Don’t Go To Kashmir for Jihad: Imran Khan to
Nationwide NRC Call Targets Muslims but Will Prove
Infiltration Claims Wrong: Gen. Secy Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind
Ayodhya Case: Archaeological Data Wasn’t Studied
By Experts, Says SC
Millions May Risk Jail as Jakarta Looks To
Criminalize Sex Outside Wedlock amid Indonesia's Conservative Islam Trend
Ringleader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Sends New Message
for Terrorists to Save ISIL
Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu Fails To Win Majority
in Close Election
Muslim, Jewish Leaders Team up to Foster Religious
Taliban Afghanistan Bomb Attack Leaves 120 Casualties
Pakistan Clerics Issue Fatwa against Terror in
Name of Religion: Categorically Refuted All the Extremist Ideologies on the
Pretext of Shariah
Pakistan insinuates India hand in retired Lt Col’s
‘It will be a big tragedy if Afghan peace talks
don’t make headway’: Imran Khan
Pakistan in on Malaysian leader's joint venture
PM, army chief discuss Kashmir situation
Imran says will urge Trump to restart Afghan peace
European Parliament slams India for denying
Kashmiris right to self determination
Babri Masjid Case: JuH Warns Sunni Waqf Board against
Jamiat hails SC move to finish Ayodhya case
hearing by Oct 18
Resolving Babri Masjid Issue through Dialogue
Would Have Been Better Than Supreme Court Taking a Decision: UP CM
Ayodhya: SC View on Hindu Belief in Birthplace of Lord
Ram Evokes Sharp Reaction from Muslim Lawyer
Muslim family thrashed at Aligarh railway station,
AMU terms it communal
J&K development will spark revolt by PoK
people: Satya Pal Malik
Kartarpur Corrdior: For alternate passage, Punjab
govt transfers mortgaged land to LPAI
Mumbai court issues fresh NBW against Zakir Naik
After airspace refusal to PM Modi’s plane, MEA
says Pakistan should reflect
President Tsai Meets with Local Muslims, Touts Taiwan’s
Malay Muslim Parties' Pact Rattles Nerves in
MCA to Umno-PAS: Don't fight for just one race and
undermine Malaysia's stability
With new Foreign Policy Framework, Malaysia to no
longer stay silent against global injustice
Churches slam PAS for ‘Christianisation’ claim,
says event commemorated Malaysia Day
To Find Clues in Saudi Oil Attacks, U.S. Examines
Missile and Drone Parts
10 Iran-backed fighters killed in Syria attack:
How Qatar is using Disinformation Tactics to
Attack its Rivals
Saudi Arabia says oil attacks 'unquestionably'
sponsored by Iran
Egypt says police kill 9 suspected militants in
Kuwaiti army places some units in a ‘state of
Saudi ambassador describes Khashoggi murder as
Yemeni Minister Reveals UAE Links with Al-Qaeda,
Trump sees many options short of war with Iran
after attacks on Saudis
Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved Saudi
Iran to hold annual Gulf drills with 200 frigates,
Netanyahu cancels UN visit over post-poll
‘political context’: Officials
Yemen’s Houthis threaten to attack targets in the
United Arab Emirates
Minister says US sanctions on Iran hit Turkey
Palestinians ready for dialogue with any future
UN Chief Rejects Claim He Didn’t Condemn China
Liam Fox: Britain must accept that Iran nuclear
deal is 'dead'
Johnson, Trump discuss need for a united
diplomatic response to Saudi attacks
Germany extends anti-ISIS surveillance flights,
Bosnia’s capital to host international halal fair
Taliban Afghanistan Bomb Attack Leaves 120
Afghanistan War: Taliban Tell Trump Their 'Doors
Hasina-Modi Talks in New York: Bangladesh Doesn't
See NRC as Problem
Suicide bomb in southern Afghanistan kills at
Car bomb attack kills 10 in southern Afghanistan:
Air Force foils Taliban bid to detonate Tanker
truck and car packed with explosives
Explosion close to Ghani’s election rally in
Parwan leaves 26 dead and 42 wounded
Prominent Taliban leader Qari Abdullah dies of
wounds from an airstrike
Taliban: Doors are open to resuming talks with US
Global body warns of looming food crisis in
To Build a New Sudan, Take it off the U.S. Terror
Libya: Haftar hit GNA-aligned forces fighting ISIS
13 al-Shabab militants killed in offensive in
Tunisia presidential candidate Nabil Karoui to
stay in jail
Somali army liberates 3 villages from al-Shabaab
Bomb blast in Mogadishu kills 3, wounds 6
Nigerian children targeted by both Boko Haram and
AJC National Interreligious Mission Engages Muslim
Leaders in Chicago
Trump sees many options short of war with Iran as
Pompeo backs Saudis' ‘right to defend’
US Islamist leader meets State Department high
official on Kashmir issue
Israel spies and spies and spies on US
US library drops event co-hosted by Saudi crown
Russia accuses US of hindering peace process in
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Clerics Issue Fatwa against Terror in Name of Religion: Categorically Refuted
All the Extremist Ideologies on the Pretext of Shariah
Shaikh Muhammad Bilal
has been misguided for long time by the terrorists and their affiliates on to
the righteousness of the Pakistan’s official position in the war on Terror.
Clerics Issue Fatwa Against Terror in Name of Religion
‘Paigham-e-Pakistan Fatwa’ has categorically refuted all the extremist
ideologies which call for armed rebellion against the state and its
institutions on the pretext of Shariah, sectarian differences and Jihad More
than 5 thousand learned scholars of Islam including renowned Muftis and heads
of all the federations of madaris prepared this Fatwa and its authenticity has
been confirmed by all the Ulema making it a consensus of whole scholarship of
Islam in Pakistan.
(Message of Pakistan in Urdu) is a fatwa sought by the Government of Pakistan
to counter terrorism. The fatwa was prepared by International Islamic
University and signed by 1,800 scholars from various Islamic schools of
historic fatwa serves as the national counter terrorism narrative of Pakistan.
It has not only strengthened the writ of state but has also backed the struggle
of security institutions adamant at ending the inhumane phenomenon of
terrorism, extremism and sectarianism.
Prophet (PBUH) has said that "my nation will not collectively agree on
wrong ", the unanimity of Ulema for this Fatwa is an extra-ordinary
achievement for Pakistan and whole Muslim Ummah.
of the great religious personalities like lmam-e-Kaaba, Egyptian Grand Mufti
and Mufti Taqi Usmani, who issued and endorsed this Fatwa, have been qualified
Muftis for decades and their thousands of students are also leading Ulema in
the Muslim World. In addition, the heads of federations of madaris have also
been in this sacred job for many years. Therefore, the outlawed terrorist
outfits like TTP's disagreement with this Fatwa holds no substance.
militants who silence everyone through oppression are totally ignorant of
teachings of Prophet (PBUH) and the four rightly guided Caliphs. Therefore, in
Paigham-e-Pakistan, it has been declared: Those who impose their viewpoints by
force are responsible for spreading mischief on earth (Fasad fil Arz)." Terrorist
groups like TTP fall in this category, hence, their propaganda should be
rejected and they should be dealt as per law. After this Fatwa, there is no
space left for exploitation of the concept of Jihad for committing suicide
bombings in Pakistan. Islam is a universal religion; therefore, it is the
utmost responsibility of every Muslim in Pakistan to safeguard Islam and
Pakistan from hostile propaganda. Persuasion of our national narrative,
Paigham-e-Pakistan, in its true manifestation is the only way forward for
strengthening our national unity and security.
and waging war is the prerogative of State. Any individual or group initiating
such movement is against the teaching of Islam and commits a heinous crime
punishable under ta’zir’.
Muhammad Bilal is a freelance journalist from Pakistan.
go to Kashmir for jihad: Imran Khan to Pakistanis
Prime Minister Imran Khan warned Pakistanis on Wednesday not to go to Kashmir
to fight jihad, saying it will hurt the cause of the Kashmiris.
anyone from Pakistan goes to India to fight jihad...he will be the first to do
an injustice to Kashmiris, he will be the enemy of Kashmiris,” Khan told the
media after inaugurating the Torkham Terminal at Pak-Afghan border.
claimed that India needed just “an excuse to launch crackdown on the besieged
people of Kashmir.”
has repeatedly claimed that India could launch a “false flag” operation to
divert attention from Kashmir.
also ruled out talks with India unless New Delhi lifts curfew in Kashmir and
revoke the abrogation of Article 370.
NRC Call Targets Muslims but Will Prove Infiltration Claims Wrong: Gen. Secy
Delhi: Mahmood Madani, the general secretary of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, has
defended his call for a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), saying
while the exercise is meant to target Muslims, it will end up having a positive
effect as it will reveal just how exaggerated the claims of “infiltration” are.
an interview to ThePrint, Madani explained that he was responding to a senior
member of the Modi government who wanted “infiltrators to be deported”.
is a senior member of the Government of India who stood in Parliament and
pointed a finger at ‘infiltrators’ in the country,” Madani told ThePrint. “I
have a problem with that finger — because it points towards Mahmood Madani and
Madani didn’t name him, it was Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah who had
spoken about the need for a nationwide NRC and said infiltrators in every inch
of the country will be deported.
in response to that I say, come and conduct NRC. Why only in Assam, conduct it
in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana too,” Madani said. “They are pointing one
finger towards us but the other three are pointing towards them and their black
Jamiat general secretary further said the fact that only 19 lakh people were
excluded in the final NRC list published in August, shows how exaggerated the
claims of exclusion were.
the 19 lakh, not even 50 per cent are Muslim,” Madani said. “And even among
those excluded, there may be some genuine citizens. The Jamiat is willing to
provide legal aid and help to any genuine citizen who was left out of the NRC.”
added that the Jamiat, one of the most influential Muslim bodies in the
country, will also send a delegation to Assam soon.
burden on Indian Muslims to prove Indianness’
Muslims can have many differences but despite that, they stand by the country
and have always stood by it, Madani said.
statements come in the wake of the controversy he sparked last week when he
said that the Jamiat supports the abrogation of Article 370 and that Jammu and
Kashmir is a part of India and there can be no compromise on that.
blamed Pakistan for his remarks. “I have no problem if Imran Khan raises issues
regarding Kashmir, but why does Pakistan have to portray an incorrect picture
of Indian Muslims?” Madani told ThePrint.
also blamed Pakistan for Indian Muslims having to constantly assert their
Indianness. “It’s true that there is an additional burden on Indian Muslims to
assert their patriotism and love for the country but it exists because Pakistan
constantly exaggerates the differences among Indian Muslims and uses it to
target India,” Madani said. “This increases our responsibility to speak up
added that it is his duty to speak up against ‘the extremism of Pakistani
elements’. “If Maninderjeet Singh Bitta can speak up against Sikh extremism,
why shouldn’t I speak up when Pakistan misuses Islam to spread terrorism?”
had earlier hit out at Pakistan for projecting Indian Muslims as being opposed
to the government’s moves.
do people assume my statements are politically motivated?’
Madani’s support for the government scrapping Article 370 came soon after RSS
chief Mohan Bhagwat met Arshad Madani, the president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
Madani said he doesn’t know about the details of the interaction between
Bhagwat and Arshad Madani, but he supports and encourages dialogue.
all modern and civilised societies, there is only one way to minimise
differences — and that is through dialogue,” Madani said. “We have never
opposed dialogue with the RSS.”
Madani praised the RSS recently, critics said he may be under pressure or a
means to help with a political career.
Hindus or a Hindu organisation supports the government on certain issues, no
one assumes it has a political agenda,” Madani said. “Why do people assume
Mahmood Madani is speaking out of pressure? Am I not Indian?”
must enact an anti-lynching law’
about the increased incidents of hate crimes against Muslims, Madani said there
needs to be a separate law against mob lynching. “Besides the law, we should
also have commissions for minority hate crimes, just like the United States and
Europe have anti-racism commissions,” Madani said.
added that societies must be educated to not take the law into their
hands. “Organisations like the RSS must
educate societies to not take the law into their hands, as has been the case
when rumours of child theft have caused mob lynchings,” Madani said.
Arshad Madani was part of the Ayodhya mediation panel, which submitted its
report in August, Mahmood Madani says he will accept whatever final decision
that the Supreme Court takes. “I have always maintained that the land should be
given to Muslims as the Babri Masjid stood there,” he said. “That said,
whatever the Supreme Court decides will be accepted by us.”
case: Archaeological data wasn’t studied by experts, says SC
DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reiterated that the study paper submitted
by four historians, termed “eminent” by the Sunni Waqf Board to counter Hindu
parties’ ownership claim over the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid disputed site,
“could at best be regarded as an opinion”.
senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan repeatedly invoked what he called the eminence of
the historians to urge the court to give more weightage to to their opinion and
not damn their May 13, 1991, study paper titled ‘Babri Mosque or Rama’s
Birthplace? Historians Report to the Indian Nation’, a bench of CJI Ranjan
Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer
said, “These historians did not examine the archaeological data. It is not to
damn them, but since the specific evidence through excavation by Archaeological
Survey of India had not been taken into account by them, it at the highest will
be an opinion of the historians.”
said he would add the adjective “experts” before the historians. One of the
four historians, Prof Suraj Bhan, deposed as an expert witness for Sunni Waqf
Board before the Allahabad HC in three phases, from February 22, 2000, to
August 10, 2000; from August 26, 2002, to September 12, 2002, and then from
March 20, 2006, to March 28, 2006. Bhan did his postgraduate in Sanskrit from
Delhi University in 1955 and joined the ASI as technical assistant in 1956
did a further MA in archaeology in 1960. He got his PhD degree in 1975 on
‘Historic Archaeology of Saraswati and Drishdavati Valleys’. Following are
excerpts from his deposition before Allahabad HC:
am an MA in Sanskrit language. I cannot speak Sanskrit and since I have not
used it for quite some time, I face difficulty in reading as also following
construction of mosques after demolishing temples is not the subject of my
research, so I did not make an endeavour to make a study of those places.
Otherwise also, I am not a historian with regard to medieval period... I did
not read Skanda Purana. I don’t think it is necessary to read other Puranas
also as their study is not my subject. But it is true that I am not a
specialist in history.”
am not a specialist in sculpture. Epigraphy, too, is not my field. My
speciality was field archaeology, not ethnography. I am not a specialist in history
of temple architecture.”
(R S) Sharma and myself had gone to Ayodhya at the time of Ayodhya research.
Out of four impartial historians, two of us had gone to Ayodhya. We were given
only six weeks time for the entire study. Pressure was being repeatedly
exerted; so we submitted our report without going through the record of the
(archaeological) excavation work by B B Lal.”
is true that I am not a specialist in history. My testimony in this litigation
has been only as an archaeologist.”
may risk jail as Jakarta looks to criminalize sex outside wedlock amid
Indonesia's conservative Islam trend
– Indonesia is poised to pass a new penal code that criminalizes consensual sex
outside marriage and introduces stiff penalties for insulting the president’s
dignity — a move rights groups criticized as an intrusive assault on basic
is the world’s most populous Muslim majority country and has substantial
Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities, but has seen a recent trend toward
deeper religious piety and conservative Islamic activism.
new criminal code is due to be adopted in the next week after parliament and
the government agreed on a final draft on Wednesday, four parliamentarians told
told Reuters that the new penal code, which would replace a Dutch colonial-era
set of laws, was a long overdue expression of Indonesian independence and
state must protect citizens from behaviur that is contrary to the supreme
precepts of God,” said Nasir Djamil, a politician from the Prosperous Justice
Party. He said leaders of all religions had been consulted on the changes given
that Indonesia’s founding ideology was based on belief in God.
the proposed laws, unmarried couples who “live together as a husband and wife”
could be jailed for six months or face a maximum fine of 10 million rupiah
($710), which is three months’ salary for many Indonesians.
prosecution can proceed if a village chief, who heads the lowest tier of
government, files a complaint with police, and parents or children of the
accused do not object. Parents, children and spouses can also lodge a
inclusion of the new power for village chiefs was warranted because “the victim
of adultery is also society,” another lawmaker, Teuku Taufiqulhadi, said.
Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, an NGO, said millions of Indonesians
could be ensnared by the new laws. It noted a study indicating that 40 percent
of Indonesian adolescents engaged in pre-marital sexual activity.
the board, this is a ratcheting up of conservatism. It’s extremely regressive,”
said Tim Lindsey, director of the University of Melbourne’s Centre for
Indonesian Law, Islam and Society.
maximum one-year prison term also can be applied to a person who has sex with
someone who is not their spouse and a close family member lodges a complaint.
The law also impacts homosexuals as gay marriage is not recognized in
code also establishes prison terms for those found to commit “obscene acts,”
defined as violating norms of decency and politeness through “lust or
sexuality,” whether by heterosexuals or gay people.
new laws will also apply to foreigners. However, asked whether tourists in
Indonesia could face jail for extramarital sex, Taufiqulhadi said: “No problem,
as long as people don’t know.”
would also be a maximum four-year prison term for women who have an abortion,
applicable if there was no medical emergency or rape involved. The code further
introduces fines for some people who promote contraception, and a six-month
prison term for unauthorized discussion of “tools of abortion.
addition, local authorities would get greater freedom to introduce punishments
for breaches of customary laws not covered in the penal code. There are more
than 400 local regulations that activists say impinge civil rights, such as the
mandatory wearing of a hijab, an Islamic headscarf for women.
parliament has reintroduced the offense of “attacking the honor or dignity” of
Indonesia’s president and vice president. A similar law was struck down by the
Constitutional Court in 2006, and the new version is likely to be challenged by
rights activists as well.
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Sends New Message for Terrorists To Save ISIL
Arabic-language TV network Al-Alam reported that al-Baghdadi in his message has
asserted that after five years since its establishment, the ISIL is still
active and continues its operation.
ISIL ringleader reiterated that the ISIL will welcome the militants who would
join the terrorist organization.
ISIL terrorists in a war of attrition has targeted 11 countries while
conducting 63 military operations in three days and hitting targets in 10
provinces,” al-Baghdadi said.
ISIL ringleader also warned the US troops and their allies in Mali, Niger,
Yemen, Tunisia, Libya and Asian regions that they will face a fate similar to
the US troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
audio message comes while the self-proclaimed caliphate of the ISIL that
declared existence in 2014 is gone and its militants are fleeing in Iraqi and
a relevant development earlier in September, a relative of al-Baghdadi said
that the ISIL ringleader has recently admitted extensive differences among the
terrorist group’s commanders, acknowledging that he has lost his position.
Arabic-language al-Qaza newspaper quoted Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, al-Baghdadi's
cousin, as saying that in his latest meeting with the ISIL leader, he admitted
that all of his aides have rebelled against him and differences among high
ranks have gone so wide that the Arab and foreign commanders are plotting a coup
cousin has confessed to the Iraqi judiciary officials that al-Baghdadi's
bodyguard has transferred him from al-Sha'afah region in Eastern Deir Ezzur to
an area 10 to 15 minutes away which hosted the ISIL ringleader's nearly
added that al-Baghdadi has started developing wrath at the Tunisian and Saudi
members of the ISIL for sowing discord among the terrorists and for their
extremist behavior, and disclosed that the ISIL ringleader is sufferring acute
illness and his left ear had also undergone surgerical operations in Albu Kamal
region in Syria.
Head of the Iraqi parliament's Security Committee Sadeq al-Hosseini had said
that the ISIL had lost 13 of its emirs (senior commanders) and is now facing a
vacuum in the leadership.
reports said last month that al-Baghdadi had chosen one of the Iraqi commanders
of the terrorist group in Mosul as his successor.
Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm news website affiliated to the ISIL quoted
Fazel Abu Raqif, an Iraqi security expert, as saying that Abdollah Qardash, one
of the inmates in Bouka prison near the town of Um al-Qasr in Iraq, which was
protected by the US, and the Mufti of al-Qaeda, was adopted as al-Baghdadi's
added that Qardash was one of the dangerous commanders close to Baghdadi,
noting that he was the first person who joined the ISIL leader after Mosul's
remarks came as reports said late in July that al-Baghdadi was hiding in Syria
after he was paralyzed in Iraq’s recent anti-terror operations.
together with a number of his Arab and foreign aides are presently in Syria as
he is feeling too much danger after several ISIL commanders were killed in
Iraqi Army’s military operations on ISIL’s hideouts in Western Iraq,” Head of
Iraq’s Intelligence Forces Abu Ali al-Basri told the Arabic-language al-Sabah
noted that al-Baghdadi was taken a defensive position under threat by Iraq’s
intelligence forces, escaping battle with the Syrian and Iraqi armies.
noted that al-Baghdadi was still very much popular among his foreign, Arab and
Iraqi militants, and said that the ISIL ringleader is now replacing some his
commanders after he lost a number of his militants and aides in a joint
military operation by the Iraqi intelligence forces and the Syrian Army.
reiterated that al-Baghdadi had been paralyzed after he sustained a spinal cord
injury in the Iraqi forces’ attack on a meeting between him and his aides in
al-Hojin region before the ISIL left the region in 2018.
Benjamin Netanyahu fails to win majority in close election
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to win a ruling majority in an
election that produced a virtual tie between his right-wing bloc and a
centre-left grouping that would be led by former military chief Benny Gantz.
outcome, according to almost complete results published on Wednesday, dealt a
new blow to Israel's longest-serving leader who was already weakened by the
inability to put together an administration after an inconclusive election in
with coalition-building again key to forming a government, it could be days or
even weeks before it becomes clear whether the wily politician hailed by
supporters as "King Bibi" has been dethroned after a decade in power.
Israeli media reporting more than 90 per cent of votes counted in Tuesday's
election, the bloc led by Netanyahu's Likud party was more or less even with a
likely grouping headed by Gantz's centrist Blue and White party.
Likud-led bloc looked poised to control 55 of parliament's 120 seats, with 56
going to a centre-left alliance, numbers falling short of a majority government
of 61 lawmakers.
Likud spokesman said the leaders of right-wing factions met Netanyahu at the
prime minister's office on Wednesday and pledged to work with him to form the
ballot's wildcard, former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, emerged as a
likely kingmaker as head of the secular-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party,
projected to capture nine seats.
has been pushing for a unity government comprised of the biggest parties. He
declined to back Netanyahu's bid to form a narrow right-wing and religious
coalition after the April election, bringing about Tuesday's unprecedented
who made his close relationship with US President Donald Trump a main selling
point in his campaign, has made no claim of victory or concession of defeat,
and he planned to address Likud party legislators later in the day.
of the party's leaders issued nearly identical statements expressing their
allegiance to Netanyahu.
remains party chairman and its candidate to continue as Prime Minister,"
said energy minister Yuval Steinitz of Likud.
69, appeared fatigued and hoarse in a 3am election night speech to party
faithful earlier on Wednesday in which he said he intended to form a
"Zionist government", without Arab parties that could lend support to
the last votes are tallied, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will consult with
leaders of parties that won parliamentary representation about whom to tap to
try to form a government. The nominee would then have up to 42 days to do so.
has not ruled out a unity administration with Likud but has said Blue and White
would not join such a government if it included Netanyahu, citing looming
corruption charges against the Prime Minister, who has denied any wrongdoing.
a further complication, Lieberman has rejected any alliance that includes
ultra-Orthodox parties - Netanyahu's traditional partners.
a Jewish settler and immigrant from the former Soviet Union, had focused his
campaign on weakening the power rabbis and religious politicians have on
everyday life in Israel, such as ultra-Orthodox control of the administration
of marriage and divorce.
run by Likud and Blue and White pointed to only narrow differences on many
important issues: the regional struggle against Iran, the Palestinian conflict,
relations with the United States and the economy.
end to the Netanyahu era would be unlikely to bring about a significant change
in policy on hotly disputed issues in the peace process with the Palestinians
that collapsed five years ago.
corruption investigations and the Israeli attorney general's announced
intention to charge him with fraud and bribery have also chipped away at
Netanyahu's seeming invincibility.
can argue at a pre-trial hearing in October against indictment. But an election
loss could leave him more at risk of prosecution in the graft cases, without
the shield of parliamentary immunity that his current political allies had
promised to seek for him.
Jewish Leaders Team up to Foster Religious Understanding
the site is remote, it has plenty of symbolism: Beginning this Sunday, Jewish
and Muslim religious leaders from some 15 countries will meet in the southern
Italian city of Matera, one of Europe’s 2019 cultural capitals, to take part in
the Jewish European Islamic Summit. The leaders are laying the groundwork that
will allow them to speak out together more strongly on the issues affecting
think the project, in this particular arrangement, is rather unique. It is a
tender blossom that must be nurtured and that deserves further support,” Tarafa
Baghajati tells DW. Baghajati, a civil engineer from Vienna, is one of
Austria’s more prominent imams. Together with others, the 58-year-old founded
the Initiative of Austrian Muslims (IMÖ) in 1999. He was also involved in the
creation of Platform Christians and Muslims, founded in 2006. He will be taking
part in the summit in Matera.
the future, side by side
project is indeed unique. In Europe, generally, Jewish and Muslim leaders often
only appear together at public events hosted by politicians, at three-way
dialogues between Christians, Jews and Muslims, or at interfaith conferences.
three years ago, another group was founded: the Muslim Jewish Leadership
Council (MJLC). It was established when a total of 14 European Jewish and Muslim
leaders met in Vienna at the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre
for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, known as KAICIID.
first, the MJLC was a small group. Notably, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the
president of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), was a member from the
start. Over the course of several meetings, mutual trust grew and a true
exchange began. The MJLC organized the conference in Matera.
the KAICIID is financed by Saudi Arabia, it is respected among experts. Yet it
is currently under threat. In June, the lower house of Austria’s parliament
voted to withdraw from the international organisation and moved to cancel the
agreement establishing Vienna as the KAICIID’s headquarters, leaving KAICIID’s
future uncertain. Austria was one of the group’s initial founders, along with
Saudi Arabia and Spain.
the Matera meeting of Jewish and Muslim religious leaders represents a new
dimension in a dialogue that is often overshadowed by the Middle East conflict.
Imams and rabbis from Ireland to Greece and Romania, from Lithuania to
Portugal, will be in attendance. CER Secretary General Gady Gronich told DW
that in choosing Matera, the group wanted to underline the fact, “that we are
all part of Europe’s culture.”
Gronich added, Italy, like many other European countries currently governed by
right-wing populists, recently sought to limit religious practices related to
the slaughtering of animals and the circumcision of young men, both of which are
common in Judaism and Islam. For now, those initiatives have been put aside, he
about right-wing populists
says Europe’s Jewish and Muslim communities are both very concerned about such
political attempts aimed at limiting religious practices. He explained that in
Matera, both sides hope to create a new committee. Comprised of two Jewish and
two Muslim leaders, the committee would be able to publicly address
controversial topics and discuss them with political leaders in Brussels or
other European capitals.
also talked about these concrete attempts to limit religious practice and
immediately referred to the “rise of right-wing populists” across the
continent. He pointed to the Alternative for Germany (AfD), far-right parties
in Austria, Matteo Salvini and his League party in Italy, and Geert Wilders’
Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands.
said such groups push Islamophobia, “mainly against refugees, but also against
Muslims in general, as a political platform with populist overtones.” He
pointed out that although such sentiments were being peddled 20 years ago, some
of the groups using them have now assumed governing power.
is why we are saying, ‘nip it in the bud.’ And who better to sound the alarm
than Jews or Muslims,” Baghajati said. “Together, we want to show that a
liberal Europe, one of openness and with respect for human rights, is the right
up against anti-Semitism
topic that leaders from the MJLC and others gathered in Matera will discuss is
the problem of anti-Semitism among refugees and migrants.
of anti-Semitism among migrants is troubling,” Granich said. “Unforunately,
we’re hearing of such cases more frequently, on a weekly basis. Nevertheless,
the Jewish community has many Muslim partners and friends across Europe who
stand with us in opposition to it.”
said a number of “formal and informal” discussions aimed at tackling the
problem have already taken place. He added that, “We cannot forget that there
are a number of groups on the Muslim side that do not want to talk to us. It’s
not all rosy, and not everyone is willing to engage in dialogue. But we want to
exchange ideas with those who are willing to talk, so that we can build a
role model for Europe
course, much dialogue happens beyond public view, such as last year, when a
group of 30 rabbis visited Tunisia.
Berlin, rabbis and imams have worked together in a more public fashion over the
years. And recently, religious leaders have taken to accompanying young Jews
and Muslims on visits to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Musuem, a former
Nazi German concentration and extermination camp located in what is today
Poland, in order to foster understanding of the Holocaust.
spoke of the “very positive experience” both sides have enjoyed in Austria. He
said rabbis and imams have taken members of their communities along on trips
together, and that the groups have stood in solidarity with one another when
confronted with anti-Semitic or Islamophobic attacks. In his opinion, the
relationship is “exemplary for Europe.”
thing Baghajati finds remarkable is the fact that, “Imams and rabbis are coming
together on their own, without third-party mediation — here in Europe, outside
the Middle East. And that they’re saying, we don’t want anyone to tell us how
relations between Jews and Muslims have to be.”
intellectuals or religious dignitaries — imams and rabbis — on both sides don’t
do this, who will?” he added.
Afghanistan Bomb Attack Leaves 120 Casualties
least 20 people have been killed and nearly 100 others wounded after a Taliban
bomb attack targeted a building of the intelligence services in southern
Afghanistan, officials say.
bomb attack occurred in the city of Qalat, the capital of Zabul Province, on
Thursday morning, and according to Atta Jan Haqbayan, the head of Zabul’s
provincial council, it targeted the building of the National Directorate of
Security (NDS) there.
official said that the huge blast also wounded 95 people and warned that “the
number of casualties may rise as rescue teams and people are still searching
the bodies under the rubble.”
also quoted an unnamed senior Defense Ministry official in Kabul as saying that
the militants sought to target a training base for NDS but parked the
explosives-laden vehicle outside a hospital gate nearby.
said that several women, children, health workers, and patients in the hospital
were critically wounded.
Yarmal, Zabul’s governor, said that the regional hospital of Zabul was
destroyed in the attack.
have also been called from Kandahar city to transfer the wounded to hospitals
in Kandahar province. Most of the victims have been taken to private
hospitals,” Afghanistan’s Tolo News television channel quoted local officials
Taliban militant group, which launched a fresh string of deadly strikes across
the war-torn country this week, claimed the Thursday bomb attack, saying that
it had targeted the NDS office.
days ago, the Taliban launched two separate bomb attacks, killing a total of 46
people and wounding dozens more.
of those attacks hit an election campaign rally in the city of Charikar, the
provincial capital of Parwan, and killed at least 24 people. The event was
attended by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani but he was unhurt.
other one killed at least 22 people after a bomb blast hit the center of the
new wave of violence comes after the US-Taliban peace talks collapsed last
US and its allies invaded Afghanistan to remove the Taliban regime. Some 18
years on, Washington has been seeking truce with the militant group.
insinuates India hand in retired Lt Col’s Nepal disappearance
Pakistan on Wednesday raked up the issue of its retired army officer Lt Col
Habib Zahir, who had gone “missing” in Nepal in April 2017, alleging that the
involvement of “hostile agencies” behind his disappearance could not be ruled
statement issued by Pakistan’s foreign ministry said, “Responding to a media
query, regarding Indian media reports/tweets claiming that Lt Col Habib is in
Indian custody and speculation about a swap with Commander Jadhav, the
spokesperson stated that Lt Col Habib Zahir is a retired Pakistani officer who
went missing in Nepal, where he had gone for a job interview in April
2017...Pakistan maintains that involvement of hostile agencies cannot be ruled
added that the Pakistan government “shall not rest until he is home”.
sudden claim appears intriguing
Pakistan suddenly raised the issue of the ‘disapperance’ of retired army
officer Lt Col Habib Zahir in a suo motu statement more than two years after he
went ‘missing’, and also allude to “media reports” about a “swap” with
Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court
allegedly for terrorism and espionage.
April 2017, just days after Jadhav was sentenced, the Pakistan foreign ministry
had alleged that Habib was trapped in Nepal after being lured into a job offer.
The spokesperson had then alleged that he had disappeared from Lumbini near
Nepal’s border with India and was suspected to be in Indian custody.
Wednesday, Pakistan said that it had repeatedly requested the Indian government
to locate Habib. “However, no positive response has been received. His family
is very distressed and also approached the UN Working Group on Enforced
Involuntary Disappearances for assistance in locating him. His disappearance
has also been reported in media, including outside Pakistan,” a foreign
ministry statement said.
claimed that Habib’s family said that he had posted his CV on LinkedIn and to a
UN website for a job. “In response, he received a call and email from one Mr
Mark, stating that he had been shortlisted for the job of vice-president. He
was asked to visit Kathmandu for which he was sent an air ticket for
Lahore-Oman-Kathmandu by Oman Airlines for an interview on April 6, 2017,” it
alleged that a probe revealed that the UK cell number of Mark was fake. “The
website that he (Habib) was contacted from was found to be operated from India
and was subsequently taken down,” the statement alleged.
said that after landing in Kathmandu, Habib left for Lumbini airport by Buddha
Air. At 1 pm on April 6, 2017, he messaged his wife from his cellphone
intimating that he had landed safely at Lumbini, which is 5 km from the Indian
border, the statement said, alleging that his family lost contact from him
will be a big tragedy if Afghan peace talks don’t make headway’: Imran Khan
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said it would be a big tragedy if
Afghan peace talks don’t make headway.
made the remarks during a ceremony at Torkham crossing earlier today, according
further added “We will put our best (effort) that these talks are resumed
Khan said Pakistan had directed Taliban leaders to participate in earlier peace
talks in Qatar and only discovered too late that talks had broken down.
also added that his next role would have been to convince the Taliban to open
talks with the Afghan government.
U.S. President Donald Trump called off peace talks with the Taliban group on
8th of this month after a series of deadly attacks in Kabul city that killed
dozens including an American soldier.
President Trump said last week “There are much better ways to set up a
negotiation. The Taliban knows they made a big mistake, and they have no idea
how to recover!”
Trump further added “The Taliban has never been hit harder than it is being hit
right now. Killing 12 people, including one great American soldier, was not a
the other hand, the Taliban group are hopeful that peace negotiations between
the group’s leaders and U.S. representatives will revive soon.
chief negotiator Sher Abbas Stanikzai recently told Russia’s RT in Moscow “Our
stance is that there is no solution to the conflict except negotiations and
except peace on the table.”
further added “We hope that Mr. Trump rethinks his announcement and comes back
to where we were.”
in on Malaysian leader's joint venture bid
Mr President, could you tell us what’s the Indian aim behind the current move
in Kashmir of removing its special status and dividing it into two union
territories? And what is the possible solution of this long-standing issue, if
India would not follow UNSC resolutions?
Alvi: First of all, I must thank the government of Turkey and the people of
Turkey of having stood by the people of Pakistan in all times of need and for
taking very bold stand on Kashmir, exactly reflecting on the law and 11 United
Nations resolutions on Kashmir.
Indian prime minister [Jawaharlal Nehru] when he went to the United Nations on
the Kashmir issue. He went to the UN and promised a plebiscite in Kashmir to
ask for the opinion of Kashmiri people on their fate and they kept on promising
the same until the mid-'60s. But later, the Indian government started changing
[its attitude] and then Pakistan and India went into Simla Agreement which
meant bilateral discussions. But, [since then] at all international forums
India discourages discussions.
India has labeled Kashmiris’ movement as a terrorist movement and you
understand and my Turkish brothers will understand it very well that is how
illegally they have labeled all freedom struggles, which are recognized by the
UN, to be terrorist movements. That is what India tried to do.
despite that, since 1972 when we got into the Simla accord, India has not held
a single meeting on Kashmir and today they make a statement that Kashmir is an
integral part of India. That's not the only issue which worries me, the issue
which worries me is that [Indian Prime Minister Narendra] Modi’s government
subscribes to an RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] philosophy which is very
similar to [Adolph] Hitler’s philosophy of ethnic cleansing of handing the
minorities and suppressing them. After the Gujarat riots, after which no
democratic government in the world was ready to give Modi a visa, that pattern
continues [in India]. That pattern continues in Kashmir, even in Assam, making
the people of Assam and Bengal -- about 4 million Muslims -- stateless.
about two weeks ago, the UN said that you should not be making the people
stateless, all the Muslims. But still he [Modi] targeted the minorities. Entire
action is not only targeted to Muslims, also question of all minorities. If you
make the people stateless, if you suppress the Muslims in India, if you
suppress the Muslims in Kashmir and the minorities in all of India, India is
treading a very dangerous path.
I am thankful to the government of Turkey and President Erdogan who called me
when the Pulwama incident became a crisis. I am grateful to President Erdogan
for having called me and for having understood and taking pride in the fact
that Pakistan with stood the onslaught of India.
Why UN and other world powers are not interested to help resolve Kashmir issue
despite passing of 71 years? Do you think Pakistan and India could go to war if
India would not withdraw its recent actions in Kashmir?
I think it is the first time after 1965 when Kashmir was discussed in the UN. I
think present Modi's government has brought the situation to a level where the
governments throughout the world have to react. Today is the 45th day when the
voice of Kashmiri people is totally suppressed and nobody knows about the exact
situation inside Kashmir as the valley was entirely locked down. On
information, on television, on cell phones, on landlines, there is a total
lockdown.There is curfew. Can you imagine that people who would be requiring
medicines and people who need to earn livelihood. They all behind curfew. So,
you can’t stop eight million people in Kashmir Valley, can not be put under
curfew. I think the situation is humanitarian-wise, it is a major crisis. I
think the world has to and world is looking into it. And I believe that the
Indian government is living under a falsehood, under a false intention, as well
as a false belief about the future that they will be able to suppress Kashmiri
people, but, no people can be suppressed.
look at the Palestinian, no people can be suppressed in the world. Whether they
were the Jews in the Europe, Nazis could not suppress them. People can not be
suppressed.I believe that sooner or later Kashmir is going to have a
plebiscite. Pakistan wants peace, you know when Imran Khan became the prime
minister he made so many overtures, every time he [Khan] said if India takes
one step forward Pakistan will take two steps forward, let's sit down and talk.
But every time India rejected those overtures and we started feeling that India
might be considering this as our weakness. We want peace not because of
weakness, we want peace to bring prosperity between Pakistan and India. As
India is facing extreme poverty, it is tremendous, it is much more than
Pakistan -- if there is peace, there is going to be lessening of the burden on
military spending but Indian belligerence is the same it, has belligerent
relations with all neighbors -- including Pakistan -- and this is a very sad
Recently you said that Muslims do not want war, but we will not step back if we
are forced into it, you meant that Pakistan will not go into war first against
I believe and I narrate that the saying of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
that Muslims do not want war, but if it’s imposed upon them they fight back
with the will of Allah and that's a jihad. First, Pakistan doesn't want war,
second we are nuclear states, important, thirdly the extremist elements and the
fascist regime of Mr. Modi has its thumb on the nuclear bombs and they are so
nervous in doing this that I remember during the Pulwama situation when in
February this year Pakistan shot down two Indian aircraft, they [Indian] shot
down their own helicopter. So their finger on the button is very dangerous.
India is an irresponsible nuclear power. India exploded its first device in
1974, it’s second device in the 90s. When Pakistan also then reacted by showing
the world that we also have nuclear power. That is why peace is very important.
That is why Indian withdrawal from 370 etc. and going towards plebiscite in
Kashmir is very important.
Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state, having asked India all the time, when
we caught their [Indian] pilot in Pakistan: One plane came into Pakistan, it
was dropped in Pakistan, second plane was in Pakistan, it was shot down but
landed in India. Has this plane not landed in Pakistan they would had been
lying about it also. I believe that, Indians for the first time after 1971
crossed into Pakistan territory this time after the Pulwama incident, and I am
afraid if Indian atrocities continue in the occupied Kashmir, there might be an
influx of refugees towards Pakistan. We want peace -- but at the same time if
India attack us, we will retaliate and I don't think India can imagine that
people with the faith can withstand all kinds of onslaught on their territory.
Last month, Malaysia’s prime minister proposed a Turkey-Malaysia-Pakistan joint
venture to unite the Muslim world. As president of Pakistan, what role would
you play to realize it?
I think it’s very important. Before our recent meetings [with Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan], I and Imran khan had first time met with President
Erdogan in 2011 and 2012, I think President Erdogan is a very visionary leader,
at the same time Prime Minister Mahathir and Prime Minister Imran Khan are also
very visionary leaders, these three are big democracies, these three are
democracies which are strong with huge populations.
think it’s very important that these countries get together on economic issues.
What’s happening in the Middle East, Turkey is playing a good and major role
around its border in Syria and trying to achieve peace. There will be a major
rebuilding in the Middle East and a major rebuilding of Afghanistan when there
is peace. So I think Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia can play a huge role not
only for peace but at the same time for joint venture for development
throughout the Middle East and in the Muslim world. These are principled
people, these are people who do not like foreign hegemonies hurting their
countries, and Pakistan also. These countries have been harmed by foreign
hegemonies. Turkey has been harmed, Malaysia has been harmed and Pakistan. And
by corruption. These countries and these governments have fought corruption to
the hilt. And Pakistan is still under pressure from India and I think
cooperation among them is very important for the Muslim world.
How do you see the future ties between Turkey and Pakistan? In what areas do
you think bilateral relations should be further strengthened?
I think bilateral relation between Pakistan and Turkey are exemplary as both
are very very close friends. It does not relate only since the formation of
Pakistan but since Khilafat Movement, we have close relations. I remember my
father talking about the Khilafat movement with passion. He passed away in the
80s. He played a role himself in the Khilafat movement and I think that was the
original binding. We started this friendship which is unique in the world. All
Pakistanis travelled abroad, who went to Turkey can link with that. This is
friendship between governments but more importantly friendship between people.
I think after the Khilafat movement the second and third generation is living
right now and i think we must let our people know both in Pakistan and Turkey
that what a change we thought to bring in the world when we resisted in the
future, there can be good economic ventures between Turkey and Pakistan, there
could be good cultural exchanges between the people of Pakistan and Turkey and
there could be good defense relations between Pakistan and Turkey. We can
cooperate in building of aircraft, we can cooperate in building of all
infrastructure. With the help of Turkey, we were building a frigate which I
inaugurated few months ago. I think there is tremendous cooperation between the
two brotherly countries. I think it will keep on improving. Turmoil in the
future which is coming towards the World: global warming, the nationalism which
is coming up and reduction of globalization by itself, these are new areas
where World is still confused on what to do and which direction to go. In fact,
6 years, 7 years from now all it was about multinational global cooperation. I
think there is more nationalism today. So, I think, these are very ripe areas
for us to look at for more and more cooperation and therefore to provide the
leadership to countries which are not so well of to provide leadership towards
better education, better health standards, to preserve the environment in
Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia. Pakistan and Turkey themselves are great examples
that we live together, we think together and we should be working together.
Turkish people are pleased with Pakistan's support in the fight against
Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). In this context, do you think the FETO
danger is well perceived internationally?
I think it’s well perceived internationally, I think we stand by Turkey with
understanding of what happened and Pakistan took immediate steps in fight. When
I visited Turkey for the Istanbul Airport’s inauguration, President Erdogan
made a special request that cases of all those terrorists in Pakistan should be
expedited and we went ahead and expedited those cases and handed over the
schools to Maarif foundation.
think Turkey was wise enough to handle that issue well and in time although it
went through crisis because of that and we understand that the crisis that
Turkish government and President Erdogan went through. It was because of
support of the people Turkey that who were able to withstand, It is a great
example to the World that when people are with you nobody can touch you.
glad, we understand what is happening and we have been able to manage it and I
am sure Turkish government would also be able to manage it.
army chief discuss Kashmir situation
Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday called on Prime
Minister Imran Khan and discussed several matters including the Kashmir
situation and the latter’s forthcoming visits to the US and Saudi Arabia.
developments in the regional environment, situation in Indian Occupied Jammu
and Kashmir and the prime minister’s forthcoming visit to Saudi Arabia and the
US to attend United Nations General Assembly session were discussed during the
meeting,” said a press release issued by the Prime Minister Office.
his visit to the US, the prime minister will also meet US President Donald
Trump who had offered to mediate between Pakistan and India on the issue of
Khan will address the UN General Assembly on Sept 25 followed by the address of
the Indian prime minister the same day.
Prime Minister Khan telephoned Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden and
discussed with him the situation in occupied Kashmir.
to the PM Office, the prime minister highlighted India’s illegal and unilateral
steps of Aug 5 to change the disputed status of Indian occupied Jammu and
Kashmir and to alter its demographic structure. He underlined that these steps
were in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and
the dire human rights and humanitarian situation in occupied Kashmir, Mr Khan
called for immediate lifting of lockdown and curfew in place for 45 days,
removal of restrictions on movement, provision of access to humanitarian
organisations and respect for the rights and freedom of the Kashmiri people.
prime minister was quoted as saying: “International community must urge India
to comply with its obligations under international human rights conventions.”
Minister Lofven expressed concern over the human rights situation and
highlighted the importance of de-escalation of the situation and resolution of
issues through dialogue.
two leaders agreed to stay in touch and continue to work together for peace and
stability in the region.
addressing at the groundbreaking ceremony of Easy Prefabricated Homes, the
prime minister said that the technology would help meeting the government’s
plan to provide affordable housing facility on fast track. “I recently visited
Gwadar where a 5-star hotel was built in five months through this technology,”
Khan sought China’s help for affordable housing, and other sectors like
agriculture, export and relocation of industries from China to Pakistan.
plant for Easy Prefabricated Homes is being set up by leading Chinese Company
Henan D.R. Construction Group on Lahore-Abdul Hakeem Motorway (M-3) in a
Special Economic Zone.
the PM’s visit to Beijing, Henan D.R. Construction Group had decided to invest
in Pakistan and transfer the technology to participate and manufacture
prefabricated houses in Pakistan for export and domestic demand.
says will urge Trump to restart Afghan peace talks
Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he would urge US President
Donald Trump next week to revive Afghanistan peace talks with the Afghan
abruptly canceled secret talks with the Taliban at his Camp David retreat that
were planned for Sept. 8 and has since said the talks are “dead”.
will be a big tragedy if these talks don’t make headway,” the prime minister
said at a ceremony at Pakistan’s Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan.
in Afghanistan would also help bring peace and economic development in the
whole region,” he said, adding the opening of the terminal would help push
bilateral trade with the neighbouring country and create job opportunities in
prime minister said since peace and peaceful coexistence were part of his
party’s manifesto, his government tried to have good relations with the
neighbours, including Afghanistan, and engaged President Ashraf Ghani for
said he would meet Trump in New York on Monday, and would emphasise that there
had been “destruction and chaos in Afghanistan for the last 40 years”.
will put our best (effort) that these talks are resumed again,” he said.
said Pakistan had directed Taliban leaders to participate in earlier peace
talks in Qatar and only discovered too late that talks had broken down. He said
his next role would have been to convince the Taliban to open talks with the
premier is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly while in
PM also said there was “no chance of talks” with India about its clampdown on
the disputed territory of Kashmir until it lifted a curfew for people there.
Khan warned that those “intending to cross the Line of Control (LoC) in an
“attempt to wage a Jihad in Kashmir”, saying it would be an act of “extreme
enmity towards the Kashmiris”.
who thinks that he will cross the border to join the Kashmiris is a big enemy
of them and Pakistan,” he said.
such move on the part of individuals, he said, would help India exploit the
situation, which would term it cross-border infiltration.
give India an excuse to cover its human right violations in Kashmir. This can
make life more difficult for the Kashmiris, who are already suffering at the
hands of the Indian troops,” he said.
prime minister categorically rejected any concession to the jailed political
leaders, namely Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, who had plundered the national
wealth, saying holding them accountable “was a must to put the country back on
Parliament slams India for denying Kashmiris right to self determination
Members of the European Parliament strongly censured the Indian government’s
continuous obduracy in denying the Kashmiris their fundamental right to
self-determination as guaranteed by United Nations Security Council
to Kashmir Media Service, in a special debate of the plenary of the European Parliament
held at Strasbourg, France on the issue of Kashmir after 12 years, members of
the European Parliament demanded the immediate lifting of the lockdown,
restoration of normalcy, fundamental rights, communication blackout, and
freedom of movement and release of political prisoners in Indian occupied
of the Council of the European Union Tytti Tuppurainen read out a statement on
behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union
for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on the situation in Kashmir.
said that India had been violating fundamental human rights in Kashmir since
said that India had deployed additional troops in the occupied valley besides
on the Line of Control (LOC).
said that the situation had not returned to normalcy as reports were pouring in
about the arrests of political leaders, students and activists.
called for the EU to work with Pakistan and India to defuse further escalation
and engage both parties for a peaceful settlement of the dispute in accordance
with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
added, restrictions imposed by the Indian government on the Kashmiri people
were of grave concerns to them and the European parliament high representative
had already taken up the issue with India’s external affairs minister in
EU should demand lifting of the restrictions by restoring basic human rights,
restoration of all social services and freedom of movement,” Tuppurainen said,
adding that no one could afford another escalation over IOK.
her statement, she said that the EU would continue to monitor the situation and
would make every effort to avoid escalation in the region.
Basescu of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats,
categorically termed the situation in IOK as alarming and unacceptable.
said that the continuous trampling of fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people
continued unabated and warned that due to escalation two nuclear-armed powers
had come to a head to head conflict.
of the group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the
European Parliament Maria Arena also expressed concerns over arrests in the
occupied valley where hospitals and houses were running out of basic needs
including medicines and foodstuff.
deployment of ten million Indian soldiers had turned the valley into the
world’s most militarised zone.
warned that the situation was made more dangerous by Modi’s government after it
revoked the autonomous special status of IOK.
Mohammad of the Renew Europe Group said being a Kashmiri himself, the situation
in IOK pained him greatly.
is in real crises as the sufferings of the local people has been surging,” he
called upon the EU to stand by the people of IOK and ensure security and
stability in the region.
demanded that Kashmiris be allowed to exercise their right to
Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance’s member Gina Dowding also voiced concern
and said the EU could be a facilitator in the process by pulling them out of
said that reports about rapes and other crimes being committed by Indian forces
in IOK were appalling.
phone services are shut down and there is a complete lockdown,” she said.
demanded the restoration of all basic rights of Kashmiris and urged the EU to
play its role in ending the crisis there.
Zimniok of Identity and Democracy Group maintained that the Kashmir dispute
remained unresolved in the last seventy years with the occupied valley
witnessing countless deaths.
EU could support the peace process to resolve the issue between the two
countries,” he said.
Group of the European United Left’s member Idoia Villanueva Ruiz stressed upon
peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue in accordance with the international
Corbett, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the
European Parliament, said that the coercive step taken by the Indian government
was a stain on Indian democracy.
only viable and permanent solution was to allow the Kashmiris their right to
self-determination in line with the UNSC resolutions after the issue was taken
by India to the UN,” he said.
also demanded implementation of those resolutions.
Bennion, another member, also demanded the lifting of the curfew and release of
all the political leaders in the occupied Kashmir.
demanded that the EU delegation should be allowed to visit IOK.
Conservatives and Reformists Group’s Nosheena Mobarik said the EU always upheld
its treaties, so it should also press for implementation of UN resolutions on
held India responsible for its bellicose attitude and destruction in occupied
further called upon the EU to set aside its apathy and ensure the Kashmiris
their right to self-determination which was denied by India.
Pisapia, member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and
Democrats in the European Parliament along with Anthea Mcintyre and other
members also stressed upon hectic diplomatic efforts on part of the EU to
resolve the decades-old dispute which could destabilise the whole region.
to the UN human rights commission reports about human rights violations in IOK,
they lamented that these violations continued with indiscriminate use of pellet
guns against innocent people including infants.
one was held responsible for maiming and killing of innocent people.
H Ainardi particularly mentioned that Kashmir was a disputed region as
recognised by the UN and said that it was incumbent upon this house to uphold
fundamental rights of the Kashmiris.
Masjid case: JuH warns Sunni Waqf Board against any deal
Accusing chairperson of UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, Zufar Farooqi of engaging
in activities that raise “suspicion” about his intent to safeguard interests of
Babri Masjid in the Ayodhya title suit in Supreme Court, a faction of the
Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind (JuH) on Wednesday warned that any deal against law and
justice will not be accepted by the community.
Farooqi dismissed the allegations and said the JuH faction has nothing to do
with the case.
to reporters in Lucknow, Maulana Muhammad Matinul Haq Osama Qasmi, state chief
of the Mehmood Madani fraction of JuH, warned Farooqi, saying “And if he
continues this way, the JuH will hit the streets.” Times of India reported.
quoted him as saying, “Sunni Waqf Board chairman recently wrote to Justice
Khalifulla’s mediation panel to resume talks between both parties. We are not
against mediation, but when the court is more than halfway through the hearing,
the move appears suspicious.”
Osama said that he has learnt that Farooqi recently sacked lawyers closely
attached with the case to include new ones at the last minute. ‘The fresh set
of lawyers, I am told, have been in favour of unilateral surrender’ he said.
saying that the decision of the Supreme Court will be acceptable to the
community, Maulana Osama warned that the suspicious activities of community’s
representatives will not be tolerated.
Zufar Farooqi said, “The faction of the Jamiat making these baseless
accusations is not connected to the Babri Masjid case. The real president of
Jamiat in Uttar Pradesh is Maulana Ashhad Rashidi, who is a party in the case.
And he’s pursuing the case in apex court.”
secretary of Arshad Madani-led JuH in UP, Ghufran Qasmi also supported Zufar
Farooqi’s statement saying “It is the Arshad Madani faction which is fighting
the title suit and is represented by Maulana Rashidi. We have no connection
with the press conference held in Lucknow.”
hails SC move to finish Ayodhya case hearing by Oct 18
Delhi: The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, a prominent Muslim organisation, has welcomed
the Supreme Court decision to complete arguments in the Ayodhya case by October
have all along welcomed the verdict by courts. We are confident that in this
matter too the court will dispense justice, which will be based on legal merit
rather than the foundation of faith,” Jamiat head Maulana Arshad Madani said
here on Wednesday. On an earlier remark of the court that “the Ayodhya
controversy is solely a battle for possesion of land, which the political
parties have converted into a Hindu-Muslim fight,” Madani said such
controversies were a blot on the Hindu-Muslim brotherhood in the country.
should be settled legally so that in the future there was no recurrence of such
type of incidents, he added.
Supreme Court on Wednesday said all parties should make an effort to conclude
the case by October 18. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will retire on November 18.
Babri Masjid Issue through Dialogue Would Have Been Better Than Supreme Court
Taking a Decision: UP CM
Resolving Babri Masjid issue through dialogue would have been better than Supreme
Court taking a decision, said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
after the apex court set October 18 target to complete hearing in the case.
to News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi in an exclusive interview,
Adityanath said, "It would have been good had the Muslim community taken
an initiative to end the issue when the Supreme Court gave time for mediation,
but that did not happen. People can only move towards a solution when they
think positively, but when they are stubborn, then only the Supreme Court can
take a decision."
added that the Uttar Pradesh government respects the verdict of the court.
"The decision is taken on the basis of facts and evidences. We are hopeful
and we will follow the judgment. Earlier also, we have followed the rulings of
the Supreme Court," he said.
reaction came hours after a five-judge apex court bench hearing the Ram
Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title case on Wednesday set a target to complete
the hearing. "Let us make a joint effort to conclude the same by October
18,” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.
in March, the Supreme Court had referred the land dispute case in Ayodhya for
mediation. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010
Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the
2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties — the
Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
three-member mediation panel for mediation constituted by the Apex Court was
headed by former Supreme Court judge FM Kalifullah, with spiritual leader Sri
Sri Ravi Shankar and, lawyer and mediation expert Sriram Panchu as other
members. The panel was expected to finish the mediation process within eight weeks,
from March 15 to May 15. The media was barred from reporting on the mediation
process to maintain confidentiality.
SC view on Hindu belief in birthplace of Lord Ram evokes sharp reaction from
DELHI: In a high pitched reaction, the Muslim parties termed as
"conjecture" the Supreme Court's observation Wednesday that the
Hindus believed in some divinity in the central dome of the disputed structure
at Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid site which made them offer prayers at the
railings put up by the British in 1855.
5-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, was scrutinising
the vehement submission of the Muslim parties that Hindu worshippers never had
access to the central dome and used to offer prayers at the railings.
bench asked senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the Muslim parties,
that "maybe the 'Ram Chabutara' was the creation of 1885, but it coincides
with the setting up of the railing (prohibiting entry of Hindus into the inner
Ram Chabutara was set up in the close proximity of the railing. Hindus believed
of some divinity in the central dome and this is the reason they were praying
at the railing."
then said in raised voice: "This is just a conjecture of My Lords."
He later apologised for the comment.
bench had asked him "whether the Hindus were praying at the railings with
the belief that the birthplace of deity was under central dome".
Allahabad High Court had given one-third area, including the Central dome of
the now-demolished structure, to deity 'Ram Lalla' after holding that it was
top court questioned Dhavan, appearing for Sunni Waqf Board and others
including original litigant M Siddiq, about the proximity of 'Ram Chabutara'
with the railings near the central dome.
bench, hearing the politically sensitive case on the 26th day, said that before
putting up of the railings in 1850s both community members were going inside,
and the presence of 'Ram Chabutara' so close to the railing has got some
"significance" because Hindus might be praying there believing the
central dome to be the birthplace.
do people go near the railings. They go there because they believed that it
(central dome) was the birthplace... There was oral evidence that Hindus prayed
at the railings," the unnerved bench sought to know from Dhavan after his
high pitched reaction.
senior advocate replied: "I will go near the railings out of curiosity...
They (Hindus) might have been going there to destroy the place", because a
very tense situation had been prevailing there for quite long time.
was "no evidence" on record that the Hindus prayed at the railing, he
am sorry for using the word conjecture," the senior lawyer later told the
bench and added, "you become more aggressive when you are tired".
bench shot back, "if you are tired then we can wrap up the day's
bench then sought details of all the evidence with regard to the railings at
the disputed site.
railings were raised in 1850s by the Britishers following the communal flare up
between the two communities and later, Hindus were allowed entry in the outer
courtyards only, the lawyer said.
the outset, Dhavan again dealt with the report of historians R S Sharma, M
Athar Ali, D N Jha and Suraj Bhan on the Ayodhya dispute and assailed the HC
verdict saying that it did not consider the report.
report had stated that the site where Babri Masjid stood could not have been
the birthplace of Lord Ram, he said, adding it was not considered because one
of the historians, D N Jha, did not sign it.
bench again said that the 1991 report of historians "at the highest"
was an "opinion" and moreover, the historians were never examined.
referred to the testimonies of various witnesses and gazetteers of many
travellers to drive home the point that there was Babri mosque at the disputed
site and the Hindu parties failed to prove the place under the central dome was
the exact birthplace of Lord Ram.
trashed the views of British traveller Hans Baker and P Carnegi who had said
that the mosque was built on the ruins of a Hindu temple and said that there
were the "figment of their imagination".
travellers and gazetteers mentioned that the birthplace of Lord Ram was under
central dome of the structure," Dhavan said.
should be "gradation" of the documents and equal amount of reliance
cannot be placed on official records and the accounts of travellers and
said that various Hindu witnesses have said that the idols were placed inside
the central dome in December 1949 as against their claim that they were there
since time immemorial.
bench would resume hearing on Thursday.
Allahabad High Court, in its judgment of 2010 on four civil lawsuits, had
partitioned the 2.77-acre disputed land equally among Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi
Akhara and Ram Lalla. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the Supreme Court
against the verdict.
family thrashed at Aligarh railway station, AMU terms it communal
travelling from Kannauj to Aligarh for treatment was attacked by a mob of
around 25 men at the Aligarh Railway Station. The family reportedly belongs to
the Muslim community.
injured were admitted to the JN Medical College in Aligarh in critical
condition, the Government Railway Police (GRP) said.
to the victim family, about 20-25 people approached them and started beating
them up as soon as they got off the train at the Aligarh railway station.
family said that the men belonged to some organization as they all had the same
'gamcha' (towel) on their necks and were carrying identical ID cards.
GRP said that the victim family's statement has been recorded and action will
be taken on the basis of the same.
victim family has alleged that the policemen stationed at the railway station
kept shooting the incident on their mobile phones and kept witnessing the crime
as mute spectators and didn't bother to save them even though they were being
thrashed ruthlessly on the ground.
the mob left, police took the injured family to the JN Medical College in
Aligarh, where they are undergoing treatment. Members of the family have
reportedly received serious head injuries.
passengers were coming to Aligarh in Mau-Anand Vihar train. A dispute broke
over getting off the train after which led violence. Two people have been
injured and both are undergoing treatment in the hospital. A case will be
registered after the statement of the family is recorded," a GRP inspector
of the Aligarh Muslim University have expressed their anger over the incident.
Former Students' Union president has linked the incident to the Dharma Samaj
Mahavidhyalya in Aligarh.
said that they are against this type of mindset and urged the Administrative
Officer and SSP to take stringent action against the culprits.
this happened in Aligarh, but tomorrow such incidents will burn entire India.
Some people in this country are walking in the footsteps of Hitler and they
want to recreate the same atmosphere in India as it was in Germany under
Hitler," the former AMU Students' Union president said.
is being spread through mob lynching, people are being killed over cows. No
religion promotes these practices. I appeal to everyone, be it a Muslim or a
non-Muslim, do not support such people," he added.
Superintendent of Police (SP) said that a memorandum has been submitted AMU
students to take action against the culprits.
incident is being termed as a case of communal violence, however, police has
not confirmed any such report yet and the Deputy SP has said that this is not a
case of mob lynching.
development will spark revolt by PoK people: Satya Pal Malik
Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said that instead of
taking over Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) by force, the development in
J&K should prompt the people on the other side of LoC to “revolt” and join
a function here, Malik said that some ministers have been talking about taking
back PoK from Pakistan by force.
have been seeing from the past 10 to 15 days that many of our ministers, who do
not get to talk on international matters, have been repeatedly talking about
invading POK, taking it back etc. My belief is that if POK is the next target,
we can take it on the basis on the development of J&K.
we can give love and respect to the people of J&K and secure the future of
their children, bring development and prosperity, I can guarantee that within a
year or so there will be a revolt in POK and you will get it without a
confrontation ... the residents of POK will on their own say that they want to
come this side. This is my roadmap for POK,” the governor said.
urged the countrymen to treat people from Kashmir with love and respect and
said officers have been placed in every state to help Kashmiri students
Corrdior: For alternate passage, Punjab govt transfers mortgaged land to LPAI
an alternate passage for Kartarpur Corridor project, Punjab government has
transferred in the name of Land Ports Authority of India a chunk of land which
is not encumbrances free.
land, located between barbed fencing and zero line in the jurisdiction of
Pakhoke village, is to be used for making an alternate passage to Pakistan with
the latter expressing its inability to complete the bridge on their side by the
550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November, said a government
an order recently, Punjab Financial Commissioner Revenue KBS Sidhu transferred
the 21 kanal of land, which includes land against which a loan was taken by a
private individual from Oriental Bank of Commerce, Shukarpura branch, Batala.
The loan as of now remains outstanding as per bank officials.
order by Sidhu noted that the decision as to who will make payment for the land
pledged with bank be taken later.
was not available for comment. Two different individuals were in possession of
the government land in equal parts through a conveyance deed and pledged their
chunks of land for an amount of Rs 15 lakh respectively in May 2012 and October
25, 2012 to Oriental Bank of Commerce Shukarpura branch Batala. Citing a
Supreme Court order dating back to January 2011 where it declared invalid the
policy to transfer government land to “unauthorised cultivators”, Punjab
cancelled the conveyance deed in December 2013, making the state owner and the
possessor of the land again.
one of the two individuals paid back Rs 15 lakh to the bank and was issued the
no objection certificate. However, the chunk against which second individual
had taken Rs 15 lakh is yet to pay back the full amount to the bank.
Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujjwal, sources said, took up the matter with Punjab
Financial Commissioner Revenue for the transfer of the land to LPAI last
month…Gurdaspur DC apprised Sidhu in a written communication that,”LPAI Project
Director had told that as Pakistan government is presently not constructing
bridge on opposite side, hence the government land across border is urgently
required keeping in view of the alternate alignment of movement of pilgrims as
the bridge constructed by NHAI authorities may not be functional on November
12, 2019. It is requested to expedite the transfer of land across to LPAI for
developing alternative route at the earliest.”
Baba Nanak Sub Divisional magistrate Gursimran Singh, when reached on phone,
said that the NHAI bridge would be ready in time and the alternate passage
would be a stopgap arrangement to connect to a temporary passage on Pakistani
side till the latter constructs the bridge on their side.
Bank of Commerce, Shukarpura, branch manager Shahbaz Singh said the along with
the individual who was the initial borrower, all others in whose names the land
was transferred will become a party in the bank recovery proceedings till the
time outstanding dues were not cleared.
court issues fresh NBW against Zakir Naik
special court here on Wednesday issued a fresh non-bailable warrant (NBW)
against fugitive Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, currently based in Malaysia, in
the 2016 alleged money laundering case.
warrant was issued by Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court judge PP
Rajvaidya on a plea filed bythe Enforcement Directorate (ED) which is probing
week, Naik had moved a plea through his lawyer seeking time for two months to
appear before the court, which was rejected. The ED on Monday moved a fresh
plea seeking the NBW.
ED has claimed to have identified Rs 193.06 crore as the proceeds of crime in
the 2016 case.
a 53-year-old radical television preacher, left India in 2016 and subsequently
moved to the largely Muslim Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency.
ED booked him in 2016 on an FIR filed by the National Investigation Agency
(NIA) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
controversial preacher is wanted by authorities for alleged money laundering
and inciting extremism through hate speeches.
had earlier been issued against him in the past in the money laundering case.
July this year, the court issued summons against Naik after taking cognisance
of a complaint filed by the ED against Dubai-based jeweller Abdul Kadir
Najmudin Sathak for allegedly assisting the preacher in raise and diverting
the agency had attached Naik’s properties, including Islamic International
School in Chennai, ten flats, three godowns, two buildings and land in Pune and
Mumbai, besides bank accounts.
airspace refusal to PM Modi’s plane, MEA says Pakistan should reflect
after Pakistan on Wednesday rejected India’s request to allow Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s special plane to use its airspace for his visit to the US via
Germany, citing “the current situation in Kashmir”, India expressed “regret”
over Islamabad’s decision and said it should “reconsider its old habit” of
misrepresenting the reasons for taking unilateral action.
a video message, Pakistan’s Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, “India
had requested Pakistan to allow Modi to use its airspace to travel to Germany
on the 21st (Sept) and return on 28th (Sept). In the light of the current
situation in Kashmir, India’s attitude and atrocities there, we have decided to
not allow our airspace for the flight of the Indian Prime Minister.”
said the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad had been informed of Pakistan’s
decision to not allow Air India One to fly over the country.
response, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We
regret the decision of the Government of Pakistan to deny overflight clearance
for the VVIP special flight for a second time in two weeks, which is otherwise
granted routinely by any normal country. Pakistan should reflect upon its
decision to deviate from well-established international practice, as well as
reconsider its old habit of misrepresenting the reasons for taking unilateral
is travelling to the US on September 21 to attend the ‘Howdy Modi’ diaspora
event on September 22 along with US President Donald Trump. He will also
address the UN General Assembly in New York on September 27.
Tsai meets with local Muslims, touts Taiwan’s Muslim-friendly environment
(Taiwan News) – President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) invited Taiwanese Muslims to
work with the government on fostering ties between the island and the Islamic
world on Wednesday (Sept. 18).
met with local Muslims who have returned from their pilgrimage to Mecca this
year. Noting that Islam is one of the most influential religions in the world,
she lauded the values of peace and justice embraced by the world’s
is making an effort to become a Muslim-friendly society, Tsai said, in the
areas of tourism, trade, culture, and more. She told the group that nurturing
exchanges between Muslims and non-Muslim Taiwanese has been placed at the top
of her administration's agenda.
an example, she said Taiwan has pushed for the establishment of Halal-certified
facilities and services. At least 200 restaurants have passed Halal
requirements, and the capital city of Taiwan launched the island’s first
vending machine to sell Halal food earlier this month.
measures aimed at making Muslim residents or visitors “feel like home” include
promoting Halal hospitals and setting up prayer rooms at airports, railway
stations, and tourist attractions like the National Palace Museum.
to Tsai, this endeavor by the government has received international
recognition. A survey released by the Mastercard-Crescent Rating Global Muslim
Travel Index 2019 listed Taiwan as the third most Muslim-friendly country
outside of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Muslim Parties' Pact Rattles Nerves in Multiethnic Malaysia
- A new political alliance between Malaysia's two largest Malay Muslim parties
is rousing fears the move could further stall the government's progressive
agenda and raise already simmering racial and religious tensions in the
Malays and other indigenous groups known as Bumiputra make up nearly two-thirds
of Malaysia's 31.8 million people, with Chinese and Indians accounting for 21%
and 6%, respectively. The country's Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus make up
roughly the same mix.
ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition drew heavily on Chinese and Indian votes to
pull off a shock election defeat last year of Barisan Nasional, the political
juggernaut that had ruled the country since independence from Britain in 1957.
should be with us'
the driving force behind Barisan, formalized an alliance with the Islamist PAS
party on Saturday in a bid to win back power and reverse course on policies
they say are eroding the constitutional privileges of the country's majority
Malays and Muslims.
the majority of this country, we should form the government. The power should
be with us," PAS spokesman Kamaruzaman Mohamad told VOA in explaining the
reason for the alliance.
we want to defend the rights of Islam, the rights of Bahasa Melayu [the Malay
language], the special rights of the Bumiputra and Malay, we have to be united
so that we can [raise] our voice, we can show our strength, so that this
government will not abuse these special rights."
dismissed speculation of any coming communal discord.
are Muslim and non-Muslim. We are living together harmoniously with no bad
incident," he said, insisting the alliance would not change that.
are not going to abuse any right of any religion or any race. That is ...
clearly stated in the Constitution. So there is no issue that we are going to
spark any racial tension."
Zalkapli, a Malaysia-based director of Bower Group Asia, a consultancy, said
the parties would continue, however, to play on the country's entrenched
ethnoreligious fault lines to woo voters.
is their founding principles, if you like. They got together on the basis of
Malay unity and Muslim unity, and claims ... by the party operators that Malay
Muslims are being marginalized by the new government. So you can expect more of
this racial rhetoric from the new alliance," he told VOA.
and PAS had been flirting with a pact for some time. Since Pakatan's surprise
victory last year, they have handed the ruling coalition a series of defeats in
three consecutive by-elections by running a single, joint candidate in each.
on next election
said UMNO's move to make the alliance official signaled that the party was banking
on Malay Muslim votes over those of the more diverse Barisan coalition, which
it still fronts, to win the next general election, due by 2023.
he is skeptical it will work, noting that Malaysia has never had a monoethnic
coalition running the government in its history.
the new allies can do, Adib said, is hold back Pakatan's more progressive
policy plans and move it to the right.
have been at it already.
parties stirred up fears of lost privileges among Malays to pressure the new
government into abandoning election pledges to sign a U.N. convention on racial
discrimination and to ratify the Rome Statute, which would have seen Malaysia
join the International Criminal Court. Pakatan's efforts to repeal an
anti-fake-news law also were shot down in the Senate, which the opposition
string of defeats and U-turns has hurt the new government. Opinion polling by
the Merdeka Center, a research group, shows its approval rating plunging from
79% just after the general election to 39% in March.
UMNO-PAS alliance "may not be able to win power, but it could potentially
force the government to adopt some of its ideology or its political
ambition," Adib said. "In the case of PAS, the Islamist party, the
party has obviously sharia ambition. So the danger is that this alliance will
be able to force the government parties to dance to their tune."
think the fears of rising tensions are more perception than reality.
Amri Baharuddin, who heads the National University of Malaysia's Institute of
Ethnic Studies, called it the "Klang Valley narrative," so named for
the area around Kuala Lumpur, the capital, where the country's professionals
and NGOs are concentrated.
read what is on the ground based on what they do. If they see a traffic jam,
they think [it] is also a racial and ethnic traffic jam," said Shamsul,
who thinks class concerns now mostly trump racial or religious ones, noting
that Malaysia has not had any race riots since the late 1960s.
recently wrapped up a two-year, government-funded study on Malaysia's race
relations that found an encouraging amount of ethnic intermingling and a
prevailing attitude of inclusion.
I always say there's a lot of tongue wagging in this country, but not parang
waving," Shamsul said, referring to a local machete-like cutting tool.
to Umno-PAS: Don't fight for just one race and undermine Malaysia's stability
LUMPUR, Sept 19 — MCA president Datuk Wee Ka Siong today reminded Umno and PAS
that the cooperation that has been formalised between the two biggest Malay
parties should not be a threat to the secular system within the framework of
the Federal Constitution.
said both parties will need the support of all Malaysians to ensure the success
of political cooperation between them.
the coalition fights for only one religion and race and undermines the
stability of the country as stipulated in the Federal Constitution, then MCA
will not compromise and take appropriate action.
cooperation between Umno and PAS must extend to all segments of the Malaysian
community and adhere to the principles contained in the charter that was signed
on September 14,” he said in a statement today.
said MCA's struggle from day one whether being in government or Opposition has
always been to uphold the Federal Constitution and the values of diversity and
I have stated before MCA's stance is that Barisan Nasional must form a
political coalition that represents all races.
staying with the Barisan Nasional or in the matter of Umno-PAS cooperation, MCA
continue to use this stance as a guide,” he added.
said Umno and PAS must fulfill the charter, which is centred on unifying the
ummah (Muslim community) to harmonise multiracial Malaysia and at the same time
ensuring the interests of the non-malay community is protected.
will continue to enjoy harmony only when the spirit of diversity is maintained.
Political parties that fight for just one race or religion will not be able to
govern the country and will eventually be rejected by the people,” he said.
Saturday, PAS and Umno signed a joint charter for their political cooperation
that contained a “national agenda” accommodating the other races but was
primarily concerned about Malay-Muslim interests.
collaboration was formed with the express purpose of defeating Pakatan Harapan
(PH) in the next general election.
two Opposition parties are working to build support among Malay-Muslims whose
majority support did not end up with PH during last year’s general election.
new Foreign Policy Framework, Malaysia to no longer stay silent against global
EMMANUEL SANTA MARIA CHIN
Sept 19 — A new Foreign Policy Framework was launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr
Mahathir Mohamad yesterday, with Putrajaya declaring its intention to not shy
away from speaking up against regional or global breaches of human rights and
“Change in Continuity”, it is also poised to turn Malaysia into a more
influential and respected voice regionally and in the global political arena,
while at the same time not abandoning its internal interests.
the document launched yesterday, Putrajaya pledged to prioritise maintaining
good relations with other nations while practicing justice and fairness, and
endorsing mutually beneficial international trade markets.
Framework also assured that national interests concerning national security,
the economic prosperity of the nation, and its identity as a nation and
position within the Muslim world would not be adversely affected.
order to maintain a reputable and culture rich identity, the Framework pushes
for a Malaysia to actively speak out against human rights violations, and
endorse amicable and sustainable outcomes for international conflicts while
assisting post disaster or conflict situations.
the same time, the framework pushes for actions that would propel Malaysia into
a position to be seen as an exemplary Islamic country, one that is inclusive,
developed and progressive.
doing so, Malaysia can demonstrate to the world, the goodness of Islam and the
ummah in line with the principle of ‘rahmatan lil alamin’ (mercy for all).
formulating its foreign policy, Malaysia will be cognisant and make fair
assessments on the roles and contributions of various Islamic movements,
without any prejudice,” read the Framework.
for topics concerning national security, the ongoing South China Sea territorial
dispute was cited within the Framework, with the new policy said to encourage
stability and peace that can be achieved through continuous dialogues among
member states, and suggestions for the area to instead be turned into trade
has in recent times patched up its relationship with China after Dr Mahathir
and Pakatan Harapan took a slightly hostile position towards the global
superpower’s hold over the previous Barisan Nasional administration.
Putrajaya had also been criticised for its position towards China’s treatment
of the Muslim Uighur minorities, ranging from either silence to minister Datuk
Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s alleged remarks echoing Beijing’s stance on the matter.
Mahathir, in his speech at the launch yesterday, said among the tangible
actions would be active participation at international gatherings where
Malaysia is a member of, which could in turn influence the outcome of decisions
at other conventions where Malaysia is not a member.
said another outcome from the new Framework could see Malaysia shape the
discourse on other emerging issues such as those surrounding the Industrial
Revolution 4.0, and the blue economy.
Mahathir also pointed out the Framework meant Malaysia would not bow down to
international pressure and pledged to speak up against actions opposing
multilateralism, which he said was under threat and a topic of great concern to
examples, he said actions such instances of powerful countries imposing their
will onto smaller nations and countries who “flagrantly violate” international
agreements and conventions was of great concern to Malaysia.
reserves the right to express its opinion and if necessary, its protestations,
against injustices, oppressions and other crimes against humanity that is
committed by any nations.
had never shied away from what it believes to be a responsibility and
commitment to mankind. Malaysia will submit what it must but it will be under
open protest,” he said in his speech at Perdana Putra yesterday.
will nevertheless remain steadfast in pursuing its foreign policy goals based
on the principles of justice and fairness. I am optimistic that we will be able
to achieve these goals,” he added.
recent months, Wisma Putra has been vocal in its support for the plight of
Palestinians in the face of injustice by Israel and the Rohingya minority in
Myanmar, consistent with its pledge in the Pakatan Harapan’s election
month, Dr Mahathir had also brought up the issue of the volatile tensions in
the Jammu and Kashmir region with India, following New Delhi’s move to cancel
the special status of both regions which had enabled the people to formulate
their own laws and prevent foreigners from residing in the territories.
slam PAS for ‘Christianisation’ claim, says event commemorated Malaysia Day
LUMPUR, Sept 18 — The Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) has lambasted PAS
deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man for inferring a church social
forum held on September 14 was used for the purpose of political propaganda.
rebutting Tuan Ibrahim’s claim, CCM clarified that the “New Malaysia Narrative”
forum that was held in the Mega Chinese Methodist Church in Kota Damansara,
Selangor was part of the church’s Malaysia Day observance to assist its members
to contribute to nation building by participating in a shared narrative.
forum which featured a panel of speakers was to encourage the participants to
play their role within the unfolding story of a ‘New’ Malaysia by understanding
our shared historical heritage and calling for better understanding of our
shared destiny as citizens of our country.
that end, the PAS leader should not imply that the forum was used for political
propaganda and therefore stop insinuating that the church was promoting it,” it
said in a statement here.
Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong who attended the forum as one
of the speakers, was accused of zealously promoting the “Kingdom of God”, a
Christian concept of a spiritual realm over which God reigns or the fulfilment
of God’s will on Earth.
Ibrahim claimed that Sim allegedly preached the idea alongside other Christian
topics such as the “Jesus Manifesto” at the “Naratif Malaysia Baru” (New
Malaysia Narrative) forum on Saturday.
phrase Kingdom of God, or Kingdom of Heaven, occurs frequently in the New
Testament, primarily attributed to Jesus Christ in the first three Gospels.
response, Sim said earlier today his reference to the Bible during the forum
was merely aimed at urging Christians to become better Malaysians by rejecting
racism and corruption.
Bukit Mertajam MP stressed that he did not criticise any religion nor did he
propose the establishment of a Christian government as claimed by Tuan Ibrahim.
said his speech stressed on values espoused by the Bible as guidance to become
better citizens, such as justice, transparency, helping the weak and poor,
rejecting corruption, oppression and racism.
conservative groups here, have consistently spoken out against
Christianisation, human rights, and religious pluralism as alleged threats
against the Malay-Muslim community in recent years.
month, Gerakan Pembela Ummah, a coalition of Malay-Muslim groups, had listed
several issues it deems “major threats” against the majority community, which
included Christian evangelism.
Find Clues in Saudi Oil Attacks, U.S. Examines Missile and Drone Parts
Eric Schmitt, Julian E. Barnes and David D. Kirkpatrick
— American investigators are examining missile circuit boards recovered after
strikes against Saudi oil facilities to determine the trajectory of the attack
— and whether it originated from Iran — as the Trump administration debates
how, and whether, to retaliate.
are poring over satellite imagery of the damage sites, and assessing radar
tracks of at least some of the low-flying cruise missiles that were used.
Communication intercepts from before and after the attacks are being reviewed
to see if they implicate Iranian officials.
most important, forensic analysis is underway of missile and drone parts from
the attack sites. The Saudis have recovered pristine circuit boards from one of
the cruise missiles that fell short of its target, providing forensics
specialists the possibility of tracing the missile’s point of origin, according
to a senior American official briefed on the intelligence.
theory gaining traction among American officials is that the cruise missiles
were launched from Iran and programmed to fly around the northern Persian Gulf
through Iraqi air space instead of directly across the gulf where the United
States has much better surveillance, one senior official said. In the hours
before the attacks, American intelligence detected unusual activity at military
bases in southwest Iran that would be consistent with preparations for strikes,
another senior American official said. Within the administration, there is much
discussion over what retaliatory action to take, if any, and whether such a
response would appear to be doing the Saudis’ bidding. The question is a
challenging one for President Trump, who first declared after the attacks that
the United States was “locked and loaded,” but then softened his tone and said
he would like to avoid conflict.
attack is viewed as the most destructive strike to Saudi Arabia since it opened
an offensive in Yemen more than four years ago. The strikes at the Abqaiq
processing facility and Khurais oil field initially cut by more than 50 percent
the oil produced by the kingdom, which supplies about a tenth of the worldwide
total. By Tuesday, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, said it
would fully restore oil production by the end of September at facilities that
were attacked by air on Saturday.
Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, have presented Mr. Trump with an array of military
options — presumably both bombing targets such as the missile-launching sites
and storage areas as well as covert cyberoperations that could disable or
disrupt Iran’s oil infrastructure.
big concern is to ensure that any strikes be proportional and not escalate the
conflict, particularly with world leaders gathering next week in New York for
the United Nations General Assembly. Officials also voiced worry about the cost
of doing nothing, at least openly, in response to attacks that have cut in half
the oil production of one of Washington’s main allies in the Middle East.
Iran is proved to be behind the attacks, it may be because it is looking for
increased diplomatic and economic leverage, said current and former officials.
Tehran has been pressed by the tough economic sanctions imposed by the Trump
administration. Although an attack by Iran would represent a sharp escalation,
Iranian officials may be counting that Mr. Trump’s reluctance to start a war in
the Middle East will restrain the American response. Iran may believe that by
committing a dramatic strike, the current and former officials said, it could
improve its negotiating position before the United Nations meeting.
officials say they have no doubt that the drones and missiles used in the
attacks were Iranian technology and components. But they have not yet released
information on whether the strikes were planned and directed by Iran, and
launched by Iran’s proxies in the region — or whether they were actually
launched from Iranian territory.
officials said they have come to believe the cruise missiles were launched from
Iran, but others familiar with the intelligence noted that the evidence is not
yet irrefutable, and Tehran has taken steps to obscure the origin of the
United States has prepared a document laying out the current understanding of
the facts of the strike on Saudi Arabia in which the American government has
“high confidence,” according to multiple American officials. The intelligence
assessment is ready to be declassified, but it will not be released until Saudi
Arabia has had a chance to make its own conclusions and release information it
wants, officials said.
Was Behind the Saudi Oil Attack? What the Evidence Shows
officials have offered only satellite photos, which analysts said were
insufficient to prove where the attack came from, which weapons were used and
who fired them.
of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled on Wednesday to meet with officials in Saudi
Arabia, a visit that could result in the release of the American report.
rulers of Saudi Arabia appear in no rush to pinpoint the source of the attack
or call for any specific response.
Saudi military spokesman said Monday that the kingdom’s initial investigation
had indicated that the weapons were Iranian-made and that the attack was not
launched from Yemen. But so far the Saudis have lagged American officials in
their willingness to openly blame Iran for carrying out the attack.
its go-slow approach, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it
intended to invite the United Nations and other international experts to visit
the site of the attacks and participate in the investigations. “The kingdom
will take appropriate measures based on the results of the investigation,” the
statement said, suggesting that the Saudis would wait a prolonged period before
said Saudi Arabia might be reluctant to engage in a military confrontation
before confirming the American response. The rulers of the kingdom may also be
worried because the attack demonstrated ominous vulnerabilities in their air
defense systems. Although Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest spenders in the
world on military hardware, the damage from Saturday’s airstrike suggested
scant preparation for a full-fledged air war.
rulers have at least once actively covered up an Iranian attack inside the
kingdom to avoid making accusations that could lead to a clash. After a
terrorist bombing at the Khobar Towers complex killed 19 United States Air Force
personnel in 1996, scholars say, the Saudis deliberately sought to obfuscate
Iran’s responsibility in an attempt to avoid a military conflict. (The United
States still ultimately concluded that Iran was responsible.)
J. Morell, a former acting director of the C.I.A., said during a speech on
Monday night in Northern Virginia that if Iran was found responsible for
directing or carrying out the attacks, that would amount to an act of war and
the United States would “need to respond.”
Morell, who said he had no inside information, said he favored some kind of
proportional military strike, perhaps against Iranian missile sites and storage
areas but not against Iranian oil infrastructure.
Michael G. Mullen, who retired from the military after serving as chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted the danger of the situation because there was
little effective way to communicate with the Iranians to avoid escalation and
a situation ripe with the possibility of miscalculation,” he said. “We have not
had a good line of communication with Iran since 1979, so if something happens,
the odds of us getting it right are pretty small.”
Morell said it would be important to have allies such as Britain and France
join any retaliation so the United States was not going it alone.
has no evidence showing where drones that attacked the Saudi oil facilities
came from, the French foreign minister said on Tuesday.
to now France doesn’t have evidence to say that these drones came from one
place or another, and I don’t know if anyone has evidence,” the minister,
Jean-Yves Le Drian, told reporters in Cairo.
Schmitt and Julian Barnes reported from Washington, and David D. Kirkpatrick
from Istanbul. Helene Cooper contributed reporting from Washington, and Stanley
Reed from London.
Iran-backed fighters killed in Syria attack: Report
missile attack by an unidentified aircraft hit a position near a Syrian
government-held town along the Iraqi border overnight on Tuesday, reportedly
killing at least 10 Iran-backed fighters.
attack took place in Al Bukamal, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Az Zor,
security officials said.
news agency reported the raid was carried out by unmanned aerial vehicle.
However, according to the report, it caused no casualties.
missile hit a weapons depot belonging to Iraqi factions operating under the
banner of the Popular Mobilization Forces, the name given to mainly Shia
militias in Iraq that are backed by Iran.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Deir Ezzor 24, an
activist collective, said 10 fighters were killed. Iraqi officials confirmed
the death toll to the Associated Press news agency.
was the latest in a series of unclaimed attacks inside Iraq and along the
border with Syria targeting Iran-backed militias. Last week, unknown warplanes
targeted an arms depot and Iranian-backed militia posts in Al Bukamal, killing
at least 18 fighters.
Syrian security official said Israeli jets were behind Tuesday's attack, but
denied there were casualties.
officials confirmed Israel was behind at least one of the recent attacks inside
frequently hits Iranian targets in war-ravaged Syria and appears to have
recently expanded its campaign. It has said it will not allow the Iranians, who
support forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to establish a permanent
military presence in Syria.
forces, including Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, played a major role in
recovering Al Bukamal from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or
ISIS) in late 2017. The border crossing to Iraq, however, remains closed.
Qatar is using Disinformation Tactics to Attack its Rivals
second half of this decade has been sharply defined by the explosion of “fake
news” and misinformation as an overt and viable political weapon. While
disinformation campaigns are nothing new—they are, after all, a popular wartime
tactic—the easy access offered by the Internet amplifies the impact of such
the Persian Gulf, disinformation has become a key tool to leverage information
by most states, but it has also been turned inward. In recent years, escalating
tensions between Qatar and neighboring Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) has been marked by a spike in the use of disinformation to
further each faction’s respective goals. Qatar specifically has been repeatedly
outed for its alleged editorial interference in Qatari-owned Al Jazeera.
as tensions continue to simmer and a resolution seems distant at best, fake
news is quickly becoming the status quo for how these countries attempt to
nudge the other into some sort of action. The landscape highlights a
fascinating case study of how fake news can affect regional political
War of Words
current diplomatic tensions between Qatar and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation
Council—led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE—has been ongoing since 2017, driven by
what the anti-Qatar bloc claims is Qatar’s overt support of terrorism. The
latter has admitted that it has provided some support to Islamist groups,
namely the Muslim Brotherhood.
pro-Qatar bloc, which also includes regional powers Turkey and Iran, has used
disinformation extensively, along with other media tactics, to shape narratives
in the region in a variety of areas. Qatar has never been afraid to wield its
media influence through Al Jazeera, which claims to be impartial but yet has
been repeatedly accused of pushing overtly pro-Qatar agendas.
many cases, this has included publishing damning stories about Saudi Arabia and
the U.S. willfully ignoring crises and political incidents transpiring within
their own borders. The news organization has built a global brand and has hired
major names in the news media, but it remains clouded by allegations of
itself is not far behind, with one of the most impressive disinformation
operations in the world today. A survey conducted by Reuters in conjunction
with Oxford University found that nearly 49% of Turkish citizens believed they
were exposed to fake news. Moreover, the country has a terrible track record
for its treatment of the press, with the number of journalists currently
sitting in jail for refusing to parrot the government’s propaganda.
final leg of the tripod, Iran, uses an expansive network of websites to peddle
disinformation across the globe. A special Reuters report found that Iran
operates over 70 websites in 15 countries that push pro-Iranian stories. It is
worth noting that Qatar, Turkey, and Iran all rank below 100 on Reporters
Without Borders’ yearly World Press Freedom Index (128th, 157th, and 170th,
disinformation convergence has already been shown to distort news cycles, as a
Columbia University study revealed in 2018. The report found that pro-Qatar
bots aggressively pushed favorable hashtags and tweets at any mention, spiking
traffic visibly at times. A more recent case highlights how this bloc
cooperates to peddle misinformation and fake news to its benefit.
proxy war being fought between Qatar and its Gulf rivals spilled into the light
when an article published in the Middle East Eye—another alleged Qatari
mouthpiece—alleged that the UAE had provided funding to anti-Erdoğan insurgents
planning a coup in Turkey. The story and the allegations within were explosive
and potentially dangerous for an already tense region.
that a foreign power directly intervened in a sovereign state’s affairs are not
to be ignored. Even worse, the article spread aggressively across social media
and reached hundreds of thousands of readers in a short period of time. The
problem was that the article was completely unverified and immediately refuted
by all the parties accused of any wrongdoing.
Middle East Eye was taken to court in London over libel, and while the case was
withdrawn, the publication was forced to make damning revelations about its
admitted that the entirety of the story was sourced from a single unverified
Turkish Intelligence agency, something MEE has repeatedly been accused of
doing. Even worse, the Middle East Eye has been revealed to extensively share
journalists and executives with Al Jazeera itself.
case simply shows how effectively disinformation can be coordinated. The Middle
East Eye, acting on a single tip from Turkish Intelligence, published several
accusations against a foreign state without verifying the source. By using a
smaller, less expansive publication than Al Jazeera, Qatar was able to publish
significant disinformation with less fear of it being revealed as such (though
in this case, the plan backfired). Despite this revelation, the web has
nevertheless made it easy for actors like Iran, Turkey, and Qatar to spread
their chosen agendas and pass them off as fact by public consensus.
New Kind of Cold War
current conflicts, which reach up to but manage to avoid any real armed
warfare, are reminiscent of the Cold War and accompanying propaganda. Although
the arena has changed, the use of disinformation, agitprop, and other
non-bellicose reprisals recall a war for the minds of citizens that could leave
lasting scars across the region.
it becomes easier to spread disinformation throughout the web, and the world,
it is also worth noting that these new conflicts, which have moved from the battlefield
to the Twitter feed, are no less dangerous. This new modus operandi presents
ample documentation surrounding the risks of engaging in a proxy war where fact
becomes commodity and fiction becomes reality.
Arabia says oil attacks 'unquestionably' sponsored by Iran
Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday that strikes on its oil infrastructure were
"unquestionably" sponsored by Iran, adding that the strikes
originated from the north but the exact launch site was yet to be pinned down.
displayed what it said were fragments of the arsenal of 18 drones and seven
cruise missiles that devastated two facilities in the country's east, knocking
out half the kingdom's oil production.
attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran,"
defence ministry spokesman Turki al-Maliki told a press conference. "We
are working to know the exact launch point."
he would not be drawn on whether Saudi Arabia believed that Iran would
ultimately be found to be the culprit, only saying they were confident they
would find where the weapons were fired from.
at the United Nations said experts were expected in the kingdom to lead an
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has directly blamed Iran for the strikes,
was due to hold talks Wednesday with Saudi leadership as he arrived in Jeddah
to weigh with the US allies a response to the strike that roiled global energy
Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have claimed Saturday's strikes, vowed meanwhile
they had the means to hit "dozens of targets" in the United Arab
de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Russian leader Vladimir
Putin in a phone call the kingdom wants an international investigation that
would be seen as highly credible, the state news agency SPA reported.
Donald Trump - who has already re-imposed sanctions that have crippled Iran's
economy - on Wednesday promised to "substantially increase" the
measures, winning quick praise from Riyadh.
US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that the
administration has concluded that the attack involved cruise missiles from Iran
and that evidence would be presented at the UN General Assembly next week.
the president said, we don't want war with anybody, but the United States is
prepared," Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech in Washington on
apparent hardening of the US position came as Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei ruled out negotiations with Washington "at any level".
appeared to nix remaining hopes for a dramatic meeting between President Donald
Trump and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations next
to reporters on Air Force One, Trump said he too had cooled on what had always
seemed to be a diplomatic longshot.
never rule anything out, but I prefer not meeting him," Trump said.
Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are locked in a prolonged conflict with a Saudi-led
military coalition, claimed responsibility for Saturday's oil installation
attacks, which took out six percent of global supplies. But Riyadh and
Washington have both ruled that out.
Iran's efforts to make it appear so" they did not originate from Yemen,
Maliki said, adding the strike was beyond the capabilities of the militia --
who have however mounted dozens of smaller attacks on Saudi territory.
precision impact of the cruise missile indicated advance capability beyond
(Iranian) proxy capacity," he said, adding that they also struck from a
direction that ruled out its southern neighbour Yemen as a source.
say the experience in Yemen, where despite their vast firepower, the Saudis
have failed to subdue the ragtag but highly motivated militia, has made Riyadh
circumspect about wading into another conflict.
certainly hope we're not (going to have another war)," Riyadh's ambassador
to London Prince Khalid bin Bandar told the BBC in an interview. "We are
trying not to react too quickly because the last thing we need is more conflict
in the region," he said. Iran has stuck with its account that the Houthis
were responsible, and Rouhani said Wednesday the rebels had done so as a
"warning" about a possible wider war in response to the Saudi-led
intervention in Yemen.
media said Tehran had written to Washington through the Swiss embassy on
Monday, denying any role in attacks on Saudi oil installations and warning it
would respond to any action.
message "emphasised that if any actions are taken against Iran, that
action will face an immediate response from Iran and its scope will not be
limited to just a threat," the official IRNA news agency said.
called off a retaliatory missile attack on Iran in June after the Iranians shot
down a spy drone.
administration is considering responses to the latest attack, including a cyber
attack or a physical strike on Iranian oil infrastructure or its Revolutionary
Guards, NBC News reported, citing unnamed US officials.
prices have see-sawed since the attacks, with record gains Monday followed by a
tumble Tuesday as the Saudi assurances on supply soothed the markets.
says police kill 9 suspected militants in Cairo
Interior Ministry says police have killed nine suspected members of a militant
group with links to the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in two separate Cairo
statement says the militants were members of the Revolution Brigade, a
breakaway faction of the Muslim Brotherhood group that has targeted security
forces in militant attacks.
says the gunfire exchange took place at their hideouts in the northeastern
district of Obour, and the southern May 15th City, as police were trying to
added that rifles and ammunition were found at the scene.
is fighting an insurgency led by a local affiliate of ISIS in the Sinai
Peninsula as well as smaller militant groups allegedly belonging to the
army places some units in a ‘state of combat readiness’
army said Wednesday it was raising its readiness levels and carrying out
military exercises, amid soaring regional tensions after neighboring Iran was
accused of attacking Saudi oil infrastructure.
also said it was investigating accounts that a drone intruded into its airspace
and flew over the royal palace on Saturday, the same day an assault on two oil
facilities knocked out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.
view of the escalating situation in the country, the General Staff of the Army
announces the lifting of the combat readiness of some of its units,” it said in
a statement posted on Twitter.
said it was aiming to reach the “highest levels of readiness and combat
efficiency” in order to “preserve the security of the country and the safety of
its lands, waters, and airspace from any potential dangers.”
Iran-allied Houthi militia group claim to have carried out Saturday’s strike,
but the United States has blamed Iran and there has bee speculation the assault
was launched from Iraq.
defense ministry said Wednesday that the drones and cruise missiles struck from
the north, ruling out Yemen as the source.
on Sunday denied any link, saying it is “constitutionally committed to
preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors”.
shares land borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia and sea borders with Iran.
ambassador describes Khashoggi murder as 'stain'
Arabia's envoy to London described the murder of Washington Post columnist
Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last fall as a
"stain" for the kingdom.
happened in Istanbul almost a year ago, was a stain on Saudi Arabia, stain on
our culture, our people, our government," Saudi Ambassador to London
Prince Khalid Bin Bandar Al-Saud told the BBC in a special interview on
wish it didn't happen," he said.
remarks -- the first time Saudi Arabia has called the brutal murder a
"stain" on the kingdom -- come only two weeks before the first
anniversary of the incident.
was killed on Oct. 2, 2018 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia
initially denied any knowledge of his whereabouts after he went missing, but
later attempted to blame his death on a team of rogue operatives carrying out a
botched rendition operation.
according to reports by the UN and other independent organizations, was
murdered and dismembered, very likely on orders of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad
was speaking to the BBC about the recent attack on the kingdom's oil
installation when he took a question on the Khashoggi murder.
called the attack on the oil installations a "blow for the whole world and
world economy, not just Saudi Arabia."
Saturday, armed drones struck two facilities of Saudi Arabia's oil company
Iran-backed Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attacks, and U.S.
President Donald Trump squarely blaming Iran have raised fears of conflict in
Minister Reveals UAE Links with Al-Qaeda, ISIL
have evidence to prove that the UAE has relations with al-Qaeda and ISIL
terrorist groups in Yemen," al-Jabwani wrote in his twitter page on
added that the UAE uses these terrorists to attack the Yemeni army forces and
equipment on Shabwah-Abyan road in Southern Yemen.
underlined the need for the residents of Shabwah and Abyan provinces to take
stance against the UAE and its affiliated terrorists.
UAE and Saudi Arabia have been supporting the Takfiri terrorist groups in
Southern Yemen against the Yemeni popular forces for a long time.
Yemeni intelligence sources disclosed in 2016 that the country's security
forces had gained access to a series of documents and correspondence which
prove the UAE's role in supporting Al-Qaeda and other radical terrorists groups
in Southern Yemen.
documents and letters gained by the Yemeni security forces clearly show that
the United Arab Emirates has supported Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in
Yemen, specially in the Southern part of the country," the Arabic-language
Emirate al-Youm quoted unnamed Yemeni intelligence officials as saying.
sources reiterated that the UAE spies had given a lot of cash and weapons to
the commanders of the Al-Qaeda and the ISIL in Yemen to conduct their terrorist
acts in the Southern Yemeni provinces.
documents and intelligence unveil the relations between a UAE intelligence
officer with senior commanders of Al-Qaeda and the ISIL in Yemen," they
sees many options short of war with Iran after attacks on Saudis
Mason, Stephen Kalin
ANGELES/JEDDAH (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday there
were many options short of war with Iran after U.S. ally Saudi Arabia displayed
remnants of drones and missiles it said were used in a crippling attack on its
oil sites that was “unquestionably sponsored” by Tehran.
are many options. There’s the ultimate option and there are options that are a
lot less than that. And we’ll see,” Trump told reporters in Los Angeles. “I’m saying
the ultimate option meaning go in — war.”
president struck a cautious note as his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during
a visit to Saudi Arabia, described the attacks as “an act of war” on the
kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter.
said on Twitter that he had ordered the U.S. Treasury to “substantially
increase sanctions” on Iran, which denies carrying out the attacks, and told
reporters the unspecified, punitive economic measures would be unveiled within
tweet followed repeated U.S. assertions that the Islamic Republic was behind
Saturday’s attacks and came hours after Saudi Arabia said the strike was a
“test of global will”.
again denied involvement in the Sept. 14 raids, which hit the world’s biggest
crude oil processing facility and initially knocked out half of Saudi output.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading oil exporter.
was claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, which on Wednesday gave more
details of the raid, saying it was launched from three sites in Yemen.
a remark that may further strain a tense political atmosphere in the Gulf, the
Houthis said they had listed dozens of sites in the United Arab Emirates,
Riyadh’s top Arab ally, as possible targets for attacks.
‘UNQUESTIONABLY SPONSORED BY IRAN’
bolster its assertion that Iran was responsible, Saudi Arabia showed drone and
missile debris it said amounted to undeniable evidence of Iranian aggression.
total of 25 drones and missiles were used in the attacks sponsored by Iran but
not launched from Yemen, Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki told
a news conference.”The attack was launched from the north and unquestionably
sponsored by Iran,” he said, adding Iranian Delta Wing unmanned aerial vehicles
(UAV) were used in addition to cruise missiles.
investigation into the origin of the attacks was still under way and the result
will be announced later, he said.
attack exposed gaps in Saudi air defenses despite billions spent on Western
of Iranian responsibility, and evidence that the attack was launched from
Iranian territory, could pressure Riyadh and Washington into a response. Both
nations, however, were stressing the need for caution.
has previously said he does not want war and is coordinating with Gulf and
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, said the strike was
a “real test of the global will” to confront subversion of the international
envoy to London, Prince Khalid bin Bander, told the BBC the attack was “almost
certainly” Iranian-backed: “We’re trying not to react too quickly because the
last thing we need is more conflict in the region.”
Islamic Republic dismissed the allegations.
want to impose maximum ... pressure on Iran through slander,” Iranian President
Hassan Rouhani said.
don’t want conflict in the region ... Who started the conflict?” he added,
blaming Washington and its Gulf allies for the war in Yemen.
Houthi movement, battling a Western-backed, Saudi-led coalition for more than
four years, said it used drones to assault state oil company Aramco’s sites.
U.S. officials, however, have said the attack was not launched by the Houthis.
raid exposed the vulnerability of Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure and threw
down a gauntlet to the United States, which wants to curb Iranian influence in
attack is like Sept. 11th for Saudi Arabia. It is a game changer,” said one
Saudi security analyst.
ACT OF WAR”
Jeddah, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the attacks would be a major
focus of next week’s annual U.N. General Assembly meeting and suggested Saudi
Arabia could make its case there.
was an act of war against them directly, and I’m confident they will do that,”
he told reporters before meeting the Saudi crown prince, later tweeting that
the United States supports Saudi Arabia’s right to defend itself.
two men “agreed that the Iranian regime must be held accountable for its
continued aggressive, reckless, and threatening behavior,” the U.S. State
Department said in a statement after their talks.
officials monitoring sanctions on Iran and Yemen were also heading to Saudi
Arabia to investigate. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a major confrontation
in the Gulf would have “devastating consequences” for the region and globally.
which is trying to salvage an international nuclear deal with Iran that
Washington quit last year, said it wanted to establish the facts before
official told Reuters on Tuesday the strikes originated in southwestern Iran.
Three officials said they involved cruise missiles and drones, indicating more
complexity and sophistication than initially thought.
Arabia’s finance minister told Reuters the attack had no impact on revenues and
Aramco was continuing to supply markets without interruption.
efforts to bring about a U.N. Security Council response looked unlikely to
succeed as Russia and China have veto powers and were expected to shield Iran.
President Vladimir Putin, who has offered to sell defense systems to Riyadh,
called for a “thorough and impartial” probe during a phone call with Prince
2015 nuclear deal ushered in a brief detente in long hostile relations between
Iran and the United States. But antagonism returned when Trump pulled out of
the pact, reached before he took office, and reimposed sanctions, severely
damaging the Iranian economy. Iran has ruled out talks with Washington unless
it returns to the pact.
said he is not looking to meet Rouhani at the United Nations next week. Rouhani
and his foreign minister may not attend the annual General Assembly at all
unless U.S. visas are issued in the coming hours, Iranian state media reported.
and its Gulf allies want Iran to stop supporting regional proxies, including in
Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon, as well as to put more limitations on its nuclear and
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved Saudi strike: Report
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved last weekend's attack on
Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, CBS News reported Wednesday, citing an
unnamed US official. The report came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,
flying to the kingdom, called Saturday's strikes which knocked out half of
Saudi crude output an "act of war."
without giving specifics about the US official or how they obtained the
information, said Khamenei approved the attack only on condition that it be
carried out in a way to deny Iranian involvement.
officials quoted said the the most damning evidence against Iran is unreleased
satellite photos showing Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps making preparations
for the attack at Iran's Ahvaz air base.
significance of those photos only became clear later, the report said. "We
were caught completely off guard," the network quoted a US official as
state media said Tehran had written to Washington through the Swiss embassy on
Monday, denying any role in the attacks and warning it would respond to any
action against it.
Houthis rebels in the kingdom's southern neighbor Yemen have claimed
responsibility, but both Washington and Riyadh have ruled that out.
US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, earlier told AFP the US
administration has concluded the attack involved cruise missiles from Iran, and
said evidence would be presented at the UN General Assembly next week.
President Mike Pence reiterated President Donald Trump's comments that "we
don't want war with anybody, but the United States is prepared."
last year pulled out of a hard-won deal between Tehran and international powers
that froze Iran's nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions.
reimposed crippling economic penalties, including against Iran's vital oil
sector, and Tehran began taking steps back from the deal.
to hold annual Gulf drills with 200 frigates, speedboats
will hold its annual military parade on Sept. 22 in the Gulf with 200 frigates
and speedboats, the semi-official Iran Front Page website reported on
Wednesday, at a time of soaring tension between Tehran and Washington.
parade will mark the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, the IFP said.
semi-official Fars news agency said it would be a joint manoeuvre with the
participation of regular army and elite Revolutionary Guards’ naval forces.
200 vessels of naval forces of the army, the coast guards and the Revolutionary
Guards will take part in the parade,” Fars quoted Admiral Mojtaba Mohammadi as
Sept. 22 last year, 12 Guards members were among 25 people killed when gunmen
fired on a viewing stand as military
watched a ceremony in the southern city of Ahvaz marking the start of the
1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
President Donald Trump ordered a major increase in sanctions on Iran on
Wednesday as Saudi Arabia displayed remnants of drones and missiles it said
were used in an attack on its oil sites “unquestionably sponsored” by Tehran.
again denied involvement in the Sept. 14 raids.
cancels UN visit over post-poll ‘political context’: Officials
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled his planned visit to the United
Nations General Assembly due to the “political context in the country”, sources
in his office told AFP Wednesday.
results from Tuesday’s general election show Netanyahu’s Likud party tied with
the Blue and White alliance of his main challenger, former army chief Benny
said on Wednesday it appeared from the exit polls that Israel’s longest-serving
leader was defeated but that only official results would tell.
his own speech to right-wing Likud party faithful, Netanyahu, sipping water
frequently and speaking in a hoarse voice, made no claim of victory or concession
of defeat, saying he was awaiting a vote tally.
a related development, Israel’s Arab coalition appears poised to emerge as the
main opposition bloc following Tuesday’s election, a historic first that would
grant a new platform to a long-marginalized minority.
Houthis threaten to attack targets in the United Arab Emirates
Houthi militia, which claims it was behind the weekend attack on Saudi oil
facilities, said on Wednesday it has dozens of sites located in the United Arab
Emirates listed as possible targets for attacks.
military spokesman of the Iran-back militia group said the Houthis have new
drones, powered by “normal and jet engines” that can reach targets deep in
Coalition Spokesperson Colonel Turki al-Maliki said on Wednesday that
Saturday's attacks on two of Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities were “unquestionably
sponsored by Iran” and “did not originate from Yemen despite Iran's best
efforts to make it appear so.”
Saturday drone attacks caused fires at two Saudi Aramco facilities, in Abqaiq
and Hijrat Khurais oilfield. He said those attacks are an extension of attacks
on Afif and Dawadmi which occurred on May 14.
intelligence shows that the attack originated from Iran and the Arab
Coalition’s preliminary findings showed the weapons were made by Iran.
says US sanctions on Iran hit Turkey worst
Minister for Trade Ruhsar Pekcan says her country has been the worst hit by a
series of American sanctions imposed on Iran.
told a gathering of Iranian businessmen and government officials in Ankara that
Turkey has lost more in trade revenues than any other country since Washington
imposed its sanctions on Iran in November.
has been the most affected by the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of
Iran,” said Pekcan, according to comments covered on the website of the Turkish
newspaper Sabah and a similar report by Iran’s official IRNA news agency.
minister said, however, that Ankara would continue to seek to expand its trade
ties with Tehran despite the American pressures.
and Iran had been eyeing a major jump in bilateral trade before the sanctions
started as a target of 30-billion in exchanges had been set in various
documents signed by top officials of the neighboring countries.
has affected the trade, however, with current exchanges estimated to be around
$12 billion. The hit of the bans has been mostly felt in Turkey’s import of
energy and petrochemicals from Iran.
authorities said earlier this year that exports to Turkey had significantly
decreased in June and July, allowing Ankara to post a surplus in trade with
Iran for a first time in years.
told the Wednesday meeting attended by the head of the office of the Iranian
president Mahmoud Vaezi that Turkey and Iran would still be able to move toward
the $30bn goal in bilateral trade given opportunities that could arise from a
preferential trade agreement between the two countries.
said a total of 166 Turkish companies have remained active in Iran despite the
US sanctions while bringing to the country a total of $1.3 billion in
ready for dialogue with any future Israeli leader
The Palestinians are prepared to engage in dialogue with any future Israeli
leader, Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said Wednesday in Oslo, the day after
general elections in Israel ended in deadlock.
will be able to form a government, we are ready to sit with him or her in order
to restart the negotiations,” Al-Maliki told reporters after the elections
ended in a tie between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main
challenger Benny Gantz.
is accompanying Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on a two-day visit to Oslo.
trip comes ahead of a meeting next week in New York of the Ad Hoc Liaison
Committee of donors to the Palestinians, headed by Norway.
tied vote in Israel raised the prospect of tough negotiations to build a unity
government or even the end of Netanyahu’s long rule.
in Netanyahu’s office told AFP he was canceling a planned trip next week to the
UN General Assembly due to the “political context” in Israel.
on Wednesday reiterated the Palestinian Authority’s insistence on a two-state
solution for peace, after Netanyahu’s deeply controversial campaign pledge to
annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank.
plan, which would cover around a third of the territory, would not annex
Palestinian cities such as Jericho, but they would effectively be surrounded.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the plan would violate
international law, with his spokesman saying: “Such steps, if implemented...
would be devastating to the potential of reviving negotiations and regional
peace, while severely undermining the viability of the two-state solution.”
chief rejects claim he didn’t condemn China over Muslims
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly rejected claims by five human
rights groups that he hasn’t condemned the Chinese government’s detention of
more than a million Muslims in the Xinjiang region, saying he has spoken out
don’t think anyone has been more persistent and more clear in talking to the
Chinese authorities in relation to this issue than myself,” he told reporters
Wednesday. “It is absolutely not true that I’ve only done discreet diplomacy.”
the contrary, Guterres said that during his visit to Beijing in April, he “not
only did raise the issue,” but he “made it public.”
five rights groups said in a letter to the secretary-general circulated Tuesday
that he would make an important contribution to addressing “one of the most
pressing human rights issues of our time” by speaking out against China’s
internment of the Uighurs and members of other predominantly Muslim ethnic
groups and calling for the immediate closure of detention camps for them.
letter was signed by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the
International Commission of Jurists, the International Federation for Human
Rights, and the World Uyghur Conference.
said he told the Chinese “that it is very important to act in a way that each
community feels that their identity is respected and that they belong, at the
same time, to the society as a whole.”
couldn't be a more clear message,” he said. “So, if there is an area where I
believe I’ve been doing publicly much more than many other leaders around the
world (it) is this.”
said he will continue acting to guarantee that “all human rights in all
circumstances are fully respected in that situation.”
that mean detention centers should be closed? “It will mean to do everything
that is necessary for human rights to be respected,” Guterres replied.
has grown over China’s internment of the Uighurs and other Muslims, and Guterres
has been criticized previously by human rights groups and some governments for
his behind-the-scenes approach and failure to address their plight publicly.
government insists the detention sites are “vocational” centers aimed at
training and skills development. It has sharply criticized 22 Western countries
that called for an end to mass arbitrary detentions and other abuses of Uighurs
and other Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
a report earlier this year to counter criticism of internment camps and other
oppressive security in the traditionally Islamic region, China said it had
arrested nearly 13,000 people it described as “terrorists” and had broken up
hundreds of “terrorist gangs” in Xinjiang since 2014.
Fox: Britain must accept that Iran nuclear deal is 'dead'
must accept the Iran nuclear deal is “dead” and join America in trying to force
Tehran back to the negotiating table, former defence secretary Liam Fox said
Fox, who was in the cabinet until July, will use a speech in Washington to warn
that the 2015 agreement was "flawed" from the start and that attempts
to keep it alive are "futile".
intervention is effectively a call for Boris Johnson to join Donald Trump in
withdrawing from the deal and comes amid escalating tensions in the wake of the
attack on two Saudi oil facilities.
supreme leader on Tuesday ruled out talks with US officials “at any level”,
appearing to end hopes of a meeting between Mr Trump and Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s
president, at the United Nations in New York next week.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia spoke for the first time since the drone attack
over the weekend, calling on fellow world leaders to deliver a united message
called on the international community "to shoulder its responsibility in
condemning the perpetrators" and "clearly confronting" those
threat of imminent military action appeared to have faded, for now at least, as
the Trump administration sought proof to back up its suspicion that Iran was
behind the attacks.
pulling the US out of the Iran nuclear deal, which was struck by his predecessor
Barack Obama, Mr Trump and his officials have attempted to lobby other
signatories to do likewise.
has remained in the pact, which swapped the cessation of Iran’s nuclear
programme for sanctions relief, along with France, Germany, Russia, China and
the European Union, as well as Iran itself.
since Mr Johnson became prime minister there has been renewed lobbying from the
US administration to move Britain closer to the its position and perhaps even
leave the deal entirely.
Fox, who was international trade secretary until the summer and remains
well-connected in Republican circles, will reveal his opposition to the deal
today in a speech to the Heritage Foundation, a right-leaning think tank.
the decision of President Trump to withdraw, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of
Action is dead and European attempts to salvage it are futile," Mr Fox
writes in a piece for The Telegraph’s website previewing the speech.
should follow the US lead and operate a policy that would reduce Iranian oil
exports to zero in an attempt to force a change of behaviour from the Khamenei
agreement has been shown to give scant, and only short term, reduction in
Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons. The original aim of halting Iran’s
nuclear weapon programme now offers merely a delay with the problem left as a
toxic legacy to future governments."
drone attack on Abqaiq - the world's largest processing plant - and the Khurais
oilfield have knocked out 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd), or six percent of
global total, making it the biggest disruption to oil production in modern
has denied it launched the attacks, with the Houthi rebels in Yemen - who
Tehran backs - claiming responsibility.
the Saudi defences failed to stop the missiles because they were pointing South
to prevent an attack from Yemen, according to a senior US official talking to
CBS News - raising suspicions the attack came from elsewhere.
strike has intensified tensions between Iran and the Saudis. It has also
decreased the chance of Mr Trump pivoting and seeking a new nuclear deal with
Iran after years of its “maximum pressure” campaign.
Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority, said: "Iranian officials, at any
level, will never talk to American officials.”
added: "If America changes its behaviour and returns to the nuclear deal,
then it can join multilateral talks between Iran and other parties to the
Pence, the US vice president, tweeted:
President Mike Pence
maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime is working. And if Iran
conducted this attack to pressure the President to back off, they will fail.
PM - Sep 17, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
Johnson talked to Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, on Tuesday and agreed a
“collective response” was needed over the attack, according to a read-out from
Germany is set to extend its embargo on weapons sales to Saudi Arabia for a
further six months, despite calls in Berlin to ease the ban over growing
tensions in the Gulf.
see no reason to change the government’s position on this matter,” Ms Merkel
said on Tuesday, effectively shutting down calls from her own MPs to lift the
Trump discuss need for a united diplomatic response to Saudi attacks
President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed on
Wednesday the need for a “united diplomatic response” to the attack on Saudi
oil installations, Downing Street said without mentioning a military option.
condemned the attacks and discussed the need for a united diplomatic response
from international partners. They also spoke about Iran and agreed that they
must not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon,” the British leader’s office
said in a statement.
Riyadh, Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said the attack
could not have come from Yemen, adding the Houthi militia group was “covering
up” for Iran.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who landed in Jeddah to discuss the matter with
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, described strikes on key Saudi oil
installations as an “act of war”, reiterating that it was an “Iranian attack”.
extends anti-ISIS surveillance flights, training
on Wednesday extended by one year its military contribution to the
multinational coalition against ISIS terrorist group but decided to end its
Tornado reconnaissance flights in six months.
ISIS has lost the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria, underground
militant cells are still considered a major threat in the war-ravaged region.
has been taking high-resolution images of potential ISIS targets for the
coalition, using Tornado fighter-jets based in Jordan, and has also provided
aerial refueling to partner nations.
air force part of the mission will end next March 31 under a compromise deal
reached between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and her junior
coalition partners the Social Democrats, who wanted to end the deployment now.
German military will however continue until October 31, 2020 the training of
security forces in Baghdad and in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.
capital to host international halal fair
Ozturk and Alma Cekovic
three-day international halal industry exhibition will open in the Bosnia and
Herzegovina's capital Sarajevo on Sept. 26.
Sarajevo Halal Fair (SHF), which will be held for the second time in Sarajevo,
is expected to host around 100 exhibitors from 30 countries.
Agency is the global communication partner for the event, which is organized by
Bosna Bank International (BBI).
Bukvic, BBI’s chief executive officer, said more participants will attend the
fair compared to the previous one.
fair makes Sarajevo the center of Europe in the field of halal
production," said Bukvic.
Alihodzic, the head of Agency for Halal Quality Certification in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, said since they started operations in the countries of the region,
141 companies have received halal food certification.
fair will enable the participants from the Balkan countries -- including
Serbia, Slovenia and Albania -- as well as from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates (UAE), Malaysia and the EU countries to introduce halal food
war: Taliban tell Trump their 'doors are open'
Taliban have told the BBC that their "doors are open" should US
President Donald Trump want to resume peace talks in the future.
negotiator Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai insisted negotiation remained
"the only way for peace in Afghanistan" during an exclusive
Stanikzai's words came a week after Mr Trump declared the talks
this month, the two sides had appeared close to a deal to end the 18-year
Trump had even invited senior Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
to meet at Camp David on 8 September.
a Taliban attack in the Afghan capital Kabul on 6 September, which killed a US
soldier and 11 others, prompted Mr Trump to pull out, saying the group
"probably don't have the power to negotiate" if they were unable to
agree to a ceasefire during talks.
on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement condemning
recent Taliban attacks, saying the group "must begin to demonstrate a
genuine commitment to peace".
Stanikzai dismissed American concerns, telling the BBC the Taliban had done
killed thousands of Talibans according to them," he told the BBC's chief
international correspondent, Lyse Doucet. "But in the meantime, if one
[US] soldier has been killed that doesn't mean they should show that reaction
because there is no ceasefire from both sides."
our side, our doors are open for negotiations," he added. "So we hope
the other side also rethink their decision regarding the negotiation."
did the deal include?
full and exact details are not known.
Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington's top negotiator, revealed some details of the
agreement "in principle" - including the US withdrawing 5,400 troops
from Afghanistan within 20 weeks - during a television interview on 3
exchange for the troop withdrawal, the Taliban were willing to pledge that
Afghanistan would never again be used as a base for foreign terrorism.
Stanikzai told the BBC a ceasefire between the Taliban and foreign troops would
have come into effect after the agreement was signed.
no such ceasefire would have existed between the Taliban and Afghan government
forces, he said.
Taliban - who are now in control of more territory than at any point since
US-led forces ousted them in 2001 - do not recognise the legitimacy of
President Ashraf Ghani's administration. They have refused to hold direct talks
with the Afghan government until a US deal is agreed.
Stanikzai said intra-Afghan talks would have started on 23 September, had a
deal been reached, and would have included discussions about a wider ceasefire.
also confirmed that the Taliban had approached both Russia and China for help
in the peace negotiations.
the Afghan national security advisor said that Taliban "intimidation
tactics" would not succeed.
only way they can see peace in Afghanistan is by negotiating with the Afghan
government," Dr Hamdullah Mohibt told the BBC.
added: "Open discussions with our neighbours, those who are sponsoring and
supporting the Taliban - that needs to be at the front of our discussions, not
the back of it."
is the security situation in Afghanistan?
average of 74 people were killed every day in the country in August, according
to data collected by the BBC.
a deal, attacks are continuing unabated. Two suicide bombers on Tuesday left at
least 48 people dead. Medical staff said children were among the casualties at
an election rally targeted by one bomber. President Ghani had been due to speak
ahead of elections later this month.
attacks were claimed by the Taliban.
when pressed on the high civilian death toll, Mr Stanikzai blamed "foreign
forces", citing United Nations statistics which show more civilians were
killed by Afghan and US forces in the first half of 2019 than by insurgents.
also defended the Taliban for taking shelter in civilian homes, and refused to
be drawn on the many direct Taliban attacks which had killed ordinary men,
women and children.
talks in New York: Bangladesh doesn't see NRC as problem
Minister AK Abdul Momen has said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian
counterpart Narendra Modi will discuss all the "problems" in the
bilateral relations in New York meeting on the sidelines of the UN General
he said the government does not see the Assam's citizenship exercise or NRC as
an internal matter of India," he reiterated, "But there are concerns
foreign minister was briefing media on Wednesday about the visit.
meeting in New York will be held a week before their bilateral meeting in New
Delhi on October 5 when Hasina will be on an official visit to India.
whether they will discuss NRC issue in the New York meeting, the foreign
minister said the prime minister will raise "all the problems" in New
York, and details will be discussed there.
whether the government considers NRC as a problem, he replied, "We don't
consider it as a problem. It's an internal matter of India".
many in Bangladesh have expressed their concerns," he said.
foreign minister earlier said he is not worried about the NRC where nearly 2
million people have been left off a citizens’ list.
foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also conveyed to him that it’s an
“internal matter” of India.
will not face any problem, Momen had said citing Jaishankar.
northeastern state of Assam, after a mammoth years-long exercise to check
illegal immigration from neighbouring Muslim-majority Bangladesh, released the
list earlier on Saturday with 1.9 million people excluded.
are concerns in Bangladesh about Assam’s NRC as many fears those finally deemed
illegal after on completion of the appeal process might be pushed into
Bangladesh which is grappling with the Rohingya refugee crisis.
and India are currently enjoying the best of relations.
100 agreements have been signed in the last 10 years, 68 of which were
concluded in the last three years alone.
decades-old land boundary and maritime issues have been solved, but the
equitable share of the Teesta river water remains unresolved.
bomb in southern Afghanistan kills at least 20
powerful early morning suicide truck bomb devastated a hospital in southern
Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least 20 people and wounding more than 90
others, an official said.
Taliban took responsibility for the attack, which destroyed part of the
hospital in Qalat, the capital of southern Zabul province, and left a fleet of
ambulances broken and battered.
many of whom had come to see their sick family members, used shawls and
blankets to carry the wounded inside the destroyed building, while authorities
scrambled to take the worst of the wounded to hospitals in nearby Kandahar.
the early hours after the explosion there were contradictory figures of the
dead and wounded. The provincial governor's spokesman Gul Islam Seyal put the
death toll at 12 but said authorities were on the scene sifting through the
debris. Atta Jan Haqbayan, head of the provincial council, put the death toll
Taliban, who have been carrying out nearly daily attacks since peace talks with
the United States collapsed earlier this month, said the target was a nearby
government intelligence department building.
said the wall of the National Security Department (NDS) building was damaged.
He couldn't say whether any personnel were among the casualties.
bomb attack kills 10 in southern Afghanistan: Governor
bomb attack targeting an intelligence services building in the southern Afghan
city of Qalat on Thursday left at least 10 people dead and 85 wounded, the
governor of Zabul province told AFP.
morning a car bomb targeted the NDS in Qalat of Zabul. The regional hospital of
Zabul was also located there and has been destroyed in the attack,” said
bombing was later claimed by a Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, who said
the attack was against the National Directorate of Security.
blast in Zabul is just the latest in a string of deadly Taliban bombings across
the country as violence intensifies before the end of the summer fighting
increase in fighting also comes after US President Donald Trump earlier this
month abruptly ended talks with the Taliban following nearly a year of seeking
a deal that would have allowed the US to begin withdrawing troops from its
declaration that the talks were “dead” spurred the Taliban to declare last week
that the only other option was more fighting, sparking fears of more attacks
ahead of presidential elections at the end of the month.
BBC investigation released on Monday claimed that 74 people were killed every
day on average in August, with 611 incidents resulting in 2,307 deaths.
Force foils Taliban bid to detonate Tanker truck and car packed with explosives
security forces foiled Taliban bid to detonate a Tanker truck and car packed
with explosives in South-eastern Paktiya province.
203rd Thunder Corps said in a statement the Air Forces conducted an airstrike
in Zurmat district which destroyed a Tanker truck and car packed with
statement further added that the Taliban militants were intending to detonate
the two Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs) in an unknown
the 203rd Thunder Corps said the security forces conducted the airstrike based
on an accurate intelligence tip which also destroyed a cache of weapons and
203rd Thunder Corps also added that the airstrike killed 3 Taliban militants as
well but did not inflict casualties on anyone else.
close to Ghani’s election rally in Parwan leaves 26 dead and 42 wounded
explosion outside the election rally of Ashraf Ghani killed more than 26 people
in Parwan province.
to reports, the explosion took place moments before President Ghani start his
official in Parwan Provincial Hospital confirmed that the explosion killed at
least 26 people and wounded around 42 others.
local officials had earlier confirmed that an improvised explosive device
planted in a security vehicle went off close to the entrance gate of the
compound where the rally is organized.
Shakar, a spokesperson for provincial government had earlier said a magnetic
bomb went off close to the election rally compound.
Taliban leader Qari Abdullah dies of wounds from an airstrike
Abdullah alias Asadullah, one of the most prominent leaders of Taliban in
Jawzjan province has succumbed to injures he had sustained in an airstrike a
209th Shaheen Corps said in a statement that Qari Abdullah was main commander
of the Taliban in Khamab district of Jawzjan province.
statement further added that Qari Abdullah sustained injuries in airstrike in
Aqcha district a while ago.
Abdullah died of his wounds on Tuesday, the 209th Shaheen Corps said, adding
that he was involved in major terrorist related activities against the
civilians and security personnel in Jawzjan.
Doors are open to resuming talks with US
Taliban says its “doors are open” to resuming talks with the United States
following the collapse of negotiations between Washington and the Afghan
militant group earlier this month.
our side, our doors are open for negotiations,” Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai,
the chief Taliban negotiator, said on Wednesday.
insisted that negotiation remained “the only way for peace in Afghanistan.”
also defended the Taliban’s role in recent fighting across Afghanistan after US
President Donald Trump cited an attack that killed an American soldier as his
reason for calling off the negotiations earlier this month.
argued that the Americans had also admitted to killing thousands of Taliban
militants during the talks.
a draft accord that the two sides had agreed to before the talks were ceased,
thousands of US troops would have been pulled out over the next few months in
exchange for Taliban guarantees.
last week Trump revealed he had cancelled an unprecedented meeting between the
Taliban and himself secretly scheduled for Camp David.
at a memorial service marking the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Trump
said the two sides “had peace talks scheduled a few days ago” but upon learning
about the killing of “a great American soldier from Puerto Rico and 11 other
innocent people”, he had “called them off.”
Taliban, which now control or have influence in about half of Afghanistan’s
territory, have held several rounds of direct talks with US officials in the
Qatari capital Doha since October.
negotiations take place almost 18 years after the US invaded Afghanistan to
overthrow a ruling Taliban regime. US troops were first sent to Afghanistan
after the September 11 attacks.
20,000 foreign troops, most of them Americans, are currently deployed in
Afghanistan as part of a mission to purportedly train, assist, and advise
Afghan security forces.
gunmen hit government office in eastern Afghanistan
a separate development on Wednesday, a bomber and gunmen wounded at least nine
people, including a woman and a child, in an attack on a government building in
attackers detonated explosives before gunmen poured into the building in the
city of Jalalabad.
office is a distribution center for national identity cards, which people need
to vote in the upcoming presidential election in 10 days.
security forces surrounded the building and are clashing with the attackers in
a bid to counter the attack,” said Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the Nangarhar
Tuesday, a series of attacks left over two dozen people dead at a rally for
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the central province of Parwan. Twenty-two
people were also killed in a blast in Kabul just over an hour later.
violence is expected in the coming days as Afghans prepare for the election on
September 28, which the Taliban has promised to disrupt.
already warned people not to attend election rallies. If they suffer any losses
that is their own responsibility,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in
a statement released after Tuesday’s blasts.
body warns of looming food crisis in Rohingya camps
The world’s largest humanitarian organization on Wednesday made an urgent
appeal for donations to help plug a $40 million (SR150 million) shortfall in
funding to feed nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees.
stocks expected to run out within two months, the World Food Programme (WFP)
warned of an imminent food crisis in squalid camps at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh
unless donors released more funds soon.
Verhoosel, spokesman for the UN’s food-assistance arm, told journalists in
Geneva on Friday that it cost the organization about $16 million every month to
feed the Rohingya refugees.
UN’s Joint Response Plan (JRP) was launched earlier this year to raise $920
million for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. According to the financial
tracking system of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA), only 38 percent of the target had been raised so far this year.
of the funds released by donors, around 35.8 percent were used for food
security while 17.3 percent and 34.7 percent were allocated to health and
have two months’ worth of food in stock and have a funding shortfall of around
$40 million for the period of August to January,” Gemma Snowdon, WFP
spokeswoman at Cox’s Bazar, told Arab News.
JRP is only around one-third funded which means that the implementation of
programs will suffer this year. Funding is always a concern for aid
organizations, especially as we’re two years into this crisis,” she said.
WFP needs $24 million a month to sustain its operations in Cox’s Bazar which
includes $16 million to feed people. The organization also undertakes
engineering and disaster risk-reduction work at the camps and runs nutrition,
livelihoods and school feeding programs for the Rohingya refugees.
funding shortfall has also created concern among other aid agencies which have
been working on the ground there since August 2017.
the largest responder in all 34 camps, we have been working closely with the
Inter Sector Coordination Group and working in every area of humanitarian
assistance in the Rohingya camps. We will discuss the funding issues at the
next JRP meeting which will take place shortly,” said Sajedur Hasan, director
of BRAC, a Bangladeshi non-government organization.
has been working for the well-being of the Rohingya from the very beginning of
the refugee crisis, employing more than 2,000 staff to provide humanitarian
don’t have any contingency plan regarding the food support program,” Hasan
is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingya refugees at camps in Cox’s
Bazar, after a majority of them fled the Myanmar army from their Rakhine state
homeland in August 2017.
Build a New Sudan, Take It Off the U.S. Terror List
most useful thing President Donald Trump’s administration can do immediately
for Sudan is to take it off the State Department’s list of nations that sponsor
terrorism. That designation severely restricts the country’s access to
international aid, foreign investment and remittances, all critical to the
survival of the new civilian-led government and to hopes for a smooth
democratic transition in Khartoum.
the White House should be mindful of the mistakes made by the administrations
of Barack Obama and George W. Bush, which were too eager — and too credulous —
in de-listing Cuba and North Korea. And it should learn the lesson of the
American experience with Myanmar, where economic sanctions were removed too
has been a designated sponsor of terror since 1993, and its new foreign
minister, Asmaa Abdalla, has made it her top priority to get her country off
the list. She has Egypt’s support, a welcome sign of improved relations between
the long-squabbling neighbors. Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates, keen to invest in Sudan, would welcome the removal of any
most powerful argument for de-listing comes from Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok,
a former United Nations economist. He has promised to heal the economy, a
program he reckons will need $8 billion in foreign aid in the next two years
and another $2 billion deposited as reserves to boost the sagging Sudanese
on his promise is Hamdok’s best defense against revanchism by the Sudanese
military leadership, which agreed to a transitional government only under
international pressure. The popular uprising that toppled the long-time
military dictator Omar al-Bashir in April was fired as much by dissatisfaction
with the economy as by a hunger for political freedoms.
U.S. is not averse to de-listing Sudan: Indeed, Obama had begun the process at
the tail end of his presidency; and before the uprising caused it to hesitate,
the Trump administration had begun discussing de-listing as part of a
counter-terrorism agreement with Khartoum.
everyone is agreed, the de-listing of Sudan is a gimme, right? Not so fast.
recent history of the list is not promising. President Bush removed North Korea
in 2008, to save a nuclear deal that Pyongyang likely had no intention of
honoring. Two years later, the Obama administration was threatening
redesignation; Trump would follow through on that threat in 2017.
his part, Obama de-listed Cuba in 2015, as part of his resumption of diplomatic
relations. But Cuba’s failure to deliver on the promise — implied, if not
stated — of political reform, not to mention its support of deepening
repression in Venezuela, has recently prompted the Trump administration to
consider imposing sanctions afresh.
arguably the most cautionary of the cautionary tales in this regard is Myanmar,
which was never on the list of terrorism sponsors, but under stiff economic
sanctions during the long period of military dictatorship — not unlike Sudan’s.
In 2012, the Obama administration began to loosen the sanctions after the start
of a democratic transition — again, not unlike Sudan’s. In yet another
parallel, this was welcomed by Myanmar’s neighbors.
enough, investment and aid flowed. But the military retained considerable
power, and soon thereafter, in cahoots with the elected government, it
unleashed a campaign of terror against the long-suffering minority Rohingya
community that turned into a genocide that continues to this day. In an
embarrassing about-face, the U.S. was obliged to withdraw military assistance
to Myamnar, and the Trump administration has had to impose sanctions on the
to prevent that from happening in Sudan? Delisting cannot be a half measure:
Donors and investors will need a clear signal from Washington that it is safe
to back the new government. At the same time, the Trump administration needs to
keep a close eye on the generals, and ensure that they don’t change their minds
about the democratic process.
challenge for the U.S. is to make clear to Sudan’s top brass that any mischief
will be met with swift sanctions, on individual officers and anybody who does
business with them. (Punishing Myanmar’s generals might have an exemplary
effect.) If this means donors and investors are cautious about associating with
the military, that is no bad thing. Sudan’s economy will benefit from a more
vibrant private sector, its polity from more active nongovernmental
Haftar hit GNA-aligned forces fighting ISIS in Sirte
Haftar, the Libyan military commander, has pounded positions of ally forces of
the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in the city of Sirte formerly
controlled by the Islamic state group, ISIS.
three air raids were launched Friday, Libyan Express reports, adding that two
strikes hit the Sirte Protection Force’s personnel, killing at least two and
a military source from Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) told Sputnik Monday
that at least 32 people were killed and over 50 were severely injured in the
airstrikes on Sirte.
Sirte Protection Forces, SPF, believe some of the airstrikes were conducted by
SPF condemned the raids noting that they hindered its efforts in fighting ISIS
and its sleeper cells as well as Gaddafi loyalists willing to create chaos in
the coastal city.
SPF also laid into the alleged involvement of foreign drones in the raids as it
called on “all Libyans and international community to condemn the foreign
strikes on its forces”, Libya Express notes.
the High Council of State (HCS) has expressed deep concern over the airstrikes
targeting the Libyan Army forces, assigned to protect and secure the city of
foreign-operated airstrikes on Libyan territory, in support of the criminal
gangs led by war criminal Haftar, demonstrate his intention to expand the
circle of conflict and wars in Libya,” the HCS stated.
added that the targeting of the SPF, which serves as an effective barrier
against the threat of ISIS, shows the desire of these gangs, and the countries
behind them, to bring back terrorism to Sirte and the whole region.”
home to former leader Muammar Gaddafi, became from 2014 ISIS’s stronghold in
Africa. The GNA forces backed by US air forces regained the city in 2016.
latest incidents complicate further the Libyan crisis and UN efforts to unite
divided since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011, has been further cracked early this
year after Haftar launched a surprise campaign to capture Tripoli in an effort,
he claimed, to drive out terrorists and armed gangs.
al-Shabab militants killed in offensive in southern Somalia
Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Security forces in southern Somalia on Tuesday killed 13
al-Shabab fighters during an operation in the Lower Juba region, an official
said on Wednesday.
Nur Ibrahim Hussein, Jubbaland security forces spokesman told journalists that
the offensive was carried out by the Somali army and Jubbaland state forces in
many villages in Jamame town as the forces inflicted severe casualties on the
militants and drove them out of the town.
forces moved from Bar Sanguni area passing through many villages in Jamame and
the fiercest resistance from the militants happened in Koban village, but we
finally defeated the extremists killing 13 of them and burnt their vehicles and
recovered many weapons and ammunition," Hussein said.
of our soldiers sustained injuries during the operation in which we captured
many villages in Jamame including Koban," he added. Locals reported
witnessing intense clashes in the town.
forces entered Jamame town conducting operations and there was intense clashes
between the militants and the army that caused panic among the residents, but
the army is now in the town and al-Shabab fighters withdrew from it,"
Ahmed Awale, a local inhabitant told Xinhua through phone.
latest offensive came barely three days after Somali forces killed nine
al-Shabab militants in Qoryoley town in the southern region of Somalia.
regions of Somalia have been a theatre of clashes between al-Shabab extremists
and government army after the militants were chased out from the capital
Mogadishu in August 2011 by Amison forces and the Somali army.
presidential candidate Nabil Karoui to stay in jail
fresh appeal for the release of jailed media mogul Nabil Karoui who has reached
a runoff in Tunisia’s presidential polls was turned down on Wednesday, his
judge has refused to give a ruling, saying it was not in his jurisdiction,”
lawyer Kamel Ben Messoud said, after requesting his release the previous day.
will appeal,” he told AFP.
court did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.
a 56-year-old media magnate, is under investigation for alleged money
laundering and has been in pretrial detention since August 23.
Nazih Souii said it was the third time a judge had said the matter was beyond
court of appeals refused to pass judgement on September 3, as did the court of
cassation on September 13.
electoral commission, ISIE, has confirmed Karoui made it to the presidential
runoff along with law professor Kais Saied following Sunday’s first round vote.
remains eligible to run despite his imprisonment, as long as any conviction
does not also specifically deprive him of his civil rights, according to ISIE.
campaigned through the Nessma television channel he founded. ISIE has said it
is investigating alleged electoral violations, including by Nessma TV.
on potential appeals, the second round could be staged on October 6, the same
day as legislative elections, or on October 13, ISIE said.
from the European Union said the first round has been “transparent.”
it called for the candidates to have the “same opportunities” to campaign, in
an apparent allusion to Karoui.
army liberates 3 villages from al-Shabaab
army has liberated at least three villages from al-Shabaab militant group in
the country’s southwestern region of Bay on Wednesday, officials said.
Ali Mohamed, acting commander of the Somali military’s 154th battalion, told
media that Somali forces liberated Rahole, Biyo-dhale and Bandhub villages from
al-Shabaab after an operation against the group in the region.
our operation, we have killed several al-Shabaab militants and wounded several
others,” Mohamed added.
Mohamed Nour Shigshigow, the mayor of Dinsor town, said the operation will
continue until the Bay region is cleared of al-Shabaab militants.
operation came days after bomb explosion near a police station in Dinsor town,
which left at least five people dead and four others injured.
blast in Mogadishu kills 3, wounds 6
bomb blast killed at least three people, including civilians and soldiers, in
Somalia on Wednesday, officials confirmed.
explosion targeted a Somali lawmaker and a recently opened restaurant in the
capital Mogadishu, also leaving six others wounded, Mohamed Bulle, a police
officer in Mogadishu, told Anadolu Agency over the phone.
explosion was a car bomb attack that targeted multiple vehicles including the
vehicle of lower house MP Abdukadir Arabow and a restaurant,” Bulle said.
wounded were rushed to hospitals for treatment, the police officer said. Police
launched an investigation into the incident.
to local media, Arabow survived the attack, while his bodyguards were among the
sources also confirmed the casualties to Anadolu Agency over the phone.
linked group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the deadly blast.
children targeted by both Boko Haram and army
are being doubly victimised in northeast Nigeria’s decade-long insurgency,
according to a rights group, as they’re vulnerable to abduction by factions of
Islamic militant group Boko Haram, and also likely to be locked up afterwards
by the Nigerian military.
United Nations says more than 3,600 children, including 1,617 girls, were
detained between January 2013 and March 2019 under suspicion of being involved
with non-state armed groups. Tens of thousands of children are believed to have
been kidnapped by militants during this time.
Ewang, the Nigeria researcher for US-based Human Rights Watch, told The Irish
Times she recently interviewed 32 children who had spent time in Giwa Barracks,
an infamous prison near Maiduguri, in Borno State. They were all held for
suspected Boko Haram involvement and the youngest was just 10 years old.
described being beaten by soldiers after they were arrested or during
found that many children were detained after attacks on their village by Boko
Haram. When they fled with members of their community to seek safety, the
Nigerian security services arrested them as suspected Boko Haram members,” she
of them spoke about the suffering in detention, the conditions that they
described were appalling. When they spoke to us you could see it was very
difficult for them to remember their time in military detention. Children
described severe overcrowding with about 200-300 detainees in a small cell.
They said there was so little room for them at night to sleep they had to sleep
on their sides,” Ms Ewang said.
child interviewee described being crammed into a cell like “razorblades in a
of the 32 were imprisoned for more than one year, while some were detained for
more than three years. They weren’t allowed to contact family members while in
half of those who spoke to Human Rights Watch said they had seen the bodies of
other detainees who had succumbed to illness at Giwa Barracks.
experience affected the children badly, said Ms Ewang.
they’re struggling to go back to school, to start businesses and have a source
of income. They complain there is no support for them from the government,” Ms
Ewang said. Some are stigmatised afterwards and called “Boko Haram wives” by
others in camps for displaced people.
no legal process as far as we know. None of the children were ever brought
before any sort of judicial process.”
researcher said abductions are still continuing, though on a smaller scale than
previous years, and that there’s “no real way of knowing” the total number of
children that have been abducted during the conflict.
truth is in conflicts like this vulnerable groups suffer the most impact, and
in this case we’re seeing children doubly victimised by Boko Haram and then the
Nigerian army through these detentions. Children should be treated as victims
and not perpetrators, regardless of the context in which they’ve been
National Interreligious Mission Engages Muslim Leaders in Chicago
Sept. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- An AJC leadership delegation met with key Muslim
organizations and individuals in Chicago. The two-day visit was part of AJC's
national "listening tour" aimed at deepening engagement with American
Muslim community institutions and leaders.
and Muslims are natural allies in the United States to fight bigotry against
both groups and protect our shared democratic freedoms," said Ari Gordon,
AJC's U.S. Director of Muslim-Jewish Relations. "As Americans, we must
overcome mutual suspicion and work together for the common good of our
communities, our country and our world."
Chicago is home to approximately 10% of the American Muslim population. More
than 70 Islamic centers serve communities with diverse ethnic and national
AJC delegation held substantive encounters with leadership of prominent groups
in Chicago, including the Muslim Community Center, Muslim Education Center; The
Mosque Cares: Ministry of Imam W.D. Mohammed; the Nigerian Islamic Association;
and Suzy's Place, a domestic violence shelter founded by Muslims.
addressed included the joint fight against bigotry and hate crimes targeting
Muslims and Jews, identifying and combatting misperceptions of the other within
the respective communities, and navigating intercommunal challenges arising
from different understandings of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
and opportunities for Muslim-Jewish relations on campuses were discussed with
Muslim chaplains and institutional leaders supporting Muslim students and
interfaith relations in higher education.
addition, the AJC delegation's meeting with local Palestinian Americans opened
a conversation about barriers to achieving a just and secure peace between Israelis
and Palestinians and how to improve Palestinian-Jewish relations in the United
S. Baruch, Chair of AJC's Interreligious Affairs Commission, led the 13-member
group of AJC national and Chicago leaders who are involved with the leading global
Jewish advocacy organization's pathbreaking work in interreligious affairs.
AJC "listening tour," launched in March in Washington, DC, seeks to
inform AJC's national leadership on the most constructive approach to build
bridges and partner with American Muslims. The visits also aim to open channels
of communication to discuss the most difficult aspects of Muslim-Jewish
relations in a substantive, candid, and productive way. Chicago was the second
venue for the AJC tour.
relations is a top priority for AJC. Three years ago, AJC launched the
Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC) in partnership with the Islamic Society
of North America. MJAC is a bipartisan national civil society coalition that
advocates on issues of shared domestic concern to both Muslims and Jews. With
nine regional affiliates across the country, the MJAC network reaches hundreds
of Muslim and Jewish leaders, modeling effective intercommunal partnership
during a time of political polarization.
sees many options short of war with Iran as Pompeo backs Saudis' ‘right to
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday there were many options short of war
with Iran after US ally Saudi Arabia displayed remnants of drones and missiles
it said were used in a crippling attack on its oil sites that was
“unquestionably sponsored” by Tehran.
are many options. There’s the ultimate option and there are options that are a
lot less than that. And we’ll see,” Trump told reporters in Los Angeles. “I’m
saying the ultimate option meaning go in — war.”
said on Twitter that he had ordered the US Treasury to “substantially increase
sanctions” on Iran, which denies carrying out the attacks, and told reporters
the unspecified, punitive economic measures would be unveiled within 48 hours.
tweet followed repeated US assertions that the Islamic Republic was behind
Saturday’s attacks and came hours after Saudi Arabia said the strike was a
“test of global will”.
president struck a cautious note as his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on
Thursday, during a visit to Saudi Arabia, described the attacks as “an act of
war” on the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, and said America backs
Saudi Arabia’s “right to defend itself”.
which has denied involvement in the attack, warned the US it will retaliate
immediately if it is targeted.
attacks have reignited fears over a wider conflagration in the region, as
tensions remain high over Iran’s collapsing nuclear deal with world powers.
comments on Twitter came after meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman, the kingdom’s defense minister. The Saudis on Wednesday displayed
missile and drone wreckage and cited other evidence they alleged shows the raid
was “unquestionably sponsored by Iran”.
called the attacks “unprecedented”. “The Iranian regime’s threatening behavior
will not be tolerated.”
was to next visit the United Arab Emirates to meet with Abu Dhabi’s powerful
crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The UAE is a close ally of
Saudi Arabia and joined the kingdom in its war in Yemen against the Houthis.
UAE announced on Thursday it had joined a US-led coalition to protect waterways
across the Mideast after an attack on Saudi oil installations.
state-run WAM news agency quoted Salem al-Zaabi of the Emirati Foreign Ministry
as saying the UAE joined the coalition to “ensure global energy security and
the continued flow of energy supplies to the global economy”.
Arabia joined the coalition on Wednesday. Australia, Bahrain and the United
Kingdom also are taking part.
US formed the coalition after attacks on oil tankers that American officials
blame on Iran, as well as Iran’s seizure of tankers in the region. Iran denies
being behind the tanker explosions, though the attacks came after Tehran
threatened to stop oil exports from the Persian Gulf.
Islamist leader meets State Department high official on Kashmir issue
American Islamist delegation that included a supporter of Jamaat-e-Islami
Pakistan, a group that directly supports Kashmiri terrorists, met last week
with a senior State Department official, the Pakistani news website Dawn.com
of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) met with Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State for Pakistan Affairs Ervin Massinga, a Sept. 6 tweet from
the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs shows. The
delegation included Zahid Bukhari, executive director of the Islamic Circle of
North America (ICNA)’s Council for Social Justice; Nihad Awad, executive
director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR); Osama Abu
Irshaid, executive director of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP); and USCMO
Secretary General Oussama Jammal.
decision last month to end the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir’s special
status has heightened tensions with Pakistan. Pakistan’s Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI) agency has helped foment terrorist activity in the region
for decades. Pakistan and India fought a series of wars over the territory
since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.
Islamists rallied behind Pakistan since India announced the change in Kashmir’s
a rabidly anti-Israel group, tried to compare the Jammu and Kashmir issue to
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Article 370 has turned India from administrator to fully-fledged colonizer,
following, in many ways, Israel’s methods,” AMP wrote.
and its chapters also protested India’s decision.
Department officials told the USCMO delegation that the U.S. hopes to see
direct talks between India and Pakistan.
posts on Bukhari’s Facebook page show his support for Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan.
ul-Mujahideen, a terrorist group that has waged a jihadist struggle against
India in Kashmir since 1989, has a close relationship with Jamaat-e-Islami
Pakistan. The Canadian Revenue Agency called this group the armed wing of
Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. Hizb ul-Mujahideen was founded by a Jamaat-e-Islami
member and evidence suggests a close financial relationship with the terrorist
death squads killed thousands of civilians during Bangladesh’s 1971 War of
Independence from Pakistan. A Bangladeshi war crimes tribunal convicted former
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Secretary General Ashrafuzzaman Khan in
2013 on 11 counts of kidnapping and murder of 18 intellectuals in the War of
has historic ties to Jamaat-e-Islami, which aims to create an Islamic society.
ICNA’s 1994 Charter and By-Laws, which bears Bukhari’s imprint, states that
Islam should be “sincerely and exclusively implemented in all aspects of human
life” through “democratic, legal and peaceful means.”
has offered a similar vision.
are to prove our claim that Islam is the only answer and the only solution for
all socioeconomic, political and cultural problems,” Bukhari said in the July
1992 issue of ICNA’s monthly periodical The Message International.
spies and spies and spies on US
we go again! Israel is caught red handed spying against the United States and
everyone in Congress is silent, as are nearly all the mainstream media which
failed to report the story. And the federal government itself, quick to
persecute a Russian woman who tried to join the NRA, concedes that the White
House and Justice Department have done absolutely nothing to either rebuke or
punish the Israeli perpetrators. One senior intelligence official commented
that “I’m not aware of any accountability at all.”
President Donald Trump, predictably, had something so say in his usual
personalized fashion, which was that the report was “hard to believe,” that “I
don’t think the Israelis were spying on us. My relationship with Israel has
been great…Anything is possible but I don’t believe it.”
the placement of technical surveillance devices by Israel was clearly intended
to target cellphone communications to and from the Trump White House. As the
president frequently chats with top aides and friends on non-secure phones, the
operation sought to pick up conversations involving Trump with the expectation
that the security-averse president would say things off the record that might
be considered top secret.
Politico report, which is sourced to top intelligence and security officials,
details how “miniature surveillance devices” referred to as “Stingrays” imitate
regular cell phone towers to fool phones being used nearby into providing
information on their locations and identities. According to the article, the
devices are referred to by technicians as “international mobile subscriber
identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls
and data use.”
one year ago, government security agencies discovered the electronic footprints
that indicated the presence of the surveillance devices around Washington
including near the White House. Forensic analysis involved dismantling the
devices to let them “tell you a little about their history, where the parts and
pieces come from, how old are they, who had access to them, and that will help
get you to what the origins are.” One source observed afterwards that “It was
pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible.”
Israeli Embassy denied any involvement in the espionage and Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu adroitly and predictably lied regarding the report, saying
“We have a directive, I have a directive: No intelligence work in the United
States, no spies. And it’s vigorously implemented, without any exception. It is
a complete fabrication, a complete fabrication.”
Israelis are characteristically extremely aggressive in their intelligence gathering
operations, particularly in targeting the United States, even though Trump has
done the Netanyahu government many favors. These have included moving the US
Embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds, withdrawing from the nuclear deal and sanctioning
Iran, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and looking the
other way as Israel expands its settlements and regularly bombs Syria and
high-risk spying is legendary, but the notion that it is particularly good at
it is, like everything having to do with Israel, much overrated. Mossad has
been caught in flagrante numerous times. In 2010, an undercover Mossad hit team
was caught on 30 minutes of surveillance video as it wandered through a luxury
Dubai hotel where it had gone to kill a leading Hamas official. And the notion
that Mossad and CIA work hand-in-hand is also a fiction. Working level Agency
officers dislike their reckless Mossad counterparts. Newsweek magazine’s “Spy
Talk” once cited a poll of CIA officers that ranked Israel “dead last” among
friendly countries in actual intelligence cooperation with Washington.
fact is that Israel conducts espionage and influence operations against the
United States more aggressively than any other “friendly” country, including
tapping White House phones used by Bill Clinton to speak with Monica Lewinski.
Israeli “experts” regularly provide alarmist and inaccurate private briefings
for American Senators on Capitol Hill. Israel also constantly manufactures
pretexts to draw the US into new conflicts in the Middle East, starting with
the Lavon Affair in Alexandria Egypt in 1954 and including the false flag
attack on the USS. Liberty in 1967. In short, Israel has no reluctance to use
its enormous political and media clout in the US to pressure successive
administrations to conform to its own foreign and security policy views.
persistent spying, no matter what Netanyahu claims, is a very good reason why
Israel should not receive billions of dollars in military assistance annually.
Starting in 1957, Israel’s friends stole enriched uranium from a Pennsylvania
refinery to create a nuclear arsenal. More recently we have learned how Arnon
Milchan, a Hollywood producer/billionaire born in Israel, arranged the illegal
purchase of 800 krytron triggers to use in the production of nuclear weapons.
The operation also involved current Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
existence of a large scale Israeli spying effort at the time of 9/11 has been
widely reported, incorporating Israeli companies in New Jersey and Florida as
well as hundreds of “art students” nationwide. Five “dancing” Israelis from one
of the companies were observed celebrating against the backdrop of the twin
towers going down.
it is often observed that everyone spies on everyone else, espionage is a
high-risk business, particularly when spying on friends. Israel, relying on
Washington for billions of dollars and also for political cover in
international fora like the United Nations, does not spy discreetly, largely
because it knows that few in Washington will seek to hold it accountable. There
were, for example, no consequences for the Israelis when Israeli Mossad
intelligence officers using US passports and pretending to be Americans
recruited terrorists to carry out attacks inside Iran. Israelis using US
passports in that fashion put every American traveler at risk.
where government and business work hand in hand, has obtained significant
advantage by systematically stealing American technology with both military and
civilian applications. The US developed technology is then reverse engineered
and used by the Israelis to support their own exports. Sometimes, when the
technology is military in nature and winds up in the hands of an adversary, the
consequences can be serious. Israel has sold advanced weapons systems to China
that incorporate technology developed by American companies.
reality of Israeli large-scale spying in the United States is indisputable. One
might cite Jonathan Pollard, who stole more highly classified information than
any spy in history. And then there were Ben-Ami Kadish, Stuart Nozette and
Larry Franklin, other spies for Israel who have been caught and tried, but they
are only the tip of the iceberg. Israel always features prominently in the
annual FBI report called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial
Espionage.” The 2005 report states “Israel has an active program to gather
proprietary information within the United States. These collection activities
are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and
advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel’s sizable armaments
industry.” It adds that Israel recruits spies, uses electronic methods, and
carries out computer intrusion to gain the information.
1996 Defense Investigative Service report noted that Israel has great success
stealing technology by exploiting the numerous co-production projects that it
has with the Pentagon. It says “Placing Israeli nationals in key industries …is
a technique utilized with great success.” A General Accounting Office (GAO)
examination of espionage directed against American defense and security
industries described how Israeli citizens residing in the US had stolen
sensitive technology to manufacture artillery gun tubes, obtained classified
plans for reconnaissance systems, and passed sensitive aerospace designs to
GAO has concluded that Israel “conducts the most aggressive espionage operation
against the United States of any US ally.” In June 2006, a Pentagon administrative
judge ruled against a difficult to even imagine appeal by an Israeli denied a
security clearance, saying that “The Israeli government is actively engaged in
military and industrial espionage in the United States.” FBI counter
intelligence officer John Cole has also reported how many cases of Israeli
espionage are dropped under orders from the Justice Department., making
Israel’s spying consequence free. He provides a “conservative estimate” of 125
viable investigations into Israeli espionage involving both American citizens
and Israelis that were stopped due to political pressure.
did Israel really spy on Donald Trump? Sure it did. And Netanyahu is,
metaphorically speaking, thumbing his nose at the American president and asking
with a grin, “What are you going to do about it?”
Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence
officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and
Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was
one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001.
library drops event co-hosted by Saudi crown prince
New York Public Library said Wednesday it is cancelling an event co-hosted by
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s charity organization amid public
opposition ahead of the anniversary of the murder of journalist Jamal
Chesler, chairman of the library’s board of trustees, said that canceling the
workshop was the “appropriate thing to do” following weeks of protests and an
online petition that had gathered thousands of signatures.
a statement, the library described “public concern” around the Sept. 23 event,
the so-called Misk-OSGEY Youth Forum, which was being co-hosted by bin Salman’s
Misk Foundation and the UN’s youth envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake.
argued that the UN and the library should not cooperate with bin Salman, saying
it served to whitewash his reputation after a string of human rights violations
including Khashoggi’s murder.
Nossel, CEO of rights group PEN America, said the library had made the “right
choice”, saying bin Salman’s government had “orchestrated the murder and
dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”
library is the crown jewel of the literary community in New York and indeed the
nation. But it’s also an institution that stands for the free exchange of ideas
and free expression, qualities that the crown prince has repeatedly disdained
in both words and actions,” said Nossel.
Elrowmeim, from the protest group Action Corps, also praised the decision to
scrap the event and urged “other institutions of democracy and freedom to do
bin Salman can try to whitewash his crimes against humanity, but we will not
let him wipe his bloody hands on our flag,” said Elrowmeim.
a U.S.-based journalist who frequently criticized the Saudi government, was killed
and dismembered on Oct. 2 last year after visiting the Saudi consulate in
Istanbul, Turkey, where he was making arrangements for his planned wedding.
CIA assessed that bin Salman had ordered Khashoggi’s murder. U.N. expert Agnes
Callamard has described the death as a “premeditated execution” and called for
bin Salman and other high-ranking Saudis to be investigated.
in Riyadh, who initially said Khashoggi had left the premises unharmed, now say
the journalist was killed in a rogue operation that did not involve bin Salman.
Activists have called for accountability in Khashoggi’s death.
accuses US of hindering peace process in Syria
Ministry of Defense on Wednesday accused the U.S. of escalating the situation
in Syria to justify its presence in the country.
U.S. and its allies are indifferent to the fate of ordinary Syrians. The Americans
need hotbeds of tension in Syria only to justify their illegal presence on the
territory of a sovereign state and to satisfy their geopolitical ambitions by
any means," Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia's National Defense
Management Center, told reporters in Moscow.
slammed the U.S. actions in Syria, saying that only complete withdrawal of the
U.S. troops will help stabilize the situation in the country.
U.S. presence only exacerbates the criminal situation and prevents the
restoration of peaceful life in the country," he added.
said the U.S. liberation of Raqqa resulted in total destruction of once
has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar
al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected
then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million
others displaced, according to UN officials.
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