New Age Islam
Mon Nov 23 2020, 10:20 PM

Islamic World News ( 3 Aug 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Avoid Intellect, Logic When It Comes To Islam, Perak Mufti Tells Cabinet



File photo Indonesia's moderate Islam: Women offer prayers during the month of Ramadan in Jakarta. (Photo: AFP/Adek Berry)

 


Southeast Asia

Avoid Intellect, Logic When It Comes To Islam, Perak Mufti Tells Cabinet

Indonesia's Islamic Groups Urged To Continue Their Brand of Moderate Islam

Indonesia Web-Savvy Muslim Youth Champion Peace

Court Orders Graft Charges against Ex-Minister Dahlan to Be Dropped

Islamic Scholars: MUI Fatwa on Health Insurance Will Have Little Effect

Risma Supporters Take to Constitutional Court after Surabaya Election Postponed

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South Asia

10 Soldiers Martyred, 53 Militants Killed In Military Operations across Afghanistan

Head of Taliban's Qatar Office Quits As Leadership Rift Deepens

Former Afghan warlord says Taliban weaker amid infighting

Taliban reject reports of Mullah Yaqoub’s death

Tayyab Agha resigned as Taliban’s head of Qatar office

Rohingyas: From Burma Pan to Forced Marriage Fire

Saudi-Bangla MoU to boost relations

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Europe

To Defeat Russia, Ukraine Creates Muslim Military Unit Made Up Of Crimean Tatars

14 Islamic State Fighters Killed In North Caucasus Raid By Russian Security Forces

Britain to ‘extend’ airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq

Moroccan King Warns Against Proselytism

Richard Christiansen and Vanessa Holden’s Trip to Morocco

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Arab World

Iraqi Official Says Maliki’s Government Wasted $1 Trillion of Iraqi Funds

We Want Iranian Cooperation, Not Meddling, Arabs Tell Kerry

Saudi Military Base Comes under Yemen's Heavy Artillery Fire

Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Repels Terrorist Attack on Western Aleppo

Ansarullah Thwarts Pro-Hadi Militants' Attack on Lahij's Airbase

Political Analyst: Israel behind Siege of Shiite-Populated Areas in Syria

Syrian Army Advancing against Rebel Groups in North of Lattakia

Over 100 Izadis leave Iraq every day: Official

First U.S.-trained Syria rebel ‘killed in fighting’

Syrian fighters’ capture spells trouble for anti-ISIS coalition

Kerry: No place for Assad in Syria’s future

Report: U.S.-led strikes in Iraq, Syria killed 459 civilians over the past year

New proposal to solve Syrian crisis

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Pakistan

Long-Term Goal of Music Festival in Karachi Is To Create a Tolerant Society

Centre Delays Plan to Launch MadrasaReforms in Provinces

Two Suspected Militants Killed In Balochistan's Noshki District

Pakistan to keep facilitating Afghan talks

JI chief asks MQM supporters to shun Altaf's anti-army remarks

Two killed in cross-border firing along Indo-Pak Working Boundary

Shafqat Hussain executed at Karachi Central Jail

Altaf's 'loose talk' worsens situation: Nisar

Nisar rejects rumours about conspiracy in army

Altaf Hussain checks popularity through poll question on official website

Action against Altaf will be under Pak-UK legal framework

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India

13 Indians Have Joined Islamic State So Far, 6 Are Dead

Indian Air Force Makes First Staging Visit to Saudi Arabia

UP MLA Zameerullah Khan Launches ‘Save Cow’ Campaign

Indians kidnapped by IS fine, says freed captive

Exchange of fire on India-Pakistan border leaves 3 killed, 11 wounded

Won’t interfere in religion, Maharashtra CM tells Muslims

Saudi-Indian defense ties soar

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Mideast

Turkish Muslims Rebuild Synagogue, Embrace Jews

In Turkish Villages Facing Is, Doubt Hangs over Us Strategy

Russian Fm Voices Support for Independent Palestinian State

Italian FM: Iran's Fight against Extremism Source of Hope for Europe

Senior Iranian cleric writes letter to al-Azhar’s grand imam

Jewish extremist head held after anti-Arab violence

Yemen’s Hadi vows to liberate entire country

Yemeni military base captured from Houthis

Yemen forces repel Hadi supporters' attack on airbase in Lahij

Iran, Afghanistan to Launch Joint Committees on Security, Border Issues

Rouhani: Iran Hails Expansion of All-out Ties with Azerbaijan

IRGC Navy Commander: Iran to Give Strong Response to Slightest Aggressive Move by US

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Africa

Video Shows Muammar Gaddafi’s Son, Saadi Qaddafi Was Tortured in Prison

Attack on Soldiers in North Mali Kills 10

Raid on Somalia Army Base Resulted 10 Alshabaab Dead

5 killed in fresh Boko Haram attack in Madagali

Nigerian army ‘frees nearly 180 Boko Haram hostages’

Sudan’s Bashir plans to speak at U.N. in New York

Increase in attacks on Ugandan clerics

HURIWA calls on DSS to arrest Boko Haram masterminds

Nigeria: Journalist Threatened By Boko Haram

Boko Haram: US Considers Selling Weapons to Nigeria

Kenya: Senate Staff Accused of Plot to Help Al Shabaab Bomb Parliament Released

Ethiopia Jails 18 Muslims over Alleged Terror

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North America

Muslims Banned From New York Gun Store

Indiana First Islamic Event Held in Church

Akbar Ahmed’s documentary explores place of Islam in European history, civilization

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/avoid-intellect,-logic-when-it-comes-to-islam,-perak-mufti-tells-cabinet/d/104161

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Southeast Asia

 

Avoid Intellect, Logic When It Comes To Islam, Perak Mufti Tells Cabinet

August 4, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria reminded federal ministers yesterday against issuing statements based on logic and intellect when it comes to Islam, claiming that the intellect is influenced by desires and subsequently susceptible to the devil.

In a report carried by Malay daily Sinar Harian, the Perak mufti also warned Muslim ministers against deriding and belittling Islamic laws, as they risk breaching their oath of loyalty that was made in the name of Allah.

“I advise them not to go overboard. Islam is based on faith… Don’t make any remarks based on the intellect or logic because they are laws of Allah,” Harussani said.

“The intellect is governed by desires and it is influence by shaitan (satan). Don’t be ruled by desires and rudderless comments,” he added, using the name of the Devil in Islamic lore.

Harussani said Muslim ministers, deputy ministers and state executive councillors have all taken their oaths in front of the Agong or a sultan, and sworn with the name of Allah to defend the Constitution.

“The Constitution states that the Islam is the religion of the federation. Therefore, they cannot deride and belittle Allah’s rules. If not, then it means they have breached their oaths,” added the mufti.

Harussani made his remarks when asked by Sinar to comment on newly-appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Azalina Othman, who commented on the country’s censorship laws which she said had stunted the creative industry.

Azalina had said that the Film Censorship Board needs to relax its guidelines against banning intimate physical contact between Muslim male and female actors, since they were only acting out their roles.

Her remark has since enraged Islamic groups, including independent preacher Datuk Mohd Kazim Elias who urged her to “repent”.

Azalina was appointed as the chairman of the National Film Development Corporation on June 2, but stepped down last week following her appointment to the Cabinet.

She was also picked as the minister in charge of parliamentary affairs, replacing Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/avoid-intellect-logic-when-it-comes-to-islam-perak-mufti-tells-cabinet

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Indonesia's Islamic groups urged to continue their brand of moderate Islam

03 Aug 2015

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo has urged the country's two biggest Islamic groups to continue their brand of moderate Islam, amid growing religious intolerance and radicalism. Mr Widodo, who spoke at the opening of the congresses of the two groups, also paid tribute to their contributions in alleviating poverty.

Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second largest Islamic organisation, opened its 47th congress in Makassar, South Sulawesi on Monday (Aug 3). It chose the theme of "Progressive Islam" for the congress- its vision of a modern and moderate Islam.

Mr Widodo encouraged members to embrace diversity and practise an Islam for all.

“Make Progressive Islam part of the renewal process, where you understand a religion which is rational and open to the development of knowledge,” he said. “But make it with a moderate character that is civilised and not easily angered.”

The president also attended the opening of the Nahdlatul Ulama congress in Jombang, East Java, last Saturday. The group also advocates moderate Islam, making Islam Nusantara or "Islam of the archipelago" central to its congress.

Said Dr Said Aqil Siradj, chairman of the group: “I have always said to go back to the values, character and culture of the Islamic boarding schools. We must follow these values that have been passed down from our founders. Nahdlatul Ulama and Islamic boarding schools cannot be separated.”

Nahdlatul Ulama is also reaching out in cyberspace. The group has mobilised its youths to blog on the teachings of Islam and write consistent messages on social media.

“They are basically trying to employ many of the same techniques that have been used by the Salafi effectively in the past to try to counter their message,” said Dr Alexander Raymond Arifianto, a research fellow at S Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “But of course, whether the proponents of Islam Nusantara are going to be successful or not in this endeavour remains to be seen, because the conservatives have long dominated the public arena in this discourse for over a decade.”

Islamic groups in Indonesia realise the challenges they face in upholding tolerance, peace and progressiveness. But as the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia is in a strategic position to be a role model and a bearer of Islam.

Between them, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah have more than 90 million followers. That is more than a third of the total population in Indonesia.

Thus, both groups will continue to play a significant role in embracing and portraying a brand of moderate Islam, not only for Indonesia, but for the rest of the world to see.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesia-s-islamic/2026228.html

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Indonesia Web-Savvy Muslim Youth Champion Peace

03 August 2015

CAIRO – Youth wing of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's largest Islamic group, has pledged to preserve the organization's tolerant identity, using social media to maintain the peaceful tenets of Islam.

“If one of the country’s largest news portals only has 300 journalists, imagine us starting up an online media outlet with our large numbers. [Or] We can blog on NU teachings,” Social media activist Savic Ali, who is also chief editor of NU Online, the organization’s official news site, told attendants during the NU 33rd muktamar (national congress), Jakarta Post reported on Monday, August 3.

The congress, attended by hundreds of Muslim young members of NU, was held on Sunday at KH A. Wahab Hasbullah University in Jombang, East Java.

Ali, a former student activist who took part in the demonstrations that toppled president Soeharto in 1998, said he saw huge potential among NU youth as they were avid users of social media.

“Write consistently, like how we used to read the Koran. Or at least, write once a week. So there will be a lot of writings,” he said.

Held under the theme, Islam Nusantara (Islam of the archipelago), the congress message was reaffirmed by NU chairman Said Aqil Siradj.

“Actually it [Islam Nusantara] is not new. It is rooted in tradition. Islam Nusantara is also based on akhlakul karimah [good deeds], nationalism, diversity and humanity,” Said told the 3,000 people attending the congress’ opening ceremony on Saturday.

The NU congress will run until Aug. 5 and discuss several contemporary issues in the Bahtsul Masail (discussing problems) forum.

Among other things, it will tackle imposing the death penalty on graft convicts and the status of the Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) in the view of Islam.

Some events during the five-day gathering will take place in four major Islamic boarding schools in Jombang, namely Tebuireng, Tambakberas, Denanyar and Darul Ulum.

Praise

The efforts of the Islamic organization have won praise from Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who urged NU to maintain its tolerant, peaceful and moderate identity.

“NU, along with Muhammadiyah, could become examples of moderate, tolerant, peaceful and progressive Islam to the world,” Jokowi said, also mentioning the name of the country’s second-largest Islamic organization.

Sunday's meeting was also praised by Ahmad Suaedy, director of the Wahid Institute, who saw a big opportunity for Islam in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, as the country with the world’s largest Muslim population.

“Islam in Southeast Asia, including Islam Nusantara, has a distinctive identity, different from other parts of the world,” Suaedy said.

Young intellectual Syafiq Hasyim agreed that NU youth could play an important role in spreading tolerance and peace.

“We have groups, such as NU Garis Lurus [straight], which is discriminatory [toward other groups], although they are the minority. So NU youth should handle this too,” Syafiq, who recently completed his PhD from Freie Universitat Berlin with a dissertation based on research on the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), said.

The groups, including NU Garis Lurus, actively criticize other groups such as the Shia, Ahmadiyah and Wahabi, as well as NU’s liberal thinkers on social media.

“We could create our own identity, our own culture without excluding other groups. If we can do it, we could play an important role, become dominant without excluding others,” Syafiq said.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim state with Muslims making up around 85 percent of its 237-million population.

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/491107-indonesia-web-savvy-muslim-youth-champion-peace.html

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Court Orders Graft Charges Against Ex-Minister Dahlan to Be Dropped

By Erwin Sihombing

Aug 04, 2015

Jakarta. The South Jakarta District Court has revoked a decision by prosecutors to pursue corruption charges against former state-owned enterprises minister Dahlan Iskan in relation to irregularities in a project to build 21 power transformers across the country between 2011 and 2013. The project is estimated to have been worth Rp 1.06 trillion ($74 million).

Judge Lendrianty Janis, who heard Dahlan’s pretrial motion to quash the charges, found that the Jakarta Public Prosecutors’ Office had not gathered enough preliminary evidence to declare Dahlan a suspect in the case.

The court found that no witnesses had been examined prior to the decision, thus skipping a critical part of the investigation process as mandated by Indonesia’s Code of Criminal Procedures (Kuhap).

The court “grants the plaintiff’s motion in its entirety,” the judge said in her ruling, referring to Dahlan who filed for the motion. “Therefore, the charges against the plaintiff by the Prosecutors’ Office are declared invalid and we order prosecutors to revoke the naming of the plaintiff as a suspect.”

The Prosecutors’ Office’s spokesman Waluyo said his office “will not back down on the case and will prosecute whoever is responsible” but declined to elaborate on any possible further legal moves.

The case revolves around a project to build 21 transformers in Java, Bali and West and East Nusa Tenggara between 2011 and 2013, when Dahlan was a minister. The project was planned in 2009, when Dahlan was president director of state electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara.

Of the 21 power transformers, two were found to be malfunctioning and 13 damaged.

Dahlan’s lawyer Yusril Ihza Mahendra said although the project was initiated by Dahlan, his client never interfered with the tender.

Dahlan “was named a suspect before any evidence was found,” arguing that the prosecutors only started examining witnesses after the charges were laid.

The South Jakarta District Court has been in the spotlight for altering the legal status of many corruption suspects since early this year, with many legal experts and activists saying that the court had overstepped its authority.

But a pretrial motion ruling is final and binding, according to the Kuhap, and many are debating whether law enforcers can still lodge an appeal to such rulings, seen as a massive blow to Indonesia’s long and arduous fight against corruption.

Dahlan, the owner of Jawa Pos media group, is also being targeted by three other law enforcement bodies: the Attorney General’s Office, the East Java Prosecutors’ Office and the National Police over four separate graft cases.

Dahlan has not been charged in relation to the other cases.

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/jakarta/court-orders-graft-charges-ex-minister-dahlan-dropped/

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Islamic Scholars: MUI Fatwa on Health Insurance Will Have Little Effect

By Kennial Caroline Laia

Aug 03, 2015

Jakarta. Islamic scholars are playing down the impact of a recent religious edict, or fatwa, issued by the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), on President Joko Widodo’s universal healthcare insurance program.

The scholars say they doubt the fatwa will disrupt the recently started national social-security program.

Last week, MUI, the highest body of Islamic clerics in the country, issued a fatwa that says the National Healthcare Guarantee (JKN) program as administered by the Social Security Agency (BPJS) is not in line with Islamic precepts.

The social-security program was deemed to contain elements of uncertainty (gharar), gambling (maisir) and usury (riba), which are not acceptable in Islam. JKN is part of the incipient National Social Security System (SJSN).

“BPJS’s implementation, especially its provisions that involve cross-party contracts, fails to comply with Shariah principles,” MUI announced on Wednesday.

However, Azyumardi Azra, former rector of Jakarta’s Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN) and an influential expert, takes issue with MUI’s fatwa. He thinks the fatwa will not impact JKN in any meaningful way.

“The fatwa is counterproductive and has little effect,” Azyumardi told the Jakarta Globe over the weekend. “There’s a lack of understanding about universal healthcare social insurance in Indonesia.”

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/islamic-scholars-mui-fatwa-health-insurance-will-little-effect/

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Risma Supporters Take to Constitutional Court After Surabaya Election Postponed

By Nanda Aries & Erwin Sihombing o

Aug 04, 2015

Jakarta. Supporters of Tri Rismaharini, the incumbent mayor of Surabaya, East Java, announced plans to file a motion with the Constitutional Court on Tuesday, seeking a revision to a government law as elections in the city are pushed back to 2017.

The popular mayor is without a challenger even after the General Elections Commission (KPU) extended the deadline for its registration period from last Tuesday to Monday. The country’s Law on Regional Elections prohibits any political race with only one candidate in the running, which means that Indonesia’s second largest city would have to postpone its mayoral election.

Mataram in West Nusa Tenggara and Samarinda, East Kalimantan, are facing similar situations, as are the districts of Blitar and Pacitan in East Java; Tasikmalaya, West Java; and North Central Timor in East Nusa Tenggara.

The seven regions were initially set to join 262 other regions in staging their elections in December, but will now have to wait until the next round of simultaneous elections in 2017.

The KPU said on Monday that it would soon issue a decree formalizing the postponement of the seven elections.

But the decision does not sit well with Risma’s supporters, who insist that the popular mayor should automatically be appointed a second term.

Thirty supporters from Surabaya lodged a judicial review with the Constitutional Court, seeking a revision to six articles in the 2014 Law on Gubernatorial, District Head and Mayoral Elections barring a single candidate election and calling the provisions “unconstitutional.”

“Lone candidates should still be processed [by the KPU] and declared [a winner],” Muhammad Sholeh, a lawyer and one of the plaintiffs challenging the provisions, told the Constitutional Court in his opening remarks.

Sholeh said the law would create an absence of leadership as Risma’s term ends this year.

“This creates legal uncertainty,” he argued.

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/risma-supporters-take-constitutional-court-surabaya-election-postponed/

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South Asia

 

10 Soldiers Martyred, 53 Militants Killed In Military Operations across Afghanistan10 soldiers martyred, 53 militants killed in military operations across the country

Aug 04 2015

10 soldiers have embraced martyrdom and 53 militants killed in newest military operations across the country, Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday morning.

According to the ministry the operations were carried by Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and personnel from the National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency in past 24 hours.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/10-soldiers-martyred-53-militants-killed-in-military-operations-across-the-country-3907

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Head of Taliban's Qatar office quits as leadership rift deepens

August 4, 2015

KABUL: The head of the Taliban's Qatar-based political office has stepped down. A statement said that a high-profile resignation within leadership ranks highlighting growing discord over the movement's recent power transition.

Mullah Akhtar Mansour was announced as the new Taliban chief on Friday after the insurgents confirmed the death of Mullah Omar, who led the militant movement for some 20 years.

Also read: New Taliban leader calls for unity in ranks in first audio message

But splits immediately emerged between Mansour and rivals challenging his appointment, exposing the Taliban's biggest leadership crisis in recent years and one that raises the risk of a factional split.

Underscoring the deepening internal divisions, Tayeb Agha stepped down on Monday as head of the Taliban's political office, set up in Qatar in 2013 to facilitate peace talks, according to a statement.

"In order to live with a clear conscience and abide by the principles of Mullah Omar, I decided that my work as head of the political office has ended," Agha said in the statement published on a website regularly used by the Doha office and confirmed by a Taliban source.

"I will not be involved in any kind of (Taliban) statements... and will not support any side in the current internal disputes within the Taliban."

The Taliban source said Mansour's aides were trying to convince Agha to withdraw his resignation but his statement adds to a growing chorus of dissent in the movement over the increasingly bitter political transition.

"The death of Mullah Omar was kept a secret for two years," Agha said. "I consider this a historical mistake."

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1198348/head-of-talibans-qatar-office-quits-as-leadership-rift-deepens

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Former Afghan warlord says Taliban weaker amid infighting

August 4, 2015

KABUL: The confirmed death of the Taliban's reclusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has weakened the movement, giving Kabul an opportunity to step up the battle against the insurgency, an Afghan governor and one of the country's most powerful former warlords said Monday.

"Defeating the Taliban is a very real possibility right now and this is the right moment to fight against the Taliban," Atta Mohammad Noor told The Associated Press.

The crisis in the Taliban leadership emerged when Afghan authorities announced last week that Mullah Omar died in April 2013. The Taliban confirmed his death and said Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor had been elected to replace him.

The insurgents have tried to keep a unified front, but cracks soon emerged, with Mullah Omar's relatives contesting Mullah Mansoor's appointment and demanding a wider vote that includes battlefield commanders who have intensified the 14-year insurgency in recent months.

Pakistan, which is believed to have strong influence over the Taliban, had been mediating peace talks launched last month, but postponed them indefinitely after the announcement of Mullah Omar's death.

Noor, a Tajik from the northern Balkh province, said Kabul should "take control of the peace process." He urged the government to act quickly and call on neighbouring countries, as well as the United States, Britain and the European Union, to push the process forward.

Though he was not seen in public after fleeing to Pakistan after the US-led 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Mullah Omar's spiritual influence unified the various Taliban factions, Noor said.

"So, on one hand I see that (his death) will speed up the peace and reconciliation process," Noor said. "However, the Taliban will be divided and not working as one entity, so it will be difficult to bring these divided parties to the table."

Noor fought the Soviet invaders throughout the 1980s, and later the Taliban when they ruled Afghanistan. He has been governor of Balkh since 2004 and expects to be reappointed to the position by President Ashraf Ghani.

Until recently, Balkh and most of northern Afghanistan had been largely peaceful. Now, the Taliban and other insurgent groups including the self-styled Islamic State group - have established a presence there, Noor said.

Pakistan, which hosted the first round of official peace talks in early July, holds the key to the peace process, Noor said.

"They (Pakistani officials) can bring the Taliban to the table," Noor said. "Their influence has been proven beyond doubt."

Read more: Taliban power transition raises hopes for Afghan peace talks

Noor also said that Jalaluddin Haqqani, the leader of the notorious Haqqani Network, a militant group that has carried out several major attacks on US and Nato forces, had died 18 months ago.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1198340/former-afghan-warlord-says-taliban-weaker-amid-infighting

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Taliban reject reports of Mullah Yaqoub’s death

Aug 04 2015

Taliban militant group has rejected recent reports indicating that Mullah Mohammad Omar’s son Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub has been killed in Pakistan.

Agha Jan Motasim who was Finance Minister during Taliban regime and currently holding a seat in Taliban’s leadership council has told BBC that Mullah Yaqoub is alive.

Motasim has also said that he is in contact with Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub.

Aminulhaq, another official of the Taliban regime has also rejected these reports to BBC.

Aminulhaq who was the director of planning and administration in eastern Nangarhar province has confirmed his contacts with Mullah Yaqoub.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-reject-death-reports-of-mullah-omars-son-mullah-yaqoub-3709

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Tayyab Agha resigned as Taliban’s head of Qatar office

Aug 04 2015

Mullah Mohammad Syed Tayyab Agha has reportedly resigned from his position as Taliban group’s head of the political office in Qatar.

Accordig to the members of Taliban’s political commission in Qatar quoted by The Wall Street Journal, Tayyab Agha resigned on Monday.

This comes as a splinter group of the Taliban group – Afghanistan Islamic Movement Fidai Mahaz, confirmed for the first time the resignation of Tayyeb Agha nearly a week ago.

The group’s spokesman Qari Hamza said Tayyab Agha was compelled and forced by central committee (markazi shora) of the Taliban group to resign from his duties as head of Qatar office.

Mullah Omar’s death was also confirmed by the Afghanistan Islamic Movement Fidai Mahaz for the first time, claiming that he was assassinated Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansoor and Gull Agha.

The main motive behind Tayyab Agha’s resignation has not been ascertained so far but this comes amid growing rift among the Taliban leaders regarding the appoint of Mullah Mohammad Omar’s successor.

Mullah Omar’s brother Mullah Abdul Manan said last week his family didn’t recognize Mullah Mansour as the Taliban’s new leader.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/tayyab-agha-resigned-as-talibans-head-of-qatar-office-9563

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Rohingyas: From Burma Pan to Forced Marriage Fire

03 August 2015

CAIRO – Escaping violence and persecution in their homeland, thousands of Rohingya Muslim women face exploitation in forced marriages in Thailand and Malaysia after enduring distressful boat journeys.

“I was allowed to call my parents, and they said that if I was willing, it would be better for all the family,” Shahidah Yunus, a Rohingya refuge, told the New York Times on Sunday, August 2.

“I understood what I must do.”

The 22-year-old Rohingya refugee was speaking about her ill-fated journey to southern Thailand where she stayed two months until she was offered a marriage deal as a price to be smuggled to Malaysia.

After accepting the deal, Yunus became one of hundreds of Rohingya women sold into marriage to Rohingya men in Malaysia who pay for smugglers.

Not all women are asked before marriage deals, some are tricked or even coerced.

“I chose to marry my husband because the smugglers needed money to release me,” Yunus said.

“We were afraid of rape. It is better to marry a Rohingya man who can take care of us.”

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Rohingya women who are being forced into arranged marriage increases is estimated by thousands.

A surge of maritime migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar this year brought an increase in “abductions and marriages arranged without the consent of women whose passage was ultimately paid for by prospective husbands,” the commissioner said.

Meanwhile, Matthew Smith, the executive director of Fortify Rights, an advocacy group in Bangkok that monitors Rohingya refugees said: “Hundreds, if not thousands, of women and girls have been forced, sold or arranged for marriage via these trafficking corridors since 2012.

“For some families, it’s viewed as an imperative, as a survival mechanism.

“The trafficking gangs are treating this as a rather lucrative business,” he said, adding that for the women and girls, “being sold or forced into marriage is the least-worst outcome, and that’s a problem.”

Misleading Promises

Taking the risky journeys under pressure from parents, Rohingya women are lured on by smugglers’ rosy promises about the cost of the voyage and the good life that awaits them in Malaysia, according to experts.

“They don’t care about anything,” one 15-year-old girl said of her traffickers, according to notes provided by Smith of Fortify Rights.

“If someone pays money, we would have to go to them.”

Facing misleading promises, some women may end up trapped in abusive relations. In many cases, the husbands turn out to be older and poorer than expected.

“Even though he is too old for me, my mother agreed to the marriage,” Ambiya Khatu, 21, married a man in Malaysia who paid $1,050 for her release from smugglers in Thailand.

“There was nobody to rescue us, so I agreed.”

After rescuing her, the husband told Khatu “If you don’t want to marry me, you can simply pay back my money which I spent on you.”

That was impossible for her. “I don’t know the language, so how will I work to pay him?” she said.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/491109-rohingyas-from-burma-pan-to-forced-marriage-fire.html

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Saudi-Bangla MoU to boost relations

4 August 2015

RIYADH: In a fresh boost for relations between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, the Kingdom has decided to sign a memorandum of understanding on Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) with Dhaka.

The Kingdom endorsed a proposal in this regard at a meeting between Nizar Madani, state minister for foreign affairs, and his Bangladeshi counterpart Mohammed Shahriar Alam in Jeddah on Monday.

During the meeting, Alam apprised his Saudi counterpart of the success of the present government in Bangladesh in achieving remarkable socioeconomic development.

Bangladesh Ambassador Golam Moshi and Consul General A.K.M. Shahidul Karim also attended the meeting.

Describing the existing relationship with Bangladesh as “healthy and going in the right direction,” Madani said that the signing of an MoU would create new platforms for different ministries and departments of the two countries to engage more on mutually beneficial areas of cooperation.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/786316

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Europe

 

To Defeat Russia, Ukraine Creates Muslim Military Unit Made Up Of Crimean Tatars

 August 03 2015

Ukraine will create a unit of Muslim soldiers to protect the Crimean border and monitor imports and exports amid an increasingly violent battle with pro-Russian rebels, a Ukraine leader said Monday. The Muslim battalion will be formed of Crimean Tatars, Kazan Tatars, Uzbeks, Chechens, Azeris, Meskhetian Turks and other Muslim groups, said Mustafa Abdülcemil Kırımoğlu, leader of Crimean Tatars, according to local media reports.

The Muslim battalion is part of growing relations between Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians and will report to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, said Kırımoğlu. Crimean Tatars are an ethnically Turkic and religiously Sunni Islam minority group that has faced decades of religious and political persecution under Russian rule.

"Unfortunately, throughout history, the right of the Crimean Tatar people to live in dignity in their own homeland was undermined with collective deportations and repression. Today we are witnessing the illegal annexation of the Crimea and other regrettable events," Turkish President Recep Erdogan said after meeting over the weekend with Crimean leaders. During the gathering, Crimean Tatars also called for "all necessary measures" to be taken to return Crimea to Ukraine following Russia's takeover of the peninsula last year.

Crimean Tatars have previously engaged in the battle against Moscow during attacks and shootouts along the Russian-Ukrainian border. An estimated 10,000 Crimean Tatars have left Crimea since the Russian annexation in March 2014. There are roughly 300,000 Crimean Tatars still living in Crimea.

"This is a forum for those who did not accept the new legal reality of the Crimea being an integral part of the Russian Federation," Vasvi Abduraimov, chairman of the Crimean republican public organization "Milli Firka" (People's Party) told Pravda.Ru of the Muslim battalion.

Full report at:

ttp://www.ibtimes.com/defeat-russia-ukraine-creates-muslim-military-unit-made-crimean-tatars-2036618

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14 Islamic State Fighters Killed In North Caucasus Raid By Russian Security Forces

By Christopher Harress

August 03 2015

Russia’s Federal Security Service has killed 14 terrorists believed to be part of the Islamic State group in the North Caucasus region of Russia, according to details released by Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee. Security forces killed eight Sunday in the republic of Ingushetia -- west of Chechnya -- while six were killed Monday in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, according to a Moscow Times reports.

Russian authorities have struggled to contain Islamic extremism that has gripped the North Caucasus region, an area that is primarily a mix of Muslim republics in the south of Russia. The Islamic State group declared the entire region as part of its caliphate earlier this year.

It was claimed by Russian security forces that those killed on Monday were involved in “terrorist crimes,” including extorting money and killing law enforcement officials. Sunday’s eight deaths included the group’s leader, Adam Tagilov, who had been accused of staging an attack on Grozny -- Chechnya’s capital city -- in 2014. Local reports suggested that 25 had died in that attack.

Full report at:

http://www.ibtimes.com/14-islamic-state-fighters-killed-north-caucasus-raid-russian-security-forces-2036854

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Britain to ‘extend’ airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq

4 August 2015

The United Kingdom said it is extending its air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by an extra year, the defense secretary said according to the BBC.

"We want to ensure we maintain this crucial operational tempo," Michael Fallon, who is in visit in Iraq, said adding that British jets helped Iraqi forces on the ground to push ISIS militants out of key towns.

Fallon ruled out the possibility of Western ground troops joining the fight against ISIS.

"RAF Tornados have carried out hundreds of strikes, helping Iraqi forces push back ISIS from the Kurdish region and out of key towns such as Tikrit and Bayji," he said.

"We want to ensure we maintain this crucial operational tempo and so we will extend the lifetime of Number 12 Squadron for a further year to March 2017."

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/04/Britain-to-extend-airstrikes-against-ISIS-.html

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Moroccan King Warns Against Proselytism

Chaimae Bouazzaoui

3 August 2015

“Do not accept anyone’s invitation to embrace a different rite or faith,” the King said on the occasion of Throne Day on July 30.

Faced with the threat of terrorism, many countries have focused on the security aspect. While in Morocco arrests of supporters of the so-called Islamic State are increasing every day, the religious discourse on the fight against radicalism has also become more important as the country realizes the threat is ideological.

In this new “Jihad Generation,” youths are brainwashed through social media and online propaganda. Thus, the inciting proselytism discourse on the internet becomes more important and becomes a tool of recruitment of our youths into terrorist groups.

Other than for a political agenda, terrorism is used to indoctrinate weak souls and divide those who do not remain faithful to their principles.

“I want you to reject any attempt to sow the seeds of division, and to remain – as always –  deeply committed to the unity of your rite and to your sacred values. [I want you] to be proud of your faith and of belonging to this nation,” said the sovereign. In Morocco, Islam as taught is clearly understood and communicable. It does not mean that we can talk of an “Islamization” of Moroccoin the same way the media and books have publicized a so-called “Islamization of France” in January 2015. Islam is peace. It is one. But when it comes to interpretations, it shows several ways of thinking and understanding.

“Safeguard your identity and remain committed to the Sunni, Maliki rite that the Moroccan people have inherited from their forefathers,” the sovereign said.

His interpretation is worthy of analysis. Islam, as seen in Morocco, is more than ever a source of peace, serenity and tolerance, based on the respect other divine religions. All components of Moroccan society (especially Muslims and Jews) are living in peace and harmony. It is a Moroccan “tradition,” a “religious obligation,” or even a “national duty” to perform and to maintain the upkeep of these components.

“Today, in keeping with the same values, we are fighting against extremism and terrorism,” he continued.

Full report at:

http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2015/08/164669/moroccan-king-warns-against-proselytism/

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Richard Christiansen and Vanessa Holden’s Trip to Morocco

AUGUST 3, 2015

“Everything is connected,” says Brigitte Perkins as we enter her studio, a serene white enclave tucked behind a hectic Marrakesh throughway. Perkins is a humble but exquisite designer of textiles here, who, with her red hair and passionate convictions, vaguely evokes Sonia Rykiel. She is our first encounter on what will be a three-week trip — traveling from Morocco to India, to Myanmar and Japan, to meet and connect with makers and crafters, and come out with a clearer, more vibrant vision for our lives as creative directors in New York. (Vanessa is exploring new opportunities after helping turn around retailer West Elm; Richard is the founder of Chandelier Creative, an advertising and communications agency.)

Perkins was once a film editor, and then a fashion designer in Paris. She brings a new eye and reverence to traditional techniques, and for 20 years has been connecting traditional Moroccan weavers with her own designs. In response to fast fashion and mass production, she never repeats a design. We were introduced to her by the founders of the French architecture firm Studio KO — Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier — who have been designing Richard’s home and office for the past two years, their first residential project in Los Angeles. During the process of collaborating with them, we’ve learned so much about how good design should feel, rather than how it looks. They were the ones who lined up Morocco’s most interesting makers for us to visit: tile producers, traditional zouak woodworkers and terracotta potters, who opened our eyes to color.

We expected the color of Morocco to be red or pink. But the hero hue of Morocco is green. It’s the color of Islam. It is used in the decoration of mosques, the bindings of the Quran, the silken covers for the graves of Sufi saints. From a color psychology perspective, it is the great balancer of the heart and the emotions, creating equilibrium between the head and the heart.

Full report at:

http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/03/morocco-travel-richard-christiansen-vanessa-holden/

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Arab World

 

Iraqi official says Maliki’s government wasted $1 trillion of Iraqi funds

3 August 2015

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs, Bahaa al-Aaraji, said the former government of Nouri al-Maliki has wasted around $1 trillion of public funds.

“The former government (of Maliki) has wasted around $1 trillion. $800 billion came from Iraq’s oil budget since 2004 till 2014 while $200 billion came from donations and aid,” Aaraji told reporters on Friday according to a report by Asharq al-Awsat.

“There are no final accounts to know how these funds were spent and there are also no projects or any achievements that can show how this money was used,” he added.

Commenting on the recent Iraqi protests over poor services and power outages, Aaraji expressed the importance of having a strategy for public services and said former Iraqi governments' lack of strategy is what led to the deterioration of services.

“Former governments did not have a strategy in regards to establishing power plants, maintaining their quality or securing distribution of electric power.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/03/Iraqi-official-says-Maliki-s-government-wasted-1-trillion-of-Iraqi-funds.html

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We want Iranian cooperation, not meddling, Arabs tell Kerry

August 03, 2015

US Secretary of State John Kerry (3rd left), Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Abdullatif Bin Rashid Al-Zayani of Bahrain (2nd right) and Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad (right) listen while Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf Bin Alawi (left) speaks during a meeting of foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Doha, Qatar, Monday. — Reuters

 DOHA — Iran's nuclear deal should bring stability and “good neighborliness” rather than interference, Gulf Arab states told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday as they began talks on the merits of its historic accord with world powers.

 Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Attiyah, welcoming US Secretary of State John Kerry to Qatar for the talks with the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said the alliance wanted to spare the region “from any dangers and threats from nuclear weapons”.

 This should be done by authorizing the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes in line with international rules, he said, speaking for the GCC as host of the meeting.

 “We look forward with hope to the nuclear agreement ... leading to the preservation of security and stability in the region, and we emphasize the importance of cooperation with Iran based on principles of good neighborliness, non-interference in internal affairs and solving disputes peacefully.”

 Al-Attiyah spoke of the urgency of resolving the crises in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, but also complained that “the Middle East is suffering from the failures of the peace process due to the Israeli occupation” of Palestinian land. He accused Israel of “intransigence” in dealing with the Palestinians and said it must end its “illegal blockade of Gaza.”

 “We call on the United States of America to exert more efforts to go back to the peace process,” he said before journalists were ushered out of the room.

 Kerry, who did not speak while reporters were present, is not traveling to Israel on this trip and US leverage with the current Israeli government is limited, given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's vehement and vocal opposition to the Iran deal.

 US officials rejected suggestions that Kerry was not visiting Israel this week because the administration has given up hope on convincing Netanyahu of the merits of the agreement. Kerry's main goal, however, is to follow up on a May meeting that President Barack Obama hosted for Arab leaders at Camp David. At that meeting, Obama promised Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates enhanced security cooperation and expedited defense sales to guard against a potential Iranian threat.

 Full report at:

htp://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150804252406

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Saudi Military Base Comes under Yemen's Heavy Artillery Fire

Aug 04, 2015

The Yemeni forces pounded Alib military base in Southern Saudi Arabia with artillery shells, inflicting heavy damages and killing several Saudi soldiers.

On Monday, the Yemeni forces hit a government building in Dhahran with 6 missiles.

The army and Ansarullah fighters also hit al-Hasira military base in Jizan.

The Yemeni forces' retaliatory attacks on Saudi positions have intensified since last week after 100 Yemeni civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in Riyadh's airstrikes on residential areas in Taiz province.

On Saturday, the Yemeni army and popular forces destroyed two strategic military bases of Southern Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni forces targeted and destroyed Alib military base in Saudi Arabia's Asir province with 20 missiles.

The Yemeni popular forces also destroyed Tawila military base in Dhahran region with two Grad missiles.

Also on Saturday, the Yemeni army and popular forces targeted Saudi Arabia's border regions, including al-Khoba, with missiles and artillery shells and took control of a strategic military base.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940513000301

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Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Repels Terrorist Attack on Western Aleppo

Aug 04, 2015

The foreign-backed terrorists were pushed back from the surrounding areas of the Family House district in Western Aleppo before they could capture the area, Syrian military sources announced.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured in heavy clashes with the Syria troops.

Also in the past 24 hours, the Syrian Air Force in a statement strongly denied the news reports that one of its warplanes has been shot down in Idlib province early Monday.

Some Arab and western media claimed yesterday that a Syrian air force fighter jet had crashed in a marketplace in the Northwestern town of Ariha, killing at least 23 people.

"The report about the crash of a Syrian warplane is not true; this has actually been a US missile strike," the Arab-language al-Mayadeen TV quoted an informed Syrian government source as saying.

Meantime, the terrorists in Syria have received hazardous chemical substances loaded in trucks crossing the borders from neighboring Jordan.

"The Takfiri terrorist groups have received dangerous chemicals in trucks which crossed Jordan into Syria through Nasib border crossing," local Syrian sources disclosed.

The local sources also revealed that the hazardous chemical substances included chlorine agent.

Meantime, an ISIL suicide bomber blew himself up in a command center of the rival Al-Nusra Front in Idlib countryside.

The suicide attack by the ISIL was carried out in Harem region of Idlib countryside and killed a large number of Al-Nusra Front terrorists, including senior commanders.

Ahrar al-Sham terrorist group, an ally of Al-Nusra Front, in a statement on Monday said that the ISIL attack on Al-Nusra Front command center has inflicted heavy casualties on the group.

Elsewhere, the Syrian army troops retook the Hamka hill in Idlib province from the Takfiri militants.

The army regained control over Hamka hill in Idlib countryside. A group of terrorists were killed, and militants' machinegun-equipped vehicles and mortar launchers were also destroyed in the operation.

Also, the Syrian government forces targeted positions of the foreign-backed Takfiri militants in Quneitra, and killed a large group of them.

The army targeted Takfiri militants' hideouts and concentration centers in al- Hamehiyeh and al-Samadaniyeh al-Gharbiyeh villages in the countryside of Quneitra, and killed a large group of terrorists, and destroyed all their weapons and ammunition.

The Syrian forces also targeted the hideouts of terrorists, most of them affiliated to al-Nusra Front, in the vicinity of the main square of Quneitra city, killing and injuring a large group of them.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940513000482

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Ansarullah Thwarts Pro-Hadi Militants' Attack on Lahij's Airbase

Aug 04, 2015

The al-Anad airbase was attacked by the Saudi-backed militants after being extensively bombed by Saudi warplanes, reports said on Monday.

Ansarullah fighters repelled the pro-Hadi militants' attack, killing scores of them.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni army and popular committees managed on Monday to capture 11 of al-Qaeda terrorists who were attempting to advance towards al-Husseini area in Lahij province.

The clashes between the Ansarullah fighters and the Saudi-backed Al-Qaeda terrorists as well as the pro-Hadi militias continue in the Southern parts of the country as Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 132 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 5,333 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940513000434

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Political Analyst: Israel behind Siege of Shiite-Populated Areas in Syria

Aug 04, 2015

"The Takfiri groups supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar with their prolonged siege of al-Foa and Kafria proved that they are dirty tools for implementing the plots by the US and Israel to disintegrate the region," Al-Zala told FNA on Tuesday.

He noted that the attempts by the Al-Nusra Front and Jeish al-Fath terrorists to enter Kafria and al-Foa and committing horrendous crimes there proves that these groups have not learned anything about Islam.

On Saturday, Syria's popular defense forces of the Shiite-populated town of Foa killed nearly two dozen Takfiri terrorists and injured many more.

At least 23 Al-Nusra Front terrorists were killed in Foa town.

The Syrian popular defense forces also seized the nearby town of Kafria.

Full report at:

ttp://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940513000620

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Syrian Army Advancing against Rebel Groups in North of Lattakia

Aug 04, 2015

The sources said that several militants were killed or wounded in the Syrian army's operations in Frunluq Forests and al-Azer Mountain.

The sources added that the army has launched mop-up operations in the abovementioned fighting areas to haunt the rest of the rebel fighters.

On Saturday, Some 50 Takfiri militants were killed in Syrian air raids in the countryside of Lattakia.

The air raids hit hideouts and concentration centers of terrorists in Dweirshan, al-Rawda, al-Wadi and al-Durra in the Northern countryside of Lattakia, killing 50 Takfiri militants, most of them foreign militants.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940513000464

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Over 100 Izadis leave Iraq every day: Official

Aug 4, 2015

More than 100 members of the Izadi Kurdish community leave Iraq on a daily basis to save their lives amid the unrelenting threat of death from militants of the ISIL Takfiri group, officials say.

Hussein al-Qaedi, director of the Office of Abductee Affairs in the northern Iraqi city of Duhok, which works to locate captive Izadis and free them, told the Arabic-language al-Sumaria satellite television network on Monday that over 3,000 Izadis, mostly women and children, are still being held captive by ISIL terrorists, noting that the Takfiris are treating the abductees cruelly and subjecting them to various types of abuse and torture.

He added that the majority of the kidnapped Izadi children are learning combat skills at ISIL training camps to carry out acts of terror, and that the Takfiris are trying to impose their heavily distorted principles on the minors.

Qaedi further noted that his office has managed to rescue 2,014 Izadi captives so far, stressing that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has greatly assisted in such efforts.

He said the rescued Izadis recount their ordeals at the hands of ISIL militants, and are in dire need of both financial and moral support.

Izadi women hold placards during a protest outside the United Nations (UN) office in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, on August 2, 2015. (© AFP)

Meanwhile, dozens of Izadis gathered at the Tahrir Square in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad on Monday to commemorate the anniversary of the ISIL onslaught against members of their community.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/08/04/423189/Iraq-Izadi-Kurds-exodus-Iraq-death-threats-ISIL-militants-Takfiris-Sinjar-demonstartion-Baghdad

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First U.S.-trained Syria rebel ‘killed in fighting’

4 August 2015

A member of a new Syrian force trained by the U.S. military was believed to have been killed in clashes last week with al-Qaeda's Syria wing, in what would be the fledgling force's first battlefield casualty, U.S. officials said in an interview on Monday. The U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the incident, said the Syrian rebel was believed to have been killed during fighting on Friday with suspected members of al-Nusra Front. One of the officials described the information as preliminary.

The Pentagon declined to comment, citing "operational security reasons."

Friday's attack triggered the first U.S. air strikes to support the Syrian force. At the time, the U.S. military said the fighters repelled the attack, without citing casualties among the U.S.-trained force.

Defending the U.S.-trained fighters could become a growing job for the U.S., which has been waging air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria.

U.S. officials disclosed to Reuters on Sunday that the U.S. has decided to allow air strikes to help defend against any attack on the U.S.-trained Syrian rebels, even if the attackers come from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. President Barack Obama has long sought to avoid any direct U.S. military confrontation with Assad's forces, focusing instead on the battle against ISIS.

The Pentagon, State Department and White House have so far declined to publicly detail the rules of engagement in Syria.

Still, the Obama administration appeared on Monday to play down the chances that Assad's forces would target the U.S.-backed rebels and noted that his military had not fired on U.S.-led coalition aircraft bombing Islamic State targets in Syria.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/04/First-U-S-trained-Syria-rebel-believed-killed-in-fighting.html

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Syrian fighters’ capture spells trouble for anti-ISIS coalition

3 August 2015

Syrian troops fighting in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS were captured near the northern Syrian town of Azaz by an anti-ISIS militia affiliated with Al-Qaeda last week, reported Washington-based news website The Center For Public Integrity on Saturday.

Known as the Nusra Front, the militant group, who considers any Syrian close to America an enemy, captured 17 graduates of the allied train-and-equip program along with the division’s commander, as well as two other division soldiers.

The capture is a setback for the U.S. train and equip program, which is believed will face challenges in recruiting new fighters and maintaining their morale, the report added.

According to the report, recipients of foreign aid are targeted by the Nusra Front and other militant groups because of their anti-Western ideology, but also for the M16s and anti-tank guided missiles that coalition forces provided to other fighters.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/04/Syrian-fighters-capture-spells-trouble-for-coalition-against-ISIS.html

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Kerry: No place for Assad in Syria’s future

3 August 2015

During a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Adel Jubair and Russian Sergey Lavrov, Secretary of State John Kerry made clear that Assad had no place in Syria’s future, and stressed the coalition's commitment to supporting counter ISIS fighters on the ground.

According to an official statement issued by the State Department, Kerry met in Doha, Monday, with Lavrov and Jubair to discuss the ongoing conflict in Syria. It was the such first tri-lateral meeting convened for this purpose.

The statement added “Kerry thanked the foreign ministers for their continued focus on the security situation in Syria. All three leaders acknowledged the dangers posed to the Syrian people by the rise of extremist forces and the need for a meaningful political transition to enable a unified fight against ISIL and other extremist groups, to include the important role played by opposition groups.”

Kerry reiterated the U.S. view that the Assad regime’s brutality against the Syrian people had helped foster ISIS’s growth and the presence of foreign fighters. The leaders agreed to stay in touch and to continue exploring ways to achieve a political solution to the conflict in Syria, according to the statement.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/03/Russia-critical-of-U-S-plan-to-give-rebels-air-cover-in-Syria.html

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Report: U.S.-led strikes in Iraq, Syria killed 459 civilians over the past year

3 August 2015

U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in Iraq and Syria have likely killed at least 459 civilians over the past year, a report by an independent monitoring group said Monday. The coalition had no immediate comment. The report by Airwars, a project aimed at tracking the international airstrikes targeting the extremists, said it believed 57 specific strikes killed civilians and caused 48 suspected "friendly fire" deaths. It said the strikes have killed more than 15,000 ISIS militants.

While Airwars noted the difficulty of verifying information in territory held by ISIS, which has kidnapped and killed journalists and activists, other groups have reported similar casualties from the U.S.-led airstrikes.

The U.S. launched airstrikes in Iraq on Aug. 8 and in Syria on Sept. 23 to target the ISIS. A coalition of countries later joined to help allied ground forces combat the extremists. To date, the coalition has launched more than 5,800 airstrikes in both countries.

The U.S. has only acknowledged killing two civilians in its strikes: two children who were likely slain during an American airstrike targeting al-Qaida-linked militants in Syria last year. That same strike also wounded two adults, according to an investigation released in May by the U.S. military.

That strike is the subject of one of at least four ongoing U.S. military investigations into allegations of civilian casualties resulting from the airstrikes. Another probe into an airstrike in Syria and two investigations into airstrikes in Iraq are still pending.

Airwars said it identified the 57 strikes through reporting from “two or more generally credible sources, often with biographical, photographic or video evidence.” The incidents also corresponded to confirmed coalition strikes conducted in the area at that time, it said.

The group is staffed by journalists and describes itself as a “collaborative, not-for-profit transparency project.” It does not offer policy prescriptions.

In Iraq, the U.S.-led coalition includes France, Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, Denmark and Canada. Jordan has also carried out airstrikes in Iraq as well as in Syria, although it has released no further information about the dates or locations of its attacks.

The coalition conducting airstrikes in Syria include the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Canada began its own strikes in April, while Britain carries out routine reconnaissance-only drone missions above Syria, and British pilots have carried out airstrikes while embedded with U.S. forces.

Other groups also have reported on major casualties suspected of being caused by the U.S.-led airstrikes. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of on-the-ground activists, said 173 Syrian civilians have been killed since airstrikes began. They include 53 children under the age of 18. Most of the civilians were killed in airstrikes near oil refineries and oil fields in the northern provinces of Hassakeh, Raqqa, Aleppo and Deir el-Zour.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2015/08/03/Report-US-led-strikes-in-Iraq-Syria-killed-459-civilians.html

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New proposal to solve Syrian crisis

4 August 2015

RIYADH: Four leading lights of the Arab world have called for the convening of the Second Syrian National Congress to save Syria.

“This is the only way (out),” said Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former general intelligence director of Saudi Arabia; Abdelelah Alkhatib, former foreign minister of Jordan; Amr Musa, former secretary-general of the Arab League; and Mohammad Al-Sabah, former deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of Kuwait.

They explained their proposal in details an exclusive article published in Arab News on Monday.

“This tragic situation would not have happened had the Syrian regime acted wisely, responsibly, and realistically. It did not,” they said.

“The misery and decimation could also have been avoided had the international community fulfilled its duty and obligations to safeguard international peace and security. It did not. The Arab League, the international powers, the Syrian government — all have failed in their efforts to salvage the national unity of Syria by replacing the bloodshed and devastation with peace and security.”

They said unless the world deals courageously with Syria, the atrocity within its borders will continue.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/785896

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Pakistan

 

Long-Term Goal of Music Festival in Karachi Is To Create A Tolerant Society

August 4, 2015

KARACHI: The first I Am Karachi Music Festival, in which more than 60 artists will take part, will be held on Aug 8 and 9 at Port Grand. Apart from the concert, dialogues on music and a mentorship programme for up and coming musicians will also be arranged from Aug 4 to Aug 6. This was announced by the organisers of the festival at a press conference on Monday evening.

Nida Butt of the MAD school hosted the press meet. She thanked the media for its support to the I Am Karachi initiative.

Jamil Yousuf said it had made him happy that such a festival was taking place; it meant that the city was getting back its cosmopolitan identity. He said Karachi had gone through and survived many tough times; it happened because despite everything the city had always had philanthropists who helped it get back on its feet. He urged Karachiites to take part in the festival because it would be held in a “clean atmosphere”.

Musician Hamza Jafri said music was a vast and varied field. Given the current state of music in Pakistan it required a “cohesive action” so that its importance could be realised. He informed the media that the festival had three components. The first was to do with dialogues between those who were associated with the field (musicians, academics, journalists etc); the second was about a mentorship programme in which budding musicians would be guided; and the third was the concert on Aug 8 and 9 participated by industry professionals, who would perform a wide variety of genres.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1198219/long-term-goal-of-music-festival-is-to-create-a-tolerant-society

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Centre delays plan to launch Madrasareforms in provinces

HASAN MANSOOR

August 4, 2015

KARACHI: As the provincial government finds it hard to seal unregistered madressahs in Sindh, the federal government is playing its part as well in delaying the issue of Madrasareforms by not sending guidelines to the provinces to launch the plan, it emerged on Monday.

Officials in the provincial home department said that the Sindh government had already furnished comments and input on the policy of registration of madressahs to the federal ministry of religious affairs in connection with the Madrasareforms as planned by Islamabad.

They said Sindh had sent its recommendations over the issues involving the ownership of the property for madressahs, permissions required for the managements and no-objection certificates, which the home department issues to all new seminaries.

“We have sent our viewpoint over the questions asking the land used for a Madrasais privately owned or owned by the government, NOCs by the provincial building control authority and deputy commissioner concerned and NOC from the home department taken before a madressah’s registration,” said an official.

He said the provincial authorities had furnished all the required paperwork, but the federal government was not responding further.

The request of the Sindh home department is pending with the ministries of religious affairs and interior for policy on Madrasareforms.

“We may approach the federal government for further guidance,” he added.

The officials, however, said that the federal government had opted to delay the issue of the reforms for host of reasons.

It did not want to displease a number of religious parties, which were not in a tussle with Islamabad at present, but a formal launching of reforms would invite their wrath, they added.

“The parties like Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam of Maulana Fazlur Rehman and several others get their support and street power from the seminaries, so any bold step to rein in Madrasaoperations will provoke them,” said an official.

Sources said the issue relating to delays in Madrasareforms in Sindh had been taken up several times in the meetings of the apex committee, which oversees the targeted operations against militants and criminals in Karachi and elsewhere in Sindh, and every time it decided to approach the federal government for a final nod but the issue remained up in the air.

However, the provincial government itself had not done its job where it did not need a nod from Islamabad.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1198230/centre-delays-plan-to-launch-madressah-reforms-in-provinces

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Two suspected militants killed in Balochistan's Noshki district

SYED ALI SHAH

August 4, 2015

QUETTA: At least two suspected militants were killed in Balochistan's Noshki district on Tuesday morning, security officials told DawnNews..

Khan Wasey, the spokesperson for Frontier Corps, said a search operation was conducted in the district after a tip off regarding the presence of miscreants in the area was received.

"Two miscreants were killed during the search operation," he said.

Security forces also claimed to have recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition during the operation.

Wasey said the miscreants were involved in attacks on security forces and civilians in the area.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1198338/two-suspected-militants-killed-in-balochistans-noshki-district

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Pakistan to keep facilitating Afghan talks

August 04, 2015

ISLAMABAD - The civil and military leadership of the country met on Monday to discuss national security issues and took some key decisions.

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, along with ISI Director General Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar, visited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his senior cabinet colleagues at the PM House.

They discussed steps being taken under the national action plan against terrorism, progress of military operation in tribal areas, engagement with India in the prevailing provocative environment, status of Afghan peace talks and situation emanating from MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s recently delivered hate speech.

Sources informed The Nation that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif briefed the prime minister about the targets achieved in the ongoing Zerb-i-Azb military operation and rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to the areas cleared from militants.

Premier Nawaz directed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who was also present there, for timely release of funds for the smooth execution of the rehabilitation process.

He also asked him to provide maximum possible funds for rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure so the IDPs could resettle in their areas with ease.

The meeting also discussed the status of Pakistan-facilitated direct talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban which remain suspended after the death of militant group chief Mullah Omar.

They also looked into the peace prospects under the leadership of new Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who in a recent statement disowned the dialogue process and called on his followers to continue the fight.

It was stressed that the peace process should continue and Pakistan would continue playing positive and constructive role in leading the dialogue process to success through proactive mediation.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/04-Aug-2015/pakistan-to-keep-facilitating-afghan-talks

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Terrorist arrested in Turbat

August 04, 2015

QUETTA - The Frontier Constabulary (FC) on Monday arrested an alleged terrorist in the Turbat area of Quetta.

On a tip-off, the security forces conducted a raid on a hideout in Turbat and arrested the terrorist who was allegedly links to a banned outfit. The identity of the terrorist could not be ascertained immediately. The security forces also claimed to have seized a huge cache of explosive materials and automatic guns from his possession. The alleged terrorist was wanted in several cases.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/04-Aug-2015/terrorist-arrested-in-turbat

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JI chief asks MQM supporters to shun Altaf's anti-army remarks

August 03, 2015,

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Siraj-ul-Haq, has called upon supporters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to disassociate themselves from anti-army remarks of their leader Altaf Hussain.

The London-based MQM supremo made objectionable remarks on Saturday against the armed forces and called for deployment of the UN and the NATO troops in Karachi.

“Altaf Hussain is a confused person who is in depression. He has put even his own workers in trouble through his recent remarks. They must clarify their position and disown his speech that is dangerous for the country and its future,” the JI chief said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/03-Aug-2015/ji-chief-asks-mqm-supporters-to-shun-altaf-s-anti-army-remarks

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Two killed in cross-border firing along Indo-Pak Working Boundary

August 4, 2015

RAWALPINDI: At least two Pakistani citizens, including a minor, were killed and 14 injured along the Working Boundary area in Sialkot district during an exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani security forces on Tuesday.

An Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement published on the Radio Pakistan website said two civilians including a minor were killed due to "unprovoked firing" by Indian troops in Sukhial village.

Women and children are included among the 14 wounded in the exchange of fire in the Pukhlian and Bajwat sectors, the ISPR said.

Earlier today, the ISPR said that "unprovoked shelling" across the Working Boundary in Sukhial village injured three children and two women.

The ISPR added that Pakistani troops responded to the shelling in a "befitting" manner.

An Indian website said officials claimed that firing from the Pakistani side had killed one Indian civilian.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1198334/two-killed-in-cross-border-firing-along-indo-pak-working-boundary

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Shafqat Hussain executed at Karachi Central Jail

August 4, 2015

KARACHI: Death-row prisoner Shafqat Hussain was hanged to death at the Karachi Central Prison in the wee hours of Tuesday, after his hanging was postponed on four previous occasions this year, DawnNews reported.

Shafqat was arrested and sentenced to death in 2004 for the kidnapping and involuntary murder of a seven-year-old boy who lived in a Karachi apartment building where Shafqat worked as a security guard.

All courts in the land had turned down his appeals and the Supreme Court threw out a review petition that was the first to raise the matter of Shafqat’s juvenility at the time of arrest, maintaining that this line of defence should have been introduced at the trial court level.

Previously, Shafqat's legal team insisted that his earlier defence attorneys did not plead his case competently, which was why this aspect was overlooked.

The case also garnered a lot of attention on social and mainstream media and became a bone of contention between supporters and opponents of the death penalty. Rights groups including anti-death penalty campaigners Reprieve and Amnesty International had pleaded desperately with the government not to carry out the execution.

Almost six months ago, before Shafqat was scheduled to be executed on January 14, he was granted a last-minute reprieve and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had ordered an inquiry to establish the veracity of the lawyers’ contention that Shafqat was a minor at the time of sentencing.

Explore: Shafqat's execution stayed for 30 days, jail authorities tell ATC.

He was then set to be executed on March 19 but a day before the sentencing, civil society representatives gathered in front of the Presidency against the order. The hanging was subsequently postponed for 72 hours and then for 30 days.

Death warrants for Shafqat Hussain were issued for the third time on April 24 after an executive inquiry by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) concluded he was 23 years of age when the punishment was handed down.

Take a look: FIA inquiry concludes Shafqat ‘wasn’t a minor’

According to the text of the report, seen by Dawn, a three-member FIA inquiry team, led by Deputy Director Gulfam Nasir Warraich, had found “absolutely no contradiction in the record (which includes his pictures at the time of arrest) that Shafqat Hussain was 23 years of age at the time of arrest”.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1186953/shafqat-hussain-executed-at-karachi-central-jail

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Altaf's 'loose talk' worsens situation: Nisar

August 4, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali on Tuesday said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain's 'loose talk' frequently worsened the situation in Karachi

"The frequent worsening of the situaion (in Karachi) is not because of the government's performance nor rangers or army, it is because of Altaf Hussain's loose talk," the federal interior minister told reporters while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.

Nisar said that Altaf Hussain's case is not political, it is legal and should be treated accordingly. He added that cooperation between Pakistan and the United Kingdom is under way as the case was registered there.

"As interior minister, I assure you that Pakistan's security interest will not be allowed to be affected by any negativity, be it from Altaf Hussain or someone else," Nisar said.

He further said that the previous government had not cooperated with UK authorities in these cases and the current government began cooperating with them soon after coming into power.

Also read: Altaf Hussain's statement tantamount to waging war against Pakistan: Nisar

The interior minister also shed light on the money laundering case against the MQM supremo as well as the Imran Farooq murder case, explaining that these cases were registered in the UK, clarifying that the government has nothing against Altaf Hussain and it was Pakistan's international responsibility to cooperate with UK government.

"This case is not about MQM, its not even about Altaf Hussain. Its about the murder of a Pakistani which took place in London," Nisar reiterated.

He added that a legal reference is being drafted — in legal jargon — against Altaf Hussain which will include criminality. He said that it will be from "government to government" and will include Pakistani laws along with British laws. He reassured that the contents of the reference will be made available for the media eventually.

Earlier addressing a ceremony at Rawalpindi Police Lines, Nisar said that the noose has been tightened around terrorists, said a report published on Radio Pakistan.

Take a look: Despite hardships, Pakistan set on path to improvement: Nisar

He added that the war on terror is not over yet, however the overall situation has improved in the last two years. He explained that the police has a significant role to play in the decisive phase that this war has entered.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1198346/altafs-loose-talk-worsens-situation-nisar

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Nisar rejects rumours about conspiracy in army

IFTIKHAR A. KHAN

August 4, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has rejected rumours about an in-house conspiracy in the army and said there is no room for success of such a plot within the disciplined and professional force.

Talking to reporters on Monday after inaugurating an online application system introduced by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), he said it was not possible for a few officers to replace the army chief. “The army has neither been a victim of an in-house conspiracy in the past nor could it happen in the days to come,” he added.

Chaudhry Nisar dismissed as “ridiculous and baseless” the rumours suggesting that a plot had been hatched up by some army officers to replace Army Chief General Raheel Sharif during the days of PTI’s sit-in in Islamabad last year.

Take a look :Despite hardships, Pakistan set on path to improvement: Nisar

A PTI man, retired Brig Simon Sharaf, said in a talk-show that the party had been in contacts with the ISI during the sit-in and claimed that then ISI director general Lt Gen Zeheerul Islam, along with a few others, was supporting the protest, anticipating an action against the army chief by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif out of nervousness.

Plot to eliminate a high-profile official foiled

According to him, a telephonic conversation between Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam and some PTI men was played during a meeting between the prime minister and the army chief, after which Lt Gen Islam was summoned and asked by the army chief if he had asked him to do so. Lt Gen Islam replied in the negative and that was the end of the story the army chief wanted to send the Sharif government packing.

Chaudhry Nisar said the army chief enjoyed complete confidence of the government, army and people, adding that such kite-flying at the expense of the army was not appropriate.

“Instead of churning out such rumours, we should stand united with the army. We are in a state of war and our enemy is not visible,” he said, adding that such rumours against the army were against national interest and served the interests of enemies.

He said the Pakistan Army was the best fighting force in the world. Without naming the United States, he said there were armies of large countries which had to meet the fate of failure in guerrilla warfare, but the Pakistan Army was perhaps the only exception as it made remarkable achievement in guerrilla warfare.

Answering a question, the interior minister said he had been closely interacting with the army and intelligence agencies because his ministry was responsible for internal security and paramilitary forces were under it. He said the country was facing insurgency and problems of economy and security which needed focus and attention.

In reply to a question about Sunday’s security breach of the prime minister’s convoy, he said Mr Sharif’s car had not been attacked. The prime minister was coming from Murree in a low profile and when his motorcade crossed a toll plaza near Satra Meel another car coming from another exit point of the toll tried to overtake it without knowing that it was the prime minister’s motorcade. He said the person held after the incident was freed on late Sunday night.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1198281/nisar-rejects-rumours-about-conspiracy-in-army

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Altaf Hussain checks popularity through poll question on official website

August 04, 2015

LONDON: MQM Chief Altaf Hussain has asked the public to vote through a poll question whether he should step down or not.

 In a message on Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) official website, the question he has asked is:

“Should I step down to save the party and the people?”

Observers say that Altaf Hussain, through this summersault wants to check his popularity among Haq Parasats. 

Recently, the MQM has been receiving blows after blows as the government and the Rangers tighten their noose against them while cases against its leader pile up abroad, with Scotland Yard’s investigation regarding Hussain’s alleged money laundering case and the government co-operating with the British police in the murder investigation of senior MQM leader Imran Farooq. Even the MQM’s central nerve centre at Nine Zero was under scrutiny as a raid by the rangers resulted in a heavy cache of ammunition being seized from its headquarters.

Statements made by former leaders and activists were also detrimental to the party’s image like the infamous case of Saulat Mirza and the BBC highlighting Tariq Mir’s allegations of the MQM receiving funding from Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) have also left its leaders exasperated, having to clarify their situation again and again.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/04-Aug-2015/altaf-hussain-checks-popularity-through-poll-question-on-official-website

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Action against Altaf will be under Pak-UK legal framework

August 04, 2015

LAHORE - Though Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan stated on Sunday about taking up the alleged hate speech of MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain with the Britain, the government has yet to decide on proceeding with reference against him.

“We want to come up with solid proofs against Altaf Hussain so that he could not escape punishment.

As such what legal course suits the end is seriously under consideration,” said Special Assistant to Prime Minister Ashtar Ausaf Ali, while talking to The Nation.

The MQM chief is still a Pakistani national, so he can be tried in the country of his residence, the UK, as well as the country of his origin, Pakistan,” Ashtar said.

The matter as to which forum of which state should be approached is deeply under consideration and a decision in this respect would be taken in the next few days, he added.

Independent lawyers are of the view that a case against Altaf Hussain can be instituted in either country in view of the fact that law of which country has been breached.

Ashtar said Altaf, in his address to his party men, crossed all limits against the defence institutions and sovereignty of Pakistan while inciting his workers against the state and inviting intervention of the enemy state.

This all prima facie falls under the act of high treason in terms of Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan, he added.

As to the British law, his utterances are covered under the law of inciting hatred which, however, carries far below criminal liability as compared with the high treason, he added.

Article 6 provides minimum life term and maximum death sentence to an accused on conviction.

Ashtar Ausaf said evidence and other material relevant to Altaf’s speech on Saturday and earlier are being gathered and in light of that decision will be taken to move a case against him in the state where he could be awarded exemplary punishment.

To a question, he said the government will pursue the case against the MQM chief even the same is instituted before the court in Britain.

As regards checking of allegedly obnoxious speeches of Altaf, he said the option of invoking Pemra law and Telegraphic Act are also under review.

These laws, he said, also apply to those who arrange address of Altaf Hussain and invite people to listen to the same.

He said, in accordance with the National Action Plan framed to curb terrorism, such acts are considered as facilitating an offence and the act of Altaf and his associates is also being scrutinised under the NAP.

When asked how a Pakistani law can be applied to an accused who commits an offence in a foreign land, Ashtar said in case of Altaf, the legal jurisdiction of both the countries is available.

Altaf is still a Pakistani and a UK resident, who can be tried in both the countries for the violation of law of each state, he said, explaining the MQM chief delivered a hate speech under the UK law and hit the sovereignty and the defence institution of Pakistan.

He cited example of a British national, Tariq Rana, who went to England after murdering a person in Pakistan and the UK court initiated a case against him on a plea from Pakistan and was punished.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/04-Aug-2015/action-against-altaf-will-be-under-pak-uk-legal-framework

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India

 

13 Indians have joined Islamic State so far, 6 are dead

by Sagnik Chowdhury

New Delhi

Aug 4, 2015

Following A high-level meeting held in New Delhi on Saturday to discuss the threat of Islamic State (IS) radicalisation, sources said that as per fresh government estimates, a total of 13 Indians have joined the IS so far — six of them have died. The 13 included some Indians residing overseas. According to sources, 17 youths who intended to leave India to join the IS were stopped by intelligence agencies and police forces. The youths hailed from Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and other states.

“Among the seven alive who are still with the IS are an Australian citizen who is originally from Kashmir, two of the four youths who left from Kalyan, one from Bengaluru, one from Telangana, and one each from Singapore and Oman,” said a source. The two youths from Kalyan are Fahad Shaikh and Aman Naeem Tandel, who went with Areeb Majeed and Saheem Tanki to Iraq and Syria in May last year. Majeed returned to India in November 2014 and was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), while Tanki has reportedly died. Adil Fayaz, who hails from Kashmir, is believed to have joined the IS after completing his MBA from Australia’s Queensland University. Fayaz’s case came to light when the Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation told the Intelligence Bureau in March 2014 that he was among over 600 Australian citizens, mainly of West Asian origin, who were serving with jihadists in Syria. Haja Fakkurudeen Usman Ali, a Tamil Nadu-born Singapore resident who left for Turkey along with his family on January 22, 2014, had disappeared across the Syrian border and is believed to have joined the IS. “However, of those alive, only one youth from Kalyan is engaged in active combat, while the others are believed to have been assigned menial and odd jobs by their handlers,” said the source. Among the six Indians who are reported to have died after joining the IS are: Saheem Tanki from Kalyan, who reportedly died in a suicide bombing in the northeastern Syrian city of al Hasaka in January; Sultan Abdul Kadir Armar from Bhatkal, who was reportedly killed during fighting at Kobane on the Syria-Turkey border on March 6; Indian Mujahideen commander Muhammad ‘Bada’ Sajid from Sanjarpur in UP; and Haneef Waseem, a student from Hyderabad who had gone to London for higher studies and reportedly died fighting in Syria. Another Indian jihadist reported to have died fighting overseas is Anwar Husain, a one-time minivan driver from Bhatkal, who was killed in 2014, fighting alongside jihadists near Kandahar in Afghanistan. Last month, Twitter accounts of known IS sympathisers had reported the deaths of two other Indians in Syria. They were identified only by their pseudonyms, Abu Talha and Abu Muhammad. A ministry source said that during Saturday’s meeting with police chiefs and home secretaries of 12 states, chaired by Home Secretary L C Goyal, the states were told “not to go by surface assessments” of the IS threat in their backyard, but to make a genuine assessment based on ground intelligence. Social media cells comprising 15 police personnel will be set up in each state and UT, and will be trained by the Centre to analyse patterns after trawling the internet and IS-linked social media accounts.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/13-indians-have-joined-is-so-far-6-are-dead/

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Indian Air Force makes first staging visit to Saudi Arabia

3 August 2015

A flying contingent of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are on a maiden visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from August 1-4.

Indian Embassy Charge d’Affaires Hemant Kotalwar, while addressing a press conference, called the visit significant, and yet another feature that is set to give the Indo-Saudi relations a boost.

“The visit underscored the close defense ties between India and Saudi Arabia, which received a fillip following Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s visit to New Delhi, when he was Crown Prince in February 2014, to sign a Bilateral Defense Cooperation Agreement,” he said.

Kotalwar thanked King Salman and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salam, minister of defense, for the support and cooperation rendered during the visit.

The contingent consisting of 110 IAF officers and airmen onboard Sukhoi 30MKI fighter aircraft, C-17 Globe Masters, C-130 Super Hercules and IL-78 aircraft while en route to United Kingdom for a multinational exercise landed at King Fahd airbase in Taif.

The inaugural staging visit that the IAF pilots called very interactive and fruitful. They will be leaving for Athens prior to the UK for the multinational exercise.

Earlier, RAF Coningsby welcomed the international visitors from the IAF, who had traveled to the UK to support Exercise Indradhanush IV, with a C130, C17 and 4 IAF SU30MKI aircraft till the end of July.

The aim of the exercise, that began on July 21 and ended on July 31, was to enhance mutual operational understanding between the two Air Forces and to provide ample opportunity for exchange of ideas relating to concept of operations in a dynamic warfare environment.

The fighter aircraft, according to a press release, were based at 3(F) Squadron and worked with Typhoon fighter aircraft. 3(F) Squadron, one of the Typhoon squadrons based at RAF Coningsby, was the first Operational Typhoon Squadron.

The SU30MKI aircraft are part of No. 2 Squadron (Winged Arrows) a unit dedicated to close air support based at Kalaikunda Air Force Station, an IAF Base near Kharagpur. The squadron has as its emblem an arrow with spread wings, with the No. 2 attached to the shaft. On a scroll below this crest is inscribed "Amogh Lakshya" (Unwavering Aim).

The RAF and IAF fighter pilots, who participated in Exercise Indradanush, said they were full of admiration for each other’s capabilities and aircraft.

The two-week exercise provided a rare opportunity for RAF pilots to test themselves against the fourth generation Russian built fighter. Over the course of two weeks the complexity of the training sorties increased, starting from 1 v 1 dogfight to sorties involving up to 20 fighters.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/03/Indian-Air-Force-makes-first-staging-visit-to-Saudi-Arabia.html

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UP MLA Zameerullah Khan Launches ‘Save Cow’ Campaign

by Mohd Faisal Fareed

Aug 4, 2015

Samajwadi Party MLA Zameerullah Khan has launched a “save cow” campaign, under which Muslim clerics will visit mosques and administer oath to the members of the community to save cows and prevent cow slaughter. Khan has approached several local clerics, Imams and other Muslim leaders for the purpose. “Since Hindus, who are our elder brothers, see cow as ‘Gau Mata’, we respect their beliefs. I, along with other Muslims, will take oath to save cows,” he said.

“I had consulted several leading clerics and have taken the decision in light of the teachings in Quran. It has not been mentioned anywhere that cow slaughter or eating cow meat is mandatory. We should respect our brother’s religion and respect cow,” he said. The Muslim clerics, while highlighting the importance of cows and its benefits, will also stress on peaceful co-existence with Hindus by respecting cows. The first oath will be taken in Aligarh’s Tappal town on Friday. “Tension prevails in the area following a report of alleged cow slaughter recently. Six persons had been arrested. We will take Muslim clerics from Aligarh and administer the oath,” Khan said. The exercise will be repeated at different mosques every Friday. Khan, who represents Kol Assembly seat in Aligarh, has also prepared a proforma, which has to be filled by cow sellers and buyers. He has got the proforma distributed to all police stations, following direction from Aligarh Range DIG Govind Agarwal, who has made the same mandatory for all cattle sellers. The proforma seeks information on both the cow sellers and the buyers — their names, addresses, photo identity proofs, mobile numbers, no objection certificates from concerned police stations for selling cows, purpose of selling cows (whether it is being sold for milk) and also a brief description of the cow. “It is a good initiative. On a trial basis, we are implementing it in Aligarh. Later, it will be extended to other districts in the range,” the DIG said. The reason behind issuing the proforma is that Hindus often sell cows to Muslims, leading to communal clashes. “I will soon meet Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in order to make this proforma mandatory across the state,” Khan said.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/sps-muslim-mla-zameerullah-khan-begins-campaign-to-save-cows/

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Indians kidnapped by IS fine, says freed captive

Aug 4, 2015

BENGALURU: The two Indians still in IS captivity in Libya are fine, said Laxmikant Ramakrishna who was among the two freed and sent home.

Four people working at the University of Sirte were abducted by the Islamic State on July 29.

Ramakrishna told the media after arriving here that the "boss or sheikh of the captors have told me that they will be fine and there is nothing to worry about them".

He said he had been given a special phone number to call to check on them from time to time. He said he has been trying to do that and appealed to the media to carry news "with responsibility".

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indians-kidnapped-by-IS-fine-says-freed-captive/articleshow/48342315.cms

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Exchange of fire on India-Pakistan border leaves 3 killed, 11 wounded

By ZABIHULLAH MOOSAKHAIL

Aug 04 2015

Heavy exchange of fire between the soldiers of Pakistan and Indian on joint border has left three civilian killed and eleven others wounded.

India says Pakistani soldiers opened unprovoked fire on the Indian side of the border leaving one civilian killed on Tuesday morning.

According to India’s Border Security Force (BSF) a dozen of Indian security posts were also targeted during the border security violation.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/exchange-of-fire-on-india-pakistan-border-leaves-one-killed-five-wounded-3907

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Won’t interfere in religion, Maharashtra CM tells Muslims

ALOK DESHPANDE

August 4, 2015

The BJP-Sena government has no intention to interfere in the religion or culture of minorities and is focussed on working towards building mutual trust, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday.

He was speaking at ‘Taleem ki Taquat,’ a conference organised by Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University Zafar Sareshwala, on the importance of formal education within the Muslim community. The programme comes days after the Maharashtra government kept madrassas out of a school education survey last month on the ground that they do not teach the four subjects prescribed in the national curriculum and only impart religious education.

‘Creating trust is vital’

“The most important task is to create trust. The government is not encroaching on religion, culture or rituals of minorities. Rather, it is working on bringing everyone together,” Mr. Fadnavis told Muslim intellectuals, businesspersons and senior government officials at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mahalaxmi in central Mumbai.

One of the reasons behind the lack of development of minority community was that people played politics with schemes meant for improving the conditions of Muslims, Mr. Fadnavis said. The governments in the past didn’t do what they ought to have done.

Intellectuals in the Muslim community must spread the message of trust in the government.

He assured them that his government would offer all the financial help possible to any educational scheme for minorities.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/wont-interfere-in-religion-fadnavis-tells-muslims/article7496663.ece

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Saudi-Indian defense ties soar

4 August 2015

JEDDAH: Saudi-Indian ties have reached a new high with the arrival of an Indian Air Force (IAF) flying contingent at the King Fahd Air Base in Taif.

The mission, comprising more than 100 high-ranking IAF officers and airmen onboard Sukhoi MKI fighter aircraft, C-17 Globe Masters, C-130 Super Hercules and IL-78 aircraft, landed in Taif on Sunday on the way back from the UK where they had taken part in a multinational exercise.

“This is for first time that fighter aircraft from India have landed in Saudi Arabia,” said senior Indian diplomat Hemant Kotalwar at a press conference in Jeddah.

“We want to express our thanks to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the support and cooperation that was extended to us during the visit,” said Kotalwar.

According to Kotalwar, there have been frequent goodwill visits by the Indian Navy ships to the ports of Jeddah and Jubail.

“We have also had transport aircraft transiting Saudi Arabia in the past,” he said. The significance of this particular event is that fighter aircraft from India have landed in Saudi Arabia for the first time.

“This indicates the depth of our ties which have been on the upswing for quite some time and which have gained new momentum following King Salman’s visit to India in February 2014 when he was crown prince,” said Kotalwar. “It was during that visit that a bilateral cooperation agreement was signed lending a new thrust to the relationship.”

The visit underscored the close defense ties between Saudi Arabia and India. Both countries regularly exchange high level delegations aimed at furthering cooperation between the two armed forces. Officers from both countries have been attending courses in their pursuit of shared learning.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/786251

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Mideast

 

Turkish Muslims Rebuild Synagogue, Embrace Jews

August 04, 2015

Abdullah Demirbas (pictured), former Mayor of the Old City of Diyarbakir, a large and important city on the banks of the Tigris river, is restoring a local synagogue that served the Jewish population before they were expelled by the Turks.

“This area in Turkey belongs to the Jews,” said Demirbas at a recent meeting in Jerusalem. “It is their land and our responsibility to make sure that they are recognized and honored here in our city.”

Demirbas is a Muslim. He believes that by restoring their synagogue he can heal some of the wounds caused when Jews fled his country. He came to Jerusalem to discuss with Kurdish Jews his plans to restore their ancient house of worship. There are over 100,000 Turkish Jews living in Israel. Most of them settled in Jerusalem.

“It has always been my dream to come to Israel,” Demirbas told the group of Messianic Jews and Christian who had gathered in Jerusalem to listen to his plans to build the synagogue. Clearly moved by the unity he saw between Arab and Jewish believers in Israel he said that this was the kind of "Shalom" he wanted to see in his own country and throughout the Middle East.

In addition to building the synagogue, Demirbas is also reaching out to Christians.

The mayor was the first Turkish official to obtain a permit from the Muslim government to build a church in his town. He has been personally instrumental in the reconstruction of six Armenian and Assyrian churches in Diyarbakir.

Demirbas then inspired the local Muslims to rebuild the churches and support the same Christian groups they had formerly persecuted. “These are not only buildings I want to build. This is about learning to respect one another and learning to live together. God created us to live together,” he said.

Demirabas may dream of peace in the Middle East, but because of his bold stand he has received numerous death threats and assassination attempts on his life. He is not afraid to publicly challenge Muslim hatred and aggression towards Jews and Christians. But most Muslims are angered by efforts to live in peace with Jews and Christians, particularly since the Koran teaches that “if a Jew or Christian do not agree that Muhammad is the only prophet of God they should be treated as infidels and you should declare war on them.”

Full report at:

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=27121

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In Turkish villages facing IS, doubt hangs over US strategy

August 04, 2015

Nick Tattersall

Packets of cigarettes and tea gathering dust in his one-room store, Mustafa Karatas doubts a joint US-Turkish plan to flush Islamic State militants from the Syrian border will make much difference to his business any time soon.

This main commercial street in Karkamis, a Turkish town of 10,500 people, sits directly opposite the border post. Shut for more than a year, the military sealed the crossing with a breeze block wall a few months ago. Behind it, just inside Syria, the black flag of Islamic State flaps in the breeze.

Karkamis lies on the northeastern edge of a rectangle of Syrian territory some 80 km (50 miles) long, controlled by the radical Islamists. The United States and Turkey hope that by sweeping Islamic State from this border zone, they can deprive it of a smuggling route which has seen its ranks swollen with foreign fighters and its coffers boosted by illicit trade. Moderate Syrian rebels, trained by the US army, will fight Islamic State on the ground and help co-ordinate air strikes by the US coalition, launched from Turkish air bases, under the strategy drawn up by Washington and Ankara.

Diplomats familiar with the plans say cutting off one of Islamic State’s lifelines could be a game-changer in this corner of Syria’s complex war. The core of the rebels, who number less than 60, will be highly equipped and be able to call in close air support when needed, they say. But there are major challenges.

Turkey is distrustful of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which has proved a useful US ally in fighting Islamic State. It controls adjacent territory on the eastern side of the Euphrates river, just across from Karkamis and the militant-held town of Jarablus. Ankara wants it to advance no further and considers the Euphrates a red line not to be crossed. Locals say they hear gunbattles at night, but struggle to tell which of the three sides are firing at each other.

The YPG has already accused Turkish tanks of firing on its positions here in recent days. Ankara denies targeting the Kurds but has said its forces will defend themselves if attacked. A batch of US-trained rebels deployed to northern Syria meanwhile came under fire on Friday from rival militants, highlighting the threat they face on multiple fronts.

“Of course if they clear Islamic State out it’d be great. But I don’t think it’ll happen any time soon,” said Karatas, 33, sat among plastic toys and kitchen appliances, drawing on a cigarette and doubtful of any quick resolution.

“I have friends and colleagues on the other side who say ISIL has placed mines all along the border area and in the town. It will be very difficult to clean up Jarablus,” he said, using one of the acronyms to describe Islamic State.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/04-Aug-2015/in-turkish-villages-facing-is-doubt-hangs-over-us-strategy

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Russian FM voices support for independent Palestinian state

Aug 4, 2015

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has voiced support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

“We would like to see the Palestinians — all of them — have their permanent home,” Lavrov said during a meeting with Khaled Meshaal, the political bureau chief of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in the Qatari capital Doha on Monday.

The Russian foreign policy chief also said that his country will work for the realization of such a goal.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also posted a statement saying that Lavrov in the meeting “has confirmed the support of efforts on restoring Palestinian national unity,” Interfax reported.

The Hamas political bureau chief, for his part, said, “We hope that with assistance from Russia and the whole world, this dream will come true.”

The two political figures also discussed a host of issues surrounding Palestine including the Israeli atrocities against Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Meshaal also accepted Lavrov's invitation to pay a visit to Russia. No date has been specified for the visit yet.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/08/04/423161/Russia-Lavrov-Hamas-Mashaal-Palestine-

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Italian FM: Iran's Fight against Extremism Source of Hope for Europe

Aug 04, 2015

Iran's fight against extremism which threatens peace and stability is a great hope for us (the Europeans)," Gentiloni told Iran's state TV on Tuesday.

He said Iran's role in establishing stability in the region is of crucial importance to Europe, and said, "The vital importance of this issue is the result of common interests in fighting the ISIL and the possibility for defeating the terrorist group on one hand, and special issues like Syria and Lebanon on the other hand."

Gentiloni, elsewhere, referred to the recent nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the world powers, and said the agreement will give Europe an opportunity for restoring relations with Tehran, specially in economic and political fields, and will provide an opportunity for utilizing the country's potentials to establish stability in the region.

Iran has intensified efforts to fight against extremism and terrorism in the region and the world and has helped the regional states, specially Iraq and Syria, in this regard.

In July, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced concern over the spread of extremism and terrorism across the globe, particularly in the Middle East, and urged the world states and international bodies to do their best to target the roots of terrorist groups.

"The extremism is the most serious threat of the region and Iran is ready to cooperate to confront his threat," Zarif said in a meeting with visiting German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel in Tehran.

The Iranian foreign minister noted that all regional countries should get united in the fight against the ISIL and al-Qaeda terrorist groups.

The German vice chancellor, for his part, voiced his pleasure in his visit to Tehran, and called for the expansion of mutual cooperation, specially in the economic field.

In December 2014, participants in the first international conference on 'World Against violence and Extremism (WAVE)' in Tehran in their final statement asked the world governments, politicians and religious leaders to condemn terrorism, violence and extremism in all forms.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940513000449

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Senior Iranian cleric writes letter to al-Azhar’s grand imam

Aug 4, 2015

Senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi has welcomed a call by the Grand Imam of the al-Azhar Mosque, Egypt’s top Muslim authority, for a unity meeting of leading Sunni and Shia scholars.

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has sent a letter to al-Azhar’s Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, proposing a conference between top Shia and Sunni scholars “to review the most important obstacles in the way of Islamic unity” and “to set forth the most significant, necessary measures for reinforcing Islamic unity,” the Iranian cleric’s international affairs adviser Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini Qazvini told reporters on Monday, without specifying the date the letter was sent.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/08/04/423190/Iran-Ayatollah-Nasser-Makarem-Shirazi-Egypt-alAzhar-Mosque-SheikhTayeb

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Jewish extremist head held after anti-Arab violence

August 04, 2015

JERUSALEM - The head of a Jewish extremist group, Meir Ettinger, was arrested on Monday following the death of a Palestinian baby in a firebombing in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Ettinger is a grandson of Meir Kahane, a rabbi who founded the racist anti-Arab movement Kach and was assassinated in 1990 in New York.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/04-Aug-2015/jewish-extremist-head-held-after-anti-arab-violence

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Yemen’s Hadi vows to liberate entire country

4 August 2015

Yemeni President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi said on Monday that advances in Yemen will continue forcefully until the liberation of the entire country, according to Al Arabiya News Channel.

(Al Arabiya)

Hadi said the advances against Houthi militias were made possible thanks to the members of the Popular Resistance as well as the national army.

 (Reuters)

Yemeni sources said that that Hadi was closely monitoring the developments in Yemen.

On Monday, pro-Hadi forces seized the country’s largest military base from the Iranian-backed Houthi militias after heavy clashes which left dozens killed or captured.

The recapture of the al-Anad military base opens up the road north to the city of Taez, where Houthi militias have been locked in combat with local fighters siding with Hadi.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition that has been pursuing an air campaign inside Yemen since March against the Houthis.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/04/Britain-to-extend-airstrikes-against-ISIS-.html

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Yemeni military base captured from Houthis

3 August 2015

Fighters loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, bolstered by Gulf Arab support, seized the country’s largest military base from Houthi forces on Monday after heavy combat in which dozens were killed or captured, a pro-Hadi commander said.

If confirmed, the victory would mark another significant gain for the Hadi loyalists after they drove the Houthis from the southern port of Aden in July following months on the defensive.

The recapture of the al-Anad base also opens up the road north to the city of Taiz, where Iranian-allied Houthi militias have been locked in combat with local fighters siding with Hadi.

“The national army and the popular resistance have completed control of the al-Anad military and air base,” the operation commander, Brigadier-General Fadel Hassan, told Reuters by telephone.

He said dozens of Houthis were killed or captured during hours of clashes, while hundreds have fled. His forces were combing the base, which covers an area of 40 square km (15 square miles) for any Houthis who may have remained behind.

He said his force would march on to complete the “liberation” of the provinces of Lahej and Abyan.

There was no word from the Houthis on the outcome of the battle. The Houthi-run Saba news agency said earlier that Saudi-led air raids had repeatedly struck the military base.

The base has been under siege for weeks by the Southern Resistance, an alliance of southern groups including secessionists seeking an independent south Yemen.

The assault began after new weapons, including armored vehicles that had been supplied by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, arrived to reinforce fighters.

Witnesses said they saw dozens of new armored vehicles heading in two separate columns in the morning towards al-Anad.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition that has been pursuing an air campaign inside Yemen since March against the Houthis.

The Houthis control the capital, Sanaa, and northern parts of the deeply impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation.

Coalition planes targeted Houthi and Saleh-allied militias in the country’s eastern province of Taez on Monday, according to Al Arabiya News Channel.

Political settlement

The leader of the Iranian-backed Houthis said on Sunday he was ready for a political settlement to end the war in Yemen.

“A political solution is still possible, internally,” Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said in a speech live on television, without elaborating.

During the speech, Houthi urged his militia to fight on against Yemen’s government, dismissing its recapture of Aden last month as a ‘limited’ achievement made possible by Ramadan.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/03/Houthi-chief-ready-for-political-settlement-.html

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Yemen forces repel Hadi supporters' attack on airbase in Lahij

Aug 4, 2015

Yemen’s Ansarullah fighters and allied military forces have repelled a large-scale attack by the supporters of the fugitive former president on a key airbase in the southwestern Lahij province.

The al-Anad airbase was attacked by militia groups loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi after being extensively bombed by Saudi warplanes, Yemen's al-Masirah TV reported on Monday.

According to a former regime military commander, several people from both sides have been killed.

Contradictory reports have also surfaced stating that the base has fallen to the militias.

Meanwhile, at least four people were killed during a Saudi airstrike on the northern province of Jawf.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/08/04/423160/Yemen-airbase-lahij-Anad

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Iran, Afghanistan to Launch Joint Committees on Security, Border Issues

Aug 04, 2015

The announcement was made in a meeting of senior security officials presided by Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Brigadier General Hossein Zolfaqari in Tehran on Tuesday.

The joint Iran-Afghanistan committees will follow up security and border problems of the two countries' nationals.

In February, Iranian and Afghan border guards officials inked a security agreement to expand their cooperation and coordination in administering border-related issues.

In a meeting between Iranian Border Guards Commander Brigadier General Qassem Rezayee and his Afghan counterpart Major General Mohammad Shafiq Fazli in the Afghan city of Nimrouz, the two sides voiced readiness to do their best to boost security and tranquility of joint borders.

General Fazli said in the meeting that Afghanistan has been engaged in a war against terrorism, Al-Qaeda and drug traffickers for more than three decades, and expressed the hope that through unity and brotherhood existing between the border guards of the two countries the enemies would be defeated in near future.

The Iranian commander, for his part, said that both Tehran and Kabul are resolved to secure joint border in a bid to pave the ground for glorifying of their trade interactions.

Iran is one of the most important donors to Afghanistan, which has kept its promises to help to the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940513000772

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Rouhani: Iran Hails Expansion of All-out Ties with Azerbaijan

Aug 04, 2015

During the meeting today, the Iranian and Azeri top officials explored avenues for reinvigorating mutual cooperation and conferred on the implementation of previously accorded joint projects in the energy sector.

"Following the agreement with the six world powers in Geneva on July 14, we continually receive offers from various countries who desire to make investments in Iran; however, neighbors including Azerbaijan are our top priorities to cooperate with," Rouhani said.

Referring to the role that the North-South corridor can play in consolidating the bilateral ties between the two countries, Rouhani underlined that Azerbaijan can act as Iran's gateway to the Caucasus region while Iran can ease Azeris' access to the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea.

The Iranian President also underscored the vitality of expanding bilateral ties in the oil and energy sector, and said that joint ventures in the Caspian Sea projects can open doors to making mutual investments in new gas and oil projects. 

Mustafayev, for his part, expressed his country's readiness to develop ties with Iran in various sectors like energy, trade, transportation, industry, agriculture, oil, and banking.

The Azeri delegation, including several representatives from oil, telecommunication, banking, and energy companies led by the Minister of Economic Development arrived in Tehran on Monday.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940513000701

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IRGC Navy Commander: Iran to Give Strong Response to Slightest Aggressive Move by US

August 4, 2015

"The western media are mocking at the US for speaking of 'on the table options (against Iran)' because the US always utters some words without the ability to materialize them and … we are ready to give such a powerful response to the slightest move of the US that it won't be able to make any other moves," Fadavi said, addressing a ceremony in the Northern city of Zibakenar on Monday.

He said that the Iranian Armed Forces are now at the highest level of preparedness, stating that only the dead body of the American troops realizes the power of the Islamic Revolution.

Fadavi also referred to the nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers, including the US, and said, "The Islamic Revolution has given the other side a rare opportunity and they should take care not to miss this opportunity."

In relevant remarks in March, Fadavi underlined that the enemies will never dare to attack Iran because they are afraid of the Iranian Armed Forces' deterrent power.

"Iran's power of deterrence is preventing the enemies from attacking the country," Rear Admiral Fadavi said, addressing a ceremony in the city of Mashhad, Northeastern Iran.

He noted that the enemies have always been trying to attack Iran, but the Islamic Republic's power of deterrence has prevented them from achieving their goals.

"The Americans and our enemies cannot stand up against the Islamic system's deterrence power no matter how hard they try …," Rear Admiral Fadavi added. 

Also in March, IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said Iran is unmoved by enemies' war rhetoric due to its astonishing deterrent power, and specially because it has foreseen proper response for all possible scenarios.

He referred to Iran's deterrence power and defensive capabilities to confront enemies' threats, and said, "We have grown so much powerful that we don't feel concerned about the enemy's unwise attitude. We can go past any enemy scenario, and this has been proved in our contemporary history."

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940513000294

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Africa

 

Video shows Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saadi Qaddafi was tortured in prison

3 August 2015

Libyan state prosecutors are investigating unidentified guards shown in a video beating former president Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saadi Gaddafi, held in a Tripoli prison.

The video appears to show guards beating Saadi, who was extradited to Libya by Niger last year, where he has been held in a Tripoli prison facing charges over the killing of a soccer player when he headed the Libyan Football Federation, as well as other crimes.

In the video, which is yet to be verified, Saadi appears to be beaten on the face while being questioned and later on the soles of his feet tied to a rack.

The video was posted a week after a Tripoli court sentenced Gaddafi's son Saif Al-Islam and eight former regime officials to death over crimes during the 2011 uprising that toppled his father.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/03/Video-exposes-Saadi-Gaddafi-was-tortured-in-prison.html

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Attack on soldiers in north Mali kills 10

Aug 3, 2015

At least 10 soldiers have been killed in the northern Mali region of Timbuktu in an apparent terrorist attack against their camp.

“This morning at [the town of] Gourma-Rharous, we pushed back a terrorist attack, which caused 10 deaths in our ranks,” said a military source.

Another military source confirmed the attack, saying it had targeted a unit of the National Guard based in the town.

The second source said the attackers were believed to be elements linked to the so-called Ansar Dine group, which were designated by the United Nations (UN) as a foreign terrorist organization back in 2013.

Ansar Dine members in Mali (file photo)

The attack came two days after two Malian soldiers were killed and five injured when their convoy was ambushed in the center of the country.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/08/03/423083/Mali-Timbuktu-Ansar-Dine

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Raid on somalia army base resulted 10 Alshabaab dead

AUGUST 3, 2015

Somalia officials say, at least 10 Al Shabab members have been killed in deadly attack on army base in Mokoqori area in central Somalia’s Hiran region.

The clashes flared up when Al Shabab agents armed with rocket propelled grenades and machine guns assaulted on an army base in central Somalia, killing at least 10 fighters from Al Qaeda linked Al Shabab militants.

Somalia military officials said government troops had warded militants’ raids on their army bases, adding that number of Islamist militants had been killed and injured during the ambush offensive.

Full report at:

http://www.mareeg.com/raid-on-somalia-army-resulted-10-alshabaab-dead/

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5 killed in fresh Boko Haram attack in Madagali

August 3, 2015

Austin Ajayi

At least five people have been killed in the Madagali area of Adamawa State in a new wave of suspected Boko Haram attacks in the area, a lawmaker from the town said.

Residents returned to the area only recently months after fleeing Boko Haram’s repeated attacks there.

The latest attack attack happened Sunday night at Kobachwa village.

The lawmaker representing Madagali in the state House of Assembly, Emmanuel Tsamdu, said locals have been trained prepared themselves to repel further attacks.

He however called for more security presence in the area.

He said the area has known no peace since the onset of rains as many of the insurgents who took shelter in the mountains have been dislodged.

“It is from these hideouts in the surrounding mountains which dots its landscape that the insurgents also come out from to unleash attacks on the villagers who are mostly farmers,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/187756-%E2%80%8B5-killed-in-fresh-boko-haram-attack-in-madagali.html

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Nigerian army ‘frees nearly 180 Boko Haram hostages’

August 04, 2015

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - Nigeria’s army claimed to have freed nearly 180 hostages - including more than 100 children - held by Boko Haram jihadists in a dramatic weekend rescue.

The operation in the country’s conflict-torn northeast also led to the capture of a Boko Haram commander, an army spokesman said in a statement late Sunday. The military said earlier that it had killed a “large number” of the extremists in air strikes in the northeast.

The operation took place on Sunday near Aulari, about 70 kilometres (40 miles) south of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, once a jihadist stronghold.

“During the offensive operations, 178 people held captive by the terrorists were rescued,” military spokesman Colonel Tukur Gusau said, without specifying when the rescue took place.

“They include 101 children, 67 women and 10 men.” The Nigerian military has announced the release of hundreds of people held by Boko Haram in recent months, especially in the notorious Sambisa forest, a longtime Islamist stronghold.

The air strikes hit the village of Bita on the fringes of the forest not far from the Cameroonian border, where Boko Haram was preparing to launch an offensive, the military said. “Many” Islamists were killed, it added.

Sunday’s rescue came after several attacks by Boko Haram in recent days. Thirteen people were killed in an assault on Malari village about 20 kilometres from Maiduguri. Local farmer Moha Saleh confirmed the death toll and said 27 people were wounded when the Islamists stormed the village. “They also set many houses ablaze after accusing us of telling soldiers their whereabouts,” he told AFP.

Local resident Goni Musa, a vigilante who fights Boko Haram alongside the Nigerian military, gave the same death toll.

“This morning 13 bodies were recovered. Some had been shot in the back, which means they were fleeing when the terrorists killed them,” Musa said.

“They burnt down houses and shops before they left, yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is the Greatest). Our terrorised women and children fled into the bush and returned to Maiduguri this morning,” he added.

State police commissioner Aderemi Opadokun confirmed the attack but gave a lower toll, saying seven people had been killed.

Malari has been the target of numerous attacks in recent months, including a suicide bombing by a youth in a mosque in the middle of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in July which left 12 people dead.

Boko Haram has increasingly expanded its operations into neighbouring countries in recent months, prompting Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger to launch a coordinated military fightback.

The four countries, along with Benin, are preparing to launch a new 8,700-strong force that officials say will go into action soon.

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou on Sunday vowed that the new regional force would “eradicate” the insurgents.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/04-Aug-2015/nigerian-army-frees-nearly-180-boko-haram-hostages

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Sudan’s Bashir plans to speak at U.N. in New York

4 August 2015

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes and genocide charges, is planning to travel to New York in September to speak at the United Nations, Sudan’s deputy U.N. envoy said on Monday.

A provisional U.N. agenda for a sustainable development summit lists the Sudanese head of state as scheduled to speak on Sept. 26. The summit is due to formally adopt a plan for the world’s sustainable development over the next 15 years.

When asked if Bashir would be attending the summit, Sudan’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Hassan Hamid Hassan said: "Yes."

He gave no further details. A provisional agenda for the U.N. General Assembly meeting of world leaders, which begins on Sept. 28, only lists Sudan as being represented at ministerial level.

Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesman Ali al-Sadiq declined to comment.

Bashir wanted to speak at the U.N. General Assembly in 2013, but Sudanese officials said his U.S. visa application was left pending, preventing him from traveling. Washington described the visa request at the time as "deplorable."

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department was not immediately available for comment on Bashir’s plans to visit New York next month.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/04/Sudan-s-Bashir-to-give-U-N-speech-in-New-York-summit.html

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Increase in attacks on Ugandan clerics

04 August 2015

Muslim leaders have decried the increased rate of targeted murders and lack of conclusive investigations by police in last three years.

Over the course of six months, three Islamic clerics have been executed in the same style bringing the total number of murdered sheikhs to 12.

The Secretary General of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Al Hajji Muhammad Kisambira told the media after the slaying of Sheikh Hasan Kirya in Ramadan, that he was not satisfied with the Police’s efforts.

“The last time the Inspector General of Police Kale Kaihura came here he said it was members of the Allied Democratic Forces that are behind these killings, but we have not seen anyone linked to the ADF brought before Court,” he said.

"Even those they arrested are yet to be taken before a High Court for trial with sufficient evidence, only then shall we as Muslims know that the Police is working.

“Justice delayed is justice denied, this has left us as Muslims even more scared,” he told the media.

The police chief Kayihura told Muslims at the funeral of Sheikh Kirya that the suspects in the previous assassinations of sheikhs could have sponsored Kirya’s murder.

About 20 suspects were arrested and charged with terrorism, murder and crimes against humanity.

In a report in New Vision, Kayihura hinted that the suspects confessed being involved in the killings, but they are innocent until proven guilty by the courts of law.

He told the gathering that the late Sheikh was working with the police to bring into book criminals behind the killings.

“I am also a person and I am not here to make promises,” Kayihura was quoted during Sheikh Kirya’s funeral prayers.

“Kirya was killed because of me. He was killed for working with me and we have that intelligence.”

Kayihura said he had intelligence that he is also a target of Kirya’s killers.

Who is responsible?

A Muslim journalist based in Uganda, Ahmed Wetaka told Cii News that there’s no clear indications on who is behind the murders.

“It’s difficult to tell who is behind those murders because of various challenges around the Muslim community,” he said.

He said these challenges are a result of fractures within the Muslim leadership which has resulted in multiple factions.

“Overtime there has been accusations and counter accusations from members of either group. The differences result from leadership wrangles and management of property,” said Wetaka.

The late Sheikh Kirya was the spokesperson of Kibuli Muslim faction that was in loggerheads with the mainstream Muslim leadership based in Old Kampala over the dubious sale of Muslim properties.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/162783/increase-in-attacks-on-ugandan-clerics

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HURIWA calls on DSS to arrest Boko Haram masterminds

04 August 2015

Abuja - Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), an NGO, has urged the Federal Government to direct the Department of State Services (DSS) to deploy intelligence-driven strategies to arrest masterminds of insurgency in the country.

This is contained in a statement signed by the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in Abuja on Monday.

He said that the violence in the North East and parts of North Central had led to the gruesome killings of over 8,000 Nigerians.

"The destruction of property, including the displacement of Nigerians must be brought under control," he said.

Also read: PDP urges Buhari to review appointment of DSS boss

Onwubiko attributed the increasing spate of attacks to the inability of security agencies to effectively activate intelligence-led mechanisms to uncover the kingpins

He said that the terrorists had successfully killed several innocent Nigerians in recent times by using teenage girls and vulnerable elderly women as couriers of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

Full report at:

http://www.news24.com.ng/National/News/HURIWA-calls-on-DSS-to-arrest-Boko-Haram-masterminds-20150804

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Nigeria: Journalist Threatened By Boko Haram

3 AUGUST 2015

Adeola Akinremi, features editor of the privately-owned THISDAY newspaper in Lagos, was threatened by Boko Haram. The threats were contained in an email sent to Akinremi on May 10, 2015, by Abu Musab Abul-Barnawi, self-identified spokesperson for Boko Haram.

The threatening email said: "We have seen your hand against us. Inshallah you will die like other infidels that we captured. You have been joining our enemies. You are made yourself their mouth [sic] but we will get you insha Allah. This is a holy mission for Allah, so stop writing against us. You're going too [sic] Michika calling yourself a brave journalist, but you're a coward. We will get you. Its [sic] your government that talks amnesty, we are not looking for amnesty. Allah is with us. You're now a walking dead and a prey to the Lions of Islam from the bullet of a passing car or a nearby rooftop. We are not asking you to repent, because of your error. We will use your blood to send warning to others. Those people from America and Europe that are using you against our mission will soon know the truth. Our wounded fighters will never give up. They will return to fight for Allah to get their reward. Your soldier will soon know the truth."

The threat results from an article Akinremi authored on May 8. The article titled, "Why Boko Haram don't deserve our amnesty," recounted stories of Boko Haram's victims in Adamawa, a state which has seen attacks from Boko Haram.

"After reflecting on all these stories and many more, I came to a conclusion that granting the Boko Haram members any form of amnesty will be injustice to the children orphaned by Boko Haram and the women who have become widows and of course to the memory of their slain husbands," Akinremi wrote in his article.

Akinremi went on to report that "Boko Haram members have spurned all kinds of human rights laws, whether national, regional or international and cannot seek to enjoy the same."

"We must either bring these enemies to justice or bring justice to them, either way justice must be done," Akinremi wrote.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201508032569.html

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Boko Haram: US Considers Selling Weapons to Nigeria

August 4, 2015

Nigeria - The United States is considering lifting ban on sale of arms to Nigeria , US officials say.

Nigeria needs weapons to battle Boko Haram insurgents ravaging the northeastern part of the country.

nigeria army.jpg

A delegation from the U.S. Congress told military authorities in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Monday, that the decision was part of efforts by the U.S. to enhance cooperation between both countries in tackling the Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria’s north-east.

The delegation, which was led by Issah Darrel, who is also part of the Judicial Committee of the U.S. Congress, met with the Chiefs of Army, Naval, Defence and Air Staff in a closed door meeting.

Full report at:

http://www.nigerianbulletin.com/threads/boko-haram-us-considers-selling-weapons-to-nigeria.115449/

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Kenya: Senate Staff Accused of Plot to Help Al Shabaab Bomb Parliament Released

3 AUGUST 2015

By Alphonce Mung'ahu

A Senate employee who was arrested on suspicion of being an al Shabaab link-man has been freed.

Ali Ahmed was arrested on April 26 at Pangani, following intelligence reports he had been recruited by the terror group to conduct surveillance ahead of a possible attack at Parliament buildings.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201508032695.html

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Ethiopia Jails 18 Muslims Over Alleged Terror

AUG. 3, 2015,

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — A court in Ethiopia has handed jail terms ranging from seven to 22 years against 18 Muslims who were convicted on terror charges, including allegedly attempting to establish a religious government.

The sentencing on Monday attracted outcry from Muslim activists who opposed the trial.

Four of the suspects were sentenced to 22 years in prison, while the rest were given shorter jail terms.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/08/03/world/africa/ap-af-ethiopia-muslims-jailed-.html?_r=0

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North America

 

Muslims Banned From New York Gun Store

3 Aug 2015

Swartz made his announcement with a Facebook post, and then removed the post over the backlash to it. He “now fears for his safety.”

According to Albany’s CBS 6, Swartz’s Facebook post said:

JJ’s has made a corporate decision. After lengthy meetings with the board of directors, and considering the recent attack of the recruiting station and the killing of 5 service men by a radical muslim, and since I cannot tell a radical muslim from the 6 non radical Muslims left in the world, we at JJ’s have decided not to sell any guns to Muslims!

Swartz’s decision was in reaction to the Chattanooga attack, allegedly carried out by Mohammad Abdulazeez. Swartz said, “I cannot live with myself if someone was to purchase a weapon and use it to hurt other people, and I have decided since I can’t tell the difference, I will not sell a weapon if I know this person is a Muslim.”

Full report at:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/03/muslims-banned-from-new-york-gun-store/

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Indiana First Islamic Event Held in Church

03 August 201

CAIRO – Offering their friends a rare look into the teachings of Islam, young Muslim students in Evansville city in the Midwestern state of Indiana have organized the first food event in the church, bringing the followers of the two faiths closer.

“This is also to help kids our age see us as friends. I don’t want them to see us as Muslims but to see us as the people we are,” Zuha Adeel, a 17-year-old recent graduate of Signature School, told Courier Press on Sunday, August 2.

Adeel, along with about two dozen of her Muslim friends, organized the Evansville Islamic Center’s first Grill and Chill.

The event, held in the Warrick County church, brought followers of the two faith groups closer.

“This will help us as Muslim kids show people we can be Muslim and American at the same time — bring the two worlds together for ourselves and for others,” she said.

Hadeel Yusef, 17-year-old friend of Adeel, said many of their classmates don’t know much about their faith or practices.

“Signature School has more diversity, but there were still a lot of questions,” Yusef said.

Adeel described it as a “blissful ignorance.”

“People don’t feel they need to know about it. I understand. It’s not something that affects someone’s everyday life like their own religion would.

“So they don’t understand things like, maybe, why we wear the scarf or why we say people who do all these horrible acts overseas, why they aren’t Muslim. They really wouldn’t understand because they don’t understand our religion,” she said.

The event won praise of local Muslim leaders as offering a chance to church members to know their Muslim friends and community.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/491111-indiana-first-islamic-event-held-in-church.html

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Akbar Ahmed’s documentary explores place of Islam in European history, civilization

August 3, 2015

By Raif Karerat

WASHINGTON, DC: Akbar Ahmed, renowned anthropologist and Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University’s School of International Service, embarked on a new project in the summer of 2014 in order to study Muslims across Europe and the attitudes and perceptions of Europeans in regard to their Muslims peers.In his documentary “Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Empire,” which was released this year, Ahmed and his team interview some of Europe’s most prominent figures — presidents and prime ministers, archbishops, chief rabbis, and grand muftis, heads of right-wing parties, and everyday Europeans from a variety of backgrounds in a study of unprecedented depth and scale.The project thoroughly delves into the historical relationship between Europe and the Muslim world and the contemporary challenges posed by increased immigration from the Muslim world, complicated and controversial issues including Sharia, terrorism, and traditional female garb in Islam, as well as the new pressures of security, globalization, and multiculturalism.“Ambassador Akbar’s exploration and insight into issues affecting European Muslims is needed now more than ever. Extremism fosters in an environment of suspicion and suspicion is born from ignorance, therefore Professor Akbar’s detailed analysis will undoubtedly help governments, policy makers and civic society to better tackle radicalization in Europe,” said Humza Yousaf, Minister for Europe and International Development and member of the Scottish Parliament, according to the project’s own website.

Full report at:

http://www.americanbazaaronline.com/2015/08/03/akbar-ahmeds-documentary-explores-place-of-islam-in-european-history-civilization/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/avoid-intellect,-logic-when-it-comes-to-islam,-perak-mufti-tells-cabinet/d/104161



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