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Islamic World News ( 25 Jan 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Burj Khalifa Glows with Tricolour to Mark India's Republic Day









The lighting comes as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is the guest of honour for India’s Republic Day on Thursday.

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Burj Khalifa Glows With Tricolour To Mark India's Republic Day

Myanmar Police Detain 8 Rohingya Muslims On Charges Of Teaching Quran

Quran Rejects Divisions Among Muslims On Basis Of Sects: Speakers

 

India

Burj Khalifa Glows With Tricolour To Mark India's Republic Day

ISI Tele Exchange Unearthed: Cops

UAE contingent leads Republic Day parade

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Southeast Asia

Myanmar Police Detain 8 Rohingya Muslims On Charges Of Teaching Quran

September 2 Declared Islam Karimov Day In Uzbekistan

International airport of Uzbekistan named after Islam Karimov

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Pakistan

Quran Rejects Divisions Among Muslims On Basis Of Sects: Speakers

Protest Against Renewed Series Of ‘Sectarian’ Killings In Karachi

Pakistani Foreign Affairs Adviser Says Terrorists Are Defaming Islam, Muslims 

Sindh officials told to cancel liquor shop licences in Muslim-majority areas

Pak to get new foreign secy; Tehmina Janjua leads race

Panamagate hearing: second letter from Qatari royal 'clarifies' Sharif investment in Gulf Steel Mills

Review of Scotland Yard’s decision to drop Altaf case sought

Pakistan, Turkey to boost defence ties

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Arab World

ISIL Loses 3,400 Terrorists, over Half of Militants, in Mosul

ISIL's Bahraini Emir Surrenders to Kurdish Fighters

Iraqi Cleric Moqtada Sadr Warns US On Israel Embassy Move

Bomb blast claims at least 10 lives, injures 30 in Baghadad

Syrian forces fend off Takfiri rebels' attack in northeast of Damascus

Yemen’s Houthi: UN envoy in cahoots with invaders

Ta'iz: Saudi-Led Apache Helicopter Downed by Yemeni Forces in Al-Mukha

Saudi political prisoner dies under suspicious circumstances in prison

Protest held in Saudi Eastern Province over dissident Shia prisoner’s death

King Salman’s efforts to unite Muslim world praised at Pakistan conference

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South Asia

36 ISIS Militants Killed, 20 Wounded In South Of Afghanistan

Sex, love, libido: Helpline brings succour to Afghan youth

Canada reaffirms support to Afghanistan as WB investigates fraud allegations

Taliban earn $4.8 million annually from Kajaki Dam

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Australia

Sydney Islamic Extremist Group Campaigning For Sharia Law Claims Australia Day Is A Celebration Of 'Terror And Genocide'

Austrian Police Raid Homes In Search For Islamic Radicals

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Mideast

UN Experts Urge Bahraini Regime To Stop New Executions

Turkey Says Waiting To See Outcome Of Trump's Syria Safe Zones Call

Erdogan vows to rapidly tackle new Turkish constitution bill

Protesters denounce recent execution of Shia activists in Bahrain

Islamic State: Family deported from Turkey after father allegedly tries to join terror group

Tehran slams Bahrain for calling Iran foreign enemy

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Africa

Somali Militants Ram Car Bomb Into Hotel, Killing At Least 13

Why judiciary not consider Zakzaky a danger to society

Tanzania denied entrance of Turkish citizens during Erdoğan’s visit ‘for security reasons’

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Europe

At Least 15 Western Terrorists Defect From ISIS, Flee Syria

How can the academy ease the barriers Muslim scholars face?

Syrian Opposition Groups Invited to Moscow for Meeting with Lavrov

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North America

Donald Trump Says Restricted Entry For Muslims Necessary As World Is ‘A Total Mess’

Alarmed By Trump Plans, Refugees See Growing Enmity In US

US warns over anti-American violence risk in Turkey

Protesters fill in NY park to protest immigration ban

Islamic State Supporters Marvel at Terror Group’s Drone ‘Air Force’ 

JFK wheelchair service denied Muslim employees right to pray: complaint

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/burj-khalifa-glows-with-tricolour-to-mark-india-s-republic-day/d/109850

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Burj Khalifa glows with Tricolour to mark India's Republic Day

PTI | Updated: Jan 26, 2017

Mumbai: CST, BMC buildings illuminate in tricolourMumbai: CST, BMC buildings ill...

1600 LEDs light up Bengaluru's Embassy Lake Terraces in tricolour1600 LEDs light up Bengaluru's...

Delhi: Awesome balloon sculptures to amaze you at International Balloon Art FestivalDelhi: Awesome balloon sculptu...

Chennai: Around 3,000 students form national flag on the eve of Republic DayChennai: Around 3,000 students...

NEW DELHI: Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, was on Wednesday lit up in tri-colours - saffron, white and green - to celebrate India's 68th Republic Day, showcasing strong cultural and trade bond between India and the UAE.

"#BurjKhalifa wishes The #RepublicOfIndia a Happy National Day," the official account of Burj Khalifa tweeted.

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 Burj Khalifa ? @BurjKhalifa

Tonight we celebrate India’s 68th Republic Day with a spectacular LED illumination of the Indian National flag on #BurjKhalifa! #India

3:05 PM - 25 Jan 2017

  15,309 15,309 Retweets   19,893 19,893 likes

The LED shows were held thrice and will be repeated on Thursday along with complimenting Dubai Fountain shows. "The visual expression of the tri-colors underlined the solidarity of the UAE and its people with India, with which the nation shares strong cultural and trade ties," said Dubai-based real estate company, Emaar, in a statement.

The iconic building in Dubai, which stands at 823 metres, was named in honour of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the UAE.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade on Thursday.

The grand public display of India-UAE close relations at Burj Khalifa was viewed by huge population of various nationalities present in Dubai and around the world through social networks and conventional media.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/burj-khalifa-glows-with-tricolour-to-mark-indias-republic-day/articleshow/56789551.cms

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Myanmar police detain 8 Rohingya Muslims on charges of teaching Quran

January 25, 2017

Myanmar security forces detained 8 Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state west of the country on charges of “teaching the Quran”.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Myanmar security forces detained 8 Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state west of the country on charges of “teaching the Quran”.

According to Arakan news agency, 15 other members of the minority group were jailed for having stayed in a mosque after prayers.

Myanmar’s military began the crackdown against Rohingya in the Rakhine state after an attack on the country’s border guards on October 9 left nine police officers dead, which the government blamed on the Rohingya.

There are reports that at least 400 people have been killed, more than 2,500 houses, mosques, and religious schools destroyed, and three villages completely wiped out during the military siege.

The Myanmar government meanwhile has blocked humanitarian and media access to Rakhine.

The Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur hosted a special meeting of foreign ministers from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) earlier this month to discuss the plight of Rohingya.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak in his opening speech to the meeting stated that Muslim nations should unite to help end the persecution of the Rohingya.

He said the crisis in Rakhine was no longer Myanmar’s internal affair, stressing that it had already affected the neighboring states.

http://en.abna24.com/service/east-asia//archive/2017/01/25/807210/story.html

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Quran rejects divisions among Muslims on basis of sects: speakers

January 26, 2017

There are more commonalities than differences among Muslims. The Quran doesn’t endorse divisions among Muslims on Shia-Sunni basis and that this holy book is common asset of all the followers of Islam.

These views were expressed by speakers while addressing the launching ceremony of Syed Saqib Akbar’s book ‘Haroof-e-Muqatiat: Ara ka Tajziyate Mutala’ (Haroof-e-Muqatiat: An analytical study of different views). The function was held under the aegis of Jamaat Ahle Haram.

Allama Sajid Naqvi, chief of Islami Tehreek Pakistan, said the talk of moderation and unity is meaningless without the existence of different sects. He said Pakistan has the honour of having a common podium of different schools of thought where different sects work for bringing Muslims close to one another and as a result of this a cordial and congenial atmosphere prevails in the country.

The need, he said, is to benefit from the presence of the Quran and adopt its teachings, adding this research-based book on Huroof-e-Muqatiat is part of the efforts of fostering unity among Muslims. He said various Fiqhs are not the cause of creating differences but lead to Ummat-e-Wahidah (single community).

He congratulated Mufti Gulzar Ahmad Naeemi for organizing this function and also felicitated Saqib Akbar for writing this book.

Secretary General Jamaat-e-Islami Liaqat Baloch said it is a privilege for him to attend this function. He said it was his long-held desire to visit Jamia Naeemia and the function provided me this opportunity today.

Addressing the function, Allama Mufti Siddique Hazarvi said that research means doing something in fullest measure and Saqib Akbar has duly done what research stands for by writing this book. He said how is it possible that the Haroof-e-Muqatiat were revealed on the Qalb (heart) of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in a state that he didn’t knew what the reality of these words were. He said the author has brought together the opinions of various ulema regarding the Haroof-e-Muqatiat. He specially made a mention of the point raised by Pir Mohammad Karam Shah al-Azhari that these Haroof themselves reveal before the saints the mysteries they stand for.

Speaking on the occasion, Mufassir-e-Quran Shaikh Mohsin Ali Najafi said that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has given this Ummah the Aqli Mujiza (rational miracle) in the form of the Quran and it will remain as such till Doomsday. He said it is impossible to find fault in the Mujiza. He said Mufti Gulzar Naeemi and Syed Saqib Akbar have started a good practice for the cause of serving the Quran and promoting unity among Muslims. Regarding the book, he said that the addressees of these words are the bearers of the Quran not the Ummah.

Addressing the launching ceremony Pir Chirag Din Shah said the need is to unite Ummah on a single platform. He said time is to come out and confront the situation regarding Ummah’s solidarity in the middle instead of talking about unity while remaining confined to drawing rooms and functions.

Praising the author of the book he said a reader can’t judge to which sect he belongs to while reading his books.

The host of the function Shaikh-ul-Hadith Allama Mufti Gulzar Ahmed Naeemi said, “though I belong to Sunni sect but I consider it my honour to organize the launching ceremony of this book whose writer is a Shia Muslim.”

He said Muslims irrespective of their sects need to live and work together in the similar way. He said Saqib Akbar has included in the book the opinions of the ulema of all the sects without showing any prejudice. He thanked the ulema belonging to all schools of thought for attending this function.

Those who also spoke on the occasion included Syed Saqib Akbar, Dr Fida Hussain Abidi and Mufti Zamir Ahmad Sajid. The function was moderated by Sahibzada Kashif Gulzar Ahmad Naeemi and the Dua was offered by Qari Ubaid Ahmad Satti.

The function was also attended by Maulana Abdul Gani Naqshbandi, Maulana Muhammad Nazir Khokhar, Allama Syed Mehr Ali Shah Kazmi and Maulana Muhammad Maroof Naqshbandi.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/181737-Quran-rejects-divisions-among-Muslims-on-basis-of-sects-speakers

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India

 

ISI tele exchange unearthed: Cops

Raj Shekhar & Shalabh | TNN |Jan 26, 2017

NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW: The UP Anti-Terrorism Squad claimed to have busted an illegal telephone exchange and spying racket on Wednesday with the arrest of a software engineer from Mehrauli in south Delhi and 10 others from NCR, Lucknow and other parts of UP. The "exchanges" were not only making lakhs of rupees by routing international calls, bypassing legal gateways, they were being used by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to call Army officials and elicit information from them.

The mastermind, engineer Gulshan Kumar Sain, worked with the Punjabi Bagh unit of a leading engineering coaching centre. He also conducted tuition classes for IIT aspirants. On arrest, Sain told cops he had been making around Rs 1 lakh a month from the parallel exchanges that had been operating for a year. Sources said the racket was busted after the defence ministry and Army alerted the military intelligence unit in J&K about some of its officers receiving suspicious calls from "seniors" who sought information on their unit, deployment, strength and possible movement.

Some of these officers, it was found, shared the information unsuspectingly since the numbers from which these calls were made were strikingly similar to the actual phone numbers of their seniors. One of the officers, however, smelled a rat and alerted his seniors. Soon, it emerged that several officers in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere had received such calls.

Intelligence officials unearthed the racket after a fortnight of extensive investigations and found that the illegal network was using techniques like call spoofing and SIM box fraud to carry out their spying activities.The callers, based in Pakistan and Bangladesh, made calls over internet on the parallel exchanges. These calls were converted to voice calls through the SIM box and connected to receivers in India.However, receivers could only see Indian numbers on their phone screens. This also threw off agencies tracking suspicious calls.

Two dozen numbers belonging to UP and Delhi were traced and the UP police's ATS was asked to initiate a crackdown. After tracing the network for two months, ATS finally carried out a 12-hour long operation on Tuesday night. Simultaneous raids led by IG Asim Arun were conducted at three places and 11 suspects arrested. They have been charged under IPC sections related to waging war against the nation, fraud and cheating and under the Telegraph Act. Sain belongs to Sikar in Rajasthan. He got a company, MD Technologies, registered in the name of his father, Matadeen. Sain claimed to have taken a licence for making wireless products. He also began to provide internet services and was executing the con job in the garb of an ISP.With the illegal exchanges, he managed to make substantial money as he did not have to pay the termination charge of 53 paise per minute per call or any taxes.

Police have recovered 16 SIM box units, 140 prepaid SIM cards, 10 mobile phones, 28 data cards and five laptops from the accused. A probe has been initiated to ascertain if the arrested men were acting at ISI's behest or were unaware of the identity of the callers.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/isi-tele-exchange-unearthed-cops/articleshow/56789118.cms

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UAE contingent leads Republic Day parade

Updated: Jan 26, 2017, 02.51 PM IST

NEW DELHI: A 149-member marching contingent from UAE, with a band comprising 35 musicians from that country, led the 68th Republic Day parade at Rajpath on Thursday.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the Chief Guest at the function. Hence, the UAE contingent was given the honour to lead the parade.

Al Nahyan, also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces, was seated next to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wore a pink color 'safa' (turban).

Leading the UAE contingent was Lt Col Abood Musabeh Abood Musabeh Alghfeli. Its personnel carrying M-16 rifle were from Presidential Guards, the Air Force, the Navy and Army.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/uae-contingent-leads-republic-day-parade/articleshow/56794054.cms

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Southeast Asia

 

September 2 declared Islam Karimov Day in Uzbekistan

12:28, 26 January 2017

AKIPRESS.COM - Karimov.jpgUzbekistanis will celebrate Islam Karimov's Day annually on September 2 in accordance with the decree signed by head of state Shavkat Mirziyoyev on January 25.

The document says that the first president's birthday on January 30 will also be celebrated across the country in order to perpetuate his memory and for the great historical achievements he made for the country.

The state scholarships of Islam Karimov will be established in the universities of Uzbekistan, according to the decree.

Creation of scientific works, documentary and feature films about Islam Karimov is ordered by the document as well.

http://akipress.com/news:588145/

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International airport of Uzbekistan named after Islam Karimov

26.01.2017

Almaty. January 26. KazTAG - The international airport of Tashkent has been named after Islam Karimov, first President of Uzbekistan, an appropriate order was signed by President Shavkat Mizieyev.

"Due to the will of our compatriots, taking in account the greatest historical merits of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Kairmov in terms of national independence, provision of development and prosperity of the state, name Tashkent international airport after Islam Karimov," reads the message.

Tashkent state technical university, car plant in Asaka, the Arts palace in Fergana and the central streets in the Republic of Karakalpastan, Tashkent and regions have been named after I. Karimov.

The birthday of the President will be annually celebrated on January 30, and the Day of commemoration of the first President- on September 2.

Full report at:

http://www.kaztag.kz/en/news/detail.php?ID=519627

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Pakistan

 

Protest against renewed series of ‘sectarian’ killings in Karachi

January 26th, 2017

KARACHI: The killing of a teacher belonging to the Shia community in the Gulistan-i-Jauhar area of the city just a day after the murder of a community member in Orangi sparked protests against the government over the renewed wave of ‘sectarian’ killings.

Mohammed Kazim Raza, 39, originally hailing from Gilgit, had been kidnapped before being shot dead and his body was dumped near Munawwar Chowrangi in Gulistan-i-Jauhar on Tuesday evening. His funeral was held at Numaish Chowrangi on main M.A. Jinnah Road. His body was later taken to the Wadi-i-Hussain graveyard, off the Superhighway, for burial on Wednesday.

The targeted killings came as a grim reminder of the murder of around a dozen people belonging to the Shia community in a series of attacks in the city a few months ago. Nearly half of them had been targeted in Gulistan-i-Jauhar and the neighbouring Gulshan-i-Iqbal area.

Protesting against the renewed wave of targeted killings in the city, the mourners who had converged near Numaish Chowrangi reiterated the demand for “effective implementation” of the National Action Plan against militants. The protesters demanded that the authorities take immediate and effective action against all the banned militant organisations.

They also asked the chief minister to take action against the police officers in whose jurisdiction the killings took place.

A spokesperson of Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) said: “The victim, Maulana Qari Kazim Raza, was son-in-law of Maulana Husain Karimi, deputy secretary general of MWM Karachi.”

He said the protesters dispersed peacefully on the assurance of the police authorities that the killers would be taken to task.

Gulistan-i-Jauhar SHO Niaz Panhwar told Dawn that the victim used to teach Holy Quran to children in the area. He said it seemed that he had been kidnapped and killed somewhere else and his body was later thrown there, because no blood and spent bullet casings were found at the crime scene.

The victim sustained four gunshot wounds, the officer said. Police investigators found the mobile phone of the deceased and its call data record was being obtained to find a clue to the culprits, he added.

The police officer said Kazim Raza was a resident of Lines Area. He said investigation was under way to ascertain the identity of the killers and their motive for the murder.

However, no FIR of the kidnapping and targeted killing had been registered till Wednesday evening.

Earlier on Monday night, 38-year-old Syed Zulfiqar Hussain was gunned down in the Pirabad area of Orangi. SSP Investigation-I (West Zone) Akhtar Farooq told Dawn that police investigators were working on the case with both sectarian and political aspects being taken into consideration, because Zulfiqar was associated with the Pak Sarzameen Party.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1310740/protest-against-renewed-series-of-sectarian-killings-in-karachi

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Pakistani Foreign Affairs Adviser Says Terrorists Are Defaming Islam, Muslims 

26-Jan-17 532

ISLAMABAD: Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that the endeavours of the Muslim World League for the unity of Muslims around the world are praiseworthy. Addressing a seminar held in Islamabad by the Pakistan Ulema Council, he said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share a unanimous stance on the issues of Palestine, Kashmir, and other challenges facing Muslims today and the leadership of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were making a joint effort to eliminate the threat of terrorism, extremism, and sectarian violence. Aziz asserted that terrorists were defaming Islam and Muslims all over the world. It is his belief that the Muslim World League should play a proactive role for unity, stability, and peace in the Muslim world. Aziz said that the Islamic scholars of Pakistan and leadership of the Muslim World League should play a very active and positive role to maintain peace and harmony in challenges facing Muslim countries. Adviser on National Security Nasser Khan Janjua said that enemies of Islam and Muslims were hatching conspiracies to divide the community on sectarian grounds. "We should demonstrate unity to contain all these conspiracies," he said.

Full report at:

http://dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/26-Jan-17/adviser-says-terrorists-are-defaming-islam-muslims

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Sindh officials told to cancel liquor shop licences in Muslim-majority areas

January 26th, 2017

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the provincial authorities to ensure within 20 days recalling of the licences of the liquor shops located in Muslim-majority areas or near mosques, schools and other prohibitive places.

Headed by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, a two-judge bench directed the provincial government to conclude the exercise before Feb 14.

The bench gave the direction while hearing a petition and miscellaneous applications seeking cancellation of the licences and closure of the liquor shops being operated in Muslim-majority areas.

At the outset of the hearing, Advocate General Zamir Ghumro informed the judges that the provincial government had issued public notices and was conducting an exercise in line with the earlier orders.

He said that the government was examining the entire process of issuing licences to the liquor shops.

The provincial government’s chief law officer stated that the government was looking at this issue afresh and would ensure the recalling or transfer of the licences issued to those shops which were located within the prescribed parameters and were in Muslim community areas or near mosques, schools or other prohibitive places.

He said the government would ensure that the liquor shops only be permitted in areas with majority of non-Muslim residents.

“Let this exercise be also concluded well before next date of hearing”, the bench ordered and put off the hearing to Feb 14.

Meanwhile, Advocates Saleem Michael and Atam Parkash appeared for the Christen Helpline and Hindu Helpline, respectively, and requested the court to issue notices to the churches and temples.

The bench asked the two counsel to submit a list of 10 churches and as many temples so that notices may be issued.

During a previous hearing, the chief justice questioned the representatives of the provincial authorities under what law licences for running liquor shops were issued.

It was explained that the licences may be issued for manufacture, import, or sale of liquor on the ground that such liquor was required for consumption by non-Muslim citizen of Pakistan as a part of a religious ceremony as per Article 17 of the Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Order 1979.

According to the excise and taxation department’s director general, any non-Muslim citizen could purchase 16 bottles of beer and eight bottles of wine in a month. He argued that the non-Muslims could not even consume 10 per cent of the quota as they could not financially afford it.

The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) submitted a report showing details of the Muslim and non-Muslim population in the city.

According to the report, 2,809 Christians and 2,572 Hindus reside in the Central district, 69,820 Christians and 13,356 Hindus live in East, 16,329 Christians and 8,877 Hindus live in Malir, 24,406 Christians and 4,422 Hindus in West, and 57,568 Christians and 43,143 Hindus live in the South district.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1310734/sindh-officials-told-to-cancel-liquor-shop-licences-in-muslim-majority-areas

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Pak to get new foreign secy; Tehmina Janjua leads race

Omer Farooq Khan | TNN | Updated: Jan 26, 2017

ISLAMABAD: With the appointment of Pakistan's outgoing foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry as ambassador to the United States, several diplomats are in the running for the country's top bureaucratic position in foreign affairs. These include former ambassador to France Ghalib Iqbal, high commissioner to India Abdul Basit, permanent representative to the UN in Geneva Tehmina Janjua, and high commissioner to the UK Syed Ibn-i-Abbas.

Foreign office sources said Janjua is the frontrunner. Sources told TOI that Sharif gave her name the nod as far back as last summer when she was in Islamabad for envoys' conference. Janjua, who'd earlier served as ambassador to Italy, also worked as spokesperson of the foreign office for two years. Her spouse Mansur Ahmad too is a diplomat, currently serving in Switzerland.

Had seniority been the only criterion, Abdul Basit would have been a shoo in for the next FS. In fact, he was Sharif's first choice for the job in 2013 when he was asked to return to Islamabad from Berlin. But, Sharif changed his mind and picked Aizaz Chaudhry to head the foreign service.

Basit was sent to India as high commissioner. But, sources said this time Basit is out of favour with Sharif, who is believed to be displeased with his hosting of Kashmiri separatists in New Delhi ahead of a planned FS-level meeting between India and Pakistan in Aug 2014. It had led to the cancellation of bilateral talks and sent ties into freeze.

Leading English daily Dawn reported that the meeting with Kashmiri separatists was just one incident, and there were series of Basit missteps that sowed misunderstandings with Sharif.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pak-to-get-new-foreign-secy-tehmina-janjua-leads-race/articleshow/56788124.cms

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Panamagate hearing: second letter from Qatari royal 'clarifies' Sharif investment in Gulf Steel Mills

January 26, 2017

As the Panamagate hearing resumed Thursday, a second letter signed by Qatari royal Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani submitted to the Supreme Court attempted to offer up clarification on the Sharif family's business ties and money trail in the Middle East.

The letter attempts to shed light on "certain queries... raised with respect to my statement dated Nov 5, 2016."

The second letter from the Qatari royal, like the first which was submitted in court last November, is marked private, confidential and not to be disclosed to any party, except for the benefit of the courts of Pakistan, and on the letterhead of Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani, who ruled Qatar from 2007 to 2013.

In it, Al-Thani says PM Nawaz's father, Mian Muhammad Sharif, made an investment of approximately 12 million dirhams in the Al-Thani family's real estate business.

"The investment was made by way of provision of cash which was common practice in the Gulf region at the time of the investment. It was also, given the longstanding relationship between my father and Mr Sharif, a customary way for them to do business between themselves," it said.

"At the end of 2005, after receiving all accruals and other distributions made over the term of the investment, it was agreed that an amount of approx $8,000,000 was due to Mr Sharif. The amount due to him was settled in 2006," the letter explained, "by way of the delivery to Mr Hussain Nawaz Sharif's representative of bearer shares of Nescoll Ltd and Nielsen Enterprises Ltd, which had been kept during that time in Qatar."

The letter is accompanied by transaction details and auditor's reports regarding the Gulf Steel Mills in Dubai and the Azizia Steel Mills in Jeddah.

Other documents submitted in court today by Hassan and Hussain Nawaz's counsel include a land acquisition deed for the Gulf Steel Mills in Dubai and a letter verifying the existence of the mills, as well as other documents pertaining to the sale of the Gulf and Azizia mills.

A confirmation letter signed by the director general of a municipality said the mills used to exist in Dubai in the mid 1970's on a rented plot of 1,000,000 square feet.

Regarding the Sharif family's Park Lane flats in London, the reply said they were bought by Mian Muhammad Sharif for his grandsons. During the family's years in exile, Hussain and Hassan Nawaz were living in the London flats, it said.

Maryam Nawaz's BMW

Resuming his arguments before the apex court, Maryam Nawaz's lawyer Advocate Shahid Hamid told the court he would submit tax returns regarding gifts given to the prime minister from his children.

The subject of discussion turned towards a car Maryam Nawaz was allegedly gifted by her brother Hassan.

"How was so much profit earned through the sale of the BMW?" Justice Ejaz Afzal wondered.

Hamid told the court the BMW was bought by Hassan Nawaz in 2006 and gifted to Maryam Nawaz two years later.

"In 2011, Maryam Nawaz sold the BMW for Rs2 million," Hamid said.

'PM Nawaz did not make misstatements in NA speech'

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif submitted a reply in court responding to arguments made by Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) lawyer Advocate Taufiq Asif before the apex court during a hearing of the case earlier this week.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1310842/panamagate-hearing-second-letter-from-qatari-royal-clarifies-sharif-investment-in-gulf-steel-mills

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Review of Scotland Yard’s decision to drop Altaf case sought

January 26th, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has sought a review of the Scotland Yard’s decision of dropping the money laundering case against Mutta­hida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain.

An informed source told Dawn that the interior ministry had written a letter to the UK authorities, asking them to reconsider the decision on the basis of evidence provided by Pakistan, in view of the sensitive matters of security and law and order.

He said the ministry had expressed concern over the decision to wrap up the money laundering case against Mr Hussain.

The letter stated that it was imperative for making headway in cases against Altaf Hussain in Pakistan that the United Kingdom shared evidence with it.

The cases against Mr Hussain, senior MQM leader Mohammad Anwar and businessman Sarfaraz Merchant were dropped by the Metropolitan Police in October last year for lack of evidence.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1310824/review-of-scotland-yards-decision-to-drop-altaf-case-sought

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Pakistan, Turkey to boost defence ties

January 26th, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkey opened on Wednesday their two-day defence talks aimed at increasing bilateral cooperation.

The Pakistani side at the talks was led by Defence Secretary retired Lt Gen Zamirul Hassan Shah whereas the Turkish delegation was headed by Turkish Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen Umit Dundar.

The talks are part of the bilateral dialogue group which was set up in 2003 and is the highest institutional mechanism steering the defence cooperation. Its mandate is to suggest policies and action plans for collaboration between the two countries in the defence sector.

The last round of talks was held in Ankara in October 2015.

Pakistan and Turkey have over the years made significant strides in their defence cooperation.

Turkish delegation holds talks with defence secretary

At the last year’s meeting of the group, Turkey had gifted 34 T-37 aircraft and spares to Pakistan. Turkey is, meanwhile, buying MFI-17 Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan besides upgrading three Pakistani submarines and jointly building the fleet tanker.

Several other projects are also under way. Troops from the two countries have also held joint drills.

A joint statement on the dialogue would be issued at the end of the talks on Thursday.

Gen Dundar, meanwhile, called on Defence Minister Khawaja Asif.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1310823/pakistan-turkey-to-boost-defence-ties

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Arab World

 

ISIL Loses 3,400 Terrorists, over Half of Militants, in Mosul

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi defense ministry announced on Wednesday that the ISIL terrorist group has lost over 50 percent of its militants in the city of Mosul in Nineveh province in the last 100 days.

"The intelligence obtained by us indicates that there have been over 6,000 ISIL terrorists in Mosul and around 3,400 of them have been killed in battles with Iraq's joint military forces in the major city of Nineveh province," Iraqi Defense Ministry Spokesman Colonel Laith al-Naimi said.

He noted that over 250 bomb-laden vehicles and the entire bomb-making workshops of the terrorists have been destroyed in Mosul which means that the ISIL has been paralyzed by the Iraqi forces.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iraqi rapid response forces targeted ISIL positions on the Western bank of the Tigris River in Mosul, after officials announced the complete recapture of the Eastern side.

Mopping-up operations were still under way in Rashidiya, the last district liberated from the militants on the East bank of the Tigris to flush out remaining militants in a pocket in the Northeastern district, NRT reported.

Hundreds of people from Rashidiya left the district with their belongings to escape fighting.

The United Nations also said it is "racing against the clock" to prepare emergency aid for hundreds of thousands of endangered civilians in Mosul as the Iraqi army began offensive to oust ISIL from the Western half of the city.

UN officials estimate 750,000 people remain in Mosul west of the Tigris River that flows through the city.

The West side could prove more complicated to take than the East as it is crisscrossed by streets too narrow for armored vehicles, allowing militants to hide among civilians.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951106001480

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ISIL's Bahraini Emir Surrenders to Kurdish Fighters

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL's emir in the city of Manbij in Northern Syria has surrendered himself to the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), battlefield sources said on Wednesday.

"Abu Abdollah, the ISIL's Bahraini emir of Manbij city, is now in SDF's custody after he surrendered to the Kurdish fighters in the town of al-Khafaseh to the South of Manbij city," a battlefield source said.

The source went on to say that the ISIL's emir intended to spare himself from the ongoing battle between the ISIL and the SDF fighters.

The security emir and commander of the ISIL terrorist group in the Eastern part of Manbij was killed in a tough battle with the Syrian Democratic Forces in late July.

Abu Aisha with Turkish nationality alongside four more ISIL members were killed in fierce clashes with the SDF fighters near al-Daleh square.

In the meantime, the SDF fighters stormed ISIL's positions in al-Kajli neighborhood, leaving at least 7 Takfiri terrorists dead and several more wounded.

According to locals, Abu Aisha was behind abduction of over 150 civilians in Manbij.

The SDF announced on Monday that a large number of Kurdish fighters from different parts of Kurdish-held territories in Syria have been sent to Manbij battlefield to join war on ISIL.

"Manbij battlefield will host more Kurdish fighters in the next hours," the SDF said, adding, "Fresh forces are experienced in street clashes and will surely reinvigorate our anti-ISIL front."

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951106001430

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Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr warns US on Israel embassy move

January 24, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to al-Quds (Jerusalem) would be a declaration of war on Islam, influential Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said Tuesday.

"Transferring the US embassy to al-Quds would be a public and more-explicit-than-ever declaration of war against Islam," he said in a statement.

In a break with previous administrations, new US President Donald Trump has pledged to recognise al-Quds as Israel's capital and relocate the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Sadr, a Shiite cleric called for the "formation of a special division to liberate al-Quds were the decision to be implemented."

Sadr said the Cairo-based Arab League as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the world's main pan-Islamic body, should take a decisive stand on the issue or dissolve themselves.

The cleric also called "for the immediate closure of the US embassy in Iraq" should Washington go ahead with its promised embassy transfer in Israel.

Full report at:

http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia//archive/2017/01/24/806991/story.html

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Bomb blast claims at least 10 lives, injures 30 in Baghadad / Photos

January 25, 2017

A car bomb explosion in the center of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad has killed at least 10 civilians and injured 30 others, local media say.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - A car bomb explosion in the center of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad has killed at least 10 civilians and injured 30 others, local media say.

The Iraqi al-Ekhbariya website cited a security source as announcing the casualty tolls on Wednesday.

Separately, a car bomb explosion targeted a vehicle of Iraqi security forces in the central city of Ramadi in Iraq’s Anbar Province on Wednesday, killing four personnel and injuring five others.

Reports from local sources said the terrorist attack was carried out in Kilo neighborhood of downtown Ramadi.

Elsewhere, near the city of Tikrit in Salahuddin Province, Takfiri Daesh militants ambushed a unit of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), locally called Hashd al-Sha’abi, killing two members and injuring two others.

Facing battlefield losses at the hands of Iraqi security forces, the Daesh terrorists have been carrying out increased terrorist attacks in the recent past.

On Tuesday, several explosions in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad killed at least six civilians and left dozens more injured.

Iraq has been facing insecurity, particularly in the northern and western parts, ever since Daesh started a campaign of terror in the country in early June 2014.

Iraqi army

Full report at:

http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia//archive/2017/01/25/807244/story.html

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Syrian forces fend off Takfiri rebels' attack in northeast of Damascus

January 25, 2017

Scores of Takfiri terrorists were killed and wounded in a failed attack on Syrian Amy's positions in Harasta suburb.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Scores of Takfiri terrorists were killed and wounded in a failed attack on Syrian Amy's positions in Harasta suburb, located to the northeast of the Damascus.

Takfiri rebels fighting for the Saudi-backed Jaish al-Islam launched their offensive at 5 a.m., making slight advance and capturing a mosque and five buildings. Shortly after that, the government forces regrouped and reclaimed all lost territories.

According to a military source, the attack was made through a network of tunnels near Army Armored Vehicle Base and Al Ajami neighborhood.

Pro-rebel media accounts admitted that at least 12 rebels were killed, scores others injured in the failed offensive.

Full report at:

http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia//archive/2017/01/25/807242/story.html

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Yemen’s Houthi: UN envoy in cahoots with invaders

January 25, 2017

The Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement has slammed the UN’s Yemen envoy for failing to speak the truth about the situation on the ground in the conflict-torn country, saying the diplomat is in fact siding with the invaders by keeping silent on Saudi crimes.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement has slammed the UN’s Yemen envoy for failing to speak the truth about the situation on the ground in the conflict-torn country, saying the diplomat is in fact siding with the invaders by keeping silent on Saudi crimes.

UN Special Envoy for Yemen “Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed cannot utter a word of truth,” Mohammad Abdulsalam, Ansarullah’s spokesman, told Yemen’s al-Masirah television network on Tuesday.

Abdulsalam, whose movement has been defending Yemen against a deadly Saudi war, further said the United Nations “only seeks to cover up the invaders’ crimes and the issue of Yemen’s blockade.”

The UN envoy “is unfortunately in cahoots with the invaders,” he added.

The Ansarullah official further pointed to a recent visit by the UN envoy to the capital, Sana’a, saying the enemy carried out numerous attacks against Yemen during Cheikh Ahmed’s stay, but he showed no reaction.

The United Nations has suffered a vehement defeat in its peacemaking efforts aimed at ending the crisis in Yemen, he added.

The Saudi war on Yemen, which local sources say has killed at least 11,400 people, was launched in an unsuccessful attempt to bring back the former government to power.

Several ceasefires brokered by the United Nations have failed to hold amid incessant Saudi attacks. The UN-backed peace talks have also repeatedly broken down.

On January 23, Cheikh Ahmed concluded a mission to Yemen, calling for a comprehensive political settlement of the conflict gripping the Arabian Peninsula state.

Full report at:

http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia//archive/2017/01/25/807173/story.html

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Ta'iz: Saudi-Led Apache Helicopter Downed by Yemeni Forces in Al-Mukha

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army's air defense systems downed an Apache helicopter belonging to the Saudi-led troops in the coastal city of al-Mukha in the Western part of Ta'iz province in Southwestern Yemen.

The US-made helicopter was downed in al-Mukha region contrary to Saudi regime's allegations that they have taken full control over al-Mukha's port area in the past two days.

The chopper was brought down as it was attacking the positions held by the Yemeni army and popular forces.

The Yemeni army and popular forces also fired a ballistic missile at the concentration centers of the Saudi-backed militias loyal to former fugitive Yemeni President Mansour Hadi in Bab al-Mandab region.

In a relevant development in December, the Yemeni forces shot down a Saudi Apache helicopter in the kingdom’s Southern Najran Province in fresh counterattacks in response to Riyadh’s deadly military aggression.

The report further noted that the Yemeni forces destroyed an Abrams tank and killed five Saudi soldiers at Najran’s Qiyadah military base.

The Yemeni Army and Ansarullah fighters have shot down several Saudi-owned UAVs across the country since the beginning of the Saudi-led invasion against the impoverished country.

In mid-October, the Yemeni military forces also reported they had shot down a spy drone over Jizan province.

In late September, the Yemeni military forces also reported they shot down a spy drone over the country’s capital, Sana’a.

On Tuesday, a senior Yemeni official said the Saudi-led troops have been doing their best to take control of Bab al-Mandab, but to no avail.

"The Saudi-led troops are conducting military operations with the support of the international intelligence services because Bab al-Mandab is highly-important for the US and its regional ally Israel," a senior military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told FNA.

He, meantime, reiterated that the Yemeni navy has threatened to drown more Saudi-led vessels in Bab al-Mandab region.

The Yemeni commander reiterated that the battle with the Saudi-led forces have intensified in Dhubab and al-Mukha regions, and said, hundreds of forces loyal to former fugitive Yemeni President Mansour Hadi who enjoyed the aerial support of the UAE and Saudi fighter jets were killed in both regions.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951106000807

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Saudi political prisoner dies under suspicious circumstances in prison

January 25, 2017

A political prisoner has died under suspicious circumstances in a Saudi prison after four years of imprisonment without trial.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - A political prisoner has died under suspicious circumstances in a Saudi prison after four years of imprisonment without trial.

The suspicious death of opposition activist Mohammad Razi al-Hasawi was reported Wednesday by European human rights envoy for Saudi Arabian affairs, A’adel al-Saeed.

Saudi officials contacted the relatives of the Shia prisoner last week to summon them to the prosecutor’s office and hand over his personal belongings to them.

Hasawi, who had been held at the Dammam prison for four years, was never tried at a court.

Numerous dissidents have been jailed without trial or on vague charges in Saudi Arabia, where the regime has been cracking down on the Shia population in the country’s Eastern Province since 2011.

In recent days, Saudi forces have routinely raided the homes of people in the Awamiyah region of Eastern Province, taking activists into custody. Saudi police forces also recently placed the al-Masoura neighborhood of Awamiyah under siege. According to reports, they also engaged in aimless shooting while raiding the area in an apparent bid to generate fear among the locals.

Full report at:

http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia//archive/2017/01/25/807166/story.html

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Protest held in Saudi Eastern Province over dissident Shia prisoner’s death

Thu Jan 26, 2017

People have gathered on the streets of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province in protest to the suspicious death of a Shia political prisoner.

The demonstration was held on Wednesday in Mohammad Radhi al-Hasawi’s home town of Awamiyah, where protesters also chanted anti-Riyadh slogans and demanded the release of all political prisoners in the country.

Earlier in the day, the European human rights envoy for Saudi affairs, Aadel al-Saeed, announced Hasawi’s death in the Dammam prison, where he had been held for four years without ever being tried in court.     

He was arrested around four years ago over charges of participating in activities against the Saudi regime.    

According to local doctors, clear signs of torture were evident on Hasawi’s remains.

The Shia-populated Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners as well as an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-producing region.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/01/26/507795/eastern-province-saudi-protests-shia-killing

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King Salman’s efforts to unite Muslim world praised at Pakistan conference

ARAB NEWS | Published — Thursday 26 January 2017

The international “Centrist Rhetoric and Community Security” conference, organized by the Muslim World League (MWL), called for the development of moderate rhetoric and to boost the fight against the currents of extremism. (SPA)

ISLAMABAD: King Salman’s efforts to unite the Muslim world and Saudi Arabia’s role in the fight against terrorism have been praised at a conference in Pakistan held this week.

The international “Centrist Rhetoric and Community Security” conference, organized by the Muslim World League (MWL), called for the development of moderate rhetoric and to boost the fight against the currents of extremism.

A statement praised the effort by King Salman, as well as that of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and deputy crown prince, to unite Islamic countries to achieve security, peace and stability, and to highlight moderation in the face of extremism and terrorism.

Participants at the conference expressed their gratitude and appreciation of Saudi Arabia over its formation of an Islamic military alliance to fight terrorism.

They called upon scholars and preachers, professors, educators and media to exert collective efforts to expose extremists’ fabrications and to reveal their false arguments.

The final declaration of the conference adopted a call made by the MWL to cooperate with official and popular institutions in Pakistan over joint programs aimed at correcting misconceptions about religion.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1044441/saudi-arabia

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South Asia

 

36 ISIS militants killed, 20 wounded in South of Afghanistan

Jan 25 2017

At least 36 loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed and around 20 others were wounded during the operations in southern Zabul province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the militants were killed or wounded during the operations in Khak-e-Afghan and Shelamzoi districts.

MoD further added that 37 militants were killed overall during the operations jointly conducted by the Afghan forces and at least two others were arrested.

According to MoD, at least one militant was killed during a separate operation conducted in Arghandab district of Zabul.

The two militants were arrested during the operations conducted in Shindand district of Herat, MoD added.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the reports so far.

This comes as local officials in Zabul said Tuesday that 31 militants including Al-Qaeda operatives were killed in a series of airstrikes conducted by the foreign forces.

Zabul is among the relatively volatile provinces in south of Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to foreign terrorist networks are active in some of its districts.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/36-isis-militants-killed-20-wounded-in-south-of-afghanistan-02748

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Sex, love, libido: Helpline brings succour to Afghan youth

Jan 26, 2017

KABUL: "I cannot do it without Viagra," the anonymous Afghan caller whispered into the phone, wary of being overheard by his family.

The voice on the other end of the line was soothing, professional and reassuring: "Dear brother, don't be embarrassed. Your problem is not uncommon. We'll help you find a solution without potency pills."

In Afghanistan's conservative, highly gender-segregated society discussing sexual problems publicly is not just culturally frowned upon but can easily be misconstrued as a sign of perversion.

But the country's youth have found a non-judgmental friend in a government helpline that offers advice on taboo subjects from ways to perk up virility to erectile dysfunction and even homosexuality.

"If you seek advice from friends or family members about treating impotence, you will be labelled immoral, shameless or unmanly," the caller, a young man in his 20s, told AFP after receiving expert advice.

"This helpline is a blessing," he added.

Set up in 2012 with the help of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the youth helpline is run by 10 call centre consultants in Kabul men and women trained by a professional sexologist who field hundreds of calls a day from distressed Afghans.

The consultants also offer advice to the lovelorn and field queries on dark subjects such as depression and forced marriage, but about 70 percent of the calls are about sexual dysfunction, said the centre's director Abdullah Shahed.

"Young men call to talk about issues ranging from masturbation to premature ejaculation," Shahed said.

"And young women call to discuss contraception, broken hymens and the fear of facing their wedding night."

Afghanistan's growing youth population - the 9/11 generation, as it is known - is often torn between modernity and tradition, between their sexual cravings and their desire to be religious puritans.

More than 60 percent of the population is under 25, a staggering number in a country where sex education is non-existent in schools and sex counsellors are culturally dismissed as a Western concept.

Marriage is often the only outlet for pent-up sexual desires, as dating or any social co-mingling of the sexes is frowned upon. But many young people cannot afford the steep bride price, a sort of reverse dowry that men pay to the girl's family.

Sexual frustration and hormonal rage are silent but pervasive problems, with some experts linking them to the violent aggression tearing the country apart.

"Sex problems often lead to domestic abuse, second wives (polygamy) and separation," Shahed said. "We try to reassure young and women there is always a way out. They are not alone."

The Afghan health ministry also set up "youth friendly" clinics in the Afghan capital last year, which offer face-to-face sessions with counsellors on subjects including sex. That they are busting taboos is evident in the growing number of women visiting them.

"I was unable to talk about my problems to my mother or my sister," 21-year-old Rayhana told AFP at one such clinic in Kabul. "But here I can talk openly."

A young Afghan woman arrives for an appointment with a sexologist at a youth healthcare centre in Kabul.

Among other things, the call centre and clinics seek to warn young Afghans about the dangers of sex addiction, unprotected intercourse and Viagra abuse.

The little blue pill known locally by myriad names such as "cobra", "rocket" and even "family boosting tablet" was unknown to many Afghans before the US invasion in late 2001 that toppled the Taliban regime.

But it is now in high demand in the country.

Such is its popularity in post-Taliban Afghanistan that it was reported the CIA, in an unusual incentive, were offering the potency drug to win over Afghan warlords and chieftains in the war against insurgents.

"We advise our callers not to turn to Viagra or opium for their sexual problems," Shahed said. "Instead we ask them to treat their anxiety and adopt a healthy lifestyle."

Often, another forbidden subject comes up in the discussions -- homosexuality, which is demonised as a deviant sexual behaviour, prohibited in Islam.

An oft repeated query from callers is: "Is there a cure for homosexuality?"

"Once a lesbian called and complained of depression because her partner was getting married," Shahed said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/sex-love-libido-helpline-brings-succour-to-afghan-youth/articleshow/56791634.cms

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Canada reaffirms support to Afghanistan as WB investigates fraud allegations

Jan 26 2017

The government of Canada has reaffirmed support to Afghanistan’s education sector amid fraud allegations being investigated by the World Bank.

Canada’s International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau quoted by the local newspaper, Ottawa Citizen, said Canadian government is standing by its commitment to increase the number of Afghan children and girls in school.

“We have to wait for the results of the investigation to better understand the scope of the problem,” Bibeau added.

Administered by the World Bank  through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, Canada has provided $117.2 million since 2006 to the Education Quality Improvement Project (EQUIP).

The ARTF, which is funded by 34 donor countries, including Canada, was established in 2002 as a way to support the government of Afghanistan.

“The World Bank is leading the investigation with the full co-operation of the government in Afghanistan,” Bibeau said.

The United States Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) first reported regarding the possible fraud in the education sector by giving credence to reports of “ghost students, teachers and schools.”

“There may be problems with student and teacher absenteeism that warrant further investigation by the Afghan government,” the U.S. watchdog said in November.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/canada-reaffirms-support-to-afghanistan-as-wb-investigates-fraud-allegations-02738

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Taliban earn $4.8 million annually from Kajaki Dam

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Jan 25 2017

The Taliban militants group earn around $4.8 million annually from Kajaki dam located in the restive southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

The provincial council officials have said the group earns almost 90 per cent of the income of the dam on yearly basis.

Majid Akhunda, deputy provincial council chief, told RFE/RL that the group has formed a special unit to collect the income generated from the dam.

He said the 90 per cent income of the dam is almost equal to 500 million Pakistani Rupees which is equivalent to $4.77 million.

The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far.

This comes as reports emerged in mid-2016 suggesting that the group has formed a special military unit, Red Group, in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan to face the increasingly professional Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).

Reports regarding the establishment of the Red Group came amid concerns that the group is attempting to control of the key districts and cities of the province in a bid to shift part of its leadership council to Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-earn-4-8-million-annually-from-kajaki-dam-02735

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Australia

 

Sydney Islamic extremist group campaigning for Sharia law claims Australia Day is a celebration of 'terror and genocide'

26 January 2017

A radical Islamic group that wants to impose Sharia law has likened Australia Day to a celebration of 'terror and genocide'.

Hizb ut-Tahrir says January 26 is a day that symbolises the oppression of indigenous people.

'If there were any sincerity, the question of whether the day that brought terror and genocide to the indigenous people should be the national celebration would not be considered worthy of debate,'  the group's spokesman Uthman Badar posted on Facebook on Thursday.

Hizb ut-Tahrir's Australian leaders are based in Sydney and they are part of a global movement to establish a strict Islamic super state, known as a caliphate, under Sharia law.

The radical political group's frontman also slammed the Australia Day lamb ad for downplaying the invasion of Australia by England in 1788.

'Cheap tokenism, coupled with a re-writing of history,' Mr Badar said.

'The new lamb ad is a classic example that wishes the problem would just somehow go away.'

The controversial advertisement features indigenous people on a beach barbecuing lamb as English, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Greek, Serbian and Thai people arrive on boats to join their party.

Indigenous Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman has a cameo role.

'Hey guys, what's the occasion?' she said.

Celebrity chef Poh Ling Yeow follows by describing all arrivals in Australia after 1788 as migrants.

'Hang on, aren't we all boat people?' she said.

Left-wing protesters and Greens leader Richard Di Natale have called for Australia Day to be moved, arguing the commemoration of the First Fleet landing at Port Jackson, in Sydney, on January 26, 1788, is a celebration of an invasion.

In December, Mr Badar fronted a rally at Lakemba, in Sydney's southwest, to denounce the conflict in Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4158588/Radical-Muslims-say-Australia-Day-terror-genocide.html#ixzz4WrGziZWi

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Austrian Police Raid Homes In Search For Islamic Radicals

Jan 26 2017

VIENNA (AP) -- Austria's interior ministry says that police in the country's two largest cities have conducted raids in their search for suspected Islamic radicals.

But ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck says that he will give details once Thursday's sweeps are completed and evaluated.

He spoke after Austrian media reported police searches of homes in Vienna, the capital, and the southern city of Graz.

Full report at:

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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Mideast

 

UN experts urge Bahraini regime to stop new executions

January 26, 2017 - 12:30 PM

News Code : 807359Source : Mirror Bahrain

Two United Nations human rights experts have appealed today to the Government of Bahrain to spare the lives of Mohammad Ramadan and Hussein Moosa, who are at risk of imminent execution.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Two United Nations human rights experts have appealed today to the Government of Bahrain to spare the lives of Mohammad Ramadan and Hussein Moosa, who are at risk of imminent execution, and to ensure a re-trial of the defendants in compliance with international standards.

In a statement, the two UN experts said that the two convicts, who had their death sentences confirmed in late 2015, were allegedly tortured while in prison, coerced to confess their crime, and not allowed to have proper legal assistance.

"Under international law, there is an absolute prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment," said the UN Special Rapporteurs on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, and on torture, Nils Melzer.

"The Bahraini authorities have the duty to investigate all allegations of human rights violations committed during the proceedings, including torture by security forces during interrogations," they emphasized.

The experts also expressed grave concern at the executions by firing squad on 15 January of Abbas al-Samea, Sami Mushaima, and Ali Abdulshaheed Yousef al-Singace for a bombing in Manama on 2014, which had killed several people, including three police officers.

According to allegations received by the experts, these executions were carried out following proceedings in contravention to international standards. All three men were reportedly coerced to confess under torture, including methods such as electric shocks and sexual humiliation. They reportedly were also denied access to adequate legal assistance.

Full report at:

http://en.abna24.com/service/bahrain//archive/2017/01/26/807359/story.html

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Turkey says waiting to see outcome of Trump's Syria safe zones call

January/26/2017

Turkey is waiting to see the outcome of U.S. President Donald Trump's pledge to order safe zones in Syria, and has long advocated such a plan, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hüseyin Müftüoğlu said on Jan. 26.

Trump said on on Jan. 25 he "will absolutely do safe zones in Syria" for refugees fleeing violence. According to a document seen by Reuters, he is expected to order the Pentagon and State Department in the coming days to craft such a plan.

"We have seen the U.S. President's request for conducting a study. What's important is the results of this study and what kind of recommendation will come out," Müftüoğlu told reporters at a briefing in Ankara.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-says-waiting-to-see-outcome-of-trumps-syria-safe-zones-call.aspx?pageID=238&nID=109001&NewsCatID=510

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Erdogan vows to rapidly tackle new Turkish constitution bill

January 26th, 2017

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Wednesday to rapidly examine a constitutional bill that would expand his powers, ahead of an expected referendum in April on the controversial legislation.

Erdogan’s signature would be the final executive step in the adoption of the bill ahead of the public vote, a date for which Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said would be announced this week.

Parliament approved on Saturday the new 18-article constitution, which would create an executive presidency for the first time in Turkey, in the final of two readings.

Brawls erupted in parliament during debates over the bill, which critics fear will lead to one-man rule.

The changes are the most far-reaching constitutional shift since the creation of modern Turkey in 1923.

Erdogan told journalists in Madagascar during a tour of east Africa that he would make his decision on the bill “without delaying too much because the people are waiting for this”.

The referendum would be held 60 days after Erdogan’s formal approval is published in the official gazette, Yildirim said, adding that the date for the plebiscite was expected to be announced this week by the Supreme Election Council (YSK).

“I think it will be in the first half of April, a suitable date would be up until the 20th [of April],” he said.

‘Decide at once’

The new constitution would give the head of state the power to appoint and dismiss ministers. There would be no longer a prime minister but instead one or more vice presidents.

Turkish officials have dismissed concerns over the legislation, saying the changes are needed to bring in effective government in a system similar to the United States or France.

But the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said it would challenge the bill in the constitutional court, an action which Erdogan dismissed as an irrelevance.

“We don’t have the right for any preventative action [or] to say ‘why are you going there?’ in this regard,” he said. “I hope that the constitutional court will at once give its decision on this issue as well.”

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has only 317 seats in the 550-seat parliament and sought the support of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to pass the bill in two readings earlier this month.

But Yildirim insisted there would be no “joint campaign” with the MHP to get a “Yes” vote for the changes.

He defended the bill, saying MPs’ powers would be “strengthened” and that they would still have the right to bring draft laws to parliament.

Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan also said a presidential system would speed up the decision-making process for infrastructure projects in an interview with the state-run Anadolu news agency on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1310812/erdogan-vows-to-rapidly-tackle-new-turkish-constitution-bill

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Protesters denounce recent execution of Shia activists in Bahrain

Thu Jan 26, 2017

People have staged separate rallies in Bahrain to express their outrage at the recent execution of three pro-democracy Shia campaigners at the hands of the ruling Al Khalifah regime.

The protesters rallied across the streets in the village of Sanabis on Wednesday evening, chanting slogans like “Zealot martyrs will remain in our hearts”, “Far from us is disgrace” and “Our grandeur lies in martyrdom.”

They noted that the Manama regime’s attempts in terrorizing people could not frustrate the uprising in the Persian Gulf kingdom, calling for the downfall of King Hamad and the trial of the ruling dynasty.

A similar rally was held in Sitra Island, where participants stressed that they would not forget their martyrs.

People rally in protest at the recent execution of three Shia Muslim activists in Sitra Island, Bahrain, on January 25, 2017.

On January 15, Bahrain executed Abbas al-Samea, 27, Sami Mushaima, 42, and Ali al-Singace, 21, by firing squad. The killings came a week after the Court of Cassation upheld death sentences over the killing of three policemen, including an Emirati officer, in the village of al-Daih in March 2014.

Bahraini regime forces on Wednesday attacked a group of people, who had gathered outside the residence of Sheikh Isa Qassim in the village of Diraz, to express their solidarity with the 79-year-old prominent Shia cleric.

Regime forces used live ammunition and pellet air rifles to disperse the crowd. A number of the protesters sustained injuries and several others were arrested.

A Bahraini police officer fires his gun towards anti-regime protesters in the northwestern village of Diraz, Bahrain, on January 25, 2017.

The protesters, however, prevented the police to take those arrested away with them.

On June 20,2016, Bahraini authorities stripped Sheikh Qassim, who is the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s dissolved opposition bloc, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, of his nationality.

They later dissolved the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by the clergyman, in addition to the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom on February 14, 2011.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/01/26/507809/Bahrain-protest-execution-Shia-activists-Sanabis-Sitra-Island-sitin-cleric-Sheikh-Issa-Qassim

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Islamic State: Family deported from Turkey after father allegedly tries to join terror group

Updated 26 January 2017

An eight-year-old boy born in Australia is deported from Turkey along with his family after his Indonesian father allegedly attempted to join the Islamic State group.

The family is escorted by anti-terror police to Jakarta. (Credit: ABC licensed)

An eight-year-old boy born in Australia has been deported from Turkey along with his family after his Indonesian father allegedly attempted to join the Islamic State group.

The family is being held in Jakarta by counter-terror officers there, Bali police deputy chief commissioner Hengky Widjaya said.

Indonesian authorities said the boy was born in South Australia in 2009 while his father was studying for a Masters degree at university there.

Police said the couple travelled to Turkey via Malaysia with their three children because the 39-year-old father, who has been named as Triono, wanted to be an IS fighter.

Triono and his wife were arrested in an IS safe house in Istanbul on January 16.

They were among 25 Indonesians who have been deported from Turkey this month for links to IS.

Full report at:

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-01-26/islamic-state-family-deported-from-turkey-after-father-allegedly-tries-to-join-terror-group/1647032

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Tehran slams Bahrain for calling Iran foreign enemy

January 24, 2017

Tehran condemns Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Khalifa’s "baseless" claims that Iran is a foreign enemy and a security threat, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Monday.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - On Sunday, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a democratic coalition of Iranian organizations, reported about Khalifa’s claim that Iran was the first security threat to the Middle East. Reports also suggested that Bahrain planned to create a standing committee in the Arab League against Iran, FNA reported.

"Bahrain is entangled in an internal crisis and is after a foreign enemy to divert the public opinion from the issue," Bahram Qassemi said.

Qassemi reportedly called on Manama to resolve its own internal problems peacefully.

Qassemi criticized the Bahraini government’s inability to seek a peaceful resolution, and reportedly called the executions "reckless.

Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the al-Khalifa rulers to relinquish power.

In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, themselves repressive Arab regimes, were deployed to the country to assist Manama in its crackdown on protests. Hundreds of Bahraini activists have been imprisoned and suppressed. 

On June 20, Bahraini authorities stripped Sheikh Qassim of his citizenship, less than a week after suspending the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the country’s main opposition bloc, and dissolving the Islamic Enlightenment Institution founded by Qassim, and the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.

Over the past few weeks, demonstrators have held sit-in protests outside Sheikh Qassim’s home to denounce his citizenship removal.

Bahrain has also sentenced Sheikh Ali Salman, another revered opposition cleric, to nine years in prison on charges of seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers, which he has denied.

Sheikh Salman was the secretary general of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, which was Bahrain’s main opposition bloc before being dissolved by the regime.

In the middle of the night, on January 15 2017, three citizens of Bahrain were executed by firing squad. Abbas al-Samea, 27, Ali al-Singace, 21, and Sami Mushaima 42, had all been found guilty of planting a bomb which killed three policemen – but their convictions were widely seen as unsafe.

Full report at:

http://en.abna24.com/service/bahrain//archive/2017/01/24/807010/story.html

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Africa

 

Somali militants ram car bomb into hotel, killing at least 13

Reuters | Updated: Jan 25, 2017

MOGADISHU: Islamist militants rammed a car bomb into the gate of a hotel and stormed inside, killing at least 13 people in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Wednesday, police said.

Gunfire rang out as fighters entered Dayah Hotel, which is popular with politicians. A second blast shook the area shortly afterwards, injuring several people nearby.

Colonel Abdiqadir Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters security forces later managed to secure the building.

"We have rescued the people and concluded the operation at Dayah hotel. The security forces are now inside the hotel and we shall give further details of casualty later," he said.

Another police officer, Major Mohamed Ahmed, said a dozen people had been wounded, in addition to the 13 killed who included members of the security forces and civilians. "The death toll may rise," he added.

Duniye Mohamed, a doctor at Madina hospital where some casualties were taken, said the injured included people with "very serious" wounds.

Islamist group Al Shabaab, which until 2011 controlled Mogadishu and much of Somalia, claimed responsibility for the attack.

"Well-armed mujahideen (fighters) attacked the hotel, and now they are fighting inside the hotel," reported Somalia's Andalus radio, which is linked to al Shabaab.

The insurgents often launch bomb and gun attacks in the capital, saying they want to topple the Western-backed government and impose their strict interpretation of Islam on the nation.

In the past two years, a campaign by African Union troops and Somali forces has driven the group out of key urban strongholds, but it remains active from bases in rural areas.

The Horn of Africa country swore in nearly 300 members of its parliament last month. The lawmakers will also pick the president, although that vote has repeatedly been postponed.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/somali-militants-ram-car-bomb-into-hotel-killing-at-least-13/articleshow/56777278.cms

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Why judiciary not consider Zakzaky a danger to society

January 26, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - To many critical minds, the ongoing war against El-Zakzaky and his Shia group viciously waged by state actors who happen to be members of the predominant Sunni Islam, the medium is the message. It is believed Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Umaru Yar’Adua and now Buhari under whose administrations El-Zakzaky and his Shia Islam group have experienced some form deprivations cannot be independent arbiters. There are just too many coincidences to invalidate such a conspiracy theory.

It is also debatable if El-Zakzaky is any more dangerous than Senator Ahmed Yerima, who as governor of Zamfara, one of the poorest and educationally backward states in the federation, assembled prominent northern Sunni Islam members along with ambassadors of Muslim nations who hailed him as he hilariously launched what President Obasanjo then described as ‘political Sharia that will soon fade away’. Yerima’s action was a direct assault on Nigeria constitution and a threat to the unity of the country as it led to massive demonstrations and killings of hundreds of people in Kano, Kaduna and a few other states in the north.

Perhaps what has made the argument of the state and its actors about protecting our nation from the teachings of El-Zakzaky and his Shia group more tenuous has been the various pronouncements by the judiciary since the travails of El-Zakzaky began during Babangida regime in the 90s, all of which contradicted the state claim that he constitutes a danger to society.

El-Zakzaky’s latest victory and the judicial pronouncement came after one year in detention without charges. Arrested by the military on December 14, 2015, and detained following a clash with the military during which about 347 members of his Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) were killed, he approached the court through his lawyer, Femi Falana to demand for his freedom. Rejecting submission by Tijjani Gazali, the SSS lawyer, that “decision to hold the Islamic cleric and his wife for their safety was not based on law,” Justice Gabriel Kolawole, ordered El-Zakzaky’s release saying, “I have not been shown any incident report or any complaint lodged by residents around the neighborhood that the applicant has become a nuisance to his neighborhood.”

Long before this victory, El-Zakzaky had back in 1996 after a protracted judicial battle secured another landmark judicial victory over General Abacha who had ordered his detention in February 1996 for causing public disaffection against his military junta.

And it is also on record that while the April 21, 1998, Muslim Brotherhood’s violent protest against the arrest of El-Zakzaky’s wife and children failed to secure their release, it was the court that later ordered the release of Zeenah, El-Zakzaky’s wife, her six children along with eight other women detained for insulting Abacha. Again when the Abdulsalami regime failed to extend the general amnesty enjoyed by many Abacha detainees to El-Zakzaky in August 27, 1998, following Abacha’s death, the judiciary ordered his release. It is safe to conclude from this string of judicial victories that contrary to the claim by the state, the judiciary does not consider El-Zakzaky a danger to society.

El-Zakzaky has not denied his preference for a more stringent application of Islamic legal system or indeed the establishment of a theocracy modeled after Iran, but he has insisted “Our weapon is positive reasoning, truth and good conduct. Guns are for the reckless and foolhardy. We have been conducting our affairs peacefully, calling people to the truth for the last 36 years… We save lives, not kill them.”

Since the judiciary has consistently insisted that El-Zakzaky and his Shia group are not a threat to the country’s security, the state has to provide proof to invalidate his thesis that he and his group are victims of religious intolerance that have come to define the once-celebrated ‘one north, one people’ since the assassination of Ahmadu Bello in 1966.

The prominent cleric and his wife were taken into custody on December 14, 2115, after deadly clashes between the supporters of the IMN movement and Nigerian troops. Nearly 350 members of the Shia movement were killed in the clashes. The sheikh was brutally injured and his house was reportedly destroyed by the army in the incident.

The judge said he had given 45 days for authorities to provide new accommodation for the Zakzaky family. The accommodation is to be in the town of Zaria, Kaduna state, where the family were detained, or in other parts of the state or alternatively any other part of northern Nigeria. Kolawole said the State Security Service would pay each of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife $78,984 in compensation for the violation of their rights by being held in unlawful custody for nearly a year.

Full report at:

http://en.abna24.com/service/africa//archive/2017/01/26/807360/story.html

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Tanzania denied entrance of Turkish citizens during Erdoğan’s visit ‘for security reasons’

January 26, 2017

A group of Turkish citizens were not allowed to enter Tanzania and were sent back to Turkey for security reasons on the day of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent visit to the country.

The Turkish Embassy has requested an explanation for the refusal, with the Tanzanian Foreign Ministry citing security concerns, a Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The official noted that members of the Islamist Humanitarian Relief Organization (İHH) were on the plane that departed from Turkey to Tanzania, while adding that they do not have believe the move particularly targeted its members.

President Erdoğan was informed about the refusal during the visit and asked Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for a diplomatic intervention, after which the Turkish Embassy in Dar es Salaam sent a diplomatic note to the Foreign Ministry of Tanzania. 

The authorities of Tanzania reportedly did not notify the Turkish Embassy before the rejection.

During his official visit, President Erdogan on Jan. 23 asked his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli to take action against the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, which he blames for last year’s failed coup in Turkey.

The Gülen movement is linked to a network of schools across the world, including in Africa, and the Turkish president is trying to rally leaders on the continent to help him fight the influence of his longtime rival.

“The party that wants to overthrow me isn’t only in Turkey ... I am convinced that Tanzania will from now on take measures against this terrorist organization,” Erdogan said after meeting Magufuli.

Turkish officials accuse Gülen of using his vast private education network to build influence, and of running a “parallel state” inside Turkey.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/tanzania-denied-entrance-of-turkish-citizens-during-erdogans-visit-for-security-reasons.aspx?pageID=238&nID=108993&NewsCatID=357

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Europe

 

At least 15 western terrorists defect from ISIS, flee Syria

January 25, 2017

At least 15 foreign terrorist have defected from the ISIS group in the town of Margada in northeastern Syria, local sources said on Wednesday.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - At least 15 foreign terrorist have defected from the ISIS group in the town of Margada in northeastern Syria, local sources said on Wednesday.

Activists reported a state of alert in ISIS ranks in the town of Margada, south of Hasakah Governorate, after a group of terrorists evacuated their posts and fled Syria.

“The defectors were Western members of the group who have been recently transferred from Iraq’s Mosul to Margada in Syria’s Hasakah,” media activist Ghassan al-Omari said.

“The ISIS-led Hisba Police was unable to find them in the area. The defectors have most likely crossed the border into Turkey,” another local source said, citing an ISIS member.

“They have apparently lost their hope in winning the fight against Iraqi and Syrian forces, which led them to abandon the ISIS ranks and escape,” al-Omari said.

ISIS installed new security checkpoints and deployed dozens of guards in the vicinity of Margada town in the wake of the incident.

Margada is the ISIS last stronghold in Hasakah Governorate. It is located on the administrative border between Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor Governorates.

Dozens of terrorists have recently deserted ISIS ranks amidst growing internal rifts over power and money, according to local monitors.

http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia//archive/2017/01/25/807201/story.html

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How can the academy ease the barriers Muslim scholars face?

January 26, 2017

Nadya Ali outlines the problems that impose three demands on the sector

The Twitter hashtag #TravellingWhileMuslim has been around since 2011. Clicking on it reveals stories regarding the everyday experiences of Muslim passengers and their attempts to navigate border control in airports across the world. There are tales of people being subjected to hostile questioning and racial abuse, as well as being ejected from flights for a variety of reasons, including texting in Arabic, speaking in Arabic or making people “uncomfortable” by their mere Muslim presence.

While there has been considerable media attention focused on these incidents, there has been surprisingly little acknowledgement by those in the academy of the additional barriers that such incidents erect to Muslim academics’ full participation in scholarly life. For my part, for instance, I have decided to withdraw from next month’s International Studies Association Annual Convention in Baltimore. This is an important date in the calendar of those who work in international relations. However, Donald Trump’s election victory, which followed a campaign during which he raised the prospect of Muslim registers and internment and which provoked a spike in hate crimes against minorities, has combined with my previous experience of being racially profiled by a US airline and airport staff while travelling to attend the ISA’s 2013 convention in San Francisco to convince me that the personal cost of attending this year’s event would be too high. I now feel – and I doubt that I am alone in this regard – that I would be genuinely and immediately unsafe in the US.

This perspective politicises the question of where academic conferences are held and how far organisers are cognisant of problems facing potential delegates. And what are the implications for the kind of debates that can be had if non-whites don’t feel able to attend?

The barriers faced by Muslim scholars do not relate only to travel. In the UK, recent legislation requiring academics to report any student who they deem to be at risk of radicalisation also has specific implications for Muslim academics. Teaching critical approaches to terrorism and counterterrorism entails challenging dominant political wisdom on everything from radicalisation to the very concept of terrorism itself. When I teach students that these concepts are inherently political, embedded within the neocolonial context of the War on Terror and productive of distinct racial and gendered hierarchies, I worry. I worry, as an academic with brown skin and a Muslim name, that my words may be misconstrued as apologies for indiscriminate violence. I worry that my enthusiasm for my research, my desire to politicise my students and my anger at contemporary political discourse is mistaken for a symptom of something darker. This leads me to go through teaching material with a fine toothcomb and to measure my words very carefully.

All this imposes three demands on the academy. The first is to give greater space and voice to Muslim scholars in order that their problems be more widely recognised by managers and colleagues. The second is to lend a hand to those affected. This could involve anything from pastoral care to changing how and where academic debates are to be had.

Full report at:

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/comment/how-can-academy-ease-barriers-muslim-scholars-face

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Syrian Opposition Groups Invited to Moscow for Meeting with Lavrov

January 26, 2017

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian opposition groups have been invited by Moscow to hold a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday, an opposition figure said.

Syrian opposition groups, including the Moscow, Cairo and Riyadh groups, have received an invitation to meet with Lavrov in Moscow on January 27, Cairo group leader Jihad Makdissi told the Arabic website of Sputnik news agency on Wednesday.

"We have received an invitation from Russia to take part in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Larov. Aside from us, representatives of other groups, including Moscow and Riyadh, have also been invited," Makdissi said.

He, meantime, said that the Cairo group has not yet received any formal invitations to the Geneva talks on reconciliation in Syria.

The Russian foreign ministry said on Wednesday that Lavrov plans to hold a meeting with representatives of the Syrian opposition later this week.

"The meeting is scheduled to be held in Moscow on January 27," the ministry’s press service said.

Alexander Lavrentiev, head of the Russian delegation to the Astana meeting on Syria, said earlier that a delegation of the Syrian opposition would visit Moscow on January 27.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951106001022

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North America

 

Donald Trump says restricted entry for Muslims necessary as world is ‘a total mess’

January 26, 2017

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said late Wednesday that his plan to limit the entry of people from several Muslim countries was necessary because the world is “a total mess”.

Interviewed on ABC News, Trump denied that it was a ban on Muslims. “No it’s not the Muslim ban, but it’s countries that have tremendous terror,” Trump said.

“And it’s countries that people are going to come in and cause us tremendous problems. Our country has enough problems without allowing people to come in, who in many cases or in some cases, are looking to do tremendous destruction.”

Trump refused to be pinned down on which countries he was talking about, but did say that he believed that Europe “made a tremendous mistake by allowing these millions of people to go into Germany and various other countries, and all you have to do is take a look, it’s a disaster what’s happening over there.”

According to a draft executive order published in US media, refugees from war-torn Syria will be indefinitely banned, the broader US refugee admissions program will be suspended for 120 days, and all visa applications from countries deemed a terrorist threat — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — will be halted for 30 days.

Trump was asked if he was concerned that this would anger Muslims around the world. “Anger? There’s plenty of anger right now. How can you have more?” he said.

“The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets. What, you think this is going to cause a little more anger? The world is an angry place. All of this has happened. We went into Iraq. We shouldn’t have gone into Iraq. We shouldn’t have gotten out the way we got out. The world is a total mess.”

Trump immigration and Pakistanis

According to the draft decree, Trump intends to halve the number of refugees entering the United States during the 2017 fiscal year, which ends on September 30.

While the administration of former president Barack Obama had set a target of accepting more than 100,000 refugees this year, the Trump administration aims to slash that to 50,000.

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/01/26/donald-trump-says-restricted-entry-for-muslims-necessary-as-world-is-a-total-mess/

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Alarmed by Trump plans, refugees see growing enmity in US

Reuters | Jan 26, 2017

BEIRUT: Nur Hasan al Faraj's already slim hopes of a new life in the United States have all but died since she heard that President Donald Trump would temporarily ban refugees coming from some Muslim states.

Her flight from the civil war in Syria has taken her only as far as the southern Turkish city of Hatay near the border with her homeland.

Like other Syrians, Iraqis and Yemenis who spoke to Reuters on Wednesday, Faraj was alarmed by media reports that Trump will impose a temporary ban on most refugees and suspend visas for citizens of Syria and six other countries.

The reports have heightened fears that a new era of hostility from the West is dawning, she and other refugees said.

"This reflects the hateful point of view of America, it reflects enmity, in fact it reflected enmity to all humanity," Faraj said outside an immigration office in Hatay where dozens of refugees were queuing in the hope of obtaining a Turkish residence permit.

Asked if she would like to go to the United States, Faraj said: "If there had been such a possibility before, yes, I would like to have gone. But now, after Trump has come, no, I think I will never go"

Faraj, who wore a brightly coloured headscarf and black coat, said she hoped relatives who have already reached the United States would return "because staying there would be a terrible thing".

Abdulhalim Bekro, a Syrian man who stood nearby, was also concerned by what he depicted as a worsening mood against refugees in the United States.

"Everyone in the world knows that this decision contains hatred. This hatred is not limited to seven countries," he said.

"I definitely do not think of going (to the United States), not under Trump's administration, nor the previous, because they are all of the same mentality."

DIVIDED FAMILIES

Before becoming president, Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, which he said would protect Americans from jihadist attacks. He later said the focus would be placed on restrictions on countries whose migrants could pose a threat, rather than a ban on those of a specific religion.

Such moves could affect millions of refugees fleeing civil wars and political or religious oppression.

"I was hoping God would let me see my sister again. But now the situation became very difficult. Certainly this decision is not at all humane," said Barsha, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon whose sister now lives in the U.S. state of New Jersey.

Holders of passports from the seven countries affected already face severe restrictions on travel to the United States.

"It was difficult in the first place, and now Trump is in power it has become impossible," said Abdulhamid Zughbi, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon.

One Iraqi refugee, an engineer living in the Burj al-Barajneh camp in Lebanon, said his application to join his parents in the United States was still under consideration but that he now expected it would be rejected.

The United States has taken about 12,000 Syrian refugees compared to 2.8 million who are now in Turkey, approximately a million in Lebanon and 650,000 in Jordan. More than 650,000 Syrians have arrived in Europe and requested asylum, mostly in Germany and Sweden, EU figures show.

The perceived difficulty of reaching the United States, including a long visa application process that involves extensive interviews and paperwork, has dissuaded many Syrians and people from other Middle East from even seeking to do so.

Islamist attacks in Europe and the United States, mostly carried out by Muslims already resident in the West, has boosted support among Americans for Trump's position.

But some Syrian refugees said Trump's stance had reinforced the impression among them that he is opposed to Muslims. They disputed the idea that Syrian refugees posed a militant threat.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/alarmed-by-trump-plans-refugees-see-growing-enmity-in-us/articleshow/56788149.cms

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US warns over anti-American violence risk in Turkey

January/26/2017

The United States embassy in Turkey on Jan. 26 warned against the risk of attacks against its citizens in the country after a rise in anti-American rhetoric.

Turkey has been hit by a slew of attacks over the last months claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants that have left the country on edge.

In the latest strikes, 39 people were gunned down in an attack on New Year's night claimed by ISIL mat an Istanbul nightclub.

Just three weeks earlier, 46 people were killed in a double suicide bombing claimed by PKK militants close to the stadium of the Besiktaş football club.

The attacks prompted claims in the radical conservative press that the United States had a hand in the violence, although the allegations have been repeatedly and angrily denied by the embassy.

"An increase in anti-American rhetoric has the potential to inspire independent actors to carry out acts of violence against US citizens," the embassy said in a travel warning.

It said new attacks could occur at major events, tourist sites, restaurants, nightclubs, shopping centres, places of worship, and transportation hubs.

An October order for family members of employees posted to the US Consulate in Istanbul to depart Turkey temporarily remains in place, it added.

Meanwhile, all US government travel to Istanbul is subject to State Department approval, it said.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-warns-over-anti-american-violence-risk-in-turkey-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=108995&NewsCatID=341

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Protesters fill in NY park to protest immigration ban

Rabeya Ahmed, New York

After Donald Trump’s recent order curtailing immigration of refugees and attacking Muslim and immigrant rights, demonstrators filled Washington Square Park in New York City on Wednesday afternoon in protest.

The crowd filled the streets of West Village with passionate chanting and cheering.

The New York Chapter of The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) organised the “emergency” rally in response to a draft of Trump’s Muslim ban immigration policy to be signed on Wednesday. A copy of it has been obtained by the Huffington Post.

This would prevent people from countries such as Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from travelling to the United States. This executive order will suspend refugee admissions from all countries for 120 days while Trump and his cabinet decide on how to implement the so called “extreme vetting” policy that his campaign had promised.

The Protest also focused on opposing Trump’s United States-Mexico border wall, that he ordered construction the same day. CAIR’s face book page for the event urged New Yorkers “As a city of immigrants, we cannot stay silent in the face of such hate. We ask you to gather tonight (Wednesday), to show President Trump that all New Yorkers stand with our Muslim and Latino neighbors. Together, we will form a beacon of light against the coming darkness.”

People of all faiths, from Jewish to Hindu, and all cultural backgrounds stood together in solidarity with the Muslim and Latino community as people shouted in unison “Lock him [Trump] up!”

A young woman stood upon the park benches while cheering as the speakers that evening spoke of their support for the immigrant community.

Aya Aziz, a 23-year-old Egyptian student and artist, came out to the rally because of her faith in fundamental human rights. “I came here because my family immigrated here, struggled, and was repeatedly denied documentation and were essentially threatened with deportation and pushed out,” she said, in a hushed voice. “I’m here because the landlord called the FBI on me and my dad and surveillance is a very real absurdity,” she said. Even in the face of negative experiences, she was upbeat, laughing off the ridiculousness of her experience.

“We all have a responsibility, all of our lives are on the line. But this is also an opportunity to reimagine the country we want to live in,” she concluded, sounding a little hopeful.

A 29-year-old Bangladeshi-American woman also attended, joining the crowds who yelled ferociously, as if to let Trump know they could not be silenced. She spoke about her reason for joining the demonstrators that evening stating, “I know that this [immigration ban] would be a very dangerous, slippery slope to begin with. I think that the ban from Muslim majority countries would be illegal just due to the fact that he’s targeting people based on religion which is an immutable characteristic of your identity. To ban it unilaterally across many countries is just completely unfair.”

The organizers and speakers that evening called upon New York City to offer sanctuary to anyone who is a victim of Trump’s platform of bigotry and to continue to resist his presidency even with such restrictive policies in effect.

Aya believes, “We should be supporting organizations like the Arab American Action Network, we need to be writing our congressmen. I have the privilege of documentation, so as a citizen of this country I know I will be doing everything I can to put myself on the line because I can risk it and not face deportation. We need to be stepping up and looking out for people.”

The 29-year-old feels that stereotypes need to be broken first in order to protect the Muslim population in America. “We need to look at the policies that are coming down. What are really coming down are White Supremacist policies and we need to look at that mentality and change it,” she began. “Part of that mentality is lacking in education and swimming in a sea of ignorance. Breaking the barrier of seeing who normal Muslims are, who peaceful Muslims are versus the small .1 percent of the Muslim population that ISIS would represent. They need to recognize that difference.”

Muslim and immigrant Americans as well as allies are responding quickly and with vigor as Trumps first 100 days in office continues. New Yorkers are not giving into Trump’s vision for America and will not back down without a fight.

Copyright:

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/world/protesters-fill-nyc-park-protest-muslim-immigration-ban-1351291

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Islamic State Supporters Marvel at Terror Group’s Drone ‘Air Force’ 

26 Jan 2017

The Islamic State organization published a video of an alleged drone fleet, claiming to show their bombers in action over the city of Mosul targeting Iraqi troops.

The publication of the video came in the wake of reports in Arab media that Iraqi troops uncovered a drone workshop east of Mosul.

The video has since been removed from YouTube. PJMedia described the video thusly:

The 38-minute video, posted on YouTube and other content-sharing sites, had been teased for a day with a trailer released by ISIS. It largely features suicide bombers in vehicles, including one young teenager who can barely see over the wheel of the armored car. ISIS uses drone photography to follow the suicide bombers and film the attacks from the air.

This is the first time IS has published material about its “airborne” activities, and loyalists have been sharing it frantically on social media.

Muhammad Alshouly wrote on Facebook:

Look at the Caliphate operating an air force and continuing to be at the cutting edge of military and civilian life. Show me another state like mine. The videos of the aircraft reflect confidence in its manufacturing and operational abilities, otherwise they wouldn’t have published them, knowing that the first to analyze them would be the people of the Cross and their allies. Here we brought you new weapons, now show us, the countries of nonbelievers, how and where will you look – to the ground, where we planted landmines and explosive devices, forward where our armored divisions are approaching, or behind you, where our suicide bombers are lurking? The lions of the Islamic State thirst for your blood, and they are to your left and to your right and everywhere.

Full report at:

http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/01/26/islamic-state-supporters-marvel-terror-groups-air-force/

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JFK wheelchair service denied Muslim employees right to pray: complaint

By Yoav Gonen January 26, 2017

The company that provides wheelchair assistance at JFK Airport is accused of violating the city’s human-rights law by denying requests from Muslim employees for break time to pray.

A complaint filed by the city’s Commission on Human Rights on Jan. 13 alleges managers at Pax Assist Inc. also harassed Muslim employees over a radio system when they asked for accommodation for the Ramadan fast in June and July.

The 250-worker firm could face civil penalties as high as $250,000.

The city’s action stems from a complaint by three members of the 32BJ Employees Service Union.

Full report at:

http://nypost.com/2017/01/26/jfk-wheelchair-service-denied-muslim-employees-right-to-pray-complaint/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/burj-khalifa-glows-with-tricolour-to-mark-india-s-republic-day/d/109850

 

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