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Islamic World News ( 7 Aug 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Do You Trust Me Enough For A Hug? Asks a Blindfolded Muslim Man in Mumbai







Blindfolded Muslim Man in Mumbai asks for a hug




India

Do You Trust Me Enough For A Hug? Asks a Blindfolded Muslim man in Mumbai

NCC Order Bars Muslim Students from Sporting Beard

On RSS-Backed Muslim Outfit’s Ulema Meet Menu: Discussion on Terror, Riots

Muslim Rickshaw-Puller Returns Rs 117,000 He Found On Roadside in Rajasthan

Muslim Family Makes Dresses for Kanwariyas in Gorakhpur

Security tightened along Pakistan border

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South Asia

Niloy Neel's Murder Tells Us Why Religion Should Be Hacked To Death

12 Soldiers Martyred, 115 Militants Killed In Past Two Days

Kabul Attacks Kill 36 People and Wounds Hundreds

Afghan Envoy Requests Samiul Haq to Facilitate Peace Process with Taliban

White House, Afghan Taliban deny reports of talks

NATO Member, Two Insurgents among Dozens Dead In Kabul

‘Soviet Taliban’ fighter found guilty of terrorism in US court

4th Secular Blogger Killed In Bangladesh In 6 Months

Blogger who criticized Muslim extremists is hacked to death

Bangladesh vows to 'hunt down' secular blogger's killers

Four Islamic militants booked in Bangladesh blogger murder case

Taliban claim responsibility for attack on Kabul police academy

Two members of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar militant group arrested in Kunar

Taliban clerics to announce decision about Mullah Omar’s successor soon

No progress in last three blogger murder cases

Hefazat leader Mufti Izharul arrested in Chittagong of Bangladesh

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Arab World

Haramain Imams and Grand Mufti Stress on Importance of Human Life

US Airdrops Weapons to ISIL as Iraqi Army Makes Gains

Source Reveals 4 Arab States' Plan to Help Syrian Gov't

Air Force Destroys Terrorists' Positions in Lattakia

Syrian Fighter Jets Target Nusra Strongholds across Hama Province

U.N. seeks accountability on Syria gas attacks

Global anguish over Asir blast

Grand Mosque imam denounces Asir attack as evil act, extreme corruption

Saudi Tank Destroyed in Yemenis' Retaliatory Attack

Rebels Suffer Heavy Losses in Syrian Army Offensives in Quneitra Province

Syria: Takfiri Terrorist Commanders Killed, Bomb-Making Workshop Destroyed in Zabadani

Daesh kidnaps 230 civilians in Syria

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North America

Myanmar: UN Rights Envoy Denied Access to Rohingya Muslim State

U.S. Muslims: Our Liberties Face ‘Assault’

Canadian Muslims Must Use Their Votes This Election

Democrats push for Iran nuclear deal survival

While America debates, Islamic Jihadists continue the killings

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Southeast Asia

Islamic State's Influence Stretching Thousands of Miles to Indonesia

Comments On Other Issues: Muhammadiyah’s ‘Progressive Islam’

PM joins Malay/Muslim groups and partners at National Day observance ceremony

Najib urges Umno to dominate social media and fight false news

Din bids farewell, tells successor to stay moderate

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Mideast

Iranian Speaker: US Helping Takfiri Terrorists under Guise of Anti-ISIL Coalition

Muslim Mayor Rebuilds Synagogue in Turkey

Turkey freezes assets of Saleh and Houthi leaders

Yemen says Taez will be freed in ‘next two days’

Iranian Official: South Africa, Kuwait Ready to Invest in TAPPICO Oil Projects

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Pakistan

Gang War Commander Killed, Over 60 Suspects Detained In Operations In Karachi

‘Karachi Operation Apolitical, Indiscriminate’

Two youths found shot dead in Karachi's Mochko area

ATC sentences extortionist to 11 years in prison

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Africa

Captives Rescued As Mali Hotel Siege Leaves Seven Dead

Libya Peace Talks to Take Place in Geneva

Hostage-taking at Mali hotel ended

Eight More Boko Haram Terrorists Arrested In Borno State

Why it’s difficult to help Boko Haram victims – Ochoche

Fresh 40,000 Displaced In Lake Chad Area By Boko Haram

Army urged to uphold rights in Boko Haram fight

Somalia: AU Demands More Funding for Battle Al Shabaab

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Europe

'May Allah Bless France!' Tells the Story Of France's Hip-Hop Gatekeepers

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/do-you-trust-me-enough-for-a-hug?-asks-a-blindfolded-muslim-man-in-mumbai/d/104212

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India

 

Do You Trust Me Enough For A Hug? Asks a Blindfolded Muslim man in Mumbai

Aug 7, 2015

On one hand, there are some people like Mohammad Naved, the terrorist captured after the Udhampur attack on Wednesday, who worsen the stereotype against Muslims and say that they terrorise people because "it's fun doing this."

On the other hand, there are people like Mazim Milla, who simply want to encourage peace and love and work to abolish the stereotypes against their minority community.

At around 4 pm on Thursday, a blindfolded Milla stood at Chowpatty in Mumbai with a sign which read: "I'm Muslim and I trust you. Do you trust me enough for a hug?"

An image of Milla at Chowpatty was shared by Mid-Day editor Sachin Kalbag on Twitter.

Mid-Day also reported that while some people just stared silently at Milla, there were some others who hugged him and even talked to him. Milla also said that he did this as an experiment to observe people's reactions.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Milla's experiment was inspired from a similar experiment done earlier in February this year, when Canadian Muslim Mustafa Mawla took part in the 'Blind Trust Project', which was the brainchild of 24-year-old Canadian Muslim Assma Galuta.

"We're conducting an experiment to address the rise of Islamophobia in North America and Europe to show our community how Muslims are made to feel in their own communities. Our message to the world is that we wish to break down barriers and eliminate the fear and ignorance that's projected towards Muslims and Islam and to make an effort to eliminate stereotypes and Islamophobia," Galuta says in a video of the experiment.

In an interview to Huffington Post, Galuta also said that the reason for blindfolding Mawla in the experiment was to show the extent to which he was willing to trust absolute strangers.

"He’s giving people his full trust and he wants to see if people trust him enough to give him a hug," she said.

You can watch the entire video here:

http://www.firstpost.com/living/trust-blindfolded-muslim-man-mumbai-asks-strangers-hugs-2383654.html

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NCC Order Bars Muslim Students from Sporting Beard

August 8, 2015

The right of Muslim NCC cadets to sport a beard has assumed centre stage yet again, with the A.P. State Minorities Commission issuing notices to the Director-General of NCC seeking explanation on a circular issued two years ago which had forbidden cadets other than Sikhs from growing beard.

The notices were issued in relation to two separate cases filed before the Commission, one by the father of a student from Anwar-ul-Uloom College, who was reportedly turned away by the NCC here for sporting beard and the other by an NGO, Help Hyderabad.

As per the parent’s complaint, the student who went to the NCC camp organised in June this year was asked by the commander to go back and come clean-shaven. When questioned, he reportedly cited the circular by the DG’s office issued on June 6, 2013. The circular, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, asked the Sikh cadets with long beard to have the beard properly tied and not opened, while summoning all other boy cadets to be clean shaven.

“Despite a number of instructions, the turnout of cdts [sic] and staff during trg [sic] and camps leave much to be desired. There is a need for VCs/COs to issue strict orders on the wearing of uniforms/turnout and correct pattern and usage of accoutrements,” read the order, before listing out the parameters to be followed.

Commission Chairperson Abid Rasool Khan said he had been approached by a group of students from the same college back in June, who complained of the discrimination by NCC.

“When I asked them to lodge a written complaint, they backed out, saying they would like to discuss the issue with their parents. Later on, only one parent came forward to lodge the complaint, followed by the NGO,” Mr. Khan said.

Questions circular

Major S.M. Quadri from Help Hyderabad questioned the circular and pointed out that it went against the constitutional rights of Muslims.

“Instead of encouraging Muslims to join the mainstream, this circular segregates them further. It goes not only against the pluralistic fabric of Indian society, but also against the constitutional tenet of equality. Besides, practising the religion of one’s choice is fundamental right of every person,” he said. The case is posted for further hearing and a reply by NCC on August 27.

Karnataka case

In a similar instance, a group of seven Muslim students from the Bangalore-based Al Ameen college approached the Karnataka High Court in 2013 challenging the NCC’s decision not to allow them to write the exam for ‘C’ certificate because they sported beards.

After the High Court’s intervention, they were allowed to write the exam, but their results were withheld pending the judgment. However, NCC acquiesced during final hearing and released the results of the students.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/ncc-order-bars-muslim-students-from-sporting-beard/article7515348.ece

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On RSS-backed Muslim outfit’s Ulema meet menu: discussion on terror, riots

Aug 8, 2015

Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), an outfit backed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), will will deliberate on issues such as terrorism and communal riots in its “biggest ever” Ulema conference on Saturday here, although the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) have decided not to participate in it.

“The agenda of the All India Ulema Conference will be riots, terror, atrocities and violence-free India. The Ulemas will also appeal for peace and communal harmony for the growth of the nation,” MRM national convenor Mohammad Afzal said Friday.

He said nearly 1,500 clerics of different sects from across the country will attend the conference that is on the theme of “dahshat, danga, nafrat, zulm, danga, dahshastgardi se pak Bharat, aman, bhai chare ki misal”.

Stating that communal riots was a factor that hindering India’s growth, Afzal said, “After every riot, poor Muslims are further marginalised. When there will be peace and harmony, backward Muslims will get into the mainstream and work for the country’s progress”. He said that more than 100 communal riots have occurred in Uttar Pradesh in past few years and the ruling Akhilesh Yadav government in state cannot hold Narendra Modi government at Centre responsible for that. “It is responsibility of the state government to stop riots. There is no incident when state had sought any help and the Centre had denied. Modi bhai is doing good work,” Afzal said. Stating that MRM is inspired from working of the Sangh parivar that runs educational institutions and medical help centres for poor and tribals, Afzal said, “RSS never did any thing which was anti-Muslim”. Afzal sought to clarify that MRM was not a wing of RSS but added that it was also a fact the “manch MRM is existing because of senior RSS functionary Indresh Kumar” who will remain present at the Ulema conference. Meanwhile, pro-Hindutva outfit Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) has announced to oppose the the Ulema conference. “We had decided to stop the Ulemas from entering the conference venue,” said Kamlesh Tiwari, national working president of ABHM. Tiwari said the MRM’s Ulema conference was “only a drama to misguide both the Hindus and Muslims”. Claiming that RSS has deviated from his agenda of “protection of Hindus and aim of making India a Hindu nation”, Tiwari said that MRM event was aimed at attracting Muslim voters for BJP. - See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/on-rss-backed-muslim-outfits-ulema-meet-menu-discussion-on-terror-riots/#sthash.sZxl44cQ.dpuf

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/on-rss-backed-muslim-outfits-ulema-meet-menu-discussion-on-terror-riots/

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Muslim Rickshaw-Puller Returns Rs 117,000 He Found On Roadside In Rajasthan

ViralAli Zain

August 7, 2015

JAIPUR (Web Desk) – A Muslim rickshaw-puller in India’s Rajasthan returned IRs 117,000 after he found it enclosed in polythene bag on roadside this week.

Mohammad Abid Qureshi approached police officials to surrender the money after spending a whole tossing and turning in bed as he was scared of getting blamed by police for stealing the cash.

And his fear turned out to be true when he reached local police station on Thursday and commissioner suspected that he could be a carrier of fake currency. However Qureshi was cleared of offence when cash was verified to be true.

Following the incident the 25 year old is happy for not falling prey to the lure of lucre. . “Rs 1 lac is a big amount. I need to work for 200 days to earn that much,” he said while talking to local newspaper.

“I am a Muslim,” Qureshi said, pointing out the reason behind surrendering money to police.

His also wife recalled how they sat dumbfounded in their one-room rented home in the old city area with bundles of Rs 500 notes strewn in front of them and their three-month-old daughter asleep.

“He (Qureshi) was restless on Wednesday night when he came home and showed me the packet. I also developed cold feet and asked him to give the money to police immediately. But, being Muslims, we were scared of going to a police station,” she said.

“Many people in my locality said don’t return the money when no one has lodged a complaint,” he said. “They said this will change your life. But I was sure ill-gotten money would only bring problems and didn’t, even for a moment, think of keeping it.”

http://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/viral/muslim-rickshaw-puller-returns-irs-117000-he-found-on-roadside-in-india-098/

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Muslim family makes dresses for kanwariyas in Gorakhpur

Arjumand Bano

Aug 8, 2015

GORAKHPUR: A Muslim family in Gorakhpur is making dresses and bags for Kanwariyas for the last 13 years. They earn good profit in the business, but they also see some spiritual connection behind it. Now, many other Muslim families have joined them in this task.

Every year, thousands of kanwariyas move ahead from Gorakhpur to Sultanganj in Bihar to collect holy water from the Ganga in vessels placed in decorated 'kanwars'. They wear special saffron apparels and also carry saffron cloth bags with them.

It all started 13 years ago when a poor Kanwariya approached Mohammad Kaleem, a tailor at Zafar Colony in Tiwaripur. Kaleem said, "I was sitting in outer room of my house which I use for work. A poor Kawanriya came to me with a saffron cloth and asked me to make a dress and bag for him. I called him next morning. When I asked for money, he asked me to give him some work as he had no money. I knew he won't be able to make payment so I gave him the dress without any money. To my surprise, the next day he came to me with a dozen kanwariyas and they all paid me for their dresses. From that day, I make dresses for kanwariyas throughout Shrawan."

Kaleem feels spiritual connection with the work. "I think this work is a gift for me from Allah as I earn heavy profit in making dresses for kanwariyas and now I'm in a better financial position. I feel very satisfied when I make dresses for kanwariyas and I ask the pilgrims to pray for me so that I could also go for Haj."

Now more than a dozen Muslim families have joined hands with Kaleem and they all sew dresses for kanwariyas. "Over the years people have started recognizing my house for getting well-fitted dresses and accessories," Kaleem said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/Muslim-family-makes-dresses-for-kanwariyas-in-Gorakhpur/articleshow/48397793.cms

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Security tightened along Pakistan border

VIJAITA SINGH

August 8, 2015

Security along the Pakistan border, particularly the Punjab-Rajasthan intersection, was heightened after intelligence agencies intercepted chatter that a group of 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were trying to infiltrate into the Indian territory. This is the first time that such telephonic conversation has been intercepted for the Punjab-Rajasthan sector and has set the alarm bells ringing among the security establishment. The sector, which is fenced, has not seen infiltration attempts in many years now.

The Border Security Force (BSF), which mans the border, has heightened vigil and added three layers of security to the region.

“We have received credible intelligence inputs about attempts being made by at least 10 LeT militants to cross over to India. The BSF has been asked to guard each and every inch of land. We have been receiving such inputs for the past 10 days now,” said a senior government official.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/security-tightened-along-pakistan-border/article7513792.ece?w=spa

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South Asia

 

Niloy Neel's Murder Tells Us Why Religion Should Be Hacked To Death

08-08-2015

Niloy Neel is dead. Just after Juma prayers, five men, posing as possible tenants, climbed up to his flat in Dhaka’s Gorhan area and slaughtered him. His face was mutilated beyond recognition. He feared for his life because he was warned about death by machetes.

Islamism

The Bangladesh government knew about the threat. Yet, he became the fourth secular activist in Bangladesh to die this year. The Islamists kept their word, for the fourth time. The state couldn’t keep its promise to protect a citizen, for the fourth time. Niloy Neel, atheist blogger, hacked to death like Ananta Bijoy Das, Rajib Haider, Avijit Roy, Wasiqur Rahman…the list goes on. The Awami League government led by Sheikh Hasina is perceived to be tough on Islamists. The government has been steadfast in ensuring capital punishment for the Islamists who sided with Pakistan and Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh’s War for Liberation in 1971.

Yet, when it comes to the recent rise in new Islamism, inspired by Al-Qaeda, her government is found wanting. A group of murderers, in the name of Islam, have managed to kill at least 10 secular activists after making public threats. If it were a religion, atheism would be quite a populous one, and definitely the fastest growing faith. Alas, it is not a faith. But the defenders of faith believe that atheism poses a threat to religion. It’s true, but not in the way the faith fighters believe it is. Religion is under threat not because atheism is stronger, but because religion is becoming weaker by the day. As more and more people have access to better education and mankind sends machines to fly by Pluto, the mysteries of the universe are unveiled and wonders of mythology unravelled. This process is religion’s biggest challenge. The secular atheists of Bangladesh do not attack Islam as much as they attack the dogma attached to Islam. They target the virulent streak of extremism, which actually may be the bigger enemy of Islam, yet the Islamists consider a bunch of bloggers Islam’s biggest enemy.

Speaking the truth becomes a little more difficult every time a free thinker and writer dies at the hands of Islamists, who adhere to a strict version of homogenised Islam. This goes against the idea of Bangladesh, which broke away from Pakistan because Bengalis did not believe that faith was above people. Islam was not the glue that could keep two peoples together. Culture proved to be a stronger bind. However, enemies of this idea continue to not only operate, but flourish in Bangladesh today.

Full report at:

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/niloy-neel-hacked-to-death-bangladesh-free-speech-islam/story/1/5542.html

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12 soldiers martyred, 115 militants killed in past two days

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Aug 08 2015

12 soldiers from Afghan National Army have embraced martyrdom and 115 militants killed in two days military operations across the country, the Ministry of Defense announced on Saturday morning.

A twitter post by General Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, states that: “In past 48 hours 115 terrorists have been killed, 41 wounded, 5 detained, a number of armament seized and 12 soldiers embraced martyrdom.”

This comes amid large scale military operations against insurgents across the country.

The independent operations were launched after Afghan National Security Forces took full responsibility of security from NATO forces at the beginning of this year.

NATO had lost 3,485 service members during its 13-year long combat mission in Afghanistan which ended in December 2014.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/12-soldiers-martyred-115-militants-killed-in-two-days-3718

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Kabul attacks kill 36 people and wounds hundreds

August 8, 2015

KABUL: Multiple bombings rocked Kabul on Friday, killing at least 36 people and wounding hundreds more in the deadliest day in the Afghan capital since the end of the NATO combat mission in December.

The explosions, which devastated buildings and overwhelmed hospitals with casualties, are the first major militant assaults on Kabul since the announcement of Taliban leader Mullah Omar's death.

In the first attack, a powerful truck bomb tore through the centre of Kabul just after midnight on Friday, killing 15 civilians and wounding 240 others.

A truck packed with explosives detonated near an army base in the neighbourhood of Shah Shaheed, rattling homes across the city, ripping off the facades of buildings and leaving scattered piles of rubble. The force of the explosion just after midnight created an enormous crater in the road, around 10 metres (30 feet) deep, and destroyed the boundary wall of the base, although no military casualties were reported.

"The death toll from the attack... has risen to 15," deputy presidential spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi told AFP, adding that "240 people have been wounded -- including women and children."

The health ministry said the number of wounded could run even higher, with most suffering injuries from flying glass.

Kabul Police Chief General Abdul Rahman Rahimi said officials were searching for anyone trapped under the mangled concrete debris.

Soldiers erected a security cordon around the military base close to Shah Shaheed, a largely middle-class civilian residential area with no major foreign presence.

The wounded were overwhelming city hospitals, officials said, with reports emerging of blood shortages and urgent appeals for donors circulating on social media.

Less than 24 hours later, at least 20 Afghan cadets were killed when a suicide attacker dressed in police uniform blew himself up at the entrance of Kabul Police Academy.

A suicide attacker dressed in police uniform blew himself up at the entrance of Kabul Police Academy, killing at least 20 Afghan cadets who were returning after their two-day weekend.

The bomber managed to place himself in a queue as police trainees were waiting to be searched before entering the academy, said a senior Afghan intelligence official, requesting anonymity.

"The attacker was wearing police uniform when he detonated his explosives, 20 cadets were killed and 20 more were wounded," the official told AFP.

Anguished relatives of cadets gathered near the academy, which was cordoned off by heavily-armed security officials as ambulances with wailing sirens rushed to the scene.

Another police official confirmed that toll while a third senior security source told AFP that 25 cadets were killed.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1199021/kabul-attacks-kill-36-people-and-wounds-hundreds

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Afghan envoy requests Samiul Haq to facilitate peace process with Taliban

By Our Correspondent / Tahir Khan, August 8, 2015

NOWSHERA: Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai called on Maulana Samiul Haq on Saturday and requested him to facilitate the dialogue process between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban, Peshawar-based Afghanistan Consul General Syed Mohammad Ibrahim Khel told The Express Tribune.

Mosazai called on Maulana Samiul Haq, chief of his own faction of Jamiat ulema-e-Islam, known as the ‘father of the Taliban’, at the latter’s residence in Akora Khattak, Nowshera, days after he and thousands of his seminary declared allegiance to the Taliban new chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.

It was the first ever meeting of Maulana Sami with any high ranking Afghan diplomat since 9/11, added Khel.

“Ulema can play a key role in peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” Mosazi told reporters after the meeting.

Maulana Sami, who also runs popular seminary Darul Uloom Haqqania Akora Khattak, had chaired a meeting of leading Afghan and Pakistani ulema, as well as delegations of Afghan Taliban, on Thursday.

They had sworn allegiance to Mullah Mansoor, the successor of Mullah Omar, whose election has ostensibly fragmented the Afghan Taliban.

The meeting between the two continued for about two hours, and according to the Afghan consul general, they discussed in detail matters pertaining to the current situation of Afghanistan.

A spokesman for Sami’s “Jamia Haqqania” said the Afghan ambassador had a detailed one-on-one meeting with the JUI-S leader on “Afghanistan’s current difficulties.”

Mosazai said on his official Twitter, “Met with Maulana Sami-ul-Haq at his Jamia Haqqania in Akora Khattak 2day. Told him about Afghanistan’s all-out sincere peace efforts.”

Saying Afghanistan has entered at a critical juncture after the death of Mullah Omar, Maulana Sami urged Afghan, Pakistani rulers and the Taliban to “demonstrate seriousness.”

“We are satisfied with the assurances of Maulana Samiul Haq regarding his role in resuming the dialogue process between the Afghan government and Afghan Taliban,” the Peshawar-based Afghan diplomat said.

“Maulana Samiul Haq agreed to help bringing a negotiated solution to the Afghan conflict,” said a spokesperson of Darul Uloom Haqqania. “He has shown concern over splits among the ranks of Afghan Taliban.”

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/934538/afghan-envoy-requests-maulana-samiul-haq-to-facilitate-peace-process-with-taliban/?utm_source=Daily+Roundup+Newsletter&utm_campaign=a327f667f6-Daily_Roundup_5pm&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_19961368d8-a327f667f6-65338937

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White House, Afghan Taliban deny reports of talks

By Reuters / Our Correspondent: February 19, 2015

ISLAMABAD/KABUL: The White House and denied reports from senior Pakistan Army officials that US officials planned to meet with the Taliban on Thursday, a spokesperson said.

This was followed by a denial by the Afghan Taliban as well, who dismissed the reports as “fabricated”.

“The United States currently has no meetings with the Taliban scheduled in Doha,” said Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council.

“We remain supportive of an Afghan-led reconciliation process whereby the Taliban and the Afghans engage in talks toward a settlement to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan.”

Sources in the Afghan Taliban had said their negotiators would hold a first round of talks with US officials on Thursday in Qatar.

Earlier, senior Pakistani army and diplomatic officials said = the Afghan Taliban have signaled through the Pakistani military that they are willing to open peace talks, which could be held later in the day.

Sources within the Afghan Taliban said their negotiators would hold the first round of peace talks with US officials in Qatar later on Thursday, although no comment was immediately available from US or Qatari officials.

Previous efforts to negotiate an end to a war that began in late 2001 have proved fruitless, but the latest signals raised hopes of a much-needed boost for new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

“The first session will take place today in Qatar and then there would be another session on Friday. Let us see what happens as talks before did not yield any results,” a senior member of the Afghan Taliban said by telephone from Qatar.

Bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table would be a major breakthrough in Afghan efforts to find a diplomatic solution to more than a decade of war following the withdrawal of most US-led troops last year.

Earlier on Thursday, a senior Pakistani military official said Pakistan’s army chief of staff, Raheel Sharif, told Ghani during a visit this week that the Taliban were willing to begin negotiations as early as March.

Afghan Taliban reject ‘fabricated reports’ of talks with US

The Afghan Taliban dismissed as “fabricated” media reports that they would open talks with Americans in Qatar on Thursday, hours after reports suggested that a Taliban delegation has gone to Doha for negotiations.

“Some media outlets have issued reports in an irresponsible way that the Islamic Emirate will start talks with Americans in Qatar today. We categorically reject this claim and we don’t plan to hold talks in the Qatar office with anyone. The reports are untrue and far from reality,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said.

“The Taliban have neither changed their policy with regards to talks, nor have they given serious consideration to this option, because Afghanistan is still under foreign occupation,” he added.

He said thousands of “invading troops are practically based in Afghanistan and involved in operations.”

The Taliban spokesperson said they cannot hold talks with the Kabul administration, as it has “signed a security pact with the United States. It has deeply plunged in corrupt practices and is promoting un-Islamic activities in the country, and wants to extend stay of foreign invading troops in Afghanistan.”

“They have expressed their willingness and there will be progress in March. But these things are not so quick and easy,” the official, who is close to Pakistan’s powerful army chief, told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“But there are very clear signals … and we have communicated it to the Afghans. Now many things are with the Afghans and they are serious,” the official said.

The official said, however, there was no firm timetable for the talks. Other Taliban representatives had earlier denied they were willing to hold direct negotiations.

Three senior diplomats in the region confirmed the account of imminent talks based on briefings from people who were at the meeting between Ghani and Sharif on Tuesday.

“The venue is still to be decided. Preferably Islamabad, Kabul, Beijing or Dubai,” said one diplomat in Kabul. He and other diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Ghani’s office did not directly refer to any talks in a statement it issued but promised transparency.

“I will not conduct any negotiation in secret from my people and they will be informed of any development,” he was quoted as saying.

Attempts to get talks going in Qatar in 2013 came to nothing after the Afghan government objected to fanfare surrounding the opening of a Taliban office in the Gulf state, complete with flag and official plaques.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/840820/pakistan-officials-say-afghan-taliban-signal-readiness-for-peace-talks/?utm_source=Daily+Roundup+Newsletter&utm_campaign=a327f667f6-Daily_Roundup_5pm&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_19961368d8-a327f667f6-65338937

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NATO member, two insurgents among dozens dead in Kabul

August 8, 2015

KABUL: One member of Afghanistan's NATO force and two insurgents were killed in an overnight battle at a base used by special forces in Kabul, authorities said on Saturday, after a series of attacks hit the city, killing dozens and wounding hundreds.

The attacks, which included a massive truck bomb in a heavily populated civilian area and a suicide attack on a police academy, were some of the most serious in months and the first in Kabul since the Taliban named a new leader last week.

Read more: Kabul suicide truck bomb kills 8, wounds 12: Afghan official

Military jets and helicopters flew over the city centre until the early hours of Saturday morning as security forces locked down the area around the attacks.

Colonel Brian Tribus, director of public affairs for NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, said authorities were still gathering information about the attack on the Camp Integrity facility, near Kabul airport. "One Resolute Support service member and two insurgent attackers were killed," he said in a statement, which gave no further details.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing that killed dozens of cadets at the police academy but no claim was made for the other attacks.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1199211/NATO-member-two-insurgents-among-dozens-dead-in-kabul

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‘Soviet Taliban’ fighter found guilty of terrorism in US court

By ZABIHULLAH MOOSAKHAIL - Sat Aug 08 2015

A former soviet army officer who was arrested following an attack in Afghanistan in 2009 was found guilty of terrorism in a US court on Friday.

Irek Hamidullin, 55, was a tank commander during soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He stayed behind when the red army left Afghanistan following heavy war.

Irek Hamidullin later converted to Islam and was arrested during attack on a Border Police base in Khost province.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/soviet-taliban-fighter-found-guilty-of-terrorism-in-us-court-3720

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4th Secular Blogger Killed In Bangladesh In 6 Months

August 07, 2015

DHAKA:  Niloy Neel, 40, was slaughtered inside his home in Dhaka this afternoon, making him the fourth secular blogger to be killed in Bangladesh since February.

An unknown man knocked on Mr Neel's fourth-floor residence around 1:20 pm and said he wanted to take the flat for rent. When Mr Neel said it was unavailable, the man made a phone call and within moments, two men rushed in, armed with machetes and a gun.

Mr Neel's wife and sister were locked in the verandah at gunpoint, the blogger dragged to another room and his throat slit. Most of his wounds were around the neck and head, a senior police officer said.

The wife and sister shouted for help from the verandah but got no help. The police arrived within 15 minutes of the incident, he said, but the killers had fled.

Ansarullah Al Islam, which describes itself as the Bangladesh chapter of Al Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for Mr Neel's death, according to Daily Star, a Dhaka newspaper.

Full report at:

http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/niloy-neel-bangladeshi-secular-blogger-hacked-to-death-in-his-home-1205028

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Blogger who criticized Muslim extremists is hacked to death

August 7, 2015

DHAKA — A blogger was hacked to death in Bangladesh on Friday, the fourth killing of an online critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority country in less than six months.

Niloy Chatterjee, 40, a blogger who advocated secularism, was killed in his flat in the capital, Dhaka, said police official Mustafizur Rahman.

In his writing, Chowdhury had demanded capital punishment for Islamist leaders convicted of war crimes during Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened an inquiry into war crimes in 2010.

A tribunal has since convicted several senior leaders of an Islamist party, who in 1971 opposed the breakaway of Bangladesh, then known as East Pakistan, from Pakistan, of various crimes.

They denied wrongdoing.

Full report at:

http://nypost.com/2015/08/07/blogger-who-criticized-muslim-extremists-hacked-to-death/

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Bangladesh vows to 'hunt down' secular blogger's killers

August 8, 2015

DHAKA: Dhaka vowed Saturday to hunt down the killers of secular blogger Niloy Chakrabarti who became the fourth such writer to be murdered in Bangladesh by suspected Islamist militants this year.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the nation's intelligence agencies went straight to work after a gang of machete-armed attackers hacked the blogger to death at his home in the capital on Friday.

"We hope we'll catch the killers soon. They'll be hunted down," the minister told AFP, adding that the killers appeared to have been well-prepared for the assault.

Police confirmed Chakrabarti, 30, was murdered at his home in the capital's Goran neighbourhood by a group of four people who had pretended to look for a place to rent. Asha Moni, wife of the slain blogger, later told reporters that one of the men attacked her husband shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is great).

The Bangladesh branch of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Ansar al-Islam, claimed the murder and warned of more to come, according to monitoring group SITE.

Chakrabarti is the fourth secular blogger to be killed in the Muslim-majority nation since February, when Bangladeshi-born US citizen Avijit Roy was hacked to death in Dhaka.

Read more: Blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

The latest killing sparked outrage as hundreds of secular activists joined protests, decrying a culture of impunity in the country. Amnesty International said the government had to do more to stop "this spate of savage killings", while the US State Department condemned it as a "cowardly murder".

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1199225/bangladesh-vows-to-hunt-down-secular-bloggers-killers

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Four Islamic militants booked in Bangladesh blogger murder case

Aug 8, 2015

A murder case has been filed against four suspected Islamist militants in connection with the brutal killing of a secular Bangladeshi blogger who was hacked to death after the assailants entered his flat here posing as potential tenants. Niloy Chakrabarty Neel, 40, popularly known by his pen name Niloy Neel, was killed yesterday by assailants inside his fifth-floor flat in the capital Dhaka where he lived with his family.

Neel’s wife Asha Moni filed the case with Khilgaon Police Station late last night, Zahidur Rahman, sub-inspector of the police station, said, adding no arrests have been made so far. Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/neighbours/four-islamic-militants-booked-in-bangladesh-blogger-murder-case/

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Taliban claim responsibility for attack on Kabul police academy

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Aug 08 2015

The Taliban insurgent group has accepted responsibility for the suicide attack on Kabul police academy that left 26 killed and nearly 30 others wounded.

Dawn news, one of the few news sources for Afghan Taliban in Pakistan, writes that Mujahid has claimed responsibility of the attack on behalf of the insurgent group.

The suicide bomber wearing a police suit exploded his suicide vest among cadets of Kabul’s police academy located in 5th police district of the city late yesterday.

This was the first major attack of the insurgent group under the leadership of its new supreme leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour.

This was second deadliest suicide attack in Kabul yesterday but no group has claimed responsibility for the first one that left left 15 killed and around 400 others wounded in Shah Shaheed area.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-claim-responsibility-for-attack-on-kabul-police-academy-3720

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Two members of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar militant group arrested in Kunar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Aug 08 2015

Two member of a Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar have been arrested by security forces in eastern Kunar province.

Brigadier General Abdul Habib Sayedkhil, police chief of Kunar province says that the two militants had been working for TTP but due to rifts within the group they had joined Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/two-members-of-jamaat-ul-ahrar-militant-group-arrested-in-kunar-3719

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Taliban clerics to announce decision about Mullah Omar’s successor soon

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Aug 08 2015

A number of Taliban clerics are mediating to remove rifts between divided Taliban factions and are likely to announce their decision about Mullah Omar’s successor soon.

The crack within the leadership of Taliban occurred after Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Manour was appointed as the Emir of Taliban after Mullah Omar was announced dead.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-clerics-to-announce-decision-about-mullah-omars-successor-soon-3717

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No progress in last three blogger murder cases

Aug 08 2015

While the radical Islamic groups continue hacking one blogger to death after another, the law enforcers have yet to make any significant progress in solving the cases, not being able to trace  the killers or the masterminds behind the killings.

The latest murder in the series took place yesterday, when secular blogger Niladri Chatterjee, also known as Niloy Neel, was killed at his Goran residence in the capital by some unidentified assailants.

Also Read: Fourth blogger killed since February

Before Niloy, the last blogger murder took place three months ago. Then, science writer Ananta Bijoy Das was hacked to death on May 12 in Sylhet’s Subidbazar area.

A murder case was filed with the police after the murder, and due to the case’s sensitive nature, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) took over the investigation on May 25.

Read More: Case filed overNiloy's murder

However, the only progress in the case was the arrest of a photojournalist named Idris Ali on June 7. He is now in jail after seven days of remand in police custody. Other than Idris’s arrest, the police have not been able to find any other clue in connection with the murder.

Take a look: AQIS says its members killed Niloy Neel

“We received some information from Idris, and now we are verifying that information,” said Mirza Abdullahel Baqui, special superintendent of police at the CID’s Organised Crimes Unit. “The investigation of the case is under way, and we are hopeful about catching the killers.”

Also Read: Who was Niloy Neel?

Three months before Bijoy, the radical Islamists hacked blogger Oyasiqur Rahman Babu to death at Begunbari in the capital’s Tejgaon area on March 30. Shortly after the attack, two witnesses helped the police in arresting two of the three killers. The duo – Zikrullah and Ariful Islam – are madrasa students. The police are yet to arrest the third assailant and the planner behind the murder.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2015/aug/08/no-progress-last-three-blogger-murder-cases

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Hefajat leader Mufti Izharul arrested in Chittagong of Bangladesh

August 08, 2015

Detectives yesterday arrested Hefajat-e Islam Nayeb-e-Ameer Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury, who was on the run, in Chittagong city in connection with a blast at his madrasa around two years ago.

Izhar was held in an explosive case filed against him with Khulshi Police Station on October 8, 2013, said Kusum Dewan, deputy commissioner (DB) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP).

On information, a team of Detective Branch (DB) of police of the CMP raided Lalkhan Bazar area around 3:00pm and arrested Izhar in front of  his Al Jamiatul Ulum Al Islamia Madrasa, said the DB official.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/hefajat-leader-mufti-izharul-arrested-123538

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Arab World

 

Haramain imams and Grand Mufti stress on importance of human life

August 07, 2015

MAKKAH/MADINAH — Imams and khateebs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque in their Friday sermons condemned Thursday's mosque blast in Abha that targeted special security forces.

At the Grand Mosque, Sheikh Dr. Osama Khayyat said by targeting worshipers in the mosque the perpetrators of the bomb blast have shown their evil heart and mind.

He quoted various verses of the Qur'an warning against killing of innocent people and said the most wicked thing is a digression from the issues on which there was consensus among Ulema.

Corrupt views and tendentious fatwas will lead the mankind to nowhere, he warned. People with criminal minds seem oblivious of the consequences of their misdeeds, he said.

In Madinah, Sheikh Abdulmohsen Bin Muhammad Al-Qasim said Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him) have accorded great value to the life of a Muslim.

The end of the world is a minor issue when compared to taking the life of an innocent Muslim, he said. Shedding of blood of innocent people draws Allah's wrath, he said.

Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Al Asheikh, grand mufti and chairman of the board of senior ulema also condemned the blast and warned against a seditious group growing among Muslims.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150808252728

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US Airdrops Weapons to ISIL as Iraqi Army Makes Gains

Aug 08, 2015

In January, Iraqi MP Majid al-Ghraoui said American aircraft delivered weapons and equipment to ISIL southeast of Tikrit, located in Salahuddin province, an article by Kurt Nimmo in the Global Research said.

In March, Qasim al-Araji, the head of the Badr Organization in Iraq, told parliament he had evidence the US has deliberately armed the Islamic Army, according to a report carried by the Arabic language Almasalah.

The London-based organization Conflict Armament Research previously reported that ISIL fighters are using “significant quantities” of arms including M16 assault rifles marked “property of the US government.”

In June Aaron Klein, writing for WorldNetDaily, reported that members of ISIL were trained in 2012 by US instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.

General Thomas McInerney told Fox News in September that the US “helped build ISIL” as a result of the group obtaining weapons from the Benghazi consulate in Libya which was attacked by jihadists in September 2012.

“We backed I believe in some cases, some of the wrong people and not in the right part of the Free Syrian Army and that’s a little confusing to people, so I’ve always maintained… that we were backing the wrong types,” McInerney said.

In October, a purported errant airdrop of weapons fell into the hands Islamic State fighters outside Kobani in Syria.

In November, Iraqi intelligence sources said the US is actively supplying ISIL with weapons.

"The Iraqi intelligence sources reiterated that the US military planes have airdropped several aid cargoes for ISIL terrorists to help them resist the siege laid by the Iraqi army, security and popular forces,” Iraqi intelligence claimed in December.

"What is important is that the US sends these weapons to only those that cooperate with the Pentagon and this indicates that the US plays a role in arming the ISIL."

The US claims it is arming “moderate” mercenaries in Syria to fight against ISIL and the al-Assad government in Damascus despite the fact there are no longer any moderate forces active.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940517000606

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Source Reveals 4 Arab States' Plan to Help Syrian Gov't

Aug 08, 2015

Mujtahid, a Saudi political activist who is believed to be a member of or have a well-connected source in the royal family, wrote on his tweeter page on Saturday that the four countries are trying to help the Syrian government with reconstruction efforts to become prepared for fiercer battles against the terrorist groups.

According to him, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the US are opposed to plans which strengthen the Syrian government.

Saudi deputy Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman is one of the staunch opponents of such plans, and Syrian chief of the office of home security general Ali Mamlouk's recent visit to Saudi Arabia was aimed at convincing him to agree with the reconstruction plans, Mujtahid said.

Meantime, he disclosed that despite efforts underway to help the Syrian people to return to their good days, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and the US still insist on supporting and training what they call "moderate terrorists" to fight against the Syrian government.

Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fuelled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 210,000 people, according to reports. New figures show that over 76,000 people, including thousands of children, lost their lives in Syria last year.

Over 3.8 million Syrians have left their country since the beginning of the crisis. According to reports, more than seven million Syrians have become internally displaced.

The regional and even western officials and analysts have blamed Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel for the terrorist acts in Syria.

In late April, a ranking Takfiri militant disclosed that Ankara, Riyadh and Doha masterminded and led the terrorists' attacks in Syria, adding that they have been preparing militants and equipment for the assaults.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940517000508

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Air Force Destroys Terrorists' Positions in Lattakia

Aug 08, 2015

The Syrian army destroyed the vehicles and wireless communication station of the terrorists in Rabi'a and Dweirshan regions.

Several foreign terrorists, including a Saudi named Abu al-Muslimeen, a Pakistani named Saqr al-Aboud and another foreign national Mus'ab Saji were identified among the terrorists killed in Lattakia province.

Also in the past 24 hours, the Syrian army and Hezbollah forces killed several Takfiri terrorist commanders and destroyed an IED (improvised explosive device) manufacturing site in the city of Zabadani in Damascus province.

Four Takfiri terrorist leaders named Khaled Omar, Ebrahim Javish, Besam Hazima and Abu Ahmed Ziyad Nassif were killed in heavy clashes with the Syrian troops today.

The Syrian troops and resistance forces also destroyed an IED-manufacturing workshop in Barda street of Zabadani during their mop-up operations in the strategic city.

Meantime, tens of militants of Jeish al-Islam terrorist group surrendered to the government troops in the city of Zabadani.

Syria's National Reconciliation Committee announced today that a large number of militants laid down arms and surrendered to the Syrian authorities.

A number of senior commanders of Jeish al-Islam have also surrendered themselves to the Syrian army in Zabadani.

The development came after President Bashar al-Assad in a televised address last month pardoned all soldiers who have fled the army, saying that his words served as a general decree to relevant officials.

Assad said even those who have fought the Syrian army will be pardoned. This was the third general amnesty declared by President Assad in the last four years.

Hundreds of gunmen have been laying down their weapons and turning themselves in to authorities in areas across the country.

This number seems to be on the rise as the army has been making steady gains in the battlefield against the terrorist groups, recapturing an increasing number of areas, including strategic sites, which helped cut off many of the militants' supply routes and forced them to surrender or run away.

Several groups of militants have surrendered to the Syrian army in the Damascus Countryside in the last several months. The last one of such groups gave in to the authorities in the region in mid February.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940517000355

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Syrian Fighter Jets Target Nusra Strongholds across Hama Province

Aug 08, 2015

The sources said that the hideouts of the Nusra fighters were massive bombed by the Syrian fighter jets in the villages of al-Ankawi, al-Hweiz, al-Zaqoum, Tal Zajram, and Hmaimat in the Northwestern parts of Hama province, inflicting heavy losses in personnel and equipment on the militant group.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940517000242

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U.N. seeks accountability on Syria gas attacks

7 August 2015

The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a U.S.-drafted resolution on Friday laying the groundwork for an inquiry that would assign blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria's civil war.

The resolution asks U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to make recommendations within 20 days for the establishment of an investigative body, "to identify to the greatest extent feasible individuals, entities, groups, or governments" involved in any chemical attacks in Syria.

The adoption of the resolution came after the U.S. struck a deal with Russia, a strong backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, on a formal request to the U.N. to assemble a team of investigators to lay blame for toxic gas attacks in Syria.

UNSC res adopted today sends msg to those involved in chem weapons attacks in #Syria: intnl community now has tool to identify you & we will

— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) August 7, 2015

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said it was vital that those responsible for chemical attacks be held accountable.

"Pointing the finger matters," Power told the council after the vote.

Attributing responsibility for poison gas attacks in Syria's four-year conflict could pave the way for action by the 15-member Security Council. The body has already threatened consequences for such attacks, which could include sanctions.

'Modest step'

Power told reporters that Friday's vote was a "modest step" toward ending the impunity Syria's war criminals have enjoyed.

But she acknowledged that accountability for crimes in Syria appeared a long way off after Russia and China vetoed a Western proposal last year to refer the Syrian conflict to the International Criminal Court.

The council is expected to authorize the investigative team for one year once it receives Ban's recommendations.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/08/U-N-seeks-accountability-on-Syria-gas-attacks.html

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Global anguish over Asir blast

8 August 2015

RIYADH: The terrorist attack at the Special Emergency Forces mosque in Asir that killed 15, including 12 officers on Thursday, evoked worldwide condemnation with key world leaders and prominent organizations joining Saudi society in unequivocally denouncing the barbaric act.

Deeply saddened by the loss of lives, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the bombing in strong words.

He wished the injured officers speedy recovery and expressed solidarity with the government and people of Saudi Arabia.

The UN Security Council also deplored the suicide bombing, with its members stressing, “Daesh must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence and hatred it espouses must be stamped out.”

The Security Council members emphasized that such “continued acts of barbarism perpetrated by Daesh do not intimidate them, rather stiffen their resolve” that there has to be a common effort among governments and institutions to counter terrorist groups.

Deputy to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Mohammed bin Naif received telephone calls from UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahya, Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Bahrain’s Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, and Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

The leaders condemned the blast and expressed their condolences and sympathies to the families of the martyrs.

Prince Mohammed thanked all of them for their noble feelings.

The Tunis-based Council of Arab Interior Ministers expressed its denunciation of the treacherous terrorist bombing in Asir and confirmed its full solidarity with Saudi Arabia in countering terrorism.

The Arab Parliament condemned the terrorist attack with Speaker Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Jarwan delporing the cowardly act.

Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim Al-Jabouri condemned the bombing and called on the Islamic world to address terrorism and counter this vicious enemy.

He extended condolences to the Kingdom and the families of the victims.

Tobias Ellwood of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UKFCO) condemned the bombing.

“I utterly condemn this attack at the mosque of the Special Emergency Forces in Asir,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/788271

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Grand Mosque imam denounces Asir attack as evil act, extreme corruption

8 August 2015

JEDDAH: Grand Mosque Imam Osama Khayyat has condemned Thursday’s blast in which 12 security officers and three employees of the Special Emergency Forces Center in Asir were killed.

“What happened in Abha and the news that you heard was actually an act of evil and extreme corruption. It was actually committed by those who have chosen to be the tools of Satan,” he said during the Friday sermon.

Khayyat wondered how one can convince oneself to be a tool in the hand of the enemies of one’s religion, country and nation. He said that this is the path of evil.

Coming down strongly against the aggression, Khayyat asked if they know that our Lord warned us from following Satan and his path. Quoting one of the verses of the Qur’an, Khayyat said “Satan is your enemy. You also make Satan your enemy. The satan calls you to join his party to be the people of the fire.”

He also warned that the believer should never ever follow the path of Satan as it is their enemy.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/788251

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Saudi Tank Destroyed in Yemenis' Retaliatory Attack

Aug 08, 2015

Some Saudi military equipment were also destroyed or severely damaged in the attack.

Earlier on Friday, a Saudi soldier was killed in rocket attacks by the Yemeni forces in the same troubled area.

Yemeni forces have also pounded a Saudi military camp in the Asir region with a barrage of Grad missiles.

Meanwhile, Saudi air raids targeted a medical facility as well as a school in the Hays district of the Yemeni province of Hudaydah, killing at least five civilians.

Two more people lost their lives as Saudi military aircraft launched 10 airstrikes on Baqim district in Yemen’s mountainous province of Sa'ada.

Saudi warplanes also pounded a residential area in Tai'zz province, killing two people and wounding four women. Moreover, over 80 Saudi rockets and mortar shells hit the Kitaf district of Sa'ada province.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940517000688

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Rebels Suffer Heavy Losses in Syrian Army Offensives in Quneitra Province

Aug 08, 2015

The sources said that the nearby areas of al-Hamidiyeh village, and al-Samadaniyeh al-Gharbiyeh were the scenes of heavy clashes between the Syrian army and the militants.

The sources added that the clashes were resulted in the killing or wounding of tens of the fighters in the abovementioned battlefronts.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940517000360

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Syria: Takfiri Terrorist Commanders Killed, Bomb-Making Workshop Destroyed in Zabadani

Aug 07, 2015

Four Takfiri terrorist leaders named Khaled Omar, Ebrahim Javish, Besam Hazima and Abu Ahmed Ziyad Nassif were killed in heavy clashes with the Syrian troops today.

The Syrian troops and resistance forces also destroyed an IED-manufacturing workshop in Barda street of Zabadani during their mop-up operations in the strategic city.

Earlier today, tens of militants of Jeish al-Islam terrorist group surrendered to the government troops in the city of Zabadani.

Syria's National Reconciliation Committee announced today that a large number of militants laid down arms and surrendered to the Syrian authorities.

A number of senior commanders of Jeish al-Islam have also surrendered themselves to the Syrian army in Zabadani.

The development came after President Bashar al-Assad in a televised address last month pardoned all soldiers who have fled the army, saying that his words served as a general decree to relevant officials.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940516000740

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Daesh kidnaps 230 civilians in Syria

Aug 08, 2015

BEIRUT — Daesh (the so-called IS) group abducted 230 civilians, including at least 60 Christians, in a central Syrian town hours after it captured it, a monitoring group said on Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the civilians were taken on Thursday in the town of Al-Qaryatain, which Daesh militants seized late on Wednesday.

"Daesh kidnapped at least 230 people, including at least 60 Christians, during a sweep through Al-Qaryatain," observatory chief Rami Abdelrahman said.

Bishop Matta Al-Khoury, secretary at the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus, told AFP he could not confirm what had happened in the town "because it's very hard to reach residents now".

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150808252740

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North America

 

Myanmar: UN Rights Envoy Denied Access to Rohingya Muslim State

Myanmar's government has denied a United Nations human rights investigator access to the region where its Rohingya Muslim population lives.

Yanghee Lee, special rapporteur on human rights, told reporters in Yangon on Friday that she wasn't allowed to visit Rakhine state.

Around 1.1 million Rohingya are located in the western part of Myanmar but without recognition by the government.

Lee's role is to assess the human rights situation in the run-up to the country's general election, set for November.

Officials in Rahkine state said her trip was canceled due to bad weather.

Much of Myanmar has been hit by severe flooding in recent days due to the monsoon season. Western Rakhine state has suffered the highest number of fatalities so far, with at least 55 people killed following Cyclone Komen, which struck the Bay of Bengal last week.

Rohingya Muslims have been dubbed the world's most oppressed ethnic group. Myanmar authorities refuse to give them citizenship and tens of thousands have been forced from their homes due to ongoing violence and persecution.

 Rohingya migrants flee persecution in Myanmar

A boat containing dozens of Rohingya arrives in Malaysia after several days at sea

Worsening crisis

Lee has angered Myanmar's leaders by criticizing restrictions on political freedom and demanding improved rights for the Rohingya.

Full report at:

http://www.dw.com/en/mymanar-un-rights-envoy-denied-access-to-rohingya-muslim-state/a-18634984

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U.S. Muslims: Our Liberties Face ‘Assault’

August 8, 2015

Boston — Muslim groups and civil rights activists across the nation Thursday called for greater transparency in a program by President Obama’s administration that’s aimed at countering homegrown terrorism.

Organizers, including representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, spoke out at coordinated events in Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis — the three cities where the Countering Violent Extremism program is being piloted.

Among their concerns is that organizers still refuse to share basic information about what the localized efforts will actually look like. They also object to federal authorities conducting invitation-only discussions about the program, referred to as CVE, to the exclusion of dissenting groups.

Last week, more than 200 academics, terrorism experts and government officials gathered for a conference in Arlington, Va., sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. It was titled “Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Lessons Learned from Canada, the UK and the US.”

Among the attendees and panelists were leaders of the CVE efforts in the pilot cities, according to a copy of the program provided to The Associated Press.

“This isn’t a community-based process,” Nadeem Mazen, a city councilor in Cambridge, Mass., and board member of the local CAIR chapter, said during a small gathering in front of Boston City Hall. “This is a whole different level of federally coordinated assault on our civil liberties.”

The Homeland Security Department in Washington said it was committed to participating in the CVE effort “at all levels,” noting that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson had personally taken part in meetings in communities across the country.

“As we have often said, CVE efforts are best pursued at the local level and we will continue to support efforts across the country toward this goal,” spokeswoman said Marsha Catron.

In Los Angeles, opponents announced Thursday they’ve filed public records requests of federal, state and local authorities in an effort to obtain all available information about the operation of the program in California. Boston opponents said they, too, were crafting a similar request.

In Minnesota, opponents speaking at a Somali marketplace delivered a message shared by their Boston and Los Angeles counterparts — that Muslims are being unfairly targeted by the pilot programs.

“We believe it is morally and democratically repugnant to single out a community based solely on its religious affiliation and ethnic makeup,” said Kassim Busuri, education director at the Da’wah Institute in St. Paul, speaking at an event.

Family members of some of the men who face trial for conspiring to go to Syria to join the Islamic State group were in attendance and said they were opposed to the CVE program.

Minneapolis’ pilot program focuses on its sizeable Somali community, which has been a target for terror recruiters in recent years, first for al-Shabab and now for the Islamic State group.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz in Massachusetts, whose office is coordinating the Boston program, promised to take steps to bring her program out of the shadows.

In a statement, she said organizers will be holding publically noticed events focused on violent extremism and prevention strategies.

Full report at:

http://www.vnews.com/news/nation/world/18094585-95/us-muslims-our-liberties-face-assault

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Canadian Muslims Must Use Their Votes This Election

Steven Zhou

08/07/2015

Canadians are about to witness one of the longest election campaigns in the country's history as Stephen Harper asked the governor general to dissolve parliament last Sunday. This leaves room for a prolonged 11-week campaign -- the lengthiest since 1872, in fact. Predictions are already dropping regularly, and seem to oscillate between the Conservative Party and the New Democrats as the most likely winner, though such forecasts are always speculative in nature.

One significant element of a lengthier campaign season is the new election laws that the Tories have pushed through. The Fair Elections Act stipulates that if the election campaign lasts more than 37 days, then each party is allowed to spend over the usual $25 million limit at a rate of $675,000 (roughly 1/37 of $25 million) per day. The Conservatives amassed over $19 million in donations by the end of last year, which dwarves the amount raised by the Liberals or the NDP by several million. That they're probably the most moneyed party in Canada means that the Tories are certainly placed to benefit most from these new spending laws.

In fact, in their latest election forecast, the Globe and Mail, using a formula that incorporates both recent polls as well as historical data, calculates that the Tories have a 61 per cent chance of winning the election, as compared to 40 per cent for the NDP and 0 per cent for the Liberals. This is a stunning figure, though, depending on the day, the percentages do fluctuate. Regardless, a 61 per cent chance for the Conservatives seems to contradict several recent forecasts that have the NDP on top, including the recent Ipsos poll released this Tuesday, which still puts the NDP a smidge above the Tories.

Canadian polling can be notoriously inaccurate, but any talk of possible change is bound to elicit more talk of what the future might look like. Democracy is based on how much these changes mirror the popular will, and each community has always had to fight for their own vision, and this year's election is of particular importance for Muslim Canadians, who have been put under the spotlight in many ways in post-9/11 Canada. The Canadian-Muslim Vote (TCMV) is a grassroots community organization that's fighting for a more inclusive Canada by getting Muslim Canadians more engaged in politics, primarily by pulling the Muslim vote for this October. There's no message on what party issue to vote for, as long as the vote is cast.

TCMV took this message to over 20 mosques this past Ramadan, asking for attendees to pledge that they will vote this fall. They also attended virtually every significant Muslim event this past year, from the popular Halal Food Fest in Mississauga to MuslimFest, one of Canada's largest Muslim arts and entertainment festivals. The non-sectarian nature of TCMV's vision and method reflects the group's willingness to work with anyone interested in increasing Muslim civic engagement. The group's coordiNATOrs range in political stripe and allegiance, and came together in an understanding that the organization's vision would be one of inclusivity. This election may very well be a milestone for Canadian Muslims, and a possible end to Conservative power will certainly change the political circumstances that have ossified in Canada's post-9/11 era.

Right now, there's a lot of talk that the NDP may be poised to dethrone the Harper Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/steven-zhou/muslim-canadians_b_7945380.html

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Democrats push for Iran nuclear deal survival

8 August 2015

Democrats said on Friday that they would have enough votes to ensure that the U.S.-led international nuclear deal with Iran survives review by Congress, despite influential Democratic SeNATOr Chuck Schumer saying he would vote against it.

A spokesman for SeNATOr Dick Durbin, who counts Democratic votes as the Senate's minority whip and who supports the deal, said Democrats were still confident they could rebuff Republican attempts to sink the agreement in a showdown next month.

"The momentum is behind this deal, as you've seen from Democrats coming out this week," spokesman Ben Marter said.

Schumer, New York's senior seNATOr, announced late Thursday that he would oppose the nuclear pact between six world powers and Iran announced on July 14.

President Barack Obama is trying to win over enough of his fellow Democrats to block Republican efforts to pass a "resolution of disapproval" that could cripple the deal, which is designed to curb Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting of economic sanctions.

Congress has until Sept. 17 to vote on such a measure. If it passes, as even many in Obama's administration believe, there would be 22 days for the president to decide on a veto and Congress to try to override it.

So far, at least 14 Senate Democrats and independents who vote with Democrats and about 34 House Democrats have announced they would back the deal. There are 46 members of the Democratic caucus in the 100-member Senate and 188 Democrats in the 435-member House.

Most Republicans have already said they are opposed, as have a handful of House Democrats.

SeNATOr Kirsten Gillibrand, New York's junior seNATOr, announced her support on Thursday, hours before the announcement by Schumer. SeNATOr Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin announced on Friday she approved.

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said the White House was "not particularly" concerned that the decision by Schumer, the third-ranking Senate Democrat, would encourage more opposition.

"We continue to be confident that the vast majority of Democrats in the United States Congress will make a decision based on their own conclusions and not on SeNATOr Schumer's," Earnest said told reporters.

Representative Eliot Engel of New York, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had also said on Thursday he opposed the deal.

Democrats said neither Schumer nor Engel had been expected to be yes votes. Pressure on them and other Jewish lawmakers had grown as Israel's government, and some pro-Israel lobbying groups, said the agreement would open the way for Iran to get a nuclear weapon and threaten Israel's existence.

However, if either had backed the deal, it could have tipped the balance strongly in favor of approval, Democratic aides said.

Schumer said he would encourage fellow seNATOrs to oppose the agreement, and would vote to override a veto.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/08/Democrats-push-for-Iran-nuclear-deal-survival-.html

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While America debates, Islamic Jihaddists continue the killings

August 7, 2015

With the first Republican Party debate dominating the American headlines, little ink has been spilled regarding the continual bestial slaughter taking place in length and breadth of the Muslim World in the name of Islamic Jihad. As reported by the Reuters UK news service on Aug. 7, 2015, al-Qaida allied Jihaddists in the northwest African nation of Mali launched an attack on a hotel used as United Nations base of operations, killing five and taking three Russian pilots hostage.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10: Demonstators from the English Defence League march through the city-centre on October 10, 2009 in Manchester, England. The English Defence League (EDL) held a demonstration in the city's Picadilly Gardens.

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Meanwhile at the eastern end of the media-dubbed Islamic Street, yet another secularist blogger in the heavily-Muslim populated south Asian nation of Bangladesh has been found literally hacked to death by one of the many Jihaddi hit-squads as reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) also on Aug. 7, 2015. To add to the 24-hour body count, The Times of India and NewsBeat Social (video) report also on Aug. 7, 2015, that the ISIS terrorist organization has executed 19 of the estimated thousands of women, girls and boys they hold in sexual slavery in the region of Syria they currently occupy.

As noted by Reuters, Islamists attacked the de facto UN compound in the town of Sevare, killing four Malian soldiers and presumably one UN official. Reported, "The body of a white male victim was visible in front of the hotel." Two terrorists died, but one of them by his own hand as he was wrapped in explosives using himself as a human bomb. Possibly providing more unanswered questions than provided answers, "Malian military officials also said three Russian pilots were believed to have been kidnapped during the attack, though the Russian embassy in Mali, speaking to the TASS press agency, denied this."

The bloodshed is also showing no sign of ending anytime soon as a fourth secularist blogger in Bangladesh has been found hacked to death by machetes in his own home. Raising the ire of one of the many self-proclaimed defenders of Islam in the small nation, Niloy Neel was the fourth secularist blogger to have been killed this year by Jihaddis.

Imran H Sarkar, head of the Bangladesh Blogger and Activist Network, told the BBC that Mr. Neel had been an anti-extremist voice of reason. "He was the voice against fundamentalism and extremism and was even a voice for minority rights - especially women's rights and the rights of indigenous people," he said. The BBC also cited in its report, "All four men killed were on a list of 84 'atheist bloggers' drawn up by Islamic groups in 2013 and widely circulated. It was originally submitted to the government with the aim of having the bloggers arrested and tried for blasphemy. The groups which wanted bloggers arrested told us they have no knowledge of who is behind the killings."

Full report at:

http://www.examiner.com/article/while-america-debates-islamic-jihaddists-continue-the-killings

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Southeast Asia

 

Islamic State's influence stretching thousands of miles to Indonesia

Aug 08 2015

When Rahmat and Afrian talk about Islamic State, their eyes widen, their speech slows, and their expressions soften into smiles.

The two friends, both 33, say they plan to join the Islamist militant group in Syria, 4,500 miles away from their middle-class homes in Medan, Indonesia's fourth-largest city, as soon as they can save enough money to fund the trip.

"The Islamic State is like a dream come true for me and all Muslim people," said Rahmat, a perfume trader wearing a Quicksilver T-shirt and a G-Shock watch, who, like many Indonesians, goes by one name. "Now is the time to return to Islamic glory, like we experienced in the old days."

Southeast Asia is emerging as a new recruiting frontier for the Sunni Muslim extremist group that seized control of large portions of northern Syria and Iraq last year. Hundreds of Indonesians, at least 150 Malaysians, and even a few young men from Singapore have joined Islamic State, according to the best assessments of analysts in the region.

"I think support for ISIS is increasing," said Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for the Jakarta-based Policy Analysis of Conflict think-tank, using an acronym for the group. At least 200 Indonesian citizens have traveled to the Middle East to join Islamic State, she said.

Others have pledged devotion to the group, which proclaimed itself a caliphate in June 2014.

"I think there's some evidence that there's enough of a support base [in Indonesia] that if they got the green light from ISIS — which they haven't yet — they could quite quickly set up a structure of ISIS here," Jones said. "It would be tiny and there would be lots of opposition, but it raises concerns [that they might] follow other kinds of orders from ISIS, which could include violence."

Rahmat and Afrian have been busy preparing by viewing jihadist videos online, especially the slick, brutal execution videos that have become a cornerstone of Islamic State's global propaganda push. They have also been doing push-ups, sit-ups and martial arts.

Both say they plan to take their families with them. Afrian, a high school teacher, has a wife and a 2-month-old, and Rahmat has a wife and three children.

"My son will become a fighter too, inshahllah," God willing, Rahmat said. "Once he asked me, 'Dad, why don't we go to Syria?' I think he understands everything."

The route from Medan to Raqqah, Islamic State's de facto capital in northern Syria, is by air through Hong Kong and Turkey, a trip that costs about $4,500 per person, they said. To finance the journey, both plan to sell their homes. "Once we arrive, everything will be taken care of" by Islamic State leaders, Rahmat said.

Full report at:

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-ff-indonesia-isis-20150808-story.html#page=2

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Comments on other issues: Muhammadiyah’s ‘progressive Islam’

August 08 2015

Muhammadiyah, the country’s second largest Muslim organization, will hold its 47th national congress (muktamar) in Makassar, South Sulawesi, this week. The congress will set up a new agenda for the next five years, including electing a new leader who will replace two-time chairman Din Syamsuddin.

Muhammadiyah’s challenges and plans include internal consolidation of leadership, bureaucratic improvement and dealing with external issues of globalization, poverty and lack of education, low quality of human resources and the upcoming integrated ASEAN economic community. (By Ahmad Imam Mujadid Rais, Jakarta)

Your comments:

I am a Muslim from the West, and I find much to be suspicious about concerning Muhammadiyah’s activities.

And progressive policies, as stated in the article, are not a hallmark of Muhammadiyah. Both Muhammadiyah and NU are still largely (perhaps completely) Shafi’i jurists. They have a very specific lens of fiqh and rarely do they deviate from it.

I’d like to see examples of progressive attitudes from either organization. There are plenty of people talking about. But there is zero evidence of its existence.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/08/08/comments-other-issues-muhammadiyah-s-progressive-islam.html

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PM joins Malay/Muslim groups and partners at National Day observance ceremony

August 8, 2015

SINGAPORE - Singapore started its journey as an independent nation striving to build a multiracial society, where every citizen - regardless of race, language or religion - is on an equal footing.

Five decades on, the country has succeeded on this front, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at a national day observance ceremony held by some 30 Malay/Muslim organisations and their partners on Saturday.

In a short speech in Malay and English, Mr Lee paid tribute to the strong ties between the communities here, as he recalled how Singapore had from the start been determined to be a country where people are judged for their ability and contributions, and not the colour of their skin.

He said: "It was why we left Malaysia. It was the fundamental reason for our Singapore to exist as a nation."

The 1,000-strong crowd gathered at ITE College Central in Ang Mo Kio on Saturday morning was proof of how far the country had come, with people of different races and religions coming together to celebrate Singapore's Golden Jubilee.

The country's pioneers had taken the first step, and the following generations have built on the efforts of the founding fathers, noted Mr Lee.

Their efforts have helped Singaporeans journey from third world to first as one united people, Full report at:

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/pm-joins-malaymuslim-groups-and-partners-at-national-day-observance-ceremony

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Najib urges Umno to dominate social media and fight false news

BY IDA LIM

August 8, 2015

CHERAS, Aug 8 ― Umno members should become social media users to fight the flood of false information and attacks against the party’s leaders, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

Najib, who is prime minister and Umno president, said party members must enter the new political battlefield, suggesting that social media was a greater challenge to Umno than public protests.

“Street demonstrations may not threaten Umno, but if poison through social media and fingers, hundreds of thousands of persons are able to read it and it enters their minds.

“This is the new threat to Umno's strength,” he told hundreds of delegates at the launch of the Bandar Tun Razak division meeting here.

Najib said Umno members should also not blindly believe what they read online, pointing out that joining social media by setting up Facebook and Twitter accounts was the way forward to counter the new threat.

Shutting down Facebook and Twitter is not viable as such sites represent progress, he said when explaining that the government could not accede to demands for both social networks to be blocked.

He also said it was difficult to rescind freedoms and liberties that have been granted, and that the proper recourse was to counter allegations with information and opinions.

“If we see the party president being attacked, we attack back, at the very least,” he said.

Umno members can no longer rely on the old methods of engaging with the public as the Internet is the new political arena, he said.

“Try to imagine, we have three million Umno members, if three million Umno members are active social media practitioners, we can dominate social media in this country. (The) Red Bean Army will lose out,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/najib-urges-umno-to-dominate-social-media-and-fight-false-news

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Din bids farewell, tells successor to stay moderate

August 08 2015

Former Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin officially handed over the leadership of the country’s second largest Muslim organization to his successor Haedar Nashir on Friday, urging the newly elected chairman to continue on the organization’s moderate path.

Din, who took the helm of Muhammadiyah from 2005 to 2015, said that Haedar should prevent any efforts to make Muhammadiyah “too liberal” or “too exclusive”, a position that could be achieved by making moderate interpretations of Islamic teachings.

“Muhammadiyah should strike a balance between religious purification and dynamization of religious values. If Muhammadiyah strays from the balance then it will face turbulence. It should keep its inclusive views,” Din said in his farewell speech, which also served to bring down the curtain on Muhammadiyah’s five-day muktamar (national congress) in Makassar on Friday.

Din also sang the praises of Haedar, saying that he was the brain behind all the successful programs under his leadership and was an intellectual Muslim cleric in the league of Muhammadiyah’s founder Islamic cleric Ahmad Dahlan. Din said Haeder could realize the vision of “Islam Berkemajuan” or Progressive Islam.

He added that the elections of Haedar and his wife Siti Noordjannah Djohantini on Thursday night as Muhammadiyah chairman and as chairwoman of Muhammadiyah’s women’s organization, Aisyiyah, showed that the majority in the organizations wanted to bring back the glory days of Muhammadiyah when it was led by Dahlan in 1915, the time when his wife Siti Walidah assumed the top position in Aisyiyah.

As for his future career, Din said that following his retirement from Muhammadiyah he would continue his global campaign for peaceful Islam in the world through several chairmanship positions in a number of regional and global organizations.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla praised Muhammadiyah for its contribution to the country in education and health through the operation of thousands of schools, universities, hospitals and mosques across the country.

Kalla called on Muhammadiyah to expand its role in the economy to help the government improve people’s welfare by setting up business enterprises in addition to the thousands of non-profit entities it currently runs in the country.

He further said that Muhammadiyah, which has around 35 million members, and the largest Islamic organization, Nadhlatul Ulama (NU), which has around 100 million followers, should join forces to contribute more to the country’s development.

“Muhammadiyah has its strength in its social enterprises, while NU has its strength in the roles of its clerics in the community. If they both work together then it will become a great force for change,” Kalla said.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/08/08/din-bids-farewell-tells-successor-stay-moderate.html

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Mideast

 

Iranian Speaker: US Helping Takfiri Terrorists under Guise of Anti-ISIL Coalition

Aug 08, 2015

"The West says that it is fighting against the ISIL and it has formed a coalition against the Takfiri terrorist group, but on the other hand we see that they target others instead of the ISIL in their flights," Larijani told reporters on Saturday.

He noted that news reports indicated that only 3 out of 300 sorties of coalition flights have ended up in the bombarded of ISIL positions and coalition planes have targeted the Kurdish popular defence forces in Syria in the remaining number of flights. "Then what kind of coalition is this?"

On July 27, a US chopper landed in the areas under the control of the ISIL terrorist group in Western Iraq and flew away to an unknown destination with several ISIL commanders on board minutes later.

An American helicopter landed in mountainous Hamrin region in Salahuddin province, an Iraqi intelligence source declared.

"A US chopper was seen in al-Riyadh region near Hamrin mountain," the Arabic-language al-Malouma news website quoted the source as saying.

The source noted that the US helicopter landed in the region to transfer several ISIL leaders to an unknown destination. "This is not the first time that a US chopper lands in Hamrin mountainous region," he said.

Meantime, several eyewitnesses also confirmed the flights of US helicopters over the ISIL-controlled areas of Havija located to the Southwest of Kirkuk in order to take the Takfiri terrorist commanders out of the region.

Witnesses say US aircraft have been flying over militant-ruled regions very frequently in the last one year, and their missions have been anything, but war and air raid.

On February 28, a group of Iraqi popular forces known as Al-Hashad Al-Shabi shot down a US Army helicopter that was carrying weapons to the ISIL in the Western parts of Al-Baghdadi region in Al-Anbar province.

To prove their claim, the Hashad Al-Shabi forces released the photos of the shot down chopper through the Internet.

Last February, Head of the Iraqi Parliament's National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli announced that the helicopters of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition had been dropping weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists in the Southern parts of Tikrit.

He underscored that he had documents and photos showing that the US Apache helicopters airdropped foodstuff and weapons for the ISIL.

Also in late February, al-Zameli disclosed that Iraq's army had shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province.

"The Iraqi Parliament's National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL," al-Zameli said, according to a report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad had been receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940517000740

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Muslim Mayor Rebuilds Synagogue in Turkey

08 Aug 2015

Abdullah Demirbas, the former mayor of the Old City of Diyarbakir, a large city on the outskirts of the Tigris River, is restoring a local synagogue that served the Jewish population before they were expelled by the Turks, according to Israel Today.

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

Although Demirbas is a Muslim, he believes that restoring their synagogue will aid in healing wounds caused when Jews fled his country. The former mayor traveled to Jerusalem to discuss his plans to restore their ancient house of worship with Kurdish Jews.

“It has always been my dream to come to Israel,” Demirbas told the group of Messianic Jews and Christians, who had gathered in Jerusalem to listen to his plans on building the synagogue. Demirbas explained how he was emotionally moved by the unity he saw between Arab and Jewish believers in Israel, adding: “This was the kind of ‘Shalom’ he wanted to see in his own country and throughout the Middle East.”

Mr. Demirbas is widely recognized as the first Turkish official to obtain a permit from the Muslim government allowing for a church to be built in his town. His efforts have been imperative in the reconstruction of six Armenian and Assyrian churches in Diyarbakir.

“These are not only buildings I want to build. This is about learning to respect one another and learning to live together. God created us to live together,” he said.

Full report at:

http://jpupdates.com/2015/08/07/muslim-mayor-rebuilds-synagogue-in-turkey/

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Turkey freezes assets of Saleh and Houthi leaders

8 August 2015

Turkey has frozen the assets of Yemen’s deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi militia leaders, the ANATOlia news agency reported.

The sanctions freeze any assets, bank accounts and safe deposit boxes that they might have in Turkey and will be kept in place until February 26, 2016.

Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. (File: AFP)

This means that Saleh, his son Ahmad Ali Abdullah Saleh, and Houthi leaders Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, Abdullah Yahya Al-Hakim and Abd Al-Khaliq Al-Houthi have all been blacklisted, the agency said.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/08/Turkey-freezes-assets-of-Saleh-and-Houthi-leaders.html

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Yemen says Taez will be freed in ‘next two days’

7 August 2015

Yemen's Interior Minister, Maj. Gen. Abdou Mohamed al-Hudhaifi has said on Friday that there is progress on three fronts in Taez by the Yemeni army and Popular Resistance Forces and that the area would likely be freed from Houthi “in the next two days.”

Hudhaifi said in a statement to Al Arabiya News’ sister channel Al Hadath that more than 75 per cent of the people of Taez recognize the legitimacy of the government and reject the presence of Houthi militias and the foces of ousted Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

He also added that there some areas which were the exception but that they did not pose an overall threat to the progress made by the army and the resistance forces.

Hudhaifi told Al Hadath that there are currently three fronts where battles are currently being front – in the north, west and south – where relative peace prevails in the eastern parts. He also added that the Houthi and Saleh militias are attempting to focus their efforts on the east but that the rebel group is slowly heading to a state of confusion and collapse.

Hudhaifa predicts that Taez will be completely freed from militias “during the next two days.”

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/07/Yemen-Interior-Minister-says-Taez-will-be-freed-in-next-two-days-.html

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Iranian Official: South Africa, Kuwait Ready to Invest in TAPPICO Oil Projects

Aug 08, 2015

"South Africa and Kuwait have expressed willingness to make investments in oil projects launched in Siraf Refining Park, Fanavaran Petrochemical Company, and Anahita Oil Refining Company," the head of TAPPICO Mohamamd Shiri said on the sidelines of the 1st exhibition of Social Security, Investment, and Sustainable Development.

Shiri added that TAPPICO is also studying offers from other foreign companies who wish to make joint ventures in different oil projects following the removal of Western sanctions in the near future.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940517000578

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Pakistan

 

Gang war commander killed, over 60 suspects detained in operations in Karachi

August 08, 2015

Karachi: Gang war commander Irfan alias Billa on late Friday night was killed in an alleged police encounter in Lyari and more than 60 suspects were arrested in different areas of Karachi

According to reports, in an alleged police encounter in Baghdadi area of Lyari, gang war commander of Ghufar Zakri group was killed. The police said that the criminal was wanted in several heinous crimes including attempted murder. However, his two accomplices managed to escape the scene.

The security forces are making raids in different areas to arrest Rashid Ladla who took gang war group’s lead after his brother, Baba Ladla was killed in Balochistan.

Meanwhile, Rangers arrested as many as 20 suspects in an operation in PIB Colony. The personnel shifted the alleged criminals to undisclosed location for interrogation. In New Karachi area, the police arrested a criminal in injured condition along with an accomplice. The security personnel recovered stolen motorcycles and weapons from their possession.

Separately, two dacoits were apprehended in injured condition in an alleged police encounter near Civil Hospital. Another three culprits were arrested in Nazimabad area. According to the police, key confessions were made during interrogation.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Aug-2015/gang-war-commander-killed-over-60-suspects-detained-in-operations-in-karachi

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‘Karachi operation apolitical, indiscriminate’

August 8, 2015

KARACHI: Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar on Friday reiterated his trust in the Pakistan Rangers and other law enforcement agencies (LEAs) leading the ‘Karachi operation’, which he said, was “apolitical, indiscriminate and free of any compromise” aimed at bringing the violence-hit city back to normality.

The fresh move by the military establishment to assert its support for the ‘Karachi operation’ and institutions behind the campaign has come amid gradually improving law and order situation in the metropolis.

Lt Gen Mukhtar also paid tribute to “sacrifices” of the Rangers and personnel of other LEAs saying they would not go “waste”.

He was addressing the passing-out parade of a new batch of Pakistan Rangers soldiers as the chief guest at Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, Training Centre and School on the Superhighway, said an ISPR statement issued on Friday.

“Karachi operation is apolitical. It is indiscriminate and free of any compromise and pressure. Terrorists, their aides and facilitators are targets of the operation. We will not leave any stone unturned to achieve these targets,” he said.

The corps commander’s visit of the Rangers training center and his brief speech focusing on ‘Karachi operation’ signals continued support of the Pakistan army for the ongoing campaign against ‘terrorists, gangsters and criminals’ in the metropolis, which began in September 2013 but gained momentum earlier this year.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1199099/karachi-operation-apolitical-indiscriminate

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Two youths found shot dead in Karachi's Mochko area

IMTIAZ ALI

August 8, 2015

KARACHI: Bodies of two youths with bullet wounds were recovered from a deserted area of Mochko area of Karachi on Friday, according to police and hospital officials.

The bodies were recovered from the manhole of a sewer in Hawksbay Scheme-42, said the station house officer Nawaz Gondal. "They were shifted to Civil Hospital Karachi for a post-mortem," he added.

The autopsy showed that one man sustained a single bullet wound to the head, said senior medico-legal official Dr. Qarar Ahmed. He was blindfolded and wore a white shalwar kameez.

The other man received two bullet injuries to the head. He wore blue trousers and a purple shirt, and had a trimmed beard.

The bodies appeared to be three to four weeks old, and the victims appeared to be 20 to 25 years old. DNA samples have been taken for identification purposes, the official said.

Similar incidents of dead bodies being discovered in Mochko have been prevalent in the recent past. Four people shot dead were recovered there last June, while two shooting victims and a strangled Muttahida Qaumi Movement worker were found in December. Another man shot to death was found there in January.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1199014/two-youths-found-shot-dead-in-karachis-mochko-area

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ATC sentences extortionist to 11 years in prison

August 08, 2015

Lahore: Special anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday sentenced an extortionist to 11 years in prison.

According to details, a challan was submitted by Nawab Town Police Station’s officer stating that the suspect Kamran demanded Rs 10 lac extortion money from Shoukat Ali and threatened him. He said that investigation has been completed and Kamran has been found guilty in the case whereas the accused pleaded innocence in the case.

The court then sentenced 11 year in prison to the extortionist.

http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Aug-2015/atc-sentences-extortionist-to-11-years-in-prison

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Africa

 

Captives rescued as Mali hotel siege leaves seven dead

08 Aug 2015

Malian special forces backed by French soldiers have ended the siege of a hotel in central Mali, freeing four hostages being held there by gunmen, according to officials.

The incident left at least seven people dead, with five Malian soldiers believed to have been killed.

A government statement on Friday evening gave a provisional toll of "five dead, two injured" on the Malian army side and "two killed" on the other side. Seven suspects had been detained, it added.

The UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) said in a statement that "reports indicate that a member of the international personnel associated with MINUSMA was killed in the attack".

It was not clear if that death was included in the government toll.

"It seems to be over and it has ended well," said Colonel Diaran Koné on Saturday. "We freed the four hostages. But unfortunately we also found three bodies at the site."

He did not give the nationalities of the freed hostages or the dead.

A source told the AFP news agency that "a number of hostages" were freed by Malian forces, including the five foreigners, although their nationalities were not specified.

Located only a few kilometres from the regional capital Mopti, Sevare, situated 620km northeast of Bamako, the capital, is a key staging post on the road to the desert north which fell to fighters in 2012.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/08/captives-rescued-mali-hotel-siege-leaves-dead-150808043931633.html

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Libya peace talks to take place in Geneva

8 August 2015

Planned peace talks next week between Libyan factions will take place in Geneva, instead of Morocco, Libyan officials said Friday.

Libya is bitterly divided between rival governments in its east and west, after descending into chaos following the 2011 end of Muammar Qaddafi's rule.

Tawfik al-Shaheibi, a talks participant, as well as a member of the Islamist-backed parliament in Tripoli who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to reporters, said Friday that Moroccan officials decided to change the venue for Monday's talks because they were offended that U.N. talks with the Islamist-backed parliament took place in rival Algeria last week.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/08/Peace-talks-between-Libyan-factions-to-take-place-in-Geneva.html

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Hostage-taking at Mali hotel ended

08 Aug 2015

Five foreigners and several other hostages were freed overnight after they were held by gunmen who raided a hotel in central Mali in an attack that left at least seven people dead, military sources said early Saturday.

At least five Malian soldiers are believed to have been killed in the operation to end the siege at the Hotel Byblos in Sevare, which is popular with UN peacekeeping staff.

A source said that "a number of hostages" were freed by Malian forces, including the five foreigners, although their nationalities were not specified.

Located only a few kilometres from the regional capital Mopti, Sevare is a key staging post on the road to the desert north which fell to extremists in 2012.

The UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) said in a statement that "reports indicate that a member of the international personnel associated with MINUSMA was killed in the attack".

Sources say that three South Africans, a Frenchman and a Ukrainian had been registered at the hotel before the attack. A Russian diplomat said a Russian was among the hostages.

The gunmen had stormed the hotel at around 7:00 am on Friday, according to the government.

One of the attackers was wearing an explosives belt, one of the military sources said.

Malian forces cordoned off the area but their efforts to dislodge the gunmen were complicated by the presence of hostages, a source said Friday.

The Malian army brought the siege to an end early Saturday.

The military operation "has ended and the hotel has been cleared", one of the military sources said.

The government said Friday there were "five dead, two injured" on the Malian army side and two of the attackers were killed although it was not clear whether the military toll included the MINUSMA staff member.

The UN mission said it had sent a Malian rapid response team from the capital Bamako -- 620 kilometres (385 miles) to the south -- and reinforced security at Sevare-Mopti airport.

It said the initial target of the attack was a Malian military site.

"The attackers, who were pushed back by the Malian Armed Forces, then took refuge in a hotel," MINUSMA said.

A Malian military source had earlier said at least eight people had been killed with "three bodies lying in front of the hotel next to a burned-out minibus."

A spokesman for the Russian embassy in Mali told the RIA Novosti agency that the Russian hostage was an employee of UTAir, an aviation company that works with the UN peacekeeping mission.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/162945/hostage-taking-at-mali-hotel-ended

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Eight More Boko Haram Terrorists Arrested In Borno State

AUG 07, 2015

According to him the terrorists were arrested in the remote village of Mussa in Askira-Uba Local Government Area (LGA).

Leader of the Civilians JTF in Mussa District, Mr. Apagu Istifanus, also confirmed to SaharaReporters that eight members of the deadly group had been arrested. Mr. Istifanus added that at least six of them were from Gwoza town.

We interrogated and said that they were tired and didn’t want to fight Jihad again,” Mr. Istifanus also said.

The Civilian JTF handed the terrorists over to the military in Mubi, Adamawa State for further interrogation.

Full report at:

http://saharareporters.com/2015/08/07/%E2%80%8Eeight-more-boko-haram-terrorists-arrested-borno-state

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Why it’s difficult to help Boko Haram victims – Ochoche

08 August 2015

Executive Director of the Nigerian Foundation for the Support of Victims of Terrorism also known as the Victim Support Fund (VSF), Prof. Sunday Abogonye Ochoche, explains the difficulties in assisting millions of people injured or displaced Boko Haram terrorists, and adds that the agency’s billions of naira won’t be mismanaged. Excerpts:

Daily Trust on Saturday: Many Nigerians expected that the VSF would make an immediate impact, why is that not so?

Prof. Sunday Abogonye Ochoche: The Victims Support Fund was set up by former president Goodluck Jonathan. The committee of the VSF is chaired by Gen. T. Y. Danjuma and it is composed of a number eminent Nigerians, agencies and organisations. The mandate of the committee is to identify sources of funds to support victims of terrorism, ways of raising funds, determine who is affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, communities, institutions and what type of support they require and advise the government on insurgency related issues. Boko Haram has impacted on the country negatively in many ways. Over one million people have been displaced. Thousands of people have been killed, thousands of children orphaned, thousands of women have been widowed and made to become bread winners of their families. Thousands of infrastructures destroyed, including schools, roads, and bridges. Economic lives have been paralysed in the North-east and beyond.

Given the enormity of the impact, there is no single agency or organisation that can handle the situation singularly. One of the strategies of the VSF is to work with many others, including NEMA, the Presidential Initiative on North-east and international agencies like the United Nations and its agencies, civil societies, and state governments, among others, to support the victims of insurgency. Also, we have decided against touching many areas and making minimal impact. We have decided to prioritise support for women and children, especially those that lost the heads of their households and have become the breadwinners of their families and children who have lost their parents. We are going to focus on psycho-social support for the women and children who are traumatised.

Few days ago, we were in Maiduguri where we saw a four-year-old boy who watched the killing of his father and who promised that when he grows up, he would avenge the killing of his father. There are also hospitals that are overwhelmed with treating the victims, especially in the North-east, and we are supporting them to boost their capacities to respond, and provide free treatment.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/weekly/index.php/new-news/21406-why-it-s-difficult-to-help-boko-haram-victims-ochoche

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Fresh 40,000 Displaced In Lake Chad Area By Boko Haram

Aug 8, 2015

The United Nations yesterday said that more than 40, 000 fresh people have been displaced from their villages in the Lake Chad region for fears of attacks by men of the Boko Haram Sect.

Reporting the recent displacement which happened in the last few weeks, United Nations Humanitarian CoordiNATOr for Chad, Mr. Thomas Gurtner, made it known that further population displacement in the Lake Chad region occurred owing to fear of attacks by Boko Haram and appeals by the government of Chad for civilians to leave areas where on-going military operations are being undertaken against the group.

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United-Nations-

Speaking further, Mr. Gurtner said that the Lake Chad islands still faces sporadic attacks, stressing that the Chadian government is presently planning to relocate some additional 20,000 people to the mainland. He noted that this would surely increase vulnerability among displaced population and host communities.

According to the United Nations official, because the area is prone to cholera outbreaks, the world body’s system is working with its partners to implement immediate life-saving assistance to this new displaced population.

He also said that “The volatile security situation and the rainy season are limiting physical access, slowing humanitarian assessments and response. Despite these challenges, three spontaneous IDP sites near Baga Sola have been provided with basic supplies, food and wash kits. The humanitarian community is concerned with the growing trend of forced displacement of civilians in the region.

Full report at:

http://leadership.ng/news/452514/fresh-40000-displaced-in-lake-chad-area-by-boko-haram

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Army urged to uphold rights in Boko Haram fight

07 August 2015

Abuja - The National Human Rights Commission Executive Secretary, Prof. Bem Angwe, has urged the Nigerian Army battling the Boko Haram terrorists to uphold civilians' rights.

He made the appeal during a courtesy visit at the office of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai.

Sani Usman, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, said Angwe further expressed the Human Rights Commission’s determination to partner with the Nigerian Army to ensure that human rights are protected.

He added that both organizations had the common mission to protect human rights, hoping that the partnership will benefit the Nigerian people.

Buratai pledged the Nigerian Army would continue to collaborate with the Commission.

Also read:Britain restates support to fight against Boko Haram

"All aspects of human rights will continue to be respected as enshrined in the Constitution," Buratai said. 

Full report at:

http://www.news24.com.ng/National/News/Army-urged-to-uphold-rights-in-Boko-Haram-fight-20150807

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Somalia: AU Demands More Funding for Battle Al Shabaab

7 AUGUST 2015

The African Union on Thursday, appealed to the international community for more financial assistance to its peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Maman Sidikou, told journalists in Nairobi that the operations of the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISON) are costly and require more international aid.

"We need more resources to motivate the soldiers and provide logistical support to enable our troops to wage a successful war against the militants," Sidikou said.

The AMISION is fighting alongside the Somali forces against Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab in southern Somalia.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201508071665.html

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Europe

 

'May Allah Bless France!' Tells the Story Of France's Hip-Hop Gatekeepers

AUGUST 07, 2015

Think back to the 1990s — to movies like Boyz n the Hood or Menace II Society.

Now, imagine one of those movies shot in black and white, with prayer beads and scenes from a mosque. And imagine it all in French.

That's the recipe for the new film, May Allah Bless France!, opening in the US next week. The man behind the camera is also the character at the heart of the film. His name is Abd Al Malik, and he's a big deal in France. He's a best-selling rapper, a poet and an acclaimed author, and, now, a filmmaker.

A slim and youthful 40, Al Malik was born to Congolese Catholic parents but is an observant Muslim. He says May Allah Bless France! isn't just a hip-hop movie.

"My movie isn't just a visual exercise — it's deeply political," he says. "It has political value because it can be useful to the community."

That community is in the depressed suburbs of France. The film opens with a montage of black and brown faces against the tower blocks of the city of Strasbourg. Cut to images of SWAT teams breaking down doors in the neighborhood and wrestling with suspects under arrest.

These are the same communities that have been under scrutiny since the attacks at Charlie Hebdo earlier this year. It's where so many of France's millions of Muslim immigrants live, and, as in the communities they mirror in the US, hip-hop is the soundtrack here.

On the song "Tin Soldier," Al Malik recounts the violence he saw as a young man. "I'd seen death by overdose, firearm, blade or rope," he raps. "A smile and some attention may have made a difference. We'd have been normal and not child soldiers."

It's this song that helped make him a star in France nearly 10 years ago years ago, when he says the music needed a dose of reality.

"There are a lot of misperceptions about urban culture and hip-hop, so as a rapper I wanted to bring some truth to this from the voice of someone who knows that reality," Al Malik explains. "I want to do the same with Islam. The people who experience this every day, unfortunately, can't speak out for themselves, so that's what I wanted to do."

If you're going to understand the French Muslim experience, you have to listen to hip-hop — at least according to author Hisham Aidi. He's written about Muslim youth culture in his book Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture.

"France is the second biggest market for hip hop in the world outside the US. Some of the leading hip-hop artists in France are Muslim, either the children of immigrants or converts," Aidi says. "So Muslim artists are really the gatekeepers of hip-hop culture in France, and Abd Al Malik was one of the pioneers."

May Allah Bless France! is the story of how he reached that point. It begins on the streets of Strasbourg as a teenage Al Malik is shown swaggering across the street on his way to school, thinking out loud, spitting rhymes.

"My library, my books are my only bling bling," he raps. And that scene is a good example of what he brings to the music, Aidi says.

"He's one cerebral rapper. This is a man who said that French hip-hop artists are the children of Public Enemy and Jacques Derrida," he says of Al Malik.

Full report at:

http://www.npr.org/2015/08/07/429718425/may-allah-bless-france-tells-the-story-of-frances-hip-hop-gatekeepers

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/do-you-trust-me-enough-for-a-hug?-asks-a-blindfolded-muslim-man-in-mumbai/d/104212


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