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Islamic World News ( 8 Nov 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment




















Donald J. Trump

 

Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment

Ahmadis, Who Could Not Vote In Pakistan, Vote For The First Time In The U.S.

Saudi Blockades, Aggression behind Famine in Yemen: Ansarullah

Nigeria Plans to Attack Shias during Arba’een Ceremonies: IMN

Deputy Leader of Britain First Says Police Should Be Able To Shoot Muslims

 

North America

Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment

Ahmadis, Who Could Not Vote In Pakistan, Vote For The First Time In The U.S.

Muslim-American Voters See 'Unprecedented' Organizing on Election Day

Muslim home with Clinton window sign vandalised in US

I am a Pakistani-American and Trump's rise threatens me

After Enduring Months of Trump's Islamophobia, Muslim Voters Clap Back

Georgia communities struggle with Muslims' arrival

This Orthodox Jewish immigrant dedicated his vote to a slain Muslim American soldier

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Mideast

Saudi Blockades, Aggression behind Famine in Yemen: Ansarullah

Turkey Again Asks US Stop Arming Kurdish Militia in Syria

Hezbollah source of pride for Muslim world: Iran’s Zarif

Israel, extremism common threats to Iran, Lebanon: Zarif

Israel says it blocked Palestinian bid to join Interpol

Turkish-German player acquitted over 'terror propaganda'

US election: Views from Gaza, Yemen and Tunisia

Yemen's FM reconfirms rejection of UN peace plan

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Africa

Nigeria Plans to Attack Shias during Arba’een Ceremonies: IMN

Boko Haram kills 2 in Cameroon's Far North Region

African Union leaders gather in Ethiopia for peace in Libya

Rwanda to host Seedstars Africa Summit next month

'Tombs of saints' inspire and divide in northern Nigeria

Minnesota Just Elected the Country's First Somali-American Muslim Woman Legislator

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Europe

Deputy Leader of Britain First Says Police Should Be Able To Shoot Muslims

France's Islam Problem: Muslims Must Blend Into Society, French Religious Official Says

German police detain five ‘recruiters for ISIS group’

Berlin rejects Ankara's claim about Germany's support for 'terrorists'

German police arrest 5 suspected Daesh recruiters

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Arab World

Syrian Army Keeps Up Momentum of Victories, Captures Three More Districts

Raid Kills Seven Children in Syria Rebel Bastion

Terrorists Fail to Prevail over Gov't Forces' Positions in Northern Hama

Syrian army takes key Aleppo district as Russia readies renewed airstrikes

Syria War: Russian Attack Helicopters Target ISIS Terror Groups

Syrian, Russian Warplanes Hit Hard Terrorists' Supply Cargos in Idlib

Syrian Army Seizes Control of One More Key Road in Southwestern Damascus

UK royals in Bahrain amid crackdown

Syrian army retakes key Aleppo district from militants

Syrian Army Keeps Marching on Terrorists' Positions near Housing Project 1070

Syria: Terrorists' Large-Scale Offensive Repulsed in Southeastern Damascus

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Pakistan

Inclusion of Terror Law In Child Abuse Case Ordered

Move To Unite MQM Factions under Former Dictator Raises Hackles

Government Has Steered Pakistan Out Of Crisis, Declares Dar

Fazl says Imran will be arrested in Panama case

Saudi air chief hails PAF’s role in war on terror 

139th birth anniversary of Iqbal today

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India

Kolkata: Clerics Launch Twin Attacks, Target BJP and TMC on Triple Talaq

Ensure Equal Status To Women In Goa, Islamic Scholar Tells BJP-Led NDA Govt.

SIMI Row: Impossible To Unlock Bhopal Jail From Inside, Says Ex-Prisoner

Three High Commission officials in Pakistan leave for India: report

PM Modi reviews situation on western front as India, Pakistan trade heavy fire

Pakistan opposes India's bid for UN permanent membership

India, UK need to cooperate more on counter-terrorism: President

Another army jawan killed in Pak shelling in Naushera sector

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South Asia

Afghan Taliban Reject Proposed Ulema Conference

US-Afghan Relations to Remain Strong As Americans Elect New Leader

Ghani congratulates Trump for his victory in US presidential election

Prominent gang leader involved in major crimes killed in Kabul

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Southeast Asia

Look To Sarawak Assembly, Those Wanting To Leave Islam Advised

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit Malaysia for talks with PM Najib

Why hundreds of thousands of Muslims rallied against the Jakarta governor

House to examine who was behind violence at anti-Ahok rally

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/donald-trump-is-elected-president-in-stunning-repudiation-of-the-establishment/d/109057

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Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment

By MATT FLEGENHEIMER and MICHAEL BARBARO

NOV. 9, 2016

Donald John Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on Tuesday in a stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy.

The surprise outcome, defying late polls that showed Hillary Clinton with a modest but persistent edge, threatened convulsions throughout the country and the world, where skeptics had watched with alarm as Mr. Trump’s unvarnished overtures to disillusioned voters took hold.

The triumph for Mr. Trump, 70, a real estate developer-turned-reality television star with no government experience, was a powerful rejection of the establishment forces that had assembled against him, from the world of business to government, and the consensus they had forged on everything from trade to immigration.

The results amounted to a repudiation, not only of Mrs. Clinton, but of President Obama, whose legacy is suddenly imperiled. And it was a decisive demonstration of power by a largely overlooked coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters who felt that the promise of the United States had slipped their grasp amid decades of globalization and multiculturalism.

In Mr. Trump, a thrice-married Manhattanite who lives in a marble-wrapped three-story penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue, they found an improbable champion.

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Mr. Trump told supporters around 3 a.m. on Wednesday at a rally in New York City, just after Mrs. Clinton called to concede.

In a departure from a blistering campaign in which he repeatedly stoked division, Mr. Trump sought to do something he had conspicuously avoided as a candidate: Appeal for unity.

“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”

That, he added, “is so important to me.”

He offered unusually warm words for Mrs. Clinton, who he has suggested should be in jail, saying she was owed “a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.”

Bolstered by Mr. Trump’s strong showing, Republicans retained control of the Senate. Only one Republican-controlled seat, in Illinois, fell to Democrats early in the evening. And Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, a Republican, easily won re-election in a race that had been among the country’s most competitive. A handful of other Republican incumbents facing difficult races were running better than expected.

Mr. Trump’s win — stretching across the battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania — seemed likely to set off financial jitters and immediate unease among international allies, many of which were startled when Mr. Trump in his campaign cast doubt on the necessity of America’s military commitments abroad and its allegiance to international economic partnerships.

From the moment he entered the campaign, with a shocking set of claims that Mexican immigrants were rapists and criminals, Mr. Trump was widely underestimated as a candidate, first by his opponents for the Republican nomination and later by Mrs. Clinton, his Democratic rival. His rise was largely missed by polling organizations and data analysts. And an air of improbability trailed his campaign, to the detriment of those who dismissed his angry message, his improvisational style and his appeal to disillusioned voters.

He suggested remedies that raised questions of constitutionality, like a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

He threatened opponents, promising lawsuits against news organizations that covered him critically and women who accused him of sexual assault. At times, he simply lied.

But Mr. Trump’s unfiltered rallies and unshakable self-regard attracted a zealous following, fusing unsubtle identity politics with an economic populism that often defied party doctrine.

His rallies — furious, entertaining, heavy on name-calling and nationalist overtones — became the nexus of a political movement, with daily promises of sweeping victory, in the election and otherwise, and an insistence that the country’s political machinery was “rigged” against Mr. Trump and those who admired him.

He seemed to embody the success and grandeur that so many of his followers felt was missing from their own lives — and from the country itself. And he scoffed at the poll-driven word-parsing ways of modern politics, calling them a waste of time and money. Instead, he relied on his gut.

At his victory party at the New York Hilton Midtown, where a raucous crowd indulged in a cash bar and wore hats bearing his ubiquitous campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” voters expressed gratification that their voices had, at last, been heard.

“He was talking to people who weren’t being spoken to,” said Joseph Gravagna, 37, a marketing company owner from Rockland County, N.Y. “That’s how I knew he was going to win.”

For Mrs. Clinton, the defeat signaled an astonishing end to a political dynasty that has colored Democratic politics for a generation. Eight years after losing to President Obama in the Democratic primary — and 16 years after leaving the White House for the United States Senate, as President Bill Clinton exited office — she had seemed positioned to carry on two legacies: her husband’s and the president’s.

Her shocking loss was a devastating turn for the sprawling world of Clinton aides and strategists who believed they had built an electoral machine that would swamp Mr. Trump’s ragtag band of loyal operatives and family members, many of whom had no experience running a national campaign.

On Tuesday night, stricken Clinton aides who believed that Mr. Trump had no mathematical path to victory, anxiously paced the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center as states in which they were confident of victory, like Florida and North Carolina, either fell to Mr. Trump or seemed in danger of tipping his way.

Mrs. Clinton watched the grim results roll in from a suite at the nearby Peninsula Hotel, surrounded by her family, friends and advisers who had the day before celebrated her candidacy with a champagne toast on her campaign plane.

But over and over, Mrs. Clinton’s weaknesses as a candidate were exposed. She failed to excite voters hungry for change. She struggled to build trust with Americans who were baffled by her decision to use a private email server as secretary of state. And she strained to make a persuasive case for herself as a champion of the economically downtrodden after delivering perfunctory paid speeches that earned her millions of dollars.

The returns Tuesday also amounted to a historic rebuke of the Democratic Party from the white blue-collar voters who had formed the party base from the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt to Mr. Clinton’s. Yet Mrs. Clinton and her advisers had taken for granted that states like Michigan and Wisconsin would stick with a Democratic nominee, and that she could repeat Mr. Obama’s strategy of mobilizing the party’s ascendant liberal coalition rather than pursuing a more moderate course like her husband did 24 years ago.

But not until these voters were offered a Republican who ran as an unapologetic populist, railing against foreign trade deals and illegal immigration, did they move so drastically away from their ancestral political home.

To the surprise of many on the left, white voters who had helped elect the nation’s first black president, appeared more reluctant to line up behind a white woman.

From Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, industrial towns once full of union voters who for decades offered their votes to Democratic presidential candidates, even in the party’s lean years, shifted to Mr. Trump’s Republican Party. One county in the Mahoning Valley of Ohio, Trumbull, went to Mr. Trump by a six-point margin. Four years ago, Mr. Obama won there by 22 points.

Mrs. Clinton’s loss was especially crushing to millions who had cheered her march toward history as, they hoped, the nation’s first female president. For supporters, the election often felt like a referendum on gender progress: an opportunity to elevate a woman to the nation’s top job and to repudiate a man whose remarkably boorish behavior toward women had assumed center stage during much of the campaign.

Mr. Trump boasted, in a 2005 video released last month, about using his public profile to commit sexual assault. He suggested that female political rivals lacked a presidential “look.” He ranked women on a scale of one to 10, even holding forth on the desirability of his own daughter — the kind of throwback male behavior that many in the country assumed would disqualify a candidate for high office.

On Tuesday, the public’s verdict was rendered.

Uncertainty abounds as Mr. Trump prepares to take office. His campaign featured a shape-shifting list of policy proposals, often seeming to change hour to hour. His staff was in constant turmoil, with Mr. Trump’s children serving critical campaign roles and a rotating cast of advisers alternately seeking access to Mr. Trump’s ear, losing it and, often, regaining it, depending on the day.

Even Mr. Trump’s full embrace of the Republican Party came exceedingly late in life, leaving members of both parties unsure about what he truly believes. He has donated heavily to both parties and has long described his politics as the transactional reality of a businessman.

Mr. Trump’s dozens of business entanglements — many of them in foreign countries — will follow him into the Oval Office, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest. His refusal to release his tax returns, and his acknowledgment that he did not pay federal income taxes for years, has left the American people with considerable gaps in their understanding of the financial dealings.

But this they do know: Mr. Trump will thoroughly reimagine the tone, standards and expectations of the presidency, molding it in his own self-aggrandizing image.

He is set to take the oath of office on Jan. 20.

Amy Chozick, Ashley Parker, Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin contributed reporting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/09/us/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-president.html

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Ahmadis, Who Could Not Vote In Pakistan, Vote For The First Time In The U.S.

November 9, 2016

For some Americans heading to the polls is an annual ritual for others a new experience. Hundreds of newly naturalized Americans who have sought refuge in the U.S voted for the first time on Tuesday.

Followers of the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam have been unable to participate in the electoral process of Pakistan for over three decades. The intensely persecuted community has been declared “non-Muslim” by the Pakistani constitution, Millions of Ahmadis have been unable to register as Muslim voters, and hence have been unable to avail their right to vote.

“Imagine if the Mormon or Catholic communities were forced to declare that they were “non-Christian” in order to cast a ballot” said Amjad Mahmood Khan, Spokesperson for the U.S. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.

Ayesha Noor, a first time voter who moved to America in 2008 wrote a moving letter to Hillary Clinton expressing her joy on getting a chance to vote for the first time.

In a Facebook post, Noor shared the letter she wrote to U.S.Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton:

Dear Hillary Clinton,

Today, on my birthday, I voted for the first time in my life. And I couldn’t be happier.

It wasn’t my laziness that stopped me from voting all these years. It wasn’t because I’m a woman either. I couldn’t yet vote ……. because I am an Ahmadi Muslim, and Pakistan refuses to give me the right to a free election due to my faith.

To cast my vote in Pakistan, I have to in writing either renounce my faith, or renounce the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. For 40 years Ahmadi Muslims have been denied this basic right to vote. Our Pakistani citizenship, 100% literacy rate of our community, our community services and our services in the Armed forces, nothing matters. Millions of Ahmadi Muslims, including my own family in Pakistan, suffer this cruel injustice every year.

This morning on my birthday my husband and I went to cast our votes. I couldn’t stop smiling as it was my perfect birthday gift, one I have been longing to get for ages. I am a woman, an American, a Muslim, and I just voted for a woman for President. I hope as President you will continue to lead America down a path of pluralism, peace, and progress.

Noor’s husband, author Qasim Rashid also shared his appreciation for the right of vote America has given to his wife.

https://www.rabwah.net/ahmadis-who-could-not-vote-in-pakistan-vote-for-the-first-time-in-the-u-s/

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Saudi blockades, aggression behind famine in Yemen: Ansarullah

Nov 9, 2016

The Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement says Saudi Arabia’s military campaign and its crippling blockades against Yemen is behind a severe food shortage and famine plaguing the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

Mohammad Abdulsalam, the Ansarullah spokesman, said in a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday that the Saudi-led military coalition is ducking the responsibility for the worsening humanitarian and economic situation in Yemen at the same time as maintaining a naval and aerial blockade on the conflict-ridden country.

While the Riyadh-led coalition is enforcing a no-fly zone over Yemen and bombing medical facilities, ambulances and even clinics run by the international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, it refuses to take responsibility for the crisis in Yemen and keeps blaming others for impeding access to vital humanitarian aid for the civilian population, he pointed out.

Earlier on Tuesday, Saudi military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri claimed that fighters from the Ansarullah movement have seized a total of 34 Yemen-bound aid boats over a six-month period.

Assiri further accused Ansarullah members of blocking humanitarian supplies to the western Yemeni city of Hudaydah.

The Ansarullah spokesman further said Saudi Arabia and its regional allies are continuously bombarding the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah, located 150 kilometers southwest of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, preventing freight vessels from docking at Yemeni ports and killing innocent women and children.

He added that the Saudi military pounds residential complexes, funeral and wedding ceremonies, schools, markets, bridges, dairy factories and many other places, claiming that it is targeting Houthi fighters and allied Yemeni army forces.

Abdulsalam further said the pro-Riyadh contingent uses sophisticated missiles in its deadly air raids and recruits mercenaries from around the world to press ahead with its offensive in Yemen

The Al Saud regime and its allies are spending huge sums of money to buy the support of other countries, he added.

The Saudi regime, he added, has no respect for the international regulations and Muslim values, and is spreading propaganda to represent Yemeni armed forces as those responsible for the famine and disease outbreaks in Yemen.

Riyadh launched the military campaign in March 2015 in an attempt to bring back the former Yemeni government to power and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says 7.4 million Yemeni children are in dire need of medical help, and 370,000 run the risk of severe acute malnutrition.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/09/492803/Yemen-Houthi-Ansarullah-Mohammad-Abdulsalam-Saudi-coalition-bombardment-naval-aerial-blocakes

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Nigeria plans to attack Shias during Arba’een ceremonies: IMN

Nov 8, 2016

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) says it has received information that the Nigerian army plans to attack processions scheduled for the mourning rituals of Arba’een.

The group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, said on Tuesday that military intelligence officers had told the IMN that the attacks will be launched against processions scheduled for November 20 that marks 40 days after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam.

Meanwhile, the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission has called on Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the safety of mourners taking part in the procession.

Last month, at least 20 people were killed and several others injured when Nigerian forces opened fire at Shia mourners commemorating Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (Peace be upon him). 

The Nigerian state of Kaduna also banned the IMN as the state crackdown against the Muslim community continues.

In December 2015, Nigerian forces raided the house of the IMN’s leader Shia Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and arrested him after killing those attempting to protect him, including one of the movement's senior leaders and its spokesman.

The raid occurred a day after Nigerian soldiers attacked Shia Muslims attending a ceremony at a religious center in the city of Zaria, accusing them of blocking the convoy of the army’s chief of staff and attempting to assassinate him.  

On August 1, the Islamic Human Rights Commission released a report, saying the Nigerian army killed 348 Shia Muslims during the attack on the religious ceremony.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/08/492769/nigeria-imn-shia-attack-arbaeen

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Deputy Leader of Britain First Says Police Should Be Able To Shoot Muslims

Nov 09, 2016

The deputy leader of Britain First has said police should be able to turn their guns on Muslims just a week after being found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment.

Speaking in a video posted to YouTube and Facebook that has been viewed more than 4,000 times, Jayda Fransen discusses ‘Christian persecution in Britain’ in the context of a recent news story in Bradford.

Earlier this week is reported a Christian family who had converted from Islam had been forced to flee their home under armed guard after suffering “years of persecution”.

Nissar Hussain, a father of six, was attacked outside his home last year suffering appalling injuries.

In Fransen’s video she links this isolated incident with “entire towns and cities” that are “Muslim ghettoes where non-Muslims are not welcome”.

She then adds: “If the presence of armed police is required to protect an innocent Christian family against Muslims in Britain, then they should be permitted to turn their guns on those Muslims.”

Last week Fransen was found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment. She escaped a possible six-month jail term but was ordered to pay a total of £1,920 in fines and court costs.

A court in Luton heard how the deputy leader of Britain First hurled abuse at a Muslim woman wearing a hijab while brandishing a white cross in front of the woman’s four young children.

Race-hate hotline, Tell Mama, told the Huffington Post UK: “Jayda Fransen has just been prosecuted for religiously aggravated harassment of a Muslim woman on a street who was going about her daily business.

“Yet here we are where she simply shrugs off the fact that a conviction should make her reflect and think about what she has done.

“She is in a state of denial regarding her radicalisation by far right rhetoric and the extremist group – Britain First, which indicates why she consistenty uses such inflammatory language against Muslims.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/britain-first-jayda-fransen_uk_5821da3ae4b0c2e24ab11df8

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North America

 

Muslim-American Voters See 'Unprecedented' Organizing on Election Day

NOV 8 2016

Muslim Americans are energized about voting in this year's election in unprecedented ways, thanks in large part to extensive get-out-the-vote outreach launched throughout their communities and at mosques, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Robert McCaw, CAIR's government affairs department manager, told NBC News Tuesday afternoon that, the Muslim community has been hard at work for the last two years, ensuring every Muslim American eligible to vote is registered, and that they cast ballots on Election Day.

"It's unprecedented how mosques are organizing around this election, and really it's a great thing to see," McCaw said.

One reason for the heightened interest, voter outreach workers say, is that some of the rhetoric surrounding this year's presidential race, including Republican nominee Donald Trump's call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

Nearly 91 percent of registered Muslim voters said the ban was the wrong decision, according to a CAIR survey released in October.

As a result of rhetorical attacks on the Muslim community, more than 300,000 Muslims may have registered to vote since 2012, CAIR said in a statement in June. Around 3.3 million Muslims lived in the U.S. in 2015, according to Pew Research.

For Election Day, McCaw said mosques have been doing their part to mobilize Muslim-American voters. In northern Virginia, for example, cab drivers who are members of the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque have been driving others from their congregation to polling sites for free, McCaw said.

Phone banks have also proven successful in reminding people to vote, McCaw said. This past weekend, one woman he reached said she'd been contacted multiple times from multiple organizations, which also included receiving an email from her mosque, he said. The phone call ended with the woman promising to vote, McCaw said.

CAIR, a nonpartisan nonprofit, also enlisted Gold Star father Khizr Khan, a Muslim American, to record a get-out-the-vote phone message, urging more than 400,000 registered Muslim voters to head to the polls on Tuesday, according to the organization. Khan, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention in July, lost his son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, in 2004 when he was killed while serving in Iraq.

"This is a first that we're inundating the average Muslim American with reminders to get out the vote," McCaw said.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/muslim-american-voters-see-unprecedented-organizing-election-day-n680386

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Muslim home with Clinton window sign vandalised in US

November 9, 2016

Philadelphia: Vandals broke the window of a Muslim family’s home in a Philadelphia suburb overnight on Monday.

Wasif Qureshi, a cardiologist and the local head of civic engagement group Emerge USA, said his 15-year-old daughter had recently put a Hillary Clinton sign in the window of her bedroom. At around 2 a.m., a rock shattered glass across his daughter’s bed and floor and left her “shaking and crying”, The Washington Post quoted Qureshi as saying.

The family called the police, who arrived immediately, he said, but the vandals had already fled.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/news/muslim-home-clinton-window-sign-vandalised-us-1061070/

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I am a Pakistani-American and Trump's rise threatens me

JANNAT MAJEED

Nov 09, 2016

When Donald Trump first made the statement about banning Muslims from entering the United States, I did not take it as an abstract concern.

I did not think he didn’t mean it or that he wouldn’t want to pursue it as a policy if he became President.

Instead, I thought about my Muslim parents who brought my brother and me to the United States from Pakistan in December of 2000, when I was eight years old.

I thought about immigrant parents making sacrifices for their children in a new country, faced with all sorts of new challenges.

And I also thought about what we had contributed to this country during our time here.

I thought about my Pakistani relatives who, after September 11, 2001, found it much more difficult to visit us and perhaps now would never be able to.

I thought about the trips we took to our family home in Lahore every few years and whether those trips could make us liabilities or contribute to us being seen as suspicious.

I also went back to my childhood when in the wake of September 11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it became much harder to be Pakistani and Muslim in America.

The more I felt that America was my home, the more reminders there were that my family and I would be perpetually foreign, suspect and untrustworthy.

What does Donald Trump’s rise mean to me as a Pakistani immigrant in the United States?

Donald Trump’s rise did not occur in a vacuum. He did not come up with his own bigoted rhetoric out of nowhere. Rather, he exploited fears and anxieties that already existed — the fears and anxieties of a country recovering from an economic crisis and in an age of international terrorism.

By repeating beliefs about Muslims being untrustworthy or unwilling to follow the laws of the United States, he provided a convenient scapegoat for the problems the country is facing.

His rhetoric has had tangible effects.

According to the New York Times, “Hate crimes against American Muslims have soared to their highest levels...an increase apparently fuelled by terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad and by divisive language on the campaign trail.”

Moreover, “hate crimes against American Muslims were up 78 per cent over the course of 2015.”

This is startling data.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1289068/i-am-a-pakistani-american-and-trumps-rise-threatens-me

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After Enduring Months Of Trump's Islamophobia, Muslim Voters Clap Back

09/11/2016

After months of listening to Donald Trump’s fear-mongering and Islamophobic rhetoric, American Muslims clapped back at the Republican presidential candidate in the best possible way.

They went to the polls and voted.

Thanks to mobilization efforts from Muslim organizations in the country, a record number of American Muslims reportedly registered to vote in this year’s election. The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, an umbrella group of advocacy organizations, puts the count at over one million ― double the number of registered Muslim voters in the 2012 presidential election.

Advocacy groups set up registration booths at mosques, schools, and community centers throughout the year. Imams were encouraged to preach about voting during services.

A Council on American-Islamic Relations survey released in October suggested that 86 percent of all registered American Muslims planned to vote and 72 percent said they were voting for Clinton. Four percent of the survey’s 800 participants said they were voting for Trump, three percent for Jill Stein, and two percent for Gary Johnson.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/muslim-voters-election-day_us_5822142be4b0e80b02cd0b62

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Georgia communities struggle with Muslims' arrival

Nov 09, 2016

Masjid Al-Mu'minun, a mosque in south Atlanta, is one of the few that play the call to prayer over external speakers, letting the sound drift through the neighborhood. Ahmed Najee-ullah, a leader in the congregation, said neighbors set their watches by it.

"We are in those parts of the African-American community where a lot of people wouldn't venture and the communities that we're in appreciate us being there," he said. "They have this perception that we represent the best in them."

Najee-ullah is one of many black Americans who converted to Islam during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and '70s. He said mosques are welcomed as beacons of stability in many black neighborhoods.

Things have changed in the decades since Masjid Al-Mu'minun opened in the early '80s. As the U.S. Muslim population grows, communities are seeking to establish Islamic institutions such as mosques, schools and cemeteries in otherwise homogenous suburban and rural areas.

These efforts can be met with hostility.

In Newton County, Ga., hundreds turned out to oppose a proposed mosque during a town hall meeting in August.

"(Muslims) carry hate and it is known in their faith that all infidels will die if you don't believe like they believe," one woman said. "I don't want to see our town destroyed."

Her sentiment was echoed by dozens of speakers.

Versions of this have played out across the United States in recent years. Controversies over Muslim worship centers appears to coincide with a surge in anti-Muslim rhetoric and activity.

A study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at the University of California, San Bernardino, found that hate crimes against Muslims increased 78 percent in 2015. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has warned that 2016 is on track to surpass that. Over the summer, a Muslim woman was set on fire on a New York City street and a Florida mosque was torched. Three Kansas men were arrested and charged with a bomb plot targeting Somali Muslims.

While the government does not collect information about religious affiliation on the census, the Pew Research Center estimated there were 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States in 2015. About 1.7 million of them, according to Pew, immigrated from 1992 to 2012. The Muslim population is expected to reach 8.1 million by 2050, or 2.1 percent of the total population.

The Atlanta area, like many cities, is home to a large, diverse Muslim community, although there are no numbers available.

Conversations with Muslim residents and community leaders in Georgia reveal a split in opinion on how to respond to anti-Muslim animosity.

Full report at:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-tns-bc-muslims-communities-20161107-story.html

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This Orthodox Jewish immigrant dedicated his vote to a slain Muslim American soldier

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey

November 8, 2016

An Orthodox Jewish immigrant’s tweet went viral on Tuesday after he posted a photo of himself with his ballot next to a photo of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim American soldier who was killed in 2004 while serving in Iraq. Yosef Rapaport, who does independent media consulting, said that he woke up on Election Day and decided to dedicate his vote to Khan.

“I would probably not agree politically with Capt. Khan if he met me and we talked about world affairs,” Rapaport said. “I don’t know. I can’t be sure. That doesn’t diminish one iota the deep respect I have for him and his family for what they did for America. We owe them our deepest respect.”

Muslims’ religious practices are especially under attack right now, Rapaport said. “That should be frightening to every religious person,” he said. “When there’s an attack on one religious group it means my religious liberty is diminished.”

This summer Donald Trump lashed out at Khan’s parents, who appeared at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia the same night Hillary Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Khan’s father blasted Trump’s rhetoric on Muslims and immigrants. Pulling his pocket version of the Constitution from his jacket, he questioned whether Trump has read it. “You have sacrificed nothing and no one,” Khan said.

During one of the presidential debates, Trump said his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country had “morphed” into a plan for “extreme vetting” of refugees.

Rapaport declined to say who he voted for, but he said leans left and, “you can infer.” He said he met Trump with several other Jewish representatives in New York City this summer and asked him about the Free Exercise clause of the Constitution. Rapaport said Trump’s answer to his question was fine, but he is still concerned about the larger talk about Muslims this election cycle.

“The attack on Muslim minorities causes great concern for me because we are in the same country, we are protected by the same rules,” Rapaport said.

[In 2016, people have read anti-Semitic tweets 10 billion times, many from Trump supporters]

A Hasidic Jew, Rapaport, who is 62, moved to the U.S. from Montreal to marry his wife 40 years ago. Now they have eight children and 35 grandchildren and live in Brooklyn. He and his wife’s parents were Holocaust survivors from Hungary.

He said that when his parents were in Hungary in the 1940s, there was a law passed that if one of your grandparents wasn’t born in Hungary, you could be exported to Poland where many Jews died in the Holocaust. That’s why he is so frightened by comments like one tweeted by Ann Coulter on Monday: “If only people with at least 4 grandparents born in America were voting, Trump would win in a 50-state landslide.”

“You can expel me to Canada the day he moves all the Mexicans,” Rapaport said. “I’m in line, right?

Jewish voters have been a reliable Democratic voting bloc since the early 1900s, and are twice as likely to have liberal political views than conservative ones, holding more liberal views on issues like gay rights and size of government. While Jewish Americans, who make up about 2.2 percent of the country, aren’t as big a voter bloc as other groups, they tend to vote at higher rates than the overall electorate.

Full report at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/11/08/this-orthodox-jewish-immigrant-dedicated-his-vote-to-a-slain-muslim-american-soldier/

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Mideast

 

Turkey again asks US stop arming Kurdish militia in Syria

November/08/2016

Turkey has once again asked the United States to stop giving arms to support the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Nov. 7.

“The U.S. says they don’t give arms to the YPG. But we know that they have done since the Kobane [battle between the YPG and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant]. We captured those arms from [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK militants in Turkey. So we know that the U.S. gives weapons to the YPG. And we told [U.S. Chief of General Staff Joseph] Dunford not give weapons to them,” Çavuşoğlu said at a joint press conference with his Bosnian counterpart Igor Crnadak.

Washington has told Ankara that the YPG would only take part in the siege of Raqqa and not enter the city, ISIL’s de facto capital in Syria, Çavuşoğlu said, adding that there are still “weeks” until the Raqqa offensive is kicked off.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-again-asks-us-stop-arming-kurdish-militia-in-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105869&NewsCatID=510

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Hezbollah source of pride for Muslim world: Iran’s Zarif

Nov 8, 2016

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the performance of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah in Lebanon and the region is a source of pride for the entire Muslim world.

Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with Lebanon-based Iranian officials and their families in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday. He has traveled to the country at the head of a business delegation.

“The role played by Hezbollah as the symbol of resistance, and also by the movement’s authorities, especially [Secretary General] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is a source of pride, not only for Lebanon and Iran, but also for the entire Muslim world,” he said.

He said Lebanon embodied “the resistance’s triumph over the tyranny, occupation, and bloodletting of the Zionist regime (Israel).”

Hezbollah is credited with defending Lebanon against two wars launched by Israel, in 2000 and 2006. The resistance movement has also been successfully helping the Syrian army fight Saudi-backed Takfiri militants in order to prevent the Syrian conflict from spilling over to Lebanon.

The top Iranian diplomat also hailed the recent election of Michel Aoun as the Lebanese president, which ended a 29-month presidential vacuum in the country.

“The creation of domestic consensus in Lebanon led to considerable success not only for one group but also for all of the Lebanese,” he said.

‘Region set afire by angry states’

Zarif also said some regional states harbored certain undue concerns following the successful negotiation of a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers in 2015 and “set the region on fire” as a result of such concerns.

“The innocent people of Yemen and Syria are paying for the phobia and the very destructive game by the angry states of the region,” he noted. “We hope these countries will soon come to the conclusion that the continuation of these policies will not lead to anything other damage to themselves.”

Saudi Arabia has been waging war on Yemen since March 2015. Along with some other regional and non-regional countries, Riyadh has also been backing a deadly militancy in Syria.

‘Israel is world's most dangerous regime’

In a later meeting with some Lebanon-based Palestinian groups, Zarif said the issue of Palestine is “one of the most important issues facing the Muslim world.”

“Support for Palestine is support for resistance, Islam, and humanity,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/08/492689/Iran-Zarif-Lebanon-Hezbollah-Nasrallah

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Israel, extremism common threats to Iran, Lebanon: Zarif

Nov 8, 2016

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic is ready to cooperate with Lebanon on ways to counter the Israeli regime and extremism as common threats to Tehran and Beirut in the region.

“The dangers which are threatening us are the danger of the Zionist regime [of Israel] and the danger of extremism,” Zarif told reporters after a meeting with the Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri in Beirut on Tuesday.

“We are ready to cooperate with all the Lebanese people and groups to counter these dangers,” he added.

He noted that in his meeting with Hariri, the sides discussed the latest developments in the Middle East, particularly relations between Tehran and Beirut after the election of Michel Aoun as the new Lebanese president.

The two sides also urged regional players to bridge the gaps on the political settlement of the existing crises in the region, the top Iranian diplomat said.

Zarif arrived in Beirut on Monday for a two-day visit, becoming the first foreign minister to meet with Lebanon’s newly-elected president. Following his arrival, he held talks with Aoun and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil. Earlier on Tuesday, he met with Lebanon-based Iranian officials and their families as well as some Lebanon-based Palestinian groups. He also held a meeting with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah.

Zarif’s visit to Beirut came just days after Lebanon's lawmakers elected former army commander, Michel Aoun, as president when they convened for their 46th attempt to choose a head of state.

After four rounds of voting on October 31, including two unexpected repeat votes, Aoun secured the presidency by winning the support of 83 out of 127 MPs, well above the absolute majority of 65 needed to win.

Lebanon had been without a head of state since 2014, when the term of President Michel Suleiman expired and the Lebanese parliament repeatedly failed to elect a president due to the lack of quorum.

Zarif’s meeting with Tammam Salam

In a meeting between the Iranian foreign minister and the Lebanese outgoing prime minister, Tammam Salam, in Beirut on Tuesday, the two sides exchanged views about the need to improve bilateral cooperation in different political, economic and cultural fields in the new political landscape in Lebanon.

Zarif told reporters after the meeting that he had held good talks with Salam and extended his congratulations to the Lebanese caretaker prime minister over the political achievement made by the country’s people and groups to elect Aoun as the new president after a 29-month presidential vacuum.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/08/492710/Iran-Lebanon-Beirut-Israel-Zarif-Saad-Hariri-Tammam-Salam-Nabih-Berri

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Israel says it blocked Palestinian bid to join Interpol

8 November 2016

An attempt by the Palestinians to push for membership of global police organization Interpol was rejected in a vote at the body’s congress in Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday, the Israeli police and foreign ministry said.

Israel said its diplomacy had convinced a majority of Interpol members to vote against putting the Palestinian request to join on the meeting's agenda. The Palestinians said the rejection was only a procedural issue.

Sixty-two delegates at the meeting voted against the Palestinian request, 56 in favour and 37 abstained.

“Once again the Palestinians have tried to politicize an international professional organization,” a statement from the Israeli foreign ministry said.

But Ammar Hejazi, a Palestinian delegate at the congress, said the body would discuss its membership bid next year.

“(Our request) was not achieved in this session because the Interpol Executive Committee said it would study new membership requests next year,” he told Palestine Radio.

Interpol’s Executive Committee said it had appointed an adviser to recommend “a clear and transparent process with a defined set of criteria for membership” and no new applicants would be considered until a meeting in Beijing in 2017.

“While the study is being carried out, all current and future applications for membership including those from the Republic of Kosovo, the State of Palestine and the Solomon Islands have been suspended,” Interpol said.

Israel has been wary of Palestinian efforts to join international bodies and gain the attributes of statehood “through the back door,” an Israeli official said. It is already a member of the International Criminal Court in the Hague and various other international bodies and associations.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/08/Israel-says-it-blocked-Palestinian-bid-to-join-Interpol.html

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Turkish-German player acquitted over 'terror propaganda'

November 9, 2016

Diyarbakir -- A court in southeastern Turkey on Tuesday acquitted a Turkish professional footballer born in Germany on charges of making terror propaganda for Kurdish militants.

Deniz Naki, who plays for second division side Amedspor in the city of Diyarbakir, was accused of promoting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

But the court in Diyarbakir acquitted him of the charges, an AFP correspondent said. If convicted, he had faced up to five years in jail.

Naki, 27, had been tried over posts in social media bitterly critical of the government's operations against PKK militants in the southeast.

The footballer had denied the charges, saying he only wanted to give a message of peace.

The Turkish Football Federation had in February suspended Naki for 12 games on grounds of making of "ideological propaganda" on the conflict in the Kurdish-majority southeast.

The case came to court as Turkey is accused by its Western allies for cracking down on freedom of expression, especially on Kurdish issues.

Ten MPs from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) have been arrested in the last days on terror charges.

A midfielder, Naki represented Germany at U-19 level and also played for Hamburg-based top German side FC St. Pauli.

On social media he has repeatedly made clear his pride over his family's origins as Kurdish Alevis from the Tunceli region of eastern Turkey.

Alevis adhere to an offshoot of Shiite Islam and are majority Sunni Turkey's biggest religious minority.

Full report at:

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/international/middle-east/2016/11/09/483375/Turkish-German-player.htm

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US election: Views from Gaza, Yemen and Tunisia

Nov 09, 2016

As Americans voted to elect their new president, Al Jazeera asked people from across the Middle East for their opinions on the US election and what, if any, expectations they had.

One Gazan resident told Al Jazeera that Palestinians "didn't expect or want any assistance from the US administration" since Washington "helps the Israeli authority in its occupation and suppression of Palestinians".

Another said: "US politics has not changed in the last 100 years, from George Bush senior to his son and other presidents ... the US will always remain loyal to Zionism and unfortunately violence will continue in the Middle East."

The mood was similar in war-ravaged Yemen, where residents criticised the US for supporting dictators and its targeting of Muslim-majority countries.

"We hope the US and Americans generally leave Muslims alone. All the calamities we suffer are the result of US, Iranian and Western policies; and it all boils down to their enmity to Islam and the Muslims," said a Yemeni national.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/election-views-gaza-yemen-tunisia-161109012557527.html

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Yemen's FM reconfirms rejection of UN peace plan

08.11.2016

By Mohammed al-Shabiri

SANAA, Yemen

Yemen's Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Mikhlafi reiterated Tuesday his government's rejection of a UN peace plan suggested two weeks ago by the UN envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

The minister's remarks came during a meeting in Kuwait with Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, according to Yemen's official news agency, SABA.

Al-Mikhlafi confirmed that his government was keen to reach a comprehensive solution to end the war and stop the bloodshed in his country, SABA said, adding the Yemeni foreign minister reiterated his country's rejection of any initiative or peace plan not based on "terms of the Gulf initiative and the outcomes of the National Dialogue, and UN Security Council Resolution 2216."

The Yemeni minister also reportedly hailed what he described the "considerable efforts made by the State of Kuwait while hosting the peace talks of Yemen."

This is the first visit to the country by a Yemeni official since the suspension of Kuwait peace talks in August.

The UN envoy to Yemen said before the UN Security Council, late in October, that his peace plan envisaged the appointment of a new Yemeni vice-president and the formation of a national unity government.

The plan also calls for the establishment of military and security "committees" tasked with overseeing the eventual surrender of weapons by the Houthis and their eventual withdrawal from the cities of Sanaa, Hodeida and Taiz.

Last Saturday, Hadi voiced his rejection of the peace plan, saying it "rewards the putschists [i.e., the Houthis] and sows the seeds of war".

Earlier this year, Hadi’s government and the Houthis engaged in two rounds of UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait, neither of which registered any breakthroughs.

Full report at:

http://aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/yemens-fm-reconfirms-rejection-of-un-peace-plan-/681504

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Africa

 

Boko Haram kills 2 in Cameroon's Far North Region

08.11.2016

Two civilians were killed, three soldiers injured and 100 houses were set on fire early Tuesday when Boko Haram fighters raided a village in Cameroon's Far North Region, a senior military official told Anadolu Agency.

The attack took place in Limani village near the Nigerian border, Col. Bouba Dobekreo, commander of a regional joint force said.

The soldiers were patrolling between the villages of Wambeche and Limani when a mine planted by Boko Haram militants exploded, Dobekreo added.

Less than two weeks ago Boko Haram raided a village in the same region, killing three villagers and setting fire to more than 50 houses.

Full report at:

http://aa.com.tr/en/africa/boko-haram-kills-2-in-cameroons-far-north-region/681293

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African Union leaders gather in Ethiopia for peace in Libya

Nov 8, 2016

African Union (AU) leaders have gathered in Ethiopia to push for a solution to the conflict in Libya.

Seven AU leaders from Chad, Congo, Ethiopia, Niger, South Africa, Sudan and Uganda met on Tuesday at the bloc’s headquarters in Addis Ababa to discuss ways of approximating the warring sides in Libya and to help peace talks resume.

"There is no military solution to the Libyan crisis and this must be understood by all stakeholders," Chad's President Idris Deby said, adding that AU leaders hoped to bring together all the Libyan stakeholders as soon as possible "to enable them engage in a frank and direct dialogue."

The United Nations says it supports the AU panel on Libya, as previous efforts by the international organization to settle disputes between Libya's warring sides have failed.

The UN has managed to establish the Government of National Accord (GNA), which comprises political and military figures from the two main factions in the country. However, elements inside the two camps have resisted cooperation with the UN-backed unity government.

Deby said the main obstacle in the way of establishing peace in Libya was the "lack of homogeneity between the two camps with each one having a multitude of political and military actors."

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/08/492747/Libya-crisis-African-Union

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Rwanda to host Seedstars Africa Summit next month

November 9, 2016

Seedstars World, a global competition targeting start-ups in emerging markets, will host the second edition of the annual Seedstars Africa Summit in Kigali next month, organisers have said. The event connects African entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship ecosystems with the outside world and between each other.

“We have so far hosted preliminary competitions in 20 African countries this year, where we identified the most promising start-ups, as well as analysed the local ecosystems. So, the Seedstars World summit in Kigali will bring together the best and most promising entrepreneurs to network with ecosystem players, mentors, investors, corporates and other entrepreneurs across the continent,” Marcello Schermer, regional manager for Africa at Seedstars World, said in a statement.  “After four years of hosting competitions across the world and across the African continent, we are more excited than ever about the potential for African entrepreneurs to build global businesses.”

“We also know that bringing start-ups, entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem players together will help increase connections across the continent and accelerate the growth of Africa-born global businesses. This is why we are running Seedstars Africa for the second year in a row,” he added. The event is supported by Microsoft, Intel, the Ministry of ICT and Youth, kLab, the Private Sector Federation’s ICT Chamber, Africa 2.0 and Brussels Airlines.

The summit will feature prominent speakers, such as Hitendra Naik, the director for innovation at Intel Africa and the Middle East; Rwanda’s Youth and ICT Minister Jean Philbert Nsengimana; Clement Uwajeneza, the Rwanda Online chief executive; Djiba Diallo, the start-up engagement head at Microsoft 4Afrika, as well as Seedstars ambassadors and start-ups from over 15 African countries, according to the organisers

The event, scheduled for December 7-9 is expected to bring together more than 300 start-up founders, successful entrepreneurs, investors, decision makers and ecosystem leaders from across Africa and around the world to share insights, and explore investment and collaboration opportunities and discuss how African start-ups can scale beyond their home markets and become global businesses.

Full report at:

http://exchange.co.tz/rwanda-to-host-seedstars-africa-summit-next-month/

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'Tombs of saints' inspire and divide in northern Nigeria

09 November, 2016

Pilgrims must walk through three rooms, a foyer and a 200-metre-long corridor before accessing the dimly-lit chamber where Usman dan Fodio and two of his sons are buried in Sokoto, northern Nigeria.

Old women sit against the plastered white mud walls begging for money. Inside the tomb, more than a dozen visitors sit with their palms cupped and lifted upwards in prayer, seeking dan Fodio's blessing.

Textile trader Sammani Yusuf is one of them. He drove more than 500 kilometres (300 miles) from the city of Kano to visit the graves and ask for his bed-ridden mother to get better and his business to pick up.

"Allah is everywhere but tombs of saints have sacred status and one's prayers are more readily answered by Allah through their intercession," Yusuf told AFP.

"I'm very optimistic that Allah will grant my needs by the sacredness of the saint lying in this tomb," he added.

Asma'u Lawwali believes her prayers for a child were granted on a previous visit to the tomb of dan Fodio, also called "Shehu."

"I'm here with more requests to God through Shehu's intercession and I'm confident they will be granted in the same way my request for a child was answered," she said.

Tour guide Isa Abubakar said Yusuf and Lawwali were not alone in their conviction.

"Any person you see here has come for dan Fodio's intercession," Abubakar said. "By his sanctity, when you pray to Allah (at the tomb) your request is granted."

Usman dan Fodio is one of the most famous names in Nigerian history -- a fact borne out by the steady stream of visitors who still flock to his final resting place in the heart of the ancient city.

Nigeria's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo cited dan Fodio in a recent speech, saying his condemnation of corruption and extremism were still relevant today.

Two centuries ago, the reformist scholar, who is considered a saint by many in Nigeria and West Africa, declared jihad or holy war against tyrannical local rulers in the Muslim-majority region in 1804.

The result was the creation of an Islamic state -- the Sokoto Caliphate -- which covered most of modern-day northern Nigeria and parts of neighbouring Niger and Cameroon.

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram, whose insurgency has devastated northeast Nigeria in the last seven years, has name-checked dan Fodio in several of his messages.

Shekau himself declared a caliphate in 2014 after his fighters captured swathes of territory in the region.

And despite reverence for dan Fodio himself, pilgrimages to his tomb have come under attack from religious conservatives, in a sign of the complex mix of Islamic ideologies and affiliations in the region.

Nigeria's north is mainly Muslim and predominantly Sunni but there have been increasing tensions in recent months with minority Shiites.

Full report at:

http://www.timeslive.co.za/africa/2016/11/09/Tombs-of-saints-inspire-and-divide-in-northern-Nigeria

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Minnesota Just Elected The Country's First Somali-American Muslim Woman Legislator

09/11/2016

Ilhan Omar on Tuesday became the first Somali-American Muslim woman elected to a state legislature, with a clear victory in Minnesota.

Omar’s biggest battle was fought during the August primary, when she defeated a 44-year incumbent to become the Democratic nominee. In the state House of Representatives, she will represent a diverse, liberal district that encompasses most of Minneapolis. Her victory is seen as a win for progressive causes, and for electing more minorities and women to public office.

Omar was born in Somalia and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before immigrating to the United States at the age of 12. She has said she was disappointed to find rampant racial and economic inequality and religious intolerance in the U.S.

“It is the land of liberty and justice for all, but we have to work for it,” Omar told The Huffington Post last month. “Our democracy is great, but it’s fragile. It’s come through a lot of progress, and we need to continue that progress to make it actually ‘justice for all.’”

The inequality in the U.S. inspired her to become involved in politics as a teenager, fighting for justice in her community and for others across her state.

The 34-year-old mother of three campaigned on a progressive platform, advocating for affordable college, criminal justice reform, economic equality and clean energy.

The first bill she intends to introduce will call for automatic voter registration when adults turn 18 or get a driver’s license, she told HuffPost.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/ilhan-omar-elected-to-minnesota-legislature_us_58228c5be4b0aac624882078

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Europe

 

France's Islam Problem: Muslims Must Blend Into Society, French Religious Official Says

BY CORTNEY DRAKEFORD

11/08/16

Muslims in France must make more of an effort when it comes to blending into French society, the head of the Foundation for Islam in France said Monday. Following the Nice attacks, Muslims should be considerate to and not upset those affected by the tragedy, Jean-Pierre Chevenement said, according to the Local.

"Out of friendship for my compatriots of Muslim origin I'm asking them to make a little effort to adapt to the customs of the host society," he told reporters. Likewise, Chevenement said, it was "in very bad taste of those (burkini-wearing) women to go bathing two weeks after the Nice attack, 20 or 30 kilometres (miles) away" from the site that claimed the lives of 86 people. "It was bound to cause surprise, consternation and unease in the rest of the population," he added.

A burkini is a swimsuit that Muslim women wear which covers the legs, arms and hair only exposing hands and feet. Women use these suits when swimming or visiting the beach, the design of the clothing allows women to remain covered up and honor their faith.

The goal of the Foundation for Islam in France is to help integrate Muslims into society more easily by teaching them about French Culture and assisting Muslim students to attain a better future. Chevenement has said one of the biggest problems for young Muslims is unemployment.

Chevenement’s comments about Muslim’s societal behavior is not the first time he has said something controversial. In August, he told a French newspaper that Muslims need to make more of an effort to fit in following several burkini bans in towns like Sisco on the island of Corsica and Cannes.

“Muslims, like all French citizens, should be able to worship freely but they must also understand that in the public space where there is public interest, all citizens should make the effort to use ‘natural reason,’” he told the publication.

This caused several people to vent their frustrations on social media, prompting the trending hashtag #MusulamDiscret, which users used to mock his interpretations of how “discreet Muslim” should behave.

http://www.ibtimes.com/frances-islam-problem-muslims-must-blend-society-french-religious-official-says-2443554

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German police detain five ‘recruiters for ISIS group’

8 November 2016

German police on Tuesday arrested five men suspected of links to the ISIS , who allegedly sought to recruit fighters for the militant group.

"The five accused formed a pan-regional Salafist-jihadist network, with the accused Ahmad Abdulaziz Abdullah A. taking on the leading role," said a statement from the prosecutors' office, referring to the 32-year-old Iraqi.

"The aim of the network led by him is to send people to ISIS in Syria," it added.

Turkish national Hasan C. and German-Serb Boban S. were allegedly tasked with teaching the recruits Arabic as well as indoctrinating them with Islamist content.

While the group's leader had the authority to approve and organise any departures to Syria, he allegedly left the actual implementation of the plans to the two other men detained on Tuesday, German national Mahmoud O. and Cameroonian Ahmed F. Y.

At least one young man and his family have been sent by the network to join ISIS in Syria, prosecutors added.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2016/11/08/German-police-detain-five-recruiters-for-ISIS-group-.html

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Berlin rejects Ankara's claim about Germany's support for 'terrorists'

Nov 8, 2016

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has rejected a claim by his Turkish counterpart that Berlin supports anti-Ankara "terrorist groups."

Steinmeier said on Tuesday that groups such as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were banned in Germany.

"The PKK and other extremist parties are banned as terrorist groups here. They are criminally prosecuted," the German foreign minister said, adding, "That is why I cannot understand the comments made about Germany today in Turkey."

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Germany on Tuesday of being the country offering the highest level of support to the leftist militant group of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, also known as the DHKP-C, and the PKK, which has staged armed attacks against Turkey.

"Germany is the country that supports terrorist organizations against Turkey the most," Cavusoglu said in the Turkish capital Ankara. "The DHKP-C and PKK are carrying out activities in Germany, but they support those because they are against Turkey."

On Monday, Kurds based in Germany gathered in front of the parliament building in the capital Berlin, protesting the "suppressive" policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as the German government's relations with Ankara.

The participants in the demonstration held up flags of Kurdish groups, including the People's Protection Units, also known as the YPG, and the Women’s Protection Units, also known as the YPJ, which are fighting Takfiri militancy in Syria and Iraq.

Ankara considers the Kurdish groups to be affiliated with the PKK, which has been fighting for an independent Kurdish state inside Turkey since 1984.

Relations between Ankara and Berlin soured in June, when the German parliament passed a resolution, recognizing the Armenian "genocide" at the hands of Ottoman Turks during World War I.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/08/492733/Germany-Berlin-Ankara-Stein

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German police arrest 5 suspected Daesh recruiters

Nov 8, 2016

German police have arrested five people accused of working as recruiters for the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the country.

A statement from the prosecutors' office said on Tuesday that the five formed a network led by a 32-year-old Iraqi national, identified as Ahmad Abdulaziz Abdullah A.

Their main objective, the statement said, was to send people to operate within the ranks of Daesh in Syria.

The five were arrested in the northern state of Lower Saxony and the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, local media said. The others in the group were identified as Turkish national Hasan C., German-Serb Boban S., German national Mahmoud O. and Cameroonian Ahmed F. Y.

The prosecutors said the group had managed to send at least one young man and his family to Syria.

German Interior Minister, Thomas De Maiziere said the "national security authorities were successful today in the fight against a suspected network, which allegedly recruited members in Germany for" Daesh.

The minister also stated that the "success against this network is good news and shows that the security authorities, in this case especially the security authorities of the states, are active, alert and determined."

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/08/492713/Germany-police-Daesh-elements

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Arab World

 

Syrian Army Keeps Up Momentum of Victories, Captures Three More Districts

Nov 08, 2016

"The Southern districts of al-Rashedeen 4 and 5 as well as al-Hikmah School have fallen militarily into the hands of the army soldiers," the sources said.

"Liberation of Housing Project 1070 and the hills of Tal al-Rakham and Tal Mo'ata enabled the Syrian army to expand its security ring around Aleppo Military Academy Buildings, while terrorists' positions in al-Rashedeen 4 and 5 as well as al-Hikmah School are under the direct fire of the army," they added.

The tall buildings of Housing Project 1070 were used as watchposts by the militants to monitor army movements and arrange their attacks on adjacent neighborhoods, including their recent attack on Aleppo Military Academy Buildings.

Military sources said earlier today that Syrian Army soldiers and their popular allies fortified their positions in the newly-captured Housing Project 1070 and blocked Jeish al-Fatah terrorists' supply line from this district to the Southern neighborhoods of Aleppo.

"The pro-government forces continued to advance in the nearby areas of Housing Project 1070 and cut off terrorists' supply road to al-Rashedeen and al-Hikmah school," the sources said.

"A large number of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists were killed or wounded and their military vehicles were destroyed in army's advances," they added.

"The Syrian fighter jets, for their part, carried out several combat sorties over Jeish al-Fatah's positions in Housing Project 1070, the towns of Khan Touman and al-Zerbeh," the sources went on to say.

Reports said also earlier today that Syrian Army soldiers and the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters inflicted major casualties on Jeish al-Fatah terrorist coalition and drove them out of the entire area of Housing Project 1070.

"The pro-government forces that started a joint military operation to stretch the security ring in the Western districts of Aleppo city beat back Jeish al-Fatah terrorists from the remaining building blocks of Housing Project 1070," the sources said.

"A large number of Takfiri terrorists were killed and wounded in the pro-government forces' operation," they added.

"With the liberation of Housing Project 1070 and Tal (Hill) Mo'ata, one of the main movement and supply roads of the terrorists used by them to send aid cargos to their comrades in Southeastern Aleppo was cut off," the sources went on to say.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950818001506

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Raid kills seven children in Syria rebel bastion

8 November 2016

At least seven children and two pregnant women were killed in an air strike on Syria’s rebel stronghold province of Idlib on Tuesday, a monitor said.

The strike, which hit the town of Khan Sheikun, in the south of the province, appeared to have been carried out by Syrian government ally Russia, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

The Britain-based group, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its information, says it determines what planes carried out raids according to their type, location, flight patterns and the munitions involved.

Russia began its air campaign in support of the government in September 2015, saying it was targeting “terrorists.”

“The strike hit a street where children were playing. Three of the dead children were from one family and were visiting their grandfather,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

He said the dead children were four girls and three boys, but did not immediately have each of their ages.

Idlib province is mostly controlled by a rebel alliance known as the Army of Conquest, which groups Islamist factions with extremists of the Fateh al-Sham Front, formerly Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate.

Fateh al-Sham is blacklisted by the United Nations and the United States as a “terrorist organization” and Russia says its fighters are a legitimate target.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/08/Raid-kills-seven-children-in-Syria-rebel-bastion.html

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Terrorists Fail to Prevail over Gov't Forces' Positions in Northern Hama

Nov 08, 2016

The terrorist groups stormed army strongholds in the villages of Abu Obeideh and Shalwit in the Northern side of the key village of al-Mahardeh, but the army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with them and fended off their attack.

The terrorist groups of Ahrar al-Sham and Jeish al-Izzah suffered a heavy death toll and their vehicles and tanks sustained major damage in the raid.

The terrorist, who have received severe blows in Northern and Northeastern Hama, specially after losing their lands to the army Southeat of the town of Morek, carry out heavy attacks on government forces to open a new front.

Sources said on Monday that the terrorist groups' defense and movement lines came under heavy strikes by the Syrian ground troops and Air Force, weakening terrorists' combat abilities to attack army's positions and civilian regions across Northern Hama.

"Army aircraft, simultaneous with artillery units, have been targeting the defense lines of Jeish al-Izzah in the village of Abluyizeh," the sources said, adding, "The warplanes also hit the gatherings and movements of Jeish al-Izzah in areas surrounding the towns of al-Lahaya, al-Latamina and their movement lines to weaken the group's strength and prevent the militants' attack on army positions and safe zones in villages in the region."

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950818001372

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Syrian army takes key Aleppo district as Russia readies renewed airstrikes

Nov 09, 2016

The Syrian army said it had taken a strategic district of Aleppo on Tuesday in what would mark the most important advance in the divided city by Damascus and its allies in weeks, but rebels said the battle was not over.

The 1070 Apartments district is located on the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo and lies alongside the government’s corridor into the parts of the city that it controls.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based group that reports on the war, said government forces and their allies had seized full control of 1070 Apartments, calling it the most significant gain by the government in Aleppo since September.

A Syrian military source said the army and allied forces were in complete control of the area and surrounding hills. They have made repeated efforts to oust rebels from the 1070 Apartments area since the summer.

A military media unit run by the Damascus-allied Hezbollah carried a similar report. Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite Muslim group, is fighting in support of President Bashar Assad in Syria’s war, now well in its sixth year.

But officials in two rebel groups fighting in Aleppo — Syria’s largest city and commercial hub before the war — said insurgent forces were still trying to fight back.

“The clashes around 1070 Apartments are still going on,” Zakaria Malahifji, head of the political office of the Fastaqim rebel group, said, while confirming that the army had taken the district.

Yasser Alyousef from the political office of the Nour al-Din al-Zinki rebel group said rebels had recovered positions they had lost on Monday.

Syrian government forces backed by allied militias and Russian air power launched a major assault on rebel-held eastern Aleppo in September after besieging the area, which the United Nations says is home to 275,000 people.

On Oct. 29, rebels counterattacked in a bid to break the siege, targeting government-held western districts of Aleppo in an offensive that included Islamist militants and rebels fighting under the Free Syrian Army banner.

But their progress slowed after early gains.

There were conflicting accounts of fighting on Tuesday in the village of Minian, also on the western edge of Aleppo.

Syrian state media said the army had advanced into Minian, which was taken by rebels at the start of their campaign.

The Observatory said the army and its allies had captured around half of Minian after heavy airstrikes. The fall of Minian to the government would reverse some of the gains rebels have made during their offensive.

But Malahifji, of the Fastaqim rebel group, denied there had been any clashes inside the village. “Minian is still with the rebels,” he said. “The regime is trying to take it, but it’s still with the rebels.”

Russia says its air force has been observing a moratorium on airstrikes on rebel-held eastern Aleppo since Oct. 18. The Observatory and emergency workers in eastern Aleppo said heavy airstrikes had killed hundreds of people, and hit hospitals and other civilian facilities prior to that.

Full report at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/11/09/world/syrian-army-takes-key-aleppo-district-russia-readies-renewed-airstrikes/#.WCLUW9J97IU

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Syria War: Russian Attack Helicopters Target ISIS Terror Groups

November 08, 2016

The Syrian army captured air defence housing area between al-Deirkhabiyeh – al-Darusheh adjacent to Khan al-Sheeh in Western Ghouta and secured the road between Darushah and Buwaydiyah. Jaish al-Islam and Jabhat al-Nusra militants in Khan al-Sheeh remain the cut-off from any supplies and reinforcements. The storm of the town is expected in the nearest future.

The attack on Russia’s Mi-35 multi-role combat helicopter by ISIS near the city of Palmyra in the Syrian province of Homs was a bad idea for the ISIS terrorist group. Following the incident, the Russian Aerospace Forces’ attack helicopters, including the Mil Mi-24 and Mil Mi-28N, swarmed in the province, purging the terrorist group’s manpower and military equipment. Russian attack helicopters operate in the areas of Huwaysis village, Shaer gas field, Mustadira gas field and in the area of Arak.

The developments near the ancient city of Palmyra is barely covered by the mainstream media. However, successful operations of the Syrian army and the Russian military in the area are one of the factors preventing the ISIS terrorist group from active offensive operations across the country.

The Iranian Fars News Agency released a series of photos from the southern countryside of Aleppo city. The photos show the Liwa Fatemiyoun militia group, operating 152 mm towed artillery guns during the battle with Jaish al-Fatah militants. Liwa Fatemiyoun is an Afghani Shia milita group funded, trained, and equipped by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Reports say the group is embeded with Iranian military advisers. The total strength of the group in Syria is about 20,000 fighters.

Full report at:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-war-russian-attack-helicopters-target-isis-terror-groups/5555703

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Syrian, Russian Warplanes Hit Hard Terrorists' Supply Cargos in Idlib

Nov 08, 2016

Simultaneous with the start of the Syrian army operation to reinvigorate the security situation in the Western parts of Aleppo city, the Syrian and Russian warplanes carried out tens of combat flights over terrorists' centers in the towns and villages of Khan Sheikhoun, Saraqib, surroundings of Banish, Taftnaz and Ma'arat al-Nu'aman to prevent militants to transfer arms, ammunition and fresh forces to Aleppo battlefields.

Russian fighter jets targeted terrorists' positions near the city of Idlib closed to an arms and ammunition depot, leaving several terrorists dead.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950818001276

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Syrian Army Seizes Control of One More Key Road in Southwestern Damascus

Nov 08, 2016

"Following military operations by the government forces to boost security of the capital city of Damascus, the army men continued to hit terrorist centers and took control over a key road connecting the village of al-Darousheh to Air-Defense region," the sources said.

"This road links the Southern side of al-Darousheh to Air-Defense Housings, the Eastern side of al-Za'aroureh and the town of Khan al-Sheih," they added. 

Military sources said on Monday that Syrian Army troops continued to hit terrorists' positions in surrounding areas of the town of Khan al-Sheih and won control over a strategic road in Western Ghouta.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950818001435

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UK royals in Bahrain amid crackdown

Nov 9, 2016

Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla have arrived in Bahrain on a three-nation tour of the Persian Gulf states amid strong criticism of London’s continued arms sales to the repressive regime in Manama.

The plane carrying the British royals touched down at Sakhir Air Base in central Bahrain on Tuesday on the last leg of the tour, which had already taken them to Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

They were received by Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah and then taken to a nearby palace to meet with the country’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

Since 2011, the United Kingdom has sold 55 million dollars worth of arms to Bahrain. The year saw the eruption of peaceful anti-regime protests on the island.

London has been under fire by international rights organizations for selling military equipment to Manama, which is involved in a harsh and deadly crackdown on opposition activists.

It was reported late last month that the UK will open a massive permanent military base in Bahrain and deploy warships to the Persian Gulf.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/09/492817/Bahrain-British-Charles-Camilia

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Syrian army retakes key Aleppo district from militants

Nov 8, 2016

Syrian army forces and allied fighters have managed to wrest control of a strategic neighborhood on the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo as the city has turned into a major frontline in the Damascus government’ anti-terror fight.

An unnamed military source told Syria’s SANA news agency that the army and its allies regained full control of the 1070 Apartments area as well as its surrounding farms and hills on Tuesday.

The advance came after heavy clashes with members of terrorist groups such as Jaish al-Fatah and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, the source said, adding that the fighting left dozens of militants dead and injured.

He also noted that Syrian troops destroyed terrorists’ vehicles equipped with machine guns and seized a number of armored vehicles.

Syrian army engineering units are dismantling the explosive devices and landmines that were planted by terrorists in the area, the official further pointed out.

Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the recapture of the 1070 Apartments area, calling it the most significant advance by the government in Aleppo since September.

However, militant groups denied suffering a setback and claimed that the battle was still raging.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/08/492737/Syria-Aleppo-Nusra

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Syrian Army Keeps Marching on Terrorists' Positions near Housing Project 1070

Nov 09, 2016

Pro-government forces fortified their positions in Housing Project 1070 and started hitting the remaining pockets of militants, capturing several farms and hills.

Tens of terrorists were killed or wounded, at least 10 military vehicles were destroyed and several armored vehicles were sized in the army offensive.

Army's engineering units for their part defused the bombs and landmines planted by the terrorists in areas near Housing Project 1070 to clear the path for the army ground troops to chase fleeing terrorists in the region.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950819000437

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Syria: Terrorists' Large-Scale Offensive Repulsed in Southeastern Damascus

Nov 09, 2016

Terrorists stormed the government forces' positions near Khan al-Sheih in Western Ghouta from several flanks, but the army men repelled the attacks, killing and wounding a number of militants.

In the meantime, Syrian soldiers restarted their attacks on militant positions in Khan al-Sheih after a several-day pause for peace talks failed to yield results.

After the liberation of Albuyizeh village and its surrounding farms in recent days, the army seized control of al-Darousheh road to Deir al-Khabiyeh, air-defense housing complex, Ale Taqi Mosque, and Khirbet al-Abassiyeh region and tightened siege on the militants in the region.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950819000272

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Pakistan

 

Inclusion of terror law in child abuse case ordered

Nov 09, 2016

LAHORE: Allowing an appeal by the Punjab prosecution department, a Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Tuesday restored provisions of anti-terrorism law, earlier revoked from cases registered against the suspects of Kasur child-abuse scandal.

An anti-terrorism court holding trial of the suspects had admitted their petitions and cancelled the sections of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) from the first information report referring the trial to the court of ordinary jurisdiction. The prosecution department challenged the decision before the high court.

Deputy Prosecutor General Khurram Khan told the two-judge bench that the incidents of child-abuse not only tarnished the image of Pakistan in the world but also ruined the lives of the victims and their families. He said the incidents had also caused a great sense of fear in the district.

The prosecutor argued that the suspects were also charged for “kidnapping for ransom” and the offense attracted provisions of anti-terrorism law. He asked the bench to set aside the impugned decision of the trial court and reinstate the deleted sections of the ATA in the cases. The defence counsel opposed the appeal.

Headed by Justice Abdul Sami Khan, the bench allowed the prosecution’s appeal and set aside the impugned verdict.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2016

http://www.dawn.com/news/1295145/inclusion-of-terror-law-in-child-abuse-case-ordered

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Move to unite MQM factions under former dictator raises hackles

AZFAR-UL-ASHFAQUE

Nov 09, 2016

KARACHI: Retired Gen Pervez Musharraf’s meeting with a Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader in Dubai and a “plus-one formula” proposed by a leader of the former military dictator’s All Pakistan Muslim League have sparked speculation that the powers that be still want a unified MQM, albeit under the leadership of one of their own.

Top Musharraf aide Ahmed Raza Kasuri of the All Pakistan Muslim League put forward his “plus-one formula” in a video released recently on social media. In the video, he asks various factions of the MQM to accept Gen Musharraf as the leader of a unified MQM in order to “save” the party and its role in national mainstream politics.

Mr Kasuri told Dawn that he had taken the former president into confidence before announcing his plus-one formula and that the MQM factions he had referred to were Dr Farooq Sattar-led MQM-Pakistan, Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party and all “pro-Pakistan groups minus Altaf Hussain”.

Mr Kasuri says in the video that if the MQM factions accepted Gen Musharraf as their leader, no one would call them Indian agents since a former army chief would be their leader. Secondly, he says, it would grant MQM access to other parts of the country.

Yet the video failed to create a ripple in the national political scene until reports of a meeting between Gen Musharraf and MQM’s Khwaja Izhar-ul-Hasan, leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly, in Dubai surfaced on Tuesday. TV channels aired the news with a picture of Khwaja Izhar with the former president and claimed that the opposition leader had delivered an important message from MQM-Pakistan head Dr Farooq Sattar to Gen Musharraf.

The MQM-Pakistan, however, issued a statement explaining that the meeting had been an informal one and had taken place over a meal with mutual friends. It confirmed that the country’s political situation, development issues in Karachi and powers of elected local government representatives had come under discussion.

MQM leader Amin-ul-Haq told Dawn that the meeting took place over a week ago in Dubai and Khwaja Izhar had briefed the party leadership on it.

About Mr Kasuri’s plus-one formula, he said the MQM had no place for a former military dictator as the party would continue to follow democratic principles and take decisions in consultation with its office-bearers and workers.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1295222/move-to-unite-mqm-factions-under-former-dictator-raises-hackles

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Government has steered Pakistan out of crisis, declares Dar

09-Nov-16

ISLAMABAD: The government by adopting the four-Es homegrown strategy steered the country out of economic and other potential crisis, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said Tuesday. Addressing the participants of National Security and War Course 2017, the minister said focus on four-Es i.e. Economy, Energy, Extremism and Education, was the election manifesto of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), which was followed in letter and spirit and resultantly, the country has been put on the path of stability.

He said the focus on economic stability for past three years had ensured macroeconomic stability and now attention had been turned to the promotion of the growth rate. He said the government had given many initiatives in the federal budget 2016-17 to various sectors of economy including agriculture, industry and export sectors to promote growth. For catering to the demands of increasing population, the minister said 7 per cent growth rate achievement was imperative and the country had the potential to achieve even more than that.

He said the country was today much better than 2013 as the foreign exchange reserves had risen from $7.5 billion to over $24 billion and inflation remained in single digit with growth rate of 4.7 per cent in 2015-16, the highest in last eight years. Dar said the government had to take many unpopular decisions to put the economy on the path of stability. The government reduced development expenditures by 30-40 per cent and abolished secret funds of as many as 34 institutions.

He said the fiscal deficit had also been reduced from 8.4 per cent of GDP to 4.6 per cent and would be reduced further. Due to those measures, he said, the economy moved from instability to stability and many world organizations revised Pakistan's ranking. Some reported the country to have moved from negative to stable and then to positive ranking while others reported it growing from B negative to B.

He said despite the tension on the Line of Control, the Sukuk bond got an overwhelming response and was offered at 5.5 per cent in the market, which showed that inventors had developed trust in Pakistan's economy. The minister said $ 46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was another example that demonstrated trust of investors as $35 billion under the project would be invested by private sector in the energy sector.

Full report at:

http://dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/09-Nov-16/government-has-steered-pakistan-out-of-crisis-declares-dar

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Fazl says Imran will be arrested in Panama case

Nov 09, 2016

MULTAN: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman has said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan will be arrested in connection with the Panama Papers leaks.

He said this while talking to the media here on Tuesday.

“On what basis should the prime minister resign? The situation has changed and the plaintiff will become the accused and the accused plaintiff,” he said.

He said Imran Khan and his team were escaping accountability, but they would be arrested and disqualified in connection with Panama leaks.

“They are creating issues for themselves,” he added.

Fazl said the prime minister would only become a culprit when the court declared him so.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1295152/fazl-says-imran-will-be-arrested-in-panama-case

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Saudi air chief hails PAF’s role in war on terror 

09-Nov-16

ISLAMABAD: Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) Commander Major General Mohammed Saleh Al Otaibi visited Air Headquarters on Tuesday and met Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman. Both the air chiefs discussed matters of professional and mutual interest. The distinguished guest was also introduced to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF)'s principal staff officer, said a PAF statement. The Saudi air commander lauded the PAF's role in war on terror and reiterated his resolve to stand by Pakistan in any hour of need. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said both the PAF and RSAF enjoyed cordial and brotherly relations and reiterated the PAF's resolve to support and extend cooperation in the field of aviation and military training to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi delegation later, attended a briefing on organisation, role and functioning of the PAF.

Full report at:

http://dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/09-Nov-16/saudi-air-chief-hails-pafs-role-in-war-on-terror

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139th birth anniversary of Iqbal today

09 November,2016

LAHORE (Web Desk) – November 9, 2016 marks 139th birth anniversary of celebrated poet who is revered by Pakistani nation for having played an indispensable role in getting Muslims a homeland.

Besides different official ceremonies across the country, a leading commemoration will be witnessed at Iqbal Manzil in Sialkot which is ‘Poet of the East’s’ birth place.

According to Syed Riaz Hussain Naqvi, caretaker of Iqbal Manzil, key cake-cutting ceremony will be organised there.

‘Kalaam-e-Iqbal’ will be recited and debating competitions are to be held at the place as well.

Asrar-e-Khudi, Payam-i-Mashriq, Bang-i-Dara, Bal-i-Jibril, Zarb-i Kalim and Armughan-e-Hijaz are amongst his much loved work of art.

Scholars across the board accredit Iqbal as the best  Muslim philosopher thinker of modern times  there is. He was knighted by King George V in 1922 granting him the title "Sir." He had studied law and philosophy in England before that and during his time there, he joined british chapter of All-India Muslim League.

Full report at:

http://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/360138-139th-birth-anniversary-of-Iqbal-today

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India

 

Kolkata: Clerics launch twin attacks, target BJP and TMC on triple talaq

by Arshad Ali

November 9, 2016

Muslim leaders on Tuesday launched a fresh attack on both the central and state governments over several issues in a public meeting of imams and muezzins at Rani Rashmoni Avenue here. Md Kamruzzaman, general secretary of All Bengal Minority Youth Federation – which organised the event attended by over 40 Muslim organisations – said the present BJP government was intervening with Muslim Personal Law. Three TMC MPs – Sultan Ahmed, Idris Ali and Ahmed Hassan Imran – were also present on stage.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised ‘achhe din’, but does that mean taking away the right to practice the religion of one’s choice or to dictate what one will eat or wear?” Kamruzzaman asked.

Referring to the proposed BJP rally against triple talaq on November 18, when the three-day convention of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) would begin, he said: “The BJP in order to disrupt the function of the AIMPLB has organised a rally on November 18, but we are also ready to counter any attempts by the BJP. I urge all Muslims to maintain peace, but if they intend to create trouble, we are also ready to fight back.”

Kamruzzaman said the state government had been kind enough to start honorariums for Muslim clerics, but this had been stuck at Rs 2,500 for imams and Rs 1,000 for muezzins every month for the last five-and-a-half years.

“The state should find ways to generate revenue from the wakf property, and it should revise the imams’ and muezzins’ pay. It should be at least Rs 10,000 for the imams and Rs 6,000 for muezzins as they have it in New Delhi. Besides, there should be provision for housing imams and educating their children, as Mamata had promised before she became the chief minister,” Kamruzzaman added.

While Qari Fazlur Rahman, the imam who leads the Red Road congregation of Muslims on Eid and Bakri Eid also said the demand of the imams were justified, MPs have skirted the issue of the hike in honourarium, and spoke about the intervention of the Centre with Muslim Personal Law.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kolkata-clerics-launch-twin-attacks-target-bjp-tmc-on-triple-talaq-4365129/

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Ensure equal status to women in Goa, Islamic scholar tells BJP-led NDA govt.

November 9, 2016

If the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is truly concerned about equality of women, then it should ensure equal status to women in Goa where its party is in power, Islamic research scholar Hazrat Sayyad Fazlullah Sabri Chisti has said.

Addressing a press conference as part of his nationwide programme to create awareness about the Shariat vis-à-vis the Union government’s affidavit in the Supreme Court rejecting the validity of triple talaq and polygamy here on Tuesday, he said that the law in Goa granted right to a Hindu man to remarry if he doesn’t beget a male child from his wife, till the age of 30. This law is just the tip of the sanctioned sexism across India. But, Muslim men whose marriages were registered in Goa could not practise polygamy.

He questioned the double standards of the Union government while pointing out at Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu’s appeal against politicising the Centre’s affidavit. He said that the affidavit was aimed at bringing in Uniform Civil Code as promised in the BJP election manifesto — a promise which the party in power wants to fulfil in view of the forthcoming election to Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

Replying to questions, he said that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board was open for a debate on the issue of polygamy and triple talaq. When pointed out that Muslim men enjoyed the right to give talaq but not women, who, however, needed to acquire it, he said that it was for the bride to seek the right before accepting the marriage proposal. Yet, he would appeal to every prospective bridegroom to share equally the right to pronounce talaq with his prospective wife, and the Qazi.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ensure-equal-status-to-women-in-goa-islamic-scholar-tells-bjpled-nda-govt/article9321877.ece

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SIMI row: Impossible to unlock Bhopal jail from inside, says ex-prisoner

November 8, 2016

“The cells have nearly two feet thick walls and the lock holder is further one foot inside the wall in a socket. So the gates are installed in such a fashion that the lock and the holder are 2.5 feet away. So even if anyone is given the key, he will not be able to open the gate as his hand will not reach the lock,” Khalil said.

Bhopal: An ex- prisoner proclaimed that Bhopal jail cannot be unlocked from inside.

Though the police claims that the prisoners had unlocked the cell from inside and escaped from the jail through makeshift keys, ex prisoners disclosure definitely ads up to the list of mysterious points and the emergence of several video and audio clips that seem to cast doubts over the claims made by Indian police.

There are series of mysterious points, nation has been predicting since eight SIMI activists reportedly escaped hours before being gunned down in an encounter late last month.

Mohammed Khalil, 40, is the nephew of Mohammed Aqeel Khilji, one of the eight SIMI activists killed on October 31. Khalil said he was imprisoned in the same barracks of the jail for five months between October 2013 and March 2014.

“I was in B block, A sector where the SIMI activists were lodged before they reportedly escaped,” Khalil said.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/news/simi-row-impossible-unlock-bhopal-jail-inside-says-ex-prisoner-1060841/

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Three High Commission officials in Pakistan leave for India: report

November 8, 2016

Three Indian High Commission officials out of the eight accused by Pakistan of being members of Indian intelligence agencies, left for India on Tuesday, according to a media report. Geo News, quoting sources, reported that three officials — First Secretary commercial Anurag Singh, Vijay Kumar Varma and Madhawan Nanda Kumar left for Dubai from Islamabad on a morning Emirates flight.

Five other Indian High Commission officials — Rajesh Kumar Agnihotri, Amerdeep Singh Bhatti, Dharmendra Sodhi, Balbir Singh and Jayabalan Senthil — will leave for India via road through the Wagah border, the report said.

Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria last week had read out a statement at his weekly briefing saying that a number of Indian diplomats and staffers were involved in “coordinating terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan under the garb of diplomatic assignments”.

He had named the eight Indian officials, accusing them of being members of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB).

There was no official confirmation on how many Indian officials had left Pakistan and were expected to leave the country.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/three-high-commission-officials-in-pakistan-leave-for-india-report-4363742/

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PM Modi reviews situation on western front as India, Pakistan trade heavy fire

Rajat Pandit

Nov 8, 2016

NEW DELHI: Even as India and Pakistan continue to exchange heavy cross-border fire, virtually blowing the ceasefire agreement to smithereens with the increasing use of even artillery guns and heavy 120mm mortars, PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday reviewed the security situation and operational readiness of the armed forces on the western front.

The PM took stock of the situation along the international border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir during the hour-long meeting with national security adviser Ajit Doval, General DS Suhag, Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air Marshal BS Dhanoa (Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha is on an outstation visit) in the afternoon.

Soon after the meeting, the Northern Army Command declared it had again caused "heavy damage" to Pakistan Army posts with "heavy volumes of fire" across the LoC after one of its soldiers was killed and two injured in a ceasefire violation in the Naushera sector earlier in the day.

The volatile situation on the LoC can be gauged from the fact that six Indian soldiers have been killed in the cross-border duels over the last two months, with as many as 115 ceasefire violations being recorded. The firing exchanges saw a major jump after Indian Special Forces carried out "surgical strikes" against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir on September 29.

Similarly, four BSF jawans have been killed in the firing along the IB, which has witnessed even more ceasefire violations than the LOC. "Pakistan Army and Rangers have suffered many more casualties. Multiple ceasefire violations are taking place on a daily basis both on the IB and LOC," said an official.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/PM-Modi-reviews-situation-on-western-front-as-India-Pakistan-trade-heavy-fire/articleshow/55318130.cms

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Pakistan opposes India's bid for UN permanent membership

Nov 8, 2016

NEW YORK: Seeking to block India's bid for permanent membership to the UN Security Council, Pakistan has said it remains "firmly opposed" to the creation of new seats in the 15-member body as it would only "satisfy the hunger" of a few states for "power and privilege".

Speaking at the UN General Assembly yesterday, Pakistan's Ambassador to UN Maleeha Lodhi also blamed a "handful of countries" for the lack of any progress in the long-running negotiations to restructure the UN Security Council, an obvious reference to India, Brazil, Germany and Japan.

She blamed the countries for being "inflexible" in their push for permanent seats on the 15-member body.

"This selfish pursuit of national ambition is the real reason that has prevented us from making the Security Council more democratic, accountable, transparent and effective," Lodhi was quoted as saying by the Associated Press of Pakistan.

The Security Council is currently composed of five permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the US - and 10 non-permanent members that are elected in groups of five to two-year terms.

Speaking in a debate on achieving equitable representation in the Security Council, Lodhi voiced support for expanding the Council's elected membership, while warning that the creation of new permanent seats would only "satisfy the hunger of a few States for power and privilege."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-opposes-Indias-bid-for-UN-permanent-membership/articleshow/55314412.cms

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India, UK need to cooperate more on counter-terrorism: President

Nov 8, 2016

NEW DELHI: India and the United Kingdom need to cooperate more on countering terrorism which is the "biggest menace" to world peace and tranquillity, President Pranab Mukherjee has said.

Talking to British Prime Minister Theresa May, who called on him last evening, the President said India sees the UK as a key partner in its growth and economy.

"India would encourage more companies from the UK to partner in its national programmes like Make in India, Skill India, Digital India etc," the President was quoted as saying by the Rashtrapati Bhawan spokesman in a statement today.

"Terrorism is the biggest menace to world peace and tranquillity. It is a scourge that knows no territorial or ideological boundaries.

"India and UK need to cooperate more on counter -terrorism. The international community must show determination in fighting against terrorism," he said.

The President also stressed that there was an immense scope to further enhance trade exchanges both in goods and services between the two countries. Bilateral trade between India and the UK in goods stood at US $14 billion in 2015-16.

Welcoming the UK Prime Minister, Mukherjee expressed happiness that she has chosen India for her first bilateral visit outside the European Union and said both the countries share common prospective on many international issues.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-UK-need-to-cooperate-more-on-counter-terrorism-President/articleshow/55311142.cms

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Another army jawan killed in Pak shelling in Naushera sector

Nov 09, 2016

Ravi Krishnan Khajuria

A soldier died late on Tuesday of shelling from across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, taking the toll to two in the current round of shelling from Pakistan.

A 120 mm Pakistan mortar shell hit an army vehicle of 54 RR in Lam area of Naushera on Tuesday afternoon, killing a soldier on the spot and seriously wounding another.

One was the driver and the other was co- driver sitting in the driver’s cabin while five other soldiers in the rear portion of the vehicle escaped with minor injuries, said an army source.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/another-army-jawan-killed-in-pak-shelling-in-naushera-sector/story-zyij5Drzi8Djz94FLboBTO.html

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South Asia

 

Afghan Taliban reject proposed ulema conference

Nov 09, 2016

KABUL: The Afghan Taliban urged Islamic scholars on Tuesday not to let a proposed international religious congress become a means of legitimising the Western-backed government in Kabul.

In a message sent to the “noble scholars of the Islamic World”, the Taliban said its fighters were engaged in a jihad against Western invaders and the conference should not be allowed to be interpreted as support for the “aggressors”.

“The transgressing enemy now wants to pacify the Jihadi uprising of the Afghan nation through misleading propaganda, psychological warfare, undercover plots, fake fatwas and other non-military tactics like peace processes,” it said.

Afghan government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said during a visit to Riyadh last month that an Islamic scholars’ conference on the situation in Afghanistan would be held in Saudi Arabia, although no firm date has been announced.

The Taliban statement said the proposals were backed by the Afghan government’s High Peace Council as a cover to deny legitimacy to the insurgent movement.

“They want to present the sacred Jihad in Afghanistan which is on the brink of success as unlawful bloodshed which opposes the texts of Shariah and defames the name of Jihad,” it said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1295195/afghan-taliban-reject-proposed-ulema-conference

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US-Afghan relations to remain strong as Americans elect new leader

Nov 09 2016

The presidential election in United States will not affect the policies of Washington in Afghanistan and the bilateral pacts available between the two countries.

The US Ambassador to Afghanistan Michael McKinley made the remarks earlier this morning as the US Embassy hosted several Afghan journalists as the American nation started voting for the next US President.

“Today I was asked many times what the impacts of these elections would be on US-Afghanistan relations and my answer is always the same, America’s long term commitment to our partnership with Afghanistan was renewed this year in Warsaw and Brussels. The US Afghan relationship will remain strong and and close because it is based not anyone election, leader or party on our common interests, our people to people ties, our shared values that so deeply rooted,” Ambassador McKinely said.

He also added that a new administration will take shape but “you can be assured that Afghanistan will remain at the highest levels of our foreign policy agenda.”

The Republican candidate Donald Trump was elected the new US President after he recived the required 270 electoral votes to be declared the winner of the elections.

Trump started to receive more votes as polling started across the US earlier today and received 278 electoral votes while Clinton received 218 electoral votes.

Trump promised to be president for all Americans as he declared his victory in the election, insisting that ‘it’s time for us to come together’.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/us-afghan-relations-to-remain-strong-as-americans-elect-new-leader-02241

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Ghani congratulates Trump for his victory in US presidential election

Nov 09 2016

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani congratulated the Donald Trump for his victory in the US presidential election, expressing hopes that the relations between the nations will further improve under his administration.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said the United States is one of the key strategic partners of the Afghan government in the fight against terrorism and in the development of the country.

President Ghani also wished Trump success for assuming new responsibilities as the newly elected US President.

The Republican candidate Donald Trump was elected the new US President after he revived the required 270 electoral votes to be declared the winner of the elections.

Trump started to receive more votes as polling started across the US earlier today and received 278 electoral votes while Clinton received 218 electoral votes.

Trump promised to be president for all Americans as he declared his victory in the election, insisting that ‘it’s time for us to come together’.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/ghani-congratulates-trump-for-his-victory-in-us-presidential-election-02240

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Prominent gang leader involved in major crimes killed in Kabul

Nov 09 2016

A prominent gang leader involved in major crimes including murders and robberies was killed during an operation in Kabul city on Tuesday.

Kabul police officials said the gang leader was identified as Zubair and was killed during an armed clash with the security forces this morning.

The officials further added that Zubair was involved in major armed robberies in the city.

This comes as criminal incidents including kidnapping, murders and armed robberies have been on the rise during the recent months.

The growth in criminal incidents have particularly been noted amid a sharp reduction in job opportunities which resulted in an unprecedented rise in poverty.

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

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/prominent-gang-leader-involved-in-major-crimes-killed-in-kabul-02238

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Southeast Asia

 

Look to Sarawak Assembly, those wanting to leave Islam advised

V Anbalagan

November 9, 2016

PETALING JAYA: The Court of Appeal which dismissed appeals by three Sarawakians to convert out of Islam has suggested their remedy is with the state legislature.

However, Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, who wrote the judgment, did not elaborate on the matter.

“On the factual matrix of this case, the appellants’ remedy perhaps lies in the State Legislature,” she said in the 16-page judgment now posted in the judiciary’s official website.

Matters relating to Islam and shariah courts come under the purview of states as outlined in the Federal Constitution.

Tengku Maimun, who sat with Justices Badariah Sahamid and Kamardin Hashim, had in August rejected the move by Jenny Peter @ Nur Muzdhalifah Abdullah, Tiong Choo Ting @ Mohd Syafiq Abdullah and Salina Jau Abdullah to leave Islam.

The judge said while the Court of Appeal understood the ‘predicament’ faced by the three it had no choice but to follow the legal principle established by the Federal Court.

“It is now settled by the long line of authorities that whether a person was a Muslim or not, was a matter under the exclusive jurisdiction of the shariah court,” she said.

She said Article 11 on the freedom of religion in the Constitution and the additional powers of the High Court stipulated in Schedule 1 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 must be read in the context of Article 121(1A).

That provision in the Constitution states that civil courts cannot interfere in matters relating to Islam over which shariah courts had jurisdiction.

The three appellants, represented by Baru Bian, had named the director of the Sarawak Islamic Department, Sarawak Islamic Council and the National Registration Department (NRD) as the respondents.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/11/09/look-to-sarawak-assembly-those-wanting-to-leave-islam-advised/

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit Malaysia for talks with PM Najib

NOV 8, 2016

President Rodrigo Duterte will travel to Malaysia on Wednesday (Nov 9) for a two-day state visit to discuss with Prime Minister Najib Razak efforts to combat piracy in the Strait of Malacca and a plague of kidnappings by the brutal Abu Sayyaf group.

In a news briefing on Monday (Nov 7), the foreign ministry's spokesman Charles Jose said Mr Duterte would also thrash out Kuala Lumpur's role in the peace process between the Philippines and Muslim rebels in the war-torn southern island group of Mindanao. Mr Duterte and Mr Najib are likewise expected to compare notes on their recent pro-China outreach.

Both leaders have witnessed unfriendly vibes from Washington - Mr Duterte for his controversial anti-crime drive while Mr Najib's stepson and a former aide have been accused of money laundering linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

The criticisms, analysts say, have caused them to drift closer to China.

Mr Jose said the twin nods towards Beijing were well within Asean's "common position when it comes to relations with China".

"I don't know if they are in coordination, but what I can say is that countries act on their national interests," he said.

During his visit, Mr Duterte will be hosted to dinner by the Malaysian Premier and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Mr Duterte is also expected to meet up with the Filipino community in Malaysia.

Malaysia said the Philippines was Malaysia's fifth largest trading partner in Asean and 10th largest trading partner globally.

"Malaysia and the Republic of the Philippines enjoy warm and cordial relations. Both countries also cooperate on various issues of common interests at the international level," Malaysia's Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement yesterday.

Malaysia's total trade with the Philippines in the first eight months of this year rose by 5.4 per cent to RM13.15 billion (S$4.3 billion), as compared to RM12.48 billion in the January to August period last year.

Mr Jose, asked on the thorny issue of the Philippines' claims over Sabah state, said "it may or may not be raised", but that Mr Duterte "will be prepared to discuss the issue".

Mr Duterte had said he would press the Philippines' contentious claim to Sabah.

"What has been the policy will always be the policy of the government, especially those for the interest of the country. We have to stake our claim," he told reporters just after he was elected in May (2016).

The late "Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo" Esmail Kiram II, who quarreled with Malaysia over compensation, encouraged in 2013 a last-ditch, violent effort to regain Sabah. A militia of over 200 men landed near Lahad Datu on Sabah's east coast and began a siege of the neighbouring area.

The attack left more than 60 people dead, set off the most serious security crisis in Malaysia in more than a decade, and strained the country's relationship with the Philippines.

Mr Duterte's visit to Malaysia comes just days after the Abu Sayyaf, an Islamist group known for kidnapping and ransoming foreigners, abducted German sailor Juergen Kantner, 70, and killed his wife, as the couple were sailing off Sabah on Sunday (Nov 6).

The Abu Sayyaf has also been preying on Malaysians and Indonesians, snatching them from tugboats, fishing boats and resorts off Saban's coasts.

The Philippines and Indonesia have already agreed to jointly combat the Abu Sayyaf, with Mr Duterte telling Indonesian security forces they can pursue and "blow up" these bandits even when they are inside Philippine waters.

Full report at:

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/philippine-president-rodrigo-duterte-to-visit-malaysia-for-talks-with-pm-najib

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Why hundreds of thousands of Muslims rallied against the Jakarta governor

November 9, 2016

Last week, around 200,000 people marched in Jakarta and other Indonesian cities to protest Chinese-Christian Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaya Purnama for allegedly “insulting Islam”.

The rally was organised by the Islamic Defenders Front, a hardline Islamic militia group known in Indonesia as the FPI, and was the biggest social mobilisation in years. It was also the biggest rally the FPI had ever organised. The FPI, notorious for vigilante raids and attacking religious minorities, would normally only mobilise hundreds of protesters.

The rally was triggered by a video of Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaya Purnama, known locally as Ahok, criticising his opponents for using Koran verses to warn against voting for him. The video went viral.

I followed the rally in Jakarta to understand the people participating in the rally and their motivations.

Conservative Muslims

From direct interviews with the participants, I found that many of the participants were from the middle class. They were professionals, businesspersons, teachers, and lecturers.

I also found that majority of them are members of majelis taklim (Islamic study groups) or majelis dzikir (Islamic prayer reciting groups) which not only came from Jakarta and its surrounding areas but also from outer Java. Many of them are not associated with the FPI or other Islamic vigilante groups. Most of them identify themselves as conservative Muslims and are against violent protests.

Their political orientations are diverse. They include supporters of the Islamic political parties, supporters of nationalist parties. Some were even supporters of the Democratic Indonesia of Struggle Party (PDI-P), the party endorsing Ahok in next year’s Jakarta gubernatorial race. Others had no political preference.

Some analysts argue the anti-Ahok rally was due to growing religious intolerance and the inability of the government to curb extremism. Others contend that Ahok’s policies on forced eviction have angered the poor, prompting them to join the protest against Ahok. Some, including the president, implied that “political actors” were behind the rally.

But looking at the character of the people who took part in the rally, their main interest is hardly in Jakarta’s local election or even in the Ahok administration’s policies.

I did meet participants who were victims of forced evictions under Ahok. But they claimed they took part in the rally as representatives of their majelis taklim. They said they were demanding Ahok to be jailed for blasphemy, not for his eviction policies. They are motivated by the desire to defend Islam from alleged blasphemy. This, however, does not necessarily mean that religious intolerance is also growing. Existing explanations have missed a broader political context and historical analysis that makes multi-group mobilisation under the banner of Islam possible.

I argue that such mobilisation was possible as an outcome of the marginalisation of the Islamist’s interests within formal politics during Jokowi administration.

The rally was a vehicle for Islamic groups to deliver their dissents to the state (Jokowi). Accusing Ahok of blasphemy was a trigger that mobilise such dissent.

A lot of protesters are members of conservative Islamic groups who were accommodated during the administration of previous president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (known as SBY) but now they feel that they have been excluded. Their interests are represented in the parliament by the Prosperous Justice Party (known locally as PKS), an opposition party whose current position is also weak.

Full report at:

http://theconversation.com/why-hundreds-of-thousands-of-muslims-rallied-against-the-jakarta-governor-68351

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House to examine who was behind violence at anti-Ahok rally

November 8, 2016

The House of Representatives’ Commission III, which oversees legal and security affairs, is set to open an investigation into violence at the Nov.4 protest demonstration to uncover whether provocateurs incited a riot after the official end of the rally.

Commission III deputy chairman Desmond Junaidi Mahesa said evidence previously collected by the commission’s members showed there was a role played by a high-ranking Jakarta Police official in inciting members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), one of the Islamic organizations that organized the rally, to fight against student activists from the Association of Islamic Students (HMI), who also took part in the event.

Desmond, a Gerindra Party politician, said Commission III members had called for an investigation to clarify the finding because arbitrarily blaming HMI members as the sole party that should be held responsible for the violence was unfair.

“Evidence obtained by Commission III members shows HMI members participating in the rally turned aggressive after the police fired tear gas at them,” Desmond told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday. “We must investigate this to get a comprehensive explanation about what actually happened.”

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/11/08/house-to-examine-who-was-behind-violence-at-anti-ahok-rally.html

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