
forces were searching cars at the checkpoint, a few hundred meters (yards) from
the main base of the African Union peacekeeping mission.
The checkpoint is close to United Nations offices and the
Peace Hotel, which is often frequented by foreigners and officials. The
powerful blast blew roofs off nearby buildings.
A second blast and heavy gunfire could be heard shortly
The first blast destroyed the checkpoint run by the
Somali national security forces, the African Union mission said on Twitter. The
explosion allowed a second bomb-laden vehicle to pass, but AU forces
"engaged" it and it exploded about 200 meters from Medina Gate, the
AU mission said.
The al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremist group al-Shabab,
which often carries out such attacks, quickly claimed responsibility for
Monday's attack through its radio arm, Andalus.
Despite being ousted from most of its key strongholds
across large parts of south and central Somalia, the homegrown group continues
to wage deadly attacks across the country.
Somalia's capital has seen frequent bomb attacks at
hotels and military checkpoints. In July, two al-Shabab suicide bombers
detonated explosives-laden cars outside the office of the U.N.'s mine-clearing
agency and an army checkpoint near the African Union's main base, killing 13.
The site of the attack was near the site of Monday's blasts.
03 January 2017
The Police have denied media reports that members of Boko
Haram sect attacked some villages in Niger state.
A statement to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by Niger
State Police command’s spokesperson Bala Elkalla said this in Minna yesterday.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Niger State
Police Command has been drawn to some online reports alleging the invasion of
some villages in Rafi Local Council of the state by members of Boko Haram who
fled from the recaptured Sambisa forest.
“The report is not only false, but malicious and
calculated at causing fear and panic among the peace-loving people of Niger
State. The report is clearly a fiction that emanated from the writer’s
“For the avoidance of doubt, Niger State is among the few
states in the country that have conquered cattle rustling, kidnapping and armed
According to Elkallah: “It is on record that in the past
few months, the command, in its aggressive operations arrested over 40 armed
bandits and recovered over 1,000 cattle and various types of assorted weapons.”
The police said it have over 500 mobile policemen and
special anti-robbery squads who patrol villages in Rafi Local Council area
alone, being a boundary community with Kaduna State, Zamfara and Kebbi states.
Elkallah urged the public to remain calm and go about
their lawful businesses.
“The command has put sensitive security measures in place
to guarantee adequate protection of lives and property of the people,” he
02 January 2017
A Nigerian local government official was detained in the
country's restive northeastern region for allegedly shielding a Boko Haram
suspect at his home.
According to a ministerial statement on Sunday from the
provincial Borno government, Shettima Lawan Mafa, a council chairman, was held
by the military on suspicion he hid a top terror suspect.
“(Hon. Mafa) reported himself to the military last week
and was detained pending the outcome of ongoing investigations being conducted
by the military,” Borno commissioner for local government affairs Usman Ali
Zannah said -- the first official comment on the issue.
The army had yet to comment at the time of this report.
A number of top government officials have previously been
indicted for alleged involvement in the insurgency. The country's senate
majority leader Ali Ndume and former Borno governor Ali Modu-Sheriff face
similar charges, although they have not yet been prosecuted.
The development comes just over a week after the military
flushed the militants from their main base in the Sambisa forest and amid
reports Boko Haram violence has dropped sharply in the last 12 months.
Suicide bombing kills at least 36 in Baghdad
A suicide bomber driving a pickup loaded with explosives
struck a bustling market in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 36 people in an
attack claimed by the militant Islamic State group hours after French President
Francois Hollande arrived in the Iraqi capital.
The bomb went off in a fruit and vegetable market that
was packed with day laborers, a police officer said, adding that another 52
people were wounded.
During a press conference with Hollande, Prime Minister
Haider al-Abadi said the bomber pretended to be a man seeking to hire day
laborers. Once the workers gathered around, he detonated the vehicle.
IS claimed the attack in a statement circulated on a
militant website often used by the extremists. It was the third IS-claimed
attack in as many days in and around Baghdad, underscoring the lingering threat
posed by the militant group despite a string of setbacks elsewhere in the
country over the past year, including in and around the northern city of Mosul.
The attack took place in Sadr City, a vast Shia district
in eastern Baghdad that has been repeatedly targeted by Sunni extremists since
the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Shia militiamen loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, the firebrand
cleric for whose family the neighborhood is named, were seen evacuating bodies
in their trucks before ambulances arrived. Dead bodies were scattered across
the bloody pavement alongside fruit, vegetables and laborers' shovels and axes.
A minibus filled with dead passengers was on fire.
Asaad Hashim, an owner of a mobile phone store nearby,
described how the laborers pushed and shoved around the bomber's vehicle,
trying to get hired.
“Then a big boom came, sending them up into the air,”
said the 28-year-old, who suffered shrapnel wounds to his right hand. He blamed
“the most ineffective security forces in the world” for failing to prevent the
An angry crowd cursed the government, even after a
representative of al-Sadr tried to calm them. Late in December 2016, Iraqi
authorities started removing some of the security checkpoints in Baghdad in a
bid to ease traffic for the capital's six million residents.
“We have no idea who will kill at any moment and who's
supposed to protect us,” said Ali Abbas, a 40-year-old father of four who was
hurled over his vegetable stand by the blast. “If the securities forces can't
protect us, then allow us to do the job,” he added.
Three smaller bombings elsewhere in the city on Monday
killed another seven civilians and wounded at least 30, according to medics and
police officials. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they
were not authorized to brief reporters.
Hollande meanwhile met with al-Abadi and President Fuad
Masum, and was expected to travel to the self-governing northern Kurdish region
to meet French troops and local officials.
Iraqi troops, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, are
fighting IS in a massive operation to retake the northern city of Mosul. Iraqi
state TV said Hollande will discuss increasing support for Iraq and the latest
developments in the 10-week-old offensive.
Hollande promised that France would remain a long-term
ally of Iraq and called for coordination between intelligence services “in a
spirit of great responsibility,” in remarks carried by his official Twitter
France is part of the American-led coalition formed in
2014 to fight IS after the extremist group seized large areas in Iraq and
neighboring Syria. France has suffered multiple attacks claimed by the
Since the Mosul operation started on Oct 17, Iraqi forces
have seized around a quarter of the city. In the last week of December 2016,
the troops resumed fighting after a two-week lull due to stiff resistance by
the militants and bad weather.
Mosul is Iraq's second largest city and the last major
urban area in the country controlled by IS. Iraqi and US commanders are aiming
to drive IS from the city in the next three months.
Syrian army's artillery and missile units targeted a
military bus of Fatah al-Sham, carrying fresh recruits from Turkey into
The army attack on Fatah al-Sham's bus that had entered
Syria via a Turkish border crossing left at least 20 militants dead and several
In December, the army's artillery units pounded the military
positions of al-Nusra Front near the village of al-Yamama in the Northern part
of Lattakia province.
"The artillery shelling resulted in the destruction
of the terrorists' military vehicles as well as death and injury of a number of
terrorists in the vicinity of al-Yamama village," a military source said.
"Unidentified people that had planted a large volume
of explosive materials in one of the vehicles of Fatah al-Sham detonated it in
the town of Khan al-Sabal in Southeastern Idlib, killing Abu Amyar al-Khorsani,
a commander of Fatah al-Sham, and his assistant," the sources said.
They added that a bomb-laden vehicle of Ahrar al-Sham was
also detonated in the town of al-Tah in Idlib countryside, injuring a group
The sources went on to say that Faylaq al-Sham's bases in
the town of Kaftin in Idlib countryside were also raided by masked assailants
who stole weapons and took the guards into captivity.
"Panic has spread among Fatah al-Sham members after
the recent incidents. They are accusing each other of treason and mounting
spying devices in their commanders' vehicles," the sources pointed out.
Reports said earlier today that two notorious commanders
of Fatah al-Sham Front were killed in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attack
on their vehicle on Sarmada-Batbu road in Northern Idlib.
The statement said that the Russian fighter jets bombed
ISIL's positions in al-Bab another time to support the Euphrates Shield
Operation started by Ankara in August.
Ankara's statement went on to say that Turkish and
Russian fighter jets carried out joint aerial operation against ISIL's centers
in al-Bab on the first day of 2017.
Last Monday, the Russian Air Force started targeting
ISIL's positions in the town of al-Bab to back up the Turkish Army and its
militant allies for the first time since the start of the Euphrates Shield
Operation in Northern Syria.
The sources said that the army has set up the checkpost
in Sheikh Maqsoud district to cooperate with the Kurdish People’s Protection
Units (YPG) in controlling the security situation in the district.
The sources added that a group of Russian military police
have been seen patrolling in Sheikh Maqsoud.
They added that at least 15 Russian soldiers have been
stationed in the newly-established check point.
A media source confirmed the report and added that
establishment of the security posts in Sheikh Maqsoud is important, specially
by Russians that are a party to ensuring nationwide ceasefire.
Other sources said that the Russians are expected to set
up their second check point in the Eastern Neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsoud
district in next few days.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced in a statement on
Saturday that the country's sappers managed to defuse a large number of bombs
and landmines planted by the terrorists of Jeish al-Fatah in over 2,000
buildings in the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city.
The army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL
along the Eastern wall of Deir Ezzur airbase that left a number of militants
dead or wounded and caused the rest of them to retreat from the battlefield to
evade more casualties.
In the meantime, the army's missile and artillery units
targeted movements and gatherings of ISIL in two neighborhoods of al-Sina'ah
and al-Jabiliyeh, killing a number of the terrorists and destroying their
rocket launchers and bases.
Can ISIS Strike India From East? Jamaat-Ul-Mujahideen
Bangladesh Terrorist Revealed Plans, Say Sources
January 02, 2017
threat to India from ISIS may well come from the eastern border. The
Jamaat-Ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh or JMB, a terror group which was behind the
Dhaka Bakery Attack and aims to establish an Islamic caliphate in the country,
has been coordinating with the ISIS to create terror in India, sources said.
The possibility of an ISIS attack from the east is being
seriously considered after the interrogation of Mohammad Mosiuddin alias Musa,
an alleged JMB operative who was arrested in July last year from Burdwan in
Mosiuddin's interrogation has thrown up chilling
revelations that include terror plans that go beyond targeting foreigners at
Kolkata's Mother House and lone wolf attacks on foreign tourists in Srinagar.
The group aims to replicate in South Asia what the ISIS has done in the
middle-east, sources said.
Mosiuddin's close links to the mastermind of the Dhaka
Bakery terror attack and the ISIS could open a new front.
"They want to first capture Bangladesh and set up an
Islamist state there. Then they want to expand their Islamist state in the
neighborhood. Something like what
Taliban thought about, what Al-Qaeda thought about or what the ISIS is thinking
about," Professor N Manoharan, an Associate Professor at the Department of
International Studies and History at Bengaluru's Christ University, told NDTV.
Sources say the JMB's larger plans include publicising
the presence of the ISIS in India and recruit for the group. It also wants to
coordinate with Pakistan-based groups like Lashkar e Taiba and Jaish e
Mujahideen and create terror in eastern and southern India, where Mosiuddin was
based, sources say.
Another aim of the group is to help spread Salafist Islam
in states like Bihar and Bengal. "They want to start with Bangladesh and
they want to expand this Darool Islam to the wider region and link up with other
groups," Professor N Manoharan added.
The common threat from terrorism was discussed by
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Modi earlier this
year, when Sheikh Hasina visited Delhi. The two leaders decided to tackle the
"This is a decision which is taken at the highest
level. We are trying to translate the vision of the Prime Ministers of both
countries. We are getting huge support
from the Bangladesh side," said PSR Anjaneyulu, a senior officer of Border
By ELLEN BARRY
JAN. 2, 2017
NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that
candidates for political office cannot appeal to voters on the basis of
religion, caste, community or language, arguing that India’s Constitution
enshrines its elections as fundamentally secular.
A majority of four justices ruled that elections won on
religious- or caste-based appeals by candidates or their proxies could be
declared null and void.
Three justices, in a dissent, argued that such topics
were constitutionally protected free speech.
The ruling came as India prepared for a wave of assembly
elections in seven states, seen as an important test of the strength of Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
It also called into question an essential characteristic
of Indian politics, whose secular nature often seems skin-deep.
Rajdeep Sardesai, a journalist, said on Twitter that
according to this ruling, the majority of those in Parliament “should lose
their seats.” Other commentators shrugged off the judgment as impossible to put
Political movements based on identity have led to major
social change in India in recent decades. Lower-caste leaders have swept to
power promising to right historical injustices. Throngs have taken to the
streets demanding the right to use indigenous languages. Hindu right-wing
activists have routinely rallied their electorate around allegations of
wrongdoing by Muslims. Caste-based reservations are used in India in much the
same way as race-based affirmative action is in the United States.
Ashutosh Varshney, a professor of international studies
at Brown University, called the decision “very mystifying,” offering the
example of Kumari Mayawati, who was born a Dalit, in a caste of so-called
untouchables. She rose to become the leader of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous
“Suppose she mobilizes Dalits on the basis of Dalit
suffering. Would that be seen as a violation of this Supreme Court judgment?”
he asked. “The Supreme Court appears to be saying that identity-based politics
should be outlawed. But identity-based politics cannot be easily outlawed.”
‘Stop The Firing, There’s A Funeral,’ Mosque At Line of
Control Told Pakistan
January 2, 2017
JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch sector has been hit
with frequent ceasefire violations in the past week. While the Line of Control
witnesses deaths of army personnel and civilians in such violations, this
Friday it witnessed an unprecedented funeral of a teenager at the border fence.
Sixteen-year-old Tanweer was killed during firing from
Pakistani side on Friday. His family intended to bury him on their own land at
the Noorkote village on the Line of Control. But under intermittent but intense
firing from the Pakistani side, they could not go ahead with it. Later, a local
mosque intervened in making an impassioned plea to stop the firing.
“You have killed a man in firing. Stop the firing. We
want to conduct the funeral prayers,” the mosque announced on their
loudspeakers, according to Jehangir Mir, Member of State Legislative Council.
A teenager’s funeral was conducted near the Line of
Control in Kashmir’s Poonch sector. (NDTV)
The fresh round of firing has triggered a wave of fear
among those residing at villages near the LoC. The locals have started moving
to safer areas. The ceasefire violation by Pakistan comes after over three
weeks of silence on the border after the Indian Army launched a
counter-offensive against killing of three soldiers in the Machhil sector.
“There is lot of fear. Two to three bombs are dropping at
one place, they cover a large area causing causalities of people and livestock,
people are living in total fear,” said Sunil Kumar, resident of a village near
NEW DELHI: The Indian Mission in Turkey is trying for
early repatriation of the bodies of Bollywood producer Abis Hasan Rizvi and
Khushi Shah from Gujarat who were among 39 people killed in the Istanbul terror
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had informed
through tweets that her ministry was arranging visas for Rizvi’s parents to
“I have just spoken to Mr Akhtar Hassan Rizvi and Akshay
Shah in Turkey. Indian Ambassador Rahul Kulshreshth has made all arrangements
for them. They r returning with mortal remains by Turkish airlines flight leaving
Istanbul tommw night and reach Mumbai next morning,” Swaraj said in a tweet.
She also said that Indian Ambassador to Turkey Rahul
Kulshreshth was in touch with the authorities in Istanbul and with the family
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said
Rizvi and Shah had gone to Istanbul as tourists and they “happened to be at the
wrong place at the wrong time”.
Rizvi was the chief executive of Rizvi Builders and son
of former Rajya Sabha member Akhtar Hasan Rizvi. He had produced a Bollywood
movie: ‘Roar: Tigers Of The Sundarbans’. Famous among the celebrity circles of
Mumbai, he played a vital role in the running of Rizvi College located at
Bandra. His younger brother, Saquib Rizvi, had died in an accident in 2010.
According to close relatives of Rizvi, the 45-year-old
businessman went to Istanbul a few days ago to celebrate New Year with friends.
Nora Fatehi, who acted in the film Roar, tweeted: “Abis Rizvi a good friend and
also the producer of my first film #roar has died last night in the club
shooting in Turkey. I am shocked”. His father, a close associate of NCP chief
Sharad Pawar, is famous also for his charity work.
January 3, 2017
The encounter between security forces and terrorists in
Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district ended with one terrorist being killed.
Arms and ammunition was also recovered from the site, reports news agency ANI.
Encounter broke out during wee hours on Tuesday and
initially it was believed that two terrorists were hiding in Haritar Tarzoo
area of the district.
Jan 03, 2017
An Islamic State video, which called for attacks on
Turkey days before the massacre at an Istanbul night club, shows President
Recep Erdogan with leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who
the group claims are working against the interests of Muslims.
The 19-minute video in Arabic and Turkish, titled The
Cross Shield, features gruesome footage of two captured Turkish soldiers
purportedly being burnt alive by IS fighters in Syria.
The video begins with an attack on Erdogan for his
involvement in the war in Syria and calls for “destruction to be sowed” in
It also refers to the situation in Afghanistan and shows
Erdogan and Turkish leaders with other world leaders the IS claims are working
against Islam and the interests of Muslims.
US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir
Putin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Pope Francis, former Myanmar president
Thein Sein, Israeli leaders and clerics and Modi feature in the video.
The photo of Modi and Erdogan used in the appears to be
one taken when they had met in November 2015 on the margins of the G20 Summit
Turkey entered the war in Syria in August and has sent
hundreds of troops, tanks and warplanes into the country.
The video, which also features purported footage of
Turkish air strikes and suicide attacks and bombings by the IS, concludes with
the execution of the Turkish soldiers. The chained soldiers are shown being
dragged out of a cage and then set on fire. The video was purportedly shot in
The video is similar to another one on the killing of a
Jordanian fighter pilot, who was captured by the IS when his plane went down in
Syria in December 2014, and then burned alive in a cage.
The son of a Pakistani governor who was assassinated over
his opposition to the nation's blasphemy laws is now the subject of a fatwa
calling for his death after he criticized the nation's blasphemy laws and
voiced his support for its victims on Facebook. Shaan Taseer, the son of slain
Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer and a human rights activist, took to social media to
wish a "Merry Christmas" and to express his support for blasphemy
victims Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five who has been sitting on death row
for years, and Nabeel Masih, a Christian teen who has been imprisoned since
September after he was accused of "liking" a Facebook that is
offensive to Muslims. The post, however, was never found.
On Friday, Taseer announced that a police case has been
registered in Islampura, Lahore on the grounds of "hate speech"
because of his Christmas video Message.
According to the Express Tribune, the police filings
state that Taseer's message mocked the blasphemy law and hurt the sentiments of
"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not satire," he
wrote on Facebook. "A case under sec 295A (hate speech: acts intended to
outrage religious feelings) has been registered by Punjab Police at another
Police Station in Lahore, Islampura."
"The police claim they found a USB outside the
station, opened it and were horrified by a Christmas message," he
continued. "They also claim not to know who the person in the video is
(wink wink), and have therefore named an unknown person. Presumably, when asked
tomorrow, they will claim to have done their job at an arm's length basis. Once
again, this is not satire, the Punjab police has moved into action to protect
the public against my Christmas message."
Additionally, The Wall Street Journal reports that a
Muslim group called Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah has issued a fatwa against
Taseer, saying that he is now "condemnable to death" because his
message "crossed all limits of insulting God and the [Islamic]
The WSJ reports that the group is of the Barelvi sect,
which is normally considered a moderate group but takes a hardline stance when
it comes to the issue of blasphemy laws.
"They have called for my assassination," Taseer
"In no unclear terms, they've told their supporters
to prepare another Mumtaz Qadri," Taseer said, referring to the security
guard who assassinated his father in 2011.
Taseer explained that he has received hundreds of
hate-filled messages and death threats since posting his Christmas message and
is now seeking safety outside of Pakistan.
As the police case registered in Islampura doesn't
mention Taseer by name, the Islamic group Sunni Tehreek Lahore has petitioned
the Mughalpura police station to register a blasphemy case against Taseer by
If a case is not filed by Jan. 4, the group will stage a
public protest, The Nation reports.
"Shaan Taseer in his comments has not blasphemed in
any sense of the word or contravened any law," Wilson Chowdhry, president
of the London-based charity British Pakistani Christian Association, told The
Christian Post on Monday. "Yet, he finds himself in a potentially
life-threatening position where he could be killed by extremists incensed by
the fatwa against him or arrest and detainment leading to a death sentence by
statutory authorities who should be protecting him."
"Britain and the United States have a serious decision
to make whether will they continue to sponsor a country to fight terrorism
whilst it exhibits more extreme ideology than the terrorists that they purport
to be protecting the world from," Chowdhry asserted.
Chowdhry added that Pakistan's blasphemy laws are nothing
more than a "tool for discrimination and persecution."
"Asia Bibi's incarceration on trumped-up charges are
a clear example of their misuse," Chowdhry said. "Sadly most
politicians are too fearful of an Islamic backlash and despite many assurances
have failed to amend or abrogate these detestable laws."
Christian cry out police action supporting land mafia to
occupy Church property in Sukkur
HYDERABAD: January 2, 2017. (By Abbas Kassar) Christian
community leaders have cried out at forced occupation of Christian Missionary
Trust building Mission Compound in Sukkur by builder mafia with active help of
police. Addressing press conference here Monday Christian leaders Bishop Kaleem
John, Father James, Father Daniel Fayyaz,Pastor Nazir Masih and others told
that builder mafia was threatening Christian families residing in Mission
compound to vacate building as builder wanted to build a plaza there. They told
that on first night of new year about 30 police personnel riding in 8 mobiles
accompanied with few private persons attacked Church property named Mission
Compound in Sukkur and started to beat men, women and children throwing them
out of houses. Police torture continued for 2 hours during which a 2 year old
child got injured under police feet. They said police tortured professor
Sohail, Rashid and others. They told that police party was led by Inspector
Abdul Malik. They said police searched the homes and took away golden ornaments
of women with them.
Bishop Kaleem and others told that Mission Compound was
not property of any one person but it was Trust Mission property and under
Pakistan law cannot be sold or purchased. They said Diocese of Hyderabad Church
of Pakistan was a religious trust with Bishotp Kaleem John as its chairman and
also caretaker of all Churches in Sindh. They said Christians were patriotic
citizens of Pakistan and had laid down their lives alongside Muslims for
creation of Pakistan.
They said when the Christians went to police station in
Sukkur their complaint was not taken. Christian community also held protest
before press club Sukkur but were denied justice. They said this action against
Christians shows that builders have political backing that is why police was
collaborating with them. Builders want to create law order situation in Sindh.
Later the Christians held protest demonstration in front of press club
Hyderabad and raised slogans demanding protection of their religious buildings.
They demanded from president, prime minister, Sindh governor, chief minister
and chief justice high court to take notice of violence against them and action
against police officers involved in it. They demanded protection of their
homes, lives, Church properties and also asked for security of Rangers for them
as they have no faith in police.
Meanwhile in a press note issued by Central Secretariat
of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC have strongly condemned police action
against residents of Mission Compound Sukkur and urged Sindh government to take
immediate action against Sukkur Police.
Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian
Congress PCC have said that Church Mission Trust properties owned by Church of
Pakistan have been allegedly sold to Muslim builders in Karachi, Quetta,
Lahore, Peshawar, Sialkot and other cities under leadership of Moderator Church
of Pakistan Bishop Samuel Azariah and cases against selling such valuable
properties are pending in higher court.
Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid, while speaking before a
Senate's standing committee on Monday, said the government is in the process to
form a committee comprising parliamentarians tasked with reviewing the National
Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance, keeping in view the growing criticism
regarding plea bargain and voluntary return.
The law minister said this during the meeting of Senate's
Standing Committee on Law and Justice, after the committee members, following
intense deliberations, recommended that the NAB Ordinance of 1999 should be
The Senate body meeting was chaired by Senator Javed
The committee members had a detailed discussion on
Section 25 of the NAB law that deals with voluntary return and plea bargain.
NAB Deputy Chairman Imtiaz Tajwar, DG Operations Zahir
Shah and other officials defended NAB’s powers — particularly the provision of
voluntary return and plea bargain.
PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said there was a strong
perception that NAB was promoting corruption rather eradicating the menace. He
questioned the powers of NAB chairman to accept voluntary return and plea
bargain and said "he [NAB chief] accepted the plea bargain from
Balochistan’s former finance secretary to 'protect' big guns".
The NAB deputy chairman, however, defended the move.
Reiterating the support, he apprised the committee that the bureau has
recovered Rs37.1 billion in plea bargain and voluntary return since 2010.
Minister for Law Zahid Hamid said a parliamentary
committee would soon be constituted to review the NAB law as a whole and that
members of the National Assembly as well as the Senate will be part of the
Hamid further said the Senate chairman has already filed
nominations to the National Assembly speaker in this regard.
“The government has also forwarded names from treasury
benches to the speaker… instead of five names, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah
has forwarded six names so we have been requesting him to drop one name,” he
Media reports on Monday revealed that some four or five
Pakistani nationals had been allegedly kidnapped for ransom by suspected Kurd
miscreants near Turkey's border.
The victims, hailing from Gujranwala and Wazirabad, were
travelling to Europe, when they were intercepted and abducted by suspected Kurd
Armed kidnappers reportedly subjected the captives to
inhuman torture and sent the footage of torture to the relatives of these
people. The captors demanded a sum of Rs2 million each for the release of the
abducted Pakistani citizens.
The affected families have demanded of the government to
recover their relatives from captivity. They expressed their inability to pay
huge ransom amount.
The foreign office, while reacting to the news, said that
the government was “well aware of the media reports regarding kidnapping of
Pakistani young men for ransom” in Turkey.
“The diplomatic missions of Pakistan in Ankara and
Istanbul have taken necessary measures to apprise the Turkish authorities, who
are extending cooperation,” the foreign office said in its statement.
Afghan authorities have barred Pakistanis from entering
their country without valid travel documents, a move that comes following
turbulence along the Torkham border between the two countries.
The new order comes into effect the same day it was
announced as Kabul welcomes New Year with tight border management measures,
reported Gulf News. The report further added that hundreds of Pakistanis who
had gone to Afghanistan have returned via the Torkham border after the
announcement on Sunday.
However, officials said the residents of Landikotal have
been exempted from this order. They would continue to travel to Afghanistan as
their permit would remain valid for crossing the Pak-Afghan border.
The so-called easement rights cater to the needs of
people living in the border areas in both Afghanistan and Pakistan as they are
related to each other and have to attend social events.
Officials, however, on the request of the Afghan and
Pakistani businessmen, extended the deadline twice.
Myanmar to investigate abuse of Rohingya muslims by
The Myanmar government on Monday pledged to investigate a
video showing the police beating and kicking Rohingya civilians -- a rare
admission that authorities may have carried out abuses against the Muslim
Tens of thousands of people from the persecuted ethnic
group -- loathed by many of Myanmar’s Buddhist majority -- have fled a military
operation in Rakhine state launched after attacks on police posts.
Bangladesh says some 50,000 Rohingya have fled across its
border over the past two months. Many have brought harrowing accounts of rape,
murder and arson at the hands of Myanmar’s security forces.
Their stories have raised global alarm and galvanised
protests against Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been
accused of not doing enough to help the Rohingya.
Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, who tried to cross the Naf
river into Bangladesh to escape sectarian violence, kept under watch by
Bangladeshi security officials in Teknaf. (AFP file photo)
Her government has said troops were hunting militants
behind deadly raids on police border posts, denying claims of atrocities and
launching a dogged information campaign against reports of abuse.
However, on Monday authorities pledged to take action
“against police who allegedly beat villagers during area clearance operations
on 5 November in Kotankauk village” in a statement carried in state media.
Dozens of videos have emerged apparently showing security
forces abusing Rohingya, but this is the first time the government has said it
will take action over them.
The footage shows police hitting a young boy around the
head as he walks to where dozens of villagers are lined up in rows seated on
the ground, hands behind their heads.
Three officers in uniform then start attacking one of the
sitting men, beating him with a stick and kicking him repeatedly in the face.
The video is filmed ‘selfie-style’ by an officer, named
as constable Zaw Myo Htike by state media, which said he recorded it during
“clearance operations” in Kotankauk village.
A Rohingya activist said the footage had been verified by
a refugee from the nearby camp, Shilkhali.
Buddhist-majority Myanmar has long discriminated against
the stateless Rohingya, who rights groups say are among the most persecuted
peoples in the world.
More than 120,000 have been trapped in squalid
displacement camps since violence erupted in 2012 in Rakhine, where they are
denied citizenship, access to healthcare and education.
More than a dozen Nobel laureates wrote to the UN
security council last week urging action to stop the “human tragedy amounting
to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity” in northern Rakhine.
Under Myanmar’s junta-era constitution, Suu Kyi’s
civilian administration has limited power over the army, which maintains
control of the defence, home and border ministries.
At least 21 Taliban insurgents were killed in separate
airstrikes conducted in central Logar province of Afghanistan, the Ministry of
Interior (MoI) said Monday.
The ministry further added that two key commanders of the
group were also among those killed.
“Acting upon confirmed intelligence reports, Air Forces
stormed a hideout of armed Taliban in Charkh district of Logar province
yesterday evening, killing 21 armed Taliban and destroying their weapons and
ammunition,” MoI said.
According to MoI, among the kills include two key
commanders of armed Taliban named Waziri and Samad.
The Taliban insurgents group has not commented regarding
the report so far.
Logar is among the relatively volatile provinces in
central Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents are actively operating in a
number of its remote districts.
The group often conducts insurgency activities by placing
landmines and carrying out coordinated attacks against the government and
KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani suspended his
minister for telecommunications and information technology on Monday while he
is investigated over a levy on mobile telephone charges, officials said.
The removal of Communications Minister Abdul Razaq Wahidi
adds to a lingering political crisis in Afghanistan, heightened in November
when parliament passed no confidence votes against a number of ministers over
poor performance and budgetary issues.
Yasin Sameem, a spokesman for the communications
ministry, said the decision to suspend Wahidi was taken after an audit into the
collection of a 10 per cent tax on mobile phone topups imposed in 2015.
He said the president's office, which has declared the
fight against graft as a top priority, felt the ministry had not cooperated
sufficiently with an investigation into alleged corruption surrounding the
"We are committed to accountability and the minister
will wait for the findings of the investigation," Sameem said.
The mobile phone levy, which has raised millions of
dollars for government coffers, was imposed as part of efforts to raise
domestic tax revenue to make up for a gradual reduction in international donor
aid in coming years.
YANGON: Myanmar said Monday it has detained several
police officers over a video shot by a fellow policeman that shows them beating
Rohingya civilians, a rare admission of abuse against the Muslim minority.
Tens of thousands of people from the persecuted ethnic
group - loathed by many of Myanmar's Buddhist majority - have fled a military
operation in Rakhine state, launched after attacks on police posts in October.
Neighbouring Bangladesh says some 50,000 Rohingya have crossed its border over
the past two months. Many have brought harrowing accounts of rape, murder and
arson at the hands of Myanmar's army or police.
Dozens of videos have emerged apparently showing abuses
against Rohingya, but this is the first time the government has said it will
take action over them. The refugees' stories have raised global alarm and
galvanised protests against Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who
has been accused of not doing enough to help the Rohingya.
Her government has said troops are hunting militants
behind the deadly raids on police border posts, denying claims of atrocities
with a flurry of public statements.
However on Monday authorities pledged to take action
"against police who allegedly beat villagers during area clearance
operations on 5 November in Kotankauk village".
Suu Kyi's office named four officers involved in the
operation including constable Zaw Myo Htike, who looks nonchalantly into the
camera smoking as he records the video.
"Those who (were) initially identified were
detained," it said in a statement. "Further investigations are being
carried out to expose other police officers who beat villagers in the
A Rohingya activist contacted by AFP said the footage had
been verified by a refugee from the nearby camp, Shilkhali.
Analyst David Mathieson said the video "brings into
sharp question the government's denials of security forces abuses in Rakhine
since October, when here is sadistic cinema verite of how they are treating the
local Muslim population".
Jan 03 2017
The Afghan National Police (ANP) forces modern M16 rifles
as part of the ongoing efforts to modernize the Afghan National Defense and
Security Forces (ANDSF).
The provincial police commandment said the rifles were
distributed to the 6th Unit of the Afghan National Police Forces in Nangarhar.
The officials said the rifles were distributed by the
provincial security chief General Syed Gul Aqa Rohani.
Speaking during the distribution ceremony of the rifles,
Gen. Rohani instructed the police forces of the 6th Unit to properly maintain
and take care of the delivered weapons.
Gen. Rohani further added that all units of the Afghan
National Police (ANP) forces will receive M16 rifles as part the plan being
worked upon by the provincial officials.
He said the security commandment of Nangarhar is busy
working on the plans to maintain good security of the province.
Russia is attempting to block the removal of
Hezb-e-Islami party leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s name from the United Nations
sanctions list, it has been reported.
It is yet not clear why Moscow is attempting to hinder
the removal of the party leader from the sanctions list.
A foreign diplomat told The Wall Street Journal that “For
the Russians, it’s just putting their foot down.”
The diplomat further added “I haven’t seen any good
reason for it.”
Hameed Azizi, a spokesman for the party, urged the Afghan
government to put pressure on the U.N. and foreign governments to remove Mr.
Hekmatyar from the sanctions list and proceed with the implementation of the peace
“If any country is against the delisting of our leader
from the blacklist, that country also is against peace in Afghanistan and wants
the continuity of war,” he said.
The peace deal between the Afghan government and
Hezb-e-Islami party was signed late in the month of September last year.
Another call to restore Sabah’s rights and religious
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has been urged to
address policies of the federal government that discriminate against the people
The Native Solidarity of Sabah or PAN Sabah wants the
Sabah government to pursue and restore all rights guaranteed under the Malaysia
Agreement 1963 (MA63).
In a statement signed by its chairperson Esther Golingi,
PAN Sabah said: “MA63 is our inheritance. Have we been responsible in guarding
our rights as a sovereign nation under the same? If our past leaders have not
been vigilant, it is not too late for us to wake up now, unite and reclaim our
PAN Sabah said those who ridiculed the call for the
restoration of their rights under MA63 were oblivious to the real circumstances
of the formation of Malaysia.
“We are not calling for Sabah to exit from Malaysia as
some quarters may think. All we ask for is for the truth of MA63 to be
established in Sabah so that the proper process of self-determination of the
nation of Sabah can be said to have been completed.” The statement said it had
to be recognised that Sabah was not a state and that Malaysia consisted of
three nations – Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.
“This is the truth and it is crucial that the authority
of each sovereign nation be restored in accordance with MA63. The process of
this restoration must be transparent and seen to be done.”
PAN Sabah also took a swipe at the federal government for
allegedly working to change the demographics of Sabah through the National
Saying the people of Sabah were furious at how the NRD
was treating Sabahans in the issuance of birth certificates and MyKads, it said
the Sabah government should take over the work being done by the NRD, and also
take control of immigration.
PAN Sabah said: “The federal government’s incessant drive
to change the demographics of Sabah to an atrociously abnormal level has caused
huge damage to the lives of our people.
“Thousands of Sabahans, especially our natives in the
rural areas, are suffering from the effects of an imposed identity, especially
religious identity in their birth certificates and MyKads.
“NRD’s drive to increase the false statistics of Muslim
population in Sabah is simply deplorable. Faith is a personal matter and our
religious identity should not be dictated by NRD.”
PAN Sabah stressed it was not against Islam but against
“compulsion, coercion and deception” that was disrupting the internal harmony
of Sabah society.
It said policies that sought to regulate their freedom of
religion and religious identity were in clear breach of MA63.
Giving some detail, it said Sabahans complained that the
NRD’s practise of insisting that a child should assume the racial and religious
identity of the Muslim parent, and that the child should inherit the racial
identity of only one parent, was against MA63.
“NRD’s system cannot work in Sabah and frankly has failed
Sabahans. We want a new system of identification for multi-ethnic Sabahans. Our
people’s religious freedom and heritage must be respected. To deny our true
identity is to deny our existence. The government of Sabah must take charge of
these matters now.”
PAN Sabah also asked what had happened to the Royal
Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Immigrants in Sabah. It wants to know how
the government plans to tackle this issue.
The group also said it would stand behind all elected
representatives who opposed the bill to enhance shariah law that has become
known as Hadi’s Bill.
Malaysian aid flotilla bound for Arakan ‘not coming to
02 Jan 2017
A Malaysian NGO has announced plans to send a flotilla of
humanitarian aid to the stricken Rohingya population in northern Arakan State, while
Burma’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has cautioned that any such shipment should
be directed at assisting both Muslim and Buddhist communities in the country’s
Aid to the region has been severely curbed since 9
October, when insurgents launched coordinated attacks on police border outposts
in Maungdaw township during which nine officers were killed. Government
security forces cracked down swiftly, launching “clearance operations” that
have seen more than 80 Rohingya reportedly killed in the search for the
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Islam Organisations
(MAPIM) hopes to deliver over 600 tonnes of food, medical supplies and shelter
provisions to around 300,000 Muslims in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships, but
the organisation acknowledges success is not guaranteed.
Zulhanis Zainol, MAPIM’s secretary-general, told DVB last
week that MAPIM had not yet received explicit permission to land and distribute
“We sent a letter to our Malaysian Embassy in Rangoon,
who will send it on to Naypyidaw. The letter was sent on 15 December — we have
not yet heard back. But the [Burmese] Foreign Ministry did tell media that aid
would be allowed soon,” he said.
“If they do not allow us then we won’t enter, but it will
have a bad impact on the issue of humanitarian rights. We are bringing food and
needed items, we are not coming to create tension,” he added.
The fleet of two ships, which is scheduled to leave
Malaysia on 10 January, will also carry members of the media, NGO personnel and
According to MAPIM, the mission has earned the support of
the Turkish government, in the form of media coverage and financial assistance.
When contacted by DVB, a representative of the Turkish Embassy in Rangoon said
he “did not know anything about that.” Zulhanis said his team had engaged in 18
other humanitarian missions in Arakan State since communal violence last flared
en masse in 2012, but the flotilla next month is its first attempt to deliver
aid from Malaysia by sea.
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi agreed to relax
restrictions on humanitarian aid at a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers on 19
December, which was convened to discuss the escalating violence in Arakan State
and reports of military men burning villages and raping Rohingya women.
Suu Kyi’s government has steadfastly denied all reports
of wrongdoing by the military, despite satellite photographs of destroyed
communities and dozens of women speaking out about alleged sexual violence.
Zulhanis said the decision to organise the latest aid
mission was made after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak lashed out at the
Burmese government, labelling the ongoing suffering of the Rohingya a
“genocide” at a 4 December rally in Kuala Lumpur, angering nationalist
Arakanese and violating the long-held ASEAN practice of non-interference in
other member states’ affairs.
PARIS: Most imams in France (and Belgium) forbid the
faithful from celebrating Christmas and the New Year and call on Muslims not to
extend holidays greetings. This is what French imam Hocine Drouiche wrote on
his Facebook page. He is one of the most open-minded French Muslim clerics
opposed to extremism. A tireless
promoter and supporter of dialogue between different faiths, he condemns those
who repeat the "mantra" that Islam
is a religion of peace but then consider expressing season’s greetings
"as an insult" because "this is not our religion."For him,
the Islam professed by these imams, who are the majority in France, in Belgium,
and in many other countries, "is not a true Islam of peace and shared
life". Qur??nic schools in the West are places that extol political Islam
based on jihad and hatred of the "enemies." Fortunately, there are
also “open-minded Muslims, who greet you with a big smile and wish you a Happy
New Year.”The harsh rebuke of the position held by most imams on season’s
greetings (Christmas and New Year) is
just the latest in a series of complaints made by the French Muslim cleric. In
the aftermath of the attacks in Paris, in November 2015, he called on the
faithful not to leave Islam "hostage in the hands” of extremists". At
the same time, he urged Muslim communities to live dialogue and friendship with
Europeans, without fear and arrogance.He is not alone in denouncing the climate
of hostility and loathing promoted by some European Muslims towards the
culture, tradition and faith of Europe’s natives. Recently, a former Islamic
radical who was close to Salafist ideology for years, noted calls by imams and
clerics to "hate Christians and Jews", not to imitate the "infidels"
and not to participate "in their festivities and celebrations. "
KUALA LUMPUR: Delegates at the Science and Technology
Exchange Programme among Muslim Countries (STEP) have agreed to create an
online hub to be an enabling platform for science and technology collaboration
and provide access to best practices.
They also decided to create an endowment for the purpose
of funding science and technology activities in Muslim countries.
These were among the points highlighted in a joint
statement issued at the end of STEP, jointly organised by Mustafa Science and
Technology Foundation (MSTF) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
“We need to focus on scientific activities that address
the big issues facing Muslim countries such as water purification and
desalination, renewable energy and others,” said MSTF representative Prof
Sa’eed Sarkar, in a statement.
Prosecutors will present six witnesses to testify against
Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama in the fourth hearing
of his blasphemy trial at the North Jakarta District Court on Tuesday morning,
a lawyer said.
witnesses are the people who had denounced Ahok for blasphemy,"
Josefina Syukur, Ahok's lawyer, told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
She revealed that prosecutors would present National
Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwa (GNPF-MUI) advocacy
head Novel Bamukmin, Sharia Advocate Chairman Gus Joy Setiawan, lawyer Muh.
Burhanuddin, Islam Defenders Front (FPI) Jakarta branch head Muchsin, the head
of the Anti-blasphemy Forum Syamsu Hilal and another person named Nandi
The lawyers were ready to face the witnesses’ statements,
"We have prepared some questions regarding their
statements in their reports," she added.
Separately, Novel, who is also an FPI leader, said he had
prepared evidence to prove that Ahok was guilty in committing blasphemy.
"I've prepared videos and a printout from an online
news [source] that show Ahok had insulted Islam by using Surah Al Maidah 51,
since he ran as Jakarta deputy governor in 2012," he said.
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