New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 04:19 PM

Islamic World News ( 23 Oct 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

'American Muslims Are Ahead Of Those in Europe by 100 Years': Speaker at WAMY


















Qayyarah police announced on Tuesday, that the joint security forces liberate 80% of the areas south of Mosul

 

Wear Purple on Friday, Islamic Centre of America Asks Its Worshipers to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence

Saudi Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir Executed for Murder

Bangladesh Jamaat-i-Islami Elects New Leader after Executions

Intelligence Agency Warns Of ISIL Attacks in Five Turkish Provinces

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North America

'American Muslims Are Ahead Of Those in Europe by 100 Years': Speaker at WAMY

Wear purple on Friday, Islamic Centre of America asks its worshipers

U.S. Sends Yet another Warning to Pak to Go After Terrorism on Its Own Soil

Mosque vandalism continues in Canada, Islamic centre attacked twice in a week

French Far-Right Politician Wants Kippah Ban to Fight Islamic Extremism

Catholic Church in US sold to Muslim group to clear debts

Thanks To Donald Trump, Muslims Are More Fearful Now Than After 9/11 

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Arab World

Saudi Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir Executed for Murder

Iraqi Security Forces Liberate 80% of Areas South of Mosul

Mass Grave with Bodies of 80 ISIL Militants Discovered in Iraq's Heet

Iran Calls for All Sides' Commitment to Yemen Ceasefire

Several Terrorist Commanders Killed in Syrian Airstrikes in Hama

Over 1,000 Militants Give up Fight in Western Ghouta

Russian Air Force Builds New Runway in Homs as ISIL Terrorists Flee Iraq to Syria

Fatah Al-Sham's Main Command Centre in Dara'a Targeted in Syrian Army Attacks

US-Led Coalition Jets Target Hassadjek Village in Aleppo, Killing 6 People

Terrorists Attacks on Western Aleppo Kills 3, Injures 27 amid Humanitarian Pause

Russia: Fatah Al-Sham to Face 'Dire Consequences' If Not Leave Aleppo

Russian President, Iraqi PM Discuss Mosul Offensive on Phone

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South Asia

Bangladesh Jamaat-i-Islami Elects New Leader after Executions

Taliban Reject Reports Of Secret Talks With Afghanistan

Taliban demanded prisoners release, blacklist removal in Qatar talk

Provincial council member sentenced to death for kidnappings, murder

Hundreds pick arms in support of Dostum in Jawzjan after Taliban ambush

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Mideast

Intelligence Agency Warns Of ISIL Attacks in Five Turkish Provinces

Israel Angered As Unesco Adopts Jerusalem Resolution

Turkish police kill ISIL suicide bomber

US defence chief to visit Turkey over consensus for Mosul offensive

Turkey’s former interior minister claims FETÖ, PKK are meeting in northern Iraq

Turkey joins coalition for Mosul operation

CHP questions gov’t role in preparing coup conditions

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India

Terrorist Hideouts Busted in J&K's Baramulla; China, Pak flags, letterheads of LeT, JeM

Recovered, 44 Held

Country Not Discussing Uniform Civil Code, Says Union Minister Naidu

RSS Muslim Wing to Discuss Triple Talaq, UCC Next Month

Muslims Stage 'Morcha' In Maharashtra for Reservations

Notice to Justice Katju on petition against his comments on beef

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Africa

18 New Armed Groups Spring Up in Nigeria

Boko Haram Overruns Nigerian Military Base in Northeast

Afriland First Bank, ICD in deal to create Islamic window

Buhari's row with wife Aisha, signals frustration over Nigerian inertia

Welcome to limbo: Somaliland, country that never was

Nigeria will overcome security challenges soon-Sultan

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Europe

Islamist Violence Will Steer Europe’s Destiny

Germany and EU Talk Tough on Returning 'IS' Fighters

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Pakistan

Centre Still Encroaching On Provincial Subjects Despite 18th Amendment, Says Baloch

Pakistan Arrests Two for Spreading Islamic State Propaganda

43 militants of banned group surrender

Imran thunders at Nawaz, declares PML-N party polls a mockery

Sharif criticises PTI after re-elected as PML-N President

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Southeast Asia

Malaysia on Alert as Mosul Offensive Stokes Fears of Militant Influx

Myanmar’s Rohingya Conflict: Foreign Jihadi Brewing – Analysis

Brunei enlisted to boost credibility of PHL’s Halal certification system

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/-american-muslims-are-ahead-of-those-in-europe-by-100-years---speaker-at-wamy/d/108894

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'American Muslims Are Ahead Of Those in Europe by 100 Years': Speaker at WAMY

Wednesday 19 October 2016

LONDON - “I am a survivor of 9/11,” says world-renowned film maker and speaker on Islam, Fadel Soliman. On the morning of 11 September 2001, Soliman was representing the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) at the UN and was due to attend a conference for NGOs in the Department of Public Information (DPI) being held in Manhattan on that day.

“That morning, I had three hours before I needed to be at my conference, so I decided to do a bit of sightseeing. At 8am on the 11th of September I was trying to stop a taxi to take me and two colleagues to the World Trade Centre. No taxi stopped for half an hour.” Later Soliman found out that the first attack on the Twin Towers took place at 8.45am.

“I was quite frustrated at the time, not realising that God was saving our lives. That moment was a turning point for me. I learned how to be content. We do not know what is good for us, nor what is bad, we can only accept. That is contentment, and it’s a more stable feeling than happiness. This acceptance is belief in fate and destiny, put simply.”

In 2001, Soliman had travelled to the US where he was introduced to Dawah, an Arabic term meaning "inviting people to learn about Islam". Soliman was inspired by the work of some of the best contributors to Islamic knowledge in America, in particular, Dr Jamal Badawi and Yusuf Estes, and subsequently began his Islamic awareness activities in the US.

He spoke on TV shows, National Public Radio, addressed non-Muslims in churches and universities and within a year, became the host of TV programmeThe Islamic Show  as well as a weekly radio show called Let the Quran Speak, both based in Washington. Not long afterwards, Soliman became the Muslim chaplain of the American University in Washington DC.

Soliman is known worldwide for his work in promoting an accurate understanding of Islam and refuting its misconceptions. Through his organisation The Bridges Foundation Soliman has been able to present Islam to more than 65,000 people in 25 different countries by working with religious bodies, educational institutions and governmental departments. Soliman has spoken in many churches and colleges - including Hong Kong, Colombo, Trumso and Oslo universities.

Full report at:middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/fadel-soliman-challenging-misconceptions-islam-Egypt-9/11-Muslim-Extremism-55112745

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Wear Purple on Friday, Islamic Centre of America Asks Its Worshipers to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence

October 18, 2016

The Islamic Centre of America is asking worshipers to wear purple during Friday prayers this week and share pictures of themselves on social media to raise awareness of domestic violence.

The campaign is one of several events the mosque has held around the topic, said Kassem Allie, executive administrator of the center.

"We've done a number of workshops and different awareness events. ... Really, it's to inform the public and offer resources to those who, perhaps, know of someone in a domestic violence situation, and to really kind of remove the stigma from domestic violence and allow people to bring it out in the open," Allie said.

Worshipers are encouraged to wear a purple hijab, a head covering worn by some Muslim women, and a purple kufi, a brimless hat worn by some Muslim men, and share their pictures on social media with the tag "#ICAGoesPurple." The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the center, 19500 Ford Road in Dearborn.

The campaign is being organized in conjunction with ACCESS, a Dearborn-based social services organization.

Source: freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2016/10/18/islamic-center-purple/92369698/

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Saudi Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir Executed for Murder

October 19, 2016

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia today executed a member of the royal family for murder, in a rare case involving one of the thousands of members of the House of Saud.

Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir was put to death in the capital Riyadh for shooting dead Adel al-Mahemid, a Saudi, during a brawl, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Kabir was the 134th local or foreigner put to death this year, according to an AFP tally of ministry statements.

The Arab News reported in November 2014 that a court in Riyadh sentenced an unnamed prince to death for killing his friend.

He lost his life and another person was injured in an exchange of gunfire following a dispute at a camp on the edge of Riyadh in December 2012, the newspaper said.

Desert camps are popular gathering places for Saudis.

When the killer realised that his victim was a friend and colleague, he informed the police, the Arab News said.

The sentence reflected the kingdom’s “fair justice system,” Arab News quoted the victim’s uncle Abdul Rahman al-Falaj as saying.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

Saudi Arabia has a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Amnesty International says the kingdom carried out at least 158 death sentences in 2015, making it the third most prolific executioner after Iran and Pakistan.

Amnesty’s figures do not include secretive China.

Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions, although 47 people were put to death for “terrorism” on a single day in January.

Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom but the government says the death penalty is a deterrent.

Source: siasat.com/news/saudi-prince-executed-murder-1044436/

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Bangladesh Jamaat-i-Islami Elects New Leader after Executions

October 19, 2016

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi Islamist party allied to the opposition has elected a new chief untainted by war crime allegations, seeking to turn the page after the execution of several of its top leaders.

Jamaat-i-Islami said in a statement late on Monday it had sworn in former school teacher Maqbul Ahmed as its leader after a secret ballot of party members.

Ahmed takes over from Motiur Rahman Nizami, who was hanged in May after a controversial tribunal convicted him of murder during the country’s 1971 war of independence with Pakistan.

Four other top leaders, including the party’s secretary general, its two joint secretaries and its main financier, have been executed since 2013 following trials that rights groups have condemned as unfair.

They were tried by the same war crimes tribunal set up by the secular government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which said Jamaat leaders had to be prosecuted to heal the wounds of the war.

Sources close to Jamaat said Ahmed, believed to be in his early seventies, had been chosen from a panel of three senior party officials who had not been tainted by war crimes.

In his debut speech he paid tribute to Hasina’s father, who led the war of independence against Pakistan, in a sign the party is looking to break from its past policies.

“He is an experienced leader and a very good organiser,” said Abul Asad, the editor of the pro-Jamaat Bengali daily Sangram.

“He has said he wants to forget the pains and sorrows of the past and wants to look forward.”

Jamaat, Bangla­desh’s largest Islamist party, was barred from contesting the 2014 general election, effectively disenfranchising millions of its supporters.

The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party — allied to Jamaat — subsequently boycotted the polls, which became a one-horse race held against a backdrop of violent protests.

Many observers believe the lack of genuine democracy in the country has contributed to a recent upsurge in Islamist violence, including a deadly siege at an upmarket Dhaka cafe in July.

Jamaat opposed Bangla­desh’s independence from Pakistan, but denies its leaders were involved in genocide, murders and rapes during the nine-month long conflict.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290870/bangladesh-ji-elects-new-leader-after-executions

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Intelligence agency warns of ISIL attacks in five Turkish provinces

October 19, 2016

The National Intelligence Agency (MİT) has issued warnings against imminent attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in five Turkish provinces.

MİT sent a warning to all 81 provinces of Turkey, saying jihadists could launch attacks in Istanbul, the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Ankara, the southern province of Antalya and the western province of İzmir.

According to the MİT report, public transport is among ISIL militants’ targets, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Oct. 18. The warning dated Oct. 12 and coded “urgent” said the aforementioned five provinces were among the high-risk areas.

In the report, the intelligence agency warned the militants could perpetrate an attack on the Eurasia Tunnel, a roadway tunnel that will connect Istanbul’s European and Asian sides that is scheduled to open in December.

“The organization is seeking an attack targeting the Turkish aviation sector. Intelligence information was received on militants planning to sneak explosives or sharp objects such as knives and razors onto airplanes hidden inside electronic devices,” the notice sent to the police read. “The danger of attacks has increased in the recent days.”

Metros, buses, bridges, airports, bus terminals and sea transport were listed among the ISIL targets in the notice.

Three police officers were killed and eight others were wounded on Oct. 16 in an explosion that occurred when a suspected ISIL militant detonated himself during a house raid in Gaziantep’s Şahinbey district, while another suspect also detonated himself during a separate operation in the province.

The raid came after the Gaziantep police received information about a cell that was suspected of plotting a suicide bomb attack on an Alevi cultural association center in the city. Arriving at the Güneykent neighborhood of Şahinbey and closing the entrances and exits to the area, police entered the cell house. After seeing the police, a militant inside the house reportedly detonated himself.

Meanwhile, authorities in Ankara have banned public meetings and marches until the end of November after receiving intelligence that militants were planning attacks in the city, which has been targeted with bombings over the past year.

The ruling announced by the Ankara Governor’s Office came as Turkey continued to conduct an almost a two-month-old military operation in Syria supporting rebels to push ISIL militants away from its southern border.

ISIL and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants have previously conducted attacks in the capital. This month, two suspected PKK militants believed to be planning a car bomb attack blew themselves up in a standoff with the police in Ankara.

“Based on intelligence received by our governor’s office, it has gathered that illegal terror groups are aiming to carry out attacks in our province and have made some preparations,” the governor’s office said in a statement on its website.

The statement said there were fears that public meetings and protests in the Ankara were being targeted by militants.

The ban was set to remain in place until Nov. 30 under a state of emergency decree law, which was imposed after the failed coup attempt of July 15, believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

Last year, over 100 people were killed in an ISIL suicide bomb attack that targeted a peace and labor rally.

PKK militants were blamed in March for a car bomb which exploded in a transport hub in Ankara, killing at least 34 people in the second such attack in under a month.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/intelligence-agency-warns-of-isil-attacks-in-five-turkish-provinces.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105065&NewsCatID=341

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North America

'American Muslims Are Ahead Of Those in Europe by 100 Years': Speaker at WAMY

Wednesday 19 October 2016

LONDON - “I am a survivor of 9/11,” says world-renowned film maker and speaker on Islam, Fadel Soliman. On the morning of 11 September 2001, Soliman was representing the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) at the UN and was due to attend a conference for NGOs in the Department of Public Information (DPI) being held in Manhattan on that day.

“That morning, I had three hours before I needed to be at my conference, so I decided to do a bit of sightseeing. At 8am on the 11th of September I was trying to stop a taxi to take me and two colleagues to the World Trade Centre. No taxi stopped for half an hour.” Later Soliman found out that the first attack on the Twin Towers took place at 8.45am.

“I was quite frustrated at the time, not realising that God was saving our lives. That moment was a turning point for me. I learned how to be content. We do not know what is good for us, nor what is bad, we can only accept. That is contentment, and it’s a more stable feeling than happiness. This acceptance is belief in fate and destiny, put simply.”

In 2001, Soliman had travelled to the US where he was introduced to Dawah, an Arabic term meaning "inviting people to learn about Islam". Soliman was inspired by the work of some of the best contributors to Islamic knowledge in America, in particular, Dr Jamal Badawi and Yusuf Estes, and subsequently began his Islamic awareness activities in the US.

He spoke on TV shows, National Public Radio, addressed non-Muslims in churches and universities and within a year, became the host of TV programmeThe Islamic Show  as well as a weekly radio show called Let the Quran Speak, both based in Washington. Not long afterwards, Soliman became the Muslim chaplain of the American University in Washington DC.

Soliman is known worldwide for his work in promoting an accurate understanding of Islam and refuting its misconceptions. Through his organisation The Bridges Foundation Soliman has been able to present Islam to more than 65,000 people in 25 different countries by working with religious bodies, educational institutions and governmental departments. Soliman has spoken in many churches and colleges - including Hong Kong, Colombo, Trumso and Oslo universities.

Full report at:middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/fadel-soliman-challenging-misconceptions-islam-Egypt-9/11-Muslim-Extremism-55112745

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Wear Purple on Friday, Islamic Centre of America Asks Its Worshipers to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence

October 18, 2016

The Islamic Centre of America is asking worshipers to wear purple during Friday prayers this week and share pictures of themselves on social media to raise awareness of domestic violence.

The campaign is one of several events the mosque has held around the topic, said Kassem Allie, executive administrator of the center.

"We've done a number of workshops and different awareness events. ... Really, it's to inform the public and offer resources to those who, perhaps, know of someone in a domestic violence situation, and to really kind of remove the stigma from domestic violence and allow people to bring it out in the open," Allie said.

Worshipers are encouraged to wear a purple hijab, a head covering worn by some Muslim women, and a purple kufi, a brimless hat worn by some Muslim men, and share their pictures on social media with the tag "#ICAGoesPurple." The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the center, 19500 Ford Road in Dearborn.

The campaign is being organized in conjunction with ACCESS, a Dearborn-based social services organization.

Source: freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2016/10/18/islamic-center-purple/92369698/

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U.S. sends yet another warning to Pak to go after terrorism on its own soil

October 19, 2016

Washington D.C.,[US]: In yet another stern warning to Pakistan, the United States has asserted that it is working very hard to push Islamabad to go terrorist groups that seek safe haven on their soil and territory.

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said in a press conference that another goal of the U.S. is to push for more between Pakistan and India, which will help reduce tensions in the region

“We’re always working hard to push Pakistan to go after those terrorist groups that seek safe haven on their soil and territory, rather. And we’re pushing for more dialogue between Pakistan and India, which we believe will help reduce tensions in the region,” he said.

Lauding India’s ‘supportive’ role with regard to Afghanistan and support for the Afghan Government, Toner added that the U.S. aims to continue to support the Afghan military as it steps up its fight against the Taliban and to support the Afghan Government as it pushes much-needed reforms in the economy and the democratic system

“But whenever you look at any situation like you have, any conflict like you have, in Afghanistan, certainly there’s a range of different regional dynamics that play into it. And then ultimately, as we’ve said, we do support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process,” the spokesperson added.

Source: siasat.com/news/u-s-sends-yet-another-warning-pak-go-terrorism-soil-1044574/

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Mosque vandalism continues in Canada, Islamic center attacked twice in a week

OCT 18, 2016

A mosque in the city of Calgary in Canada has been attacked once again, for the second time in a week. The glass on the front door of the Ranchlands Mosque in northwest Calgary was smashed, officials from the Islamic Association of NW Calgary (IANWC) discovered on Saturday morning.

IANWC chairman Dr. Abdul Rahman said, "We live in peace in this neighborhood and we have respect for all our neighbors, we have not faced any negativity for this incident."

Beenish Khurshid stated that it was "disappointing" to see the damage at the mosque, but says she is not afraid. "It was a little bit hurtful to see your place of worship damaged," Khurshid added. The southeast Calgary Islamic center in Queensland, Canada became a target of vandalism last week, revealing a growing number of potential anti-Muslim crimes in the country.

The Islamic center's window was reportedly smashed, and the attackers left a burnt copy of the Quran and a hateful letter. "Vandalizing anybody's place of worship, to me, is a despicable way to act," the head of the southeast Calgary Islamic Center Cuneyd Mahoon said. "Anybody who does that, in any name, including hate or Islamophobia, we should oppose and discourage that."

"As Muslims, we are taught in Islam to love our neighbors, work with our neighbors, be part of their grief and happiness. In that spirit I would like to say we forgive the perpetrator, whoever did this, broke the glass and burned the Quran, and we offer our peace, love and harmony to him," he added.

The latest Islamophobic attack came after anti-Muslim posters were posted across the University of Calgary campus, as CBC news reported. Students, faculty and administrators gathered at the University of Calgary to condemn anti-Muslim posters that were plastered around the campus overnight. About 40 posters were discovered in various locations by morning, and the university was asking people to turn in any others that are found to campus security. A fire was deliberately set at the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association's mosque in Peterborough, Ontario in 2015.

Islamophobia and racism exist and they are increasing in Canada's most populous places. The two incidents this week are the latest in a series of attacks on Muslims in Alberta.

The increase in anti-Muslim sentiments emerged after the Paris attacks, not only in Canada, but in many countries in the United States and Europe. Several European countries have witnessed a spike in Islamophobia and anti-migrant sentiment, especially after receiving an unprecedented influx of refugees, who are mostly Syrians fleeing war and violence. Europe's populist-right also rushed to demand an end to the influx of refugees from the Middle East in the wake of the attacks.

Source: dailysabah.com/americas/2016/10/19/mosque-vandalism-continues-in-canada-islamic-center-attacked-twice-in-a-week

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French far-right politician wants kippah ban to fight Islamic extremism

Wed, 19 Oct 2016

The leader of the far-right French National Front party, Marine Le Pen, said that if elected France's new president next year, she would push for a ban of all displays of religious symbols and clothing in public, including Jewish ones.

In an interview on Sunday with the TV station BFM, Le Pen said she was seeking to extend an existing law banning displays of religious symbols in public schools to include all public areas.

She called the ban a struggle against radical Islam, but added that Jewish and Christian symbols would have to be included in the ban in the name of equality and the “national interest.”

“I know it is a sacrifice but I think the situation is terrible these days…I know that every French person, including Jews can understand that if we ask for this sacrifice from them [in the framework] of the battle against the advance of Islamic extremism, they will make this effort and understand it,” Le Pen said.

The FN leader stated that she would like all conspicuous religious symbols from all public spaces to "confront the rise in power and extremely strong pressure of political Islam that uses women and the veil to advance their propositions."

When her host sought to clearly define what constituted a "conspicuous" symbol, Le Pen pointed out that "tThe Catholic religion doesn't have conspicuous symbols" worn by its adherents. She continued that it was perhaps because Catholicism had "invented secularism," a cherished ideal of the French Republic.

Marine Le Pen, whose father Jean-Marie Le Pen founded the FN in the 1970s, made a similar call already in 2012.

France has the largest Jewish community in Europe and the third largest in the world.

Source: worldjewishcongress.org/en/news/french-far-right-politician-wants-kippah-ban-to-fight-islamic-extremism-10-3-2016

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Catholic Church in US sold to Muslim group to clear debts

Oct 19, 2016

The Immaculate Conception BVM Church, situated in Bristol township in Bucks county, was sold for USD 1,775,000 on Friday to the United American Muslim Society (UAMS) of Brooklyn, LevittownNow.com reported. (Representational Image)

The Immaculate Conception BVM Church, situated in Bristol township in Bucks county, was sold for USD 1,775,000 on Friday to the United American Muslim Society (UAMS) of Brooklyn, LevittownNow.com reported. (Representational Image)

New York: A closed Catholic church in the US state of Pennsylvania has been sold to a Muslim cultural group for nearly two million dollars to clear debts, a media report said on Wednesday

The Immaculate Conception BVM Church, situated in Bristol township in Bucks county, was sold for USD 1,775,000 on Friday to the United American Muslim Society (UAMS) of Brooklyn, LevittownNow.com reported.

The money from the sale will go to pay down a debt of USD 704,997 for Immaculate Conception and USD 258,042 for Queen of the Universe, Catholic community. The remaining funds will go to parish savings, Archdiocese of Philadelphia spokesman Ken Gavin was quoted as saying by the report.

The church, which closed on January 1, was merged with the Queen of the Universe Parish in 2014.

The announcement of the sale was made during weekend masses was "positively received by parishioners", Gavin said. UAMS is the parent corporation for the Turkish-American Muslim Cultural Association on Levittown Parkway where they are based since 1991.

"They are widely known as people of faith, family, prayer and education in the moral life for their children and the families of Bristol Township," Gavin added.

Source: deccanchronicle.com/world/america/191016/catholic-church-in-us-sold-to-muslim-group-to-clear-debts.html

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THANKS TO DONALD TRUMP, MUSLIMS ARE MORE FEARFUL NOW THAN AFTER 9/11 

18 OCT 2016  

MUSLIMS SAY THE HATRED THEY FACE IN 2016 IS WORSE THAN IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE 9/11 TERRORIST ATTACKS. Although commonly believed that Islamophobia rose during the World Trade Center bombing in 2001, American Muslims have revealed a frighteningly disturbing truth. The community says it is facing much more hatred and targeted attacks in 2016 compared to 2011. Many agree these attacks are directly linked to Trump's bigoted views about Muslims. Recent incidents in which Muslims have been targets only support this belief as several of those arrested are Trump supporters. Thanks to Donald Trump, Muslims are More Fearful Now Than After 9/11 TWEET THIS In an interview of around 40 Muslims conducted by CNN, interviewees are expressing they feel it’s harder now being Muslim since Trump began to rally up hatred towards them. Their responses have indicated a very disturbing trend where feelings of hatred and anger towards Muslims are now 'normalized.' Almost all interviewed have said it is harder today to be Muslims than it was after 9/11. The community believes while the attacks that happened after 9/11 were misguided, the attacks happening now are more organized due to Trump’s role as a 'ring-leader.' As of late, a rather staggering number of anti-Islamic attacks have been occurring. Cases of mosques and other Islamic structures being vandalized with 'Trump' being scribbled all over the walls have become common. Recently, three Americans were arrested by FBI agents for plotting to carry out a massacre of Somalian Muslim immigrants in Kansas. The three belong to a newly formed anti-Islamic terrorist group called “The Crusaders.” These terrorists were also planning on attacking churches and businesses that helped Muslim refugees. Having a strong anti-Islamic, anti-refugee agenda, one of the members has been revealed as a supporter of Trump. During a recent presidential debate, Trump was quoted as saying Muslims themselves are to blame for the rise in Islamophobic sentiments in America. If that was not enough, he even alleged that Muslims keep 'secrets.' As such, it is no wonder there is a sudden rise in various American citizens taking up arms against Muslims, taking Trump's views as justification for their acts. Even in Minneapolis, Northern Virginia and Staten Island, where America's largest Muslim communities are located, Muslims are living in constant fear.

Read more at World Religion News: "Thanks to Donald Trump, Muslims are More Fearful Now Than After 9/11" http://www.worldreligionnews.com/?p=31901

Source: worldreligionnews.com/issues/thanks-to-donald-trump-muslims-are-more-fearful-now-than-after-911

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Arab World

Saudi Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir Executed for Murder

October 19, 2016

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia today executed a member of the royal family for murder, in a rare case involving one of the thousands of members of the House of Saud.

Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir was put to death in the capital Riyadh for shooting dead Adel al-Mahemid, a Saudi, during a brawl, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Kabir was the 134th local or foreigner put to death this year, according to an AFP tally of ministry statements.

The Arab News reported in November 2014 that a court in Riyadh sentenced an unnamed prince to death for killing his friend.

He lost his life and another person was injured in an exchange of gunfire following a dispute at a camp on the edge of Riyadh in December 2012, the newspaper said.

Desert camps are popular gathering places for Saudis.

When the killer realised that his victim was a friend and colleague, he informed the police, the Arab News said.

The sentence reflected the kingdom’s “fair justice system,” Arab News quoted the victim’s uncle Abdul Rahman al-Falaj as saying.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

Saudi Arabia has a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Amnesty International says the kingdom carried out at least 158 death sentences in 2015, making it the third most prolific executioner after Iran and Pakistan.

Amnesty’s figures do not include secretive China.

Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions, although 47 people were put to death for “terrorism” on a single day in January.

Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom but the government says the death penalty is a deterrent.

Source: siasat.com/news/saudi-prince-executed-murder-1044436/

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Iraqi Security Forces Liberate 80% of Areas South of Mosul

October 19, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi police announced that the country's joint security forces liberated 80% of the areas South of Mosul, and the achievement is due to the close cooperation between the Iraqi forces that are participating in the battles.

 “The army’s 9th brigade and Nineveh police achieved notable victories in the areas South of Mosul, from Hamadanieh district to the Tigris River that include nearly 54 villages,” Qayyara police chief that was identified as Captain Fathi said in a statement, Iraqi News reported.

“The joint security forces managed to liberate 80% of these areas until now,” he added.

“The ISIL is attacking the joint security forces using explosive belts and booby-trapped vehicles,” Fathi explained adding that the Iraqi security forces, backed by the army’s aviation and artillery, managed to repulse the majority of attacks.

The police commander also pointed out to the remarkable cooperation between all ranks of security forces that are participating in the battle to liberate Mosul, and noted that no families migrated from Mosul until now.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950728000381

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Mass Grave with Bodies of 80 ISIL Militants Discovered in Iraq's Heet

October 19, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi popular forces command in Anbar Province announced discovering a mass grave containing the remains of 80 members of the ISIL in Heet area, West of Ramadi, and pointed out that the group is trying to hide the size of losses inflicted on it during the liberation battles.

“The joint security forces discovered, at noon today, a mass grave containing remains of 80 ISIS members in al-Kasirat area while searching and securing the liberated areas in Heet,” the Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces, locally known as Hashd al-Sha'abi said in a press statement, Iraqi News reported.

“The preliminary investigations revealed that the ISIL group buried its dead members in the mass grave to hide the number of its casualties during the liberation battles of the Western areas of Anbar,” the statement added.

“Iraqi security troops are searching the liberated areas in Heet and the areas of Euphrates, West of Anbar. ISIL is supposed to have another mass graves in the area and the security forces are working to locate these graves in the coming few days,” it concluded.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950728000478

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Iran Calls For All Sides' Commitment to Yemen Ceasefire

October 19, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi welcomed the announcement of a three-day ceasefire in Yemen, and urged all parties engaged in the conflict to do their best to maintain the truce and end fruitless war in the country.

In a statement on Monday, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said a break from fighting between forces of the Saudi-led coalition and Ansarullah fighters would begin just before midnight Wednesday at 23:59 local time and will continue for 72 hours.

"We hope that the warring parties would allow the immediate dispatch of humanitarian aid to the oppressed Yemeni civilians and the wounded, including those injured in a recent bloody airstrike against a funeral ceremony in Sana’a," Qassemi said on Tuesday.

Qassemi said that Yemen is suffering from a very deplorable humanitarian situation, and expressed hope that all parties engaged in the conflict, particularly the Saudi-led coalition, would respect the ceasefire.

More than 140 people were killed and over 525 wounded on October 8, when a Saudi air raid hit a community hall in the south of the capital, where a funeral for the father of Interior Minister Jalal al-Roweishan was being held.

Saudi Arabia has been engaged in the deadly campaign against Yemen since March 2015. the death toll from the military aggression is currently at 11,800.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950728000420

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Several Terrorist Commanders Killed in Syrian Airstrikes in Hama

October 19, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Air Force launched fresh rounds of combat flights over Jeish al-Fatah's strongholds in Northern Hama, killing at least fifty terrorists including six field commanders, army sources said Wednesday.

"Jeish al-Fatah commanders Akram al-Hasyan, Mar'ei al-Din Rahal and Ahmad Jamil al-Saleh alongside 18 other terrorists were killed in the Syrian fighter jets' bombardments in Souran.

"Ahmad Abdul Razaq al-Hawash, Khalid al-Hasyan and Khalid al-Amouri were also killed alongside 27 of their comrades in the Syrian warplanes' attacks on Jeish al-Fatah'centers in Taybat al-Imam, al-Lahaya, al-Boyzeh, Ma'arkbeh, al-Latamina, Morek, al-Masaseneh, North of al-Naseriyeh hill and East of Tal Bazam," the sources added.

"Three tanks in Taybat al-Imam, two armored vehicles in Morek and three machinegun-equipped vehicles in Souran were damage in the air raids," they went on to say.

"Also several armored vehicles of the terrorists were targeted and damaged in the air raids in Taybat al-Imam, Morek, Souran and al-Latamina," the sources said.

Reports said on Tuesday that Syria's military aircraft dropped leaflets over a terrorist-held region in the Northwestern areas of Hama province, urging the militants to lay down their arms and surrender themselves before an imminent large-scale attack by the government troops.

Local sources said the Syrian army has warned the terrorists in Kafr Zita region of eventual defeat in the ongoing war, and urged them to stop fighting against government forces.

In the meantime, Syrian fighter jets carried out several combat flights over Jeish al-Fatah terrorist coalition's centers in Taybat al-Imam, Souran, South of Morek and al-Latamina in Northern Hama, inflicting tens of casualties on the terrorists.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950728000496

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Over 1,000 Militants Give up Fight in Western Ghouta

October 19, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Over 1,000 militants in Mo'adhamiyeh in Southwestern Damascus officially ended fight against the Syrian government on Wednesday.

"Introductory steps have been taken for Over 1,000 militants to surrender to the government forces or evacuate the town of Mo'adhamiyeh today," the sources said.

"While, government authorities in Mo'adhamiyeh said they are ready to go on with implementation of their agreement with the militants, those militants who do not want to join the peace agreement will be relocated to militant-held parts of Idlib," they added.

"650-750 militants have registered their names to leave Mo'adhamiyeh and move to Idlib. At least 400 militants have laid down arms and have settled their files to remain in Mo'adhamiyeh," the sources went on to say.

Informed sources in Western Ghouta said on Tuesday that preliminary steps were taken for the evacuation of the rebels from al-Mo'adhamiyeh, adding that the militants would be relocated to the militant-held parts of Idlib in the next few days.

"The reconciliation process in Damascus in on the right track, and those militants who do not want to surrender to the Syrian authorities will leave al-Mo'adhamiyeh alongside their family members," the sources said.

"And those who lay down arms and turn in to Syrian government will be pardoned and their legal cases will be resolved immediately. In the meantime, state bodies will launch their activities in the town," they added.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950728000792

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Russian Air Force Builds New Runway in Homs as ISIL Terrorists Flee Iraq to Syria

October 19, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Air Force has built a new runway at the T-4 Airbase in Eastern Homs to increase combat sorties against ISII terrorists, military sources said Wednesday, adding that Russian and Syrian warplanes are ready to hit ISIL convoys fleeing from Mosul in Northern Iraq to Eastern Syria.

"Construction of new runway in T-4 airbase will strengthen the Syrian and Russian warplanes' combat capabilities in Eastern Syria," the sources said.

The sources also said that several convoys of vehicles carrying ISIL terrorists have arrived in the Syrian territories as the Iraqi Army soldiers and popular forces have started a large-scale operation to recapture strategic city of Mosul.

The Syrian army said in a statement on Tuesday that the US and Saudi Arabia are allowing ISIL terrorists to flee from Mosul to Syria.

The General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces said the supporters of international terrorism were trying to secure safe routes and corridors for the ISIL terrorists who are fleeing Iraq’s Mosul to cross into Syria.

The Command said a “malicious scheme” by the backers of international terrorism, mainly the US and Saudi Arabia, was unfolding and becoming clear after military operations were launched by the brotherly Iraqi army and its supporting forces to liberate Mosul city from the gangs of ISIL terrorist organization.

The scheme, the statement explained, was to provide safe routes for the groupings of ISIL terrorists who are reeling under the Iraqi army’s strikes in Mosul-Iraq’s second largest city-to cross the border into the Syrian territory.

The aim of providing such corridors, it added, was to provide protection to the terrorists on the one hand and boost the terrorist presence inside the Syrian territory on the other hand in a bid to impose a new military reality in the Eastern region in the direction of Deir Ezzur, Raqqa and Palmyra (Tadmur).

The General Command of the Army stressed in its statement that the battle of liberating Mosul and the whole territory of Iraq from terrorism is its own battle.

The Command warned that it would consider any attempt at crossing into its border as “an attack on the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic,” and that those who attempt to do that would be regarded as terrorists and would be dealt with all the forces and means at its disposal.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950728000733

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Fatah Al-Sham's Main Command Center in Dara'a Targeted in Syrian Army Attacks

October 19, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- One of the most important command-and-control centers of Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) was badly targeted and destroyed in the Syrian Army attacks in the Southern districts of Dara'a city.

Syrian Army troops stormed Fatah al-Sham's command center in Dara'a al-Balad, destroying the base completely and killing or wounding the entire militants inside the center.

Terrorists' positions in the Western side of the refugee camp came under heavy attacks of the Syrian army men, leaving several terrorists dead and destroying their weapons.

The Syrian army men also hit terrorist centers hard in al-Yadoudeh in Western Dara'a, killing and wounding several fighters.

Meantime the senior commander of a terrorist group affiliated to Jeish al-Yarmouk and the Free Syrian Army, Mohamad Mahmoud Rahal al-Dahouk, was killed in clashes with the Syrian Army in Ibtta in Northern Dara'a.

Syrian Army troops stormed the positions of Fatah al-Sham Front in the Southern provinces of Dara'a on Tuesday too and inflicted heavy losses on them.

Syrian military forces hit Fatah al-Sham's strongholds near Balal Habashi Mosque, Northwest of the old customs region and al-Arba'een neighborhood in Dara'a al-Balad, claiming the lives of several militants and destroying their weapons and ammunition.

Terrorists' positions in Tafas in Northwestern Dara'a also came under heavy attacks by the Syrian soldiers, destroying their base and depot of arms and munitions.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950728000622

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US-Led Coalition Jets Target Hassadjek Village in Aleppo, Killing 6 People

October 19, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Hmeimim-based Russian center coordinating ceasefire regime in Syria announced that two jets of the US-led coalition launched raids on Hassadjek village in Afrin area, North of Syria, leaving civilian casualties.

According to information handed over to the Russian Center by the local council of the Syrian city of Afrin, the village of Hassadjek suffered an air attack in which six people died and four more were injured, the center said in a statement published by the Russian Defense Ministry website, SANA reported.

It was reported that two residential buildings were destroyed as a result of the attack by US-led coalition warplanes.

The statement stressed that neither Russian nor Syrian air forces were carrying out any missions in the area.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian data recorders detected two Belgian F-16 fighter jets operating in the area within the specified time.

Russian and Syrian air forces halted airstrikes in Aleppo at 10:00 am (local time) on Tuesday for a 48-hour humanitarian pause.

On July 19th, French warplanes of the US-led coalition struck Tukhan al-Kubra village North of Manbij city in Northern Aleppo, committing a “bloody massacre” in which at least 120 civilians were killed.

Later, the coalition warplanes committed another massacre in al-Chandra village near Manbij, claiming the lives of 45 civilians, including 7 children, and injuring 50 others.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950728000795

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Terrorists Attacks on Western Aleppo Kills 3, Injures 27 amid Humanitarian Pause

October 19, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Three people were killed and 27 others injured, including three children, as militants shelled Western Aleppo, a source based in the Northern Syrian city said.

According to the source the attack on Aleppo’s Jamiliya neighborhood took place during a 48-hour ‘humanitarian pause’ by Russian and Syrian forces and all those killed in were adult males, RT reported.

RT's correspondent in Alepppo, Murad Gazdiev said the militants, including Fatah al-Sham Front (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) terrorists, who control the Eastern part of Aleppo, have intensified the shelling attacks on areas controlled by government forces in recent days.

Three people were killed and 23 wounded in a mortar attack, coming from the positions of the militants, on Sunday.

The Russian and Syrian aerial attacks over Aleppo have been halted on Tuesday to allow people to leave the city and aid to be delivered.

The 48-hour ‘humanitarian pause,’ which was initially planned for Thursday, was organized ahead of schedule, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.

“There’s been a lot of shelling attacks  today. It never really stopped. We’ve heard exploding shots coming from the militants every half an hour or so,” Gazdiev said.

“Most of the shells that hit today struck roofs and empty squares,” but one of the projectiles landed in a crowded public square, he said.

“Three dead, 27 injured, including three children,” the correspondent said of the casualties.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950728000718

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Russia: Fatah Al-Sham to Face 'Dire Consequences' If Not Leave Aleppo

October 19, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russia urged the UN Security Council to adopt a press statement on the need to separate terrorists from militant groups in Syria, and warned that the Fatah al-Sham Front (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) terrorists would face "unpleasant consequences" if they did not leave East Aleppo.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said that under the current circumstances and ongoing pause in Russian and Syrian airstrikes over Aleppo,  it was very important that the states, which could influence the armed groups, to step up efforts in a bid to separate armed units from terrorist groups, which are on the United Nations Security Council sanctions list, TASS reported.

"We firmly insist that all the parties in conflict stop fighting together with them. They should separate themselves from them and officially put their signatures under a ceasefire document. We have prepared a draft statement to this effect. Hopefully, it will be adopted by the Council’s members," the diplomat said noting that some countries could need additional time for considering the Russian initiative.

Churkin also warned that militants from the Fatah al-Sham Front terrorist group would face "unpleasant consequences" if they did not leave East Aleppo.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950728000667

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Russian President, Iraqi PM Discuss Mosul Offensive on Phone

October 19, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi discussed in a phone conversation on Tuesday the ongoing military operation to liberate Iraqi second largest city of Mosul from ISIL terrorists, the Kremlin said.

"Vladimir Putin wished the Iraqi army and its allies success in accomplishing the set task," the Kremlin's press service said in a statement, Sputnik reported. 

According to the statement, the Russian president also expressed support of efforts taken by the Iraqi authorities aimed at eliminating the hotbed of international terrorism and safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.

 Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950728000430

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South Asia

Bangladesh Jamaat-i-Islami Elects New Leader after Executions

October 19, 2016

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi Islamist party allied to the opposition has elected a new chief untainted by war crime allegations, seeking to turn the page after the execution of several of its top leaders.

Jamaat-i-Islami said in a statement late on Monday it had sworn in former school teacher Maqbul Ahmed as its leader after a secret ballot of party members.

Ahmed takes over from Motiur Rahman Nizami, who was hanged in May after a controversial tribunal convicted him of murder during the country’s 1971 war of independence with Pakistan.

Four other top leaders, including the party’s secretary general, its two joint secretaries and its main financier, have been executed since 2013 following trials that rights groups have condemned as unfair.

They were tried by the same war crimes tribunal set up by the secular government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which said Jamaat leaders had to be prosecuted to heal the wounds of the war.

Sources close to Jamaat said Ahmed, believed to be in his early seventies, had been chosen from a panel of three senior party officials who had not been tainted by war crimes.

In his debut speech he paid tribute to Hasina’s father, who led the war of independence against Pakistan, in a sign the party is looking to break from its past policies.

“He is an experienced leader and a very good organiser,” said Abul Asad, the editor of the pro-Jamaat Bengali daily Sangram.

“He has said he wants to forget the pains and sorrows of the past and wants to look forward.”

Jamaat, Bangla­desh’s largest Islamist party, was barred from contesting the 2014 general election, effectively disenfranchising millions of its supporters.

The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party — allied to Jamaat — subsequently boycotted the polls, which became a one-horse race held against a backdrop of violent protests.

Many observers believe the lack of genuine democracy in the country has contributed to a recent upsurge in Islamist violence, including a deadly siege at an upmarket Dhaka cafe in July.

Jamaat opposed Bangla­desh’s independence from Pakistan, but denies its leaders were involved in genocide, murders and rapes during the nine-month long conflict.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290870/bangladesh-ji-elects-new-leader-after-executions

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Taliban reject reports of secret talks with Afghanistan

October 19, 2016

The Taliban on Wednesday rejected reports of secret meetings with the Afghan government in a bid to resume long-stalled peace negotiations, insisting that their hard line policy remains unchanged.

Afghan officials on Tuesday claimed they held two meetings since September in Doha, where the Taliban maintain a political office, after the news was first reported by Britain's The Guardian newspaper.

But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement rejected any reports of talks or meetings.

Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, Afghanistan's intelligence chief, and National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar had attended one of the Qatar meetings, Afghanistan's Tolo television said citing a presidential palace source.

“The representatives of the Islamic Emirate have not met with Stanekzai or any other officials. Our stance about the negotiations has not changed. Our policy is very clear on that,” Mujahid said, referring to the Taliban's official title.

The Taliban have long insisted on the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan as a precondition for peace talks with the government.

The Guardian said the talks were attended by Mullah Abdull Manan Akhund, brother of Taliban founder and long-time leader Mullah Omar who died in 2013.

A senior American diplomat was also present in the Qatar meetings, the newspaper said citing a Taliban official.

The dialogue process ground to a halt when the US killed former Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a drone strike in Pakistan in May.

The insurgency has shown stubborn resilience under new Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, attacking northern Kunduz city for a second time and threatening the capital of the southern opium-rich province of Helmand.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290921/taliban-reject-reports-of-secret-talks-with-afghanistan

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Taliban demanded prisoners release, blacklist removal in Qatar talks

Wed Oct 19 2016

The Taliban delegation demanded the release of prisoners and removal of the group’s leaders from the UN blacklist during the informal talks held in Qatar, it has been reported.

The group also demanded that the Taliban group should be identified as a formal movement before they agree to participate in peace talks.

The Afghan Taliban officials, based in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, told Reuters that the talks yielded little results.

The officials further added that the U.S. officials were part of the process, although they did not specify whether they were directly involved in the talks.

Afghan and U.S. officials demanded that the Taliban declared a ceasefire, laid down arms and started formal peace talks, said the UAE-based official.

“Like our previous meetings, it was a waste of time and resources, as we could not achieve anything from the meeting,” said the UAE-based official.

This comes as the Taliban group spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid rejected that the group’s delegation participated in informal talks with the Afghan government delegation in Qatar, calling the report by the Guardian as baseless.

Mujahid further added that the group remains firm on its conditions to participate in peace talks, which included the exit of all foreign troops from the country and establishment of a strict Islamic system.

Source: khaama.com/taliban-demanded-prisoners-release-blacklist-removal-in-qatar-talks-02109

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Provincial council member sentenced to death for kidnappings, murder

Wed Oct 19 2016

death-sentence-afghanistan-courtA provincial council member was sentenced to death by a primary court in western Herat province of Afghanistan after he was found guilty of kidnappings and murder.

The provincial council member, Askar Anwari, was sentenced to death during a court hearing as he was present with his four other colleagues.

The court hearing took place on Tuesday in the presence of Herat residents, prosecutors, and reporters.

The Herat primary court judge Mohammad Shoaib Ibrahimi said the court verdict was not final and the convicts can file appeal in other courts.

The family members of the victims welcomed the court’s decision to award death sentence to the perpetrators.

Kidnap for ransom cases still continue in parts of the country despite the Afghan intelligence nabbed two MAFIA bosses involved in major kidnappings who were later executed by the government.

The two top MAFIA leaders, Habib Istalif and Raees Khudaidad, were executed late in 2014 and early in 2015 after they were arrested by intelligence operatives.

The NDS operatives released a hostage during an operation conducted in central Wardak province of Afghanistan late in the month of February.

The operation was conducted as the kidnappers were demanding a huge ransom of $1 million from the family of the hostage, forcing the intelligence operatives to intervene and secure his release.

Source: khaama.com/provincial-council-member-sentenced-to-death-for-kidnappings-murder-02108

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Hundreds pick arms in support of Dostum in Jawzjan after Taliban ambush

Tue Oct 18 2016

Hundreds of supporter the First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum picked up arms to declare support following a deadly ambush by the Taliban militants in Faryab province.

The supporters of Gen. Dostum chanted support for the First Vice President and announced their support to counter the Taliban-led insurgency in the northern parts of the country.

Photographs emerging from Jawzjan purportedly shows hundreds of men armed with assault rifles and machine guns as they gather and march in the province to support the Vice President.

The Taliban militants ambushed Vice President Dostum as he was accompanying a convoy of the security forces on the way to Ghormach district that fell to Taliban control last week.

Initial reports indicated the First Vice President sustained a minor injury in the attack as it was confirmed by CEO Abdullah but the office of the Chief Executive released a statement late on Monday and said Gen. Dostum did not suffer any injury, emphasizing that CEO Abdullah made the remarks during the Ministers’ Council meeting based on inappropriate and initial reports.

This is not the first time Gen. Dostum has came under attack by Taliban militants or has escaped assassination plot by the group.

Gen. Dostum first joined the Afghan security forces in the frontline in northern Faryab province earlier in the month of August last year where he survived at least two assassination plots by the anti-government armed militant groups while he was leading counter-terrorism operations.

Initially his convoy was ambushed by the Taliban in militants in Qaisar district in mid August 2015 while another plot to assassinate him was thwarted by the security forces and his special security guards few days later.

At least three suicide bombers were arrested from the vicinity of Gen. Dostum’s residence in Qaisar district in connection to the attack plot last year.

Source: khaama.com/hundreds-pick-arms-in-support-of-dostum-in-jawzjan-after-taliban-ambush-02106

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Mideast

Intelligence agency warns of ISIL attacks in five Turkish provinces

October 19, 2016

The National Intelligence Agency (MİT) has issued warnings against imminent attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in five Turkish provinces.

MİT sent a warning to all 81 provinces of Turkey, saying jihadists could launch attacks in Istanbul, the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Ankara, the southern province of Antalya and the western province of İzmir.

According to the MİT report, public transport is among ISIL militants’ targets, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Oct. 18. The warning dated Oct. 12 and coded “urgent” said the aforementioned five provinces were among the high-risk areas.

In the report, the intelligence agency warned the militants could perpetrate an attack on the Eurasia Tunnel, a roadway tunnel that will connect Istanbul’s European and Asian sides that is scheduled to open in December.

“The organization is seeking an attack targeting the Turkish aviation sector. Intelligence information was received on militants planning to sneak explosives or sharp objects such as knives and razors onto airplanes hidden inside electronic devices,” the notice sent to the police read. “The danger of attacks has increased in the recent days.”

Metros, buses, bridges, airports, bus terminals and sea transport were listed among the ISIL targets in the notice.

Three police officers were killed and eight others were wounded on Oct. 16 in an explosion that occurred when a suspected ISIL militant detonated himself during a house raid in Gaziantep’s Şahinbey district, while another suspect also detonated himself during a separate operation in the province.

The raid came after the Gaziantep police received information about a cell that was suspected of plotting a suicide bomb attack on an Alevi cultural association center in the city. Arriving at the Güneykent neighborhood of Şahinbey and closing the entrances and exits to the area, police entered the cell house. After seeing the police, a militant inside the house reportedly detonated himself.

Meanwhile, authorities in Ankara have banned public meetings and marches until the end of November after receiving intelligence that militants were planning attacks in the city, which has been targeted with bombings over the past year.

The ruling announced by the Ankara Governor’s Office came as Turkey continued to conduct an almost a two-month-old military operation in Syria supporting rebels to push ISIL militants away from its southern border.

ISIL and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants have previously conducted attacks in the capital. This month, two suspected PKK militants believed to be planning a car bomb attack blew themselves up in a standoff with the police in Ankara.

“Based on intelligence received by our governor’s office, it has gathered that illegal terror groups are aiming to carry out attacks in our province and have made some preparations,” the governor’s office said in a statement on its website.

The statement said there were fears that public meetings and protests in the Ankara were being targeted by militants.

The ban was set to remain in place until Nov. 30 under a state of emergency decree law, which was imposed after the failed coup attempt of July 15, believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

Last year, over 100 people were killed in an ISIL suicide bomb attack that targeted a peace and labor rally.

PKK militants were blamed in March for a car bomb which exploded in a transport hub in Ankara, killing at least 34 people in the second such attack in under a month.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/intelligence-agency-warns-of-isil-attacks-in-five-turkish-provinces.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105065&NewsCatID=341

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Israel angered as Unesco adopts Jerusalem resolution

October 19, 2016

PARIS: The UN cultural agency on Tuesday adopted an Arab-sponsored resolution condemning Israel’s actions at a flashpoint holy site in east Jerusalem, deepening anger in the Jewish state.

The Unesco resolution on “occupied Palestine” was endorsed on Tuesday by the agency’s executive board at its headquarters in Paris, after being approved at the committee stage last week.

Referring throughout to “the occupying power,” it condemns Israel for restricting Muslims’ access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound — Islam’s third holiest site — and criticises damage by security forces to the site and nearby excavations.

It is the latest episode in a series of rows at Unesco, which is responsible for protecting important heritage sites and is one of few international organisations that recognises Palestine as a member state.

Israel suspended its cooperation with Unesco last week in response to the draft resolution and its ambassador, Carmel Shama Hacohen, accused the Palestinians of playing “games” on Tuesday.

“This is the wrong place to solve problems between countries or people,” he said.

Israel is furious that the resolution refers to the Old City site in Jerusalem by its Muslim name, Al-Aqsa or Al-Haram al-Sharif.

It is considered holy by Muslims, Christians and Jews. Jews refer to it as the Temple Mount and it is considered the holiest site in Judaism.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained last week that saying “Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and Western Wall is like saying China has no connection to the Great Wall of China or Egypt has no connection to the pyramids”.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290864/israel-angered-as-unesco-adopts-jerusalem-resolution

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Turkish police kill ISIL suicide bomber

October 19, 2016

Turkish police on Oct. 19 fatally shot an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant who was believed to be planning a suicide bomb attack in the capital.

The man was killed in a raid on a ninth-floor apartment in the Eryaman neighborhood on the province’s outskirts after he ignored warnings to surrender and opened fire on police, Ankara Gov. Ercan Topaca said.

The state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Topaca as saying the man was believed to be planning a suicide attack in the city – either targeting large gatherings or to coincide with two national ceremonies in the coming weeks. Police found explosive materials including sticks of dynamite and ammonium nitrate at the scene, the governor said.

“There is no doubt that the target was congregations of crowded people,” Topaca told the agency, adding that the police believed the man to be an ISIL group member.

“It could have been the mausoleum or the old parliament, it is not possible to say anything concrete based on the information available,” he said.

The suspect may have been targeting ceremonies to be held on the Oct. 29 anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic or on Nov. 10, the commemoration of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s death, Anadolu Agency quoted Topaca.

The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Ahmet Balık from the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, returned fire when the police urged him to “surrender,” according to Anadolu Agency.

He was tracked by the police after being seen engaging in suspicious behavior three times around Anıtkabir.

The raid came two days after Ankara regional authorities banned all public gatherings and demonstrations throughout November after receiving information about potential terrorist attacks.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu told reporters that the man was spotted scouting Turkey’s old parliament building as well as Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, where ceremonies are scheduled to take place. He told reporters in Ankara that operations targeting militants would continue in the near future.

“The Daesh militant was rendered ineffective following very important tracking and intelligence work,” Soylu said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL. “These operations are continuing.”

Meanwhile, photos of Balık investigating the aforementioned areas have emerged. The photos show Balık in Anıtkabir and Turkey’s former parliament building.

In a separate development, police raided several stores selling religious books in Diyarbakır, a security source said on condition of anonymity. At least 20 suspects were also detained during the anti-ISIL operation, the source told AFP.

Turkey has been rocked by a series of deadly suicide bombings over the past 18 months that were carried out by ISIL and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants.

On Oct. 16, an ISIL suicide bomber blew himself up during an anti-terror operation in the province of Gaziantep near the Syrian border, killing three police officers.

The Gaziantep Governor’s Office said on Oct. 18 it would also ban public gatherings and demonstrations until the end of the month.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-police-kill-isil-suicide-bomber.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105111&NewsCatID=509

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US defense chief to visit Turkey over consensus for Mosul offensive

October 19, 2016

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is due to visit Turkey on Oct. 19, after Ankara and Washington agreed on Turkey’s participation in coalition forces’ aerial campaign in the Mosul offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). 

Carter will travel to Ankara as part of a weeklong Middle East and Europe trip, according to the Pentagon.  

“He is scheduled to meet with Turkish leaders to discuss a range of security challenges in the region including the latest developments in Iraq and Syria,” according to a statement. A defense official said Carter would stay in Turkey for a couple of hours. 

His visit comes after an agreement reached by Turkey and the U.S. at a meeting between the two allies’ chiefs of general staff in Washington over the weekend. The agreement will pave the way for Turkish warplanes to join an ongoing operation to capture Mosul.

Carter is due to head to the United Arab Emirates and Europe for counter-ISIL coalition meetings with U.S.-led coalition defense ministers in Paris on Oct. 25.   

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said coalition forces and Turkey had reached a consensus on the Turkish Air Force’s involvement in the Mosul operation. Elaborating on the upcoming defense ministers’ meeting in Paris, Işık said, “It’s natural that Turkey will be part of developments and meeting about Mosul.”

“It’s not possible to make a decision on the future of Mosul without Turkey,” he said.

Turkey is not joining aerial strikes right now, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said. “But there is an agreement on the participation of Turkish aerial vehicles in the operation in principle. In the event there is a need, our warplanes will participate as part of the coalition. What is important is to be part of it,” Yıldırım told reporters on Oct. 18 after a parliamentary group meeting.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/us-defense-chief-to-visit-turkey-over-consensus-for-mosul-offensive.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105114&NewsCatID=358

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Turkey’s former interior minister claims FETÖ, PKK are meeting in northern Iraq

October 19, 2016

The Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been meeting in northern Iraq, former Interior Minister Efkan Ala has claimed, saying they are working together to “drag Turkey into chaos.”

“Meetings between FETÖ and the PKK are taking place in northern Iraq, trying to drag Turkey into chaos through the PKK,” Ala told a parliamentary commission investigating the failed July 15 military coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

The commission, formed and approved by parliament to investigate the coup bid, decided who to listen to and question on Oct. 13, while also outlining a timetable for the commission’s meetings.

The commission is made up of deputies from all four of Turkey’s political parties with seats in parliament, and held its first meeting on Oct. 7.

Nine lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), four lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), one lawmaker from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and one lawmaker from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are included in the commission.

Telling the commission that he received no intelligence about the coup attempt before it took place, Ala said he learned about what was happening after his plane, which had taken off from the eastern province of Erzurum, landed in the capital Ankara.

“We did not receive any intelligence information about what would happen. However, we did receive some evaluations before the date of the coup attempt from intelligence units that the [Gülenists] could potentially do something. If there is the possibility of staging a coup in the system then there is also the opportunity to do it. It is our duty to change the system that gives opportunities to coup attempts,” Ala, who was serving as the interior minister at the time of the coup attempt, told the commission on Oct. 18.

He also responded to questions regarding Adil Öksüz, who the Turkish government has declared as the Gülen movement’s “imam of the Air Force” and a leader of the plot in Turkey. CHP lawmaker Aytun Çıray asked Ala if he knew Öksüz, who was briefly detained before being released the morning after the coup attempt.

“I condemn this question. We were the ones who detained him. You should ask that question to the Justice Ministry. A probe has been launched into the judges who released him. I don’t know him,” Ala said.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-former-interior-minister-claims-feto-pkk-are-meeting-in-northern-iraq-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105115&NewsCatID=509

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Turkey joins coalition for Mosul operation

October 19, 2016

Turkey and the United States have reached an agreement in which Turkish warplanes will join an ongoing operation to capture Mosul, the prime minister has said, adding that Turkey’s F-16 Fighting Falcons would be called for duty by the Kuwait-based command center if required.

The agreement between the two allies was reached at a meeting between Turkish and American chiefs of general staff in Washington over the weekend, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said in a phone interview with daily Hürriyet on Oct. 18.

Yıldırım said the deal referred to the Turkish Air Force’s participation in air strikes by coalition forces against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positions in and around Mosul.

The announcement came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan strongly pressed for Turkey’s active participation in the operation and to sit at the same table with all coalition countries.    

Turkey is not joining aerial strikes right now, Yıldırım said. “But there is an agreement on the participation of Turkish aerial vehicles in the operation in principle. In the event there is a need, our warplanes will participate as part of the coalition. What is important is to be part of it,” Yıldırım told reporters after a parliamentary group meeting. His earlier remarks at the group were interpreted as suggesting that Turkish jets had already joined the coalition’s aerial campaign.

Fighting Falcons to join operation

According to the agreement, Turkey will put a certain number of its F-16 Fighting Falcons under the order of the Kuwait-based Mosul Operation Command Center. The warplanes will be called for duty on daily and weekly assignments. Turkish warplanes will take off from Turkey’s İncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana. Turkish warplanes will conduct a minimum of two and a maximum of 10 sorties a day, according to the agreement.

Turkey, meanwhile, has said it will not conduct any aerial strikes in which there could be civilian casualties, daily Hürriyet has learned.

Coalition to continue to use İncirlik

The agreement between the two countries also envisages the use of İncirlik by coalition warplanes that have already been deployed to the base. Another military base in Diyarbakır, however, will be used as the center of communication and of search and rescue operations. The center will play an important role in conducting aerial strikes against ISIL during the Mosul operation. 

The deal does not include Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles on the grounds that the control of the drones will be under the Kuwait command center and because of the intense fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkey to attend France meeting

In the meantime, Turkey will attend a meeting of anti-ISIL coalition countries to be held in Paris on Oct. 20. The meeting will be co-chaired by the French and Iraqi foreign ministers who will review ongoing efforts to defeat ISIL. France will host a defense ministers’ meeting in Paris in Oct. 25 as well.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-joins-coalition-for-mosul-operation---.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105101&NewsCatID=352

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CHP questions gov’t role in preparing coup conditions

October 19, 2016

Turkey’s main opposition leader has questioned the role of the government in preparing the conditions for Gülenists within the army to stage a coup attempt on July 15, calling the judiciary to launch an investigation into the political will behind the attempted takeover.

“What is the political will? It’s the one that uses today’s state of emergency; the one that has taken Turkey to the coup step by step,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), told his parliamentary group on Oct. 18. “I call on all prosecutors probing this issue: Leave teachers and students alone. If you are to prosecute someone, it should be those who carried Turkey to the coup.”

Kılıçdaroğlu has long criticized the government for exceeding the limits of laws and widening the scope of the investigation in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt at the expense of creating around 1 million victims. Tens of thousands of teachers and civil servants have lost their jobs while many of them have also been prosecuted on suspicions of being linked to the Gülenist network blamed for the July 15 coup.

“I will apologize if even one word – not a sentence – is proved to be wrong. But, if what I have been saying is right – which is 100 percent right, by the way – then I should tell your conscience: You are only strong enough against the poor fellows and not your own men,” he said. 

The CHP leader recalled that all military echelons had resigned in mid-2011 as a reaction to the detentions of numerous high-ranking generals as part of baseless accusations which caused the military personnel to lose their right to be promoted. Recalling that the government changed the law on the Supreme Military Council in 2013 in a bid to nix the return of these prosecuted senior military personnel, Kılıçdaroğlu asked, “Which one was the political will that allowed the promotion of so many FETÖ [Fethullahist Terror Organization] military personnel that staged the coup?”

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-questions-govt-role-in-preparing-coup-conditions-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105106&NewsCatID=338

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India

Terrorist hideouts busted in J&K's Baramulla; China, Pak flags, letterheads of LeT, JeM recovered, 44 held

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Srinagar: In a major success for the security forces, terrorist hideouts were busted in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla sector on Tuesday.

Other than recovering bombs, flags of China and Pakistan, letterheads of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad were seized by the forces.

Also, 44 people were arrested for their alleged involvement in "terror-related activities".

"Over 700 houses were searched in a span of 12 hours on October 17 in an extensive search operation in old town in Baramulla, during which 44 persons involved with terror related activities have been apprehended," an Army spokesman said.

The security forces sanitised the area and a number of hideouts were busted during the operation, the spokesman said.

"A large quantity of incriminating material such as petrol bombs, Chinese and Pakistani flags, LeT and JeM letterhead pads, unauthorized mobile phones and seditious anti-national publicity material were seized," he added.

He said the operation was jointly carried out by teams of army, police, BSF and CRPF in 10 sensitive localities including Qazi Hamam, Ganai Hamam, Taweed Gunj, Jamia and other mohallas reportedly being used as "safe havens by the terrorists", as per PTI. 

Recovery of such materials is a serious concern for the administration, as the ongoing unrest in Kashmir Valley is said to be fuelled by Pakistan.

For over 100 days, the Valley has been witnessing un-ending violence, which was triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces.

The unrest, which began a day after Wani was killed in an encounter in south Kashmir on July 8, has left 84 people, including two cops, dead and several thousand injured.

The relations between India and Pakistan hit a new low after Indian Army conducted surgical strikes along the Line of Control and destroyed LeT camps.

The strikes came after terror attack on an Army camp in Uri town of Kashmir on September 18 in which 19 soldiers were killed.

India has blamed Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group for the attack.

Meanwhile, India's diplomatic blitz has isolated Pakistan in the region as well as in the international community, on the issue of harbouring terrorists and sponsoring terrorism.

Not only this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mention of human rights violations issue in Balochistan has further cornered Islamabad.

Source: zeenews.india.com/news/jammu-and-kashmir/terrorist-hideouts-busted-in-jks-baramulla-china-pak-flags-letterheads-of-let-jem-recovered-44-held_1941292.html

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Country Not Discussing Uniform Civil Code, Says Union Minister Naidu

Oct 19, 2016

KOCHI: Stating that denial of equal status for Muslim women is an issue, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the country was not discussing the uniform civil code despite all the talk about ending gender discrimination, doing gender justice and equal rights to all.

He told reporters in Kochi on Tuesday that the Supreme Court has sought the opinion of the Centre regarding the issue of triple talaq, the continuance of which is not in the interest of women. The government gave the opinion to end triple talaq saying it is un-Islamic, he said. "The government's opinion is that it should end. And we have no inhibitions on that. We are very clear that this practice is causing harm to women," he said.

With regard to equality of law and equality of justice there should not be any discrimination based on religion, Naidu said. "You cannot deny a right of an individual on the basis of a religion. Indian government do not discriminate on the basis of religion. All are equal. All woman are equal. All men are equal. They should all get the same treatment. That is the philosophy on which the government of India is functioning," said Venkaiah Naidu.

Naidu pointed out that even in Islamic countries matrimonial laws were regulated and this was not considered contrary to sharia laws. He said article 14, article 15 of the constitution were applicable to all irrespective of caste, creed, sex, religion and region. Questioning the practice of denying equal status to women, he wanted to know why religion should dictate rules in a secular country like India. Article 14 provides equality before law. It states: "The state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India." The Article 15 states : "The state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them".

It should be noted that any practice that puts woman socially , financially or emotionally vulnerable is incompatible with the letter and spirit of article 14 and 15, Naidu said.

The minister said implementation of uniform civil code is a wider issue. When asked about the decision of some Muslim organisations to boycott discussion surrounding uniform civil code, he said: "If you are strong in your arguments why should you feel shy . Let the argument go on and finally let the court take a view. I don't know why people are trying to give it a communal colour. My point is in a secular country why should anybody take a shelter under religion. Moreover, it has to be interpreted by the court and not by individuals. And, I don't find them as Hindu-Muslim problems at all. This is a problem of discrimination. This is a problem of gender justice," Naidu said.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/country-not-discussing-uniform-civil-code-says-venkaiah-naidu/articleshow/54931641.cms

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RSS Muslim wing to discuss triple talaq, UCC next month

Smriti Kak Ramachandran

Oct 19, 2016

The Muslim wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will deliberate next month-end on ways the minority community should evolve in the country’s current socio-political scenario.

A meeting by the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra on November 27 is slated to discuss triple talaq that permits verbal divorce and a uniform civil code (UCC) that can alter the political dynamics in the country. Also on the agenda are the threat of radicalism and the Muslim community’s overall development vis-à-vis education and employment opportunities.

This is not the first such conference by the 2002-formed RSS-affiliate, but the timing has now lent it particular significance.

In a few months from now, Uttar Pradesh, with a sizeable Muslim population, will go to polls. The BJP does not traditionally bank on the Muslims for a vote, but the party does not want to alienate the community even as it makes guarded moves to introduce UCC.

The MRM, with 10,000 volunteers and limited clout in the community, has thrown its weight behind the fight to end the practice of triple talaq. The Manch refers to Triple Talaq as a social problem does not keep in with the tenets of Islam.

“Not all sects of Muslims believe in triple talaq; but somehow it is prevalent and misused,” said Mohd Afzal of the MRM. “So many women are forced to live in penury after being divorced. So, this is not a religious issue, but a social cause. We need to discuss this as a community.”

While Afzal asserted the day-long event is to discuss issues concerning the community’s welfare and for erasing the notion that the BJP and the RSS are anti-Muslim, there are other reasons for the MRM’s overtures.

For one, Ram temple construction in Ayodhya has resurfaced on public memory and the issue can further wedge communities in the poll-bound state. Politically too, it has the potential of rallying the Muslims against the BJP.

The MRM has thus stepped in to broker peace, given that the RSS cadre won’t be pressed into reaching out to Muslims.

“The Muslims are not opposed to a temple; it is a politically-motivated campaign,” claimed Afzal. “Muslims in Ayodhya revere Ram as much as the Hindus as he is part of the Indian culture.”

In recent months the MRM has held several meetings with Ulemas and representatives of the community, focusing on reaching out to professionals and students to build inter-community bridges. It is particularly focusing attention on youngsters being lured by radical groups.

In strife-torn Kashmir Valley, too, the Manch is making attempts to woo Muslims by offering skill training opportunities and running schools.

Source: hindustantimes.com/india-news/rss-muslim-wing-to-discuss-triple-talaq-ucc-next-month/story-hcQGBG4q5BDgwJF3QSmWsL.html

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Muslims Stage 'Morcha' In Maharashtra For Reservations

October 19, 2016

Marathas too have been demanding reservation from the government.

MUMBAI:  Inspired by the Maratha community's 'mook morcha' on quota issue, Muslims in Maharashtra's Latur and Ahmednagar on Tuesday turned up in huge numbers to stage a 'silent protest' demanding five per cent reservation in education and jobs.

The Muslim morchas were held at Ausa in Latur district and at Rahuri and Rahata in Ahmednagar district. The community has previously carried out similar rallies in Thane and Nashik also.

Participants of the morcha held placards which stated: "We want reservation".

Leaders belonging to the Other Backward Class (OBC) and volunteers form the Maratha community lent support to the Muslim morchas.

Source: ndtv.com/india-news/muslims-stage-morcha-in-maharashtra-for-reservations-1476049

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Notice to Justice Katju on petition against his comments on beef

October 19, 2016

New Delhi: A court in Allahabad has issued notice to retired Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju on a petition accusing him of having made “objectionable” remarks with regard to consumption of beef in his blog posts.

Additional Sessions Judge Shuchi Srivastava passed the order on the review petition of advocate Rakesh Nath Pandey, who alleged that Justice Katju has hurt the sentiments of a major section of the society by attacking the Hindu belief that the cow was sacred and seeking repeal of the laws whereby slaughtering cow has been banned in many states.

The ADJ has asked Justice Katju to file his reply by the next date of hearing on November 18.

The petition was filed by Pandey challenging an order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate whereby his prayer for directing the police to lodge an FIR against Justice Katju was turned down.

Justice Katju, who is also a former Chairman of the Press Council of India, has made a series of controversial statements on the communally sensitive issue of cow slaughter and beef ever since possession and sale of beef were made punishable with fine and five years in jail in Maharashtra in January last year.

In the wake of the Dadri lynching case of September last year wherein a 50-year-old man was beaten to death near Noida by a mob suspecting him of having slaughtered a cow and consumed its meat, Justice Katju came up with an outpouring of a number of scathing remarks.

Recently, in a Facebook post, Justice Katju wrote that he had a “danda” (stick) with which he wished to hit those who made a fuss over the issue of cow slaughter and beef.

Source: siasat.com/news/notice-justice-katju-petition-comments-beef-1044858/

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Africa

18 New Armed Groups Spring Up in Nigeria

19 OCT 2016

A total of 18 new armed groups have sprung in Nigeria in the last 17 months, according to a report by a crisis-monitoring group.

The report puts Nigeria well-ahead of any other African nation, as the country with the fastest-growing number of new armed dissident groups.

In apparent reflection of a poor crisis-management mechanism, the report by the Public Security & Safety Advocacy department of Intersociety shows that in the first 15 months of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, as many as 18 disaffected groups took up arms across the country.

Painting a gloomy portrait of regional security, the report showed that as at August 2016, at least 28 African countries were embroiled in internal conflicts fuelled by a total of 220 armed opposition and insurgency groups. Of these the Democratic Republic of Cong leads the pack with 36 armed opposition groups, followed by Libya with 28. South Sudan comes next with 26 warring groups while Nigeria is fourth with 20 armed groups.

Whilst Nigeria's ranking might not at first appear alarming, crisis monitors are already hitting the panic button considering that the country has jumped from its 13th position in May 2015 to fourth position in August 2016; a record time of just 15 months. The number, therefore, of non-state armed or resistance groups that have taken up arms against the Federal Republic of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has risen from two on May 29, 2015 to 20 in August 2016.

The Intersociety report showed that in May 2015 the number of active armed opposition groups (AOGs) in Nigeria was two: the Boko Haram terror group and Fulani armed nomadic herdsmen. Hitherto armed groups such as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF) were disarmed, demobilized and granted amnesty in 2009 under the leadership of late Umaru Yar'Adua. There was also a splinter group of Boko Haram called Ansaru, which was later absorbed by Boko Haram under the Islamic State West Africa, ISWA.

Today however, the number of armed groups in Nigeria has grown in multiples. They include the Islamic State West Africa and the Movement for Unity & Jihad in West Africa - both offshoots of ISIS and Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb; the Boko Haram; Armed nomadic herdsmen and the resurrected and re-armed Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.

Others are the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force; the Niger Delta Liberation Front; Niger Delta Avengers; Biafra Avengers; Red Egbesu Water Lions; Asawana Deadly Force of the Niger Delta, the Adaka Boro Marine Commandos; the Utorogon Liberation Movement; Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force; and the Joint Revolutionary Council of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force. Yet others are the Red Scorpion; the Ultimate Warriors of the Niger Delta; the Niger Delta Red Squad; Niger Delta Vigilante; the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate; the Ijaw/Oduduwa Militant Movement (in Ogun and Lagos States) and the Agatu Warriors in Benue State.

The report also mentioned Nigeria as the third largest defence and security spender in Africa after Algeria and Angola. While Nigeria spends about $4 billion, the figure for Algeria is $10.4 billion and Angola $6 billion.

Other African countries mentioned in the report with large number of armed opposition groups (AOGs) are Sudan, 19; Mali, 17; Central African Republic, 10; Egypt, 9; Ethiopia, 8; Algeria, 4; Eritrea, 4; and Somaliland, 4. Uganda has 3 while Mauritania, Kenya, Chad and Angola have 2 each. Morocco (Western Sahara), Tunisia, Senegal, Rwanda, Congo Republic, Puntland, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Cameroon and Burundi are listed in the report as having one armed opposition group each.

Source: allafrica.com/stories/201610190011.html

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Boko Haram Overruns Nigerian Military Base in Northeast

OCT. 19, 2016

YOLA, Nigeria — Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamic extremists have overrun a remote military camp in the northeast, leaving 13 soldiers wounded and an unknown number missing, the army said Wednesday.

Monday's attack comes a week after one faction of Boko Haram released 21 of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from northeastern Chibok town, and as Nigeria's government is negotiating for the release of another 83 of the girls abducted 2½ years ago.

The attack on Gashigar, on the border with Niger, is the third reported attack on the military after months of a lull during which the Islamic extremists hit soft civilian targets.

Army spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman called the attack a "temporary setback" committed by "remnants of Boko Haram" that forced the soldiers to retreat. An operation is in progress to find the missing troopers and "clear the Boko Haram terrorists at the general area," his statement said.

It is believed the attack is by a splinter from Boko Haram that calls itself the West Africa Province of the Islamic State. The IS named a new caliph of its only franchise in sub-Saharan Africa in August, provoking a struggle with Boko Haram's longtime leader Abubakar Shekau. A battle of words on social media indicated the dispute is over Shekau's indiscriminate killing of Muslims.

The group loyal to Shekau negotiated — with the Swiss government and International Committee of the Red Cross acting as intermediaries for Nigeria's government — last Thursday's release of 21 Chibok girls, the first such negotiated settlement.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who flew to Germany the day the girls were set free, is scheduled to meet with them and their families later Wednesday, according to a social media message posted by the official account of Nigeria's presidency.

Boko Haram's 7-year-old Islamic uprising has killed more than 20,000 people, forced some 2.6 million from their homes and left tens of thousands facing famine-like conditions, according to aid agencies and the U.N.

Source: nytimes.com/aponline/2016/10/19/world/africa/ap-af-nigeria-boko-haram.html

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Afriland First Bank, ICD in deal to create Islamic window

Oct 19, 2016

Khaled Al-Aboodi (left), CEO and managing director of ICD, and Olivier Dadjeu Kengne, CEO and managing director of Afriland First Bank Ivory Coast, shake hands after signing the agreement

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, in partnership with Afriland First Bank Ivory Coast, a Pan-African full service bank, have signed agreement in which both parties will cooperate to establish an Islamic Window in Ivory Coast.

The cooperation reflects ICD’s ambition to promote Islamic finance in its member countries, and support its growing presence and activities in Africa. In the process, both parties intend to offer technical and advisory support to successfully structure and implement an Islamic window.

The agreement was signed by Khaled Mohammed Al-Aboodi, CEO and Managing Director of ICD, and Olivier Dadjeu Kengne, CEO and Managing Director of Afriland First Bank Ivory Coast.

Al Aboodi expressed his strong support for the partnership, saying: «I am extremely pleased to have this framework of collaboration with our partner. Cooperating with Afriland First Bank will give us the opportunity to sit our presence in plain where the demand is always increasing and where ICD is needed the most given its reputation and expertise in the Islamic finance.»

Kengne said: “Afriland First Bank Côte d’Ivoire is an African Bank which always works with the respect of African traditions and communities. We aim at developing enough closeness with people and local communities so that we can respond at the best to any of their solicitations. To sum it up, we are open, flexible and adaptable to ensure the success of our clients.”

He added: “Thus, the partnership with ICD appeared like a self-evidence to diversify the bank›s activities and meet the needs of some of its customers, particularly to a large Muslim community which is actively involved in trades. So by this partnership, we propose another financial system, an alternative model of financing, different from conventional finance which matches the values and principles of Islam.”

Source: saudigazette.com.sa/business/afriland-first-bank-icd-deal-create-islamic-window/

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Buhari's row with wife Aisha, signals frustration over Nigerian inertia

19 OCT 2016

Nigeria is struggling with its first recession in 25 years and critics say Buhari was slow to respond to the crisis.

 "He is yet to tell me, but I have decided as his wife that if things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again," Aisha Buhari said. "He is yet to tell me, but I have decided as his wife that if things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again," Aisha Buhari said.

A row between the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife has brought cracks in the ruling party right into the open, as frustration grows over government inertia in trying to drag the country out of its first recession in 25 years.

Aisha Buhari publicly criticised her husband’s record in office, saying she might not support him if he seeks re-election in 2019 unless he shakes up his administration, which she said had been hijacked by a “few people”.The president tried to laugh off the rebuke from his wife of 27 years, saying “she belongs in the kitchen” - but without addressing the substance of her remarks, made last week in an interview with the BBC.

The 73-year-old won last year’s election promising a new era in the West African nation, where graft has enriched an elite while most of the 180 million Nigerians live in poverty despite the OPEC member’s oil wealth.

Buhari came to power backed by his All Progressives Congress (APC) party, a broad coalition of politicians who united to remove his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, without having a joint plan on how to run the country.

Full report at:mgafrica.com/article/2016-10-19-buharis-row-with-wife-signals-frustration-over-nigerian-inertia

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Welcome to limbo: Somaliland, country that never was

19 OCT 2016

Rather surprisingly, as a Briton, I feel at home in Hargeisa, the ram­bunc­tious capital of Somaliland, a country that doesn’t legally exist. It is partly because the locals gather for tea and a slice of cake in the afternoon, but also because I find myself being hailed by Somalilanders with distinctly London accents.

“What brings you here, mate? Good to see ya!” proclaims one returned diaspora man, leaning out of his car window.

Glorious past: Ethiopia abounds in sacred sites and places of stunning natural beauty

Since declaring independence from Somalia in 1991, following the end of a civil war, Somaliland has carved out a distinct identity and, cut off from inter­national assistance while stuck in political limbo, has had to develop its own way of doing things.

Travellers to this land, sandwiched between Ethiopia and the Gulf of Aden, therefore, encounter an intriguing mix. Within sight of Hargeisa’s myriad mosques (sharia law is part of the constitution and all women cover their hair in public) are boisterous stalls selling khat, the plant whose shiny green leaves act as a mild stimulant when chewed. By mid-afternoon, and between the daily calls to prayers, the streets are full of men chewing away in search of mirqaan, the Somali word for the euphoric buzz the leaves give.

Salalah, taste of traditional Oman and delightful alternative to Muscat

Downtown Hargeisa appears as one sprawling, epic market. Passionate haggling in rapid-fire Somali takes place in front of stalls selling every-thing from brand-name perfumes and shampoos – possibly fakes – to electronics, shoes, clothes and fabrics. Pyramids of colourful fruits and vegetables stand beside some stalls.

Shiny new SUVs share the roads with donkey-drawn carts ambling past street-side vendors offering food in front of diaspora-funded modern office blocks and malls, Wi-fi enabled cafés and air-conditioned gyms.

In the centre of it all stands the vener­able Oriental, Hargeisa’s first hotel, built in 1953. The British influence can be seen in its tired, red stair carpets, stainless-steel tea pots, none with a lid still attached by a hinge, and the afternoon tea service. A kind of modern caravanserai, at 4pm, the hotel’s covered inner courtyard is full of locals dressed in Muslim garb, being served cups of tea and cake by female staff covered in brightly coloured robes, intricate henna tattoos weaving across hands and up arms.

Full report at:scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/travel/article/2029380/welcome-limbo-somaliland-country-never-was

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Nigeria will overcome security challenges soon-Sultan

Oct 19 2016

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Wednesday expressed optimism that Nigeria would overcome its socio-economic and political challenges soon.

Abubakar, who is also the President General of the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, stated this at a three-days conference on enhancing religious peace in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference which was organised by the African Council of Religious Leaders has the theme “Faith Works Africa: Partnership for Peace and prosperity”.

The Sultan said that the conference was aimed at deepening religious tolerance and understanding between adherent of different religions in Africa and chart a new course for the attainment of sustainable peace in the continent.

Abubakar said that the Buhari-led Federal Government had demonstrated genuine commitment to addressing lingering security challenges facing the country.

“Like so many countries across the world, Nigeria has its own challenges and we will overcome those challenges within a short possible time,” he said.

The Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, said that the conference would correct misconceptions about religion especially with the calibre of religious leaders in attendance.

He said that the attitude of some people gives religion a bad name, especially those that wage war and kill people.

Onaiyekan said that the conference would correct widely held view that Nigeria was not a peaceful country, adding “Nigeria has a long history of peaceful coexistence and hospitality.”

He said that the role of religious leaders in promoting interfaith dialogue could not be over emphasised, adding that religious communities are very effective in building peace.

Source: dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/nigeria-will-overcome-security-challenges-soon-sultan/167583.html

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Europe

Islamist violence will steer Europe’s destiny

OCT 19, 2016

STOCKHOLM – Visiting predominantly Muslim suburbs emerging outside nearly all northern European cities, one question keeps recurring: Why have some of the richest, most educated, most secular, most placid and most homogeneous countries in the world willingly opened their doors to virtually any migrant from the poorest, least modern, most religious and least stable countries?

Other questions follow: Why have mostly Christian countries decided to take in mostly Muslim immigrants? Why do so many establishment politicians, most notably Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, ignore and revile those who increasing worry that this immigration is permanently changing the face of Europe? Why does it fall to the weaker Visegrad states of Eastern Europe to articulate a patriotic rejection of this phenomenon? Where will the immigration lead to?

There’s no single answer that applies to multiple countries; but of the many factors (such as secularization) behind this historically unprecedented acceptance of alien peoples, one stands out as most critical: a Western European sense of guilt. To many educated Western Europeans, their civilization is less about scientific advances, unprecedented levels of prosperity and the achievement of unique human freedoms, and more about colonialism, racism and fascism.

The brutal French conquest of Algeria, the uniquely evil German genocide against the Jews and the legacy of extreme nationalism cause many Europeans, in the analysis of Pascal Bruckner, a French intellectual, to see themselves as “the sick man of the planet,” responsible for every global problem from poverty to environmental rapacity; “the white man has sown grief and ruin wherever he has gone.” Affluence implies robbery, light skin manifests sinfulness.

Bruckner labels this the “tyranny of guilt” and I encountered some colorful expressions during my recent travels of such self-hatred. A French Catholic priest expressed remorse over the record of the church. A conservative German intellectual preferred Syrians and Iraqis to his fellow Germans. A Swedish tour guide put down fellow Swedes and hoped he would not be perceived as one.

Indeed, many Europeans feel their guilt makes them superior; the more they dislike themselves, the more they preen — inspiring a strange mix of self-loathing and moral superiority that, among other consequence, leaves them reluctant to commit the time and money required to bear children. “Europe is losing faith in itself, and birthrates have collapsed,” notes Irish scientist William Reville.

The catastrophic birth dearth underway has created an existential demographic crisis. With women of the European Union bearing just 1.58 children as of 2014, the continent lacks the offspring to replace itself; over time, this far-less-than-replacement rate means a precipitous decline in the numbers of ethnic Portuguese, Greeks and others. To maintain the welfare state and the pension machine requires importing foreigners.

These two drives — expiating guilt and replacing nonexistent children — then combine to encourage a massive influx of non-Western peoples, what the French writer Renaud Camus calls “the great replacement.” South Asians in the United Kingdom, North Africans in France and Turks in Germany, plus Somalis, Palestinians, Kurds and Afghans all over, can claim innocence of Europe’s historic sins even as they offer the prospect of staffing the economy. As U.S. writer Mark Steyn puts it, “Islam is now the principal supplier of new Europeans.”

The establishment, or what I call the 6 P’s (politicians, police, prosecutors, the press, professors and priests), generally insists that everything will turn out fine: Kurds will become productive workers, Somalis fine citizens and Islamist problems will melt away.

That’s the theory and sometimes it works. Far too often, however, Muslim immigrants remain aloof from the culture of their new European home or reject it, as most clearly manifested by gender relations; some violently attack non-Muslims. Far too often too, they lack the skills or incentive to work hard and end up an economic liability.

The influx of non-integrating Muslim peoples raises the profound question of whether Europe’s civilization of the past millennium can survive. Will England become Londonistan and France an Islamic republic? The establishment castigates, dismisses, sidelines, ostracizes, suppresses and even arrests those who raise such issues, demeaning them as right-wing extremists, racists and neo-fascists.

Nonetheless, the prospect of Islamization prompts a growing number of Europeans to fight on behalf of their traditional way of life. Leaders include intellectuals such as the late Oriana Fallaci and novelist Michel Houellebecq; politicians such as Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, and Geert Wilders, head of the most popular Dutch party.

Anti-immigration political parties typically win about 20 percent of the vote. And while a consensus has emerged that their appeal will stay about there, perhaps reaching 30 percent, they could well continue to grow. Opinion polls show that very substantial majorities fear Islam and want to stop and even reverse the effects of immigration, especially that of Muslims. In this light, Norbert Hofer recently winning 50 percent of the vote in Austria represents a potentially major breakthrough.

The greatest question facing Europe is who, establishment or populace, will steer the continent’s future. The extent of Islamist political violence will likely decide this: a drumbeat of high-profile mass murders (such as in France since January 2015) tilts the field toward the people; its absence allows the establishment to remain in charge. Ironically, then, the actions of migrants will largely shape Europe’s destiny.

Source: japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2016/10/19/commentary/world-commentary/islamist-violence-will-steer-europes-destiny/#.WAdfS-V97IU

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Germany and EU talk tough on returning 'IS' fighters

OCT 19, 2016

As part of his first visit to Berlin after becoming EU security commissioner on September 19, Julian King toured the Joint Terrorism Defense Center in Berlin. And terrorism - particularly the prospect of European "Islamic State" (IS) fighters from Syria and Iraq coming back to the continent - was at the center of his subsequent talks with German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

"We need to redouble our efforts to deal with that threat, and in particular we need to redouble our efforts on prevention to dissuade people from going in the first place to support Daesh," King said, using the Arabic acronym for IS. "We need to redouble the work we're doing to strengthen controls on our borders, including for EU citizens."

In an interview with "Die Welt" newspaper ahead of his meeting with de Maiziere, King had warned that if Iraqi troops retook the IS stronghold of Mosul, European IS fighters could return and launch terrorist attacks. King said that the numbers of such fighters was likely to be small but added that they represented a serious threat for which Europe had to be prepared.

De Maiziere acknowledged that IS had threatened to launch attacks on the continent but argued that the potential fall of Mosul didn't necessarily raise the danger level in Europe.

"I don't see any additional threat to Germany because of the fighting on the ground there," de Maiziere said.

In his interview King put the number of people from the EU fighting for IS at 2,500, although earlier this year, English newspaper "The Telegraph" put the figure at around 6,000.  A study by the International Center for Counter Terrorism in The Hague published this April specified the number of IS fighters from Germany as more than 238.

Known and unknown threats

The interior minister insisted that Germany had laws in place to intercept any returning IS fighters at its borders .

"Of course we know those people who left Germany and who may have battle experience," de Maiziere said. "That's why we have laws to prevent them from traveling and take them into custody when they return, and that happens on a weekly basis."

Potential terrorists who come to Germany for the first time and are unknown to security authorities represent a different problem. But de Maiziere argued that Germany was well-prepared, alluding to the arrest of would-be terrorist Jaber Albakr, who entered Germany as a refugee from Syria.

"Good cooperation between security authorities, internationally and nationally, makes it possible to recognize dangerous people and prevent them from attacking, as has been successfully shown in Germany recently," the interior minister said.

But de Maiziere essentially sidestepped a question as to whether the battle for Mosul could lead to another wave of refugees to Germany, with the attendant security risks.

A three-pronged plan

Despite Britain's intent to leave the EU, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker appointed King to head the bloc's security efforts - a move widely considered an expression of how highly Brussels regards British intelligence services. De Maiziere seemed particularly keen to highlight the level of consensus between Germany and the British EU commissioner on the future directions of European security policy.

The Interior Minister said that Europe and the EU would be pursuing a passenger name record (PNR) of all air travelers flying to or within Europe, a system of visa-free travel (ETIAS) modeled on the American ESTA system, and the "interoperability" or linkage of various databases used by different security institutions.

"These three elements are difficult legally and technically, but they're absolutely urgent," de Maiziere said, "and I'm happy that Commissioner King is also going to take them up as a personal cause."

Squeezing the space

King specifically came out in support of the PNR but otherwise remained more general in his remarks.

"The security of one member state is the security of all, and there's a lot we can do at the EU level to help the efforts of member states," the commissioner said. "For example, we can work to squeeze the space in which terrorists, and cyber-criminals, and serious criminals act."

He did, however, stress the need to prevent people from becoming radicalized and hinted that EU member states that failed to live up to security standards could face repercussions.

"We need to do what we collectively agreed to do," King said. "There are some instances in which member states are lagging behind, and the commission will encourage them, including, when necessary, by taking infringement action."

But it remains to be seen whether King can maintain the authority necessary to keep all the EU's member states in line, if his home country makes concrete progress toward leaving the bloc.

Source: dw.com/en/germany-and-eu-talk-tough-on-returning-is-fighters/a-36079316

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Pakistan

Centre still encroaching on provincial subjects despite 18th amendment, says Baloch

Wed, 19 Oct 2016

HYDERABAD: Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, the former chief minister of Balochistan and leader of the National Party (NP), said on Tuesday that even after the passage of the 18th constitutional amendment the Centre continued to encroach upon provincial subjects, adding that the country cannot have true democracy unless commoners from grass-roots level reached parliament.

He was addressing a Meet the Press programme of the Hyderabad Press Club and the High Court Bar Association (HCBA), Hyderabad chapter.

“The 18th amendment is not being implemented in true spirit,” he said, adding that all natural resources and property must be owned by federating units wherever they were located.

Likewise, he added, the ports of Karachi and Gwadar should be owned by provincial governments.

He said the NP supported the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, but urged the federal government to hand over the control of ports to provinces.

“In fact it is municipal authority that controls ports everywhere in the world,” he said, adding that Gawadar city must have its share in the port’s revenues besides Balochistan and the federal government.

Refugees

He said that of all the challenges being faced by the country, the most important was that of refugees.

“There is an onslaught of refugees,” Mr Baloch observed, adding that the refugee burden had created problems of national and economic nature. “They should now be immediately repatriated by the federal government.”

He told bar members that his dissenting notes in meetings of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) regarding census were on record.

“I opposed census as long as refugees are there in Balochistan,” he said, adding that previously they stayed in the country under the state’s policy, but now the policy had changed.

“Things are improving gradually,” he said.

Peace in Quetta

“When I took over as chief minister, the law and order situation was at its worst. Roads were not safe for people to travel and cases of kidnapping were rampant and insurgency was also at its peak,” he said.

The former Balochistan chief minister said he had made apolitical a “heavily politicised” police force.

“Even as chief minister, I didn’t make one single appointment or transfer, while budgetary allocation of Rs10 billion was made for police and Levies so that they could take care of themselves.”

In reply to a question, Mr Baloch said that since Balochistan was caught in a power game, things would take long to improve. “Conditions are not absolutely fine. Elements connected with India or Afghanistan can possibly be involved in Balochistan for their own vested interests.”

He said the education sector witnessed improvement and today the provincial Public Service Commission was “free of corruption”.

“Settlers who had left Quetta have returned and this city is witnessing brisk business activities,” he asserted.

“We talked to insurgents as well and a delegation of senior leaders talked to Brahamdagh Bugti and Khan of Kalat. They are now willing to talk and efforts are still under way to reach some amicable settlement with them [insurgents],” he said.

Regional peace

Referring to the regional situation, he said he favoured negotiations with neighbouring countries. “We need to take China, Iran, India and Afghanistan on board for peace and prosperity for every country of the region,” Mr Baloch said.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290899/centre-still-encroaching-on-provincial-subjects-despite-18th-amendment-says-baloch

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Pakistan arrests two for spreading Islamic State propaganda

Wed, 19 Oct 2016

Police arrested two men suspected of distributing pamphlets for Islamic State (IS) following a raid in the northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said on Wednesday, amid lingering fears that the Middle East militant group was making inroads in Pakistan.

Last month, the military said that it had stemmed Islamic State's attempts to expand in the country, having arrested more than 300 people suspected of plotting attacks against government, diplomatic and civilian targets.

Following Tuesday's raid, however, police in the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province said militants were operating in parts of Peshawar, including some from Islamic State. "Some of areas in the provincial capital including Tehskal, Palosai, Charsadda Road and Regi are known for activities of militant groups such as IS," police official Ishtiaq Ahmed told Reuters.

Another police official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media, said two other suspects managed to escape during the raid.

There are fears that some of Pakistan's home-grown Sunni militants could be drawn to Islamic State, as already seen in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Pakistan has long suffered from sectarian violence, with Sunni militants targeting the country's minority Shi'ites, as well as non-Muslim religious minorities.

In August, the official Islamic State news service claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a hospital in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta that killed 74 people.

The attack, however, was also claimed by a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, which at one time had declared support for Islamic State's Middle East leadership, but later switched back to the Taliban.

Source: dnaindia.com/world/report-pakistan-arrests-two-for-spreading-islamic-state-propaganda-2265581

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43 militants of banned group surrender

Wed, 19 Oct 2016

QUETTA: Forty-three militants belonging to a banned organisation have surrendered themselves to authorities in Dera Bugti.

According to official sources, at a ceremony held in Dera Bugti on Tuesday the militants announced that they had parted ways with Nawabzada Brahamdagh Bugti and decided to join mainstream politics.

A spokesperson for the Frontier Corps said that the 43 men who belonged to the banned Balochistan Republican Army (BRA) had handed over their weapons to authorities.

He said they had vowed to remain loyal to Pakistan and to work for the development of the country. “We have decided to abandon armed struggle and join mainstream politics after Brahamdagh Bugti sought asylum in India,” he quoted the men as saying.

He said they had expressed their concern over the Baloch nationalist leader’s closeness with India and informed the authorities that dozens of other BRA members would soon quit militancy and announce their dissociation with Brahamdagh Bugti’s policies.

The FC spokesperson said that BRA militants were launching attacks against those who had announced detaching themselves from subversive activities.

He said a few days ago BRA militants attacked a village from where they took away 1,500 livestock and weapons.

However, he added that FC personnel launched an operation in the area and recovered all the stolen livestock and weapons.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290898/43-militants-of-banned-group-surrender

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Imran thunders at Nawaz, declares PML-N party polls a mockery

Wed, 19 Oct 2016

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday hit back at Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's speech a day earlier, demanding a response to accusations of corruption levelled against the premier and his family after the Panama revelations.

PM Nawaz, addressing a gathering after the PML-N's intra-party elections on Tuesday said that the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were looking for those who had promised them a new Pakistan.

“Today, the Instead of serving the people of their province, they are wasting time dancing on containers,” the premier said.

Imran Khan in Islamabad said that Nawaz had spoken about "everything except Panamagate" during his address.

"2018 [general election] is far away. He has to answer now on the Panama leaks," he said.

"Mian Panama Sharif, people will not forget your corruption," Imran thundered, accusing the premier of "making a mockery" of the party's polls.

"We cannot even hope for elections from them as Nawaz Sharif is running his political business like a dictator," he alleged. "The PML-N is mistaken if they think they can form a government in KP through rigging."

The PTI has announced a lockdown of Islamabad on November 2 in pursuance of the party's demand for the premier's 'resignation or accountability' following Panamagate.

However, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has summoned the PTI chief for a hearing the same day regarding a reference calling for disqualification of Imran Khan and senior PTI leader Jahangir Tareen.

When questioned about the hearing, Imran accused the ECP of siding with the PML-N in the 2013 general election. He added that the ECP and PML-N contested the 2013 elections together.

"ECP can do whatever it wants till 2pm on Nov 2. After that, there will be a tsunami of people," the PTI chief remarked.

Imran also alleged the PML-N government had concealed matters pertaining to the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He maintained the project is not being undertaken in a transparent manner, as it is not clear what the sources of loans were.

Will say goodbye to politics if corruption proven: Shahbaz

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif addressing a public gathering rejected the PTI chief's statements.

"I will leave politics if even a single penny of corruption is proven."

The CM alleged his opponents also possessed offshore assets that were concealed from the ECP.

"CPEC is a gift from China... He [Imran] says he has no issue with the CPEC but his chief minister in KP issues statements against China," he said.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290922/imran-thunders-at-nawaz-declares-pml-n-party-polls-a-mockery

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Sharif criticises PTI after re-elected as PML-N President

October 19, 2016

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has criticized the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), saying that its leadership has spent all its time on containers and dancing instead of serving Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

In a veiled reference to the PTI chief Imran Khan, Sharif said, “Today the people of KP are searching for their elected leader. They are searching for those who promised them a ‘Naya Pakistan’ but they are only found on containers.”

“Had you focused on your province, people would be praising you, but the situation now is such that you need months of effort to organise a gathering and to get people to attend it,” he added.

The Dawn quoted Sharif as saying, “Citizens will patronise those who they believe will work for the development of Pakistan.”

He noted that the PTI will be washed of KP by 2018 and PML-N will rule the province after the next general election.

Claiming that when he was elected the Prime Minister, people used to ask him why he was so worried, they used to ask him why he doesn’t smile anymore, Sharif said that he forgot how to smile due to the weight of my responsibilities. He had made a promise to the people, but how would it happen? This worry was eating him away.”

Thanking China for their help, the Prime Minister said, “We didn’t have money for a single power plant. We needed dollars. If we put up one plant, we wouldn’t have enough money for another, and you need lots of power plants to end the power shortage. I would like to thank our friend China from the bottom of my heart,” he said, for contributing to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

In an apparent reference to the PTI, he said that these people claim they will come onto the streets and ‘jam’ Islamabad. We are the people who will continue building roads and they will keep wandering on the streets.

Making a comparison between the PML-N and PTI, Sharif said that one has been has been given a chance to work for Pakistan’s progress, while the other has got the mandate to sing and dance on containers, to wander on streets and to hurl abuse.

Earlier in the day, Nawaz Sharif was re-elected unopposed as president of the PML-N during an intra-party election.

Senior party leader Raja Zafarul Haq was elected as the chairman of the party while Sartaj Aziz, Sir Anjam Khan, Yakoob Khan and Changaz Marri were elected senior vice presidents of the party.

Pervaz Rashid was elected as the secretary finance.

Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal headed the five-member election committee which had received and scrutinised the nomination papers.

Source: siasat.com/news/sharif-criticises-pti-re-elected-pml-n-president-1044580/

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Southeast Asia

Malaysia on alert as Mosul offensive stokes fears of militant influx

October 19, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia has stepped up security at its borders in case Malaysian militant fighters try to return home after Iraqi forces launched a major offensive to take back the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Tuesday.

Iraqi government forces launched a U.S.-backed offensive on Monday to drive Islamic State from the northern city of Mosul, the group's last major stronghold in Iraq.

Around 4,000 to 8,000 militants, a mix of Iraqi and foreign fighters, are estimated to be in the city.

Ahmad Zahid told a news conference that Malaysian airport and border security had been increased, while illegal routes commonly used by smugglers were being monitored.

"We have been exchanging intel with international intelligence agencies, and we have a suspect list which includes names of those we believe have ties with Daesh," he said, using an alternate name for Islamic State.

Ahmad Zahid did not state how many Malaysians were currently in Mosul but police figures released last month showed that 90 Malaysians had joined Islamic State in Syria and Iraq since 2013.

In August, Malaysia revoked the passports of 68 Malaysians who had been identified as leaving the country to join Islamic State.

Returning fighters would be detained and sent for deradicalization, Ahmad Zahid said.

A total of 137 people have been arrested for either planning to join Islamic State overseas, returning to Malaysia after joining the group, or sending funds to the group, he added.

Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had said on Monday intelligence sources suggested that thousands of Islamic State members would make their way back to their countries of origin, or find safe havens in regions such as Southeast Asia, if the Mosul offensive succeeds.

 "We have to be very proactive," he was quoted as saying by state news agency Bernama.

Authorities in Muslim-majority Malaysia have been on high alert since Islamic State-linked militants carried out an armed attack in the capital of neighboring Indonesia in January.

In June, eight people were injured when two Islamic State supporters threw a grenade into a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, the first successful attack by the group in the Malaysia.

Source: gmanetwork.com/news/story/585553/news/world/malaysia-on-alert-as-mosul-offensive-stokes-fears-of-militant-influx

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Myanmar’s Rohingya Conflict: Foreign Jihadi Brewing – Analysis

OCTOBER 19, 2016

The recent Maungdaw border attacks on the Myanmar police by Rohingya militants have brought a new dimension to the conflict between the Rohingya and the Buddhist majority. Foreign-based jihadists are taking advantage of the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar state’s Rakhine state to pursue their cause.

This is reflected in two online publications of the jihadists. The first was in the April 2016 issue of Dabiq, the mouthpiece of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS aka ISIL), in which a Bangladeshi jihadist Abu Ibrahim called on others to join him to help the oppressed Rohingya and support them in every possible way. He also warned that ISIL militants in Bangladesh would begin launching operations within Myanmar in time.

The second publication belongs to Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) titled Al-Balagh which is aimed at Bengali speakers. Recently, it referenced the Muslims in Myanmar and the Philippines and urged other Muslims to join their fight against oppression.

Since these statements, a fighting force of between 40 to 250 men had been organised. They planned the attacks on Myanmar border police over three months. They travelled by boat along a coastal route and were aided by “local Muslims” with unsubstantiated links to the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) at the time.

The Birth of Harakah al-Yaqin

Harakah al-Yaqin, or the Movement of Certainty, was born out of the competition between ISIL and AQIS to gain more recruits for their global terror networks. Some have long argued that the Rohingya would never resort to violent struggle because the poverty-stricken and stateless Muslims have neither the resources nor the physical strength – due to their abject conditions – to have and pursue a dream for autonomy and self-government.

On 9 October 2016, a Facebook page supposedly belonging to RSO posted on its Facebook page that it is “still alive” after it was accused of being responsible for the attacks, on the same day, against three border guard posts in Maungdaw Township. The attacks resulted in the deaths of nine policemen along with several of the attackers as well as the looting of “more than 50 guns and thousands of bullets”. The RSO had been blamed by the Myanmar government for other recent attacks and was believed to be dormant for some time until what appears to be a revival message on the Facebook page.

Two days later, on 11 October 2016, two videos surfaced on YouTube and were circulated in jihadist information circles. In the videos, what appeared to be militants were featured speaking in a mixture of Bengali, Arakanese and Arabic languages. According to these sources, the videos were recently taken by illegal immigrants from Bangladesh who managed to cross over to northern Arakan where the attacks on police posts on the border took place. Armed with AK-47 rifles, militants of unknown ethnicity stared into the camera, holding up their index finger in a pose identified with ISIL these days while their leader spoke to “Rohingya brothers around the world”.

This group of militants, now identified as belonging to Harakah al-Yaqin, wants foreign-based Rohingya and jihadists to join them in northern Arakan to fight Myanmar forces who were looking for them at that moment. They requested medicine and for foreign-based Rohingya to relinquish their love for the world and their fear of death and to sacrifice their lives. They also asked for religious leaders to issue fatwa to legitimise their violence.

Implications for Southeast Asia

Harakah al-Yaqin has attracted the attention of jihadists in the rest of Southeast Asia, from Indonesia to the Philippines. Their videos have already circulated among Malay, Tagalog and Thai-speaking ISIL supporters and fighters on social media who believe that the self-styled mujahidin are seeking revenge for the injustices of the Myanmar military and that they had bribed the security forces for weapons. Every subsequent video or picture depicting the suffering of the Rohingya will only serve as fuel for jihadist propaganda. Furthermore, Harakah al-Yaqin has managed to turn its acts of violence into a security concern for Southeast Asia.

The non-refugee Rohingya-Bengali diaspora has been suspected of intentional or unintentional involvement with Southeast Asian militant groups. Unverified reports on social media also suggest that Myanmar Muslims have made their way to the Philippines to link up with ISIL-affiliated terrorists. On 12 October 2016, the RSO Facebook page even uploaded an older video of the Abu Sayyaf group beheading a Filipino with the words “surprise after a long time from Arakan”.

Previously, in 2015, the Pakistani Taliban and Somali Al-Shabab had called on Muslims in Southeast Asia to come to the aid of the Rohingya. These references suggest that at the very least, there is an ideological nexus between jihadists in South Asia and Southeast Asia which may influence the shape of armed jihadism in Southeast Asia. After all, with the military decline of ISIS/ISIL in Iraq, returning jihadists would look for opportunities in the region to pursue their cause.

Policy Implications

Regional security forces should no longer be only focussed on the Indonesian archipelago or the southern Philippines. They should also be on the lookout for militant-related activities and jihadist movements in northern Myanmar. The Myanmar government can no longer ignore the Rohingya situation and treat it as a Myanmar issue. The peace and security in Arakan, Myanmar and the wider Southeast Asian region is at risk.

All parties cannot afford the political dispute between the Rohingya and the Myanmar state to be hijacked by global jihadism. Should a jihadi insurgency break out along the borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar, helping the Rohingya in their struggle for survival and security will be critical for counter-insurgency success. Managing the relations between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar, especially along the country’s western frontier will be a key factor in containing extremism and radical activists. The Rohingya crisis cannot be left to fester and remain unresolved as it could eventually affect the stability and security of the region.

Source: eurasiareview.com/19102016-myanmars-rohingya-conflict-foreign-jihadi-brewing-analysis/

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Brunei enlisted to boost credibility of PHL’s halal certification system

October 19, 2016

Following bilateral meetings with his counterpart in Brunei, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez on Monday said the Sultanate will help the Philippines explore the world market for food prepared according to Islamic dietary rules.

Although the Philippines has its own halal certification, Mr. Lopez said in a news conference in Brunei that “we need (to reinforce) the credibility of the certification procedure so that we can really export halal products.”

Mr. Lopez noted that “having a halal seal also signifies quality (and) cleanliness,” stressing that “it’s one area that we really have to maximize when it comes to our ability to export halal products.”

He added: “It was a great discussion with respect to really exploring the immense opportunities in developing halal products. As you know, the estimated halal market... is about two trillion dollars. And we all know the expertise of Brunei with respect to halal certification.”

Mr. Lopez added that the two state plan to revive the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) in order to strengthen the flow of trade with Brunei and other member countries.

Source: bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Economy&title=brunei-enlisted-to-boost-credibility-of-phl&8217s-halal-certification-system&id=135085

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