New Age Islam
Wed Aug 05 2020, 12:04 AM

Islamic World News ( 3 Nov 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Christian Couple Burnt Alive In Pakistan for Allegedly Desecrating the Quran

 

 

 

 

'Drone' Strikes Kill 20 Qaeda Suspects in Yemen File Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan

Christian Couple Burnt Alive In Pakistan For Allegedly Desecrating The Quran

Pluralism Takes A Back Seat in Lyari, Known for Being Secular

Explosion in Khyber Agency's Zakakhel bazaar kills four

Wagah attack: Ahrar claim of responsibility appears more credible

People defy terrorists; attend flag-lowering ceremony at Wagah

Tribal leader killed in Balochistan

India involved in Wagha border attack: Hafiz Saeed

Mirpurkhas tense after killing of three men ‘on sectarian grounds’

Wagah attack: JIT to submit its findings in three days

JUI-F MPs take PTI to task over remarks against Fazl

Altaf suggests meeting of LEAs’ heads to ensure peace

Nation united in war against terrorism, saysISPR

-----------

 

India

Doors of Madrasas Are Open to Non-Muslims, Say Religious Leaders

Qaida Stamp on Border Blast Worries India

ISIS Attempt to ‘Lure’ Muslim Youth on Top Cops’ Agenda

India, Pakistan face-off over Kashmir at UN

Religious Tension Escalates in North India Ahead of Muharram

Militants fire grenade at security forces bunker in J&K

Pakistan using militants as proxies to counter superior Indian Army: Pentagon

----------

 

Arab World

Saudi Arabia Mobilises Clergy and Media against Jihadi Recruitment

Iraq on ‘High Alert’ Amid IS Attacks, Mass Killings

IS Beheads 8 Rebels Who Surrendered

Egypt, Gulf Allies Plan Anti-Terror Alliance

Gunmen kill five Shia mourners in Saudi Arabia

ISIS abused captive Kurdish children: Report

Saudi Police detain 167 illegals expats

Kurds defiant in 'House of the Wounded'

Baghdad braces for more ISIL attacks

Three anti-regime activists imprisoned in Saudi Arabia

ISIL behind Shia leader shooting in Australia: PM

-----------

 

Africa

Suicide Blast Kills 23 in Nigeria, Prison Attack Frees 144

Boko Haram Poised To Take NE Nigerian States: Official

Bracing for battle, army evacuating Benghazi port area

Burkina Faso army says it will cede power

Blast hits Shia ceremony in Nigeria's Yobe

-----------

 

Mideast

'Drone' Strikes Kill 20 Qaeda Suspects in Yemen

13 executions in 11 days at central prison of Uromieh, Iran

Middle East violence not sectarian conflict: Hezbollah

Japanese Muslims meet at Tokyo Mosque built by Turkey

Acid Attacks on Women - New Grounds for Harassing Journalists in Iran

Israel continues to impose restrictions on Aqsa Mosque

Abbas letter of condolences outrages Israeli leaders

Media Advisory: Iran must clean up human rights record at UN review

A dangerous balancing act in Yemen

Iran defense might non-negotiable: Iran’s UN envoy

-----------

 

North America

Muslims Lean towards Democrats; Polls Favour Republicans in US Mid-Term

US not responsible for Iraq gains against ISIL: Abadi

US downplays setback created by al-Nusra Front

US Muslim Congressman Faces Reelection, Islamic State

U.S. Muslim leaders say FBI pressuring people to become informants

Muslim Population in US: New Poll Shows None of Us Have Any Idea

US supports Pakistan in war against terror

-----------

 

Europe

Muslim population in French prisons sparks integration debate

Old Navy Port Trying to Keep Muslim Youth from War

'Violent and terrible’: UK Muslim leaders condemn ISIS

Europe warns Russia over Ukraine rebel poll

Quran-phone: Russian company creates first mobile for Muslims

-----------

 

South Asia

Bangladesh-China ties to be strengthened

Pak-Afghan border sealed for two days on account of Ashura

Bangladesh's SC has upheld the death penalty

Deputy Governor among dead in Afghan attacks

Kamaruzzaman transferred to Dhaka jail

-----------

 

Southeast Asia

The Right to Say ‘God’ Divides a Diverse Nation

Ministers urge unity among communities in anti-ISIS fight

Indonesia eyes consolidation, new laws for Islamic finance

Handpicked defense minister: Between strategy and keen interest

Indonesia’s First Family Blazes a Modest Trail in Southeast Asia

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/christian-couple-burnt-alive-in-pakistan-for-allegedly-desecrating-the-quran/d/99863

------------

 

 

Pakistan

 

Christian Couple Burnt Alive In Pakistan for Allegedly Desecrating the Quran

Nov 4, 2014

LAHORE: In a gruesome incident, a Christian couple was on Tuesday thrashed and burnt alive by a group of angry Muslims in Pakistan's Punjab province for allegedly desecrating the Quran.

The horrific crime was reported from the villages of Kot Radha Kishan of Kasur district, some 50 kilometres from here.

A large number of police personnel were deployed in the villages to provide security to the minority community.

Emaneul Sarfraz, a relative of the deceased couple, said that his cousins, Shahzad Masih, 35, and his wife Shamah, 31, had been working in the kiln of Muhammad Yousuf Gujjar for sometime near Chak (village) 59.

"The couple along with their four children wanted to leave the kiln as Yousuf was not paying their remuneration. He demanded Rs 5, 00,000 from them, if they wanted to quit.

"Two days ago, after an exchange of words Yousuf locked the couple along with their children in a room," Emaneul said.

He further said that an announcement was made today from two mosques of Chak 59 that Shahzad Masih and his wife had committed blasphemy by burning the pages of Quran.

"A large number of Muslims led by area clerics reached the kiln and dragged the couple out of the room after breaking into it.

They first tortured them and then threw them in the kiln.

No one from the crowd listened to the couple, who were pleading that they were innocent as Yousuf had levelled false allegation of blasphemy against them to settle money dispute," Emanuel said adding, "Thank God they did not burn the couple's children".

He alleged that police from the nearby post had reached there on time but did not intervene seeing the charged mob.

"We have taken some 50 people into custody in connection with the killings and raids were underway to arrest more including the kiln owner," Jawad Qamar, police chief of Kasur district, said.

Qamar also denied the incident had taken place in police presence.

Human Liberation Commission Pakistan chairman Aslam Sahotra said he visited the district headquarters hospital in Kasur and saw the remains of couple.

"It was all ashes and some bones of the couple which is left to bury," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Christian-couple-burnt-alive-in-Pakistan-for-allegedly-desecrating-the-Quran/articleshow/45036018.cms

-----

 

Pluralism Takes A Back Seat in Lyari, Known for Being Secular

Saher Baloch

November 4, 2014

KARACHI: Lyari Town is largely known for being secular with a multi-ethnic and multi-religious neighbourhood but there is a lot that has changed for the Shia community residing in Kharadar and Mithadar, which were shut on the 9th of Muharram with tents, containers and roadblocks restricting entry of vehicles as people walked towards the Hussainian-i-Iranian Hall an hour before the evening prayers.

At least five people belonging to the Shia community have been killed in Mithadar and Moosa Lane, either at their workplace or on the main streets, in the past six months. The families of those killed pursued the cases but later decided to give up as earlier there was no evidence and later nobody wanted to be a witness.

On Monday evening, there was strict security around the Hussainian-Iranian Hall. Nobody was allowed to enter apart from those carrying security passes. Those from the neighbourhood were asked to wait for the procession that started from Nishtar Park around 1pm and was supposed to conclude at the hall soon after the evening prayers. Many people decided to wait but dispersed when they were told by a bunch of policemen to move off the road.

Right across the Hussainian-Iranian Hall among the maze of four-storey pre-partition buildings stands a small Imambargah which has been under the supervision of Sirajs and Mochis, the Sindhi castes, since February 1904. A man sitting hunched over a prayer mat agreed to talk on being asked to speak about the commemoration.

Riaz Ali Shah, 50, caretaker of the Syed Gul Shah Ghazi Imambargah, does not live in the area anymore but visits the Imambargah more often. “I have never known a life outside Sindh. I was born and brought up in Mithadar, Karachi. Before partition my ancestors used to sell vermicelli from Karachi to the interior of Sindh and the Middle East. We changed our family business soon after partition and now head a company that makes towels and export it to Dubai and India,” he said, as people from the neighbourhood gathered around the Imambargah.

About the recent killings, he said: “We have to stay quiet about a lot of things that are said about our community around the neighbourhood in order to maintain peace.”

Pointing towards a small office right opposite the Imambargah, he said it was there that his friend Shaukat Sheerazi had been killed by armed men three months back.

“If you can see this abandoned shop round the street corner it used to be my friend Ali Raza’s shop. He was a tailor master. He was a very good Noha Khwan and was killed one noon inside his shop. He was followed from home. We know they were killed because of their sect. The police tried making it an extortion-related killing, but where is the proof of that? Both Sheerazi and Raza would have told community elders if it was an extortion-related matter,” he added.

As the evening call to prayers echoed in the air, Mr Shah said two more people were killed recently in the area. “During the Friday sermons in Moosa Lane, we have heard clerics denouncing us. We stay quiet. We don’t react because there’s no point in arguing over petty issues, but we are very easily killed over petty issues,” he said. Just then a couple came over to ask him about the procession coming from Nishtar Park.

Two more women arrived with their children. One of them who introduced herself as Anum Zahra, 32, said she grew up in Moosa Lane but recently got settled in Badin. Asked about the recent wave of killings in the area, she said: “We know who these people are. And I would consider it an honour if I’m killed this way, because then I’d die a martyr. I have been to Imambargahs across Sindh. And I have decided I won’t stop going just because the authorities can’t arrest them or do something about these killings.” http://www.dawn.com/news/1142342/pluralism-takes-a-back-seat-in-lyari

-----------

 

Explosion in Khyber Agency's Zakakhel bazaar kills four

Zahir Shah Sherazi

November 4, 2014

PESHAWAR: Two security personnel and two peace committee members of Tauheedul Islam were killed and two others injured in a blast in Zakakhel Bazaar of Khyber Agency's Landi Kotal area.

Official sources say that a joint party of security forces and peace committee members was targeted in Painda Cheena area of Zakakhel.

The blast left two security personnel and as many Tauheedul Islam activists dead. One security man was also among those injured in the explosion.

Read: Bara suicide blast leaves seven dead

Rescue and security personnel reached the blast site and began shifting the victims to a nearby hospital.

The security forces launched a search operation soon after the attack. Further details regarding the nature and intensity of the blast were not available till the filing of this report.

Follow-up blast during rescue efforts

At least two more security personnel were injured when another blast occurred in Zakakhel bazaar shortly after the first one,

The security forces were targeted when they were shifting the victims of the first blast.

Security forces also claimed to have arrested ten suspects during a search operation in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber agency.

Khyber is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous regions governed by tribal laws and lies near the Afghan border. The Taliban and other Al Qaeda-linked groups who stage attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan are also known to have strongholds in the zone.

The development comes amid Operation Khyber I which was launched in Khyber tribal agency on credible information about the presence of militants in parts of Sipah and Akkakhel areas, according to Shahab Ali Shah.

Mangal Bagh-led Lashkar-i-Islam has had a strong presence in the areas being targeted in the operation.

Anticipating a military operation in their areas in Tirah valley, hundreds of Akkakhel families had begun leaving their homes in Dars Jumaat, Shaddaly, Darota and Kulla areas of Akkakhel in Tirah valley.

The latest operation was launched amidst 'Zarb-i-Azb', a full-fledged military operation being conducted by the Pakistani military against Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants in North Waziristan tribal region.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1142374/explosion-in-khyber-agencys-zakakhel-bazaar-kills-four

-----------

 

Wagah attack: Ahrar claim of responsibility appears more credible

Ismail Khan

November 4, 2014

PESHAWAR: There were times when there was just one main militant group, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan which used to have one spokesman. Any major militant attack and a statement by the spokesman would be taken at face value.

But all that changed when the TTP opened its franchises and branches all over Fata and in districts where it had its influence, with their own spokesmen who often issued conflicting statements.

Things became murkier when many shadow groups emerged, some of them serving as front organisations for the existing ones to deflect responsibility as peace talks were held.

The September 22, 2013, suicide bombing at the All Saints Church in Peshawar is a classic example.

Having taken place in the wake of peace overtures made by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the (then) TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid quickly denied involvement of his outfit.

A shadowy Jandullah, led by a Marwat, claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing that had killed 127 people. But Mufti Hassan, a TTP commander, held a news conference immediately afterwards to claim responsibility for the attack.

Today, Mufti Hassan is one of the five former TTP commanders who have openly pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

It turns out that Mufti Hassan and Shahidullah Shahid are close friends and associates.

The bottom line is — the militancy scene in Pakistan is so spread and complex that at times one militant group would not know which of the other groups carried out an action.

Repudiating and rebuking each other is common and the wrangling over the Wagah border attack that left 60 people dead was not the only case. There is plenty of intelligence to corroborate this.

Consider Ehsanullah Ehsan’s statement. He sent an email to claim responsibility for the attack.

Ehsan was the chief spokesman for the TTP before he was stripped off the responsibility in July last year for speaking out against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. He has denied the charge.

The now spokesman for the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan Jamaatul Ahrar said in his email to media: “TTPJA claims responsibility for the Wagah border attack. Our friend Hanifullah operated this attack.

“This is the start of attacks of TTPJA and Inshaallah we will continue such attacks in the future,” he wrote.

And as in the past, he repudiated Jandullah’s claim of responsibility for the attack.

“Some other groups claim the responsibility for this attack but these claims are baseless,” he said. “We will soon release the video of the attack.” Ehsan’s claim, as of now, seems more credible.

The Punjabi Taliban led by Asmatullah Muawiya is now out of action, having declared to end its “jihad” in Pakistan and revert to Da’wat and Tableegh.

Khan Said alias Sajna who led largely the Mehsud fighting force is now back in peace talks with the government, having made it clear he had no intention of carrying out attacks inside Pakistan.

This has considerably reduced the ability of the Fazlullah-led TTP (or whatever remains of it) to carry out attacks of such a scale and nature.

The short and stocky Mullah of FM radio fame has been reduced to what he essentially was – the leader of the TTP, Swat.

A look at the growing number of targeted assassinations of peace volunteers in recent times is an indication of his renewed focus on his native valley.

This leaves Ahrar, with its resources and network, as the only likely credible suspect in the Wagah border attack.

Where does that leave Jandullah and its shadowy leader Ahmad Marwat?

There are few takers within the security establishment for this group, many of whom consider it as one of TTP’s deflection groups.

At best Jandullah was never known to operate in faraway areas, including Punjab. Many mistake it for Jandullah al-Alami, which is a different outfit operating in Balochistan and the urban jungle of Karachi.

As the TTP now stands divided into groups, some of them having been neutralised, others weakened and reduced, TTP Jamaatul Ahrar emerges as the only major group with the potential to carry out attacks inside Pakistan. And it does not make any bones about it.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1142307/wagah-attack-ahrar-claim-of-responsibility-appears-more-credible

-----------

 

People defy terrorists; attend flag-lowering ceremony at Wagah

Zulqernain Tahir

November 4, 2014

LAHORE: To boost the morale of the nation, Punjab Rangers allowed people on Monday to attend the flag-lowering ceremony at the Wagah border, a day after the devastating suicide attack that left 62 people dead.

Defying the threat posed by terrorists, a good number of people, including women and children, thronged the Wagah border to witness the ceremony. “I have come here along with my family to give a strong message to terrorists that the Pakistani nation is united and such cowardly acts cannot intimidate us,” Ishtiaq Ahmed of Lahore’s Mughalpura area told Dawn.

“When I came to know that the general public had been allowed to go to the flag-lowering ceremony, I asked my wife and two children to get ready to go to Wagah. My wife also was eager to go because we are of the view that people should come out and tell the terrorists that the whole nation is standing by its armed forces and will not let them succeed in their nefarious designs,” he added.

People demonstrated their resolve by chanting patriotic slogans. Although the mood of the ceremony was sombre because of the Sunday’s tragedy, the participants were highly charged.

Saad Hasan, a grade-VI student this reporter spoke to said: “Yesterday while watching TV, I came to know that many people had been killed in the blast. Today when my father asked me if I am interested in going to watch the Rangers’ parade at Wagah, I simply said yes.”

Lahore Corps Commander praises the nation’s resolve and high morale

“I am here for the second time and I enjoyed the parade but thinking about yesterday’s incident made me sad,” said Hasan who came from Cantonment, along with his father and elder brother.

Following the suicide blast, the Rangers authorities had decided not to allow the general public to the flag-lowering ceremony for three days (Monday to Wednesday).

The Indian Border Security Force also followed suit.

But on Monday the Rangers changed the decision to “give a message to terrorists that such cowardly acts cannot diminish the zeal and enthusiasm of Pakistanis”.

“We have decided at a meeting today that people should not be stopped from coming here and watching the flag-lowering ceremony,” Punjab Rangers spokesman Maj Shahid Abbas told Dawn.

He said the presence of a large number of people at the ceremony had boosted the morale of the nation.

Punjab DG Rangers Maj-General Tahir Javed Khan talks to media after the suicide bomb attack near Pakistan-India border Wagah. — INP

Punjab DG Rangers Maj-General Tahir Javed Khan talks to media after the suicide bomb attack near Pakistan-India border Wagah. — INP

Lahore Corps Commander Lt Gen Naweed Zaman, Punjab Rangers Director General Maj Gen Tahir Javed Khan, General Officers Commanding Maj Gen Aamir Abbasi, Maj Gen Fida Hussain Malik, Lahore police chief retired Capt Amin Wains and other senior officials of law-enforcement agencies attended the ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, Gen Naweed Zaman condemned the dastardly act of terrorism and commended the nation’s resolve and high morale. Praying for those killed in the blast, he expressed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.

“These cowardly incidents cannot lower the nation’s resolve to eliminate the menace of terrorism,” he said.

He applauded the morale of Rangers personnel who have rendered supreme sacrifices in the war against terrorism.

According to a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations, the message from people who attended the ceremony was loud and clear: the nation stands united against all odds and is determined to eradicate terrorism from the country.

“The spectators expressed their strong will to join hands with the armed forces to fight back and crush this menace in totality, no matter what the cost is,” it said.

ISPR Director General Maj Gen Asim Bajwa Tweeted that flag-lowering ceremony at Wagah demonstrated resolve of the nation. “We stand united to eliminate terrorism.”

The ceremony draws a large number of people, including foreigners, on both sides of the border.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1142324/people-defy-terrorists-attend-flag-lowering-ceremony-at-wagah

-----------

 

Tribal leader killed in Balochistan

Syed Ali Shah

November 4, 2014

QUETTA: Armed militants killed a tribal leader in Balochistan's Noshki district on Monday.

Levies sources said militants on a motorcycle opened fire at Sardarzada Wali Khan Mengal and killed him on the spot.

The incident happened on the Jinnah Road area of Noshki, Balochistan's district bordering with Afghanistan. Levies sources added that the assailants sped away on their motorcycle after the strike.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1142205/tribal-leader-killed-in-balochistan

-----------

 

India involved in Wagha border attack: Hafiz Saeed

November 03, 2014

Lahore- Ameer Jamat-ul-Dawat Pakistan Professor Hafiz Muhammad Syed has said that India was involved in the Wagha border bomb blast.

He added that tension was created at line of control; subsequently, terrorist activities have been started inside Pakistan. “Through proper strategy, country is being weakened; however, government should take a clear stance and come up with evidences against our arch rival,” he maintained.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/03-Nov-2014/india-involved-in-wagha-border-attack-hafiz-saeed

-----------

 

Mirpurkhas tense after killing of three men ‘on sectarian grounds’

November 4, 2014

MIRPURKHAS: An unspecified number of activists belonging to the banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ) were picked up in several raids carried out in the city after the late Saturday killing of three people by armed men at the main gate of Gama Stadium turned out to be a sectarian attack.

Additional units of police and Rangers personnel were deployed at many sensitive places overnight and patrolling by security agencies was intensified to prevent sectarian violence in reaction. The district administration has reportedly sought assistance of army troops apprehending a law and order situation on the 9th and 10th of Muharram in the wake of the incident.

In the late Saturday evening, a car carrying five persons and driven by Mir Nauman Talpur, the son of a prominent landowner and elite of the Mir Ki Landhi area, Mir Fateh Talpur, a close relative of MNA Faryal Talpur, was it by a motorcycle near the Gama Stadium gate on Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas Road.

While the biker was engaged in heated arguments with the car occupants, another biker joined him. Witnesses and police said that one of the bikers fire many shots, leaving all five car occupants in a pool of blood, and then drove away.

Mir Nauman Talpur managed to drive the car up to the Makhan Shah Imambargah where police and Rangers personnel were present. In order to draw their attention, he slightly rammed his car into a Rangers vehicle.

However, the security personnel at the place took it as a possible suicide bombing attempt and tried to drive away. They stopped only when Mir Talpur started shouting to seek their help.

The security personnel returned and found him and four other victims seriously wounded. Mir Talpur briefed them about the ordeal.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1142043/mirpurkhas-tense-after-killing-of-three-men-on-sectarian-grounds

-----------

 

Wagah attack: JIT to submit its findings in three days

November 4, 2014

LAHORE: The Punjab government has formed a joint investigation team to probe the Wagah suicide hit.

Home Minister retired Col Shuja Khanzada told a press conference here on Monday the joint investigation team comprising representatives of the Chenab Rangers, in whose jurisdiction the incident took place, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Counter Terrorism Department, Special Branch and Punjab Police, would thoroughly look into the occurrence for possible security lapse that allowed the suicide bomber to reach the venue.

The team, he said, would submit its report within three days.

He admitted that the authorities had been warned on Oct 31 of a terrorist attack in the provincial capital and that Wagah border was among the possible targets.

The information, he claimed, had been timely conveyed to the Rangers in whose jurisdiction the Wagah parade ground fell. In the light of the information, two dozen more police personnel were deputed on the joint check-post.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1142304/wagah-attack-jit-to-submit-its-findings-in-three-days

-----------

 

JUI-F MPs take PTI to task over remarks against Fazl

November 04, 2014

PESHAWAR - Jamiat-e-Ulamai Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) women lawmakers Monday warned PTI MNA Dr Sherin Mazari not to become ‘Gulu Butt’ and stop using inappropriate language against their leader Maulana Fazl ul Rehman, otherwise they would not hesitate to expose, what they said, the foreign agents of her party.

The JUI-F women are waiting for a call to protest against PTI women lawmakers and its chairman Imran Khan’s derogatory remarks against their party chief Maulana Fazl ur Rehman.

It was decided in a JUI-F women wing meeting held here with MNA Naeema Kishwar in the chair, while MNA Shahida Akhtar Ali, MPAs Romana Jalil Jan, Uzma Khan, Najmi Shaheen and others also attended the meeting. The language of Dr Shiren Mazari was not appropriate, they said adding the JUI-F and Maulana Fazl ur Rehman have a great respect for women folk. JUI-F women will be on streets, if PTI does not stop its way of calling the JUI-F.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/04-Nov-2014/jui-f-mps-take-pti-to-task-over-remarks-against-fazl

-----------

 

Altaf suggests meeting of LEAs’ heads to ensure peace

November 04, 2014

KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has warned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his cabinet that the situation was deteriorating fast and there was a hike in blasts and suicide attacks in the country.

Talking to the Co-ordination Committee of MQM in London and Pakistan via telephone, he said the government lacks intelligence resources and capacity to keep an eye on the situation.

He urged PM Sharif to convene a meeting of the heads of security forces immediately. An ordinance should be passed to set up committees across Pakistan which should be entrusted to keep an eye on the terrorists. Members of these committees should be elected by the local people and they should be divided into three teams for performing duties in shifts of eight hours in their respective areas. Members of these committees should be given armed licenses as they would not be able to fight with armed people empty-handed.

He said the prime minister and the federal cabinet should deliberate on my demand urgently and come up with a solid line of action. If my suggestion does not appear appropriate, they should find another solution as the army alone cannot solve these problems.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/karachi/04-Nov-2014/altaf-suggests-meeting-of-leas-heads-to-ensure-peace

-----------

 

Nation united in war against terrorism, saysISPR

November 04, 2014

ISLAMABAD - Director General ISPR Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa has said that the entire nation is united against all odds and would eventually triumph in the war against terrorism.

In a statement on Monday, DG ISPR said morale of the people and the forces was high as witnessed in the flag lowering ceremony held as per routine at Wagah Border on Monday.

He said overall public sentiments at the ceremony were high; the message was loud and clear that nation stood united against all odds and was determined to eliminate terrorism from the country.

The spectators expressed their strong will to join hands with the Armed Forces of Pakistan to fight back and crush this menace in totality no matter what the cost was.

Meanwhile, a flag lowering ceremony was held as per routine at Wagah Border despite the cowardly terrorist attack on Sunday in which 60 innocent lives were lost.

Commander Lahore Corps Lieutenant General Naweed Zaman, Director General Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) Major General Khan Tahir Javid Khan, General Officers Commanding Major General Aamir Abbasi, Major General Fida Hussain Malik, CCPO Capt (R)Amin Wains ,senior members of law-enforcement agencies and large number of civilian population witnessed the parade.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/04-Nov-2014/nation-united-in-war-against-terrorism-says-ispr

-----------

 

India

 

Doors of Madrasas Are Open to Non-Muslims, Say Religious Leaders

New Age Islam News Bureau, November 4, 2014

Saharanpur: Supporting the statement of the General Secretary of Muslim Personal Law Borad, Abdur Rahim Qureshi, the Vice Chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband and member of Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Sufyan Qasmi said that dialogue was necessary for removing the doubts and suspicions and misunderstanding about not only madrasas but also about Islam as a whole and for bridging the widening gap between different religions. He says that for this purpose, symposiums and seminars should be organized on the teachings and basic values of all the religions in order to dismantle the artificial wall of hatred. In his view, the leaders of all the religions should be invited on a single platform and this way the common values of religions can be promoted.  Only then the followers of all the religions can realize the need to understand each other. From this angle, the statement of the General Secretary of AIMPLB is appreciable and deserves attention because in this country all have to live together and all the religions preach respect for each other. This aspect of religion needs to be highlighted, he said.

The secretary of Jamia Mazahirul Uloom and member of Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Shahidul Hussaini too supported the statement of the General Secretary and said that the religious madrasas should invite the leaders and religious personalities of other religions in the programmes of madrasas so that they can see for themselves what we preach and how we prepare students and what the educational system of madrasas is like. We have been saying this with conviction that we prepare good and responsible citizens and good human beings. Our fellow countrymen can themselves confirm this claim. We believe that unfamiliarity with each other’s religion is the sole cause of misunderstanding. This is not in the interests of either the country or its citizens. There should be strong ties between us and them. When we can invite people from other religions in our private ceremonies, we should also invite them in our madrasa programmes.

However, the Shaikhul Hadith of Darul Uloom Wakf, Maulana Syed Ahmad Khizir Shah has a cautious approach. He said that so far as the participation of non-Muslims in the programmes of madrasas is concerned, it can be welcomed if it is only with the purpose of observing the educational system and educational activities of madrasas and there can be no objection on it as they can themselves see that madrasas preach patriotism and they are not havens of terrorism. But if they try to interfere with the madrasa system on the pretext of observing it, it is not acceptable. He said that the fellow countrymen could come and attend our programmes and conferences, the doors of madrasas were open to everyone.

-----------

 

Qaida stamp on border blast worries India

Nov 4, 2014

NEW DELHI: The Wagah suicide attack that killed over 60 people on the Pakistan side of the border is closer home than it appears.

One of the three groups that claimed credit for Sunday's strike recently announced its support to Qaidatal-Jihad or al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). This outfit was formed by Qaida chief Ayman al Zawahiri this September with the goal of launching terror attacks in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and neighbouring countries.

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a Tehrike-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) breakaway, which has issued several statements claiming the attack, officially announced support for AQIS days after Zawahiri released a video calling Muslims to join the new branch. Outfit spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan had tweeted at the time: "We welcome the new announcement of the subcontinent branch of al-Qaida. We believe that the branch will work hard for the achievement of the rights of Muslims in the subcontinent."

Following the Wagah attack, Ahrar repeated its threat to India. On Monday, in a series of tweets, Ehsan claimed his group had carried out the Wagah strike to send an "open message to governments on both sides of the border".

Given that some Indian jihadists, including those from Indian Mujahideen, flirt with al-Qaida, the Indian security establishment is concerned about the Wagah attack.

"The threat is not immediate. But an attack so close to the border that an outfit connected to AQIS apparently conducted and it also openly threatened India, (is a fact) that cannot be ignored. Had the bomber been able to walk into the parade area, there could have been massive damage on our side too," said an officer of the security establishment.

Though Indian jihadists attracted to al-Qaida are reluctant to fight in India and have expressed the desire to die as fidayeen in Afghanistan, sources say they may be persuaded to attack India on the promise of being sent to greater theatres.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Qaida-stamp-on-border-blast-worries-India/articleshow/45030152.cms

-----------

 

ISIS Attempt to ‘Lure’ Muslim Youth on Top Cops’ Agenda

By Bashaarat Masood

November 4, 2014

Top police officers will meet in Assam this month to discuss a problem that has worried security establishments across the world: the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.

Both these groups, and their attempts to recruit Muslim youth, figure on the agenda of the annual two-day conference of police and paramilitary chiefs to be held on November 21-22 at Assam Administrative Staff College.

The agenda reveals that the officials — including Director Generals of Police and Inspector Generals of Police from all states and and heads of all central paramilitary forces — will discuss strategies to “counter Muslim radicalisation and attempt to attract radical Muslims to ISIS and Qaeda-tul-Jehad”.

They will discuss the implications, “both immediate and long term”, of the rise of ISIS, which controls large areas of Syria and Iraq, and its potential to attract disgruntled youth to its ranks.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/isis-attempt-to-lure-muslim-youth-on-top-cops-agenda/

-----------

 

India, Pakistan face-off over Kashmir at UN

Nov 4, 2014

UNITED NATIONS: India and Pakistan faced off on Monday at the UN as Islamabad brought up Kashmir in its renewed campaign to internationalize the issue.

Diyar Khan, a counsellor at Pakistan's UN Mission, said his country regretted that the people of J&k had been deprived of their right to self-determination.

Self-determination did not lapse with the passage of time, he said. Nor could it be "set aside" by charges of terrorism.

In his address to the UNGA committee that deals with social, humanitarian and cultural affairs, India's Mayank Joshi dismissed as unsolicited Pakistan's comments about Kashmir and said they were factually incorrect. Free, fair and open elections were regularly held in that state at all levels, he said.

Exercising the right of reply, Pakistan's delegate escalated the issue, questioning New Delhi calling Kashmir a part of India and citing UN Security Council resolutions describing Kashmir a disputed territory. Regarding elections in Kashmir, he asserted that polls conducted by the Indian authorities could not be a substitute for a UN plebiscite.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Pakistan-face-off-over-Kashmir-at-UN/articleshow/45033669.cms

-----------

 

Religious Tension Escalates in North India Ahead of Muharram

Nov 3, 2014

As Muslims across India prepare to observe the holy day of Ashura in the Islamic month of Muharram on Tuesday, religious tension between Hindus and Muslims is on the rise in some parts of northern India.

Shiite Muslims, who traditionally hold processions on the 10th day of Muharram to mourn the death of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, have been forbidden from passing through certain Hindu neighborhoods in New Delhi.

According to Zafarul Islam Khan, head of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, an umbrella organization of Muslim groups based in Delhi, in the Bawana neighborhood of northwest Delhi, a “maha panchayat,” an unelected village council, on Sunday decided that Muslim processions should be banned in public spaces, particularly those with majority Hindu populations.

Heads of nearby villages dominated by the Hindu Jat caste also attended this meeting to affirm their opposition to the public processions; Mr. Khan says members of the Muslim community told him. Members of the village council could not be reached for comment.

Muslims have, in turn, agreed to restrict their processions to a Muslim-dominated residential colony instead of the main market of Bawana, according to a report in the Times of India.

During the Ashura march — also referred to as Muharram — many Muslims weep and inflict wounds on themselves in an expression of grief for the martyrdom of Hussein, Prophet Muhammad’s grandson.

“The Muslims themselves have decided not to take their processions to Hindu areas,” said Mr. Khan, adding, “this is happening for the first time.”

After communal violence broke out in New Delhi following celebrations for the Hindu festivals of Dussehra and Diwali last month, the atmosphere in neighborhoods with mixed Hindu and Muslim populations is still tense, according to a Times of India report.

In the eastern neighborhood of Trilokpuri in the capital, tension over the construction of a platform for Hindu gatherings close to a mosque led to low intensity violence for several days, culminating in three days of riots that ended Oct. 26.

There is an ongoing conflict over public space, said Mr. Khan, which leads to small incidents of communal tension across the country.

Full report at:

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/11/03/religious-tension-escalates-in-north-india-ahead-of-muharram/

----------

 

Militants fire grenade at security forces bunker in J&K

Nov 4, 2014,

SRINAGAR: Militants on Tuesday fired a rifle grenade towards a security forces bunker in Sopore town of Baramulla district in Kashmir but the device failed to explode, police said.

The ultras fired the rifle grenade towards the bunker of 179 battalion CRPF at Sopore town this morning which failed to explode, a police spokesman said.

He said a bomb disposal squad was called in to destroy the grenade.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Militants-fire-grenade-at-security-forces-bunker-in-JK/articleshow/45032672.cms

-----------

 

Pakistan using militants as proxies to counter superior Indian Army: Pentagon

Nov 4, 2014

WASHINGTON: In a blunt assessment of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan, the Pentagon has told the US Congress that the country is using militant groups as proxies to counter the superior Indian military.

"Afghan - and India - focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability. Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India's superior military," the Pentagon told the Congress in its latest six-monthly report on the current situation in Afghanistan.

"These relationships run counter to Pakistan's public commitment to support Afghan-led reconciliation. Such groups continue to act as the primary irritant in Afghan-Pakistan bilateral relations," the Pentagon said in the report running into more than 100 pages.

Referring to the attack on the Indian consulate in Herat, the Pentagon said this was done just ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India.

"In May of this reporting period, the Indian consulate in Herat Province was attacked by a group of four heavily armed militants. The attack came three days prior to the swearing-in of the new Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Modi is perceived as being close to Hindu nationalist groups, a fact that may have played into the timing of the attack," it said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-using-militants-as-proxies-to-counter-superior-Indian-Army-Pentagon/articleshow/45031312.cms

-----------

 

Arab World

 

Saudi Arabia mobilises clergy and media against jihadi recruitment

November 04, 2014

RIYADH: For Saudi Arabia, the war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a vital struggle for the future of the Middle East that must be fought — but not by its own young men.

Alarmed by how jihadi veterans back home from Afghanistan and Iraq joined an Al Qaeda uprising a decade ago, Riyadh is now trying to halt recruitment of Saudis to the militant cause, even as it funds and arms rebels in Syria.

The government and clerics are pushing their message in both the media and the mosque: Saudis who join radical groups such as the Islamic State will get sucked into a jihadist experience that is ugly and futile.

Local media have highlighted the case of Fahd al-Zaidi, a Saudi who said he was duped into joining a war against fellow Sunni Muslims instead of fighting for their freedom.

“Anyone who dared to question the IS would be put in isolation and prevented from contacting others,” he said in comments reported in the local Arab News and carried widely by other Saudi media.

With the largely Sunni rebel groups often fighting each other rather than Assad’s forces, Riyadh believes the Syrian war should be left to Syrians. Those Saudis who shift their allegiance from the ruling Al Saud family to Islamic State’s caliphate, which it is fighting to establish across Syria and Iraq, represent a threat to the government of the US ally.

Informed by its previous experience, the kingdom is using an array of tools against jihadi recruitment apart from the media.

A royal decree in February ordered long jail terms for people who went to fight overseas or helped others do so, or for those giving moral or material aid to groups including IS and Al Qaeda’s official offshoot in Syria, the Nusra Front. Several people have already been convicted.

Top clerics including the Grand Mufti and members of the Senior Council of Scholars, the highest religious bodies in the kingdom, have repeatedly denounced militant groups in sermons and fatwas. While some senior government-appointed clerics have described the Syrian war as a jihad, they have made clear it is one that should be fought by Syrians, not by Saudis.

Nevertheless, thousands of young men appear to have slipped through the net and joined IS and other groups. The authorities say they are aware of 2,500 Saudis fighting overseas, but admit there may be more.

Unlike in previous conflicts before militants learnt to use social media networks as recruitment tools, would-be jihadis no longer need extensive contact with facilitators inside Saudi Arabia. Some have simply flown to Turkey and headed for the Syrian or Iraqi border. Others used online contacts to get a mobile phone number for somebody who would help them once they arrived.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1142265/saudi-arabia-mobilises-clergy-and-media-against-jihadi-recruitment

-----------

 

Iraq on ‘high alert’ amid IS attacks, mass killings

November 04, 2014

BAGHDAD - Iraq boosted security Monday amid fears of the Islamic State group launching major attacks on pilgrims flocking to Karbala as further reports emerged of mass killings.

The pilgrims are prime targets for the IS militants, who have carried out a series of mass executions in recent days, killing scores of members of a tribe in Iraq’s western Anbar province.

The militants are reported to have slaughtered dozens of members of the Sunni Albu Nimr tribe, which took up arms against them in Anbar.

On Monday, tribal leader Naim al-Kuoud al-Nimrawi told AFP that IS “executed 36 people, including four women and three children” on Sunday alone.

Accounts have varied as to the number and timings of the executions, but sources have spoken of more than 200 people murdered in recent days.

A police officer and an official gave figures of more than 200 to 258 people killed, while Iraq’s human rights ministry put the toll at 322 and a tribal leader said 381 were executed. The mass killings appear aimed at discouraging resistance from powerful local tribes in Anbar, where IS overran large areas in June as pro-government forces suffered a string of setbacks. At least 19 people were killed in bomb blasts targeting Shias in Baghdad on Sunday claimed by IS, and security forces were on alert for further attacks. Karbala deputy governor Jassem al-Fatlawi told AFP “hundreds of thousands of Iraqi pilgrims” and 65,000 others from 20 different countries have thronged Karbala. Canada conducted airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Iraq for the first time on Sunday, while reports emerged that the militant group had executed more than 200 tribes people in recent days. “Today’s strike demonstrates our government’s firm resolve to tackle the threat of terrorism and to stand with our allies against ISIL’s atrocities against innocent women, children and men,” Canadian Defense Minister Rob Nicholson said in a statement.

Canada joined the anti-IS coalition on Thursday and conducted two days of reconnaissance before sending two CF-18s to attack militant positions around the city of Fallujah. The attacks followed reports that IS had slaughtered scores of people from the Albu Nimr tribe, which had taken up arms against the insurgents.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/04-Nov-2014/iraq-on-high-alert-amid-is-attacks-mass-killings

-----------

 

IS beheads 8 rebels who surrendered

4 November 2014

BEIRUT: Islamic State militants beheaded eight Syrian rebels who had surrendered in a town on the border with Iraq last week despite pledges of an amnesty, a monitor said Monday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the men were executed and their bodies hung on makeshift crucifixes in Albu Kamal in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

“The men surrendered in Albu Kamal because the Islamic State had offered amnesty to people who fought them if they turned themselves in,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/654686

-----------

 

Egypt, Gulf allies plan anti-terror alliance

4 November 2014

CAIRO: US Arab allies Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait are discussing the creation of a military pact to take on militants, with the possibility of a joint force to intervene around the Middle East, The Associated Press has learned.

The alliance would also serve as a show of strength to counterbalance Iran. Two countries are seen as potential theaters for the alliance to act, senior Egyptian military officials said: Libya, where militants have taken over several cities, and Yemen, where Shiite rebels suspected of links to Iran have seized control of the capital.

Their consideration of a joint force illustrates a desire to go beyond the international coalition that the United States has put together to wage an air campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The officials said the alliance under consideration was not intended to intervene in Iraq or Syria but to act separately to address other extremist hotspots.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/654781

-----------

 

Gunmen kill five Shia mourners in Saudi Arabia

Nov 4, 2014

Unidentified gunmen have attacked a gathering of Shia Muslims and killed five mourners commemorating Ashura, the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram that marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH).

The deadly assault was carried out in al-Ahsa, the largest governorate in Saudi Arabia's restive Eastern Province, leaving more than 30 mourners wounded.

The incident followed a wave of attacks against Shia Muslims in the neighboring Iraq.

On Sunday, multiple bomb explosions killed at least 34 Shia pilgrims in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/11/04/384681/4-shia-mourners-killed-in-saudi-arabia/

-----------

 

ISIS abused captive Kurdish children: Report

Nov 4, 2014

BEIRUT: Islamic State militants tortured and abused Kurdish children captured earlier this year near the northern Syrian town of Kobani, beating them with hoses and electric cables, an international rights group said on Tuesday.

Human Rights Watch based its conclusions on interviews with several children who were among more than 150 Kurdish boys from Kobani abducted in late May as they were returning home after taking school exams in the city of Aleppo. It said around 50 of the Kurds escaped early in their captivity, while the rest were released in batches - the last coming on October 29.

"Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising, children have suffered the horrors of detention and torture, first by the Assad government and now by ISIS," said Human Rights Watch's Fred Abrahams. "This evidence of torture and abuse of children by ISIS underlines why no one should support their criminal enterprise."

Four of the children who were released told the New York-based rights group that they were held by the extremists in the northern Syrian town of Manbij. They described frequent abuse at the hands of the militants, who used a hose and electric cable to administer beatings.

The boys said that some of the worst abuse was reserved for captives who had family members in the Kurdish militia known as the YPG, which has been locked in heavy fighting with Islamic State militants for control of Kobani since mid-September.

The children said the Islamic State group did not say why they were being released, other than that they had completed their religious training, the Human Rights Watch report said.

Islamic State militants have taken hundreds of Kurds captive over the past year as part of the group's brutal campaign to take over predominantly Kurdish areas of northern and eastern Syria.

On Tuesday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the extremists had released dozens of Kurds taken captive in February. It was not immediately clear why the Islamic State group would release the captives now, nor whether a deal had been made with the Kurds for a prisoner exchange.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/ISIS-abused-captive-Kurdish-children-Report/articleshow/45035895.cms

----------

 

Saudi Police detain 167 illegals expats

4 November 2014

Alkhobar police have detained 167 illegal expats during recent inspection campaigns across several stores and shops in districts such as Al-Azizyiah, Al-Thoqbah and Al-Rakah. The campaign also included the cattle market in Alkhobar.

The campaign continued for two days with the participation of a number government bodies such as the Special Missions Force, Directorate of the Eastern Province Police and Alkhobar municipality.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/654756

-----------

 

Kurds defiant in 'House of the Wounded'

04 Nov 2014

Derike, Syria -  Zagros, 22, sits on the edge of his hospital bed, singing songs pledging alliance to the People's Protection Units, the Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

He is in remarkable spirits despite having had both arms mangled by an improvised explosive device that hit the car he was travelling in near Jazaa, in northeastern Syria along the Iraqi border.

"I didn't receive any medical treatment until I arrived at the hospital," Zagros tells Al Jazeera at the hospital in Derike, a small and largely deserted Syrian town in Hasaka province. "They just threw me in the back of the truck and drove. I was conscious the entire time."

Zagros arrived at this somewhat rundown hospital more than an hour later. His right arm was so badly blown apart that what remained of it had to be taped to his stomach.

"It's a miracle he survived," Dr Hazar Ahmad, deputy director of the hospital, told Al Jazeera. "The YPG [People’s Protection Units] don't have the numbers to have paramedics on the front line. When you have to choose between fighting power and paramedics, they choose the fighting force."

Ahmad said there were no medical or mobile clinics across the region, and a severe shortage of doctors.

"The trained medical staff stay at the hospitals, away from the front line," he said. "We have a lack of surgeons and specialists [so] we can't spare sending them to the front line. Of the 20 doctors we had, one-third have left."

Despite the nature of Zagros' injuries, he says he would return to the battlefield as soon as possible: "I still want to fight. I can aim with what I have left of my arms and use the trigger with my feet."

Many fighters choose to wear simple headscarves rather than helmets, Ahmad noted. "Every fighter sees themself as a martyr in progress," he said. In addition to their lack of medical training, YPG fighters and their female comrades, the YPJ, generally do not use any kind of body armour.

"The main reason we don't use it is because we have very limited resources. We just don't have the means. In addition, we're not a regular military. We rely on hit-and-run tactics," official YPG spokesperson Redur Khalil told Al Jazeera.

Because of the rapidity of ISIL's onslaught, Khalil added, the YPG did not have time to medically train its fighters.

At a residential complex on the outskirts of Derike, two apartment blocks stand next to one another. One houses the families of fallen YPG soldiers, while the other is the "House of the Wounded", where injured YPG/YPJ fighters released from hospital stay until they have fully recovered.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/11/kurds-defiant-house-wounded-2014111194411495140.html

-----------

 

Baghdad braces for more ISIL attacks

03 Nov 2014

Baghdad -  Despite recent military advances by the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces against fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),  the Iraqi capital remains under threat from hundreds of sleeper cells, Iraqi security officials said.

Backed by Shia militias and volunteers, the Iraqi army has taken back the strategic towns of Jurf al-Sakhar, 60km south of Baghdad, and Baiji, 210km north of Baghdad. The two cities constituted a threat to Baghdad as they were supply routes for ISIL fighters.

But while it remains difficult for ISIL fighters to advance to Baghdad, security officials said there are growing fears that the sleeper cells in and around the capital will continue to carry out bombings and fire rockets inside the city.

"These cells are ISIL's reserve army," a security adviser for the Iraqi government told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity. "Our information suggests that there are hundreds of these sleeper cells inside Baghdad and in the areas that we call the belt of Baghdad.

"They [sleeper cells] are more dangerous than active ones because they are like time bombs - you do not know where and when it will be exploded," the adviser said.

This past June, ISIL fighters launched a blistering offensive that saw them capture Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and move into much of the country's Sunni heartland. ISIL has been fighting against the government forces and Peshmerga fighters controlling the country's north.

Both Iraqi and Kurdish forces have made inroads in the past two weeks, taking back territory captured by ISIL, including the Rabia border crossing with Syria, the oil refinery in Baiji, north of Baghdad, and the northern town of Zumar.

Security officials point out that most of the sleeper cells in Baghdad are deployed in Sunni-populated areas, while the rest attempt to infiltrate Shia-dominated areas. These cells serve various purposes, including recruitment, collecting information and delivering logistical support to active cells.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/11/baghdad-braces-more-isil-attacks-201411351253419391.html

-----------

 

Three anti-regime activists imprisoned in Saudi Arabia

Nov 3, 2014

A Saudi court has handed down relatively long jail terms to three anti-regime activists as the kingdom continues crackdown on dissent.

On Monday, the Saudi court in the capital Riyadh sentenced an individual to 10 years in prison and another to seven for giving some protest footage to a television network after it was captured on a phone in Qatif in the volatile Eastern Province.

The court described the amateur video as “hostile to the kingdom.”

A third individual also received a 10-year jail term for participation in protests that called for the “fall of the regime” in al-Awamiyah, an eastern town near Qatif.

There have been numerous demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province since 2011, with the protesters calling for political reform and an end to widespread discrimination. Several people have been killed and many others injured or arrested during the demonstrations.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/11/03/384678/saudi-arabia-jails-3-dissidents/

-----------

 

ISIL behind Shia leader shooting in Australia: PM

Nov 4, 2014

ISIL Takfiri militants have apparently instigated the shooting of an eminent Shia religious leader in Sydney, Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.

"It seems there is an ISIL death cult influence on this shooting in Sydney in the last 24 hours or so," Abbott said on Tuesday.

“The important thing is for all of us to absolutely reject this death cult … The ISIL death cult is against God, it's against Islam and it's against our common humanity."

Rasoul Al Mousawi, 47, was shot in the face and shoulder at close range in a drive-by shooting outside Husainiyah Nabi Akram Center in Greenacre on Monday.

He was taken to the hospital following the incident. His wounds are not believed to be life-threatening.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/11/04/384719/isil-behind-shia-leader-death-in-sydney/

-----------

 

Africa

 

Suicide blast kills 23 in Nigeria, prison attack frees 144

November 04, 2014

YOBE, Nigeria - A suicide bomber killed at least 23 people in a procession of Shi’ite Muslims marking the ritual of Ashoura in northeast Nigeria’s Yobe state on Monday, witnesses said.

In a separate incident overnight in central Kogi state, gunmen using explosives blew their way into a prison in the city of Lokoja, killing one person and freeing 144 inmates, Adams Omale, prisons coordinator for the state, told Reuters.

In the suicide bombing in Potiskum in Yobe state, a territory at the heart of an insurgency by Sunni Muslim Boko Haram rebels, the attacker joined the line of Shi’ites before setting off his device as they marched through a market in the town, resident Yusuf Abdullahi said.

“I heard a very heavy explosion as if it happened in my room. It took place just 200 metres from my house,” he said. Another person carrying an explosive that did not go off was arrested, he said.

Mohammed Gana, whose brother was killed in the attack, said he counted 23 bodies at the scene. Another Potiskum resident, Abubakar Saliu, said soldiers started shooting immediately after the explosion, but it was not clear who they fired at or if anyone was hit by the gunfire. Omale said 26 of the Lokoja prison inmates freed in the Kogi raid had been recaptured. He did not comment on whether any of the escaped prisoners were Boko Haram members.

Nigeria’s government announced last month that a ceasefire had been agreed with Boko Haram and that talks were underway in neighbouring Chad for the release of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted in April by the Islamist rebels.

But although mediator Chad has said the negotiations are still on, a spate of recent attacks across Nigeria’s northeast by suspected Boko Haram fighters has raised serious doubts about whether a lasting peace pact can be achieved.

 Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/04-Nov-2014/suicide-blast-kills-23-in-nigeria-prison-attack-frees-144

-----------

 

Boko Haram poised to take NE Nigerian states: Official

Nov 4, 2014

Boko Haram Takfiri militants will bring the northeastern states of Nigeria under their control if the government makes no serious efforts in countering them, an official warns.

“If the federal government does not add extra effort, in the next two to three months, the three northeastern states will no longer be in existence,” Zanna Mustapha, the deputy governor of Borno State, said on Monday, referring to the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

“The federal government has tried its best but their best is not enough because rather than going after the insurgents, it is the insurgents that are going after us. It is a big crime that the criminals are better equipped than the military,” Mustapha added.

The militants are just a few kilometers from the states and will be able to capture them in a matter of days or weeks if security measures are not reinforced, Mustapha further noted.

The official also cast doubt on an alleged ceasefire between the government and the militants, saying, “We are yet to believe that there is a ceasefire because the first day after the announcement was made, over 30 people were killed in Borno.”

The Nigerian government announced on October 17 that it had secured a deal with Boko Haram for a truce and the release of more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the group.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/11/04/384728/boko-haram-eying-ne-nigerian-states/

-----------

 

Bracing for battle, army evacuating Benghazi port area

4 November 2014

BENGHAZI: Libya’s Army urged residents to evacuate a central district of Benghazi that is home to its seaport, a spokesman said on Sunday, as it prepares a military operation against radical fighters in the country’s second-largest city.

At least 230 people have been killed since the army, backed by forces loyal to a former general, have waged an offensive against radical groups in the eastern city, part of chaos plaguing the oil producer.

“The chief of staff asks all residents of the Assabri district to leave by 12 noon (on Monday),” said Ahmed Al-Mesmari, spokesman for the chief of staff.

The district is city’s main commercial area and also home to the seaport used for wheat and petrol imports.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/654671

-----------

 

Burkina Faso army says it will cede power

04 Nov 2014

Burkina Faso's army will cede power to a transitional government and appoint a new head of state, Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Zida, the country's interim president, has said.

"We are going to move very fast, but be careful not to commit a mistake that might damage our country," Zida said on Monday.

"We are not here to usurp power and to sit in place and run the country, but to help the country come out of this situation," Zida said, adding that a new head of state would be chosen following broad discussions with various groups.

His announcement came in the wake of crisis meetings late on Sunday and Monday between Zida and opposition leaders after thousands gathered to denounce his appointment in the central Place de la Nation - the scene of violent protests last week during which the parliament was set alight.

Zida did not specify that the proposed leader would be a civilian and did not provide a timetable.

The African Union's Peace and Security Council, meanwhile, decided on Monday to give the military two weeks to return the country to constitutional rule or face sanctions.

"We ask the armed forces to transfer power to the civil authorities, and the council has determined a period of two weeks for the transfer," Simeon Oyono Esono, head of the AU's Peace and Security Council, said on Monday following a meeting at the bloc's headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

"The African Union is convinced that the change has been against democracy. However, we know that popular pressure led to the resignation of the president.

"Those circumstances were taken by the armed forces to get into power, but it originated from the people," Esono said.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/11/burkina-faso-army-says-it-will-cede-power-201411442519879550.html

-----------

 

Blast hits Shia ceremony in Nigeria's Yobe

04 Nov 2014

A bomb targeting Shia pilgrims observing the holy day of Ashoura has exploded in Yobe state in northeastern Nigeria killing dozens of people.

The blast happened on Monday in the city of Potiskum, as Shia Muslims were marking the religious occasion.

Conflicting reports quoting sources from the community said at least 32 people were killed.

The worshippers were gathered outside a seminary in the Tsohuwar Kasuwa area of the city, after visiting the palace of the local emir, witness Ibrahim Maina and local police told the AFP news agency.

"It was a huge crowd and many of them were affected," the policemen told the AFP news agency. "The priority is to rescue the injured."

The type of blast has not yet been confirmed, and no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a separate incident on Sunday, gunmen armed with dynamite freed at least 50 inmates in a raid on a prison in central Nigeria's Kogi state, the same facility attacked by Boko Haram fighters in 2012, police said on Monday.

"They blew up the thing with dynamite," national police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu told AFP.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/11/blast-hits-shia-ceremony-nigeria-yobe-201411312272157976.html

-----------

 

Mideast

 

'Drone' Strikes Kill 20 Qaeda Suspects in Yemen

November 04, 2014

SANNA:  Overnight drone strikes killed at least 20 suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, where Washington has conducted a sustained drone war against jihadist leaders, tribal sources and witnesses said on Tuesday.

The twin raids targeted Al-Qaeda positions near Rada, a central town which has been the focus of deadly fighting between the jihadists and advancing Shiite rebels, the sources said.

The United States is the only country operating drones over Yemen, but US officials rarely confirm individual strikes.

Washington regards Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch as its most dangerous and there has been no let-up in the drone war even as the jihadists battle the Shiite rebels alongside Sunni tribes.

The rebels, known as Huthis from the name of their leading family, overran the capital Sanaa in September and have since advanced south from the mainly Shiite northern highlands into Sunni majority areas.

The Rada area is confessionally mixed and has seen deadly clashes in recent weeks.

Armed tribesmen killed 22 rebels in a series of attacks in the area late on Monday, tribal sources said.

The attacks came as a four-day ultimatum expired for the rebels to withdraw, one tribal source told AFP.

The rebels captured several areas around Rada late last month after a suspected US drone strike and raids by the Yemeni air force killed dozens of Al-Qaeda militants and their Sunni tribal allies.

Full report at:

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/drone-strikes-kill-20-qaeda-suspects-in-yemen-616129

------

 

13 executions in 11 days at central prison of Uromieh, Iran

01 November 2014

HRANA News Agency – From Saturday, 18th October, till Wednesday, 29th October, within three rounds 13 prisoners were executed in the central prison of Uromieh (Darya) by hanging.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), on Saturday, 18th October, 5 prisoners named; Nejat Karimi, Esfandiar Ghahremani, Bahram Sadighi, A’rash Sigari and Fakhredin Zendehdeh with drug-related charges were taken to solitary confinements and just after the midnight their execution verdict were carried out.

Also in the early hours of Monday, 27th October, 5 other prisoners were executed by hanging in central prison of Orumieh. Among them, Salahedin Behnam, Rashid Alizadeh, Reza Tahmasbi and Younes Golbahar with drug-related charges and Latif Mohammadi with armed robbery charge were executed in central prison of Uromieh.

Full report at:

http://www.iranpressnews.com/english/source/179783.html

-----------

 

Middle East violence not sectarian conflict: Hezbollah

Nov 3, 2014

The leader of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah says violence in the Middle East is not a sectarian conflict.

Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah made the comments while personally addressing large crowds of Lebanese people on the occasion of the ninth day of the lunar month of Muharram, known as Tasua, in the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Monday.

"We must realize that the conflict in the region is not a sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shias,” Nasrallah said.

He went on to add that a political conflict is actually going on between different powers in the region.

The Hezbollah secretary general referred to the ISIL’s atrocities against Izadi Kurds in Iraq and residents of the northern Syrian city of Kobani along with the Takfiri infighting as proof that the violence has nothing to do with sectarianism.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/11/03/384673/middle-east-conflict-not-sectarian/

-----------

 

Japanese Muslims meet at Tokyo Mosque built by Turkey

03 November 2014

In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.

World Bulletin/News Desk

Tokyo Camii, or the Tokyo Mosque, is a curious sight, both stunning and subtle. Despite the grand Turkish design, the mosque hides between apartment blocks in the quiet residential neighbourhood of Yoyogi Uehara.

Samee Siddiqui from Al Jazeera reported the rich Muslim culture in Japan in recent post. According to the report, construction of the current incarnation of the mosque was completed in 2000, but the mosque has a much longer history. It was in the 1930s when Japan first saw a significant resident Muslim population and the first mosques were established. The Nagoya Mosque was built in 1931 and the Kobe Mosque in 1935 by Indian-Muslim migrants.

Tatar Muslim migrants escaping the Russian revolution made up the largest ethnic group in Japan by the 1930s and established the original Tokyo Mosque in 1938.

While the Tokyo Camii does not have the same support and contacts with Japanese government and large conglomerates in contemporary times, the mosque was rebuilt using funds from the Turkish government and is both a religious venue and an ethno-cultural space hosting wedding ceremonies, fashion shows, plays, exhibitions and conferences.

The Yuai International School in the Mosque is currently offering Saturday classes ranging from Islamic studies and Arabic, to karate and calligraphy.

The school is run by the Islamic Centre of Japan (ICJ), a post-WWII Muslim institution established in 1966.

In the absence of official statistics on Muslims in Japan, demographic estimates range from between 70,000 to 120,000 Muslim residents with about 10 percent of that number being Japanese, in a country with an overall population of more than 127 million, according to the report.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/muslim-world/147644/japanese-muslims-meet-at-tokyo-mosque-built-by-turkey

-----------

 

Acid Attacks on Women - New Grounds for Harassing Journalists in Iran

29 OCTOBER 2014

Embarrassed by a public outcry about a spate of acid attacks on women in the central city of Isfahan since the start of October, the Iranian authorities have been threatening news media and arresting journalists and netizens.

After at least seven women had been the victims of acid attacks, scores of demonstrators gathered outside the lawcourts in Isfahan and the parliament building in Tehran on 22 October to demand an “end to violence against women.”

Several government officials and media outlets that support the Revolutionary Guards such as Tasnim and FARS have accused some media outlets of “excessive” coverage of the attacks and of “questioning the role of organizations that monitor compliance with correct women’s dress standards [Islamic Hijab].”

Most of the victims of the acid attacks are said to have been women who, in the regime’s eyes, were not “properly veiled.”

Islamic Republic prosecutor-general Ebrahim Raissi said on 27 October “we cannot close our eyes to the media crime of disturbing public opinion.” Ali Younessi, an adviser to President Hassan Rouhani, said, “an Iranian cannot have committed such a violent act” but “if the person responsible turns out to be Iranian, he must be under the influence of counter-revolutionary groups based abroad.”

Tehran’s Friday prayer leader Ahmad Khatami, an ally of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said on 26 October, “Media that accuse the people who monitor observance of proper social behaviour, blaming them for the acid attacks, must be prosecuted.”

Mohammad Javad Larijani, Iran’s representative at the UN Human Rights Council, referred in an interview for Iranian national TV to “the possibility of a foreign state’s support in the acid attacks affair.”

Full report at:

https://en.rsf.org/iran-acid-attacks-on-women-new-grounds-29-10-2014,47172.html

-----------

 

Israel continues to impose restrictions on Aqsa Mosque

Nov 4, 2014

Israeli forces reportedly continue to impose restrictions on Palestinian worshippers visiting the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

According to reports, Israeli troops have closed many of the entry gates to prohibit men under 40 from entering the compound amid escalating tensions in al-Quds.

Meanwhile, a number of Israeli Knesset members recently visited the holy site, provoking further anger among Palestinians.

The mosque, widely revered by Muslims, has been the scene of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers and troops in recent weeks.

Tel Aviv has arrested over 100 people in the city over the past two weeks after the latest round of protests erupted in the occupied Palestinian territories over restrictions against the access of Muslim worshipers to the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has denounced the Israeli move as “a declaration of war.”

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/11/04/384717/israel-continues-alaqsa-restrictions/

-----------

 

Abbas letter of condolences outrages Israeli leaders

November 04, 2014

JERUSALEM - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has outraged Israeli leaders by calling the attempted assassin of a Jewish ultra-rightwing rabbi a “martyr” and the soldiers who killed him “terrorist gangs”.

Abbas on Sunday sent a letter of condolence to the family of 32-year-old Muataz Hijazi, killed by Israeli police who said he had tried to murder Yehuda Glick.

The US-born Glick, who was seriously wounded in the shooting attack, is an ultranationalist whose demand that Jews be allowed to pray at the Al-Aqsa compound in east Jerusalem outrages Muslims.

The compound - which Jews call the Temple Mount - is the third holiest site in Islam and regarded as the holiest in Judaism as the location of the first and second temples.

In his letter, which AFP has seen, Abbas expressed his “anger and condemnation after news of the criminal, despicable assassination by the Israeli occupation army’s terrorist gangs of Muataz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi, who died a martyr defending the rights of our people and the holy places”.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/04-Nov-2014/abbas-letter-of-condolences-outrages-israeli-leaders

-----------

 

A dangerous balancing act in Yemen

03 Nov 2014

Sanaa - In September, Yemenis were told it would be a matter of days - or weeks - before a new prime minister and government were appointed, restoring at least some stability after an extended period of volatility.

More than a month later, Yemen has a new prime minister, Khaled Bahah. But he is struggling to form a new government, and is in a race against time to save the career of the man who gave him the job, President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

On September 21, a peace deal was signed by Yemen's political establishment and Houthi fighters who just seized control of the capital. The Houthis conditioned ending their siege on the creation of a new government, to be partially approved by the Houthis. It took two attempts to find a prime minister with broad political support - another stipulation of the deal - but since being appointed in mid-October, Bahah has been unable to build consensus over the makeup of the new government, widening an already large political vacuum.

In a speech at a conference of tribal elders organised in late October, the Houthis laid down an ultimatum for the Yemeni president to form a government in 10 days, or, ominously, "the next meeting [would] be in the presidential palace". It gave Hadi and Bahah an effective deadline of November 10 to put a government together.

But that job will not be made any easier amid anger within the General People's Congress (GPC), Yemen's historical ruling party and biggest parliamentary bloc, over reports that the UN Security Council is on the verge of announcing tough sanctions on their founder - leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, Hadi's predecessor and greatest political rival.

Al Jazeera first reported the sanctions plan, which would also see leading Houthi commanders sanctioned, on October 21. The Reuters news agency reported two weeks later that the US had formally petitioned the UN Security Council to sanction Saleh and two Houthi military commanders, accusing Saleh and the Houthis of colluding in a coup attempt to overthrow Hadi. The council is likely to make an announcement on the move before the end of the week.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/11/dangerous-balancing-act-yemen-2014113111621561909.html

-----------

 

Iran defense might non-negotiable: Iran’s UN envoy

Nov 4, 2014

ran’s envoy to the UN says Tehran will continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but issues related to the country’s defense programs are non-negotiable, Press TV reports.

“Based on our principled position, we continue to cooperate with the IAEA on clarifying some of the ambiguities. However, as stated by Iran’s high-ranking officials, areas related to our national security like the defense capabilities are not subjected to any negotiations at any level,” said Iran’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Gholam-Hossein Dehqani.

The senior Iranian diplomat made the remarks in an address to a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.

The Iranian envoy also urged the IAEA to be impartial and respect the right of the country to develop peaceful nuclear energy, adding, “Observing full impartiality and conducting the technical mandate of the IAEA is essential for preserving its authority and credibility and member states’ trust.”

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/11/04/384714/iran-defense-might-nonnegotiable/

-----------

 

North America

 

Muslims Lean towards Democrats; Polls Favour Republicans in US Mid-Term

November 04, 2014

WASHINGTON - Latest round of polling suggests that Republicans are likely to win at least the six seats they need to take control of the Senate in Tuesday’s midterm elections, and might pick up eight or more.

A Republican victory, according to political observers, would be seen as a repudiation of President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, and would give Republicans the power to set the agenda in the Senate, something they haven’t had in eight years.

Currently, Democrats have a working 55-seat majority in a 100-member Senate, including support from two independents. Republicans need to pick up a net six seats to gain control, since Vice President Joe Biden, who presides over the Senate, would break a 50-50 tie in favour of the Democrats.

As of Monday morning, polls predict that Republicans are on the verge of gaining eight seats, and perhaps more.  The most recent HuffPost Pollster forecast gives Republicans a 74 percent chance to take control of the Senate.

The Republican Party will retain control of the 435-member House of Representatives, according to various polls.  Governorships in 36 states and territories are also at stake in Tuesday’s midterm election. The election season, though termed as inconsequential by some political experts, has seen campaigns focusing on domestic issues like job insecurity, healthcare and immigration reforms.  A series of international crises including U.S. involvement in a new Middle Eastern conflict in the form offight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Ukraine standoff, relations with Russia and China, as well as Ebola fears are adding to concerns among Americans, weary of long wars and economic insecurity.

 The Obama White House will continue to steer foreign policy priorities even if the Republicans get control of the Capitol Hill but will need Congressional backing for any new major international initiatives.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/04-Nov-2014/polls-favour-republicans-in-us-mid-term-muslims-lean-towards-democrats

-----------

 

US not responsible for Iraq gains against ISIL: Abadi

Nov 4, 2014

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the recent military gains against the ISIL Takfiri militants have been achieved by Iraqi forces and not through US airstrikes.

Al-Abadi made the comments on Monday while visiting the holy city of Karbala, where millions of Shia Muslims gathered to mourn the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/11/04/384686/us-not-responsible-for-iraq-gains/

-----------

 

US downplays setback created by al-Nusra Front

Nov 4, 2014

The US Defense Department has downplayed the setback created after Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists overran strategic northern areas in Syria occupied by US-backed militants.

Rebels from the Syrian Revolutionary Front and the Harakat Haz had surrendered to Al-Qaeda's affiliate al-Nusra Front in Syria with some fighters pledging to join the group.

"There are battles all the time between these various groups, and territory trades hands in these local areas regularly," Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said during a press briefing in Washington on Monday.

He said such reports are often exaggerated for unknown reason. “Often these battles and trading of territory are talked about in exaggerated terms for various reasons, but right now we haven’t seen any indications of something big or catastrophic.”

The Nusra fighters have made advancements along an area north of Syria which borders Turkey and driven out US-backed fighters from their strongholds.

The US has armed rebels in Syria with heavy weapons, including TOW anti-tank missiles and GRAD rockets.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/11/04/384684/us-downplays-setback-created-by-alnusra-front/

-----------

 

US Muslim Congressman Faces Reelection, Islamic State

November 04, 2014

MINNESOTA—

American voters say the fear of the Islamic State group is one of their most important concerns in the upcoming mid-term elections.

President Barack Obama’s decision to attack Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, and the fact that some American Muslims have joined the Islamic State fighters has put some Democratic candidates in a tough spot.

It may have put Congressman Keith Ellison in a tougher spot than most. He is the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress.

Ellison entered Congress in 2006 - as a Democrat opposed to the Iraq War.

Ways to reduce IS threat

As he hopes to retain his seat for a fifth consecutive term, he is now a supporter of the president’s war against the Islamic State group.

“It’s tough. I do think that ISIS is a threat. But I also believe that the most important ways to confront ISIS are not necessarily military in nature," Ellison said, referring to another term for the Islamist group.

"Cutting off their ability to sell oil. Cutting off their financial flows. Stopping their recruits from going through Turkey or countries in the region. Making sure the government of Iraq rules in an inclusive way and minimizes sectarianism. These are all non-military things that will reduce the threat of ISIS," he said.

Approximately 100 Americans have fought for the Islamic State group. At least 10 are from Minnesota's capital, Minneapolis, which Ellison represents.   

“We have to tell our young people, if they want to do something good and constructive for their faith, what they need to do is help the poor. Help the less fortunate," Ellison said.

"They need to get involved in the civic life of America. They can criticize any U.S. policy that they want to, but it needs to be through the ballot box, use their First Amendment rights. To take up arms with a foreign power against their own country, is simply not acceptable," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/content/us-muslim-congressman-faces-reelection-isis/2506865.html

-----------

 

U.S. Muslim leaders say FBI pressuring people to become informants

By JOHN M. GLIONNA

November 04, 2014

slim leaders nationwide say the FBI is pressuring some Islamic community members and religious leaders to spy on fellow Muslims as part of a government effort to combat extremist recruiting in the U.S.

The campaign has intensified in recent weeks, with mosques in California, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, Florida and other states reporting unannounced visits by FBI agents, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.

In a nationwide alert, the group urged mosque and community leaders to seek the advice of an attorney if they are approached by the FBI for questioning. They worried that the civil rights of numerous imams were being violated as the religious leaders were asked to meet with FBI agents, who then pressed them to inform on members of their congregations.

“It’s happening all over the country," said Ibrahim Hooper, a Washington-based spokesman for CAIR. “The agents are approaching these community leaders at mosques with basic questions that quickly turn into something different: pressure to become informants.”

Leaders at several mosques in California and Minnesota contacted for comment said they were afraid to speak out for fear of becoming a government target.

The FBI would not comment on the CAIR alert, but spokesman Paul Bresso said in an email that the agency respected the rights of all citizens and “we value our partnerships with the Arab, Muslim and Sikh communities as they are partners in our efforts to stem crime, violence and civil rights violations."

Full report at:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-muslims-fbi-20141103-story.html

-----------

 

Muslim Population in US: New Poll Shows None of Us Have Any Idea

11/03/2014

About 1.6 billion of the world’s population are Muslim, collectively comprising the world’s second largest religion and 23 percent of the world’s population. Contrary to popular association, the vast majority of Muslims live in Asia and the Pacific Rim, rather than the Middle East. The Middle Eastern Islamic population is more comparable to Sub-Saharan Africa’s 248 million than Asia’s nearly one billion. But the distribution of Islam throughout the world is not the only perception radically distorted by our current foreign policy and political fixation on Muslim populations. It turns out that most of us don’t even know how many Muslims live in the US.

Muslim Population in the US - Misperceptions

A new poll conducted by Ipsos MORI, the second largest polling organization in the United Kingdom, tracks perceptions varying nationalities have about the demographics of their own country. The results reveal the incredible disparity between our perception of the Muslim population and the reality in the US. And while the poll can’t reveal the motivations behind the way Americans answered, drawing a connection between our demographic misperceptions and the current media and political fixation on radical Islam seems reasonable.

Full report at:

http://www.idigitaltimes.com/muslim-population-us-new-poll-shows-none-us-have-any-idea-392930

-----------

 

US supports Pakistan in war against terror

November 04, 2014

ISLAMABAD: United States Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson said on Monday that his country remains steadfast in its commitment to the people of Pakistan in their efforts to counter terrorism, uphold the rule of law, and build a peaceful future for themselves and their children.

In a statement, the ambassador said that the United States condemns the senseless terrorist act at the Wagah Border. “On behalf of the American people, I extend my heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims as well as to the government and people of Pakistan.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/04-Nov-2014/us-supports-pakistan-in-war-against-terror

-----------

 

Europe

 

Muslim population in French prisons sparks integration debate

30 October 2014

The question surrounding Muslims’ integration in France has returned to the forefront of public discussion this week, following a report that 60 percent of inmates in the country come from “Muslim religion or culture.”

Le Figaro reported rightist MP Guillaume Larrive as saying French prisons are susceptible to Islamist extremism, and “several hundred prisoners” might have been radicalized.

He suggested that “specialized anti-radicalization units” be formed for inmates who had returned from jihad, as well as increasing surveillance.

Mathieu Guidere, a French university scholar of Islam, told Al Arabiya News that “the alarming number of Muslim inmates in France is a direct consequence of the failure to integrate minorities.”

The estimated 40,000 Muslims in French prisons reflects persistent social divisions between Muslims and other French citizens, Guidere added.

Other analysts pointed to economic factors. “Muslim prisoners in France are usually unemployed and living in the most poverty-stricken suburbs,” Raphaël Liogier, a French sociologist and political scientist, told Al Arabiya News.

They are often second-generation immigrants of Arab origin who arrive in France in complicated financial situations, he added. “They’re usually frustrated, and end up committing crimes as revenge against society.”

Political weapon?

However, some analysts said Larrive was using the issue as a political weapon against President Francois Hollande and his government.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/analysis/2014/10/30/Muslim-population-in-French-prisons-sparks-integration-debate.html

-----------

 

Old Navy Port Trying to Keep Muslim Youth From War

Nov 4, 2014

Royal Navy sailors used to swagger out of this great seaport at the zenith of the British Empire, manning the warships and trading vessels that made this nation rich and powerful. Today a handful of young men are again leaving to go to war — but this time they have sworn allegiance to foreign terrorists.

It is a sign of the times that Portsmouth, with its tradition of naval glory, finds itself trying to persuade young British Muslims not to follow six locals who traveled to Syria to join forces with Islamic State extremists battling President Bashar Assad.

Numbers alone might be a deterrent: Four or the six are dead, one is in jail, and only one is still believed active on the battlefield. But police, political leaders and Islamic community activists believe those facts alone may not convince angry young men that joining the Islamic State group — which has declared Britain an enemy — will destroy their lives.

The front of the mosque most of the young men attended before departing for Syria is decorated with an elaborate mosaic that says: "Peace Is Better." Syed Haque, chairman of the Jami Mosque's advisory council, is mystified that some of the congregation has chosen war instead.

"All those boys went, they were university students, they were working," he said. "There was nothing in their faces showing they were miserable or had problems at home or weren't being looked after by their family."

"Everybody is talking about this now: How come we didn't know anything about it? Now that we know, what can we do? If those boys went, there could be other people thinking of doing it. How do we prevent that?"

Nationwide, British officials estimate that some 600 Britons have traveled to Syria to join the fighting. There have been official warnings that some have already come back to plot terrorist attacks inside Britain. The national threat level has been raised to "severe," indicating an attack is considered highly likely.

Police officers have been warned to be vigilant about their own safety. A fighter who returned from Syria was part of one British group accused of plotting a terror attack against police, and recent attacks in Canada and the United States against soldiers and police have made Britain wary.

Officials say the Portsmouth fighters, all of Bangladeshi origin, are just a drop in the bucket, with most of the Syria-bound jihadis coming from the metropolitan sprawls around London and Birmingham. But Portsmouth's problems are being replicated in dozens of similar small cities throughout Britain.

Full report at:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/navy-port-muslim-youth-war-26670541

-----------

 

'Violent and terrible’: UK Muslim leaders condemn ISIS

October 29, 2014

Leaders of Portsmouth’s Muslim community have condemned the Islamic State (IS formerly ISIS/ISIL) as a “violent and terrible regime” in an attempt to stop more young people travelling to join the fight in Syria.

Imams, with the city council and police, have signed a joint statement urging members of the community not to join the extremist Muslim group.

“We are united in our condemnation of hatred, violence and racism. We are united in our condemnation of the group known as the Islamic State,” the statement read.

The comments come with the news that a fourth man from Portsmouth has been killed in the Syrian conflict. A photograph of the body of Mehdi Hassan, 19, was published on Twitter on October 17.

“Support for the group which calls itself Islamic State or Caliphate is illegal, and utterly opposed to everything that those who follow the Islamic faith believe in,” the statement adds.

Three other Portsmouth men, Iftekar Jaman, 23, Mamunur Roshid, 24, and Hamidur Rahman, 25, were killed in Syria after travelling to join the conflict in October 2013.

Mashudur Choudhury, 31, traveled to Syria, but returned to the UK after a few weeks to become the first UK citizen convicted of terrorist charges in connection with IS activity.

A fifth Portsmouth man, Assad Uzzaman 25, is believed to still be in the country.

On October 26, coordinator of the Portsmouth Interfaith Forum, Taki Jaffer, told BBC 5Live he believes social media is behind the radicalization of the town’s young people. He claimed that the internet was responsible for promoting “evil propaganda.”

Before his death, Mehdi Hassan maintained a high level of social media interaction while fighting in the conflict, using Facebook and Twitter, to alert his UK-based family and friends of changes to his situation.

“These are people who do not believe in Islam as far as I'm concerned because what they are propagating is nothing to do with Islam,” Jaffer added.

Full report at:

http://rt.com/uk/200431-muslim-leaders-condemn-isis/

-----------

 

Europe warns Russia over Ukraine rebel poll

November 04, 2014 

DONETSK, Ukraine - Europe on Monday warned Russia to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty as Moscow turned the screws on Kiev by recognising controversial rebel polls and fighting flared in the separatist east.

Elections in the pro-Russian separatist area deepened international tensions over Ukraine, raising fears that a shaky two-month old truce could collapse.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s top spokesman described as “incomprehensible” Moscow’s endorsement of the vote - in which the Kremlin-backed candidates faced no serious competition - and warned it would “further aggravate the crisis.”

The angry European response raised the temperature in the West’s dispute with Russia over its support for separatists who have torn a swathe of Ukraine’s industrial heartland out from the pro-Western government’s control.

Russia, which risks an intensifying of already punishing EU and US sanctions, ignored Western appeals ahead of the vote and said it “respected” the outcome of the poll that the Ukrainian government branded an illegal “farce.”

“Those elected have received a mandate to resolve the practical issues of re-establishing normal life in the region,” Moscow’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister piled further pressure on Kiev by demanding it call a definitive end to military operations in the east and talk to the rebels on equal terms.

“This work can bring results only on condition of equal dialogue based on mutual respect, with Kiev renouncing military operations and the notorious ‘anti-terror operation’,” Grigory Karasin told state news agency TASS.

Separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine described the polls as a step towards formalising their de facto independence from Ukraine after seven months of fighting in which the United Nations says more than 4,000 people have died.

Russia is likely to be alone in recognising the vote that was held under the watchful eyes of rebel gunmen and boycotted by mainstream international observers.

The fear in Ukraine now is that the vote could finally spell the end for a battered September ceasefire deal.

An AFP journalist in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk reported heavy shelling between government and rebel forces after a day’s lull around the ruins of the city’s disputed international airport.

Fuelling fears that rebels could be readying a fresh offensive, Kiev on Monday repeated claims that it was seeing “intensive” movements of troops and weapons across the frontier.

International observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe - which has been tasked with monitoring the ceasefire - said that an unmanned drone used as part of their mission was shot at from rebel territory Sunday, but not hit.

The separatist uprisings in a corner of Ukraine with long-held pro-Russian leanings started shortly after Russian troops invaded and annexed Crimea, a southern Ukrainian region, in March.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/04-Nov-2014/europe-warns-russia-over-ukraine-rebel-poll

-----------

 

Quran-phone: Russian company creates first mobile for Muslims

November 02, 2014

A unique cellphone solely for Muslims – with pre-installed Quran in Russian and Arabic and “prayer alarm” – is to go on sale in Russia from the end of November.

Created by BQ-Mobile, the cell phone is expected to become a popular device with Muslims in Russia. A built-in navigator automatically determines the user’s location and also points the way to the East, where Mecca lies.

“Before creating the device, experts studied the interests of the faithful. They asked what kind of gadgets would be useful to them in everyday life. The mobile phone menu is very simple and clear, the user can in a few clicks turn the Suras (chapters) of the Quran,” said Timur Imaev, a representative of the Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Russia, as cited by the TASS news agency.

Full report at:

http://rt.com/news/200171-muslim-phone-russia-sale/

-----------

 

South Asia

 

Bangladesh-China ties to be strengthened

November 4, 2014

The friendly relations between Bangladesh and China will be bolstered further in the coming days, Awami League lawmaker Saber Hossain Chowdhury stated at a meeting with Liu Jianchao, assistant foreign minister of China.

Full report at:

http://bd.thedailystar.net/city/bangladesh-china-ties-to-be-strengthened-48792

-----------

 

Pak-Afghan border sealed for two days on account of Ashura

By Sardar Sikander Shaheen

November 04, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday sealed the Pak-Afghan border for all kinds of border crossings for two days as part of its enhanced security measures taken at the porous international border on account of Ashura.

The decision followed the complete halt of the civilian movement at the border till tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. Pakistan Army, according to informed military sources, communicated to the Afghan National Army (ANA) regarding its decision to seal the Pak-Afghan Torkham-Khyber Agency border last week. The reports of suspicious movement at the Pak-Afghan border involving alleged instances of unauthorised border crossings into Pakistani side in the recent days prompted the Pakistani authorities to take the decision, the officials said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/04-Nov-2014/pak-afghan-border-sealed-for-two-days

-----------

 

Bangladesh's SC has upheld the death penalty

03 Nov 2014

Bangladesh's Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty handed down for a Jamaat-e-Islami leader for atrocities committed more than four decades ago, the latest in a spate of rulings against the Islamist party's officials.

Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, 62, assistant secretary-general of the party, was found guilty on Monday of genocide and torture of unarmed civilians during the 1971 war to breakaway from Pakistan, by a special war crimes tribunal in May last year.

"Under Bangladesh jail code, the execution of an accused could be carried out within 21 days and before 28 days of the Supreme Court's latest upholding of a death sentence," Al Jazeera's Tanvir Chowdhury reported from Dhaka.

"The jail authorities will start the process of his execution after getting the certified copy of the verdict," our correspondent said, adding that Kamaruzzaman can only file a review petition to "buy a little more time, or hope for presidential clemency, which is unlikely to be granted under the present government".

On Sunday, media tycoon Mir Quasem Ali, who is also a key figure in Bangladesh's largest Islamist party, was sentenced to death for war crimes.

This comes only days after the party's top leader, Motiur Rahman Nizami, was sentenced to death for heading an armed group in 1971.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2014/11/bangladesh-party-chief-hang-war-crimes-20141133489996784.html

-----------

 

Deputy governor among dead in Afghan attacks

03 Nov 2014

Attacks across Afghanistan, including the fatal shooting of a deputy provincial governor, have killed five people in the past two days as the country commemorated the most revered religious day in the Shia calendar.

A bomb exploded on Monday in the main bazaar of Gardez, eastern Paktia province's capital, killing three civilians and wounding 14, said General Zelmai Oryakhail, the local police chief.

A public holiday in Afghanistan, Ashoura sees Shia Muslim commemoratee the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq in the seventh century. Some Sunnis also mark the day.

On Sunday, a gunman in southern Kandahar province attacked Deputy Governor Abdul Qadeem Patyall, shooting at him through the window of a classroom at Kandahar University, said Samim Khpolwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

Patyall, who was studying to become a teacher, was seriously wounded and later died, Khpolwak said.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2014/11/deputy-governor-among-dead-afghan-attacks-201411314142968679.html

-----------

 

Kamaruzzaman transferred to Dhaka jail

November 4, 2014

Convicted war criminal and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman has been transferred to Dhaka central jail from Kashimpur jail in Gazipur today, a day after the Supreme Court had upheld his death penalty. 

He was transferred to the Dhaka around 2:10pm today, Farman Ali, senior jail super of Dhaka central jail, told The Daily Star.

The SC yesterday upheld the death penalty for as a war crimes tribunal awarded him the capital punishment a year and a half ago.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/kamaruzzaman-transferred-to-dhaka-jail-48835

-----------

 

Southeast Asia

 

The Right to Say ‘God’ Divides a Diverse Nation

By THOMAS FULLERNOV

3, 2014

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia — As the students knelt in a circle at a Christian kindergarten near the shores of the South China Sea, a 6-year-old girl in pigtails read out a chapter from a children’s Bible: “Sepuluh hukum dari Allah” — God’s Ten Commandments.

Technically, she broke the law.

According to a series of government orders and rulings by Malaysia’s Islamic councils, the word for God in the Malay language — “Allah” — is reserved for Muslims. Malay-language Bibles are banned everywhere except inside churches. State regulations ban a list of words, including Allah, in any non-Muslim context.

Malaysia, with its collage of ethnic groups and religions, has a long history of tensions over issues ranging from dietary differences to the economic preferences enshrined in Malaysian law for the Malay Muslim majority.

But there is probably no dispute more fundamental and more emotionally charged than who owns the word God.

For Malaysia’s religious minorities, the government’s ban on non-Muslims using the word Allah, and the repeated seizures by government officials of Malay-language Bibles, is enough to make a smiling and cheery kindergarten teacher snap in anger.

“Honestly I think it’s nonsense,” said Belinda Buntot, the teacher in the kindergarten here on the northern tip of the island of Borneo. “Of course we use Allah. We can’t teach the kids without it.”

The government’s National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs deliberated on the issue of whether non-Muslims have the right to use the word Allah and issued a fatwa. “The conference decided that the word Allah is a sacred word specific only to the religion and followers of Islam and it cannot be used or made to be similar with religions other than Islam,” said the fatwa, which was posted on the government’s “e-fatwa” website.

Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, and Muslims are governed by Shariah, though Christians, Hindus and Buddhists make up sizable minorities. Outside the country, the government has sought to cultivate an image of a modern, moderate Islamic state, where 60 percent of the population is Muslim, and minorities live harmoniously.

But Christians, who make up 10 percent of the population, say the Allah ban is one of many signs that a conservative Islamic movement is steering an increasingly intolerant government policy.

In recent weeks, the religious authorities have barred Muslims from taking part in Halloween and scolded them for petting dogs, which the state Islamic authorities view as unclean.

The government’s Department of Islamic Development did not respond to a request to explain the official position on the Allah ban, but over the years the government has offered a number of reasons.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/04/world/asia/in-malaysia-allah-is-reserved-for-muslims-only.html

-----------

 

Ministers urge unity among communities in anti-ISIS fight

PUBLISHED ON NOV 4, 2014

BY CHARISSA YONG

Singapore needs to play its part in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group because, in doing so, it contributes to its own security, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday.

His comments followed Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen's announcement in Parliament that Singapore will deploy military personnel and contribute equipment to the multi-national coalition forces fighting ISIS.

All Singaporeans are affected by the ISIS terror threat, said three ministers yesterday - including Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim - as they called for unity among communities here.

"The threat posed by ISIS affects all of us, in all countries. Singapore is not immune," said Mr Teo. This is why Singapore will send Singapore Armed Forces liaison and planning officers, a tanker aircraft for air-to- air refuelling, and an imagery analysis team, Dr Ng said yesterday.

At the same time, the Government is reaching out to explain the thinking behind the decision to contribute to the fight against ISIS. Yesterday, it distributedletters to grassroots leaders on the ISIS threat, so that they can better explain the situation to residents who ask about it. The letters outline the Government's stand on the terror group.

Singapore has also acted to strengthen its community bonds and counter extremist ideology to help prevent Singaporeans from becoming radicalised, said Mr Teo.

He praised community efforts to tackle the ISIS threat.

"It is heartening to see how all communities have worked with and supported one another in our efforts to tackle this challenge," he said in a statement.

He singled out the Malay-Muslim community for taking a firm position against the violent actions of ISIS.

Full report at:

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/ministers-urge-unity-among-communities-anti-isis-fight-2

-----

 

Indonesia eyes consolidation, new laws for Islamic finance

November 04, 2014

Authorities in Indonesia want to reshape the country's Islamic finance industry by encouraging consolidation and building a new regulatory system, as the sector plays catch-up to more mature markets in Malaysia and the Middle East.

Regulators are finalising a five-year roadmap to be presented this month to industry players, who have repeatedly called for clearer laws. "This is quite a deep review and I'm not surprised if the roadmap we have in the end is a full-fledged revision of what we have had," Halim Alamsyah, deputy governor of Bank Indonesia, the country's central bank, told Reuters.

Indonesia has the world's biggest Muslim population but its Islamic finance market lags well behind that of neighbour Malaysia: Indonesia's Islamic banks held 4.9 per cent of total banking assets in the country last year compared with more than 20 per cent for their Malaysian counterparts.

The central bank and the country's financial services authority, Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK), are looking at ways to give regulatory support for Islamic banks to hold at least 15 per cent of the market by 2023. By that year, Islamic windows of conventional banks must be spun off into standalone entities.

The country is also looking at the idea of creating a large, standalone Islamic bank that could spur consolidation in the industry.

Such entities would have an ideal size of around US$16.5 billion, said Edy Setiadi, executive director for sharia banking at OJK. That is three times as large as the 65 trillion rupiah (S$6.9 billion) held by Indonesia's largest Islamic bank at present, PT Bank Syariah Mandiri.

The country's ministry of state-owned enterprises first proposed the idea together with the central bank and OJK. Three options are being considered: the merging of several existing Islamic banks, the conversion of an existing conventional bank into an Islamic one, and creating an altogether new Islamic bank.

Full report at:

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/banking-finance/indonesia-eyes-consolidation-new-laws-for-islamic-finance

-----------

 

Handpicked defense minister: Between strategy and keen interest

Imanuddin Razak

November 04 2014

The Cabinet of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has drawn severe criticism from the general public in regards to the new Cabinet members’ capacity and track records. Among those under the microscope is Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu.

The eventual appointment of Ryamizard, a 1974 graduate of the Army Academy and a retired four-star general, has been strongly criticized as going against the post-1998 reformist and democratic tradition of the last three Indonesian presidents who had appointed civilians for the defense minister portfolio — a tradition intended to demonstrate civilian supremacy over the military. Ryamizard’s appointment, according to some rights activists, showed the new president’s lack of commitment to human rights, especially in conflict areas.

Ryamizard’s professional background as an Army general is also in sharp contrast to President Jokowi’s “maritime-oriented” national development strategy, which will concentrate on the exploration and exploitation of maritime resources as well as the development of naval forces, in view of the country’s archipelagic geography, which sees water account for two-thirds of its territory. It is feared that Ryamizard’s Army background would lead to Army-biased policies and significantly reduce development programs for the other two branches of the armed forces — the Navy and the Air Force.

Throughout his military career, particularly during his terms at the top of the Army leadership, Ryamizard was criticized for his controversial and frequently harsh statements on some military- and security-related issues. To be frank, his statements oftentimes benefited journalists seeking bold and newsworthy quotes for their news reports.

The general has, for example, branded the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) soldiers convicted of killing Papuan independence fighter Theys Hiyo Eluay in 2002 as “heroes” and even accused rights groups of contributing nothing to the country. He always argued that he made such statements in his capacity as a member of the state security apparatus and in view of the state-people relationship, in which the state is responsible for protecting its people and the country’s territorial integrity.

Ryamizard is also known for revealing his nationalistic identity and sentiment, a feat frequently deemed by his critics as overrated. As an example, on some occasions, he was reported to have expressed his preference for Indonesia-trained officers rather than those trained overseas.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/11/04/news-analysis-handpicked-defense-minister-between-strategy-and-keen-interest.html

-----------

 

Indonesia’s First Family Blazes a Modest Trail in Southeast Asia

Nov 04, 2014

Jakarta. With a wife who eschews designer outfits and a daughter happy to queue at public health clinics, Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s family are setting a modest example in a region where leaders’ relatives are better known for greed and corruption.

Southeast Asia’s ruling families have not generally espoused austerity — from the controversial children of late Indonesian dictator Suharto to the wife of Malaysia’s premier, who is criticized as a spendthrift, and the excesses of Brunei’s royals.

In contrast, the wife, daughter and two sons of Widodo, known as Jokowi, appear humble and down to earth, more representative of the country’s rapidly emerging middle class than an aloof elite.

“Even now Jokowi has been elected president, they still want to live like other ordinary people,” Anggit Noegroho, a friend of Widodo’s who helped him during numerous political campaigns and has known the family for a decade, told Agence France-Presse.

They present the same image as 53-year-old Widodo himself, Indonesia’s first president from outside the political and military elites, who rose from a modest background and has pledged clean governance in one of the world’s most corrupt countries.

However observers caution that it could be tough going for a family unused to intense public scrutiny — and point out it is not hard for them to look good, given what went before.

The children of Widodo’s predecessor, ex-general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, sometimes courted controversy, with one of his sons having to fend off accusations of corruption, but it was the offspring of Suharto who provoke the most anger in Indonesia.

His six children allegedly amassed fortunes by enjoying privileged access to lucrative business deals during his three-decade rule, which was marked by massive corruption. He was toppled in 1998 by the Asian financial crisis.

The most controversial is youngest son Hutomo Mandala Putra, popularly known as Tommy.

A playboy with a taste for flashy cars, he served four years of a 15-year prison term for hiring hitmen to murder a judge who had sentenced him to jail for corruption. He was released in 2006.

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/indonesias-first-family-blaze-modest-trail-southeast-asia/

------------

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/christian-couple-burnt-alive-in-pakistan-for-allegedly-desecrating-the-quran/d/99863

 

Loading..

Loading..