Photo: Pope’s Remarks ‘To Accelerate Hagia Sophia’s Conversion into Mosque’
Saudi Shoura Council Says Animal Torturers Should Be Named and Shamed
Iraqi Air Strikes Kill 45 Terrorists in Salahuddin
Some 20 ISIS Militants Killed In North Mosul
ISIS Executes 9 People Including Four Police in Ramad
ISIS Kurd Mullah Shwan shown beheading Shiite hostages
Several Brigades Abandon Houthi Militia
Egypt PM allocates special pensions to civilian victims of terrorist attacks
Christians who use the language of Jesus being uprooted by Islamic State
ISIS announces one of its Kurdish militants killed in Baiji
Pope’s Remarks ‘To Accelerate Hagia Sophia’s Conversion into Mosque’
Right-Wing Watchdog: 'Islamic State' Fighters Have Established A Base 'Eight Miles from The US Border'
Halal Pick 'n' Mix Goes On Sale in Northern Towns with Big Muslim Populations
Reports: Germans tortured 'Islamic State' hostages
Religious Scholars Warn Of God’s Wrath over Corruption and Injustice
Taliban Commander Including Three Killed In Maidan Wardak
Amrullah Saleh: ISIS in Afghanistan “Psychological Warfare”
Interpol issues red notice against Abdul Jabbar
Order on Jamaat men’s contempt next Monday
Bangladesh: Hunt on for Pohela Boishakh sexual offenders
Child killed in missile attack in Paktika
Ansarullah: Riyadh Trying to Replace Puppet President with Pro-Saudi PM
Palestinians Battling ISIS Group Advance in Syria Refugee Camp
Turkish PM Says Pope Joined 'Evil Front' Against Turkey
Yemen: ceasefire must precede any peace initiative
Turkey calls for help to prevent 900,000 Syrian children from becoming ‘lost generation’
Yemen Crisis Bares Rifts among Muslim-majority Countries
Chibok Attack Leaves Many with Little Hope of Further Schooling
UN denounces Libya air strike targeting militia as 'unacceptable'
Three killed in suicide attack on peacekeepers in Mali
Kenya Gives Radical Youths 10 Days to Surrender
UN Wants Bodies Exhumed from Mass Grave in DRC
Govt Taking Measures to Prevent Misuse Of Blasphemy Law: President
JC will strengthen democracy in Pakistan: Imran Khan
Pak SC stays military courts executions
Five prisoners hanged in Punjab jails
Nothing Wrong In People Waving Pak Flags, Separatist Leader Masarat Alam Says
Law Will Take Its Course, J&K CM on Action against Separatists
Largest Muslim Group Asks Indonesia to Broker Talks On Yemen
Islamic law debate puts more pressure on Malaysia PM
Philippines says Muslim rebel who backed Islamic State group has died
Muslim-majority Indonesia cracks down on alcohol sales
Two Canadian Teens in Court over ‘Terrorism’ Threat: Report
Stereotype-Shattering Clothing for American Muslims
Pakistan was not aware of Osama’s presence: ex-US ambassador
Saudi Arabia ‘Has No Regional Ambitions’: Ambassador To The US Adel Al-Jubeir
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
16 April 2015
People who torture and maim animals should be named and shamed in addition to other legal sanctions, the Shoura Council said in a closed session on Tuesday.
The council noted that some people would not only torture animals but film their actions and upload the clips on social media for others to watch. The council, meeting under its deputy speaker Mohammed Bin Amin Al-Jiffry, listened to two separate reports presented by its committee on water, agriculture and environment.
The committee’s chairman Ali Al-Tikhais delivered the two reports. He asked the council to approve adding the power to name and shame to the list of penalties included in the law of wildlife protection.
He said naming animal torturers would act as an effective deterrent. Tikhais said if the criminals were not severely punished and named, their peers might believe such actions are permissible under the law.
The Shoura Council took up the matter after several video clips showing cruelty to animals went viral on the Internet, creating outrage in society.
A video clip showing a man running over a dog several times with his four-wheel drive until the animal died in Al-Jouf region earlier this year prompted a strong reaction among tweeters who called for the man and the person who filmed the incident to be brought to justice.
The tweeters described the act as “inhumane” and urged the authorities to take action. The incident took place in a desert area.
Another clip circulated on social media showed a driver dragging a dog that was tied to his fast-moving vehicle on a street.
The tweeters asked the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA), responsible for the conservation and development of wildlife, to develop strong laws that would lead to harsh penalties for anyone who tortures animals.
A number of lawyers called for the incident to be investigated and for the culprits to be found and charged with endangering wildlife in the Kingdom and said the act was against the teachings of Islam.
They also said the act was a violation of the country’s laws and regulations and also urged asked the SWA to develop tough laws against animal cruelty.
Some 45 terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group were killed in Iraqi air strikes in Salahuddin province on Wednesday.
Iraqi airstrikes targeted ISIL positions North of Tikrit city in Salahuddin province, and killed 45 terrorists and destroyed 5 of their vehicles.
DUHOK, Kurdistan Region – As US-led coalition warplanes have intensified airstrikes on ISIS bases in and outside Mosul, some 20 extremists of the group were killed on Wednesday in the village of Qaim on the Nawaran front in northern Mosul province, according to a Peshmerga official on the front.
“This morning, coalition warplanes hit some ISIS convoys in Mosul, killing 20 militants before they arrived at their destination,” said the official.
Since last month, US-led coalition airstrikes have been sporadically striking ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq ahead of an impending attack on Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.
ISIS Executes 9 People Including Four Police In Ramad
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – ISIS has executed nine people in the Albu Ghanem area of northern Ramadi, and hundreds of civilians have fled for their lives and sought refuge in nearby areas.
“After the area of Albu Ghanem was captured by ISIS, the group’s militants killed nine people, including four police,” a source in the Anbar police told Al Mada press on Wednesday. He added that “ISIS is capturing Shiite tribal fighters and bombing their houses.”
“Hundreds of families fled Albu Ghanem, many of them arrived in nearby areas and some others went to Baghdad,” the police source added.
The extremist force moved into Albu Ghanem, which is east of Ramadi, after security forces left the area, officials confirmed Wednesday. The previous day, intense fighting between Iraqi joint forces and ISIS militants was reported in Ramadi, one of the two most populated areas in Anbar province.
ISIS Kurd Mullah Shwan Shown Beheading Shiite Hostages
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A series of photos released by the Islamic State appear to show former Erbil-based preacher Mullah Shwan taking part in the beheading of four hostages apparently belonging to the Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).
The so-called Wilayat Kirkuk branch of ISIS released the photos on Sunday, the first time Shwan has appeared in an execution video for the extremists.
Last November, Shwan joined ISIS with his wife and children. Earlier this year, Shwan appeared in a video in which he threatened Kurdish leaders and vowed that ISIS would take control of the Kurdistan region.
Nearly 500 Kurds joined ISIS last year, but the number has reportedly declined dramatically since ISIS attacked areas in the Kurdistan region.
The unabated strikes by coalition forces in Yemen are fully serving the purpose of disarming Houthi militants by degrading their military structure in order to pave the way for restoration of peaceful life as well as the legitimate government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the Saudi-led coalition said on Wednesday.
“Our aim was to destroy Houthi militia stocks of ballistic missiles and other fire power, which we succeeded in doing. Besides that, their movements are completely under check to deny them any attempt for their asymmetric warfare techniques and instead of further advancement, the militia is on the backfoot, which will force them to surrender,” said Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri, a consultant in the office of the defense minister.
He added that the militias are in a worse condition after being abandoned by a number of brigades including the 123, 127 and 133.
Full report at:
he families of civilians killed in terrorist attacks will be entitled to special pensions in accordance to a decision issued by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab Wednesday, reported the state owned MENA news agency.
Earlier Wednesday an explosion targeting a military academy killed two students and injured six other civilians.
A wave of militant attacks has hit the country since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. While most attacks have targeted security forces and headquarters, civilians have been also among the killed and injured.
The special pension will be LE1500 for those entitled no other pension. Victims already entitled to a pension, but one less than LE1500, will be compensated the difference.
Victims whose pension's are already LE1500 or more will be compensated an extra LE500.
The same will apply to those who have suffered major injuries that led to complete disability.
BEIRUT — Suhail Gabriel was in bed when Islamic State militants stormed his village in eastern Syria, firing machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Gabriel rushed his wife and daughter onto his motorcycle and sped through the early-morning darkness, he later recalled.
“We left in our pajamas,” Gabriel said. “We didn’t even have time to put on clothes.”
He was among the thousands of people from an ancient community of Christians, known as Assyrians, who fled 35 farming villages in Syria’s Khabur River area in February because of attacks by the extremist Sunni Muslim group. The militants desecrated churches and religious symbols during the offensive and kidnapped about 250 of the Assyrians, including women and children.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – ISIS has confirmed via social media the death of one of its Kurdish militants.
According to ISIS social media Wednesday, its Kurdish militant Abdulqadir Abdulrehman Khalifani—who is originally from the Erbil province town of Khalifan—was killed in the battle for Baiji in the past two days.
ISIS claimed Khalifani was also a member of Ansar-Al-Islam, a salafist Kurdish group founded in 2001 that predates the formation of ISIS.
According to the ISIS announcement, Khalifani was 27-years-old and joined Ansar al-Islam as a minor in 2001. Last year he joined the Islamic State’s regiments in Mosul, ISIS added.
Pope’s Remarks ‘To Accelerate Hagia Sophia’s Conversion Into Mosque’
Pope Francis’ labeling of the mass killings of the Ottoman Armenians as “the first genocide of the 20th century” will only accelerate the reopening of Hagia Sophia to Muslim worship, the top Islamic official in Ankara has suggested.
“Frankly, I believe that the pope’s remarks will only accelerate the process for Hagia Sophia to be re-opened for [Muslim] worship,” Professor Mefail Hizli, the mufti of Ankara, said in a written statement released late April 15.
According to Hizli, the pope’s statement “has reflected a modern color of the crusader wars launched in these lands for centuries.” These lands have long been the “standard bearer” of the Muslim world, meaning many enemies, both from inside and outside of the country, have been launching attacks with different methods.
“The statement that the Catholic world’s spiritual leader pope delivered three days ago, saying Armenians had been subjected to a genocide, is extremely spectacular,” Hizli said, noting that the pope’s statement was intruding on the realm of historians and was hastily made.
Right-Wing Watchdog: 'Islamic State' Fighters Have Established A Base 'Eight Miles From The US Border'
American law enforcement agencies have been forced to deny reports that the Isis militant group has set up a base in northern Mexico just eight miles from the US border.
First reported by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, the claims were attributed to unnamed “Mexican authorities” and circulated by a host of right-wing media outlets.
Judicial Watch said Isis militants were working with the infamous Juarez Cartel in Anapra, Chihuahua, with a view to passing through “the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas”.
In a bid to investigate the reports, El Paso-based ABC-7 News contacted a number of federal agencies linked to border security and was told “the report is unverified, and it is unlikely that Isis is in Anapra or Juarez, Mexico”.
Halal pick 'n' mix goes on sale in northern towns with big Muslim populations
A selection of 36 sweets - including liquorice sticks, cola bottles and jelly beans, gummy bears and sugared lips - are on sale and all guaranteed free of animal products or alcohol-based colourings and flavourings.
The 10 stores trialling the gelatine-free sweets include Bolton, Blackburn, Bradford, West Bromwich, Leamington Spa, Birmingham and three stores in London.
John Brooksbank, general store manager at Morrisons in Blackburn, said the supermarket was the first in the UK to launch halal pick and mix.
He said: "Many customers have asked us about Halal sweets, so we have designed and introduced a new range.
"It's a large range so we hope that it will provide a sweet treat for every taste.
"We would consider introducing the Halal sweets range at other stores, should there be a demand.
Germany's federal public prosecutor is investigating reports that German jihadists were involved in torturing hostages of the "Islamic State" group, reports say. The claims are based on the claims of an ex-IS prisoner.
Radical German islamists are operating as both guards in torture prisons of the "Islamic State" (IS) militant group, and active torturers themselves, according to German media reports on Thursday.
The German federal public prosecutor is investigating these claims, according to a joint investigation by the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and public broadcasters NDR and WDR. They say there is a suspicion extremist German citizens worked in IS prisons, where encarcerated US, British and Japanese nationals spent time before being beheaded.
Religious scholars warn of God’s wrath over corruption and injustice
A group of religious scholars have warned of God’s wrath on the Maldives due to rampant corruption, brutality, and injustice.
Prominent scholars including former Islamic minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari and former member of the judicial watchdog Sheikh Shuaib Abdul Rahman described the Maldives as a country “drowning in a sea of atrocities” and pleaded with president Abdulla Yameen to heed the opposition’s calls for dialogue.
“The Maldives is on the verge of an imminent God’s wrath. The executive and the judiciary have lost its powers and trust while the nation has forgotten that God has handed down justice,” read the joint statement by 15 scholars.
President’s office spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali welcomed the statement, but said there were no specific allegations to respond to.
Taliban commander including three killed in Maidan Wardak
Taliban local commanders including three militants have been killed and four others wounded in separate confrontations with Afghan security forces in Maidan Wardak province.
A statement issued by Maidan Wardak media office states that security forces conducted a raid in Andar area of Narkh District in which Mullah Rahmatullah a Taliban commander and his associate Mullah Sharif were shot dead last night.
Maidan Wardak media office statement adds that a gun battle occurred between security forces and Taliban in Ahmadkhil area of Daimirdad District during which a militant was killed and another wounded.
According to the statement security forces conducted another raid in Faqiri area of Chak District during which three militants wounded in the exchange of fire with security forces.
Two motorcycles belonging to the insurgents were also seized by security forces in the area.
Security forces and civilians did not suffer casualties during the raids, the statement adds.
The former head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency – Amrullah Saleh says that Islamic State is not a reality and it is “psychological warfare”.
Amrullah Saleh has told Radio Free Afghanistan that whatever ISIS is doing Iraq and Syria, Taliban are doing that in Afghanistan.
“In reality, Daesh (the Arabic name for IS) will not be able to gain influence or spread roots here, because whatever Daesh has been doing in Iraq and Syria, the Taliban have been doing the same in Afghanistan for the past 20 years. The only difference is that the Taliban never executed their prisoners in orange jumpsuits.”
The Interpol (International Criminal Police Organisation) has issued a "red notice" for the arrest of war convicted Abdul Jabbar.
The red alert was issued on the charges of abetting, instigating, aiding and facilitating the commission of offenses of looting, arson, murder and deportation as crime against humanity during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.
Of the eight types of notices of Interpol, the red notice seeks the location and arrest of a person wanted by a judicial jurisdiction or an international tribunal with a view to his/her extradition.
A tribunal has fixed April 20 for passing an order on whether contempt of court proceedings will be initiated against Jamaat lawyer Tajul Islam and five Shibir leaders for their statements to the media following a verdict.
Justice M Enayetur Rahim, chairman of International Crimes Tribunal 1, passed the order yesterday after hearing arguments from the prosecution and the lawyer of five accused Jamaat-Shibir leaders.
A defence counsel told the court that his clients have apologised unconditionally to the tribunal.
When thousands of people were celebrating the Pohela Boishakh on Tuesday, gangs of unruly youths swooped on around five to seven women and sexually harassed them at Suhrawardy Udyan and some parts of Dhaka University campus.
The incidents took place between 5pm and 7:30pm in presence of law enforcers and many ordinary people who thronged Shahbagh and DU area to take part in the annual festivity, witnesses say.
The DU authorities and student groups have blamed the on-duty law enforcers for failing to stop the attackers and bringing them to book immediately.
Condemnation on social networking platforms like Facebook and blogs flooded since the news over the assaults spread quickly on Tuesday demanding exemplary punishment of the culprits. Human rights group Ain o Salish Kendra also deplored the attacks.
A child was killed and three other villagers were wounded as a missile landed on a civilian house in Paktika province on Wednesday.
Nabiullah Pirkhil, spokesman for the governor of Paktika province told Khaama Press that Taliban insurgents fired six missiles on Zirok District yesterday.
He said one missile landed on a house in Sharmi villager leaving a child killed and two children and a woman wounded.
Pirkhil added that five other rounds have landed in open areas which has not caused casualties.
Taliban have not commented on the report.
A senior member of Ansarullah movement disclosed that the Al Saud has a plot to replace the fugitive, pro-Saudi President Mansour Hadi with his prime minister Khaled Bahah in a bid to keep its influence over Yemen and get out of the present military quagmire it has stuck in.
"Riyadh officials are trying to pave the way for the presidency of Bahah; even an assassination attempt on Hadi's life is possible," Hassan Sharafeddin al-Morteza told FNA on Wednesday.
He noted that the Saudi regime is trying to prepare the grounds to get out of the quagmire in Yemen.
Palestinians battling ISIS group advance in Syria refugee camp
DAMASCUS, Syria — A Palestinian official and an activist say local fighters in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus have advanced in clashes with Islamic State militants.
Damascus-based Palestinian official Khaled Abdul-Majid said Wednesday that Palestinian factions have forced the ISIS fighters to retreat from some positions in Yarmouk camp.
Sami Hamzawi, a Palestinian activist from the camp who currently lives outside Syria, says the Hamas-affiliated Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis group has captured several buildings and is currently advancing from areas it holds northeast of Yarmouk. Hamzawi says he is in regular contact with camp residents.
Islamic State fighters overran much of Yarmouk earlier this month, establishing a foothold in the Syrian capital for the first time.
Palestinian and Syrian officials have vowed to retake Yarmouk.
Turkish PM says pope joined 'evil front' against Turkey
ISTANBUL, Turkey — Adding to angry comments about the Pope Francis' description of the Ottoman-era killing of Armenians as genocide, Turkey's prime minister said Wednesday that the pontiff has joined "an evil front" plotting against Turkey.
Ahmet Davutoglu made the comments at an event in Ankara outlining the ruling party's platform for June parliamentary elections and presenting its candidates. He called the pope's description of the killings of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians as "the first genocide of the 20th century" unjust. Turkey responded to the pope's words Sunday by recalling its ambassador to the Vatican.
A ceasefire in Yemen and “particularly” in the seaport city of Aden must precede any peace initiative, the newly appointed Yemeni Vice President Khaled Bahah told reporters on Thursday.
While Bahah urged armed forces to support the “legitimate” government in exile, he said no peace initiatives would be considered unless President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi and his government return to the southern city of Aden, where it enjoys the most support.
Militias loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh have joined forces with Iranian-backed Houthis against the government and staged advances which forced it to flee.
He said “necessity” required military intervention and said after achieving “strategic goals,” his government will strive to stop the war.
The Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) has called for support for Child Friendly Spaces (CFS), part of a project which aimed to prevent more than 900,000 Syrian children in Turkey from becoming a “lost generation,” with efforts to provide them with access to quality education, a safe environment and a return of normalcy to their lives.
Launched in March 2013, the project aimed to increase the resilience of more than 900,000 Syrian children out of the 1.7 million Syrians living in Turkey.
The project included the setting up of CFS, temporary education centers and libraries, the provision of psychosocial support to children and youth, the establishment of a financial incentive system for Syrian teachers and leadership training for adolescents as the key achievements of this partnership.
Yemen Crisis Bares Rifts Among Muslim-majority Countries
WASHINGTON— The crisis in Yemen began as an internal battle between the Arabian Peninsula country's government and its disillusioned opponents. It looked like a repeat of civil uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Syria. But when reports surfaced that Iran is backing the Houthi rebels, the conflict started to transcend Yemen’s borders.
Now, it verges on a direct conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two heavyweights in the region - and in the whole Muslim world.
Sunni vs. Shi’ite?
Worried that this clash could engulf other countries with Muslim majority populations, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that the Islamic world is at risk of “disintegration” due to the conflicts in the region between the Sunni and Shi’ite strands of the Muslim faith.
Chibok Attack Leaves Many With Little Hope of Further Schooling
CHIBOK, NIGERIA— When rumors began circulating in January 2014 that Boko Haram planned to attack the girls’ secondary school in Chibok, Ruhab’s parents decided their daughter should stay at home. Now instead of doing her homework, she spends her days cleaning, cooking and washing clothes for her older brother.
“I forgot so many things that, if I have to go back to class now, if they ask me to write a paper, I cannot write now. ... I forgot many things in one year,” she said.
Boko Haram's attack on Chibok had an impact not only on families and relatives of the abducted girls, but also the students who used to attend the secondary school for girls. Before the Islamist militants left with more than 200 of the girls' classmates, they set the school ablaze, leaving only shattered buildings and burned classrooms.
Some parents have sent their children to schools in Maiduguri, Yola, Jos or the capital, Abuja. Many cannot afford the school fees and housing for their children.
A UN envoy trying to broker a unity government in war-torn Libya condemned as "unacceptable" an air strike Wednesday targeting militia near the capital.
Bernardino Leon called for an investigation into who carried out the raid, as media loyal to authorities in the militia-held capital blamed warplanes of the internationally recognised government.
"The UN condemns in the strongest terms the air strike... on Metiga airport" in Tajoura, east of Tripoli, Leon said.
"It is an extremely negative move and, of course, it is unacceptable," he said in Morocco ahead of a new round of peace talks Thursday.
A suicide bomber attacked a UN barracks in northern Mali on Wednesday, the United Nations said, killing three civilians and wounding 16 people, including several peacekeepers.
The militant was attempting to drive into a camp used by the UN's MINUSMA peacekeeping mission in Ansongo, in the northern region of Gao, when the explosives went off.
"The attack left nine injured, two seriously, among the peacekeepers from the Niger contingent. In addition, the explosion has killed at least three civilians. Seven (civilians) were also injured," MINUSMA said in a statement.
The mission did not specify if the bomber was acting alone or if there were others in the vehicle but its head, Mongi Hamdi, condemned the "cowardly and odious" attack.
"I am shocked that valiant peacekeepers are again being targeted, as well as innocent civilians," he was quoted as saying.
NAIROBI— The Kenyan government has issued a 10-day amnesty to the youths who have joined the Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabab. The call came as investigators revealed some of the attackers at Garissa University College were Kenyan youths trained in Somalia.
As Kenya tries to come to terms with the terror event that took place two weeks ago at Garissa University College, where more than 140 people were killed, Kenyan officials have issued amnesty to youths who have joined al-Shabab and are willing to denounce violence.
Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka tells VOA his government has come up with a program that targets youths willing to reintegrate into society.
KINSHASA, DRC— The U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo urged the government Wednesday to exhume more than 400 bodies buried last month in a mass grave, the head of the organization's human rights office said.
Local authorities in Kinshasa have said they buried 421 corpses overnight on March 19 in the rural commune of Maluku. The government said the bodies are unclaimed fetuses, stillborn babies and homeless people from the city morgue.
However, rights groups suspect that some of the bodies might be those of people killed in anti-government protests in January or an earlier crackdown on criminals in Kinshasa.
"We recommended doing the exhumation, but it is up to the authorities to take all measures to reassure the population and to combat rumors,'' JosDe Maria Aranaz, director of the U.N.'s Congo-based Joint Human Rights Office, said at a news conference.
Govt taking measures to prevent misuse of blasphemy law: president
ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain said the government was taking effective measures to prevent the misuse of blasphemy law, as it was non-discriminatory and applies equally to Muslims and non-Muslims.
He was talking to a delegation of the German-South Asian Parliamentary Group of the German Parliament headed by the Group’s Chairman MP Niels Annen at the Presidency. The president said Pakistan pursues its policy on death penalty in light of its constitution and international law, a statement from the Presidency said. The president said Pakistan’s decision on lifting the moratorium on death penalty shall act as a deterrent to the financiers and handlers of terrorism. The President emphasized that the Pakistani people had been demanding stern action against terrorists.
The president said Pakistan has been the worst victim of terrorism, having suffered economic losses amounting to over $100 billion and having lost more than 60,000 innocent lives including women and children. Reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism and extremism, the President said that National Action Plan (NAP) has been formulated to effectively deal with the situation. The president expressed resolve that operation Zarb-e-Azb would continue indiscriminately till the elimination of terrorism from the country. Mamnoon also expressed satisfaction on successful progression of the operation.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said Thursday that the judicial commission on election rigging will strengthen democracy, regardless of the outcome of its investigation.
Imran was speaking to reporters shortly before he appeared in front of the judicial commission, which started its ‘open court’ proceedings on Thursday.
“A total of 26 political parties and groups have approached the commission, which means that the PTI was not the only party (complaining of rigging),” said the PTI chairman.
He said that it was an historic day for democracy as it was the first time in Pakistan’s history that investigation was being held at the highest level into electoral rigging.
“This is a bright day for Pakistan's democracy. This would not have happened if not for our protest for 126 days. Everything will be revealed now…people will know how their mandate is stolen,” said Imran.
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a stay of execution of six militants convicted by military courts, after a petition seeking a halt to the implementation of death sentences awarded by military courts was filed by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) yesterday.
“The execution of military courts' death sentences, those which have already been awarded and those which will be awarded, is suspended,” Chief Justice Nasir ul Mulk told the Supreme Court.
Those convicted by military courts could appeal against their sentences, he added.
The apex court also issued a notice to Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt with regards to its order.
RAWALPINDI/FAISALABAD/GUJRANWALA: Five more death row prisoners were executed in various jails across the Punjab province on Thursday morning while the execution of two convicts was halted.
With the recent hangings, so far 71 convicts have been hanged across the country, after the deadly attack on the Army Public School on December 16, 2014.
Two convicts Qaiser and Majid were hanged to death in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi last night.
Qaiser was accused of murdering a colleague and was awarded sentence by a court.
An anti terrorism court (ATC) had awarded death sentence to convict Majid for killing six people in Wah Cantt.
Nothing wrong in people waving Pak flags, separatist leader Masarat Alam says
TNN | Apr 16, 2015
NEW DELHI: Separatist leader Masarat Alam on Thursday said he did not find anything wrong in people waving Pakistani flags, even as the Centre asked the J&K government to take strict action against all those who took part in an anti-India rally in Srinagar.
"I didn't personally wave any flags (Pak flag), people did, but I don't find anything wrong in it," Masarat Alam said.
The separatist leader, who was freed from detention by Mufti Sayeed government last month, claimed there was nothing new in Pak flags being waived by people.
"It has been happening since 1947," he said.
Masrat Alam was part of a procession that gathered in uptown Hyderpora locality of Srinagar city to welcome hardline senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani who returned to the Valley on Wednesday after remaining in New Delhi during winter for health reasons.
Masrat Alam was on Wednesday booked for unlawful activities.
Law will take its course, J&K CM on action against separatists
April 16, 2015
Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, on Thursday, said the law will take its own course after the Centre asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to take strictest possible action against those allegedly involved in anti-national activities during a rally in Srinagar on Wednesday.
A First Information Report was registered last night against several separatist leaders including Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Masarat Alam Bhat for provocative activities including hoisting of Pakistani flag.
“Law will take its own course. If anyone has made a mistake, the law will do its work,” Mr. Sayeed told reporters.
A police spokesman said: “An FIR has been registered against Geelani, Bhat, Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah and other separatist leaders for provocative activities and hoisting Pakistani flag in Hyderpora.”
Largest Muslim group asks Indonesia to broker talks on Yemen
16 April 2015
The world’s largest Muslim organization urged Indonesia to broker talks on Yemen at an Asia-Africa leaders conference next week, hoping for a breakthrough to end fighting between Iran-allied Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition.
“We received ambassadors from the (Organization of Islamic Conference) yesterday and they voiced their hope that Indonesia can contribute to resolving the problem in Yemen,” Indonesian Cabinet Secretary Andi Widjajanto told reporters on Thursday.
He did not elaborate on how Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, plans to broker talks.
Indonesia will host a five-day Asia-Africa conference in Jakarta and Bandung starting on Monday, with dozens of leaders expected to attend.
(Reuters) - Feuding over an Islamic penal code that stipulates stoning for adultery and amputation for theft has put a spotlight on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's struggle to secure the majority Muslim vote and fend off attacks on his leadership.
The 'hudud' controversy was triggered by the Islamist party that rules Kelantan, a northern state where nightclubs are banned and there are separate public benches for men and women.
Parti Islam se-Malaysia's (PAS) push to have 'hudud' recognized under federal law, so it can be implemented in Kelantan, risks splitting the national opposition coalition to which it belongs: an already wobbly three-party alliance.
The opposition's squabbles would be heartening for Prime Minister Najib were it not for the divisions that the row has highlighted within his own party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).
MANILA, Philippines — A Muslim rebel chief whose forces in the southern Philippines have pledged support to the Islamic State group has died following a long ailment and was replaced by a Middle East-trained militant, the Philippine military and insurgents said Wednesday.
Ameril Umbra Kato, who had backed al-Qaida-linked militants and opposed peace with the Philippine government, died and was buried Tuesday in the south. He was replaced by his deputy Esmail Abubakar as the new leader of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement.
Military chief of staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang urged Kato's estimated 100-150 fighters to rejoin the main Muslim rebel group that signed a peace deal with the government last year, or face a continuing manhunt and assaults.
Indonesia on Thursday introduced a ban on small retailers selling most alcoholic drinks, the latest move to curb drinking in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, despite opposition from the industry and in tourism hotspots.
The ban restricts the sale of beer and pre-mixed drinks -- such as spirits with soft drinks -- to large supermarkets only, outlawing sales in the country’s 16,000 minimarts and 55,000 other small shops. Hotels, restaurants and bars are unaffected.
There had been particular anxiety about how the ban might affect tourism on the Hindu-majority resort island of Bali.
However, Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel -- who was shouted at during an ill-tempered meeting with community leaders in Bali last weekend -- has now pledged to ease the restrictions on the island to ensure street vendors can still sell beer at the beach.
Two Canadian teens in court over ‘terrorism’ threat: report
Two Canadian students appeared in a Montreal court Wednesday over fears they were plotting to commit crimes related to “terrorism,” CBC’s Radio-Canada said.
El Mahdi Jamali and Sabrine Djaermane, both 18, were ordered to remain in custody.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police did not specify why the pair was arrested, saying only an investigation was ongoing and could lead to their indictment.
Radio-Canada said they were students at Montreal’s College de Maisonneuve.
The school was also apparently attended by five of seven people who allegedly went to Turkey en route to Syria, where they planned to join ISIS militants, according to some of the youths’ parents.
Stereotype-shattering clothing for American Muslims
(RNS) Radical Muslims. The phrase elicits images of ISIS militants and terror in the desert, perhaps grainy YouTube videos, Kalashnikovs and raised fists.
What about a man in an ankle-length garment and cotton headscarf carving the air with his skateboard?
Is that a radical Muslim?
Along with shirts bearing the “Radical Muslims” image and a Nike-like swoosh saying “Just Dua It” (dua being nonobligatory Muslim prayer, or supplications), Boston-based Munir Hassan has created an entire line of stereotype-shattering clothing for American Muslims.
In an explicit attempt to flip the script on popular images of Muslims and Islamic symbols, Hassan’s own Sidikii Clothing Co. merges cultures in fashion-forward, Muslim inspired designs.
“I’m Muslim, I’m American. I was born both,” said Hassan. “I wanted to design clothing that showcased different pieces of my culture inclusively.”
LOS ANGELES: Former US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter said on Tuesday that “Pakistan probably didn’t know about Osama bin Laden as there is no evidence to suggest there was a link”.
Giving a talk at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs on re-envisioning US-Pak relations, the former ambassador presented a prologue to the year 2011 which he says was “a terrible year if you happen to be an ambassador to Pakistan”.
In a clear and candid manner, Mr Munter touched upon the past and said, “We had very high expectations and [through] a system set up by late Richard Holbrooke wanted to put an end to the negativity of the past [between the two countries]. But the imbalance of US-Pak relationship, a relationship of perfidy and exploitation depending on which side you are looking at it from, manifested itself through the series of events that took place.”
Saudi Arabia has no regional ambitions, said its ambassador to the US Adel Al-Jubeir, adding that the Operation Decisive Storm is to restore legitimacy in embattled Yemen.
Addressing a press conference in Washington, he said Saudi Arabia is determined to expel Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen and is supporting US efforts in the fight against the terror group.
“The aerial campaign against the Houthis has fulfilled many of its objectives,” Jubeir said, adding that the Shiite militia and the troops loyal to former President Abdullah Saleh are in a vulnerable situation.
Al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia was not in a proxy war against Iran, accused of arming the Houthis. “The Kingdom has always tried to establish better relations with the Iranians but they never reciprocated,” Al-Jubeir said.
“We will never be hostile toward Iran,” Al-Jubeir told reporters but maintained that Tehran has no say in political dialogue in Yemen, which is reserved for the Yemenis. He said the political process would improve the situation in Yemen.
Al-Jubeir said that Tuesday’s Security Council resolution, slapping an arms embargo on the Houthis, would bring stability to Yemen.
Accelerate Hagia Sophia’s Conversion into Mosque’
remark may be well meant but is a wrong message to the Turks and Muslims.
If that was
taken seriously, it would mean that the future generation of non-Muslims will
cite it as an example of how Muslims converted other peoples’ houses of worship
to mosques. Some will say by force.
the Turks should open it up as a combined house of worship. After all Turkey is
a cradle of Christianity also and Christians are “people of the Book” just like
too is a place where God’s name is taken (22-40).