New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 07:41 AM

Islamic World News ( 19 Dec 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

‘Don’t Forget Aleppo, Don’t Forget Syria’: Gunman after Shooting Russian Ambassador to Turkey
















The gunman who assassinated Russia's Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) and "don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria!’ after carrying out the deadly attack.

 

‘Don’t Forget Aleppo, Don’t Forget Syria’: Gunman after Shooting Russian Ambassador to Turkey

Federal Territories Mufti Says Okay to Wish Christians ‘Merry Christmas’

Russian Ambassador to Turkey Shot Dead In Ankara; Moscow Terms It 'Terrorist Act'

Don’t Leave Your Muslim Friends Out Of Your Holiday Plans

12 Killed As Lorry Ploughs Into Crowd at Berlin Christmas Market

 

Arab World

‘Don’t Forget Aleppo, Don’t Forget Syria’: Gunman after Shooting Russian Ambassador to Turkey

More Militants Surrender to Syrian Army in Aleppo

Entire Members of Terrorist Group Killed in Syrian Army Attack in Northern Hama

Syrian Soldiers Continue to Target Terrorists' Gatherings in Dara'a

ISIL Transfers Military EQUIPMENT from Palmyra to Iraq

Syria's Assad Calls on Military Reserve Force to Join Army Troops in Aleppo

Syrian Gov't Forces Drive ISIL Terrorists out of More Positions near Palmyra

Syria: Kurdish-Led SDF Lays Siege on ISIL Terrorists near Euphrates River

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Southeast Asia

Federal Territories Mufti Says Okay to Wish Christians ‘Merry Christmas’

Indonesian Police Vow Crackdown on Islamic Vigilantes

Hadi Awang draws flak from Islamic scholars for Iran visit

Tax amendments to affect only non-Muslim charities?

Hindraf urges Raja Perlis to veto amendment on unilateral conversion

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Mideast

Russian Ambassador to Turkey Shot Dead In Ankara; Moscow Terms It 'Terrorist Act'

Turkish Official Links Russian Envoy Killer to Exiled Cleric, Fethullah Gulen

Turkey's Erdogan says Putin agrees shooting of ambassador was provocation

Coalition used UK-made cluster bombs in Yemen

Saudi coalition says UK-made cluster bombs used in Yemen

US embassies in Arab world would face closure if US moved Israel embassy: Erekat

Iran urges enhanced international trade with Afghanistan

Turkey nabs six over killing of Russia envoy

Israel slammed over hampering repairs on key Gaza power line

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North America

Don’t Leave Your Muslim Friends Out Of Your Holiday Plans

Trump Vows to Wipe Out ‘Terrorists’; Condemns Russian Envoy Murder, Germany Attack

Muslim Scholar: Group That Sponsored Ellison’s Hajj a ‘National Security Threat’

Cindy Lange-Kubick: From America, With Love, a message to Muslims in Lincoln

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Europe

12 Killed As Lorry Ploughs Into Crowd at Berlin Christmas Market

Three People Hurt In Shooting At Zurich Islamic Centre: Swiss Police

Putin says Turkey ambassador murder is ploy to wreck Syrian peace process

Deadly Berlin truck crash a ‘terrorist attack

In Some Muslim Neighbourhoods Of France, Women Can't Enter. Now They're Fighting Back

Muslim Council of Britain expresses concern over attacks on Muslims

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India

Madras High Court Bans Unauthorised Sharia Courts in Tamil Nadu

Muslims Come Together To Promote Gender Justice within the Community

Brain-Dead Muslim Farmer Keeps Hindu Man’s Heart Beating

Day-Old Muslim Outfit, Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy, Says Triple Talaq Be Scrapped

India renews call for UN action against Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, their supporters

NIA chargesheet 'huge breakthrough', process to extradite Masood Azhar will begin soon, says Kiren Rijiju

Pathankot attack: Jaish-e-Mohammed plotted attack in 2014 with Google map of airbase, says NIA

Dy CM’s grandson makes representation for enhancement of Muslim quota

Pathankot: Handlers used FB to send live strike updates

Pathankot attack was code-named 'nikaah'

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Pakistan

Berlin Attacker Was Pakistani: German Media

Raheel Sharif 'Helped Me Out' In Leaving Pakistan: Musharraf

Abbottabad commission head wants report made public

FIR contradicts Rangers’ version of ‘failed suicide attack’

Two killed by landmine explosion in Balochistan's Dera Bugti

Pakistan to get four MI-35 copters from Russia

JI for freedom from ‘imperialism’

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South Asia

US Envoy Arrives Bangladesh to Discuss Religious Freedom

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Wants To Participate In EC Reforms Dialogue

ISIS militants suffer casualties in US airstrike in East of Afghanistan

Bangladesh and Indonesia foreign ministers visit Rohingya refugee camp

Taliban must reconsider notion of achieving objectives on battlefield: UN envoy

Afghanistan receives $83.5m incentive funds of World Bank for reforms

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Africa

Nigerian Muslim Woman Donates Food to Christian Widows for Christmas

Suicide Bomber Kills Seven In Libyan City Of Benghazi'

Six killed in Nigeria communal violence: Police

Nigeria: Stop Using Ethnicity, Religion to Divide Nigeria, Sultan Warns

DHS, State Dept. Enlist Terrorist Group to Conduct Anti-Terrorism Training

Tanzania: Muslim Body Earns Praise for Provision of Social Services

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/‘don’t-forget-aleppo,-don’t-forget-syria’--gunman-after-shooting-russian-ambassador-to-turkey/d/109434

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‘Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria’: Gunman after shooting Russian ambassador to Turkey

December 20, 2016

The Russian ambassador to Ankara was shot dead in an attack at an art gallery in the Turkish capital on Monday by a gunman shouting “Don’t forget Aleppo”.

Turkish security sources say gunman was police officer who worked in Ankara

A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed the death of envoy Andrei Karlov, which marked one of the most serious spillovers of the Syria conflict into Turkey. Russia is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its air strikes were instrumental in helping Syrian forces end rebel resistance last week in the northern city of Aleppo.

The Anadolu news agency said the gunman had been “neutralised” soon after the attack, Relations between Moscow and Ankara have long been fraught over the conflict, with the two supporting opposing sides.

The attacker was smartly dressed in black suit and tie, and standing behind the ambassador as he made a speech at the art exhibition, a person at the scene told Reuters.

“He took out his gun and shot the ambassador from behind. We saw him lying on the floor and then we ran out,” said the witness, who asked not to be identified. A Reuters cameraman at the scene said gunfire rang out for some time after the attack.

A video showed the attacker shouting: “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” As screams rang out, the gunman could then be seen pacing about and shouting as he held the gun in one hand and waved the other in the air.

Another photograph showed four people including what appeared to be the ambassador lying on the floor. Russia and Turkey have both been involved in the conflict in Syria, which borders Turkey. Turkey has been a staunch opponent of Assad, while Russia has deployed troops and its air force in support of the Syrian leader.

The US State Department, involved in diplomatic contacts with Russia in an attempt to resolve a refugee crisis unfolding around the city of Aleppo, condemned the attack. Tensions have escalated in recent weeks as Russian-backed Syrian forces have fought for control of the eastern part of the city of Aleppo, triggering a stream of refugees.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack. Islamic State militants have been active in Turkey and carried out several bomb attacks on Turkish targets over the last year.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/dont-forget-aleppo-dont-forget-syria-gunman-after-shooting-russian-ambassador-to-turkey-4435948/

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Federal Territories Mufti Says Okay to Wish Christians ‘Merry Christmas’

December 20, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 — Muslims are permitted by their faith to wish Christians “Merry Christmas”, Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said.

He cited the Muzakarah National Fatwa Committee Council in Islamic Affairs’ 78th meeting in 2007 that had concluded that sending greetings through cards, emails or text messages to non-Muslims during their festive seasons was permissible (“harus”), as long as such greetings did not glorify non-Muslim faiths or use religious symbols.

“It can be understood that the Merry Christmas greeting is permissible when it is a congratulatory expression on the celebration of other faiths without glorifying their religion.

“It’s no more than a mere greeting to express happiness and enjoyment upon seeing the happiness of those celebrating,” he said in a statement yesterday.

An activist with conservative Muslim group Isma said in December 2014 that it was not proper for Muslims to greet Christians “Merry Christmas”, citing classical and traditional scholars who considered the greeting to be “haram” (forbidden).

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ft-mufti-says-okay-to-wish-christians-merry-christmas

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Russian Ambassador to Turkey Shot Dead In Ankara; Moscow Terms It 'Terrorist Act'

Dec 20 2016

A Turkish policeman crying “Aleppo” and “revenge” shot dead Russia's ambassador to Turkey at an art exhibition in Ankara on Monday, in what Moscow said was a “terrorist act”.

Andrei Karlov died of his wounds after the shooting, which occurred on the eve of a key meeting between the Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers on the Syria conflict.

“Today in Ankara as a result of an attack the Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov received wounds that he died from,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in televised comments.

“We qualify what happened as a terrorist act.” The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin had been informed of the attack.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin to share information about the shooting of Moscow's ambassador to Ankara, a Turkish official said.

Dramatic television footage showed a man in a dark suit and tie waving a gun and gesturing in the air at the Ankara exhibition hall.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said the gunman had been “neutralised” in a police operation, without giving further details.

The incident came after days of protests in Turkey over Russia's role in Syria, although Moscow and Ankara are now working closely together to evacuate citizens from the battered city of Aleppo.

Pictures published by the Hurriyet daily showed at least two men in suits lying flat on the ground as another man brandished a gun.

The mayor of Ankara identified the attacker as a Turkish policeman.

'People fleeing'

The shooting took place at the Cagdas Sanatlar Merkezi, a major art exhibition hall in the Cankaya district of Ankara where most foreign embassies are located including Russia's mission.

“It happened during the opening of an exhibition,” Hurriyet correspondent Hasim Kilic, who was at the scene, told AFP.

“When the ambassador was delivering a speech, a tall man wearing a suit, fired into the air first and then took aim at the ambassador,” said Kilic.

“He said something about Aleppo and 'revenge'. He ordered the civilians to leave the room. When people were fleeing, he fired again,” he added.

Protesters in Turkey have held Moscow responsible for human rights violations in Aleppo.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu was at the scene to supervise a police operation, Turkish television said.

Condemnations pour in

The United States moved quickly to condemn a gun attack in Ankara that killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey.

“We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

Syria also condemned the murder in neighbouring Turkey of the ambassador of its key ally Russia as a “despicable crime”, state news agency SANA said, quoting the foreign ministry.

“The Syrian republic condemns in the strongest terms the cowardly terrorist attack that led to the death of the Russian ambassador in Turkey, Andrei Karlov,” a ministry statement said.

“This despicable crime confirms once again the urgent need to expand all efforts and means to fight and eliminate terrorism,” it added.

Turkey and Russia saw relations plunge to their worst levels since the Cold War last year when a Turkish jet shot down a Russian war plane over Syria.

They stand on opposite sides of the Syria conflict with Ankara backing rebels trying to topple Moscow ally President Bashar al-Assad.

But the rhetoric has warmed considerably since a a reconciliation deal was signed earlier this year and a Russian and Turkish-brokered deal has helped the evacuation of citizens from Aleppo in the last days.

The attack comes a day before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, Assad's other key ally, were to hold unprecedented tripartite talks on the Syria conflict in Moscow.

A Turkish official on Monday denied Ankara had forged any secret “bargain” with Moscow over the future of Syria, despite the improving cooperation that led to the deal for evacuations from Aleppo.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1303269/russian-ambassador-to-turkey-shot-dead-in-ankara-moscow-terms-it-terrorist-act

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Don’t leave your Muslim friends out of your holiday plans

December 19, 2016

THIS holiday season, share some love with your Muslim neighbors.

It’s been a rough few months for Muslim Americans. They have felt an election backlash in a very personal way. Some women in the Puget Sound region who wear head coverings are frightened to leave home alone for fear of anti-Muslim comments or worse — even in liberal Seattle.

Hate-crime statistics released by the FBI in November showed a sharp increase in attacks nationally against Muslims, from 154 incidents in 2014 to 257 in 2015. There were even more anti-Jewish incidents last year — about 650 — but not as sharp an increase because anti-Semitism, sadly, is common in the U.S.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has noted that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign led to hostility against Muslims. Since Trump’s call to register Muslims entering the U.S., hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise.

America was founded on the idea of religious freedom — the freedom to celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or no holiday in December. Americans are permitted to buy Christmas presents and drink eggnog one day, then pray at a mosque or synagogue the next. Americans can choose whether to WATCHfootball or go to church — or neither — on Sunday.

Reach out to a nearby mosque and ask for a tour.”

Only in countries led by dictators are people forced toward government-sanctioned religious practice.

Muslim immigrants and Muslim Americans are not the enemy. The brand of Islam being observed in this country is not the extremism seen in some parts of the Middle East. How many times does it need to be said that Muslim belief is not compatible with terrorism, just like Christian belief is not compatible with hatred.

Most Christians who celebrate the winter holidays remember the Christmas story of a family that was discriminated against in ancient Israel, just because they were different. Today’s Muslim Americans are just Americans who have different beliefs and sometimes DRESS differently.

Get to know your Muslim neighbors by inviting them to your holiday celebration. Reach out to a nearby mosque and ask for a tour.

If you are a woman who belongs to a church or synagogue, offer your women’s group to escort Muslim women who don’t want to go out alone.

Christian, Muslim, atheist, Jew. All are entitled to enjoy an overwhelming holiday season filled with bright LIGHTS, loud music, cheerful greetings and too much food — if they choose.

Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Donna Gordon Blankinship, Brier Dudley, Mark Higgins, Jonathan Martin, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).

http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/dont-leave-your-muslim-friends-out-of-your-holiday-plans/

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12 killed as lorry ploughs into crowd at Berlin Christmas market

Dec 20 2016

A lorry ploughed into a busy Christmas market in Berlin on Monday, killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens more in what police said was a suspected terror attack.

Ambulances and heavily armed police rushed to the area after the vehicle mounted the pavement of the market in a square popular with tourists, in horrific scenes reminiscent of July's deadly truck attack in the French Riviera city of Nice.

“I don't want to use the word 'attack' yet, although there are many things pointing to one,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told public television.

As witnesses described scenes of panic and carnage, police said at least 12 people were killed and 48 others were injured in the incident which comes less than a week before Christmas.

Australian Trisha O'Neill told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation she was only metres from where the truck smashed into the crowded market.

“I just saw this huge black truck speeding through the markets crushing so many people and then all the lights went out and everything was destroyed.

“I could hear screaming and then we all froze. Then suddenly people started to move and lift all the wreckage off people, trying to help whoever was there.” O'Neill said there was “blood and bodies everywhere”.

'We mourn the dead'

A German police spokeswoman told AFP that a man who was apparently driving the truck had been detained while the passenger was dead. Police later identified the passenger as a Polish national.

Security sources cited by DPA news agency said that the man behind the wheel was an asylum seeker from Afghanistan or Pakistan who arrived in Germany in February.

The daily Tagesspiegel said the man was known to police but for minor crimes, not links to terrorism. The Polish owner of the lorry confirmed his driver was missing.

“We haven't heard from him since this afternoon. We don't know what happened to him. He's my cousin, I've known him since I was a kid. I can vouch for him,” transport company owner Ariel Zurawski told AFP.

Lukasz Wasik of the same company said contact was lost with the 37-year old at around 3pm (1400 GMT).

German authorities said there was no indication of “further dangerous situations in the city near Breitscheidplatz”, where the suspected attack took place.

“We are investigating whether it was a terror attack but do not yet know what was behind it,” a police spokesman said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted quickly to the incident, with spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeting: “We mourn the dead and hope that the many people injured can be helped.”

'Safer than Paris'

Traditional Christmas markets are popular in cities and towns throughout Germany and have frequently been mentioned by security services as potentially vulnerable to attacks.

“It's awful. We were in Berlin for Christmas,” said American tourist Kathy Forbes. “We also thought it would be safer than Paris.”

The crash happened in the shadow of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church whose damage in a World War II bombing raid has been preserved as a reminder of the horrors of war for future generations.

The square is at the end of the Kurfuerstendamm boulevard, which was packed with holiday shoppers. Police said the truck made it as far as 80 metres into the Christmas market before it came to a halt.

High alert

Europe has been on high alert for most of 2016, with terror attacks striking Paris and Brussels, while Germany has been hit by several assaults claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group and carried out by asylum-seekers.

An axe rampage on a train in the southern state of Bavaria in July wounded five people, and a suicide bombing left 15 people injured in the same state six days later.

In another case, a 16-year-old German-Moroccan girl in February stabbed a police officer in the neck with a kitchen knife, wounding him badly, allegedly on IS orders.

The arrival of 890,000 refugees last year has polarised Germany, with critics calling the influx a serious security threat.

The attack in Berlin comes five months after Tunisian extremist Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel ploughed a truck into a crowd on the Nice seafront, killing 86 people.

In response to the suspected attack in Berlin, France beefed up security at its own Christmas markets. “The French share in the mourning of the Germans in the face of this tragedy that has hit all of Europe,” President Francois Hollande said.

The Nice bloodshed — as people were watching a fireworks display on the Bastille Day holiday on July 14 — further traumatised a France already reeling from a series of militant attacks.

The United States labelled Monday's incident an apparent “terrorist attack” and pledged its support. President-elect Donald Trump blamed “Islamist terrorists” for a “slaughter” of Christians in the German capital.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1303337/12-killed-as-lorry-ploughs-into-crowd-at-berlin-christmas-market

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Arab World

 

More Militants Surrender to Syrian Army in Aleppo

Dec 19, 2016

The source said that while over 3,400 militants have thus far surrendered to the army men in Aleppo, a number of militants and their families rejected relocation to militant-held regions in Idlib province and surrendered to the government officials at al-Ramouseh passageway.

The source further added that government officials studied requests of the militants and their families at al-Ramouseh and granted them amnesty, transferring them to a center in Jibrin in Aleppo city. 

The Russian General Staff announced that over 3,400 terrorists have surrendered themselves to the Syrian authorities since the beginning of the military operations in the city of Aleppo.

"A total number of 3,406 militants of the so-called moderate opposition groups have surrendered during the liberation of Eastern Aleppo, and over 3,000 of them have been pardoned," Chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate Sergei Rudskoy said.

General Rudskoy added that some 108,000 civilians who had not been allowed by militants to leave Eastern Aleppo, are currently in shelters, while only the Syrian government and Russia are providing them with humanitarian aid.

Reports said earlier today that approximately 750 injured and patient civilians of the towns of Fua'a and Kafraya have thus far reached the Southern countryside of Aleppo city in return for the evacuation of militants and their families from the city after a two-day suspension due to the violation of the evacuation agreement by terrorists.

Four more buses carrying nearly 260 civilians left Fua'a and Kafraya minutes ago after 10 buses took out 500 injured and patient people from the towns in the morning.

Based on the latest reports, the entire 14 buses along with vehicles of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) have reached al-Ramouseh passageway. In the meantime medical officials and the SARC in Jebrin center East of Aleppo city are ready to admit the the injured and patients of Fua'a and Kafraya.

Reports added that the rest of militants in the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo have left the city.

Reports further added that approximately 2,500 civilians of Idlib will leave Fua'a and Kafraya in two 1,250 groups in return for evacuation of trapped militants in Aleppo's Eastern neighborhoods.

In the next stage, 1,500 injured and patient civilians of Fua'a and Kafraya will leave the towns in return for the evacuation of 1,500 militants in Madaya and Zabadani in Damascus province.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950929001039

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Entire Members of Terrorist Group Killed in Syrian Army Attack in Northern Hama

Dec 19, 2016

The artillery units opened heavy fire at a gathering of Jeish al-Fatah near the village of Khirbet al-Naqous, killing all the militants and destroying their machinegun-equipped vehicles and a bulldozer.

In the meantime, several bases and concentration cetnres of terrorists in the villages and towns of Taybat al-Imam, Kafr Zita, al-Zakat, al-Arba'een and in the region of al-Zawar in Northern Hama came under heavy shelling by the army's artillery units that left a number of militants dead. 

The Syrian Army soldiers with the support of the Russian fighter jets also targeted the movements of the terrorists in different parts of Hama province, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950929001071

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Syrian Soldiers Continue to Target Terrorists' Gatherings in Dara'a

Dec 19, 2016

The Army soldiers targeted terrorists' positions near al-Qariyeh al-Qarbi bridge in Northeastern Dara'a, killing a number of terrorists and destroying their positions.

Also, the army men targeted a group of terrorists that were monitoring and spying on the army movements in the town of al-Faqi in Northern Dara'a, leaving a number of them dead.

The army troops also hit the vehicles and positions of the terrorists heavily in Hareh al-Bajabjah and Tarq al-Sad (way to Dam) in Dara'a al-Balad district of Dara'a city.

The army men opened heavy heavy machinegun fire at the terrorists in the towns of Ulama, Ibtta and Dael in Dara'a countryside, killing and wounding a number of militants.

Sources privy to rebels disclosed earlier today that militant groups deployed in the Western countryside of Dara'a city have started a large-scale operation to beat ISIL terrorists back from their positions in the region.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950929000980

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ISIL Transfers Military EQUIPMENT from Palmyra to Iraq

Dec 19, 2016

Nazzim al-Juqaifi was quoted by Sumeriya News as saying that after its occupation of a part of Palmyra in Homs province, the ISIL transferred a number of these weapons and equipment to Iraq.

He said that some of these arms and EQUIPMENT were targeted by fighter jets.

According to the Iraqi officer, the equipment and weapons included BMP1 combat personnel carriers, tens of artilleries and other war instruments.

The ISIL kicked off a large-scale operation on December 8 with thousands of forces in Homs province to take control of Palmyra that was liberated by the Syrian Army in March 2016.

The ISIL took control over some energy fields and strategic heights and approached Palmyra.

The terrorist group finally entered the city of Palmyra on December 10, but the Russian and Syrian forces could repel their attacks, killing hundreds of them. Yet, the terrorists could take the city on late a day later.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced last week week that Syrian Army soldiers with aerial support of Russian fighter jets killed over 300 terrorists.

4,000 fighters of the ISIL carried out again a large-scale offensive against government positions in Palmyra from several flanks and finally managed to capture the city on December 11, while only 800 army soldiers were defending the city and there was no possibility for aerial coverage by the Russian and Syrian warplanes due to bad weather.   

A senior Syrian military expert said on Sunday that the ISIL terrorists could prevail over Syrian army's defense lines and managed to capture the ancient city of Palmyra only after they received sensitive intel from the US.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950929000746

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Syria's Assad Calls on Military Reserve Force to Join Army Troops in Aleppo

Dec 20, 2016

The Arabic language al-Alam new network reported that the Syrian president has called on the reserve force to join the country's army for the first time after the Yom Kippur War (also Ramadan War or October War) against Israel which occurred from October 6, 1973 till October 26, 1973.

Al-Alam added that the reserve force will be dispatched to the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city that are now under the control of the government forces.

Yom Kippur or Battle of Arabs and Israel took place between Syria and Egypt backed up by several Arab States with Israel.

A military source disclosed on Monday that a number of militants that had called for evacuation from Aleppo's Eastern neighborhoods decided not to go to Idlib and turned themselves in to the Syrian Army troops to stay in government-controlled regions.

The source said that while over 3,400 militants surrendered to the army men in Aleppo, a number of militants and their families rejected relocation to militant-held regions in Idlib province and surrendered to the government officials at al-Ramouseh passageway.

The source further added that government officials studied requests of the militants and their families at al-Ramouseh and granted them amnesty, transferring them to a center in Jibrin in Aleppo city.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950930000302

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Syrian Gov't Forces Drive ISIL Terrorists out of More Positions near Palmyra

Dec 20, 2016

The government forces that had been reinvigorated after arrival of several convoys of reinforcements stormed ISIL's positions Southwest of Palmyra and retook control of several strategic positions near the village of Sharifeh.

The Syrian and Russian warplanes could also provide aerial coverage for the ground forces thanks to good weather condition.

The army's artillery units also shelled ISIL's gathering and movements near T4 airbase, killing at least 18 terrorists and destroying five vehicles.

The Syrian and Russian fighter jets also carried out air raids on ISIL terrorists' centers near the turnpike of al-Quaryatayn and al-Fawa’ara well on Monday, destroying militants' bases and vehicles and killing a number of them.

A number of members of Fatah al-Sham Front (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) were also killed or wounded after their positions in Tir Ma’ala, Ghantu, farms of Abu al-Ezz, Ezz al-Din and Hawsh Hajo in Northern Homs came under the heavy attacks by the army men.

Syrian Army troops and Air Force targeted ISIL's gatherings and movements near Palmyra, inflicting major losses on the militants.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950930000382

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Syria: Kurdish-Led SDF Lays Siege on ISIL Terrorists near Euphrates River

Dec 20, 2016

The SDF continued the second phase of the Euphrates Rage Operation and captured the villages of Haniyeh, Bir Zaher, Karwan, Bir Zayed and Towayheneh, killing and wounding over 37 militants.

The Kurdish fighters further fortified their positions in the five newly-captured villages and carried out another attack on ISIL's position adjacent to the Euphrates River near the villages of Shamsulddin al-Wasat and Shamsulddin al-Qarbi, which ended in laying full siege on the terrorists deployed on the Eastern and Northern banks of the River.

The ISIL terrorists are now under the SDF siege in this region which includes 50 villages with 560 sq-km area.  

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950930000456

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesian police vow crackdown on Islamic vigilantes

December 19, 2016

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s police chief vowed Monday to crack down on any vigilantes trying to enforce Islamic rulings before Christmas, saying religious edicts do not amount to law in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

His remarks came as religious hardliners attempted to stop retail workers from wearing Santa hats inside malls, saying the festive garb is un-Islamic.

Indonesia’s highest Islamic council issued a fatwa — or religious edict — making it sinful for businesses to force their Muslim staff to wear Christmas attire.

The ruling inspired dozens of hardliners to rally outside malls in Indonesia’s second-largest city Surabaya at the weekend, earning a sharp rebuke from police chief Tito Karnavian.

“I have ordered my officers to arrest those doing sweeps in an anarchic FASHION, because it is a violation of the law,” he told reporters.

He also reprimanded two police units caught passing on the ruling to their officers, telling them fatwas “are not a reference for positive law”.

The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the prominent hardline group behind the weekend’s action, defended its conduct.

“We Muslims were just spreading the fatwa, because as Muslims it is an obligation to support our clerics,” Mohamad Mahdi al-Habsyi, the head of Surabaya’s FPI chapter, told AFP.

The FPI has urged followers on social media to report any cases of Muslims being forced to wear Christmas attire.

Most of Indonesia’s 255 million inhabitants practise a moderate form of Islam, often infused with influences from local ethnic groups.

However critics say an unwillingness by authorities to take action has emboldened fringe radical groups and fuelled intolerance.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2016/12/19/indonesian-police-vow-crackdown-on-islamic-vigilantes/

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Hadi Awang draws flak from Islamic scholars for Iran visit

December 20, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 — An international group of Sunni scholars has condemned Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang for attending a conference in Iran, a key backer of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime amid violence in the strife-torn country.

The International Union of Muslim Scholars said in a statement that it was baffled by Hadi — who is the deputy president of the body — calling the move insensitive especially at a time when the Muslim world is grief-stricken and angered by Assad’s regime. “The Union is perplexed by the timing of the visit, at a time when Iran is violently culling our brethren, particularly in Halab and Syria. Apart from the country’s greed in its attempt to control Sunni territories in Yemen and Iran,” the group and its president, Egyptian theologian Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi said.

“The Union also condemns the visit. We consider the visit as an informal one and that it does not represent the Union. The visit was done at the individual’s own accord.

“The Union is also waiting for an explanation from the learned [Hadi] about the visit that we strongly disagree upon,” it added, referring to the PAS president.

The statement was written in Arabic and had been translated by Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Asri Zainul Abidin on his Facebook page.

Under fire for the Iran visit, Hadi’s political secretary Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar told Malay paper Sinar Harian that his attendance at the conference was made following an invitation by Dr Abdurrahman Bayraan, said to be an Iranian representative of the Union.

Samsuri also claimed that Abdurrahman had been appointed by Yusuf himself.

However, the Union and Yusuf had in the same statement vehemently denied that the visit was sanctioned by it.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/hadi-awang-draws-flak-from-islamic-scholars-for-iran-visit

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Tax amendments to affect only non-Muslim charities?

December 20, 2016

KUCHING: A recent amendment to the Income Tax Act 1967 has raised questions as to whether certain donations to non-Muslim religious bodies are no longer exempted from tax.

A report in The Borneo Post quoted a tax consultant as saying the amendment meant income not exclusively for religious worship or advancement of religion would be subjected to income tax with effect from year of assessment 2017.

It said the chairman of the Kuching Chinese Community Charitable Trust Board, Dr Chou Chii Ming, questioned the passing of the amendment because religious institutions such as churches, temples and charitable bodies would now need to pay tax on some of their income.

The amendment to Paragraph 13(1)(b) of Schedule 6 of the Income Tax Act 1967 specifies that income “solely for charitable purposes for year of assessment” is exempted from tax.

Parliament passed the amendments last Nov 23, and the Senate followed SUIT on Dec 15.

Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen accused the government of introducing the amendment surreptitiously, as part of the amendments consequential to Budget 2017.

The report quoted Chong, who is also state DAP chairman and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, as saying the implications of such amendments should have been highlighted during the Budget speech, but that they were not.

The Borneo Post quoted an unnamed “experienced accountant” as saying that before the amendment, all types of income, including dividends, were tax exempted. After the amendments, he said income that was not for charitable purposes would be taxable.

“I do not agree that all donations are not taxable income. Donations are a form of gifts or contributions received by religious institutions.

“If the donations are not for charitable purposes, then it will be taxable under the proposed amendments,” said the accountant.

He asked if there was an omission of the Appendix in the TABLING of the amendments as every Finance Bill must contain an Explanation Statement detailing the intention of the proposed amendment.

“Whether all MPs have read it with understanding or not, I do not know. If yes, then there is no excuse for not objecting or seeking a clear explanation on it and to find out the tax implications,” The Borneo Post quoted him as saying.

Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How believes the amendment will not affect mosques and Islamic welfare institutions as they are under the Majlis Islam Sarawak Ordinance 1984.

Churches, temples and other charitable organisations are under the Charitable Trusts Ordinance 1994.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/12/20/tax-amendments-to-affect-only-non-muslim-charities/

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Hindraf urges Raja Perlis to veto amendment on unilateral conversion

By Murali

Dec 20, 2016

Hindraf has urged the Raja Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Tuanku Syed Putra Jalalullai to veto the state the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 on unilateral conversion.

Hindraf national chairman P. Waytha Moorthy argued that the amendment was clearly in conflict with the Federal Constitution’s Article 8 as gender discrimination was involved and the guardianship of Infants Act 1961, where SECTIONS 5 and 11 explicitly guaranteed the rights of both parents to determine the upbringing of a child below 18 years old.

“The amendments have created much anguish and anxiety among non-Muslims, said Waytha in his letter dated Dec 19, 2016, to Raja Perlis.

He noted that Malaysia’s 1995 ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has put it in an awkward position where these treaties contained clear and unequivocal provisions that obliged state parties, such as Malaysia, to ensure that each parent had equal rights.

“Hindraf strongly believes under no circumstances should either parent be allowed to unilaterally convert any child into any particular religion,” said Waytha.

Irrespective of the current proposed federal list of amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act (LRA) 1976, he said the Raja Perlis as head of Islam in his state had all the power to veto the current state unilateral conversion amendment bill when it comes for his royal assent.

The federal amendments to LRA are expected to be TABLED in the Parliament in the first quarter of 2017, which would mandate both parents consent for a child conversion.

“Although we do note that the privilege of ability for royal veto had somewhat been eroded in the Federal Constitution, nonetheless we believe as the head of the religion of Islam in Perlis,  Your Highness has a right to return the amendment bill to the state Assembly with objections that were well justified in this instance.

“We do believe that Your Highness would denounce all forms of extremism, chauvinism, racism and isolationism as a whole as well as protecting the original covenants of our Federal Constitution and desire of the forefathers to continue in the spirit that it was built on and created without being further imperiled by ideological and extremism, be it race or religion or haphazard executives and politicians.”

Waytha believes that the continued effort by the Royal Highness in such socially sensitive issues would augur well on his role as a bipartisan voice above party politics committed to justice and fairness for all his citizens.

Full report at:

http://www.malaysiaoutlook.com/hindraf-urges-raja-perlis-to-veto-amendment-on-unilateral-conversion/

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Mideast

 

Turkish Official Links Russian Envoy Killer to Exiled Cleric, Fethullah Gulen

December 20, 2016

ANKARA: A Turkish security official said Ankara saw "very strong signs" the gunman who killed Russia's ambassador there on Monday was a follower of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric blamed for orchestrating a failed coup in July.

A representative of cleric Fethullah Gulen, Alp Aslandogan, denied any link and said the exiled cleric condemned the murder as a "heinous act".

The Turkish official, who declined to be identified, said the current investigation was focused on the gunman's links to the network of Gulen's followers, which the government calls the "Gulenist Terrorist Organisation" or "FETO".

The government says Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999, created a "parallel network" in the police, military, judiciary and civil service aimed at overthrowing the state. Gulen denies this.

President Tayyip Erdogan identified the attacker, who was later killed by security forces, as a member of the Ankara riot police who had spent 2-1/2 years on the force.

"The people he lived with before school were detained over FETO. It was determined that the people with whom he graduated from school were from a FETO team," the senior security official said of the attacker.

"Information was obtained to the effect that people who helped him get into school were from FETO. There are very strong signs that the person who carried out this attack was from FETO. The investigation is currently focused totally on this."

The official also cited the fact that the attacker had taken July 15-17 as holiday. The government may argue the timing of his holiday demonstrated foreknowledge of the July 15 coup.

Gulen adviser Aslandogan, who advises Gulen on media issues, said the allegations by the Turkish official were "laughable" and intended to cover up for lax security.

"Mr. Gulen categorically condemns this heinous act," he told Reuters.

http://nation.com.pk/international/20-Dec-2016/turkish-official-links-russian-envoy-killer-to-exiled-cleric

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Turkey's Erdogan says Putin agrees shooting of ambassador was provocation

December 20, 2016

ANKARA : Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he spoke to Russia's Vladimir Putin and they both agreed the assassination of Russia's ambassador to Ankara by a gunman was an act of provocation by those looking to harm relations their countries.

In a video message broadcast on Turkish television, Erdogan said Turkey-Russia relations were vital for the region and those who aimed to harm ties were not going to achieve their goals.

The Russian ambassador to Ankara was shot in the back and killed while giving a speech at an art gallery on Monday. Turkish security sources said the gunman, who shouted "Don't forget Aleppo", was an off-duty police officer.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/20-Dec-2016/turkey-s-erdogan-says-putin-agrees-shooting-of-ambassador-was-provocation

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Coalition used UK-made cluster bombs in Yemen

December 20, 2016

RIYADH - The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen on Monday said it had made "limited use" of British-made cluster bombs, a type of weapon which 100 countries have pledged not to use.

In its 21-month campaign against Shiite rebels who have seized much of Yemen, the Saudi-led alliance has faced repeated allegations of killing civilians.

It said it used the BL-755 cluster bombs "against legitimate military targets to defend Saudi towns and villages against continuous attacks" by the Huthi rebels. The insurgents have killed more than 100 civilians and soldiers on the Saudi side of the border.

The coalition deployed the weapons in accordance with international humanitarian law, and not in civilian areas, it said, adding that Saudi Arabia no longer uses the BL-755. London-based rights group Amnesty International in June alleged that "at least 16 civilians - including nine children - have been killed or injured by cluster submunitions between July 2015" and May of this year.

Amnesty said its findings came from the rebel stronghold of Saada as well as the Hajja area. Both are near the border with Saudi Arabia.

One hundred nations are party to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions which bans their use. Britain is a party to the convention but Saudi Arabia, its coalition partners, and the United States are not.

In January, the coalition spokesman said alliance forces had used CBU-105 cluster bombs against rebel vehicles.

President Barack Obama's administration moved in May to block sales of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia as concerns over civilian casualties in Yemen mounted, the journal Foreign Policy reported.

Cluster bombs contain multiple submunitions, which sometimes do not explode and become de facto landmines that can kill or maim long after being dropped.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/20-Dec-2016/coalition-used-uk-made-cluster-bombs-in-yemen

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Saudi coalition says UK-made cluster bombs used in Yemen

December 20, 2016

Riyadh: The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen on Monday said it had made "limited use" of British-made cluster bombs, a type of weapon which 100 countries have pledged not to use.

In its 21-month campaign against Shiite rebels who have seized much of Yemen, the Saudi-led alliance has faced repeated allegations of killing civilians.

It said it used the BL-755 cluster bombs "against legitimate military targets to defend Saudi towns and villages against continuous attacks" by the Huthi rebels.

The insurgents have killed more than 100 civilians and soldiers on the Saudi side of the border.

The coalition deployed the weapons in accordance with international humanitarian law, and not in civilian areas, it said, adding that Saudi Arabia no longer uses the BL-755.

London-based rights group Amnesty International in June alleged that "at least 16 civilians -- including nine children -- have been killed or injured by cluster submunitions between July 2015" and May of this year.

Amnesty said its findings came from the rebel stronghold of Saada as well as the Hajja area. Both are near the border with Saudi Arabia.

One hundred nations are party to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions which bans their use.

Britain is a party to the convention but Saudi Arabia, its coalition partners, and the United States are not.

British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told parliament on Monday he welcomed the Saudi decision that it will not use further BL-755 cluster munitions.

"We will continue to keep current sales of military EQUIPMENT to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies under review," he said.

In January, the coalition spokesman said alliance forces had used CBU-105 cluster bombs against rebel vehicles.

President Barack Obama's administration moved in May to block sales of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia as concerns over civilian casualties in Yemen mounted, the journal Foreign Policy reported.

Cluster bombs contain multiple submunitions, which sometimes do not explode and become de facto landmines that can kill or maim long after being dropped.

Human Rights WATCH, a New York-based watchdog, on Monday said the British-made cluster munitions had been transferred years ago and are no longer sold to Saudi Arabia.

But Britain continues to sell other weapons to the kingdom "despite the clear risk" of their use in future coalition attacks, the watchdog said, calling for a suspension of British arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/20-Dec-2016/saudi-coalition-says-uk-made-cluster-bombs-used-in-yemen

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US embassies in Arab world would face closure if US moved Israel embassy: Erekat

Dec 20, 2016

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has warned that if the United States moved its embassy in Israel from its current site in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, popular Arab outrage would follow and force the closure of all American embassies in the Arab world.

The umbrella group’s Secretary General Sa’eb Erekat delivered the warning on Monday, speaking during a conference call organized by the Wilson Center policy forum in Washington, DC.

There has been speculation that the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump may decide to move the American embassy to East Jerusalem al-Quds in a sign of the recognition of the city as the capital of an Israeli “state.”

This is while Palestinians want the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967, as part of a future Palestinian state, with East al-Quds there as its capital.

US President-elect Donald Trump (R) and David Friedman, Trump’s possible nominee for ambassador to Israel

On Friday, Trump announced his decision to nominate hardliner David Friedman as the US’s ambassador to Israel. Friedman is notorious for his fervent support of Israel’s illegal settlement expansion in the occupied territories, and has been characterized as an “obstacle to peace” by successive US administrations. He has said that he plans to work at “the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

Erekat, the Palestinian official, hinted that the public in Arab countries would revolt against such a scenario.

He said all American embassies in the Arab world would be forced to close — not necessarily because Arab governments would decide to expel the US missions but because the Arab publics would not allow the embassies to continue to operate.

Most Arab governments claim they do not recognize Israel. They say they would normalize relations with the Tel Aviv regime only when it reaches a deal with the Palestinians, whose lands the Israeli regime has occupied. Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab regimes that have open diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/20/500660/Israel-Erekat-US-embassy-Tel-Aviv-Trump

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Iran urges enhanced international trade with Afghanistan

Dec 20, 2016

Iran’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations (UN) has urged the international community to enhance its economic ties with Afghanistan toward remedying the country’s woes.

Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Gholam-Ali Khoshroo said on Monday that the Afghan government is simultaneously tackling economic complications and fighting on the frontline of the battle against Taliban and recently Daesh, too.

The Islamic Republic believes it is incumbent upon the international community to assist the Afghan National Unity Government on both fronts, added Khoshroo, who was speaking during a debate at the UN Security Council on the situation in the Central Asian country.

The development of the economic relations between Afghanistan and the rest of the world is both an international obligation and an effectual approach toward ensuring peace, stability, and security in the country, he said.

Tehran, he said, has always taken steps to that effect, such as completing or helping complete infrastructural projects like the Chabahar Port project in southern Iran.

In May, Iran, India, and Afghanistan signed a key trilateral deal, known as the Chabahar Agreement, to establish a strategic transit and transport route connecting the three countries, centering on the port city.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/20/500647/Iran-Khoshroo-Afghanistan-enhanced-international-trade

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Turkey nabs six over killing of Russia envoy

Dec 20, 2016

Turkey has arrested six people in connection with the assassination earlier of Russia’s ambassador to the country.

An off-duty police officer in civilian CLOTHING shot down Andrey Karlov, the Russian envoy, as he was inaugurating a photo exhibition in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Monday.

On Tuesday, the state-run Anadolu agency said the attacker’s mother, father, sister and two other relatives were being held in the western province of Aydin, while his flatmate in Ankara had also been detained.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said on Tuesday that Russian investigators had flown to Turkey earlier in the day to help probe the killing as per a mutual decision taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Eighteen people will work in the group. The group will act in Turkey within the framework of the investigation into the murder,” Peskov said.

After carrying out the murder, the assailant went on a rant caught on CAMERA, which saw him bawling, “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!”

This picture, taken on December 19, 2016 in the Turkish capital, Ankara, shows guests leaving a gallery as a gunman (C) holds a weapon, during an attack where Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Ankara, was shot. (By AFP)

However, a senior Turkish security official has said there are “very strong signs” that the gunman belonged to the network of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/20/500669/Turkey-Russia-Ambassador-Ankara

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Israel slammed over hampering repairs on key Gaza power line

Dec 19, 2016

The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) has criticized the Israeli regime over stalling repairs on one of the main power lines in the impoverished Palestinian coastal enclave, arguing that the holdup has exacerbated the already dire living conditions in the besieged territory.

The GEDCO announced on Sunday that Israeli officials had pushed off restoring Baghdad power line, which has been damaged for four days, calling on Palestinian authorities to compel Israel to take proper measures and repair the damaged line as soon as possible.

The electricity distribution company said poor maintenance of many Israeli transmission lines had worsened power crisis in Gaza, and severely impacted electricity distribution schedule there.

Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids, together with Gaza's sole power plant, fail to cover the Palestinian enclave's energy needs, and its inhabitants have access to electricity for eight hours each day.

On May 6, three siblings lost their lives and three others were seriously burned in a house fire caused by candles that the family had lit during a power cut.

Palestinian medical sources identified the deceased as three-year-old Yusra Muhammad Abu Hindi, two-year-old Rahaf Muhammad Abu Hindi, and two-month-old Nasser Muhammad Abu Hindi.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/19/500595/Gaza-electricity-company-Israel-repairs-power-line-Gaza-Strip

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North America

 

Trump vows to wipe out ‘terrorists’; condemns Russian envoy murder, Germany attack

Dec 20, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump vowed Monday, a month before he takes office, to wipe “terrorists” off the face of the Earth, after a series of high-profile attacks in Germany, Turkey and Switzerland.

German police have so far spoken of a possible terror attack after a truck plowed through a crowd, killing at least 12 and injuring dozens more in scenes reminiscent of July’s deadly truck attack in the French city of Nice.

But still, Trump condemned the “horrifying terror attack.”

“ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad,” he added, referring to the Islamic State group.

Trump then promised: “These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the Earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners.”

In Ankara, a policeman shot dead Russia’s ambassador to Turkey. Trump called the gunman a “radical Islamic terrorist.”

The shooting, during which the gunman shouted “Aleppo” and “Allahu akbar” (God is great), occurred on the eve of a key meeting in Moscow between the Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers on the Syrian conflict.

Protesters in Turkey have held Moscow responsible for human rights violations in Aleppo, with thousands protesting outside the Russian consulate in Istanbul.

Turkey and Russia stand on opposite sides of the Syria conflict with Ankara backing rebels trying to topple Moscow’s ally President Bashar al-Assad.

But the rhetoric has warmed considerably since a reconciliation deal was signed earlier this year and a Russian and Turkish-brokered accord has helped the evacuation of citizens from Aleppo in the last days.

As a billionaire real estate investor, Trump has curried favor with Moscow through his business dealings over the decades.

His pro-Russia views came under increasing scrutiny in 2015 as he opened his ultimately successful White House campaign, as he has brushed off reports of brutality and repression by Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.

Those ties are coming under fire after US intelligence agencies found that Russia had tried to sway the US election via a cyber hack.

At the same time, relations between the former Cold War foes are at a very low point.

In Switzerland, a man burst into a Muslim prayer hall, shooting and wounded three men.

Witnesses had described the shooter as a man aged around 30 wearing dark CLOTHES and a dark woollen cap.

A number of Swiss mosques, including one near Zurich and the main one in Geneva, have in recent months been accused in media of allowing or encouraging the radicalization of their worshippers, especially the younger members of their congregations.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/trump-vows-to-wipe-out-terrorists-condemns-russian-envoy-murder-germany-attack/story-nui8r24vz3wfxzhm8tO3QK.html

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Muslim Scholar: Group That Sponsored Ellison’s Hajj a ‘National Security Threat’

December 19, 2016

The group that paid for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison’s December 2008 hajj to Mecca is a “national security threat,” a Muslim scholar wrote in a 2010 email.

Ellison now is vying to become the next Democratic National Committee chief.

The Muslim American Society (MAS), the group that paid $13,500 for Ellison’s pilgrimage, had ties with terrorism and had a phony commitment to the American constitutional order, al-Husein Madhany wrote in the email, which was posted on the “Muslim Justice League” listserv. He made these assertions as part of a discussion of how the Muslim community should respond to the Ground Zero mosque controversy.

The listserv included TOP U.S. Islamist and liberal intellectuals, as well as Obama administration representatives. CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen and prominent American Muslim playwright and polemicist Wajahat Ali also were part of the list. “When I said that I believe MAS halaqas (religious gatherings) to be a national security threat, it was only part in jest. My caution comes from what I have personally heard said at MAS halaqas during my time in graduate school and based on what I know about their ideological (but financial) ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas,” Madhany wrote .

Madhany, who has ties to the Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, Georgetown University, and New America Foundation, co-authored a 2008 piece for Brookings with President Obama’s former U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Rashad Hussain, about the role of Islam in counter-terrorism policy.

At the time, Madhany wrote, some non-governmental groups were building a case for designating the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates as terrorist groups.

Part of that case was built on the fact that “MAS continues to teach to their members — at its highest levels of leadership — that all governments should become Islamic and that non-Islamic judicial systems should be boycotted or replaced, by soft power and by force, Madhany wrote. “They do this while promoting the idea in public that their goal is to support and defend the U.S. Constitution.”

Madhany is no conservative. His 2008 Brookings piece argued that using the terms “Islamic terrorism” or “Islamic extremist” gave religious legitimacy to Al-Qaida, suggesting “Al-Qaida terrorism” instead.

Madhany was not the first or the only person to connect MAS with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews,” the Chicago Tribune reported in 2004. In 2008, federal prosecutors said that MAS was founded as the “overt arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.

Convicted Al-Qaida financier and jailed prominent U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdurrahman Alamoudi confirmed this assertion in 2012: “Everyone knows that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Brotherhood bylaws call for “the need to work on establishing the Islamic State, which seeks to effectively implement the provisions of Islam and its teachings.”

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) classified MAS as a terrorist organization in 2014.

Madhany’s e-mail offers a glimpse of how people on the inside view MAS, Islam scholar Daniel Pipes told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Right after the Sept. 11 attacks, Pipes detailed several instances in which American Islamists preached that the U.S. Constitution ought to be replaced with Islamic law.

“This is an insight into what people who understand this organization actually think of it,” Pipes told the IPT. “It fits into a context of frank discussion that in recent years has been closed down, and it shows what sort of organization that Keith Ellison takes money from and endorses.”

The MAS Connection to Ellison’s 2010 Fundraiser

During his 2010 re-election campaign, MAS President Esam Omeish hosted a fundraiser for Ellison in which Ellison criticized what he saw as Israel’s disproportionate influence on U.S. foreign policy. The IPT exclusively reported on his comments Nov. 30.

“The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. Can I say that again?” Ellison said.

Omeish, Ellison’s host at the fundraiser, has voiced support for Hamas. Following Israel’s 2004 assassination of Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin, Omeish, a Libyan by birth, mourned the terrorist leader as “our beloved Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.”

During a December 2000 Jerusalem Day rally in Washington’s Lafayette Square, Omeish praised Palestinians for knowing “that the Jihad way is the way to liberate your land.”

Ellison Speaking at Next Week’s MAS Convention

Ellison first addressed a MAS convention in 2006 and has made repeated appearances at the organization’s events. He is scheduled to speak at MAS’s joint convention with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) starting next Monday in Chicago. ICNA is a predominately South Asian Islamist group that advocates creating a global Islamic state ruled by shariah.

Ellison also is listed as the keynote speaker at MAS-ICNA’s appreciation dinner.

The MAS convention Ellison will address will hear from radical speakers such as Ali Qaradaghi (Alternately spelled Al-Qurra Daghi in the MAS-ICNA program), secretary general of the pro-Hamas International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), one of the world’s most influential groups for Sunni Islamist clerics. It counts former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh as a member.

Full report at:

http://www.rightsidenews.com/us/islam-in-america/muslim-scholar-group-sponsored-ellisons-hajj-national-security-threat/

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Cindy Lange-Kubick: From America, With Love, a message to Muslims in Lincoln

Dec 20 2016

After the flood of messages arrived -- on Facebook, by email, stamped and postmarked -- Peter Barber copied and pasted and created a 12-page booklet with a red cover and gave it a title: With Love, From America.

Those messages, from strangers to strangers, said things like these.

Please know that you are not alone. There are people, me and others, that want you here.

And: I’m so sorry for the isolation you might feel right now.

And: YOU are what makes this country great. It has always been our diversity, our bravery, and above all our kindness that make this nation what it is.

Barber works as a graphic designer at Olsson Associates and volunteers once a week, helping lead a women-only cultural orientation class in the basement of the Good Neighbor Community Center on Y Street.

Every Friday, class members learn about life in America. Topics like landlord-tenant relationships, fire safety, insurance, public transportation, how to navigate the public school system, workplace discrimination, medical exams.

They are immigrants or refugees who speak Arabic. Many of them are Muslim.

“These women are so anxious to have a good life here,” Barber said. “All they really want is to have a quiet life and raise their children.”

But they began to worry aloud this summer during the presidential election campaign.

“They voiced concern over what he (Donald Trump) was saying about deporting (illegal) immigrants and banning Muslims,” Barber said. “They were scared, even though all of them are here legally.”

And they wondered whether his words would lead to more discrimination.

“I tried to calm their fears, but it’s been worse since Trump won.”

The women had already shared stories of occasional discrimination -- store clerks refusing to wait on them, their children being bullied in school.

“They were worried about everyday situations,” Barber said, “as well as on a policy level, what would Trump be able to do.”

So he shared the class members’ concerns with his husband, who told a friend who told another friend, who came up with the idea of a letter-writing campaign.

And on Nov. 11, Barber posted a message on Facebook: I would really love to share a few positive messages/letters from people with my class, affirming that not all Americans hate Muslims or want them out of the country. It doesn't have to be long, but it would be so meaningful.

He didn’t have to wait long for a meaningful response.

I do not know you, but I welcome you. I do not fear you. I do not hate you.

You are my neighbors, no matter where you are from. You are my sisters, no matter what you look like or what languages you speak.

Thank you for choosing this state as your home.

We are a nation of immigrants, and we welcome you.

His message was shared and shared again. And he was amazed and encouraged by the dozens of notes that came his way -- and when he presented the women with the booklet a month ago, they felt the same way.

“Immediately, they wanted to make a meal for everyone to thank them.”

Barber told them that was a lovely yet impractical idea, since the letter-writers were scattered across the state and beyond.

Full report at:

http://journalstar.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/cindy-lange-kubick-from-america-with-love-a-message-to/article_d544864e-7a2a-51ac-af2f-7aa2bde38928.html

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Europe

 

Three people hurt in shooting at Zurich Islamic centre: Swiss police

Dec 20, 2016

A gunman dressed in black stormed into the prayer hall of a mosque frequented by Somali immigrants and opened fire, wounding three people before fleeing, a Zurich police spokesperson said Monday.

Police, who rushed to the scene in a central neighbourhood known for trendy cafes and the city’s red-light district, were also investigating a possible connection to the discovery of a corpse at nearby Gessner bridge over the Sihl River, police spokesman Marco Bisa said.

Authorities weren’t considering the attack as terrorism, he said. Police also said it was too early to determine whether there might be any link to an incident in Berlin also on Monday, where a truck rammed into a Christmas market, killing at least nine people.

“The unknown person fired several shots and fled from the building,” Bisa told reporters near the mosque, which was cordoned off by police. “The shooting took place inside a prayer room with several people in it. Two victims were severely injured.”

Bisa said the injured were hospitalized and were aged 30, 35 and 56 years old, but did not specify their nationalities. He said witnesses described the attacker as clad head to foot in black, and was believed to be aged about 30 years old.

At the scene, Abukav Abshirow, a 30-year-old Somali man who works at a Zurich car dealership, said his friend was among the injured. He recalled how they had been celebrating a religious occasion at the center the night before.

“I am under shock,” he said. “We’ve had great times here. The atmosphere was always friendly and happy at the center ... I am very, very sad this happened. We never had problems here before. We spend the weekend here with our children in peace.”

“I am waiting to find out what happened, and who is responsible,” he said.

Attacks by gunmen are rare in Switzerland. The country was shaken in 2013 by at least two multiple-fatality shootings.

The country has a long-standing tradition for men to keep their military rifles after completing compulsory military service — which partly explains a high rate of gun ownership in the country of about 8.2 million people.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/three-people-hurt-in-shooting-at-zurich-islamic-centre-report/story-jOQHXttuF1j80EKMrqwW0M.html

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Putin says Turkey ambassador murder is ploy to wreck Syrian peace process

December 20, 2016

MOSCOW : President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that the killing of Russia's ambassador to Turkey was a despicable provocation aimed at spoiling Russia-Turkey ties and derailing Moscow's attempts to find, with Iran and Turkey, a solution for the Syria crisis.

In televised comments, Putin, speaking at a special meeting in the Kremlin, ordered security at Russian embassies around the world to be stepped up and said he wanted to know who had "directed" the gunman's hand.

He heaped praise on the murdered Russian ambassador, Andrei Karlov, who was shot in the back and killed as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery, and made clear that Moscow's response to his assassination would be robust.

"A crime has been committed and it was without doubt a provocation aimed at spoiling the normalization of Russo-Turkish relations and spoiling the Syrian peace process which is being actively pushed by Russia, Turkey, Iran and others," said a stern-faced Putin.

"There can only be one response - stepping up the fight against terrorism. The bandits will feel this happening."

Putin, who said he personally knew the slain envoy, said he had agreed in a PHONE call with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan that Russian investigators would soon fly to Ankara to help the Turks with the investigation.

"We must know who directed the killer's hand," Putin told Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Sergei Naryshkin, the head of his SVR foreign intelligence service, and Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the domestic FSB security service.

Putin ordered security at Turkish diplomatic facilities in Russia to be stepped up and said he wanted guarantees from Turkey about the safety of Russian diplomatic facilities.

"I also ask you to implement the agreed proposals on strengthening security at Russian diplomatic facilities abroad," Putin told the meeting.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/20-Dec-2016/putin-says-turkey-ambassador-murder-is-ploy-to-wreck-syrian-peace-process

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Europe: Christmas Shoppers in Jihadist Crosshairs

by George Igler

December 18, 2016 at 5:30 am

In Ludwigshafen, Germany, a "'strongly radicalized" 12-year-old boy "of Iraqi heritage" planted a bomb at a Christmas market at the end of November.

Previously, the festive shopping tradition of Christmas markets had become "potent symbols of freedom," with Germany's Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière, urging people to stick to unserem Leben -- "our way of life."

In Birmingham, England, the Christmas market has concrete barriers installed to deter vehicular suicide bombers. According to the head of Britain's foreign intelligence service, the magnitude of the terrorism faced by the UK is "unprecedented."

French security forces thwarted attacks planned for December 1, against Disneyland Paris and the Christmas market on the main thoroughfare of the French capital, the Champs-Elysée.

With a pro-Sharia (Islamic law) advocate now secretary of state in the Berlin regional senate, and other Muslims even refusing to shake the hand of the German President Joachim Gauck at events designed to promote integration, Germany's "way of life" is changing fast.

As the winter nights lengthen, an even darker shadow is falling across the run-up to the Christmas holidays in several European nations. Families in markets and shopping districts across the continent are buying presents in the knowledge that jihadists mean to target them.

On November 21, the U.S. Department of State cited a "heightened risk of terror attacks" in an advisory statement set to expire only on February 20, 2017.

"Credible information," quotes Newsweek, prompted a warning to American travellers to "exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets," given planned attacks by Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Those attending "large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc." were likewise urged to exercise vigilance.

On December 16, German media reported that:

"a 12-year-old boy was suspected of planning two different bomb attacks in the western German city of Ludwigshafen. The German magazine 'Focus' said he had first tried to target a Christmas market at the end of November, before placing a backpack with explosives near a high-rise building containing both city hall and a shopping center."

"The suspect was born in Germany but is of Iraqi heritage," reported NBC News, adding: "the 'strongly radicalized' youth was likely 'incited and instructed' by an 'unidentified member of ISIS.'"

This comes just two weeks after a December 2 report, Changes in Modus Operandi of Islamic State Revisited, from the European policing agency, Europol, cited the possibility of "several dozen" attacks against civilian soft targets.

In Ludwigshafen, Germany, a "'strongly radicalized" 12-year-old boy "of Iraqi heritage" planted a bomb at a Christmas market at the end of November. (Image source: Focus video screenshot)

With terrorists claiming to act in the name of ISIS already able to plan "relatively complex attacks -- including those on multiple targets -- quickly and effectively," according to the Europol report, the tactics of the battlefields of the Middle East, "such as the use of car bombs, extortion and kidnappings," may well be exported into Europe.

The credibility of such intelligence data has been further strengthened by a wave of arrests and increased troop deployments in several European countries. Germany, for instance, is associated with the ice rinks, outside stalls, and warm spiced wine of Christmas markets; an estimated 1,500 are spread across the country.

The strengthened security followed a credible bomb threat against an international soccer match on November 17, 2015, which forced the lockdown of the northern city of Hanover and a cancellation by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had planned to attend.

On the basis of attacks in the country to date, the cities of Munich, Ansbach, Berlin, Ochsenfurt, Grafing, Reutlingen and Frankfurt -- which contains the country's largest Christmas market -- are Germany's danger hotspots.

The festive shopping tradition across Europe is causing headaches, however, to security officials in several other nations.

In France, twin swoops against an alleged jihadist cell, operating from the European parliamentary city of Strasbourg and the port city of Marseilles, thwarted attacks planned for December 1, against Disneyland Paris and the Christmas market on the main thoroughfare of the French capital, the Champs-Elysée.

Reports also suggest that this anti-terror operation may have come just in time to intercept a weapons shipment.

As the Europol report explains:

"[A]utomatic firearms still seem to be the weapons of choice of terrorist cells committing large scale attacks, because of their relative ease of access, use and effectiveness. Firearms can be obtained from criminal sources, in some cases from those the terrorists already know from their own criminal pasts." (p.10)

The Daily Mirror reports: "It is feared that the current military operation on Mosul will force Islamic State to change tactics and rather than hold ground, concentrate on attacking Europe." With returnees expected as a result of the eventual collapse of ISIS strongholds -- 2,000-2,500 jihadists originating from Europe are still said to be fighting in Iraq and Syria -- the terror group is predicted to start launching attacks against Europe from bases in Libya.

According to Jean-Charles Brisard, a leading French security expert, despite the more rigorous measures introduced by the French government as a consequence of the major attacks that have struck France since 2015, the capacity of the nation's latent ISIS networks "has not been affected." An increased presence of troops on French streets has already given the nation a paramilitary character.

Meanwhile, in Britain, the entirety of the country's elite Special Forces, the SAS, have had their leave cancelled as a consequence of undercover deployments across the nation's Christmas shopping districts.

Under Operation Temperer, run by the British Army, 5,000 troops are covertly patrolling busy streets, with police in cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham all having asked for extra assistance. Outdoor Christmas markets, originally a feature of Germany's holiday celebrations, have become increasingly popular in recent years across many British cities.

On December 11, officers armed with assault rifles raided locations in London, Burton upon Trent, and Derby, in an investigation believed to center on an ISIS plot to target Christmas markets. In "international terrorism-related" arrests, according to police sources, four men from Derby, aged 22, 27, 35 and 36, in addition to a 27-year old man from Burton upon Trent, have all been detained.

A 32-year old woman from London was also arrested "on suspicion of engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism," on behalf of the suspected ISIS terror cell. One of those being detained, according to the Daily Mail, is said to be an asylum seeker, "who may not have been in Britain for long."

In Birmingham, the Christmas market has concrete barriers installed to deter vehicular suicide bombers. According to the head of Britain's foreign intelligence service (MI6), the magnitude of the terrorism faced by the UK is "unprecedented."

"The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty," said the MI6 chief, Alex Younger, who also cited the extreme dangers posed by "hybrid attacks," in which conventional terrorism is combined with cyber-security breaches. Up to 3,000 Islamic extremists presently reside in Britain, according to Andrew Parker, head of its domestic intelligence agency, MI5.

Full report at:

gatestoneinstitute.org/9586/jihadists-christmas-shoppers

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Deadly Berlin truck crash a ‘terrorist attack

20 December 2016

Berlin's police force said Tuesday it was treating the deadly crash of a lorry into a Christmas market crowd as "a probable terrorist attack".

It said in a Twitter message it was carefully investigating the "probable terrorist attack" that killed 12 people and wounded dozens more Monday evening.

"Sadly we know that 12 people were killed on Breitscheidplatz, 48 others are in hospital, some of them severely injured," Berlin police said on Twitter.

The incident occurred on the Breitscheidplatz square, near the location of Berlin's iconic Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church along the Kurfürstendamm shopping mile.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2016/12/20/Nine-dead-as-truck-ploughs-into-crowd-at-Berlin-Christmas-market-.html

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In Some Muslim Neighbourhoods Of France, Women Can't Enter. Now They're Fighting Back

DECEMBER 19, 2016

This was seen in a recent undercover report by TV channel France 2, and showed women facing hostility in bars and cafes in these areas. Wearing button-hole CAMERAS, two female volunteers of La Brigade des Mères, an anti-radicalisation group, entered the Muslim majority Sevran suburb in Paris.

Sevran is famous for one thing - sending 15 lads to fight for ISIS since 2014.

Facing hostility when they entered a bar by the bar's owner, they said they were waiting for a man. They were asked to "wait outside" by the owner. When they pointed out that it is not wrong for men and women to be in a bar together, he shouted: "There are men in here!"

 "In this cafe there is no mixing. You are in Sevran, you're not in Paris."

In Lyon, another neighbourhood, they found that women were forced to cover up, avoiding SKIRTS.

However, local women's group Collectif des Femmes regularly marches through streets and cafes which were becoming Muslim-only hubs.  Brigitte Desmet, a group leader that the movement was not Islamophobic, but to encourage them to integrate into French society.

"Establishment of mini Caliphates where it's Islamic law, Sharia, that applies every day"

But it seems the words of Marion Jeanne Caroline Maréchal-Le Pen, French politician and granddaughter of Front National founder Jean-Marie Le Pen RING true here:

 "It is no longer the law of France that applies, it is not the law of the Republic, we are witnessing the establishment of mini Caliphates where it's Islamic law, Sharia, that applies every day."

Full report at:

http://www.indiatimes.com/news/world/in-some-muslim-neighbourhoods-of-france-women-can-t-enter-now-they-re-fighting-back-267749.html

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Muslim Council of Britain expresses concern over attacks on Muslims

Dec 20 2016

Writing to the leaders of all national political parties, the letter highlights three incidents from last week:

In London, a knife-wielding man shouted “I want to kill a Muslim” before stabbing a Muslim in the head, twice in the chest and three times in the back

In London, a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf was shoved to the ground and dragged along the pavement in a “sickening” attack: she was left unassisted for almost 20 minutes before being able to dial 999

In Scotland, a mosque in Cumbernauld was sprayed with racist graffiti.

Growing hate crime against Muslims as recorded by national police forces (despite significant under-reporting) goes hand-in-hand with hostility towards Muslims. It was exemplified on a train this week when a man refused to sit next to the winner of last year’s Great British Bake Off, Nadiya Hussain, saying “I ain’t sitting near a Muslim”.

The letter signed by Harun Khan, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “Standing up against the spread of hate is not a party-political issue and we are writing to political leaders from all parties requesting they all stand in solidarity with Muslim communities to tackle this scourge of Islamophobia that divides our society.”

Full report at:

http://theindianawaaz.com/muslim-council-of-britain-expresses-concern-over-attacks-on-muslims/

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India

 

Madras high court bans unauthorised Sharia courts in Tamil Nadu

Dec 19, 2016

The Madras high court on Monday banned all unauthorised Sharia courts in mosques across Tamil Nadu, saying centres of worship were only to be used for religious purposes.

The first bench of the court, comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice M Sundar, directed the state government to ensure that unofficial courts were banned. It was asked to file a report in this regard within four weeks.

The court’s direction came in response to a PIL filed by a non-resident Indian, Abdul Rahman, who alleged that the Makka Masjid Shariat Council was operating as a court of law from a mosque on Chennai’s Anna Salai. He said the council dealt largely with matrimonial disputes, even going to the extent of passing divorce orders.

The court order comes in the wake of a raging debate over the controversial practice of triple talaq, where Muslim women are divorced simply by pronouncing the word ‘talaq’ thrice.

Rahman’s counsel, A Sirajudeen, told the court that the PIL had been filed “to safeguard the interests of a large number of innocent Muslims” who were adversely affected by decisions made by Sharia courts and councils across Tamil Nadu. He also said the council had created an impression among Muslims that it was functioning as per Sharia law, and all its orders and judgments were therefore binding on the community.

The Supreme Court had refused to ban Sharia courts in 2014, saying the interpretations made by Islamic judges were not legally binding and they could pass verdicts only when individuals submit to them voluntarily.

On October 7, the Centre had opposed the practice of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims in the Supreme Court, and sought a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism. However, it was oppposed by several Muslim organisations, including the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which stressed that “Sharia law cannot be changed”.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/madras-hc-bans-unauthorised-sharia-courts-in-tamil-nadu/story-LAYh4RyesKrK5fZLvSuokK.html

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Muslims Come Together To Promote Gender Justice within the Community

DECEMBER 20, 2016

Mumbai: Civil rights activists from all over the country gathered in the city on Monday to unveil the Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) and condemn the actions and words of Muslim organisations or individuals who promote bigotry, extremism, intolerance, hatred terrorism, or violence in the name of Islam. The group also aims to promote gender justice within the community.

The IMSD is a joint venture among activists Javed Anand, Noor Jehan, Feroze Mithiborwala, Nasreen Contractor and Irfan Engineer. Over a 100 Muslim women and men had come together from over a dozen cities for the two-day event, which coincided with International Minority Rights Day.

“As an organisation of Indian Muslims, our prime responsibility is that of combating the increasing extremism in the community. This is coming out of a supremacist mentality, which is being preached by a few. We plan to counter it,” said Mr. Mithiborewala.

According to the convenors, IMSD endorses the idea of secular-democratic, non-theocratic and a non-majoritarian state, whether in India or elsewhere across the world.

“There is a necessity to understand that there are many different Islams like in any other community. We aim to boost this pluralism and rejuvenate the centuries-old tolerant tradition of ‘lived Islam,’” said Mr. Anand.

On the gender bias front, IMSD opposes customs like triple talaq, halala and polygamy as also female genital mutiliation, practised in the community. “We will also fight for women’s rights for entry into mosques, dargahs and graveyards” said Noor Jehan of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, which led Muslim women’s movement to gain entry into the inner sanctum of the Haji Ali dargah.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/Muslims-come-together-to-promote-gender-justice/article16907530.ece

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Brain-dead Muslim farmer keeps Hindu man’s heart beating

Dec 20, 2016

AHMEDABAD/RAJKOT: Till 47-year-old Arjan Ambaliya lives, he would be thanking this Muslim farmer and his family from Bhavnagar district from the bottom of his heart.

The heart of brain dead Asif Juneja, a native of Sod Vadla village in Sihor taluka, has been transplanted in Ambaliya, thus giving this critically ill man a new life. Juneja's heart was flown in a chartered flight from Bhavnagar on Monday for the transplant done at an Ahmedabad-based private hospital.

Moreover, this is the first heart transplant done in Gujarat.

Juneja was critically injured after being hit by a speeding car while crossing the road on December 17. He was rushed to the civil hospital in Bhavnagar but declared brain dead on December 20.

"We counselled Juneja's family members to donate this vital organs and they readily agreed. Besides the heart, his two kidneys, liver and pancreas were also harvested for four other needy patients," Dr. Rajendra Kabariya, neurosurgeon at the Bhavnagar-based charitable hospital, told TOI.

Dr Kabariya said they contacted the Ahmedabad hospital through a nodal agency that keeps a register of patients requiring heart transplant. "Earlier in November, there was a brain dead patient whose heart could be transplanted. At that time, there was no recipient in Gujarat. So, it was later given to a patient in Satara district of Maharashtra," he said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Brain-dead-Muslim-farmer-keeps-Hindu-mans-heart-beating/articleshow/56076607.cms

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Day-Old Muslim Outfit, Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy, Says Triple Talaq Be Scrapped

Mohammed Wajihuddin

Dec 20, 2016

MUMBAI: A day after its launch in the city, Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) demanded abolition of triple talaq, polygamy and halala marriages. After two-day (December 17-18) inaugural deliberations, IMSD's functionaries told the media on Monday that the group would strive to "rejuvenate the tolerant traditions within Islam and generate a progressive and liberal voice within the Indian Muslim community so that Muslims in India are able to live in dignity, at peace with self and with all fellow citizens."

Currently with just 100 members across the country, IMSD plans to spread its footprint and become a voice of the Muslims. "We believe that Islam is tolerant and inclusive, unlike the Islam propagated by outfits like IS, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram. In India, the forces of bigotry within Muslim society have done enormous damage to the faith. We want to stop further maligning of the faith and present an alternative narrative which is tolerant and inclusivist," said IMSD's convener Javed Anand.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/day-old-muslim-outfit-says-triple-talaq-be-scrapped/articleshow/56075532.cms

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India renews call for UN action against Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, their supporters

December 20, 2016

India has renewed its demand for international action against Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and “their shadowy supporters”. Denouncing the two organisations, whose leadership is based in Pakistan, as affiliates of al-Qaida, India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin told the Security Council that it was imperative to take action against the support they get from outside.

In an implied criticism of China, he blamed the “split” in the UN bodies that mete out sanctions on terrorist organisations for the world body’s inability to deal with the terrorism.

China has blocked India’s efforts to have international sanctions imposed on Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar by a committee that takes action against al-Qaida and its affiliates. Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-renews-call-for-un-action-against-lashkar-e-toiba-jaish-e-mohammed-their-supporters-4436467/

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NIA chargesheet 'huge breakthrough', process to extradite Masood Azhar will begin soon, says Kiren Rijiju

Dec 19, 2016

NEW DELHI: The process of extradition of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and two others will begin soon with the filing of a chargesheet by the NIA in connection with terror attack at Pathankot airbase, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday.

"A total of eight people were involved in the terror attack at Pathankot. Four are dead and four are alive and living in Pakistan. Since the chargesheet has been filed, the process of extraditing them from Pakistan will begin with the issuance of Interpol Red Corner Notice," he told reporters here.

Rijiju termed the filing of the chargesheet at the NIA court at Panchkula as a "huge breakthrough".

The minister of state for home said since Pakistan is "incorrigible", India has to put pressure on the neighbouring country to extradite the four people living in Pakistan on the basis of the evidence gathered by the NIA.

"Pakistan is already under pressure. The world knows that these two brothers are living in Pakistan and doing all kinds of terror acts," he said.

NIA today filed a chargesheet against Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and two others for hatching the conspiracy of the January 2 audacious terror strike that left seven personnel dead and 37 others injured.

The chargesheet was filed in the NIA court at Panchkula in which all the four have been slapped with charges under Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act, Arms Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/nia-chargesheet-huge-breakthrough-process-to-extradite-masood-azhar-will-begin-soon-says-kiren-rijiju/articleshow/56069612.cms

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Pathankot attack: Jaish-e-Mohammed plotted attack in 2014 with Google map of airbase, says NIA

Dec 20, 2016

by Deeptiman Tiwary , Rahul Tripathi | Ahmedaba/new Delhi | Published:December 20, 2016

The attack on the Pathankot airbase in January was planned in April 2014 at a meeting in Sialkot in Pakistan by Jaish-e-Mohammed operative Shahid Latif who believed it was “easy” to launch an attack since the airbase was surrounded by forests, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said in its chargesheet filed Monday.

Eight persons, including seven security personnel, were killed and 38 others were injured in the attack.

The chargesheet, which named Latif along with Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar and another handler called Kashif Jan, said Latif showed the potential attackers a Google map of the airbase. This information was gathered from a witness who was present at the meeting and later identified the photograph of Latif.

According to the chargesheet, one of the witnesses said the terrorists who attacked the airbase were “very talkative” and spoke of their association with the Jaish and the motivation provided by Masood Azhar for the attack.

According to the chargesheet, the witness said that one of the terrorists was referred to as “Major” and was in touch with an “Ustadji” from Pakistan over the phone.

“The Major… said that he and his companions were members of a great organisation, Jaish-e Mohammed, and that they had been imparted true knowledge of Islam by Maulana Masood Azhar. They were also repeatedly taking the name of Azhar and Abdul Rauf, who directly meet, motivate, encourage and send people for waging jihad in India,” the chargesheet stated.

The terrorists, while moving towards the airbase on January 1, also received a call from a Pakistan number (923453030479) and discussed the route and plan of the attack with “Ustadji”. This number, the chargesheet said, was found to be “associated with the Facebook profile of Kashif Jan with profile ID 100004609026581”.

The contents of the Facebook account revealed Jan’s close connections with other Jaish members. The chargesheet attached details of conversations between Jaish members about the Pathankot attack as extracted from Jan’s Facebook data.

“All the registration and login IP address used for this account belong to Pakistan,” the chargesheet stated. It also mentioned chat messages of March 20-21, 2015 where Jan owned up the attacks in Kathua and Samba in Jammu on the same dates.

The number was also associated with video messenger IMO where the account holder was Kashif Jan, the chargesheet stated. “The phone set used by Kashif Jan is an Android phone Qmobile X600 manufactured by QMobile which is a Pakistan-based smartphone company,” it said.

Another number (923213132786) on which the terrorists had called was found to be associated with Al Rehmat Trust, a Jaish front that collects finances for its terror activities. “This number is present on the information banner of the Al Rehmat Trust on the website, http://www.rangonoor.com” — a JeM mouthpiece.

It was on this website, the chargesheet noted, that an audio clip by Abdul Rauf Asghar taking responsibility of the attack was uploaded. A witness identified the voice in the clip as that of Asghar.

The transcript of this audio clip was also uploaded on alqalamonline.com which along with rangonoor.com was found connected to a Pakistan landline number and whose hosting had been paid by a Pakistan credit card, the chargesheet stated.

The NIA attached evidence of various medicines, food packets and shoes of the terrorists to establish the Pakistan link. It listed four pain killer injections manufactured by Sami Pharmacy, Karachi, Schazoo Pharmaceuticals Industries, Sheikhpura and E-Pharma, Karachi in Pakistan. A disposable syringe manufactured by Medi Care Disposable Industries in Lahore, painkillers by Pfizer Pakistan and Chinese lighters also figured in the list.

The chargesheet remained “inconclusive” about the presence of more than four terrorists at the Pathankot airbase. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had earlier told Parliament that there were six terrorists — it was based on a forensic report that said burnt remains found from an airmen’s billet were that of human male.

“Due to the absence of any recovered arms from the aforementioned billet, its residential nature and the inconclusive DNA analysis report of the charred mass, the presence of any other terrorist could not be established till date,” the chargesheet said, adding that investigations in this aspect would continue.

It said it had written to AOC Air Force Station, Pathankot to provide UAV footage carried out during the terror attack.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/pathankot-air-base-attack-jaish-e-mohammed-nia-chargesheet-maulana-masood-azhar-shahid-latif-4436177/

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Dy CM’s grandson makes representation for enhancement of Muslim quota

December 20, 2016

Hyderabad: Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali’s grandson submitted his representation to the BC Commission on Monday. Mr. Mahmood Ali is playing key role in inducing TRS minority leaders to make representation with BC Commission.

Mr. Mohammed Mahmood Ali’s son Mr. Mohammed Azam Ali is on his visit to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. His son Mr. Furqan Ali appeared in the BC Commission hearing and submitted memorandum in favour of Muslim reservations. TRS leader Arshad Ali Khan and others accompanied him. Furqan Ali told the commission that Muslims are backward in every field in Telangana hence enhancement of Muslim quota from present 4 pc is highly inevitable.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/news/dy-cms-grandson-makes-representation-enhancement-muslim-quota-1090307/

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Pathankot: Handlers used FB to send live strike updates

Rohan Dua

Dec 20, 2016

MOHALI: Even as four terrorists struck at the Pathankot airbase earlier this year, their handlers in Pakistan were on Facebook, chatting. Apparently they found social media to be a safe way to get minute-by-minute updates of the attack between January 2 and 5. The accounts were deleted on January 5, hours after the operation was over and the terrorists were killed.

These facts have come out in the chargesheet that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted in a court in Mohali on Monday. The code word for the attack was 'nikaah' (marriage) and the attackers were called 'baraatis' in the chats.

Seven Indian soldiers, including a Commonwealth Games medal-winning shooter and a lieutenant colonel of the National Security Guard's bomb squad, were killed in the attack. The attackers also killed a taxi driver. The chargesheet has identified the main plotter, handler and conspirator as 35-year-old JeM operative Kashif Jan alias Ali Jan. NIA has also recorded his cell number - +923452020479 - which he used to access Facebook. India is expected to confront Pakistan with many of these details to prove that the terrorists came from Pakistan.

After the terror strike India had allowed Pakistan's joint investigation team (JIT) to visit the airbase, but the same courtesy wasn't extended to Indian investigators. According to the chargesheet, NIA sleuths found that Kashif's Facebook account was opened on October 30, 2012 at 5:12pm. "All the registration and login passwords used for this account belong to Pakistan," the chargesheet says while establishing the origin of the attackers.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/handlers-used-fb-to-send-live-strike-updates/articleshow/56076818.cms

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Pathankot attack was code-named 'nikaah'

Rohan Dua & Neeraj Chauhan

Dec 20, 2016

CHANDIGARH/NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency filed a chargesheet on Monday against Jaishe-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar and three others for the January 1 attack on Air The Force Station Pathankot, detailing the conspiracy hatched in Pakistan.

The NIA chargesheet says that the conspiracy was "not limited to Masood Azhar", hinting at the hand of Pakistani authorities. It also named his brother and his deputy, Abdul Rauf Asghar, Shahid Latif of Gujranwala, Pakistan, and Kashif Jan, the main handler of the four killers. Training camps in Pakistan and POK were set up for recruit ment and training of terror ists, who underwent extensive motivational, physical, military and tactical training regimen before they were radicalised and prepared for jihad," says the NIA chargesheet on the attack on the Pathankot airbase.

Seven security personnel, including Lt Col Niranjan EK, were killed, while 37 others were injured. All four attackers were killed. The chargesheet will be used by India to push its case for imposing UN sanctions against Azhar -released in 1999 in exchange of a hijacked Indian Airlines plane -that China has so far opposed.

The chargesheet, filed at a Panch kula court, says JeM terrorists in Pakistan were monitoring the attack, with Kashif Jan watching TV channels and receiving chats from different persons on its status. The attack was code-named `nikaah' (wedding) and attackers were called `baraati' (wedding guests). Azhar and the rest have been charged under relevant sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act as well as IPC.

The NIA filed the chargesheet without any response from Pakistan despite repeated requests.

The Facebook chats of Kashif and his aides reveal chilling details of how they shared congratulatory messages after Indian soldiers were killed. Among Kashif 's chats that NIA accessed, there's one by one Iqbal gloating, "Kya kaifiyat hai, kya nazare hain; bahut hi umda (what circumstances, and what sights, beautiful... applause)," he tells Kashif.

In another chat, Mohammed Zia asks about the situation in Pathankot to which Kashif replies, "Nazare khatam hue, baraati ghar gaye (the scenes are over, and the wedding guests are home)."

The NIA also charged that the terrorists wanted the Indian government to know that JeM was behind the attack. The terrorists brought along hand-written notes, one in English and another in Urdu, disclosing the purpose of the attack.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pathankot-attack-was-code-named-nikaah/articleshow/56075340.cms

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Pakistan

 

Berlin attacker was Pakistani: German Media

December 20, 2016

BERLIN: On early tuesday, the German authorities began sketching the background of the man arrested in the Berlin Christmas-market attack.

According to a report in the German newspaper Die Welt, translated with computer assistance by the Washington Times, the suspect is a newly-arrived Pakistani refugee.

Local news outlets reported that he was a refugee, though uncertainty persists on where exactly he was from.

In conflicting stance, the Berliner Zeitung reported that he was an Afghan, and Der Tagesspiegel reported that the man was either Pakistani or Afghan.

In an indication that authorities know a great deal about the man, Die Welt specified the date on which the man arrived in Germany on February 16 this year.

At that time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was defending her government’s open-door policy to refugees from the Muslim world in the face of an increasing backlash from German voters.

She has since backtracked and even come out in favor of limiting Muslim dress codes in order to encourage assimilation.

One German politician was rather quick to draw a political conclusion. Marcus Pretzell, a member of the European parliament from the right-wing Alternative for Germany, took to Twitter to blame Ms. Merkel.

“When will German rule of law strike back? When will this accursed hypocrisy end? These are Merkel’s deaths!” he wrote in German, according to a Times translation.

“I’m deeply shaken about the horrible news of what occurred at the memorial church in Berlin,” Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.

Germany's government officials have said the country, which accepted nearly 900,000 migrants last year, many from the war-torn Middle East, lies in the “crosshairs of terrorism.”

Pictures from the scene showed CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS protruding from the smashed windscreen of the black truck. In the aftermath, it was resting lopsided on the pavement with a mangled Christmas tree beneath its whee

http://nation.com.pk/international/20-Dec-2016/berlin-attacker-was-pakistani-german-media

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Raheel Sharif 'helped me out' in leaving Pakistan: Musharraf

Dec 20, 2016

Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has claimed that ex-army chief Gen Raheel Sharif helped him leave the country by keeping the government from pressuring the courts.

Speaking during a talk show on Dunya News last night, he said: "Well he (Raheel Sharif) did help me and I am absolutely clear and grateful. I have been his boss and I have been the army chief before him... he helped out, because the cases are politicised, they put me on the ECL, they turned it into a political issue."

When asked to explain by the host how the recently retired army chief helped him, Musharraf responded saying by "influencing the courts".

He elaborated: "See unfortunately one has to say it, but shouldn’t have to… our judiciary should move towards justice."

"These courts work under pressure behind the scenes and then give decisions. The army chief had a role to play in releasing the pressure behind the scenes."

When asked who exactly Gen (r) Sharif had to relieve pressure from, Musharraf said, “Not from the judges but from the government. The pressure the government was putting on the courts was removed.

"Once he [Gen Sharif] got the government to relieve the pressure that they were exerting, the courts gave their judgement and allowed me to go abroad for treatment," Musharraf elaborated.

Musharraf had left the country for Dubai in March earlier this year hours after the interior ministry issued a notification to remove his name from the exit control list (ECL).

The government notification followed the Supreme Court's order to lift the ban on his foreign travel.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1303429/raheel-sharif-helped-me-out-in-leaving-pakistan-musharraf

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Abbottabad commission head wants report made public

IKRAM JUNAIDI

Dec 20, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Justice Javed Iqbal, who headed the Abbottabad Commission set up to conduct a probe after Osama bin Laden was found and eliminated in a covert operation by the US forces, on Monday called for the inquiry report to be made public and its recommendations implemented.

The former Supreme Court judge was speaking at a meeting of the Senate standing committee on interior held at the Parliament Lodges with PPP Senator Rehman Malik in the chair.

“Unfortunately a routine has been made to establish commissions after every incident and then put the findings of the report on the shelf due to which there is an impression that commissions are made to pass the time so that the public would forget the incident. The report of the Abbottabad Commission must [also] be lying on some shelf,” Justice Iqbal said.

Bin Laden had founded Al Qaeda which claimed responsibility for many terrorist assaults worldwide, including the Sept 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. He survived a US attack in Afghanistan and on May 2, 2011 the American forces carried out a surgical strike on a house in Abbottabad in which he was reportedly killed.

Justice Javed’s remarks about Osama’s presence in KP city intriguing

After the incident Pakistan came into limelight and questions surfaced whether bin Laden was deliberately kept in Abbottabad near a training centre of the armed forces.

The government formed the commission to hold an inquiry into the incident. Other members of the inquiry commission were Abbas Khan, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and retired Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed.

Though the inquiry was completed three years ago, its report was never made public. One version of the report — spread over almost 700 pages and containing interviews of some 300 people as well as over 100 recommendations — was leaked by an international media group in 2013.

Justice Iqbal said that an amount of Rs50 million had been released by the government for carrying out the inquiry and the report had been completed after detailed deliberations. He said the report should be made public and its recommendations should be implemented.

In significant remarks, Justice Iqbal said his daughter keeps asking him whether bin Laden was indeed living in Abbottabad as was claimed by the US, but he told her that if he disclosed it then there would be nothing left in the report.

He said the government should make the report public. However, if necessary, some of its parts can be left classified.

Talking to media persons after the meeting, Justice Iqbal said the report focused on identifying the people responsible for the incident.

In reply to a question, he said that personalities responsible for the incident had been identified in the report and actions had been suggested.

“As I am under oath, I cannot reveal the names of those persons. Only the government can reveal the names,” he said.

In July 2013, Mr Qazi informed the Senate Committee on Defence (SCD) that the leaked inquiry report was the first draft and not the final version submitted to the prime minister.

The final copy is said to be a watered-down version of the leaked draft that was highly critical of the armed forces, particularly the Inter-Services Intelligence, not only for its failures, but also for stymieing the growth of civilian intelligence organisations.

The final report comes with a 40-page strongly-worded note of dissent by Mr Qazi and Justice Iqbal’s observations on the note.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1303392/abbottabad-commission-head-wants-report-made-public

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FIR contradicts Rangers’ version of ‘failed suicide attack’

Dec 20, 2016

HYDERABAD: A contradiction in the versions of police and Rangers with regard to the Friday incident, in which a would-be suicide bomber was killed by law enforcers in Hyderabad, emerged when the A-Section police registered the case.

Airport SHO Anwar Khanzada, lodged the case at the A-Section police station of Latifabad stating that he, along with a team of his subordinates, was on patrolling the road along Daman-i-Kohsar when he spotted two suspicious persons in the Amani Shah graveyard. One of them fired on his team which was returned, he further stated, adding that during the encounter one of the two suspects fell down. Later, he stated, a suicide vest was found around his body which was defused by the bomb disposal squad.

The version contradicts the Rangers’ press release issued soon after the incident on Friday.

The press release had stated that a would-be suicide bomber tried to enter an Imambargah [Bab-i-Ali situated a few metres away from the Amani Shah graveyard on Daman-i-Kohsar road] while Juma prayers were under way. It said that while trying to enter the Imambargah, he lobbed a grenade at a Rangers mobile team.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1303317/fir-contradicts-rangers-version-of-failed-suicide-attack

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Two killed by landmine explosion in Balochistan's Dera Bugti

SYED ALI SHAH

Dec 20, 2016

Two people, riding a motorcycle, were killed by a landline explosion in Balochistan's Dera Bugti district on Monday.

The explosion took place in the Kathan area of the district, said Levies sources.

"Two people riding a motorcycle were killed when the drove over a landmine," said a Levies official.

Both people died on the spot, added the security officials.

"Unknown miscreants had planted the landmine on the roadside to target people travelling on the road," said the Levies official.

Security officials reached the site of the incident and started their investigations. There was no claim of responsibility.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1303267/two-killed-by-landmine-explosion-in-balochistans-dera-bugti

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Pakistan to get four MI-35 copters from Russia

December 20, 2016

ISLAMABAD:- Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain on Monday said that Pakistan would get four advanced MI-35 helicopters from Russia in 2017. Talking to a private TV channel, the minister said that Pakistan has paid $153 million for the purchase of helicopters. He also said the government is also in contact with other countries for the export of 100 Super Mushshak trainer aircrafts. Maldives and Azerbaijan are ready to buy Super Mushak trainer aircrafts, he added.–NNI

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/20-Dec-2016/pakistan-to-get-four-mi-35-copters-from-russia

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JI for freedom from ‘imperialism’

December 20, 2016

LAHORE - Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq has said the country is being ruled by the agents of the East India Company who secured vast land from the British rulers for their treachery towards the Muslims of subcontinent.

Addressing the central parliamentary advisory council of the JI yesterday at Mansoora, he said that a movement similar to the historic Pakistan Movement was imperative to free the nation from the hold of these slaves of the world imperialism.

“These rulers have no moral ground to remain in power after the allegations of corruption against them surfaced,” Siraj held. It was an irony that a motorcycle rider was detained for not having documents but the country’s rulers who did not submit documents of their properties worth trillions of rupees were still clinging to their offices, he added.

The JI council on occasion declared Panama leaks issue ‘a scar on the country’s history’, saying the delaying tactics of the government in a bid to escape accountability in mega corruption scandal were only defaming the country at world level.

The council noted that while seventy per cent of the country’s population did not have safe drinking water, and more than forty per cent was living below poverty line, the rulers were building palaces for luxurious living.

It further pointed out the general public was being denied the right of education and health. Around twenty million children of school going age were compelled to do odd jobs to supplement family earnings and each bed in government hospital was having three patients.

Recalling the weaknesses of the present electoral system as felt during the 2013 elections, the JI advisory body called for major electoral reforms to ensure fair, free and transparent elections in 2018.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/lahore/20-Dec-2016/ji-for-freedom-from-imperialism

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South Asia

 

US Envoy Arrives Bangladesh to Discuss Religious Freedom

December 19, 2016

David N Saperstein, US ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, has arrived in the city on a five-day visit to discuss religious freedom with the government, civil society representatives and religious minority communities.

According to the US embassy in Dhaka, Saperstein, who came to Dhaka after his visit to India, is expected to visit some areas inhabited by minorities, including Cox's Bazaar where he would likely see the condition of Myanmar's Rohingya people.

Official sources said his visit would also focus on knowing causes of the recent  attacks on minorities.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/us-envoy-arrives-discuss-religious-freedom-1332592

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Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Wants To Participate In EC Reforms Dialogue

December 20, 2016

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami called upon President Abdul Hamid to include the party in the ongoing dialogue between the president and the country's registered political parties over Election Commission (EC) reforms.

“Jamaat is a registered political party. The case over Jamaat’s registration is now pending with the Appellate Division of Supreme Court. The party has the right to participate in the discussion as a party representing public,” Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Maqbul Ahmad said in a letter sent to president on Monday.

Jamaat disclosed the matter to media through a press release signed by its Central Press Secretary Md Taslim Alam.

It is very IMPORTANT to form an impartial EC to hold a free, fair and neutral election participated by all political parties, the release said.

Jamaat appreciated the move initiated by the president to hold talks with the country’s major political parties to form a search committee for the next EC, and hoped that the discussion would be a success.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/politics/2016/12/20/jamaat-wants-participate-ec-reforms-dialogue/

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ISIS militants suffer casualties in US airstrike in East of Afghanistan

Dec 20 2016

The loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group suffered casualties in US airstrike in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

According to the local security officials in Nangarhar, the airstrike was conducted in Haska Mina district, targeting the militants of the terror group in Nari Oba area.

The officials further added that 8 loyalists of the terror group were killed and at least two others were wounded.

According to the officials, the US forces used UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE to carry out the airstrike which did not incur any casualties to the local residents.

The loyalists of the terror group have not commented regarding the report so far.

This comes a local leader of the Taliban group was killed along with another militant accompanying him in Chaparhar district.

Both the Afghan and US forces conducted regular strikes against the loyalists of the terror group in this province.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/isis-militants-suffer-casualties-in-us-airstrike-in-east-of-afghanistan-02508

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Bangladesh and Indonesia foreign ministers visit Rohingya refugee camp

December 20, 2016

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi have visited the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar district.

They have talked to the Rohingyas while visiting several blocks in the refugee camp on Tuesday morning.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam and Foreign Affairs Secretary Shahidul Haque also accompanied them during the visit.

Cox’s Bazar 4 constituency MP Abdur Rahman Bodi, DC Md Ali Hossain and Police Super Shyamol Kanti Nath along with other representatives from international organisations were also present during the visit.

A meeting is scheduled to be held between the two foreign ministers after the camp visit.

The Indonesian foreign minister will also meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the evening.

On Monday, the Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi attended a meeting called by Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi with 10 foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Yangon.

Suu Kyi BRIEFED them on the situation in the troubled Rakhine state where controversial security operations have been in place since the deadly attacks on border guard posts in early October.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2016/12/20/bangladesh-indonesia-foreign-ministers-visit-rohingya-refugee-camp/

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Taliban must reconsider notion of achieving objectives on battlefield: UN envoy

Dec 20 2016

The United Nation Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto has said the Taliban group must reconsider the notion of achieving objectives on the battlefield.

BRIEFINGthe United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Mr. Yamamoto said “Once again, I call upon the Taliban to commit to direct talks with the Afghan Government, without preconditions.”

He said “The Taliban leadership must reconsider the notion that their objectives can only be achieved on the battlefield.”

“At stake is the future of the Afghan people and the country. Are the differences really irreconcilable? Is compromise and accommodation really not possible?” Mr. Yamamoto asked.

He said “All Afghans must come together and work through their problems and find ways to accommodate their differences, for their own joint future.”

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-must-reconsider-notion-of-achieving-objectives-on-battlefield-un-envoy-02510

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Afghanistan receives $83.5m incentive funds of World Bank for reforms

Dec 20 2016

Afghanistan has received a total of $83.5 million in incentive funds from the World Bank for successfully implementing reforms in key sectors.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) said “The World Bank donated $ 83.5 million to ministry of finance based on commitments it made to bring reforms in 5 key SECTIONS.”

A statement by MoF said “The mentioned funds, includes US $ 900 million that ministry of finance would receive in return to  bring reforms in income resources,  organizational reforms, tax management, aid effectiveness and provincial budget within three years.”

The statement further added “It is worth mentioning that, this fund would be spent through Discretionary budget given government priority.”

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-receives-83-5m-incentive-funds-of-world-bank-for-reforms-02511

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Africa

 

Nigerian Muslim Woman Donates Food To Christian Widows For Christmas

19 December 2016

A Nigerian Muslim woman's kindness will help more than 50 Christian widows enjoy Christmas this year.

In a show of inspirational cross-faith generosity, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani donated bags of rice to the families and widows of men who had died at a church in the north western state of Kaduna.

One of dozens of bombings on a crowded village claimed by Boko Haram

The region has been subject to many attacks, primarily from Islamist Fulani herdsman on Christian communities.

But Tijjiani said her offering was part of efforts to strengthen peaceful relations between the two groups.

She gave the food to vulnerable families at the Christ Evangelical Ministry, Sabon Tasha, according to Pulse.

Tijjani said the gift was inspired by Pastor Yohanna Buru, leader of Christ Evangelical Church Ministry, for consistently giving out food and water to refugees and prison inmates during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan in recent years.

Buru would cook food and hand out drinks to the poor while his Muslim neighbours fasted, said Tijjani.

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She said Buru's attitude prompted her to start her own initiative in response.

Northern Nigeria has been struck by repeated conflicts between Muslim and Christians as Boko Haram's insurgency was forced into retreat by the Nigerian army. The ISIS-linked terror group has continued to sporadically target villages and market places with suicide attacks.

More than 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by the militant group and forced into sexual slavery or trained to become bombers.

Many have now been freed but face shame or stigma as "Boko Haram wives" if they return to their own towns.

"We would prefer that they are taken away from the community and this country because the stigmatization is going to affect them for the rest of their lives," said the chairman of the Chibok Development Association Pogu Bitrus.

"Even someone believed to have been abused by Boko Haram would be seen in a bad light."

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/nigerian.muslim.woman.donates.food.to.christian.widows.for.christmas/103144.htm?print=1

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Suicide bomber kills seven in Libyan city of Benghazi'

19 December 2016

At least seven people were killed and eight wounded when a suicide bomber targeted forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government in Benghazi on Sunday, medical and security officials said.

ISIS said it carried out the bombing, in the besieged district of Ganfouda. The area is one of the last pockets of resistance holding out against the Libyan National Army (LNA), a self-styled force loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar.

Haftar has been waging a military campaign in Benghazi for more than two years against Islamists and other opponents. The fighting is part of a broader, low-intensity conflict in Libya, which splintered into multiple political and armed factions after the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

This year the LNA has made major gains in Benghazi, though fighting and attacks have continued in parts of the city.

All those killed in Sunday’s bombing were from the LNA, a medical source from Benghazi’s main hospital said.

The attack came after the latest advance on Saturday by the LNA, which said following heavy clashes that it had taken control of buildings along the seafront west of Ganfouda, encircling its opponents.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/north-africa/2016/12/19/Suicide-bomber-kills-seven-in-Libyan-city-of-Benghazi.html

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Six killed in Nigeria communal violence: Police

Dec 19, 2016

Police in Nigeria say at least six people lost their lives during tribal conflicts in the country’s east over the weekend.

Yunana Yakubu Babas, the regional police commissioner, said the fatalities occurred on Saturday after violence erupted between herders and farmers from the Tiv and Fulani communities.

The clashes were triggered after the body of a herder, who had been robbed of his MOTORCYCLE, was found in a village in the eastern Nigerian state of Taraba.

Babas said that Fulani herders had accused members of the Tiv farming community of banditry, claiming that the act had resulted in the victim’s loss of life and earnings.

"The kinsmen of the deceased attacked the [farmers] with guns whom they accused of the killing," he noted.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/19/500556/Nigeria-communal-conflicts-Tiv-Fulani

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Nigeria: Stop Using Ethnicity, Religion to Divide Nigeria, Sultan Warns

20 DECEMBER 2016

By Christopher Isiguzo

Enugu — The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar 111, monday in Enugu asked Nigerian political leaders to desist from further use of ethnicity and religion to divide the country, insisting that the nation's unity ought to be uppermost in the minds of the leaders and the followers.

The Muslim leader, who spoke at a grand reception in honour of Rangers Football Club for their victory in the 2015/16 Nigeria Professional Football League held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, said the nation's unity remained sacrosanct, and therefore, asked those clamouring for secession to desist from embarking on a wild-goose chase.

Abubakar said he was in the South-east not only to strengthen the bond of unity but also the bond of love and "the bond with Igbo race, Enugu people and South-east," having started his military career in Nsukka, Enugu State, 32 years ago.

He noted that God did not make any mistake by putting together this country called Nigeria, saying that he must have good reasons for doing that.

"Our leaders, especially the Politicians, should please stop using religion to divide our country. Stop using ethnicity to divide the country, the country is so wide to contain everybody. God cannot make a mistake by putting together this country called Nigeria, He has reasons for that and that is why I tell people who say we want to go our different ways, how do you go your different ways, don't you read history? Please refer to history books. We have Igbo people everywhere in the country and they are industrious. In Sokoto, nobody pays school fees whether you are Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo and that is the kind of thing we want to see everywhere in the country," he said.

On the herdsmen menace which has claimed several lives across the country, the Sultan said it would be out of place to attribute the problem to just the Fulanis, noting that nobody should be allowed to hide either under ethnicity or religion to commit crime of any sort. He said no sane religion would accommodate the destruction of lives and property as a way of life.

"If anybody commits any crime, lets us take that person head on, and unless we do that, we cannot overcome the security challenges of this country. I have been in different parts of this country, I know Fulani people who have not been in other parts of the world except in Igboland, is it possible that these same people can now take up arms and begin to kill people where they live?

"It is not possible; something must have gone wrong somewhere. If there are criminals among us, it is left for us to find out who these criminals are and arrest them, it is the responsibility of all us to look at these criminals in the face and arrest them and prosecute them according to the laws of the land but sitting down and giving it name as terrorism and lamenting will not solve the problem.

"We will never support any killer taking the life of anybody because for us as Muslims we know what the Almighty Allah said about killing one single soul unjustly and unjustly, here means without recourse to law; a killer is to be killed but not through jungle justice but through the law. For anybody to kill in the name of religion, that person is a criminal and should be treated as one, and if we do that, definitely we are taking care of the unknown problems.

"The second part of the solution is for us to come together to tackle these challenges. There are many good people around and there are bad ones. Let us not do something that will alter our relationship.

"The evil ones among us must be dealt with. Those killing people we should find out who they are and deal with them. There are criminals all over, the issues of Boko haram and I want to tell you that many more Muslims have died in this insurgency than non Muslims. It is not issue of religion," he said.

He further dismissed insinuations in some quarters that there were plans by the federal government to islamise the country using the herdsmen menace as part of the process, stressing that "you don't Islamize people by killing them but through the show of love and friendship.

"They tell us that herdsmen are invading Southeast and South-south to Islamise Igbo and I ask how do you Islamise somebody by killing him, you Islamize somebody by showing a good relationship with him, showing that you are a nice person and he will now ask you about your religion. In the holy Koran, there is no force religion. Our problem is extremism and we must come together to put it out of us.

"There are extremist Muslims, there are extremist Christian and Hindus, so let's show love because you cannot be a good person if you don't show love to your friends, if you are a good Christian you must love your neighbor as yourself and a good Muslim must love his neighbor as himself and if the two religions teach that, why are we now fighting? It is IMPORTANT for us at this time to love one another," the Sultan noted.He also used the opportunity to come in defence of President Muhammadu Buhari especially in view of the biting economic hardship, saying that president indeed means well for the country.

"I want to tell you that I have talked to President Buhari several times and I want to tell you that what the people are thinking is not what he is thinking. I am not speaking for him but I know he means well. Justice is the bedrock of any good governance and We want to see respect for one another because if you don't respect somebody, you may not know who he is. You did not create yourself, God created everybody and we should fear God in whatever we do," he said.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201612200108.html

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DHS, State Dept. Enlist Terrorist Group to Conduct Anti-Terrorism Training

Dec 19, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and State Department teamed up with an Islamic terrorist front group this month to train foreign officials how to protect Muslim civil rights and avoid discrimination and profiling when countering violent extremism. It marks the latest of many collaborations between the Obama administration and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group with extensive links to foreign and domestic Islamists that was founded by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) and reportedly raises money for Hamas.

In 2008 CAIR, which claims to be America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization, was a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group Holy Land Foundation. Read more in a Judicial WATCH special report that focuses on Muslim charities. Despite the group’s radical ties, it wields tremendous power in the Obama administration. This is especially true when it comes to the way the nation’s local and federal law enforcement agencies conduct anti-terrorism training. In fact, it was CAIR that got the FBI to purge anti-terrorism material determined to be offensive to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal a few years ago and obtained hundreds of pages of FBI documents with details of the arrangement. Judicial Watch also published a special in-depth report on the subject. CAIR also got several police departments in Obama’s home state of Illinois to cancel essential counterterrorism courses over accusations that the instructor was anti-Muslim. The course was called “Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy” and departments in Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park caved into CAIR’s demands.

This month CAIR’s Florida chapter joined forces with DHS and the State Department to conduct a special training for a delegation of French national security officials in its Tampa headquarters. The weeklong event trained the foreign officials how to “effectively challenge violent extremist individuals of all backgrounds and prevent hate crimes, while protecting civil rights and challenging profiling and discrimination,” according to a CAIR announcement. Listed by name, the French delegation included a deputy police chief, deputy prosecutor, education specialist, public safety director, a radicalization prevention specialist and other French government representatives. Among the highlights of the event was a presentation by the regional operations director of CAIR’s Florida headquarters clumping “hate crimes” in the same category as “violent extremism.”

The local CAIR director, Hassan Shibly, applauded the French national security delegation’s participation and warned that restricting liberty—presumably, cracking down on terrorism—encourages hate crimes and violence. Preserving liberty and civil rights, Shibly told the French security officials, is key to preserving peace and security. Shared democratic values were a common ground that allowed the groups to navigate the IMPORTANCE of security and civil rights protection, according to one of the CAIR directors who organized the training along with the U.S. government.

Full report at:

http://www.citizen-action.com/dhs-state-dept-enlist-terrorist-group-conduct-anti-terrorism-training/article4565

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Tanzania: Muslim Body Earns Praise for Provision of Social Services

20 DECEMBER 2016

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has lavished praise to the Institute of Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania for providing assistance to social services such as education, health and clean and safe water. He gave the praise when leaders of the institute called on him recently in Dodoma.

He said the government recognizes their contribution in supporting and improving social services. He also requested the institute to continue supporting other hospitals in improving healthcare delivery apart from the Dodoma-based General Hospital.

Similarly, the Prime Minister also requested other organizations to emulate the example of Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania in assisting people with problems of eye sight.

He said the government would continue to provide cooperation to various agencies so as to help people who have health problems, especially the poor.

Mr Majaliwa called on the institute to keep on improving services in the community to enable the majority Tanzanians improve their quality of life.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201612200036.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/‘don’t-forget-aleppo,-don’t-forget-syria’--gunman-after-shooting-russian-ambassador-to-turkey/d/109434

 

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